Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Malala, Visits South Orangetown Students

Students at the South Orangetown Middle School met last week with human rights activist, Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. The Pakistani activist for female education also visited with the Tappan Zee High School Social Justice Club. Orangetown supervisor Chris Day said her visit to the town was kept secret due to heightened security around Malala, a controversial figure world-wide…

Malala talked with the students about her life and her advocacy work. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in the South Orangetown School District, Dr. Brian Culot, said her visit proves “everyone has a voice and can make a difference in the world.” Malala was nearly killed in 2012 when she was shot by a Taliban gunman in retaliation for her activism. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 when she was 17 years old.

Car Crash in Chester Kills One

New York State Police are investigating a fatal one-car crash in Orange County. The crash took place around 1:50 yesterday afternoon on Route 17 near Exit 129 in Chester. An investigation is currently underway. No further information was available.

NYS Senate Passes GENDA, Anti-Sexual Orientation Bills

The New York State Senate yesterday passed a bill prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with patients under eighteen years old. The Senate yesterday also passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, also known as GENDA. Rockland State Senator David Carlucci says the bill would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and adds transgender New Yorkers to those protected by the state’s Hate Crimes law.

A 2016 National Transgender Discrimination Survey showed that 26% of transgender individuals lost a job due to bias, 50% were harassed on the job, 20% were evicted or denied housing, and 78% of transgender students were harassed or assaulted.

Free Healthcare in NYC: Act of Kindness or Vote-grab?

New York City’s mayor earlier this month announced a plan to spend $100 million a year to provide health care for hundreds of thousands of residents, including the uninsured, low-income and undocumented immigrants. Rockland Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee says it’s unclear where the money will come from to fund the program…

Services would be provided on a sliding scale, with some recipients paying nothing at all, though there were few details. Skeptics of the mayor’s plan have argued it’s a way for him to court left-leaning voters.

Stony Point Hopes to Move Letchworth Project Along

The supervisor of Stony Point is hoping to see some movement on a development project targeting his town’s portion of Letchworth Village this year. Jim Monaghan told the Morning Show last week he and the building department would be meeting with the lead developer, who is getting frustrated at the slow pace of project, the sale of which hasn’t yet been finalized…

The 25-acre site could include a hotel, a conference center, perhaps a cigar bar or other retail and a 55-and-over community. The golf course would be part of the deal. It would remain open but the town would save 1.4 million dollars in operation costs. 

TZ Bridge Comes Splashing Down; Tolls Destined to go up on New Bridge

…And just like that the eastern portion of what remained of the Tappan Zee bridge came down at 10:52am yesterday. A large explosion followed a smaller blast, sending the bridge into the river. Marine salvage experts will remove the material from the river over the next few weeks, and the debris will be salvaged and recycled. The western portion of the bridge is expected to be taken down piece by piece later this year. Rockland state Senator David Carlucci says he’s more concerned about the future price of crossing the new bridge…

Tolls on the bridge are frozen until 2020. The current charge to go from Rockland to Westchester is $4.75 with EZ-Pass or $5 toll by mail. A report done in 2017 estimated the bridge toll could more than double to over $11 next year.

Measles Count in Rockland Hits 114

There are now 114 confirmed cases of measles within Rockland County and five suspected cases. If you think you may have the measles or need the vaccine, contact your healthcare provider. For information on the measles, click here, or call the State Department of Health’s toll-free Measles Information line at 1-888-364-4837.

NY Governor Pushes Green, Gambling and Ganja in State of State Address

New York’s governor gave his State of the State address yesterday, outlining an aggressive agenda that he hopes will get passed quickly with a legislature comprised mostly of Democrats. Governor Andrew Cuomo encouraged legalized marijuana, stronger gun restrictions, infrastructure improvements and a Green New Deal that eliminates the state’s carbon footprint by 2040…

Republican assemblyman Karl Brabenec represents western Ramapo and portions of Orange County, and says the governor’s ideas are further to the left of most New Yorkers…

On Monday, the state legislature was off and running, passing election reform bills even before the governor took center stage yesterday. Rockland Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, a Democrat, says there’s lots to get done…

The Senate and Assembly are expected to pass a flurry of bills leading up to the budget deadline of April first.

NJ Governor Promises Improvements to NJT

The governor of New Jersey also is looking to make a more progressive agenda his hallmark. In his first State of the State presentation, governor Phil Murphy called for a $15 and hour minimum wage, legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, and improvements to the embattled New Jersey Transit system that’s dealing with engineer shortages and the Positive Train Control installation…

Rockland officials have complained about NJ Transit’s cancellation of express routes to Pearl River, Nanuet and Spring Valley and the lack of a discount to inconvenienced Rockland riders.

Help Needed this Morning for Local Meal Program

A local meal program started by a priest, a rabbi and a minister more than 50 years ago needs volunteers for a project this morning. Hannah Clark is with the United Church’s InterFaith Program in Spring Valley and says volunteers can just show up at the JCC in West Nyack at 10:30 today…

For more information or to help out, contact director Chris Hughes at 845-548-8421.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

Please click on the image below to view all snow closings for Rockland County.