36-year old Nyack resident Jojo John was sentenced on Tuesday morning for his role in the July 2013 boat crash on the Hudson River that led to the death of 30-year old Lindsay Stewart and 30-year old Mark Lennon both of Piermont. John was accused of driving the boat drunk the night of the accident, and family of the victims also blame the owner of a construction barge they crashed into which inured passengers of the boat claim had barely visible lighting. On the boat at the time were Stewart’s fiance Brian Bond and Dan Dilorgi, both injured. Bond and Stewart were set to be married less than a month after the accident, with Lennon as the bestman. At the hearing John expressed his regret to the family and of Lennon and Stewart, stating, “A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think of Lindsay and Mark.” An investigation with the Coast Guard into the construction barges surrounding the new Tappan Zee Bridge site took place last summer, but according to District Attorney Thomas Zugibe there was no reason for criminal charges to be brought against the owners, stating that his office believes John is the only one with responsible for the crash. Both families of the victims and John’s lawyer have stated that though the driver is responsible, lighting and safety on the river was an issue. John was sentenced to two years in County Jail though it could be reduced to 16 months for good behavior.
According to police a 53-year old bus driver for the East Ramapo School District was arrested after officials investigated claims from parents that their children were being dropped off a mile away from their stops. Floyd James, who works for Student Bus Co. was charged with child endangerment when during the first week of school the district received multiple complaints from parents that their children were dropped in the area of their homes an forced to walk home. According to Sandra Owens, the Transportation Director for East Ramapo, there were about eight to ten students dropped off and they believe James did so because he was confused about the route and that many drivers had trouble with new routes and addresses. Owens stated, “The district investigated, followed through, and worked with the police department to be sure we send a clear message that this is unacceptable and it won’t happen again.” James was suspended from his position and freed from jail without bail, and will return to court on October 7.
According to County Executive Ed Day the Legislature is set to override his veto of the proposal to wash the county buses daily at a meeting tonight. A February fire in the rear wheel of a TOR bus led legislators to support the idea that more frequent and thorough cleanings would help to prevent similar dangers in the future. The county currently holds a $70 million contract with Brega Transport Inc, and would have to pay about $800,000 extra per year for the washings. In Day’s veto message he stated that if the resolution were to go through it would cost tax payers $4 million, or the equivalent of a 4% rise in property taxes. In a statement released the County Executive urged residents to call their legislators at 638-5100, and ask them to look closely at the veto message, which states Day’s reasons against the washings, such as a lack of evidence supporting the need.
The Rockland County Republican party sent out a release on Sunday stating that Chairman Vincent Reda will not be seeking reelection. Reda stated that he is comfortable leaving the committee, after County Executive Ed Day’s election in November. In the statement Day thanks Reda for his twenty-two years of leadership and both members of the party have voiced their support for Lawrence Garvey, an attorney at Garvey, Tirelli, and Cushner in White Plains and member of the Clarkstown Republican Committee, as his successor. Michael Lawler and Robert Zeiss will be serving as Vice Chairmen. Zeiss is the Director of Finance for the party and works as Vice President of Finance at HBO Sports. Lawler works as campaign manager for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s gubernatorial race and has served as the Executive Director of the New York State Republican Party.
A developer in Stony Point introduced a proposal to the town board to build 100-150 condominiums, a marina, and restaurants on 3 acres of land at Willow Cove Marina and Stony Point Bay Marina. 59-year old Wayne Corts, the owner of the marinas and developer first went before the board in 2007, but withdrew due to opposition. In 2012 Corts tried again, but was forced to withdraw to work on recovery from Superstorm Sandy, while also facing a cancer diagnosis. This time, Corts stated will be his last time attempting to obtain approval for his project. According to Supervisor Geoff Finn the town board is looking for ways to revise zoning to provide the opportunity to build up economic development on the waterfront, and the process should be done within six months. Corts would need to seek zone change for his property to build a mix of residential and commercial. Several residents have voiced their concern that the development will block views of the Hudson River, though Corts stated the waterfront would look cleaner and they will work around neighbors’ view corridor.
Volunteers from Hillcrest and Thiells fire departments responded to a call on Thursday at the former Matterhorn Nursery on Summit Park Road. Officials stated that around 10:00 AM firefighters arrived at the scene to find a 10×50 foot mulch, woodchip, and lumber pile on fire and used about 10,000 gallons of water to contain the smoke and flames within an hour and a half. The nursery closed in 2012 and was most recently used as a umping ground by Perfect Cut Tree Service, though a new owner purchased 20-acres of the property last month. The cause of the fire is not known at this time and no injuries were reported.
According to a prosecutor in the case against Diana Nadell, the daughter-in-law and accused murderer of 80-year old Valley Cottage resident Peggy Nadell, the Florida resident has been on suicide watch at the Ulster County Jail since earlier this summer. Prosecutor Richard Kennison Moran stated that authorities were monitoring Nadell’s communication after it was revealed that she was planning to have two of the witnesses to her alleged crime killed while she was in jail and learned through a letter to her children in Florida that she told them she wanted to kill herself. Since her January arrest Nadell was moved from Rikers Island to Orange County Jail, and now to Ulster County so that she can be kept separate from her associate in the crime, Andrea Benson of Washington DC, who agreed to testify against Nadell when she pleaded guilty. On Thursday Luis Penichet who is representing Nadell asked state Supreme Court Justice William Kelly to get his client off suicide watch because it is making it difficult to privately meet with her work on the defense. He also stated that Nadell has not had a mental health examination and she has refused her medication. Kelly ruled that if Penichet drafted an order to have private room set for attorneys to meet with Nadell, he would sign it.
The Boulders will be hosting a championship celebration at Provident Bank Park tonight from 6:00-8:00. Come meet and congratulate the team at the home plate concourse and enjoy $1 hotdogs and sodas. The first 500 fans will receive a “Bould in Blue” tee-shirt. The ceremony will start at 6:15.
On Tuesday County Executive Ed Day released an email stating the Legislature’s plan to cut county held positions. According to Day, at a September 8 Budget and Finance meeting the Legislature announced their proposal to abolish twenty-four positions, two of which are vacant, to save $2.8 million. In the release Day stated, “Four of the positions were selectively targeted due to their professional obligations to enforce the legal and operational terms of the County public transportation contract with Brega Transportation Corp.” Day’s administration previously cut within the county that led to nearly $3 million in salaries and benefits being saved. The resolution was sponsored by Legislative Chairman Alden Wolfe, and Legislators Aron Wieder and Ilan Schoenberger, and seventeen of the twenty-two positions proposed to be abolished are held by women, which Day states could lead to litigation against the county. The County Executive will be holding meetings for the public to discuss Rockland finances and growth on Spetember 16 at 12:00 PM at the Nanuet Library, October 22 at 7:00 PM at Fieldstone Middle School, and on November 20 at 7:00 PM at the Suffern Library.
The unofficial results for Tuesday’s Democratic Primary are in, statewide current Governor Andrew Cuomo won against opponents Zephyr Teachout and Randy Credico, with $301,011 votes. In Rockland County’s 96th Assembly District Ken Zebrowski won over P.T. Thomas with 3,772 votes to 1,240. For the 98th District Elisa Tutini with 1,141. Vilair Fonvil won with 710 votes to Chrispin Eugene’s 497 for Spring Valley Trustee and for Ramapo Town Justice David Stein beat Christine Theodore with 3,107 to 2,256. The General Election will take place November 4.