Austerlitz breaks ground on new firehouse.  Members of the Austerlitz Volunteer Fire Company broke ground for construction of a new firehouse on Route 22 and West Hill Road Saturday, April 18. They raised close to $600,000 for the new building. Actual work started Monday, April 20 and should be completed by December 1. Pictured (l to r) are Austerlitz Volunteer Fire Company Building Committee members Tony Breu, Robin Howes, Richard Nesbitt, Sr., David Savage and Jay Choon. Photo by Scott Langley


Austerlitz Fire Company gets started on its new home

AUSTERLITZ–Members of the Austerlitz Volunteer Fire Company broke ground for construction of a new firehouse on Route 22 and West Hill Road Saturday, April 18, with town officials, community members, county fire and police officials and others in attendance.

The new firehouse will replace a 70-year-old building that is not only “in shambles” but, more importantly, is too small to house modern equipment. Construction was scheduled to begin April 20 and to be completed by early December. Read more…

New tennis plan could be net gain for Chatham

CHATHAM–The Town Board has created a committee to review Thomas Road resident Adam Slone’s offer to build three new tennis courts at Crellin Park for Mr. Slone’s proposed Life Serve Tennis Camp.

Consideration of the new tennis courts at the town park is the latest twist in the saga of the tennis camp proposal. The plan was previously withdrawn after opposition from neighbors and the pending adoption by the Town Board of a moratorium prohibiting new projects on unpaved roads, and then it was resubmitted by Mr. Slone after the moratorium took effect.

Thomas Road is a dirt lane near Chatham Center. Read more…

Third trial of Hillsdale murder case ends in mistrial

(This story appears online at the website of the Times Union and an earlier version appeared in the Friday edition of the newspaper. It is used here with permission.)


HUDSON–The jury in William Demagall’s third murder trial couldn’t decide Thursday if he was aware of his actions when he killed a retired Hillsdale schoolteacher.

David Cardona, law clerk for presiding Judge Jonathan Nichols, said the jury could not reach an agreement by the end of its fourth day of deliberations, resulting in a mistrial.

Mr. Demagall is accused of the brutal 2006 killing of 56-year-old George Mancini. Mancini was bludgeoned, stabbed and set on fire. Demagall told police at the time he was doing “God’s will.”

Defense attorney Cheryl Coleman said the trial is not about Mr. Demagall’s innocence or guilt — the defense and the prosecution agree he killed Mancini. Ms. Coleman said she is more concerned about whether the state will accept his insanity defense and treat Mr. Demagall, rather than convict him.

Special prosecutor Michael Cozzolino argued that Mr. Demagall’s actions following the killing showed that he understood what he was doing is wrong. Prosecutors believe he should be sentenced to life in prison. Read more…

You can keep your money… really

ANCRAM—Thanks…but no thanks.

That’s what the Town Board will tell the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) about a grant the town was awarded but now wants to give back.

After initially being turned down by the DEC in 2014 for a grant to perform an engineering study for a municipal sewer in the Ancram hamlet, the town’s Grant Coordinator Gerry Fultz reapplied. This year on his second try, Mr. Fultz won a $36,000 grant, which includes $6,000 in matching funds that the town would have to provide either in kind or cash. Read more…

Dollar store plan sparks passionate defense

In Germantown, calls for delay of new outlet rebuffed by supervisor

GERMANTOWN—The Dollar General retail store proposed for Route 9G, just north of the hamlet, was the subject of much of Monday’s Town Board meeting. About 50 residents filled the meeting room, standing or sitting on the floor when they had to.

Former Supervisor Roy Brown, reporting for the town’s Economic Development Committee, said that his committee would like to see the Town Board and the Planning Board study the economic impact of Dollar General before any application is approved. Within 30 miles of Germantown, there are already 14 “dollar” stores in addition to convenience stores, he said. Read more…