Four county crows have West Nile

HUDSON—Four crows found in Craryville, Valatie and Greenport have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Columbia County Department of Health, which received the test results from the state Department of Health, September 3.
As of July 31, only 1 case of human West Nile Virus has been reported in the state—in the Bronx.
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New Lebanon justice suit postponed

NEW LEBANON—A state court hearing on the suit brought by Town Justice Darcy Poppey and the countermotions filed by senior Town Justice Shaun McHugh, Court Clerk Marianne Renfro and Town Attorney Jason Shaw was postponed last Thursday, August 20.
The new date is next Thursday, September 3, according to Town Attorney Jason Shaw.
Although not named in the suit, Justice McHugh and Clerk Renfro are petitioning to be allowed to “intervene” in the case.
Ms. Poppey’s request that the court immediately increase the salary of Deputy Court Clerk Diane Brown pending determination of the case was denied by presiding state Supreme Court Judge Patrick J. McGrath. He heard the case at the Columbia County Courthouse in Hudson.
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District makes plans for fewer bus routes

CHATHAM–With the first day of school only two weeks away, board members discussed bus routes and construction on district buildings at their Tuesday August 25 meeting.

The board is also accepting applications through today, Thursday August 27, from district residents who wish to be considered for appointment to a vacant seat on the nine-member school board.

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Copake cuts deficit, imposes new tax

COPAKE–It took two hours of wading line by line through the latest revenue and spending projections, but in the end the Town Board, with the guidance of its accountant, Michael Torchia, whittled an estimated $200,000 budget deficit down to $80,000 at a special budget workshop meeting August 19.

By the end of the meeting, a majority of board members decided to make up the shortfall by borrowing the money and instituting a one-time “negative fund balance elimination tax” based on the assessed value of property in the town.

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Plant stubs out closing rumor

Ancram Mill exec says smoking paper plant plans to remain open and busy

ANCRAM–Recent layoffs at the Ancram Paper Mill have provoked speculation about what the future holds for the historic mill that has been a fixture of the community and landscape along the Roeliff Jan Kill for 266 years.

Fears of closure are unfounded, says the mill manager, who condemns rumors about the mill’s impending demise and is working to revive business in new ways. The latest layoffs may only be temporary.

The current state and ultimate fate of the mill, owned by Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc., is not a topic of conversation limited only to company employees. The topic was openly discussed near the end of the Ancram Town Board’s August 20 meeting.

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