Hudson Valley News | WAMC

Hudson Valley News

Authorities say an upstate New York police chief has admitted he knew about sex crimes against underage victims but didn't do anything about it. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has more…

Ulster County District Attorney D. Holley Carnright said Tuesday that town of Ulster Chief Matthew Taggard pleaded guilty to a charge of official misconduct. He was suspended in June and retired in September.

The City of Peekskill will issue a request for proposals for a new operator to run its Paramount Theatre, which was closed recently by the current non-profit organization, the Paramount Center for the Arts.

“The city is being very aggressive in protecting this vital community asset while we seek out a viable proposal to turn this theater into the economic juggernaut it really should be,” said Mayor Mary Foster.

She said whoever takes over the operation, would be required to offer a wide array of entertainment.

Candidates for the New York State Senate got a chance to meet Ulster County business leaders at a Chamber of Commerce debate held in Kingston Tuesday morning.

Little disagreement was heard from the speakers on topics including casino gambling, mandate reform, and property tax relief. Each expressed support for small businesses, and promised bipartisan cooperation in the state legislature

When the property tax bill comes next year, Ulster County residents won't be spared any pain. But under a new law, the government will be required to tell you where it hurts.

The Taxpayer Relief Insert, announced by county officials Tuesday afternoon, contains an itemized receipt of sorts – as opposed to a mere I.O.U.

The information is designed to show a breakdown of the property tax levy, particularly in terms of unfunded mandates such as Safety Net (welfare) costs, pensions, and related issues beyond local control.

Special Advisor to the Governor on the Tappan Zee Bridge Project Brian Conybeare and Civic Engineer Mark Roche provided an update on the status of a new Tappan Zee Bridge at a session in Sleepy Hollow Monday evening.

“Most people just want information,” Conybeare said.   “They want to be able to ask questions and learn about the project. We’re here to give out the latest updated information on where the project stands and hopefully make them comfortable with what is obviously a pretty big project.”

The Newburgh City Council stood out openly against City Manager Richard Herbek on Monday night, with three of five council members saying or implying that they would at the very least not renew his contract, which expires in January. Whether or not he will be terminated for being sighted in his car with an alleged drug addict and prostitute is still being discussed.

Mayor Judy Kennedy said the matter was "problematic to the city.

Four days after Newburgh City Manager Richard Herbek was stopped in his car with a woman he said was a heroin addict, he has quit.

Herbek told Mayor Judy Kennedy on Sunday that he was resigning.

After the traffic stop last Wednesday, Herbek told that he was helping her kick the drug habit and that he was offering her counseling.  The following day, Kennedy said Herbek would have decisions to make, but she did not elaborate.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sued a Queens beauty school, claiming it convinced hundreds of students to pay course fees but failed to train them as nail specialists. WAMC's Dave Lucas has more...

The suit, filed this week, names Tinny Beauty Inc. and two of its officers, saying it used ads in Chinese-language newspapers distributed across New York State, as well as word-of-mouth advertsing to find and mislead students about obtaining nail specialty licenses. Fees charged ranged from $350 to $500.

A major construction project in Ulster County will come to a screeching halt next month - all because of a fish. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas explains.

Officials say the lengthy re-building of Kingston's Abeel Street with new sidewalks, curbing and traffic signals will encounter a seasonal delay: the multi-million dollar improvement project will be on hiatus through April.

Four weeks of campaigning and one less candidate have tightened the race in the 18th Congressional District - which includes parts of Westchester and Dutchess counties, as well as all of Putnam County and Orange County. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports on the results from the latest Siena Poll...

Jobs rose by 7,000 in the Hudson Valley for the 12 months ending in September. That’s a 0.9 percent increase. The largest gain was in the Putnam-Rockland-Westchester Metropolitan Statistical Area at 1.3 percent.

The Dutchess-Orange Metro Area grew by 0.5 percent while the Ulster County Metro Area jobs fell by 0.4 percent.

In non-metro areas, Sullivan County experienced no job growth in September while Columbia County fell by 0.6 percent and Greene County fell by one percent.

U.S. Senate

A new bakery is being hailed as economic shot-in-the-arm for the town of Ulster - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer announced this week that Bread Alone, Inc. & Largay, LLC have been jointly awarded a Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan for a total of 4-point-6 Million Dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. This funding will be used to acquire a 26-thousand square foot facility at 2105 Ulster Avenue, which will be converted into a commercial bakery and retail outlet.

Three firefighters have been suspended after it was discovered funds were missing from a fire company in Columbia County... more from WAMC's Dave Lucas

Officials say three officers with the C.H. Evans Ladder Company No. 3 are under investigation after thousands of dollars went missing from the incorporated nonprofit organization. The exact amount of missing money has NOT been disclosed:

The Dutchess County Board of Elections on Tuesday tossed the election of Maureen Natrella as chairwoman of the County Conservative Committee. She was elected in a special session of the committee, which was challenged by committeeman and former Board of Elections commissioner David Gamache.

It will now be up to the State Conservative Committee, headed by long time Chairman Michael Long, to name a new chair. Gamache said he supports former Dutchess Chairwoman Patricia Killian for her old post.

 Mayor Randy Casale has introduced an $18.1 million budget for Beacon in 2013. The city is at the two percent state tax cap, but residential property taxes will increase by 7.37 percent per thousand and non-residential will rise 5.3 percent.

Like all other communities, Beacon faces reduced revenues in sales taxes and mortgage taxes, but at the same time, employee pension costs will rise 15 percent, at $66,000.

Casale plans to defund vacant police officer positions.

Profits from Hot dogs, salty pretzels and soda pop sold at a hot dog stand became a financial engine that launched a health-oriented nonprofit - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has the story...

In 2010, Jon Salkin restored an original New York City bicycle-wheel hot dog cart... he set up his business along historic Warren Street in Hudson... as they say, the rest is history.

The issues at the several days of hearings that began on Monday may be more technical than in the past, but the arguments being bantered about are nothing new. Opponents say Indian Point is a serious threat and must be shut down. Supporters say the plant is safe and supports the local economy with jobs and at the plant and in the surrounding communities.

The hearings that began on Monday may run for weeks, but not everyone on both sides will be formally heard.

Metro-North Railroad riders will be paying anywhere from 8.19 percent to 9.31 percent more for a ticket should a proposal for fare and toll hikes unveiled Monday be approved.

The actual amount of the increase will depend on the distance traveled with discounts for traveling during less busy off-peak times.

Discounted monthly or weekly unlimited-ride tickets are available, as are one-way and round-trip tickets, discounted if bought as 10-trip tickets.

All tickets are less expensive if purchased at a train station but more expensive if purchased on a train.

A collective of agencies, institutions and individuals is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to prevent hundreds of acres of pristine land in Columbia County from falling into the hands of developers. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Officials have their fingers crossed that the federally-supported Forest Legacy Program will help a band of groups including the Columbia Land Conservancy, Darrow School and the Berkshire Farm Center and Services For Youth, permanently protect 13-hundred-ten acres located in Canaan and New Lebanon.

A technical discussion about how to predict corrosion dominated  the first day of hearings on new licenses for a nuclear plant in the New York suburbs. More from WAMC’s Dave Lucas…

Federal hearings are set to begin today on whether the Indian Point nuclear plant in Buchanan should be re-licensed for another 20-years. Environmental groups and the state of New York have assembled 10 challenges to the renewal. Riverkeeper held a briefing this morning on the Indian Point relicensing process...  Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

For the last month, 5,000 meals are prepared and served to every Poughkeepsie City School District student who wanted one. It is part of a new federal program funding breakfast and lunch for every student is that district regardless of family income.

District Food Services Director Al Muhlnickel said they are preparing a wide array of delicious meals that the kids are enjoying.

 Hundreds marched dressed in red colors and the native costumes of Poland, to the monument in Poughkeepsie's Pulaski Park, to celebrate Pulaski Day, in honor of Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski, known as “father of the American cavalry.”

The event takes place on the second Sunday of each October, to remember the immigrant general whose skill and bravery on the battlefield proved decisive for several important battles in the fight for our nation's independence.

..::WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas::..

An audit and investigation by the New York State Comptroller into the financial activities of a local Fire Company has ended in an arrest ... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports...

Researchers are following the travels of two invasive species of insects as they make their way up the Hudson Valley - they're looking for citizen scientists to help track the creatures: Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

With the days growing shorter and evenings cooler, two species of insect join many others looking to use our homes as temporaty shelters to increase their chance of survival.

A week before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board begins several weeks of hearings in Westchester County concerning the relicensing of the Indian Point nuclear power plants, a number of pro-Indian Point people urged the relicensing.

Arthur “Jerry” Kremer, chairman of New York AREA, John Kelly, a retired director of licensing at Indian Point, a Westchester business leader and a former CEO of an independent system operator, all said Indian Point is safe, provides the electricity needed for the region, and is an economic engine.

Several top state and local leaders sailed aboard the Rip Van Winkle tour boat Thursday morning, as Governor Andrew Cuomo kicked off his economic development tour of the Hudson Valley with a visit to Kingston's downtown historic district.

Cuomo was joined on his Hudson River voyage by Ulster County Executive Michael Hein, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo, Lt. Governor Robert Duffy, and a host of other officials from various organizations.

A small water park would be added to a landmarked amusement park north of New York City under a newly announced proposal. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports.

New York Senate Democrats are quietly pinning their hopes on an underdog campaign in a new legislative district drawn by Republicans specifically to protect their Senate majority. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports.

For Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk the task is daunting against George Amedore a veteran assemblyman. He had been considered a sure thing under the Republicans' redistricting plan. The Senate's 63rd seat carefully snakes from Montgomery County to Ulster County.

Sandra Fluke, thrust into national prominence when Republicans blocked her from testifying before a House Committee, and who was subsequently attacked by talk show pundit Rush Limbaugh, was in the area giving enthusiastic support to Democrat House candidate Sean Patrick Maloney.  

Polls show Maloney is in a very close contest with incumbent Republican Nan Hayworth for the 18th District seat.

Both Fluke and Maloney found Hayworth an easy target, especially on women’s issues.