Priest fighting charges that led to dismissal

By Brian Sweeney
A former Margaretville priest is strongly refuting sexual abuse allegations that led to his dismissal from the ministry last week.

The Roman Catholic Diocese at Albany announced that it had removed the Very Rev. Robert Purcell from the priesthood because of charges of sexual abuse of a minor that reportedly occurred 54 years ago.

Father Purcell was the pastor at the Margaretville parish for 25 years before his retirement in 2001.

Phoenicia library gutted by fire

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Phoenicia Library, which became homeless following an early morning blaze Saturday, is already open for business in a new but temporary place right in the hamlet.
The fire destroyed the interior and contents of the Phoenicia Library Saturday, rendering the Main Street Building uninhabitable.

Big Indian home invasion ends in injuries and arrests

Staff report
Two masked, armed robbers allegedly tried to pull off a brazen daybreak home invasion early Saturday morning at an apartment in Big Indian only to have the tables turned on them as gunfire broke out.

The occupants inside the apartment, located above Railroad Pizzeria on Route 28, not only fought back, but injured both suspects severely enough to send them both to hospitals.

Andes seeking solutions for wastewater woes


By Pauline Liu
When the Town of Andes’ Sewer Treatment Plant overflowed last autumn, raw sewage spilled into the Tremperskill Creek and then flowed into the Pepacton Reservoir, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

DEC Spokesperson Lori Severino said there was no way to measure how much sewage went into New York City’s unfiltered drinking water system.

MCS weighs cutbacks to balance proposed aid loss

By Brian Sweeney
The Margaretville Central School Board of Education is weighing spending cutbacks as officials await final aid numbers in the state budget.

Superintendent Tony Albanese said last week that the board of education had been working on its Administrative and Capital budgets and these portions of the budget will show no increase or will decline slightly.

The Program section of the budget remains unclear, the superintendent said, because of the uncertainty over how much State Aid districts will receive.

NY tax ruling on second homeowners angers local residents

By Pauline Liu
A controversial court ruling on taxing some second home owners in the Empire State is drawing plenty of fire from both local officials and realtors.

Last month, a tax appeals tribunal upheld a lower court decision that requires some out-of-state residents to pay New York State income taxes if they own vacation homes in New York. As a result, some second homeowners could find themselves paying income taxes in two different states.  Realtors in the region are blasting the ruling.

Area residents concerned about exchange students


By Pauline Liu
In the wake of the crisis in Japan, some local families are rethinking the wisdom of sending their loved ones to exchange programs halfway around the world. Relatives here in Delaware County have been tracking the progress of 18-year-old Garret Norris of the Adirondacks, who is currently an exchange student on Hokkaido, the North Island of Japan.

He was actually a safe distance away when the earthquake and tsunami struck on March 11, nevertheless his many relatives here became worried when they didn’t hear from him at first.

Roxbury maple syrup making is family affair

By Jennifer Kabat
The new venture includes 4,700 taps, 90 miles of tubing – enough to get clear to Albany – and has produced 1,200 gallons of maple syrup as of Saturday, including 100 gallons in one night. Add to that nearly 10,000 gallons of sap a day coming into their holding tank and it’s been a bumper first year for Roxbury Mountain Maple. In fact their inaugural season has been so good they’ve had to boil in shifts, with all-nighters and help from neighbors just to keep up with the sap flow.

Japan disaster hits home for some area residents


By Pauline Liu
Area residents with loved ones in Japan found it heart wrenching to follow the unfolding tragedy in the news.

“It’s hard to watch,” said Yukari Day of Halcott Center. Her maternal grandfather and five aunts and uncles live in Hamamatsu, an important industrial city southwest of Tokyo. 
The massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan on March 11 is a long way from where her family lives. Still, when she did not hear from them,  she grew concerned, until they e-mailed to say they’re OK. 

Fleischmanns mayor wins squeaker

Incumbent Fleischmanns Mayor Dave Morell has been elected to another term, edging challenger Fred Woller by four votes in Tuesday’s balloting. Mayor Morell received 37 votes to 33 ballots cast in favor of Mr. Woller, who serves as a village trustee. The mayor is just completing his first term in office.

Two incumbents were seeking re-election at trustees. Todd Pascarella received 45 votes and Ben Fenton earned 44 votes.

In the Village of Margaretville, Bill Stanton was elected mayor with 71 votes. Carol O’Beirne received eight write-in votes for mayor.

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