Police: Bloomingburg man went on rifle rampage at trailer park

Left: Dennis A. Albach. Photo via the New York State Police.

A 49-year-old Bloomingburg man has been arrested for drunkenly brandishing a rifle, firing shots, and destroying several car windows after a fight at the Twin Lakes Mobile Park in the Sullivan County town of Mamakating, according to New York State Police.

At 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, August 24, residents in the trailer park observed a drunken Dennis A. Albach begin an altercation with one of his neighbors, according to Trooper Steven Nevel, the public information officer for Troop F.

Albach tried to punch the man, then left the scene and returned a few minutes later with a rifle, Nevel said. 

Multiple neighbors heard what they described as gunshots, according to Nevel and a press release issued by the State Police today. They also reportedly heard the sound of glass breaking.   Read more

Stretch of Route 42 to close Tuesday

A short section of Route 42 in the town of Lexington is scheduled to be closed on Tuesday while a private bridge is installed, according to the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT). 

Route 42 will be closed from Spruceton Road to Beech Ridge Road, from 6 am to 6 pm, on Tuesday, August 26. 

The installation of the private bridge will be done by a 275-ton crane. The work is not being done by the DOT. 

During the closure, truck traffic will be detoured. Instead of using Route 42, trucks can take Route 23A to Route 214 to Route 28. Cars and emergency vehicles can use Beech Ridge Road as a local detour around the closed area. 

If rain delays the work, the closure will be scheduled for Wednesday, August 27. 

Heavy rains cause mudslide, flooding in Sharon

Above: A mudslide on Route 10 in the Schoharie County town of Sharon on August 21, 2014. Photo via the Schoharie County Fire Wire Facebook page

Heavy rains caused flooding and a mudslide in the town of Sharon in Schoharie County Thursday night, according to Sheriff Tony Desmond. 

A shale and slate rock embankment north of the village of Sharon Springs washed out around 9:30 p.m. on August 21, blocking Route 10 for about three hours, Desmond said. 

Route 20 in the village was also flooded, he said. "There was over a foot of water in the middle of town by the school."

The water drained away in a few hours, and the displaced gravel and debris was cleared away by 1 a.m. on Friday, Desmond said. There is some damage to the shoulders of the roads, which were open today.   Read more

Head-on crash kills one, injures four in Colchester

A head-on collision between two cars on Cat Hollow Road in the rural Delaware County town of Colchester claimed the life of a Nineveh man, and injured four Bronx residents, on Thursday morning. 

The crash occurred around 10 am on Thursday, August 21, when an Isuzu Amigo driven by 48-year-old William Sharpless of Nineveh collided with a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by 30-year-old Bronx resident Crest Wood.

Sharpless was driving south on Cat Hollow Road when his car was struck head-on by Wood's Jeep, which was driving northbound in the southbound lane, according to a statement from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. The incident was investigated by the New York State Police Troop C Collision Reconstruction Unit and Delaware County sheriff's deputies. 

Sharpless was declared dead on the scene by Delaware County medical examiner Richard Ucci. He had no passengers in his car.   Read more

Lightning strikes Fleischmanns church

Above: Pastor Adrian Todd looks out of a broken window in the bell tower of the Fleischmanns United Methodist Church on Thursday, August 21. The windows were blown out when lightning struck the building that morning. Photo by Larry Dunlap.

Lighting struck the bell tower of the United Methodist Church in Fleischmanns at 8:45 a.m. on August 21, blasting off siding and blowing out six windows.

"Somebody said it sounded like a bomb went off," said Adrian Todd, the pastor of the church, which is also known as the Fleischmanns Community Church. "It was loud."

Todd wasn't at the church at the time of the strike, but several people were driving by and witnessed it.

"The windows blew out just as they were right in front of the church," Todd said.

The windows were plain glass, not stained glass. Todd said that the church's insurance company is investigating and determining whether it will cover the damage. 

There were no injuries. Todd said that the tenants who live in the adjacent building were not affected.

Volunteers helped clean up the shattered glass off the church lawn yesterday, and today the broken windows are covered with plywood.

The church building dates from 1884, and as far as Todd knows, this is the first time it has been struck by lightning.

Is there a theological explanation?  Read more

This Weekend: Prattsville's MudFest

Above: Muddy fun at Prattsville's MudFest. Photo via MudFest's Facebook page. 

In August 2011, tons of mud from Tropical Storm Irene's massive flooding swept through the town of Prattsville. Now every August, the town commemorates the disaster with a giant mud-themed party. 

Prattsville's MudFest is now in its third year, and features mud volleyball, a mud obstacle course, a mud tug-of-war and a mud horseshoe tournament. There are prizes in both cash and alcoholic form. (The horseshoe tournament requires the submission of an alcoholic beverage upon entry, and the winner takes home the "beverage pot" in addition to a cash purse.)

Hay rides, a bounce house, a craft fair, and food and T-shirt vendors round out the fun, which takes place on the town green and is free. 

Prattsville's MudFest. Saturday, August 23. 14527 Main St., Prattsville. For more info, see the MudFest's Facebook page.  Read more

This Weekend: Pig Mountain

Above: A promo photo for the Pig Mountain Pig Roast and Veggie Fest in Narrowsburg on Saturday, August 23. Via the Pig Mountain website.

Main Street Narrowsburg plays host this Saturday to an all-out celebration of local food, the Pig Mountain Pig Roast and Veggie Fest.

As the name implies, the headliner is pork: specifically, a herd of 15 roasted pigs prepared by a herd of 15 high-profile chefs. 

The chefs include local favorites, like Paul Nanni of Narrowburg's own The Heron restaurant, and NYC imports like Lauren Resler of Mexican restaurant Empellon and Cesare Casella of Italian restaurant Salumeria Rosi. (Apparently, all the flatlander chefs are bunking summer-camp style with each other for three days to prep.)

Don't like pork? The one-time $35 entry fee will get you access to an entire street of food vendors, including some slinging veggies of many varieties.

It's a fundraiser, so a portion of the proceeds go to helping the Center for Discovery, which runs adult and pediatric rehabilitation programs for disabled individuals and has its own farm.

Pig Mountain Pig Roast and Veggie Fest. Saturday, August 23, 5 - 9 p.m., Main Street, Narrowsburg. $35 tickets. pigmt.com.

911 dispatcher helps Wright family deliver baby at home

A Schoharie County 911 dispatcher guided an expectant father, Rudy de Vries, through the first steps of delivering a baby at home on Wednesday, August 20, after his wife, Amber, went into labor too quickly to make it to the hospital. 

911 dispatcher Becky Brisley took the call, according to a press release from the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office. 

She "talked to the caller in an attempt to calm him and gave instructions as to what he should do for the expectant mother," the press release states.

When paramedics and first responders from the Gallupville Fire Department, the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office, and the Scho-Wright Volunteer Ambulance Squad arrived on the scene, a residence on Route 443, they decided that the delivery of a baby girl was imminent and that there was no time to make it to the hospital.

Everything went well, and the child, named Ava, was born at 12:51 a.m. on Wednesday. She is 8 lbs. 2 oz. and 19” long.

The mother and baby were checked out at Bellevue Hospital in Niskayuna by Scho-Wright Ambulance, and are both doing well, according to the press release. 

Ulster County legislators vote for trail over rail

Above: Catskill Mountain Railroad equipment repairing a portion of the track on the old Delaware & Ulster corridor last week. Photo by John Marino and posted on the CMRR's Facebook page.

In the long-running battle of rails versus trails in Ulster County, the trails just won big. 

In an 18 to 4 vote, the Ulster County Legislature passed Resolution 275 on Tuesday, August 19, supporting the conversion of an old Ulster & Delaware railroad right-of-way between Kingston and Boiceville into a hiking, walking and biking trail.

The Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR), which runs a tourist railroad on the rail corridor and holds a lease on the right-of-way that expires in 2016, has been lobbying hard to keep railroad tracks running all the way from Kingston to the town of Shandaken at the other end of the county.  Read more

Local Sufis open new restaurant in Franklin

Above: Turkish cookies with a cinnamon apple filling at the Tulip and the Rose Café. Photos by Janel Bladow.

A new restaurant that serves an eclectic mix of Turkish specialities and American diner classics is bringing together a Sufi Muslim community and its rural Catskills neighbors.

“More and more we are seeing less and less prejudice,” said café manager Erdem Kahyaoglu. “We want to share – our spiritual lessons and our bread. There’s a Sufi saying, ‘Come, come, whoever you are.’ And we have a sign on our door, ‘Welcome to those who come. Farewell to those who leave.’ So come.”

The Tulip and the Rose Café opened on July 5 in the Delaware County town of Franklin. It is owned and operated by the Osmanli Naksibendi Dergahi, a spiritual retreat center founded by Sufi Muslims that opened in the neighboring town of Sidney 12 years ago. The Sufi center was thrust into the national spotlight four years ago when the town tried to close a cemetery located on its property.  Read more