Region’s Red Cross opens doors to volunteers

KINDERHOOK–The tragic earthquake in Haiti may be almost 2,000 miles away, but even at the Red Cross of Northeastern New York offices in Albany the phone has been ringing off the hook with offers to help.

While the local office isn’t directly involved in sending volunteers to Haiti–that’s handled at the state and national level–the Red Cross nevertheless appreciates the offers, said Siobhan Kent, communications manager with the local chapter, which covers eight counties in the Capital District, including Columbia and Greene. Read more…

Police: Dairy farmer kills himself and 51 cows

COPAKE—Livingston State Police report that Dean Pierson, 59, a local dairy farmer for many years, shot and killed himself in his dairy barn at 121 Weed Mine Road, Thursday, January 21.

Before killing himself, State Police say, Mr. Pierson shot and killed 51 head of dairy cattle in the barn.

Televised reports say Mr. Pierson left a note on the milkhouse door, which said not to enter, just to call police.

Trooper Charles Buttenhoff was dispatched to the barn by Columbia County 911. He found Mr. Pierson dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Police say, Mr. Pierson was despondent over personal issues.

An autopsy took place at Albany Medical Center Friday, January 22.

An investigation into Mr. Pierson’s death, headed by State Police Investigator Kelly Taylor, is ongoing.

Other responding officers were Captain Scott Brown, Sergeant Kimberly Adriance and Investigator Abdul Weed.

Fire district takes heat

Local group asks court to block sale of historic home

ANCRAM–The Stiehle house was recently sold to the Ancram Fire District, but the Ancram Preservation Group says the transaction was a breach of contract and has filed a lawsuit against both the seller and the buyer to get the deal undone.

Chairman of the Ancram Fire District’s Board of Fire Commissioners Terry Boyles told The Columbia Paper Tuesday, January 19, that he would have no comment on the matter until the litigation had run its course.

The humble, two-story, grimy-yellowish Stiehle house has stood sentinel at the east end of this hamlet at the crossroads of state Route 82 and county Route 7 since sometime in the first half of the 18th century, according to the website for the Ancram Preservation Group (APG). Read more…

Meadowgreens lost to fire

Meadowgreens, a popular restaurant and entertainment spot at 1242 Route 9H in Ghent, was gutted by fire Thursday, January 21. Photo by Lance Wheeler.W.GHENT–The Meadowgreens Restaurant at 1242 Route 9H was gutted by fire Thursday, January 21.

A passerby reported the blaze to 911 at 4:10 a.m. West Ghent firefighters and the Greenport Rescue Squad were immediately called to the scene. Arriving firefighters reported flames visible through the roof.

Mutual aid was called in from Stottville, Stockport, Ghent, Stuyvesant, Claverack and Valatie with its ladder truck. Stuyvesant Falls and Greenport stood by. The Sheriff’s Office, County Fire and Emergency Medical Services coordinators and New York State Electric and Gas crews were all on the scene.

West Ghent firefighters and the Cause and Origin Team were still on the fire scene as of late Thursday afternoon trying to determine the cause.


Popular movie theater owner dies

Tony Quirino owned historic Crandell Theatre in Chatham

CHATHAM–The marquee of the Crandell Theatre is still lighted on Main Street even though the man normally standing at the ticket booth is no longer there. Anthony Quirino Jr., better known as Tony, died suddenly Sunday. He was 62.

Mr. Quirino’s father, Anthony Sr., bought the Crandell in the 1960s, but Tony owned and operated the theater for the last 25 years. He did just about everything at the theater from selling tickets to running the projector to cleaning up. He and his wife, Sandy, who worked concessions, were there most every night. Read more…