Up in Smoke

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Part of the VW Parts Inc. complex at the intersection of Wagner Avenue and Main Street, Fleischmanns went up in flames late Tuesday afternoon. More photos in our front page story.— Photo by Brian Sweeney

State Appeals court upholds Judge George’s removal from office

By Joe Moskowitz
Former Town of Middletown Justice Glen George never planned to return to the bench after his term of office ends on December 31, and now he has no choice. The New York State Court of Appeals has ruled that the State Commission on Judicial Conduct was correct when it ordered George removed from office.
The 74-year-old George, citing medical problems, hasn’t heard a case since last winter. On May 1, the commission ruled that he was unfit to serve on the bench and ordered him removed.


MTC, Scenic Byway & Festival of the Voice among Southern Tier grant recipients

By Brian Sweeney
The Margaretville Telephone Company (MTC) was another winner in last week’s grant awards. General Manager Glen Faulkner said the funding will help support MTC’s broadband expansion.
“The announcement of $320,500 in matching grant funds from the Southern Tier Economic Development Council in support of the MTC Wireless Broadband Initiative marks a significant step forward in MTC’s efforts to extend broadband services to the residents, businesses and anchor institutions in the local communities which currently lack broadband access,” Mr. Faulkner commented.


John Auran, Mountainside resident, travels to Kindertransport reunion in Germany

Margaretville — Mountainside Residential Care Center resident John Auran recently traveled to his native Germany for the first time in 75 years to reunite with participants in the Kindertransport program.


MFD donates to Ambulance Funding

MFD-Ambulance-donation: Contributed photoMFD-Ambulance-donation: Contributed photoFUNDING HELP — Mike Porter, president of the Margaretville Fire Department, presents Pat Delameter, head of the Margaretville Hospital EMS and Sandy Horan, executive director, with a check for $2,500 for the Margaretville Hospital Ambulance Fund. With the check, the MFD wishes to acknowledge the importance of ambulance service to local fire departments.


Judge orders Hanover Farms to be shut down and dismantled

By Jay Braman Jr.
The legal battle over Hanover Farms on Route 28 in the Town of Shandaken has reached an end with a New York State Supreme Court decision that puts the establishment out of business.
Hanover Farms owner Al Higley has been at odds with the Town of Shandaken for over eight years. After being granted approval to build a 100-square-foot-farm stand, Higley gradually expanded the business to over 2,000 square feet despite receiving stop-work orders from the Shandaken’s former code officer, Richard Stokes.
Higley filed a lawsuit against the town and Stokes in 2012.


Former Shandaken Code Officer Stokes will not be reappointed

By Jay Braman Jr.
The former code enforcement officer for Shandaken, recently cleared of charges that he forcibly touched a waitress in a local eatery last year, will not be getting his old job back.
That’s according to Town Supervisor Rob Stanley, who said that former code officer Richard Stokes made a public request for reinstatement last week.
“At this time we have no plans to change anything,” Stanley said. “We will not be rehiring Mr. Stokes.”


For Sue Doig, a nightmare ordeal transforms into a miraculous recovery

By Brian Sweeney
For many people, a 60th birthday is a bittersweet milestone. Don’t try telling that to Andes resident Sue Doig — she has never had a better celebration.
Sue’s 60th birthday on Oct. 11 was the day she returned home following a lengthy medical ordeal, the outcome of which many are labeling under the heading of “miraculous.”


Ulster County losing $500K a week due to sales tax rate drop

Jay Braman Jr.
The failure of state and Ulster County officials to reach an agreement over how to pay for local welfare costs has resulted in a reduction in the county’s sales tax from eight percent to seven percent, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
While that might be good news for consumers, however slight, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein said that, starting on December 1, his government started losing $500,000 in revenue each week because of the debacle.


Shandaken code officer not guilty in forcible touching case; hopes to be re-instated

By Jay Braman Jr.

Saugerties Town Justice Samuel Lamp has determined that former Shandaken Code Officer Richard Stokes was not guilty of forcible touching following allegations made last fall by employees at a local restaurant.

Now that he has been cleared of those charges, Stokes expects to be reinstated as Code Officer, a position he voluntarily took an unpaid leave of absence from last fall immediately following his September 18 arrest.

“I’m glad the truth came out and my name is in the clear,” Stokes said Monday. “Now I wish I could get my job back.”


Plattekill opened Dec. 7 with upgraded snowmaking

By Jay Braman Jr.

The owners of Plattekill Ski Resort in Roxbury have set Saturday, Dec. 7 as their opening day, despite the latest warming trend.

Plattekill is last of the four ski areas in the Central Catskill Region to open. Taking advantage of last week’s cold snap, Belleayre at Highmount, and Hunter and Windham mountains in nearby Greene County, all opened up last weekend thanks to massive snowmaking efforts. All three remain open at midweek.


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