DEC: Open burning banned through May 15

ALBANY—A number of brush fires have occurred recently in the Capital Region. The state Department of Environmental Conservation reminds the public that garbage burning is never allowed and that residential brush burning in towns with fewer than 20,000 residents is prohibited through May 15 due to dry conditions that typically exist at that time. Brush burning in towns with more than 20,000 residents is never allowed. Read more…

Philmont man charged in child pornography case

PHILMONT—Floyd L. Dallas, III, 60, of Philmont was charged with one count of promoting a sexual performance by a child, a class D felony, by Columbia County Sheriff’s Office investigators, April 16.

Sheriff’s Office criminal investigators and investigators from the Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit executed a search warrant at 11 Summit Street in the village, April 14, Sheriff David P. Bartlett reported in a press release. Read more…

Investigation leads to endangering charge against Hudson man

TAGHKANIC—Justin F. Carrasco, 24, of Hudson was charged with one count of first degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person following a joint investigation by the Livingston State Police investigators, the New York State Justice Center and the Columbia County DA’s Office, April 8.

On March 30, the Justice Center received a complaint about an abuse allegation from InFlight, Inc., of Red Hook. The complaint alleged the Mr. Carrasco, an InFlight, Inc. employee, had injured a resident of an InFlight facility in Taghkanic. InFlight, Inc. provides Individual Residential Alternatives (IRAs) to individuals with developmental and/or physical disabilities in both Columbia and Ulster counties, according to the agency’s website. Read more…

Craryville man charged with abuse

CRARYVILLE–John C. Vansteenburgh, 60, of Craryville, formerly of Canajoharie in Montgomery County, was charged with one count of third degree sex abuse and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors, April 1.

Officials commenced an investigation into allegations of inappropriate contact between Mr. Vansteenburgh and a 15-year-old female victim, March 27. Read more…

Firefighter: Smoke detectors save lives

GREENPORT—A tragic fire in Brooklyn late last month killed seven children aged 5 to 16 in their bedrooms. The fire started in the first floor kitchen when a hot plate, a device often used by Jewish families to keep food warm during the Sabbath, malfunctioned during the night. The children’s mother and her 15-year-old daughter were able to jump from a second floor window, according to a press release from Greenport Fire Department Training Officer Douglas Garrison.

Investigators found only one smoke detector in the basement of the two-story house but have not found any on the first or second floor. The fire started just after midnight, probably smoldered for a while and then flared up, causing flames to eventually make their way to the stairway and up to the second floor. The mother was able to make her way across the street to a neighbor’s house to call 911. Even though firefighters were on the scene in a matter of minutes, it was already too late and instead of rescuing survivors, they were only able to bring out victims, the release said. Read more…