New York Senator David Carlucci and local officials, including interim Superintendent Deborah Wortham, were at Ramapo High School on Monday, where they looked into complaints that a leaky roof is creating dangerous situations for faculty, staff, and students. Parents and students have frequently complained in the past year that the roof is leaking and the school is facing several similar issues, though voters turned down a $40 million bond last year, that would have helped pay for many of the repairs. Those in opposition to the bond stated until there are regulations on how and where the East Ramapo School Board uses money, they did not want to approve spending. On Monday Carlucci stated that his office has obtained $1 million to fix the leak, but again the district is facing opposition from residents saying it is not a solution but a quick fix.
According to officials in New Square, Emergency Services for the village rescued a woman from the Hudson River on Tuesday. Police stated that the crew is continuing to search for 46-year old resident David Ahronowitz who has been missing since Friday of last week, and presumed dead by officials, after surveillance footage showed him jumping off the George Washington Bridge. While out searching for the man’s body, New Square Emergency Services found a 20-something year old unidentified woman, who had apparently jumped from the bridge into the Hudson River. They recovered her form the water, stating that she was conscious though her leg had been severely injured.
According to police an alleged drug dealer was arrested in Westchester on Tuesday, following a lengthy investigation into her crimes. Officials 20-year old Yorktown Heights resident Alexis Mitchell, was arrested on felony charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance, intent to sell, and criminal sale of a controlled substance. An investigation into Mitchell began in December by the Yorktown Police, County Police, and the Northern Westchester Drug Task Force leading to the officials finding her in Yorktown with $6,700 and upon searching her home uncovered more than $30,000 cash. She is being held in Westchester County Jail.
Clarkstown School District officials released a statement this week, apologizing for a video shown to students that was allegedly antiSemitic. The video was shown in a high school history class, and was from the point of view of Romans comparing Christians’ and Jews’ experiences in the time of the Roman Empire. Superintendent Thomas J. Morton apologized to the district, after parents and residents complained about parts of the video, which states, for example, “Jews held themselves aloof, as a result the Jews were easily labeled as violent extremists to be attacked.” Local government and religious leaders have come out against the video, saying that the antisemitic statements are historically inaccurate and teach students negative and hateful things. Morton agreed in his apology, stating, “The video depicted Judaism in a demeaning and historically inaccurate way.”
A teenager from Rockland County was killed on Sunday, while participating in a gang robbery in New Jersey. 16-year old Savion Lewallen was reported dead by police on Monday after he and a group of teens, three from Rockland County, were committing a robbery in Edgewater around 10:30 Sunday night and the target of the crime fought back, stabbing Lewallen in an artery. The teen was recently released from jail, following his sentence for an arrest in April for assaulting a 15-year old Spring Valley High School girl and holding her against her will in the woods near the school. Lewallen was taken to the hospital and was pronounced dead. The other four involved were arrested and the 19-year old robbery victim was arrested and charged with killing Lewallen.
According to officials Noramie Jasmin, the former mayor of Spring Valley, will not be surrendering herself to federal prison this week, as expected. Jasmin was first set to begin her four-year prison sentence on November 2 after she was arrested in April for accepting $5,000 in bribes to approve a catering hall on village owned property, as well as a 50% stake in the business. At the time a judge allowed Jasmin to delay her surrender until Monday, when attorneys for the former Mayor stated she needs surgery for a medical issue. Officials did not mention what the issue is, but the judge once again approved a second delay. According to the US Attorney’s office if the surgery is not done Tuesday, Jasmin will have to surrender herself to prison, but if it is completed, a new date will be set with time for her to recuperate from the procedure.
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According to officials at an Orange County Hospital patients may have had their information stolen in a theft that occurred in the fall. St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital officials stated that recently October 31 someone entered a restricted section of the hospital and stole a flash-drive that contained the confidential information of nearly 30,000 patients. The hospital will be paying for a year’s worth of identity theft recovery services; you can call 866-960-5790 if this information applies to you. Officials did state that what was stolen was limited, possibly including names, medical numbers, and dates or types of service, but did not include social security numbers.
According to police a man reported missing from his Rockland County village, who was last seen on Friday afternoon is presumed dead. Ramapo Police stated that New Square resident David Ahronowitz was last seen on Cleveland Avenue and then took a cab over the George Washington Bridge. Police released an updated report on Wednesday morning that after tracing a report from witnesses placing the 46-year old man walking across the bridge later in the afternoon on Friday, they uncovered video of the Ahronowitz jumping. Officials stated the NYPD had begun searching the water and along the river earlier Wednesday.
On Tuesday Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann announced that the town will be conducting a study on the Police Department’s spending and operations. According to officials the town is accepting proposals from outside consultants by February 24, to look into the $50 million budget, which, according to information compiled by the Journal News, provides police services to residents and paid officers an average salary of $166,719 with overtime for 2015. The study is an attempt to lower taxes for residents as was to lower taxes for residents as was promised during Hoehmann’s campaign for election last year, and the contract with the Police Benevolent Association expires in December of this year, meaning a new agreement will be made. Hoehmann stated that the police services are exceptional, but it is owed to residents to determine if and where money can be saved. Officials with both the police department and the PBA stated to the Journal News that they are willing to work with consultants during the study.