Above: Firefighters battle a structure fire on White Road in the town of Middletown on Feb. 4. Photos by Julia Reischel.
A house at 410 White Road in the Delaware County town of Middletown burned on the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 4.
Alice and Anthony Curley, who have rented the house for several years, were out at a doctor's appointment on Wednesday afternoon when the blaze began, said Janine Miller, Alice's daughter.
"They were only gone for two hours or three hours," Miller said.
Gene Rosa, the Chief of the Margaretville Fire Department, said that the Delaware County Cause & Origin team has ruled that the blaze was "an accidental fire having to do with the heating system."
The house had two heating systems, a propane furnace inside the house and a wood fired hot air furnace outside the house. (In a previous version of this story, I referred to this outdoor furnace as an outdoor wood boiler, which it is not. "It's a hot air furnace," Rosa said. "It's kind of unique.")
It is unclear which heating system started the fire, Rosa said. Read more
After the fakeout from last week's snowstorm-that-wasn't, a foot of snow is falling across the Catskills today, Monday, Feb. 2. Many schools and offices around the region are closed. We're tracking the storm below. Share your photos with us on Instagram, Flickr, Facebook or via email and we'll add them.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this morning announced that the travel ban in the Hudson Valley (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, Westchester counties), Nassau County, and New York City is lifted effective at 7:30 a.m. I-84 as well as the Thruway have been reopened. Drivers should use extreme caution and prepare properly as driving conditions remain poor and other states still may have travel bans in effect.
7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27: Snow much for that. Overnight, the storm tracked farther east than forecasters expected, and now the National Weather Service, Hudson Valley Weather and other forecasters have lowered their snowfall predictions for the Catskills and New York City. It'll be just another normal winter storm from here on out, with up to 6 inches possible in most parts of the Catskills.
While we are still under advisories and warnings for up to 6-12 inches of snow by the NWS, we fill that if the moisture does actually push west this morning into the afternoon, it will only produce light to possibly moderate snowfall totals. A general 2-6 inch snow fall with maybe a few higher spots seems much more logical at this point. No reason to believe this storm will discontinue its efforts to underperform the forecast.
As a side note, attacks against HVW and forecasters alike will not bring the snow back, it would be much more productive for you to tackle your degree in meteorology. We realize that this was a major blow to the science and to forecasting in general and it will likely open the floodgates of criticism against what forecasters do. Kinda reminds me of the movie "The Weatherman" when Nicholas Cage is walking down the street and he gets hit with a milkshake, with that said, I prefer a chocolate frosty from Wendy's.
For all local and state roads, a travel ban will go into effect at 11 p.m until further notice in the following 13 counties: Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Ulster, and Westchester.
County Manger Joshua Potosek has announced that there are no current travel restrictions for Sullivan County ... County Manager Potosek urges all County residents during the storm to remain indoors and off roadways whenever possible. If residents must drive, they are advised to exercise extreme caution when driving through this storm.
It looks like the only Catskills county included in the travel ban is Ulster, where drivers have been ordered to stay off the roads after 11 p.m tonight.
5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26: A travel ban on all roads will be in effect in Ulster and Sullivan counties, as well in more southern New York counties, beginning at 11 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 26.
"It is a total travel restriction ban," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a 4:45 p.m. press conference. "If you are in your car, and you are on any road after 11 p.m., you will technically be committing a crime."
"State roads, local roads, city roads, town roads except for emergency personnel," Cuomo said. "If you violate this state order it’s a possible misdemeanor, with fines up to $300."
Left: Lee S. McDonald. Photo via the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.
A Walton man allegedly bounced checks and stole large sums of money from victims across six counties in two states, police say.
Lee S. McDonald, a 35-year-old man who owns a contracting business called Blue Moon Construction, was arrested on Thursday, Jan. 15 by investigators from the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, according to a press release.
The Delaware County District Attorney's office charged McDonald with one count of grand larceny in the second degree and one count of grand larceny in the fourth degree. The exact amount of money McDonald allegedly stole is hidden inside a sealed grand jury indictment, but it is at least $51,000, and probably much more.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. In Delaware County alone, McDonald has been arrested three more times for passing bad checks from the checking accounts of Blue Moon Construction and Dam Broke Farm, another business he owns. Read more
Above: A bear snacks on birdseed after smashing a bird feeder at a home in Andes in 2006. Photo by Peter Possenti (using a telephoto lens.) Used with permission.
The spot Tim Meservey found at the base of a tree early one Saturday morning in September was a hunter’s dream. On a rise, it faced a gully that is a country lane for wildlife. A few hundred yards away is a farm where bears strip sweet, young corn from the stalk when no one is looking.
Usually, bears are not on Meservey’s big game list. Not as plentiful as deer, they are also elusive, and it was rare to see one in the woods by the time regular hunting season arrived in November in Greene County, where the 39-year-old hunter and middle school art teacher lives.
“They tend to head back up in the mountains in fall,” Meservey said.
But when the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) initiated an early bear season that started on Sept. 6 – the regular season opened Nov. 15 – Meservey said he finally saw an opportunity. Read more
"Not your Bubbie and Zadie’s getaway," the NYT writes, ranking the Catskills #39 on its list. The paper names a series of Catskills establishments that have been enjoying fantastic press recently, including The Graham & Co. and the Phoenicia Diner in Phoenicia and Cucina and Woodstock Way in Woodstock--all of which were also recently lauded in a feature in Vogue.
There's also the inevitable comparison to Brooklyn: Read more
As Republican Congressman Chris Gibson was sworn into his third term in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Jan. 6, he announced that it would be his last.
In a statement, Gibson said that he will step down from the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of his current two-year term:
"As I stated shortly after retiring from the US Army and first pursuing a seat in Congress in 2010, I planned to self-impose term limits. Accordingly, after much reflection and consultation with my family, this will be my third and final time taking the oath of office as a Representative in the US House. I thank the voters of Upstate NY for this privilege to serve and pledge to continue to work tirelessly on their behalf in this final term." Read more