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Three Dead in Heroin Overdoses

Written By Editor on 8/31/16 | 8/31/16

Three Schoharie County residents are dead following a heroin overdose. Two died on Monday and one on Tuesday.

According to the NYS Police, 25 year old Barron Ludewig of Esperance and 20 year old Taryn Jo Ildefonso died of an apparent overdose Monday. Tuesday 26 year old Skyler Levesque died of a suspected heroin overdose in Richmondville.

Last week a tractor trailer carrying heroin in its axle was seized by the DEA in Westchester County. Law enforcement officials stated that the drugs were intended to be distributed across the Northeast.

News 10 has more information on their site. Tonight there is an overdose vigil in Cobleskill at 6:45.

The Schoharie News looks to expand our coverage exposing the drug problem in the county. Please send us any tips or ideas.

$2.3 Million in Heroin Seized Upstate

Over $2 million in heroin was seized in Westchester County following a federal investigation. One man from Connecticut and one from Texas were arrested after allegedly creating a system to spirit heroin from Mexico into New York. The heroin was meant to be distributed across the northeast, likely including Schoharie County.

NBC in New York covered the arrest, which was one of the largest in recent history. According to the article, the amount of heroin would have equaled over a half million doses. The two men face a series of charges, including. criminal possession of a controlled substance, conspiracy and criminally using drug paraphernalia

Last week a tractor trailer carrying heroin in its axle was seized by the DEA in Westchester County. Law enforcement officials stated that the drugs were intended to

Cobleskill Hosting Overdose Vigil Wednesday

Written By Editor on 8/30/16 | 8/30/16

The Village of Cobleskill will be hosting a candlelight vigil for drug overdose awareness. The event will feature Assemblyman Peter Lopez as the guest speaker. The Opiate Task Force Coalition and the Schoharie County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse are putting on the event, which will run from 6:45 to 8:00 pm. More information can be found on the Council's Facebook page.

Fifth Anniversary Event Highlights Pain, Recovery

Written By Editor on 8/29/16 | 8/29/16

Article and Photos by Sheila Donegan

The Village of Middleburgh was the host for SALT putting on a 5th anniversary remembrance of the disastrous flood that hit Schoharie County at the end of August 2011 and severely impacted many surrounding regions. The event began at 1pm in Timothy Murphy Park, in the pavilion erected by Middleburgh Rotary and the Knights of Columbus, to replace the one that was destroyed in the storm. Roland Vinyard provided the welcoming music.

The crowd was about 50 people
Jerrine Corallo, project director of SALT, introduced all of the speakers at the event, but now referred to SALT Development, Schoharie Area Long Term Development, rather than SALT Recovery, as it was previously known. There was a recollection of what had happened in those early days following the flood, of organizing volunteers, that they came from near and far, and of how many people were helping their neighbors ­­­ the resilience of our communities. There was a poetry reading by Jennifer Mosher, of he did this and she did that, referring to character rather than countless names.

Sarah Goodrich, executive director of SALT, referred to a community development organization, seeing the faces of confusion becoming the determination to get houses rebuilt and having roads become communities, with new businesses arriving, and the comments on their “dream” boards expressing wishes for living up to this county's potential.

By way of introducing the keynote speaker, Josh DeBartolo, a joking reference was made about a ceremonial cutting of a year's worth of Josh's hair on the first anniversary. He committed so much of his time to recovery efforts, he didn't have time for that. Josh said that what has been achieved since the flood has been “unimaginable” in the wake of that disaster.

With his wife, Alison, and baby boy, Josh sat down with a storybook, to tell Blake about the heroes who appeared. You would meet Courage, who stood up to the challenges, and Empathy, who would tear down walls among people as well as from buildings. There was Dedication. Quiet Leadership led by example, and Hope went door to door, with the message that we will rebuild. With these heroes, we can change the world.

A number of those leaders would address the group, starting with State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. He helped to get a volunteer team of union members to work on one house, which inspired them to assist with others as well. Sarah Goodrich commented, at this point, that the storm was part of our history, but doesn't define it.

Assemblyman Pete Lopez was in attendance with his wife, Bridget. He told the story of his father bringing the family to this valley 44 years ago, and it took time for them to put down roots, but during the flood, his family suffered the personal impact of losing their home. Lopez fought for recovery funds, adding that we need to be prepared, by preserving today and strengthening for tomorrow, citing the value of 3 new cell towers planned for Route 30. He commented that there are still issues with NY Rising. Senator Jim Seward, who could not attend, sent a letter to be read at the event.

Middleburgh Mayor Matthew Avitabile thanked the many volunteers and groups that came to Middleburgh, including Carol Coltrain and Josh DeBartolo
Schoharie Town Supervisor Chris Tague lost is own house in the flood and had considered moving away, but stayed. He praised the efforts of first ­responders, specifically citing the Middleburgh Fire Dept, and Chief Mike Devlin who was in the crowd. Schoharie Mayor John Borst commented that there was nothing about the damage of the flood that time and money couldn't fix ... and he had the time. The crowd laughed, realizing that the difficult element of the fix was getting the money it would take to do it. He also gave praises to the work of Emily Davis with volunteers, and she quickly added the names of others. Mayor Borst noted that SALT was morphing into economic development.

Middleburgh's Mayor Matthew Avitabile and Supervisor Pete Coppolo spoke about the Valley's recovery and thanked volunteers. The event ended with a statement from Pastor Peter DeBartolo and a prayer.

Fall into Knox Festival Sept 10th and 11th

A fall festival will take place in Knox early next month. The Fall into Knox Festival and Carnival will take place on September 10th and 11th and features rides, vendors, and more. Admission is free and a $12 wristband offers unlimited rides.

Flood Remembrance Event Sunday

Written By Editor on 8/26/16 | 8/26/16

There will be a flood remembrance ceremony this Sunday at 1pm in Middleburgh. The event, taking place at the Timothy Murphy Park near the bridge will host a series of community organizations and local municipalities. All are invited to the event, which will include speakers including Assemblyman Peter Lopez and prominent members of the community involved in flood recovery.

NYS Announces Improvements for Irene Anniversary

The New York State Governor's Office of Storm recovery has announced a list of improvements occurring in order to address the threat of flooding and community renewal. The timing of the announcement is meant to coincide with the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Irene, which will take place on Sunday. A flood remembrance ceremony will take place that day at 1pm at Timothy Murphy Park in Middleburgh near the bridge. Highlights of the improvements include: The Town of Esperance is working on an auxiliary building at the existing Route 30 transfer station and an addition at the Town Hall above the 100 year floodplain. The addition is slated for a fall 2017 completion with the auxiliary building taking place in May of next year. The town is also implementing a drinking water improvement project, including the construction of filtration improvements at the treatment plant. Construction should complete late this year or in early 2017. The Village of Esperance is cooperating with the Town of Esperance to construct a new, 5,400 square foot fire house near the current Village Hall. The current Village Hall will be partially demolished to make space for the new fire house. Construction ETA is slated for late 2017. The Village is also working on a major sewer project currently in the study phase. The Town of Schoharie is working with the Schoharie County Soil and Water Conservation District to mitigate potential flood damage from the Stony Creek. The Town and Soil and Water are working on a series of culverts, including replacement of one on Frisbieville Road and Stony Brook Road as well as bank stabilization. All projects are anticipated to begin in 2017. The Village of Schoharie is also working with Soil and Water to improve drainage intended to break ground later this year. There is also work on a pre-application for a further master drainage study. The Village is also working with the NYS Dormitory Authority on a study regarding improvements for the Parrott House. The Town of Middleburgh is working on a new ambulance building and flood shelter on Cotton Hill Road. Earthwork on site is expected later this year and construction of the building should be completed next year. The Village of Middleburgh is working with Soil and Water on stabilization of the Gorge Creek including a retention pond meant to reduce effects of flooding. The Village is also working on a plan to install new storm drains depending on future funding. The majority of this funding will come through funding from New York State through the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery.

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