Rockland County Executive Ed Day announced on Wednesday that the Summit Park Nursing Home and Care Center has been sold to Summit Park Acquisition Group, a private owner. According to the deal signed by county officials and the Rockland County Health Facilities Corp, the LDC in charge of the sale, the current county workers at the hospital can apply for positions with the new employer and all residents of the center are able to stay. Day stated that the sale will bring the necessary care to patients while helping the county’s financial situation for the long term. Legislature Chairman Alden Wolfe stated some of the $36 million made off the sale will go to reducing the $30 million deficit in the form of a resolution stating the revenue left after debt service and liabilities will go to the deficit. Susan Sherwood, the Chairwoman of the LDC stated that the new owner has experience operating nursing homes and that knowledge will be able to bring in more patients and give quality care to them as well as existing patients. The Rockland Civil Service Employees Association is attempting to block the sale, members stating workers’ jobs need to be protected.
Spring Valley Mayor Demeza Delhomme held a press conference on Tuesday at the Louis Kurtz Center to discuss the village’s summer youth programs. The program normally held at the center was at risk of being cancelled last month after it was stated by officials that there was no one to run it. Delhomme suspended the village’s Youth Director Sonia Barton, claiming he was unhappy with the after school program she was running, which is set up for seventy children though only about twenty-four attend. Just over a week ago a state Supreme Court Judge ruled that the board of Trustee’s decision to hire Barton as an independent contractor to run the summer program must be upheld. Village Attorney Jerrod Miles stated that Barton is the only employee, suspended or otherwise, with the proper certification to run the program. Delhomme stated at the conference that Spring Valley gave $20,000 to the Martin Luther King Center to allow children to attend the youth programs there and that ongoing construction at the Louis Kurtz Center will prevent children from attending camp at that location. Delhomme stated that there was no intention not to provide summer activities for children, but the longterm of the program will benefit from the choices made this summer.
Police stated on Monday that officers reported to the Route 9W Motel in Stony Point on Friday and arrested four individuals on felony charges of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor charge of use of drug paraphernalia. According to Lt. Keith Williams officers found 26-year old Antonio Burch-Pena of Garnerville, 21-year old Shannon Moore of Stony Point, 24-year old Raymond Deforest and 20-year old Amy Pietronuto both of New Hempstead in the motel room with heroin, glassine envelopes, and syringes after Moore’s family called police out of concern for her. Police are hoping that the owners of the hotel continue their plan to clean up the business, and prevent future drug use there. All four arrested are due in court on August 19 for the charges received Friday.
Police responded to a Rose Avenue apartment complex in Spring Valley on Friday morning after a 20-month old boy was reported to be hit and killed by a pickup truck in the parking lot arounf 8:30 AM. The child’s name was not released, police stated that he lived in the complex with his family and was apparently in the care of an older sibling at the time of the accident. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene and his mother was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital for evaluation and treatment after she returned to the complex. No charged have been filed against the 33-year old truck driver who police stated was backing up the vehicle and didn’t see the child. An investigation by the Spring Valley Police and Clarkstown Accident Reconstruction team was opened and continues into the incident and according to Sargent Chris Korba the names of the child and driver will be released to the public when the investigation is finished.
The Coast Guard announced this week that they approved a two-mile safety zone around the Tappan Zee Bridge construction site. The area is along the Rockland County shoreline where the barges and other pieces of construction equipment are moored, and will be marked by buoys and patrolled by the police and the Coast Guard. The previously set up Regulated Navigation Area, that is patrolled by the Coast Guard will be separate from the safety zone. The RNA allows boaters to travel through the area, which extends 500 yards both north and south from the current Tappan Zee Bridge, but only at a maximum speed of five knots and the Coast Guard can ban boats during construction.
According to officials the town and the village of Haverstraw have applied for $100,000 in state aid to fund a study of whether it would be financially worth it to combine courts or continue having police work with three separate court. The village got rid of their police force in 2005 and since then the town’s police have been working cases with courts for the town, village, and West Haverstraw. According to Supervisor Howie Phillips the study would be completed to determine how much money and time would be saved if officers did not have to travel farther distances with suspects, less time spent traveling would mean a more efficient system for officer coverage for residents. According to village law a suspect must be arraigned in the respective village court, so currently police must drive a suspect from headquarters in Garnerville to one of the three courts, instead of using the closest courthouse, officials estimate that the time spent with a suspect would significantly drop from an hour and a half. Mayor of West Haverstraw John Ramundo stated that he supported doing the study but the four village trustees against it. Mayor of the village of Haverstraw, Michael Kohut, stated that consolidating would make the police force more efficient,and the study can’t hurt and may even make the village eligible for a tax rebate from Governor Cuomo’s tax freeze program for 2016.
State Supreme Court Judge Gerald Loehr made a ruling on the dilemma in Spring Valley on Wednesday morning. Last month the village was facing the closure of its summer camp at the Louis Kurtz Center after the clerks office stated that they had not received the proper paperwork in time. Mayor Demeza Delhomme blames Youth Director Sonia Barton, whom he had earlier suspended from the position, though she stated that the mayor told her someone else would take care of it due to her suspension. Delhomme stated that he set up an agreement with the Martin Luther King Center to hold a program there, and at a July 2 meeting Trustees Vilair Fonvil, Emilia White, and Asher Grossman voted to reinstate the original program and to hire Barton as an independent contractor. Delhomme and Deputy Mayor Anthony Leon were absent from the meeting but were ordered by Loehr to honor the resolution. The trustees hope the camp will start July 14 will allow fifty children to attend for no cost. Barton stated that she is not sure yet whether she will be accepting her former position as youth director because she is worried about her situation with Delhomme, and was unable to further comment, though her union representation stated appropriate legal action is being taken.
Haverstraw Police, fire departments, ambulance corps, and a Rockland hazmat team responded to a chemical spill at Barr Laboratories in Pomona on Tuesday evening. According to officials a scientist working at the labs under contract was mixing a liquid solution with powdered Potassium Cyanide when it boiled over and splashed onto another scientist’s face around 4:50 PM. By 6:45 the situation was under control and all victims were taken care of. Rockland’s Deputy Fire Coordinator Chris Kear stated that the facility’s decontamination unit was used and the man was conscious during emergency response and was transported to Nyack Hospital. Kear stated that the two other scientists exposed to the spill were treated, as well as four volunteer firefighters with the Hillcrest Department. Potassium Cyanide is a potentially lethal substance, which hinders the ability to use oxygen, but according to Denise Bradley, Vice President of Teva Pharmaceuticals, who operates the lab, the facility was cleaned and treated and was working normally Tuesday night.
According to police reports the pools recently built for a religious summer camp were vandalized over the weekend. Ryan Karben, the lawyer representing Camp Shalom based out of New Jersey, one of four pools, which are located at the CHestnut Ridge Middle School which the camp is renting for $125,000, was slashed in seven different places. Karben is asking that the police investigate the vandalism as a hate crime, especially when the camp claims harassment towards its workers and on social media sites. According to Detective Sargent John Lynch with the Ramapo Police they are questioning neighbors in search of potential witnesses and information and looking for security footage that could identify the person or persons involved. Last month the camp faced out-lash from community members when the allegedly began construction on the above ground pools without the proper permits. Last week the County Health Department stated that they would allow the camp to build and now they are just waiting to complete a full inspection of the finished pools so that campers can swim. According to Catherine Quinn, Associate Public Health Engineer for Rockland County, the department received emails with complaints of food and garbage littering the property, though when inspected nothing was found. Ramapo Police ask anyone with information on the incident call 845-357-2400.
The town of Clarkstown Highway Department has hired a new full time confidential secretary for Superintendent Wayne Ballard. On Tuesday Ballard announced that Legislator Frank Sparaco was awarded the position, which pays $103,600 a year, after the former secreatary of 16 years, Nancy Willen, unexpectedly made the decision to retire. Sparaco is facing criticism for the position, many stating that Willen earned her salary over a period of time, and the Legislator should be started at a lower salary. The job offers health care as well as contributes to his pension, though Sparaco stated that he will not be joining the town’s plan because he already receives health care with the Legislature. Sparaco previously worked as consultant services representative for the Highway Department, earning $78,000 a year with no benefits. At a meeting on June 10 the board approved Republican Councilman George Hoehmann’s proposal to cut the position, stating that due to the town’s budget problems cuts are necessary. A recent projection by Comptroller Edward Duer and Deputy Comptroller Mary Maloney for 2015-2018 has shown Clarkstown is facing a $6 million shortfall, which will not be prevented by property taxes and other forms of revenue will not keep up with spending on services.