Above: New York State Agricultural Society President Diane Held congratulates Schoharie County farmer Richard Ball, recently appointed as New York State's new Commissioner of Agriculture, at the group's 2014 forum on New York agriculture. Photo from the New York State Agricultural Society's Facebook page.
Above: Inge Grafe-Kieklak, plaintiff in a recent lawsuit challenging a Sidney town moratorium on gas drilling, demonstrates at a pro-drilling rally in Albany on Oct. 15, 2012. Grafe-Kieklak's sign, written in her native German, translates: "Gov. Cuomo, you have no right to take our mineral rights!" Photo taken by pro-drilling blogger Andy Leahy of NY Shale Gas Now; reproduced by permission.
A state judge struck down the town of Sidney's recently-passed moratorium on gas drilling last week, ruling that the town failed to follow proper procedure in enacting the law.
The decision has been hailed by pro-drilling advocates as a victory. But because of its narrow focus, the Sidney case is unlikely to have much impact on the larger legal question of whether towns have authority to regulate gas drilling within their borders -- an issue that is still yet to be heard by the New York State Court of Appeals, the state's highest court. Read more
The Northeast is thawing out this weekend, after several days of intense subzero cold. In the Catskills and across a wide area of upstate New York, a combination of rain in the forecast and melting snow and ice from rapidly-warming temperatures has the region under floodwatch from Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening. Read more
Local forecasters at the National Weather Service in Binghamton are predicting that temperatures Monday night and Tuesday could be the coldest in a decade or more. In a detailed briefing issued Monday morning, NWS forecasters warned that Tuesday would be the coldest day of the cold snap, with temperatures down to 10 below zero or lower and wind chills of up to 30 to 35 below zero in their forecast area, which extends to the western Catskills.
We're tracking the local impacts of the cold front in real time on Storify. Let us know of any road accidents, power outages or other issues in your neighborhood at [email protected], and we'll post them to the liveblog below. (We'll gladly share your gorgeous ice pictures, too.) The latest updates appear at the top of the liveblog.
Thousands of households in rural Delaware County lost power during the early morning hours on Saturday, January 4, in a NYSEG power outage that struck on the same night as a brutal cold snap.
The outage struck over 4,000 of NYSEG's customers in the county, according to a post on Facebook from the Downsville Volunteer Fire Department. Other reports on social media indicated that power outages occurred in Walton, Delhi, Hamden, Colchester, Bovina and possibly other towns in the county. The outages occurred around 2:30 a.m., and power was restored within a few hours.
Skies over the Catskills are dazzling blue today, in the wake of a snowstorm that left over a foot of snow in some areas. But watch out -- with temperatures in the single digits, and expected to fall below zero overnight, it's still frostbite weather out there. Read more
In the Hudson Valley, I-84 will be closed to commercial traffic starting at 5 p.m. At midnight, I-84, the New York State Thruway south of Albany, and the Long Island Expressway will all be closed to all traffic.
Officials tentatively plan to reopen the roads at 5 a.m., but will make a decision based on road conditions by 4 a.m., according to a report by the Associated Press.
Three local residents and a dog were drowned in two separate accidents in Delaware County this week, the New York State Police announced Thursday morning. In both incidents, the victims apparently fell through thin ice and succumbed to hypothermia.
The first victim, 74-year-old Marvin Taub of Oneonta, was reported missing on the evening of Monday, December 30, after he failed to return from walking his neighbor's dogs at the Pine Lake campus of Hartwick College in Davenport. A search was organized, with state troopers, forest rangers, Hartwick College public safety officers, and Davenport fire and EMS personnel.
Taub's body was recovered from a frozen pond on the campus on the afternoon of Tuesday, December 31, after searchers found tracks leading to the pond. Delaware County medical examiner James Cooros examined Taub and declared the cause of death to be accidental drowning and hypothermia. Read more