Ellenville rescue squad member gets 13 years for burglaries

A 48-year-old Wawarsing man will serve 13 years in prison and five more on probation for burglarizing homes while responding to calls as a member of the Ellenville First Aid and Rescue Squad, according to a press release from the Ulster County District Attorney's office. 

Left: German A. Lobaton. Photo via the Ulster County District Attorney's office. 

German A. Lobaton pled guilty in July to stealing items from unoccupied homes during a four-month period in 2013. He was sentenced on Friday, Oct. 3.

He targeted the homes his rescue squad had visited during emergency calls, according to the press release:

Shortly after responding, knowing that the homes would be unoccupied, he returned to and entered them and stole numerous items of personal property. Much of the stolen property was eventually found in his home by the police. The case was investigated by the New York State Police in Ellenville.  Read more

Deposit man arrested; 60 bags of heroin seized

Above: Sixty bags of heroin, Suboxone sublingual films, marijuana, syringes, over $1000 cash, and other items recovered in a drug bust in Deposit on Friday, Oct. 3. Photo via the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

Left: Branden L. Loori. Photo via the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. 

After a four-month investigation, a 30-year-old Deposit man was arrested on Friday, Oct. 3 and charged with dealing heroin, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

Branden L. Loori's home on Elm St. in the Delaware County village of Deposit was raided by investigators from two counties on Friday: deputies and a drug-sniffing dog from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office and deputies from the Broome County Special Investigation Unit Task Force.

They reportedly found 60 bags of heroin along with Suboxone sublingual films (a prescription opiate), a bag of marijuana, several syringes, and over $1000 cash. Investigators said in the press release that "numerous anonymous tips" had pointed them toward Loori.  Read more

WIOX employee fired for sending offensive station emails to candidate

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Above: A segment on the Fox New Channel's Fox & Friend's talk show about inappropriate emails sent from WIOX 91.3 FM's email account to Republican Congressman Chris Gibson, who is running for re-election. The segment ran on Friday, Oct. 3.

WIOX 91.3 FM, a community radio station in the Delaware County town of Roxbury, has fired its office manager for allegedly using the station's email account to send personal attacks to Republican Congressman Chris Gibson. Gibson is a retired Army colonel running for re-election to the 19th Congressional District of New York against Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge.

The incident has thrust the tiny Catskills public radio station into the center of a national political kerfuffle, and has drawn the attention of conservative opponents of public radio.

The fired employee allegedly sent multiple emails containing personal attacks over a period of months to Gibson's campaign staff using the official WIOX email account. The employee has not been named by the station or by WSKG, a nonprofit media company from Binghamton that merged with WIOX last year.  Read more

This weekend: Reservoir Cleanup Day

A boat launches from Chandlers Cove boat launch on the Neversink Reservoir in 2012. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Grimes.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and a slew of other groups and volunteers will fan out across the Catskills on Sunday, Oct. 5 to clean up four of the NYC reservoirs -- the Pepacton, the Cannonsville, the Neversink, and the Rondout -- as part of a statewide effort to clean up New York's waterways and beaches. 

Volunteers are welcome at the litter pick-ups, according to a press release from the DEP. Captains in charge of each reservoir will meet volunteers at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5 and will clean until 3 p.m.

Captains and locations for the four Catskills clean-up groups are below:

Cannonsville Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Tina James, who leads the Future Farmers of America program at the Walton Central School District, and Nick Barone, president of the Deposit Chamber of Commerce. Volunteers will meet at Chamberlain Brook.

Neversink Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Boy Scout Troop 97 in Neversink, which is run by Keith Mentnech. Volunteers will meet at the information kiosk on Route 55.  Read more

Jeffersonville man arrested; found with 200 bags of heroin

Left: Tyrell Simon (left) and Shane Nystrom. Photo via the New York State Police.

New York State Police officers arrested 26-year-old Tyrell Simon in the Sullivan County village of Jeffersonville on Wednesday, Sept. 30 after allegedly finding "two-hundred decks of heroin, suboxone, marijuana and a stolen, loaded .22 caliber handgun" in his possession.

Simon is suspected of dealing drugs in Jeffersonville, according to a press release issued by the New York State Police this week.

Simon was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, controlled substances and marijuana and stolen property, as well as with resisting arrest.

Another man, 27-year-old Shane Nystrom of Jeffersonville, was also arrested on Sept. 30 for obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest.

This weekend: The Woodsmen's Festival

Above: A lumberjack in action at the Hanford Mills Museum's Woodsmen's Festival. Photo contributed by the Hanford Mills Museum.

Lumberjacks will descend on East Meredith tomorrow to demonstrate cross-cut sawing, ax throwing, and horse-powered log hauling at the Woodsmen's Festival at the Hanford Mills Museum.

The Woodsmen’s Club from the SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill is the main attraction, but the festival also features wood workers from across the Catskills, live music, crafts, museum exhibits, and tours of the mill's water-powered sawmill, gristmill and woodworking shop.

The Woodsmen's Festival at the Hanford Mills Museum. Saturday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Hanford Mills Museum, 51 County Highway 12, East Meredith, at the intersection of Delaware County Routes 10 & 12. 607.278.5744. hanfordmills.org.

The Hanford Mills Museum is a Watershed Post advertiser.   Read more

Three charged with passing counterfeit bills in Sidney

Above: Heather A. Wrench, Wesley J. Crawn, and Natasha P. Finch. Photos via the New York State Police.

Three twenty-somethings were arrested on Sunday, Sept. 28 for circulating counterfeit currency in the Delaware County town of Sidney, according to a press release from the New York State Police.

Troopers arrested 23-year-old Wesley J. Crawn and 26-year-old Heather A. Wrench, who live together on Edgewood Drive in Sidney, and 20-year-old Natasha P. Finch of Unadilla.

Crawn and Wrench were charged with felony forgery in the 1st degree and conspiracy in the 4th degree. They were arraigned in Delaware County and are being held in Delaware County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.

Finch was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 1st degree, conspiracy in the fourth degree, and three misdemeanor counts of petit larceny. She was arraigned in Otsego County and is being held in the Otsego County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.

The police suspect that more people are involved in the counterfeit bills scheme. The investigation is ongoing, and "with additional arrests pending," according to the press release.

Man on probation charged with dealing heroin in Walton

Delaware County Sheriff's deputies and police from the village of Walton arrested 51-year-old James J. McGinn on Thursday, Sept. 26 and charged him with heroin trafficking, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. 

This is the second felony drug charge for McGinn, who is serving a three-year probation sentence out of New York City in connection with a 2012 Queens County narcotic drug possession charge.

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office began investigating McGinn shortly before the 2012 charges, according to the press release. Last week, it charged McGinn with two class B felony counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. The sales reportedly took place in the village of Walton.

McGinn was arraigned on Friday, Sept. 26 in Delaware County Court and sent to the Delaware County Jail on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

The Old Blenheim Bridge will lose its historic status

Above: The interior of the Blenheim Bridge in 2006, in a photo by Flickr user paraflyer. The bridge was washed away by floodwaters in 2011. 

The Old Blenheim Bridge, which was the longest open-span covered bridge in the world before it was destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, is being taken off the National Register of Historic Places, the Schoharie Times Journal reported this week.

The paper reported on Sept. 29 that the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (SHPO) has begun the process of de-listing the site of the former landmark, in the Schoharie County town of Blenheim.  Read more

Explore the Catskills: Lark in the Park 2014

Above: “Big Indian Leaves,” taken in Big Indian by Michael LoBianco, the 4th Place winner in the 2014 Catskills Great Outdoor Experience Photo Contest.

The trees are popping into color like popcorn. If you haven't wandered somewhere outside in the Catskills yet this fall, get out there. 

Need a nudge? That's why the Catskill Mountain Club, the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the New York New-Jersey Trail Conference throw the annual Lark in the Park.

The Lark is a series of outdoor activities led by experienced hikers, paddlers, cyclists and anglers throughout the Catskills region between October 4 and Columbus Day, which falls on October 13 this year.

We've put together a calendar of the dozens of hikes, paddles, food tastings, movie screenings, bike rides, and picnics that make up this year's Lark in the Park festivities.   Read more