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.
Police in Sleepy Hollow are investigating the death of a teenager who was apparently struck by a Metro-North Train on Monday afternoon. Around 2:00 PM near the Philipse Manor Station the 16-year old boy, whose name has not been released, was reported to have jumped from the platform in front of the train. The engineer stated to police that he tried to stop the train in time but was unsuccessful, and News 12 reported that the boy was a student at Fordham Prep and was a resident of Sleepy Hollow. Officials have not released any further information, though an MTA spokesperson stated it would appear the teen intentionally took his own life.
According to police in Westchester a man was arrested over the weekend after officers discovered the body of a 50-year old woman in her home. Dawn McCray was found fatally stabbed in her bedroom at the Schlobohm Apartments in Yonkers on Saturday afternoon leading to an investigation and arrest of her 27-year old son Andre Coverdale who told police he was homeless, not living at the apartment with his mother. Coverdale was taken to Westchester County Jail on charges of second-degree murder and police are asking anyone with information call 914-377-7724 as they continue to investigate the incident.
According to Rockland County officials the 911 system has been revamped. The $2 million project at six departments makes it easier for residents to contact law enforcement using new technology and introducing cellphones as a form of communication during emergencies. The new system called next generation 911 and has replaced the outdated enhanced 911, which utilized eight call centers countywide that allowed dispatchers to pass the information on. Now the system has more information on. Now the system has more information on the caller, locations, and has a new set up making it easier and faster for dispatchers to determine the type of situation being called in. Residents can also send pictures and text messages if they are in a scenario that requires them to remain quiet.