Latest Tri-State News Headlines Updated September 24, 2020 5 PM

Governor Ned Lamont, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, and Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt announced the launch of a new initiative to provide emergency food resources to Connecticut’s food pantries as the state continues to respond to the ongoing impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the initiative, food pantries in need of assistance can visit CTPantryResources.com, where they can connect to resources on food procurement and distribution, volunteer assistance, shipping and storage supports, and more.The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is now utilizing the website to facilitate statewide distribution of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmers-to-Families Food Boxes starting Monday, September 28 through Saturday, October 31. Interested food pantries or other parties must fill out an online form on the website to express their interest in receiving food boxes and confirm the ability to meet the following requirements:
Able to accept at least 9 pallets containing 576 food boxes and 3 pallets of milk containing 576 gallons;
Ability to unload the trailer using a pallet jack and/or forklift and/or loading dock;
Provide on-site point of contact to receive and/or manage distribution of boxes;
Provide immediate distribution or have access to refrigerated storage.
Organizations that are unable to meet the criteria should contact their local emergency management director, who will connect them to regional coordinated efforts. ”

COVID vaccine: How New York will prioritize who gets it and when

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/politics/albany/2020/09/24/covid-vaccine-how-new-york-prioritize-who-gets-and-when/3517319001/

New York will conduct its own review of any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the federal government before the vaccines are released in the state and then will prioritize who gets them first, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. Cuomo ripped the federal response to the pandemic and questioned whether he would trust any vaccine decision made by the Trump administration amid the presidential campaign. “Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion, and I’m not going to recommend to New Yorkers based on the federal government’s opinion,” Cuomo said during a press briefing in Manhattan. Cuomo said it will appoint a team of experts to review any federal approval of a vaccine and then would decide how any vaccine deemed safe would be distributed.

County airport gets $2M for improvements

By Natasha Vaughn Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/county-airport-gets-2m-for-improvements/article_7d922120-1742-5033-8b3a-ccab0e403580.html

GHENT — The Columbia County Airport received nearly $2.1 million in federal grants for three projects. The Federal Aviation Administration will cover 100% of the projects’ costs this year, unlike the usual way
they are funded — 90% through federal funding, 5% from state funds and 5% from county funding set up for Airport Improvement Program grants.
The total amount of the FAA grant is $2,062.815. An additional 10% funding this year comes from the COVID stimulus package passed by Congress in April, Columbia County Director of Engineering Dean Knox said. The Columbia County airport received three federal grants through the Airport Improvement
Program.

Mass exodus on town planning board

By Sarah Trafton Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/greenecounty/mass-exodus-on-town-planning-board/article_9a74de8c-6d98-51b4-a642-536adce6a72a.html

CATSKILL — The composition of the Catskill town planning board changed abruptly when three members of the planning board stepped down.
Joseph Izzo, Reid Mower and Charles Holtz resigned, and the town board unanimously appointed William DeLuca and Angelo DiCaprio their replacements, with Brenda Vandermark as an alternate. The mass resignations began shortly after Teresa Golden was appointed to chair the board when Thomas Decker resigned in August. Golden was appointed in a 4-2 vote by secret ballot. Planners did not vote in secret ballots, secretary Patricia Case-Keel said, but the board switched to the procedure within the past year. Freedom of Information Law requires a record of the final vote of each member of every entity proceeding
in which the member votes.

Falls Village ZOOM meeting of Planning And Zoning

The Zoom Falls Village Planning And Zoning meeting on the proposed new housing site was left open and another one scheduled for October 1 at 6:30.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is announcing the start of roadway construction activities for the railroad – Highway Grade Crossing Improvement at Rte. 7 and 44(Main Street) in the Town of North Canaan.


Work will start the week of September 28th. Commencing Monday, September 28, 2020, alternating one-way traffic can be expected for the start of roadway construction. Whenever possible two-way traffic will be maintained. The Contractor shall not interfere with traffic Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. & between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Travelers should expect alternating one-way traffic will be controlled by flaggers.

No immunizations means no school – even for students studying remotely

Justin Murphy Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/education/2020/09/23/no-immunizations-school-remote-covid-measles-erin-graupman-rcsd/5865307002/

Tens of thousands of New York students started the school year remotely in order to avoid the risk of spreading illness — but some are being excluded from their online classrooms on public health grounds.
State Department of Health guidelines about required immunizations remain in effect this year, even for students who will not set foot in a classroom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That means students who lack all their immunizations 14 days after the beginning of the school year cannot attend school, either in-person or remotely. The issue has set off a scramble in the mostly urban districts where all classes are remote for now.

Berkshire Botanical Garden’s legendary New England autumn harbinger
continues this year with Harvest Festival Reimagined, a month-long celebration featuring children’s activities, a botanical barnyard, workshops and classes, live music and a Halloween event, all spread over five weekends in the Garden.

All activities are free with admission, and
parking is free.This has been such an unusual year for us and for everyone in our community,said BBG Executive Director Michael Beck. “We have had to reimagine so many of our events and programs, but we are really excited to turn our traditional Columbus Day weekend Harvest Festival into a month-long celebration of autumn in the Berkshires. That way, we hope that many
people in our community can safely visit BBG this October and continue to experience what the Garden and our fall traditions are all about.”
All events will be COVID-compliant and capacity-controlled, and masks are mandatory. Timed admission ticketing is required, which can be reserved on BBG’s website, berkshirebotanical.org. Admission is $7.50 for adults, with BBG members and children under 12 admitted free of charge. Memberships are available at berkshirebotanical.org/membership or by calling 413 298-4532.

More Connecticut schools deal with COVID-19 cases

Caitlin Francis, Rob Polansky

Full story at https://www.wfsb.com/news/more-schools-deal-with-covid-19-cases/article_ece7430c-fd88-11ea-81fb-e3cfbc713a22.html

A growing list of schools is dealing with new cases of the coronavirus.
Students, parents and teachers have needed to adjust across the state on Wednesday morning. An individual in the Hebron Public Schools district tested positive for COVID-19. Superintendent Thomas Baird said the person works in a support capacity for the district. The individual is self-isolating for 10 days. Baird said it was determined that no students or staff were at risk.
Conard High School in West Hartford will be open for seniors taking the SAT, but all other students will be working remotely. Southington High School will be doing remote learning for a third straight day. The superintendent said that could be extended depending on the outcome of contact tracing.
The school is hoping to go hybrid starting on Thursday. East Lyme High School is also closed on Wednesday and students will be learning from home.

Police reform liaison to be hired at $250 an hour

By Natasha Vaughn Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/police-reform-liaison-to-be-hired-at-250-an-hour/article_76057225-e96b-59d2-93e2-3a4227793118.html

HUDSON — The Columbia County Board of Supervisors is creating a panel to look at police reform in the county and is expected to hire a liaison to lead the effort. The facilitator will earn a rate of $250 an hour, according to the county resolution establishing the position. Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell, R-Stockport, said he expects the facilitator will be needed for
fewer than 20 hours. In June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order requiring local municipalities in the state to adopt a policing reform plan by April 1, 2021, or face the loss of state funding.

Amid COVID-19, retirements in New York public schools continue to soar

Joseph Spector New York State Team

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/23/teacher-retirements-new-york-grow-covid-19/3499985001/

The number of educators who retired in public schools between April and August this year hit about 6,060, up 9% compared to the same period last year, records from the state Teachers’ Retirement System showed. And in August, when just a few hundred typically put in their retirement papers each year, the number this year soared to 580 — more than double the amount in 2019. The increase is a concern for school districts who had already talked regularly about a teacher shortage. Now some of their most experienced teachers and administrators are retiring, perhaps ahead of schedule, as the coronavirus looms over the school year.

Rhode Island returns to Connecticut, New York And New Jersey travel restriction list

BY PAUL HUGHES REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/22/rhode-island-returns-to-state-travel-restriction-list/

HARTFORD — Travelers from neighboring Rhode Island are once again subject to the travel quarantines after COVID-19 rates picked up in the Ocean State. The Lamont administration on Tuesday announced Rhode Island rejoined the watch list of states and territories with high rates of coronavirus infection along with four other states [Dash] Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, and Wyoming.
No states and territories were removed in this week’s updated tri-state travel advisory that Connecticut, New York and New Jersey jointly imposed on June 24 to check the spread of COVID-19 from outside the three states.
There are now 33 states subject to the reporting and quarantining requirements, plus the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam. The watch list is updated weekly every Tuesday.

Affordable housing plan will be on Falls Village zoning board agenda

FALLS VILLAGE — The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a hearing, via Zoom, on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. to hear comments on a proposed site plan application for an affordable housing development on River Road.
The plan, submitted by the Falls Village Housing Trust, calls for five buildings with 16 units on land owned by Habitat for Humanity Northwest Connecticut.A group of residents has expressed opposition to the proposal, saying it should be closer to the village center. Immediately after this hearing the Planning And Zoning Commission is scheduled to vote on the matter.

Hearing on Great Barrington Airports plans to add hangars to airport continued a third time

For the fourth time, the Great Barrington Selectboard has continued the public hearing for Berkshire Aviation Enterprises, which owns the Walter J. Koladza Airport at 70 Egremont Plain Road and seeks a special permit to build six new hangars over the opposition of several property owners in the western portion of Great Barrington near the Egremont town line. The board will resume the hearing at its regular meeting Monday, Oct. 5, at which point members will discuss the findings by staff, including town planner Chris Rembold and town manager Mark Pruhenski. At its July 23, 2020, meeting, the planning board voted 4-0 to give a positive recommendation to the selectboard on the special permit that would allow the airport to construct the six new hangars on land that is zoned residential.

Great Barrington to ask Gov. Baker, AG for help with Housatonic water woes

By Heather Bellow, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/great-barrington-to-ask-gov-baker-ag-for-help-with-housatonic-water-woes,614151

GREAT BARRINGTON — Town officials will ask Gov. Charlie Baker and the Office of the Attorney General to help solve water quality problems in Housatonic, after another summer of rusty water. The Select Board on Monday signed off on a letter asking Baker to “ensure that water quality and infrastructure improvements can be expedited” to fix the system privately owned by Housatonic Water Works Co. Along with water that runs yellow to brown at times, the system relies on mains too narrow to feed enough water into fire hydrants. The letter signaled that town officials are frustrated. The state Department of Environmental Protection’s Drinking Water Program recently told the board it has limited jurisdiction to deal with discolored water, since rust is considered a “nuisance” issue — not a health risk.

South County towns to forge new plan amid sudden senior transport shutdown

By Heather Bellow, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/south-county-towns-to-forge-new-plan-amid-sudden-senior-transport-shutdown,614142

GREAT BARRINGTON — With a shutdown looming of a crucial transportation service for seniors and the disabled, the town is stepping up to launch its own program — which eventually could serve other communities as well.
Town Manager Mark Pruhenski has arranged for the new service beginning Oct. 1 that initially will transport only residents of Great Barrington and Housatonic. But, he hopes to soon expand for residents of surrounding towns that contract to use the service, including Alford, New Marlborough, Monterey, Otis and Sandisfield. Egremont instead is using a grant-funded taxi service that Mount Washington likely will share. Sheffield has its own van and town-run service. The new service, Pruhenski said, eventually could be a better and cheaper way to help seniors get around. After operating for nearly four decades, the nonprofit Southern Berkshire Elderly Transportation Corp. announced this month that it would discontinue its service as of Sept. 30.

Improved broadband a concern throughout Litchfield County

FALLS VILLAGE — Improved broadband is of concern throughout the region and the topic was touched upon at last week’s meeting of the Board of Selectmen.
First Selectman Henry Todd said he is now a member of Northwest ConneCT, a grassroots effort to improve connectivity in the area. He said a regional plan would allow for economies of scale. If the state is involved, he added, it could mean it would do the bonding, which would cut costs dramatically.

Philmont write-in wins election

By Natasha Vaughn Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/philmont-write-in-wins-election/article_fcb36173-ba2d-57f6-859a-f19ed194b50f.html

PHILMONT — Write-in votes from last week’s village election helped to determine the winners of Philmont trustee seats. Originally thought to be an unopposed race for two open trustee seats on the Philmont Village Board, the
election became a four-way race when two write-in candidates received a large percentage of the votes cast in the Sept. 15 election. Incumbent Brian T. Johnson received 55 votes; Debra Gitterman, one of the write-in candidates, received 50 votes. They were followed by Mike Wheeler, the other write-in candidate, who received 39 votes, and incumbent Barbara Sagal, who received 37 votes, according to the website. The two open trustee seats will be filled by Johnson and Gitterman. Sagal will no longer hold a seat.

Great Barrington’s outdoor water refill stations to be dedicated

Full story at https://theberkshireedge.com/news-brief-water-refill-stations-to-be-dedicated/

Great Barrington — On Thursday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m., the Environment Committee of the Berkshire Women’s Action Group will gather in front of Great Barrington Town Hall, 334 Main St., to honor all donors who made possible the purchase and installation of Great Barrington’s three new water refill stations. In particular, three major donors will be acknowledged with gratitude for their support: Karen W. Smith, Dr. Sidney and Wendy Kleinman, and Bob and Nyna Malley. The stations were installed in late 2019 but were closed due to the pandemic. They are now open and dispensing water. The town will annually shut off the water to the stations once the weather turns, around the beginning of November, and reopen them in mid-April.

Gov. Lamont announces advisory committee to develop COVID-19 vaccination plan

BY PAUL HUGHES REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/top-stories/2020/09/21/gov-lamont-announces-advisory-committee-to-develop-covid-19-vaccination-plan/

HARTFORD — Gov. Ned Lamont is establishing a new advisory committee to help craft a COVID-19 vaccination plan, including determining which groups of people should be inoculated first in Connecticut.
Acting Public Health Commissioner Deirde S. Gifford and Dr. Reginald J. Eadie, president and CEO of Trinity Health of New England, will lead the vaccination planning group, Lamont said Monday.
He said the membership will include state legislators representing the four House and Senate caucuses, public health and medical professionals, state agency officials, labor representatives and advocates for the most affected communities.
While no date was set Monday, the Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group is expected to convene its first meeting in early October, and all of its meetings will be public.


Torrington High School closed through end of the month after confirmed coronavirus case All high school students to learn remotely.

BY LANCE REYNOLDS REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/21/torrington-high-school-closed-through-end-of-the-month-after-confirmed-coronavirus-case/

TORRINGTON — Students won’t be returning to Torrington High School for the rest of the month after an individual affiliated with the school tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.
Superintendent Susan Lubomski stated in a letter to parents Monday that all high school students will learn from home beginning Tuesday and continue remote learning through Sept. 30. She stated she expects in-person classes to resume Oct. 1.
School officials learned Monday that a member of the Torrington High School community tested positive for the virus. The infected individual was at the school Monday, Lubomski stated. She did not identify whether the individual was a student or staff member.

Investigation: 62 NY nursing homes failed at infection control amid COVID-19.

David Robinson New York State Team

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/coronavirus/2020/09/22/how-62-ny-nursing-homes-failed-infection-control-amid-covid-19/3482215001/

A USA TODAY Network New York review found the most serious violations revealed how poorly trained workers mishandled COVID-19 contaminated food trays, linens, gowns and mop buckets, potentially spreading the respiratory disease among countless frail and elderly residents. Many nursing homes also failed to isolate infected residents, including cases of healthy residents left to live with roommates who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. One facility was cited for potentially exposing 89 residents to COVID-19 due to the violations. And amid widespread personal protective equipment shortages, one nursing home was cited for keeping its stockpile locked up improperly, endangering workers who complained they lacked masks, gloves and gowns, according to federal and state records reviewed by USA TODAY Network New York.

Inspectors cited infection-control violations at 10% of New York’s 613 nursing homes.
A total of 95 health and safety violations overall were cited at 77 nursing homes, including six designated “immediate jeopardy,” the most serious threat to residents.
The state Health Department has fined 23 nursing homes $328,000 in connection to the violations, with additional fines being considered at other facilities.

Great Barrington man seriously hurt in crash; driver charged with OUI

By The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/great-barrington-man-seriously-hurt-in-crash-driver-charged-with-oui,614056

GREAT BARRINGTON — A town man was injured seriously early Monday, after the car he was riding in crashed into a tree, police said, and the driver was arrested for allegedly operating while intoxicated.
Raphael Orlando Gutierrez, 20, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Benjamin Michael Badurski, 19, heading south on Hurburt Road when Badurski lost control and crashed on the east side of the roadway, according to a release from Great Barrington Police. An officer came upon the crash about 1:13 a.m. Badurski, who was not injured, was able to get out of the vehicle, police said. But, Gutierrez was trapped and had to be extricated with help from members of the Great Barrington Fire Department and Southern Berkshire Ambulance Squad. He was treated at the scene and airlifted to the trauma unit at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

Berkshires COVID fund organizers look to where they can ‘lean in next’

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/with-2m-disbursed-berkshires-covid-fund-organizers-look-to-where-they-can-lean-in-next,614060

SHEFFIELD — A rapid response fund set up this spring by four community organizations to assist those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic has awarded more than $2 million since being established in mid-March.
Now, more than six months into the coronavirus pandemic, organizers of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County say, it’s time to reflect on the effort — and plan the next steps.
The fund was launched March 17 by Berkshire Taconic and the Berkshire United Way in partnership with the Northern Berkshire United Way and the Williamstown Community Chest. As of Aug. 3, it had given out 132 grants to 95 Berkshire nonprofits, according to a recently released report.
Additionally, in partnership with the fund, Berkshire Taconic and the United Way mobilized an additional $750,000 for grants that focused on essential frontline workers and vulnerable populations. Berkshire Taconic also provided an additional $250,000 by activating its emergency relief fund, Neighbor-to-Neighbor.

Connecticut State courts to resume criminal and civil trials

BY BRIGITTE RUTHMAN REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/20/state-courts-to-resume-criminal-and-civil-trials/

TORRINGTON – Jury duty notices the public didn’t have to consider as COVID-19 shut down courthouses statewide in March will be back in the mail soon.
Criminal and civil jury trials are set to resume across the state beginning in November. But this time, fear of contracting COVID-19 in courthouses will be considered a valid reason to be excused for those with underlying health issues. Protocols are being developed to guide everything from the jury selection process to the use of masks. Instead of gathering in traditional “jury boxes,” jurors will be socially distanced with “elbow room,” and view some evidence through video links. The whole floor of a courthouse could be set aside, limiting the number of trials that could happen at one time. Masks will be provided, but who will be required to use them isn’t clear; nor is it clear whether a negative COVID-19 test will be required before serving.

Spring break eliminated at four Connecticut universities as part of COVID-19 plans

Full story at https://www.wfsb.com/news/spring-break-eliminated-at-four-state-universities-as-part-of-covid-19-plans/article_b80dad70-fc15-11ea-b022-4f0824261026.html

Central Connecticut State University said spring break has been eliminated as part of the state colleges and universities COVID-19 plans for the spring semester. CCSU also said that the spring semester would start a week later than originally scheduled, on Jan. 26, 2021. The decisions were made in collaboration with the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system office and university presidents. The three other state universities are included in this plan as well. “At this time, we are developing our plans for next semester and our intent is to continue the combination of on ground and remote classes and activities,” said CCSU president Zulma R. Toro in a letter to the university community. Finals week, which is scheduled for May 10-16, 2021, will continue as scheduled.

Bicyclist airlifted after Germantown accident

By Bill Williams

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/bicyclist-airlifted-after-germantown-accident/article_720b9ca2-49aa-50e8-b2d5-ee26576f604f.html

A Germantown woman was airlifted to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital at Westchester Medical Center in Poughkeepsie after she was struck by a pickup truck while riding her bicycle on Saturday. Josephine Scarpulla, 60, was listed in stable condition Monday. On Saturday, Germantown Fire Department and Northern Dutchess Paramedics were sent by Columbia County 911 to Route 9G for a reported accident involving a bicycle and a pickup. Scarpulla
was riding her bicycle on Maple Avenue, when she attempted to make a left turn on to Route 9G, and rode into the path of a truck driven north by Marvin Romero Valdez, 27, of Hudson, Hicks said. Valdez was not injured.

Greene releases COVID breakdown

By Sarah Trafton Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/publicservicenews/greene-releases-covid-breakdown/article_486e7fd0-6cf7-5c95-90b5-d64067898cab.html

Greene County Public Health released its first breakdown of COVID-19 cases by town six months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency.
Columbia County Department of Health released its first breakdown by town and adult-care facilities April 10, less than a month after the statewide shutdown, and continues to release an update of cases by town each Friday.
Greene County began reporting the number of positive cases in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities in May, one month after its first nursing home COVID-19 case at The Pines at Catskill Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
Greene County Public Health also grouped some towns and hamlets together to make it more difficult to identify an individual, Linger said.

U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes tests positive for COVID-19

U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes announced on social media on Sunday that she tested positive for COVID-19.Hayes, a Wolcott Democrat, said she is asymptomatic except for breathing issues, which are being monitored. She said she plans to quarantine for 14 days.Hayes’ diagnosis comes after she was notified Saturday that a member of her staff that she had been in close contact with tested positive.Hayes posted a video of herself being tested for the virus with a nasal swab test.Hayes said she attempted to get tested at two urgent care centers on Saturday with no luck. She was able to make an appointment for Sunday morning and received the results later that day. “Contrary to popular belief, (members of Congress) do not get tested regularly. In fact, we are not mass tested at all in DC. Masks, social distancing and frequent floor cleanings are the precautions that are taken in the House,” Hayes said on Twitter. “I have taken every possible precaution and still contracted coronavirus.”

GREAT BARRINGTON AIRPORT PUBLIC HEARING CONTINUED

The Great Barrington selectboard has continued the public hearing on whether the Great Barrington Airport should be given a special permit to build six additional hangars, the hearing has been continued to today, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m.

Cornwall residents voice dismay over ‘ugly’ bridge
Selectmen may be open to improving aesthetics

BY RUTH EPSTEIN REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/20/cornwall-residents-voice-dismay-over-ugly-bridge/

Concern over the look of the newly repaired Cogswell Road bridge lingers. As they did during the last selectmen’s meeting, several residents appeared at Tuesday’s session to voice their dismay with the look of the refurbished span.First Selectman Gordon M. Ridgway began the discussion by noting that with 33, Cornwall probably has more bridges per capita than any other town in Connecticut. He said the town has been working on them for the past 10 years and there are four left in need of minor repairs.He said they are open to ideas, but he’s not sure the board can respond to all the ideas put forth. When Kotchoubey asked if there is time to look at some changes for the Cogswell bridge, Ridgway said yes.

Hudson mayor accepts Volkmann’s resignation

By Bill Williams Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at AT https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/hudson-mayor-accepts-volkmann-s-resignation/article_aa57e06a-3cf1-5272-8897-24f24845cf6c.html

Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson has received and accepted the resignation of Hudson Police Commissioner Peter Volkmann, Johnson said in a statement Saturday. “I’m thankful for the work that was accomplished during his nine months as commissioner,” Johnson said. Following Volkmann’s resignation in Hudson, Johnson will continue to work closely with the Hudson
Police Department, he said.

Woman suffers brush fire burns in Milan, airlifted to hospital: Assistant fire chief

Ryan Santistevan Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/20/milan-brush-fire-leads-woman-airlifted-westchester-medical-center/5844624002/

A 45-year-old woman was airlifted to a hospital after she was burned by a brush fire on Saturday, according to the Milan Fire Department.
Firefighters and Northern Dutchess Paramedics responded to a brush fire and subject burned on Route 199 near 12:30 p.m. The unidentified woman was burning a pile of brush when a container with flammable liquid caught fire resulting in burns to her face, chest and arms, She was transported to Westchester Medical Center’s burn unit. The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Department and Dutchess County Department of Emergency response assisted at the scene.

Jahana Hayes to quarantine after staffer tests positive for COVID

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/19/jahana-hayes-to-quarantine-after-staffer-tests-positive-for-covid/

U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes will be in quarentine after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Hayes’ office released a statement Saturday saying she had been in close contact with the staff member and worked in Washington and Connecticut over the past week. She was notified of her staff member’s diagnosis on Saturday. “All of my staff has been notified and directed to quarantine and get tested. I am asymptomatic and awaiting an appointment to get tested. I will quarantine until I have the test and receive the results. My CT and D.C. offices will return to full remote work until further notice.

Incremental changes: Positive test rate dips while hospitalizations rises in Connecticut

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/18/incremental-changes-positive-test-rate-dips-while-hospitalizations-rises/

The coronavirus numbers in Connecticut heading into the weekend showed a slight decrease in the positive test rate over recent days (at 1% on Friday), but also a slight increase in the total number of people hospitalized.
In fact, the hospital total, while a tiny fraction of what it was in late April when it got to just under 2,000, is at its highest level since mid-August. Gov. Lamont commented Thursday that this upward tick has caught the attention of his team as it struggles with public policy heading into the fall. While the key numbers have been trending up a bit this month, Connecticut is still among the best states in the nation in terms of a low positive test rate.

Chatham board places police chief on leave

By Bill Williams Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/chatham-board-places-police-chief-on-leave/article_a0225542-faa5-11ea-830a-0781648d33f7.html

Chatham Police Chief Peter Volkmann has been placed on 30-day paid administrative leave by the Village Board, Mayor John Howe said Saturday.
The village was served with a warrant by state police Thursday seeking computer records from its police department, Howe said, adding investigators seized only computers from the village police department.
The investigation is being conducted by state police, the state Comptroller’s Office and the Columbia County District Attorney’s office, Howe said.

Colleagues, community mark retirement of Great Barrington deputy fire chief

By Mike Walsh, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/colleagues-community-mark-retirement-of-great-barrington-deputy-fire-chief,613951

GREAT BARRINGTON — When it came time to plan his speech for retiring longtime firefighter Terry Chamberland, Great Barrington Fire Department Chief Charles Burger was at a bit of a loss.”I would typically roast people in that setting, but I couldn’t come up with too much. Talk about anybody around here, you can think of some hilarious story about how they messed something up one time, but I couldn’t come up with anything for Terry,” Burger said. “If I had to use one word to describe him, it would be ‘reliable.” The anecdote that stood out from the 18 years Burger has known Chamberland — he spent 44 years on the job — came on the very night of his retirement send-off. The department had a small parade and celebration this summer, and the streets were lined with community members the deputy chief has spent most of his life serving, there were hundreds of folks flooding in from Stockbridge Road down to National Grid.

Lawsuit demands compensation from town over years of sexual abuse

In a story first covered by Robin Hood Radio in April of 2019 Robin Hood Radio has learned of a lawsuit being filed filed by “John Doe” against the town of Salisbury. This lawsuit is the first to demand compensation for the alleged years-long pattern of sexual assaults by Arthur Wilkinson, the town’s former recreation director. The lawsuit was filed by attorney Alina Habba of Bedminster, N.J. In that suit Habba claims Wilkinson assaulted the plaintiff, from 1991-94 when the boy was in the seventh grade. Wilkinson, now 79, retired in 2005 after 39 years in the position. According to the suit, the abuse increased from once every few weeks to “every time they were alone together, often multiple times a week”. The lawsuit is seeking in excess of $15,000 causing a number of adverse impacts on “John Doe,” including depression and “permanent emotional and psychological injury requiring extensive counseling and therapy.” During the early 1990s, the plaintiff claimed to have spoken with at least two other boys who revealed a similar pattern of abuse, according to the suit. A full story is available in today’s Republican American https://www.rep-am.com/…/lawsuit-demands-compensation…/ The link attached to this story features an interview with Robert Wallingford, who came to Robin Hood Radio to explain what happened to him years ago in salisbury. As far as Robin Hood Radio knows, Wallingford is NOT the one suing the town of Salisbury….https://robinhoodradioondemand.com/…/marshall-miles…/

Mahoney’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse one of 33 more liquor licenses suspended in New York

Saba AliPoughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/2020/09/18/mahoneys-irish-pub-steakhouse-one-33-liquor-licenses-suspended-covid/5829364002/

Mahoney’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse was one of 33 bars and restaurants whose liquor license was suspended by the state for “egregious violations” of COVID-19 regulations, according to the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo “directed” New York State Liquor Authority to increase efforts to ensure those establishments near college campus that served alcohol were following public health regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The agency suspended licenses for 33 additional bars and restaurants from Aug. 29 to Sept. 13 bringing the total up to 201 during the public health emergency.  According to a statement issued by the governor’s office, Mahoney’s license was suspended because “On September 11th, SLA investigators observed approximately 50 patrons inside the premises consuming alcohol, dancing to live DJ music, not wearing facial coverings, and ignoring social distancing.” The restaurant, which is located in Poughkeepsie, is near Marist College.

Skywalk Arts Festival carries on

By Sarah Trafton Columbia-Greene Media

CATSKILL — The fourth annual Skywalk Arts Festival will carry on despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the park next to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge’s toll plaza. Visitors can buy artwork and listen to live music while enjoying the picturesque view.
The Skywalk, which connects the Thomas Cole Site and Olana Historic Site, was an $11 million investment that officially opened in June 2019

BCC student tests positive for COVID-19; 42 told to self-quarantine

By Amanda Burke, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/bcc-student-tests-positive-for-covid-19-42-told-to-self-quarantine,613841?

PITTSFIELD — Forty-two students and staff at Berkshire Community College were told to self-quarantine after a student tested positive for COVID-19.
The student is enrolled in one of the college’s Allied Health programs, according to Christina Wynn, interim dean of business and outreach. She said that upon learning of the student’s positive test result Wednesday, the college closed the classroom that the student had been reporting to for 24 hours and sanitized it. BCC has contacted all students, faculty and staff who had been in contact with the student and instructed them to self-quarantine for 14 days, Wynn said. Students in the impacted classroom were shifted to remote instruction and will continue distance learning for the next week.
According to BCC’s policy, the city’s Health Department and/or the community nurse assists with contact tracing. The college did not notify the entire student body of the positive test result, she said. About 70 percent of students are learning entirely online this semester, Wynn said, and BCC has “limited access points” to buildings.

Oct. 15 opening eyed for new Salisbury-Sharon transfer station

BY RUTH EPSTEIN Republican-American

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/17/oct-15-opening-eyed-for-new-salisbury-sharon-transfer-station/

Despite the fact that construction of the new Salisbury-Sharon transfer station has hit several snafus along the way, the Salisbury Board of Selectmen is hopeful Oct. 15 will be the day of its opening.
During its meeting the board heard updates from station manager Brian D. Bartram about the operation of the new state-of-the-art facility, which cost just under $7 million and is located off Route 44 in Salisbury, near the border with Millerton, N.Y. The present station is on land leased from Hotchkiss School on Route 41. The 35-year lease ends this year and the private school chose not to renew it.Bartram said he is working on a handout that will provide all necessary information to users. He said the one big change is the stationing of someone at the front gate to help the public. Color codes will be instituted: blue to show where garbage and single-stream items go into a compactor; gray for the office and swap shop; yellow for open-top containers that will hold scrap metal and leaves; and red to designate the building across the parking area that will house waste oil, paint and cages for electronic waste, tires and mattresses.
There will be a shopping-cart corral in the parking lot for users who need assistance bringing their waste to the proper areas. Residential and commercial users will be kept separate. Bartram said station sticker renewal is due and fees should be mailed to Town Hall or dropped off in the foyer.

The Incredible Naumkeag Pumpkin Show returns Oct. 1 with even more jack-o’-lanterns

By Jennifer Huberdeau, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/the-incredible-naumkeag-pumpkin-show-returns-oct-1-with-even-more-jack-o-lanterns,613797

The Incredible Naumkeag Pumpkin Show returns Oct. 1 with more jack-o’-lanterns, more lights and more fun.

About 1,500 jack-o’-lanterns, a combination of artificial and real pumpkins, once again will light up Naumkeag’s wooded trails and landscaped garden paths, every Wednesday through Sunday during October, culminating on Halloween. A limited number of tickets for the family-friendly event go on sale at noon Friday at tinyurl.com/naumkeag-pumpkin-show. Pre-purchased, reservation-based tickets are required. No tickets will be sold on-site. In accordance with state pandemic regulations, only 50 people — guests and staff combined — will be allowed on the grounds at one time.

Halloween traditions ‘possible’ this year in Connecticut, New york and New Jersey

BY PAUL HUGHES REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/16/halloween-traditions-possible-this-year-lamont-says/

Gov. Ned Lamont says he favors allowing Halloween trick-or-treating in Connecticut. Lamont said that he has told acting Public Health Commissioner Deirde S. Gifford that he believes the traditional observance of the annual holiday celebration is possible based the current levels of coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths. According to the latest numbers, there have been approximately 55,000 cases of COVID-19 reported in the state, 11,200 hospitalizations, and 4,485 deaths. There have been roughly 1,000 cases reported among children age 9 and under, and 2,660 among older youths ages 10 to 19. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that his state will not ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said last week that he also expects trick-or-treating to go forward this year in the Garden State.

Coronavirus in CT: Hospitalizations at 75 as positivity rate continues to trend up

Full story at https://www.wfsb.com/news/coronavirus-in-ct-hospitalizations-at-75-as-positivity-rate-continues-to-trend-up/article_2ee0e4fc-f2ee-11ea-beee-4bb138725890.html

On Thursday, there were 55,386 coronavirus cases reported, up 220 since Wednesday. That leaves a positivity rate of 1.6 percent.
There was one new coronavirus-related death reported on Wednesday, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic at 4,488. Hospitalizations increased by 5, bringing the total to 75. The number of tests performed since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 1,405,974, an increase of 13,857 since Wednesday.

New York’s infection rate drops below 1%: New deaths reported in Westchester, Dutchess

Isabel Keane Rockland/Westchester Journal News

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/coronavirus/2020/09/16/ny-covid-infection-rate-drops/5817773002/

While New York state’s infection rate has once again dropped below 1%, some parts of the Hudson Valley are reporting new coronavirus-related deaths.
After two weeks without any coronavirus-related deaths, one Westchester County resident died from the virus on Tuesday. After recording no deaths for over 50 days, one Dutchess County resident died last week from the coronavirus. Another person in Dutchess died Tuesday from the virus.
Of the 75,087 tests results received in the state Tuesday, 652 — or .87% — came back positive, bringing the state-wide total to 446,366 cases.
According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, every step New York takes toward reopening is based off these numbers and the data collected daily.

Black Lives Matter, campaign signs stolen from Rhinebeck properties: Police

Ryan Santistevan Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/16/black-lives-matter-campaign-signs-stolen-rhinebeck-properties/5817471002/

Multiple signs have been stolen from Rhinebeck properties in the last week said Sgt. Pete Dunn, Rhinebeck police spokesman. Campaign and Black Lives Matter signs were reported stolen in the area of Knollwood Road, Violet Place, and North and South Parsonage streets, Dunn said. The majority of the incidents were reported to happen during the night. Residents are asked to report suspicious activity and security footage in these areas by calling 845-876-8181. Individuals responsible for taking the signs face petit larceny and trespassing charges.

New York Lawmakers: DOH opioid data failure ‘unacceptable

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/publicservicenews/lawmakers-doh-opioid-data-failure-unacceptable/article_de3bd522-46a4-5ea1-95cf-1131de2699f5.html

ALBANY — Lawmakers railed against the state Health Department on Tuesday for not publishing updated opioid-related death counts required by state law and declining to participate in a hearing on substanceabuse issues as overdose deaths spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic. Assembly members held a virtual hearing Tuesday exploring the impact of the coronavirus and people
suffering from substance-abuse disorders and the availability of support services. Lawmakers are calling on the state to publish updated opioid-related death counts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Liz O. Baylen/Los
Melissa Moore, the New York deputy state director with Drug Policy Alliance, recounted harrowing anecdotes of ways New Yorkers struggling to recover from substance abuse have worked to prevent a relapse during the pandemic.

Region 1 budget in ‘good shape,’ school administrators say

Region 1 administrators said they are confident the district can stay within budget despite the increased costs to meet requirements for COVID-19 protocols. Business manager Samuel Herrick said even with paying for needed personal protection equipment, there are savings to be had in such areas as field trips. Interim Superintendent Lisa Carter said the district will be getting about $40,000 from the CARES Act

KENT

Library to host Zoom talk on local author’s book
Local resident and author John Milnes Baker will discuss his new book, “The Case for Edward de Vere as the Real William Shakespeare,” during a Zoom talk tonight at 7.The discussion, presented by Kent Memorial Library, will address the subject of whether de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, could be the true Bard. The event is free and open to the public. For information and the Zoom login, call 860-927-3761 or visit
https://kentmemoriallibrary.org

Dover Plains man arrested in Highland, faces felony criminal tampering with evidence

Ryan Santistevan Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/16/dover-plains-man-arrested-highland-and-faces-felony-tampering-evidence/5816513002/

A 48-year-old Dover Plains man was arrested Saturday after Town of Lloyd police said he was pulled over on Route 9W in Highland. Michael R. Bryant faces felony charges of criminal tampering with evidence, criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. Bryant was released on an appearance ticket. He is due in Town of Lloyd court on Oct. 10.

Gillibrand bill secures more coverage for vets

By Alex Gault Johnson Newspaper Corp

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/national/gillibrand-bill-secures-more-coverage-for-vets/article_ce0442c2-f109-5453-820e-45b791a70501.html

U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., joined by U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., introduced a bill Tuesday that would provide compensation and care for veterans suffering from illnesses linked to toxic burn pits in
combat zones. The senator announced the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act at a news conference outside Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday morning.Gillibrand was joined by Ruiz, as well as David Shulkin, former veterans affairs secretary, and comedian and
activist Jon Stewart. The senator explained that over the last 20 years, nearly 3.5 million service members stationed all over the world have been exposed to dangerous chemicals resulting from the military’s waste disposal practices.

CIAC reaffirms full contact football is cancelled this year

The governing body that oversees high school sports in the state reaffirmed on Wednesday that full contact football is cancelled.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference met Wednesday morning to discuss guidance from the state Department of Public Health.
It announced the final decision later in the day, saying full contact football wouldn’t be played for the upcoming 2020-21 season.
The CIAC did, however, agree that it would “consider allowing competition at a later time for a sport that cannot hold its regularly scheduled season, such as football, provided it does not negatively impact spring sports.”

Connecticut College students removed from housing after hosting guests in dorms

Connecticut College in New London is taking a firm stand against COVID-19 and any student who violates the safety precautions, which includes being banned for the semester. The gates are closed to visitors and because of privacy laws, Conn. College says they’re not discussing student discipling or conduct issues of the students they banned this semester for violating the new rules.
The scene of the women’s cross country team training on campus looks normal for any other year, until you see the bigger picture, which shows signage not allowing visitors because of the pandemic.

Educators, unions call on state to implement specific policies to handle coronavirus in schools

Several unions that represent educators are calling for the state to implement specific policies regarding the handling of coronavirus outbreaks in schools. Since the start of school, numerous districts have reported positive COVID-19 cases. However, there have been a variety of ways districts are handling the situations, with some closing buildings for a few days, others isolate cohorts of students. In a press release, the Connecticut Education Association and union members said they are insisting that the state “implement guidelines that follow Centers for Disease Control and state health department guidelines to assure student and staff safety.”

Leiser, Weir, Abrams elected in Kinderhook

By Natasha Vaughn Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/leiser-weir-abrams-elected-in-kinderhook/article_99496080-2a92-52f8-8f46-9e29d9ebb2a4.html

KINDERHOOK — A new mayor and two new trustees were elected in the Kinderhook village election Tuesday.Running unopposed, incumbent Trustee Dale Leiser was elected mayor with 236 votes. He will succeed James Dunham, who stepped down this year. Four candidates ran for two open village board seats. Michael Abrams received 162 votes and Dorene Weir received 142 votes, beating out candidate James Mark Browne, who received 119 votes, and incumbent Robert Baumeister, who received 89 votes. Although Leiser’s trustee term was not set to expire until 2021, his mayoral win will leave his trustee seat
vacant

Live drag to return with Beach Bash in Sheffield

By Danny Jin, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/live-drag-to-return-with-beach-bash-in-sheffield,613677

For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit the county, live drag is returning to the Berkshires. To Boxxa Vine, a Monterey-based queen who performs full time, the pandemic had been a “huge hit,” forcing cancellations of performances for which she already had acquired costumes and built sets. But, “Boxxa’s Beach Bash” on Thursday, she hopes, can provide “a little relief from everything” or a brief “non-COVID moment” for those who attend.
Noelle Diamond, of Albany, N.Y., and Ruby Madness, of Troy, N.Y., also will perform at the hourlong show at Dewey Hall in Sheffield. For safety reasons, the performance will take place outdoors, and audience members will be spaced out and required to wear masks.

Great Barrington Cemetery Commission permits ‘green burials’

By The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/great-barrington-cemetery-commission-permits-green-burials,613648

GREAT BARRINGTON — Great Barrington will join 18 cities and towns in Massachusetts that now permit “green burial,” the practice of burial within a biodegradable casket or a simple shroud.The process eliminates the embalming process and skips the purchase of hardwood or metal caskets and concrete or metal burial vaults.The Cemetery Commission voted Aug. 26 to permit green burials in any plot in any town cemetery without restriction, said Ed Abrahams, commission member and Select Board vice chairman.
As part of its review process, the board heard a presentation from a representative of Green Burial Massachusetts, an organization advocating for this “traditional” burial process. Green burial permits the body to decompose naturally into the earth.

Kent reverend ordained an Episcopal priest

BY RUTH EPSTEIN REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/15/in-your-corner-kent-rev-ordained-an-episcopal-priest/

KENT — In a moving ceremony, the Rev. Douglas S. Worthington, provisional clergy in charge of St. Andrew’s Church, was ordained an Episcopal priest Saturday. The service, adjusted to allow for social distancing, had the congregation sitting outside the church under a large tent, viewing on a screen the service taking place inside. Worthington came to the church last month, replacing the Rev. Roger White, who had served St. Andrew’s for 34 years.

Dutchess County sales tax revenue drops by $11 million since January

Saba Ali Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/2020/09/15/dutchess-county-sales-tax-revenue-drops-11-million-since-january/5808245002/

Dutchess County sales tax revenue dropped by about $11 million through August, compared to last year, as a result of the mandatory closing of businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19. “I’m hopeful that, short of a second shut down, the worst of the sales tax hits are behind us,” Dutchess County Comptroller Robin Lois said in a statement.In March, the state had closed down many of its businesses from construction work to malls. Business began to reopen over the summer as the number of positive cases declined.

Residents voice displeasure over PCB dump in final public hearing on EPA’s plan

By Danny Jin, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/residents-voice-displeasure-over-pcb-dump-in-final-public-hearing-on-epas-plan,613641

“The people of the Berkshires have not been heard.”
Those were the words of Andrew Proto, but they captured a shared sentiment at the final public hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to remove pollutants from the Housatonic River.
Commenters, who joined by phone or by Adobe Connect, leveled criticism at the lack of opportunities for residents to provide input before the EPA agreed to a deal that would create a Lee landfill to hold a low level of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a probable carcinogen. Written comments are open through Friday, although several parties — including three Connecticut Congress members — have requested an extension of the comment period through at least Nov. 20.

GREAT BARRINGTON AIRPORT PUBLIC HEARING CONTINUED

For the third time in six weeks, the selectboard has continued the public hearing on whether the Great Barrington Airport should be given a special permit to build six additional hangars.  The hearing has been continued to Monday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m.

Lamont levies new fines
Enforcement of COVID-related emergency orders eyed

BY PAUL HUGHES REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/14/lamont-levies-new-fines/

Defying the state mandate to wear face coverings in public will now carry a fine of $100 as the Lamont administration moves to encourage more enforcement of its coronavirus-related orders. Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday also announced new fines of $500 for organizers of events that violate indoor and outdoor attendance limits, and $250 for attendees of such gatherings. Previously, violators of the governor’s emergency orders could be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by maximum fine of $1,000, or a year in jail, or possibly a felony punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000, or five years in prison. Lamont and top aides said the potential penalties made police and local health departments reluctant to cite violators, so the governor is now giving law enforcement and public health officials the lesser option of issuing infraction citations that only carry fines.

LaGrange man dies in Taconic State Parkway crash in East Fishkill: State police

Ryan Santistevan Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/09/lagrange-man-identified-fatal-victim-east-fishkill-taconic-state-parkway-crash/5756684002/?itm_medium=recirc&itm_source=taboola&itm_campaign=internal&itm_content=RightRailArticleThumbnails-Redesign

A 50-year-old LaGrange man was killed Tuesday morning in a crash on the Taconic State Parkway in East Fishkill, state police said.
Daniel O’Brien was driving southbound in the left lane when he rear-ended a 2019 GMC Sierra that just merged into the left lane from the right, police said. The GMC’s operator was Joaquin Rodriguez, 51 of LaGrange. Police said O’Brien wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and “suffered severe trauma from the crash.” The investigation is ongoing. The Taconic was closed from about 6 to 10 a.m. while troopers conducted a full accident reconstruction of the scene. The crash was near mile marker 39.5.

Area restaurants prepare for autumn chill

By Natasha Vaughn Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/area-restaurants-prepare-for-autumn-chill/article_4fe6ff9a-a74a-5f8e-9f3f-0d8a46b54336.html

As cooler weather begins to set in, New York restaurants that have been using outdoor dining in the wake of COVID-19 face a new challenge — the autumn chill. Upstate restaurants have had to limit their capacity to 50% for indoor dining because of COVID-19, and to make up for lost seating many restaurants are expanding and using outdoor seating. In addition to limited patron capacity, restaurants are also required by the state to space seating so patrons are at least 6 feet apart from one another. Restaurants also must have supplies and staff to keep up with cleaning and sanitizing requirements.

California among six states removed from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey quarantine order

Jon Campbell New York State Team

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/politics/albany/2020/09/15/california-removed-new-york-new-jersey-quarantine-order/5801150002/

Travelers from California and five other states will no longer have to quarantine upon arriving in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, at least for this week. The three neighboring states confirmed Tuesday the nation’s most-populous state is no longer included in their joint travel order, which requires anyone traveling from states with moderate-to-high rates of positive COVID-19 cases to isolate for 14 days, unless they’re passing through or arriving for essential work. The quarantine list now stands at 30 states and territories after Maryland, Ohio, Nevada, Hawaii and Minnesota were also removed. Puerto Rico was re-added after it was removed last week. The full list is available below. California’s removal is a significant development for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut’s travel order, first implemented in June as the coronavirus cooled in the Northeast after a torrid surge in March and April.

New York State: Reopening schools: First-week frustration with remote learning; districts ask for patience

Katelyn Cordero Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/education/2020/09/14/reopening-schools-first-week-frustration-remote-learning/5762947002/

Parents and students from schools across the region say they were frustrated and confused at times during the first week of the academic year. Many parents said they struggled to understand schedules, and didn’t know how to help their children complete assignments in new programs.
That anguish is especially concerning, given all districts across the mid-Hudson Valley plan to include at least an element of remote learning this year. Ten school districts began classes this week, though only two held in-person instruction for only a portion of their students. The majority of instruction was performed online. And the number of parents who are intentionally keeping their students out of in-person instruction in favor of a full remote model is not insignificant. In Rhinebeck, one of two districts to reopen for in-person classes this week, roughly 20% of students plan to stay fully remote. Some other districts that do not plan to reopen buildings until later in the school year are anticipating an even higher percentage of their students to forgo the classroom, based on informal surveys taken over the summer.

New York eased auto inspections during COVID-19. What happens when they come back?

Jon Campbell New York State Team

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/politics/albany/2020/09/15/ny-auto-inspections-annual-requirement-suspended-but-how-long/3472840001/

Hundreds of thousands of New York motorists have put off their vehicle inspection during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving auto shops bracing for an onslaught of customers whenever Gov. Andrew Cuomo decides to restore the annual requirement. As of Sept. 4, New York auto shops had performed 739,000 fewer inspections since March compared to the average over the same period the prior five years, a decrease of about 11%, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. The drop is in large part due to Cuomo’s March 27 executive order temporarily suspending the annual vehicle inspection requirement, which came as the state took drastic steps to encourage people to stay home at the height of the coronavirus crisis.
Cuomo’s order is set to expire Oct. 4.

Marijuana shops, property tax changes highlight agenda for 2nd night of Great Barrington town meeting

By Heather Bellow, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/marijuana-shops-property-tax-changes-highlight-agenda-for-2nd-night-of-great-barrington-town,613531

GREAT BARRINGTON — In a second chapter of annual town meeting, voters will weigh in today on a slew of issues including zoning for marijuana businesses that could ban them from residential areas, and limiting the number of retail cannabis establishments in town.The meeting will also tackle changing property tax payments from twice a year to quarterly, and several amendments to bylaws governing accessory dwelling units (ADUs), which are smaller, separate structures built on an existing property.
The 32 warrant articles will be presented at 6 p.m. in the parking lot at Monument Mountain Mountain Regional High School. Town officials are keeping to the same procedure as the June 22 meeting, but because nine articles went unconsidered as darkness fell and voters fled, extra lighting is being added to remedy this.

Gillibrand, Schumer ask postmaster general to clarify status of
USPS changes

By Alex Gault

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/national/gillibrand-schumer-ask-postmaster-general-to-clarify-status-of-usps-changes/article_67fdb1e0-2660-5d2d-9b76-42328be75cf6.html
Johnson Newspaper Corp. CIAC told football still too risky; Lamont favors spring season

U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand on Monday signed a letter, alongside 23 other U.S. senators, demanding Postmaster General Louis DeJoy address their questions about the ongoing slowdown
of the United States Postal Service. As the pandemic has forced businesses, especially small businesses, to close their storefronts and operate
mostly by mail, shipping and delivery delays have eaten into profit margins and jeopardized swaths of the upstate economy, Gillibrand and Schumer said.

The Department of Public Health on Monday declined to sign off on strategies that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference proposed to protect high school football teams against coronavirus infection.

BY PAUL HUGHES REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/sports/local_sports/2020/09/14/lamont-calls-high-school-football-high-risk-urges-delay-until-spring/

HARTFORD — The Department of Public Health on Monday declined to sign off on strategies that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference proposed to protect high school football teams against coronavirus infection.
Acting DPH Commissioner Deirde S. Gifford advised the CIAC that state health officials cannot definitively say the proposed precautions are safe or effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus disease.
Gifford also informed the CIAC in a letter Monday that DPH could not say the COVID-19 protocols would change the categorization of full contact, 11-on-11 tackle football from a high risk activity to a moderate risk.

Student arrested in New York also resides in West Cornwall

REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/14/student-arrested-in-new-york-also-resides-in-west-cornwall/

A 20-year-old Rice University college student who lives in New York City with a second home in West Cornwall was arrested by the New York Police Department last week on allegations she was part of a group of people involved in a vandalism spree that broke many storefront windows. Clara Kraebber was charged with felony rioting and misdemeanor graffiti charges, according to police. On Sept. 8, NYPD tweeted a group of mug shots that included Kraebber and other young adults involved in the spree. “On Friday, Sept. 4, these individuals were arrested for rioting during demonstrations in Manhattan,” police tweeted. “They were part of a large group breaking storefront windows. Our investigation into this incident continues.” The spree was a reaction following the death of Daniel Prude in police custody in Rochester, N.Y. last March.

Ken Burns documentary on Bard prison diploma program set for drive-in screening in Beacon

John W. Barry Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/2020/09/14/ken-burns-pbs-bard-prison-initiative-beacon-story-screen/5791566002/

A modified version of a Ken Burns documentary about Bard College’s diploma program for inmates will be shown Wednesday evening at a drive-in theater in Beacon.

The Story Screen Drive-In will show a one-hour, condensed version of “College Behind Bars,” a four-part PBS documentary directed by Lynn Novick and executive produced by Burns. The screening is set for 7:45 p.m. Wednesday. Admission is $10. Visit storyscreendrivein.square.site/shop/tickets/6 for information. The Bard Prison Initiative program offers hundreds of prison inmates the opportunity to enroll in full-time study programs that culminate with a degree from the college in Annandale. “College Behind Bars” has previously been shown on PBS.

With a bit of help, turtles get highway to freedom at Smiley’s Pond

By Jake Mendel, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/with-a-bit-of-help-turtles-get-highway-to-freedom-at-smileys-pond,613513

EGREMONT — People gathered at Smiley’s Pond, also known to some as Mill Pond, on a recent Wednesday, to help uncover a solution in order to prevent turtles from drowning on their way to the pond from Hubbard Brook.
Representatives of state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and Department of Transportation, herpatologist Sarah Barnum, and state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, gathered at the site to tackle the ongoing turtle crossing problem at the bridge, that features a dam underneath, connecting the Brook and Pond. “We have nothing to copy so we have to try to invent something,” said Pignatelli, who is also the House chairman of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “We have to be protective of our natural species, whatever it may be, and give them access to migrate safely.”

Dirty politics comes to the Northwest Corner As “Community” Facebook Page Permits False Attack on Elected Official

A statement from CT State Rep. Maria Horn (D-64th) — Running for office is not for the faint of heart. It’s an important attribute in a public servant to learn not to take things personally, even when political criticism is delivered in harsh terms.

But there is a line between political challenge and personal attack, between truth and fabrication.That line has been crossed on the Facebook page founded by my opponent and managed by his supporters.

Nationwide, the conversation on social media has degraded to an alarming degree, and salacious assertions without foundation get made every day. They never go away, in spite of fact-checking efforts: the fact-checking is never as interesting as a malicious lie. In 2018, in my first campaign for office, I’m very proud that we did not go that route, and that the race remained largely free of character assassination.

Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening this year. Under the shield of “that’s politics,” assertions have been made (and left up online for days for public view) on the Northwest Corner Chatter Facebook page alleging all kinds of outrageous and personal falsehoods about me: about an affair, about theft, about financial fraud. My children were even dragged into this mud, accused of confirming these crimes.

Those who try to push back against these baseless and personal accusations are dismissed as “just Maria supporters” that should be ignored. Some have been kicked off the page entirely for saying something positive about me or challenging other attempts to smear my name. Posts like “Thank you, Maria Horn,” from a constituent I had helped during the post-Isaias power outage, are refused, or taken down because they “stir the pot” or are “insulting to Brian.” Another challenge is that, although I am a member of the page, I am not able to see any comments made by my opponent, as he has blocked me and several other supporters from seeing those. I am only made aware of them when followers send me screenshots.

If this were a personal Facebook page, or a campaign page, none of this would be surprising, or even interesting. But for a page that holds itself out as a public forum and community gathering spot, as this does, these tactics are deceitful. Those who come to the page may not know they are being presented a view of the community through a deliberately distorted political lens. I have been told variously by one of the page moderators that she removes “posts that are insulting” to me, and that “we only remove posts if they are offensive or are creating so many posts that violate the rules, that it is better to take the [whole] post down,” and that “We do believe in Freedom of Speech as long as it is respectful.”

I do not understand how the current lies about me, couched as just “rumors,” meets the definition of respectful discourse. The woman who posted this slander dismisses a challenge by writing, “Maybe it’s true, maybe it isn’t. That I cannot confirm.”

This is not how I practice politics. Facts matter to me. Baseless rumors and personal attacks have no place on my social media, and never have. All of my comments and posts are open to the public, and I do not ban anyone from any page or account I control. I can’t control other people, but I will continue to adhere to my own principles because my integrity and my credibility are at the core of who I am. I am not going to keep responding to these lies. I do expect Northwest Corner Chatter to live up to its own guidelines.

Journalist marks anniversary of women’s suffrage in Cornwall forum

BY RUTH EPSTEIN Republican-American

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/13/journalist-marks-anniversary-of-womens-suffrage-in-cornwall-forum/

Lynn Sherr’s enthusiasm when talking about woman’s suffrage comes across quickly and clearly. The broadcast journalist, who worked as an ABC network correspondent and on “20/20,” often focusing on women’s issues and the space program, was this year’s guest speaker Friday at the Norman Dorsen lecture put on remotely by Cornwall Historical Society. The late Dorsen, who was a professor at New York University School of Law and president of the ACLU, was a part-time resident of Cornwall. Sherr began by noting this is a momentous year because of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. “On Aug. 26, 1920, when it was voted into the Constitution, the voting population doubled. It was the largest single expansion of voting in our history. It took seven decades and three generations to get there.”
Discussion of suffrage, she said, is so important today because of attempts at voter suppression. She and columnist Ellen Goodman have teamed up to produce “She Votes! Our Battle for the Ballot” podcast.
Sherr referred to those responsible for woman’s suffrage as heroes.

Independent movie theaters petition Cuomo for reopening guidelines

Matt Steecker Ithaca Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/11/independent-movie-theaters-petition-cuomo-for-reopening-guidelines/5737552002/

About 20 independent art house cinemas across the state have banded together to tell Gov. Andrew Cuomo they are ready to safely reopen.
The group of independent movie theaters are petitioning Cuomo for a road map that would inform them of the necessary COVID-19 precautions they must take so they can once again open their doors to the public.
Cuomo has not yet provided a timetable on theater reopenings and said in an August briefing that indoor theaters were less essential than other businesses and pose a greater risk during the pandemic.

The end of snow days in schools? New York can switch to online learning amid COVID

Joseph Spector New York State Team

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/politics/albany/2020/09/10/end-snow-days-schools-ny-can-switch-online-learning-amid-covid/5769561002/

The joy of students finding out they have a snow day may soon be over.

You can thank online learning.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended in-person learning, pushing districts to move to more remote classes.
So why have students take days off for snowstorms if students can simply flip on their computers in the morning as they are often doing this school year anyway?
The state Education Department this week provided guidance to the state’s roughly 700 school districts with the same message.
The state said it has established a one-year pilot program to enable schools, if they want, to skip snow days and switch to remote learning.
The move would allow districts flexibility to avoid having to make up snow days later in the year in order to meet the requirement of having 180 school days a year.

Drought bad for farmers, but good for fall foliage

BY BRIGITTE RUTHMAN REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/12/its-been-terrible-drought-conditions-bad-for-farmers/

Drought conditions persist, which is bad for some local farmers but perfect for more brilliant fall foliage. A similar pattern set up last year with a thin late-summer harvest. In contrast, two years ago, it was so wet the tractors couldn’t get on the fields. Despite occasional passing thunderstorms, “the ground is still rock hard,” Morosani said.
While most of Litchfield and New Haven counties have seen abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions, severe drought conditions persist in Hartford, Tolland, Windham and portions of New London counties, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Hudson Valley pumpkin artist competes for $50K on Food Network
Jeanne Muchnick

Rockland/Westchester Journal News

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/life/food/restaurants/2020/09/10/pumpkin-carver-deane-arnold-artist/5695080002/

Deane Arnold, an expert pumpkin carver with ties to Westchester and Dutchess counties, is a contestant on Food Network’s “Halloween Wars.”
The show, hosted by actor Jonathan Bennett, premiered at 9 p.m. on Sept. 13. Arnold, who grew up in Armonk and White Plains, as well as in LaGrangeville in Dutchess County, is paired with a cake artist and a master sugar artist and, over five episodes, helps create frighteningly fun and intricately spooky edible displays. Their creations are judged by award-winning cake decorator Shinmin Li, horror film special effects master Todd Tucker, and a rotating panel of celebrity guest judges. Arnold says it’s a far cry from his days at the Post Road School in White Plains where his teachers told his mother he wasn’t living up to his potential.

Berkshire County sees 34 new COVID-19 cases in 14 days

By Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/the-checkup-county-sees-34-new-covid-19-cases-in-14-days,613449

In all, 34 new positive test results were recorded.Berkshire County’s death toll stood at 46 as of Saturday, with the confirmed COVID-19 case count rising two, to 681, the DPH said. The DPH said 16 new deaths were reported as of Saturday in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 8,987. Deaths including those listed as probably caused by COVID-19 are 9,196. Confirmed cases rose 435, to 122,637. The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, 396 (66); Hampshire, up two, to 1,196 (141); Hampden, up 12, to 7,846 (767). According to data provided by Johns Hopkins University, 107,501 people in Massachusetts with COVID-19 have recovered.

COVID-19 outbreak reported at UConn apartment complex, students told to quarantine

Kaitlyn Naples

Full story at https://www.wfsb.com/news/covid-19-outbreak-reported-at-uconn-apartment-complex-students-told-to-quarantine/article_2fe569fe-f479-11ea-91c0-db11b4b24b48.html

Due to an increasing number of positive COVID-19 tests, students who live at an apartment complex at the University of Connecticut are being told to quarantine. Residents of The Oaks on the Square apartments must quarantine for 14 days due to a recent outbreak of the virus. University officials said they “believe it appropriate to characterize this as an outbreak warranting increased medical intervention.” They went on to say it is believed that the COVID-19 cases resulted from people in close contact without masks.
Those who live in the complex are permitted to leave their apartment for solitary activity, or to obtain groceries or take-out, but masks or face coverings must be worn, and physical distancing must be observed. Students in quarantine are not permitted to attend in-person classes.

Boeing 737 Max safety fixes fall short, says father of air crash victim from Sheffield

By Heather Bellow, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/boeing-737-max-safety-fixes-fall-short-says-father-of-air-crash-victim-from-sheffield,613441

SHEFFIELD — Michael Stumo isn’t satisfied with the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed fixes to Boeing’s fleet of 737 Max jets, like the one that crashed in Ethiopia last year, killing his daughter, Samya Stumo, 24. His and other victims’ families also are unhappy that the FAA won’t release technical documents about proposed changes, including software and computer system tweaks, so they can be reviewed by a third party.
The FAA has told the victims’ families that confidentiality rules bar it from releasing technical documents. The FAA did not respond to messages seeking comment. And while federal legislation that would increase FAA oversight of airplane manufacturing is a step forward, Stumo says it does nothing to address current problems with the Max fleet. Boeing is struggling to fix software-related problems on the jets so they can fly again after two fatal crashes five months apart grounded them across the world. Stumo says that the FAA’s proposed airworthiness directives announced Aug. 3 fall short. In his view, the FAA is continuing to act as a “paper pusher” that allows Boeing to certify its own products.

Connecticut Public health officials remain opposed to playing high school football in fall

BY PAUL HUGHES REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/sports/local_sports/2020/09/11/more-ideas-more-meetings-no-resolution-yet-on-fall-football/

HARTFORD —- There was no breakthrough Friday on the prickly question of whether Connecticut high schools will be able to play 11-on-11 tackle football this fall. The state’s top health official told representatives of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference during a three-hour meeting at the state Capitol that high school football remains too risky to play now due to the coronavirus outbreak. The discussion was described as cordial, respectful, constructive and productive, but there was no meeting of the minds between the CIAC and the Lamont administration other than football is a high risk sport and the ultimate decision remains with the CIAC.

Police: Possible shark spotted between Hudson and Athens on
Friday

By Bill Williams Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/greenecounty/police-possible-shark-spotted-between-hudson-and-athens-on-friday/article_0a7951fc-f42a-57d1-8d1c-17bfb5f781cb.html

HUDSON — City police have had to deal with their share of wildlife over the years, including several bears this spring, a moose last year, occasional coyotes, and bald eagles. But a reported shark that was spotted in the Hudson River on Friday morning has a lot of people shaking their heads.
A one-minute long video of the shark was taken by local fisherman James Gabriel, Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore said. Gabriel shared the video with Hudson police in hopes of getting word out that a shark may be in the area, and people who use the Hudson River should be alert to that. Although it cannot be determined conclusively from the video, the dorsal fin gliding at the surface in a straight line would indicate that it is a shark, said state Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Erica Ringewald.
“There isn’t much in that video that reveals its diagnostic features, but it looks very small and without additional information, most likely a smooth dogfish,” Ringewald said. A smooth dogfish, also known as a dog shark, is a species of houndshark. On average, a fully grown dog shark averages about four feet in length, according to DEC.

Stormville flea market’s return sparks concern over state safety measures

Heather Clark Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/11/ny-flea-market-regulations-stormville-spots-return-sparks-concern/5758383002/

As has been the case on many weekends in Stormville, cars backed up Route 216 last Saturday. Visitors, some from several hours away, eagerly waited to park on a patch of grass at the former Stormville Airport and browse for craft goods, homemade foods and antiques. But many of those visitors were turned away Saturday, as the Southern Dutchess Flea Market, formerly known as the Stormville Airport Antique Show and Flea Market, had reached its capacity.Like most businesses in New York, flea markets must comply with state regulations limiting capacity to operate. However, there is little specialized guidance for safety at flea markets, at which mingling while strolling past tables of goods is the norm. And, given that many markets in the warmer months are held in wide open spaces – such as a former airfield – judging capacity limits may be tricky. Flea markets fall under regulations for retail businesses. The guidance states that retailers must operate with a 50% capacity limit, making sure customers adhere to a six-foot social distance from one another, and sanitation stations must be present.

Pandemic pay cuts for BSO, Boston Pops players

By Clarence Fanto, Eagle correspondent

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/pandemic-pay-cuts-for-bso-boston-pops-players,613430

Following a 10-month-long cancellation of all Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops live performances so far, including the full Tanglewood season, the musicians have agreed to pay cuts in a new three-year labor agreement.
With a revenue loss of $35 million in ticket sales caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the salary reductions average 37 percent in the first year, Friday’s BSO announcement stated. During the contract’s second and third years, increases in compensation will take place as the BSO redevelops “sustainable revenue.” Previously, the musicians took pay cuts averaging 25 percent from last spring through Aug. 31. The $35 million loss of box office revenue is the major factor in a total $54 million decline in earned income. The annual BSO budget for the year ending Aug. 31 totaled $107 million. For the new fiscal year, it is less than $50 million.

Coronavirus in CT: Friday’s stats show 1.1% positivity rate among tests performed

As of Friday, Gov. Ned Lamont said hospitalizations were at 51. Cases totaled 54,326. Deaths were at 4,480 since the start of the pandemic in Connecticut.
There were 2 coronavirus-related deaths reported since Thursday, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic at 4,480. Hospitalizations decreased by 1, bringing the total to 51.
The number of tests performed since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 1,328,753, an increase of 21,509 since Thursday.

Connecticut DPH to look over new football strategies submitted by CIAC

Kaitlyn Naples, Joe Zone, Sharon Johnson

Full story at https://www.wfsb.com/news/dph-to-look-over-new-football-strategies-submitted-by-ciac/article_6c4b0c50-f1ea-11ea-83c9-e72ab9ad154d.html

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Student athletes and coaches continue to push for the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference to reverse its decision on canceling full-contact football for the upcoming fall season.
Following a protest on Wednesday, Gov. Ned Lamont called for a meeting to be held between DPH and the CIAC regarding way to safely hold school sports.
The meeting was held on Friday morning. Afterward, the CIAC’s Commissioner Glenn Lungarini said the meeting went well, and that state and public health officials are looking over new strategies that were submitted, specifically for the football season. State and health officials responded following the meeting as well, explaining that they just don’t know at this time if the new strategies presented will reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.
While they said they were impressed with the CIAC’s diligence, preparation, and determination, they were not convinced that the new safety measures would be effective.

Proposed revisions to Copake solar energy facility

By Natasha Vaughn Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/proposed-revisions-to-copake-solar-energy-facility/article_3f457d02-ec2e-5994-ac73-15c45c937991.html

COPAKE — Officials will continue to take public comment on changes to the town code regarding the proposed Shepherd’s Run 500-acre solar farm.
Comments will be accepted through next Thursday, town officials said.
Hecate Energy identified a 900-acre area for the project that extends south of state Route 23 and county Route 7. The company’s proposal calls for the installation of 200,000 solar panels that would take up 500 acres and would generate 60 megawatts of electrical power. The ongoing discussions about the proposed solar project continued Thursday night with a public hearing to
discuss proposed revisions to the law governing construction and siting solar power generating facilities. “We will accept written comments until next Thursday at noontime,” Copake Town Supervisor Jeanne Mettler said. “Go to the website, review the law and take a look at the summary of the law and if you have a comment you would like to suggest you can send us an email.”
The proposed revisions include dividing solar facilities into four distinct classifications based on their size; for example, bigger projects such as Shepherd’s Run would be considered a tier-4 solar facility. The revised town code would also require all solar facilities, regardless of their size, to be evaluated for the impact they would have on local resources.

Nuvance Health announces third-party data breach

A.J. Martelli Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/11/nuvance-health-announces-third-party-data-breach/3470232001/

Patients of Nuvance Health may have had their information exposed due to a security breach between February and May. That’s according to a release from organization, which is mailing letters to patients advising them of a data security incident that involved Blackbaud, a third-party vendor that provides services on behalf of Nuvance. It’s at least the second time in roughly two years Nuvance has had to contact patients due to a data breach. It’s believed that names, contact information, ages, gender, dates of birth, admission dates, departments of treatment, treating physicians and health insurance statuses were among the information affected, Nuvance announced. Financial information such as credit card and bank account data weren’t affected, the release said.

Stingy hydrants said to pose fire safety risk in Housatonic

By Heather Bellow, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/stingy-hydrants-said-to-pose-fire-safety-risk-in-housatonic,613389

GREAT BARRINGTON — While rusty water continues to plague Housatonic Water Works Co. customers, fire crews cite another problem: fire hydrants that produce too little water, putting people and structures at risk. The two problems have the same source: old and narrow cast-iron pipes, most of which have not been replaced by the private company that has owned the system since 1983. A 2018 study pegged the cost of new mains at $22 million. Most date to the late 1800s. Housatonic’s fire hydrants are an old concern that resurfaced with an outcry from residents this summer, upon the return of rusty water.
The problem of reduced “fire flow” — water volume — was noted in a 2018 study of Great Barrington’s Fire Department. The company had replaced some mains in 2016, but an overhaul lay out of reach. It now is being studied by town officials who are considering taking over the water company, which serves 840 residents, and merging it with Great Barrington’s. Because the company is private, it does not have access to government grants, relying solely on customers.

Some news notes out of Columbia County:

CHAIRMAN’S PRESS RELEASE
STATE TO SUPPLY DOH WITH SCHOOL SPECIALIST

Columbia County Health Department Director Jack Mabb learned this week that New York State will be offering, at its expense, a School Investigation Specialist to perform COVID-19 contact tracing within county schools. The position is currently considered full-time for a period of one year, with the possibility of extension as needed. The state will hire for the position. A key responsibility of the position will be to act as a liaison and partner to schools and organizations and local health authorities to maximize the Contact Tracing Initiative’s Outreach.

“Our COVID-19 team is anticipating a big spike in contact tracing once the schools are open. This position will be a valuable resource for the DOH and schools. It’s a good idea overall and I’m certainly grateful for the free position,” said Director Mabb. “I think everyone has concerns with someone new coming into our system, so when I learned of this position, I took the idea to my staff. To a person, they were adamantly in favor,” he added.

SUNDAY TESTING CLINIC SCHEDULED

Palatine Park in Germantown on Sunday, September 13, from 9-11 a.m. will be the site of the next county DOH coronavirus drive-thru clinic. Spots currently are available. Preregistration is required via the following link: https://forms.gle/prdrJdtbaxj8um76A
If you do not register ahead of time, you cannot be tested at this clinic. Please bring a photo ID.
If you are symptomatic, you will be expected to quarantine until your test results are received. You will be contacted with your results by the health department of your county of residence. Results can take up to five or seven days to be received by the local health departments. Please note that this test will be in the form a nasopharyngeal swab and is not an antibody test.

FREE HAND SANITIZER FOR COUNTY BUSINESSES, ORGANIZATIONS

On Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 12 noon, any municipal or private agency/organization that would like free NYS hand sanitizer can come to the Public Safety Facility (PSF) parking lot at 85 Industrial Tract, Hudson, where they will receive up to two cases (eight gallons) of hand sanitizer per week based upon the size and need of the organization. Small spray bottles of hand sanitizer will also be available. Those coming to the PSF for hand sanitizer should enter the north entrance (NYS DOT side) of the PSF parking area, and drive to the white “Sheriff’s” utility trailer in front of the building. Emergency Management and Sheriff’s Department staff will dispense the hand sanitizer at that point.

UPCOMING COUNTY DOH FLU CLINIC SCHEDULE

The Columbia County Health Department has announced a series of upcoming seasonal flu vaccine drive-thru clinics for all Columbia County residents two years old and up. Pre-registration is required for the date you wish to be vaccinated – failure to register ahead of time will mean you cannot be vaccinated on that date. Each individual must complete a registration form, and photo ID is required for each adult. If you are sick with any symptoms associated with the flu or COVID-19 illness (fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, chills, new loss of taste or smell, or extreme headache), do not go to the drive thru clinic. Instead, call your primary care physician or the DOH at 518-828-3358 for further guidance. Clinic registration can be completed by visiting the DOH website at http://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com
Those without internet access are advised to call the registration line at 518-828-335d ext. 1310. Leave your name and phone number and a DOH staff member will contact you to complete your registration.
The DOH accepts the following insurance plans: Blue Shield of North East New York, CDPHP, Fidelis, Medicare Part B, MVP, Medicaid, and United Health Care. Other senior plans may be billed, including some Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. If you are uninsured or underinsured, you may be eligible for a lower fee or no fee for the flu vaccine. All others are expected to pay a fee of $42 for the flu vaccine, with the exact cash amount or checks accepted. Debit or credit cards are not accepted.

The drive-thru clinic schedule is as follows:
 Wednesday, September 23, 9-11 a.m., Roe Joe Library, Route 22, Hillsdale.
 Wednesday, September 30, 9-11 a.m., Columbia County Fairgrounds, Chatham.
 Saturday, October 3, 9 a.m. – 12 noon, Columbia-Greene Community College upper parking lot, Hudson.
 Thursday, October 8, 9-11 a.m., Palatine Park, Germantown.
 Saturday, October 17, 9-11 a.m., Ichabod Crane Central School, Valatie,
 Thursday, October 22, 10 a.m. – 12 noon, New Lebanon Town Hall, New Lebanon.

The flu vaccine will also be offered by appointment only at the regularly scheduled immunization clinic every Tuesday from 1-3:30 p.m. at the county DOH building located at 325 Columbia Street, Hudson. An evening immunization clinic is also available on the third Tuesday of each month from 4-6 p.m. All clinics are by appointment only. The flu vaccine is the best protection we have from the flu and its complications, and has become even more critical in the time of COVID-19. Talk to your doctor before getting the flu shot if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction to eggs or a previous flu shot, or have a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

In update to Northwest group, DOT deputy says traffic has been down since start of pandemic; most staff working in person

BY RUTH EPSTEIN Republican-American

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/10/in-update-to-northwest-group-dot-deputy-says-traffic-has-been-down-since-start-of-pandemic-most-staff-working-in-person/

GOSHEN — State Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto gave members of the Northwest Hills Council of Governments an overview of how the 3,000-person agency is operating during COVID-19.
Most employees are working in person because their jobs can’t be done from home, he said during a Zoom session Thursday.
As expected, traffic is down since the start of the pandemic because of the decrease in workday commuting, but cases of speeding and fatal accidents are on a record pace for the year, Eucalitto said.
One benefit of less traffic is DOT has been able to accomplish more work on state roads, he said. Connecticut was the first state to take advantage of federal waivers that were issued.
“Our staff is ready to respond to tropical storms to help clear roads,” he said. There also are plans to move all DOT public informational meetings to a virtual platform.

COVID: Dutchess records first death since July 16

Ryan Santistevan Geoffrey Wilson Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/10/coronavirus-death-dutchess-county/3457463001/

A Dutchess County resident’s death this week was related to COVID-19 for the first time in more than 50 days. The death comes as active cases of the virus have been steady, ranging between 225 and 280 since the start of August, and hospitalizations have remained under 10 most days since mid-June. Anil Vaidian, Dutchess County’s health commissioner, acknowledged that any death is tragic but noted that the victim was “older and had underlying medical conditions.”

Reopening schools: How the first week went for Dutchess students

Katelyn Cordero Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/education/2020/09/10/reopening-dutchess-schools-first-week-includes-changes/5759669002/

Ten area districts welcomed students back to school on this week, either virtually or in person. Both the Pawling and Rhinebeck districts began in-person instruction with a handful of its grades; Pawling had its first day on Wednesday and Rhinebeck followed on Thursday. Other districts plan to reopen for in-person instruction for some of its students next week. Even those districts that plan an aspect of in-person instruction, though, still will mix-in hybrid learning for most of their students. And many families across the county opted to remain participating in distancing learning rather than take any chances being exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

FEMA approves Connecticut disaster relief aid for those unemployed because of the coronavirus

BY PAUL HUGHES REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/news/news-connecticut/2020/09/09/fema-approves-state-disaster-relief-aid-for-those-unemployed-because-of-the-coronavirus/

HARTFORD – State labor officials estimate 250,000 unemployed workers who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 will be eligible to receive up to $1,500 in extra unemployment benefits. The Department of Labor on Wednesday announced the Federal Emergency Management Administration approved Connecticut for disaster relief aid being made available to states and territories to provide payments for lost wages to eligible individuals. Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby reported that supplemental weekly payments of $300 will commence in mid-September. The FEMA program is expected to provide $375 million in additional unemployment benefits to Connecticut recipients. Unemployed workers who receive at least $100 in state benefits or emergency federal benefits a week can qualify to receive up to five weeks of lost wages assistance retroactive to July 26.

New York State weighs mandatory flu shot for school children

By Kate Lisa Johnson Newspaper Corp

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/greenecounty/state-weighs-mandatory-flu-shot-for-school-children/article_826e0d08-53c5-5c0c-a43d-d0d322937315.html

ALBANY — The nation’s decrease in positive coronavirus cases is a scam after a recent change in federal testing guidelines, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, as the state weighs a mandatory flu vaccine for children to return to school.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Aug. 24 it would no longer recommend COVID-19 testing for individuals who had been exposed to the disease, but were not experiencing symptoms. The changes were President Donald Trump’s political ploy, and U.S. states are participating, Cuomo said
Thursday.

Columbia County moving forward on Fish and Game Road project

By Natasha Vaughn Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/county-moving-forward-on-fish-and-game-road-project/article_223526a0-5b99-55d1-a28d-3d46bb2af5ce.html

HUDSON — The Columbia County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday night to approve a resolution that will allow the county to be exempt from holding another public hearing on the $3.4 million Fish and Game
Road construction project. Two supervisors voted against the resolution: Hudson 3rd Ward Supervisor Michael Chameides and New
Lebanon Town Supervisor Tistrya Houghtling. “I am not opposed to the project, I am opposed to bypassing the public hearing,” Houghtling said. “Although I
acknowledge that we had one in 2017, I think that things have changed, things are more clear, the eminent domain is more clear, and I cannot vote to take property without a public hearing allowing the public to be heard.”
The 1.9-mile project along Fish and Game Road in Claverack will create a shoulder on the road, drainage ditches, install guardrails and pave the road.

Complaint targets alleged secrecy over Great Barrington mold issue

By Heather Bellow , The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/complaint-targets-alleged-secrecy-over-great-barrington-mold-issue,613250

GREAT BARRINGTON — The Select Board will soon decide whether to hold a hearing to address a complaint one Housing Authority Board commissioner filed against another related to health violations at Flag Rock Village.
The violations found by the Board of Health and its agent include mold so potent it forced a tenant and her child to sleep in their car, according to board member Eileen Mooney. Mooney filed a complaint against board Chairman James Mercer, claiming he refused to notify authority members about seven health violations in the tenant’s unit. The health board issued an order to the authority July 1 to correct the problems by Aug. 12. While some violations were fixed by that deadline, the more serious problems related to ventilation and the source of mold have not yet been resolved, according to Rebecca Jurczyk, the town’s health agent. Jurczyk’s corrective order came after a July 1 inspection. It identified the ventilation system as responsible for moisture in a bedroom that led to mold and mildew — and asked that a third party evaluate it.

A 9/11 tradition: Great Barrington man plants flags for fallen heroes

By Heather Bellow, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/flags-planted-for-the-fallen-heroes-of-911,613228?

GREAT BARRINGTON — Donald Barrington says he still gets choked up this time every year. It is the season of grief when he plants hundreds of American flags in town to honor the firefighters and police who died responding to the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks in New York.
“Those guys never knew what to expect that day,” he said, carting more flags out to his lawn on Stockbridge Road, where they will total about 250 when he is all done. He has been doing it every year since 2002, also the year his mother died Sept. 14. Quietly, he says the word “special.” Barrington, 66, who works in the bakery at the Big Y supermarket, plants a flag for each first responder who died in the attacks: 343 flags for the firefighters, installed at the fire station, and 71 for police, on the lawn at the police station.

Hotchkiss Library and Sharon Historical Society present “An Evening with Ed Kirby,” author of “The Making of the Iron Industrial Age”

Hotchkiss Library and Sharon Historical Society present “An Evening with Ed Kirby,” author of “The Making of the Iron Industrial Age” on Friday at 7 p.m. as part of the virtual Book Signing 2.0 event. It will be moderated by Christine Beer, executive director of the historical society, and will be followed by a question-and-answer period. Books are available for borrowing or purchase from the library. The event is free, but donations are appreciated.
https://hotchkisslibrary.org to register.

The 35th running of the Sharon Classic Road Race, a 5-mile event, will be virtual this year

The 35th running of the Sharon Classic Road Race, a 5-mile event, will be virtual this year.The date of the race has been moved from May 2 to Sept. 26 through Oct. 4.“Eighty runners had pre-registered for the original dates, and we felt this was the safest way to allow them to participate,” said Karen Dignacco, race director.Participants can run on the existing course, which starts at the Green, heads south on Route 41, continues on West Woods Road #1, then loops back to the Green and Route. 41. Another option is running any 5-mile course. All runners must complete the course of choice during the race window and keep track of their times. Fast Track Timing will collect the times and post results. Participants can register online for $20.

High school sports: NYSPHSAA moves football, volleyball, cheer seasons to March

Eugene Rapay Rockland/Westchester Journal News

Fulls tory at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/sports/high-school/2020/09/09/nysphsaa-moves-football-volleyball-cheer-seasons-march/5760525002/

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced Wednesday night that football, volleyball and cheerleading will be postponed until March 1 due to the complications stemming from them being deemed “higher risk.” “This decision was focused on attempting to provide those football and volleyball athletes, and competitive cheerleaders, with the opportunity to have a quality participation experience,” NYSPHSAA executive director Robert Zayas said. “It was going to be very difficult to provide that to student-athletes right now, with their only ability to practice until additional authorization is granted.” The revised season for those three sports, which are usually played during the fall, will be known as “Fall Sports Season II” and will be permitted to officially begin practices March 1, 2021. While it’s up to individual sections to determine the end date for the season, the NYSPHSAA recommends that it concludes May 1.

Record number of flu shots expected in New York, U.S. amid COVID-19 pandemic. What to know

David Robinson New York State Team

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/coronavirus/2020/09/10/why-record-high-flu-shots-expected-ny-amid-covid-19-pandemic/5763618002/

A record number of flu shots are being manufactured as part of a dire push to immunize Americans against influenza during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The historic effort seeks to limit cases of one respiratory disease, influenza, to allow the health care system to focus on another one, COVID-19.
It involves using about 198 million doses of flu vaccine this season, up from the 175 million doses last season, federal data show.
In New York, the two illnesses hit hard simultaneously earlier this year in a deadly scenario, experts said, citing how flu was spreading at a record pace before COVID-19 cases peaked this spring. It ultimately complicated the pandemic response and nearly overran hospitals.

COVID impact: Millions saved by early retirement incentives, county budgets still hurting

Ryan Santistevan Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/09/covid-impact-local-leaders-call-funding-hundreds-leave-positions/5756121002/

At least 150 Dutchess County employees were approved to leave their government positions as part of the county’s incentive program, Marc Molinaro said. The county executive said that will equate to anticipated savings in the range of $10 to 20 million. Other Hudson Valley governments offered similar programs. In Orange County, 64 voluntarily retired, equaling approximately $2 million in savings, County Executive Steven Neuhaus said. In Ulster, all 125 who applied for an early retirement program were approved, though officials said savings estimates were not yet available. But amid drastic shortfalls in tax revenue, added expenses created by the COVID-19 pandemic and an anticipated 20% reduction in state aid to municipalities, local leaders say the savings from those programs are not enough.

9/11 to be remembered in Columbia-Greene on Friday

By Bill Williams Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/greenecounty/9-11-to-be-remembered-in-columbia-greene-on-friday/article_7c07e412-de1b-59fd-bf32-b50700fd0d94.html

Friday morning at 8:46:40 will mark 19 years since Flight 11 crashed into the north face of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.
That was the beginning of a day that would change the lives of Americans forever. Columbia and Greene counties will remember that day, and the lives lost, with ceremonies in Cairo and Kinderhook on Friday.

Sullivan County casino reopens Wednesday with 25% capacity, other restrictions

Daniel Axelrod Times Herald-Record

Full stsory at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/2020/09/09/resorts-world-catskills-casino-reopened-on-wednesday-with-restrictions/5747455002/

The casino’s reopening appeared to be going smoothly Wednesday, with excited visitors like the Hamiltons saying they felt safe from the coronavirus. Patrons were following strict rules for social distancing, mask wearing and other precautions in the facility’s 21-point safety plan, said Meghan Taylor, Resorts World Catskills and Genting New York’s vice president of government affairs and community relations. But there was one notable exception to the smooth reopening. The Monticello Raceway, another holding of the casino’s operators – a holding company owned by gaming magnate K.T. Lim’s family trust and an affiliate of the transnational gaming giant Genting – remained closed.
The local horsemen’s association president said the casino has kept Monticello’s track shut down since June as leverage while casino leaders tried to renegotiate a contract (with at least two years left on it).

9/11 service to honor Berkshire victims of war on terror

By Dick Lindsay, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/911-service-to-honor-berkshire-victims-of-war-on-terror,613181

PITTSFIELD — Five Berkshire residents killed defending America in the war against terrorism will be honored on Friday, the 19th anniversary of 9/11.
Mayor Linda Tyer and local veterans will lead the dedication of the Iran/Afghanistan War Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park on South Street. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Attendees are required to wear masks, socially distance, or use one of the chairs spaced 6 feet apart.
The memorial pays tribute to Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Petithory, of Cheshire, the Berkshires’ first military casualty after 9/11. He was killed Dec. 5, 2001, in Afghanistan. The other four Army servicemen from the Berkshires killed either in Iraq or Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001, are Glenn Allison, of Pittsfield, Stephen Wells, of North Egremont, Michael DeMarsico, of North Adams, and Mitchell Daehling, of Dalton.

Robin Hood Radio checked in with Region One Superintendent Lisa Carter for a report on how day 1 went “back to school” in the region.

Carter reported that the region had an awesome day! Lisa Carter is visiting each school in the morning to observe arrival. She started with Kent Tuesday and things went beautifully. Students arrived excited to see teachers and peers. Everything was quite well organized with multiple entrances for different cohorts of students and staff to greet each group as they entered the building. Wedbesday morning Carter will be at Cornwall Consolidated School.

All of the administrators checked in with Carter on Tuesday afternoon -Here are some direct quotes from throughout the region.

From Sharon – Students and staff were truly amazing and everyone cooperated to stay safe!!
Kent – Same for KCS. Everyone was awesome and we are so proud of them all!!
HVRHS – Same for the high school. A great team effort from the entire community.
Cornwall – Same for CCS. Also parents were so supportive and patient especially at arrival and dismissal time.
Salisbury – It was awesome Kids said “best day ever”
Kellogg – Kids had a great day. Staff was amazing
North Canaan – Everyone was so happy to be back! It was a fabulous day. All of the planning brought success.
Martha Schwaikert re Pre-k – Even the littlest learners were troopers about following all of the new rules.

The school year has started!

THE CURRENT ENROLLMENT IN REGION ONE SCHOOLS EFFECTIVE 09-09-2020

9/11 observances in Dutchess County Friday

Journal staff

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/09/9-11-observances-dutchess-county-friday/5753434002/

As have been so many things in the past six months, Friday’s 9/11 observances promise to be different around the mid-Hudson Valley.
Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, in which gatherings have been discouraged and social distancing encouraged, there will be fewer ceremonies around the region, with some going virtual, allowing for residents to observe the 19th anniversary of the attacks from home.
At least two annual Patriot Day ceremonies will continue to be held in person in Dutchess County, and at least one will continue online. Any others can email Newsroom@poughkeepsiejournal.com to be added to this list.
Stanford Fire Department pays tribute to lives lost on 9/11 with flag display
Route 9 in Wappinger to be renamed for veterans
Poughkeepsie veteran returns home from walk across America
Dutchess County memorial service: The county’s 18th annual memorial service will be held 8:30 a.m. Friday on the steps of the Dutchess County Family Court building at 50 Market St. in Poughkeepsie. According to the county, the service will include Beth-El Missionary Baptist Church of Wappingers Falls Pastor Edward Hunt leading a prayer; remarks from Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring, Hon. Peter M. Forman and Senior Court Officer Bill Shelzi; a ceremonial lowering of the flag; a moment of silence; and an honor guard. All are welcome, but attendees must wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

Greene looking out for local students, establishes donor fund

By Sarah Trafton Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/greenecounty/greene-looking-out-for-local-students-establishes-donor-fund/article_d39f2423-0d8e-5810-b574-341a7b4d6b8a.html

CATSKLL — New funding opportunities are now available to Greene County students attending ColumbiaGreene Community College.
County lawmakers decided to maintain the county’s contribution to the college at its 2020 level, using the $181,600 balance between the county’s 2021 contribution and 2020 contribution for a new donor fund.
The Greene County Cares Fund is divided into four areas: tuition support for Greene County students; satellite programs in entrepreneurial studies to be offered at the Cairo Public Library and Windham-AshlandJewett Central School; a transportation fund for Greene County students, which will take the form of gas cards, E-ZPasses, bus and cab fare; and an academic coaching program, which will pr vide tutoring, mentoring and coaching to Greene County students. The county’s 2021 contribution to the college’s $17 million budget was approved at about $3 million.

Business confidence still lagging, but ahead of Great Recession outlook

By Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/the-checkup-business-confidence-still-lagging-but-ahead-of-great-recession-outlook,613116

If you’re looking for good news, consider this: A popular measure of business confidence in Massachusetts stands higher today than its historic low in the midst of the Great Recession. But alas, not by much.
The index rose half a point from July to August, hitting 46.3. That’s 12.4 points lower than it was in August 2019.
According to the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, which farms this data, “persistent weakness” in the education and health care fields are partly to blame, along with the fact that the state’s jobless rate of 16.1 percent leads the nation.
Raymond Torto, who chairs AIM’s economic advisory board, put things this way: “The sobering news is that recent announcements of major layoffs by health care, higher education and hospitality organizations in Massachusetts leave little doubt about the challenges of getting the state economy back on track.” The index hit its lowest point, 33.3, in February 2009. Its worst this year: 38.4.

Computer problems nationwide disrupt classes as schools return online

A ransomware attack forced schools in Hartford, Connecticut, to postpone the start of online and in-person classes. Seattle’s system crashed at the end of last week, and a Zoom outage caused it to shut down for more than two hours earlier in August. In addition reports that an online learning program in Alabama and other places also crashed. And last month North Carolina’s platform failed on the first day of classes.Florida’s largest school district, in Miami-Dade County, had assured parents that it had consolidated different programs into one platform that would be easier to navigate. But software glitches and cyberattacks disrupted the first week of the new school year that started Aug. 31. A high school student was arrested and accused of orchestrating a series of network outages. School administrators believe other people may be doing the same.

Puerto Rico no longer on state travel restriction list; 34 states now qualify

The list of states now subject to travel restrictions and resulting 14-day quarantine is now back up to 34, plus Guam. Puerto Rico has been taken off the travel list, along with the U.S. Virgin Islands. Returning to the list are Maryland, Delaware, Ohio and West Virginia. West Virginia is making its first appearance on the list. Ohio returns for the first time since Aug. 4.
The states of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey on Tuesday updated the list of states that are subject to a tri-state travel advisory that applies to visitors from states with high levels of COVID-19.

Bard College sues Dutchess Board of Elections to have polling site moved on campus

Saba Ali Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/08/bard-trying-move-dutchess-elections-polling-site-campus/5735998002/

Bard College wants to move a Red Hook polling location for its fifth district to its campus, claiming the current location does not meet legal standards and is dangerous. Bard President Leon Botstein, campus officials, students and The Andrew Goodman Foundation, a social justice organization, filed a petition Friday in Dutchess County Supreme Court against the Dutchess County Board of Elections. The court filing names Commissioners Erik Haight and Elizabeth Soto. The petition claims the current site, the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, is not accessible by public transportation and is in violation of the American With Disabilities Act.

Area libraries to allow in-person patrons

By Natasha Vaughn Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/publicservicenews/area-libraries-to-allow-in-person-patrons/article_b903a246-5f55-597c-9f47-e1348a6b1040.html

After months of closures due to COVID-19, local libraries are beginning to open up for in-person visits.Until now, most libraries in the Twin Counties have been limited to curbside pickup, with patrons notpermitted to go inside and browse books, or use the public computers.Libraries require patrons to wear masks and keep a safe social distance from one another. Some local libraries
have decided to do this by creating appointment windows that visitors can sign up for ahead of time. Others are allowing patrons to come without an assigned time, but are limiting the number of people allowed in at any given time, and in some cases libraries are limiting the amount of time that patrons can visit,
depending on how busy they expect to be.

LaGrange acupuncturist accused of sexually abusing client; state police search for others

Ryan Santistevan Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/08/lagrange-acupuncturist-sexually-abuses-client-acupuncture-and-wellness-center/5744906002/

A 78-year-old Hyde Park man was arrested Thursday after state police said he abused a client at Acupuncture and Wellness Center in LaGrange. The man, who faces a misdemeanor of third-degree sexual abuse, was arraigned in LaGrange town court and released. He is due in court on Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. Police are continuing to investigate if other clients were sexually abused. Anyone who may have been abused, or who may have information on the case, can call police at 845-677-7300 with reference number 9787330.

Eagle bureau, Shopper’s Guide share Great Barrington office

By Heather Bellow, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/eagle-bureau-shoppers-guide-share-great-barrington-office,613099

GREAT BARRINGTON — The Berkshire Eagle’s South County bureau and The Southern Berkshire Shopper’s Guide are settling into a new, joint home in the heart of downtown. The Shopper’s Guide has moved from its longtime location on West Avenue into the new storefront site at 271 Main St., and The Eagle has relocated its news bureau from the Kimball Fuel building, where it opened in 2017. In 2019, the owners of The Berkshire Eagle and New England Newspapers Inc. acquired the Shopper’s Guide, vowing to maintain the iconic character of the weekly publication which readers have relied on since it was founded in 1968. Fredric Rutberg, publisher of The Eagle and The Guide, said he is excited about the new location in the business district, which also has ample parking out back.

Police responded to more than 200 accidents over the weekend

Connecticut State police Monday reported they had responded to more than 200 accidents during the Labor Day weekend, including a fatal collision in Thomaston.As of Monday, that number represented a decrease of 186 crashes, or about 43%, when compared to the year before.Troopers responded to two serious crashes in Windsor and Tolland and made 17 arrests for driving while under the influence over the weekend. The fatal collision involved a motorcyclist from New York who hit a guardrail Saturday on the southbound side of Route 8. That crash was still under investigation.State police had issued 348 tickets for moving violations as of Monday as they added enforcement for the holiday weekend.

The Goshen Fairgrounds hosted a three-day drive through food truck festival this past weekend

The Goshen Fairgrounds weren’t teeming with the 30,000 or so people who would have passed through the gates for the Goshen Fair on a Labor Day weekend that offered perfect weather.Instead, the fairgrounds hosted a three-day drive through food truck festival that was successful in generating revenue for vendors who have taken an economic hit during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Goshen Agricultural Society, sponsor of the fair.The festival featuring nine food trucks selling traditional fair food drew more than 1,200 vehicles and was declared a success by its organizers, Frank Flood of Barkhamsted, a vendor and owner of Core Events Planning, and Barbara Breor, a director with the Goshen Agricultural Society.

Police: Driver dies in Austerlitz crash

By Bill WilliamsmColumbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/police-driver-dies-in-austerlitz-crash/article_038796d1-df19-57a9-80b8-1857a696f791.html

AUSTERLITZ — A Clifton Park man died Sunday in a traffic accident a local fire chief called the worst accident he has ever seen. Kevin Jones, 30, was the driver in a one-car accident on Route 22. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Columbia County Coroner Michael Blasl. An autopsy was scheduled to be performed yesterday at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, Blasl said. No further details on the results of the autopsy were available at press time Monday

It’s pick-your-own season in Massachusetts, with new protocols

Pick-your-own COVID-19 protocol – Anyone in a pick-your-own orchard or field over the age of 2 must always wear a mask. – Social distance at least six feet between you and others or between families. Children must always be close by to parents or guardians. – All visitors must hand sanitize before and after entering the field or orchard. – Do not eat or sample the fruit in the field or orchard. Source: Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID 19 guidelines

Salisbury Visiting Nurse Association is in the process of merging with Foothills and VNA Northwest and will become Visiting Nurse and Hospice Of Litchfield County.

Monday morning on The Republican-American Report on The Breakfast Club on Robin Hood Radio Ruth Epstein reported that Salisbury Visiting Nurse Association is in the process of merging with Foothills and VNA Northwest and will become Visiting Nurse and Hospice Of Litchfield County. SVNA has been serving our local area for over 115 years. Reportedly the office will remain open, there will be some staff changes in the consolidation. One of the main reasons for consolidation is financial, with each individual agency running duplicate services, they can become more efficient under one program. Patients should see no changes in the streamlining of services according to infomation on the consolidation.

Despite the added jobs, state faces worst year since recession

Full story at https://rep-am.com

Connecticut added 26,500 nonfarm jobs in July on the heels of an increase of 73,300 in June, with leisure and hospitality adding the most (11,600, or 11.1%) and government dropping the most (200, 1.2%). Still, Connecticut is more than 143,000 behind where it was a year ago, with an average annual job loss of 8%.If this continues through the end of the year, 2020 would be the worst year for job losses in the past seven decades, economist Donald Klepper-Smith noted. The previous worst year was 2009, when the Great Recession cost the state 4.27% of its jobs.

Troopers respond to more than 5,000 calls for service during holiday weekend

Kaitlyn Naples

Full story at https://www.wfsb.com/news/troopers-respond-to-more-than-5-000-calls-for-service-during-holiday-weekend/article_4892db98-f119-11ea-a81c-abdfd2423124.html

Connecticut State Police stepped up their patrols for the long holiday weekend in an effort to make sure people were staying safe.
New statistics released on Monday morning showed troopers responded to more than 5,000 calls since Friday.
Last year, state police said there were 7,000 calls for service throughout the whole holiday weekend.

Unemployment rate for Connecticut is at least 10.2%, prospects grim

BY STEVE BARLOW REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/06/unemployment-rate-for-state-is-at-least-10-2-prospects-grim/

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Connecticut stands at 10.2%, but the real figure may be even higher.
The state Department of Labor says there are issues with how the feds collect the data and classify workers. Based on the volume of jobless claims, the DOL suspects the true unemployment rate is closer to 15%. That would put Connecticut more in line with neighboring Massachusetts, where the jobless rate is 14.5%. Torrington resident Conrad Sienkiewicz has been looking for a new job since July, when his position as a program manager at a nonprofit was eliminated. (Contributed photo)
Although Connecticut added a healthy 26,500 nonfarm jobs in July, the state economy remains 146,300 jobs below where it was a year ago. That’s a dip of 8.7%, which, if it holds through the end of the year, would be the worst slump in jobs since World War II.

No Goshen Fair, but plenty of food at the fairgrounds Labor Day weekend

BY JOHN McKENNA REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/06/no-goshen-fair-but-plenty-of-food-at-the-fairgrounds-this-weekend/

With the Goshen Fair out of commission for the first time since World War II, the focus for Labor Day weekend at the fairgrounds is on the food that has made the fair a popular draw. To raise revenue and to help some of the food vendors that have been regulars at the fair, the Goshen Agricultural Society is holding a three-day drive-though food truck festival that continues today. Gates at the fairgrounds opened on Saturday and a steady stream of vehicles rolled through, which made Barbara Breor’s day. In addition to Flood’s food trucks, the festival’s vendors are Low ‘n Slow, Chicken Shack, Del’s Lemonade, Landon’s Lunch, Johnny Potato, Joey’s Gyros and Sausage, and New England Apple Fritters. Goshen Community Care and Hospice is selling soda and water. The festival will be held again today from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Motorists pull into the fairgrounds, receive menus and place their order, all from the comfort of their vehicles. Payment is by credit card, debit card and Apple or Google Pay only.

Flu shots to be rehearsal for COVID vaccine

By Natasha Vaughn Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/publicservicenews/flu-shots-to-be-rehearsal-for-covid-vaccine/article_b2d742ee-4a93-5a24-b9aa-733bd42c5feb.html

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has directed state and local health departments to begin preparations for how to best handle a COVID vaccine. “The state health department asked us within the last couple of weeks to look at doing drive-thru flu clinics as preparation for giving out the COVID vaccine,” Columbia County Public Health Department Executive
Director Jack Mabb said Friday. The drive-thru flu clinics are a good way to practice distributing a vaccine to the public before a COVID
vaccine becomes available, Mabb said. Columbia County recently announced a schedule of upcoming drive-up flu shot clinics. The county has
planned six from Sept. 23 to Oct. 22 at various locations throughout the county.

Berkshire County saw 30 new cases in 14 days

By Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/the-checkup-berkshire-county-saw-30-new-cases-in-14-days,612997

In its weekly report, the state Department of Public Health provided this COVID-19 data for Berkshire County as of Sept. 2:
Total number of cases: 665 (it had risen to 670 as of Sunday)
New cases in last 14 days: 30
Relative change: Higher
Total tests: 37,830
Tests last 14 days: 8,488
Number positive: 33 (repeat tests can produce a higher positive number than cases, as in this instance)
Percent positive: 0.39
Change in percentage of positive cases: Higher

Risk of spreading virus forces Geer to close Adult Day Center

Full story at https://rep-am..com

The Adult Day Center at Geer Village Senior Community has closed.
The facility has provided a place for seniors to come on a daily basis for socialization and allowed caregivers some respite.
“The risk of infection as we transport highly vulnerable people across long distances and provide care in a confined space is just too great,” Geer CEO Kevin O’Connell stated in a news release. The closure means ADC staff have been laid off or reassigned. Services provided by ADC will not be given up entirely. Geer is focused on finding other ways to help those who need support at home. A new division is being created that will focus of safe, alternative programming for seniors. Called Community Service, its goal is to provide a variety of senior support services throughout the area. Lenore Consiglio is the Community Service’s new director.
Those with questions, concerns and suggestions can contact Consiglio at 860-824-2623 or lconsiglio@geercares.org, or O’Connell at 860-824-3868 or koconnell@geercares.org

Legislative forum Thursday in Kent

The 30th District Republicans will sponsor a legislative forum with breakfast Thursday at 7:30 a.m. at Fife n’ Drum Restaurant on Route 7. State Sen. Craig Miner will be joined by state Reps. Jay Case (63rd District), Richard Smith (108th), Bill Buckbee (67th), Dave Wilson (66th), Steve Harding (107th) and John Piscopo (76th) to give a review of the 2020 legislative session and answer questions. Masks are required. Proceeds will be used to elect Republicans in the 30th District. To make reservations, call John Morris at 860-693-0757, or Ginny Landgrebe at 203-770-0466.

Guthrie Center looking for lifeline to keep its mission going

By Clarence Fanto, Eagle correspondent

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/helping-hands-now-in-need-guthrie-center-looking-for-lifeline-to-keep-its-mission-going,612980

GREAT BARRINGTON — As the 30th anniversary of troubadour and master storyteller Arlo Guthrie’s purchase of the Old Trinity Church approaches, the future of his mission-driven, outreach-focused Guthrie Center is hanging in the balance. Its survival as an interfaith gathering place, community services outreach center and performance venue in the Van Deusenville neighborhood depends on the success of a fund drive to be launched online Tuesday at https://guthriecenter.org

What: Online fundraiser to preserve the Guthrie Center at the Old Trinity Church in Great Barrington, founded by Arlo Guthrie in 1991.
When: Starting Tuesday
How: An eight-minute video retrospective by director Matthew Penn at https://guthriecenter.org
The video is free, but donors get access to a half-hour digital concert of seven songs recently filmed by Guthrie and his team.

Connecticut School districts prepare for staff shortages

CTMIRROR.ORG

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/news/news-connecticut/2020/09/04/school-districts-prepare-for-staff-shortages/

Schools need teachers and staff to report for work if they are going to open their doors. So what happens when dozens of educators who don’t feel safe returning because of COVID-19 show up with a doctor’s note and a request not to return in person? And who will teach when educators can’t come to work because their child’s school or daycare abruptly closes? The Connecticut State Department of Education is hearing from districts that between 25% to 30% of the state’s teachers are requesting not to physically return to school. How state and local officials respond to these staffing challenges could spell the difference between school buildings opening or classes going online, and a host of factors and solutions are helping districts take up the slack. For starters, fear there would be a hoard of teacher retirements in 2020 was unfounded. This summer, the number of teachers who typically retire was down 14%. While 1,154 teachers and school staff usually retire each summer, just 994 did so this year. Many districts also have a significant share of students planning to learn remotely, which will help accommodate teachers who want to stay home.

Stanford Fire Department pays tribute to lives lost on 9/11 with flag display

Katelyn Cordero Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/05/stanford-ny-fire-department-pays-tribute-lives-lost-9-11/5728685002/

Outside Stanford Town Hall lies 2,978 flags pressed into the ground on Thursday evening by Stanford firefighters. Red flags make up the twin towers that came crashing down during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Each one of the 343 flags represents a firefighter who died that day. Seventy one American flags tagged with a blue ribbon at the base of the tower represent police officers and one Port Authority K-9 killed in the attacks. Surrounding the towers in a sea of red white and blue lies a flag for each civilian killed that day.

After battle with COVID-19, Jesse Hankey returns home to cheers from friends and family

By Heather Bellow, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/after-battle-with-covid-19-jessie-hankey-returns-home-to-cheers-from-friends-and-family,612926?

GREAT BARRINGTON — Around 50 friends and family stood near State Road on Friday morning waving American flags to cheer Jesse Hankey as he arrived back in town with a police and motorcycle escort after a six-month ordeal with COVID-19. Hankey survived 117 days on a ventilator after being admitted to Berkshire Medical Center on March 6. Doctors signed off this week on his release from Hillcrest Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, where staff worked hard to help him during a challenging time, said Delores Duncan, executive director. Friends who’ve long known Hankey, a Marine Corps combat veteran, said he is tough.

Connecticut DPH issues COVID alert for holiday weekend after clusters of cases

Full story at https://www.wfsb.com/news/dph-issues-covid-alert-for-holiday-weekend-after-clusters-of-cases/article_82ea71dc-eeeb-11ea-9535-9bd6bde0f19f.html

Connecticut’s Department of Public Health has issued a COVID-19 alert for Labor Day weekend after clusters of cases. The cluster of cases is among college students. The alert was issued also as a concern over the gatherings and cookouts that are scheduled to take place this weekend for the holiday.
DPH said there have been 10 COVID-19 cases among Sacred Heart University students living off campus and more test results are pending. Sacred Heart has approximately 3,000 students living on campus and 2,500 who live off campus in surrounding communities.

State Independent Party cross-endorses Ohler in 64th House District

The Independent Party of Connecticut has cross-endorsed Brian M. Ohler’s candidacy for the 64th House District.
Ohler of Canaan will appear on both the Republican and Independent ballot lines in the Nov. 3 election. He is challenging state Rep. Maria Horn, D-Salisbury, in a rematch of the 2018 race, when Horn narrowly defeated Ohler in his bid for second term.The 64th District includes Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon and Torrington.

Dems side with Lamont Panel votes 6-4 to back emergency powers

Full story at https://rep-am.com

Democrats on a select committee of top legislative leaders voted Friday to sustain Gov. Ned Lamont’s emergency powers to respond the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.Republican members had urged Democrats to nullify the Democratic governor’s latest declaration of a public health emergency so General Assembly leaders and Lamont could negotiate a more collaborative response plan. After nearly two hours of spirited debate, the 10-member select committee voted 6-4 along party lines to reject a Republican motion to veto a five-month state of emergency that Lamont declared Tuesday. Lamont will continue to exercise emergency powers through Feb.9 that allow him to modify or suspend state laws, regulations and requirements to respond
to developments in the COVID-19 outbreak.

New York requires schools to publicly disclose COVID-19 cases: What you need to know

David Robinson New York State Team

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/coronavirus/2020/09/04/new-york-requires-schools-publicly-disclose-covid-19-cases/5714442002/

School districts in New York will be required to publicly releasing data on the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in each school building, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. The information on positive cases among students, teachers and staff will be posted daily online through a state Department of Health dashboard, Cuomo announced this week. The postings will begin Wednesday. It comes after parents and teachers have expressed concerns about the prospect of COVID-19 information being withheld from the public once classes resume.

In Connecticut: CIAC cancels high-risk, full-contact football

Kaitlyn Naples, Marc Robbins

Full story at https://www.wfsb.com/news/ciac-cancels-high-risk-full-contact-football/article_6022878e-eeb4-11ea-85eb-6b062ab963e2.html

On Friday morning, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference announced it has determined that high-risk, full-contact football for the upcoming fall season is no longer a viable option.The announcement comes after a meeting to review recommendations from the Dept. of Public Health.
In a letter from the Dept. of Public Health to the CIAC on Sept. 3, it said:
“With regard to CIAC’s consideration of additional mitigation strategies for indoor girls’ volleyball and football that may lower their risks for person-to-person respiratory droplet spread, DPH has suggested that CIAC consider modifications to higher risk activities, and we continue to encourage such modifications. Absent such modifications, DPH is unlikely to support higher risk activities for the Fall term. We would also recommend that CIAC consult with your sports medicine committee before implementing significant changes to how high school sports are played in our state so that any potential unintended consequences of those changes (including increased risk of injury) can be fully vetted prior to implementation.” Following this response, the CIAC said it determined that high-risk, full-contact football is no longer an option, however it said in alignment with the DPH recommendations, it will work to provide football players with low to moderate risk fall activities. Specific details on what that would entail were not released

UConn students predict Storrs campus will close by the end of Sept. due to COVID-19

Courtney Zieller, Olivia Lank

Full story at https://www.wfsb.com/news/uconn-students-predict-storrs-campus-will-close-by-the-end-of-sept-due-to-covid/article_bd6511c2-eee2-11ea-ad69-d3f373ddb86b.html

University of Connecticut students are predicting the university won’t be staying open much longer due to the coronavirus.
A poll by the school’s newspaper shows almost 86 percent of students believe the Storrs campus will closed by the end of September.
It’s front page news in the student’s newspaper. The majority of students believe the campus won’t be open much longer and that’s because students say others aren’t following guidelines.
UConn freshman Stephanie Boisromd just moved onto campus a few weeks ago. She says it’s different than what she hoped her first year of college life would be like.
“You can’t meet up with people, going to study groups, so you can better understand the content. Even our professor hours are flipped, so it’s a whole different dimension,” Boisromd said.
For many, they’re finding not meeting up with friends is the biggest challenge, especially when they’re so social.
When UConn students moved in in mid-August, they needed to quarantine for two weeks. They also were given guidelines to follow.

Police reform: Dutchess launches website; plans community forums

A.J. Martelli Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/04/police-reform-dutchess-launches-website-plans-community-forums/5717607002/

A new website and a half-dozen virtual community forums are steps Dutchess County is taking as part of police reform efforts, the county announced in a release. The website will include a public comment form for citizens who wish to offer input, suggestions and testimonials. It will also feature news updates and other information regarding police reform, the county said. Virtual forums will be held on Zoom and will be two hours long. Participants must register ahead of time. Sessions will be conducted throughout the month based on geographic location, and American sign language interpreters will be available for the hearing impaired. Additional forums will be held in Spanish, according to the release.

Dates for the local forums are:

Saturday, Sept 12, 3-5 p.m.: Amenia, North East, Millbrook, Millerton, Pine Plains, Stanford, Washington.
Saturday, Sept. 26, 3-5 p.m.: Clinton, Milan, Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Tivoli.

Fredric D. Rutberg: Berkshire Eagle to adjust print frequency, go all in on digital

The Eagle follows well-worn path in reducing print schedule
By Fredric D. Rutberg, Eagle president and publisher
Dear Reader,

The mission at The Berkshire Eagle is to become the finest community newspaper in America. While COVID-19 has thrown some obstacles in our path, our commitment remains constant. However, our commitment requires that we adapt to the times and the economic changes they present.

Without taking you deeply into the weeds, the economic havoc that COVID-19 has wreaked hit newspaper publishing particularly hard, and The Berkshire Eagle was no exception. Our advertising revenues plummeted by almost 50 percent with the lockdown that came in March. They are inching up, but are still more than 30 percent lower than what we earned a year ago. The uncertainty that the pandemic has created stretches further into the future as each month passes. No one knows when it will end.

We have devoted the last four months to examining where we are, what we believe the future will bring, and how we can best position The Eagle to soar into that future. For years, we have known that the future of our industry is with digital publishing, and COVID-19 has accelerated the shift to 21st-century publishing, which we call Being Digital. Being Digital means delivering the news in a way to fit the times and accommodate the future. Being Digital allows us to modernize and enhance our digital presence by expanding our use of digital tools in our reporting that incorporates the use of podcasts, video, interactive graphics, and links to underlying references and sources.

Beginning Oct. 10, we will publish a weekender print edition of The Eagle on Saturdays. The last Sunday print edition will be Oct. 4. Beginning Oct. 5, The Monday Eagle will be available only in the e-edition form. However, Monday’s e-edition will be even more enhanced than those on other weekdays. Yet, even we print newspaper devotees recognize that some novel forms of journalism have created an online reading experience that can, in some cases, be superior.

While obvious savings come with printing two fewer papers each week, our decision was dictated by our commitment to content and influenced by you, our audience. Between July 2019 and July 2020, the number of digital-only subscriptions increased by 50 percent, while new print subscriptions barely made up for those that lapsed during the year. The choice to read a print paper is largely generational, and the number of people, like me, who prefer to read a print paper is dwindling.

Toymakers Cafe revs down: Pandemic ends a glorious run

By BUD WILKINSON Republican-American

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/life-arts/2020/09/03/toymakers-cafe-revs-down-pandemic-ends-a-glorious-run/

Sometime Monday afternoon, the waffle irons will be shut down. The coffee maker will be switched off, too, after brewing its last carafe of House Joe. The final order will be served. Maybe a banger platter? And, after 18½ years, Toymakers Cafe in Falls Village will be closed. The colorful, eccentric and British-themed breakfast and lunch spot started by Ann and Greg Bidou in 2002 has been a gathering spot for motorcyclists, especially on Sunday mornings. It has also catered to thru-hikers on the nearby Appalachian Trail. The Bidous’ labors will appropriately end on Labor Day.
The cafe’s closure is likely permanent, unless a miraculous vaccine for COVID-19 is quickly found. Business has been off 40% this year as indoor dining got replaced by take-out. Orders have been placed at a rigged window outside on the cafe’s side porch, with Ann taking them behind plastic shielding.
The weekend influx of riders has kept the cafe afloat all summer, but they will soon be putting their motorcycles away for the winter. The hefty bills for food supplies, utilities and insurance would have continued, and a small profit would have quickly become red ink.

Residents voice aesthetic issues with bridge construction

BY RUTH EPSTEIN Republican-America

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/03/residents-voice-aesthetic-issues-with-bridge-construction/

The design for replacing a section of the Cogswell Road bridge over Mill Brook and its surrounding guardrails raised concerns about the aesthetics of the project. Several nearby residents attended Tuesday’s virtual meeting of the Board of Selectmen to let their feelings be known. First Selectman Gordon M. Ridgway said safety is the paramount concern when looking at the bridge and guardrails. He said the site is unusual in that there are five nearby stop signs. The two concrete structures on either side of the road date back to 1935, and had parapets along their tops and a date marker on one side. The new ones will have concrete posts replacing the parapets. The guardrails stretching from both sides of each span are 30 years old and need to be replaced, which residents also questioned. Roger Kane, the town’s bridge coordinator who has overseen work on 12 bridges in the last five years, is recommending terminal ends for the galvanized steel rails, which cost $14,475. The use of a timber end, which some favored, would greatly increase the cost, he said.

NY to track school virus tests

By Kate Lisa and Sydney Schaefer Johnson Newspaper Corp.

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/publicservicenews/ny-to-track-school-virus-tests/article_e78f4753-d8be-5e71-9ac3-0be06b468ceb.html

ALBANY — New York will unveil an additional public coronavirus interactive tool in the coming days that will track COVID-19 diagnostic tests across schools statewide as in-person classes prepare to resume next week.
The tool, known as a dashboard, will accompany the state Health Department’s COVID-19 tracker, at covid19tracker.health.ny.gov, starting Sept. 9.
The tracker also includes confirmed coronavirus fatalities in adult-care facilities and nursing homes
statewide.

Newburgh-Beacon Bridge redecking project begins

Journal staff

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/03/newburgh-beacon-bridge-redecking-project-begins/5710782002/

A long-anticipated project replacing the deck on the westbound span of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, which is expected to stretch into July 2023, is underway. And, drivers can expect a change to traffic patterns in both directions by Dec. 15. That’s according to a release from the New York State Bridge Authority, which operates the expanse.
The $95 million contract for the project was awarded to Yonkers Contracting Co. in June.

Great Barrington changes middle school name to honor Du Bois

By Heather Bellow, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/great-barrington-changes-middle-school-name-to-honor-du-bois,612812

GREAT BARRINGTON — Fifteen years ago, a movement began to name one of the town’s schools after its most famous architect of the civil rights era. And on Thursday, through a simple vote by a school committee, history was made: The Berkshire Hills Regional school District School Committee voted unanimously to rename Monument Valley Regional Middle School, W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School. The decision came after the committee was inundated with 350 plus emails, as well as objectors who presented the committee a petition signed by more than 200.

Lamont affirms emergency powers; Republicans demand power-sharing agreement

BY PAUL HUGHES REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/top-stories/2020/09/02/lamont-affirms-emergency-powers-republicans-demand-power-sharing-agreement/

Gov. Ned Lamont said Wednesday that he sees no reason to share emergency powers in the COVID-19 crisis with the legislature.
Meanwhile, House Republicans continued to demand a power-sharing arrangement Wednesday, and push majority Democrats to debate the governor’s extension of his joint declarations of public health and civil preparedness emergencies to Feb. 9. Lamont said while he remains willing to hear legislators out, he believes having the 151 members of the House and the 36 members of the Senate vote on every emergency coronavirus measure is neither advisable or workable.
STATE LAW AUTHORIZES the governor to modify and suspend state laws through executive order in declared public health and civil preparedness emergencies.

New York casinos can reopen Sept. 9 after lengthy COVID-19 shutdown

Jon Campbell New York State Team

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/politics/albany/2020/09/03/new-york-casinos-can-reopen-sept-9-after-lengthy-covid-19-shutdown/5702173002/

ALBANY – Privately owned casinos in New York will be able to reopen their doors Sept. 9 after a lengthy COVID-19 shutdown that kept them closed since mid-March. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state’s casino reopening plan Thursday, four days after promising a decision would be coming this week.
The casinos will be require to cap their maximum capacity at 25%, while those who enter the facilities will be required to wear masks, according to Cuomo.
No table games will be allowed, at least at first. The state Gaming Commission will have the ability to approve table games if casinos create a system that allows for physical barriers between participants, state Budget Director Robert Mujica said. The reopening decision will apply to the state’s four private casinos: Resorts World Catskills in Sullivan County, del Lago in Seneca County, Rivers Casino in Schenectady and Tioga Downs in Tioga County. It also applies to racetrack casinos throughout the state.

Counties press New York to loosen jail staffing mandates after inmate numbers plunge

Chris McKenna Times Herald-Record

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/09/03/counties-seek-relief-jail-staffing-mandates-inmate-counts-drop/5680381002/

GOSHEN – Just over a year ago, Orange County’s jail had an average of 628 inmates awaiting court action or serving short sentences in its housing units on any given day. By July of this year, the average inmate population at the Orange County Correctional Facility had plummeted by 47 percent to 332, largely because of new state restrictions on jailing criminal suspects who can’t afford bail. But in spite of that steep drop-off, the number of correction officers, commanders and other jail staff in Goshen had barely dipped during that time, totaling 307 in June of 2019 and 303 in June of this year. By July of this year, the average inmate population at the Orange County Correctional Facility had plummeted by 47 percent to 332, largely because of new state restrictions on jailing criminal suspects who can’t afford bail. Orange County officials and their peers across New York are pressing the state to loosen its minimum staffing requirements for their jails, each facing big decreases in their jail populations and searching for ways to cut costs to cope with serious financial problems the coronavirus pandemic has caused. In a letter Tuesday to the state panel that sets jail staffing levels, an Orange County official urged the state Commission of Correction to give counties greater staffing flexibility, while clarifying that his county wants to cut overtime hours and not employees.

Chatham Fire Department recruitment campaign is best in NY

By Bill Williams Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/chatham-fire-department-recruitment-campaign-is-best-in-ny/article_9789241f-cefb-55e4-8d0a-c523bbf0ed7e.html

CHATHAM — As many volunteer fire departments across New York struggle to attract new members, the Chatham Fire Department has seen a 20% increase in membership over the last two years. The jump in new volunteers is due to an award-winning recruitment campaign that featured fire department members portrayed as “neighbors, friends and relatives.” The Fireman’s Association of the State of New York on Wednesday presented the department with the
Recruitment and Retention Award to recognise the department’s recruitment campaign as the best in the state.

Bousquet Mountain hires GM, signs on Olympic skier Krista Schmidinger

By The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/bousquet-mountain-hires-gm-signs-on-olympic-skier-krista-schmidinger,612766

PITTSFIELD — The new owners of Bousquet Mountain have hired a new general manager and partnered with an Olympic skier to support the area’s skiing program. Kevin McMillian has been named the ski area’s new general manager, while former U.S. Olympic skier and Pittsfield native Krista Schmidinger has been brought on to enhance the youth skiing program.

All seven Region One schools have higher-than-expected enrollment figures as of Monday, Aug. 31, according to figures collected by Interim Superintendent Lisa Carter.

Full story at https://tricornernews.com

Housatonic Valley Regional High School will have 323 students, an increase of 18 (plus three AFS exchange students if they are allowed to travel).
Cornwall Consolidated School: 103 (plus 19).
Lee H. Kellogg School (Falls Village): 68 (plus 6)
Kent Center School: 212 (plus 34)
North Canaan Elementary School: 247 (plus 21)
Salisbury Central School: 316 (plus 46)
Sharon Center School: 103 (plus 23).
Official enrollment figures are published on Oct. 1 of any given year, and used to calculate each town’s share of the Region One budget for the following year.

Sharon seeks grant for parking lot expansion

Full story at https://tricornernews.com

SHARON — Planned improvements to the Town Hall parking lot may take a step ahead following a decision by the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 25, conducted by Zoom. the selectmen agreed to submit an application for a grant in the amount of $128,000, which would the town’s anticipated portion of the $15 million in funds that is being distributed to through the state STEAP (Small Town Economic Assistance Program).
Expansion plans for the parking lot seemed to offer a good fit for the program. State Rep. Maria Horn (D-64) was instrumental in putting Colley in touch with Martin Heft, undersecretary for the Office of Policy and Management, who reviewed the grant guidelines for alignment with the town’s plans. The grant funding will support the site preparation, grading and drainage, and the town will fund the paving portion of the project to fulfill the requirement that the town provide matching funds to receive the grant, Colley said.

FALLS VILLAGE — The Housatonic Youth Service Bureau (HYSB) has a new executive director

Full story at https://tricornernews.com

Kelly Parker, replacing outgoing director Laurie Collins, who left in 2018. Parker started work last week. She was most recently the assistant director of advancement at the Housatonic Valley Association

New York State issues pandemic-related guidelines for popular fall
activities

By Sydney Schaefer Johnson Newspaper Corp

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/publicservicenews/state-issues-pandemic-related-guidelines-for-popular-fall-activities/article_e8c3cde5-70c7-5669-8db1-c74a10a584b5.html

New guidelines for agritourism businesses across the state were announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday, just in time for the start of the fall season. The agritourism businesses, which include corn mazes, pick-your-own fruit and vegetable operations, hayrides and haunted houses, are considered by the state to be low-risk, outdoor arts and entertainment
businesses, Cuomo announced Tuesday, and are permitted to operate under New York Forward guidance. The new guidance announced will ensure that these businesses can open to the public, allowing families to enjoy their
favorite fall activities while providing a boost for our farming communities and local economies. Corn mazes, pick-your-own fruit and vegetable operations and haunted houses are permitted in accordance with low-risk, outdoor arts and entertainment guidance, and it’s required that these businesses operate at reduced capacity, face masks are worn at all times and social distancing is maintained between individuals and parties of people.
Hayrides are permitted in accordance with the state’s public transportation guidance, and it’s required that face masks are worn at all times, social distancing is maintained between individuals and parties of people
and frequently touched surfaces are cleaned and sanitized between rides.
Petting zoos are not permitted at this time.

State Forest Rangers rescue two in Greene County

By Bill Williams Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/greenecounty/state-forest-rangers-rescue-two-in-greene-county/article_cdc5d5a1-4296-58d4-b472-2294490975b5.html

Two men were rescued by New York State Forest Rangers over the past week in separate areas of Greene County, Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Jomo Miller said Tuesday. Forest Rangers received a call from North-South Lake Campground in Haines Falls on Aug. 24, at about 3:50
p.m., according to the DEC. They reported that a hiker was suffering from possible heat exhaustion on the Escarpment Trail in the
Windham-Blackhead Wilderness Area in Jewett, Miller said.

Families fight to visit NY nursing home residents: ‘What did I do to suffer like this?

David Robinson New York State Team

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/coronavirus/2020/09/03/families-fight-visit-ny-nursing-home-residents-amid-covid-pandemic/5693830002/

Fay Hedendal, a 104-year-old nursing home resident in Rockland County, has nearly lost the will to live after being deprived of family visits over the past six months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her cries of despair come pouring out during phone calls with her granddaughter, Sue Riccardelli.
Their story is part of a growing chorus of New Yorkers pleading with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ease visitation restrictions at hundreds of nursing homes on COVID-19 lockdown since mid-March, when authorities banned visits to combat the deadly respiratory disease.
Fay Hedendal, 104, who lives at Northern Manor Nursing Home in Nanuet, Rockland County. Her granddaughter described her as the matriarch for generations of grandkids who have been unable to visit her since March.Many advocates want visitation to resume at long-term care facilities that go 14 days without a new COVID-19 case, down from the current 28 days required under a July 15 state policy, which has been all but impossible to achieve for many facilities.
Cuomo has defended the 28-day policy, citing federal guidelines and heightened health risks facing frail and elderly people in New York nursing homes, where at least 6,600 residents have died in connection to COVID-19.

High turnout for in-person, mail-in voting

By Amanda Burke , The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/high-turnout-for-in-person-mail-in-voting,612750

With expanded voting options and a couple of hotly contested races on the ballot, participation in this year’s state primary in some local communities easily eclipsed those of the past, elections clerks said.
Pittsfield City Clerk Michele Benjamin said Wednesday that at least 10,707 voters cast ballots in the primary, whether through the mail or in person, for a turnout rate of 36 percent, based on still unofficial election results.
“It was great that it was such a nice day, and we had so many people who didn’t vote ahead of time who got out and voted,” Benjamin said. “In 2016 we had 5,656 voters … It was a large increase.”
Turnout was about 27 percent in the 2018 state primary. Turnout in this year’s primary, however, didn’t reach levels seen at last fall’s municipal elections, when nearly 43 percent of voters turned out for mayoral, School Committee and City Council races.

Connecticut Comptroller projects $2.1B state deficit for 2021

BY PAUL HUGHES REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/01/comptroller-projects-2-1b-state-deficit-for-2021/

HARTFORD – State Comptroller Kevin Lembo is projecting a $2.1 billion state deficit in his first monthly budget estimate for the 2021 fiscal year that started July 1.The comptroller’s office is also reporting a record high, $3 billion balance in the budget reserve fund, but Lembo is warning it is likely to be short-lived because of budget and economic setbacks due to coronavirus pandemic.The Sept. 1 budget report certified the $2.1 billion deficit estimate the state Office of Policy and Management reported on Aug. 20, primarily due to significant revenue reductions related to the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Lou Bucceri, executive director of the Salisbury Association educates public on bird crisis

Republican American

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/09/01/in-your-corner-bucceri-educates-public-on-bird-crisis/

SALISBURY — How bleak the world would be without the melodious songs and striking colors of birds. They play such an important role in the ecological system, yet their population is on a steep decline. Elaine and Lou Hecht are among those who are deeply disturbed by what they are witnessing and wanted to bring awareness to the issue. Their exhibit, “Birds in Crisis,” at the Salisbury Association’s Academy Building, does just that.Upon entering the show, visitors are greeted with the startling fact that the journal Science notes the breeding-bird populations in the continental United States and Canada have declined by nearly one third, or three billion, since 1970. Much of the loss is among common species, with more than 90% belonging to 12 bird families common to the Northwest Corner. More than half of grassland birds have disappeared and forests have lost more than 1 billion birds.To help alleviate the problem, the Hechts seek to restore wetlands, protect wildlife habitats, address harmful pesticide use and respond to the growing challenges of climate change. They also encourage people to push for policy decisions, such as strengthening the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The exhibit is funded through the Salisbury Association Land Trust, and sponsored in collaboration with Sharon Audubon and Housatonic Valley Association/Greenprint.

Permit hearing for Great Barrington airport hangar addition continued to Sept. 14

By Heather Bellow, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/permit-hearing-for-great-barrington-airport-hangar-addition-continued-to-sept-14,612709

GREAT BARRINGTON — The owners of Walter J. Koladza Airport will have to wait a little longer before they get an answer from the town on whether they will be granted a permit that will allow them to build new hangars.A public hearing to discuss granting Berkshire Aviation Enterprises Inc. a special permit for the proposed construction of six hangers at the airport has been continued to Sept. 14, apparently to give Select Board members more time to absorb information.
At a meeting on Aug. 24, the airport’s engineer told the board that its owners are willing to accept rules attached to its special permit that would alleviate concerns about the risk of contamination from the proposed construction of six hangars here.”Everything I’m promising, we’re willing to accept in conditions,” said James Scalise, of SK Design Group, noting again that the project actually lowers pollution risks by storing more airplanes inside and off the bare ground. The project has been on the table since 2017. Worn down by pushback from some abutters and neighbors, the company withdrew its first application in 2018 for the permit that would ultimately allow the hangar build.

Musicians Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax surprise essential workers with pop-up performances

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/musicians-yo-yo-ma-emanuel-ax-surprise-essential-workers-with-pop-up-performances,612707

By Amanda Burke, The Berkshire Eagle

PITTSFIELD — Residents might have noticed the flatbed truck carrying a unique wooden structure driving around the city Tuesday.
It was a traveling stage that, over the past few days, has been ferried to locations in Pittsfield and Lee, from which renowned musicians Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax played a series of surprise pop-up concerts for essential workers. The pop-up concerts came on the heels of the performance the Grammy award-winning cellist and pianist gave Sunday for a limited crowd of essential workers at Hancock Shaker Village.

Edward Markey defeats Joe Kennedy in Democratic Senate primary

By Steve LeBlanc, The Associated Press

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/edward-markey-defeats-joe-kennedy-in-democratic-senate-primary,612682

BOSTON — U.S. Sen. Edward Markey defeated U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, harnessing support from progressive leaders to overcome a challenge from a younger rival who is a member of America’s most famous political family. Markey appealed to voters in this deeply Democratic state by positioning himself as aligned with the liberal wing of the party. He teamed up with a leading progressive, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on the Green New Deal — and at one point labeled Kennedy “a progressive in name only.” That helped Markey overcome the enduring power of the Kennedy name in Massachusetts. The 39-year-old congressman sought to cast the 74-year-old Markey as someone out of touch after spending decades in Congress, first in the House before moving to the Senate.

Connecticut Secretary of the state: No data breach, despite hacking claim

BY PAUL HUGHES REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/top-stories/2020/09/01/secretary-of-the-state-no-data-breach-despite-hacking-claim/

HARTFORD — The secretary of the state’s office denied on Tuesday it had been the victim of a data breach after voter information surfaced on a Russian hackers’ platform. The denial came after Russian newspaper Kommersant published a report on its website alleging that hackers obtained the name, date of birth, gender, registration date, address, postal code, e-mail, voter identification number, and polling place information of millions of U.S. voters, including voters in Connecticut. “All of the information reported by a Russian news outlet to be part of a ‘hack’ or ‘data breach’ is actually publicly available in Connecticut, and can be purchased from our office by anyone with $300,” said Gabe Rosenberg, communications director for Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill. He also pointed out that the voter information can also be found online for free at the website that has purchased this data and reposted it, according to the secretary of the state’s office.

Two more states added to Connecticut’s, New York’s and New Jersey’s COVID-19 watch list

BY PAUL HUGHES REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/top-stories/2020/09/01/two-more-states-added-to-connecticuts-covid-19-watch-list/

HARTFORD — The states of Alaska and Montana were added to a tri-state travel advisory that requires visitors from states with high rates of coronavirus cases to quarantine upon arrival in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
There are now 31 states subject to the travel quarantine directive, plus the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
No states were dropped from the watch list this week. It is updated every Tuesday. In June, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey imposed a tri-state travel advisory. It applies to travelers from states that either have a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a positivity rate higher than 10% over a rolling seven-day average.

NYSPHSAA delays start of winter high school sports season two weeks

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/sports/high-school/2020/08/31/nysphsaa-delays-start-winter-high-school-sports-season-nov-30/3449086001/

Following a COVID-19 Task Force meeting on Monday, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association has delayed the start of the winter sports season by two weeks. Although the NYSPHSAA is still finalizing return-to-play guidance for the fall sports season, which is expected to be released on Friday, the organization decided to delay the winter sports season until Nov. 30 in order to give schools and sections more time to complete the fall season. Winter sports practice was originally scheduled to begin Nov. 16.

Great Barrington Special town meeting to focus on housing-focused zoning changes, limits on marijuana establishments

A special town meeting Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m. will consider a variety of zoning bylaw changes, switching to a quarterly property tax payment system, and several citizen petitions. The meeting will be held in a “drive-in” set up at Monument Mountain Regional High School.
Zoning proposals include amending bylaws for accessory dwelling units and “moveable tiny houses,” and changes to bylaws for multi-family housing and planned use residential development. Another would allow for the conversion of nursing homes into multi-family housing by special permit.The meeting also seeks voter approval to transfer a parcel of town-owned residential property on Grove Street to the affordable housing trust.Regulations regarding swimming pools, downtown business district use requirements and standards for mixed-use commercial development are also on the agenda. An amendment to the town’s design advisory committee and its review standards will also be considered. A limit on the number of marijuana retailers in town is also proposed. At present, one is operating and five others have host agreements with the town. Seven is the proposed maximum.
Several citizen petition items seek further regulations related to marijuana establishments. Two others address changes to rules for citizen speak time at town board meetings as well as proposed changes to selectboard policies and procedures. Another seeks to prohibit hazardous waste dumping, storage or disposal in Great Barrington; and another is a nonbinding petition calling for the state to close down and outlaw private, for-profit prisons in Massachusetts.

Region One COVID-19 news update from Lisa Carter

Lamont extends emergency COVID powers until Feb. 9

BY MARK PAZNIOKAS CTMIRROR.ORG

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/news/news-connecticut/2020/08/31/lamont-extends-emergency-covid-powers-until-feb-9/

Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday he will extend Connecticut’s public-health emergency into February to keep intact dozens of COVID-19 restrictions that otherwise would expire on Sept. 9, the last day of the six-month emergency he declared in March. Lamont finalized his decision after meeting with legislative leaders to talk about his COVID restrictions, as well as the potential agenda and timing of a special session of the General Assembly in September. His new order will extend the emergency for five months until Feb. 9, expiring a month after the General Assembly opens its regular session for 2021. Legislative leaders from both parties acknowledged the necessity of a new emergency order, given the impracticality of the alternatives: Letting all restrictions expire while the coronavirus is still a threat, or convening the legislature to review each of Lamont’s orders in the next week.

COVID: Dutchess health officials brace for rise in fall, winter after summer success

Saba Ali Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/08/31/covid-dutchess-health-officials-brace-rise-cases/5654333002/

Dutchess has seen only slight increases in active cases and hospitalizations through the summer. The transmission rate of roughly 1% has held since the beginning of June when businesses were being given the go-ahead to reopen. On the second official day of summer, June 21, Dutchess dipped below 200 active cases for the first time since March 25. It moved back above that threshold on July 13, and has since seen as many as 274 active cases on Aug. 15, but the number dropped from 264 cases to 230 on Tuesday. However, as the unofficial end to summer arrives, officials are bracing for that to change. How steep of an increase in transmission of the potentially deadly virus remains to be seen. With temperatures dropping, public schools preparing to reopen and college campuses populated again with students — some of whom have already been suspended after attending large parties, the coming weeks represent a dangerous time, Vaidian said. And, the winter, in which residents spend more time indoors, could exacerbate problems

Mass MoCA staffer in quarantine after COVID-19 tests

By Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/the-checkup-mass-moca-staffer-in-quarantine-after-covid-19-tests,612596

An employee of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is near the end of a 14-day quarantine after getting both a positive and negative test result for COVID-19, the museum’s leaders said Monday.
The unnamed staff member is asymptomatic and “feeling fine,” according to a message sent by museum administrators to “colleagues and campus neighbors.” “The person who tested positive was not public facing, therefore contact was extremely limited,” says the message, signed by Joe Thompson and Tracy Moore, the museum’s director and deputy director. Moore told The Eagle the employee’s quarantine began Aug. 20.

Polling places expect low turnout and many mail-in ballots

By Amanda Burke , The Berkshire Eagle

Full story at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/polling-places-expect-low-turnout-and-many-mail-in-ballots,612597

Following a flood of vote-by-mail ballots and voters stopping by the polls early to cast ballots in-person, some Berkshire city and town clerks are expecting low-key scenes at their local polling places for Tuesday’s primary election. “I think it’s going to be a quiet day tomorrow,” said Williamstown Town Clerk Nicole Pedercini. “Because the people that normally would come and cast their vote have already done so by mail.” She said 1,684 registered voters in Williamstown requested a no-excuse mail-in ballot this primary election, more than double the number of total voters who participated in the primary four years ago. About 400 local voters who requested a mail-in ballot still hadn’t returned theirs as of Friday. Ballots must be received by local elections offices by 8 p.m. Tuesday, whether sent through the mail or left in a municipal drop box, to be counted.
Secretary of State William Galvin said Monday he expects 1.2 million to 1.3 million votes will be cast in the primary election.

DPH investigation results in ‘immediate jeopardy’ finding after COVID outbreak at local nursing home

Full story at https://www.wfsb.com/news/dph-investigation-results-in-immediate-jeopardy-finding-after-covid-outbreak-at-local-nursing-home/article_8c6ae44c-ebc3-11ea-8491-cf0f3ff28229.html

NORWICH, CT (WFSB) – The state’s Dept. of Public Health has released its findings after investigating a COVID-19 outbreak at Three Rivers Nursing Home in Norwich. On Monday, the Department of Public Health announced the issuance of a statement of deficiency for the Three Rivers Nursing home. Health officials say 21 residents of the home and 5 staff members were infected. Three of the residents who tested positive have died and one is hospitalized.
The DPH says the other residents are segregated from residents of the home who have not tested positive.

Connecticut: No new deaths linked to virus since Friday; positive rate remains under 1%

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/08/31/no-new-deaths-linked-to-virus-since-friday-positive-rate-remains-under-1/

On Mondays the state Dept. of Public Health releases coronavirus data from the weekend, covering the time since Friday’s report. Accordingly, the latest report shows the positive test rate in the state remains low at just .8% with over 45,000 new tests. More importantly there have been no new deaths since Friday attributed to the virus. That makes 12 days in the month of August with zero new deaths.

Over 700 families benet from Chatham mass food distribution

By Bill Williams

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/columbiacounty/over-700-families-benefit-from-chatham-mass-food-distribution/article_4b88e98b-b406-53b2-82d6-184ccb6cf7b4.html

CHATHAM — The turnout for a mass food distribution event on Monday at the Columbia County Fairgrounds was so great that some families had to be turned away. Twenty-four pallets of food, enough for 700 families, was distributed Monday during The Community Partnership drive-thru food distribution.
Twice as many families showed up for Monday’s event than did at the first area food distribution in May

Veterans end support on 56-mile trek

By Sarah Trafton Columbia-Greene Media

Full story at https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/greenecounty/veterans-find-support-on-56-mile-trek/article_d5dd12b7-9e9d-5ee2-842d-50431113d6f1.html

ALBANY — A dozen veterans from the U.S. Marines, Army, Air Force and Navy, along with three civilians arrived at the state Capitol in Albany on Monday morning after a 22-hour walk from Kingston through parts of Greene County.
Organized by the Hudson Valley Center for Veteran Reintegration’s Vet2Vet of Ulster County program, the 56-mile walk kicked off at 11:30 a.m. Sunday with addresses delivered by guest speakers at Tech City in Kingston. Participants traveled up Route 9W through four counties and 12 towns overall.

Missing for years, white marble dog again guarding grave of long gone teen at Canaan cemetery

BY KATHRYN BOUGHTON REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/08/30/missing-for-years-white-marble-dog-again-guarding-grave-of-long-gone-teen-at-canaan-cemetery/

A poignant tableau will play out on Sunday at Mountain View Cemetery as a faithful dog again takes up his watch over the grave of his little mistress.
A white marble dog has been returned to the grave of young Georgianna Peet, where it slumbered for more than 125 years before being stoen more than a decade ago. Kathryn Boughton/Republican-American
The white marble dog, stolen over a decade ago from the grave of 19-year-old Georgianna Peet, was recently returned and given to the nonprofit Friends of the Canaan History Center. It was reinstalled on Georgie’s grave this week, resuming its long vigil exactly 141 years after the girl’s sudden death on Aug. 29, 1879. Bunny Williams of Falls Village found the sculpture on the website of a New York antiques dealer and the dog was given to Williams to bring back to Canaan. A rededication ceremony, open to the public, will be held Sept. 7 at 3 p.m. at the cemetery.

Connecticut’s deficit will be paid with bulging rainy day fund

BY KEITH M. PHANEUF CTMIRROR.ORG

FUll story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/08/30/state-deficit-will-be-paid-with-bulging-rainy-day-fund/

The state’s rainy day fund has exceeded the legal limit for the first time in 19 years, approaching $3.1 billion and forcing Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration to release some of that bounty to pay down debt.
New numbers from the administration show the reserve is enough to cover a huge budget deficit for the fiscal year that began in July – and still leave nearly $1 billion in the bank next summer.
The projections, much rosier than the administration offered two months ago, sparked renewed calls Tuesday from key lawmakers for more state spending to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Stanford man faces rape felony involving child: State police

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/08/30/stanford-man-santiago-andujar-recorded-sexual-assault-child-in-town-of-stanford/5673686002/

A 41-year-old Stanford man was arrested Friday after state police said he raped a child. Santiago A. Andujar recorded himself sexually assaulting a child in Stanford, police said. He faces felony charges of third-degree rape, promoting a sexual performance of a child and use of a child in a sexual performance. Andujar was arraigned in Town of Stanford Court and sent to Dutchess County Jail without bail. He is due in court on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Dutchess police agencies take part in Labor Day weekend STOP DWI campaign

Ryan Santistevan Poughkeepsie Journal

Full story at https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/08/30/dutchess-police-agencies-take-part-labor-day-stop-dwi-campaign/5673970002/

Police agencies across Dutchess County are stepping up their presence on roadways ahead of Labor Day weekend as part of a statewide crackdown on impaired driving.The STOP-DWI campaign began Friday and is scheduled to end Sept 7, according to a press release from the Office of Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. “Drinking and driving is a choice,” Molinaro said. “One that often has deadly consequences. While you may choose to celebrate the unofficial end of summer, we ask you do so responsibly: If you choose to drink at a small, socially distant Labor Day gathering, please be responsible and arrange a ride home.”

Region 1 adds 20 new instructors for 2020-21 school year

BY RUTH EPSTEIN Republican-American

Full story at https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/08/29/region-1-adds-20-new-instructors-for-2020-21-school-year/

Twenty staffers hired for the new school year, some new faces and some familiar, will greet Region 1 students when doors open Sept. 8.
Interim Superintendent Lisa Carter said she is excited about the crop of high-caliber educators who have been hired. Some of them are former paraprofessionals who have stepped up to earn their teaching degrees.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.