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


Lincoln celebrated here, 150 years after his death

HUDSON–Observances of the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the end of the Civil War has begun in Columbia County, with commemorative events and preparations for others.

The Galvan Foundation has contributed $1,500 toward the cost of the events in Hudson and the Town of Stuyvesant, said Hudson Deputy Mayor Gene Shetsky at a planning and review meeting in Hudson April 17. Other major contributors include Hudson Common Council’s Arts, Entertainment, and Tourism Committee, and Columbia County Tourism. In addition, event planners are raising funds by selling t-shirts for $20 each. Read more…

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 The plan was previously withdrawn after opposition from neighbors and the pending adoption by the Town Board of a moratorium prohibiting new projects on unpaved roads, and then it was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…