Hurley woman charged with running loan fraud scheme

jeri Lynn RossJeri Lynn RossAccording to a press release from the State Police, a Hurley woman is accused of stealing $279,000 from a series of people who lent her money. Jeri Lynn Ross, a 62-year-old who lives on Cedar St., reportedly obtained multiple fraudulent personal loans over several years.

Here's the press release in full:

Ulster, NY - April 6, 2011 -  Today, New York State Police in Kingston arrested Jeri Lynn Ross, 62, of 314 Cedar Street in Hurley N.Y.
Ross was arrested after an investigation conducted by The New York State Police and The Ulster County District Attorney’s Office revealed that she had stolen in excess $279,000 from numerous individuals by fraudulently obtaining personal loans over several years.
Ross was charged with Scheme to Defraud 1st, Grand Larceny 2nd and twelve counts of Grand Larceny 3rd. She was arraigned before the Town of Ulster Court and released on her own recognizance to appear at a later date.
Any persons with possible related information are asked to contact State Police at 845-338-1702.

Ambulance and cars crash in Town of Ulster

An ambulance rushing to a medical emergency on Rte. 9W this morning in the Town of Ulster attempted to turn against a light and collided with two cars, according to the Daily Freeman:  Read more

Police: Grand Prix leads cops on wild 50-mile car chase

An Albany man driving a stolen Pontiac Grand Prix allegedly led police and deputies from multiple jurisdictions on a 50-mile car chase through Albany, Greene and Schoharie counties yesterday before finally crashing in the town of Broome.

According to a press release from the State Police, police first tried to stop 44-year-old Joseph V. Wagner when they spotted him driving the Grand Prix, which had been reported stolen, through the Town of Guilderland in Albany county last night.

Wagner reportedly bolted into Greene County along Rte. 32, where the Greene County Sheriff's Department was waiting for him with spike sticks. Despite blowing two tires, Wagner allegedly didn't stop until he drove back through Albany County and into Schoharie County, where he ran off the roadway and flipped over in the town of Broome. The entire chase reportedly lasted about 45 minutes.   Read more

Rebooting upstate New York agriculture, one slaughterhouse at a time

Liza de Guia, a New York City food blogger who shoots mini-documentaries on food from farm to table at Food Curated, traveled to the Catskills recently to make a film about small-scale slaughterhouses.

Here, in Part 1, she interviews Chris Harmon, the director of the Oneonta-based Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE), about the need for more slaughterhouses to meet the growing demand for local, small-scale meat. Harmon's group has been working with Larry's Custom Meats, a meat processor based in Hartwick, to build a new USDA-certified slaughterhouse.  Read more

Environmental group calls for more (and smarter) development in the Catskills

Image: A graphic from the Open Space Institute's recent report on development in the Catskills, showing towns with the most privately-owned open space in darker brown.

A new report from the Open Space Institute, a land acquisition and conservation group based in New York State, says that development in the rural Catskills could quadruple without harming the environment.

You read that right. Here's a key quote:

This study shows that appropriately placed development can coexist with the region's natural resources, bolstering opportunities for reliable, year-round employment. It also indicates that the existing development footprint might quadruple, if appropriately sited, without compromising the economy or ecology of private farm or forestland resources. Planning and coordination are essential to secure a "win-win" in which development and open space complement each other.

The OSI hopes their report, which identifies "preferred growth areas" in Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster Counties, will be a road map that towns and developers can use to focus their efforts on less environmentally sensitive areas.  Read more

One Woodstock Commons lawsuit shot down, one to go

Design of the proposed Woodstock Commons housing project. Image from the RUPCO website.

A lawsuit against the Town of Woodstock and its planning board over plans to build an affordable housing project has been dismissed on a technicality.

The case, filed by Robin Segal, a vocal opponent of the Woodstock Commons project, had challenged the validity of the town's environmental review of the proposed development.

In a decision released on April 1, Ulster County Supreme Court Judge Christopher Cahill dismissed the case because Segal did not name the project's leaders, the Rural Ulster Preservation Company and EVK Realty, as the defendants in the case before a 30-day time limit ran out.

In an article published last September, the Woodstock Times explained the nit-picky nature of the rules that foiled Segal. It also explained Segal's suspicion that Woodstock's town attorney, Drayton Grant, wielded those rules unfairly:  Read more

A thousand union supporters rally in Newburgh

On Monday, labor organizers throughout the Hudson Valley and the Catskills demonstrated in droves in Newburgh to show their solidarity with unions around the country on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination.

The gathering, which reportedly drew over 1,000 demonstrators, was part of a national "We Are One" day event. In New York, the demonstration struck a chord with teachers and other public employees who are facing cuts because of Governor Andrew Cuomo's stringent new budget.  Read more

Police: Woman drove drunk with 12-year-old in car

The State Police are reporting that a woman driving on the Thruway through New Paltz on Monday was drunk with her 12-year-old daughter in the car.

According to a press release, Daphine Vinson of Huntington was stopped after police noticed her "erratic" driving. She was charged with aggravated DWI and endangering the welfare of a child.

Here's the press release in full:

SP Kingston - Troop T arrest Long Island woman for Agg DWI after 12 yoa child found in vehicle

On April 4, 2001 at about 10pm,  State Police at Kingston - Troop T, arrested DAPHINE P. VINSON, age 46 of Huntington, NY for Aggravated DWI more than .18 BAC, and Endangering the welfare of a Child after she was stopped for erratic operation by State Police on the Thruway in the Town of New Paltz. VINSON was found to have her 12 yoa daughter in the car with her at the time of the stop. VINSON was issued several V&T tickets returnable 4/05/11 in the Town of New Paltz.

Phoenicia Library must raise $116K to rebuild

Since the March 19 fire that claimed every one of its thousands of books, the Phoenicia Library has staged a remarkable comeback. A week later, a temporary library was opened in the former Maverick Health Center, and offers of help and donations were pouring in.

Still, the library has a long way to go.

Judith Singer, the president of the board of the Phoenicia Library, told the Shandaken Town Board at their monthly meeting last night that the library will have to raise $116,000 in order to re-open permanently, whether at its old location or at a new one.

The money will be needed to cover the gap between the cost of restoring the library and the amount that the library's insurance would cover, Singer told the Board. Insurance will cover 80 percent of the costs, she said.  Read more

The Wire: Catskills edition

Four cops on a stakeout. Six suspects making a drop at a hidden stash. Eleven female victims.

Egg-laden female walleye victims, that is. The sordid tale of a big bust of poachers after spawning walleye unrolls like an episode of The Wire in Dick Nelson's Daily Mail sports column today:

Acting on a tip from a concerned fisherman, Environmental Conservation Officer Anthony Glorioso positioned himself far enough away from the poachers as so not to be seen, but close enough where he could move in quickly to make an arrest.  Read more