Military academy makes historic appointment

Lt. Col. Samantha Ross

Lt. Col. Samantha Ross

NYMA cadets met their new commandant on Sept. 15. Anthony Desa, the president of the Board of Trustees, introduced the new officer at a 10-minute meeting in the chapel. He reported that she was the first female commandant in the school’s 125-year history.

The new commandant, Lt. Col. Samantha Ross, had been standing in a corner of the upstairs sanctuary. After she was introduced, she joined Mr. Desa on the stage, and addressed the audience.

“The best place to make a difference,” she told the cadets, “is in the lives of young people. Being in high school can be tough,” she added, “and it’s tougher for you because you’re away from home.”

In her most recent assignment, Lt. Col. Ross was a professor of military science at West Point. She joins a staff that is headed by Maj. Gen. William Beard, the school’s superintendent.

At the Monday morning meeting, Mr. Desa shared some other information with the cadets and faculty. The pools have been opened, he said, and the horses are back in the stables. The academy has reinstated the riding program after it was discontinued for a year.

In December, the school will accept 125 Korean students, who will be on campus for three months. The same students will be returning to NYMA in the summer.

At the end of the meeting, after the cadets had been dismissed, Mr. Desa reported that NYMA would be hosting a three-day festival from Oct. 17 to Oct. 19. The event, which coincides with alumni weekend, will be open to the public. It will include rides, food and fireworks.

Schmidt reprises role on cable series

Kenneth Schmidt

Kenneth Schmidt

Cornwall-on-Hudson Trustee Kenneth Schmidt is hoping to see more than his shoulder when an episode of “A Crime to Remember” airs later this year. For the second time, Schmidt appears as an extra in the Investigation Discovery series.

Last year, Schmidt, a retired principal from Cornwall-on-Hudson Elementary School, replied to an ad in the paper for extras in a new crime series that focuses on real-life murder cases of the ‘50s and ‘60s. He received a call back and rehearsed scenes for an episode titled, “Enter the Monster.”  Schmidt played a state trooper, but only his shoulder made the final cut.

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Anthem anniversary and questions

Photo by Ken Cashman Middle school students gathered outside on Sept. 12 to sing the National Anthem.

Photo by Ken Cashman
Middle school students gathered outside on Sept. 12 to sing the National Anthem.

On the Friday closest to Sept. 14, Cornwall middle school students leave the building at 9 a.m. and gather at the flag pole to observe the anniversary of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

They’ve been doing it for 11 years under the direction of music teacher Valerie Ransbottom. Before the kids sang the anthem this year, they warmed up by chanting “Many maniacal monks mumble mercilessly.”

“It helps them move the sound forward,” Mrs. Ransbottom explained in an e-mail. The lyrics for “The Star Spangled Banner” were written 200 years ago. How much do you know about them?

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This week’s issue – September 19, 2014

Photo by Ken Cashman The Cornwall Central School District has no immediate plans to repair the Denniston House, which sits on the property adjacent to the high school. Concerned residents would like to see the historic home repaired before it falls apart completely.

Photo by Ken Cashman
The Cornwall Central School District has no immediate plans to repair the Denniston House, which sits on the property adjacent to the high school. Concerned residents would like to see the historic home repaired before it falls apart completely.

Degradation of Denniston House continues

As the interior of a historic home continues to deteriorate, two residents, Ray Torraca  and Dean Satterly, presented their concerns to  Cornwall’s Board of Education at its Sept. 8 meeting.

Those who have driven west on Route 94 may have noticed a boarded up stone house near the corner of Dragon Drive. Page 1A

Alarming statements rock school

On Sept. 9, Cornwall Central High School Principal Lynn Imperato called the Town of Cornwall Police to report a student making alarming statements. Police Chief Todd Hazard responded to the call and began an investigation at the high school.

Rumors were rampant by the following evening. Mrs. Imperato referred to them in an e-mail addressed to the parents of high school students. But she couldn’t tell them much, because of the investigation and the need to protect the rights of a juvenile. Page 1A

Some groups to pay to use Munger

The Town Board is close to adopting a policy, where certain groups will have to pay for the use of Munger Cottage.

Earlier in the month, Town Clerk Renata McGee suggested a charge of $25 per use, starting in January 2015. “We are looking for revenue,” she said at a Sept. 8 Town Board meeting. “Are we going to ask the taxpayers? Why not ask the people who use the building?” Page 1A

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Bee Safe

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Sept12_aroundtown

By Jason Kaplan
A red light means stop. A yellow light means slow down and proceed with caution. Green means go. A bee’s nest under the traffic light at the corner of Quaker Avenue and Route 32 provides motorists with an additional precaution to “bee safe” as they proceed through the intersection.

Scout cabin gets fire pit and benches

Photo by Ken Cashman Gillian Brodmerkel and Cornwall Fire Department assistant Chief Octavius Graham, present a fire safety lesson to children from Butterhill Day School. The presentation was part of Brodmerkel’s Silver Award project, which entailed constructing stone benches and a new fire pit at the Girl Scout cabin.

Photo by Ken Cashman
Gillian Brodmerkel and Cornwall Fire Department Assistant Chief Octavius Graham, present a fire safety lesson to children from Butterhill Day School. The presentation was part of Brodmerkel’s Silver Award project, which entailed constructing stone benches and a new fire pit at the Girl Scout cabin.

A number of Girl Scouts completed their Silver Award projects this summer, and Gillian Brodmerkel was anxious to be one of them.

For her project, Brodmerkel built a new fire pit in front of the Girl Scout cabin and added benches around it. She then hosted the children from Butterhill Day School and presented a lesson in fire safety.

Brodmerkel found the old fire pit to be unsafe, because of its loose stones, and thought it wasn’t high enough. There also wasn’t anyplace to sit to enjoy a working fire.

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Trainer is busiest before the games

Mark deCastro at work

Mark deCastro at work

Spectators see him on the sidelines at sporting events. They watch him rush onto the field or the court if someone gets hurt. But they don’t see him during the busiest time of the day.

Mark deCastro has been working with Cornwall athletes for six-and-a-half years. Not many of them know his last name. They simply call him “Trainer Mark.”

At the start of the school year, we asked Trainer Mark if we could interview him before a game. “How about during a game?” he replied. “Between two and four o’clock I’m just too busy.”

On week days, Cornwall’s trainer shows up at the high school at one o’clock. He spends an hour doing paperwork, and then gets ready for the line that’s about to form at his door.

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Coaches urge you to take challenge

Mechele McGready (right) and Theresa Trella

Mechele McGready (right) and Theresa Trella

“Many people think that getting healthy is a drudgery thing,” Theresa Trella said on a beautiful Thursday morning. She and her partner Mechele McGready were leading an hour-long fitness walk.

Continuing the thought, Mrs. Trella said that adopting a healthy lifestyle is like going on the water slide at an amusement park. People may dread the shock of the cold water. But once they’re on the slide, they find out it’s fun.

The two women are Optimal Health Coaches. They work together. But, starting on Sept. 15, they’ll be opponents in a Thin It to Win It competition. And they’re inviting the community to join their teams.

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Obituaries – September 12, 2014

Marjorie VanDerKar Hulihan

April 17, 1921-August 8, 2014

Marjorie VanDerKar Hulihan, a self-made woman of great style and spirit, artist, mother of eight and widow of Dr. Robert A. Hulihan, died in her sleep at home with family at her side on Aug. 8, 2014. She was 93.

The daughter of Margaret (Dwyer) and Arthur Milton VanDerKlar, Marjorie was born April 17, 1921 in Pittsfield, Mass. Soon, the family resettled back in Hoosick Falls, N.Y.

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