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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Airing of the Quilts Next Saturday

Written By Editor on 9/11/16 | 9/11/16

Next Saturday will be the annual "Airing of the Quilts" put on by the Schoharie County Quilt Barn Association each year. If you have a quilt, please hang it up so that visitors travelling between the stations of the quilt trail can see the displays.



The rain date for the event is the following day, Sunday September 18th.

Middleburgh Man Sentenced to Six Years for Selling Heroin

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

A Middleburgh man was sentenced to six years in prison for dealing heroin. Scott Kossow, 31, was arrested last October for selling drugs. At that point he was charged with three counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree.

Kossow had been arrested with another Middleburgh resident in 2013 for heroin possession. He had been charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second-degree.

Kossow was sentenced by Schoharie County Judge George Bartlett. He had been arrested after an investigation by the County Sheriff's Department and the NYS Police New York State Police Community Narcotics Team.

Three Adults, One Juvenile in Cobleskill Armed Robbery

State Police in Cobleskill have identified four local residents in connection with a Robbery which occured Saturday night on the SUNY Cobleskill campus.

Two freshman students reported being robbed by individuals who confronted them with a long arm and demanded their money and other items.  The victims noted the license plate from the suspect vehicle and immediately reported the incident to the SUNY Police Department.

The New York State Police located the suspect vehicle a short time later and adopted the investigation.  The NYSP and SUNY Police have worked together since to resolve the case.

The four suspects are identified as Dylan J. Foote, 22, from Sharon Springs, Tashar G. Thomas, 21, from Richmondville, Lexi T. Bohringer, 16, from Cobleskill and a 14 year old juvenile from Preston Hollow.

They were each charged with Robbery 1st (Felony).

The three adults were remanded to the custody of the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office after arraignment.  The juvenile was also charged as an adult and was detained in a secure youth detention facility.

The investigation is ongoing.

From the NYSP site.

Sheriff's Office Opens Confidential Drug Tip Line

Written By Editor on 9/8/16 | 9/8/16

The Schoharie County Sheriff's Department has been a lead player in combating the flow of narcotics into the area. Sheriff Anthony Desmond and deputies have held a firm line against the spread of heroin.

Following a number of major heroin-related headlines, the Sheriff's Department is implementing a dedicated Tip Line for residents to call regarding their concerns. The confidential line is intended to open a dialogue with those that may see potential drug issues happening in their community or neighborhood. The number is (518) 295-2295.

The move happened as a new support group to combat addiction has been formed in the county. More information can be found at the Sheriff's Department's Facebook page.

Support Group Formed to Help Families Affected by Addiction

A new group has been formed to help Schoharie County residents facing issues related to addiction. The timing of this movement is especially important after the three heroin deaths last week. The first meeting of the group will be on Monday, September 19th, 2016 from 6:30pm-7:30pm at 489 West Main Street, Cobleskill-- the building next to Catholic Charities.

The move coincides with the Sheriff's Department's new confidential tip line regarding substance abuse issues. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

 More information can be found on the Schoharie County Emergency Services Facebook page. Further information about efforts to end local addiction can be found at the Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Facebook page.

SUNY Cobleskill Tech Helps Solve Amsterdam Sewer Leak

Written By Editor on 9/6/16 | 9/6/16

Information garnered from SUNY Cobleskill helped solve an issue for one of the area's cities. Amsterdam suffered a sewer leak recently that affected the Mohawk River.

According to data found by the college the leakage negatively impacted the river at a far higher rate than another recent leak. It studied data between parts of July and August to come to the conclusion. The leak caused an increase of enterococcus bacteria in the water. A bypass installed near the site ended the immediate cause of the bacteria but other studies showed higher levels all the way down the Mohawk River Valley to Albany.

The information was profiled on the college's website and on the Mohawk Valley Compass.

Schoharie Garage Sale Day Saturday, Sept 10th

Written By Editor on 9/5/16 | 9/5/16

The Village-wide garage sale day will take place in Schoharie this Saturday. Hosted by the Schoharie Promotional Association in cooperation with other community groups, the event will also features vendors.

For more information please check the Schoharie Promotional Association's Facebook page.


New York Times Profiles Coal Rolling

The New York Times is published in a very different culture than the average day in Schoharie County. Yet the paper of record published an article today regarding the common rural practice of rolling coal, or changing performance of a diesel engine to increase visible emissions.

Needless to say, their take is from an outsider's position:

"Sgt. Chris Worthington of the Montrose Police Department here is out to stop them.  
"You can hear those trucks across town, driving like idiots," he said on a recent Friday evening patrol.
The paper also cites that police are now being trained to specifically handle complaints about coal rollers. According to the Times there has been a stark increase of complaints across the country over the practice and New Jersey recently banned it. Violators could face a $5,000 fine.

Coal rolling has become more popular in Schoharie County, especially among younger people. If a current drive across town lines is any indication, it won't end soon.

The Times ends their article in a provocative way,

"The air sucks anyway," said Ben Poncher, who was drinking a beer next to the track, "Smoke's pretty. I like seeing it."

Alleged Armed Robbery at SUNY Cobleskill Leads to Arrest

Written By Editor on 9/4/16 | 9/4/16

The SUNY Cobleskill University Police sent out this notice Sunday morning:

At approximately 9:45pm Saturday (9/3/2016) evening, two males approached two male students on Albany Avenue. The two males, one of whom was armed with what appeared to be a rifle or shotgun, took property from the students and left the scene. The students were unharmed and using a “Campus Blue Light Phone” were able to provide Police with pertinent information. A very short time later New York State Police located and took an involved subject into custody. The investigation is continuing. This is an isolated incident and there is no further threat to the campus community. Even so, please be cautious and contact University Police if you see anything suspicious or have information regarding this incident. Further updates will be provided as information becomes available. 

Always remember it is always better to walk in pairs and take care of each other. If you see something, say something. Contact University Police at 518.255.5555 whenever something seems unusual.

Gift Store Becomes Middleburgh Landmark

Written By Editor on 9/1/16 | 9/1/16

Just about a year and a half ago Larry Kossmann Nelson took an idea and helped change Middleburgh's landscape. Lerny's Gift Shop offers a variety of products, including many local vendors. Earlier this year the store moved to Main Street and expanded.


"I'm amazed by the love and support by some people," said Nelson. Nelson's jovial personality seems to fit the store's atmosphere well. A multitude of crafts, jewelry, woodworks, photographs, and more included a number of Middleburgh-themed products. Mr. Nelson also offers silk screening and shirt printing.




Mr. Nelson stated that part of the reason that he was open was to help build up community pride. The store is offering a 10% discount for anything Middleburgh related.

"There's always something new," he said, motioning to new products on his shelves. Follow their gift store Facebook page here.

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.

1,200 Fans Attend Nichols Concert at SUNY Cobleskill

Written By Cicero on 11/16/15 | 11/16/15


COBLESKILL - Country music star Joe Nichols chatted with, took requests from, and wowed an audience of approximately 1,200 fans at SUNY Cobleskill on Friday evening. 

Photo by Timothy Knight
Playing select hits from his three albums, Nichols took the makeshift stage in the university's gym and performed for little more than a hour, concluding the night with his chart-topping "Sunny & 75" while couples slow danced.

Photo courtesy of SUNY Cobleskill.
The event was the result of a collaboration between SUNY Cobleskill and WGNA 107.7, which brought the touring musician to the agricultural college with much fanfare. The concert was free and tickets were available through various contests and giveaways sponsored by the college and radio station.

Metroland's Offices Seized, Future in Doubt

Written By Cicero on 11/11/15 | 11/11/15


It truly is a difficult time to operate a newspaper in America.

After thirty-seven years of publication, the Albany based Metroland had its doors forcibly closed on November 3rd after its offices were seized by the state Department of Taxation and Finance for over $20,000 in unpaid taxes. 

Distributed free of charge to approximately forty thousand readers in the Capital Region, the alternative weekly has long been a cultural mecca for its coverage of local arts and the music scene. 

Photo by Times-Union reporter Casey Seiler
However, that has done little to prevent the newspaper from falling victim to the financial straits that currently plague the industry. Metroland was put on sale back in July by it's ownership. 

Despite editor Stephen Leon commenting, "We're not done pursuing our other options," neither the newspaper nor its social media functionaries have made any public statements since the seizure, with not even a single facebook status being published. 

With the Times-Union's photograph of the paper's closure still in mind, it is yet another dark moment in the continuing death spiral of print journalism.

Opinion: The DNC's Disgrace

Written By Cicero on 10/12/15 | 10/12/15


After two rounds of Republican fisticuffs on the big 2016 election stage, it's the Democrat Party's turn to debate tomorrow night. However, it's not entirely going well thus far, and that's without even a single word having been spoken yet. 
The DNC's latest antics
definitely fulfill their
party symbol as jackasses. 

You see, while the Republican debates have suffered from the inclusion of just way too many folks on the same stage, Democrats have been upset at their national leadership for scheduling only a handful of debates before the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary. 

The call for more debates has been led by former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley since he launched his presidential campaign in the spring. Since then, several candidates, many voters, and even high ranking Democrat officials have joined O'Malley's call. 

Which has prompted the Democratic National Committee to disinvite Tulsi Gabbard from tomorrow's CNN debate. Gabbard, a U.S. Congresswoman, military veteran, and DNC Vice-Chair, has used her position to urge the party to hold more than the currently six scheduled debates. 

Veterans like Gabbard
served to defend U.S.A
freedoms. The DNC
obviously didn't get the
memo........
Apparently dissent is not to be tolerated in Debbie Wasserman Schultz's reign... 

...now I'm not going to straight up agree with O'Malley's position that the lack of debates is a pro-Hillary Clinton conspiracy within the DNC, but it is definitely revealing that the party refuses to adapt to the reality that the rank and file want to have a true discourse. 

Perhaps Hillary was the presumptive nominee when the debate schedule was hashed out several months ago, but that just isn't the case anymore. Sanders is leading in the early states and even Biden has showed significant support, even though he has yet to officially launch a bid. 

Furthermore, I don't believe enough words can express how distasteful I find the disinviting of Gabbard, an Iraq War Combat Veteran, who volunteered to serve overseas with her Hawaii National Guard unit despite her being personally opposed to the conflict.

This is truly a disgraceful act on part of the Democratic National Committee and I applaud the Sanders campaign for offering Gabbard an opportunity to attend the debate as a guest of the Senator. 

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