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Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit, Sunday, February 2, 3:00 p.m.

A reading from two recently published books: Hands at Work: A Mother Daughter Creation. Poetry by Valerie Linet integrated with artwork by artist Lois Linet. Artwork from the book will be on exhibit for the reading.

Kasey Jueds will also read poems from her new prize-winning book of poetry titled, Keeper. Published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poem Claim from this book was recently featured on The Writer's Almanac and read by Garrison Keillor.

Olive Free Library is located at 4033 Route 28A, West Shokan, NY.

Holiday Fair at Olive Free Library

Saturday December 7th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday Fair. Children's story hour with author/illustrator Iza Trapani, crafts, piano music, caroling, local & handmade craft fair, lunch and bake sale!

Olive Free Library 4033 Route 28A West Shokan

Save the Date, 4th Annual Ashokan Watershed Conference, April 27th at the Ashokan Center

SAVE THE DATE

The Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program's 4th Annual Watershed Conference to be held at the Ashokan Center on Saturday April 27th.  

Registration material will soon be available at www.ashokanstreams.org

Olive First Aid is looking for your help

Registration open for Lifespring lifelong learning for adults age 55+

Planet Earth: Geology of the World, The Art of Memoir, and Geneology 101 are three of thirteen six-week courses offered by Lifespring, the Saugerties-based lifelong learning program for persons age 55 and over this spring. Registration is open now for current and new members. For a complete listing of courses and more information about Lifespring: Saugerties Adult Learning Community go to www.lifespringsaugerties.com or call 845 246-2800 ext. 452 to request a catalog. Registration forms must be postmarked by Feb. 28. Classes will run from Apr. 17 to May 22. Cost for this semester only is $40. Classes are held at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation, Glasco Turnpike in Saugerties. This facility is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Hein: Open Space Institute to fund plans for Ashokan rail trail

Above: A map of a proposed 11.5-mile walking and biking trail near the Ashokan Reservoir, on an Ulster County-owned railroad track that was once part of the Ulster & Delaware railroad and is currently leased to the Catskill Mountain Railroad. Map from Ulster County's website

The Open Space Institute (OSI) will use private funds to create plans for an 11.5-mile multi-use rail trail near the Ashokan Reservoir, according to an announcement issued Thursday by Ulster County executive Mike Hein  Read more

Winter's last hurrah (we hope)

People across the Catskills awoke this morning to find April's first green shoots covered in snow. Above: A row of icicles that sprouted overnight from a Margaretville roof gleams under a dazzling blue sky. Photo by Lissa Harris.

According to snow reports from the National Weather Service in Albany and Binghamton, some areas in the Catskills -- like Claryville in Ulster County, Livingston Manor in Sullivan County, and the Greene County mountaintop region -- got over three inches of snow Tuesday night. 

Tuesday's bout of winter weather came just a little too late to extend the ski season, which lasted well into April this year. Over the past week or two, the four major ski centers of the Catskills -- Belleayre, Hunter, Plattekill and Windham -- all put an end to this year's blockbuster season.

Above: No BBQs on this Margaretville porch til the snow melts. Photo by Lissa Harris.  Read more

Fleeing driver shot by police on Route 28 in West Hurley

A driver fleeing police pursuit in a car reported stolen from a Marbletown home was shot by a police officer on Tuesday night, the Ulster County Sheriff's Office reports.

Around 10:40 p.m. on Tuesday, police say, Ulster County 911 received a call from a woman in Marbletown who said her car had been stolen from her driveway. State troopers spotted the car on Route 213 and pursued it, but were unable to get the driver to stop. The driver fled into the city of Kingston, where troopers lost sight of the car.

An Ulster County sheriff's deputy then spotted the car, and continued the pursuit. The chase ended on Route 28 in West Hurley, when the fleeing car swerved into an Ulster County sheriff's vehicle, taking both vehicles off the road. The driver was then shot by an Ulster County officer while being taken into custody, police say.

The driver is being treated at Albany Medical Center. Police have not identified the driver, or released any information about his or her condition.   Read more

Cold front sweeps through area, bringing rain, sleet and snow

Above: Temperatures around upstate New York around 8 a.m. this morning, showing a cold front moving east across the region. The National Weather Service in Albany writes: "Current 8 a.m. temperature in Albany is 63 degrees while behind the cold front in Buffalo, NY, it is 33 degrees with a rain/snow mix."

Watch out for April showers -- and a few bouts of sleet and snow. After a few days of sunshine and temperatures in the 70s, the Catskills region is now bracing for the return of wintry weather as a cold front moves in from the west.   Read more

"Operation Spring Cleaning" nets dozens of drug arrests in Ulster County

Above: Images from a photo gallery of arrests made during the recent URGENT investigation "Operation Spring Cleaning," posted on the Ulster County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page

Over three dozen arrests were announced with great fanfare on Wednesday by the Ulster County Sheriff's Office, the result of a seven-month-long undercover investigation into drug sales by the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (URGENT) dubbed "Operation Spring Cleaning." 

The Sheriff's Office and other URGENT members held a press conference at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center in Kingston at noon to discuss the arrests. Police believe many of the drugs targeted in the sweep were coming into Ulster County from the New York City area, said Ulster County Lieutenant Ed Brewster, according to the Daily Freeman, which sent several reporters to cover the event live with online video clips.  Read more

Give us your best shot: The 2014 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest

Above: “Two Boys and a Dog in East Meredith” by Cindy Dunne, the second-place winner of last year's Catskills Outdoor Guide photo contest.

Update: The contest is now closed. Winners will be announced on May 27, when the 2014 Catskills Outdoor Guide hits the streets. Thanks for all the great shots. To see all the entries this year, click here. -- Julia Reischel

As part of our 2014 Catskills Outdoor Guide, we're hosting a 2014 edition of our "Catskills Outdoor Experience" photo contest, once again sponsored by the Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room in Big Indian.  Read more

Go fish: Opening day for trout in the Catskills

Above: Delaware River July 2013, by Jody Bryant, an entry in our Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest. (The deadline to enter is Thursday, April 3.)  

Today is the first day of fishing trout fishing season in New York State, one of the first true signs of a Catskills spring. On cue, the Times Herald-Record recorded anglers taking their first casts of the season at Junction Pool in Roscoe this morning.

Looking to get your fishing permit? Head to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's new online license website, where you can buy and print your license from your computer.   Read more

Tried and true: Catskills restaurants with staying power

Above: The Java Lounge, an upstairs café at Joshua's, overlooks Tinker Street in Woodsock. Photo courtsey of Joshua's.  

It’s an exciting time for the Catskills restaurant scene. In the past few years, the area has launched many new restaurants. (For a smattering, see our related story in the Catskills Food Guide.)

But the flip side is that restaurants tend to come and go, especially in the far-flung rural corners of the region. Nothing puts the kibosh on an evening out as surely as showing up at that cute little bistro you’ve heard so much about only to find that it’s closed, or has changed its hours, or the owners decided to take off for Palm Beach until spring.

Here, then, are a few well-loved mainstays of the local dining scene. If you’re in search of reliable hours, battle-tested entrees and service that runs like a well-oiled machine, look no further.  Read more

Sleet and ice accumulating across the western Catskills

Roads in the higher elevations of the Catskills are dangerously slick tonight, especially in the western Catskills counties of Delaware and Sullivan, where the National Weather Service's Binghamton office has issued a special weather bulletin about bands of snow and sleet moving through the area

Citizen reports coming into the NWS are indicating many accidents on the roads. Earlier this evening, Delaware County Fire Wire and Emergency News reported that first responders were on the scene at Exit 87 off Route 17 in Hancock, where a car went over the bank.   Read more

Flood watches in effect across the Catskills

A mix of heavy rains in the forecast, late-spring snow still clinging to mountain slopes, and still-frozen ground could be a recipe for flash flooding in the Catskills region Saturday night through Monday, forecasters warn. 

Heavy rain is expected to move into the region late Saturday, and continue through Sunday. Hudson Valley Weather is predicting two to three inches of rain across the Catskills and Hudson Valley  Read more