Noah Zweifel

Medical offices are taking extraordinary steps to ensure patients’ safety during the present crisis, but strict in-house sanitation procedures and loosened regulations on telemedicine are not fully protecting healthcare providers from economic loss as they lose patients and cancel nonessential appointments to focus on critical care.

With people stuck at home, rates of domestic abuse are on the rise, but Albany County’s Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center is getting fewer calls than normal. “People may be afraid to go to the hospital due to fears of contracting COVID-19,” Director Karen Ziegler told The Enterprise. 

The Hilltowns’ annual Memorial Day Parade, put on by the Helderberg Kiwanis Club, has been canceled over concerns of the coronavirus pandemic. The American Legion in Voorheesville and the Parade Committee in Altamont have also cancelled their parades. 

Javid Afzali has officially resigned as Knox’s attorney and, at its April 7 regular meeting, the Knox Town Board hired Michelle Storm of Monaco Cooper Lamme & Carr to fill the position. 

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. 


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