Spring Valley Board Meeting continues without Mayor

The Spring Valley Village board meeting attracted a large crowd yesterday when Mayor Delhomme was questioned decisions he has made regarding moving the Midget Football League office from the William Darden Center and relocating the after school program to the Center in its place. Delhomme’s explanation of the move is that the Louis Kurtz Civic Center, where the after-school program is currently located, will be undergoing renovations and that the decision regarding the move of the football league has not been finalized. Disparity continued as Delhomme requested Jerrod Miles, Village Attorney to read his two-year revitalization plan in which Delhomme states was shared with the Village Trustees last week…. a statement which seemed to take several of the trustees by surprise! Although Delhomme left the meeting at 10:25pm, Trustees Fonvil, White and Grossman continued with 12 unanimous resolutions not included on the Mayors agenda. Among the resolutions: requirement of written memorandums on verbal orders given by the mayor, reinstatement of the office of the football league and a resolution of prohibiting the relocation of the after-school program to the Darden Center.

MTA payroll tax upheld

The MTA payroll tax was upheld in court on Tuesday when the NY board of appeals declined to hear a challenge to the controversial tax. Passed in 2009 the tax that brings in 1.2 billion annually, was enacted to help prevent service cuts as the MTA faced a record deficit. Largely disputed by Hudson Valley businesses. Governor Cuomo signed legislation in Dec. 2011 reducing the tax for small businesses and eliminating it for businesses with annual payrolls of less than $1.25 million.

Poultry processing plant impact study submitted

An environmental impact study of a proposed 3 million dollar Poultry
processing plant has been submitted to the New Square Board of Trustees and other agencies. Deputy Mayor of New Square, Israel Spitzer states that the village officials and developer are being very transparent and says, quote “Not only is there a well-done study, we’re sharing the studies with everyone. We’re giving enough time for elected officials to study and then make their comments.” (unquote) The proposed plant that would process approximately 5000 chickens a day has generated a lot of controversy regarding location, traffic and environmental issues. The developers executive summary includes a workforce of approximately 110 local workers, an enclosed design to limit odors and an upgraded sanitary sewer system. Neighbors remain strongly opposed as they await a public hearing on the project.

Exoneration sought in barge accident

Tappan Zee Constructors are facing several lawsuits following a fatal barge accident that occurred on the Hudson in July. Soon to be married,Lindsey Stewart and the best man, Mark Lennnon were killed when their boat crashed into a barge on the Hudson, driven by JoJo John. John is accused of being under the influence of drugs and alcholol and is criminally charged with causing the death of his two friends. Johns attorneys argue that the barges were not visible due to insufficient lighting and boaters where not informed of their presence. On Wednesday, Tappan Zee Constructors, in charge of building the 3.9 billion dollar bridge, asked the court to exonerate or limit their liability placing the entire blame on the boats driver. The barge owners are also seeking exoneration. JoJo John is due back in court on March 27th.

Suffern retailer drops projected earnings

Weaker-than-expected holiday sales are causing the Suffern-based Ascena Retail Group, the owner of various retail clothing brands including Lane Bryant, Justice and Dress Barn, to cut its fiscal 2014 adjusted earnings forecast. The company dropped its new full-year adjusted earnings 15 cents per share from $1.25 to $1.30 to between $1.10 and $1.15. Its stock closed yesterday at $20.36, down $1.58.

Through its subsidiaries, the company operates several thousand stores throughout the US and Canada, with annual revenues of more than $4.5 billion. In a statement Monday, company president and CEO David Jaffe called the holiday selling season “challenging” but noted that the company “successfully cleared excess inventory and has taken the necessary markdowns in the second quarter to transition cleanly into the spring season.” In the statement, the company was optimistic about increases in spring season comparable store sales and continued double-digit e-commerce sales growth. In 2014, the company plans to open 185 stores and close 135, ending the fiscal year with around 3,900 stores in operation.

School Superintendent retires

Dr. John Morgano, the Superintendent of Pearl River of Schools, has announced that he will retire by the end of the year. In a letter he sent out to the community Monday morning, which was made available on the Pearl River School District’s website, Dr. Morgano said the decision to retire was a difficult one that he came to after much deliberation. In the letter, he called his 11 years of serving the students and parents of Pearl River “the most rewarding time in his 39 years in education.” He added that he is confident he will –quote- “be leaving Pearl River in good hands and the next superintendent will equally enjoy working with such a supportive community and faculty, staff and administration”

Arrest in mall sexual assault

A Nanuet man has been arrested on sexual assault charges involving several young children at Palisades Center in West Nyack. Police investigators say twenty-two year-old David Chardon is accused of exposing himself to two of the children, who were age 8 and 9, and accused of performing a lewd act near a ten year-old girl. The three incidents took place in November and December of 2013. In one of the incidents, police say the girl was in the children’s section of Barnes & Noble, sitting on a bench as her mother shopped nearby, when a man walked up from behind, performed a lewd act near her and left.

Surveillance video taken from the Barnes & Noble store on the fourth floor of the shopping mall where two of the incidents occurred helped nab the suspect. Chardon is charged with public lewdness and endangering the welfare of a child. Chardon was arraigned in Clarkstown Justice Court and sent to the County Jail on $25,000 cash bail. He is due back in court on January 15th.

Senators seek to enact delay on National Flood Ins. premium increase

A bi-partisan group of Senators are teaming up to enact a four year delay on premium increases with the National Flood Insurance Program – providing time for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to complete an affordability study. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand are part of the group looking to enact legislation to prevent current increases in flood insurance premiums.

The hikes were originally passed in June 2012 as part of a large transportation bill, which Schumer and Gillibrand both voted to approve. If enacted, Homeowners who have been hit with higher rates would see their premiums fall back on renewal,the bill does not include any refunds for what they’ve already paid.

Fare boxes for Rocklands TOR & Tappan Zee Express

Rocklands TOR and Tappan Zee Express Buses are making some changes, that include… not making change.

Electronic fare boxes are being installed. Riders will have the option of paying exact change or receiving an electronic charge card that will apply any overpayment to their next trip. Spokeswoman for the Rockland County Department of transportation, Susan Meyer, says the fare boxes are funded by a $2.4 million dollar Federal Transit Administration grant and this project costs approximately 1.3 Million.
Data will also be collected from the fare boxes, such as popular pick up times and locations, that can help improve the bus services.

The bus driver will still continue to verify Metro-North Railroad UniTickets, discounted SuperSaver tickets, college bus passes and transfers.

Woodbury Commons Employee struck and killed

A 23 year old Woodbury Commons employee, Jason Rutkowski was struck and killed on his way to work early Sunday morning around 7am. Rutkowski parked across the street from the Commons at Central Valley Elementary school and was wearing dark clothing when hit by his coworkers husband who was driving her to work. He was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

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