Marcello Iaia

BERNE — Institutions continued their ascent in this rural rectangle, putting a spotlight on its central orientation in the Hilltowns.

Now 20, VanAlstyne is facing a sentence of 18 years to life, scheduled to appear in court in January.

The all-Democrat board in Berne will remain so as two councilwomen — Karen Schimmer and Dawn Jordan — won with substantial margins running on Democratic and Independence Party lines.

BERNE — Berne residents are looking at issues up on one of their highest hills and down underground this election season as four candidates are vying for two seats on the town board.

ALBANY COUNTY — As a newcomer to politics and a native to the Hilltowns, Christopher Smith is proud of spending his life in the rural community of East Berne and Warners Lake.

At 34, he now has a family and three businesses, one of them the large restaurant Maple on the Lake.

ALBANY COUNTY — Claiming a legislative seat for an expansive rural area, Republican Deborah Busch is laying out pointed remarks for her Democratic colleagues while continuing to sound the mantra of no tax increases that she rode into the legislature in 2011.

In a town of 3,400, 500 voters turned out Sept. 1 and overwhelmingly voted down a proposal to repair and replace town buildings.

The special election comes just a few months before a large general election but several years after stalled plans to fix a leaking roof and a weathered highway garage.

KNOX — For the second consecutive race, Democratic Supervisor Michael Hammond is being opposed by a resident saying he has been in the post too long.

KNOX — The town board wants to set a town-wide speed limit of 35 miles per hour, a move Supervisor Michael Hammond said is predicated on safety and has been studied for years.

The change would only apply to town roads that aren’t otherwise posted with a speed limit.

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