Supermoon over Monticello

John, who goes by the name Catskills Photography on Flickr, snapped this shot of Sunday's extra-large moon in Monticello and shared it in the Watershed Post Flickr pool.

A supermoon occurs when the full moon is closest to earth in its orbit. The most recent supermoon occured on Sunday, August 10. 

Flash flood watch for eastern Catskills

Above: A post from the Albany office of the National Weather Service's Facebook page today. 

Parts of the Catskills could get "torrential" rainfall of as much to 1 to 2 inches per hour tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

The eastern Catskills -- Ulster, Schoharie and Greene counties -- are under a flash flood watch issued by the NWS's Albany office. The rains are expected to begin close to midnight tonight, Tuesday, August 12. The flood watch expires at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 13.   Read more

Injured Esopus tuber prompts wild goose chase

Above: First responders near the Esopus Creek on Sunday, August 10, searching for an injured person who had allegedly already driven himself away from the scene.

Dive teams, firefighters, and first responders mobbed the Esopus Creek in the Ulster County village of Phoenicia on Sunday afternoon in what turned out to be a wild goose chase.

A report of an injured person in the creek on August 10 prompted a massive emergency response, according to an email from George Neher at the Shandaken Police Department.

Traffic was slowed to one lane on Route 28 as ambulances and first responder vehicles, several pulling boats, lined the roadway near the creek around 2 p.m.

But the first responders did not find any injured person in or near the creek. A police officer directing traffic told a reporter that it all seemed like a false alarm. 

As it turned out, the injured person had already left. A tuber had injured his hip and lost his inner tube while tubing the Esopus that day, prompting someone nearby to call the police, according to Neher. 

But the man left the creek himself before emergency personnel found him. Witnesses told the police that he walked to his car, which appeared to be a Mercedes-Benz, and drove away, according to Neher.   Read more

73-year-old man found dead after going fishing

Above: The Schoharie Creek. Photo via catskillstreams.org

A 73-year-old Rotterdam man went fishing in the Schoharie County town of Esperance on Saturday, August 9 and never came home, according to a press release from the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office.

Conrad R. St Pierre's body was discovered on a steep wooded area by the Schoharie Creek by a search dog on Saturday night. 

At 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, St. Pierre's wife called 911 to say that her husband had gone fishing in the Schoharie Creek and had not returned. 

A search began, and officers from the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office found St Pierre's truck parked on Priddle Road in Esperance.

Multiple first responders searched the area, and at 11:20 p.m., a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officer named Keith Isles and his K-9 DEC dog discovered St Pierre's body "in a steep and wooded area between Priddle Road and the Schoharie Creek."  Read more

Parole officer kills two in Palenville; high-speed chase ends in his suicide

A New York State Parole Officer killed his estranged wife and her boyfriend in his Palenville house on Sunday, August 10, and then led police on a multi-county car chase before killing himself, according to a New York State Police press release issued today.

Forty-six-year-old Robert Mroczek lived at 844 Pennsylvania Ave. in Palenville, a sleepy Catskills hamlet where a SWAT team and a helicopter descended yesterday afternoon.

Mroczek's wife, 49-year-old Pammi Mroczek, once lived at the address as well. Yesterday, Pammi Mroczek was at the Pennsylvania Ave. house with a boyfriend, 51-year-old Daniel Brennan of Schenectady.

Robert Mroczek encountered Pammi Mroczek and Brennan at the house and shot and killed them both, according to the press release.

A 911 call about gunshots fired was received by Greene County 911 at 12:45 p.m.  Read more

Possible homicide in Palenville

Above: 844 Pennsylvania Ave. in Palenville. Image via Google Maps.

An incident in the Greene County hamlet of Palenville brought helicopters and police to 844 Pennsylvania Avenue on August 10 to investigate a possible shooting and homicide, according to the Daily Mail, Daily Freeman, and the New York State Police.  

State police told reporters that they were on the scene around 5 p.m. on Sunday investigating a shooting and a suspicious death, but offered no more details. 

Kyle Adams, a reporter at the Daily Mail, reports that two people are dead, according to Greene County Coroner Richard Vigilo, and that Greene County 911 received a complaint of a shooting around 12:45 p.m. Adams also reported that witnesses saw a helicopter searching the area around Pennsylvania Ave. throughout Sunday evening.   Read more

This Weekend: 2014 Windham Mountain Bike World Cup Festival

Contestants in the men’s Cross Country Eliminator at Windham Mountain on Friday, August 8. Photo by PHUNKT.COM.

Pro mountain bikers from around the world are competing on the slopes of Windham Mountain this weekend as part of the Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) Mountain Bike World Cup.

Today, the elite event was the men's and women's Cross Country Eliminator finals. (See above.) 

The mountain is open all weekend to amateurs, too. A pack of volunteers from Windham have organized a slew of races, activities, and games for bikers of all abilities, including "Race the World" amateur cross-country and downhill races. There are also some more unorthodox events, according to a press release:

A Ride the Plank Challenge, where riders attempt to cross a pond on wooden planks supported only by inflatable tubes floating on water and the Red Bull Berm Burners, an individual head-to-head pursuit dirt cycling race that tests the rider’s ability between two fast, steep berms.

And there's a laser show and fireworks. What's not to like? It's free to come and watch, although you will have to pay for parking.   Read more

Grandpa Woodstock arrested; charged with selling marijuana and narcotics

Above: Grandpa Woodstock in happier times. Photo by Flickr user flat-outcrazy.

Woodstock's 70-year-old hippie icon, Grandpa Woodstock, was arrested on Friday, August 8 on charges of selling marijuana and controlled substances out of an apartment at 135 Tinker Street, according to a press release from the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team and the Ulster County Sheriff's Office. 

Left: Allyn M. Richardson's mug shot, courtesy of the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

Grandpa Woodstock, whose real name is Allyn M. Richardson, came to the attention of law enforcement after "numerous complaints" by neighbors that he was dealing from his apartment.

After Richardson's apartment was broken into by an armed assailant in June, Ulster County's team of narcotics investigators swung into action, conducting "numerous undercover buy operations."

The narcs closed their net on the septuagenarian this afternoon. Using a search warrant to enter Richardson's apartment, they found marijuana, diverted pharmaceuticals, electronic scales and drug packaging material, according to the press release.   Read more

Two-year-old boy allegedly killed by mother's boyfriend

Above: Toddler Mason Decosmo, in a photo posted on a fundraising website.

A 26-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of a two-year-old Marlborough boy, according to a press release from the New York State Police

The man, Kenneth M. Stahli (left) of Milton, allegedly abused the boy, Mason L. Decosmo, over the course of several days. Stahli was dating the child's mother, according to the press release. An autopsy detemined that the child died of blunt force trauma. 

After finding the boy unresponsive on Tuesday afternoon, the babysitter called 911, according to the Times Herald-Record. The newspaper reports that the couple had recently moved into the trailer where the child died.   Read more

The Catskills are hot (again)

The cover of August's Hudson Valley Magazine.

Brace yourselves: The Catskills are having their biggest moment since the height of the Borscht Belt resorts in the '50s.

Hudson Valley Magazine has dedicated its entire August issue to the region, declaring that "The Catskills Are Back," and featuring the pool at Phoenicia's The Graham & Co. hotel on its cover.  

[T]he big story of the day is that the Catskills have seemingly overnight transformed from a sleepy, somewhat rundown region to a hip ’n happening hangout for all types of urban culture vultures and — dare we say it — hipsters.

What is this we hear? It seems that every season, at least one new boutique hotel throws open its doors — and more and more city folk flee upstate to the forest. Cultural offerings abound, gastropubs serve up farm-to-table fare, you can even stay in a luxury yurt. Yes, glamping has come to the Catskills.  Read more