Briefly noted across the region (10/27/21)

Early voting continues through Sunday, October 31

Early voting in Ulster County runs Saturday, October 23-Sunday, October 31, and all registered voters may cast ballots during this period at one of six locations:

  1. American Legion in Shokan, 26-28 Mountain Road, Shokan, 12481
  2. Midtown Neighborhood Center, 467 Broadway, Kingston, 12401
  3. Ellenville Public Library, 40 Center Street, Ellenville, 12428
  4. SUNY New Paltz Student Union, 1 Hawk Drive, off S. Manheim Blvd/32N, New Paltz, 12561
  5. Marlborough Town Hall, 21 Milton Turnpike, Milton, 12547
  6. Saugerties Senior Center, 207 Market Street Saugeties, 12477

The hours vary by day. It’s 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday October 30 and Sunday, October 31. It’s 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 27 and Friday, October 29. Or you can vote noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, October 28. Voters who prefer to wait until November 2 can vote at their regular polling site.

For more information, see elections.ulstercountyny.gov.

For additional information about ballot propositions and the candidates running for office in other towns, visit hudsonvalleyone.com.

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Ulster man arrested on sexual abuse charges

Members from the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office report the arrest of a Town of Ulster man on sexual abuse related charges. 

In the evening hours of October 18, 2021, deputies began investigating a report alleging Douglas R. Whitaker, 68, of Ruby, engaging in unlawful sexual conduct with a juvenile victim since the spring of 2020, when the victim was under 17 years old. Whitaker is alleged to have met the juvenile via an online dating application. Further investigation, including the execution of a search warrant at Mr. Whitaker’s residence culminated with his arrest in the late evening of October 19, 2021. Whitaker was charged with felony Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree (2 counts) misdemeanor Endangering the Welfare of a Child. 

He was arraigned in the Town of Ulster Court and remanded to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $75,000 cash bail, $150,000 partially secured bond, or $300,000 fully secured bond, to reappear on a later date. An Order of Protection was also issued on behalf of the victim. The investigation is continuing and additional charges may be filed. 

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact us at (845) 338-3640. 

The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in this investigation by the Ulster County Family and Child Advocacy Center and Ulster County District Attorney’s Office. Any person(s) charged with an offense or offenses are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

FCC-mandated ten-digit dialing goes into effect

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan has reminded the public about the upcoming transition to  Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-mandated ten-digit dialing. The shift began on Sunday, October 24, when residents in the 845 and 914 area codes will be required to dial both the three-digit area code and the seven-digit telephone number in order to complete a call, even if the area code of the call and the caller are the same.

After October 24, local calls dialed with only seven digits will connect the caller to a recording informing them that the call cannot be completed as dialed. Ulster County residents should simply hang up and dial the area code, then the local number. The transition to ten-digit dialing is solely a process change for making calls and will not change residents’ current telephone numbers.

“As the FCC develops more phone numbers to accommodate a national growing need, I want to ensure our residents are aware and understand the necessary transition,” said Ryan. “If you get a recording that your call cannot be completed as dialed, just hang up and call back with the area code first, then the local number.”

The change was mandated by the FCC when, in 2020, it established “988” as a new, nationwide phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – that number will be available by July 16th, 2022. Until then, Americans who reach out for help must dial 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK).

The new three-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline affects 82 area codes in 35 states and one U.S. territory that currently use “988” as a local exchange. Ulster County’s two area codes, 845 and 914, are among five in New York State that are affected.