State Police check child seats for safety today

The New York State Police will be hosting a child passenger safety seat event Monday, May 23 from 4 to 7 p.m. at SP Livingston, 3353 Route 9, Hudson, NY 12534.

Child safety seat technicians will be on hand to assist with the installation of child safety seats and answer any questions. An appointment is preferred, contact Sergeant Anderson at 845-677-7331 or via email at for more information.

DA’s office clarifies charges in Elizaville murder case

HUDSON—In last week’s May 11 press release from the District Attorney’s Office about the couple who allegedly murdered Edward Kessler, 64, in their Elizaville home, some of the charges listed were incorrect. Here is the corrected release:

Cassandra Fischer, 30, and Ryan Woods, 29, both of Elizaville, were arraigned on a Columbia County Grand Jury indictment in Columbia County Court May 11.

They were formally charged with second degree murder, a class A-1 felony; two counts of first degree endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, a class D felony, and two counts of second degree endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, a class E felony, and first degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, a class E felony.

In addition, Ms. Fischer was charged with second degree grand larceny, a class C felony.

Ms. Fischer and Mr. Woods are accused of mistreating, stealing from and causing the death of an elderly Long Island man who had been staying with them since late 2021.

State Police from Livingston investigated the case.

Remembering Bud Godfroy. Friends and family joined in a Celebration of Life Ceremony for Louis “Bud” Godfroy, III, May 14 at the New Lebanon Fire Station. Mr. Godfroy served the community for almost his entire life. He was the owner and master mechanic of Godfroy’s Service Station. For 51 years, he served in the Lebanon Valley Protective Association and for 15 years with EMS and the Columbia County HAZMAT Team. He saved the lives of others, freely gave of his time day and night to help the members of his community and those just passing through. The Chatham and Red Rock volunteer fire departments displayed the colors in front of the New Lebanon station. Pictured are Mr. Godfroy’s son and daughter: Louis “Lee” Godfroy, IV, and Jessica Rowe at the podium, remembering their father. Photo by RE Lindmark

Shed incinerated. Columbia County 911 dispatched the Lebanon Valley Task Force and Chatham Rescue May 13 at 7:03 p.m. to a shed fire at 703 Route 20 in the Town of New Lebanon. Firefighters from Lebanon Valley, Canaan, East Chatham and Red Rock responded. Due to a quick knockdown firefighters from East Chatham and Red Rock were canceled enroute. Pictured is Trooper Jesse Brown backing up LVPA Firefighter Josh Ramos. State Police assisted at the scene. Firefighters were back in service at 7:35 p.m. Photo by RE Lindmark

Wildfire risk still high during late spring, summer months

ALBANY—Despite the annual statewide ban prohibiting residential brush burning coming to an end May 14, caution is still required, and fires can still easily and quickly escape and spread, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos reminded New Yorkers in a press release.

“The risk of wildfires remains high this spring across New York State, so it’s absolutely essential New Yorkers are mindful of the risk when doing any kind of residential outdoor brush burning. To protect our communities and natural resources, we’re encouraging people to put safety first, don’t leave fires unattended, and ensure all fires are fully extinguished,” Commissioner Seggos said in a press release.

Each year, DEC forest rangers extinguish dozens of wildfires that burn hundreds of acres. In addition, local fire departments, many of which are staffed by volunteers, all too often have to leave their jobs and families to respond to wildfires caused by illegal debris fires. DEC’s Fire Danger Map for the 2022 fire season is now posted. The map gets posted once there is a moderate risk anywhere in New York and this week, conditions statewide were designated as high fire risk.

New York first enacted strict restrictions on open burning in 2009 to help prevent wildfires and reduce air pollution. The regulations allow residential brush fires in towns with fewer than 20,000 residents during most of the year, but prohibit such burning in spring through May 14 when most wildfires occur.

Backyard fire pits and campfires less than three feet in height and four feet in length, width or diameter are allowed. Small cooking fires are allowed. Only charcoal or dry, clean, untreated, or unpainted wood can be burned. People should never leave these fires unattended and must extinguish them. Burning garbage or leaves is prohibited year-round. For more information about fire safety and prevention, go to DEC’s FIREWISE New York webpage at

Forest Rangers, DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs), and local authorities enforce laws related to open burning. Violators of the State’s open burning regulation are subject to criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense. To report a wildfire, call 1-833-NYS-RANGERS (1-833-697-7264). To report illegal burning on private lands, call 1-844-DEC-ECOs (1-844-332-3267) or report online on DEC’s website.

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