The battle for fire inspections at certain private schools continues this morning. Rockland County fire inspectors began Friday and will be back at work this morning, inspecting 49 private schools that either failed to comply with regulations or were given questionable grades, according Rockland County Executive Ed Day. The inspectors are looking at 26 schools that have not filed safety reports despite being asked repeatedly to do so. The state has also requested re-inspection of 23 schools that had been improperly inspected. According to Day, “we have a core team of four inspectors making sure these buildings are safe. They are working in conjunction with town fire inspectors in some cases.” All the inspectors are current or former fire chiefs and all are state certified. There has been recent controversy from an organization representing themselves as the School Religious Freedom Coalition an association of schools in Rockland County concerned about religious civil rights and safety of all children in school. The coalition sent a letter to New York State Department of Education Commissioner, MaryEllen Elia through their attorney, David Lynch, requesting a meeting in regards to the county’s approach to the inspections. They seek a formal plan approved both by the county and school administrators. If a formal agreement is not reached they have threatened to sue the county. On Thursday, there was a standoff between certain private schools denying access to inspect until the county contacted their attorney. Lynch told the Journal News, “My argument is the county is not entitled under the statutes to conduct inspections without permission to enter.” Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski has written to Commissioner Elia asking her to stand firm in the position that she legally deputized the county to conduct inspections. Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach informed Lynch in a letter that 16 inspections are scheduled for today. Lynch told The Journal News, “Sending a letter near the close of business on Friday for inspections on a Monday is unreasonable.” Day told WRCR this morning, “If any school administrator prevents or otherwise interferes with this state sanctioned effort, it is the intention of the administration to apply to the courts for warrants to gain entry.
WHILE SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER IS FAVORED TO WIN A FOURTH TERM, WENDY LONG, REPUBLICAN ATTORNEY WILL MOST LIKELY BE SCHUMER’S STRONGEST CHALLENGER IN THE NOVEMBER RACE FOR THE SENATE SEAT. ON MONDAY THE NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE ENDORSED SCHUMER. IN 2012, WENDY LONG LOST HER CAMPAIGN FOR SENATE TO KRISTIN GILLIBRAND. THE PRESENT SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER, SENATOR, HARRY REID, IS SCHEDULED TO RETIRE. IF SCHUMER IS RE-ELECTED HE WILL REPLACE REID AS SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER IN 2017 WHEN REID’S TERM ENDS. SCHUMER STATED HIS NO. 1 ISSUE WILL BE “THE DECLINE OF MIDDLE CLASS INCOMES”.
THE OSCAR AWARD-WINNING CHARACTER ACTOR, GEORGE KENNEDY HAS DIED AT AGE 91. ACCORDING TO HIS FAMILY KENNEDY DIED SUNDAY IN BOISE, IDAHO. KNOWN FOR HIS PORTRAYALS OF BLUE-COLLAR MEN, COPS, AND SOLDIERS KENNEDY WILL BEST BE REMEMBERED FOR HIS ROLE IN “AIRPORT” “NAKED GUN” AND “COOL HAND LUKE” OPPOSITE PAUL NEWMAN. KENNEDY SERVED IN WW2 AND SERVED FOR OVER 16 YEARS IN THE U.S. ARMY (MANY OF THOSE YEARS WITH ARMED FORCES RADIO).
AT APPROXIMATELY 3:30PM MONDAY, A VEHICLE HIT A UTILITY POLE ON SAW MILL RIVER ROAD IN MILLWOOD TEMPORARILY CLOSING A PORTION OF THE ROADWAY IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. ACCORDING TO POLICE, A DUMP TRUCK VEERED IN ORDER TO AVOID A COLLISION WITH ANOTHER VEHICLE. NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED.
ON MONDAY AFTERNOON IN OSSINING, AN AMBULANCE STRUCK A TELEPHONE POLE WHILE TRAVELING ON SOMERSTOWN ROAD. THE IMPACT CAUSED THE POLE TO FALL ONTO THE ROADWAY. THERE WERE NO INJURIES ACCORDING TO A NEW CASTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT SARGEANT.
According to police, the Spring Valley Mayor and a trustee had a disagreement on Tuesday night, allegedly over passports. Trustees Vilair Fonvil stated that Mayor Demeza Delhomme wants to use a room at the Kurtz Civic Center as a Haitian passport service area, but does not have the appropriate authorization. Police Chief Paul Monica told News 12 that the mayor is able to use the room as he sees fit, and the argument appears to be politically fueled. Fontal stated that the mayor and a member of the Haitian Consulate instigated the dispute by using profanity towards him, when he attempted to discuss the room. According to police several people now face harassment charges.
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According to Rockland County officials three cases of Legionnaire’s Disease have been confirmed since July 1. On Friday the second patient was diagnosed and his place of employment, Chromalloy Gas Turbine Corporation in Orangeburg was shut down while officials inspected and cleaned the cooling system. The Legionella bacteria is spread through warm water, such as is found in air conditioning and heating ventilation systems. Though it is not clear if the worker got the bacteria from Chromalloy, the company shut down and completely cleaned the five cooling systems and hot tubes, reopening on Monday morning. In one of the other two cases, County Communications Director Scott Salotto stated the patient works in the South Bronx, where Legionella has been found in multiple buildings, which are the cause of 113 cases and 12 deaths so far. According to the Rockland Health Department those having symptoms similar to Legionnaire’s should get checked out immediately. The disease presented with a cough, fever, muscle aches, and shortness of breath, but those not infected shouldn’t be alarmed, as it can’t be caught by contact with a patient, only through breathing it in a vapor form. The three cases in Rockland County are not connected to each other and all patients are recovering well.
An employee at a technology firm in Pearl River was arrested this weekend for allegedly stealing from the company. According to Orangetown Police 44-year old Timothy Donald Kaiser stole more than $50,000 in equipment such as data and security cables and a generator among other items, from his employer Usis on Jefferson Ave in Pearl River. The Waldwick New Jersey man was arrested on Friday and charged with second degree grand larceny and second degree possession of stolen property and is being held in Rockland County Jail on $100,000 bail.
Today, May 24th, an important part of WRCR’s new transmitting facility has been completed. It’s our new 198 foot tower. One important enhancement includes its 7-foot concrete base, which is elevating it above any possible flood water levels.
Here is “The Crew” that built it: In foreground, left to right: Tom Ray, Project Engineer, Dr. Alex Medakovich, President, Alexander Broadcasting, Inc. and, of course, Northeast Towers construction team!