NYACK-TARRYTOWN – Harry Hernandez, 56, of Staten Island could not be recovered yesterday from the wreckage of the tugboat, Specialist that collided with a Tappan Zee Bridge construction barge on Saturday, according to officials. Westchester County Public Safety, George Longworth, told reporters in a press conference yesterday that State police divers returned to the water Tuesday to search again for Mr. Hernandez and discovered that his body is located in the front of the boat, where “The degree of damage makes it impossible to free him and remove him from the vessel at this time.” Work continues on the salvage plan to raise the boat. The Coast Guard will need to approve the plan. The process could take upwards of a week or more, according to Westchester County Executive, Rob Astorino in an earlier statement. Hernandez’s body will be recovered once the salvage plan is complete. Other concerns surrounding the sunken vessel, is the environmental impact. There is a fuel spill from the vessel that crews have been working to contain since the accident, Coast Guard Lt. Commander, Marc Sennick stated that on Monday divers discovered a broken pipe from the boat’s fuel tank. The Tugboat Specialist was caring approximately 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Sennick explained they wouldn’t know how much fuel was lost and how much remains in the boat until salvage operations are complete.
SPRING VALLEY – Spring Valley Police Department Chief, Paul Modica, informed reporters at a press conference that Kelly Rivera-Pillco, a 10-year-old girl who had gone missing Monday morning while waiting for her school bus, actually got into a cab that took her into Manhattan. Chief Modica reported, “there was a disagreement in the household” and investigators don’t believe it was an abduction. According to sources, she was expected to be reunited with her Mother yesterday afternoon. Investigators discovered that she had been posting on Facebook and social media on Monday evening. Police spent all day Tuesday tracking her whereabouts. The investigation led to the fact that a taxi picked her up on the street Monday morning and took her to NYC. Investigators are still questioning who paid for the cab and why the school did not notify her family in regards to her school absence. Chief Modica stated, “We are confident that she hasn’t come to any kind of harm.” The investigation is ongoing.
SPRING VALLEY UPDATE – New information from Spring Valley Police Department Chief, Paul Modica, reveals that Kelly Rivera-Pillco, a 10-year-old girl who had gone missing yesterday morning while waiting for her school bus, actually got into a cab that took her into Manhattan. Chief Modica stated to reporters at a press conference that, “there was a disagreement in the household” and investigators don’t believe it was an abduction. They are not 100% sure she is safe but there has been communication with the family and they are confident she is still around. She was posting on Facebook and social media all last night. Police spent today tracking her whereabouts. The investigation led to the fact that a taxi picked her up on the street and took her to NYC. Police are still investigating where she is and who she is with. Chief Modica stated, “We are confident that she hasn’t come to any kind of harm.” The investigation is ongoing.
LOS ANGELES – Former First Lady, Nancy Reagan, the wife of 40th US President Ronald Reagan, died Sunday morning, she was 94. According to her spokesperson, the cause was congestive heart failure. Mrs. Reagan will best be remembered for her steadfast devotion and resolute commitment to her husband as he rose from Hollywood actor to California Governor, and finally the US Presidency. She founded “Just Say No” her anti-drug advertising campaign to fight youth drug abuse, and was defined by her classic sense of style and most notably her signature color, Reagan red. She spent the later years of her life tending to the former President and his battle with Alzheimer’s, breaking with her Republican base and supporting stem cell research as a possible cure. She will be buried, next to her husband, at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA. According to her spokesperson, Mrs. Reagan requested that donations be made to the Reagan Library in lieu of flowers.
RAMAPO – Yesterday afternoon, councilman Samuel Tress was arrested. The councilman who sits on the Zoning Board of Appeals had signed an affidavit confirming that he would not profit from his decisions while on the board. It was discovered that he had voted to support a zoning change on a housing development where he holds a financial interest. According to the Rockland District Attorney’s Office, Tress (71), holds a prior felony conviction for federal mail fraud, and now faces a felony charge of first-degree offering a false instrument and a misdemeanor count of official misconduct. He has pleaded “not guilty” after being led in handcuffs into the courtroom of Justice Daniel Goldman. He was released without bail.
Yesterday, while a guest on WRCR’S The Morning Show, assemblyman Ken Zebrowski stated that he had just been informed East Ramapo Monitor, Dennis Walcott had been named the new President and CEO of the Queens Library. According to the library, the new position would begin March 14th. The East Ramapo School District has had a long history of trouble and it was concluded that a team of three monitor’s would be brought in to examine the system. In August 2015, Walcott, a former New York Schools Chancellor, was appointed by the state to head the team. By December, Walcott and his team submitted a report outlining their recommendations. One of the recommendations was to appoint a permanent monitor with veto power. The Journal news reported this morning in a statement from the state Department of Education, “Walcott has agreed to be available pro bono while his successor is being chosen and to help with a transition plan“.
Yesterday, the state Department of Health announced a “Don’t Eat” fish consumption warning in regards to walleye fish captured between the Tappan Zee Bridge and the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in the Hudson River near Catskill. In addition, the department of health warns that residents not eat walleye fish caught near the Rondout Creek just below the Eddyville Dam. Testing revealed that walleye fish near these locations display increased amounts of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. These chemicals have been proven to be cancer causing in animals and are connected to serious health problems, causing harm to the reproductive system, the nervous system and the immune system. The state Department of Health recommends limiting walleye fish consumption to one meal per month.
Big news today, the WRCR family is welcoming in a new cohost to the morning show! Meredyth is moving on to the Big Apple to further pursue a career in acting, but fear not, Jordan Baker, a Rockland County local, will be taking over. Hailing from New York City, Jordan now lives with her husband, actor Kevin Kilner in Tappan. Jordan is also an actress with experience in film, television, and theater. Her most recent work includes a film titled “5 Flights Up” starring Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman. WRCR, which recently moved to a 10,000 watt signal on 1700 AM over the summer of 2015 and reaches more than 12 million people from Rockland County to New York City, is thrilled to welcome Jordan to the team!
According to Orangetown Police two people were injured when their vehicle crashed on Route 303 over the weekend. Around 7:40 on Sunday morning police discovered a gold Mitsubishi hidden from view of the road, and determined the single car accident occurred hours prior, around 4 AM. The driver and passenger were taken to Nyack Hospital for serious injuries where they were in critical condition, and police are investigating the cause, which officials stated was likely related to the use of alcohol. Anyone with information on the accident can call Orangetown Police at 845-359-3700.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day delivered his State of the County address this week, speaking about the future of the economy, housing safety, and business plans. Presenting to the Legislature and other county officials, Day stated that the economy is improving and the unemployment rate of 3.8% represents that, in part thanks to his administration’s work to consolidate local government. Day also spoke about the Summit Park Hospital, which closed at the end of 2015, after a $32 million sale fell through. In his proposals the County Executive recommended turning the empty buildings into a center that will house Health and Human Services. Day’s address also referred to the continuation of the Rockland Codes Initiative, which will add to the already existing regulations against illegal housing, by having properties with more than three renters register with the county. Along with continuing to tackle the county’s fiscal issues, including fighting welfare fraud, Rockland will be putting more money into tourism to attract new visitors.