Two found dead in Delhi; overdose suspected

A man and a woman were found dead in an apartment in the Delaware County town of Delhi on Wednesday, Sept, 2, according to a press release from Delhi Police Chief Mike Mills.

Thirty-four-year-old Christopher M. Bailey and 25-year-old Krista L. Hess were both found in the apartment with evidence of intravenous drug use nearby, Mills said in the press release.

The cause of death is suspected to be a drug overdose, Mills said in the press release, but a final verdict won't be issued until the Delaware County Medical Examiner's office determines the cause of death.

A co-tenant found the pair in the apartment, which was Bailey's, police say.

Labor Day events in the Catskills

Above: Throwing a rock into Cooper Lake in Woodstock. Photo by Flickr user Panda Snaps, shared in the Watershed Post Flickr pool. 

Labor Day is upon us in all its bittersweet glory, and the Catskills are rising to the occasion with festivities celebrating the harvest, family, baroque opera, women’s jazz, Iroquois Indians, Irish heritage, improv, toilets and more.

Yes, we said toilets. Read on to find out more in our county-by-county round-up of Labor Day events across the Catskills.


Gather the bounty of the harvest for your personal feasting pleasure at the pre-Labor Day Holiday Pop Up Farmers’ Market, taking place rain or shine at the Stamford Railroad Station on Thursday, Sept. 3 from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. You’ll find a splendid selection of baked goods, preserves, meats, produce and wonderful handmade Catskills things.  Read more

Woodstock Writers Radio with Martha Frankel and guests

Truckloads of trash choke Catskills swimming holes

Above: Underwear left behind as trash at Peekamoose Blue Hole in August 2015. Photo by Gene Nicolato.

Peggy Brueckner lives near the Peekamoose Blue Hole, an icy Catskills pool that is recognized as one of the best swimming holes in the country. Her family has visited the hidden spot for 50 years. But this summer, due to hordes of tourists and the tons of garbage they leave behind, Brueckner has been avoiding it.

"The locals here along Watson Hollow Road and beyond are heartbroken," Brueckner said. "There is litter all over the place. There are no laws being enforced and it a total mess up there. Campers are off the designated sites, people are in the middle of the road and it is a free for all! It's not even a family friendly place any more."

Above: Peekamoose Blue Hole on a recent summer day. Photo via the NYS DEC.   Read more

Watershed Ag Council eyes move to Treadwell's empty school

Above: The vacant A.L. Kellogg School in Treadwell may become the home of the Watershed Agricultural Council. Photo by Robert Cairns. 

The long-vacant A.L. Kellogg Elementary School building in the Delaware County hamlet of Treadwell could soon become the new home of the Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC).

Fred Huneke, a member and former chairman of the WAC board of directors, confirmed that the WAC had entered into a 90-day option agreement to buy the building, though he cautioned that “it's far from a done deal.”

Huneke said that the WAC needs to consolidate its operations. It currently has about 60 employees split between buildings in Hamden and Walton. He said the Treadwell site is well-suited for WAC's operations.

“If it does go there, it's going to be a good deal for us,” he said.

He also said that Treadwell residents support the use of the former school.

“They're pretty excited,” he said. “We'll do our best to be good neighbors.”

But Huneke then reiterated that the move may never happen. “We have a lot of hoops to jump through,” he said.  Read more

Jeff Senterman named new director of Catskill Center

Above: Jeff Senterman accepts his new post as the executive director of the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development on Saturday, Aug. 29. Photo via the Catskill Center's Instagram feed

Jeff Senterman, the former Catskills program director of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, was appointed the new executive director of the Catskills Center for Conservation and Development after the departure of former director Alan White. White completed his term earlier this month.

Senterman accepted his new position at a gathering of the CCCD's members on Saturday, Aug. 29. (A Senterman is still at the helm of the NYNJTC, though -- Jeff's brother, Doug, is the new Catskill program director at the NYNTC, after getting the job earlier this year.)  Read more

Prattsville remembers Irene anniversary with MudFest

Above: The 2014 MudFest in Prattsville. Photo via the MudFest Facebook page. 

It was four years ago today that Tropical Storm Irene flooded towns across the Catskills. The Greene County town of Prattsville, which saw much of its Main Street swept away by muddy water, commemorates the anniversary with the Prattsville MudFest, a celebration of mud and survival. 

MudFest begins tonight with live music, a performance of the Calico Indian Showdown and fireworks on the Prattsville town green. The fun spills into a daylong festival tomorrow that features a "human foosball table" and an impressive muddy obstacle course lined with challenges such as "the rotten log" and "the bale jump."   Read more

After audits, Delaware supervisors tighten up procurement, vehicle policies

Above: Jim Eisel, the chairman of the Delaware County board of supervisors, at the Aug. 26 meeting of the board. Photo by Robert Cairns.

In the aftermath of two state audits that criticized Delaware County's procurement and surplus property disposal policies, the county's board of supervisors adopted an update of those policies at its meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

A procurement policy was adopted in 1992 and updated in 2008. A policy for the disposal of surplus property was adopted in 1995. Both are superseded by the new policy.

There was little discussion on the resolution to adopt a new policy at the meeting. It passed, unanimously.

The resolution states that “it is appropriate that from time to time the board revisit, update and clarify its policies and procedures so that county agencies may function efficiently while simultaneously providing safeguards to protect county taxpayers.”  Read more

Driver seriously injured in three-motorcycle crash in West Shokan

Above: A motorcyclist was seriously injured on Sunday in a chain-reaction crash in front of the driveway to Snyder's Tavern in West Shokan. Image via Google Street View.

Three motorcycles were involved in a crash near Snyder's Tavern on Route 28A in West Shokan on Sunday, Aug. 23 that seriously injured one driver, police say.

That driver was in stable condition as of Wednesday, Aug. 26, according to State Police Lieutenant Jared Duffy. 

The crash is one of many that occurred in the towns Shandaken and Olive this week -- four crashes, one fatal, happened on nearby Route 28 on Tuesday and Wednesday  Read more

The Schoharie News folds

Above: The front page of an issue of The Schoharie News, via the Schoharie News website

The Schoharie News, an online-only news website that reinvented itself as a print weekly broadsheet earlier this year, has thrown in the towel after 13 weeks.

The paper's owner, editor and founder Tim Knight, said that he decided to close the paper after he realizing that he was making less than half of what he made while working at a local deli.

Knight posted a closing editor's note about the newspaper's demise on Tuesday, Aug. 25:  Read more

This weekend: New Old Franklin Day

Above: A sign for the pie sale at the 2014 Old Franklin Day. This year, the revamped event, known as New Old Franklin Day, still features pies. Photo via the Greater Franklin Chamber of Commerce website

The annual community day in the Delaware County town of Franklin has been revamped this year as the bigger, better "New Old Franklin Day," happening on Saturday, Aug. 29.

Businesses like the Tulip and Rose Café and Franklin's new Gone Local Marketplace will be open alongside a pie sale at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, a book sale at the Franklin Free Library, a mini-version of the Franklin Farmers' Market, a performance of "An Enemy of the People" at the Franklin Stage Company and a block party and dance starting at 6 p.m.  Read more

Police: Driver clocked 107 mph, consumed alcohol in vehicle on Route 17

A 22-year-old man from Yonkers drove 107 miles per hour on Route 17 through the Delaware County town of Hancock early on Wednesday morning, police say.

Mark B. Frederick was sent to the Delaware County Correctional Facility on Wednesday, Aug. 26 after he was stopped by Delaware County Sheriff's deputies for speeding while traveling west near exit 90 in the hamlet of East Branch, police say. 

Speeding reportedly wasn't Frederick's only offense. He was also ticketed for reckless driving, failure to comply, consumption of alcohol in the vehicle and other violations, according to a press release issued by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

Death on the roads: Three fatal crashes in the Catskills

It's been a horrible week for car crashes in the Catskills, with three separate collisions in the region resulting in fatalities since Sunday. 

A crash killed four people around noon in the Ulster County village of Saugerties on Wednesday, Aug. 26, according to media reports. Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra spoke with the Daily Freeman this afternoon and confirmed that the crash was fatal, and later elaborated that four people died.

Time Warner Cable is reporting that four people died in the Saugerties crash today when their car drove over an embankment:   Read more

Another day, two more Route 28 crashes

See video

Above: A helicopter lands in Phoenicia's Parish Field on Tuesday, Aug. 25 to transport a person who was injured in a crash on Route 28 at the entrance to the hamlet of Phoenicia.

Two crashes occurred on Route 28 on Wednesday, Aug. 26 -- the second day in a row that two crashes have happened on the road. 

"When it rains, it pours," Detective Fred Holland of the Shandaken Police Department said. 

The first crash happened at 3 a.m. just west of the Ulster County hamlet of Phoenicia, Holland said. A male driver reportedly fell asleep while driving and crashed into the woods, he said. The driver was issued four tickets, he said.   Read more

This weekend: The Bethel Woods Harvest Festival

Above: Carriage rides at the Bethel Woods Harvest Festival, via the Bethel Woods website. 

Harvest season is upon us. This Sunday, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in the Sullivan County town of Bethel kicks begins its weekly Harvest Festival, which brings live music, country games, animals, a corn maze, a craft village and a farmers' market to the famous site of the Woodstock Festival. This weekend Project Identity and the Dan Brother Band play.   Read more

Two crashes, one fatal, on Route 28 in one day

Above: A map of four recent crashes on Route 28.

Two serious car crashes occurred within hours of each other on Tuesday, Aug. 25 on a stretch of Route 28 in the Ulster County towns of Olive and Shandaken that has already seen multiple collisions this summer. 

The first crash was a head-on collision that injured three people, one critically, according to Rich Muellerleile, the chief of the Shandaken Ambulance Service, which assisted at the scene.

The crash, which occurred at 7:30 a.m. in the hamlet of Shokan near Route 28's intersection with Dancing Rock Road, was a head-on collision that "heavily entrapped" one person in a vehicle, Muellerleile said.

"The trapped patient was extricated by the Olive Fire Department and transported to the Healthalliance Broadway Campus in critical condition," he said in a Facebook message today.  Read more

Man arrested for threatening to throw rock at wedding

A wedding at the Emerson Resort and Spa in the Ulster County hamlet of Mount Tremper took a violent turn on Saturday, Aug. 22 when one guest threatened to hit another with a rock, according to a press release from the Shandaken Police that was reported by the Times Herald-Record.

The paper reports that the Shandaken Police arrested a 46-year-old man who was causing a "large altercation" during the evening nuptials:

They arrested Maurice Lane, 46, of Mt. Marion for menacing and harassment, both misdemeanors. Lane allegedly menaced fellow wedding guests with rocks and threatened bodily harm to one guest in particular.

Tony Lanza, chief operating officer of the Emerson, declined to comment. 

Update, 9/46/15: Detective Fred Holland of the Shandaken Police Department said today that the fracas at the wedding happened during the reception, when two women and two men got into an argument.  Read more

Half-day hike: The Andes Rail Trail and Bullet Hole Spur

Photos by Alan Via.

The trailhead for beautiful Andes Rail Trail hike is located on County Road 2 (also known as 266 Depot Street) at the edge of the Delaware County hamlet of Andes. The attractive Andes Rail Trail and Train Depot sign surrounded by gorgeous flowers herald its location. The trail begins at a register found immediately beyond the restored train station.

Above: A view of beaver dams from the railbed trail.   Read more

Woman trapped on Gilboa cliff rescued with ropes; ticketed for pot


Above: Photos of the rescue, shared on the Schoharie County Fire Wire and News Facebook page.

Schoharie County's Search and Rescue Team rescued a camper who was trapped 100 feet up a cliff near a Gilboa campground on Wednesday, Aug. 19, according to a press release from the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office.

The victim was 34-year-old woman from Milford, Connecticut who was staying at the Nickerson Park Campground in the Schoharie County town of Gilboa with her family, police say. Her name is not being released.

The woman had scaled a sheer rock cliff near the campground and somehow became trapped more than 100 feet up, the rescuers told the Daily Star:

"She was up in this little crevice in this cliff, and it is a sheer cliff almost," said Schoharie Sheriff Tony Desmond, who joined the rescue workers during the operation ... "She just couldn't get down," the sheriff added. "She apparently made a little leap to get across to where she was, and it didn't work out too well for her."

At 7:45 p.m., someone at the campground called 911, and a team of first responders from the Grand Gorge Fire Department and Rescue Squad and the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the scene.

They quickly realized that they needed a rope rescue team to reach the woman, according to the press release:

When it became apparent that a specialized rescue team was required, [Grand Gorge] Fire Chief D.J. Speenburgh requested that the Schoharie County Search and Rescue Team be dispatched to the scene.

  Read more

This Weekend: Ashokan Center's Summer Hoot

Above: A girl hula hoops at the 2014 Summer Hoot at the Ashokan Center. Photo by Rosalind Dickinson. (This image is featured on one of the covers of our 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide.

Three days of concerts, music making, camping and camaraderie at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge begin today, Friday, Aug 21, during the center's annual Summer Hoot festival.

The weekend features lots of local musical luminaries including Amy Helm, Elizabeth Mitchell, 22-year-old fiddling phenom Dylan Foley, songwriters Ira and Laurie McIntosh and the Ashokan Center's own Jay Ungar and Molly Mason and Mike + Ruthy.

Big acts visit the rustic outdoor stages, too. There will be clog dancing by Vanaver Caravan, jams from Professor Louie & The Crowmatix, banjo virtuosity by Tony Trischka, songs from Loudon Wainwright, reggae from The Big Takeover and an appearance by folk music legend Baby Gramps from Seattle.   Read more

Scattered power outages across Catskills

Above: Power outages in Schoharie County, according to National Grid's outage map

Power outages are dotted across five Catskills counties on Friday, Aug. 21, with thousands of households in the dark in Schoharie County and hundreds without power in Ulster County as of 11 a.m.

Earlier this morning, thousands of people in Sullivan County were without power, according to the Times Herald-Record, but most of those outages appear to have been fixed, according to NYSEG's outage map

In Schoharie County, 1,726 people are currently without power, according to National Grid's outage map. Power is expected to be restored there around 12:30 p.m.  Read more