Top Local News For Columbia Greene Counties

Top Local News For Columbia Greene Counties

Top Local News For Columbia Greene Counties


Deputies dive in to rescue German Shepherd

ANCRAMDALE—Sheriff’s deputies rescued a female German Shepherd that had fallen through thin ice on a pond on Pat’s Road, January 15.

A call came in to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office dispatch Friday at 11:46 a.m. reporting that a dog had fallen through ice on a pond. Deputy Zachary Torchia was dispatched to the scene as were members of the Sheriff’s Office Dive Team.

Sergeant Heath Benansky, a canine handler himself, was the first diver on the scene and was able to paddle out to the distressed dog on a paddle board. Sergeant Benansky and Deputy Torchia worked together to secure the dog and returned her safely to shore, according to a press release from Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

The dog owners, who live on Hall Hill Road in Ancram, were located via a Lost and Found pets social media post and were reunited with their dog, Andy, at the Copake Veterinary Hospital where she was found to be in good health.

The dog’s owner, identified in the release as Richard, thanked the Sheriff’s Office “from the bottom of my heart.”

“I am very happy to have such a well-trained ice rescue team that was able to deploy so quickly. Had they not gotten there so fast, there could have been a much sadder outcome. Our deputies are out there to keep the public safe. That also includes our furry family as well,” the sheriff said in the release.


Sheriff’s Office investigators with the assistance of the Capital District Drug Task Force-DEA Albany took down a local drug dealer for the second time in less than 30 days.

Sunday, January 10 at 6:50 p.m. a traffic stop was conducted on I-90 westbound in the area of County Route 5 in Canaan, following an ongoing narcotics investigation being conducted by members of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement and Education Unit and the Capital District Drug Task Force-DEA Albany.

Sheriff Bartlett reported in a press release that a search of the vehicle was conducted which led to the discovery of about 400 bags of Fentanyl packaged individually for sale. Estimated street value of this haul is believed to be about $4,000.

Tanner Rivenburgh, 25, of Greenport was charged with third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance-intent to sell, a class B felony, and one count of criminal possession of a narcotic drug-controlled substance more than 1/8 ounce, which is a class C felony.

Mr. Rivenburgh was arraigned before Justice Michael Brandon in Claverack Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail.

Deputy Zachary Torchia was the arresting officer. He was assisted by Sergeant Heath Benansky and K9 Apollo. The dog alerted to the drugs at the traffic stop. The Columbia County District Attorney’s Office also assisted.

Mr. Rivenburgh was previously arrested by the Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement and Education Unit and State Police VGNET, December 15 for possession of about 2,000 bags of Fentanyl. He was also arrested during an October 16 incident in which he was found to be in possession of about nine grams of Fentanyl.

“The Sheriff’s Office working hand in hand with other professional law enforcement agencies made these arrests possible. If these dealers continue to push this poison in our county, we will continue to arrest them,” Sheriff Bartlett said in the release.


Jordan Couse, 19, of Castleton was arrested on a warrant for second degree aggravated harassment, a class A misdemeanor, January 12 at 1:11 p.m.

The warrant stemmed from a December 30 incident in which Mr. Couse allegedly called and threatened to shoot up the Columbia County Department of Social Services.

The investigation and arrest was handled by Deputy David Stevens and Investigator Thomas Merante, who applied for the warrant.

Mr. Couse was picked up at his apartment in Castleton with the assistance of the Schodack Police and turned over to Deputy Stevens.

He was brought before Hudson City Court Judge Brian Herman for arraignment and was released on his own recognizance to return to Hudson City Court January 21.

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