Woman Arrested in Yonkers for Animal Cruelty

An arrest has been made in the case of an abandoned dog on the streets of Yonkers. A call was received by the Yonkers Animal Shelter on the evening of November 17 that there was a dog in distress near 81 Van Cortlandt Park. Responders discovered a pit bull suffering from starvation. Unfortunately, it was too late and the animal did not recover. On November 28, 23-year-old Christina Harris, formerly of 41 Cliff Street in Yonkers was arrested by Ernesto Lungaro, Director of The Human Law Enforcement Unit of the SPCA of Westchester in partnership with Officer William Pataky of the Yonkers Police Department. Harris has been charged with two counts of abandonment and animal cruelty. She also left a cat behind in the Cliff Street apartment and that animal has survived and is in the Yonkers Shelter. If you suspect that an animal is being abused or abandoned the SPCA has a 24-hour confidential hotline at 845-354-3124 (Rockland) and if you are listening in Westchester the hotline is 914-941-7797.

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(Photo Source: The Patch)

Stabbing After Dispute in Hillcrest

At approximately 1:00 a.m. this morning Ramapo police responded to an assault at 8 Hazel Court in Hillcrest. 27-year-old Guerdy Jimmy Mauricette was found with multiple stab wounds and was transported to Nyack Hospital. At the same time, officers were informed that 27-year-old Vladimir Alexis had turned himself into the Spring Valley Police Department admitting he had been involved in a stabbing at 8 Hazel Court. The officers’ investigation found that there had been a dispute between the two men and Alexis stabbed Mauricette several times with a steak knife. Alexis is under arrest and charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Mauricette is listed in serious condition at Nyack Hospital.

Conserve Water for the Holidays

Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage all residents and businesses to continue to conserve water whenever possible during the holiday season as the county still faces a water shortage. Precipitation for the year is still more than seven inches below normal. Day says, “Lake levels, as well as ground water levels, need to recover before next spring to avoid the need for mandatory restrictions.”

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Burglars Take Cigarettes from Two Stores

And it seems someone seems to need a lot of cigarettes yesterday. At Approximately 3:30 a.m. Monday Clarkstown police received a call from an employee at the Citgo Station on North Highland Avenue in Upper Nyack who claimed to be sleeping in a back room when he heard noises and discovered intruders in the store. According to police, the employee called out and the intruders fled the scene in a black vehicle. The burglars made off with $8000 in cigarettes and some money from the register. Then at 4:20 a.m. at the Lucky Convenient Store on Route 303 in Valley Cottage an employee arrived at work to discover the front door ajar. According to the police, a safe and several cartons of cigarettes were taken. The two incidents are under investigation, police are reviewing surveillance video and they believe the two burglaries may be related. If you have information you can contact the Clarkstown Police Department.

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(Photo source: Clarkstown Police)

Taste New York Markets Exceed Projections for 2016

Taste NY, which did $4.5 million in sales in 2015 has exceeded sales expectations with more the $10.5 million in Sales to Date in 2016 through Taste NY stores, concessions and events. In less than one year, the increase in sales reflects the growing consumer demand for local products, which supports New York’s agriculture industry and small businesses. Taste New York Markets, Cafes and Stores have opened in Welcome Centers on Long Island, at the Javits Center in New York City, and Jones Beach. New York food and beverage items are also now available at The Taste NY Bar at Barclays Center home of the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders, as well as on the snack cars of 13 New York Amtrak trains. They have also partnered with Niagara Falls State Park and numerous NY Minor League Baseball teams. State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “New York has some of the most unique and diverse food and beverages in the world, made with ingredients grown and produced by New York farmers. I couldn’t be happier to see that consumers from across the globe are taking notice and responding to the Taste of NY brand to support New York homemade products.”

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State Fair Sells Out in Two Hours on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday was a sellout for the Great New York State Fair – tickets sold out in just over two hours. The sale will be extended with an additional 25,000 tickets available for purchase online beginning at 3 p.m. today offering 50 percent off admission at $3 per ticket. The Cyber Monday sellout reinforces the Fair’s popularity and its newest ranking by CarnivalWarehouse – an online industry publication that ranks the top 50 fairs and festivals in North America. The Fair jumped from seventh to fourth place for the most attended State fair in the U.S. as a result of the more than 1.1 million visitors in 2016. To continue growing the fair’s attendance, the Phase Two Task Force will hold a public input session on December 6 to help shape the future improvements to the fairgrounds. In the meantime, get online today – fair tickets make a great gift.

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New Law Makes “Ticket Bots” Illegal

Governor Cuomo has signed new legislation to combat unfair ticket purchasing and reselling practices by making the use of computer programs known as “ticket bots” illegal as well increasing criminal penalties for those who resell tickets obtained through the use of “ticket bots”. These unfairly purchased tickets typically end up resold on ticket marketplace websites for substantially higher prices. Cuomo said, “It’s predatory, it’s wrong and, with this legislation, we are taking an important step towards restoring fairness and equity back to this multi-billion dollar industry.” The law establishes a class A misdemeanor for using ticket bots, maintaining an interest in or control of “bots”, and reselling tickets knowingly obtained with ticket bots. Violators could face substantial finds and imprisonment.

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United Way ALICE Study Many Residents Suffering

Over the weekend United Way released a study that shows New York is very close to having 50% of its residents unable to support their families due to lack of income — for things like child care, transportation, health care, and food. The United Way participated in a study for the past two years called ALICE an acronym for Asset Limited, Income constrained, Employed. The study was designed to spotlight a growing faction of New Yorkers who are working but struggling. Household incomes that fall into the ALICE category in Rockland, Westchester and Putnam earned on average $77,724 for a family of four that includes 2 adults, one pre-school child and one infant. For Rockland, the study found 31 percent fell into the ALICE category while 11 percent fell below the poverty line. In Westchester, 24 percent were Alice homes while 10 percent fell below the poverty line. In Putnam 28 percent fell into the Alice category with 5 percent below the poverty line. Mimi Vilord, President of the United Way Rockland County told Mid-Hudson news that a recent mental health study conducted by the Rockland County government showed that stressors like lack of income contribute to domestic violence, substance abuse and other mental health problems. Vilord added, the problem doesn’t just affect ALICE households but everyone in the community who are paying higher taxes and experiencing rising insurance premiums. United Way has a hotline for connecting ALICE families with support at their 2-1-1 call centers.

Spring Valley Considers Closing Tax Assessor’s Office

The village of Spring Valley is considering abolishing the office of tax assessor and replacing it with information collected by the towns of Ramapo and Clarkstown. Presently, the two towns assess all the property within Spring Valley’s borders. Trustees Vilair Fonvil, Sherry McGill and Asher Grossman are in favor the change, while Mayor Demeza Delhomme and Deputy Mayor Emilia White are opposed. Grossman told the Journal News that Spring Valley would retain the power to calculate and collect all village taxes. There will be a public hearing on the proposed change of law this Wednesday 7:00 p.m. at Village Hall (200 North Main Street). Fonvil says a state representative will attend the meeting to explain the pros and cons of the proposed change.

$58M Bond Vote for East Ramapo Schools Dec 6

December 6 the $58 million bond referendum for East Ramapo school district’s much-needed repairs and upgrades goes before the voters. The bond includes replacing roofs, boilers, windows and HVAC units, repair of sidewalks, floors and bleachers as well as upgraded security system and athletic fields. District officials also plan to add science labs, special education classrooms, and a Wi-Fi network in every classroom and office. There is also a second proposition for voters to approve totaling $1,127,920 through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York program for window and door upgrades at Kakiat and Fleetwood elementary schools. District Officials say the time is right for these projects from both an academic and financial perspective. East Ramapo School Superintendent Deborah Wortham and Assistant Superintendent for Finance Valter Paci talked with The Journal News in depth. Wortham noted that academic progress has been made in the district and enrollment is up and “attendance is improving while discipline is declining”. Paci says there would be “no tax impact for property owners for the first three years” and then “relatively modest” increases over the 20-year life of the bond.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

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