Cuomo celebrates with anti-fracking activists

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is basking in the celebratory mood of his constituents this week. On Wednesday, Dec. 17, his administration announced that New York State will ban hydraulic fracturing natural gas drilling and also gave a green light to a casino resort in the Catskills.

Cuomo has travelled the state to glad-hand with supporters of both moves. He gave a speech in Bethel on Thursday, Dec. 18 to a cheering pro-casino advocates in Sullivan County.  Read more

New York state bans fracking

 

A video posted by Mark Ruffalo (@markruffalo) on

At a cabinet meeting that was open to the public today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York State Department of Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens and New York Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced that the practice of natural gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will be prohibited in New York State.   Read more

Tonight: Forum on safety at Kaaterskill Falls

Above: After two people fell to their deaths while hiking Kaaterskill Falls in 2014, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation installed a new fence and signage at the top and bottom of the waterfall. Photo via NY DEC. 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is drafting an amended management plan for Kaaterskill Falls, a spectacular Greene County waterfall where two hikers died in 2014.

After lobbying by state and town officials, the DEC installed new fences and signage at the waterfall in October, according to the Daily Mail.  Read more

Greene County drug dragnet arrests 18 people

Eighteen people were arrested on drug charges after a 14-month investigation by Greene County and New York State police and officials on Friday, Dec. 12, according to a press release from the New York State Police.

The arrests spanned Greene County from Jewett and Lexington to New Baltimore. The lengthy investigation involved undercover operatives buying cocaine, crack, heroin and prescription drugs from suspects around the region. Sealed indictments were handed down throughout November and December, police say.

The list of the 18 people arrested is below:

Joey Rodriguez, age 34, of Catskill, N.Y.: Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance 2nd (2 counts) and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 2nd (2 counts)

Gregory “Rebel” Bernard, age 37, of Catskill, N.Y.: Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance 2nd (2 counts) and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 2nd (2 counts)

Brian Bridgham, age 31, of Catskill, N.Y.: Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance 3rd (1 count) and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd (1 count).  Read more

Hundreds of Santas raise thousands of dollars at Windham Mountain

Above: Santas ride the chairlift on Sunday, Dec. 14 at Windham Mountain Ski Center. Screenshot from Windham Mountain's video of the event, which you can watch below. 

Windham Mountain invited Santa Claus to ski for charity on Sunday, Dec. 12, and 300 Santas answered the call. Hundreds of skiers wearing red and white received a free lift ticket and paid $20 apiece.

The fees--over $6,000 in all--were donated to the Windham Community Food Pantry, along with a matching $2,000 donation from the ski center, according to a video released by Windham Mountain.

Lance Wheeler also shot a video of the event. Watch it by clicking here. 

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$15 million in grants go to Catskills organizations

Above: Americorps team members work on the storefront of Catskill Mountainkeeper in Livingston Manor in June 2014. Mountainkeeper received a $1.8 million grant from the state of New York on Dec. 11, 2014.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo handed out early Christmas presents on Thursday, Dec. 11 in the form of $709.2 million in economic and community development funding to hundreds of organizations across New York state. Several Catskills organizations, including MTC Cable, Catskill Mountainkeeper and the village of Sidney, received over a million dollars each. 

Through the program, called the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, New York State issues grants to businesses, community groups, nonprofits, and municipalities. The Catskills did well this year, picking up over $15 million overall, according to our back-of-the-envelope math.   Read more

This Weekend: Catskills holiday shopping guide

Above: A window display at Ragtime Clothing Exchange in Callicoon, which hosts its first Dickens on the Delaware event this weekend. Photo via the Dickens on the Delaware Facebook page. 

The snow is on the ground, just in time for the fourth installment of our holiday shopping guide. (Want even more things to do? Check out our ever-updating Catskills events calendar.) 

Here's what's happening over the weekend of Dec. 13 and 14: 

Delaware County

Santa comes to the town square in Delhi on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., along with horse and wagon rides and hot cocoa. The town's holiday lights contest ends the next day  Read more

Prattsville bridge over Schoharie Creek to be replaced

Above: The Route 23 bridge over the Schoharie Creek in Prattsville. Photo by Doug Kerr.

The steel truss bridge that carries Route 23 over the Schoharie Creek in the Greene County town of Prattsville is slated for replacement in 2016, according to the New York State Department of Transportation, which is holding a public meeting about the bridge on Thursday, Dec. 11 at the Prattsville Community Church at 6:30 p.m.

The bridge, which was built in 1949, has been repaired several times in the past decade, most recently in 2012 after workers found a crack in its steel, according to the Mountain Eagle.  Read more

Website goes down, local news publisher says unprintable things

Above: Benton, the kitten that took over the front page of the Chicago Tribune for 16 minutes on July 30, 2013, thanks to a website goof. We feel your pain, Trib.

If you visited the Watershed Post today and got an error message instead of a piece of juicy Catskills news, it's not you, it's us. Thanks to a site update that went awry, most of the links on our site were down throughout the morning and early afternoon.   Read more

Slippery roads and a winter weather advisory

A winter weather advisory is in effect for Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties today, Friday, Dec. 5, beginning this afternoon and lasting through tomorrow morning.

The high roads in the Catskills will be icy tonight, according to a weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service in Binghamton:  Read more


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