Recent Articles

From around the County:

Berne Man Arrested for Aggravated DWI

Written By Editor on 9/25/16 | 9/25/16

On September 23, 2016, State Troopers in Westerlo arrested 46 year old Timothy J. Brazell of Berne, New York for Aggravated DWI.

Troopers stopped Brazell for speeding on State Route 443, in the Town of Berne.  During interview, Troopers detected an odor of beverage alcohol emanating from his breath.  Subsequent to Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, Brazell was arrested for DWI.

Brazell was taken to SP New Scotland for arrest processing.  There, he was determined to have a .18% blood alcohol concentration.  Because of his BAC, Brazell was charged with Aggravated DWI.  He was released on tickets and is due to appear in the Berne Town Court on October 10, 2016.

Middleburgh Stewart's Construction Update

Photos and Article by Sheila Donegan

It doesn't take long to see the work crew make a whole lot progress at the new Stewart's store. At almost any daylight hour of any day you can see someone stopping by to watch the changes, and it happens very quickly.


On Monday, September 19, the building was mostly just a shell. The crew was getting the roof ready for shingles. There were no door or window frames on the building, so there certainly wasn't any glass anywhere. The outer walls of the building were green, everywhere.  By the middle of the afternoon on Thursday, the roof was almost completely shingled and would certainly be finished by the end of the day. That's an obvious change. Looking a little more closely, you could see reflections on the glass in the windows, and the base of the building had a skirt of bricks in the front.

Closer to the street, it was easy to see dramatic changes over that same time period.  A man with a chain saw was cutting invasive tree roots, trimming them back on Monday. Those roots had been the major cause of the buckling that had taken place in the old sidewalk. By Tuesday, there was a curb by the street, and by Wednesday, the framework was laid for the new sidewalk. New concrete was beginning to appear by Thursday afternoon.

It is anticipated that the opening of the store will happen at the end of November, so there is plenty of activity to watch the next two months.


Old Stone Fort History Fair this Weekend


The Old Stone Fort Museum’s History Fair is a two-day trip through time, featuring programs and exhibits spanning the centuries from ancient Rome to the 1960s.  Military and civilian re-enactors and living history impersonators will help visitors discover what life was like by interacting with adults and children of all ages.
  • For fans of the iconic BBC TV series Doctor Who, a T.A.R.D.I.S. “time machine” will enhance the illusion of time travel by appearing in various historical settings during the event
  • Native American educator Mike Tarbell of the Mohawk nation will describe the tools of his ancestors
  • J.D. Winslow demonstrates Roman horseback riding of the Circus Maximus
  • There will be 18th century toys, games and educational puzzles for children and families to try out
  • For the mechanically-minded, pioneer gasoline engines
  • Visitors can examine restored cars and military vehicles
  • World War I aeroplane will also be on static display from the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum
  • Music by 77th NY Regimental Balladeers, the Esperance Band and Patty & the Migraines
  • The Golden Fleece Spinners and Weaverswill demonstrate textile arts
  • Local historical society displays
  • Traditional food, including colonial chocolate-making demonstrations
The History Fair is:
  • Saturday, October 1 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM,
  • Sunday, October 2, from Noon to 5
  • Admission is $10 for adults and anyone 17 and under is admitted free when accompanied by an adult.  On-site parking is also free.  The Old Stone Fort Museum Complex is located at 145 Fort Road, Schoharie, NY 12157, about halfway between Albany and Cooperstown, just off Interstate 88.  There are many other museums, antique shops and farm stands along the way.  For information, contact the museum at (518) 295-7192 or on the internet atwww.theOldStoneFort.org orFacebook.com/oldstonefort.

RVES Ambulance Corps Closing in October

Written By Editor on 9/23/16 | 9/23/16

The membership of RVES regretfully announces after months of hard work and discussion with Town and Village officials that RVES will cease operations on 31 October 2016 at 23.59 after 38 years of service to the community due to financial reasons.

The Town worked diligently to find funds to sustain the ambulance service.  Sadly the $12,800 is less than one half of what is needed when other fund raising and insurance reimbursements are added in.

Some of the larger items in our budget include:  Worker's Compensation Insurance:  $15,000, mortgage $14,000, building, vehicle and malpractice insurance $7,000.  Added on to those costs are: utilities, diesel fuel,  medical supplies, uniforms, equipment plus a thirteen year old ambulance and you can see how expensive running an ambulance service is.  In a small town losing population survival without without government help and support is not possible.

The membership felt it would be irresponsible to accept tax dollars and still have to close our doors in a few months time due to the help being "too little, too late".

At this point in time the membership, while still committed and dedicated to helping people in need, see no route forward without a substantial commitment of public funds.

The Schoharie News will follow up on this story as it develops.

Schoharie News Offering Automatic Subscription Service

The Schoharie News is offering our readers a chance to subscribe to our upcoming print version by paying on the site. On the right hand of this article is a button that allows our readers to pay for their subscription via PayPal or credit card. Our subscription rate is on sale right now for just $40 a year. For $75 a year readers also receive a free monthly insider newsletter.

Cobleskill Woman Arrested for Operating a Motor Vehicle while Impaired by Drugs

Troopers in Mayfield arrested 41 y.o. Julie Lais for Operating a Motor Vehicle while Impaired by Drugs. Lais, who is from Cobleskill, NY was stopped by Troopers on West Main Street, in the Village of Broadalbin for an inadequate plate lamp. Upon interviewing Lais, she admitted she consumes multiple medications and was then administered SFST's and failed. She was also given a screening for alcohol which came up negative and as a result she was transported to a Gloversville Hospital where she consented to a blood draw. Lais was transported to SP Mayfield and processed without incident and was additionally charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended Registration and Inadequate Plate Lamp. She is to appear in the Village of Broadalbin Court at a later date.

Nine State Officials Face Federal Corruption Charges Stemming from Start-Up NY Program

Written By Editor on 9/22/16 | 9/22/16

Nine state officials, including two former senior aides to Governor Andrew Cuomo were charged by the federal government as a result of a sweeping investigation into corruption. At the center of the inquiry is the Start-Up NY program intended to kickstart the Upstate economy launched by Governor Cuomo.

The program has promised ten tax free years at locations near educational sites across the state. To date over 440 such zones have been created.

The case is being heavily covered by the NY Times. According to information from federal prosecutors, there were two simultaneous and related schemes to draw investment to New York State. Joseph Perocco, a former executive deputy secretary to the Governor is alleged to have solicited over $300,000 in bribes since 2012. Many of the bribes centered around an effort to build a new power plant in the Hudson Valley.

There is a further investigation by the FBI and federal prosecutor Preet Bharara about whether or not the Start-Up NY program funneled contracts to contributors to Governor Cuomo's campaign. Most of this attention centers around the Buffalo area and SUNY Polytechnic, formerly cited as a major success of Cuomo's two terms as governor.

The Times had earlier reported on the program, which had promised to create over 4,100 new jobs created just 408 at a cost of nearly $53 million in advertising and millions more in tax incentives. The 2014 progress showed just 76 jobs. The report, which was due out April 1 of this year was delayed for several months.

Middleburgh Library Presents Musician Tom Prasada-Rao October 6th

Written By Editor on 9/21/16 | 9/21/16

The Middleburgh Library is presenting musician Tom Prasada-Rao on October 6th at 7pm as part of its "Not so Quiet Concert Series."

Tom Prasada-Rao is a musician's musician - an unassuming presence on the folk scene since the early nineties. His voice belies his musicianship and his extraordinary songs. From Rishi’s Garden with its homage to Ravi Shankar to the groove of Sleeping Beauty , Tom’s music is melodic, ambitious, and reverent. He's starting to tour again after being featured last year on the nationally syndicated TV show Troubadour Texas.

In the fall of 2007 Tom quit the road to produce records, raise two stepdaughters, and walk a rather large Golden Doodle named Thurman twice a day. In addition to producing, he took a job teaching music at White Rock Montessori in Dallas - TPR was formerly the songwriting teacher at The University of Virginia’s Young Writer's Workshops - where he created the songwriting curriculum and taught for eight years.

From headlining major festivals 15 years ago, to the relative obscurity of a recording studio - Tom continued to mature as an artist. That work blossomed into an impressive resume of producing credits as well as cuts (his songs covered by other artists). The year (2014) marks Tom’s departure from his adopted life and his return to the road. His new release "ADAGIO" - features bass guitar legend  Chuck Rainey, and piano virtuoso Julie Bonk who was Norah Jones teacher - all masterfully produced by Jagoda...

This event is made possible (in part) with public funds from the Decentralization Program and the New York State Council on the Arts, administered through the Community Arts Grants Program by the Greene County Council on the Arts.  Tickets are available at the door.   A $10.00 donation is suggested.  Please use back entrance.

State Police Were Large Presence at the Patriot Highlander

Written By Editor on 9/20/16 | 9/20/16

The annual Patriot Highlander was held on Saturday September, 17, 2016, in Cobleskill New York. This annual event held at the Sunny Knolls Farm, encompasses a running course with numerous obstacles including; rope climbs, walls and a swim. There are a number of classes including multiple classes for children. The proceeds of this event support local wounded veterans through the Wounded Warriors Fund. The Patriot Highland Challenge is an independent non-profit organization.

Off Duty State Police Members pose with attending wounded veterans at the Patriot Highlander. Photo credit NYSP
State Police Members after competing in the Patriot Highlander. Photo credit NYSP
This year’s event once again had a large State Police presence as they served to escort wounded veterans to the event, provided traffic control and even had teams of members that entered and raced competitively. Each year State Police Members from Troop G show up in force to support this wonderful event, whether as competitors, volunteers or in their official work capacity. As this event continues to grow in size and popularity each year, the State Police will assuredly continue their support of this wonderful event as they have since its inception.

Schoharie News Unveils New Quarterly Magazine in Schoharie County

Schoharie County Life will be a quarterly magazine-style insert in The Schoharie News. The magazine will shine a spotlight on what makes this region such a wonderful place to live, work, and visit.

Each issue of Schoharie County Life is expected to be 24 pages and will be published in December, March, June, and September. It will offer articles on homesteading, gardening, preparedness, and food, along with seasonally appropriate topics of interest. We’ll feature a local business and a local farm in each issue, so readers can get to know more about the great folks who live and work in our county.



We’ll also include free event listings and free farm listings. While we’ll be monitoring social media to gather noteworthy information, venues are encouraged to email details of their upcoming events directly to the insert editor at cathleen@cathleenberry.com. Farms should email their contact information and a list of items sold to the public to the same email address. We’ll devote plenty of space in each issue to both.

Be sure to like our companion Facebook page of the same name! Each edition will be posted there in its entirety, along with extended articles, the latest event listings, and other information of interest to residents and visitors alike.

We’ll announce the topics of each insert’s content early, so local businesses can take advantage of advertising opportunities near relatable content.

For more information or to participate in any of the articles, please contact Cathleen Berry at cathleen@cathleenberry.com. To place an advertisement, please contact Tyler James at theschonews@gmail.com.

Resource Center for Independent Living Receives Funding For Statewide Systems Advocacy

Utica, NY, September 20, 2016:  The Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL) is pleased to announce it has received a $90,000, 3-year grant from the New York State Education Department to participate in the Statewide Systems Advocacy Network (SSAN).  Fifteen Independent Living Centers across the state receive this funding to support their collaborative efforts to advocate for priority issues that lead to improvement in the lives of individuals with disabilities.  
The SSAN is coordinated by the New York Association of Independent Living Centers and strives to raise awareness about the concerns of individuals with disabilities and to increase accessibility for everyone.  This network of organizations reaches every corner of New York State and works tirelessly to keep the need for basic civil rights for all residents of the state in the forefront of local and statewide plans.
The primary goal of all Independent Living Centers is to support the rights of individuals with disabilities to live their lives as they choose and avoid unnecessary or premature institutionalization.  It is crucial that individuals with disabilities are included in all endeavors to ensure full accessibility and participation for all New Yorkers.
More information about RCIL’s advocacy services is available at www.rcil.com/programs/advocacy or by calling RCIL at 315-797-4642.

SUNY Cobleskill Hosting Book Fair Thursday-Saturday

Starting Thursday!
7th Annual Scholastic Book Fair
Hosted by the Early Childhood Association

Help support the Early Childhood Club's commitment to early literacy by stopping by the 7th Annual Scholastic Book Fair, Thursday, September 22nd & Friday, September 23rd 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., outside Bouck Hall Gym Saturday, September 24th, 12 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Bouck Hall Gym.

There will be books appropriate for preschoolers to school aged children as well as cookbooks, professional resources and other various literatures available for purchase. Cash, checks & credit cards are accepted.

Proceeds will benefit future club initiatives and book donations will be made as well. For more information, contact Elise Weiss, club advisor
weissen@cobleskill.edu

Middleburgh Library's October Event Schedule

Schoharie News - October 2016

10/1 - 3:00 PM to ? - Board Games for Adults - Come and join us for some fun and different board games

10/4, 11, 18, 25  - 10:45 AM - Drop-in Storytime - Get ready to move in this interactive storytime designed especially for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers. We'll read books, sing songs, recite fingerplays, dance and watch a short movie based on a weekly theme. No registration required.

10/4, 11, 18, 25  - 1:00 PM - Mahjong Mania - Every Tuesday afternoon at 1:00 a spirited group of people get together in the Community Room to play Mahjong.  Don't know how to play?  No problem!  They will teach you how.  No registration required.

10/4, 11, 18, 25  - 5:15 PM - Insight Meditation - Join us for a simple group Zazen meditation practice.  All are welcome.  No registration required.

10/5, 12, 19, 26 - 9:00 AM - Chair Yoga -  With Vicki DeGroff.  Donation $5.00.  Chair yoga is a gentle form of yoga that is practiced sitting on a chair, or standing using a chair for support.   Please use back entrance.

10/5, 12, 19, 26 - 11:00 AM - Discovery Wednesdays -    
10/5 - You never know what Miss Andrea will come up with in her discovery Wednesday!  Art, science, stories and more in this interactive program for ages 3 and up and their caregivers.  Registration Required.
10/12 - Join Miss Doreen as she welcomes children ages 3-6 to her storytime.  Lots of fun with stories, songs, fingerplays and a craft!  No registration required.
10/19 - You never know what Miss Andrea will come up with in her discovery Wednesday!  Art, science, stories and more in this interactive program for ages 3 and up and their caregivers.  Registration Required.
10/26 - Join Miss Doreen as she welcomes children ages 3-6 to her storytime.  Lots of fun with stories, songs, fingerplays and a craft!  No registration required.

10/5, 12, 19, 26 - 1:00 PM - Wednesday Matinee - Free Popcorn
10/5 -   "Ithaca"  (PG)
10/12 - "The Man Who Knew Infinity"  (PG-13)
10/19 - "10 Cloverfield Lane" - (PG-13)
10/26 - "The Legend of Tarzan"  (PG-13)


10/5 & 19  – 5:00 PM - Kundalini Yoga - Kundalini Yoga involves repetitive movements with the breath, building strength, toning the nerves and clearing the adrenal glands.   Wear comfortable clothing and bring 2 blankets or a mat and blanket. A $5.00 donation is requested. Please use the back entrance when entering the building.  No registration required.

10/6 - 7:00 PM - Concert - Tom Prasada-Rao -    is a musician's musician - an unassuming presence on the folk scene since the early nineties. His voice belies his musicianship and his extraordinary songs. From Rishi’s Garden with its homage to Ravi Shankar to the groove of Sleeping Beauty , Tom’s music is melodic, ambitious, and reverent. He's starting to tour again after being featured last year on the nationally syndicated TV show Troubadour Texas. Suggested donation is $10.00.  Please use back entrance.


10/6, 13, 20, 27  - 7:00 PM – Knitting Circle - These friendly ladies (men are welcome, but we haven't seen any yet!) knit and crochet, embroider and quilt, and more. You can learn a new skill here or share your own special talents with others - or just craft in the company of friends. Drop in anytime! No registration required.  

10/7 - 7:00 PM - Stroll the Souls of the Middleburgh Cemetery with Wes Laraway - A town settled over 300 years ago with stories of fallen soldiers, settlers and town’s folk as the lands were bitterly fought over for power, the Middleburgh Cemetery holds these and many other souls.  Timothy Murphy whose bones lie at rest on these grounds.    over looking Vroman’s Nose will be explored by lantern-light with local historian, Wes Laraway. Dress warmly, bring a flashlight and your courage. Only $10 per person! GET YOUR TICKETS:


10/10 - Columbus Day - The library will be closed to observe the holiday.

10/10– 6:30 PM – Board of Trustees Meeting - Our meetings are open to the public.  Please join us!  The holiday does not affect the board meeting.  Please use back entrance.

10/15 - 1:00 PM - Book Discussion - "The Nightingale" by Kristen Hannah - Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter..  Books are available at the circulation desk.  No registration is required

10/15 - 5:00 PM - 3rd Annual Zombie Run - We've plotted a new course for our runners and walkers to enjoy while you avoid being Zombie Meat! Each Human wears a health belt along with two Velcro flags.  Sign up for this epic event at:  
http://www.active.com/middleburgh-ny/running/races/zombie-run-2016?  Registration begins at 3:00 and the run starts at 5:00.

10/15 - 7:00 PM - Haunted Scarriage House - Directly following the Zombie Run, take a trip through the Haunted Scarriage House.....Food, Vendors, Music and other items available for purchase.  Festive Family Fun for All! 
FREE!  Right at the Dr. Best Museum! 
10/17 - 2:00 PM - Adult Coloring Club - Come and experience the latest trend in relaxation, adult coloring books! Studies how coloring can have a calming effect on the adult mind and helps promote overall wellness. Coloring pages designed especially for adults as well as colored pencils will be provided.   This will be a recurring program. We will meet every 3rd Monday of the month at 2pm.   Registration is required.  
10/20 - 6:30 PM - The Truth About the Salem Witch Trials -   It wasn't about women in black robes, chanting in a circle and then burning victims at the stake. Discover the various social, economic and political theories behind this unusual historic event. Meet the principle teenage girls, their families and the ultimate decisions they made that cemented a town's place in history and the tourism industry. Registration is required.

10/21 - 5:30 - Dinner & A Movie - "Star Trek Beyond"  (PG-13) - Join us for our popular dinner & a movie!  The library supplies pizza and drinks and you bring dessert or a snack to share.
The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.  Please note that this film is rated PG-13 and although great for teens and families, it is not appropriate for very young children.  Registration is required. 

10/22 & 29 - 11:00 AM - Poetry as Walking facilitated by James Bellflower - From Wordsworth to contemporary poet, Lisa Robertson, and others who walked, we will read and write about what we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. Through walking we’ll tie the rhythm of the foot to the measure of our lines and come to understand that writing is an ongoing discovery of what is around and within us. Novice and experienced writers are welcome.  Registration is required.

10/22 - 1:00 PM - Cooking by the Vegan Book - "The Vegan Zombie" - The Middleburgh Library is happy to introduce its newest book club, "Cooking by the Vegan Book."  We pick the cookbook, you pick and make the recipe! 
The book club is free and open to the public.  How the cookbook club works:  Every month, a cookbook will be selected and will be at the circulation desk for you to peak at and we'll print up a recipe of your choice. Sign up online or register at the circulation desk, let us know what you are cooking so we don't have duplicates!  Bring your dish to share and a place setting to the club and enjoy!  Registration is required.

10/25 - 6:00 PM - "Know the 10 Signs of Alzheimer's" - Early Detection Matters- The warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease are often dismissed as inevitable parts of normal aging. If you or someone you know is experiencing memory loss or behavioral changes, it’s time to learn the facts.  Registration is suggested.

10/26 - 4:00 PM - Halloween Craftermoon - Join us while we clean out the craft cupboards, kids will let their imaginations lose and create amazing Halloween crafts! Let's see what you can come up with! 
This program is appropriate for children in pre-school thru 6th grade.  Registration is required.

10/26 - 5:30 PM - Halloween:  Minute to Win it - Hey Teens! Come on out for an evening of Halloween themed Minute to Win it games, pizza, and laughs! Are you up for the challenge? This program is open to kids ages 12 and up. Registration is required. 

10/29 - 11:00 - 1:00 PM - In one Breath - Watercolor with Joanne Resch -  Techniques of traditional watercolor and Chinese Brush painting will be woven together to offer relaxation and release stress. Several small pieces will be completed by each participant as principles of design, composition, color and watercolor will be demonstrated. Beginning or intermediate adults are welcome.  Registration is required.
This program series is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Sponsored by the Mohawk Valley Library System and participating member libraries. All programs are free. Materials will be provided. Participating libraries are accessible for people with disabilities.

Please check our Calendar on our website at www.middleburghlibrary.info. for future programs.


Conesville History Lecture Sunday

Conesville's Early Days lecture led by Beatrice Mattice, the Conesville Town Historian. The event is at Conesville United Methodist Chapel Church (1295 State Route 990V), on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 4pm. The event is described as a "lecture on Conesville's history including how people lived, who lived here, where they lived, and how the community has changed over time." For more information please contact conesvillesundayschool@gmail.com.

New Middleburgh Stewart's Seeing Fast Activity

Written By Editor on 9/19/16 | 9/19/16

Photos and Article by Sheila Donegan

Many in the village of Middleburgh did not want to see the old Dentistry Building demolished. It dates back to the late 1800s. But, the Chiropractic Building had problems that were not worth the financial commitment to repair, and ARC already left at the end of their lease. It was definitely time for that structure to come down. These properties will be the home of the new Stewart's store. In a phone interview I had with Chuck Marshall, representing the store, he said, “It has definitely been a process, in every particular, but the improvements will mean that the bank and Stewart's will be able to provide better customer service.” The store is expected to open late in November.



Dentist building during 2014 October Fall Festival Parade

Facing the Village Hall during demolition in July



At the monthly meeting of the Middleburgh Village Board, Mr. Marshall outlined some of the details of the project. The NBT Bank will also be demolished. Things are being scaled down since they don't need all of the space they are currently using. There are arrangements to continue service.
Chiropractor prior to demolition
Not only will Stewart’s be using some of the bank property, but also has been granted easements over the Bassett and pool area parking lots. In addition to all of these changes, a frequently raised issue is being resolved. Handicapped accessibility into the Village Office Building will be constructed.


Strong Thunderstorm, Wind Warning Over Schoharie County

From the National Weather Service below. For more information, including the current radar, please check out our always updated weather page.

...A STRONG THUNDERSTORM WILL AFFECT SOUTHWESTERN ALBANY...
NORTHWESTERN GREENE AND SOUTHERN SCHOHARIE COUNTIES...

AT 1226 AM EDT...A STRONG THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED OVER GILBOA...OR
16 MILES NORTHWEST OF HUNTER...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH.

WINDS IN EXCESS OF 30 MPH ARE POSSIBLE WITH THIS STORM.

THIS STORM WILL BE NEAR...
BREAKABEEN AROUND 1235 AM EDT.
LIVINGSTONVILLE AROUND 1240 AM EDT.
PRESTON-POTTER HOLLOW AND PRESTON HOLLOW AROUND 1245 AM EDT.
WESTERLO AROUND 100 AM EDT.
BERNE AROUND 105 AM EDT.

OTHER LOCATIONS IMPACTED BY THIS STORM INCLUDE SOUTH
WESTERLO...LAMBS CORNER...OAK HILL...GALLUPVILLE...SMITH
CORNER...FRANKLINTON...DURHAM... HUNTERSLAND...NORTON HILL AND NORTH
SETTLEMENT.

TORRENTIAL RAINFALL IS ALSO OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM...AND MAY CAUSE
LOCALIZED PONDING OF WATER ON ROADS AND LOW LYING AREAS.

LAT...LON 4269 7418 4243 7393 4227 7446 4229 7447
4235 7443 4239 7454 4249 7460
TIME...MOT...LOC 0426Z 235DEG 28KT 4241 7441

The Schoharie News is Going to Print October 21st

Written By Editor on 9/18/16 | 9/18/16

By Matthew Avitabile

I've lived in this county as far back as I remember. I've seen ups and downs, and am glad to have played a role in building toward where our county can be. My roots are here, my family is here, and I believe our common destiny is rooted in our efforts. Together with dedicated volunteers and business leaders Middleburgh and other parts of the area have seen a renaissance-- one that I believe can be grown throughout the county.

In short, I want to do to local media what we did for Middleburgh.

Earlier this month I purchased the Schoharie News to give our county's residents a choice. I've decided not to run for another term as Mayor and built a team ready to cover the entire county's events. We've opened an office in Schoharie to be more responsive to residents and hold public officials to account.

I come with connections but no biases. Expect hard-hitting investigations and features meant to focus on issues that are currently ignored. To start, I don't plan on taking a salary. I'm hoping to reinvest our funds to grow our joint efforts. I hope that you can be a part of this effort to shine a light on many issues affecting the county and their potential solutions.

The Schoharie News asks for your help. The first print edition will hit the presses on Friday, October 21st. The first two issues will be mailed to every household and business in Schoharie County. Our page has information on subscriptions and advertising. Both mailed and online subscriptions are available. We would love your press releases, ideas, and suggestions to make this endeavor a success for all of us.

I hope you'll join our effort.



Matthew Avitabile

County Board Adds Investigator to Combat Heroin, Asks Cuomo to Declare State of Emergency

The County Board of Supervisors made two major steps to combating the rising tide of heroin abuse in Schoharie County. Sheriff Tony Desmond implored the board members to provide funding for a new position to fight heroin's spread.

Sheriff Desmond requested that the board hire an investigator. The Personnel and Finance Committee earlier decided to defer a decision until more information was found. The Committee requested this delay to determine if other factors were needed, including  Mental Health, Social Services and Probation.

The Board members voted to give Sheriff Desmond authority to hire the investigator. Supervisor Bill Federice from Conesville asked if the county should request additional support from the state. He then read a draft letter for Governor Cuomo to attack the heroin epidemic in similar scale as the state did Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.

The letter, sent to the Schoharie News, describes the issue as, "Heroin addiction and the crime which comes with it has become the number one issue in upstate New York." There is a request for, "Immediate and substantial increases in resources for drug counseling, rehabilityation, mental health assistance, law enforcement, first responders, and especially drug education in our school."

Supervisor Federice's letter highlighted many issues faced by local governments: "Many of our communities are struggling with an ever increasing tax burden on our citizens while trying to meet the tax cap. This is unsustainable."

The letter closes with an forceful tone: "Anything less than an all-out commitment by New York State will prove to be insufficient."

The entire Board of Supervisors signed the letter, which will be sent to the Governor.

SUNY Cobleskill Unveils Budget and Enrollment Projections

Written By Editor on 9/17/16 | 9/17/16

By Tyler James

SUNY Cobleskill President Marion Terenzio unveiled a look at SUNY Cobleskill’s budget and enrollment figures and projections. The new President plans a number of reforms to increase student retention and improve student services. Dr. Terenzio sent her thoughts in a letter to campus faculty and staff.

The efforts are part of the efforts to make SUNY Cobleskill a Destination College. In the letter, President Terenzio states that the college is part way on its path to this goal.

Cobleskill’s budget was described as “shrinking” and affecting parts of the college’s functions. Overall, the college’s enrollment has fallen 9% since 2014. Of all college revenue, 21% comes from state support. This percentage is projected to decline. Tuition represents 47% of all revenues, which is expected to increase as the college implements its strategies.

The college has been able to increase its returning students in the next year with slight declines in transfers and freshman students as seen below.


As a result of these cumulative factors the 2016-2017 is $1 million lower than the previous year. Tuition received in the 2015-2016 was a half million under projections. Tuition rates for students did not increase this year. Original projections factored in such an increase.

Terenzio lauded an effort by faculty and staff to quantify student concerns and aid in convincing students to return. Offices on campus cooperated on this endeavor. This reduced red tape and paperwork for students before they began classes in August.

The president ran down issues that affected decision making and budgeting. This included the fact that 80% of all funds go to personnel costs and 10% for utilities. Only about $2.5 million of the budget can be actively changed.

Dr. Terenzio outlined a series of proposals to aid the school’s budget. These included working with other organizations to share costs and expanding credentialing. The school also seeks to develop summer programs, including cooperation with local groups and camps. Cobleskill also looks to expand and refine its marketing efforts. The President requested an expansion of programs for students, including online coursework.

September Board of Supervisors Meeting Highlights

Written By Editor on 9/16/16 | 9/16/16

Photo and article by Tyler James

The Board heard a presentation about the Sheriff's Department's new anti-DWI initative. There was also a report on the progress on the creek projects.

Melinda McTaggart briefly spoke to the Board about Cornell Cooperative Extension. The Board passed a proclamation of appreciation for the organization's assistance to the county, especially its youth projects. This included projects such as 4-H, which is one of the largest youth organizations in the state. The Board declared October 2-8th as 4-H month. Chair Earl Van Wormer thanked the organization.



The Schoharie County Conservation Association discussed possible new land use ideas. One idea is to construct a potential land bank. Another is a "Zombie Property" law in which banks that held vacant property could be fined for not taking care of them. Such an act would not affect local ownership. The organization has been working with the County Planning Department on potential options.

Supervisor Tague asked for a brief recess for Republican members of the Board to caucus. This took about 40 minutes.

Richmondville Supervisor Dick Lape discussed a possible new bridge project in Richmondville. He highlighted $2 million in funding acquired by Mayor Kevin Neary to fix the bridge.

Another presentation discussed the Blenheim Bridge rebuilding project. There was also a lengthy update on the creek mitigation project. The County Board also voted to withdraw from the proposed Seebold property for the jail site. Treasurer and flood recovery coordinator Cherry reported that the county building floodgate project was on time and budget. The report stated that 90% of the footings and well foundations have already been poured.

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