Hillsdale residents pack boxes for Thanksgiving dinners. On Saturday morning, November 21, dozens of volunteers gathered at the Hillsdale Firehouse to pack boxes of food to be distributed to families in need in the Roe Jan area. According to event organizer Betty White, there were 159 boxes packed for delivery. Pictured is Aubrey Proper, who has just finished transferring some groceries to one of the boxes. For her family, this has been a long-standing holiday tradition. Ms. White said Vernetta Moore, Teri Traver and Linda Miller helped organized and she thanked the IGA grocery store in Hillsdale, the Hillsdale Fire Company, Herrington’s Fuel, Stewart’s and the many private donors who have given generously of their time and money. Photo by David Lee

Mother charged with murder of her baby

LIVINGSTON—State Police in coordination with the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, arrested Tara J. Tomlin, 20, of Livingston for second degree murder, a class A-1 felony, November 28.

Ms. Tomlin allegedly placed her newborn baby boy in a plastic garbage bag in the dumpster behind the Bells Pond Xtra Mart in the early morning hours of November 27. Read more…

Ski slope developer plans to pull plug on project

COPAKE—The Berkshire Mountain Club, the $80-million, four-season resort project proposed for the base of the Catamount Ski Area will not go forward.

Plans for the project included three buildings with 153 hotel and time-share residential units, a spa, swimming pool, restaurant and retail space to be completed in three phases over 10 years. But developer Harry Freeman with Rock Solid Development, LLC, told The Columbia Paper Tuesday, November 24 that the legal challenges by project opponents have already caused the project to lose three construction seasons, a situation that now makes the project “untenable.”

And it appears that the lawsuits are not finished. Read more…

Dumpster yields tragic find

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State Police investigators including Bill Mulrein (r), confer with DA Czajka. The open dumpster, where the child’s body was found, is in the background. Photo by David Lee

LIVINGSTON–State Police found the dead body of a newborn baby boy in a garbage dumpster behind the Xtra Mart convenience store at the Bells Pond intersection where routes 9/23, 9, 9H/23 and 82 converge in Livingston, the morning after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 27 around 7:30.

An autopsy has revealed that the baby was murdered by asphyxiation. Read more…

Chatham: Budget’s dead! Long live the (other) budget

CHATHAM–The Town Board voted against the proposed budget at the regular meeting last week. The rejection of the proposal means that the $3.6-million preliminary budget goes into effect for the 2016 fiscal year that starts in January.

Supervisor Jesse DeGroodt said that that budget carries a 2.4% tax levy increase for residents in the town and a 1.4% increase for Chatham Village residents who live in the town.

The board held a public hearing during the November 19 meeting to override the state tax cap. Only Councilwoman and town Supervisor-elect Maria Lull voted against overriding the tax cap.

Read more…

Ancram finds it takes a town to revise a law

ANCRAM—During the season of giving thanks, this small rural town is taking stock of its many gifts.

On the top of this gift heap is an army of volunteers who make a lot of good things happen around here.

In recognition of these donors of their time and knowledge, town officials invited a bunch of them out for an evening of food, drink and a healthy dose of appreciation at The Pond restaurant November 15. Read more…