Super Crane Arrives on the Hudson

On Monday the new Tappan Zee Bridge project welcomed the arrival of the “Left Coast Lifter”, now named the “I Lift New York Super Crane”, one of the largest cranes in the world. The crane will be used starting this week to lift pieces of the tall towers and platforms holding them, as well as the new roadway of the bridge. Governor Andrew Cuomo was present when the crane was ferried to its temporary site just south of the current bridge, and stated, “I want you to know that I’m truly in love with this crane, any crane that saves the state of New York over a billion dollars, I love.” According to Cuomo the crane will reduce project time and labor costs, saving the state money in the long run. The crane will be moved to the north side of the site before it can begin its work, and officials stated to do so the barge will be filled with water to sink the machine low enough to get the 30-story arm under the bridge. Cuomo also announced on Monday that the toll task force will be formed in 2015 to research and decide on a cost of tolls on the new bridge.

Student Threatens Massacre at St. Thomas Aquinas Campus

According to Orangetown Police a foreign exchange student attending school at St. Thomas Aquinas College was arrested at 11:00 on Monday morning after police received reports from college security on Sunday that the 20-year old Spanish student was threatening a massacre on campus. Detective Lt. James Brown stated that Inigo Aldecoa-Tapia allegedly made the threats via a social media site and the Rockland Sheriff’s Department Comupter Crimes Task Force and Bomb Squad were brought in to assist in the investigation. Brown stated that Aldecoa-Tapia did not have any weapons in his possession, and the student was charged with a felony count of making a terroristic threat, and misdemeanor count of second-degree aggravated harassment and taken to Rockland County Jail on $10,000 bail. The college opened again at 8:00 AM on Monday, after a three-hour search of the campus by authorities.

Narcan Training

Tonight Senator David Carlucci will be hosting a training session for the Narcan medication that is used to save people who have overdosed on heroin. Become certified in use of the kit that contains Narcan.
Valley Cottage Library
110 Route 303, Valley Cottage
6:00-8:00 PM

DOT Reviewing Truck Ban on Route 17

The New York Department of Transportation is looking into a possible ban of tractor trailers on Route 17 in Rockland and Orange Counties. According to Assemblyman James Skoufis in July he requested to the DOT that they review larger trucks using local road to bypass tolls on the New York Thruway, which leads to safety hazards towards passenger cars and more money to fix the torn up roadways each year. According to Beau Duffy, spokesman for the DOT, trucks as large as 48-feet in length are allowed on the federally designated “access highways”, and federal law can de-designate them as such, allowing police to ticket large trucks that drive on Route 17. Mayor of Sloatsburg Carl Wright stated parts of Route 17 are a safety hazard for other cars and pedestrians when some of the bigger trucks speed on the narrow roads. The DOT will continue to review and stated they are likely to release a decision within the next few weeks.

Former Legislator Accused of Sexual Assault

According to New York City Police a woman accused a former Rockland County Legislator of raping her on Wednesday of last week. Police stated this weekend that the 42-year old woman works with Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and was attending his 60th birthday celebration, after which 70-year old former Legislator Sanford Rubenstein allegedly assaulted her in his Manhattan home. The man resigned from the Legislature in 1998, after serving 20 years, and now works as an attorney representing clients in several police brutality and civil rights cases. Legislator Ilan Schoenberger, who worked closely with Rubenstein during the 80’s and 90’s stated that he doesn’t believe the accusations against the man. NYPD is investigating the claims and no charges have been filed yet.

Pomona Home Invasion

According to police three men broke into a home on Dunnigan Drive in Pomona this weekend. Police stated that around 3:30 Saturday morning the men dressed in dark hoodies, one armed with a gun, broke into the residence and it was reported that the father in the household of three was attacked and hit over the head with the weapon. He was transported to the hospital and his condition has not been released. Police have not stated what was taken from the home, and are continuing from the home, and are continuing to search for the men, who are considered armed and dangerous.

Rockland Community College Bomb Threat

Rockland Community College was evacuated on Thursday morning, after a bombthreat was emailed to the school around 9:00 AM on. According to Rockland County’s Sheriff’s Office Chief William Barbera the police and Rockland Bomb Unit used a special K-9 unit to search the 16-building campus for any signs of explosives and the department took the threat very seriously. The search ended at 12:10 and classes were reopened for the evening at 5:00 PM after the email proved to be a hoax. The Rockland Computer Crimes Unit is attempting to track the sender.

State Reports Lays Blame with Driver and Dispatcher for Brega Bus Fire

According to a recent report issued by the Public Transportation Safety Board, a division within the New York State Department of Transportation, the driver of a Breaga Transport Bus that caught fire and was evacuated on February 8, and the dispatcher that he contacted, are at fault for the incident. The report states that the driver was unable to identify the situation and take actions to prevent the fire. According to reports filed by Brega at the time of the incident the driver smelled burning and got off the bus to check the outside, then called his dispatcher, and when the driver reached Pearl River he heard a dripping noise followed by an explosion in the right rear wheel well and the fire. The state’s report also points to the dispatcher, stating that they did not have the skills to make a decision to evacuate the bus immediately and take it out of service, when the driver first reported the smell. County Executive Ed Day’s spokesman Scott Salotto stated, “Despite apparent negligence by Brega personnel, we expect additional training and safety practices put in place by the operator will prevent similar incidents in the future.” After the incident a proposal to spend nearly $300,000 a year on daily washing for the bus was presented by Legislator Patrick Moroney, creating controversy within the County Government and residents, some who believe it is a waste of funds, others who believe it is a necessary safety expense. The Legislature is meeting Tuesday, where they will have the opportunity to override Day’s veto of the proposal and stated that they will make the decision public by Friday.

Stony Point Arrested with Drugs

Stony Point Police stated on Wednesday that 24-year old West Haverstraw resident Michael LaFrancois was arrested on Friday after officers stopped him on Route 9W and seized his car for driving with a revoked license for a DWI. According to Lt. Keith Williams during a search of the car officers found 246 decks of heroin, a dealer sized load of drugs, leading police to believe LaFrancois is a local dealer. The man was charged with misdemeanor counts of second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, as well as a felony count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He is being held at Rockland County Jail on $25,000 bail.

Nyack Attorney Arrested

A Nyack man who is an attorney in Manhattan was arrested after he was accused of bribing an employee of the New York City Justice Agency for referring clients to him. According to New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance, 56-year old Dwane Smith of Nyack paid Jose Nunez of the Justice Agency $200 to $1,000 for each referral to his firm, which includes services of criminal law, between August 2013 and now. According to Vance, Smith was arrested on felony charges of second-degree bribery, four counts of third-degree bribery, and five counts of secon-degree rewarding official misconduct.