Race for Congress rests on absentees

CHATHAM—The outcome of the special election for Congress in the 20th District is too close to call even after all polls in the 10-county district reported, according to Albany area TV stations.
     Preliminary results showed Democrat Scott Murphy leading Republican James Tedisco by 59 votes, 77,344 to 77, 285, but there are reportedly more than 9,000 absentee ballots that must still be counted, and the deadline for receiving those ballots has not yet expired. Ballots from military personnel serving overseas do not have to arrive at local boards of elections for two weeks.
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Chatham has ‘poop scoop’ almost in the bag

CHATHAM—The Village Board is one step closer to creating a “poop scoop” law.
     At a public hearing Thursday, March 26, trustees discussed the wording of the law. The sticking point concerns whether the measure should require dog owners walking their pets in the village to remove their pets’ waste rather than allow owners to dispose of it in village garbage cans.
     Trustee Paul Chapman said he didn’t want the village public works department employees having to deal with waste. But also said he and DPW workers would rather have the waste in public garbage cans than on the lawns of public spaces, where crews can hit it while mowing the grass.
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Cascino trial closes with another eyewitness to dumping

HUDSON—The tone was contentious in state Supreme Court this week as Salvatore Cascino’s defense attorney, Dennis Schlenker, questioned his own witness, a former Copake Planning Board chairman. The witness did not appear to offer Mr. Cascino’s case much help, but instead supported the accounts of other eyewitnesses, who have observed large quantities of trash and other refuse being dumped on Mr. Cascino’s land in Copake.
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Village has poop, scoop and carry law nearly in the bag

CHATHAM—Village trustees reviewed the proposed “pooper scooper” law at their meeting Thursday, March 12. The draft law, which will be the subject of a public hearing Thursday, March 26, not only says that dog owners must pick up their pets’ waste, it also says they have to take it home with them.
     The proposed law states: “It shall be the responsibility of each dog owner… to remove any feces left by such dog on any sidewalk, gutter, street, public areas or privately owned property (other than the property of the dog owner) within the Village of Chatham.” The proposal also says that “every person, while walking a dog… in The Village of Chatham shall carry a device, commonly known as a ‘pooper scooper,’ or such other implements or materials, to be utilized for the purpose of removing the feces and for carrying of the same to the premise of the owner of the dog for proper disposal.”
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Local woman victimized by ‘Grandma’ phone scam

W.LEBANON–“Hi, Gramma,” the young man said to Dorothy DeBella last Monday. “What’s wrong,” she asked. The young man told her that he was in jail in Montreal, that he had accompanied a friend for a night in Canada, and that the friend had been carrying marijuana, discovered at a border check. He needed $2,500 wired to him immediately to get out of jail. “Please,” he begged her, “don’t tell anyone.”
     And like any grandmother, Mrs. DeBella moved heaven and earth to help her “grandson” in what has become known as the “Grandma scam.” At 9 p.m., when her “grandson” hadn’t made his promised call after she and her husband, Joseph, drove to Chatham in that day’s snowstorm to wire the money, she called her grandson on his cell phone. “‘What are you talking about?’ He thought I’d lost my mind,” she said. Then she called the State Police.

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