Employees arrested for theft of narcotics

LIVINGSTON—State Police from the Livingston barracks arrested Lauren E. Emery, 39, of Hudson and Alison Steedle, 47, of Clinton, December 5 and 6 respectively, in connection with the theft of narcotics from a nursing home.

Each woman was charged with second degree forgery of medical prescriptions, a class D felony, first degree falsifying business records, a class E felony, and petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor.

An investigation determined both Ms. Emery and Ms. Steedle, while employed at the Livingston Hills Nursing Home, falsified and forged business records in an attempt to conceal the theft of narcotics.

Both subjects were issued appearance tickets returnable in Livingston Court, December 15.

Hudson

Hudson City Police are currently investigating a shooting that occurred in the area of 200 and 300 blocks of Warren Street within the city.

Saturday, December 10 at 1:40 a.m., a sergeant and officer were on foot on the 300 block of Union Street, when they heard successive gunshots in the area of Third and Warren streets. The patrol responded immediately and secured the scene.

The State Police (NYSP) and Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) also immediately responded and assisted HPD with the investigation.

Hudson Police detectives conducted interviews. Detectives collected shell casings from the street on the mid-200 block of Warren Street. Two of the bullets struck a parked vehicle and two bullets struck the siding and window of a local business building at Third and Warren, upstreet of the casings. There is no evidence that anyone was injured.

“While not yet conclusive there is some indication that this incident is related to the shots fired call from December 2 nearby at Second Street and Prison Alley. Residents should know that I have been coordinating a response with the State Police and Sheriff Krapf. We will bring all resources to bear to locate the individual(s) responsible for this recent brazen behavior. Citizens will notice more visible patrols and a mobile command post located at Third and Columbia that will serve as a temporary satellite station for our officers. This is a serious matter that must not be allowed to escalate,” Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore said in a press release.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hudson Police Detective Division at 518-828-3388.

Kinderhook

A letter from Superintendent of Schools Suzanne Guntlow to families of students attending Ichabod Crane Central Schools informed them about an incident confirmed by State Police that occurred on the school campus November 21.

The letter said that a catalytic converter was stolen from a student vehicle that day, possibly while parked on campus. State Police were immediately contacted and an investigation began.

Ms. Guntlow noted that last year the district installed a brand new camera system with over 100 indoor and outdoor cameras across the campus in order to enhance security. “Utilizing this expanded system, the district was able to provide hours of video evidence, along with other area cameras, to the police which aided in the investigation.”

The incident was described by State Police as a random act, a crime of opportunity, State Police believe “at this time there is no indication that there are any threats to our school district,” said the letter.

The school district is limited in the amount of information that it can share as this remains an ongoing investigation, Ms. Guntlaw wrote.

To contact Diane Valden email

Rapist sentenced to prison time

HUDSON—Defendant Juan Diego Cruz was sentenced by visiting Supreme Court Justice Richard McNally to 15 years with the New York State Department of Corrections and 5 years post-release supervision upon his conviction after trial of first degree rape, second degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child, December 7.

According to a press release from District Attorney Paul Czajka, Chief Assistant District Attorney James Carlucci had sought the maximum prison sentence of 25 years. The minimum sentence is 5 years in state prison.

A Columbia County Jury convicted Mr. Cruz, 28, October 24, after deliberating for 2 hours. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office charged Mr. Cruz December 2019 in the village of Chatham.

Chief ADA Carlucci prosecuted the case with the assistance of ADA Krista Kline.

In the press release, DA Czajka commended the victim for her courage in testifying. He also commended Sheriff Donald Krapf’s Investigator Reagan Anderson and his deputies for their diligence, expertise and hard work.

Mr. Cruz, of Mexico, will presumably be deported after he completes his prison sentence. He is represented by Dennis Schlenker, Esq.

Drug Treatment Court offers a choice

Pictured (l-r) are: Treatment Court Coordinator Gwendolyn Avent, graduates Kelly, Amanda, and Brittny, together with Columbia County Treatment Court Judge Jonathan D. Nichols. Photo contributed

HUDSON—The sun glows brightly through the dome skylight of the ceremonial courtroom, symbolic of the bright future in sobriety that four individuals have gifted to themselves, according to a press release from the Columbia County Drug Treatment Court Program.

Under the supervision of Judge Jonathan D. Nichols and resource coordinator, Gwendolyn Avent, Treatment Court provides a second chance for individuals struggling with the disease of addiction, the release said.

Making a choice is the first hurdle: serve jail time or commit to an intensive, invasive monitoring program for several months, sometimes longer, to assist in their recovery. Ms. Avent coordinates her efforts with a support team comprised of Twin County Recovery Services, Greener Pathways, Columbia County Department of Social Services, Columbia County Mental Health, Reach Center, Columbia County Probation Department, Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, Columbia County Public Defender’s Office, and Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Together the members of this team guide and support the participants through a system of sanctions and rewards for their behavior, helping to influence the participant’s development to become positive role models of society.

Providing validation and encouragement to the graduates, Nathan and Adrianne shared their personal stories of participating in and graduating from Treatment Court.

“The art of understanding allowed me to not only understand others but also understand myself,” Adrianne said in the release.

Their message was clear: the hard work of Treatment Court is worth it because they are now thriving in life, no longer just surviving. “I am always one bad decision away from losing it all. It is a daily reprieve,” Nathan said in the release.

The court congratulated recent graduates Amanda, Brittny, Emily, and Kelly in the release, noting, “You are truly inspiring and proof of all that is possible with one good choice.”

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