Ranger teaches scouts about fire danger

HUDSON—State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Ranger Lieutenant Scott Jackson, assistant fire management officer, attended a Columbia County event at the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) Museum in Hudson, February 21, according to a DEC press release.

More than 100 people attended the event, with 76 scouts earning their fire safety merit badges. Ranger Jackson taught scouts about the role of human behavior in fire danger, the cost of outdoor and wildland fires and how to prevent them. Ranger Jackson also explained how to set up a campsite safe from fire and demonstrated how to set up and put out a cooking fire and camp stove.—Diane Valden

Spring into safety, change clocks, check smoke alarms

GHENT—Sunday, March 12 (Daylight Saving Time), New Yorkers will set their clocks forward one hour. The Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) urges everyone to check their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at that time. Homeowners with alarms that have sealed, non-removable batteries should test the alarms to see if they are functional and check their expiration dates. Alarms equipped with removable batteries should have their batteries replaced and then test the alarm.

New York State currently leads the nation in home fire deaths, with 36 deaths in the first two months of 2023. In an emergency, working smoke detectors are a resident’s first line of defense and can give people critical time to escape. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) three of every five home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms or in homes lacking smoke alarms. Read more…

Copake man arrested for child sex abuse

COPAKE—State Police from the Livingston barracks arrested Steven S. Kipp, 22, of Copake for first degree disseminating indecent material to minors, a class D felony; second degree disseminating indecent material to minors, a class E felony, and third degree sexual abuse, a class B misdemeanor, February 22.

After receiving a tip, SP Livingston investigators began looking into possible sex crimes against a child in the Town of Copake in January. The probe determined Mr. Kipp allegedly sent indecent material and allegedly sexually abused a child under the age of 15-years-old.

He was arraigned before Justice Glenn Schermerhorn in Copake Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail. Read more…

Deputies charge man in Philmont shooting incident

PHILMONT—The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) arrested Jayden T. Lockenwitz, 18, of Main Street, Philmont for second degree attempted murder in connection with a shooting that occurred in the village February 18, according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff Donald J. Krapf.

On that date at 4:21 p.m. the Village of Philmont Police Department received a 911 poll for a report of shots fired in the area of 7 Church Street in the village. Sheriff’s Office patrols responded to assist and upon their arrival the call was turned over to them. Sheriff’s Office investigators and evidence technicians were called to process the scene and continue the investigation. Evidence was collected at the scene.

During the course of the investigation it was determined that just before the 911 call, a male subject identified as Jayden Lockenwitz, confronted a male subject who was outside of an apartment at 7 Church Street. A verbal altercation occurred between the two men and during the course of the argument Mr. Lockenwitz allegedly fired multiple shots from a handgun at the victim. At the time of the shooting there were several other people in the immediate area. No individuals were struck by the gunfire but rounds did strike the residence and Mr. Lockenwitz allegedly fled the scene prior to the patrols’ arrival. Read more…

Crash on State Route 9 leads to fatality

Volunteer firefighters from seven fire companies battled a blaze at the Bruce and Josie Bates home, February 11. Photo by RE Lindmark

LIVINGSTON—State Police began investigating a fatal motor vehicle crash on State Route 9 in the Town of Livingston, February 10.

At 2:50 p.m., troopers were dispatched to State Route 9 and County Route 8 for a vehicle off the road. An investigation determined the 2012 Nissan Titan, operated by Thomas F. Jahoda, 59, of Germantown left the roadway. It struck a gravel pile and then a tree near the Xtra Mart/Citgo gas station.

Northern Dutchess Paramedics took Mr. Jahoda to Columbia Memorial Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. An obituary for Mr. Jahoda appears on page 15 of this issue. Read more…

Apartment fire forces residents from homes

Firefighters work at the scene of an electrical fire on Warren Street, February 4. Photo from Hudson Fire Department Facebook Page

HUDSON—Several families were forced from their apartments by an electrical fire at 726 Warren Street, the evening of February 4.

Columbia County Control summoned City of Hudson firefighters and the Greenport Rescue Squad to the multi-story building for an indoor smoke investigation at 9:10 p.m.

According to a report by Firefighter Justin Elliott about the incident on the City of Hudson Fire Department’s Facebook page, arriving firefighters entered and made their way to the basement apartment where they found a ceiling fire in a bathroom.

“The fire was quickly extinguished and the building was ventilated. Damage was contained to the basement apartment,” according to the report. Read more…