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Sean Eldridge to run for Chris Gibson's seat in Congress

Photo of Sean Eldridge taken December 14, 2012. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Sean Eldridge may be best known to the national press as "Chris Hughes's husband" -- the guy whose high-profile marriage to the wealthy Facebook co-founder and New Republic publisher made the New York Times's "Weddings" section last summer. But by the time the 2014 election season gets underway, odds are the 26-year-old investor will be a household name in his own right.  Read more

U.S. Post Office to stop Saturday mail

Photo of NYC mail carrier by Flickr user Wayne Surber. Published under Creative Commons license.

By August, news outlets around the country are reporting, the U.S. Postal Service will put a halt to Saturday mail delivery in an effort to cut costs at the struggling agency.

The USPS hasn't made an official announcement yet -- a press conference will be held later today -- but the Associated Press has gotten a sneak peek at the agency's news release. From an AP story published this morning:

Material prepared for the Wednesday press conference by Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO, says Postal Service market research and other research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs.  Read more

DEC commissioner talks fracking at budget hearing

This morning, a joint legislative budget hearing was packed to the gills as Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner Joe Martens testified to legislators about hydraulic fracturing.

Martens began speaking at 9:30am. The Democrat and Chronicle is currently hosting a livestream of Martens' testimony on their website.

Gannett reporter Jon Campbell, who is tweeting live from the hearing, writes for the Democrat and Chronicle:  Read more

Congressman Chris Gibson opens new local offices

Above: Congressman Chris Gibson listens to Olga and Ivan Orisek of Forestburgh at his Liberty office open house on Wednesday, January 30. Photo by Jason Dole.

Though he's been in office since 2011, Congressman Chris Gibson (R-Kinderhook) is still a fresh face to much of the newly-created 19th Congressional District.  Read more

Forecasters warn of high winds and possible flooding

National Weather Service forecasters are warning Catskills residents that high winds are expected to develop tonight and tomorrow, increasing the risk of downed trees and power outages across the region. The area is already under a flood watch, with heavy rains expected to fall later in the evening.

The National Weather Service in Albany issued a high wind warning for a large swath of eastern New York tonight and tomorrow, including Ulster, Greene and Schoharie Counties. The alert warns that winds gusting up to 65 miles per hour are expected to develop after 10pm tonight:

Southerly Winds Becoming West Thursday Morning At 20 To 35 Mph With Gusts To 65 Mph...With The Strongest Wind Gusts Expected Across Higher Elevations...And Across Portions Of The Western Mohawk Valley.   Read more

Flood watch issued across the Catskills region

Heavy rain and warmer temperatures are pushing into the southern Catskills, melting snow on the ground and bringing an increased risk of flash flooding.

An alert issued Tuesday afternoon by the National Weather Service in Binghamton urges Delaware, Sullivan and Otsego County residents to watch out for flooding along rivers and creeks on Wednesday and Thursday:

A Strong Storm System Is Developing Over The Center Of The Country And Will Push Mild Air And Rain Into The Region On Wednesday. Some Of The Rain Will Be Heavy Wednesday Evening. This Rain...In Combination With Melting Snow ...Could Cause Flooding Of Small Streams And Minor Flooding Of The Rivers In The Region. ...Flood Watch In Effect From Wednesday Evening Through Thursday Morning.  Read more

Snow falling, schools closing

A snowstorm that threatens to change over to ice and sleet later in the day is prompting school closings and other cancellations across the Catskills region. 

Ulster County executive Mike Hein's office announced this morning that the State of the County address scheduled for this evening will be postponed because of the weather. Hein's address is now scheduled for Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 6:30 PM in SUNY Ulster’s College Hall.

Below are a few links for more info on local weather-related cancellations.

School closings in Sullivan and Ulster Counties, via the Times Herald-Record.

School and community organization closings in Ulster and Greene Counties, via the Daily Freeman.  Read more

ORDA's Ted Blazer on Belleayre Mountain: "I apologize if it's not perfect, but we want to make it better"

See video

Above: Video of Ted Blazer's comments to the Catskills at the Boiceville Inn last night. Apologies for the extremely fuzzy video quality. Video shot by Julia Reischel.

Ted Blazer, the CEO of the Olympic Regional Development Authority, visited the Catskills last night to deliver an apology and a promise about the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, which ORDA took over in November. (For our previous coverage of the ORDA takeover, click here.)  Read more

Bonacic issues petition to repeal new state gun control law

Above: A screenshot from state senator John Bonacic's website, urging constituents in the 42nd District to sign a petition to repeal New York State's new gun control law.

With the ink hardly dry on New York State's new gun control law, New York state senator John Bonacic has already begun a petition drive to get the law repealed. Bonacic was one of 18 Republican state senators to vote against the bill.

Bonacic's district, the 42nd, includes all of Sullivan County as well as parts of Delaware, Ulster and Orange Counties.

On January 16, the day after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed New York State's gun control legislation into law, Bonacic urged his constituents to sign a petition in support of repealing the law:  Read more

Covidien employee charged with drug trafficking

A Davenport man who was employed at the Covidien pharmaceutical plant in Hobart has been arrested on felony drug trafficking charges, after a lengthy investigation linked him to two other recent arrests involving the trafficking of oxycodone powder diverted from pharmaceutical manufacture.

Jason Wilsey, 33, turned himself in at the Delaware County courthouse on Tuesday morning, accompanied by his attorney. Wilsey is charged with first-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a class A-I felony that carries a sentence of 8 to 20 years for first-time offenders.  Read more