Rockland Woman Killed in Car/Bus Accident

Police responded to an accident on Wednesday night after calls came in that a woman crashed her car into a bus in Rockland County. According to reports 57-year old Holly Unger of Spring Valley was driving her car on Viola Road near Ramapo High School around 7:15 PM when she swerved into the other lane and struck a Monsey Trails bus. Hatzolah Ambulance were nearby and transported Unger to Westchester Medical Center where she died from injuries sustained in the crash. The bus was stopped at the time of the accident and had no passengers, and no injuries aside from Unger’s were reported.

Two Men Dead From Carbon Monoxide

According to police two people were found dead in their home on Monday afternoon, from what investigators believe to be Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Police responded to the Rye Brook home of 85-year old Joseph Persson on Maywood Avenue, he lived with his step-grandson 50-year old Joseph Pendrack. Officials stated that the Medical Examiner has yet to confirm the cause of death for both men, but they found a car in the garage with a dead battery and an empty tank of gas that appeared to have been left running and they suspect the fumes from the vehicle entered the house, which had no Carbon Monoxide detectors, and caused Persson and Pendrack to suffocate while in their beds in separate bedrooms.

Parents Suing Private Yeshivas for Not Providing Quality Education

According to records a group of parents in East Ramapo have filed a lawsuit against several yeshivas in the school district, claiming their children were not provided with the proper education while at school there. The students are all over 18 now, and attended four boys’ schools in Monsey, New Square, and Spring Valley where the lawsuit claims they received a religious education but not secular studies such as English and Math. The complaints also state that the yeshivas failed to hire competent teachers, use tax dollars in the creation of secular studies, and provide boys with an equal quality of secular education as girls. The lawsuit is blaming the yeshivas, the East Ramapo District and the state, and is calling for changes to private religious education to be implemented by September 2016, such as requiring one-third of the school day be used for secure classes that will prepare students for employment and a monitoring system for courses and finances.

Pearl River Pfizer Site Sold

According to officials with a California realty group, they have finalized the agreed purchase of the Pfizer site in Pearl River. A spokesman for the Industrial Realty Group stated that the company bought 38 buildings on the campus, which will be turned into a commercial project with potential shopping, dining, and offices or industrial buildings. Along with the interest in retail opportunities IRG will be leasing areas of the site to Anellotech and Protein Sciences for research. County and Orangetown officials are optimistic that the sale will provide revenue and keep taxes down for residents. Pfizer spokeswoman Susan Rutledge stated the company will continue leasing parts of the campus for certain drug development projects, one vaccine through 2016 and another cancer drug through a longterm agreement. They will retain ownership of 25 acres of the site.

Cuomo Says States Cannot Block Refugees

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that he disagrees with Republican members of governments’ attempts to block Syrian refugees from entering the state. Cuomo stated that it does not fall on state government to decide who to allow in, and they must allow the federal government to make the final decision. Various officials have urged Cuomo to take a stand against allowing refugees in, following the terror attacks in Paris last week. According to information compiled by the Journal News from the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, in 2015 forty-eight Syrian refugees came to live here, before that just three had arrived since 2011. Cuomo stated on Tuesday,”The day America says ‘close the gate, build the wall,’ then I say take down the Statue of Liberty because you’ve gone to a different place.” The Governor stated he stands by the Federal Government’s belief that they can screen incoming refugees, as long as it’s done right.

NY Regents Request Funding Increase

On Monday the New York State Board of Regents requested an increase in state aid for schools in the 2016 budget. In the proposal board members are seeking a 10% raise in spending, to lessen the burden of districts that cannot afford to keep up with faculty contracts, the minimum wage, programs for students, and healthcare. The desired increases of $2.4 billion would give education in New York a total of $26 billion in spending for the coming fiscal year, which begins April 1 and $2.1 billion of it would be used in formula aid, while $434 million would go to the Gap Elimination Adjustment and $300 million to additional programs.

CSEA Files Lawsuit to Prevent Summit Park Closure

The CSEA, which represents workers throughout Rockland, has filed a suit against the county in an attempt to block the closure of Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Home. The suite claims that County Executive Ed Day violated the County Charter by not working with the Legislature to make the decision, also stating the County Charter would have to be amended before the Legislature can move forward on the closure. In late September the sale of Summit Park to a private company was terminated by the buyer, who cited a failure by the county to maintain the property and previous lawsuits from the CSEA, as reasons for ended negotiations. The deadline to close the facility is the end of December, before the 2016 budget takes effect, since Day stated there is no room in the proposal for the $800,000 it costs per day to run the hospital and care center. A spokesman for the CSEA stated they are acting on behalf of the employees and residents that will be affected. About 61 residents remain in the nursing care center and the hospital has already been shut down. The County Executive will be hosting a town hall style forum regarding his proposed budget and other important issues tonight at 7:00 PM, at the Valley Cottage Library.

State Officials Deny Indian Point Necessary Certificate

According to state officials Entergy Corp., the operator of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, has not been awarded a Coastal Zone Certificate, which is required for the facility to continue operating on the Hudson River. Secretary of State Cesar Perales sent a letter to Entergy, officially declining their request for the certificate, stating that the plant’s location has been draining resources from the Hudson River for forty years, as well as being in a close proximity to New York City and residential areas and two seismic faults. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a hearing to make a decision on the certificate and relicensing the plant. Entergy officials stated they don’t need the certificate to continue operating, though Perales stated in his letter if changes are not made to the facility the negative impact on the environment will continue. Governor Andrew Cuomo and various state officials have been fighting the relicensing of the plant in an attempt to eventually shut it down completely.

Nyack Skatepark to Open Next Week

The Village of Nyack will be opening the newly finished skatepark next week, after years of planning and construction. In 2010 residents began a petition for a park, which was later approved by Village Trustees and received grants from the Tony Hawk Foundation and New York State New York State totaling $125,000. Construction on the 5,000 square foot project in Misano Skateparks. There is going to be an opening day celebration on November 21 from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM with contests, music, and food.

Comptroller Releases Report on Rockland Budget

The New York State Comptroller released a report on Tuesday, which pointed out the pros and cons of Rockland County Executive Ed Day’s proposed 2016 budget. In the report Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli stated that the budget is a reasonable attempt to solve the fiscal issues the county is faced with, though the revenues listed are overly optimistic for the $723 million plan. DiNapoli called the sale of the Summit Park Nursing Home and the Sain Building “one-shot revenues” that likely won’t do enough to bring down the $29.5 million deficit. Ed Day’s office stated that the deficit will be reduced by the minimum of 10% saying, “The County Executive will accomplish this via budgetary practices and running government more efficiently, which has already yielded impressive savings during the first two years of his administration.” The Legislature agrees with the Comptroller’s reports that the budget will do little to keep costs down, the property tax levy will increase by 5% for homeowners. There will be a public forum on November 17 at the Allison Paris County Office Building at 7:00 PM where residents can hear further discussion on the spending plan.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

Please click on the image below to view all snow closings for Rockland County.