Kids learn formula for fun. Professor Sparks, a/k/a, Museum Educator Ashley Stever, and her robot canine companion, Spot 2000, presented a program on the weird science of fire at the FASNY Museum of Firefighting in Hudson, Saturday. The program featured hands-on science experiments to the delight of dozens of local children who were among the 110 in attendance. Photo by Siobhan Connally


Hudson wartime vets get school tax break

HUDSON–The City School District Board of Education has unanimously approved school tax reductions for veterans beginning in the 2015-16 school year. The vote took place February 23, immediately after a public hearing on the topic. Hudson now joins the Germantown, Ichabod Crane and Taconic Hills school districts, which also provide the benefit.

Eligible veterans–those who served during periods of conflict–will be able to exclude 15% of the value of their property (up to a maximum of $12,000), an additional 10% (up to a maximum of $8,000) if the veteran’s service involved combat, and more (up to a maximum of $40,000) if the owner is disabled because of combat injuries. Gold Star parents, whose sons or daughters died in combat) will also receive the exemption. Read more…

Justices fault DA in spat with judge

ALBANY—The ongoing, three-year legal tangle between Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka and Kinderhook Town and Village Court Justice David Dellehunt over prosecutorial discretion took a new turn last week when a state Appellate Division court called for a court hearing to get the facts on what the justices called the “grave and disturbing nature” of the DA’s conduct.

Friction between the two men appears to date back a decade or more to a newspaper article in which Mr. Dellehunt was quoted as saying that Mr. Czajka, then a county judge, had a “general lack of civility towards lawyers as well as everyone else who entered his courtroom.” Mr. Czajka referred to the statement in a court documents seeking Justice Dellehunt’s recusal in presiding over matters in Kinderhook Village and Town Court, which led up to the current case. Justice Dellehunt has said the newspaper comments attributed to him were inaccurate and told Mr. Czajka as much. Read more…

Nursing home suitors surface

County picks two finalists for Pine Haven purchase

HUDSON–The county has narrowed its choice of private companies offering to purchase the county-owned Pine Haven nursing home in Philmont to two candidates, and both made their pitches to the Board of Supervisors Monday evening.

Premier Health Care Management, headquartered in Great Neck, Long Island, has bid $6.5 million for the 120-bed Pine Haven Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility on state Route 217. Centers Health Care, based in the Bronx, has bid $5.4 million. Both companies manage numerous nursing homes and related facilities around the state. Read more…

Hillsdale debates costs of brighter, cheaper future

HILLSDALE—The Town Board wants to upgrade the town’s infrastructure. “This infrastructure—sewers, sidewalks, lighting—is the lifeblood of the future of this town,” said Supervisor Art Baer.

The February 17 meeting began with a presentation by David Andrick of Enerpath, who discussed replacing the light fixtures at four locations—the Highway Department garage, the Parks and Recreation building, the former Town Hall, and the current Town Hall. Read more…

Frozen cat thaws, goes home

OLD CHATHAM–A gray long-haired cat dubbed “Valentine” was reunited with his family and is doing well after being found nearly frozen on the roadside, Thursday, February 12.

R.J. Poulter, a motorist on County Route 13 noticed the cat that afternoon. Mr. Poulter thought the cat was dead because it was covered with snow and ice. The animal was barely breathing and Mr. Poulter said he had to literally peel the cat off the road because it was frozen and stuck, according to a report by newsman Lance Wheeler. Read more…