A second school in Rockland County has stopped showing a video that allegedly portrays antisemitic ideas. Last week the Clarkstown School District sent home a letter of apology to parents of 9th graders in the high school who were shown a video of the Roman Empire released by study.com, that spoke about Jewish vs Christian people, and referred to Jews in a negative light. On Wednesday Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski wrote a letter to the company that created the website, urging them to make changes to their videos, and recommended that every district in New York stop using them until then. This week Nyack pulled two videos that were shown to sixth graders in the Middle School and Superintendent James Montesano released a statement apologizing and informing parents that the school has been in touch with the company.
State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia and Regent Judith Johnson will be visiting the East Ramapo School District today. According to her office Elia will be touring the troubled district, especially focusing on the buildings, which many parents and students claim are in desperate need of repairs. Currently Ramapo High School is waiting for $1 million in funds found by Senator David Carlucci to repair a leaking roof, which school officials stated a recent inspection determined does not have mold. Elia will visit the high school and two elementary schools. This will be her second time in the district and when appointed she stated to parents that East Ramapo would remain a focus for the Board of Education.
Clarkstown School District officials released a statement this week, apologizing for a video shown to students that was allegedly antiSemitic. The video was shown in a high school history class, and was from the point of view of Romans comparing Christians’ and Jews’ experiences in the time of the Roman Empire. Superintendent Thomas J. Morton apologized to the district, after parents and residents complained about parts of the video, which states, for example, “Jews held themselves aloof, as a result the Jews were easily labeled as violent extremists to be attacked.” Local government and religious leaders have come out against the video, saying that the antisemitic statements are historically inaccurate and teach students negative and hateful things. Morton agreed in his apology, stating, “The video depicted Judaism in a demeaning and historically inaccurate way.”
According to officials Noramie Jasmin, the former mayor of Spring Valley, will not be surrendering herself to federal prison this week, as expected. Jasmin was first set to begin her four-year prison sentence on November 2 after she was arrested in April for accepting $5,000 in bribes to approve a catering hall on village owned property, as well as a 50% stake in the business. At the time a judge allowed Jasmin to delay her surrender until Monday, when attorneys for the former Mayor stated she needs surgery for a medical issue. Officials did not mention what the issue is, but the judge once again approved a second delay. According to the US Attorney’s office if the surgery is not done Tuesday, Jasmin will have to surrender herself to prison, but if it is completed, a new date will be set with time for her to recuperate from the procedure.
On Tuesday Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann announced that the town will be conducting a study on the Police Department’s spending and operations. According to officials the town is accepting proposals from outside consultants by February 24, to look into the $50 million budget, which, according to information compiled by the Journal News, provides police services to residents and paid officers an average salary of $166,719 with overtime for 2015. The study is an attempt to lower taxes for residents as was to lower taxes for residents as was promised during Hoehmann’s campaign for election last year, and the contract with the Police Benevolent Association expires in December of this year, meaning a new agreement will be made. Hoehmann stated that the police services are exceptional, but it is owed to residents to determine if and where money can be saved. Officials with both the police department and the PBA stated to the Journal News that they are willing to work with consultants during the study.
According to police in Rockland County a power outage during the blizzard over the weekend was caused by a car crash in Nyack. Police stated that around 1:50 Saturday morning, Scott Miller was driving on Piermont Avenue in what is believed to be a stolen SUV when he crashed it into a utility pole, causing a power outage for residents in that area, and then was seen fleeing from the scene. Miller is on parole for drug charges and was described by witnesses as 6 feet 7 inches tall and lives in the Eagle Rock Apartments in South Nyack. Anyone with information on Miller, who also goes by Ramrod Smith and Shawn Johnson, should call South Nyack- Grand View Police at 845-358-0206.
Snow Closings Update 01/23/2016 10:15 PM:
Transport of Rockland TOR buses will resume regular Sunday service at 8 AM, except Loops #1, 2 & 3 – start at 10 AM.
For full list click on “Closings”.
The Rockland County Executive’s office and Department of Health has released a statement in advance of the winter storm that is set to hit this weekend, with recommendations for residents to stay sage in the cold weather. The worst of the storm is expected to hit a little further south of the Hudson Valley, though some areas could see 2-10 inches of snow, with Rockland getting a possible 8 inches. Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert with Health Department stated that if outdoors residents should remember to stay bundled up with windproof clothing; if you are prone to cardiac problems, stay in touch with your doctor regarding strenuous activities such as shoveling; and consider creating an emergency kit for your car if you are traveling at all over the weekend, including blankets, food and water, a first aid kit; sand or cat litter should your tires get stuck; and tools for the car. Your average indoor temperature should always be between 64 and 75 degrees and if you are using an additional source such as a fireplace, make sure there is proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide. The county website has information on warming centers throughout Rockland and for more information on warming centers throughout Rockland and for more information you can call the Health Department at 845-364-2585.
A 52-year old woman accused of being responsible for her daughter’s death on East of last year was seen in court was arrested after the father of her 6-year old daughter Lacey Carr found them in the bedroom of the home they both lived in. Dimes was unconscious near the girl and both were taken to Phelps Memorial Hospital where Lacey was pronounced dead due to an overdose from several types of drugs, including Benadryl, Valium, and Morphine. On Tuesday Dymes pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, stating to the judge that the little girl’s death was an accident. She was also hospitalized and spent two weeks in a coma following the incident, and the judge announced she will likely be sentenced with five-years probation so she can continue receiving medical care for, what doctors call, her severe depression, despite prosecutors’ requests for jail time.