Tenants of Colton Elementary and East Ramapo Settle

The state Supreme Court has approved a settlement between the East Ramapo School District and the renters of Colton Elementary School. Justice Margaret Garvey ordered that the Congregation Bais Malka and the Hebrew Academy for Special Children will be given one million dollars in rent credit as well as credit for renovations they had completed, and will have fees for late rent waived. This will bring the approved sale of the building down from 6.6 million dollars to 5.1 million dollars, though the settlement states unknown additional credits. The sale was originally delayed since 2011 when the tenants first filed complaints that they were owed rent credit, though the sale can now move forward with the settlement and should take place in by June 30. The district included the five million dollars in the 2013-14 budget.

Mapping The Hudson River

According to officials the state will begin mapping the bottom of the Hudson River in the Piermont area this week. The mapping will complete 153 miles from Troy to New York City. The maps will allow researchers determine the depth of the river and what mineral content it is made of, which will help them understand the animals and fish that make the Hudson their home. The project is part of the building of the New Tappan Zee bridge, which local groups Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper, have been monitoring to protect species especially the endangered Shortnose and Atlantic Sturgeon. Crews from the State Thruway Authority have been using sonar to measure the depth and create a map of the shallow bottom, only in areas that are thirteen feet or less. Residents have stated that many recreational boaters will be avoiding going North towards the Tappan Zee construction site, due to all the barges that are moored there, but the Southern route is about four feet deep in some places and can be hard to navigate. The mapping techniques will help boaters to know where to safely maneuver their boats through the channel.

Nyack Man Arrested After Driving Wrong-way

A Nyack man was arrested in Westchester on Saturday after he nearly drove headfirst into a police car. According to Westchester police 40-year old William J. Bratton was driving North in the Southbound lanes on the Saw Mill Parkway around 3:00 AM when he almost collided with officer Jack Brito, who pulled him over. According to a spokesman for County Police Bratton failed a sobriety test he was asked to take when pulled over and was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony, and reckless driving and driving while intoxicated, both misdemeanors.

Large Percentage of Medicaid Put Into Summit Park Nursing Home

After a review of the sale of the Summit Park Nursing Home records show that 16.57 million dollars of the 87 million dollars in Medicaid funds the county receives is put into the nursing home, and the Summit Park Hospital only received $491,000. The next largest amount of Medicaid was 16.54 million dollars received by Northern Manor Geriatric Center in Nanuet, which is owned by Northern Services, one of the companies that bid in the sale of the nursing home. Northern Services Group and Rockland Civil Service Employees Association recently filed suits attempting to block the sale to one of the companies, stating that the county should not be able to put the hospital up for auction along with the nursing home, leading to that company backing out. Northern Services also owns Northern Review Health Care Center in Haverstraw, which obtained 11.3 million dollars in Medicaid in the last year. THe company’s Attorney stated that the facilities take in patients that for-profit nursing homes wouldn’t, and they grew into one of the largest employers in Rockland over the past thirty years. According to Susan Sherwood, Chairwoman of the Rockland County Health Facilities Corp. who is in charge of the sale of Summit Park, the LDC met Friday and an agreement may be found today, though she could not expand on the statement.

The Rockland Co. Dept. of Health Warns of Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at Local Restaurant

A confirmed case of acute Hepatitis A has been identified in a food handler at the La Fontana restaurant in Nyack. Patrons and other employees may have been exposed to the Hepatitis A virus between March 19 and April 1, 2014.
The Rockland County Dept. of Health is offering free Hepatitis A vaccines to restaurant patrons and employees starting Saturday, April 12 from 11AM–5PM, Sunday, April 13 from 11AM-3PM, and Monday, April 14 from 9AM-12PM at the Rockland County Fire Training Center, 35 Fireman’s Memorial Drive in Pomona.
The Rockland County Dept. of Health recommends that all people who ate at the restaurant on March 29, March 30 and April 1, 2014 receive a Hepatitis A vaccine.
For additional information call the Div. of Disease Control & Prevention at 845-364-2997.

Bill Proposed to Delay edTPA

The State Assembly presented a bill that would delay an exam that future teachers in New York are currently required to take before being certified. The exam, known as edTPA or Education Teacher Performance Assessment, includes video of student teachers presenting lessons following the Common Core, as well as thirty pages of questions about the Common Core teaching methods. According to many colleges and education major students they did not have time to prepare for the test, which is run and graded by Pearson Inc., and was developed by Stanford University. According to Jonathan Burman, a spokesman for the Education Department, the passage rate is eighty percent and an option for students who don’t pass may be set up. Burman stated, “It is our strong hope that we will be able to keep the bar high.” Officials in the Assembly and several colleges have stated that with more time it would allow potential teachers to get certified as well as obtain degrees in education, and with the proposed delay colleges can better help students through the exam.

New City Man Arrested for Public Lewdness

A New City man was arrested by Clarkstown Police on tuesday for committing a lewd act in the parking lot of the Toys R Us on Route 59 in Nanuet. According to police 54-year old Christopher Vlachos was in his vehicle in the parking lot of the toy store when a woman and her 2-year old daughter walked past and saw him touching himself and using obscene language. The woman called the police who tracked down Vlachos and arrested him and charged him with public lewdness and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arraigned in Clarkstown Town Court and held on $1,000 bail, which officials stated he posted. He will return to court on May 7.

Bidder Backs Out of Summit Park Sale

An interested party in the purchase of the Summit Park Nursing Home backed out of the sale after a competitor filed complaints in the rabbinical court in Brooklyn to block the sale. According to Susan Sherwood, the Chairwoman of the Rockland County Health Facilities Group, a representative for the company provided a “first invite and order of constraint document”. This document ordered a court appearance, in both the rabbinical court, and according to Burt Dorfman, the attorney for Northern Services Group, the county will currently be unable to make a sale due to the case. Sherwood stated taht the county remains in talks with a buyer and unless more suits are filed, they remain on track. County Executive Ed Day stated on Thursday that he will make any decision necessary to solve the fiscal crisis, a large part of the solution being the sale of the nursing home and hospital.

New York/New Jersey Flooding Task Force

New Jersey and New York officials are working together to solve flooding problems in both states by forming the Rockland-Bergen Flooding Mitigation Task Force. The group will have twelve members, six from each state, as well as three non-life threatening members, the Commissioner of New York’s Environmental Conservation, New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner, and a United Water representative, who will all work together to prevent flooding during times of heavy rainfall. According to Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski just before super storm Sandy water was released from the Lake DeForest Reservoir to prevent flooding, though New Jersey reservoirs soon reached their capacity for water. Zebrowski stated that working together will help to keep problems similar to this from happening again. New York state Senator David Carlucci stated that the task force will give towns and villages within the two counties the opportunity to bring forward concerns and ideas.

One Death in Stony Point Car Crash

A Stony Point man was killed Wednesday afternoon when the Honda Civic he was a passenger in lost control and went off the road. 21-year-old Christian Ascolese was riding in the back seat on Gate Hill Road, a winding, narrow road with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour, in a friend’s car with two other unidentified passengers and the driver, who were not severely injured when the car overturned. Hope Daley, a woman who had witnessed the crash and called it in to police, stated that the three others in the car were able to free themselves and were standing beside the crash looking dazed. The survivors were taken to Nyack Hospital for treatment. Ascolese was declared dead at the scene. Stony Point Police Lt. Keith Williams stated that police are still investigating what caused the accident.