County officials released a press statement on Friday urging residents to be aware of water use in the coming months. According to Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, the rain fall in August and September was only about 30% of the average for those months, which has led to a need for water conservation tactics, such as only running water when absolutely necessary, turning off sprinklers, using the dishwasher and clothes washing machine only when they are full, and keep a pitcher of water in the fridge rather than running the faucet for cold drinking water. Dr. Schnabel Ruppert stated that the situation is not yet a crisis, but saving water is important for the future. For more conservation tips and information visit rocklandgov.com/departments/health
According to a report released by the Journal News a new road will be built over the railroad tracks in the Village of Suffern, between Orange Avenue and Dunnery Court, specifically for better access for emergency vehicles. According to Suffern Police Chief Clarke Osborn the road will be locked at all times and the village would inform New Jersey Transit to stop trains during emergency use of the pathway. Mayor Tricia Abato stated to the Journal News that most of the work is finished and now that Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee has signed off on the $250,000 state funding, the project is expected to be finished by Spring 2015.
Monsey, Hillcrest, and Spring Valley firefighters responded to a call at 9:00 Sunday morning to a fire that broke out at a multifamily home with several units. When first responders arrived they quickly put the fire out, officials stating the flames were contained to one apartment, and appeared to start in a clogged dryer vent in the basement spreading through two stories to the ceiling. No injuries were reported and the building suffered smoke and water damage.
At a demonstration held in front of the Rockland County Office Building in New City, officers from the Sheriff’s Department including Sheriff Lou Falco, and members of the Rockland PBA expressed their opposition to County Executive Ed Day’s proposed budget that would cut 37 patrol officers. The proposal calls for 111 county positions to be cut, saving 6.8 million dollars, while only raising property taxes by 1.67 percent for the average homeowner. Falco stated at the conference, held on Friday afternoon, that cutting patrol officers would risk public safety, especially at a time when the county has seen an increase in drug overdoses and crimes. According to Falco the cuts would be to specialized patrol units, such as mounted, marine, and street patrols. Speakers and officials asked attendees on Friday to write to the County Executive and Legislators opposing to the position cuts.
According to police a 16-year old student reported being followed by two male adults on Wednesday. Orangetown Police stated that the girl was walking from Tappan Zee High School on Bataan Road when she noticed a dark blue van was passing her several times. The passenger of the van, described as heavy set, dressed in a green polo shirt, with dark hair and a mustache in his early 40’s or 50’s, attempted to lure her into the car, calling to her in Spansih. The girl reported to officers that she ran to a nearby store to call the police, who then reported it to local school districts and parents.
County Executive Ed Day released the proposed budget for 2015 on Thursday, presenting major cuts in jobs and funding. The $772 million budget proposal will remove 111 jobs from county payroll, by cutting all 37 positions of the Sheriff’s Department Mounted and Street Patrol, as well as positions within other departments and the outsourcing of 33 jobs currently covered by the county. This will save the county $6.8 million. Day’s budget also proposes to cut funding for various contract agencies and non-profits, which will result in about $3.3 million in savings. Day’s plan is to continue paying off the county’s deficit, using an increase in property taxes of $1.67 per month for the average homeowner, to lower it by $10 million next year. The county has seen double digit tax increases of 10,18, and 30 percent in the last three years and can expect just a two percent increase for 2015. According to Day the budget is not political stating “We are making the tough decisions to thoughtfully reduce the size of this organization while maintaining essential services.” He will be holding public forums to further discuss the budget on October 22 at 7:00 PM at Fieldstone Middle School and November 20 at 7:00 PM at the Suffern Free Library.
On Wednesday morning Ramapo Councilman Daniel Friedman announced that he released the town’s preliminary budget online. Friedman stated on WRCR that the budget contains “basic fourth grade mistakes on the first page”, and serious cost errors and hidden double-digit tax increases. When speaking with News 12 Friedman claimed the new budget, which was yet to be finalized, is full of problems in part because of Supervisor Christopher St.Lawrence’s role in the planning. The FBI is currently investigating the town’s finances after raiding town hall last May and St.Lawrence declined to comment until the budget is finalized. In similar news County Executive Ed Day will be releasing the county budget tonight at 7:00 at the New City Library.
The pair of dogs accused of killing two goats in New City on September 23 are still being held at a private kennel and their owners were seen in court on Wednesday to face charges against them. 83-year old Marie Harrow stated that she woke up at 3:00 one morning last month to find two labs attacking her pet Nigerian dwarf goats in their pen and could not save them from being killed before police to retrieve the dogs. The animals’ owners Jason and Lauren Feldman were charged with violating state laws for dangerous dogs as well as town code for having a dog at large. They appeared in Clarkstown Town Court and Judge Howard Gerber ordered that the case be postponed to allow the Feldmans to obtain a lawyer. They will return to court on November 11, when a judge will decide what to do with dogs.
The Chestnut Ridge woman who is accused of killing her five-year old son by poisoning him with salt was seen in court in White Plains on Wednesday. According to Judge Robert Neary’s ruling the case is ready to move forward to trial after ordering that the evidence against Lacey Spears was obtained legally and can be used in the case. Spears became an interest to police in January, when health care workers at Westchester Medical Center reported that five-year old Garnett Spears died because of high levels of sodium in his system. According to investigators part of their evidence is a feeding bag that Lacey used to help the often sick Garnett receive nutrients through a tube. The bag was brought forward by a neighbor who stated the young mom asked her to dispose of it, and investigators found high levels of sodium inside, leading them to believe that Spears was purposely poisoning her son and may have suffered from Munchausen By Proxy causing those who suffer from it to harm their child for attention. Judge Neary ruled that the trial will begin on October 23.
According to New York City public advocates a Rockland woman was named the worst landlord of the city, due to thousands of violations. The Daily News reported that Robin Shimoff, who allegedly lives in a $1.5 million home in Wesley Hills, is the owner of thirteen buildings which, as of August have received 3,352 violations for not following building and health codes, including faulty appliances, rats, scalding water, lead paint, and collapsing walls. According to New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and development, the number of violations was reduced to 2,490 as of last week and one of the building’s managers Jose Pena, stated to the Daily News that the landlord is working to fix all the problems. According to the Journal News, Shimoff faces $3,500 in penalties for one of the thirteen buildings.