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Albany man killed in crash on Route 203


CHATHAM–An Albany man was killed when two vehicles crashed on Route 203 at the Chapel Drive intersection, July 30 at 10:31 p.m.

According to Livingston State Police Investigator Eric Barnes, Ralph J. Glover III, 34, of Albany was driving a Lexus convertible west on Chapel Drive when he arrived at the intersection and made a left turn to head south on Route 203. As the Glover vehicle made the turn it pulled into the path of a northbound GMC pickup truck driven by James M. Lensink, 18, of Niverville.

Mr. Glover was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy at Albany Medical Center by Dr. Michael Sikirica August 1 found the cause of death to be multiple traumatic blunt force injuries, the investigator said.

The Valatie Rescue Squad took Alice F. O’Keefe, 22, of Albany, who was the front seat passenger in the Glover vehicle to Niverville Fire Station 1, where she was airlifted by helicopter to Albany Med with injuries that were not life threatening.

The squad took Mr. Lensink and his passenger, Edward S. Mieske, 17, of Kinderhook, by ambulance to Albany Med, where they were also treated for injuries described by police as “apparent[ly] non-life threatening.”

Investigator Barnes said road conditions were dry that night and whether other factors figured in the accident cause is still to be determined by the ongoing investigation.

All vehicle occupants were wearing seat belts, he said.

Columbia County Coroner Angelo Nero was also on the scene, along with Niverville firefighters. 


Livingston State Police charged two men in connection with the severe beating of a Copake man late the evening of August 2.

Mathias Brightly, 29, of Athens and Jacob Whiteman, 27, of Ghent were each charged with second degree assault, a felony.

A 40-year-old Copake man went to a Greenport residence in search of his estranged girlfriend and child, when a confrontation erupted inside and ended up outside on the lawn, where witnesses told police Mr. Brightly and Mr. Whiteman allegedly continuously beat the victim, then placed him in his vehicle causing damage to it.

The victim was able to drive about 50 yards away from the crime scene where neighbors came to his aid until the Greenport Rescue Squad arrived.

The squad took him to Columbia Memorial Hospital where he remains in the Intensive Care Unit with head and internal injuries.

Both suspects were arraigned in Greenport Court before Town Justice Francis Abitabile. Mr. Brightly was sent to jail without bail and Mr. Whiteman was jailed in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bail bond.

*Livingston State Police charged Traci L. Bushie-Campagna, 41, of Purling, Greene County, with first degree criminal possession of forged instruments, a class C felony, in connection with an alleged scheme to distribute counterfeit money orders and checks, July 28.

State Police began their investigation July 27, by examining numerous suspicious packages containing counterfeit money orders, which were being mailed to addresses across the country from the UPS Store in Greenport.

Their investigation led them to a residence in Cairo, Greene County.

An interview with the woman who lives there–Ms. Bushie-Campagna–resulted in the recovery of more than 150 additional counterfeit money orders, counterfeit checks, Fed Ex and UPS mailing labels and packages.

She was arraigned in Greenport Court before Justice Francis Abitabile and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bail bond. She is set to return to court at a later date.

The Livingston State Police investigation was done in conjunction with Catskill State Police, who also charged Ms. Bushie-Campagna with second degree forgery, first degree identity theft, three counts of second degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, all class D felonies; and first degree scheme to defraud, a class E felony.

Investigators in Catskill say, at the end of June they received a complaint from a Coxsackie woman that someone had been sending packages across the country via UPS using her dead husband’s name and address as the sender.

The woman told police that one of the packages had been refused by the person it was addressed to and was returned to her. When she opened it, she found that it contained a forged money order with her deceased husband’s name as the issuer.

UPS security was notified as were Livingston State Police investigators when Ms. Bushie-Campagna allegedly dropped off several suspicious packages at the Greenport UPS Store.

Ms. Bushie-Campagna was arraigned in Greenville Court before Justice Robert Rose July 29 and was ordered to return at a later date.

Livingston State Police Senior Investigator Gary Mazzacano told The Columbia Paper that the arrest is the second of its kind made in Columbia County. He recalled that a Philmont woman was charged for her involvement in a similar scam two years ago.

The woman served as an intermediary, receiving counterfeit money grams from a counterfeiter. She was then paid to redistribute them by mail.

*Three people were hurt in a two-vehicle accident on Routes 9/23 at the Buckley’s Corners intersection, August 3 at 5:24 p.m.

Judith Andrews, 81, of Philmont was driving east in a 1994 Chevy Lumina, when she made a left turn and crossed into the path of a westbound 2008 Dodge pickup truck operated by Naomi Martin, 35, of Hauppauge.

Ms. Andrews was airlifted to the Albany Medical Center by Life Net helicopter for treatment of head, chest and leg injuries. She was in critical condition, according to State Police.

The Greenport Rescue Squad took Ms. Martin and her son to Columbia Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. They were treated and released.

Trooper Brennan Keeler is investigating. Greenport firefighters were also on the scene.

*Wendy Vavrina, 40, of Craryville was charged with first degree promoting prison contraband, a class D felony, by Sheriff’s Office Investigator Patrick Logue and Sergeant William Zincio, July 27 at 7:48 p.m.

Ms. Vavrina allegedly brought an illegal controlled substance into the county correctional facility July 22.

She was arraigned in Greenport Court before Justice Robert Brenzel and sent to the county jail in lieu of $500 cash bail or $1,000 bail bond. She was ordered to return to court August 10.

In connection with the same incident, a warrant has been lodged for a man currently in the correctional facility. He will be charged upon his release. 


Three people, including a child, were hurt in a one-car crash on Gahbauer Road east of Deer Drive, July 31 at 1:30 p.m. Theodore Johnson, 17, of Claverack was driving a 1993 Mazda east on Gahbauer Road when he lost control of the vehicle, which went off the road and struck a tree before coming to rest.

The Philmont Rescue Squad took Theodore and one of his passengers, a 4-year-old boy, to Columbia Memorial Hospital for evaluation. Another passenger, a 28-year-old man, was taken by the squad to Albany Medical Center for evaluation. Deputy Joshua Oakes investigated and ticketed Theodore for speed not reasonable and prudent and child not restrained by a safety device.

Also on the scene were Lieutenant James Andrews and Investigator Patrick Logue. 


Two Germantown boys–ages 14 and 15–neither identified by deputies, were each charged with two counts of second degree burglary, fourth degree conspiracy and petit larceny by Deputy Eli Fieser and Sheriff’s Office Investigator Anthony Brahm, July 27 at 4:50 p.m.

The two boys allegedly illegally entered a Cheviot Road residence, Sunday, July 26.

While loading up their loot inside, they woke up someone in the house. The occupant was not hurt and was able to assist deputies in the investigation and subsequent apprehension of the two alleged perpetrators.

Both boys will appear at the County Probation Office for further proceedings at a later date.

To contact Diane Valden email

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