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Reward offered for man missing since summer

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By DIANE VALDEN

Robert J. Coons

HUDSON—A $2,500 cash reward is offered for a man who has been missing since Thursday, July 6. The latest bulletin on Robert J. Coons, 63, comes in an early December Facebook post by New York State Crime Stoppers (www.nyscrimestoppers.org).

Mr. Coons was last seen July 6 at about 10:30 a.m. in the area of 325 Columbia Street in Hudson, near Columbia County Mental Health.

Hudson Police were notified July 9 by Mr. Coons’ mother according to the notice, which says she expressed concern because it was “highly unusual” that she did not see or hear from her son.
Mr. Coon was last seen wearing a blue t-shirt, blue jeans and work boots. He was known to frequent Hudson, Albany and Schodack. Hudson Police and the State Police Major Crimes Unit have investigated numerous leads throughout the investigation, but Mr. Coons’ whereabouts remain unknown.

The notice says, any information, however insignificant, could help solve this case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers Hot Line at 1-866-313-TIPS (8477). All callers remain anonymous. No caller ID or tracking.

Weapons, drugs and cash seized during the December 5 arrest of Antonio McCalop in Hudson. Photo contributed

*A felony drug arrest was made in Hudson by State Police in conjunction with the Hudson Police Department, December 5. Antonio McCalop, 43, of Hudson, was charged with two counts of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony; two counts of second degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class C felony; fourth degree criminal possession of stolen property and two counts of criminal possession of a firearm, all class E felonies.

Subsequent to the execution of a search warrant issued by the Columbia County Court, investigators discovered a large sum of U.S. currency, a stolen Taurus 9mm handgun, a .22LR caliber AR style rifle, and about 50 grams of crack cocaine.

Mr. McCalop was sent to Columbia County Jail without bail.

*A Claverack man was arrested for narcotics possession in Hudson, December 4. State Police in conjunction with the Hudson Police Department and the Amtrak Police Department arrested Louis C. Lowman, 49, of Claverack for second degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class II felony; three counts of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony; resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration, both class A misdemeanors.

Following the issuance of a search warrant by the Columbia County Court for Mr. Lowman and his Claverack residence for the suspected sale of illegal narcotics, investigators seized about 155.8 grams of cocaine and 35.7 grams of heroin.

He was sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail.

To contact Diane Valden email dvalden@columbiapaper.com

State Police make impaired driving arrests over Thanksgiving

LIVINGSTON—State Police announced that it issued a total of 12,171 tickets statewide during this year’s special Thanksgiving holiday traffic enforcement period.

The enforcement period began Wednesday, November 22 and continued through Sunday, November 26.

State Police Acting Superintendent Dominick L. Chiumento said in a press release, “The results of this year’s campaign show that far too many people are still making the wrong decision and getting behind the wheel. We have zero tolerance for dangerous and distracted drivers, and the State Police remains committed to keeping our roadways safe for all. I applaud the dedicated work of our troopers and thank the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee for their continued support.”

During the campaign, which was funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, State Police utilized sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols, and ticketed distracted drivers who used handheld electronic devices.

Troopers arrested 178 people for DWI and investigated 765 crashes, with zero fatalities reported.

As part of the enforcement, Troopers also targeted speeding and aggressive drivers across the state. During the 2022 Thanksgiving holiday enforcement campaign, the State Police issued 14,263 total tickets and arrested 229 people for DWI.

A.B. Shaw awarded life-saving tools

CLAVERACK—The A.B. Shaw Fire Company is among 60 fire crews to get life-saving grain rescue tools in Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety campaign.

Rural communities continue to face hazards associated with working in and around grain structures. In 2022 alone, there were at least 42 grain entrapments—the highest number in over a decade—resulting in 15 fatalities. To help prevent tragic accidents and deaths, Nationwide and its partners are providing life-saving grain rescue tubes and training to 60 fire departments across rural America through its 2023 Grain Bin Safety campaign.

In partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), Nationwide and its partners have now supplied grain rescue equipment and training to 332 first responders across 32 states to help prepare them when local grain entrapments occur.

After receiving thousands of nominations in the 2023 Nominate Your Fire Department Contest, an annual component of Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign, the insurer and its partners have awarded grain rescue tubes and training to 60 fire departments this year. The A.B. Shaw Fire Company is the only recipient in Columbia County.

“Grain bin accidents continue to be a critical issue facing the agriculture industry. We are proud to have supplied these important resources to 60 more rural fire departments in partnership with the many sponsors involved in our grain bin safety efforts. However, the work will not be complete until we can put a stop to these needless accidents altogether. Thank you to the first responders who play such an important role in supporting the agriculture community,” Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide, said in a press release.

NECAS, based out of Peosta, IA, delivered the rescue tubes and training to 60 fire departments and conducted re-training for six additional fire departments throughout 2023, traveling to each location with state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulators. The comprehensive training sessions included classroom education and rescue simulations using the entrapment tools, which are loaded onto 20-foot trailers and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain each.

Since beginning the Grain Bin Safety campaign in 2014, at least seven fire departments have utilized their rescue tubes and training to successfully rescue entrapped individuals, including a recent Ohio rescue of a worker trapped up to his armpits in March 2023.

For more information visit www.nationwide.com.


DMV: Beware of buying flood-damaged vehicles

GHENT—After heavy rains impacted New York State this year, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reminds consumers to take precautions against unintentionally purchasing vehicles damaged by flooding.
When vehicles are registered in New York State, DMV checks the history of the vehicle and will alert consumers if they have a history of flood damage. Buyers are encouraged to check before they purchase the vehicle, whether it is online, in a private sale, or from a used vehicle dealer.
“Flood damage is often not obvious. We urge buyers to check any vehicles they buy carefully in advance, and we are happy to provide tips and resources that enable New Yorkers to know if a vehicle is damaged before they purchase it,” DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said in a press release.
Having a title from an area that was not flooded does not guarantee that the vehicle is not damaged. Some sellers take the vehicle from a flooded area and get a new title in a different state.
Flood damage can affect the engine or transmission, corrode wiring, harm the airbag or impair the vehicle’s computers.
Consumers can check whether a vehicle has been reported as salvaged or stolen at no cost using a free service by The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) VINCheck. A customer enters the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle they are looking to buy, and they can learn if the vehicle was ever flooded or stolen. They can search up to five VINs per day.
More information about the Salvage Vehicle Examination Program can be found on DMV’s website dmv.ny.gov, or follow the DMV conversation online at Facebook, Twitter and  Instagram.

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