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Investigation continues after woman is struck by train

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GREENPORT—A New York City woman was killed when she was struck by an Amtrak train, September 11.

Columbia County 911 dispatched the Hudson Fire Department, the Greenport Rescue Squad and the Hudson Police Department to the railroad tracks, north of the Hudson Amtrak Train Station for a report of a person struck by a train at 7:50 p.m. When officials subsequently determined that the incident was in the Town of Greenport, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation.

They found that a southbound Amtrak passenger train destined for New York City, struck and killed Anna M. Podgorbunski, 54, of New York City as she walked northbound on the train tracks. The incident occurred about a mile or mile and a half north of the Hudson station.

Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Louis Bray told The Columbia Paper that Ms. Podgorbunski was walking on the tracks with an acquaintance at the time she was hit. He said the victim reportedly liked to walk on the tracks along the river because it was scenic.

He said it is not known why she did not get out of the oncoming train’s path as she walked toward it.

Units were still on scene at 9:50 p.m. that night.

Investigating for the Sheriff’s Office were Lt. Louis Bray, Sr. Inv. Kevin Skype, Inv. Ian Boehme, Deputies David Stevens, Daniel Keyser, and Jason Garvey.

Also on scene assisting the Sheriff’s Office with this investigation were representatives from Amtrak, and the Amtrak police, as well as members of the Hudson Police Department, Hudson Fire Department, Greenport Rescue Squad, Greenport Fire Department, the New York State Police, and Coroner Bernadette Powis.

Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a business on Fairview Avenue for a reported larceny, August 31 at 1:56 p.m. The person suspected of the larceny left the business, and patrols were on the lookout for him and his vehicle. They were both subsequently found on Joslen Boulevard.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Jeremy M. Short, 50, of Hudson, who was allegedly intoxicated. Deputy Thomas Merante, Jr., arrested Mr. Short at 2:31 p.m. on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated(DWI)–blood alcohol content (BAC)>.18% (.23%); DWI–first offense; uninspected motor vehicle, and unlicensed operator. Mr. Short was issued tickets directing him to appear in Greenport Court at a later date to answer the charges.

On the same date at 5:25 p.m., deputies were dispatched to another Fairview Avenue business, this time for a reported property damage auto accident in which a vehicle struck the building and damaged it. When deputies arrived, they again found Mr. Short, who was the operator of the vehicle.

This time Deputy Brian McSween arrested Mr. Short at 5:47 p.m. for DWI–BAC >.18%, (his BAC was now .18%); DWI–first offense; uninspected motor vehicle, and unlicensed operator. He was once again issued tickets directing him to Greenport Court at a later date to answer the charges.

Copake

Columbia 911 dispatched Sheriff’s deputies for a report of an erratic operator on County Route 7A in Copake, August 31 at 8:01 p.m.

While checking the area, deputies located the vehicle on Fairview Drive in town and subsequently arrested Gregory Weiss, 69, of Copake at 8:29 p.m. Weiss was arrested by Deputy Philipp Gomm charged Mr. Weiss with aggravated DWI–BAC >.18% (BAC of .21%); DWI–first offense, and consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle.

He was issued traffic tickets directing him to appear in Copake Court September 28 to answer the charges.

Kinderhook

State Police in Columbia County are investigating multiple larcenies from vehicles in and around the Kinderhook area.

They remind people to secure their vehicles at all times. People should remove all keys, key fobs, valuables, credit cards or personal identification from their vehicles.

Do not leave vehicles running unattended, windows down, or unlocked even for short periods of time, police said.

To contact Diane Valden email dvalden@columbiapaper.com

 

Stuyvesant Town Justice Dr. Carrie A. O’Hare. Photo by Lance Wheeler

Stuyvesant’s O’Hare named Magistrate of the Year

VALATIE—New York State Magistrates Association (NYSMA) President Jonah Triebwasser, Red Hook Town and Village justice, and Town of Cairo Justice Tanja Sirago, NYSMA executive director, presented 20-year veteran Stuyvesant Town Justice Dr. Carrie A. O’Hare with the prestigious 2020 Magistrate of the Year Award the afternoon of Friday, September 11 at O’Kenny’s Express.

The award recognizes a judge for contributions to the judiciary, as well as for contributions to his/her community. Justice O’Hare has served as president of the Columbia County Magistrates Association (2012 to 2016) and as a director of NYSMA (2013 to 2016).

Her research, “Making a Difference: Judicial Stewards in the Town and Village Courts of New York State” (2009), helped to identify the five traits of a highly-effective judge. Justice O’Hare has presented testimony with NYSMA based on her research to the state Senate and Assembly Judiciary Committees. She has also presented her findings to the Fifth Department Judiciary at Fort Drum.

Recently, she has been researching the history of Town and Village Courts in Columbia County and has presented Perpetual Plaques to eight of the current 21 Town and Village Courts identifying current and past sitting judges and their tenures on the bench as a way of preserving judicial history and recognizing the sacrifices of the families of those who served.

There are 1,872 town and village justices in New York State. Justice O’Hare becomes the fifth female sitting justice to receive the annual Magistrate of the Year award since NYSMA began presenting the award.

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