Red Hook man killed in motorcycle accident

COPAKE—A Dutchess County man was killed in a car versus motorcycle accident under investigation by State Police.

Troopers were called to the intersection of County Route 7A and Tamarac Road for a reported car/motorcycle accident, July 31 at 10:50 a.m.

A preliminary investigation determined that the driver of the car failed to yield when attempting to make a left turn to travel west on County Route 7A and cut into the path of the oncoming motorcycle.

The driver of the motorcycle, Michael T. Manetta, 54, of Red Hook collided with the rear driver’s side of the vehicle, causing him to be ejected. He died at the scene.

A phone call to State Police requesting information about the driver of the car was not returned by press time.

The investigation is ongoing.


The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched by Columbia County 911 to assist the Philmont Fire Department with a reported structure fire at 70 Summit Heights in the village, August 1 at about 11:37 p.m., according to a press release from Sheriff Donald Krapf.

The residence was not occupied and had been vacant for years.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. Sheriff’s Office investigators along with members of the Columbia County Cause and Origin Team and the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control are actively investigating.

No further details can be released at this time, the Sheriff’s release said. Community members with information regarding the fire are urged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 518-828-3344. Ask to speak with Criminal Investigator K.C. Bauhoff.

Multiple Fire Departments and the New York State Police assisted at the scene.

To contact Diane Valden email

Starke gets 2 years for probation violation

HUDSON—Defendant Fred Starke was sentenced to two consecutive years with the New York State Department of Corrections following his violation of probation by Acting Columbia County Court Judge William Little, July 28.

Mr. Starke was sentenced September 26, 2018 by Judge James Murphy to a term of five years’ probation after he was convicted by plea of two counts of making a terroristic threat, class D felonies, according to a press release from District Attorney Paul Czajka.

The original indictment against Mr. Starke stated that, “with intent to influence the policy of a unit of government, [he] threatened to commit an offense and thereby caused a reasonable fear of the commission of that offense.” Mr. Starke of Hudson, who was 42 years of age at the time, made the threats in 2017 against an unidentified victim. The threats were made by way of social media and the unit of government was the Judicial System. Hudson Police Detectives Jeff Keyser and Nicholas Pierro investigated this matter and arrested Mr. Starke.

On January 26, 2022, Mr. Starke violated his probation when he was convicted by plea of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, in Windham Town Court by Justice Carol D. Stevens.

Mr. Starke will serve three years of post-release supervision when he gets out of state prison. Attorney John Phillip represents Mr. Starke.

*Also sentenced the same date, July 28, in Columbia County Court was Najahliek Edmunds, who was directed to spend six years in state prison by Columbia County Judge Richard M. Koweek.

Mr. Edmunds, 26, of Albany, was convicted June 15 of menacing a police officer; a class D felony; and resisting arrest, a class A misdemeanor. Twelve jurors convicted Mr. Edmunds after about four hours of deliberations.

The sentence will be served consecutively to the 23-year-to-life prison sentence Mr. Edmunds is already serving for second degree murder in Albany.

Hudson Police arrested Mr. Edmunds October 23, 2018 after they were called to Hudson Terrace Apartments for an emergency. When officers arrived, they encountered Mr. Edmunds holding a large kitchen knife while standing in a dark room. He was taken into custody without injury to police or the defendant.

DA Czajka commended the Hudson Police and ADA Veronica Concra, who prosecuted the case.

“Cases like this remind us of the professionalism consistently demonstrated by the Hudson Police Department under the direction of Chief L. Edward Moore,” DA Czajka said in a press release. “ADA Concra prepared a tough prosecution that resulted in a just conviction.”

Attorney Adam Staier represents Mr. Edmunds.—Diane Valden

State wants to deter boating under the influence
ALBANY—As boaters are spending more time on the water, thousands of law enforcement officers across the United States are on heightened alert for those violating boating under the influence (BUI) laws.
State Park Police, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the State Police, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), the U.S. Coast Guard, along with other state and local agencies participate in Operation Dry Water—a year-round boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign intended for law enforcement agencies across the country to intensify efforts on preventing incidents related to impaired boating and to educate boaters about safe boating practices, including sober boating.
Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths.
Law enforcement agencies are working to increase public awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence for both operators and passengers, and make arrests under a zero tolerance approach.
“While boating is a great recreational activity, boating under the influence is both dangerous and illegal and can lead to serious consequences including arrest, injuries and even death,” Park Police Acting Assistant Director of Law Enforcement Michael Pavelock said in a press release. “New York State Park Police want to ensure that boaters and anyone enjoying the waterways have a safe place to spend their time. Park Police are proud to join hundreds of agencies nationwide in Operation Dry Water to prevent incidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence and help keep boaters safe.”
Boating while intoxicated or impaired by drugs is equally dangerous for the boat operator and for the boat passenger. Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal on all bodies of water and can lead to serious injuries, death and legal consequences. Penalties for BUI include fines, jail, the impoundment of your boat and the loss of boating privileges. In New York, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. New York State Park Police remind boaters to always boat sober and to wear a life jacket when on or around the water.
Launched in 2009, Operation Dry Water is an awareness and enforcement campaign to reduce the number of alcohol and drug-related incidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water. Last year, the effort involved more than 7,500 officers across the country, resulting in about 115,000 vessel stops and more than 42,000 citations and warnings, including 638 BUI arrests.
New York also continues to phase in Brianna’s Law, which requires all operators of motorized watercraft to complete a state-approved boating safety course. Adopted in 2019, the law currently requires all motorboat operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1993 to have a boating safety certificate. Failure to comply carries a potential fine of between $100 to $250.
Beginning in 2022, that requirement extends to all boaters born on or after Jan. 1, 1988. In 2023, the requirement extends to those born on or after Jan. 1, 1983, and in 2024, extends to Jan. 1, 1978. The law will apply to all operators regardless of age beginning in 2025. State safety courses can be taken in person or online. Information on course availability can be found here. Visit for more information about boating under the influence.

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