Storm floods Jeffersonville, knocks out power to thousands in Catskills

Main Street/Route 52 in Jeffersonville at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2. Photo by Tiffany Karen Denier.

Heavy rains and thunderstorms on Wednesday afternoon caused major flash flooding in the Sullivan County village of Jeffersonville, and widespread power outages across the region.

The flooding in Jeffersonville was intense enough to bring swift-water rescue teams to the village. Eyewitnesses in Jeffersonville reported about two feet of water on Main Street, and deeper water in some areas.

Above: Main Street/Route 52 in Jeffersonville at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2. Photo by Tiffany Karen Denier.

Above: Main Street/Route 52 in Jeffersonville at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2. Photo by Tiffany Karen Denier.  Read more

Schumer calls attention to Ulster County's heroin problem

Above: A screenshot picture of Senator Charles Schumer speaking Tuesday at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center from a Times Herald-Record video of the press conference.

At a press conference held at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer called for a federal designation of Ulster County as a “High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.”

According to the Daily Freeman, Schumer, D-N.Y., has asked the President’s Office of National Drug Control Policy to give Ulster County the designation — which would increase resources that would help local law enforcement fight the growing heroin problem.  Read more

Lake Minnewaska closed to treat for leeches

A leech found in Lake Minnewaska's waters. Photo screenshot from Times Herald-Record Youtube Page.

Lake Minnewaska will be closed on Tuesday, July 1, and Wednesday, July 2, to treat the popular swimming spot for leeches, according to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website.

The announcement said that copper sulfate will be applied to treat the water for leeches with the two day closure applying to swimmers, boaters, scuba divers, fishers, drinking, irrigation and livestock or pet watering.

Assistant Park Manager with the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Jorge Gomes told The Times Herald-Record that the sesame seed-sized leeches first clung to his leg in mid-June, clueing him in to the lake’s blood-thirsty visitors. 

Gomes told Record reporter Jeremiah Horrigan that the leech infestation raises questions about changes to the lake’s ecosystem.  Read more

Preview: Mount Tremper Arts Summer Festival

Stills from Pam Tanowitz’s postmodern ballet. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

Mount Tremper Arts (MTA) has come of age. The cultural center, founded by photographer Mathew Poikok and choreographer Aynsley Vandenbroucke, has been slowly building in scope and reputation since its inception in 2008. Seven years down the line, MTA has appointed an executive director, Abigail Guay, to handle administration and development duties. The artist-run center has also received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts for the first time. 

The upshot? MTA’s annual Summer Festival will feature a whopping five world-premiere events. 

That, and Poikok, who’s been the only full-time staffer for most of MTA’s existence, can finally take a breather. 

“I recently smiled for the first time in four years,” he says. “What we’ve been really working on for the past few years is taking [MTA] from an all-volunteer mom-and-pop shop to a nationally significant arts nonprofit. It’s a really wonderful movement forward for the organization.”

Here’s a brief rundown of the music, dance and theater performances on the roster for this year’s Summer Fest:  Read more

State Court of Appeals upholds home rules against fracking

New York’s State Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of local officials right to home rule against hydraulic fracturing (hydro tracking), upholding a lower courts decision to support the rights to pass zoning laws banning the controversial natural gas extraction method within their borders.

In their 5-2 ruling, the courts stood by the decision from last year, saying that the statewide Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (OGSML) does not trump local governments home rule authorities to pass zoning laws.

Based on cases from New York towns Dryden and Middlefield,  the courts ruled that the towns were within their rights to enact zoning laws against fracking.

“The towns both studied the issue and acted within their home rule powers in determining that gas drilling would permanently alter and adversely affect the deliberately-cultivated, small-town character of their communities,”  Judge Victoria Graffeo wrote in the decision.   Read more

Woman dies after falling from Kaaterskill Falls

CBS 6 in Albany has reported that a woman who fell nearly 70 feet from the Kaaterskill Falls on Saturday has died from her injuries.

The woman, who has not yet been identified, died at Albany Medical Center while undergoing emergency surgery, according to The Daily Mail.

Tannersville Assistant Fire Chief Stephen Tuomey told The Daily Mail that the woman, who he estimated to be in her mid to late 50s, was found by the Tannersville Rescue Squad and the Haines Falls Fire Department around 1:45 p.m. with head, leg and internal injuries after she fell to the water basin while hiking with her husband at the bottom of the main falls.

She was airlifted to Albany Medical Center where she was in very critical condition.

Green Wolf Brewing Co. hops onto Middleburgh Main

Above: The logo of Green Wolf Brewing Co., recently painted on their wall at their Middleburgh location. Photo by Katherine Speller.

When Justin Behan’s wife was in her later stages of pregnancy, she told him about a dream she had one night: a green wolf walking through their property.

Around that time Behan, a brewer of craft beer, was putting every word he could think of in front of “Brewing Company” to try and name his business, all while working on his own beer recipes in his kitchen. 

And Green Wolf Brewing Co. worked— from its Latin roots (the word for hops comes from the latin word for wolf), his strong environmental ethos, his need for money to stay afloat and its ties to the Middleburgh school’s colors. 

Left:  A few of Green Wolf's beers in their taproom. 

It seemed like the right call for his farm brewery located at 315 Main St. in Middleburgh. 

“I want [Green Wolf Brewing] to be a community place: a real destination for locals and those just visiting," Behan says.   Read more

Floods damage roads in Delaware and Schoharie Counties

Above: The back of 330 Main Street in Middleburgh after the wall had collapsed in the storm Wednesday night. Photo by Katherine Speller.

Multiple towns across the Catskills region declared a state of emergency after flooding caused by thunderstorms, forcing the closure of a number of roads.

The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather warning early Thursday morning for severe thunderstorms in central New York — followed by a flood warning at 8:57 a.m. for the Mohawk River at the Delta Dam.

Schoharie County

Around 7:30 last night, amidst the heavy storm that flooded several areas of Schoharie County,  police received a report of a husband, wife and cat trapped in their mobile home on South Gilboa road.  

“Water was rising around their home and in ditches surrounding it,” Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond said. “They couldn’t get out.”

Grand Gorge Fire Department’s rescue squad was sent out on the call but soon realized they weren’t able to get the couple out on their own, Desmond said, so they called in for assistance from other local departments from Schoharie and Delaware Counties.
  Read more

Grahmsville man arrested for menacing with a shotgun

A 40-year-old Grahmsville man was arrested Sunday after pointing a shotgun at a woman and her five-year-old daughter following an unfavorable ending to a Nascar race, police said. 

Scott Hynson was arrested by New York State Police at Liberty after they responded to reports of a man with a gun. Police said the investigation found that Hynson pointed a loaded Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun at a woman and her five-year-old daughter threatening to kill them.

“He [Hynson] was upset and yelling due to losing a Nascar race and financial troubles,” Public Information Officer at New York State Police Troop F, Trooper Steven Nevel, said.

Hynson was charged with misdemeanors of menacing in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree and endangering the welfare of a child.

He was arraigned at the Town of Neversink Court and remanded to Sullivan County Jail instead of the $10,000 cash bail. 

Fireworks and festivities: a 2014 Catskills guide to the Fourth of July

Above: Fourth of July in Margaretville, 2013. Photo courtesy of Flickr User Frieda Suess.

Those spending their 4th of July Weekend in the Catskills needn’t look too far to find some patriotic displays of pyrotechnics. We’ve got you covered for this year’s festivities with a jam-packed list of potential Independence Day plans.

The events featuring fireworks are listed first — if you read on, you’ll find some less-explosive, but still excellent, alternatives. Unless otherwise specified, the fireworks happen at dusk. 

DELAWARE COUNTY

Fireworks  Read more