Eight charged for alcohol sale to a minor

GREENPORT–Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies charged eight people during an underage alcohol sales check around the county June 4.

Charged were:

*Stephen D. Choinsky, 28, of Germantown, employed by Blues Stores Xtra Mart, Livingston

*Kimberly VanAllen, 37, of Hudson, employed by Cumberland Farms, Columbiaville

*Gurdeep S. Kang, 43, of Schenectady, employed by Cobble Pond Farm, Niverville

*Xu Zhao, 31, of Canton, Michigan, employed by Spring Garden Restaurant, Greenport

*Linda Bathrick, 46, of Athens, employed by Rite-Aid Pharmacy, Greenport

*Mahmood A. Malik, 54, of Hudson, employed by Germantown Sunoco

*Kevin S. Herber, 24, of Hudson, employed by Hess, Fairview Avenue, Greenport

*Matthew G. Liebel, 21, of Kingston, employed by Stewart’s, Germantown.

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Stottville teen charged with burglary in gun theft case

STOTTVILLE—A local teen has been charged in connection with breaking into a house and stealing several guns.
Kenneth A. VanWagner Jr, 18, of Stottville was charged with second degree burglary, a class C felony and fourth degree grand larceny, a class E felony, June 4 at 5:10 p.m., according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David Harrison Jr.
In April, Mr. VanWagner allegedly forced his way into a residence on Cinder Road in Stottville and stole several shotguns and rifles.
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Sentencing leads to a reversal in Gropp murder case

ALBANY–The conviction of Mickey Miller on a charge of second degree attempted robbery in connection with the 2004 home invasion that led to the slaying of fruit farmer Henry Gropp was reversed by a state Appellate Division court May 7.

Mr. Miller, 36 at the time of the crimes, of Hudson, was one of five people originally charged with second degree murder and second degree burglary for breaking into the Gropp home on Mill Road in Livingston, November 1, 2004 at about 4 a.m. At the trials of three of the defendants, testimony established that a plan was hatched to break into the Gropp home and steal payroll money they thought the farmer kept there. But during the quest for cash, Mr. Gropp, 69, was stabbed to death.

Mr. Miller, then defended by Attorney Greg Lubow, cut a plea deal with District Attorney Beth Cozzolino and on June 24, 2005 pleaded guilty to second degree attempted robbery, a Class D violent felony. The DA then withdrew the original indictment.

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Ghent barns go up in flames

GHENT–Wind-driven flames claimed three structures, multiple vehicles and some piglets and chickens on the Dykeman Farm, 104 Quinn Lane, the night of May 31.

County 911 dispatched Ghent firefighters and the Chatham Rescue Squad to the scene at 9:06 p.m.

A neighbor on County Route 22 reported the fire after seeing smoke that the neighbor initially thought was coming from a building at Art Omi, about a quarter mile away from the Dykeman place through the woods, according to Ghent Fire Chief Dan Lamarre.

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S’port PD ‘buckles down on those not buckled up’


STOCKPORT–Stockport Police will join with state and local law enforcement agencies in a national “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt enforcement campaign May 18 through 31. 
   Police Officers will ticket unbelted vehicle occupants day and night. 
   Stockport Police Chief Michael Winnie said in a press release that his department will ticket all drivers and passengers to make sure that they know seatbelt laws should be taken seriously. He added that regular seatbelt use is the single most important and effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. 
   When worn properly, seatbelts have been proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45%. 
   “Seat belts clearly save lives. But, unfortunately too many folks still need a tough reminder, so we will be out there buckling down on those not buckled up. Wearing your seat belt costs you nothing, but not wearing it will. So unless you want to risk a ticket, or worse, your life, please remember to buckle up. Don’t forget, Click It or Ticket isn’t just a slogan, it’s a promise!” the chief said in the release. 
   For more information visit www.SafeNY.com