Major Drug Bust in Rockland County

According to the Rockland District Attorney’s office a three- month investigation into local drug dealers has led to the arrest of nineteen people. District Attorney Thomas Zugibe stated that the undercover investigation targeted street-level dealers, not users, and that two people in the county have died from heroin since his team announced a plan to fight drug abuse last week. Along with the nineteen arrests the DA’s office and Rockland’s Drug Task Force seized five guns, ammunition, cash, oxycodone, powdered cocaine, crack, and heroin. All suspects have been charged with felony counts of third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance and face up to nine years in prison.

Young Boy Lured by Man in Ramapo

According to Ramapo Police, a 25-year old man was arrested last week for allegedly attempting to sexually molest a young boy. Police Sargent Brian Corbett stated that Abraham Widenbaum, who lives in a group home for developmentally disabled adults, was charged with first-degree attempted sexual abuse and luring a child, a felony, and a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child, when he used candy to lure the 6-year old boy from his yard on Wedesday evening to an empty room at a nearby synagogue. According to police the boy ran home when he was asked to bring back a friend and informed his parents. Police found Widenbaum on Friday evening, and arrested him without releasing details of what occurred in the room, and held him at Rockland County Jail on $75,000 bail. He will return to court on Tuesday. The arrest follows unrelated reports of attempted lurings in Nanuet and Blauvelt and police urge that parents remain vigilant with their children.

Toddler Killed by Van

According to Ramapo Police an 18-month old girl was killed after being hit by a minivan in Chestnut Ridge on Friday afternoon. Police stated that Judy Danzinger was struck by a minivan being driven by a 19-year old Monsey girl, as she was paying on her street with about ten other children. The toddler died at Westchester Medical Center around 10:00 AM on Saturday morning. Witnesses stated that the van was backing up at about five miles an hour and bumped into the young girl, causing her to tip over and hit her head on the ground. According to Ramapo Police Sargent Michael Higgins the driver will not face charges, but the investigation was continuing as of Saturday.

Police Investigating Child Luring Claims

According to Clarkstown Police they are investigating reports that a man attempted to lure a young boy into his car on Wednesday afternoon. Police stated that around 4:45 PM the boy was walking on Carrie Lane in Nanuet when a man in a white SUV, whose description was not available, attempted to draw the boy towards the car. The boy ran away and the car left. Police are investigating and ask that anyone with information call the Clarkstown Department at 845-639-5800.

State to Appeal EPA Loan Decision

The Environmental Protection Agency stated recently that they would be rejecting seven out of twelve of the Tappan Zee Bridge related projects New York State officials had planned on playing for with a $511 million loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. In a letter from Joan Leary Matthews, the Director of EPA Region 2’s Clean Water Division, state officials were informed that if they use the money for projects the EPA has deemed ineligible the costs would be disallowed. This means that $481.8 million of the loan was disallowed, including $110 million to be used dredging the river, and $65 million for removing the current bridge. EPA officials and environmental advocates agreed that the proposed spending projects did not fit what the loan is meant for, which is sewer improvements and clean water projects. Governor Andrew Cuomo stated on Tuesday that they would be appealing the decision of the agency. Officials have 30 days to do so and Cuomo stated that regardless of the outcome the construction of the bridge will continue, since they were not depending on the money for the project. Government and Thruway officials have yet to inform residents of Rockland and Westchester how much they can expect tolls to cost on the new structure.

Hudson Boat Crash Driver Sentenced

36-year old Nyack resident Jojo John was sentenced on Tuesday morning for his role in the July 2013 boat crash on the Hudson River that led to the death of 30-year old Lindsay Stewart and 30-year old Mark Lennon both of Piermont. John was accused of driving the boat drunk the night of the accident, and family of the victims also blame the owner of a construction barge they crashed into which inured passengers of the boat claim had barely visible lighting. On the boat at the time were Stewart’s fiance Brian Bond and Dan Dilorgi, both injured. Bond and Stewart were set to be married less than a month after the accident, with Lennon as the bestman. At the hearing John expressed his regret to the family and of Lennon and Stewart, stating, “A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think of Lindsay and Mark.” An investigation with the Coast Guard into the construction barges surrounding the new Tappan Zee Bridge site took place last summer, but according to District Attorney Thomas Zugibe there was no reason for criminal charges to be brought against the owners, stating that his office believes John is the only one with responsible for the crash. Both families of the victims and John’s lawyer have stated that though the driver is responsible, lighting and safety on the river was an issue. John was sentenced to two years in County Jail though it could be reduced to 16 months for good behavior.

Reda Steps Down as Chairman of Rockland GOP

The Rockland County Republican party sent out a release on Sunday stating that Chairman Vincent Reda will not be seeking reelection. Reda stated that he is comfortable leaving the committee, after County Executive Ed Day’s election in November. In the statement Day thanks Reda for his twenty-two years of leadership and both members of the party have voiced their support for Lawrence Garvey, an attorney at Garvey, Tirelli, and Cushner in White Plains and member of the Clarkstown Republican Committee, as his successor. Michael Lawler and Robert Zeiss will be serving as Vice Chairmen. Zeiss is the Director of Finance for the party and works as Vice President of Finance at HBO Sports. Lawler works as campaign manager for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s gubernatorial race and has served as the Executive Director of the New York State Republican Party.

Development Proposal for Stony Point Waterfront

A developer in Stony Point introduced a proposal to the town board to build 100-150 condominiums, a marina, and restaurants on 3 acres of land at Willow Cove Marina and Stony Point Bay Marina. 59-year old Wayne Corts, the owner of the marinas and developer first went before the board in 2007, but withdrew due to opposition. In 2012 Corts tried again, but was forced to withdraw to work on recovery from Superstorm Sandy, while also facing a cancer diagnosis. This time, Corts stated will be his last time attempting to obtain approval for his project. According to Supervisor Geoff Finn the town board is looking for ways to revise zoning to provide the opportunity to build up economic development on the waterfront, and the process should be done within six months. Corts would need to seek zone change for his property to build a mix of residential and commercial. Several residents have voiced their concern that the development will block views of the Hudson River, though Corts stated the waterfront would look cleaner and they will work around neighbors’ view corridor.

Nadell on Suicide Watch While Waiting for Murder Trial

According to a prosecutor in the case against Diana Nadell, the daughter-in-law and accused murderer of 80-year old Valley Cottage resident Peggy Nadell, the Florida resident has been on suicide watch at the Ulster County Jail since earlier this summer. Prosecutor Richard Kennison Moran stated that authorities were monitoring Nadell’s communication after it was revealed that she was planning to have two of the witnesses to her alleged crime killed while she was in jail and learned through a letter to her children in Florida that she told them she wanted to kill herself. Since her January arrest Nadell was moved from Rikers Island to Orange County Jail, and now to Ulster County so that she can be kept separate from her associate in the crime, Andrea Benson of Washington DC, who agreed to testify against Nadell when she pleaded guilty. On Thursday Luis Penichet who is representing Nadell asked state Supreme Court Justice William Kelly to get his client off suicide watch because it is making it difficult to privately meet with her work on the defense. He also stated that Nadell has not had a mental health examination and she has refused her medication. Kelly ruled that if Penichet drafted an order to have private room set for attorneys to meet with Nadell, he would sign it.

Primary Results

The unofficial results for Tuesday’s Democratic Primary are in, statewide current Governor Andrew Cuomo won against opponents Zephyr Teachout and Randy Credico, with $301,011 votes. In Rockland County’s 96th Assembly District Ken Zebrowski won over P.T. Thomas with 3,772 votes to 1,240. For the 98th District Elisa Tutini with 1,141. Vilair Fonvil won with 710 votes to Chrispin Eugene’s 497 for Spring Valley Trustee and for Ramapo Town Justice David Stein beat Christine Theodore with 3,107 to 2,256. The General Election will take place November 4.