Two people were involved in separate motorcycle accidents this weekend. According to police, on Sunday around 10:30 AM at Exit 22, near Rye on I-95 a New Jersey man apparently had a medical incident while driving and lost control of his bike, which resulted in a crash involving two other motorcyclists from his group who were all riding to Connecticut together at the time. Police were investigating the cause of the crash, though reported that members of his club stated he had a preexisting heart condition that may have led to his collapse. The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to Greenwich Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The other men involved were taken to Westchester Medical Center and Stamford Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Also on Sunday, around 6:00 PM a man crashed his motorcycle on Bear Mountain Bridge Road in Cortlandt. Police stated that the motorcyclist crashed into a rail, and went about 100-feet down an embankment where police had to rescue the man. He was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center and his condition has not been confirmed, though reports were released by the media last night that he passed away. Police are investigating the scene of the accident to determine the cause.
Another decision has been released on the fate of the Ramapo ward vote in Rockland County. According to the court papers submitted by State Supreme Court Judge Margaret Garvey, the vote on September 30, 2014, rejecting a ward system, would be upheld. The vote was challenged by a group of activists who claimed in their suit that some voters were turned away from machines. Garvey stated there was a lack of evidence provided in the suit, though Michael Parietti, one of the challengers stated they will be appealing the judge’s decision.
At a meeting on Thursday at Nyack Village Hall, residents were given the opportunity to speak about proposed development on the Hudson River waterfront. Currently the plan for TZ Vista, submitted by developer Helmer-Cronin Construction, is to build three, six-story buildings with 120 units and underground parking, on the four-acre lot, though they are asking the village board for a text amendment that would allow them to build beyond the 40-foot height restriction. Those who attended the meeting had mixed opinions on the proposal, many supporters stating that the complex would be a tax ratable as well as help to bing in more development in the village, while others expressed the idea that the style of the building would not mix with surrounding architecture. Another option submitted by the developer was three, four-story buildings with wood and brick facades, which would blend with the village’s existing style and remain under the height regulations.
The United States Congress announced on Thursday that the Zadroga Act expired overnight. Nearly 33,000 people are still effected by 9/11 related issues health issues, and the act ensured medical care to those first responders. NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been working some time to get Congress to make the program permanent, and stated that the decision not to extend the law, which was enacted in 2010, will create “enormous anxieties and fears in the minds of very sick people.” Many of the health issues caused by being not he scene of the September Eleventh attacks on the World Trade Center can arise years after, and proponents of the act stated it is needed to ensure treatment to those who’s insurance or worker’s compensation has run out or past it’s statute of limitations. Patients can still receive treatment, but officials with the program stated they will most likely be forced to begin shutting down next summer, and will face problems as early as February.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day released his proposal for the 2017 budget at a press conference on Thursday. The $723 million plan would increase the tax levy by 4.95% or $4 a month for residents. On Wednesday announced that the deal to sell the Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Home for $32 million, was terminated by the buyer, and so the budget was unable to remain in the state mandated 2% tax cap. In the proposal cuts would be made by laying off county employees, including 288 who will lose their positions at Summit Park when it is closed by the December 31 deadline. On top of the hospital workers, 38 jobs will be eliminated in several departments, as well as the blacksmith and veterinary services for the mounted unit in the Sheriff’s Department, which will save the county about $156,000. Day stated that many employees are also accepting an early retirement incentive program and the vacant positions will not be refilled. A $17.5 million payment must be made to the county deficit this year, and according to Day, overall spending is expected to go down by $40 million in this year’s budget, due to the closing of Summit Park. Along with the cuts and tax increases, the County Executive proposed a $1.8 million community college chargeback to towns for residents attending colleges outside the county, as well as the sale of the Sain Building in New City for $4 million. Day stated, “This is a responsible fiscal plan that begins the historic redesign of county operations. Our goal is to create an affordable government. We’ve made the hard choices to set our county on a path to prosperity.” The Legislature stated they will be going over the proposal thoroughly and this year is the first year the budget was submitted by its new October 1 deadline rather than its original October 23 date, which gives members an extra three weeks to review. There will be two public forums to further discuss the budget, one on Wednesday October 14 at 7:00 PM at Farley Elementary School in Stony Point, and another on Monday November 16 at 7:00 PM at the Valley Cottage Library.
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus held a conference on Wednesday where he presented his proposal for the 2016 budget. Neuhaus stated that the budget will focus on cutting taxes and would use the county’s $15 million surplus, which could become a deficit. The proposal remains within the mandatory state tax cap and, according to Neuhaus, will not require cuts in services or layoffs and the county will bring in $3.1 million on the sale of property in Wallkill, Goshen, Hamptonbourgh, and the city of Newburgh. The biggest announcement of the evening was that the attempt to sell the Valley View Center for Nursing Care that has been ongoing for four-years has ended, and the facility will remain county-owned. Neuhaus stated that while the county will not be selling the nursing home, there is the possibility of selling or leasing 62-acres of land surrounding it. In the $725.3 million plan the property tax levy will increase by 2% and the county would increase spending on tourism to $1 million and on a rape-crisis program by $85,000 though overall spending will go down by 1%.
According to Rockland County officials the sale of the Summit Park Nursing Home has been terminated by the buyer. Sympaticare LLC was set to finalize the purchase for $32 million on Wednesday, but instead County Executive Ed Day announced at a press conference that the sale would not be going through. Day released a statement informing residents, “We had hoped Sympaticare would play a role in stabilizing the financial future of Rockland County by acquiring Summit Park and investing millions of dollars to upgrade its services, provide care and keep jobs in Rockland County. Things did not work out the way we had hoped.” The company, owned by Shalom Braunstein of Monsey, released statement through their lawyers that the sale was terminated due to pending litigation and the LDC’s failure to meet conditions in the final agreement. The county is now working to come up with a plan to transfer 182 patients to another facility before December 31, which is when Summit Park, is now expected to close. Despite the need to close the hospital, legislator Chairman Alden Wolfe stated in a press release on Wednesday that Braunstein notified members of the Legislature via email and informed them that there is still a possibility of the sale being completed, he just needs more time and was “willing to negotiate a new closing date but the county refused to negotiate.” Wolfe urged that the Executive and Legislative branch must remain united to ensure the purchase goes through. According to officials Sympaticare must pay a $4 million termination fee.
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Clarkstown officials joined officials from the town of Haverstraw at a press conference on Tuesday, where they spoke out against the gasification plant that has been proposed by New Planet Energy to be built in Stony Point. Supervisor of Clarkstown Alex Gromack stated that the town would be putting $10,000 toward the $68,000 study to be completed by TRC Engineers. The two towns are hiring the firm to study effects on traffic and the environment if the plant is built, and begins turning waste into renewable diesel fuel. Haverstraw Supervisor Howard Phillips has been opposed to the plant since its initial proposal and the topic has set him at odds against officials in the town of Stony Point where the plant will be built on a vacant industrial site. According to proponents of the plant, if built it is expected to bring in jobs and much needed tax ratable. Phillips stated that the plant is experimental and the proximity to neighborhoods and towns is not the right location to be testing the science. According to both Supervisors the reason for the study is to look into the negative effects on the surrounding residents.
Police arrested a Westchester woman on Tuesday afternoon, following the death of her newborn baby. According to police 33-year old Jennifer Berry, who lives on Gilmore Drive in Yonkers, allegedly threw her daughter out of the window of a seventh floor apartment in the Bronx on Monday around 2:30 PM and the body was discovered in an alley behind the building. Police stated that the baby still had the umbilical cord attached and Berry first claimed the girl was stillborn but after investigations continued it was determined she was alive when the woman threw her. The case is being treated as a homicide and officials stated that the father of the baby was not involved and had been released before they looked at Berry and later arrested her on murder charges.