Orange County Shooting of Ramapo Man To Go Before Different Grand Jury

The case against an Orange County man who shot and killed Norris Acosta-Sanchez, who was accused of raping a girl in Ramapo, will go before a new grand jury in Westchester. The indictment on charges of second-degree murder, first and second-degree manslaughter, as well as criminally negligent homicide was dismissed earlier this month, the judge ruling that statements made by David Carlson defending himself in the 2013 shooting were withheld from the original grand jury, and so compromised their opinions. Westchester prosecutors stated that they will be choosing a new grand jury instead.

SNOW CLOSINGS

The Hudson Valley is expecting 3-6 inches of snow between 8 AM and Wednesday evening. Enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving from the WRCR team and safe travels to everyone!

CLOSINGS

The Rockland Co. Dept. of Health has cancelled all afternoon clinics for Wed, Nov 26 due to inclement weather. Please call ahead to all W.I.C. sites.

Pearl River SD- CLOSED
South Orangetown SD- CLOSED
Ramapo Central SD- CLOSED

Clarkstown Central SD- EARLY DISMISSAL
North Rockland SD- EARLY DISMISSAL VISIT WEBSITE FOR TIMES AND INFO- NO KINDERGARTEN OR BOSCES

Rockland Community College: All classes and activities are cancelled at Main Campus and Haverstraw beginning at NOON today, Wed., Nov. 26, and all offices will close at noon.

Meals on Wheels Senior Center Programs and Adult Daycare Programs at the Bobby Lewis Center- CLOSED

County Saves Millions in Property Auction

According to County Executive Ed Day on November 13 the County Finance Department auctioned multiple county owned properties that had failed to pay taxes. Day stated that the auction last week was the first the county has held since 2011 and the sale of the 75 properties brought in $2.5 million owed on the buildings’ taxes, as well as $2.1 million in revenue. In the County Executive’s report he also listed savings of $727,000 managed by the Purchasing Department through a contract with Resolution Energy Group, as well as discussing is budget proposal, which will raise property taxes by two percent, but will cut 111 county-held positions including 37 within the Sheriff’s Office, that has created controversy among supporters of the Department including several town officials, and supporters of Day’s budget.

County Saves 1.5 Million In Fraud Detection Program

Rockland officials stated last week that a program implemented to detect fraud in the county has saved more than $1.5 million by screening welfare applicants more thoroughly than in the past. Reports from the Journal News and statements made by County executive Ed Day have released information that the Department of Social Services saved money by not paying day care costs, financial assistance, and foodstamp and medical benefits for families who did not meet requirements. In the all, 111 applicants were denied this year and the County’s Special Investigations Unit has regained nearly $300,000 that the DSS overpaid to members of assistance programs.

Do Crude Oil Freight Trains Pass Too Close To Schools?

According to sources compiled by the Journal News the environmental group River Keeper and Healthy Schools Network released a report on Thursday registering that over 100 tanks of oil being carried by freight trains more than 30 times a week pass by 101 school locations from Rockland County to Albany. The report shows that the schools are often within a mile of the CSX rail line, which carries oil for companies from the Midwest in cars that have been deemed unsafe for transport by federal officials. Officials such as New York Senator Charles Schumer and County Legislator Harriet Cornell, and local parents are calling for new rules to be put in place to protect students from the highly volatile crude oil. Some safety regulations have been put into place in Rockland including a reduction of the speed limit. Parents are asking that the limit be reduced further in school areas and better evacuation plans be put in place for students.

Rockland Community College Professor Arrested

The District Attorney’s office arrested a Rockland Community College professor on Tuesday after an investigation into the man led to the discovery that he was stealing money from the college, and the teacher’s union he was the president of. District Attorney Thomas Zugibe stated that the 61-year old Hackensack, New Jersey resident Cliff Garner was arrested on felony charges of second-degree grand larceny, first-degree falsifying business records, and first degree offering a false instrument. Garner has taught English at the college wince 1989, and was accused of charging three thousand dollars in hotel and personal expenses to the school when he attended study-abroad trips with students to England. The investigation, completed by the District Attorney’s special investigation unit, uncovered that over the last four years, Garner stole 200 thousand dollars from the Rockland Community College Federation of Teachers. The professor was arraigned on Tuesday and held on 50 thousand dollar bail, and faces 15 years in prison.

Rally Set to Support Nonprofit Groups Facing Cuts

The many nonprofit groups in Rockland County that are facing funding cuts with the $772 million budget proposal for 2015 will be holding a rally on Tuesday. The budget would save $6.8 million by cutting 111 countywide positions including 37 within the Sheriff’s Department. Supporters of Sheriff Lou Falco have staged several protests asking the Legislature to rethink the proposal. 33 positions will be cut in the Department of Social Services, laundry, security, and hospital radiology, as well as 41 jobs in departments that have not been announced. Funding cut from nonprofit organizations will save the county $3.3 million, but cut services given to residents. The rally in support of the nonprofits will be held at 6:00 PM just before the 7:00 Legislature meeting at the county office building in New City.

Orange and Rockland Seeking Rate Increases

According to a request filed with the Public Service Commission by Orange and Rockland Utilities and numbers compiled by the Journal News, the energy company is seeking a rate increase of $34 a month. Split between natural gas, which would rise by $8.13 per month, and electricity which would rise $26.18, the company would see and increase of $33.4 million from electricity bills and $40.7 million from gas. According to a spokesman for O&R, Mike Donovan, the company is planning a nearly $9 million station in Warwick, Orange County, as well as making improvements to transformers and Smart Grid Programs equaling to almost $18 million, but the company states the improvements will create better service for more than 25,000 customers. According to the company additions to natural gas services are in the works as well, using most of the $40.7 million to replace pipes over an 8-year period and build a new fueling station so delivery trucks can use natural gas instead of gasoline.

United Water Denied Surcharge Request

The Public Service Committee unanimously denied United Water New York of their request for surcharges on customer bills to repay the $56 million they claim was spent in preparation for the Hudson River water treatment facility. At the meeting on Thursday the PSC ruled that there isn’t a need for the desal plant at this time, and the company was ordered to stop pursuing permits and to take the next six months working on alternative plans such as conservation with the Rockland County Water Task Force. The surcharges would have added $60 a year to resident’s bills and residents and officials who fought the plant consider this a victory. Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski stated that he is looking forward to working on new policies and thanked the PSC for listening to the ratepayer’s side of the argument.

Man Attempted to Lure Young Girl into Truck

According to Ramapo police a teenage girl reported that a man approached her while she was walking alone to her home in Wesley Hills. Police stated that the man, described as a clean shaven Hispanic man with thinning hair and an average build, was driving his white pickup truck when he passed the 14-year old girl on Kentor Lane, as she walked home from her bus stop around 6:00 PM Monday evening, turned the car around, attempting to lure her into the passenger seat. The girl continued walking and informed her parents and the man drove off. Police ask that parents make their children aware of the danger of speaking with strangers and kids should yell and run away if approached.