Leaders-elect hear plenty from Ancram voters

ANCRAM–Three new incoming Town Board members and one current and continuing councilman all got welcome earfuls of information from about 75 town residents during the first of three Transition Planning meetings at the Town Hall December 14.

Supervisor-elect Art Bassin, newly-elected board members Madeleine Israel and Chris Thomas and Councilman James Miller wanted to know what Ancram residents think works and does not work about the way town government operates. Mr. Bassin noted that Councilman John MacArthur was at a fire company meeting and could not attend.

Read more…

Grant targets abandoned city homes

Housing Resources receives $250K to rehab, resell properties 

HUDSON–The recession has taken its toll on this region, but a new report from the Brookings Institution confirms what local real estate experts have said from the beginning of the economic downturn, that the home foreclosure rate in the Capital Region is low by national standards.

But the housing market has not escaped altogether, especially poorer neighborhoods. “We certainly have our share of abandoned and vacant homes,” Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera said this week. He said in some places neighborhoods are interrupted by several unoccupied homes in a row.

Read more…

Crash in Ghent sends two to hospitals

GHENT—Two people were injured in a head-on crash Friday morning on Route 203 near the intersection with Browning Hill Road.   

Chatham Rescue took one person to Albany Medical Center and the other to Columbia Memorial Hospital.  Both were later released.

Photos can be found at


A website for the Volunteer Firefighters of Columbia County


Judge will judge judge’s case

COPAKE–It may be December, but that peaceful Christmas spirit has not yet arrived at Town Hall.

Echoes of the recent contentious election season erupted at the December 12 Town Board meeting during a public hearing on proposed Local Law #3 of 2009, which would abolish the position of full-time court clerk and create the position of part-time court clerk. The new law would negate Local Law #1, approved by the board February 12, which created the full-time court clerk position. But the proposed law may have legal problems of its own, and the Town Board will is now seeking the help of a state judge to bring peace to the Land of Rural Charm.

Read more…

Fire in Copake destroys barn, kills cows

COPAKE—A fire that broke out at about 3 p.m. Thursday destroyed a barn and killed 35 to 40 milk cows at the Miller farm on Empire Road.Some cows were still in the barn as firefighters strove to put out the flames.

Televised reports said that neighbors and firefighters were able to lead many of the herd to safety, but some of the cows were afraid to leave the burning building.

At least six fire companies responded to the fire in the sub-freezing temperatures.

More details will follow.

Photos by David Lee.One of the Miller farm dairy cows wanders as her home burns behind her.