Recent Articles

From around the County:

Local Woman Assaulted at Cobleskill "March for Women"

Written By Timothy Knight on 1/23/17 | 1/23/17

UPDATE: The Cobleskill Police Department has announced the following: "Today, we received 2 complaints about this incident. Only 1 victim wished to pursue criminal action. We took immediate action and the man, Paul Jump, age 52, of Cobleskill was charged this afternoon with Harassment in the Second Degree. He is due in court February 14th, 2017 at 5:00 pm." The original story is below.

By Timothy Knight
Photo Credit: Cobleskill Police Department

Joining nationwide protests against newly inaugurated President Donald Trump's day-old administration on Saturday afternoon, over three hundred Schoharie County residents are estimated to have taken part in a peaceful "March for Women" event held at Cobleskill's Veterans' Memorial Centre Park. 

Attracting millions of supporters from across the United States in protests held in over 600 cities, the origins for the march can be traced to a Facebook status that grew into a movement of its own. Although Saturday's protest in Cobleskill was mostly peaceable and orderly, not everyone behaved in the same respectful fashion.

According to photographic and video footage shared with The Mountain Eagle, one man repeatedly assaulted a protester at Saturday's event - both verbally and physically - prompting the victim to contact local police, although she did not file a report for fear of having her name associated with the case by pressing charges.

The video, which was posted on Facebook, shows protesters assembling on the corner of Division and Main Street in the Village of Cobleskill, when a middle-aged caucasian male walked through the crowd shouting, "You're clogging up the sidewalk, get the f*** out of the way."

Footage shows the man making his way through the crowd in the direction of Centre Park, away from the marchers and seemingly concluding the brief incident. 

However, just seven minutes later as protesters were lining up on the sidewalk to march over to the park, the same man made his way through the crowd again and nearly pushed a woman to the ground. 

The woman, who does not wish to be identified, can be heard saying, "Oh my God, my knees are bad," as the man charged through the crowd, pushing other women along the way. 

Despite the man's offensive behavior, proceedings continued in a respectful and festive manner throughout the remainder of the event. 

Village of Cobleskill Police Chief Rich Bialkowski posted on the department's Facebook page that extra officers were placed on duty Saturday to ensure the marchers were able to exercise their 1st Amendment rights in a peaceful and safe manner. 

The man's identity has been uncovered, as the result of a tip sent to The Mountain Eagle, but will not be released at this time.

Register for SUNY Cobleskill Beekeeping Class

Saturday, February 18, 2017 9am-4pm // CANR // Price: $46.50

Learn in this six hour class designed for beginners, about the lives of honey bees and the basic requirements and responsibilities of keeping bees.
Our expert instructor, Christine O’Dell will share her knowledge on how to start hives in your backyard. Register at 518-255-5528 or email PACE@cobleskill.edu.

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Cobleskill Police Blotter

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

At 7:53 p.m. Cobleskill Police arrested Jason D. Shorb, 38, of Cobleskill, NY, for Criminal Obstruction of Breathing, Identity Theft 2nd, Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information 3rd, Scheme to Defraud 2nd, 2 counts of Money Laundering 4th , and 2 counts for Criminal Impersonation 2nd.  He was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and remanded to the Schoharie County Jail on $2500 Bail / $5000 Bond.  He is to return to Cobleskill Town Court on January 24th at 5:00 p.m.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

At 7:04 p.m. Cobleskill Police arrested Jennifer M. Loeber, 33, of Cobleskill, NY, for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd.  She was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and released.  She is to return to Cobleskill Town Court on February 28th at 5:00 p.m.

At 10:04 p.m. Cobleskill Police arrested Kenneth J. Wilkie, 30, of Middleburgh, NY, for DWI and other vehicle and traffic tickets.  He was released and is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on February 14th at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

At 11:09 a.m. Cobleskill Police arrested Dillon Horn, 24, of  Cobleskill, NY, on a Warrant for Harassment 2nd.  He was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and released.  He is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on January 24th at 5:00 p.m.

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Stamford Man Jailed On Felony Assault Charges.

Brian T. Bennett, 35, of Stamford was arrested Jan. 19 on charges of second degree obstructing governmental administration, felony second degree assault and felony second degree assault on a police officer following investigation into a report of an assault in progress at a restaurant in the village of Stamford. Deputies allege the defendant intentionally and repeatedly struck another person which did cause serious physical injury to such person in the form of a fractured vertebra, and during the course of the investigation the defendant is alleged to have assaulted a police officer and obstructed government administration by means of kicking a uniformed Deputy Sheriff in the face. Bennett was arraigned in Stamford Town Court where he was remanded to the Delaware County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

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SUNY Cobleskill Fighting Tigers Weekly Recap


The SUNY Cobleskill women’s basketball team won two-of-three road games this week to improve their overall record to 8-7 including a 4-4 mark in North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) action. The Fighting Tigers opened the week by losing a non-league contest at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y. on Wednesday before posting NEAC road wins on Saturday at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa. by a score of 71-55 and on Sunday at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. by a 61-57 margin. Senior forward Shelby Preston, Ravena, N.Y., Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School, posted a pair of double/doubles in the team’s weekend wins averaging 14.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per contest during the week.

The men’s basketball team split a pair of NEAC road contests over the weekend defeating Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa. on Saturday 82-81 in overtime then falling at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. on Sunday by a 66-59 model. Senior swingman Joel Costello, Middleburgh, N.Y., Middleburgh High School/Tompkins-Cortland Community College, scored with two seconds to play versus Wilson to give the Fighting Tigers the victory as the team improved to 2-12 overall including a 2-6 mark in NEAC play. On the week Costello averaged 11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game for the Orange & Black.

Sophomore Emily Sugrue, Long Island City, N.Y., The Renaissance Charter School, was the Fighting Tiger women’s swimming & diving team’s top performer in a 122-122 tie versus the visiting Blazers of Elms College on Tuesday afternoon. Sugrue was a winner in three individual events for Cobleskill taking the 50-yard backstroke in 31.18 seconds, the 100-yard freestyle in 59.41seconds and the 50-yard butterfly in 30.58 seconds. With the tie the Fighting Tigers move to 3-6-1 versus head-to-head competition on the year.

The men’s swimming & diving team suffered a 148-117 loss on Tuesday to the visiting Blazers of Elms College to fall to 6-3 overall versus head-to-head competition on the season to date. Junior Sam Datri, Ravena, N.Y., Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School, was a double winner for the Cobleskill taking the one-meter diving event with an 11-dive total of 418.85 points and the 50-yard breaststroke in a time of 31.47 seconds.

UPCOMING HOME CONTESTS:

Men’s Basketball vs. Cazenovia College 1/25, St. Elizabeth 1/28, Penn College 1/29                            
  Women’s Basketball vs. Cazenovia College 1/25, St. Elizabeth 1/28, Penn College 1/29  

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Hazardous Weather Advisory Monday and Tuesday

Written By Editor on 1/22/17 | 1/22/17

Keep current on our always updated Weather Page.      

NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for our area in effect from 1pm Monday to 7pm Tuesday.  Spotty light freezing rain is possible late tonight across the eastern Catskills which may make for some slippery conditions.
·         NWS has issued a Special Weather Statement for our area.  Spotty freezing drizzle and freezing rain is possible late tonight across the higher terrain of the eastern Catskills Taconics and Western New England.  Spotty light precipitation will overspread the region this evening and overnight.  Temperatures are expected to drop to the upper 20’s to lower 30’s across the higher terrain of the eastern Catskills, Taconics and Western New England late tonight resulting in spotty freezing rain and freezing drizzle.  Please be aware of the possibility of rapidly changing conditions due to temperature changes and exercise caution.
·         NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 1pm Monday to 7pm Tuesday.  Snow and sleet accumulation of 2-6 inches.  The higher terrain west of the Hudson River Valley will see the greatest accumulation.  Some locations could have 1-2 inches of sleet.  Precipitation will begin as a mix of rain and sleet during the late morning/early afternoon south and west of the Capital Region.  Precipitation will transition to snow and sleet in the early evening and persist into Tuesday morning.  Snow and slush covered roadways will make for hazardous travel.  Untreated walkways, driveways and sidewalks will be very slippery.



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Men's College Basketball: SUNY Cobleskill Tops Wilson College in Overtime 82-81 for NEAC Road Win

Chambersburg, Pa.: Junior swingman Joel Costello, Middleburgh, N.Y., Middleburgh High School/Tompkins-Cortland Community College, scored in the paint with two seconds remaining in overtime to give the SUNY Cobleskill men’s basketball team an 82-81 victory over the host Phoenix of Wilson College on Saturday afternoon in North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) play. The victory extends the Fighting Tigers current winning streak to two games and improves their overall record to 2-11 including a 2-5 mark in league play while Wilson falls to 4-10 overall with a 4-6 record versus NEAC opponents.
After leading 38-27 at halftime; Cobleskill extended their lead to 20 points at 55-35 with 13:24 left in regulation on a three-point field goal by senior guard Quincey Miller, Brooklyn, N.Y., Lafayette High School/Potomac State College. From that point on, the Phoenix begin a comeback effort which saw them tie the contest with 29 seconds left to play when senior guard Marquis Nelson, Hagerstown, Md., Edison High School, scored off an offensive rebound.

Regulation was followed with an exciting overtime period which featured a pair of ties and five lead changes with Cobleskill coming out on top on Costello’s last second heroics.

Junior guard Malik Chambers led the winners in scoring with 26 points on the evening hitting on 6-of-12 three pointe opportunities including one in overtime which erased a 78-75 Wilson lead with 2:45 left to play.
Quincey Miller added 21 points and a season high of nine rebounds for the Orange & Black while Joel Costello finished with eight points, four rebounds and three steals in the win. Freshman Kahleel Taylor, Bronx, N.Y., St. Raymond’s High School, was also a major factor in the win coming off the bench to score six points and pass out four assists.

The Fighting Tigers will conclude their weekend NEAC road trip on Sunday afternoon when they travel to Washington, D.C. to face the Bison of Gallaudet University beginning at 2:00 p.m.

FINAL BOX:
SUNY Cobleskill vs Wilson College
01/21/17 3:00pm at Chambersburg, Pa.
Newspaper Box Score
Cobleskill vs Wilson College
01/21/17 3:00pm at Chambersburg, Pa.
At Chambersburg, Pa.
COBLESKILL 82, WILSON COLLEGE 81
COBLESKILL (1-11, 1-5 NEAC)
Malik Chambers 9-18 2-3 26; Quincey Miller 7-12 5-5 21; Joel Costello 4-7
0-0 8; Brian Jackson 2-12 2-2 7; Christian Cooper 3-4 0-0 6; Kahleel Taylor
2-3 2-2 6; Kahlil Wilson 3-3 0-0 6; Roger Harris 1-1 0-2 2; Islam Mustafa
0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-60 11-14 82.
WILSON COLLEGE (4-9, 4-5 NEAC)
Rashaan Bean 8-12 9-9 29; Ian Frazier 5-13 7-9 19; Marquis Nelson 6-14 1-5
14; Dominique Walker 2-5 3-7 7; Martez Beckett 2-5 0-0 5; Marquise Beckett
2-4 0-0 5; Kasdan Holder 1-4 0-0 2; Omar Abarca 0-0 0-0 0; Elijah Lowe 0-1
0-0 0; Darren Mohamed 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-59 20-30 81.
Cobleskill....................   38   35    9  -   82
Wilson College................   27   46    8  -   81
3-point goals--Cobleskill 9-26 (Malik Chambers 6-12; Quincey Miller 2-3;
Brian Jackson 1-10; Kahleel Taylor 0-1), Wilson College 9-24 (Rashaan Bean
4-5; Ian Frazier 2-7; Martez Beckett 1-2; Marquise Beckett 1-2; Marquis
Nelson 1-4; Darren Mohamed 0-1; Kasdan Holder 0-1; Dominique Walker 0-2).
Fouled out--Cobleskill-Christian Cooper; Brian Jackson, Wilson
College-Martez Beckett. Rebounds--Cobleskill 31 (Quincey Miller 9), Wilson
College 37 (Rashaan Bean 9). Assists--Cobleskill 10 (Kahleel Taylor 4),
Wilson College 13 (Marquis Nelson 9). Total fouls--Cobleskill 24, Wilson
College 19. Technical fouls--Cobleskill-None, Wilson College-None.


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College Women's Basketball: SUNY Cobleskill Beats Wilson College 71-55 in NEAC Play

Chambersburg, Pa.: The SUNY Cobleskill women’s basketball team ended a four-game semester opening losing streak on Saturday afternoon by posting an important 71-55 road victory over the Phoenix of Wilson College in North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) action. The victory keeps the team in the thick of the conference play-off race and evens the Fighting Tigers overall record at 7-7 on the year including a 3-4 mark in league play. The loss drops Wilson to 2-12 overall with a 0-10 NEAC record.

Cobleskill charged out to a 14-4 first quarter lead and never looked back as the Orange & Black dominated the glass by a 42-26 margin while shooting an solid 27-for-55, 49.1%, from the field including an impressive 7-of-12, 58.3%, from three-point range.

Senior forward Shelby Preston, Ravena, N.Y., Ravena-Coeymans-Selkik High School, was dominate in the paint posting a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead a balanced attack while freshman guard Addy Lawson, Milford, N.Y., Milford High School, played a fine all-around game with 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and six steals.

The Orange & Black also received strong efforts from senior guard/forward Ashley Creighton, Niskayuna, N.Y., Catholic Central High School/Schenectady Community College, with 11 points and three rebounds and from freshman guard Shaliyah Graham, Bronx, N.Y., Martin Luther King Jr. High School, who came off the bench to score 12 points, grab three rebounds and pass out three assists.

The Fighting Tigers will conclude their weekend NEAC road trip on Sunday afternoon when they travel to Washington, D.C. to face the Bison of Gallaudet University beginning at 12:00 p.m.
GAME BOX:
SUNY Cobleskill vs Wilson College
01/21/17 1:00pm at Chambersburg, Pa.
Newspaper Box Score
Cobleskill vs Wilson College
01/21/17 1:00pm at Chambersburg, Pa.
At Chambersburg, Pa.
COBLESKILL 71, WILSON COLLEGE 55
COBLESKILL (7-6, 3-4 NEAC)
Shelby Preston 7-14 2-4 16; Shaliyah Graham 4-7 3-6 12; Ashley Creighton 4-8
0-0 11; Addy Lawson 3-9 4-6 10; Shiann Coons 3-7 0-0 8; Brianna Florian 2-4
0-0 4; Erica Cabrera 1-2 0-0 3; Gabby Muraczewski 1-1 1-4 3; Tegan Matthews
1-1 0-0 2; Stacey Sprauge 1-2 0-0 2; Tracy Anderson 0-0 0-0 0; Jocelyn
Zaneski 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-55 10-20 71.
WILSON COLLEGE (2-12, 0-10 NEAC)
Jordyn Day 6-16 14-17 30; Ashley Henderson 5-10 2-2 13; Kristen Burdo 2-10
4-6 8; Amber Jones 2-3 0-0 4; Lindsey Purvis 0-1 0-0 0; Amber Watkins 0-5
0-0 0; Katelynn Gilbert 0-1 0-0 0; Teniera Prioleau 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-46
20-25 55.
Cobleskill....................   14   23   20   14  -   71
Wilson College................    4   16   19   16  -   55
3-point goals--Cobleskill 7-12 (Ashley Creighton 3-4; Shiann Coons 2-5;
Erica Cabrera 1-1; Shaliyah Graham 1-2), Wilson College 5-16 (Jordyn Day
4-9; Ashley Henderson 1-3; Amber Watkins 0-2; Kristen Burdo 0-2). Fouled
out--Cobleskill-None, Wilson College-Amber Jones; Lindsey Purvis.
Rebounds--Cobleskill 42 (Shelby Preston 13), Wilson College 26 (Kristen
Burdo 5). Assists--Cobleskill 16 (Addy Lawson 6), Wilson College 5 (Amber
Jones 2). Total fouls--Cobleskill 19, Wilson College 23. Technical
fouls--Cobleskill-TEAM, Wilson College-None. A-25




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Colleges Are Failing to Prepare Students for Work; Here's the Solution

Written By Editor on 1/21/17 | 1/21/17

 By Francine Glazer

Job prospects for today's college seniors are looking up. The hiring of
bachelors-degree holders is expected to jump by 19 percent this year.

But few are actually prepared for employment. Even though nine in 10 recent
college grads believe they're ready for the workforce, only half the
nation's employers agree.

Colleges and universities need to address this. Specifically, they should
aggressively incorporate into their courses high-impact educational
practices (HIP), which connect academic lessons to real-world problems and
foster the creativity and critical thinking employers value. These practices
can turn academically engaged students into profession-ready graduates.

Today, academic skills alone aren't sufficient for career success. Employers
also want workers who communicate effectively, know how to manage their
time, and can get a task done with minimal supervision. Indeed, over 90
percent of businesses value such "soft" aptitudes more highly than any
specific college major.

High-impact practices provide this pre-professional base, often through
extended research, collaborative projects, or community-based service jobs.
In every case, a central feature is frequent, rigorous feedback. Students
improve through input from peers and professors. Instead of toiling away at
solo homework assignments and term papers, students operate in an
environment that approximates the working world.

It's no surprise, then, that students feel more confident with their
professional prospects after participating in HIP, with 75 percent reporting
that this work prepared them for life after college.

Employers also highly value HIP experience. Ninety-four percent of employers
are more likely to hire a recent college grad who has completed a long-term
project that included intensive research and problem-solving skills.

And student participants don't have to wait until they get to the workplace
before reaping the benefits, since HIP programs immediately enhance their
academic performance.

Consider a study of nearly 400 colleges and universities. Researchers
tracked students in "learning communities" -- where folks took classes
together and lived in close proximity -- and found that that these students
put more effort into their school work, took harder courses, and developed
closer relationships with faculty than those who did not.

Likewise, research from Kent State University shows that students with more
HIP engagement have higher GPAs.

Some higher-education institutions have already recognized the power of HIP.

At the University of Iowa, for example, students interested in business live
together in the "BizHawks" community. This program sponsors a contest in
which student groups work collaboratively on a business pitch. "BizHawks"
even practice business manners at meals with faculty and receive extensive
feedback on their resumes.

And at my own university, New York Institute of Technology, faculty members
provide students with real-world experiences, typically through team-based
capstone projects or internships at companies and nonprofits. These
internships are meaningful experiences and sanctioned by the school, as
students sign an agreement with our office of career services detailing the
skills they hope to develop.

In our school of architecture and design, one professor implements HIP in
his course by having students transfer their designs into virtual reality
apps so they can walk through their work and "see" ways to improve it.
Industry leaders also inspect these virtual reality projects and provide
honest feedback, giving our budding architects a taste of real-world project
management.

Today's college students will enter a promising job market. Universities
must evolve to better empower students to succeed once they're in the
workforce. High-impact educational practices should be a central part of
that equation.

Francine Glazer is associate provost for educational innovation and director
of New York Institute of Technology's Center for Teaching and Learning.

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Statewide Repro Health Advocates Cite Governor's Action

Statement from Kim Atkins, Board Chair, Family Planning Advocates of New York State:

“We applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo for his bold leadership to protect the health and rights of New Yorkers. Our state has long stood as a national leader for reproductive health and rights but today, as extreme politicians in Washington seek to severely restrict access to affordable, high-quality reproductive health care, dismantle federal protection for legal abortion, and defund Planned Parenthood, Governor Cuomo’s action provides the brightest light in these dark days. Governor Cuomo knows that access to reproductive health care is essential health care and that New Yorkers must stand together and protect our rights!”

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Comptroller: School District Tax Levy Growth to Remain Below Two Percent

Property tax levy growth for school districts will be capped at 1.26 percent for the 2017-18 fiscal year, according to data released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The latest calculation affects the tax cap calculations for 677 school districts as well as 10 cities, including the “Big Four”cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers.

“For the fourth consecutive year, school and municipal officials will need to plan around a tax cap below two percent,”said DiNapoli. “My audits have shown some school districts will be able to rely on ample rainy day funds to offset the low growth in revenue, but others must examine their budgets to determine where they can limit spending or cut costs in order to stay under the cap.”

The tax cap, which first applied to local governments and school districts in 2012, limits tax levy increases to the lesser of the rate of inflation or 2 percent with certain exceptions, including a provision that allows school districts to override the cap with 60 percent voter approval of their budget.

Last year, school districts and the 10 cities of Amsterdam, Auburn, Buffalo, Corning, Long Beach, Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown, White Plains and Yonkers, experienced the lowest allowable tax levy growth since the law was implemented –a cap of 0.12 percent.

From the NYS Comptroller's Office.

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Girls Delaware League Hoop Gets Back In Full Swing

By Liz Page

DELAWARE LEAGUE— Hunter-Tannersville, Margaretville, Stamford and South Kortright all picked up wins in the new year as league action got back on track after the holiday break. 

H-T defeated Jefferson 55-17 as they took an overwhelming lead early and never looked back.

Audra Rossignol led the charge with 19 points, while teammates Jordan Jacobs and Cameron Radcliffe added 12 and 11 points in double figures.

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Jessica Pochily led Jefferson with 11 points on the night.

 Jordan Finch led the charge for the South Kortright Lady Rams with 20 points as they brought home a 53-18 victory over Windham.

SK led early and WAJ was unable to recuperate.

Justine Drum led the Lady Warriors with 10 points on the night.

The Stamford Lady Indians defeated Gilboa 62-33 as Melanie Hoyt led the way with the game high of 24 points and teammate Haley Steenland chimed in another 14 points in double figures.

Stamford held Gilboa to single digits in all but the third quarter to bring home the win.

Sierra Perry scored 11 points to lead the Lady Wildcats.

Margaretville defeated Roxbury 36-21 behind Kristena Westerfeld, who scored the game high of 12 points as the team put in a balanced effort.

The Lady Blue Devils led 10-6 in the opening quarter and went on from there. Roxbury was led by Kaitlyn Balcom, who scored 11 points on the night. 

The Downsville Lady Eagles fell to non-league Gilbertsville-Mount Upton, 32-27. Kenzy Hammond led Downsville with 11 points and teammate Jocelyn Duncan added eight points.

Gilboa Boys Notch a Win

By Liz Page

DELAWARE LEAGUE — The Gilboa Wildcats opened the new year with a 41-37 victory over Jefferson last Thursday.

Corey Ciaravino led the charge with 10 points as the team put in a ballanced effort. Adam Hait and Cole Fancher chimed in another eight and seven points, respectively. Gilboa took a three-point lead from the opening quarter, but Jefferson retaliated to even it 17-all at the half. Gilboa returned from the break to outscore Jefferson 24-20 over the second half to take the win.

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Jason Adams scored the game high of 12 points for the Jayhawks, including a trio of three-point baskets. Teammates Dan Wade and Clyde Cole added nine and seven points, respectively.

Margaretville defeated Gilboa 49-43 on Tuesday, behind the 19-point effort of Ed Newman, which included three three-point baskets. Teammate Donovan Bullock chimed in another 17 points to the win.

The Blue Devils moved out to a seven-point first quarter lead and stretched it to 12 points by the half, however Gilboa returned from the break to outscore Margaretville 25-19 over the next two quarters to pull to within six points. 

Darren Fredenburgh put in 19 points for the Wildcats, who also got 13 points in double figures from Cole Fancher.
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Sheriff Desmond: Will Not Enforce SAFE Act Pistol Provisions

Written By Editor on 1/20/17 | 1/20/17

Fears Will Be Used for Confiscation

Sheriff Anthony Desmond took privilege of the floor at the January 20th County Board meeting to discuss his opposition to the NY Safe Act. The Sheriff recognized the Pistol Relicensing Clerk. “It’s a boondoggle of epic proportions.” He said that the state is attempting to build a database of the number of guns in the state. “The state is sending letters out saying that if you had a pistol permit before January 1, 2013 you have to reregister it by January 31, 2018.” He said that this process will cost the County money to enforce. He said that due to old records, many residents will not get these request. Due to this the State Police would attempt to find current addresses. If these are not found the County Sheriff would be tasked with finding the individuals.

“This is not a possibility,” said Desmond. In one case a clerk spent 25 minutes to find just one address. He said that the Clerk is already “buried in work” with current pistol permit requests. “I’m not running around the county or having anyone run around the County to find out where someone lives.” He asked the Board to continue not spending money to enforce the SAFE Act. Desmond is concerned that there could be gun confiscation in the long run, but that his office would not be involved.

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“The way it was set up by the Governor,” he said, the original plan was to route enforcement through the State Police but that the burden is falling back locally. “It’s not feasible at this time.” He said that resources would be better spent combating heroin. He added that residents that did not finish this process in time could be arrested for having the firearm they held for decades.

Supervisor Larry Bradt praised the Sheriff and his team for their actions. He said that other counties have taken similar actions in the past. He said that the County will stick with its original resolution against the SAFE Act.

“I’m not taking a firearm away from a decent, law abiding citizen under any circumstances,” said the Sheriff.

Former Sheriff and current Seward Town Supervisor John Bates said that he does not support the SAFE Act’s pistol provisions. However, he said that the State Police is clarifying their addresses, which is a complicated process. Bates, a nationally-recognized firearms expert, said that there have been mistakes in transfer of guns in the past. He said this included original Schoharie County pistol permits from the 1940s and 1950s which did not keep track of pistols under .50 caliber.

Supervisor Bradt said that he believes the gun control process will become worse and worse over the years, including restricting ammunition sales. He added that there were no instructions on the recertification form which makes it difficult for some individuals to complete. He added that he called the State Police for clarification but that often no one answers the phone. Marge Troidl asked who in a separated married couple would be contacted by the police for not renewing their permit. Supervisor McAllister said that his wife received a recertification letter but he did not. This process is being staggered by the State Police.

According to the Permit Licensing Clerk, the state originally promised that her office would not be impacted by the SAFE Act’s provisions. This has not been the case. She said that there have been 37 transactions directly related to these changes.
Former Sheriff Bates asked Sheriff Desmond who could revoke the pistol permit and if it was just the County Judge. Desmond said this was true. He said that since he is involved in every pistol permit issued it would be very hard to enforce it locally. “The shredder is very close to my desk,” he said.

A new resolution against the SAFE Act came before the Board, which was adopted unanimously. Supervisor Federice made another motion to support the Sheriff’s Office actions regarding SAFE Act enforcement, which was approved unanimously.

Schoharie Supers Approve Farmland Protection Plan

Schoharie County took a step toward agricultural sustainability, according to a comprehensive overhaul of local farm planning adopted by the County Board on January 20th.

Nan Stolzenburg presented the draft Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan which updates the prior edition from 2001. She said that there is $157.7 million in annual agricultural economic output per year. Over 1,100 county residents are employed in agriculture. There are currently 532 farms and 98,369 acres of farm land-- down 14,000 since 2002. Dairy is the largest share of the farms and Stolzenburg described the sector as the “most stressed.”

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The Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board considered several key aspects of the industry. These included allowing farms to be economically profitable and sustainable, increasing flexibility, improving farm infrastructure, including broadband, and attracting young farmers.

Stolzenburg said that agricultural processing can assist the wider economy. She said that this could increase agru-tourism. In addition, the presenter said that this plan would help preserve farmland and increase needed training for farmers.

The plan calls for a streamlining of local bureaucracy in order to allow a more efficient system. This includes an Agricultural Economic Development Implementation committee. Stolzenburg said that it was important for the committee to be active and “not just sit on a shelf.” This would also allow more individualized service for farmers and assist in the ability of the County to apply for grants. She said that NYS Ag and Markets may have money available but that the County in the past has not been prepared to apply for them. Stolzenburg specifically cited a grant for a small grains clearinghouse.

The proposal had several ideas to assist farmers specifically. This included a potential revolving loan fund and micro-loans for farmers. It would also establish a business incubator program and working with the IDA on ag projects. The draft also recommends the creation of a marketing plan. It would also strengthen bonds with SUNY Cobleskill and local FFA chapters, perhaps through mentoring.

Chair Earl VanWormer recognized the members of the farmland protection board present, including Chair Richard Bates. A series of farmers, county employees, organizations, SUNY Cobleskill.

The Chair also recognized County Administrator Steve Wilson, who said that if approved, the County would form an implementation team. He said that there was already a funding line in the budget that may be funded through grants.

Several Supervisors had questions. Supervisor Leo McAllister of Cobleskill said that he was concerned that the plan may open the door for farmers not being able to utilize their property for purposes other than farming. Stolzenburg said that was not the case. Supervisor Dave Simkins of Broome said that many new farmers are Amish and Mennonites. VanWormer said that the plan was a “living document” that would be adjusted as needed. Supervisor Bradt asked if the towns’ individual farming plans would work on their own. Stolzenburg said that four towns currently having ag plans and that the County plan was not meant to “override” any on the local level. “It’s not a land use-oriented plan at all,” she said.
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Former Real Property Director Marjorie Troidl made several comments. She said that the plan is support for communities, including not limiting communities. “It’s a base moving forward,” she said. She said that since retiring, she realized how difficult keeping a 135 farm is. “Where do we go for slaughtering?” She said that only several farms were able to use the college facility. She also said that it was hard to get products to the market. She recommended hiring one employee and working with Cornell Cooperative Extension. “It’s not a lost document,” she said. “It could turn into something very positive for our county.”

Chair VanWormer asked for comments. Ag and Farmland Protection Board Chair Richard Bates said that it is becoming harder and harder to make ends meet on his farm. He said that the proposal can foster local spirit of “working together.” David Cox from Cooperative Extension said that the Ag and Farmland Board has been hard at work to make the project work. “I urge you to adopt this and own it,” he said. Supervisor Pete Coppolo thanked the members for their work and asked if there was a way to work with legislators to advocate for farmers. Supervisor Tony VanGlad said that different agricultural organizations do advocate in Albany and could be helped by a coordinator. He said that the Farm Bureau has been tireless in working for farmers. “Marketing is the answer,” he said.

The Ag and Farmland Protection Board already approved the draft, leaving it to the Supervisors. The Board adopted the plan unanimously.

The draft plan was funded through a grant from the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets and the County.

Jail Plan in Peril, Third Site Added

Zicha Not for Sale, Cobleskill Says No to Water Extension

The County Board faced a large change in policy today after it became apparent that

Vice Chair Anthony VanGlad of Gilboa gave a report for the Buildings and Grounds Committee. He reported on the two potential jail sites. He said that Zicha Road is now unavailable and not for sale. He said that a property on Shady Tree Lane at the Nark farm is available.

According to Flood Coordinator Bill Cherry’s report to the Board, the Village would not approve the sale of water and sewer for the former Fire Training Site. He said that if the extension was eventually approved the total cost for annual water and sewer services from Cobleskill would be $223,000.

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Supervisor Larry Bradt said that utilities were already nearby and that it could work. Supervisor Federice said that the Nark farm was a “prime location by local standards” for the local economy. He said that it would make sense to put other development there, “not a jail.” Supervisor Federice said it was important to consider the “impact” of the jail’s location on other factors other than just the jail.

There are 128 acres on the farm and the County is looking for 33. Supervisor Phil Skowfoe of Fulton said that the County partially funded the Cobleskill line and that so far nothing but the Shad Point Stewart’s has come of it.
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Supervisor Dick Lape of Richmondville said that Shady Tree Lane “makes sense” and that Zicha Road would not work.

Supervisor Pete Coppolo of Middleburgh asked why when Seebold was considered, there was no effort to contact the Zicha Road owners since it was the secondary choice. “It seems like we’re going backwards,” he said. VanWormer said there were efforts that did not work because the owner was deceased shortly after. Coppolo asked how much the Nark Farm would be priced at. Chair VanWormer said that the owner asked for a price for the whole farm. “It’s ridiculous,” he finished.

Supervisor David Simkins of Broome said that any potential test borings would be expensive.

Supervisor Leo McAllister said that the Board should move forward to “get something done.”

There was a roll call vote to add the Nark Farm for consideration. The Board approved this motion with Supervisors Coppolo, Federice, Hait, Luniewski, Simkins, Vroman voting no.

College Women's Basketball: SUNY Cobleskill Loses at Hartwick College 65-40

Written By Editor on 1/18/17 | 1/18/17

The road proved to be a long cold one for the SUNY Cobleskill women’s basketball team on Wednesday evening as the Fighting Tigers dropped their fourth straight contest losing to the host Hawks of Hartwick College by a score of 65-40 in non-league action at the Lambros Arena. With the loss the Fighting Tigers fall to 6-7 overall on the campaign while the Hawks run their record to 10-5 overall.

After trailing 11-9 at the end of the first quarter and 28-24 at the half; the second half proved to be Cobleskill’s undoing as the Orange & Black could not contain the Hawks defensively in the half as Hartwick hit on 13-of-26, 50.0%, including 4-of-12, 33.3%, of their three-point attempts, while their own offensive could only connect on 5-of-20, 20.0%, attempts and 1-of-11, 9.1%, of their three-point shot during the stanza.

Senior forward Ashley Creighton, Niskayuna, N.Y., Catholic Central High School/Schenectady Community College, was the team’s leading scorer with 11 points on the night while freshman guard Addy Lawson, Milford, N.Y., Milford High School, returned to her home region with a solid effort scoring nine points to go with five assists and five rebounds. Senior forward Shelby Preston, Ravena, N.Y., Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School, grabbed a game high of 15 rebounds and scored eight points for the Fighting Tigers in the loss.

Cobleskill will next be in action over the weekend when head south for a North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) road trip traveling to Chambersburg, Pa. on Saturday January 18th to meet the Phoenix of Wilson College beginning at 1:00 p.m. prior to making the journey to Washington, D.C. for a Sunday meeting with the Bison of Gallaudet University with tip-off slated for 12:00 p.m.

Box Score

SUNY Cobleskill vs Hartwick College
01/18/17 7 p.m. at Oneonta, NY - Lambros Arena
At Oneonta, NY - Lambros Arena
HARTWICK 65, SUNY COBLESKILL 40
SUNY COBLESKILL (6-7)
Ashley Creighton 4-10 0-0 11; Addy Lawson 3-9 1-2 9; Shelby Preston 4-17 0-2
8; Shaliyah Graham 1-7 2-2 5; Erica Cabrera 1-3 0-0 3; Jocelyn Zaneski 1-1
0-0 2; Brianna Florian 0-2 1-2 1; Shiann Coons 0-5 1-2 1; Gabby Muraczewski
0-0 0-0 0; Stacey Sprauge 0-0 0-0 0; Tracy Anderson 0-0 0-0 0; Tegan
Matthews 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-54 5-10 40.
HARTWICK (10-5)
Emily Stone 7-12 2-2 18; Caitlin Corbett 7-11 0-1 15; Carly Johnson 4-9 3-3
13; Jacqui Foreman 2-7 2-7 6; Liz Harvey 2-4 0-0 5; Sarah Shaw 1-4 0-0 3;
Anna Hickey 1-2 1-2 3; Courtney Cirillo 1-3 0-0 2; Kelsey Collins 0-0 0-0 0;
LeeAnne Green 0-2 0-0 0; Rhiannon Groll 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-54 8-15 65.
SUNY Cobleskill...............    9   15    8    8  -   40
Hartwick......................   11   17   15   22  -   65
3-point goals--SUNY Cobleskill 7-21 (Ashley Creighton 3-7; Addy Lawson 2-5;
Shaliyah Graham 1-3; Erica Cabrera 1-2; Shiann Coons 0-4), Hartwick 7-22
(Carly Johnson 2-6; Emily Stone 2-5; Caitlin Corbett 1-4; Sarah Shaw 1-4;
Liz Harvey 1-1; Courtney Cirillo 0-1; Anna Hickey 0-1). Fouled out--SUNY
Cobleskill-Tracy Anderson, Hartwick-None. Rebounds--SUNY Cobleskill 38
(Shelby Preston 15), Hartwick 38 (Jacqui Foreman 7). Assists--SUNY
Cobleskill 10 (Addy Lawson 5), Hartwick 13 (Emily Stone 5). Total
fouls--SUNY Cobleskill 20, Hartwick 14. Technical fouls--SUNY
Cobleskill-None, Hartwick-None. A-125

Advancing Tobacco Free Communities Praises Governor's Plan to Regulate and Tax Vapor Products Used in E-Cigarettes

Advancing Tobacco Free Communities – Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties (ATFC-DOS) welcomes Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal to include vapor products used in electronic cigarettes in the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act, which will make New York one of just a dozen states and territories to protect the public’s health by restricting vapor products use in all smoke-free venues.i Further, ATFC-DOS congratulates the Governor on his plans to tax the sale of vapor products and fully regulate them in the same manner as combustible tobacco products. E-cigarette use more than doubled from 2013 to 2014 among young adults 18-24 years of age nationwide.ii And, in 2014, more than half of young adult smokers in New York State used electronic nicotine delivery systems (electronic cigarettes).iii ATFC-DOS commends the Governor for his proposals which are in line with the U.S. Surgeon General’s recent calls to action in his report, “E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults.“ The Surgeon General urges incorporating e-cigarettes and other vapor products into smoke-free policies and imposing taxes on product sales. In New York State, the average age of a new smoker is 13 years old and 90 percent of adult smokers say they first tried smoking by age 18. ATFC-DOS works with communities to make them healthier places in which to live, learn, work and play and to create positive changes to curb the number of youth under 18 who become new daily smokers. E-cigarettes differ from other tobacco products in part because they do not contain the tobacco leaf, but contain tobacco’s addictive drug, nicotine. Fully incorporating e-cigarettes into new and existing tobacco product regulations including clean air laws will deter youth use and prevent the addiction of another generation to nicotine. The New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Control funds Advancing Tobacco Free Communities – Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties to increase support for New York State’s tobacco-free norm through youth action (Reality Check) and community engagement. Efforts are evidence-based, policy-driven, and cost-effective approaches that decrease youth tobacco use, motivate adult smokers to quit and eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.

Seward Issues Statement on Cuomo's Proposed Budget

Written By Editor on 1/17/17 | 1/17/17

State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref – Oneonta) today commented on Governor Cuomo’s proposed state budget for 2017-18:

“While touring my senate district to lay out my priorities for the year, I stressed the need to create new economic opportunities, promote growth, and make New York more affordable.  As I review the governor’s budget proposal, I do so with those priorities, and the needs of the 51st senate district, in mind.  

“One major avenue to increased opportunities is a strong education.  The governor’s budget includes a $1 billion increase for our public schools, which is a good starting point.  Next, I will be reviewing exactly how the funds are distributed and fighting for our low wealth, high need districts through a revamped Foundation Aid formula.

“I am pleased the governor is concentrating on college affordability.  However, his free tuition plan for SUNY schools is fraught with challenges and censors student choice.  Along with the cost, the plan leaves private colleges out of the funding equation.  I believe we can come to an agreement on a better plan to lower college costs and help students graduate without a mountain of debt.

“Considerable state resources are earmarked for infrastructure improvements and clean water initiatives.  This is welcome news.  Upgrading our roads and bridges while protecting our natural resources are important economic, environmental, and quality of life concerns.

“The governor’s plan is short on real mandate relief measures that are needed to help cut property taxes.   His call for municipalities to share services is commendable, but most are already doing so.  More needs to be done in Albany to lighten the local tax burden, like paying for indigent legal costs.

“The budget proposal lacks sufficient help for our small businesses.  Broad-based tax relief, ending oppressive job killing regulations, and enhanced workforce training are just a few of the measures I have proposed to lower the cost of doing business in New York while ensuring that a highly trained workforce is ready to fill new jobs.

“Now the heavy lifting begins.  A thorough review of the governor’s proposal, along with public hearings, will be taking place in the coming weeks with an eye toward finalizing a fiscally sound budget prior to April 1.”

National Weather Service Issues Freezing Rain Advisory

A bulletin from the National Weather Service below. To stay ahead of the storm, check out our always updated local weather page.

Freezing Rain Advisory remains in effect until 10 PM EST this
evening...

* locations... Oneida...  Otsego...  Delaware and Sullivan counties
  in central New York.

* Hazard types... light freezing rain.

* Ice accumulations... around a trace.

* Timing... patches of freezing rain are possible this
  afternoon... with a change to rain later in the afternoon and a
  transition back to freezing rain this evening as temperatures
  drop back below freezing.

* Impacts... ice and snow accumulations may create slippery Road
  conditions.

* Winds... southeast 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 20 mph.

* Temperatures... in the lower 30s.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Freezing Rain Advisory means that periods of freezing rain or
freezing drizzle will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for
slippery roads. Slow down and use caution while driving.

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