James McGrath receives Spirit of the Catskills Award

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LONG SERVICE — James “Jimmy” McGrath, right, was honored with the Spirit of the Catskills Award on Saturday evening at the Belleayre Conservatory’s annual Snowball held Saturday evening at The Emerson in Mt. Tremper. The award is presented annually to someone who has performed extraordinary service to benefit the region. Jimmy was instrumental in growing the Shandaken Police Department and recently retired as police chief. Making the presentation is Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. A packed house enjoyed the dinner-dance. Proceeds benefit the Belleayre Music Festival. — Photo by Franz Edlinger, eOneMedia.com

Freshtown takes steps to deter card hacking

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By Joe Moskowitz
Margaretville’s Freshtown Supermarket has taken steps aimed at ending the credit- and debit- card hacking that has plagued the area in recent weeks.
Freshtown store manager Robert Griffiths has confirmed that the store has installed new card swiping, or Point of Sale (POS) machines. According to federal investigators, card security breaches often begin at that point.
Because of the number of card swipe machines it operates, and volume of business it does, Fresh­town has been considered one of the possible targets of the hacker or hackers.


Bridges and consolidation of mental health services on the table at County Supervisors' meeting

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By Cheryl Petersen
Bovina Supervisor Tina Molé chaired the March 26 Delaware County Board of Supervisors meeting in Delhi as Chairman Jim Eisel was out ill. Social Services Commissioner Bill Moon presented an award to Bloomville resident Karen Laing, Safety and Security Aide, for her versatility and dependability.
It was resolved that the coun­ty will take over the Bovina Bridge on Bovina Road. Wayne Reynolds, commissioner of Public Works, summarized, “The takeover is in line with the 21st Century Bridge Program initiated in 1994.”

Steady improvements


Denning ZBA denies Judd Hirsch's turbine application

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By Joe Moskowitz
Veteran actor Judd Hirsch battled New York City traffic in the TV series “Taxi” and aliens bent on killing earthlings in “Independence Day,” but he proved to be no match for the independent minds of the Ulster County Town of Denning’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).
Last Tuesday the ZBA ruled that since the town codes do not specifically allow the construction of wind turbines, Hirsch cannot build a 177-feet-tall wind tower and generator on 91 acres he owns near Clary­ville, the only community in the Town of Denning.
Opponents of the project complained to the ZBA, say­ing it would be unsightly and noisy.
Hirsch insisted that no one would see it or hear it.


Opening Day: Not many fishermen or trout to be seen

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HOOKED ON FISHING — Fishermen were few and far between on Monday for opening day of the 2014 trout season. High and cold water, fueled by melting snow in the mountains, made for good fishing but very poor catching. Above, Travis Lawyer, in foreground, and his brother Zach, both of Otego, were trying their luck on the East Branch of the Delaware just north of Margaretville early Tuesday afternoon. Travis told the News that he frequently makes the trip from Otego to fish in the East Branch. He also said that a DEC officer with whom he had had a conversation told him that he hadn’t seen a fisherman with a trout all day. Some fishermen may agree that it’s no coincidence that the trout season opens on April Fool’s Day. — Photo by Dick Sanford


Andes plans indoor farmers market in former Citihope building

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By Brian Sweeney
A new Andes Farmers’ Market is set to open on Saturday, May 3 in the former Citihope building on Main Street.
Cheryl Terrace and Andy Wos are organizing the project and she will serve as market manager.
“Andy and I are thrilled with the interest and are confident this will be a huge success, with the right vendors and energy,” Cheryl noted.
“We are also creating a community commercial kitchen in the back to prepare and serve food,” she added.


Railway museum plans train repair barn at Phoenicia

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By Jay Braman Jr.
The Empire State Railway Museum plans to erect a large train repair barn at the museum site on Station Road in Phoenicia, and museum officials say it has nothing to do with the Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) being kicked out of Kingston last year.
The museum has received a zoning variance to build a 96-foot long, 40-foot wide, 26-foot tall barn over the railroad tracks that pass by the museum (the old Phoenicia Station), and along Sta­tion Road. The new building will be constructed and used for the restoration of historic railcars currently stored and deteriorating in the weather on the tracks.


Historic Rexmere in Stamford vanquished by flames in an hour


The Rexmere Hotel, a Stamford landmark for more than 115 years, was destroyed in less than an hour Tuesday morning when a wind-driven fire leveled the seven-story wood structure. Hundreds of firemen from at least three counties, answering a mutual aid call, were still arriving at the scene shortly after noon when the building had been reduced to a flaming pile of debris.


Card fraud continues to ring up big hassles

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By Joe Moskowitz
Death and taxes aren’t the only sure things that people are talking about in these parts were talking about over the past week.
Those two old topics of conversation have been pushed aside by the weather and credit-card fraud. The winter that won’t go away, it snowed on each of the first five days of spring, and credit-card fraud, everyone seems to know someone who has been hacked, are the hot topics of conversation on everyone’s lips. And the weather is running a distant second to what appears to be a blizzard of local credit card fraud.


DEP employee indicted for second-degree murder of a co-worker

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By Jay Braman Jr.
On Tuesday, an Ulster Coun­ty Grand Jury indicted the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) employee accused of fatally shooting a co-worker on February 3, according to the district attorney’s office.David ReeseDavid Reese

David N. Reese, 53, of 297 Flat Creek Road, Gilboa, was in­dict­ed for second-degree murder in the Feb. 3 shooting death of Aron J. Thomas, 33, of Olive­bridge, at the department’s Smith Avenue office in midtown Kingston.


O'Neal's eyesore goes down the drain

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RAZED — The former O’Neal’s Plumbing and Heating store on Main Street, Margaretville was knocked down this week by Ed Norwick and Diego Pesa. The store, which previously operated for many years as Wilson’s Plumbing, had not operated since 2008. The building was damaged by flooding from Hurricane Irene in 2011 and had become an eyesore along the village’s Main Street. Kingdon Gould Jr. of Arkville recently purchased the store and attached apartment house. The apartments are being renovated.


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