Child injured in ATV accident dies

An 11-year-old DeLancey boy who was injured in an ATV crash in Hamden last week has died, according to the Delaware County Sheriff's Office and an obituary issued by the family.

Left: Nicholas J. Dungan. Photo via his obituary at the Courtney Funeral Home.  

Nicholas J. Dungan died on Friday night, April 24 at Albany Medical Center, according to a press release from the sheriff's office and his obituary.

Dungan had been driving an ATV on Stoddard Hollow Road in Hamden with his brother on Tuesday, April 21 when he lost control, flipped the ATV and was pinned underneath it. Although he was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, he sustained serious head injuries.   Read more

Beer boom: TAP NY and the Craft Brew Boogaloo

Above: TAP NY in 2014. Photo by Julia Reischel.

The Catskills beer boom shows no signs of slowing down in 2015.

New breweries continue to open: the Hunter Mountain Brewery (7261 Route 23A Hunter, 518-263-5231) announced its launch on April 1, and the Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company is now operating on the premises of Angela's Italian Restaurant (now Angela's Pizzeria and Brewery) in Catskill, and has a ribbon-cutting scheduled for May 12.  Read more

Woodstock Writers Radio with Martha Frankel and guests

Wurtsboro man assaults girlfriend with fishing rod, police say

A 27-year-old Wurtsboro man beat his girlfriend with a fishing rod, then "knocked her to the ground, held her down and spit on her," according to the New York State Police.

The police press release describing the incident does not give a date or time for the alleged assault.

Edward V. Kalajian allegedly "struck his girlfriend with a fishing rod causing lacerations to her back" during a domestic dispute in his Wurtsboro home, according to a police press release. He also reportedly broke the woman's phone during the altercation by throwing it against the ground.

Kalajian is being charged with felony assault in the second degree and a slew of misdemeanors, including criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, criminal obstructed breathing, criminal mischief in the fourth degree and unlawful imprisonment. He is also being charged with harassment in the second degree, a violation.

Kalajian was arraigned in the town of Mamakating and is being held without bail in the Sullivan County Jail. 

Armed robbery at Hancock gas station

Above: A photograph of a suspect who may have robbed a gas station in the Delaware County village of Hancock at gunpoint this week. Photo via the New York State Police.

A man holding what appeared to be a handgun and wearing a mask robbed a Mirabito gas station on Main Street in the village of Hancock on Tuesday, April 21, police say.

The man held up the gas station around 10 p.m. on Tuesday night, according to a press release from the New York State Police. He then fled the scene on foot, heading west, with an "undetermined amount of cash," police say.

The State Police are searching for a suspect in the case. From the press release:

The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 5’ 06” in height, medium build, with short dark colored hair and facial hair. He was last seen wearing a dark grey hooded sweatshirt, grey sweatpants and a knit hat with a brim.

Delaware County's proposed bed tax rises again

Above: Marge Miller, the supervisor of the town of Middletown, Glenn Nealis, Delaware County's Director of Economic Development, and Jim Thomson, then Delaware County's tourism director, discuss the benefits of a county bed tax at a meeting with skeptical hotel owners in March 2014. Photo by Julia Reischel.

A year ago, on April 23, 2014, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors voted to ask the New York State Legislature to impose a 2 percent occupancy tax on room and hotel rentals in Delaware County.

But despite broad support for the so-called bed tax among the county leaders -- 17 out of 19 supervisors voted in favor of the tax last year -- the plan fizzled in at the state level, dying ignominiously in committee. (That may have had something to do with a groundswell of opposition among Delaware County hotel owners against the plan.)

Now the bed tax plan is back. On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors once again voted to approve a resolution asking the state legislature to approve a 2 percent bed tax in Delaware County.  Read more

Eleven-year-old boy seriously injured in Hamden ATV crash, police say

An 11-year-old boy was seriously injured in an all-terrain vehicle crash at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21 in the Delaware County town of Hamden, police say.

The boy, who is not being identified, was driving with his 9-year-old brother on Stoddard Hollow Road in Hamden when he flipped his ATV into a ditch and was pinned beneath it, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

The boy, who was wearing a helmet, sustained serious head injuries. He was airlifted to Albany Medical Center by LifeNet helicopter, police say.

His 9-year-old brother, who was also wearing a helmet, was uninjured in the crash, and ran to his home in Hamden to call 911, police say.

Investigators believe that "excessive speed" was a factor in the crash. According to the press release, the boy was attempting to make a right turn off of Stoddard Hollow Road when the crash occurred.  Read more

Wayside Cider presses wild and heirloom apples into service

Above: Alex Wilson picks apples to make into hard apple cider. Photos courtesy of Alex Wilson and Irene Hussey.

Irene Hussey and Alex Wilson, the co-owners of Wayside Cider (waysidecider.com), a brand-new cidery based on a farm in the Delaware County town of Delhi, just delivered their first batch of hard apple cider to shops, bars, and restaurants in the Catskills, the Hudson Valley and New York City this week.

Hussey and Wilson, who are business partners, are an unlikely pair. Hussey, a Delhi native, is a stone mason, but she’s been homebrewing and making fermented apple cider since her early 20s. Her parents and her brother make cider as well — it’s something of a family tradition.

Wilson, on the other hand, is far from a native; born and raised in England, he ended up in New York City to study film, and stayed after meeting his wife, who is a media attorney in Manhattan. The pair bought a cabin in Hamden as an escape from urban life, and Alex quickly fell in love with the area.

“You can catch trout in the stream, you can hike in the mountains for miles, ride horseback every night,” he said. “It was like paradise to me.”  Read more

Winter's icy grip lingers

Even well into April, ice still lingers on many lakes and reservoirs in the Catskills. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection issued a reminder to fisherman on Thursday, April 16 to stay off the city's Catskills reservoirs until they are ice-free.

This shot of the ice slowly receding on Dixie Lake was taken at Hanofee Park in Liberty by John of Catskills Photography on April 12 and shared in the Watershed Post's Flickr pool. 

Will he or won't he? News reports differ on Lopez's run for Congress

Will State Assemblyman Pete Lopez, who represents portions of the Catskills in Delaware, Greene, and Schoharie counties, run for U.S. Representative's Chris Gibson's vacant seat in Congress in 2016? 

Left: State Assemblyman Pete Lopez. Image via his official website

It depends on what newspaper you read. The Daily Mail reported on Wednesday, April 15 that Lopez has formally announced his intention to run.  Read more

Biker seriously injured in motorcycle crash in Walton

A 61-year-old Walton resident was seriously injured when he crashed his Harley Davidson motorcycle on Route 10 in Walton on Tuesday, April 14, according to the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. 

Kenneth G. Kokoszka was riding south on Route 10 near Bob's Brook Road when he "lost control and left the roadway before overturning the motorcycle in [a] ditch," a sheriff's press release states. The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but investigators have ruled out alcohol as a factor. 

Kokoszka was airlifted to UHS Wilson Memorial Hospital in Johnson City by helicopter, the press release states. The Walton Reporter has photos of the helicopter airlifting Kokoszka after the crash.

Visit a Catskills chocolate factory

Chocolate melting at Lucky Chocolates. Photo by Julia Reischel.

Bryan Graham, the owner of Fruition Chocolate (3091 Route 28, Shokan, 845-657-6717, tastefruition.com) grinds his own cocoa beans, then turns them into simple, small-batch craft chocolate bars in flavors like brown butter milk chocolate and rustic crunch (cocoa nibs, cinnamon and vanilla).

Fruition's chocolate has won national awards—a gold from the Good Food Awards and two silvers from the International Chocolate Awards in 2013 alone. You can visit Fruition's storefront and chocolate factory in the Ulster County hamlet of Shokan, just off Route 28 in an unassuming strip mall.

In a long, narrow storefront in Saugerties, Lucky Chocolates (115 Partition St., Saugerties, 845-246-7337, luckychocolates.com) produces 45 flavors of truffles and other chocolate treats in back, in a Willy Wonka-like chocolate factory filled with delicious smells and busily churning mixers. On every wall, racks of chocolate cooling in pans wait to be sliced by the confectionary guitar.  Read more

Inmate dies at Sullivan Correctional Facility

Above: The sign at the Sullivan Correctional Facility. Photo by Medic18 via Wikipedia. 

An inmate at the maximum security Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg is dead and three correctional officers are injured, two with "serious physical injuries," according to the Daily Freeman, the Times Herald-Record and the Sullivan County Democrat.

Details about the incident are sketchy. The THR talked to a spokesman for the corrections officers union, which has been calling for more staff in mid-Hudson prisons.

From the THR:  Read more

Early season leads to record bear hunt in southern New York

Above: The 580-pound bear Greene County hunter Tim Meservey shot during the early season in September 2014. Photo courtesy of Tim Meservey.

Bear hunters in New York's Southern Zone killed a record 1,110 bears in 2014, according to harvest figures that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released on Monday, April 13. That's 12 percent more than the previous record of 983 bears taken in the Southern Zone in 2011.

The record harvest is likely due to a new early bear hunting season that ran from Sept. 6 to Sept. 21 in portions of the Catskills and the western Hudson Valley, DEC officials say.

Catskills hunters in in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties killed 893 bears in 2014, according to an analysis of the DEC's hunt data by the Watershed Post. In the Catskills, hunters killed 294 bears during the new early season and 599 during the bow hunting, muzzleloading and regular seasons, which occur later in the fall.

The Catskills towns with the highest bear harvests are Hancock, with 34 bears killed; Wawarsing, with 32; Tusten, with 31; Rochester, with 27; and Mamakating, with 24.  Read more

Two arrested in cocaine bust in Delaware County town of Middletown

A New Jersey man and a Delaware County, New York woman were arrested on Friday, April 10 after New York State Police narcotics investigators found cocaine in the man's car during a traffic stop and raided the woman's Arkville residence, police say.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jose Ozuna was driving on Route 28 in Delaware County on Friday night at 10 p.m. when Southern Tier State Police drug investigators and uniformed state police personnel pulled him over and searched his vehicle, according to a State Police press release. The officers reported that they found five ounces of cocaine, a digital scale, a switchblade and $580 in cash in Ozuna's vehicle.

Left: Dawn Hayden (top) and Jose Ozuna. Via the New York State Police. 

After Ozuna was arrested, narcotics investigators executed a search warrant at the home of 26-year-old Dawn Hayden, on Elliot Hills Road in Arkville in the Delaware County town of Middletown. Police say that they found a loaded .32 caliber revolver, a "Savage Model 30E" 12-gauge shotgun, a switchblade knife, a digital scale, a small amount of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia and four cell phones in Hayden's home.  Read more

This Weekend: Tiny Arts Day in West Fulton

Above: The former Methodist Church Hall in West Fulton hosts a day of festivities in West Fulton on Saturday, April 11. Photos courtesy of Panther Creek Arts. 

The tiny Schoharie County hamlet of West Fulton doesn't have much in it aside from a few houses and a former Methodist Church hall. But this weekend, it will host its own day-long festival, called "Tiny Arts Day in a Tiny Town."

The festival is packed with events. There will be a family vaudeville show, an artists reception, a three-course dinner featuring meats and veggies raised nearby, live music from a jazz trio and a mini-market featuring beer from Green Wolf Brewing Co., spirits from Kymar Farm Distillery and goodies from Bearsville Bakers.  Read more

This weekend: Ashokan Watershed Conference

The Ashokan Reservoir, the oldest of New York City's reservoirs in the Catskills, was mostly built by hand, with picks and shovels. That's one of the tidbits you'll learn at the Ashokan Watershed Conference, held this weekend at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge.

History is the theme of this year's conference, which is called "Back to the Future." (The organizers riff on the movie of the same name in their promo materials. Who says that watershed managers don't have senses of humor?)

The keynote speaker is Bob Steud­ing, a historian who wrote about the mammoth project of building the dam in his book, "The Last of the Hand­made Dams." George Fowler, an engineer, will talk about the history of stream management.

Other sessions will focus on the invasive species that are destroying the hemlock and ash trees around the Catskills and the perennially urgent topic of flooding.   Read more

Man stole $5,500 from his grandmother, police say

A 23-year-old Oneonta man stole $5,500 from his elderly grandmother and damaged a house she owns in Davenport, police say.

Aaron Macken (left) was arrested on Tuesday, April 7 and was charged with writing fraudulent checks on his grandmother's checking account, according to a press release from the New York State Police:

Macken had been stealing over $5,500.00 from his elderly grandmother’s checking account by cashing several fraudulent checks in 2014 and 2015.

Police caught wind of Macken's activities after being called to Davenport to investigate a possible burglary at a house his grandmother owns on Hansen Road on March 24, the press release states. Eventually, police charged Macken with damaging windows and cabinets in that house.

Police charged Macken with 17 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, a felony. They also charged him with felony grand larceny and criminal mischief.  Read more

Flood warning issued for West Branch in Walton

 

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the west branch of the Delaware River in Walton. Walton village DPW Supervisor Roger Hoyt said a major flood event is not expected based upon weather reports, but the village is monitoring all waterways. Subscribe to www.waltonreporter.com for Delaware County's latest news, feature stories and updates.

Posted by The Walton Reporter on Thursday, April 9, 2015

Above: Lillian Browne of the Walton Reporter has video of the flooding in Walton.

West Branch Delaware River at Walton

Above: A hydrograph showing the level of water in the West Branch of the Delaware River in Walton. 

After a night of heavy rains, the West Branch of the Delaware River in Walton rose above flood stage on Thursday morning, April 9, according to an alert issued by the National Weather Service in Binghamton.   Read more

Tank and oily spill discovered in the Schoharie Reservoir

Above: The ice-covered Schoharie Reservoir in 2013. Photo via the NYC DEP's Flickr page. 

An “oily sheen” was discovered on the surface of the Schoharie Reservoir, one of the sources of New York City’s upstate drinking water supply, on Monday, April 6, according to a New York City Department of Environmental Protection press release.

The spill, which appeared in a 50-foot-wide gap of water between ice on the reservoir and the shore, was located “several hundred feet down shore” from the mouth of the Shandaken Tunnel, which sends water from the Schoharie Reservoir to the city, the press release states.

The whole spill was 50 feet wide and about 900 feet long, said DEP spokesman Adam Bosch said. It had dissipated by Tuesday morning, April 7, he said.  Read more

Binghamton man dies in crash on icy Andes hill

Above: County Road 2 -- also known as the Andes-Delancey Road -- in Andes snakes its way down a steep hill into the hamlet. Image via Google Earth

A 27-year-old Binghamton man died of "severe head trauma" after crashing his car on a downhill curve in the Delaware County town of Andes on Monday, April 6, police say.

Brendan A. Fields was driving a 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser south on County Road 2 at 7:40 a.m. on Monday morning when he lost control of the car on a downhill slope and hit a tree, according to a press release from the New York State Police.

The road conditions were icy and Fields was driving at an "unsafe speed" for the conditions, police say:  Read more