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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Flash flood warning issued for county

ALBANY–The National Weather Service in albany has issued a flash flood warning for Columbia County, including the City of Hudson and Village of Chatham. The warning also includes eastern Greene County and the Village of Catskill. It will remain in effect until 4:15 p.m. Friday, July 31.

At 12:10 p.m. National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated flash flooding from heavy showers and  embedded thunderstorms over the warned area. Locations in the warning include but are not limited to Valatie, Philmont, New Lebanon, Kinderhook and Austerlitz.

Additional rainfall amounts of one to two inches are possible in the warned area. Many of these locations received two to seven inches of rainfall on Wednesday. This new rainfall will increase further flooding as the showers repeatedly move over the same area.

Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, highways and underpasses. Additionally, country roads and farmlands along the banks of creeks streams and other low-lying areas are subject to flooding.

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Doc probes mystery of chronic Lyme disease


County urges awareness to avoid ‘devastating’ illness

KINDERHOOK–Who was that psychiatrist and why does he want so much local blood?

   The blood–8 tubes from each of the 150 volunteers who showed up at Town Hall in Niverville and at the Livingston Town Hall Sunday, July 12, is being used for a research project under the direction of Brian A. Fallon, MD, the director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at the Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan. The donors are adults who have been diagnosed with or believe they’ve had Lyme disease. The blood samples were collected here and in Dutchess County, Norwalk, Conn., and Basking Ridge, N.J., and researchers hope that combined with the health histories of the volunteers, the samples will provide the raw material for future development of tests for the illness and for new treatments for chronic Lyme disease.


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Deluge causes states of emergency in 4 towns; residents advised to boil water

GREENPORT—The Columbia County towns of Kinderhook, New Lebanon, Stuyvesant and Chatham have all declared States of Emergency.
   Travel within those townships is restricted.
   Standing water is present on several main and secondary roads.  Motorists should not travel through the water and are advised that if they encounter standing water, they should turn around safely and seek alternate routes of travel.
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Valatie students bring theater to life

VALATIE–This weekend a group of high school students from the village will present a musical cabaret at the Valatie Community Theatre on Main St. The show is the creation of Mike Sykes and Karolyn Eberhardt, and the participants share a variety of experience in local and school theatre.

   The group of 22 teenagers is directed by Mike Sykes, a senior at Ichabod Crane High School. This is Mike’s second year directing the cabaret at the theater. Mike has been involved in musical theatre since the age of seven, when he began directing plays in the basement of his home. He says theater’s board appreciates the work the students do to bring the Valatie Theatre to life.

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