Felonious fugitive arrested on Route 28

A man who was stopped on Route 28 in Olive last week, and arrested for possession of a stun gun, was found to be a fugitive from justice wanted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to the New York State Police.

Arrested on Friday, May 2 by state troopers was 42-year-old Luis Antonio Roman of Philadelphia, PA. Police say he gave a false name and identification upon his arrest. When state troopers learned his real identity, they discovered that he was wanted by ICE for re-entering the U.S. as a deported felon. 

Senior Investigator Stan O'Dell of the New York State Police's Kingston barracks, who is overseeing an ongoing investigation into the matter, said that he does not know when or why Roman was deported, or what country he is originally from. "That would have to come from Immigration and Customs Enforcement," he said.  Read more

Missing Cohoes cyclist found in Schoharie

A Cohoes man who was reported missing, after he left his house on a bicycle on Sunday and did not return, was found late Monday afternoon in the village of Schoharie, about 47 miles away.

The disappearance of 54-year-old Felix Rodriguez was widely reported around the Capital Region on Monday. Family members told police that Rodriguez liked to bike around local trails and places with views of water.

Around 5 p.m., Schoharie County sheriff's deputy Terry Minton was on patrol in the village, and spotted Rodriguez on his bike, according to the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office. Minton questioned the man, who gave his name. When Minton discovered that he had been reported missing, he alerted Cohoes police, who contacted the man's family. 

Four injured in Trailways bus crash

Above: An injured victim being treated at the scene of this morning's bus accident on Route 17 in Ramsey, N.J. Photos by Boyd A. Loving; courtesy of the Cliffview Pilot.

A flying car wheel smashed through the windshield of a Pine Hill Trailways bus bound from Kingston to Manhattan on Route 17 around 7:30 this morning, injuring four people, according to several downstate media reports. 

The wheel flew off a Lexus that was driving north, in the opposite direction from the bus, the Cliffview Pilot reports. Two people aboard the bus were critically injured in the accident, and two others sustained head injuries.

One of the injured victims was airlifted to a hospital, and a few others were transported by ambulance, NorthJersey.com reports.  Read more

Catskill Mountains Film Festival rolls out the red carpet

Who needs an Oscar? The first place winners at the Catskill Mountains Film Festival take home a home-grown version of the iconic golden statuette: the "Catty," a cat hand-carved by a Catskills woodworker out of foraged mountain birch.

Left: A "Catty," the official award of the Catskill Mountains Film Festival. Contributed photo.  

One hundred films hand-picked films from New York State and beyond will screen at three local venues during the 2014 festival, which runs from Friday, May 2 through Sunday, May 4.

Adult, high school and college-aged filmmakers will vie to win the coveted Catty in each of six categories, from narrative and documentary features and shorts to music videos and animation.  Read more

Rabid raccoon found in Bloomville

A raccoon that was killed in a recent fight with a dog in the Delaware County hamlet of Bloomville was found to be infected with rabies, county health officials announced

The raccoon was sent to the New York State rabies laboratory for testing. County officials received a positive rabies test result on Friday, April 25. 

The dog was up to date on its rabies vaccinations, and received a booster shot after the attack. No humans were exposed to rabies in the incident.

The Bloomville raccoon was the second case of rabies in Delaware County in 2014. In March, another rabid raccoon attacked a dog in the village of Stamford, and was captured and killed. The dog was unvaccinated. At the time, county health officials said they were working with the dog's owner to set up a quarantine  Read more

New York State bans wild boar hunting

Above: A trailcam in Delaware County catches a nocturnal glimpse of an elusive wild boar. Photo taken in August 2013; courtesy of USDA APHIS.

A statewide ban on the hunting and trapping of feral swine -- also known as wild boars or Eurasian boars -- went into effect on Monday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced in a press release

Until recently, boars were largely unknown to New York State, even as burgeoning populations of wild pigs wreaked over a billion dollars' worth of destruction a year across other parts of the country. But in recent years, feral swine have been found breeding in the wild in a few parts of New York State, the descendants of boars that escaped from private "canned" hunting preserves. 

Many other states have encouraged the hunting of wild boars in an effort to control their populations, but without much success. Banning the hunting of an animal that state officials want to rid the landscape of seems paradoxical. But scientists who study the animals say that allowing private hunting can interfere with state-sanctioned efforts to bait and trap boars, and has even encouraged hunters to release more of the animals into the wild for sport.

  Read more

Flood watch in effect across Catskills

Above: A graphic from the National Weather Service in Binghamton, showing the flood watch area across upstate New York and Pennsylvania that is in effect Wednesday through early Thursday morning. 

Heavy rains are in the forecast for eastern New York and Pennsylvania Wednesday afternoon and evening, prompting the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue flood watches across the Catskills region.

The heaviest rainfall is expected to arrive this evening and overnight, with between 1.5 and 4 inches of rain forecast for the Catskills. Forecasters at NWS and Hudson Valley Weather say the eastern Catskills will get the most rain, with lower totals expected for the western end of the region.   Read more

Gilboa Dam bald eagles hatch eaglets, again

Above: An adult eagle and an eaglet in the bald eagle nest near the Gilboa Dam in Schoharie County. Photo via the NYC DEP's Flickr account. 

For the second year running, a pair of bald eagles nesting near the Gilboa Dam has hatched a pair of fuzzy gray eaglets, according to a press release from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, which runs the dam.

The eagles built the nest near the dam's west support wall -- an active construction zone in the midst of a $400 million rehabilitation project -- in 2011.  The couple didn't successfully hatch any offspring until 2013, when two eaglets successfully fledged and became favorites of the DEP staffers working nearby.    Read more

East Meredith man arrested for string of robberies

A 23-year-old East Meredith man who was arrested for allegedly trying to rob an auto scrap shop in Davenport has been charged with committing several robberies in Oneonta as well. 

On Saturday, April 26, state police responded to a report of a robbery at Otsego Auto Crushers, at 6071 Route 23 in Davenport. An investigation led to the arrest of 23-year-old Johnathan Lynn of East Meredith, who was charged with third-degree attempted robbery and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument. Lynn was arraigned in Davenport town court and remanded to the Delaware County Jail in lieu of $15,000 cash bail. 

Upon further investigation, police also charged Lynn with committing two recent robberies of Oneonta stores: one at the Convenience Express on April 19, and one at Arby's on April 24. Charges on two counts of second-degree robbery against Lynn are pending in Oneonta town court.  Read more

Ulster County police release name of car theft suspect who was shot by deputy

Above: Car theft suspect Brandon Rifenburg. Photo courtesy of the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

The Ulster County Sheriff's Office waited eleven days to release the name of a suspect who was shot by police after a car chase through several towns. But on Saturday, April 26, deputies finally named the man in a public news release: 20-year-old Brandon Rifenburg of High Falls. 

Rifenburg was shot while being taken into custody on the night of April 15, after leading local and state police on a car chase that ran through Marbletown, Kingston, Ulster and Saugerties before ending on Route 28 in Hurley. Police say that after a dispute with a family member, Rifenburg stole a car from the Vly-Atwood neighborhood in Marbletown, then sped away from an officer who attempted to stop the vehicle. 

During the police pursuit of the stolen car, Rifenburg drove through two sets of tire deflation devices set up to stop the car. Police say he lost control of his damaged vehicle while trying to ram two police cars that were pursuing him.   Read more