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Category Archives: Travis D Hagen

Riley’s Stats: A near record week.

Since Smalbany published the first article about Riley “Jeremiah” Kern, the young man who was killed in a tragic motorcycle-pickup truck accident on July 27, 2018, the coverage of our investigations into Travis D. Hagen, 48, of Coxsackie, NY, and the Coeymans Police Department, specifically their botched non-investigation and cover-up of the facts of the accident, we have forced Travis Hagen and Coeymnans Patrolman Ian FOARD and acting Coeymans Police Chief Daniel Contento into the headlights. Their reaction: Well Foard and Contento are like deer in your headlights; they don’t know which way to go. Travis Hagen has simply crawled back into the woodwork.

The bad news is the Foard, Conento, and Hagen are still free and walking the streets. No one is safe.

The good news is that Riley’s case has gotten near record attention and interest on an international scale.
We thought our readers would be interested in the stats so we’re sharing them soon.

Reader Figures Have Gone Thru the Ceiling!

The four articles getting all the attention at the expense of other important issues in the region are:

Those articles grew out of our interest and concern that a fatal accident on State Route 143 in Coeymans Hollow, practically on the Sycamore Country Club golf course grounds, received absolutely no media coverage and, when readers started asking Smalbany about the accident, Smalbany started asking questions. (See the footnote in our article, Three Articles on New Baltimore Scandals: Pick One or Read All.)

Riley was a local kid and attended RCS high-school until moving to Kansas with his mom and younger sister.. He had returned to New York, and was living with his father in Climax at the time of the accident. Riley was a very popular kid and had many loyal and loving friends in the RCS area. Riley was 19 when he died; his funeral was on his 20th birthday.

Whatever you want to call it, it’s open now!

When Riley’s mom contacted us and told us how so many obstacles were being put in her path, how many contradictions she was hearing, how the factoids didn’t seem to make any sense, we decided that she had gotten enough of a runaround and heard enough bullshit for one day. We know the area and the people involved, and we know their histories. We know what they are capable of and we knew that Riley’s mom didn’t deserve the treatment she was getting. She had just lost her son, and needed answers, not a runaround.

Hagen, Foard, Contento had opened a can of angry hungry worms and they were on the menu as of NOW!

(Image Credit: We gratefully acknowledge http://www.justoutsidetheboxcartoon.com for this very appropriate image. Please support their site and always give proper credit for images you may use.)

We’ll be publishing the updated statistics on Saturday, September 16, for the information of our readers. The interest shown is phenomenal. Now what we’d really like to see is all of our readers joining together in a show of support for Rye’s mom and his family. They are hurting in a number of ways and need our support. We’ll keep our readers informed in our updates and continuing coverage. Stay tuned!

Fact: Our posts are shared automatically on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook but those views are not counted here on WordPress. That means our numbers are even higher than our WordPress statcounter shows! On LinkedIn along almost 10,000 followers see our posts. On Facebook the figure might be tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions! We get the word out!

 

 

 

The Editor Chimes in on Riley’s Song: What have you become, America?

The Editor Responds: What have you become, America?

This is what we’ve become, fellow Americans. It’s nothing to be proud of unless you’re some sort of pervert[1], which most of you are; you like watching without revealing yourselves or speaking up. You like lurking and thinking no one knows your’re there. You like fake names, fake profiles, fake pictures. You like Facebook and fake friends. You like online porn and … well, I’ll stop there. Am I right? Well, now that we can agree on a starting point, here’s where you can give some thought to what you have become —
and whether there’s anything left worth redeeming.

  • On September 12, 2018, 1,464 people read the articlesRiley’s Song: Verse Two” and “Riley’s Mom Responds: A mother’s perspective.”
  • Since we posted “We are Reopening the Case” on September 7, 2018, to September, 13, 2018, we averaged almost 500 new readers a day with an average of almost 600 page views a day.
  • In the period from “We are Reopening the Case” (September 7, 2018) to “Riley’s Mom Responds: A mother’s perspective” (September 12, 2018) we had almost 5,000 new readers on Smalbany Blog.
  • We received a total of 18 comments of which 9 were from cranks with negative comments and 9 were from persons supporting Smalbany’s work on this one investigation.
  • Of the total of 18 comments, 6 were from a sicko calling him/herself “Smalbany is full of crap” using an email “smalbanyisfullofcrap@gmail.com.”  2 were from a weirdo calling him/herself “Douche” and using an email “dickhead@gmail.com ; ”  both of these dingleberries were trying to get a moment of cheap fame in their low lives by stealing from the real issue. The remaining negatives included 1 from a friend of Hagen’s (you can imagine what that one had to say).
  • The remaining 9 were from supporters: 1 from a close friend of Riley (JH), 5 from someone close to Riley, and a touching comment from Riley’s mom (which we published with her permission at “Riley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective”). Two others were from a reader/commenter calling him/herself “Tompkins” and more concerned with the name of the road than with the subject matter of the article, and one kind “Keep up the good work” comment.

Do the math: That’s 0.0036% or 4/1000 or 1/250 meaning that only 1 out of every 250 readers got off their ass to make a comment one way or the other. As for the positive comments versus the negative comments, they were evenly divided 9:9. But only 0.0018 or 2/1000 or 1/500 = 1 out of every 500 readers left a comment pro or con.

We can’t believe that so many readers could have been so callous as not to even have left a condolence message for the family, or at least to have insulted Smalbany. Stated another way, we are at a loss that so few of the readers had the courage to have an opinion and share it!

We have to look at these figures and wonder whether Americans have become so dehumanized and so insensitive as not to have given a second thought to a terrible tragedy and a terrible injustice. Yes, readers, this is not only a terrible tragedy, the death of a young man just beginning his life, and a terrible tragedy for his family and friends, it’s a terrible stain on what we so facilely call a country of laws, a God-fearing people, a country founded on humane values, and a country that cherishes family values.

This tragedy is not just a personal tragedy nor is it a merely family tragedy, it’s a social tragedy, an American tragedy. Your responses tell us and everyone just simply viewing the Smalbany blog that Americans are all talk. This tragedy tells the world — Yes! The WORLD! These three articles have been read by people in Canada, France, Sweden, as far away as the Philippines and Dubai, and even in Texas! — this tragedy broadcasts to the entire world what hypocrites Americans are.

I wanna see the world with you
Come on and take me by the hand
Don’t even worry about it you’ll understand
I wanna see the world with you
The way you go out we follow
What’s better than us?
Better than us?
We don’t wanna to know

Riley’s Song[2]

Riley’s Song is a song about youth, love and future. It reminds us of the beauty of Riley “Jeremiah” Kern’s young life and saddens us that his has been cut short.

But our Riley’s Song is the tragic song of what America has become — or not become. Our Riley’s song is about injustice, incompetence, cronyism, cover-ups, infidelity, irresponsibility, lawlessness, favoritism. Our Riley’s song is about a society that has become so materialistic that it has lost all sense of morality and goodness but is so blind as not to even notice the weeping lesions all over its corrupt body.

Riley’s mom asked a question of one of our contributors just yesterday. It was a question about the Biblical prophet Jeremiah, so we had to pass it on to a theologian/clergyperson for a proper response. The fact that she asked the question had more to do with a completely different thought but sometimes things happen for inexplicable reasons. This is one of those things.

You see, she asked what we thought Jeremiah 22 meant. Jeremiah is one of the major Old Testament (First Covenant) prophets, a prophet who is revered as a major prophet by all three Abrahamic traditions: Christianity, Judaism — Jeremiah is so important that he has been made canon in Judaism—, and Islam. Not only is there a Book of Jeremiah, the Book of Lamentations is generally accepted as having been his work. Jeremiah is also known as the “Weeping Prophet,” because when you read his words describing and mourning the fall, capture and destruction of his beloved Jerusalem, and if you read Lamentations, you will hear Jeremiah’s anguish, and yes, tears, in his words. We even have an English word based on Jeremiah’s writings: “jeremiad,” a sad lamentation.

In his response, the Reverend explains:

Jeremiah sends a warning message:

“Doom to the one who builds palaces but bullies people, who makes a fine house but destroys lives, who cheats their workers and won’t pay them for their work, who says, ‘I’ll build me an elaborate mansion with spacious rooms and fancy windows and rare and expensive woods and the latest in interior decor.’” (Jer 22:13-14)

Woe, doom, to the one who takes wonderful care of themselves at the expense of others. Woe, doom, to the one who provides for their own luxuries or comfortable living at the expense of others who work for almost nothing.

We have become driven to get a good feeling without any effort — to make believe that everything is peachy.  Isn’t it right to try to get a good deal, to go where we can get the best deal for the lowest price? Isn’t it wonderful when we can cheat someone out of something and feel good about it, or get a new friend with a mouse click? We love to fool ourselves. When you get a compliment on that fake profile picture on Facebook, we often enjoy telling the story of what great bargain we are. Why is it, when we get something by cheating or screwing someone, we think we’re a smart? Why is it when we have so many virtual friends we actually think we are loved or liked? Is cheap and deceptive always better?

What if we would take a moment when purchasing an item to ask questions like “Why is this so cheap?” or when we accept a friend me invitation, ask, “I wonder who this person really is?.”

We, as a culture, are so absorbed in our consumption of things and entertainment, and even people that we ignore or forget what the actual cost is to ourselves, our own humanness, the rest of the world.  Think of this example, since we are a country that loves kids so much: Some countries are known to use and abuse child labor more than others, and those countries are big exporters to the USA, and Americans do love to get something cheap but they are less interested in knowing the history of the cheap; in other words, they suspend their condemnation of child abuse for a moment so they can enjoy their cheap.

We, as a society, find it very easy to suspend morality, values, ethics, humanity for cheap. But cheap is receiving the benefits without paying the cost involved.

This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. (Jer 22:3)

I hope that helps you to have at least a starter understanding of this great and sensitive prophet.

Somehow, the young man, Riley, picked up the nickname “Jeremiah,” and used it as his alter ego; it even appears on the cross, the roadside memorial, marking the place where he died. Now isn’t that something to think about?

Think of how this all began: In an article published on August 4, 2018, “Three Articles on New Baltimore Scandals: Pick One or Read All,” just days after Riley’s death, we added just a simple footnote. Just a footnote, asking the question:

Is this a cover up to protect a prominent Ravena family? Doesn’t the young man’s life mean anything or do we just sweep the whole thing under the carpet? We need to start asking questions. The 20-year old man is not just another raccoon, Mr Contento!”[3]

Putting all of this in a sort of perspective, most of our readers will recall a scandalous incident that occurred last March 2018, in the Village of Ravena, at Faith Plaza shopping mall. The incident involved two Coeymans police officers in two Coeymans Police Department vehicles harassing and running over a wild raccoon in full view of dozens of witnesses. The incident was videoed by a witness and appeared on Facebook and YouTube; it went viral and created an international uproar. Not only that, a petition was started called “Justice for raccoon killed by officers from Coeymans Police Department” which was signed by more than 110,000 people! The incident was addressed at the Coeymans Town Board Meeting on March 22 by no less than 5 angry citizens, some coming from as far away as Amsterdam, NY (about 50 miles from Ravena). The speakers were interviewed by local television and print media and the interviews broadcast on the evening news. The story was picked up by a large number of newspapers nationwide. It was a real scandal and it was about the inhumane treatment of an innocent wild animal.

Justice Demanded for a Raccoon. It’s a start.

Smalbany covered the story because it was just another nail in the Police Department’s coffin.

Perhaps we’re being unfair and perhaps we’re missing something. But if 110,000 people will come forward and sign an online petition and leave their comments demanding justice for a wild raccoon, and leave their comments expressing their outrage, what have we been missing in the Riley P. Kern case? Are we missing something or are we trying to avoid the perversion, the ugliness staring us directly in the face?

110,000 signatures, almost as many comments for a raccoon. Almost as many outraged comments. Coverage nationwide by numerous newspapers. Coverage by local print and television media with interviews. Outraged citizens appearing to make public statements at a public Town of Coeymans town board meeting on the record. What are we missing here?

We at Smalbany are not missing a thing, ladies and gentlemen. We are fully aware of what’s going on locally and in society. The real question is: “What are YOU missing?”

Perhaps this Smalbany blog, these articles on Riley, are in fact a jeremiad, bitterly lamenting the state of society and its morals in a serious tone of sustained invective, and even containing a prophecy of our society’s imminent downfall.

Perhaps the questions we are asking are going over your heads. Perhaps you are so far gone that you can’t even understand what we are pointing at and saying: “Wake up! This is a sickening state of affairs! Say, DO something!”

Riley Parker “Jeremiah” Kern is dead. Riley Parker “Jeremiah” Kern was a young human being, a young man, good, kind, handsome, talented, smart; he had a wonderful future ahead of him. Riley Parker “Jeremiah” Kern was killed under clearly suspicious circumstances in a freakish accident. Riley Parker “Jeremiah” Kern is crying out for justice, the justice that even a wild raccoon was able to obtain.

Riley Parker “Jeremiah” Kern has become a symbol full of meaning of what we are, have become, but can yet redeem as human beings.

Take responsibility.  Meet your obligations. Demand Justice.

 


[1] Gotcha! You probably read pervert and went off on a tangent. Well, that’s only because you never got a good education. But that’s the subject of another article. Here’s what a pervert is and how we are using it here: A pervert is someone who has detoured from or altered from their original course, purpose or intendment, their meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended. Human beings were allegedly intended or created to be divine images of Good and Justice. Now can you admit you’re a pervert?
[2] Riley’s Song, Featuring VACAY, Alex Zaichkowski & Shane Harte. Album Songs From The Next Step, Season 3, Volume 1.
[3] Mr. Contento is Sgt Daniel Contento, acting chief of police in the Town of Coeymans. When we refer to a raccoon we are referring to an incident that became an international scandal: Two Coeymans police vehicles harassed and killed a wild raccoon in a public parking lot in full view of dozens of witnesses. We covered the incident in our articles “We are speechless! OMG! Coeymans Police Caught on Video Again!” and “Follow-up Report: Coeymans Raccoon Incident. We still have our doubts!, “ and two other follow-up articles: “Truth be Told: On the Heels of the Coeymans Town Board Meeting” and “Officer Identified!!! Coeymans PD Steve Prokrym Involved in Raccoon Scandal!!!

 

Riley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective.

We rarely have such an extraordinary moment as this. Riley’s mom read some of the deniers’ and nay-sayers’ offensive comments, and decided enough was enough.

A Mother’s Perspective…

As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over my Kingdom. Isaiah 66:13

The majority of our readers just sit back and read Smalbany, that is, until they need help and then all of a sudden they’re right out there cheering us on and telling us what a great job we’re doing at Smalbany blog HQ. There’s a minority who have nothing to gain by supporting our efforts because they’re the ones we want out of office, out of town, or just behind bars. They are generally cowards who get their pals to comment or to make threats. An even smaller number of readers actually read the articles, understand the facts and evidence, and appreciate the research and work that goes into our writing. Thank God! There is a very small minority who just lurk and take potshots and ambush anything that goes up on the blog. But given our numbers, we expect these proportions. It’s the law of averages.

But Riley’s mom’s comment is really something extraordinary. We say that this is an extraordinary moment for two reasons: Firstly, it is so rare to meet a person with such courage, commitment, and dedication who will come out fighting for what is right. This mom came out like a tigress and, luckily for us, she came out in our defense. We’d sure hate to be on the other end of the stick, that’s for sure. Secondly, her message is far broader than just this particular issue. What she says is encapsulated at the very end of her comment: “People need to step up and people need to do their jobs correctly to avoid all the pain they are causing. Let’s do a proper investigation on the death of Riley Kern! Thanks Smalbany for doing just that ❤.” And that is what we’re all about at Smalbany.

This is a mother writing from her heart and it couldn’t be more believable. You can almost feel the pain and the anger at what’s been done to her young son. This lady is a warrior and instead of withdrawing into a dark place or simmering in her own angry juices, she’s on the front lines seeking justice for Riley. We are incredibly grateful to her for coming out in our defense as well. She knows firsthand what we are doing and how we are doing it; she’s not one of those backroom critics who are constantly taking potshots without a clue about what they’re talking about. Riley’s mom knows first hand what the score is, and we’re out there with her to help her settle it.

We asked her permission to make some small edits and add some notes so that we could publish her comment as a full article. We are grateful that she gave her permission, and so we are reproducing her comment here together with our Editor’s Notes.

This is your mom talking, Rye. Be proud of her!


Hi there “Smalbany Full of Crap.”[1]

I am of Riley Kern’s mother. I just want to let you know that the people of the Smalbany blog are the only ones who have bothered doing any type of investigation on Riley’s death, and if you were in my situation you would be very thankful for them and the amount of time they have dedicated to investigate the cause of Riley‘s death, something the police should have done in the first place.

Now, if you calm down and really think about what they [Smalbany] are saying, and the facts they are putting out, you too would realize that something isn’t right. What Smalbany is saying are facts and nothing less. All they are trying to do is expose the truth which is greatly needed for our family to move on.

I reached out to Smalbany because they were the ONLY ones who sincerely posted about my son after his death.[2] I also tried reaching out to Hagen because initially I felt bad for the man knowing his wife had died and he knows what grief is like.[3] I felt sympathy for the [expletive redacted at commenter’s request] and wanted to let him know that “It’s OK,” but he avoided me as if the whole thing never happened! So as of now my feelings about him have quite obviously changed.

 Believe me when I say that you will not find the facts in the police accident report.[4] I’ve had direct conversations with Officer Foard, and he has contradicted himself over and over again, making things very suspicious and harder on us. Take a look at that diagram of the accident scene and then talk to some of the people who had to pick up Riley‘s bike out of the road, and place it in the grass; the police report shows his bike ended up in the grass to begin with. When I called the investigating officer [Patrolman Ian Foard] one month after my son’s death for some closure, I was told my boy was unconscious, incoherent, and didn’t even know his name, that he probably never realized what was going on. Yet Officer Foard, the investigating officer, made a phone call to Riley‘s father as they were loading him [Riley] into the ambulance and Riley was conversing between the two of them!!![5]

I think it’s highly suspicious that Mr. Hagen did not keep his car at Burns and Sons for the insurance adjuster to come inspect it; he would have been reimbursed for the damages.[6]

I think it’s messed up that Hagen wasn’t given an alcohol test!!!!!!!!![7]

Who was looking after Rileys best interests at the crash site? NOBODY!!![8]

Officer Foard said there was no reason to question the events prior to the accident or to give Hagen an alcohol test, “it was obvious what happened”;  yet my son had to lay in the morgue to have his body torn apart for toxicology and an autopsy to determine the cause of the accident …. I thought that was obvious ???[9]

I was told directly by Officer Foard that he did not take any photos, he took no written statements from the witnesses, and didn’t reconstruct the accident scene! He also told me that he was not the investigating officer?!?!? But that’s what the police report says !!!!![10]

It’s quite obvious that something is not right, and here’s my full-hearted opinion based on facts. Travis Hagan was drunk leaving Sycamore golf club[11], took a left onto NY 143 causing my son to crash into the passenger side of his truck as the pictures show.[12] I also know the exact time of the accident and I know the time that the first responders called to notify us that our Riley was in an accident.

I have nothing against the first responders I believe they did their job well but whatever happened between Riley and Mr. Hagen immediately after the accident wasted precious critical time costing my son his life. My son may have been alive today if he had entered the OR [Operating Room] 10 minutes earlier.[13]

Riley‘s accident was tragic but what’s more tragic is the way the police and Travis Hagen are allowing the community to believe a bunch of lies. Oh wait! Never mind, the community knows nothing of Riley‘s accident because it was never in the media. Hush-hush!![14]

Report indicates Riley was at fault and the people who determined that are idiots !!!! There were no witnesses to the actual accident and I know without a doubt my son did not take that corner too fast, he’s been riding motorcycles for years!!![15]

 If it were your son you would be demanding a better investigation as well.[16]  It makes me sad thinking of Riley looking down seeing these incompetent people making false claims about the situation; they’re making him look like the fool when in fact it’s FOARD and HAGEN!!!

People need to step up and people need to do their jobs correctly to avoid all the pain they are causing. Let’s do a proper investigation on the death of Riley Kern! Thanks Smalbany for doing just that ❤[17]


This is a touching roadside memorial at the accident site
where Riley was killed.
The text on the cross reads “Riley” and vertically, “Jeremiah” his nickname.

Click here to return to Riley’s Song: Verse Two – Update on Our Investigations.

Click here to return to We Are Re-Opening the Case: Riley Kern, Young Man Killed in Coeymans Hollow, Sycamore Golf Course.


Editor’s Notes


[1] Editor’s Footnote: Riley’s mom is responding to a commenter calling him/herself “Smalbany full of crap,” and who posted several inappropriate comments about the article, “Riley’s Song.” “Smalbany full of crap” has since been banned from posting comments but can read others’ comments.

[2] Editor’s Footnote: In fact, our first mention of the accident and Riley’s death was in an article on a completely different subject; our comment was literally a footnote expressing our surprise that a fatal accident had occurred and a young man died but we couldn’t find a thing in the media or elsewhere. We found that to be very suspicious.

[3] Editor’s Footnote: Hagen’s wife was killed in an Amtrak work-related accident. Hagen has since settled for an undisclosed amount.

[4] Editor’s Footnote: We have provided an extensive analysis and discussion of the so-called Police Report. Our conclusion is that it’s bogus, a complete farce. Nothing adds up and there are numerous inconsistencies and contradictions. See our article, “Riley’s Song.”

[5] Editor’s Footnote: This entire situation is not only bizarre, it’s total confusion! Patrolman Foard is a part-time officer in the Coeymans Police Department; he is not an investigator. Foard even admits that he arrived after the EMS team arrived, that is, some considerable time after the accident had occurred and the first call was made for emergency assistance. A lot could have happened in the meantime. In fact, one informant claims that someone [Hagen?] had Riley sign a document saying the accident was his fault. Riley was obviously in shock with internal bleeding and unable to understand anything at the time.

[6] Editor’s Footnote: We find this fact to be suspicious, too. What is Hagen trying to conceal? Obviously, there’s a cover up going on here and a lot of people are involved. We will find out who’s behind it all.

[7] Editor’s Footnote: A new law that went into effect earlier in 2018 requires drug and alcohol testing in all serious accidents. Field Sobriety Testing (FST) is now mandatory in New York in any serious motor vehicle accident, and is no longer at the discretion of the responding or investigating officer! The new law amends Vehicle and Traffic Law sections 603a and 1194.

[8] Editor’s Footnote: We recommend that Riley’s mom get the EMS report on their activities from the time they received the call from Albany County 911 to the handover at Albany Medical Center. At the same time, we recommend that Riley’s mom get the medical records created from the time Albany Medical Center accepted Riley in the ER to the point when they released his body to Ellis Hospital for autopsy. There’s a lot to be learned from those documents and she needs to have them in hand.

[9] Editor’s Footnote: Even accepting as obvious the fact that Patrolman Ian Foard is incompetent and ignorant of his responsibilities and obligations as a first responder or investigator at an accident scene, there is still the question of whether Foard, and Contento as reviewer and Foard’s direct supervisor, violated New York State law (1) by not requesting or demanding FST at the accident scene, and (2) preparing what is conspicuously a grossly inaccurate and untruthful, if not fraudulent Accident Report involving a death. There was no real investigation done, either. Hagen walks away without the mandatory actions being taken, but the dead boy is subject to every conceivable indignity. There’s something wrong with this picture, don’t you think?

[10] Editor’s Footnote: We find it outrageously irregular that no real investigation was done in this case. No reconstruction and not even police photos.  We’ve already reported on the bogus Police Report.

[11] Editor’s Footnote: Hagen is a known drinker. Hagen also has some tight connections with the Sycamore Country Club. Our question is: Has anyone interviewed the Sycamore staff on duty on the evening of July 27, 2018, likely a busy time for a country club and golf course, as to whether Hagen was there at around 6 p.m.? Hagen’s family is tight with the country club because Terry Hagen, Hagen’s father, was a member and an avid golfer. Hagen Sr died in or around 2009, and now the Sycamore Country Club hosts the Terry Hagen Memorial Golf Tournament which supports the Lustgarten Foundation (cure for pancreatic cancer), and was held at the Sycamore this year on August 18, 2018. On July 27, 2018, was Travis Hagen taking care of “business” just before the tournament?

[12] Editor’s Footnote: This is a very important point. The Police Report, if it can be believed at all, mentions several points of damage on Hagen’s pickup truck. Whether that damage was due to the accident is another question. But an experienced EMS photographer/journalist took pictures only of the passenger side of Hagen’s vehicle and, when questioned about this and asked about damage to the driver’s side, responded that the only damage he found was on the passenger side. If there were damage on the driver’s side he would have photographed that, too, but he didn’t. This physical evidence is in direct contradiction with the information recorded by Foard and reviewed by Contento!

Furthermore, if Travis Hagen lives in Coxsackie, it is reasonable that exiting the Sycamore, he would have to take a right hand turn to go South on Route 143, that is, towards, Ravena and US Rt 9W, if he were returning home, to Coxsackie. If, as the police report indicates, Hagen were traveling North on Rt 143, where could he possibly be going at that time of day? There’s little or nothing to the North!

The “Right-hand Turn” scenario would be compatible with the physical damage to Hagen’s truck; the “Traveling North” scenario is ruled out by the physical damage to Hagen’s truck. But now Hagen has his truck back; he’s removed it from the custody of a neutral third party, Burns & Sons Towing, and an impartial investigator has been deprived of the opportunity to confirm any damage alleged in the Police Report as being attributable to the accident. Hagen has, in fact, cut his own throat because now, the evidence, the pickup truck, has been contaminated, tampered with, having been removed from impartial third-party custody! Weasel your way out of this one, Hagen, Foard, Contento!

[13] Editor’s Footnote: Not only was precious time wasted between the time of the accident and the first call, a lot could have happened between Hagen and Riley in that time. One informant has suggested that Riley was forced to sign a document saying the accident was his fault. If that’s true, it will have to come out some time, and will be a very serious charge against Hagen. Besides, given Riley’s condition, he was most certainly in shock and was not responsible for anything he might have said or done. Any such statement would be worthless.

[14] Editor’s Footnote: The fact that absolutely nothing was reported about the accident is still a burning question, one that supports the theory of a conspiracy to cover up the accident and the circumstances.

[15] Editor’s Footnote: We have already analyzed the Police Report and the supporting evidence, which does not support the Police Report at all. We have already commented on the fact that the way the narrative text is written is not only contradictory, if not completely falsified, it actually exhonerates Riley by stating that “Hagen struck Riley,” not the other way around. Moreover, Riley was an experienced motorcyclist and, being from the area, certainly knew the lay of the land. Riley also participated in motorcycle safety training, much more than can be said about most local operators in this area. Again, these facts raise the level of suspicion.

[16] Editor’s Footnote: That is a very poignant question, indeed. These people would be singing another tune if it were their son who died under these circumstances. They’d be out in droves supporting the family in their darkest hours, raising money, organizing events, etc. Where are they now? Well, we’ll tell you: They’re out there denying the truth and trying to find excuses for their drinking buddy, Travis Hagen!

[17] Editor’s Footnote: Yes! That’s the tune we’ve been humming for several years now in the Smalbany blog. How many times must the same song be sung before locals learn the lyrics. That’s why we used the title, “Riley’s Song.”

 

Riley’s Song: Verse Two – Update on Our Investigations.

There are too many contradictions, gaps, inconsistencies in the Riley Kern case to allow anyone with any sense of decency or any trace of compassion to rest easy. While we can’t answer all questions in such a tragic event we can at least try to be honest and thorough in answering those that are answerable. We can at least meet our obligations to come forward and speak the truth. We can at least do our best to connect the dots and minimize doubt and with doubt mistrust. None of this has been done in Riley’s case, at least as far as our investigations and informants have shown. Here’s where we are as of today.

They’re gonna getcha!

Riley Kern was 19 at the time of the accident. Riley Kern’s funeral was on his 20th birthday. Riley Kern, although just before his death, was living with his mother and sister in Kansas, was a local boy. Riley Kern grew up in the RCS area and even attended Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk high school. Riley Kern’s father, Paul Gumpher, still lives in Climax, New York.

A group of local young people loved and respected Riley to such an extent that they got together and made the trip to Kansas to pay their respects and say a last farewell to Riley at his funeral. For all we have to say about today’s young people, that gesture of loyalty and love struck at even our heart chords. There’s no words to say that would do them the credit they deserve but Thank you! You really did Good!

We are asking Travis Hagen: If you have nothing to hide, nothing to fear, do you go into hiding?

A local man, Travis D Hagen, 48 years old, formerly of Ravena, New York, now residing in the Greene County hamlet of Coxsackie, just south of Ravena, has all but disappeared from the radar. Hagen didn’t have the decency even to express his condolences to Riley’s family at the death of their son, a death caused or at least contributed to by Hagen. Hagen is even avoiding the insurance investigators in the case. This raises the obvious question of: If you have nothing to hide, nothing to fear, do you go into hiding?

Why are you hiding?

Travis Hagen, 48, was driving a 2007 GMC pick-up truck on State Route 143 at the junction of County Route 106 (Tompkins Road) in front of the Sycamore Country Club. We might ask what Hagen was doing out there in the early evening hours of Friday, July 27, 2018, so far from Coxsackie on a sultry summer’s evening. There’s not a lot out there at that time of day except perhaps some friends and some brews. Informants share with us that Travis does like his brew. More on this later.

The Terry Hagen Golf Tournament benefiting the Lustgarten Foundation

Informants also tell us that there is an annual Terrry Hagen Golf Tournament held at the Sycamore County Club, and that the elder Hagen , now dead, was a popular denizen at the country club and an avid golfer. Dots are starting to connect, aren’t they?

Well, the Terry Hagen Memorial Golf Tourny was held at the Sycamore Country Club on August 18, 2018, so it’s reasonable to suggest that Travis Hagen was at the Sycamore Country Club taking care of “business” over a couple of brews, planning or finalizing details of the golf tourny. Sound reasonable to you? Why else would anyone be in that desolate area on a Friday evening? Now, an investigator would certainly have to question the staff at the Sycamore about Hagen’s being there that evening and what he was doing. Doncha think?

One person killed, NO accident reconstruction, and NO police photos taken.

Riley P. “Jeremiah” Kern

The NYS DMV Police Accident Report (MV-104A (6/04) shows the accident to have occurred on July 27, 2018, a Friday, at 6:22 p.m. One person killed, no accident reconstruction, and no police photos taken. That’s a bit irregular. Although our research with the National Weather Service shows that July 27, 2018, was generally sunny/partly cloudy with a high of 86 and a low of 67, there is no mention of weather conditions in the police report. Wouldn’t you think that would be important? Not according to Patrolman Ian Foard of the Coeymans Police Department, the “investigator” at the scene.

Back to the Police Report: In the Accident Description/Officer’s Notes section of the report, Riley’s vehicle is referred to as V1 and Hagen’s vehicle as V2, in the extract of the Police Report below, we are transcribing V1 to Riley and V2 as Hagen . Foard writes:

“Riley was traveling around a curve at high speed and Riley lost control of the vehicle and laid his motorcycle down.[1] Hagen was traveling Northbound [sic] on Route 143 and as Riley came around the curve it (V1 or V2? Riley or Hagen ?) traveled into the Northbound lane in front of Hagen.  Hagen swerved to avoid impact and struck Riley. Riley was ejected and struck the rear driver side of Hagen’s vehicle. Riley’s vehicle traveled under Hagen ’s causing damage to the undercarriage of Hagen s vehicle and eventually ending up behind Hagen ’s vehicle. Riley did pass away from crash-related injuries at Albany Medical Center.”

According to Patrolman Ian Foard, he was the last official to arrive at the accident scene after the EMTs arrived. So where did he get all of this information? Foard’s entry in the form is undated but the report shows that it was “reviewed by” Daniel Contento (acting Police Chief, Coeymans PD) on August 7, 2018, eleven (11) days after the accident, not including the day of the accident! eleven days later. The accident occurred at 6:22 p.m. on July 27, 2018. Riley died at Albany Medical Center shortly after 10 p.m.

Typical cop fashion: Cover me!

Only one “eye witness” is given in the report (we’re withholding that person’s name for now), who was allegedly mowing his “yard” according to Foard. Our visit to the scene would complicate that witness’ claim to having been an “eye witness” because the only property near the scene is to the South and the site of the accident would have been impaired by bushes. But the eye-witness named in the Police Report by Foard and claimed by Foard to have been “mowing his yard” at the time of the accident, is a big problem. You see, the so-called eye-witness lives on Alcove Road — and we are assuming that’s where his “yard” is —, some 4 miles distance from the accident site!

The one eye-witness was, according to Foard, “mowing his yard.” The problem is, his yard is 4 miles away from the accident site!

But that’s the least of the problems with Foard’s very late report. In fact, New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Article 22, § 605. Report required upon accident reads (in pertinent part):

“(a) 1. Every person operating a motor vehicle, except a police officer (as defined in subdivision thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law ), a correction officer, or a firefighter, operating a police department, a correction department, or fire department vehicle respectively while on duty, if a report has been filed by the owner of such vehicle, which is in any manner involved in an accident, anywhere within the boundaries of this state, in which any person is killed or injured, or in which damage to the property of any one person, including himself, in excess of one thousand dollars is sustained, shall within ten days after such accident, report the matter in writing to the commissioner.”

“2. Failure to report an accident as herein provided or failure to give correctly the information required of him by the commissioner in connection with such report shall be a misdemeanor and shall constitute a ground for suspension or revocation of the operator’s (or chauffeur’s) license or all certificates of registration for any motor vehicle, or of both, of the person failing to make such report as herein required.  In addition, the commissioner may temporarily suspend the driver’s license or permit or certificate of registration of the motor vehicle involved in the accident, or of both, of the person failing to report an accident within the period prescribed in paragraph one of this subdivision, until such report has been filed.  However, no suspension or a revocation shall be made of a license or certificate of registration of any police officer, correction officer, or firefighter involved in an accident while on duty for failure to report such accident within ten days thereof if a report has been filed by the owner of such vehicle.”

“(c) The report required by this section shall be made in such form and number as the commissioner may prescribe.”

The law is clear on the reporting requirement and the time for reporting. In fact, in the next section, it actually states at VTL § 606. Processing of required reports:

“The commissioner [the DMV], when processing reports of accidents filed pursuant to this article, shall give priority to reports involving serious physical injury (as defined in subdivision ten of section 10.00 of the penal law ) or death.”

The investigating officer, when making his report, is an agent of the Department of Motor Vehicles, that is, the “Commissioner” in the laws. Accordingly, if there is serious physical injury or death involved, the officer is to give “priority” to the report. But it took the Coeymans Police Department eleven (11) days just to get the report written and reviewed! No one is going to tell us that the Coeymans Police Department is that overworked and understaffed that it takes 11 days to fill out a form! Incompetence and indifference; criminal obstruction!

Not only is the police report late and in violation of the law, it is incomplete and inaccurate!

First of all, Patrolman Foard and Sgt Daniel Contento apparently can’t read or understand the clear labels on the form. For example, in the section “Vehicle Model” the form actually gives examples, such as “Mustang, Corvette” but Foard (Contento) insert “Motorcycle” for Vehicle 1 (V1, Riley) but “Sierra” for Vehicle 2 (V2, Hagen).

In the “Emergency Medical Services” the form requires times (in military notation; we are converting to conventional time notation here). EMS was  “Notified at 6:24” and “Arrived at the scene at 6:26 p.m.” The form shows that the EMS “Arrived (with Riley) at hospital” at 7:05 p.m. We don’t find those times to be believable.

First of all, any 911 calls go through the Albany County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center in Albany, who then take down the details and relay them to the appropriate First Responders. That alone should take several minutes. Then the First Responders have to get their acts together and get to the scene, which will take another several minutes, at least. But the accident, according to the report happened at 6:22 p.m. If we are to believe the accident report, the accident was reported after the accident occurred, naturally, that is, after 6:22 p.m., the 911 dispatcher contacted the local EMS, who then got all their information and gear, and personnel together and got to the scene at 6:26. That’s in less than 4 minutes!!! Do you believe that?

That raises yet another question: How long did it take anyone to make the 911 call once the accident occurred?

But it took them about 45 minutes to get the dying boy to Albany Medical Center! And that’s assuming the ambulance arrived at the very same moment as the EMS, which is unlikely because they were also busy trying to decide whether to medevac (Lifeline) Riley to the hospital, a decision that fell through the cracks due to “thunderstorms” in the area (Thunderstorms? No mention of these in the National Weather Service reports. Rain, maybe, but no thunderstorms in Albany County on July 27, 2018).

Back to the report: Patrolman Foard writes that the first point of impact on Riley’s motorcycle was at point 11, the left door. We weren’t aware that motorcycles, much less Riley’s bike, had left doors but maybe Patrolman Foard and Sgt Contento know more about this than we do.

Besides, if you are filling out a form, you’d indicate everything you need to indicate, wouldn’t you? It’s all done half-assed, as usual in Coeymans! We’ve always said, ”You pay peanuts, you get monkeys!”

And then you put them in uniforms and hand them guns.


Editor’s Note: New Law in New York: Serious Accidents to Trigger Mandatory Sobriety Tests in New York. The new law expands the responsibilities of police officers who are first responders to the scene of a motor vehicle accident if the collision either caused a serious injury or caused a death. Now, among the responsibilities that police have as they investigate the cause of the accident is a responsibility to assess whether the driver was in violation of state traffic law or not. Under the previous rules related to field sobriety testing, the laws in New York stipulated that it was up to the discretion of the officer to determine if a person should be tested for impairment. The new rule simplifies and streamlines the system and ensures that drivers don’t simple evade the law when a death or a serious injury happens.

According to New York State Senator Pamela Helming, who was one of the bill’s sponsors, indicated that” “Individuals need to be held accountable for their choices, especially when it leads to the death or serious injury of someone else.” Helming also warned: “Eliminating loopholes in the current law that allow drivers under the influence to escape prosecution at the expense of someone else’s life is a start.” With new evidence available to demonstrate intoxication after serious accidents, victims should be better able to pursue claims for compensation against those who caused collisions while drunk. A New York City car accident law firm can provide help to victims in taking action.

The bill was signed into law on December 18, 2017, and went into effect 30 days after signing.


Seems both Foard and the Sycamore Country Club have no clue where they are.

The accident happened on State Route 143 40 ft South of what Foard calls Tompkins Road. The roadway Foard is referring to, apparently, is County Route 106. Tompkins Road is not the roadway’s DOT real designation but is the street name used by locals and the Sycamore Country Club in its address, but then the Sycamore Country Club is located in the hamlet of Coeymans Hollow, not in Ravena! Seems both Foard and the Sycamore Country Club have no clue where they are. Foard can almost be forgiven, being from Mechanicville and given his history (see below, Editor’s Aside].

Annotated Police Report Sketch

The narrative text also states that Riley was “traveling around a curve at high speed.” How does anyone know that as a fact. Foard himself admits that he was the last to arrive on the scene, after the EMS. The eye witness named in the Police Report was “mowing his yard” and lives on Alcove Road. OK. Maybe Foard can explain how a guy mowing his lawn 4 miles away could see the accident? That guy must have one hell of a set of eyes! Or has Foard left something out? What’s your guess?

In the narrative (text) description of the accident, Foard notes that Hagen’s truck sustained “damage to the undercarriage of Hagen’s vehicle” but Foard does not indicate that damage in the diagram! This raises the question of whether Foard was able to crawl under Hagen’s vehicle to inspect it and on what grounds Foard determined the damage to be caused at the time of the accident. We don’t think that a part-time patrolman has that expertise. Do you?

Foard makes an interesting commitment as to the sequence of the events: He writes that Riley “laid his motorcycle down” indicating that Riley was actually in control of his vehicle and took the emergency measure of putting the cycle into a skid to avoid the accident. This in no way would indicate that Riley “lost control of the vehicle” as Foard speculates in his narrative. Foard was not there and given the situation, it’s unlikely that any witness would be able to state with certainly that Riley lost control of his motorcycle.

Foard then writes that Hagen “swerved to avoid impact and struck Riley.” This is the black letter written narrative that likely went through some editing and, if anything had to be changed before or after Contento “reviewed” and passed the report, that something would have been changed. As it now reads, Hagen struck Riley, not the other way around!

In this narrative the sequence continues: Riley was “ejected and struck the rear driver side” of Hagen’s vehicle. According to the damage diagram in the Police Report, Foard indicates in the Damage Codes for Riley’s vehicle: Point of impact 11 (left, driver side door), “Most Damage”: 8 (rear of vehicle), and Foard enters three other damage codes: 14, undercarriage; 5, passenger side door (or right side of vehicle), and 11, driver side door (or left side of vehicle).

Foard indicates Damage Codes for Hagen’s vehicle:  : “Point of impact 1” (left, front headlight/fender), “Most Damage: 8” (rear of vehicle), and Foard enters three other damage codes: “1”, (left, front headlight/fender); “”10”, driver side door (or right side of vehicle), and “12, driver side front panel (or left front side of vehicle). But this doesn’t seem right because the pictures taken by an EMS person do not show Driver-side damage at all!

Nothing in Foard’s report seems to agree. And it was reviewed by acting police chief Sgt Contento, and released to the Department of Motor Vehicles! How embarassing!

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(Photo Credits: Thomas Marra)

When asked about this, the EMS photographer/journalist explained that the only damage he documented was on the passenger door side, a dent, probably from impact (how else would you get a dent like that shown in the image?) When questioned further, the EMS photographer/journalist explained that if there were no damage he would not have photographed it; there was not damage on the left side, the driver’s side, of Hagen’s vehicle, according to this EMS photographer/journalist.

So this information, along with Foard’s statements in the Police Report actually damage any credibility of the Coeymans Police investigation, if there were any investigation at all, and contradict or rule out most of what Foard writes in his report!

Here’s some other information that creams Foard’s report. The manufacturer’s specs for the 2007 GMC Sierra driven by Hagen give a front ground clearance of 9.1 inches. The rear ground clearance for this vehicle is 12.1 inches, or an average of 10.6 inches along the length of the vehicle.

The 2008 Buel motorcycle driven by Riley has a width of about 29” and a length of about 78 inches. Given the condition of the motorcycle as shown in the pictures taken at the accident scene, and given Foard’s report saying that Riley’s motorcycle “struck the rear driver side” of Hagen’s pickup truck” and then “traveled under Hagen’s vehicle[,] causing damage to the undercarriage of Hagen’s vehicle[,] and eventuallyending up behind Hagen’s vehicle.” Given the specs of the two vehicles, you think the cycle would have been a mangled mess. It wasn’t — at least not until Burn’s Towing got their hands on it. (Click the link to view the insurance investigator’s photos.)

Insurance Investigator’s Photos

True to local scoundrel form, Burns + Sons Auto Repair & AAA Towing in Ravena (2537 US 9W Ravena, NY 12143 ) didn’t waste a minute getting their hands into Riley’s family’s pockets. We have learned that Burns charged the family more than $1800 ($300 for “towing” the motorcycle and $65/day for storage)! Good Lord! The cycle weighs only about 350 lbs and two men could lift it onto a pickup bed! Thank you! Burns & Sons Towing (Ravena) for confirming everything we have ever had to say about local crooks!

There’s more, much more but we won’t share it until we confirm and vet it. Stay tuned!

This is one of a long series of botched investigations that have become the hallmark of the Coeymans Police Department. It’s not only that they are incompetent and too arrogant to call in real professionals from the Albany County Sheriff’s Department or the New York State Police, their incompetence and arrogance has and is continuing to cause good people a lot of unnecessary suffering. On top of all that, we as taxpayers are paying for this incompetence and abuse! How stupid can it possibly get?!?


Editor’s Aside — Some Notes on Coeymans Patrolman Ian FOARD

It appears part-time Coeymans patrolman Ian FOARD comes to Coeymans from the Mechanicville PD, and he brings a bit of baggage with him.

At the regular meeting of the Mechanicville City Council on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Mayor Baker and the Mechanicville City Council appointed Ian Foard to the position of full-time desk-officer at a rate of $13.47/h (Resolution #20-14)

According to the official minutes of the Coeymans Town Board Meeting of March 22, 2018 Mr. Foard was appointed to the position of Probationary Part-Time Police Officer effective March 26, 2018. Foard’s appointment was contingent upon Foard’s signing a personal services contract with the Town of Coeymans and his paperwork being filed with the Human Resource Clerk. According to the minutes, Foard would be compensated at the rate designated in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. (Resolution #063-18). At that same meeting, Sgt Daniel Contento was appointed acting Police Chief (Resolution #062-18).

The Albany Times Union reported on January 25, 2018, that Ian Foard was one of five Mechanicville police department employees who filed a multiple-charge complaint with the Mechanicville Human Resources Officer alleging multiple abuses by Mechanicville Mayor Baker. Foard alleges in the complaint that when Foard was dealing with a personal family matter, Mayor Baker allegedly told Ian Foard, that his father is “disgusting, weird” because he is transgender. Baker allegedly told Foard “every mistake you’ve made was because of your dad.”

The 5-page complaint was filed with the Commissioner of Accounts Kimberly Dunn who acts as the city’s human resource officer and city clerk. It was signed by Police Benevolent Association officers President Alexander Dunn, Vice President Matthew Dunn, Foard, the bargaining unit’s treasurer, and Rabbitt, the union’s secretary. Both Alexander Dunn and Matthew Dunn are the City Clerk’s, Kimberly Dunn’s sons; the rumor is that the Dunn boys were put up to the complaint by momma Dunn, who has her eye on the mayor’s office.

Later, on July 12, 2018, the Albany Times Union reports that the charges against Mayor Baker were dropped, and that Mechanicville Police Chief Police Chief Joseph Waldron “retired,” “retired” usually used to pretty up the fact of “resigned.”

Ian Foard subsequently resigned or was terminated from employment with the City of Mechanicville Police Department and was later hired as a part-time patrolman by the Town of Coeymans.

We have requested information from the City of Mechanicville relating to FOARD’s termination or separation.

See the extract from the complaint filed by FOARD and others, below.

This is an extract from the official complaint.


This is not an isolated incident with the Cold-Case Coeymans Police Department. We’ve been covering stories on a regular basis. Here are just a few of the most recent articles we’ve run about the a dysfunctional law enforcement mistake:

Dumbass Team: Coeymans Police and Albany DA Soares!
More on the Coeymans Police Department. Our Recent Investigations.
We are speechless! OMG! Coeymans Police Caught on Video Again!
Coeymans Police Turning Into Coeymans Gestapo Again?
Criminals Thumbing Their Noses to Law Enforcement? Why?
Local Law Enforcement Might Need Some Help with the Math: 2 + 2 = Stahlman!
Drive-by Shooting Arrives in RCS

We’re in control, Rye!
We won’t let you down.

Click this link to read Riley’s mom’s response to detractors of SmalbanyRiley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective.


[1] Motorcycle accidents involving a laydown by the operator of the motorcycle means that when the motorcyclist experiences a sudden emergency and he decides to lay down the bike rather than collide with another object. Because of the suddenness of the hazard, the rider applies the brakes and the bike slides on its side.

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Accountability, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County Civil Service, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Coroners Office, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County EMT, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany Medical Center, Barbara Underwood, Burns and Sons Towing, Capital District, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Columbia-Greene Media, Corruption, Craig D. Apple Sr., Daily Mail, Daniel Contento, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, Department of Motor Vehicles, DOT, Ellis Hospital, EMR, F.O.I.L., FaceBook, FOIL, Geico Insurance, Governor Mario Cuomo, Hudson Valley, Ian Foard, Informants, Insurance Fraud, Investigation, John B. Johnson, Lafarge, Lafarge-Holcim, Law Enforcement, Lawsuit, Mark Vinciguerra, Misconduct, Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor, Motor Vehicle Accident, Motorcycle, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Police, New York State Police, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Paul Courcelle, Paul Gumpher, Phil Crandall, Police Dispatcher, Police Incompetence, Police Investigator, Public Corruption, Public Safety, Public Safety, Ravena News Herald, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Senate District 46, Smalbany, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen