Top Local News For Columbia Greene Counties

Top Local News For Columbia Greene Counties

Top Local News For Columbia Greene Counties


More local arrest in the area


As a result of a joint investigation involving the State Police, New York State Fire Prevention and Control, Columbia County Hazmat and the Village of Chatham Fire Department the white powder substance found in the Chatham Village Court at Tracy Memorial Village Hall, 77 Main Street, “has been determined to be nonhazardous and previously existed in the office prior to mail delivery.

“There is no indication that this incident was a result of criminal behavior and the Court has returned to its normal business,” according to a State Police press release issued October 21 at 2:21 p.m.

The morning of October 21, State Police and Chatham Village Police began investigating a suspicious substance thought to have been mailed to the court.

According to a State Police press release issued shortly before noon that day, the building was isolated, and no persons had reported ill effects as a result. County and state hazardous materials teams were on the scene. The incident remains under investigation.


Hudson Police Officers Kevin Keyser and Randy Strattman were on patrol checking the Amtrak long-term parking lot on South Front Street, Monday, October 5 at 10:22 p.m. when they noticed a parked vehicle with the passenger side window smashed out. Upon further investigation, they discovered Shawn Szepessy, 35, of Stockport seated in his vehicle with small cuts to his hand.

Their investigation revealed that Mr. Szepessy allegedly possessed a small window punch tool and four stolen credit cards.

Police located the owner of the credit cards at Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH), where she works. It was soon discovered that her vehicle, which was parked in the CMH parking garage, had a broken window and her purse was missing.

Mr. Szepessy was charged with fourth degree criminal possession of stolen property, a class E felony. He was issued a ticket and is due to appear in Hudson City Court, October 22.

This is an ongoing investigation and more charges may be pending. If anybody has further information about this case or has been a victim of similar larcenies, they are asked to call HPD detectives at 518-828-3388.


Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the area of County Route 31 and Sparrow Bush Road in Livingston for a report of a vehicle doing “doughnuts” in the roadway, September 29 at 10:37 p.m.

Deputies subsequently located the vehicle in question on County Route 31, near State Route 9. Their subsequent investigation lead to the arrest of Brandon M. Galunas, 30, of Bearsville by Deputies Daniel Keyser and Ryen Boehme.

Mr. Galunas was charged with driving while intoxicated–first offense. He was issued a ticket directing him to appear in Livingston Court at a later date to answer the charge.

Mother arraigned on manslaughter charge

HUDSON—Columbia County Court Judge Jonathan Nichols arraigned Sareese M. Stewart, 30, of Greenport for second degree manslaughter, a class C felony, October 8, according to a press release from Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka.

State Police arrested Ms. Stewart October 6 and charged her with manslaughter in connection with the death of her 21-month-old son, June 23 at their Ten Broeck Lane home in Greenport.

In court, Judge Nichols released Ms. Stewart on her own recognizance and issued an order of protection. DA Czajka would not say who the order was issued to protect.

DA Czajka commended the investigative work of State Police BCI Livingston and the Troop K Major Crimes Unit. Assistant District Attorney Ryan Carty is prosecuting the case.—Diane Valden

Sheriff’s Office has wheels

GREENPORT—The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office used the Columbia-Greene Community College flu vaccination clinic October 3 to roll out its new Mobile Command Unit, an appropriate moment because the date would have been the 28th annual Golden Gathering which is sponsored by State Senator Daphne Jordan, (R-43rd). It was with Ms. Jordan’s advocacy that funds were secured to pay for the vehicle.

Sheriff David Bartlett said the previous mobile command unit was a 20-year-old recreational vehicle retrofitted for the purpose. This new vehicle is built from the ground up to be a fully-equipped mobile office.

“There is no way we could have done this without Senator Jordan’s help. We had a little drug seizure money, but most of the cost of the unit was covered with a $350,000 grant obtained by the senator,” the sheriff said.

The vehicle has all manner of communications equipment, computers and video monitors. Sheriff Bartlett said it was used earlier this year as a command center for a missing person search deploying a remote camera drone.—David Lee

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