Play’s the thing in Ancram

ANCRAM–The people in charge of fun in town think that a new playground will go a long way toward raising the gauge on the town’s fun-o-meter.

Bob Wilcox, a member of the Ancram Youth Commission and a town justice, with several other commission members at his side, presented a recommendation and detailed plan for a new 6,000-square-foot playground at the April 17 Town Board meeting. Read more…

Claverack board park about to get rolling

CLAVERACK–The town is moving toward the completion of the skate board park at the Town Park. This project has been in process for years, and the concrete pad has finally been poured.

At this month’s Town Board meeting Mike Johnson, the board member liaison with the park, reported that town officials have received an offer from American Ramp Co. to finish the park at a 25% discount so that the company can use it as a model. The new design will be modular so it can be changed, moved and expanded.  Read more…

Murphy holds Buy Local ag event


WASHINGTON, DC–Congressman Scott Murphy (D-20th) will host a Buy Local Agricultural Conference Friday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tymor Park, 249 Duncan Road, in the Dutchess County community of Lagrangeville. Rep. Murphy will meet with farmers, consumers and community leaders to discuss different approaches and strategies to help local farms and agriculture businesses succeed in the global economy.

The conference will feature panel discussions, including Consumer Attitudes Toward Local Food, From Farm to Market, Educating Our Way to the Future of Agriculture, Local Milk & Beef, and How Broadband and Energy Will Benefit Farms of Tomorrow. In addition to the panels, Rep. Murphy and attendees will have the opportunity to visit with local farmers, vendors, agencies and other groups to view their products, and discuss ideas.

“Over the past two years, our region has been devastated by an economic recession that has taken a tremendous toll on our local farmers. By creating connections between farmers, consumers and community leaders, we can work together to create a better market for our produce and products, help our farming families grow their businesses… and provide all of Upstate New York with wholesome, healthy, home-grown food,” Mr. Murphy said in a press release.

Registration runs from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP to Jen Martin, (518)-581-8247 or . Registration is limited to 300.




Gordon to host Hudson River estuary forum Thursday

CASTLETON–Assemblyman Tim Gordon (I-108th) will hold a public forum to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 29, at the Castleton Boat Club, 92 Main Street discuss ideas and future plans for the Hudson River estuary. Castleton is on Route 9J just north of the Columbia County line.

Among the guests at “Our Hudson River: A Community Conversation” will be state Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Coordinator Fran Dunwell, who will present the 2010-12 Draft Action Agenda and will field questions from the community about the DEC’s vision for the river.

Other presenters and guests include Rene Van Schaak, a member of the Hudson River Management Advisory Board, and representatives from several community groups in the region.

Parking is available at the club as are docking facilities for those arriving by boat.


UPDATED: Hudson millionnaire bookkeeper is two-time winner

SCHENECTADY-Hannaford bookkeeper Linda Baker is a real numbers person. The 54-year-old mother of two and proud grandmother of one said even a lifetime of working with numbers could not prepare her for the shock of seeing “1 Million – Jackpot” printed under a winning number on her Lottery ticket.

“I scratched the winning numbers and then my numbers and matched (number) 7 so I knew I won something,” said the four-year Hannaford veteran. “Then, I scratched off the prize amount and saw the ‘1 Million – Jackpot’ and just started shaking. I called my son, but he thought it was a joke.”

Ms. Baker purchased her winning Big Money ticket on April 8 at the Hannaford supermarket on Route 9 in Valatie, where she works as a bookkeeper. After spending a sleepless night thinking about the $1,000,000 Big Money ticket she had hidden in a box on her dresser, Baker claimed her $1,000,000 prize the following day at the Lottery’s Customer Service Center in Fishkill. This was not the first time Ms. Baker claimed a sizable Lottery prize at this location. The self-described “prankster” won a $109,000 cash prize on the Lottery’s Take 5 drawing in 2003.

Ms. Baker plans to continue working. She likened her win on the Big Money instant game to getting a much-needed raise. “I can help my kids financially and pay off some of my own bills,” she said. “And, I can take my granddaughter to Disney just like I’ve always wanted.”

As with most New York Lottery instant tickets, the top prize on the Big Money instant game is paid as an annuity. Baker will receive her $1,000,000 prize as $50,000 a year for 20 years. Her annual net check will total $33,015.

Ms. Baker is the first Lottery player statewide to claim a top prize on the Big Money ticket since the game went on sale March 30, 2010. She is one of six Columbia County residents to claim a Lottery prize valued at $1,000,000 or more to date. Other Columbia County Lottery millionaires include:

  • Aleta Taro of Ghent who won a $3,600,000 Lotto jackpot in 1985
  • William Garrison, Jr. of Hudson who shared a $25,000,000 Lotto jackpot with 19 co-workers in 1997
  • Richard Abatecola of Hudson who won a $19,000,000 Lotto jackpot in 2005
  • Pamela Miles of Ancramdale who won $1,000,000 on the $500,000,000 Extravaganza instant game in 2007
  • Yvon Fortin of Hudson who won $1,000,000 on the Kamillion instant game in 2007

The New York Lottery continues to be North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery, earning more than $36.7 billion in education support statewide since its’ founding over 40 years ago. The Lottery contributed nearly $2.54 billion in fiscal year 2008-09 to help support education in New York State, which was over 12 percent of total state education funding to local school districts.