New charges in Sidney drug raid; Bonacci's wife arrested

Left: Brittany M. Bonacci. Via the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. 

Delaware County Sheriff's Officers have arrested the 24-year-old wife of a 43-year-old man accused of dealing drugs in Sidney, and have charged him, his wife and his mother with additional felonies, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

Police raided the Sidney home of Gabriel V. Bonacci on Friday, Oct. 17 and arrested him, his mother, Donna M. Bonacci, and four other people on charged related to drug dealing.

On Wednesday, Oct. 22, police arrested Gabriel's wife, 24-year-old Brittany M. Bonacci of Sidney, and charged her with felony possession of cocaine with intent to sell. They also charged her with felony possession of a stun gun.

Police have also charged Gabriel Bonacci with three more felonies, two for drug possession and one for possession of a stun gun.  Read more

Woodstock man arrested for robbery of Hess station

Above: An image of the robber distributed by the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

Twenty-six-year-old Cassidy L. B. Buckley was arrested early on Friday, Oct. 24 on charges of robbing a Hess Mart in the Town of Ulster on Wednesday, Oct. 22, according to a press release from the Ulster County Sheriff's Department.

Following up on a tip, detectives received a search warrant for Buckley's Woodstock residence, and searched the home early Friday morning. They reportedly found enough evidence to charge him with the Hess robbery, as well as stolen firearms from another robbery. That robbery is being investigated by another police department.

Buckley was charged with felony robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, and grand larceny. He was also charged with two misdemeanors for the stolen firearms.

Buckley was arraigned in Woodstock Town Court and was remanded to the Ulster County Jail in on $100,000 cash bail.  Read more

This weekend: Halloween in the Catskills, Part 1

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Above: A promo for Haunted Huguenot Street, New Paltz's annual spookfest, featuring "Mrs. Gertrude Deyo-Brodhead’s infamous Murder Mystery parties at the Deyo House." Tours, spirit readings and ghost stories all weekend.  

It’s the darkening evening of the year, and the veil between the worlds has thinned. Venture out into the mountains and valleys for some resonant Halloween fun, costumed or otherwise, beginning this weekend. There’s a little of everything going on, whether you’re looking for pumpkins and not-too-scary spirits for the little guys, contemplative historic ghost-walks, or smokin’ hot dance parties into the wheeee hours.

Here’s our guide to the fearsome and frolicsome times for Oct. 24 - Oct. 26. We'll have another one next week, to cover the many festivities scheduled across the Catskills for Halloween itself. 

DELAWARE COUNTY  Read more

Abandoned car sparks search for Pennsylvania shooter in Bovina

A stolen Pennsylvania car that was found abandoned in the small Catskills town of Bovina caused a massive police search for possible connections to fugitive Eric Matthew Frein on Wednesday, Oct. 22. Police say that there is no confirmed link to Frein, and no imminent danger to residents in the rural Delaware County area around Bovina.

Frein, who is accused of shooting two Pennsylvania state police officers on Sept. 12, one of them fatally, is on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list.

Above: Detail from the FBI's Wanted notice on Frein.

There is no direct evidence that Frein has anything to do with the car, according to Delaware County Sheriff Tom Mills.

"We just wanted to err on the side of caution," Mills said.  Read more

Suspect wanted for armed robbery of Hess station in the Town of Ulster

Above: An image of the suspect in a robbery of a Hess Mart in the town of Ulster. Via the Ulster County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

Police are searching for a suspect who robbed a Hess Station in the town of Ulster on Wednesday, Oct. 22, according to a press release from the Ulster County Sheriff's Office. The man is described as a white male in his twenties wearing a black leather jacket and a hoodie, according to the press release.

The suspect allegedly entered the Hess Mart at 841 Ulster Ave. at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday night and, after chatting with the clerk, brandished a handgun and demanded cash and cigarettes, according to the press release. He then fled on foot toward Lay Street.

Police have released a photo of the suspect taken from the store's security cameras, which you can see above. 

Zephyr: Farm-to-table dining breezes into Pine Hill

Above: Zephyr's signature breakfast dish, the Carrot (Pan)Cake Stack. Three large carrot cake batter pancakes, frosted with cream cheese and festooned with candied pecans. Photo by Janel Bladow.

It took Michael and Amelia Hegeman eight years to find the perfect spot to open Zephyr, their new farm-to-table restaurant. The first time the couple set eyes on the 100-year-old building in the Ulster County hamlet of Pine Hill that is now Zephyr's home, they thought, “no way.”

“It had taken a lot of abuse,” said Hegeman, Zephyr's chef and owner.

Left: Michael Hegeman. Via Zephyr's website. 

But, with help from Amelia's family, the Hegemans bought the building in May, renovated it, and opened Zephyr for breakfast and lunch in August. Over Labor Day weekend, they expanded to dinner. Now the restaurant is open Thursday to Monday, serving all three meals.

The new restaurant and its emphasis on local food has been embraced by its mountainside community. Hegeman said that diners return regularly; sometimes, more than once a day.

“We do have people who come in for breakfast and then return that evening for dinner,” he said.

“All from scratch”  Read more

Sharing school services is on the table again in western Catskills

Above: Andes Central School's tiny graduating class of 2014. Photo by Joe Damone of Joe Damone Photography

A long-stalled conversation about sharing school services is being revived at a meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 22 in the Delaware County village of Margaretville, prompted by the departure of Margaretville Central School's superintendent this fall. 

The meeting, initially intended as a discussion about Margaretville's next superintendent, has become an impromptu regional summit on the painful issue of rising costs and declining enrollment in Catskills schools. Officials from four Catskills school systems in three counties will attend. 

No one in Margaretville has seriously considered sharing services since 2010, when a proposal to share sports teams with the neighboring Andes Central School caused an uproar.   Read more

This Weekend: Zombie Run 5K and Scare Fair

Above: Photo by Daniel Hollister of ThatZombiePhoto.com. 

Everyone knows that you run faster when you're being pursued by ravenous zombies. And there will be zombies galore at the Blenheim-Gilboa Visitor's Center in Blenheim this Saturday to scare 5K runners into performing at their personal best.

The Zombie Run 5K is a fundraiser for the Middleburgh Library--for $25, both runners and zombies are invited to participate. Come in costume or pay $5 extra for on-site zombification.  Read more

Cops arrest six in Sidney narcotics bust; find drugs, cash and $7,000 in pure silver

Photos via the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

A months-long investigation into heroin, cocaine and prescription drug dealing in the Delaware County town of Sidney led to six arrests and the recovery of a trove of cash, drugs and $7,000 in pure silver on Friday, Oct. 17, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

Police obtained grand jury indictments for five people in the Sidney area, charging them with selling controlled substances in the town and village of Sidney between June and Oct. 2014.

On Friday afternoon, armed with a search warrant and an indictment charging Gabriel V. Bonacci with selling heroin in Sidney on two occasions in July, police raided Bonacci's house on County Highway 23 in the town of Sidney. Bonacci has a prior drug conviction from 1998, according to the press release.  Read more

State trooper not fooled by counterfeit bills in Wal-Mart parking lot

Two SUNY Delhi students were caught while attempting to use counterfeit $10 bills to buy tire rims from an off-duty New York State Police trooper on Thursday, Oct. 16, according to a press release from the New York State Police.

Left: Brian Colon and Nicole Nunez. Photo via the New York State Police. 

Brian Colon, an 18-year-old from the Bronx, and Nicole Nunez, his 18-year-old girlfriend from Manhattan, were reportedly arrested after contacting the off-duty trooper through Craigslist.org, and then meeting him in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Oneonta to finalize the sale.

Colon reportedly paid the trooper $700 for four tire rims with 70 counterfeit $10 bills. Police say that Nunez knowingly possessed several more counterfeit $10 bills.  Read more