Dog shot after mauling infant in Saugerties

The New York State Police are reporting today that state troopers and town of Saugerties police officers shot and killed a pit bull after it attacked three people, including an infant, in a Saugerties home yesterday.

The infant was reportedly saved from further attack by a Time Warner Cable employee named David Dargan, who was in the home for a service call. Dargan was also injured, but was treated and released from Kingston Hospital.

The infant was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center to undergo reconstructive surgery, the press release states. The third victim, 59-year-old Patricia Risley, was taken to Albany Medical Center to be treated for possible ligament damage.

The Daily Freeman has more information about the attack, including the fact that Risley was the infant's babysitter and that the dog belonged to her son:

[State police Senior Investigator Peter] Kusminsky said the pit bull belonged to the baby sitter’s son, but “we’re not quite sure yet how it got access to the child.  Read more

"Dangerous" squall conditions right now

If you don't have to be outside right now, don't be -- the National Weather Service has been warning all morning that "dangerous snow squalls" will be whistling across the Catskills today. Driving is especially discouraged, and at least one segment of the New York Thruway, near Utica, has been closed due to white-out visibility and high winds.

Here's the warning from NWS in Albany:  Read more

Feds: Sorry, no casino

It's official: Yesterday, the U.S. Department of the Interior rejected the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans' application for approval to build a resort casino in a hamlet in Sullivan County.

The Times Herald-Record has the story:

The Department of Interior formally notified the tribe that it would not approve the compact, a needed first step in a process that could have led to final approval for the casino in Bridgeville.

Earlier: This isn't exactly a surprise.

New York losing big farms, gaining small ones

YNN ran a story this week about new statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that show that New York state is losing large farming operations and gaining small ones. The story quotes a Sullivan County farmer saying that farmers might need to downsize to survive:

The agency says there are 300 fewer farms operating in New York State. Specifically, large full-time farms with $250,000 or more in sales.

"It's becoming increasingly difficult to compete with the markets," said dairy farmer Cindy Gieger.

Gieger helped create the Sullivan County Farm Network in response to the growing problems local farms face. Gieger says the solution may lie in pooling resources to be more competitive.

"A dairy farm could downsize from a 75 cow dairy to 10 or 15 cows and maybe set up a microcreamery on their farm and they can market a niche cheese for New York City," Gieger said.

The DEC vs. the DEP, in black and white

This week, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation entered the legal fray against New York City over the NYC Department of Environmental Protection's releases of muddy water into the Esopus Creek. The story was big news, and we rounded up some of the coverage of the issue yesterday.

Today, we've gotten our hands on a copy of the DEC's legal complaint against the DEP, in which it asks an administrative law judge to fine the city agency $2.6 million for discharging pollutants without a permit. To read the full complaint, see below:  Read more

Finally, that new water supply permit

We've known this was coming for months, and now here it is: A new water supply permit for New York City from the state's Department of Environmental Conservation.

The new permit allows the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to continue its controversial Land Acquisition Program, which isn't that popular upstate, in exhange for a variety of new concessions from the DEP to communities in the watershed that supply the city's water.

Those concessions include increased development rights in hamlets and villages, more recreational access to DEP lands, and a scheme that makes New York City pay a fairer portion of upstate property taxes. We outlined the new deal at length back in November.  Read more

Mystery Spot owner's photos featured at MoMA

Laura Levine, the proprietrix of Phoenicia's thrift-store-cum-junk-shrine Homer & Langley's Mystery Spot Antiques, also happens to have taken some of rock's most iconic images (such as a portrait of naked, leaf-covered Bjork) during her career as a music photographer.

On Wednesday, several of her photos, including the one above of Tina Weymouth and Grandmaster Flash in 1981, were unveiled as part of an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. "Looking at Music 3.0" explores "the influence of music on contemporary art practices," with a focus on New York in the 1980s and 1990s -- Levine's photographic heyday. It runs until June 6. For more info, check out Levine's Facebook event and her online photo gallery, where she's hawking limited-edition prints of the above photograph.

Photo by Laura Levine. Used with permission.

Kingston's police scandal widens

The alleged wrongdoings of Kingston police Detective Lt. Timothy Matthews, who has been charged with stealing thousands from the city of Kingston, are inspiring a full-scale investigation of Ulster County's Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotic Team, the Daily Freeman is reporting today. The paper reports that the FBI is looking into URGENT's activities:

Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum and Kingston Mayor James Sottile said on Thursday that large amounts of documents have been subpoenaed by the federal law-enforcement agency from the Sheriff’s Office, the city police department and City Hall.

Both men said the amount of records requested by the FBI suggests the agency’s probe in not focused solely on Matthews, who was suspended after being charged with stealing $9,000 from the city and later was accused of double dipping by charging both the city and the Kingston school district for simultaneous work.  Read more

DEP faces a tough choice on Esopus dirty water

A recent action by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ensures that New York City's efforts to push dirty water out of the Ashokan Reservoir throughout the fall and winter are going to cost the city big time. The DEC is fining the NYC DEP $2.6 million for releasing dirty water into the Lower Esopus. The Daily Freeman reports:

The complaint, which assessed fines at the state maximum of $37,000 per day,  describes six causes of action that include the use of the lower Esopus Creek to avoid sending turbid water to the Kensico Reservoir, where alum had been used as a settling agent but was found to be destroying fish breeding areas...  Read more