Man charged sexual assault of child; police check for more victims

GREENPORT—State Police from the Livingston barracks arrested a Greene County man for rape in Columbia County and are now looking for additional victims.

State Police investigators charged Keener A. Mendez, 18, of Coxsackie with first degree rape, a class B felony, and fourth degree stalking, a class A misdemeanor, February 19.

A seven-month-long investigation by the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation in conjunction with the Columbia County Child Advocacy Center, determined Mr. Mendez allegedly sexually assaulted a child. Read more…

Sheriff’s Office arrests couple for negligent death of their 12 year old

AUSTERLITZ—Sheriff David P. Bartlett reports the arrest of Heidi Tranberg-Bennett, 47, and Steven Bennett, 58, both of Austerlitz, for the death of their 12-year-old daughter.

On December 3, 2019 at approximately 5:28 p.m., EMS and deputies responded to the Tranberg- Bennett residence for a 12-year-old in cardiac arrest.

Steven Bennett and Heidi Tranberg-Bennett in County Court on November 2. They were charged in the death of their 12-year-old daughter. Photo by Lance Wheeler

This case is a collective effort including the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, the Columbia County Department of Social Services Child Protective Unit, the Dutchess County Child Advocacy Center, Ellis Hospital and the Chatham Rescue Squad.

Both Heidi Tranberg-Bennett and Steven Bennett appeared before Judge Richard Koweek on November 2, were arraigned on Manslaughter 2nd charges and released on their own recognizance. They did arrive to the Sheriff’s Office for processing after their court appearance and were released. The couple was ordered by the court to personally appear at Columbia County Probation on two set days a week for monitoring.

Sheriff Bartlett said, “I am grateful to all who spent countless hours working on this case, and to those who will continue to work hard until this matter is resolved. This was a true team effort by all persons and agencies involved.”

Mother charged with manslaughter in toddler’s death

GREENPORT—State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Livingston arrested Sareese M. Stewart, 30, of Greenport for second degree manslaughter, a class C felony, October 6.

State Police responded to Ten Broeck Lane in Greenport with emergency medical service personnel, June 23, for an unresponsive child, who was later pronounced dead at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

The subsequent investigation in conjunction with the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office and the Columbia County Coroner’s Office determined Ms. Stewart allegedly recklessly caused the death of her 21-month-old son. Read more…

Cold Case: State Police press case of Catskill woman’s 2000 homicide

LIVINGSTON—New York State Police from the Livingston barracks continue to investigate the homicide of 43-year-old Jacqueline McCalop of Catskill.

Jacqueline McCalop

On September 30, 2000, the State Police responded to the shoreline of the Hudson River, south of the city of Hudson. Two duck hunters discovered a body on the east shoreline of the river in a secluded but accessible area at a boat launch off Hallenbeck Road in Greenport.

The victim, identified as Jacqueline McCalop, had died as a result of stab wounds to her torso.

An investigation revealed Ms. McCalop’s family had not seen her since September 14, 2000 and had reported her missing on September 24, 2000. Read more…

Investigation continues after woman is struck by train

GREENPORT—A New York City woman was killed when she was struck by an Amtrak train, September 11.

Columbia County 911 dispatched the Hudson Fire Department, the Greenport Rescue Squad and the Hudson Police Department to the railroad tracks, north of the Hudson Amtrak Train Station for a report of a person struck by a train at 7:50 p.m. When officials subsequently determined that the incident was in the Town of Greenport, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation.

They found that a southbound Amtrak passenger train destined for New York City, struck and killed Anna M. Podgorbunski, 54, of New York City as she walked northbound on the train tracks. The incident occurred about a mile or mile and a half north of the Hudson station. Read more…