Undersheriff position left open by Dunspaugh’s exit

HUDSON—Acting Undersheriff Mark Dunspaugh is returning to his former position as an investigator for the county Sheriff’s Office. According to a statement from Sheriff David Bartlett, “Former Undersheriff Dunspaugh chose to revert back to his former position, where he is a huge asset as an investigator. Anyone who has worked in a law enforcement agency, or any government agency, knows that this happens from time to time.”

His statement goes on to say, “I’ve decided to temporarily keep the position vacant because we already have a shortage of deputies and promoting anyone up now would be removing coverage on the streets.” Read more…

Columbia County Democrats elect new chair


ELECTION 2021


Newly appointed Columbia County Democratic Chairperson Sam Hodge. Photo contributed

CLAVERACK — The Columbia County Democratic Committee (CCDC) met on September 23 at the Claverack Free Library for their Biennial Organizational Meeting and were charged with electing a new chairperson. Keith Kanaga, the outgoing chair, declined to seek another term. After a round of speeches, Sam Hodge, 35, was unanimously elected to become CCDC’s new chair.

Mr. Hodge, a lifelong Democrat, has always been politically engaged and active. He founded his high school’s young Democrats group, started a gay rights organization at his college campus and moved up the ranks of the College Democrats of America, becoming the national political director during the 2008 campaign.

Outside of politics, Mr. Hodge served as an assistant district attorney in Bronx County for nearly seven years, where he prosecuted violent crimes, including sexual assault and child abuse cases.

“I’m the product of public school teacher parents, so I learned quickly the power of public service and the importance of civic engagement,” said Mr. Hodge in a press release. “I’m humbled to have the trust and support of the Columbia County Democrats.” Read more…

Village treasurer pleads guilty, pays fine

CHATHAM—Former Village of Chatham Treasurer Barbara Henry, 60, was convicted of attempted official misconduct for her role in the theft of village funds. She pleaded guilty to unlawfully waiving her own health insurance premiums at the village’s expense. According to a release from District Attorney Paul Czajka, this was “a benefit to which she was not entitled,” and it cost the village more than $1,000 “it did not owe.”

Ms. Henry was in court in the village on September 22 before the Town of Chatham Judge James Borgia-Forster, who also imposed a $250 fine in addition to the full restitution. Attorney Andrew Safranko of Albany represents Ms. Henry. She did not speak in court other than as part of her guilty plea.

According to a release from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office, Ms. Henry paid “$3,586 in restitution for scamming the village health insurance premiums and stealing from her other employer Cadmus Lifesharing Association.”

The state police charged Ms. Henry on March 17, 2021 with taking $4,182.37 in public funds between April 2017 and 2018 by falsely altering public records pertaining to health insurance premiums retained by the village. Read more…

Pandemic leads to Rapid Care hours cut

COPAKE—If you are sick or hurt and think you should go to the Copake Rapid Care Center, first you better check the day and time.

As of October 1, Columbia Memorial Health (CMH) will cut the hours its Rapid Care Center at 283 Mountain View Road is open.

The new hours are Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The center was previously open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Read more…

¡Hola vecinas!

On September 19, Columbia County Sanctuary Movement and the Hudson Tourism Board hosted the first Latinx Parade and Festival celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Pictured are some of the performers at the festival. According to the organizers over 1,000 people attended the event at Henry Hudson Riverfront Park in Hudson. For more information see the press release on Page 24 of print issue. Photo contributed