Recent Articles

From around the County:

Two Arrested on Harrassment, Mischief Charges

Written By Editor on 11/26/14 | 11/26/14

State Police in Cobleskill arrested 2 males from Duanesburg and Schoharie following a property dispute in Central Bridge.

State Police report that Dylan J. Finch, age 20, of Schoharie, NY and Christopher L. Fahrenkopf, age 18, of Duanesburg, NY were involved in a dispute over the sale of a snowmobile with a resident of Central Bridge. Finch was arrested for Aggravated Harassment 2nd, a class A Misdemeanor after allegedly making threatening phone calls to the resident. Fahrenkopf was arrested for Criminal Mischief 3rd, a class E Felony after allegedly slashing 4 tires on a vehicle belonging to the resident with a knife. Both men were issued appearance tickets and are scheduled to appear in the Town of Schoharie Court on December 1, 2014.

Stamford Woman Arrested for DWI, Other Traffic Infractions after Accident

State Police in Cobleskill arrested Kathleen Denario of Stamford, for DWI-drugs and multiple traffic infractions following her involvement in a personal injury auto accident. Denario was traveling southbound on State Route 10 in Jefferson, NY in the northbound lane before striking another vehicle. Denario was found to be impaired at the scene and admitted to using hydrocodone and marijuana. Denario was taken to Cobleskill Regional Hospital for a complaint of a head injury and was treated and released. She was processed at SP Cobleskill after providing a blood sample at the hospital. She was issued tickets and is scheduled to appear in the Town of Jefferson Court on December 1, 2014. The driver of the second vehicle was uninjured in the crash.

Letter to the Editor: Representatives Slow to Act on Pipeline

Written By Editor on 11/24/14 | 11/24/14

Maybe our state representatives have been silent on the Constitution Pipeline because it only affects a few of their constituents. You will never see them at a Stop the Pipeline rally. They are way too busy, probably marching at some parade, at a photo op, or cutting a ribbon. Why should they care about a small group of people who will have their land taken from them by the pipeline companies? Also, their good friend John Faso is on Constitution Pipeline’s payroll. Although, they must be doing a great job as both were just reelected to another term by successfully beating Mr. Unopposed.

Jerry Fiore

Saratoga Schenectady Schoharie Association of Realtors Meeting Aids Local Youth

The Saratoga Schenectady Schoharie Association of REALTORS ® Inc (SSSAR) held its annual meeting on November 7, 2014. The meeting featured a fundraising event to benefit local youth through the Franklin Community Center of Saratoga County. The meeting also featured the announcement of the prestigious 2014 REALTOR ® of the Year Awards.

Association members, who are local real estate professionals, donated funds and gifts benefitting the Franklin Community Center Holiday Assistance Program to reach out to local children and teens who are in-need this holiday season. The donations will help families facing economic hardships provide a bright holiday filled with hope to their children. Association members donated gift cards to local businesses, toys and funds.

The annual meeting, which was a brunch held at the Edison Club in Rexford, was generously sponsored by local businesses: Manfred Real Estate Learning Center, House Masters and Mullen Moving. The meeting featured the announcement of the REALTOR ®of the Year Awards. These awards recognize those who have served not only the real estate profession but also their communities. Recipients were nominated by their peers.

The REALTOR ® Associate of the Year for 2014 is Allen Caruso of 1st Integrity Real Estate. Since starting in the real estate industry just over a year ago, Allen has demonstrated a true commitment to his clients and the real estate profession. He also volunteers his time with the SSSAR Strategic Planning Committee.

The REALTOR ® of the Year for 2014 is Stuart Thomas of Reality Realty. Stuart has served as President of SSSAR for five years. In addition to his many volunteer duties as President, Stuart worked with local business leaders on the Give Forward program to facilitate Realtors in helping clients donate food to the Regional Food Pantry which otherwise may have been thrown away when moving.

SSSAR represents real estate professionals who are active throughout the Capital and Adirondack regions. SSSAR promotes cooperation and continuing education of its’ members to better serve the community. More information can be found on the SSSAR website:

200 Emergency Ready Kits Provided for Vulnerable Populations

Hope for the Home-bound, a new program formed by SALT, Office of Emergency Services, and AmeriCorps will be distributing 200 Emergency Ready Kits to vulnerable populations all across Schoharie County on November 25 at 258 Main Street, Schoharie. A press conference will be held at 11:00am to launch the distribution event.

Emergency Ready Kits are comprised mostly of common household items that are meant to sustain and comfort for three days in the event that a family is stranded at home. The kits are not just for natural disasters, they are important to have during events such as power outages, winter storms, or thunder and lightning storms.

Hope for the Home-bound could not have been accomplished without key partnerships and donations from over 30 organizations and individuals. The program’s goal is to not only help provide people with Emergency Ready Kits, but to teach them the skills necessary to help themselves as well as those who rely upon them. As stated recently by a member of the community, “I wish everyone would realize how important it is to have one of these kits.”

It costs approximately fifty dollars to assemble an Emergency Ready Kit home-bound individuals, who may suffer from a physical or medical condition, rely on public transportation, live in an isolated area or feel they would have nowhere to go should they need to evacuate, might not have the ability to assemble their own Emergency Ready Kit.

The press conference at 11:00am will provide food and refreshments volunteers and supporters throughout the day. If you are interested in helping to assemble or distribute kits, or would like more information on how to be prepared for any event, please contact Volunteer Director Jillian Kubiak at or by phone at 518-702-5017.

Vote in Our New Poll: Recent Immigration Changes?

Written By Editor on 11/23/14 | 11/23/14

Make sure to vote in our poll on the right hand sidebar about recent changes to the national immigration policy. Do you approve of President Obama's executive order to legalize up to 5 million illegal immigrants?

Poll: Middleburgh Prettiest Downtown in County

Schoharie News readers are overwhelming in their assessment of the prettiest downtown in Schoharie County. By a wide margin, readers decided that Middleburgh is the most attractive with Schoharie in a distant second and Cobleskill and Sharon in a near tie.

Which Community Has the Prettiest Downtown?

Blenheim 3% - 8
Broome 1% - 2
Carlisle 2% - 5
Cobleskill 5% - 13
Conesville 1% - 2
Esperance 0% - 1
Fulton 3% - 7
Gilboa 2% - 4
Jefferson 1% - 3
Middleburgh 61% - 155
Richmondville 1% - 3
Schoharie 13% - 34
Sharon 6% - 14
Summit 1% - 2
Wright 0% - 1
254 total 

Conesville FD Responds in Western NY

Some pictures of the dramatic snowfall and recovery efforts were sent to us by Conesville Supervisor Bill Federice. The Conesville FD was one of several local Fire Departments to respond to the western part of New York to deal with the unexpected catastrophic snowfall there.

Firefighter Annmarie Cummings and Firefighter Stephanie Skowfoe.

Carl Fancher, Conesville Fire Chief

Partners Bring Major Strides in Schoharie

Since September when the Village of Schoharie Long Term Community Renewal grant strategy was completed and was unanimously approved by Board members enthusiasm abounds as ‘Summit Committees’ meet monthly and work progresses on three major areas—Marketing, Website design, and development of a historic walking tour. Three working groups have formed and continue on-going efforts on a village-wide marketing campaign that includes a new Village logo and tag line (Village of Schoharie – A good life in a beautiful place), a website, and a historic walking tour.

The website is being developed for the Village that will provide village news, local government information, links to events, organizations, and businesses, and promote business and tourism. The groups are also working to locate and install fountains in the Village to build on the historic ‘fountaintown’ theme of the Schoharie area. A historic walking tour will highlight the wonderful historic resources in the Village and bring new people to the area.

At the same time the Schoharie Promotional Association is finalizing development of a map showing all existing businesses to be displayed outside the Village/Town Hall. That map is also being transferred to downloadable format on their website and a soon-to-be released brochure. Partners in these projects include the Schoharie Promotional Association, Help Us Grow Schoharie (HUGS), the Valley Association, SALT, the Village Board, and several passionate residents. This is unprecedented accomplishments by utilizing the skills and labor of all groups and individuals willing to put in their time and talents.

Three Arrested for Damaging Mailboxes

Sheriff's Deputies arrested Andrew Freeman, age 18 of Watertown, NY, Kodi Diccico age 18 of Geneva, NY and Wyatt Bromley age 18 of Eden NY for the class A Midemeanor of Criminal Mischief in the 4th degree. It is alleged that, while on Dodge Lodge Rd. in the Town of Richmondville, the defendants intentionally damaged several mailboxes. After a thorough investigation, the defendants were arrested and issued appearance tickets to reappear in the Town of Richmondville Court on December 17, 2014.

Budget Passes: Terry Demoted, Planning Department Split

Written By Editor on 11/22/14 | 11/22/14

It was a raucous meeting at the County Board yesterday, with the future of economic development one of the many topics fought over by a divided board.

So divided, that a minority of the Supervisors were able to pass the 2015 budget.

The passed budget was similar to that proposed by County Treasurer Bill Cherry. The largest bone of contention was what to do with the County Planning Department. In a compromise shepherded through by Cobleskill Supervisor Leo McAllister, several large changes were made.

  • The Schoharie County Planning and Economic Development Department was split between its two current functions. Current Chief Alicia Terry was demoted by the Board to become a Senior Planner and had her salary cut by $8,000.
  • Shane Nickle was promoted from Senior Planner to a joint Supervisor/Senior Planner position of the new Planning Department. 
  • Marketed Specialist Sarah Blood was eliminated from her position.
  • The proposed bus fare of $1.50 was reduced to $1.20.
  • There will be no salary increases for any Town Supervisors.
  • The tax rate increase will be slightly lower than originally proposed, at 5.06%.
Overall, the Board was bitterly divided. The final tally was:

- Yes: McAllister (Cobleskill 16.2% of the weighted vote), Milone (Schoharie, 11.0%), Barbic (Seward 5.5%), Manko (Sharon, 6.2%), Lape (Richmonville 8.1%), Jordan (Jefferson 4.3%), and VanGlad (Gilboa 4.1%). 7 Total, 55.4% of the weighted vote.

- No: Bradt (Carlisle 5.9%), Bleu (Wright 5.2%), Buzon (Middleburgh 11.8%), Federice (Conesville 2.5%), Smith (Blenheim 1.1%), Smith (Broome 3.2%), Skowfoe (Fulton 4.3%), VanWormer (Esperance 6.9%), and Vroman (Summit, 3.8%) - 9 Total, 44.6% of the weighted vote.

County Board to Hold Private Session Before Tomorrow's Meeting

Written By Editor on 11/20/14 | 11/20/14

The County Board of Supervisors is expected to have a packed agenda for tomorrow. It has discussion on the 2015 proposed budget, which includes a recommendation to remove Planning Department Chair Alicia Terry. The proposed budget was approved by the Finance Committee and it is now up to the sixteen supervisors to make their decision.

Yesterday it was announced that the Board will be holding an hour long executive session behind closed doors. While it is not certain the exact items that will be discussed privately, it raises eyebrows ahead of the vital vote.

SUNY Student Dies in Vehicle Crash in Sharon Springs

Written By Editor on 11/19/14 | 11/19/14

SUNY Cobleskill announced this tragic news today:

 It is with extreme sadness that I share with you the news of the death of Nicholas Failla, a senior Bachelor of Technology student from Wilson, New York. Today, November 19, 2014, at approximately 9:00 a.m., Nicholas was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Route 10, north of Sharon Springs. An investigation is in progress.

The College Community is greatly saddened by this tragic accident and extends its deepest sympathy to the Failla family, friends, and the entire SUNY Cobleskill Community.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to utilize campus resources available to aid them in this time of grief. Counseling staff is available to support students. The Wellness Center will remain open until at least 8pm today and will be accessible as needed over the next few days. Members of the counseling staff will be on-call and can be contacted at ext. 5225.

Two Schoharie Men Arrested for Cocaine

Two Schoharie men were arrested by Princetown State Police for possessing an ounce of cocaine. On Friday, Novemeber 14th, two men were stopped for vehicle and traffic violations on I-88 in the town of Duanesburg. Information developed from the stop led to the discovery of approximately one ounce of cocaine and other drug paraphernalia associated with the sale of illicit narcotics. Paul J. Trendell age 50, and William M. Jankowski II age 39, were both charged with felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd. Both men reside in the village of Schoharie. Both were arraigned before a Duanesburg Town Justice and remanded to the Schenectady County jail in lieu of bail.

Letter to the Editor: Planning Department Vital but Should be Separate

Just a few of my thoughts about the plan to dissolve the Schoharie Planning and Development department. Planning is a very important part of our counties government structure. It affects all privately owned properties both residential and commercial in every town in the county. The planning boards and zoning boards of appeal in our towns rely on the county department for help on many issues every year. Help writing laws, comprehensive plans, defining agricultural areas, preparing maps, gathering demographic information and many other needed services. Planning should be an independent department titled Planning and Zoning. It should never have been combined with development which is another important area that I know very little about but I think it should stand alone. All towns have zoning laws even those that reject zoning. The NY State Department, the Attorney General’s office and Bar Association all except the following definition of zoning. Zoning is any law or regulation that “regulates the use or development of real estate”. The town boards in towns that have voted down zoning still pass zoning laws. Towns that simply have subdivision regulations really have a form of zoning. Our county has some excellent planners in the present department Shane Nickle, Lillian Bruno and Zachary Thomson they are very good and work hard serving our towns. Regardless of who heads the department these people and others give great service to the hundred plus volunteer board members throughout the year. They serve our county well. Regardless of what the County Board decides to do about Mrs. Terry the planning department should be reorganized as a standalone department because every property owner in our county needs it.

 Peter Shulman

Letter to the Editor: Nomination for the Schoharie Leader Award

I would like to nominate Matt & Michelle Strobeck for the Schoharie Leader award. Matt & Michelle opened the fitness center FIT Coalition in Cobleskill about a year ago, in the wake of our other new fitness center closing. They are dedicated to promoting healthy living in the community, and have been a part of every health-related event in the county that I can think of this year, including charity 5Ks and charity Zumba-thons. Matt and Michelle also provide a free childcare service to their members, which has made getting fit so much more easy for Moms like me. They will go out of their way for anyone who needs help, and they provide a safe, fun, and friendly environment for all. I have struggled with my weight all my life, and since joining FIT Coalition early this year, I've been able to lose 20 lbs so far! I've never really felt like part of a community while working out at a gym, until I joined FIT Coalition. Matt & Michelle really give the community a comfortable, family-oriented atmosphere, where everyone always feels welcome, there is no judgment, and all members push, motivate and encourage each other. I'm just one of many in Schoharie County whose lives have been turned around by Matt & Michelle's constant drive to promote overall well-being and happiness. I think Matt & Michelle really deserve recognition and gratitude for improving the quality of life for so many people who may have thought at one time, "I can't."

 - Melissa Wick

Opinion: McAllister Must Make the Right Choice on Terry

This Friday may be the most important day of the year for the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors. The Board will be discussing the prospective 2015 budget and its affects on the future of the area.

Unfortunately, the economic and job growth of the area has lagged significantly behind nearly every county in New York State, Upstate and Downstate since Alicia Terry began her role in the Planning Department twenty years ago. Now that her position and record is on the chopping block, it is time for the Board to take a stand for local growth and shed the good ol' boy image that has hobbled the area for so long.

It's clear from some public statements and past voting records that the vote may be close Friday. Middleburgh Town Supervisor Jim Buzon has come out strongly in support of Terry and her record while Schoharie and Jefferson Supervisors Gene Milone and Sean Jordan are likely to vote to relieve her of duty.

Since there is likely a split vote, it will come down to the largest proportion of weighted votes of the sixteen supervisors, Town of Cobleskill Supervisor Leo McCallister. He represents 16.2% of the weighted votes and will likely be the kingmaker on Friday.

In his hands alone will fall the fate of future economic growth and the ability to remove the last Ethington holdout. Mr. McAllister was elected by a wide margin to replace one of Ethington and Terry's chief allies, Tom Murray. It was Murray that was alleged in a lawsuit to have worked with Terry to force out former planner and current Supervisor Sean Jordan.

Mr. McAllister ran on a platform of practicality and the removal of the corrupt influences in the county. Now he has the ability and the responsibility to take the important step of aiding the county and ridding corruption at the same time.

Leo McAllister was elected to step Cobleskill out of Tom Murray's shadow. It would be a major shame for him to step back in it.

United Way Pledges $300,000 to Aid Schoharie County

Written By Editor on 11/18/14 | 11/18/14

ALBANY -- United Way of the Greater Capital Region has committed $306,319 in grants to 17 programs and services in Schoharie County aimed at helping individuals and families meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and safety, and improve their education, income, and health.

“We’re able to make these investments thanks to the generous support of our community,” said United Way of the Greater Capital Region President and CEO Brian T. Hassett. “The result will be more children prepared to succeed in school, more families becoming financially secure, more seniors living independently, more hungry people fed and countless others gaining opportunities for success.”

United Way invests financial resources from its Community Care Fund, which is made up of unrestricted donor contributions, through grant processes designed to impact the areas of Basic Needs, Education, Income, and Health. Research and experience demonstrate that these are the building blocks for a strong community and a good quality of life for all. Funding commitments are made to health and human service agencies working to improve community conditions for the low income and vulnerable in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Schoharie counties.

“The need is great and Schoharie County nonprofits provide much needed services throughout the community. We are proud to support programs which enhance the quality of life for those struggling in the Capital Region” said Dan Sauer, United Way of the Greater Capital Region Board Chair. “The gap between the need and what United Way is able to fund motivates us to share our message that every donation counts and that it is going to take all of us working together to make a difference.”

Funded agencies work with United Way to advance the long term health of the region. Through community conversations, bringing together similar service providers who are working toward shared results, United Way helps advocate for change and mobilizes resources to advance conditions for the low income and vulnerable. Together, these funds and relationships help local organizations achieve more for individuals, children and families than any one agency could alone.

Local Students to Take Part in Great American Smokeout Thursday

The Middleburgh Central School (MCS) Reality Check organization will be recognizing the Great American Smokeout on Thursday November 20, 2014 to encourage a critical look at tobacco disparities and solutions to end the tobacco epidemic. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in New York State taking nearly 24,000 lives annually. Tobacco is not an equal opportunity killer- with the most vulnerable and underprivileged New Yorkers bearing the heaviest burden.

The MCS Reality Check Organization would like to encourage all smokers, young and old, rich and poor, to use this Thursday as a day to quit, or a day to make a plan. Quitting, just for a day can benefit your health dramatically. Just fifteen minutes after quitting your blood pressure returns back to normal.

Vulnerable New Yorkers use tobacco nearly twice the rate of the general population. Research shows that the poor are more likely to smoke, less likely to be successful quitting and more likely to lose their lives to lung cancer. Quitting smoking is the single most important step someone can take to improve his or her health and reduce his or her risk of cancer or any other tobacco related disease. Reality Check along with the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to join the thousands across the nation for the Great American Smokeout this Thursday. Reality Check & Tobacco Free Delaware, Otsego & Schoharie Counties are a part of New York State Tobacco Control Program through SUNY Cobleskill Research Foundation and is a statewide effort to help people quit and prevent youth from initiating tobacco use. For help quitting, call your doctor and for support call the New York State Smokers’ Quit line at 1-866-NY-QUITS or visit

MCS Reality Check members:

Katie McAvoy-Pindar, 11th grader
Cameron Bechtold, 11th grader
Lacey Bartlett, 10th grader
Scott Gray, MCS Reality Check Advisor
C.J. Smith, Program Coordinator for Reality Check & Tobacco Free Delaware, Otsego & Schoharie Counties

Introducing the Schoharie Leader Award

Written By Editor on 11/17/14 | 11/17/14

We are announcing the Schoharie Leader award for those that have made a positive contribution to their community or Schoharie County. There is no real specific qualification to be nominated. It is up to you to nominate someone for their leadership on community, faith, policy, business, or charity.

So who would you nominate and why? Send your nominations to

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