Fire in Claverack leaves two homeless

CLAVERACK–Fire ripped through a ranch-style home here this afternoon (Tuesday.) Firefighters from Claverack, Churchtown, Greenport and Fire in ClaverackMellenville were able to keep the flames confined to the house.

A recently opened Mexican restaurant, the Coyote Flaco, is next door to the house. It received only smoke damage.

The home, at 6034 Route 9H/23, is believed to be the home of two of the employees of the restaurant, according to sources at the scene. The blaze left them homeless. The Red Cross has been called to the scene to provide assistance.

Columbia County’s Cause and Origin team is investigating the cause.



Looking for fish through a hole in the ice

COPAKE –I used to think cabin fever or perhaps a nagging wife drove men out to fish on frozen lakes, but a trip on skis around Copake Lake and Lake Taghkanic on a recent sunny but cold Monday disabused me of that idea. These are people who love the outdoors as much as they like the taste of fresh fish.

The ice fishing season runs from January into March, depending on the weather and the thickness of the ice. This day it was 10 inches thick, but fishing sites say it’s safe to venture out on ice half that thick. Read more…

Valatie woman wins $10,000 in the state lottery

SCHENECTADY—Krystle Laraway of Valatie won $10,000 in the New York Lottery, according to a release. Ms. Laraway won on the Lottery’s Cashword Doubler instant game. Her winning ticket was purchased at the Hannaford at 2967 Route 9 in Valatie.

The release said that lottery prizes up to $600 may be cashed at any of the Lottery’s 16,000 licensed retailers statewide. Lottery prizes valued at $601 to $999,999 may be claimed at any of the Lottery’s seven stand-alone Customer Service Centers located in Buffalo; Rochester; Syracuse; Schenectady; Fishkill; Manhattan; and Garden City, and within any of the Lottery’s eight gaming facilities including Saratoga Gaming & Raceway; Monticello Gaming & Raceway; Tioga Downs Casino; Batavia Downs Casino; Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway; Fairgrounds Gaming & Raceway; Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack; and Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel.

Prizes of $1,000,000 or more must be claimed at one of the Lottery’s seven stand-alone offices listed above.


Fire ratings rumors leave chief feeling burned

CLAVERACK–The organization that determines fire risk ratings has lowered the rating a notch for part of the town effective May 1 of this year in a move that could increase fire insurance costs for some residents. But West Ghent Fire Chief Jim Cesternino told the Town Board this month that his fire company has taken steps to reverse that risk-rating change.

The issue came up at the monthly Claverack Town Board Meeting February 3 with a report that ISO, the Insurance Services Office, Inc., a private firm that establishes fire risk ratings used by insurance companies, has lowered the rating from 5 to 6 for the part of the town covered by the West Ghent Fire Company. The ratings are on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is the best rating. West Ghent, in the neighboring Town of Ghent, received a rating of 5. The lower rating for properties in Claverack could lead to higher costs for fire insurance. Read more…

Canaan woman stays on the run, literally

CAANAN–On September 25, 925 athletes from across the country will compete in the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Canaan resident Joanna Ezinga will be among them.

One of only 312 women to compete in this prestigious event, Ms. Ezinga, 59, qualified for the race by finishing third in her age category at the Danskin Woman’s Triathlon, a sprint triathlon, and first in her age bracket at Lake George, an Olympic-distance triathlon – both USAT sanctioned qualifying events. A “sprint” consists of a half-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride and a 5-kilometer run. An Olympic-distance triathlon is double that. Read more…