Home invasion rattles Schoharie residents

A man wearing a ski mask and a blue hoodie has the residents of Schoharie County nervous this week after he allegedly invaded a home on Route 30 early on Saturday, Nov. 1.

Social media lit up with gossip on Saturday as drivers along Route 30 saw police action in the town of Schoharie.

According to a press release from the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office, a man invaded the residence at 8:49 a.m., and then fled along Route 30. Police are looking for anyone who matches his description.

The Schoharie Times Journal called the incident "bizarre," and said that one person was injured. The paper got more details about the crime from Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond:   Read more

Man set fire to house with six people inside, police say

Left: Caleb Segura. Photo via the New York State Police

Nineteen-year-old Caleb Segura intentionally set fire to a house while a family of six was inside, police say.

Segura was charged with arson and attempted murder, and is being held in the Greene County Jail on $1 million bail. 

The fire consumed much of the back of the house in the Greene County village of Catskill in the wee hours of Monday, Nov. 3, but no one was injured, according to a New York State Police press release:  Read more

This Weekend: Simi Stone and other "Ladies of the Valley"

Above: Simi Stone. Photo via her Facebook page

Simi Stone, a Woodstock-based music phenom who blows audiences away with her huge voice and stage presence, will be playing the Bearsville Theater on Sunday, Nov. 9. alongside a phalanx of other female musicians from the Hudson Valley and the Catskills.

They'll be performing their own songs as well as songs by legendary female performers, including Carole King, Carly Simon, and Aretha Franklin. 

Stone, who has toured with Simone Felice and Natalie Merchant and who also plays violin, guitar, and piano, has a new album of what she calls "Mountain Motown" music. She's helping to produce Sunday's show, which is a benefit for the Family of Woodstock’s Crisis Hotline and Walk-In Center.  Read more

Phillip Lenihan, 1953-2014: Gallery owner, punk impresario, and classics scholar

Above: Phil Lenihan in front of the Orphic Gallery. Photo by Stephen Thomas Ray.

Phil Lenihan, the 61-year-old owner of an eclectic series of businesses that were revitalizing the town Roxbury in Delaware County, died suddenly on Friday, Oct. 31.

Phil Lenihan had various careers as a punk band manager, classics scholar, and paralegal before he founded the Orphic Gallery, the Eight Track Museum, and the Roxbury Corner Store in 2010.

"I would call Phillip the quintessential bon vivant," said Megan McManemin, one of his younger sisters who lives in Dallas, Texas.

"He always tried to go out and have a party," said Reginald Oberlag, a friend from Lenihan's punk days in the 1980s who followed Lenihan's lead and moved up to the Catskills. "He was irrepressible."

According to Oberlag and to Lenihan's family, Lenihan died on Halloween night, in costume, on his way to a Halloween party in the Ulster County town of Woodstock. He was found near the village green in the evening, unresponsive. The cause of death was apparently a heart attack.

"Full regalia"  Read more

Gibson leads by large margins; Eldridge concedes

Republican Congressman Chris Gibson kept his seat in New York's 19th Congressional District with large leads over Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge on Tuesday, Nov. 4. 

In a statement emailed to the press at 10:42 p.m. on election night, Eldridge conceded the race to Gibson, saying that he was "proud of the issues we focused on in this race."

Gibson had a hefty lead over Eldridge in early election results: at 10:30 p.m., with fewer than half of the precincts in the 19th District reporting, Gibson had 62 percent of the vote overall, while Eldridge had 35 percent.

In the Catskills counties that reported unofficial results before 11 p.m., Gibson won by even larger margins: 61 precent of the vote in Sullivan County, 74 percent in Greene County, and 79 percent in Schoharie County.

Gibson emailed a victory statement at 11:01 p.m., thanking voters and citing broad support for his campaign "across party lines." Gibson said that his first act will be to shepherd a Lyme Disease bill into law. 

Here are the statements from the two candidates in full:   Read more

Zombie Run 5K attracts 1,200 to Blenheim

Above: A zombie lurking along the race route. Photos contributed by Bobbi Ryan. 

Ninety-eight runners turned up to try to outrun hordes of zombies at the New York Power Authority's Blenheim-Gilboa Visitor's Center on Saturday, Oct 25, according to Bobbi Ryan, the coordinator for the Zombie Run 5K.

The run raised $2,500 for the Middleburgh Library, Ryan reports, and the day of festivities in Blenheim attracted a whopping 1,200 people, many of them volunteer zombies.

Ryan sent us some photos of the run, including the one below, of Malachi Martin, the president of the library board, and Terry Pavoldi, the library's director, congratulating Lindsay Coons, who finished second in the adult division of the race.

  Read more

Election 2014: Gibson and Eldridge talk Catskills issues

Above: Chris Gibson, the Republican incumbent (left) and Sean Eldridge, the Democratic challenger (right).

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, voters go to the polls to decide who will win the race for New York's 19th Congressional District: incumbent Republican Congressman Chris Gibson or Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge.

Gibson, who was first elected in 2010, once represented a territory that was solidly Republican. But after New York's congressional lines were redrawn in 2012, his district shifted to include some of the left-leaning Hudson Valley lowlands once represented by former Congressman Maurice Hinchey.

The new 19th District is now a swing district. Democrat Barack Obama won it in the 2012 presidential race, but Republican Gibson beat Democrat Julian Schreibman for its congressional seat that same year.  Read more

Reinforcement of the Gilboa Dam is complete

Photos and video by Julia Reischel. 

State bigwigs and local officials doused the massive new concrete spillway of the Gilboa Dam with buckets of reservoir water on Friday, Oct. 31 to celebrate the completion of the dam's $138 million rehabilitation project.

"We are serious about public safety," said New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd at the ceremony. "This was a safety project foremost."

After flooding in 1996 broke a record for the amount of water that overtopped the dam, the NYC DEP found that the structure, built in 1927, might not withstand similar floods. The agency embarked upon a $138 million reconstruction project to increase the dam's flood resistance and to protect residents downstream in the Schoharie Valley.  Read more

Halloween in the Catskills: Part 2

Above: A ghoulish performance of dancing skeletons, ghouls and pumpkins is slated for 6 p.m. at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock on Friday, Oct. 31.

Halloween is a whole week of festivities this year. The fearsome fun began last weekend and continues through the big day itself on Friday, Oct. 31 and beyond.

Here's our guide to Catskills Halloween events for Oct. 30 - Nov. 2.

DELAWARE COUNTY

Left: A demon wolf is ready to scare visitors to a haunted house in Hancock. 

On Friday, Oct. 31, come out to Walton for the 3rd Annual Knight in the Castle Halloween Party and Dance at the Castle on the Delaware. It’s an atmospheric night of dancing to Blues Maneuver, and there’s a buffet.  Read more

Sheriff's deputy involved in head-on crash in Walton; other driver seriously injured

A 27-year-old woman is in critical condition after a head-on collision with a car driven by a Delaware County Sheriff's deputy, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. 

The sheriff's deputy is Stephanie Proffitt, and the driver in the other car is 27-year-old Amber L. Phraner of Walton, according to the press release. Proffitt's leg was lacerated in the crash, while Phraner was airlifted to a hospital in Johnson City, where she is in critical condition. 

The crash happened in the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 29, in the Delaware County town of Walton. Details are still scanty. The New York State Police have been called in to investigate.

Here's the full press release, which was issued this morning:

On Wednesday evening a Delaware County Sheriff's Deputy was involved in a head-on motor vehicle collision on State Highway 10 in the Town of Walton that resulted in serious personal injury to the driver of an on-coming vehicle.  At the request of Sheriff Mills, investigation of the accident is being conducted by the New York State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit.  Read more