Around the Region

Newburgh: Festival Still On

After a week of turmoil, organizers of Newburgh Illuminated reached a tentative agreement with the city to hold the festival this summer.

The nonprofit that puts on the festival had objected to conditions set by the city and said it planned to cancel the event. But the two sides agreed to have the festival end earlier, at 9 p.m. to give city workers time to clean up, place limits on crowd size and push the date from early June to July 22, among other provisions.

Earlier, the city had adjusted the festival footprint by one block on Liberty Street and one block on Broadway to provide better access to first responders. The city also has budgeted $50,000 for operations.

Poughkeepsie: DCC Launches Cannabis Program

Dutchess Community College announced on April 17 that it will begin this fall to offer a four-class, 13-credit program in Cannabis Retail Management.

According to the school, the course will teach students retail management skills, including storeroom operations, cost control, customer service and cannabis science.

“With 34 new dispensaries set to open in the Hudson Valley alone over the next year, our graduates will be ready to take advantage of well-paying opportunities to advance their careers,” said Maureen Gittelman, a hospitality and tourism professor, in a statement.

Albany: State Bans ‘Indian’ Mascots

The state Board of Regents on April 18 voted to ban schools from having Native American mascots.

Mahopac and Ketcham in Wappingers Falls are the final two schools in the area that have not abandoned Native American imagery. Both use the nickname “Indians.”

The state said it would withhold aid from districts that do not comply and gave schools until June 30 to retire their mascots and two years to eliminate all imagery. Sports trophies and other historical artifacts with Native American imagery can remain, the state said. Mahopac plans a student vote in June to select a new mascot.

Carmel: Sheriff Says No Basis for Arrest

In February, three Carmel High School students posted doctored videos on TikTok that appeared to show district administrators and members of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department spewing racist tropes. The material also showed a simulated school shooting.

Last month, Sheriff Kevin McConville told a county Legislature committee that he had investigated the circumstances of the videos and determined there was no threat, and that the students did not have access to firearms. District Attorney Robert Tendy said he also evaluated the videos and saw no violation of the law.

“Were the statements disgusting, racist and abhorrent?” Tendy said. “Yes. But that does not mean a crime was committed. It happened because of three really stupid kids. And I had no grounds to arrest them. I’m glad that I don’t, frankly. They are being appropriately disciplined” by the school district.

Kingston: Buyback Nets 235 Weapons

The state of New York held nine simultaneous gun buyback events on April 29; the one closest to the Highlands took place at the American Legion in Kingston, where authorities collected 235 firearms.

The Office of the Attorney General offered $500 per assault rifle or ghost gun; $150 per handgun; $75 per rifle or shotgun and $25 per non-working, replica, antique, homemade or 3D-printed gun, with no questions asked.

Since 2019, the state has purchased 7,000 guns at buyback events.

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