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Former Taconic Hills PTO head charged with theft of $20k


CRARYVILLE—The former head of the Taconic Hills Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) has been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from that organization.

Roberta L. Dalrymple, 46, of Taghkanic was charged with fourth degree grand larceny by State Police criminal investigators from Livingston, January 29.

The arrest stems from a six-month-long investigation.

Between 2011 and 2013, Ms. Dalrymple allegedly stole in excess of $20,000 from the PTO’s checking account while she served as treasurer and/or president.

Ms. Dalrymple was issued an appearance ticket returnable in Greenport Court. Other charges are pending.


Clarissa R. Bartles, 32, of Philmont faces multiple felony counts stemming from a criminal impersonation investigation.

State Police from Livingston stopped Ms. Bartles’ vehicle and issued her an appearance ticket for unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, December 23. At that time she allegedly provided police with false information regarding her identity. The ticket was issued in the name of another woman and was returnable in Claverack Court.

On January 21, the woman, whose name was on the ticket, contacted State Police to tell them she was victim of this identity theft. She said she was advised to go to Claverack Court on a marijuana charge she had not incurred. She provided State Police with information regarding the incident and an investigation commenced.

Later that day, police located Ms. Bartles in Philmont and brought her to the Livingston barracks, where an investigation revealed that she had identified herself by someone else’s name to prevent police from discovering that she was wanted on an active arrest warrant.

Ms. Bartles was charged with second degree criminal impersonation, four counts of first degree falsifying business records, a class E felony, and one count of second degree identity theft, a class E felony.

State troopers as well as the Livingston Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigated.

Ms. Bartles was arraigned in Claverack Court and was sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bail bond. She is set to return to court February 18.


Eric Opuana, 31, of Albany was charged with third degree assault, a class A misdemeanor, by State Police from New Lebanon, January 27.

Mr. Opuana allegedly caused injury to a woman by striking her in the face. He was issued an appearance ticket ordering him to appear in Canaan Court February 18.


Hudson Police received a phone call reporting a fight between two men at 4 South Second Street, Tuesday, January 21 at 2:26 a.m.

Patrols went there and found Anthony F. Lipari, 36, of Aitken Avenue, Hudson, a visitor, bleeding from the neck, the apparent victim of a knife assault. Also at the scene was the resident, Damian Hernandez, 42, suffering from minor bruises and cuts.

Mr. Lipari was taken to Albany Medical Center, treated for a neck laceration and released. Mr. Hernandez was treated at Columbia Memorial Hospital and released.

City detectives initiated an investigation, and with the assistance of Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka, secured a search warrant for the apartment, where evidence was collected, including a knife and a .36-caliber blackpowder revolver.

No arrests were made, and the investigation is continuing.

“Clearly there was a violent altercation between two men within the South Second Street apartment. The nature of the criminal charges, if charges are brought at all, may hinge on the willingness of the victim and witnesses to cooperate with police,” Police Chief L. Edward Moore said in a press release.


The following face drug- and/or alcohol-related charges:

*Annemarie R. Grayson, 58, of Copake was charged with driving while intoxicated (class E felony) and second degree aggravated harassment (class A misdemeanor) by Deputy Peter Merante, January 16 at 10:05 a.m. Ms. Grayson allegedly left threatening phone messages for a woman. While the deputy was following up the complaint, he saw Ms. Grayson operating a vehicle in an intoxicated condition. She was arraigned in Hillsdale Court and released on her own recognizance. She is scheduled to re-appear in court at a later date.

*Scott M. Himmel, 49, of Niverville was charged with driving while intoxicated (a misdemeanor) by Deputies Jason Garvey and Thomas Bagnall January 17 at 12:19 a.m. Mr. Himmel was stopped on state Route 9 in Stockport for running a red light. He submitted to a breathalyzer test with a .13% blood alcohol content result. He was issued tickets returnable in Stockport Court.

*Lorraine Czerno, 58, of New Lebanon was charged with driving while intoxicated and failure to keep right by State Police from New Lebanon, January 19. Troopers responded to a 911 call for a personal injury accident on County Route 13 in Chatham. Troopers arrived and observed the Ms. Czerno, the sole occupant and operator of the vehicle to be intoxicated. She was taken to Albany Memorial Hospital complaining of head and neck injuries. Following her release from the hospital she was issued traffic tickets returnable to Chatham Town Court February 12.

*Martel J. Williams, 22, of Amenia was charged with third degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class E felony, by Deputy Peter Merante, January 23 at 8:15 p.m. Deputy Merante stopped a vehicle on State Route 22 in Austerlitz for a traffic infraction. During the stop, the deputy detected an odor of marijuana coming from within the vehicle. He found Mr. Williams to be in possession of a plastic bag containing a small amount of marijuana.

Deputy Chad Shufelt and his K9 partner Andi, were summoned to the scene to assist. During a search of the vehicle, K9 Andi sniffed out a large black knapsack which was tucked in the back passenger compartment of the vehicle. The knapsack contained two large vacuum sealed bags containing about a pound of marijuana apiece. Mr. Williams, who was a passenger in the vehicle, admitted that the marijuana was his. He was ticketed to appear in Austerlitz Court, February 26. Assisting with the investigation were Deputies Thomas Merante and David Proper, Senior Investigator William Foster and the Columbia County District Attorney’s office.

*Kenneth J. Kornelli, 42, of Hillsdale was charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, by State Police from Livingston, January 27 at 5:54 p.m. Mr. Kornelli was found to be intoxicated during a traffic stop for an equipment violation. He supplied a breath sample which yielded a .13% blood alcohol content result. He was issued tickets ordering him to appear in City of Hudson Court, February 13.

Local man with a gun cited at Albany Airport

COLONIE—A Columbia County resident was stopped by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Albany International Airport the morning January 27 after the officer at the checkpoint x-ray machine spotted a handgun in the man’s carry-on bag.

TSA contacted Albany County Sheriff’s Office deputies assigned to the airport. They responded, confiscated the unloaded .22 Ruger Single Six handgun.

Deputies charged Robert C. Starr, 64, of Hudson with fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class A misdemeanor. He was issued a ticket to appear in Colonie Court February 5.

He was originally ticketed to fly to Baltimore, according to the TSA press release.

TSA screens between 2,500 and 4,000 passengers and their carry-on bags per day during the week at Albany International Airport, and TSA officers remain focused on threats to the flying public. In 2013, TSA stopped 1,813 firearms at checkpoints nationwide—the highest total in a single year since the agency began tracking firearms at airports.

Weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline. Passengers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its web site here: Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.

Court cases:

The following court cases were recently dealt with in Columbia County Court. Information about the cases was provided by the office of Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka.

*Eris Shakesphere was arraigned on an indictment for third degree criminal possession of a controlled

substance before Judge Richard M. Koweek, January 14.

Mr. Shakesphere is represented by the public defender. His trial is scheduled for September 8.

*John Miner was arraigned on an indictment for third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance before Judge Koweek, January 14. Attorney Michael Cozzolino represents Mr. Miner, whose trial is scheduled for September 8.

*Shakera Simmons was arraigned in Columbia County Court before Judge Koweek on an indictment for third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, January 14. She is represented by the public defender and is scheduled for trial September 29.—Diane Valden

Fire coordinators offer heating safety tips

GREENPORT—The Columbia County Fire Coordinators Office in conjunction with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Office of Fire Prevention and Control offers the following fire safety tips for homeowners during this winter season.

Wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and heaters can add a cozy glow, but make sure you are using them safely.

*Always keep a screen around an open flame

*Never use gasoline to start your fireplace

*Never burn charcoal indoors

*Do not close the damper when ashes are hot

*When using alternative heat sources such as a fireplace or woodstove, always make sure you have proper ventilation.

*Keep curtains, towels and potholders away from hot surfaces.

*Have your chimney checked before the season for creosote buildup—and then clean it.

*Have a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors and make sure they work. Establish a well-planned escape route with the entire family.

If you use kerosene heaters to supplement your regular heating fuel, or as an emergency source of heat, follow these safety tips:

*Follow the manufacturer’s instructions

*Use only the correct fuel for your unit

*Refuel outdoors only and only when the unit is cool

*Keep the heater at least three feet away from furniture and other flammable objects

*When using the heater, use fire safeguards and ventilate properly.

Remember, the fire hazard is greatly increased in the winter because alternate heating sources often are used without following proper safety precautions, according to fire coordinators.

For more safety information visit


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