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Local News

December 31, 2012

2012 sees closures, drilling dominate


A year after the remnants of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee brought severe flooding and billions of dollars of damage to the region, many local communities — and companies — were still rebuilding. Aid continued to flow from the state and federal governments to communities such as Prattsville and Schoharie, where recovery will be measured in years, rather than months. 

After an announcement late in 2011 that it would stay in Sidney, Amphenol’s future in the area faced another hurdle when negotiations with a landowner appeared about to break down. Although the county announced it was prepared to pursue eminent domain proceedings to obtain the parcel near the Kmart shopping plaza in Sidney, a deal was eventually released with the property owner, and the land purchase went forward, paving the way for the relocation of the manufacturer. 

Not long after the anniversary of 2011’s flooding, another superstorm threatened the area, but Sandy did only minor damage to the region compared to the devastation wrought in the New York-New Jersey area.

“People were rightfully a little nervous before this storm, but thankfully this one didn’t get us, and everyone is in good shape,” said Kevin Piccoli, chairman of Rebuild Prattsville, a group that is dedicated to rejuvenating the Greene County community that was ravaged by Hurricane Irene.

Sandy’s impact locally was a more positive one, with many aid organizations, first-responders and other volunteers donating time, money and materials to the victims of the October storm.

Walton schoolteacher accused of affairs with students

Stephanie Fletcher, 28, was arrested in November on charges of rape and endangering the welfare of a child, based on allegations that she carried on affairs with three young male students while she was a biology teacher at Walton High School.

In their depositions to police, Fletcher’s alleged victims said she flirted with them in class, texted them nude photographs of herself, and became upset when one of the young men wanted to break off the affair. They also hinted at a possible affair with a fellow teacher at the school. But some who knew Fletcher found the allegations unbelievable and argued that the bright, caring woman they know would not have behaved in such a way.

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