AG charges former judge with grand larceny, misconduct

ALBANY—Former Stockport Town Justice James Funk faces criminal charges brought by State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo for allegedly taking $27,000 in fees and bail money from a court bank account for personal use.
   Mr. Funk, 47, of Stockport was charged with one count of third degree grand larceny, a class D felony; one count of first degree falsifying business records, a class E felony; and one count of official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor, August 4.
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Comprehensive planners extend survey deadline, meet with special interest groups

COPAKE—Because there are still groups of people in the town who have not filed a response to the Comprehensive Plan survey, the town Comprehensive Plan Committee has extended the deadline for completing the survey until Labor Day.
   “We have been pleased by the response to the survey, but as we have begun to tabulate the results we see that there are certain groups in the town from whom we have yet to hear,” Committee Chair Jeanne Mettler said in a press release.
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Spruce down: Supes poised to axe evergreens

COPAKE–Time may have run out for a row of 70-foot-tall Norway spruce trees.

   County officials say they impede visibility along a 153-foot curved section of county Routes 7A (Center Hill Road) and 7, where a long-awaited county highway improvement project is planned.

   The county Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote in August on whether to move forward with eminent domain proceedings to seize the slice of land on which the trees stand. Once the land is seized, the 45 trees, or at least some of them, would then be removed to improve the sight distance around the Mountain View Road/Center Hill Road intersection as part of the road rehabilitation project.

   But Susan Winchell-Sweeney, the owner of the property and the trees in question, believes the county can solve the sight distance issue without taking her trees and for a fraction of the cost.

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Rain, prices dampen farms’ future


Local dairy operations hit by drops in US and export markets and from the sky

CHATHAM–Dairy farming in Columbia County is in the midst of what Eric Ooms, co-owner of the 400-cow Oomsdale Farm here, calls “a perfect storm.” And while politicians from Albany to Washington propose a raft of remedies, the situation doesn’t look like it will improve any time soon.

   The first factor is the current price farmers receive for fluid milk–$12.15 per hundredweight for June milk, Mr. Ooms . That’s the lowest it’s been in about 20 years and a 39% decrease in just one year. The website for the state’s senior U.S. Senator, Chuck Schumer (D), says that for the approximately 40 county dairy farms milking an average of 175 cows each, the milk price translates to a loss of about $693,000 a month.


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