According to the Rockland County District Attorney’s office a Spring Valley official has been arrested on fraud charges. Chief Building Inspector for the village Walter Booker was arrested this week for allegedly falsifying records to issue a certificate of occupancy to a homeowner so the man could obtain more than $33,000 in tax exemptions for a property on Zeissner Lane. Booker was charged with grand larceny for committing fraud and falsifying records. According to officials the building inspector issued his position to issue a CO that designated the one-family home as a two family home, allowing homeowner Jacob Goldman to run a daycare and synagogue at the address, earning sizable profits through state aid and tax exemptions, leading to his arrest on charges of grand larceny as well. The village board must now decide whether or not to suspend Booker, who returned to work on Thursday following his arraignment.
The Rockland County Executive’s office and Department of Health has released a statement in advance of the winter storm that is set to hit this weekend, with recommendations for residents to stay sage in the cold weather. The worst of the storm is expected to hit a little further south of the Hudson Valley, though some areas could see 2-10 inches of snow, with Rockland getting a possible 8 inches. Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert with Health Department stated that if outdoors residents should remember to stay bundled up with windproof clothing; if you are prone to cardiac problems, stay in touch with your doctor regarding strenuous activities such as shoveling; and consider creating an emergency kit for your car if you are traveling at all over the weekend, including blankets, food and water, a first aid kit; sand or cat litter should your tires get stuck; and tools for the car. Your average indoor temperature should always be between 64 and 75 degrees and if you are using an additional source such as a fireplace, make sure there is proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide. The county website has information on warming centers throughout Rockland and for more information on warming centers throughout Rockland and for more information you can call the Health Department at 845-364-2585.
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A group of parents from the East Ramapo School District filed a lawsuit against the school board last week, claiming that “fiscal mismanagement” is risking the education of students. The petition was submitted to the state supreme court and referenced findings from the report recently completed by the team of monitors appointed by the Department of Education. Dennis Walcott, who leads the three-person team, wrote in the report that they recommend a permanent monitor with the power to veto decisions made by the board. According to the documents filed by parent activists they are urging the Department of Education and Boar of Regents to do exactly that and prevent the board from making what they say are bad choices with money that should be spent on providing a fair education for each child.
A 52-year old woman accused of being responsible for her daughter’s death on East of last year was seen in court was arrested after the father of her 6-year old daughter Lacey Carr found them in the bedroom of the home they both lived in. Dimes was unconscious near the girl and both were taken to Phelps Memorial Hospital where Lacey was pronounced dead due to an overdose from several types of drugs, including Benadryl, Valium, and Morphine. On Tuesday Dymes pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, stating to the judge that the little girl’s death was an accident. She was also hospitalized and spent two weeks in a coma following the incident, and the judge announced she will likely be sentenced with five-years probation so she can continue receiving medical care for, what doctors call, her severe depression, despite prosecutors’ requests for jail time.
According to a report in the Journal News, police were called to the Spring Valley Village Clerk’s office to interfere in a screaming match between Trustee Vilair Fonvil and Deputy Clerk Herby Jean-Charles. A police report was filed on January 7th when Fonvil arrived at the office and requested a copy of a resolution from the board regarding a liquor license at a local restaurant, and was allegedly declined by Jean-Charles. Fontal claimed that Mayor Demeza Delhomme ordered the Clerk’s office not to provide him with reports or documents. On Thursday Mayor Delhomme sent a letter to the Trustee asking that he only enter village offices with proper authorization in the future, for safety reasons. Delhomme referenced the clerk’s office as well as past incidents where Fonvil used foul language and police response was necessary. Fontal stated that the incident at the clerk’s office occurred because he was told he needed the Mayor’s permission to see documents and stated that Delhomme cannot prevent him from obtaining them. Jean-Charles also reportedly filed a union grievance against the trustee.
Police in Sleepy Hollow are investigating the death of a teenager who was apparently struck by a Metro-North Train on Monday afternoon. Around 2:00 PM near the Philipse Manor Station the 16-year old boy, whose name has not been released, was reported to have jumped from the platform in front of the train. The engineer stated to police that he tried to stop the train in time but was unsuccessful, and News 12 reported that the boy was a student at Fordham Prep and was a resident of Sleepy Hollow. Officials have not released any further information, though an MTA spokesperson stated it would appear the teen intentionally took his own life.
Drivers were held up Sunday night, when the wintery weather led to several accidents in one area of the Bronx River Parkway. Around 9:00 PM police responded to the Southbound side, near where the road meets the Sprain Brook Parkway, to find a 14 car pileup. After investigating the accidents officials stated there were about two or three in the same spot, one after another, and there were only minor injuries. The road will likely remain closed until Tuesday, as workers and investigators clean the scene of guard rails and debris.
Officials are continuing to investigate the death of a Scothchtown man, who was a volunteer firefighter with the Silver Lake Fire Department. 20-year Justin Speights was at a house party on New Years Eve in Crawford with nearly 100 others, with witnesses reporting a $5 dollar entrance fee and multiple drugs in the home at the time. Speights was fatally stabbed when he attempted to break up a fight and recently, the reward offered for information leading to an arrest of those responsible was recently doubled from $10,000 to $20,000. Last week the investigation crossed into Rockland County, when police raided two houses on Prospect Ave and Bethune Boulevard, following a lead that a group of men from Spring Valley were involved in the incident.
According to police in Westchester a man was arrested over the weekend after officers discovered the body of a 50-year old woman in her home. Dawn McCray was found fatally stabbed in her bedroom at the Schlobohm Apartments in Yonkers on Saturday afternoon leading to an investigation and arrest of her 27-year old son Andre Coverdale who told police he was homeless, not living at the apartment with his mother. Coverdale was taken to Westchester County Jail on charges of second-degree murder and police are asking anyone with information call 914-377-7724 as they continue to investigate the incident.