The Passing of a Legend

From providing entertainment at his teenage friends' birthday parties decades ago, to leading square dances well into his 80s, Hilton Kelly (center) — with his wife Stella and his "Sidekicks" — was a Catskills institution who helped generations appreciate and enjoy the music and dance of our culture. Hilt headed for the Tower of Song on Tuesday, March 3. He will be missed, but the legacy of his music, his wit and his commitment to mountain culture will endure. — Contributed photo

Halcottsville raises 9-11 tribute

By Brian Sweeney
The hamlet of Halcottsville marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks with the permanent placement of a sculpture made in response to the tragic day.

Sunday’s ceremony included the dedication of a small park along Main Street and the formal unveiling of a bronze sculpture donated by the artist Mark Pilato.

The eight-foot-tall dual columns are entitled “Ascent,” and were completed several years ago as Mark’s tribute to the phenomenal human spirit shown by American citizens following the attacks.

Gov. Cuomo helps with volunteer clean-up

By Pauline Liu 
Governor Andrew Cuomo came to Margaretville during Labor Day weekend to launch a volunteer program called, “Labor for Your Neighbor.” Gov. Andrew CuomoGov. Andrew CuomoOn Sunday, he and his girlfriend, Food Network Host Sandra Lee, joined about 100 volunteers, who spent several hours cleaning up the village’s streets, businesses and homes. They arrived by the busload from the Capital Region. Most of the volunteers were state workers and their families. “It’s neighbor helping neighbor,” said Cuomo. “That is the silver lining to this situation, to see the volunteerism that is really heartwarming.” It was the governor’s third visit to Margaretville, since Tropical Storm Irene devastated the region a week earlier.

Communities unite to rebuild communities

Community MindedCommunity Minded
From left, Rachel Mathiesen, Raeanne Bond, Kellsey Buerge, Ceceilia Galatioto, Tess Svoboda and Cora Bruno were among the Margaretville area teenagers who pitched in with a great effort in the flood cleanup. — Photo by Dick Sanford

By Jennifer Kabat
Hundreds of bottles of Snapple, Pelegrino and Coke. French butter, anchovy paste, cheese and balsamic vinegar and jugs of pickles. All had to be thrown away.

The liquids dumped into the gutter, bottles opened and lined in rows on the curb to spill out, then held upside down to get out the last drops. The yellow jackets loved it, swarming trash bags and sidewalks, flying around arms and sticky legs. And there doing the work? Kids, girls, Margaretville’s teenagers. All there of their own accord. Across the village they were out in force helping clean up.

Official flood recovery website

Margaretville — Efforts by three municipalities to recover from the August 28 flood are detailed on a new website:

The Town of Middletown and its two incorporated villages, Margaretville and Fleischmanns, are collaborating to bring the most current, accurate information possible to their constituents as the emergency evolves into one of recovery, repair and restoration.

MCS opening delayed until Sept. 13

Margaretville — Margaretville Central School (MCS) will delay the opening of school to students until Tuesday, September 13. Faculty is to report on Monday, September 12 at 8 a.m.

Due to recent weather-related safety concerns and the timeliness associated with the complete cleanup of the school basement, MCS has adjusted the starting date for students and faculty.
Although the main school building is prepared to accept faculty and students, the additional time will allow the professional restoration teams to complete the restoration process in the school basement.

Shandaken has flood fix-up shortfall

By Jay Braman Jr.
“I’ve got no money in my budget to handle this.”

That is the message that Shandaken Supervisor Rob Stanley delivered to state and federal officials Sunday, just prior to a meeting set up to determine how best to proceed with helping the Catskill Region in the aftermath of tropical storm Irene.

Exactly one week after the storm, Stanley was busy inside the command post set up in the MF Whitney Fire House on Route 214 in Phoenicia.

Two local men injured in flood clean-up

By Pauline Liu
There were tense moments as first responders rushed to rescue two local men, who sustained injuries after being struck by falling trees in separate incidents on Monday morning.

Coincidentally, both incidents occurred within minutes of each other in Halcott Center, one-and-a-half miles apart. Fleischmanns Fire Chief Todd Wickhan said both men were rushed by ambulance to Albany Medical Center by EMTs from Margaretville. 

Many folks, agencies pitch in for disaster relief

Staff Report
The Town of Roxbury canceled its Labor Day weekend celebration, which included a fireworks display.

“It’s not the time to really celebrate right now,” said Roxbury Supervisor Tom Hynes. “We were very fortunate that we didn’t get as extensive damage as other communities.” Hynes explained that some of the money raised for the events might be used next year and some might be returned to contributors who made donations.

Middletown property owners in RCS District face big tax hike


By Pauline Liu
Most Town of Middletown property owners will be receiving their school tax bills several days late this year due to software problems in the county treasurer’s office.

When those bills arrive later this week, some taxpayers will also be getting an expensive surprise. While many face tax hikes, more than 500 homeowners, who live in the Town of Middletown but pay school taxes to the Roxbury Central School District, face tax increases as high as 35 percent.

For official, current information


related to the flooding emergency efforts in the Town of Middletown, please visit:

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