According to County Executive Ed Day’s office the county is implementing a new system that will allow riders of TOR, Tappan Zee Xpress, and TRIPS buses to receive alerts faster and easier. Riders can now sign up for the free electronic Transit Alert option that will send them text messages or emails informing them of delays or changes in schedules caused by holidays or other reasons. The program is being funded by local transportation money and will cost $720 a year, though not from County taxes. For more information visit www.rocklandbus.com.
According to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer the Senate approved a new U.S. Marshals Service Chief for the region, which includes Rockland, Westchester, Orange, and Putnam Counties. Michael Greco of Rockland County has been a State Trooper for 32 years and was approved by a 96-0 vote after being recommended for the position by Senator Schumer, who stated that Greco has the type of commitment that will make him successful in the position. As the region’s chief Greco will oversee services including the Federal witness protection program, tracking and capturing fugitives, and protecting federal judges.
Ferry services between the Haverstraw and Ossining terminals are set to resume this week after nearly two months of being suspended. On January 26 the ice and snow on the Hudson River forced the suspension of the ferry, which transports nearly 450 Rockland commuters daily, a problem that is faced nearly every winter. Senator Charles Schumer requested that the Coast Guard find a way to break the ice in the future so services could continue through the winter, though the agency stated that they have limited resources and must create a travel route for barges to go North up the river. The ferry services will resume on Wednesday morning starting at 5:50 AM.
On Friday 16-year old Christopher Bermeo was seen in Spring Valley Village Court before a judge. The Spring Valley High School student is facing an attempted murder charge for stabbing a 17-year old student in school on Monday morning, and is currently being held on $500,000 bail. According to coverage of the case from News 12, many of Bermeo’s friends arrived at the courthouse to support him and his claims that he was being verbally and was defending himself when he stabbed the boy four times with a pen-knife. The court hearing could not go before a Grand Jury on Friday, because the victim who faced serious but not life threatening injuries to his abdomen, back, and arms, was forced to receive further treatment at the hospital. The case is set to move forward sometime Monday.
According to Ramapo Police, officers spent much of Sunday night searching for a man suspected of robbing a gas station. Around 9:00 PM the man, who may or may not have been armed, robbed a gas station on Route 17 in Sloatsburg before running towards the Ramapo River. Police stated that with the assistance of the Rockland Sheriff’s Department and state Police they searched the river and surrounding areas, using wetsuits, airboats, and helicopters. Around 10:50 the suspect was found hanging onto a rock in the freezing water and was taken into custody after receiving treatment for hypothermia.
Congratulations to the Spring Valley Tigers basketball team who played an impressive game on Saturday at SUNY New Paltz against against Saugerties, winning 65-62. This means that the team wins the boys Class A Regional Championship and will now head to the State Semifinal Game against Scotia-Glenville.
An Airmont resident pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering in federal court on Thursday. 62-year old Daniel Pagano was arrested in connection to a gambling scheme that included extortion and loan sharking and took place from 2009 to 2012. Pagano and his partner Michael Palazzolo of Suffern were both accused, Palazzolo remains out on bail while waiting to face similar charges that could result in 40 years in prison. Pagano is set to be sentenced on July 10 and faces up to 20 years in prison, his lawyer stated at the hearing that he will most likely face up to 3 years.
On Tuesday Rockland County Legislators expressed their support for a bill that would allow the state to appoint a permanent monitor for the East Ramapo School District. In a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo signed by twelve members of the Legislature, asked the Governor to pass the oversight bill that was presented by Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, and Senator David Carlucci. It was based off a report submitted by the fiscal monitor Hank Greenburg, which stated that the East Ramapo School Board was misguided when it came to finances. Many supporters of the bill have stated their belief that the board favors private schools in the district, providing them with funding and transportation over the Public School Students. Not everyone is in favor of oversight for the district, there are also residents and officials that are against the passage of the bill, Legislator Aron Wieder is openly opposed to the bill, stating to WRCR on Thursday morning that it is taking advantage of the position given to board members by the Democratic process of election. The bill would allow a monitor to override decisions made by the board, and would require a five-year improvement plan instituted. The letter follows the delivery of a petition to the Governor’s Office with more than 3,100 signatures, urging the passage of the Legislation.
According to police a man confronted a young girl in Nyack on Wednesday and attempted to lure her into his car. The Nyack School District sent home a letter, informing parents of the potential threat to their children. Police stated that around 7:25 in the morning the man pulled over his car while the 12-year old girl was walking alone and started talking with her, saying how pretty he thought she was and asking her to get in the white four-door sedan with him. The girl reported that she ran, but was blocked when the man pulled his car in front of her, urging her to get in. When the girl made it to the school she informed teachers and police, who began an investigation. The man was described as a middle-aged, heavy set, bald, white male with glasses. Both Orangetown Police and Nyack Grandview Police are accepting information on the man or the incident.
The Orangetown Planning Board decided at their recent meeting to delay the vote to approve the Anellotech site in Pearl River. Residents have continued expressing concerns since the first proposal of the expansion of the Pfizer site that would include an 84-foot building and a 15-foot tall pipe to allow ventilation. The company converts non-food organic waste into chemicals and would be using the site as a pilot plant for testing. The Planning Board made the decision after hearing from residents during the three-hour meeting, many stating that they have concerns about the effects on air quality and the surrounding environment, and referred back to a petition to block the project that received more than 2,000 signatures. The vote was postponed until April 22, with the board ordering the company to provide further details about the process.