According to the New York Thruway Authority a fire at a Westchester facility will cost the state a million dollars. Officials stated on Monday that the fire, which occurred early in the month of August, completely destroyed a shed located in Mamaroneck used to hold salt for a large portion of the New England Thruway and the building will need to be reconstructed. 54-year old Richard Cass who was employed by the Thruway Authority as an electrician was arrested on charges of fourth degree arson for the August 18 fire that police stated took out $400,000 worth of equipment and 650 tons of salt although 2,000 tons were saved. ACcording to officials construction on the estimated $1 million project could potentially begin in November.
The Rockland County Legislature will be discussing the proposed bill that would allow hand-held sparklers, and smaller sparklers or poppers, to be sold in the county. The sale of fireworks has been permitted in parts of New York State over this past year, but specifies dates they are allowed to be in stores. For the summer months smaller fireworks can be bought from June 1 to July 5 and in the winter months from December 26 to January 2. Many people in Rockland County have been opposed to the sale of larger fireworks, including officials but the proposed bill, titled “The Sparkler Act” is supported by Chairman Alden Wolfe, as well as Republican Minority Leader Chris Carey. Wolfe stated to the Journal News that fire officials have not expressed any safety concerns regarding sparklers in the county. The meeting will be held tomorrow night at 7:05 at the County Office Building in New City.
A release by the Office of the Ramapo Town Clerk announced that the votes cast from the September 2014 special town election will be counted by the Board of Elections today. Ramapo residents voted on increasing the number of town council members from four to six as well as deciding to elect members from single districts, or ‘wards’ rather than town-wide. Justice Margaret Garvey’s decision to invalidate the election prevented the votes from being counted, however this was reversed by the second judicial department of the Appellate Division of New York State Supreme Court this past June. The Town Clerk and town employees have reviewed the 653 absentee ballots and the approximately 2,500 affidavit ballots and a thumb drive which holds the results from the voting machines, has been secured at the Board of Elections since the date of the vote. At 10 a.m. this morning, the official tally of the votes will begin and Town Clerk Christian Sampson will announce the results of the election after the final results are presented to him by the Board of Elections.
O&R released a statement regarding the latest phony payment scheme operating under a calling service harassing customers for immediate payment. Residents in the Central Hudson Electric & Gas area have been victim to the scammers who call and demand payment from a debit or credit card or their service will be disconnected. The company is instructing customers who receive such calls to ask the person to verify their identity or to offer a photo ID card from thieves going from door to door. Dial 1 (877) 434-4100 if you are greeted at your door by someone saying they are an O&R representative for proper identification. Customers can call the number to report imposters.
New York State Thruway Authorities have released the names of the two men who were killed Friday in the 4-vehicle collision that occurred that morning on I-87 around Exit 14B. 20 year-old Juan Soto of Queens, the passenger of the box truck going northbound which crashed through the guardrail and into the tractor-trailer, died at the scene while the driver, 33 year-old Ramburan Humakaar, also of Queens, died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern after being cut from the cabin. The interstate looked more like a parking lot as traffic was locked up for nearly nine hours and only began letting up in the early afternoon. The 43 year-old driver of the tractor-trailer was also treated at Good Samaritan Hospital in serious but stable condition.
I-87 in Airmont has been in gridlock since the early afternoon and traffic diverted to Route 17 after a major accident spanning both lanes took the lives of at least two people. The accident occurred just before Exit 14B between a tractor trailer, two box trucks, and a passenger vehicle though officials have not specified which vehicle initiated the accident. One driver was pronounced dead at the scene while another was cut from their truck and transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern where they were pronounced dead. All Southbound lanes and one Northbound lane are closed at this time as officials work to clear the wreckage and piece together the investigation. Stay tuned to WRCR for updates on your Hudson Valley Traffic.
According to a police a driver was killed in a head on crash in Orange County on Thursday night, following a high speed chase. Witnesses on the scene on Route 17A in the village of Florida stated that the blue sedan was going upwards of 100 MPH when it came to a road block and swerved, hitting a minivan before colliding head on with a black pickup truck. The driver of the sedan was killed instantly and only minor injuries were reported with the others involved. Police and first responders declined to comment on the number of people involved or the identities of either driver. The State Police conducted an investigation and accident reconstruction that closed the area for nearly four hours.
The New Jersey Transit Pascack Valley Line is currently suspended while police investigate a car-train crash in Emerson, New Jersey. Details are still coming in, but according to NorthJersey.com one man was killed around 5:45 this morning when the 5:10 AM train out of Spring Valley struck his vehicle on the tracks near the Lincoln Boulevard crossing. Officials could not confirm any injuries, other than the death of the 88-year old man who has not been identified, but trains have stopped running in either direction for the time being. New Jersey Transit and private buses are cross-honoring passes and tickets.
According to Rockland officials the county will be taking on a $12.5 million project to rebuild Forshay Road in Ramapo, between Viola and Willow Tree Roads. The federal government is paying for 8% of the cost, the state for 15% and the county is responsible for 5%. Legislator Ilan Schoenberger stated last week, that the plan has been in discussion for nearly ten years and construction will finally be started on the crumbling street that leads to College Road. Forshay Road has faced traffic problems in recent years, and according to Highway Superintendent Skip Vezzetti crews will add a left hand turn lane onto Viola Road, as well as a roundabout at Willow Tree and Forshay Roads. Officials stated that they will also be repairing drainage systems and will add signs, sidewalks, and new traffic lights. A vote for more money for the project will take place in the Legislature on August 4.
The New York State Department of Education held a press conference on Tuesday where Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced the appointment of a monitor for the East Ramapo School District. Speaking at the crowd of parents and students packed into the Cultural Arts Center at Rockland Community College Elia stood with members of the Board of Regents including Chancellor Merryl Tisch, as well as East Ramapo School Board President Yehuda Weissmandl and announced former Chancellor of New York City Schools Dennis Walcott as the new monitor for the district. Walcott will be working on a three person team, Dr. Monica Georgefield an expert in the fields of teaching learning and school turn around, and Dr. John Sipple an expert in finance and education policy, who will be in the district starting immediately to speak with officials, teachers, parents, and their children about the issues that have been plaguing the schools. According to Elia the team of monitors do not have veto power, but will have instant access to the state’s resources, stating “There is clear evidence that for many years the district has bot adequately served the needs of its public school students.”