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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 10, 2006

Man hit while lying in the road

By Jarrett Carroll

GUILDERLAND — A car accident on Camp Terrace left one man in the hospital and another in police custody.

At 4:08 on Saturday morning, Guilderland Police responded to a call for an injured man lying in the roadway. When police arrived on the scene, they determined that 18-year-old Tyler Dickson of 32 Haynes St. in Guilderland had been lying in the middle of the road when another 18-year-old, Joshua J. Gray of 1 Camp Terrace, ran over him with his 2004 Ford.

"Dickson was lying in the roadway, while Gray was traveling southbound," almost to his home on Camp Terrace, Lieutenant Curtis Cox of the Guilderland Police said. "Gray tried to apply the brakes but did not stop in time."

Gray struck Dickson and pushed him several feet with his vehicle, and then "proceeded to drive around to his driveway," Cox told The Enterprise.

Police arrested Gray at the scene, said Cox, and charged him driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, and then later charged him with second-degree vehicle assault, a class E felony, and more charges may be pending.

Gray failed a field-sobriety test, according to a police report, but the results of his chemical blood test have not come back, said Cox.

Cox said he did not know why Dickson was lying in the road.

Dickson was transported to the Albany Medical Center Hospital with injuries to his chest and head, consisting of several rib fractures, said police. He has since been released from the hospital, according to Albany Medical Center.

Gray has not been charged with hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident, said Cox, but added that the case was still under investigation by Guilderland Police.

Level 2 sex offender disclosed in Guilderland

By Jarrett Carroll

GUILDERLAND — In accordance with an expansion of New York’s version of Megan’s Law, signed by Governor George Pataki on July 7, the Guilderland Police have released information on a Level 2 sex offender, Donald Earl White, living in town.

The new law requires all Level 2 sex offenders to be listed on the Internet and available to the surrounding public.

Before the law was passed, only Level 3 sex offenders, who are considered the most likely to re-offend in the state’s three-tiered system, were listed for the public. Level 2 sex offenders are considered at "moderate risk" to re-offend.

"The ones that we can post will be posted," said Guilderland Deputy Chief Carol Lawlor. "They’re posted on the town’s website and people can check the Department of Criminal Justice Services website."

In 1996, New York adopted a law requiring that information about high-risk sex offenders be made public. The law was modeled on one adopted earlier by New Jersey, frequently called Megan’s Law, after Megan Kanka, a seven-year-old who was raped and murdered by a neighbor who had twice been convicted of sex crimes.

Community notification can happen in four ways. A directory of level 2 and 3 offenders is available at local law-enforcement agencies. A registry, which can be accessed by phone at 1-800-262-3257, or Internet at www.criminaljustice.state.ny.us, is maintained by the state’s criminal justice department. And local law-enforcement agencies are notified when a sex offender moves into their jurisdiction.

In turn, the law-enforcement agency may disseminate relevant information to any entity with vulnerable populations.

The Guilderland Police Department has developed a point system to determine which sex offenders the public will be notified of.

"I think it’s a very good program. You can go statewide or local," Lawlor told The Enterprise. "Anything that educates the public and gets the public well informed is a good idea."

According to the governor’s office, there are currently over 23,000 convicted sex offenders listed with the New York State Sex Offender Registry.

New listing

The Guilderland Police have released the following information on a Level 2 sex offender in the Guilderland area:

Donald Earl White, 57, registered with the New York State Sex Offender Registry, is living at 2993 St. Michaels Pl., Guilderland, 12303. White was convicted of second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy, both felonies, in March of 1997, in Montgomery County Court. His victim was an 11-year-old female and his offense description says that he was a "non-stranger" and had "more than one sexual contact" with his victim, and that he did not use a weapon.

He was sentenced to serve 28 months to seven years in state prison and is currently out on parole until Jan. 11, 2011. He is a Level 2 sex offender and considered a moderate risk to re-offend. He has complied with all New York registry laws.

White did not return a call to The Enterprise.

The Guilderland Police added a notice saying that White is not wanted by police and that any citizen abuse of this information used to threaten, intimidate, or harass registered sex offenders is illegal, and such abuses could potentially end the ability to provide detailed community notifications.

The intent of this notice, according to Guilderland Police, is to simply inform the public.

Third pig purloined

By Jarrett Carroll

GUILDERLAND — A third "pignapping" in town has the police investigating and the pig’s owners baffled.

Al T. Mont, one of the fiberglass pig statues in a chamber-of-Commerce campaign, was purchased by Knightes Farm Equipment on Route 158. The pig was secured behind a locked gate and guarded by a German shepherd yet was missing early Tuesday morning.

"My husband purchased the pig and the proceeds were going to the Guilderland Interfaith Food Pantry," said Lisa Knightes. "We were going to bring the pig to the Altamont Fair, so we would like to have the pig back."

Al T. Mont was displayed over 100 yards from Route 158 and was stolen sometime either late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

"He was right up next to the building," said Knightes. "There’s a watchdog too, and the gate was locked up."

Al T. Mont is one of 28 fiberglass pigs around town purchased by businesses and organizations participating in the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce’s "Pigtacular" celebration.

"For goodness sake, the Knightes had theirs pretty secure," said Jane Schramm, executive director of the Chamber. "They obviously knew what they were doing and worked around those obstacles," she said of the thieves.

The artwork decorating Al T. Mont was created by over 350 Altamont Elementary School students with the help of their art teacher Trish Zigrosser.

The pig is described by its owners as being decorated with "abstract art," filled with multicolored butterflies, flowers, and bright stars.

"I absolutely have no clue as to who did this," said Schramm of the theft. "I just wish whoever is doing this would stop"Don’t people have better things to do with their time""

The first pig to be stolen was Bruce Pigsteen, taken from Town Center Plaza on July 20 and returned a day later. The second pig was Liberty, stolen from the Pine Bush Elementary School on July 29, and was found in the woods nearby a couple of days later.

Schramm told The Enterprise on Tuesday that she has spoken with many of the business owners who purchased the fiberglass pigs and has advised them to take preventative measures by properly securing their pigs.

The pigs originally cost $500 each, and now decorated, are expected to be auctioned off in the Chambers "Hogtoberfest" this fall, where the Knightes were hoping to raise some money for the Interfaith Food Pantry.

Anybody with any information regarding Al T. Mont’s disappearance is being asked to contact either the Guilderland Police, The Guilderland Chamber of Commerce, or the Knightes at 452-4317.

"We’re really hoping to get the pig back," said Knightes. "It’s really kind of disappointing."

Car hits wire causing massive power outage

By Rachel Dutil

GUILDERLAND – The daily dinner ritual was not so routine for some Guilderland residents last Thursday, Aug. 3.

At around 6 p.m., a car driven by Maryann Fetzner struck a support wire for a utility pole on the corner of Siver Road and Willow Street that caused a power surge, casting darkness over 200 area homes.

Fetzner says that she blacked out which caused her vehicle to hit the pole, said Carol Lawlor, deputy chief of the Guilderland Police Department. There was no indication of any drug or alcohol involvement in the accident, she said.

Asked if Fetzner was being charged, Lawler said, "The accident is still under investigation."

"I was in the middle of dinner, when I heard what sounded like an accident, and at the same time I lost my lights," said local resident Doris Selig. Selig lives three houses up Willow Street from the corner where the accident took place. She looked out the window, and saw a car off the road. She then called 911, grabbed her camera, and went outside to see what was going on, she told The Enterprise this week.

The accident caused the top, high-voltage wire to fall and hit the secondary, lower wire, which caused a power surge, said Patrick Stella, a spokesperson for National Grid.

Stella explained that most utility poles carry two lines. The top line, he said, is a higher voltage line. The bottom line is a lower voltage wire, and is the line that carries power to residences.

For Selig, the outage was minor. "Actually, I got out of it very light," she said, "I got myself back in business with my generator."

Others were not so lucky. Stella told The Enterprise that National Grid had to replace 79 damaged meter boxes. When a meter box is damaged, equipment inside the house, such as refrigerators or computers, can be damaged.

It becomes a safety issue, he said, "We really don’t want to connect power to a home that has damage," Stella said. "We need to have an okay from an electrician that it is safe to hook up power."

Stella explained that the power company is responsible for the power lines up to and including the outdoor meter box. The homeowner is responsible for everything inside the house, he said.

Lawlor said, as far as the police department is aware, the costs to the homeowners should be covered by their insurance.

She said that in her 28 years with the department, she believes this to be the first accident of this kind with such widespread damage.


Stella said that National Grid immediately sent representatives to the area to check on the extent of damage.

Thursday night, Guilderland Police, and emergency medical technicians went door-to-door in the area to be sure that residents were safe, and that no one needed medical attention, said the Guilderland police chief, James Murley.

Barbara Rau, a neighbor of Selig, had to have portable oxygen tanks brought in so that she could still get the oxygen she needed, The Enterprise was told by both Selig and Lawlor.

Stella said yesterday that all of the power lines have been repaired. Three residences remain without power; National Grid is waiting for word from an electrician that the homes have been inspected and are safe, before they can be hooked back up, he said.

The Guilderland Mobile Command Unit was sent to the scene and served as a command post for police and EMT’s, said Lawlor. The Command Unit provided lights and a place for people to go with their questions, and to get information about electricians in the area, and to fill out accident report paperwork, said Lawlor.

"National Grid worked very diligently as far as I’m concerned," said Chief Murley.

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