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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

State Police Arrest Jersey Man for Marijuana Possession

Written By Editor on 7/30/14 | 7/30/14

New York State Police stationed in Cobleskill have announced the arrest of a New Jersey man for possession of marijuana. 

Thomas C. Dagostino, 51, of Monroe, New Jersey, was stopped on I-88 near exit 23 in Schoharie for speeding on Monday afternoon. Upon interviewing the suspect, an odor of marijuana was detected inside the vehicle by State Police on scene. 

A search of the vehicle yielded approximately 7.6 grams of marijuana in a plastic bag, as well as a metal grinder, metal pipe, and a brown wooden box all with marijuana residue.

Dagostino was issued an Appearance Ticket and Traffic Tickets returnable to the Town of Schoharie Court on August 11th.

Opinion: One Hundred Years of War

One hundred years ago this week, the massive Austrian-Hungarian Empire declared war on the tiny country of Serbia for the actions of military renegades that resulted in the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in the border city of Sarajevo, Bosnia. 

It would become the bloodiest military campaign in human history, only to be outdone by the next generation of European leaders mid-century. Armies from around the globe converged in support of their respective alliances, and the rest, is the work of historians. 

However, there is one important lesson we often fail to recognize in studying the great conflict: the failures of civilized men that begat World War One set the stage for over one hundred years of war spanning the world.

From the emboldened rise of communism in Russia to the redrawing of the Middle East in the Ottoman Empire's ashes, and even the oppressively written demands of reparations hoisted upon an indebted, weakened Germany following peace, the conditions had been set in place for continued conflict.

Even now, as we sit in the remote comfort of our homely settings, five wars rage across the globe today: civil wars in Iraq, Syria and the Ukraine, while the Israeli Defense Force strikes at Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip. Not to be forgotten, our men and women still deployed in Afghanistan.

We do not fancy ourselves historians at the Schoharie News, but rather students of history. And as students we have come to an understanding that in order to avoid the mistakes of our past we must first recognize what those mistakes were in the first place, and only then can we etch out a new beginning. 

Social Dance, Basket Making at Iroquois Museum

Written By Editor on 7/29/14 | 7/29/14

HOWES CAVE, N.Y. -- Social Dance Saturday and Mohawk basket making are on the August calendar at the Iroquois Indian Museum.

On Saturday, Aug. 9, the Niagara River Dancers perform for Social Dance Saturday. The dance troupe from Tuscarora, is from one of the seven Iroquois Indian reservations in New York State. Social dances are group dances that encourage audience participation and are performed to the music created by voice and traditional Iroquois instruments.

On Saturday, Aug. 16, the “Catch the Basket” mentoring program features Mohawk basket makers Carrie Hill and Laura Mitchell. The artists continue a family tradition that extends generations. Hill creates fancy baskets of Sweetgrass and Black Ash. She is dedicated to passing on her knowledge and teaches Mohawk youth at the Akwesasne Cultural Center in Hogansburg.

Special Events are included with museum admission.

About the Museum

The Iroquois Indian Museum is an educational institution dedicated to fostering understanding of Iroquois culture using Iroquois art as a window to that culture.  The Museum is a venue for promoting Iroquois art and artists, and a meeting place for all peoples to celebrate Iroquois culture and diversity.  As an anthropological institution, it is informed by research on archaeology, history, and the common creative spirit of modern artists and craftspeople.

The Museum represents the world’s most comprehensive collection of modern Iroquois art work. This collection celebrates the ancient unity of the Iroquois still expressed in the creative spirit of today’s artists. A special interactive children’s area introduces young visitors to Iroquois traditions through a variety of crafts, games and technologies. A guide posted Nature Park of 45 acres is open year round for walks, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

Explore Mine Kill State Park by Kayak

Join park staff along with other paddling enthusiasts for a chance to explore beautiful Mine Kill State Park by kayak. American Canoe Association certified kayak instructors will lead several classes on the Blenheim-Gilboa Reservoir located at the park.  Paddlers will have a fantastic opportunity to catch a glimpse of a bald eagle, explore the Mine Kill creek or examine fascinating fossils from the prehistoric Devonian Sea.  Each class is limited to 15 participants or less, so please call Mine Kill State Park at (518) 827-8690 to pre-register for each event.    

Bring your kayak, paddle and PFD on Saturday, August 2nd, 2014, from 10am - 2pm for an ACA endorsed, Quick Start kayak course.  This course is geared toward beginner to intermediate paddlers, and will cover the fundamental kayaking maneuvers as well as safety considerations on the water.  Participants will also get a chance to see advanced paddling skills and recoveries, in addition to an active bald eagle nest located near the reservoir.  A donation of $10 is recommended for this class.  

Then on Saturday, August 16, 2014, from 11am to 1pm, learn the paddling basics with an ACA Smart Start course at Mine Kill State Park.  The Smart Start course is for first-time to beginner paddlers, and is designed to cover the various parts of the kayak, different types of PFD’s and paddles, and other considerations before launching.  Once on the water, paddlers will learn the essential kayak strokes and then have a chance to perfect them.  A donation is recommended for the Smart Start course on 8/16.  

Finish the summer paddling season at Mine Kill State Park with an Introduction to Kayaking course on August 23rd.  Meet at the Blenheim-Gilboa Reservoir boat launch at the park, from 9am to 3pm, to hone your paddling skills.  The Introduction to Kayaking course is suitable for intermediate to advanced-level paddlers, and will feature more in-depth equipment and demonstrations.  Participants will also learn how to conduct a wet exit and then perform deep water recoveries.  Paddling safety, CPR and first aid considerations will also be discussed in the course.  Due to the advanced techniques and curriculum, there is a $20 fee per paddler for the course on 8/23.      

Please note that each paddler will need to provide his/her own PFD (personal flotation device) along with a kayak and paddle.  Many different types of kayaks may be used, including sit-in/sit-on-top, tandem and inflatable. Paddlers will also get a chance to see stunning views from the reservoir, like resident bald eagles, outstanding geology and the scenic Schoharie Valley. 

Please note that the New York Power Authority no longer requires a seasonal permit to launch a vessel on the Blenheim-Gilboa Reservoir.  However, all boaters must check in at the Mine Kill State Park office and then power-wash the boat prior to entering the water.  Please remember to contact the Mine Kill office at (518) 827-8690 to register, as there are a limited number of spots available per course.  

Mine Kill State Park is located in the scenic Schoharie Valley overlooking the Power Authority’s Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project.  The reservoir provides excellent fishing and boating opportunities. The eight miles of trails, including trails from the Park to the NYPA Visitor Center such as the Long Path, are great for hiking, biking and birding.  Cascading 80 feet through a narrow gorge is the picturesque Mine Kill Falls for which the Park is named.  The Park also has an Olympic sized swimming pool with separate wading and diving pools.

For those who would like to extend their visit, nearby Max V. Shaul State Park is a small, quiet camping area with 30 wooded tent and trailer sites, picnic grounds, a state of the art playground and boat access along the Schoharie Creek.  In addition to the Max V. Shaul trails and fishing opportunities, campers have free access to Mine Kill State Park. 

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversee 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

Cobleskill Police Blotter (July 29, 2014)

The Cobleskill Police Department submitted the following press release concerning recent arrests by their officers in the Village of Cobleskill.

Monday, July 21, 2014

At 3:45 p.m. Cobleskill Police arrested Thomas Kearney, 53, of Richfield Springs, NY, for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd. He was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and released.  He is to return to Cobleskill Town Court on July 29th at 5:00 p.m.

At 6:40 p.m. Cobleskill Police arrested Robert Effner, 20, of Cobleskill, NY, for Sex Abuse 2nd.  He was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and released.  He is to return to Cobleskill Town Court on July 22nd at 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

At 4:20 p.m. Cobleskill Police arrested Michael Kissinger, 22, of Cobleskill, NY, for Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Harassment.  He was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and released.  He is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on July 29th at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

At 3:10 pm, Cobleskill Police arrested Sarah A. Hughes, age 34, of Schenectady NY for 1 count of Petit Larceny, 2 counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th Degree, and 1 count of Unlawful Possession of Marihuana. She was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and remanded to the Schoharie County Correctional Facility on $2,500.00 cash bail or $5,000.00 bond. She is to return to Cobleskill Town Court on July 29th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

NY Rising to Host Blenheim/Fulton Meeting Thursday

Written By Editor on 7/28/14 | 7/28/14

With millions in state recovery monies soon to be dispersed to the Schoharie County municipalities of Esperance, Middleburgh and Schoharie, the Valley communities next in line for substantial aid are the Towns of Blenheim and Fulton. 

The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Plan is in its infancy for both townships, but progress is in the process of moving forward with two meetings scheduled on Thursday evening that the public from both municipalities can attend.

At 5:00 p.m. the NYRCR Planning Committee will host its second meeting where residents can learn more about the recovery organization and share their ideas. This will be followed by NYRCR's first two-hour long public engagement meeting. 

Both meetings will take place at the Blenheim Town Hall and Hose Company located on Route 30.

Books Galore at Middleburgh Library Sale

Hundreds, if not thousands, of books were on sale Saturday morning for reading enthusiasts and book lovers alike at the Middleburgh Library. Everything from children's literature to non-fiction histories and nutritional how to guides were available for super cheap steals, all to benefit the local library. 

The Middleburgh Library is located on the corner of Main Street and Baker Avenue in the Village of Middleburgh and it is open weekly Monday through Thursday, and on Saturdays. For more information on upcoming events, visit its official facebook page here

Conesville to Host Town Wide Garage Sales

The Conesville Fire Department Auxiliary will be sponsoring the Fourth Annual Conesville Town Wide Garage Sales on Saturday, August 2nd from 9:00 to 4:00 PM. Antiques, treasures and unusual items will be among the objects for sale.  

Maps showing the 24 registered stops around town will be available on Route 990V at the Conesvile Town Hall, Conesville Fire House, Clark's Restaurant and the Manorkill Store. All of the garage sales will be labeled with a pink, yellow or green neon numbered sign.  

During the sales the Gilboa-Conesville School Cheerleaders will be selling refreshments including breakfast items, beverages and hot dogs at the Conesville Fire House at 1292 State Route 990V. Also, starting at 11:00 the Conesville United Methodist Church Chapel will have a take out chicken barbecue. The church is located at 1295 State Route 990V directly across from the firehouse. 

Man Arrested for Possessing Hypodermic Needle

Written By Editor on 7/25/14 | 7/25/14

The Schoharie County Sheriff's Department has announced its second drug related arrest of Middleburgh residents this week.

Sheriff's Deputies arrested forty-two year old Joseph Panetta on Monday, July 21st for Criminal Possession of a Hypodermic Instrument in the Town of Schoharie. 

Mr. Panetta was detained by the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office after an investigation by the Schoharie County Probation Department discovered he was in possession of the illegal instrument. 

The suspect was arraigned in the Town of Schoharie Court and was released to appear back at a later date. 

Hit Pay Dirt with 2014 Empire Farm Days’ Field, Crops & Equipment Demos

Written By Editor on 7/24/14 | 7/24/14

Seneca Falls, NY; July 24, 2014.  Field, forage, and equipment demonstrations abound at the August 5-7, 2014 Empire Farm Days and provide farmers with a look at the latest equipment innovations and technologies designed to enhance production efficiencies as well as offer new crop and revenue options. The event is held on 300 acres of the Rodman Lott and Son Farms in Seneca Falls, NY.

Empire Farm Days’ visitors check out equipment in field demos. The largest outdoor ag trade show in the Northeast provides ride and drive experiences with ATVs, skidsteers, and construction equipment. 
Daily field demos include forage chopping and handling and a new in-motion/drive-over scale at 10am; hay mowing at 11am, tillage and GPS at 1pm, and hay raking, baling, processing and handling at 2pm. From 10am to 2pm daily, those 18 and older who area ready to test drive some “steel” can try Cat wheel loaders, backhoes and skidsteers, Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha 4-wheelers and utility vehicles, and Liftech skidsteers.

New in 2014 will be demonstrations of the new Rinstrum Drive Over Axle Scale for weighing trucks and forage loads.Trucks drive over the scale at 2-3mph and the scale automatically calculates each axle weight and prints a receipt with truck ID and gross, tare, and net weights without stopping. These demonstrations will be held daily alongside the forage chopping field equipment demonstration at 10am.

New field demonstrations highlight crop options and treatments. Seedway and DuPont are sponsoring a presentation on cover crops for northern climates and a demonstration of cover crop interseeding by Cornell University and Penn State /PSU for 2014. A team of PSU researchers and grains specialists designed an interseeder which sidedresses corn with fertilizer and a post-emergent herbicide while simultaneously planting a cover crop behind rows early in the season. DuPont provided a $15,000 grant to help build a small demonstration interseeder for the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain. Cornell Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab Assistant Professor Matthew Ryan will share the results of interseeding trials funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. 

Birkett Mills is planting a field demonstration of buckwheat at Empire Farm Days for the first time. Representatives of the Penn Yan, NY-based business are looking for growers interested in growing buckwheat for their custom milling operation.

Alltech will offer an in-field discussion of its Grain-Set foliar-applied micronutrient fertilizer developed to boost corn root systems, grain fill, protein and starch content, and yield.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is sponsoring demonstrations by the New York Soil Health Team of federal, state and local resource professionals, farmers and ag businesses on the difference healthy soil provides in terms of reduced runoff, increased infiltration, and improved water- and nutrient-holding capacity. The New York Soil Health Team is comprised of federal, state and local agricultural resource professionals, New York farmers and agricultural businesses. The USDA is sponsoring this Soil Health outreach in cooperation with the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee.  

The Cornell Recycling Agricultural Plastics Program will be demonstrating proper technique for baling used farm plastics with recycled-plastic products, supplies and equipment for storing and compacting plastic on display.  A new one-hour baler operator certification course will be offered on-site.

Healthy soils benefit all crops, providing high-value housing for soil organisms, which in return create premium living space for crop roots. Throughout each day of the show, New York Soil Health Team members will be demonstrating the difference healthy soil can provide in terms of reducing runoff, increasing infiltration and improving water- and nutrient-holding capacity. The New York Soil Health Team is comprised of federal, state and local agricultural resource professionals, New York farmers and agricultural businesses.  The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is sponsoring the Soil Health outreach at Empire Farm Days in cooperation with the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee.  

For a full schedule of and information for the 2014 Empire Farm Days, including demonstrations of cattle handling, farm safety, horsemanship, small livestock care, alpaca fiber spinning, and agricultural plastics recycling visit or call 877-697-7837. Admission is free, parking is $10.

Stop the Pipeline to Host Summer Gala Picnic

Stop the Pipeline, a non-profit grass roots organization, announces a gala summer picnic on August 17th from 1 PM until 5 PM at beautiful Pine Lake in Davenport (Oneonta), NY. There will be swimming, kayaking and canoeing along with music by Kathy Shimberg (1 PM), The Nieds (2:45 PM) and Peter Blue (3:30 PM).

There will be a raffle, an opportunity to chat with neighbors and to hear the latest update on the pipeline proposals by Anne Marie Garti, a volunteer attorney with the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic (2 PM). Admission is $5.00. Please bring a dish to share.

Busy Weekend Ahead for Schoharie County

From community events in Middleburgh to the Sunshine Fair's 2014 kickoff and everything in between with thousands of warriors in Gilboa and hundreds of bicycle enthusiasts at Howe Caverns, Schoharie County is the place to be this weekend with events for everyone.

Event: Fourth Friday. When: Friday, July 25th, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Where: Middleburgh, New York

The Middleburgh Area Business Association's Fourth Friday festivities will enter its third month tomorrow evening, with local businesses along Main Street remaining open longer into the night and offering specials to patrons. Notably, the Green Wolf Brewery Co. will be offering its thirst quenching ale for sale.

Event: Warrior Dash. When: Saturday, July 26th, 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Where: Gilboa, New York

With Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond estimating over six thousand people are expected to participate, Saturday's Warrior Dash at Nickerson Park to raise money for St. Jude Children's Hospital is the place to unleash your adventurous side on miles of mountainous terrain, muddy grades, and tasking obstacles.

Event: Sunshine Fair. When: all-day Saturday, July 26th through Saturday, August 2nd. Where: Cobleskill, New York

Schoharie County's annual Sunshine Fair at the Cobleskill Fairgrounds will kick off Saturday morning and run into next weekend as thousands of residents are expected to attend. Grandstand events will include truck and tractor pulls in addition to a monster struck show and several demolition derby's.

Event: Bicycle Show and Swap Meet. When: Sunday, July 27th, 9:00 a.m. Where: Howes Cave, New York

Annually one of the biggest bicycle shows in the northeast, there will be several prizes for vintage and custom built bikes at the Howe Caverns Pavilion on Sunday. Show bikes are free to enter and vendors will be charged $10 per spot. For more information contact Steve at 518-231-0614.

Schoharie in Severe Thunderstorm Watch (July 23, 2014)

Written By Editor on 7/23/14 | 7/23/14

Update (6:00 p.m.) - Local radar is indicating a dissipation of storms in the area, but residents are advised to keep an eye out through out the evening as conditions are ripe for stormy weather. 

The National Weather Service in Albany has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Schoharie County residents until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Oppressive humidity levels and high temperatures have gave way to gusty winds and darkening clouds over the afternoon and into the evening.

As of 5:20 p.m., severe thunderstorm watches are in place for several area counties as scattered storms move across the region. Storms could become strong to locally severe with wind gusts in excess of sixty miles per hour, hail to one inch in diameter and heavy rainfall likely. 

Please stay safe everyone and stay tuned to the Schoharie News and WNYT-Albany for all your severe weather updates.

Schoharie County Arts Grants Information Available

The Community Arts Grants program of the New York State Council on the Arts is pleased to announce that the Fiscal Year 2015 Guidelines and Applications are now available.  The taxpayer dollars that these grants utilize are used to partially fund arts events, programs and experiences in Schoharie County.

The administrating organization for these grants is the Greene County Council on the Arts but all  taxpayer dollars allocated are for events and experiences in Schoharie County.

If you are an individual, organization or group of citizens interested in bringing arts and cultural events to Schoharie County, this funding opportunity may be right for you.

Informational workshops are scheduled for: August 16, 2014 between 10:00-11:30AM at 349 Mineral Springs Rd., Cobleskill and September 11, 2014 at the Middleburgh Library, 323 Main Street, Middleburgh from 6:30PM-8:00PM.  

New applicants are required to attend a workshop and returning applicants are encouraged to attend.

Link to grants is: or visit schoharieartsgrants on Facebook.

Questions can be sent to grant coordinator, Renee Nied at:

Two Middleburgh Teens Arrested for Pot Possession

In a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, the Schoharie County Sheriff's Department announced the arrest of two Middleburgh teenagers who were found to be in possession of marijuana in the valley community. 

Joshua McDonnell, 18, and an unnamed seventeen year old girl, were both arrested and charged with Unlawful Possession of Marijuana on Friday, July 18th, while parked on Mill Valley Road in the Town of Middleburgh. 

They would be subsequently released on appearance tickets to come before the Middleburgh Town Court at a later date. The female's name was withheld by the Schoharie News due to her status as a minor and to spare any embarrassment. 

Opinion: One Thousand Articles

As the Schoharie News was in the process of editing our article covering Oorah's legal victory over the Town of Jefferson Monday evening, we suddenly realized a major milestone would be achieved upon its completion and publication: our one thousandth published article. 

Sure, not every article was a masterpiece and several focused on nothing more than cold weather (granted, it was frigid outside and a slow news season to boot a significant portion of the past winter), but that is beyond the point.

The point is: we have been able to achieve something never before seen in Schoharie County, outside of the occasional television news coverage, in that information has been unleashed from a once every seven days experience to one that constantly changes and evolves before our readers eyes. 

Additionally, and this would not have been possible without our unbelievably incredible readership, but we have been able to expend our resources into the type of investigative journalism and healthy criticism of local government that has slowly dissipated from news bureaus nationwide.

Of course, such editorial decisions have resulted in allegations of yellow journalism or petty politics from our detractors, but we honestly believe the truth of the matter will always have the final say in how our stories are written and the facts contained within; agree or disagree with them, we digress. 

Although we do not know what the future holds for the Schoharie News, and we are expecting to make several important announcements in the coming weeks, we do know that without the support of our friends, neighbors, and strangers who have made this project the success it is, none of it would have been possible.

Thank you for sticking with us for one thousand articles.

Open Mic/Jam Event to be Hosted Monthly in Stamford

Written By Editor on 7/22/14 | 7/22/14

STAMFORD, NY – After having two well-attended community forums to discuss uses for the building, Western Catskills Community Revitalization Council, Inc. (WCCRC) is pleased to announce that a long-standing community event has been booked at the Western Catskills Community Arts Center located at the carriage house at 76 Main Street in the Village of Stamford. 
The event, formerly known as Open Mic Jam! and held in the storefront of 76 Main Street , is moving up the hill to the carriage house theater at the same location.  The event will still be generously hosted by local musicians Kevin Prior and Mike Herman, but will have a new name - Live From the Carriage House – Open Mic / Jam.   
This popular event will continue to be held the first Friday of the month at 7:30 p.m.  Musicians are encouraged to sign up quickly, by contacting Mr. Prior at  The public is welcome to attend and enjoy some of the region’s best musicians as they show off their talent in the open mic format.  There is plenty of parking available on Main Street and in the Village parking lot across the street.

WCCRC will be holding an open house at the Western Catskills Community Arts Center on Saturday, August 9, from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.  Tours of the building will be available, as well as more information about renting the venue. 

Attend the open house and you will have a chance to win a pair of dinner tickets for the TP’s Cafe Block Party which will start at 5 p.m. on the same day.  The block party will spotlight:  MC/DJ Patrick Michael del Rosario, Logan's Express, featuring Jim Kopp, and the 20-piece Leather Stocking Jazz Band at 7:00 p.m.

WCCRC’s mission is to cooperate with local, state and federal governmental and civic bodies in aiding, assisting and fostering the planning, development, renewal, and improvement of housing and other buildings in the counties of Delaware, Schoharie and Greene, State of New York, for the primary purpose of revitalizing communities and in securing improved housing, commercial buildings and community facilities.

To learn more about WCCRC’s programs, call 607.652.2823 or visit

Cobleskill Police Blotter (July 22, 2014)

The Cobleskill Police Department submitted the following press release concerning recent arrests by their officers in the Village of Cobleskill.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

At 10:20 a.m. Cobleskill Police arrested Elmer B. Speedling, 58, of Howes Cave, NY, for Petit Larceny and Trespass.  He was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and released.  He is to return to Cobleskill Town Court on July 29th at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

At 3:08 am, Cobleskill Police arrested Steven T. Barton, 25, of Cobleskill for Driving While Intoxicated, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 3rd, and 2 other traffic offenses. He was arraigned in Town of Cobleskill Court and released after posting $500.00 bail. He is to return to Cobleskill Town Court on 07/22/14 at 5:00 pm.

At 10:39 am, Cobleskill Police arrested Robert A. Herzog, 29, of Schoharie, NY for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 2nd and 1 other traffic offense. He was arraigned in T/Cobleskill Court and released. He is to return to Cobleskill Town Court on 07/22/14 at 5:00 pm.

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Oorah on Tax Exemptions

After years of legal proceedings spanning two different municipal administrations, the New Jersey based Jewish organization Oorah has declared victory in what its attorney John Privitera called a, "landmark decision," on Friday evening over the Town of Jefferson.

It came in the hours following the New York State Supreme Court Third Appellate Division's unanimous ruling that the charitable entity was entitled to property tax exemptions at its facility located at the old Deer Run Ski Lodge near the Schoharie/Delaware county line on State Route 10. 

The not-for-profit summer resort/weekend camp getaway for underprivileged children praised the Supreme Court of Appeals in a press release issued over the weekend, quoting camp director Avraham Krawiec as stating, "we were confident in our decision to fight this injustice to the very end."

In response to the ruling, Town of Jefferson Supervisor Sean Jordan told the Schoharie News that, "The Town recognizes the recent decision rendered by the New York Supreme Court of Appeals, and will respect their decision as well as continue to pursue what is in the best interests of the Town, just as Oorah will understandably do what is in their best interests.

Oorah, which - in addition to its Jefferson site - has a camp located in the Town of Gilboa, has owned the property in question since 2010. The charitable organization has alleged animosity on the part of officials that have worked to deter them; namely, former Supervisor Dan Singletary, who was defeated by Mr. Jordan in the midst of the Fitzmaurice Report fallout last year. 

The Town of Jefferson has maintained that Oorah had failed to supply sufficient documentation before its Board of Assessment Review on multiple occasions, an argument that had been twice received favorably by Judge Eugene Devine of the Schoharie County Supreme Court in past cases. 

However, to the extent that previous decisions had found the religious organization to be not entitled to tax exemptions as written in federal law, the New York State Supreme Court of Appeals ruled Friday morning that they had been in, "error."

Mr. Jordan would later comment that both sides are "working amicably" to resolve other issues concerning building code statutes, and that, "The overall goal is to create an environment where the two sets of interests can coexist." 

State Police Arrest Schoharie Man Following Domestic Dispute

Written By Editor on 7/21/14 | 7/21/14

New York State Police stationed in Cobleskill have announced the arrest of a Schoharie man following a domestic incident in the Village of Schoharie. 

At approximately 8:30 p.m. on Thursday July 10th, State Troopers received the report of a domestic in progress at 130 Fair Street in Schoharie. When they arrived Troopers were met by Jeremy S. Roe who was intoxicated and belligerent towards the patrols.

Mr. Roe then became combative toward the Troopers who arrested him for Obstruction of Governmental Administration in the Second Degree and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. 

He was arraigned in the Village of Schoharie before being released to appear on July 21, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. 

Ethington Trial to Resume Tuesday

Schoharie County's trial of suspended Personnel Director Cassandra Ethington will resume on Tuesday evening after a two week break in the hearings, which recessed on Thursday July 10th, after proceedings stalled out on only the second witness. 

The hearings were originally scheduled for three nights, but the county's timeline was greatly altered by a six hour cross-examination conducted by the defense attorney of Schoharie County Labor Attorney Mary Roach, who is seen as a key witness in the county's case. 

Tuesday's proceedings will be held at 6:00 p.m. on the third floor of the Schoharie County Courthouse.

New Pipeline Pitch Divides Supervisors

Supervisors were divided Friday morning as representatives of Kinder Morgan, which operates the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline that cuts through the northern part of the county, pitched the creation of a third potential natural gas transportation route in Schoharie County; one that would mirror the proposed Constitution line.

Describing it as an expansion of an already existing system, Kinder Morgan Director of Public Affairs Allen Fore detailed the natural gas transportation company's proposed Northeast Energy Direct route that would span from northern Pennsylvania to the Wright Compressor Station and finally to Dracut, Massachusetts.

The proposed NED route would impact one hundred and ninety five landowners in Schoharie County across the Towns of Cobleskill, Jefferson, Middleburgh, Richmondville, Schoharie, Summit, and Wright; with approximately seventy of the ninety-five miles of pipeline being co-located at the existing Constitution route.

Cautioning Kinder Morgan officials to respect landowners in his municipality, Schoharie Supervisor Gene Milone questioned how exactly Schoharie County had become a central point of transportation for pipelines in New York, to which Wright Supervisor Amber Bleau quipped, "we have a pump station; that's why."

Sounding a friendlier note, Ms. Bleau commented that Tennessee Gas had been, "excellent neighbors," and encourage her fellow legislators to visit the pump station in her township. Esperance Supervisor Earl VanWormer disagreed, stating that they [Tennessee Gas], "haven't been good people in Schoharie County."

Questioning the necessity of their proposal, Middleburgh Supervisor Jim Buzon asked Mr. Fore why Kinder Morgan had not looked into sharing capacity with the already planned Constitution pipeline. Fore responded that, "on a base level, we're two different companies," and that FERC would need to rule if the project was in the public interest.

Schoharie County Board Chairman Tony VanGlad invited Kinder Morgan representatives to return in October or November to update Supervisors on the project's status, which is expected to be in the pre-application stage this fall. The company is not expected to begin the permitting process until fall 2015 at the earliest. 

Old Stone Fort to Host 'War of 1812' Lecturer

On Thursday,  July 24 at 7:00 PM,  the Schoharie County Historical Society presents the second program in its free Summer Lecture Series at the Old Stone Fort Museum complex.  John Osinski will discuss the role played by Schoharie County is the War of 1812, as part of the Bicentennial observance of that conflict.
War of 1812 is perhaps best remembered for the British attack on Fort McHenry, that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star Spangled Banner.”  Some may remember that the British burned Washington, D.C. or the victories of the tiny United States Navy over ships of the world-dominating Royal Navy.  But little is generally known of the land battles that occurred along New York’s border with Canada.

John Osinski is one of the founders of the recreated Kellogg’s Artillery, a reenactment group portraying a militia company from Cobleskill that fought in the St. Lawrence/Lake Champlain campaign of 1813.  He will describe this action and other stories of Schoharie County volunteers.  The museum holds several significant artifacts from the War of 1812, including three militia artillery sabers that probably belonged to members of Kellogg’s, a collection of Giles Kellogg’s papers and a drum used by the Schoharie Militia.

The free lecture is open to the public and will be held in the Badgley Museum Annex, just across the street from the Old Stone Fort itself.  The museum is located in the village of Schoharie at 145 Fort Road, off NY State Rt.30, 2.5 miles south of Interstate 88 Exit 23.   The museum is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and from Noon to 5 on Sundays.  For information, contact the museum at (518) 295-7192 or on the internet at

Inside Look: Administrator Committee Makes Progress

Written By Editor on 7/20/14 | 7/20/14

One month after being tasked with the responsibility of investigating whether Schoharie County government should adopt additional oversight by way of an administrator, Conesville Supervisor Bill Federice informed the county board on Friday that the aptly named Administrator Committee is, "making very good progress." 

The study committee was approved unanimously by Supervisors at the June county board meeting on motion by Blenheim Supervisor Shawn Smith, and was subsequently appointed by County Board Chairman Tony VanGlad to consist of two proponents of an administrator; two opponents of the idea, and one neutral member. 

With hopes of concluding the committee's work by September at the earliest, Mr. Federice - who is serving as chair of the study group - told his fellow board members that they have already scheduled road trips to visit other counties that currently have administrators to obtain more information by asking questions and observing. 

Schoharie County Treasurer Bill Cherry, whom many had speculated might accept the position if created, pointedly dispelled any such motions with a brisk letter to the editor in early July that stated, "I don’t want the job... I will not apply for, nor accept, an administrator position that serves at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors."

Still, pending the release of its findings, the committee's impact on the county board as a whole remains to be seen, which on its last vote concerning the matter, voted down the administrator concept by an overwhelming margin at the May county board meeting. 

In addition to Mr. Federice of Conesville, Mr. Barbic of Seward; Ms. Bleau of Wright; Mr. Jordan of Jefferson; and, Mr. VanWormer of Esperance serve as members of the Administrator Committee. 

Vintage Car Show at NYPA Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center Today (July 20, 2014)

NORTH BLENHEIM — If you like vintage cars and trucks, stop by the New York Power Authority’s Blenheim-Gilboa Project visitors center on Sunday, July 20.

                                       Photo Credit: NYPA.
A wide variety of antique vehicles will be on display, including a 1910 Oakland Model 24 roadster and a 1913 Chase Model M Express truck, along with a ’56 Cadillac Coupe DeVille, a ’56 GMC Suburban pickup, a ’65 Corvair, and antique tractors.

Visitors are invited to drive their own classic wheels to the show and socialize with fellow car buffs. Admission and parking are free. To register for a chance to win a trophy in a variety of categories, call 518-234-7495.

Short films on cars will be screening in the visitors center theater. Barbecue and other food will be available. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Arrive early, as several thousand car enthusiasts are expected.

Guests can also tour the B-G visitors center to learn more about electricity and New York State’s largest hydroelectric pumped storage power plant and drop by historic Lansing Manor, a country estate built in 1819. Both are open until 5 p.m.

The B-G visitors center is located on route 30 in North Blenheim, five miles north of Grand Gorge, 17 miles south of Middleburgh and 50 miles southwest of Albany. For more information, please call 1-800-724-0309.

Richmondville Man Arrested for Street Fight

New York State Police stationed in Cobleskill have announced the arrest of a Richmondville man following the report of a disturbance on Main Street. 

At approximately 4:30 a.m. Saturday July 12th, State Police received the disturbance report. Responding patrols encountered Culver Hernandez, thirty-four, of Richmondville, New York, attempting to fight multiple individuals in the roadway. 

Law enforcement on scene initially determined that the suspect had became intoxicated and engaged in the physical confrontation. Hernandez would reportedly be detained while the State Police continued its investigation. 

Further investigating led to the discovery that the suspect has destroyed property and groper a female prior to the fight that then spilled out into the street. Hernandez would then be charged with Forcible Touching, Criminal Mischief in the 4th Degree, and Disorderly Conduct. 

The suspect was arraigned in the Town of Richmondville Court, and remanded to the Schoharie County Correctional Facility to return to court on July 23, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

County Board Withholds AECOM Pay

Written By Editor on 7/18/14 | 7/18/14

Passions flared at the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors meeting Friday morning, as legislators argued for the better part of an hour over the contentious stream bank project being administered by AECOM that is facing a significant budget shortfall. 

Supervisors had expected AECOM representative Patty Flores to be present following a June motion by the full board requesting her or another company official to be present for explanation of how AECOM arrived at the oft quoted $2.6 million figure that legislators have been discussing in earnest since late March.

However, with Ms. Flores reportedly on vacation, no representative of AECOM appeared before the county board for an update on the stream bank's progress or financial woes. Members of the board were not enthused.

Visibly agitated, Carlisle Supervisor Larry Bradt recommended, "not paying them until they come." Blenheim Supervisor Shawn Smith stated that he would second Mr. Bradt's statement if it was made into a motion, which Mr. Bradt responded by doing in kind.

Conesville Supervisor Bill Federice, who has led efforts to have the State Comptroller's Office audit the stream bank project's administration, commented pointedly that AECOM is a billion dollar company, and questioned why they didn't send someone else to brief the board in Ms. Flores' place.

Urging caution, Middleburgh Supervisor Jim Buzon warned legislators that withholding the company's pay would only cost the county more down the road, and that more delays would only further endanger an already, "project in jeopardy."

With only three supervisors in opposition - Mr. Buzon of Middleburgh, Mr. Smith of Broome, and Mr. Vroman of Summit - the motion was approved overwhelmingly, and later set the stage for another bout of contentious back and forth later in the afternoon, which will be covered in a separate news piece.  

Salt to Host Surf & Turf Dinner July 25, 2014

What’s better than chowing down on lobster, steak, shrimp, clams, baked potato and sweet corn? Supporting a good cause while chowing down on lobster, steak, shrimp, clams, baked potato and sweet corn. SALT is hosting one of it’s famed Surf & Turf Dinners on Friday, July 25. 

Come on down to the Middleburgh Reformed Church (178 River Street, Middleburgh) between 4:00pm - 7:00pm to enjoy the feast prepared by Chef Michael Vamvas. SALT welcomes you to dine-in with good company, warm smiles, and delicious food. Can’t stay long? Not a problem. Order the Surf & Turf trimmings to go!

Tickets are on sale now! Pre-sale tickets are only $30.00 through July 22. Regular ticket price is $35.00.

Check out photos of our last Surf & Turf Dinner!

State Police Arrest Two, Charge Three Others for Trespassing

New York State Police stationed in Cobleskill have announced the arrest of two suspects, and charged three others, following a trespass complaint in the Town of Gilboa. 

On July 14, State Police were called to investigate a trespass in progress on Stryker Road in the Town of Gilboa. The ensuring investigation revealed that five young adults in their teens and twenties had entered a posted property on Stryker, and that two of them had entered a storage building on the grounds.

Charles Deiterich, 18, of Grand Gorge, New York and Robert Remley, 20, of Prattsville, New York were arrested for Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree and issued Appearance Tickets to return to Town of Gilboa Court on July 24th at 7:30 p.m. 

Additionally, Kaitlyn Snediker, 18, of Islip, New York; Brooke Koerner, 19, of Gilboa, New York, and John Voetelink, 20, of Prattsville, New York were all charged with Trespass and released on Appearance Tickets to also appear in court on the 24th. 

Head-On Crash Closes Route 30, Causes Power Outage Wednesday

Written By Editor on 7/17/14 | 7/17/14

On Wednesday morning a horrendous head-on collision on Route 30 in the Town of Blenheim caused the main road to be closed for approximately six and a half hours, power outages to occur across the area, and both drivers to be transported to nearby hospitals for medical attention. 

According to information supplied by local law enforcement agencies, the crash occurred when a passenger vehicle travelling southbound crossed over the medium and struck a northbound truck hauling garbage; sending the truck into a nearby power pole and the vehicle into the guardrail. 

Photo credit Schoharie Co. Fire Wire & News 
The Schoharie County Sheriff's 911 Dispatch were notified at approximately 9:09 a.m. of the collision. 

New York State Troopers were the lead agency on scene, while the North Blenheim Hose Company and Middleburgh Ambulance were initially dispatched. Mutual aid would be additionally supplied by the Middleburgh Fire Department, and the Jefferson and Conesville Rescue Squads. 

Firemen on scene freed the operator of the vehicle by using a rescue tool, and he would subsequently be airlifted to Albany Medical Center by Life Net. The truck driver would be transported to Fox Hospital in Oneonta by Conesville Ambulance. Neither are facing life threatening injuries. 

Additionally, the Schoharie County Sheriff's Department, NYSDEC Spill Response (oil was leaked on the road during the accident), National Grid, and the New York State Police Accident Reconstruction teams were on scene. The road was re-opened at approximately 3:40 p.m. 

For additional reporting on the crash, please see the Watershed Post's coverage from yesterday afternoon here. Also, more pictures from the scene can be found on the Schoharie Co. Fire Wire & News facebook page, which offers around the clock updates on local emergency services. 

Fracking Likely to Dominate R'ville Public Hearing

The Richmondville Town Board will be holding its regular board meeting for the month of July tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Richmondville Volunteer Emergency Squad building located on Route 7 near the outskirts of the Village. It was rescheduled to this evening due to the Ethington hearings that were held last week.

In addition to the regular agenda, members of the board and general public will have the opportunity to comment during a public hearing on the new proposed Zoning Law, which has been under review and rewrite for several years, and can be viewed on the municipality's website here

One potential point of contention within the proposed law is language viewed as hostile to fracking interests, which was promoted by members of the community concerned with the controversial natural gas practice of extraction, and has become a hot button topic of discussion in the Town of Richmondville. 

The Center for Sustainable Rural Communities, which favors stringent language against fracking and other industry related activities in Richmondville, sent an email to supporters Wednesday afternoon urging area residents to attend tonight's meeting and stand for the proposed environmental protections. 

Carving Lacrosse Sticks 7/26 at Iroquois Museum

HOWES CAVE, NY -- Alf Jacques and Parker Booth will be at the Iroquois Indian Museum on Saturday, July 26, sharing the art of carving lacrosse sticks -- a “Catch the Basket” museum mentoring program.

Taught by his grandfather and father, Jacques (Onondaga) has carved lacrosse sticks and snow snakes for almost 40 years. Jacques, a retired machinist, is one of the very few Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) who maintain a mastery of the art form. Jacques has been both a lacrosse player and coach; and brings knowledge of the wood and of the game to his hand-crafted sticks. Commissioned to create sticks for the International World Cup Lacrosse games, he feels that an appreciation for his craft ends with the players, and does not extend to other members of his community. “I think here, it’s not out of the ordinary, it’s something we just take for granted. There is a misconception that it’s always been here, it always will be,“ says Jacques. Jacques has served as a demonstrating artist at Ganondagan Historic Site (Victor, NY), Otsiningo Powwow, and Saint Marie, among the Iroquois (Syracuse, NY), the Utica Children’s Museum and schools throughout the region.

Until recently, Jacques had no apprentice to whom to pass on his knowledge until Parker Booth. The lengthy time commitment and physical demands of the craft discouraged most members of his community. Even as a young boy admired Jacques’ work and knew he would one day learn the craft. In 2012 at age 33, Booth moved back to the reservation with his family and made the decision to work closely with Jacques. His deep cultural dedication to traditions will ensure the crafts’ continuation for another generation.

Catch the Basket and all events at the Museum are free with paid admission. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 12 Noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed Monday. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $6.50 for seniors/students and $5 for children ages 5-12. Children under five are free when accompanied by an adult. Special group rates are available by calling the Museum at 518-296-8949.

For more information, visit

State Police Arrest Local Man for Stealing Sister's Car

Written By Editor on 7/16/14 | 7/16/14

New York State Troopers stationed in Cobleskill have announced the arrest of Jeffrey D. Johnson for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Petit Larceny after a complaint was filed by the suspect's sister.

Johnson was arrested by State Police on Saturday, July 12th after he took his sister's car without permission while she was asleep earlier in the week. After realizing her car was missing the complainant contacted her brother and requested that he return the vehicle.

Although the vehicle would be returned the following day, Troopers discovered over the course of their investigation that Mr. Johnson also removed an I-Pad from the car, which has not been recovered at this time. 

The suspect was arraigned and ordered to reappear in the Town of Esperance Court on July 16, 2014. 

Caverns Casino Submits Executive Summary

The New York State Gaming Commission has released the executive summaries of seventeen casino proposals statewide that are vying for just four sites located in specific regions across Upstate New York. Five, including the Howe Caverns Resort and Casino bid, are competing in the Capital Region.

Claiming that, "there is no proposed Gaming Facility in the State that can be underway and built faster than ours," the Howe Caverns summary touts the site's strong community support, its already existing stature as a popular tourist destination, and its position away from other existing facilities, as reasons to be selected. 

Additionally, the executive summary contends that the Howe Caverns site would not just be a casino, but "a regional economic engine" that will create almost five thousand jobs between the construction and operating phases and that the gaming aspect alone would bring in over $131 million in the first year without factoring in other revenue sources. 

Still, it is only one bid out of five the New York State Gaming Commission has to choose from within this region, and besides the still unnamed Amsterdam site; the rest have viable odds of being selected to construct the Capital District's host casino and gaming facility, pending the commission's final decision. 

A full copy of the Howe Caverns Resort and Casino executive summary is available here

Gibson Focuses on Education in New Ad

Attempting to capitalize on local parents anger toward common core education standards in public schools, Republican Congressman Chris Gibson's campaign released a new education themed ad Tuesday morning that touted the incumbent's stance of, "Common Sense... Not Common Core."

The ad (included below) features a local mom and Mr. Gibson's wife criticizing the recently implemented standardized testing methods, while touting the Congressman's local ties and opposition to common core in the House of Representatives.

Mr. Gibson's Democratic opponent, Sean Eldridge, has listed on his official website that if elected he would, "strengthen our schools by working to expand early childhood education, make college more affordable, reform high stakes-testing, and ensure that our students are trained for the new economy."

Update: Sharon Dollar General Eyes August Opening

Written By Editor on 7/15/14 | 7/15/14

The highly anticipated opening of the Sharon Springs Dollar General may be coming sooner than public officials had previously expected, this according to Town Supervisor Sandra Manko.

Only two weeks ago the Schoharie News had reported that while town officials varied in their timelines of when the national low-price chain would open its doors on Route 20, that best estimates had pinned a date at or before the upcoming 2014-15 school year began. 

However, according to new information provided by Ms. Manko, the Town's Code Enforcement Officer Jerry Weis has indicated that construction is going good and that they're making healthy progress. Additionally, it was learned that Dollar General hopes to open its new location by August 5th. 

Construction began on the site, which once housed St. Mary's before its doors were shuttered, over this past spring and has continued over the summer, with steady progress visible as the new store has began to take its form for passersby and residents alike to observe. 

County Board to Meet Friday (July 18, 2014)

The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, following last week's special legislative session and three nights of hearings on suspended Personnel Director Cassandra Ethington, are scheduled to convene once again this coming Friday at 9:00 a.m. for their July monthly board meeting in Schoharie. 

As of publication there has been no official agenda published on the county's website, although Supervisors are expecting AECOM representatives to brief them on the project's current status and to provide them with hard numbers on the estimated $2.6 million budget shortfall facing county taxpayers. 

Cobleskill Police Blotter

The Cobleskill Police Department submitted the following press release concerning recent arrests by their officers in the Village of Cobleskill

Monday, July 7, 2014

At 7:30 p.m. Cobleskill State Police arrested Kassandra M. Woodbeck, 25, of Fort Plain, New York, for Petit Larceny. She was released and is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on July 22nd at 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

At 4:18 p.m. Cobleskill Police arrested Vincent Spruill, 25, of Cobleskill, New York, for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree. He was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and released. He is to return to Cobleskill Town Court on July 29th at 5:00 p.m.

Friday, July 11, 2014

At 8:50 a.m. Cobleskill Police arrested Michael Royea, 34, of Cobleskill, New York, on an Arrest Warrant from the Fulton County Sheriff's Office. He was turned over to the Fulton County Sheriff's Office for further action.

At 10:19 a.m. Cobleskill Police arrested Daniel Pallotta, 31, of Fulton, New York, on a Bench Warrant for failing to pay a fine. He was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and released after paying fine.

At 4:18 p.m. Cobleskill Police arrested David Rundblad, 29, of Schoharie, New York, for Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. He was issued an appearance ticket and released. He is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on August 12th at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

At 10:13 a.m. Cobleskill Police arrested Gary Gray, 59, of Cobleskill, New York, for Trespassing. He was issued an appearance ticket and released. He is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on August 12th at 5:00 p.m.

At 8:10 p.m. Cobleskill Police arrested a 17 year old female from Schoharie, New York, for Petit Larceny and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. She was issued an appearance ticket and released. She is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on August 5th at 5:00 p.m. 

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