Chatham endorses new comprehensive plan

(NOTE: This is an updated version of a story that appeared on this website last week.)

CHATHAM–After five years of discussion and debate the town joined a growing list of local municipalities that have adopted new comprehensive plans.

The board unanimously approved the latest draft of the plan Thursday evening, August 20, following a 25-minute public hearing. One member of the board, Beth Ann Rippel, was not present at the meeting, but town Supervisor Jesse DeGroodt said she also supports the plan.

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Miller sentenced a second time in Gropp murder case

HUDSON—Columbia County Judge Paul Czajka sentenced Mickey Miller to seven years in prison and five years of post release supervision in county court the morning of August 26.
It was the second time Mr. Miller was sentenced after pleading guilty to second degree attempted robbery in connection with the 2004 home invasion that led to the slaying of fruit farmer Henry Gropp.
His first conviction was overturned by the state Appellate Division Court May 7.
In court Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney David Costanzo asked the judge to set the above-mentioned sentence, defense attorney Veronica M. Kosich agreed and Mr. Miller had nothing to say in his own behalf.
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Judge sues judge

New Leb justice alleges a conspiracy against her court

NEW LEBANON–The long-simmering battle in the town’s justice court–hinted at in board minutes, overheard in conversations, recognized in an ethics committee report–went public last week when the junior justice, Darcy Poppey, filed a civil action in state Supreme Court alleging a “conspiracy” aimed at her court by the whole Town Board and other officials.

The officials call the charges “baseless,” and one official named in the suit says she fears for her safety.

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Copake board finds ways to agree except on the deficit

COPAKE–Though the town supervisor was out of town, there was no shortage of official action taken at the August 13 Town Board meeting.

The abundance of unanimous votes was uncharacteristic and covered everything from declaring that no town financial records may ever be taken out of the Town Hall to supporting a town resident in her fight to save a row of evergreen trees.

But anyone who came to the meeting expecting to find out exactly how much of a budget shortfall the town faces and what the board plans to do about it was disappointed.

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Investors don’t get New Leb ‘swingers ranch’ joke

NEW LEBANON–First it was the strip club that wasn’t, now it’s a swingers club that isn’t.

An August 12 story in the New York Daily News first reported that Milton “Todd” Ault III, a California investor, is being sued by several hedge funds that invested in his firm, Zealous, Inc., accusing him of putting their $4.2 million investments into porn and a planned “swingers ranch” here. The lawsuit, which erroneously puts New Lebanon in “the Catskills,” says the facility was planned for a site on Wadsworth Road.

The suit, filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, and the news story that reported it put the town on the map. A Google search found the story has been picked up on sites all over the world.

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