Sunrise at the Landis

Flickr user A Man Called ACME was up at dawn on Presidents' Day to capture this view of a sunrise at the Landis Arboretum in Esperance.

Photo taken on February 17, 2014 and shared in the Watershed Post Flickr pool. Share your cold-weather photos with us via Facebook, our Flickr group, or by old-fashioned email.

Propane explosion leaves six homeless in Stamford

Above: The scene of a propane explosion in the village of Stamford, taken around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Damage can be seen on the side wall of the house on the right, 59 Main Street, where the explosion occurred. Photo by Michael Martin. 

A propane explosion in the village of Stamford left a Main Street house heavily damaged, displaced six residents, and shut down Route 23/Main Street in the area for several hours on Wednesday, Feb. 19. 

The Stamford Fire Department got a call at 11:46 a.m. about an explosion at 59 Main Street, first assistant fire chief Don Van Etten told the Watershed Post. When the firefighters arrived a few minutes later, smoke was billowing from the house.

Two of the building's six tenants were home at the time of the explosion, Van Etten said. There were no injuries. 

"Two tenants advised me that the building had a major explosion," he said. "There was a minimal amount of fire. We had the fire knocked down very quickly. It was more the damage -- two exterior walls were blown right off the foundation."   Read more

New Jersey couple sues Mohonk over norovirus outbreak

In the last few weeks, the owners and staff of the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz have weathered the outbreak of a nasty gastrointestinal virus, a week-long closure, the stem-to-stern disinfection of the entire resort by a 200-person cleaning crew, and even a rude Twitter hashtag

This week, Mohonk faces another setback: A lawsuit filed by two New Jersey residents who claim Mohonk management knew a norovirus was spreading around the resort, and did not warn incoming guests to stay away.

The plaintiffs in the suit are Louis and Anna Marie Bellotti of Fort Lee, New Jersey, the Daily Freeman reports  Read more

"Quick burst" of snow to hit Catskills this afternoon

See video

Above: Snow falling thick and fast at 11:40 a.m. in Margaretville at the WP HQ. 

This winter isn't over yet. The National Weather Service in Albany is predicting that a "quick burst" of 1 to 3 inches of snow will fall in the eastern Catskills this afternoon -- specifically in Greene, Schoharie and Ulster counties. The snowfall rate will be heavy -- about an inch per hour.

It has already started snowing that hard in Margaretville. See our video above.

The precipitation may become freezing rain as the temperatures rise just above 32 degrees, according to Hudson Valley Weather:  Read more

NYC mayor appoints Emily Lloyd as DEP commissioner

Above: New DEP commissioner Emily Lloyd and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday in the Blue Room at City Hall, where de Blasio announced the appointment of Lloyd and two other city administrators. Photo courtesy of Mayor de Blasio's office. 

Former New York City Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Emily Lloyd is getting her old job back, city mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday at City Hall. 

Lloyd headed the DEP from 2005 to 2008 under former mayor Michael Bloomberg. She resigned from the post in October of 2008, in a move that drew some speculation at the time about whether her departure was connected to controversy over the ballooning costs of the agency's Croton filtration plant  Read more

DEP police sign a new contract with de Blasio administration

Photo illustration. The reservoir in the background is the Pepacton in Delaware County; photo by Timothy Cox, shared in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

A union representing about 200 watershed police working for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently signed a contract with the city's new mayor, Bill de Blasio.

The DEP police contract -- the first labor contract signed under de Blasio's administration -- follows almost a decade of wrangling over the status of the DEP's officers, who have long performed many of the duties of police without the same level of benefits as other city police officers.  Read more

Heroin found in Fallsburg elementary school

Seven faculty members at Fallsburg's Benjamin Cosor Elementary School are being investigated after heroin and needles were found in a faculty men's room, the Times Herald-Record reports

According to Fallsburg police, drugs were found in the same bathroom on two separate occasions: On Friday, Dec. 20, heroin and several needles were found. More recently, on Feb. 11, a school staff member found a heroin baggie. 

Police have identified six teachers, an aide, and an occupational therapist who used the faculty men's room before the Feb. 11 discovery. The occupational therapist gave police a urine sample, but the other seven faculty members under investigation have hired lawyers and are not voluntarily cooperating with the investigation, Fallsburg police chief Simmie Williams told the Times Herald-Record:  Read more

Winter Olympics, Catskills-style

Above: Hudson Bennett bobsledding in Oliverea. Photo by Aaron Bennett. 

It's not Russia, but with multiple feet of snow on the ground, who cares? 

Aaron Bennett sent photos of his kids, Hudson and Samuel Bennett, doing aerials and bobsled routines on the steps of their Oliverea home on Monday, February 17.

Share your cold-weather photos with us via Facebook, our Flickr group, or by old-fashioned email.

Below: Samuel Bennett catching some air in Oliverea. Photo by Aaron Bennett. 

Three locals face felony drug charges after Thruway stop

Two Margaretville residents and a Saugerties man face felony drug charges, after a search by a state police K-9 turned up almost 700 envelopes of heroin in the car they were traveling in.

On Sunday, Feb. 16 around 11:30 p.m., state police patrolling the New York State Thruway in the Rockland County town of Clarkstown pulled over a 1998 Dodge Stratus for vehicle and traffic infractions, according to a police news release. After the traffic stop, "Marty," a police K-9, alerted troopers to heroin hidden in a dashboard panel and the center console of the car. Troopers found 695 glassine envelopes of heroin, stamped with the brand "5 Star," and syringes. 

Arrested were 36-year-old Joshua Levine and 31-year-old Debra Osborne, both of Margaretville, and 41-year-old Charles Hall of Saugerties. All three face charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony, and possession of a hypodermic instrument, a class A misdemeanor. Levine, who was driving the car, was also charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs.  Read more

Bovina's Two Old Tarts moves to Andes

Above: Two Old Tarts proprietors John Schulman (left) and Scott Finley in their Bovina bake shop. Photo by Andrew Wyrich. 

John Schulman and Scott Finley met for the first time at 22 Lee Lane in Andes way back when it was home to the Slow Down Food Company.

“He was the waiter, I was the customer,” Schulman said this week. “It was love at first sight. It was 2001; we have been together ever since.”

Since that day 13 years ago, the café has closed and several other businesses have come and gone there. Schulman and Finley, however, drawn together partly out of a shared love of baking, have formed a lifelong partnership. In July 2012, after many years peddling their artisan baked goods at local farmers’ markets, they opened Two Old Tarts on Bovina’s Main Street.

Later this year, the pair will come full circle, when they move their beloved bakery and community gathering space into the dining room where they met.  Read more