Noah Zweifel

Supervisors in the Hilltowns are exploring the options for holding meetings remotely, as recently allowed by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order amending the state’s Open Meeting Law. Knox held its first remote meeting via conference call on Friday, March 27, and Supervisor Vasilios Lefkaditis said it went “extremely well.” 

Peter Hotaling, Westerlo’s former assessor, withdrew the Article 78 proceding he had filed against the town after it unceremoniously allowed other candidates to apply for the position. Hotaling had been in the position for 19 years, and now works as Rensselaerville’s sole assessor.

The Helderberg Ambulance Squad has enlisted volunteers and is asking for more to help sew gowns to be worn by squad members as they work in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The gowns will be waterproof and washable, meaning they can be reused. “ ... We didn’t ever wear gowns that often so we didn’t have enough [when the virus hit],” Mildred Zuk, an emergency medical technician, told The Enterprise. 

After Dr. Kevin Knuth’s scheduled lecture at the Carey Institute for Global Good was canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus, The Enterprise spoke with the University of Albany professor and former NASA scientist about his research into unidentified flying objects, or UFOs. “The majority of sightings are misidentifications …,” Knuth said of UFO incidents, “but there’s a lingering 3-percent of cases that don’t have an explanation.”

In the midst of the pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo softened election requirements; candidates now need to collect only 30 percent of the statutory threshold. Michelle Hinchey, a Democratic candidate for the state Senate’s 46th District, is challenging the petition her Democratic opponent for the nomination, Gary Greenberg, had submitted. Greenberg suggested that the challenge is emblematic of insider-versus-outsider politics.

After her husband’s suicide last year, Berne resident Jennifer Williams’s life has transformed as she signals optimism and strength for her two young children while pregnant with a third. She hopes her story will inspire others to remain strong in the face of devastating adversity. 

Area schools are closed leaving kids without structure and without an opportunity to socialize in traditional ways — potentially for months. Psychiatrist Jessica Griffin, who is an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, speaks about potential impacts of social distancing on children and how those impacts can be mitigated.

As coronavirus cases continue to climb in Albany County and vital services are shut down in response, children and seniors in the Hilltowns are vulnerable not only to the virus, but to hunger. To remedy this, the Berne Youth Council, Berne Library, and Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District are working together to deliver meals and groceries to these at-risk populations.

On Friday, March 13, Acting Supreme Court Justice Denise A. Hartman ruled in favor of Berne farmer Emily Vincent, who had been illegally removed as a full member of the planning board on Jan. 1 and challenged the town’s action in court.

A reconstruction of Knox-Cave Road will begin this summer, renovating a 3.5-mile stretch between county routes 156 and 157A, according to Albany County Legislator Jeff Perlee.

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