This weekend: Reservoir Cleanup Day

A boat launches from Chandlers Cove boat launch on the Neversink Reservoir in 2012. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Grimes.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and a slew of other groups and volunteers will fan out across the Catskills on Sunday, Oct. 5 to clean up four of the NYC reservoirs -- the Pepacton, the Cannonsville, the Neversink, and the Rondout -- as part of a statewide effort to clean up New York's waterways and beaches. 

Volunteers are welcome at the litter pick-ups, according to a press release from the DEP. Captains in charge of each reservoir will meet volunteers at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5 and will clean until 3 p.m.

Captains and locations for the four Catskills clean-up groups are below:

Cannonsville Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Tina James, who leads the Future Farmers of America program at the Walton Central School District, and Nick Barone, president of the Deposit Chamber of Commerce. Volunteers will meet at Chamberlain Brook.

Neversink Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Boy Scout Troop 97 in Neversink, which is run by Keith Mentnech. Volunteers will meet at the information kiosk on Route 55.  Read more

Jeffersonville man arrested; found with 200 bags of heroin

Left: Tyrell Simon (left) and Shane Nystrom. Photo via the New York State Police.

New York State Police officers arrested 26-year-old Tyrell Simon in the Sullivan County village of Jeffersonville on Wednesday, Sept. 30 after allegedly finding "two-hundred decks of heroin, suboxone, marijuana and a stolen, loaded .22 caliber handgun" in his possession.

Simon is suspected of dealing drugs in Jeffersonville, according to a press release issued by the New York State Police this week.

Simon was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, controlled substances and marijuana and stolen property, as well as with resisting arrest.

Another man, 27-year-old Shane Nystrom of Jeffersonville, was also arrested on Sept. 30 for obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest.

This weekend: The Woodsmen's Festival

Above: A lumberjack in action at the Hanford Mills Museum's Woodsmen's Festival. Photo contributed by the Hanford Mills Museum.

Lumberjacks will descend on East Meredith tomorrow to demonstrate cross-cut sawing, ax throwing, and horse-powered log hauling at the Woodsmen's Festival at the Hanford Mills Museum.

The Woodsmen’s Club from the SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill is the main attraction, but the festival also features wood workers from across the Catskills, live music, crafts, museum exhibits, and tours of the mill's water-powered sawmill, gristmill and woodworking shop.

The Woodsmen's Festival at the Hanford Mills Museum. Saturday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Hanford Mills Museum, 51 County Highway 12, East Meredith, at the intersection of Delaware County Routes 10 & 12. 607.278.5744. hanfordmills.org.

The Hanford Mills Museum is a Watershed Post advertiser.   Read more

Three charged with passing counterfeit bills in Sidney

Above: Heather A. Wrench, Wesley J. Crawn, and Natasha P. Finch. Photos via the New York State Police.

Three twenty-somethings were arrested on Sunday, Sept. 28 for circulating counterfeit currency in the Delaware County town of Sidney, according to a press release from the New York State Police.

Troopers arrested 23-year-old Wesley J. Crawn and 26-year-old Heather A. Wrench, who live together on Edgewood Drive in Sidney, and 20-year-old Natasha P. Finch of Unadilla.

Crawn and Wrench were charged with felony forgery in the 1st degree and conspiracy in the 4th degree. They were arraigned in Delaware County and are being held in Delaware County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.

Finch was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 1st degree, conspiracy in the fourth degree, and three misdemeanor counts of petit larceny. She was arraigned in Otsego County and is being held in the Otsego County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.

The police suspect that more people are involved in the counterfeit bills scheme. The investigation is ongoing, and "with additional arrests pending," according to the press release.

Man on probation charged with dealing heroin in Walton

Delaware County Sheriff's deputies and police from the village of Walton arrested 51-year-old James J. McGinn on Thursday, Sept. 26 and charged him with heroin trafficking, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. 

This is the second felony drug charge for McGinn, who is serving a three-year probation sentence out of New York City in connection with a 2012 Queens County narcotic drug possession charge.

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office began investigating McGinn shortly before the 2012 charges, according to the press release. Last week, it charged McGinn with two class B felony counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. The sales reportedly took place in the village of Walton.

McGinn was arraigned on Friday, Sept. 26 in Delaware County Court and sent to the Delaware County Jail on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

The Old Blenheim Bridge will lose its historic status

Above: The interior of the Blenheim Bridge in 2006, in a photo by Flickr user paraflyer. The bridge was washed away by floodwaters in 2011. 

The Old Blenheim Bridge, which was the longest open-span covered bridge in the world before it was destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, is being taken off the National Register of Historic Places, the Schoharie Times Journal reported this week.

The paper reported on Sept. 29 that the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (SHPO) has begun the process of de-listing the site of the former landmark, in the Schoharie County town of Blenheim.  Read more

Explore the Catskills: Lark in the Park 2014

Above: “Big Indian Leaves,” taken in Big Indian by Michael LoBianco, the 4th Place winner in the 2014 Catskills Great Outdoor Experience Photo Contest.

The trees are popping into color like popcorn. If you haven't wandered somewhere outside in the Catskills yet this fall, get out there. 

Need a nudge? That's why the Catskill Mountain Club, the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the New York New-Jersey Trail Conference throw the annual Lark in the Park.

The Lark is a series of outdoor activities led by experienced hikers, paddlers, cyclists and anglers throughout the Catskills region between October 4 and Columbus Day, which falls on October 13 this year.

We've put together a calendar of the dozens of hikes, paddles, food tastings, movie screenings, bike rides, and picnics that make up this year's Lark in the Park festivities.   Read more

VW Parts fire ruled accidental

Above: The VW Parts junkyard on fire in Fleischmanns on August 26, 2014. Photo by Julia Reischel.

A fire that destroyed the VW Parts building at 717 Wagner Avenue in Fleischmanns on August 26 was an accident, according to Delaware County fire investigators.

Steve Hood, the director of Delaware County Emergency Services, told the Watershed Post in an email on Sept. 30 that the blaze was caused by stray sparks created by demolition workers who were removing items from the building.

The building, a former junkyard and auto repair shop owned by embattled junkyard operator William Hrazanek, is in the process of being sold with funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of a federal disaster remediation program.

Workers from Euro Nutz Inc. in Saugerties were cleaning out the building on August 26 before the fire began, according to Hrazanek and Hood.

"The final cause of the fire at the VW Parts building was determined to be accidental in nature, caused by workers from Euro-Nuts using a demolition saw to cut heavy pipes," Hood wrote. "The saw created sparks which went down into the wall on the side of the building next to the school."  Read more

Junkyard owner charged with felonies for Mount Tremper spill

Above: A baffle installed in a tributary of the Esopus Creek near 1420 Wittenberg Road in Shandaken, the site of a chemical spill, on July 11, 2013. Photo by Julia Reischel.

William Hrazanek, the embattled owner of multiple Catskills junkyards, was arrested on Tuesday, Sept. 23 in connection with a chemical spill on Wittenberg Road in the Ulster County hamlet of Mount Tremper last year.

Left: William Hrazanek in a DEC mugshot.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation charged 68-year-old Hrazanek with two felonies, according to Peter Constantakes, a DEC spokesman, in an email to the Watershed Post.

The charges were endangering public health, safety and the environment in the 2nd and 3rd degree and criminal mischief.

Hrazanek was arraigned on Sept. 23 before Shandaken Town Justice Thomas Crucet and was released on his own recognizance that same day, according to Constantakes.  Read more

Police: Woman killed by drunk driver in Rosendale; 19-year-old son seriously injured

Above: A photo of Kelly Utter, from a memorial GoFundMe.com page posted by her family.

A 50-year-old mother of four died and her son was seriously injured after a drunk driver struck them in the town of Rosendale on Friday, Sept. 26, according to a press release from the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

Kelly A. Utter and her 19-year-old son Joseph M. Utter were driving south on Lucas Turnpike just a mile from their house in the early evening to pick up dinner, according to a GoFundMe.com page set up for the family. 

When they reached the intersection of Cottekill Road, a car driven by 23-year-old Tyler J. Grable allegedly blew through a stop sign, striking the Utters' car. The collision was so powerful that Grable's car ended up upside down, leaning against on the porch of a nearby house. (See a photo taken by the Daily Freeman.)   Read more