Hard to tell if a dog’s impressed by being blessed. Pastor Darienne Gagne (standing) officiated at a blessing of the animals at the North Chatham United Methodist Church Saturday evening, July 16. Lola the bulldog and her humans sit for Pastor Gagne’s blessing. Dr. Christopher Southard of Kinderhook Animal Hospital was also on hand to offer microchip services to pet owners. Photo by Siobhan Connally

Valatie takes aim at derelict factory, aging hotel

VALATIE–Village Mayor Diane Argyle updated her board on two building in the village in need of attention at last week’s meeting. One is the mill building on River Street that once housed Energy-Onix, and the other is the US Hotel on Main Street, which is owned by the Valatie Local Development Corporation (LDC).

The village received a state and federal Community Development Block Grant for $516,000 several years ago for the building on River Street. The funds were loaned to Energy-Onix to put a workshop to manufacture transmitters in the building. In 2014, Mayor Argyle, who was not mayor when the original loan was granted, said that the state audited the village looking for paperwork on the loan.

At the July 12 meeting of this year, she said the paperwork issue has finally been resolved, and now that the state is satisfied, the village can start the process of foreclosing on the property. Read more…

You call this a receipt?

Copake questions ‘paper trail’ Cascino offers judge

HUDSON—Salvatore Cascino was back in court this week, where he failed to provide all the documentation the judge had asked him for as proof of his compliance with court orders.

In this latest round Mr. Cascino was represented by Nolan E. Shanahan, a lawyer standing in for his usual attorney, Brian Gardner, both from the Cole Schotz law firm in New York City. Along with attorney Victor Meyers, who represented the Town of Copake, they appeared in Columbia County Supreme Court July 19 before Acting Supreme Court Judge Jonathan Nichols.

It was one of several follow-up appearances scheduled for Mr. Cascino to provide updates on the progress of the court-ordered removal of 9,650 cubic yards of solid waste Mr. Cascino illegally dumped on his 300-acre Copake property. Read more…

Supervisors fault racial disparities in county jobs

HUDSON–The county Board of Supervisors approved Columbia-Greene Community College’s proposed 2016-17 operating budget last week and later took up the issue of what one lawmaker called “racism in the community.”

At a 5-minute public hearing July 13 on the Columbia-Greene Community College budget held just before the regular meeting, Supervisor William Hughes, Jr. (D-Hudson, 4th Ward) said, “Columbia-Greene Community College is an important institution within our community. I’m hoping that the state and federal government will contribute more, but for now it’s up to the county. I support the budget 100%.” Read more…

Hillsdale will have ‘Roots’ festival in September

HIILSDALE–Town Supervisor Peter Cipkowski opened the monthly meeting July 12 with several “good news” announcements, starting with, “The Old Tones Roots Music Festival is back in Hillsdale.”

The town’s Planning and Zoning boards met Monday, July 11, including the new hosts of the festival, Matthew and Lisa Schober, and approved their Cool Whisper Farm, on county Route 21 in North Hillsdale, as the festival site.

There are still some conditions that must be met by the hosts, primarily “strengthening liability coverage”, according to Mr. Cipkowski. Read more…

KeyBank to close 30 local bank branches as part of First Niagara deal

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

ALBANY — KeyCorp is planning to close 30 local branches after it completes its $4.1 billion acquisition of Buffalo-based First Niagara Bank in the next two months.

The first closures will happen in October, when 18 First Niagara branches will be shuttered. Another 12 KeyBank branches will also be closed, mostly in 2017. Read more…