Tractor accident mars Ancram event

Bystanders and tractor pull event contestants rush to the aid of a tractor driver pinned beneath his tractor at Community Day in Ancram Saturday afternoon. Photo by Parry Teasdale

ANCRAM—Shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday, August 14, a tractor in the tractor pull event that was part of Ancram Community Day at the Town Hall lawn flipped over, seriously injuring the driver. A bystander identified the driver as Larry Saulpaugh of Livingston, although his identity could not be confirmed immediately.

The old Farmall tractor driven by Mr. Saulpaugh was pulling a sled of cement weights in the traditional contest when the front end of the tractor lifted into the air—a familiar sight in this event—but instead of dropping back down on the front wheels as is normally the case, the front end continued on its arc, with the tractor turning over completely and pinning Mr. Saulpaugh underneath.

Other contestants, bystanders and Ancram firefighters at the scene rushed to free him, quickly bringing in a large front loader that was standing by and one of the larger tractors competing in the event. After a few tense moments and at least one attempt that had rescuers shouting for a halt, the damaged tractor was moved aside.

The Ancram Fire Department Rescue truck arrived by 1 p.m. and the Community Rescue Squad arrived by about 10 minutes later.

Columbia County sheriff’s deputies assisted at the scene.

There was no word from officials on Mr. Saulpaugh ’s condition or where he was transported for treatment.



Test re-scores and library status occupy school board

CHATHAM–Schools Superintendent Cheryl Nuciforo reviewed test scores and coaching policies with the board at Tuesday night’s meeting. The state has changed standards used to grade tests students took during the last school year, so now the district, which originally had passing rates high as 80% is down in the 40% range.

The board also heard from many parents about a policy that allows students from the junior high to play on high school teams. The parents who attended the August 10 meeting wanted the policy to include wording that younger students would not displace older students returning to the team.

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Quilt traces threads of history

ANCRAM—A very old quilt will benefit the very young during the second annual Ancram Community Days celebration this weekend.

The 154-year-old red and white quilt, now called the Mary Moon Rockefeller quilt, was made by Mary Moon in 1856, when she was 19, the year of her marriage to Albert Rockefeller. The Rockefellers had two children, and Mrs. Rockefeller died at the age of 22 in 1859. Read more…

Ruling rescues river access

As state agencies dither, fate of homes, recreation hangs in balance

STUYVESANT–Columbia County has only six points of public access to the Hudson River, and until July 19 one of them–at Ferry Road in Stuyvesant–was threatened with closure by the state Department of Transportation.

On that day, after years of discussion, planning, promises and bureaucratic delays, an administrative order was issued by the DOT deferring any possible closing of Ferry Road until at least 2012. The order is a reprieve for the residents of Ferry Road, but it still leaves the future of their homes in limbo.

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New barber takes pole position

New Lebanon man cuts hair in a way that evokes a bygone era

SHAVE AND A HAIRCUT…Two bits! Well, not exactly, but the spirit behind that old jingle is alive and well in this town with the recent opening of Johnny’s Barber Shop, featuring master barber and proprietor John Le Barnes. In our digitized, fast-paced world, Johnny’s seeks to grant us a respite, a chance to converse with friends and neighbors and an opportunity to be pampered.

Johnny’s is a traditional men’s barber shop, not a salon. It is equipped with chairs and a shaving sink that date from the 1920s or ’30s, according to Mr. Le Barnes. An old fashioned barber’s pole graces the front of the shop, while on one wall a picture of Marilyn Monroe reminds us (at least us 50-somethings) of a very different, if not better time. And although Mr. Le Barnes employs a straight razor for a hot towel shave (or just a neck shave), unfortunately state law requires use of a disposable blade, so no stropping strap graces the side of the chair. Read more…