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The Altamont enterprise. (Altamont, N.Y.) 1983-2006, December 29, 2005, Image 1

Image and text provided by Guilderland Public Library

Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn86011850/2005-12-29/ed-1/seq-1/

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K'r fcUHJDERLAND PUBLIC NEWS Raises of 4 % for GPD page 7 ****** NOTICE****** DO NOT CLIP ANYTHING from newspapers. This is defacing library property, and anyone found doing this will be held responsible for the cost of the items defaced ********************************************** I »li»l..l..i i».uii.iiW I ilt lijiiiiiiii ll !ii4l»'t A ' |JM ' ' J I L • ^•feWs* ••''•• •: Albany County's Independent Newspaper For 121 Years Number 23 • Thursday, December 29, 2005 The Enterprise — Melissa Hale-Spencer \All we are saying is give peace a chance,\ sings Stephen Downs Friday at a Crossgates Mall peace walk. With him is his 94-year-old mother, Eleanor, at her first peace protest. Downs was arrested in 2003 after wearing a T-shirt at Crossgates that said \Peace on Earth,\ making headlines around the world. Downs returns to Crossgates — left in peace By Melissa Hale-Spencer GUILDERLAND — A peace walk at the local mall Friday was a victory for free speech and a chance to protest the war for some of the two dozen who par- ticipated but, for some of the by- standers, it was an annoyance or even an insult. Wendy Dwyer, an organizer of the just-before-Christmas event, now in its fourth year, believes the war is wrong and protesters are helping to right that wrong. She said the mall walk is a re- minder that the nation must work to create a foreign policy that val ues peace on earth. Dwyer, who grew up in Guilderland Center, has become increasingly active in protests in recent years, she said. Brian Perazone of Roxbury said he came to the mall to shop and enjoy some time out with his sons. \If I wanted to hear protest (Continued on Page 25) himself in jail By Matt Cook COLONIE — Jason Kutey, jailed for kidnapping and threat- ening his ex-girlfriend, killed himself in his cell Wednesday morning at the Albany County Correctional Facility, police say. Kutey, 28, who in June had held his ex-girlfriend hostage in her new boyfriend's home in Guilderland, was sent to jail last Tuesday. He was sentenced in Albany County Court to 16-and- a-half years in prison for second- degree kidnapping and first-de- gree burglary. In May, he had been arrested by the Colonie Police for using handcuffs to kidnap his ex-girlfriend and tak- ing her to Lake Placid. A month later, out on bail, Kutey was ar- rested in Guilderland after hold- ing the same woman hostage with an assault rifle in her new boyfriend's home, on Woodscape Drive. Under Kutey's guilty plea, he received one sentence for both the Guilderland and Colonic charges. Kutey's lawyer, E. Stewart Jones, was unavailable for com- ment yesterday. Last week, after the sentencing, he told The Enterprise Kutey should have received a substantially-lesser sentence. Kutey has a history of psychological problems, Jones said, but he never intended to hurt anyone. \He needs psychological help, counseling, treatment,\ Jones said. \The prison system is not good at providing that.\ Jones also said last week that Kutey was planning to appeal and that Jones was requesting Kutey re- ceive counseling in prison. Kutey's ox-girlfriend said at the sentencing that she never felt threatened by Kutey, Jones said. \She said that Jason needs help,\ he said. According to Sheriff James Campbell, Kutey's body was dis- covered at 10:30 Wednesday morning by a corrections officer conducting u count. The officer found Kutey in his bed with a (Continued on Page 21) Family loses home on Christmas Eve • By Melissa Hale-Spencer GUILDERLAND — On Christmas Eve, the Berschwinger family fled their smoke-filled Belleview Drive home, and volunteer firefighters arrived to battle the blaze. \It took 45 minutes to techni- cally knock the lire down,\ said Bill Kanas, chief of the Fort Hunter Volunteer Fire Company. A Fort Hunter lieutenant was injured, said Kanas, with burns on his ear and the side of his face. He declined naming the fire- fighter, but said the lieutenant was treated Dec. 24 at St. Clare's Hospital in Schenectady and re- leased that night. \He's okay,\ said Kanas. \He's got a bandage on his ear. He went to visit family for Christ- mas.\ The Berschwingers — parents Rick and Dawn and the three of their four sons who were home — all got out of their house unin- jured but they are now dealing with the aftermath of the fire. Relief fund \They lost everything on Christmas Eve,\ said Joe Ab- bruzzese, who described Rick Berschwinger as his best friend. Abbruzzese has set up a relief fund to help the family. \Everybody got out of the house,\ he said. \They're shook up but they're thankful that it didn't happen three or four hours later, when they would have been asleep.\ The call came in after 8 p.m. The house where the Berschwingers have lived for about a decade, Abbruzzese said, is destroyed. Whether they re- build will depend on the insur- ance, he said. Rick, who works for Frei- hofer's as an account executive, and Dawn Berschwinger have four sons, he said. \His four kids are the exact same ages as my four kids,\ said Abbruzzese. \We got to know each other through Little League and through kids' events. We've been friends for close to 30 years.\ One of the Berschwingers' sons is married, said Abbruzzese. \He and his wife had just left\ from a Christmas Eve visit at the Berschwingers' home when the fire broke out. The Berschwingers, Ab- bruzzese said, have had a rough year. \Rick's mother died just two weeks ago,\ he said, and Dawn Berschwinger's mother died this summer. \After Ijer mom died, her things were moved to their home. They lost it all,\ he said. \Everybody's sort of in shock,\ Abbruzzese said of the (Continued on Page 22) Inside this week's edition starting on page.... News Opinion Community Calendar N^l Classifieds N 1329 ! Sports l Pa 9 e3 ° •27912»03045

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