Minimum Wage to Increase December 31

New York’s minimum wage will increase once again in the New Year. Part of the state law approved in March will increase minimum to $15 an hour by 2021. The first hike starts December 31 – as the minimum wage for workers in New York City will increase to $11 an hour or $10.50 an hour for employers with less than 10 workers. Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester will increase to $10 and hour. Outside the metropolitan area, the wage will be raised to $9.70 an hour. (Source: The Journal News)

FBI Arrest Issac Sofer Food Stamp Fraud

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a prominent Brooklyn Satmar community activist Issac Sofer on Thursday morning on charges that he lied in order to obtain food stamps. Sofer was the public face of his community’s support for Bill de Blasio during the 2013 mayoral campaign. According to a complaint unsealed in Federal court, Sofer vastly understated his own income and assets in order to receive $30,000 in food stamps through the federal SNAP program. According to the complaint, Sofer claimed in his SANP applications that his income was between $0 per month to $25,500 per year, and that he had no substantial assets. But he told an insurance company in 2012 that he had income of $100,000 per year and assets of $600,000. Sofer also allegedly claimed in his SNAP application to have no life insurance, but was making regular $325 quarterly payments towards a $1 million policy. (Source: Forward)

Street Named in Haverstraw for Zeh

Gary Zeh, who passed in 2014 and was the owner of a school bus company, lifelong village resident and firefighter of Haverstraw is being honored with a street naming. His daughter Renee Zeh-Garrison told Lohud that her father, “Like the back of his hand, he knew all of the streets.” The village recently announced it would name a stretch of Riverside Avenue for Zeh, including the section that runs past Haverstraw Transit, the bus company he ran for many years. (Source: Journal News)

Colo the Gorilla Turns 60

She is the mother of three, grandmother of 16, great-grandmother of 12 and great-great grandmother of 3. She recently had surgery to remove a malignant tumor, but doctors say she is doing well. She’s Colo, the nation’s oldest living gorilla, and she’s turning 60 today at the Columbus Zoo. Colo was the first gorilla in the world born in a zoo and has surpassed the usual life expectancy of captive gorillas by two decades. Her longevity is putting a spotlight on the medical care, nutrition and up to date therapeutic techniques that are helping lengthen zoo animals’ lives. (Source: AP)

Colo the Gorilla

Schlisser Arrected for Wire Fraud

The Journal News is reporting that 57-year-old Michael “Mickey” Schlisser of Pomona, who has served time for securities fraud faces a new federal charge of wire fraud for allegedly misspending money from a $1.2 million account given to him by investors to buy and sell companies. According to FBI Special Agent, Michael Savona, Schlisser used the money personally, including credit card payments, checks to his wife’s unnamed Rockland bakery, his son’s schooling and payments on loans previously made involving another investment. A December 6 complaint to US Attorney Preet Bharara’s office alleges that through a wire fraud Schlisser devised a scheme to obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses and obtained $1.2 million for the scheme from investors by interstate wires and other means. The FBI arrested Schlisser on December 7. Bail has been set at $1 million. (Source: The Journal News)


Rep. Maloney Passes Dam Repair Act

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney has worked hard for the Hudson Valley to get the Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act passed in the House and establish a federal investment program to allow states and local governments to seek funding for the rehabilitation of high-hazard publicly owned dams. Under Maloney’s plan, part of the Water Infrastructure investment for the Nation Act, the federal government would invest $445 million over the next 10 years, providing 65 percent of funding, while state and local jurisdictions would provide the other 35 percent. There are close to 100 dams in the Hudson Valley that are considered high-hazard, something that is according to Maloney “pretty scary for families and businesses throughout our area.” New York State has 403 high-hazard dams, the eighth most in the nation. (Source: Mid-hudson News).

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney

Adoptable Pets 12-22-16

These loving animals are looking for “Forever Homes” if you are looking to add a member to your family contact or give to their Urgent Needs List by calling 845-354-7900 — thanks to our sponsor — Learn CPR be a Lifesaver!

Hi, my name is Dallas. I am a 2 year old male pit mix.My dream family is one with older kids or adults where I can be your one and only pet.I am young and energetic so I need an experienced dog owner who is patient, calm & assertive. I know how to sit, lay down, give paw and walk well on a leash. I am also house trained . Because I am young I will need you to continue my training to keep me well behaved so I can grow into a fine young man.  My owner should also like to take long walks & play fetch, if you have a fenced in yard that would be ideal. But after exercising, cuddling next to my humans & giving gentle kisses is one of my favorite things. I’ve been told I am a goofy silly boy and have the funniest expressions that will make you laugh. I love car rides & am a well behaved passenger so I can be your copilot.  I have a lot of love to give & am a good boy but the shelter is overwhelming for me. Would you be the family to give me a second chance?

Darla is a 2 year old female pitbull who came to the shelter as a stray. She would possibly do well in a home with other dogs but would just depend on the dog. She has not been tested with cats yet. Darla is an active dog who would do well in a home with teens and older. She is a very sweet lovable dog who is also be house broken. Come meet Darla to find out for yourself how very special she is.  (on a side note you saw that Darla was adopted but then she was returned the next day thru no fault of her own, it was a family issue)

Jade is a 2-3 year old female Terrier Mix who was surrendered to the shelter because her owner could no longer care for her. Jade starts out a bit shy at first but then will warm up nicely. She becomes very friendly and affectionate once she gets to feel comfortable. Jade is also housebroken. Jade should be the only pet in the house and would do best in a home with older teens and adults who can give her the quiet home she deserves.

Hazel is a 4 year old domestic short hair. Hazel would do best in a quiet low traffic home with adults as it does take her some time to warm up to new people. She has not been around dogs and would probably be best being the only cat in the house. Once Hazel knows you she does enjoy attention and pets.

Halo – 1 yr Female..Halo is a calm and quiet girl. She came to the shelter after being found as a stray this past summer. Halo would do best in a home with teens and older as she can start off shy and prefers a quiet environment. She enjoys the company of other cats too. Halo is one of our FIV cats, which stands for feline immunodeficiency virus. FIV positive cats can live long and healthy lives.

Betty is a one and a half year old domestic short hair. Betty was brought to HiTor as a stray kitten last summer and has been with us since she was 6 weeks old. She does take some time to warm up but is very sweet once she gets to know you, she would do best in a quiet low traffic home with teens and adults. Betty would be very happy to have a feline companion as she does enjoy the company of other cats.

Eat @ BJ’s Donate 20% to HiTor Animals

HiTor Animal Care Center wants to wish everyone a Happy Holiday season – and if you are looking for a great way to help the animals of Hi To while you enjoy a delicious meal – BJ’s located the The Shops at Nanuet, on Thursday Dec. 29th from 11 am to 11 pm will donate 20% of food and soft beverage sales to Hi tor’s General Operating Fund, which goes directly to help all the animals at the shelter. You will need to print out a copy of a flyer and present it to you serve. Contact and get on their mailing list to get your flyer. Remember its for the animals!

RC Executive’s 2017 Budget Passes

The County Executive Ed Day is reporting this morning that his 2017 Budget was approved last night by the legislature in a vote of 11-6 with Legislators, Carey, Hofstein, Falciglia, Moroney, Santulli, and Tyer all voting in favor of the budget. The Legislature failed to override Day’s vetoes with the necessary 12 votes, or a two-third majority. The budget meets the state-mandated 1.17 percent property tax cap. According to Day most taxpayers will see no increase in their tax bill due to a decrease in sewer fees for residents of Clarkstown, Ramapo and parts of Orangetown. The budget takes effect January 1. Day asks the legislature to “immediately declare the dilapidated Sain Building as surplus, the first step for sale.” There is a buyer that has offered $510,000 over the asking price and they have been waiting almost a year now for the legislature to move forward with the sale. Day says, “I will work with the Legislature to see if we can use some of the proceeds of the sale to fund our “224” non-profits. I challenge the majority to back up their stated commitment to them with action.” If you would like to encourage the legislature to move towards the sale of the Sain Building to support “224” non-profits before they suffer significant damage you can call Chairman Wolfe at 845-638-5100.

Fire in Haverstraw, Three Injured

According to The Journal News three people were injured when a fire ripped though a village apartment shortly after midnight Monday. The blaze broke out in a second-floor apartment at 1 Broad Street at 12:!0 a.m. according to Haverstraw Fire Chief Robert Drexler. A spokesperson for the Red Cross said that more than 36 residents – including 8 families with 26 adults and 10 children – were displaced from the building. The building has second- and third- floor apartments that sit above three stores on the ground level at the corner of Broad Street and Broadway. The fire started in an apartment and took about 20-25 minutes for firefighters to get the blaze under control. The fire was contained to one apartment, while a few other units and the three stores below had water or smoke damage. Three people were hospitalized with smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire was not immediately known as Rockland County’s arson investigation team responded. Chief Drexler confirmed that firefighters from West Haverstraw, Stony Point and Thiells responded, while Congers Firefighters where on standby.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

Please click on the image below to view all snow closings for Rockland County.