Towns Crackdown on Illegal Housing

Clarkstown and Orangetown are cracking down on illegal housing, slumlords, and absentee homeowners in order to curb fire and safety hazards and overcrowding. In Clarkstown, Code Enforcement Officer Raymond Francis was hired in May to manage three full-time code enforcement officers to respond to complaints that come to their office from residents who reach them through 3-1-1 on the town’s website and through email and phone calls. Andy Stewart said on the Morning Show yesterday that Orangetown is now seeking to cut down on LLC owners who do not list an actual contact name on the deed in order for the town to follow up on properties that have issues and violations. Stewart said, “Many times it is very hard to find an actual person to speak to when a complaint about a property comes in.”

SV Parkview Condos Threaten Lawsuit

Representatives of the Parkview Condominiums at 120 N. Main Street in Spring Valley have threatened a federal civil rights lawsuit against the village after the building inspector ordered removal of religious baths and a synagogue. The Chief Building Inspector Walter Booker noted the violation of the building code in June. He sited the building for violation of their village-approved site plan and had installed baths and a synagogue without permits. (Source: The Journal News)

Afternoon News Update 10/19

In Westchester, the FBI was able to save a 16-year-old girl from sex traffickers in a sting operation known as ‘Operation Cross Country.’ As many as 8 tristate area police departments, including Clarkstown police, helped the FBI in its operation. The FBI and other authorities investigated truck stops, hotels, and street corners throughout the investigation; Operation Cross Country has recovered 82 underage victims and arrested 239 pimps worldwide. (Source: LoHud)

Ahmad Khan Rahimi, the man charged for setting off bombs in New York and New Jersey back in September, has been moved from the hospital to prison. Rahimi was hospitalized with gunshot wounds after a police shootout. Authorities have not stated which prison Rahimi was transported to; he is still being held on 5.2 million dollars bail. (Source: NorthJersey)

New York State is putting forward a 55 million dollar plan to add welcome centers throughout the state and advance tourism advertising. The plan will add Taste NY markets across the state which will sell New York grown products, as well as promote the craft beer industry. Overall, tourism spending is up 25% in New York State since 2010. (Source: LoHud)

In national baseball news, the Blue Jays were able to stave off elimination last night with a 5-1 win over the Indians. Those two teams will play again at 4 p.m. as the Indians try to advance to the World Series and the Blue Jays try to stay alive. Meanwhile, on the National League side of the action, the Dodgers took a 2-1 series lead over the heavily favored Cubs last night with a 6-0 win. Los Angeles and Chicago are back at it again tonight at 8 p.m.

-Patrick Flood

“The Link” Meetings Tonight & Tomorrow

Tonight (October 19) the State Transportation Board is holding a second round of public meetings regarding the first phase of the Lower Hudson Transit Link, expected to replace the current Tappan ZEExpress run by Rockland County. It would run along the I-287 corridor between Suffern to the west and White Plains to the east, with some infrastructure improvements on route 59 and Route 119. Tonight’s meeting will be 6-8pm in the Nyack Library Community Room, 59 South Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960. The second meeting will be tomorrow night in Westchester from 6-8pm at the Warner Public Library Meeting Room, 121 North Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591. If you are unable to attend but would like to stay involved visit:

Nat’l Prescription Drug Take Back Day

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held this Saturday (October 22) 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. at three CVS pharmacies in Rockland: 280 South Main, New City, 330 Route 304, Bardonia, and 12 West Ramapo Road, Garnerville. Pills and patches only – liquids, needles or sharps will be not accepted. The medications do not need to be labeled. The service is free and anonymous. And remember, you can always turn in medications to you local police department.

Lead Found in Dows and Main Schools

The Journal News is reporting this morning that Dows Lane Elementary School and Main Street School had 140 water outlets tested for lead contamination. The results, seven faucets were shut off at Dows Lane and five at Main Street, announced the school district on Monday. Approximately 1,700 students are affected by the findings. Water is no longer running in some bathrooms, classroom and library sinks and a kitchen sink, as well as, gymnasium bathrooms at Main Street because the problem sinks were difficult to take offline. New York is the first state in the nation to pass legislation requiring schools to do lead testing. Irvington, voluntarily began testing a sampling of their sinks before the law was passed and found no sinks above the EPA standard.

Afternoon News Update 10/18

The man accused of shooting his former boss and another man outside of a Chappaqua deli over the summer, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 49-year-old Hengjun Chao appeared in court this morning before a Westchester County Court judge where the judge set his bail at 1 million dollars. Chao is charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, and first degree criminal use of a fire arm (Source: LoHud)

On Friday, a Mount Vernon woman was sentenced to two to four years in state prison after it was discovered she had stolen someone’s identity, in order to purchase hundreds of dollars’ worth of shoes. 30-year-old Simone Barrett Johnson spent three days purchasing shoes online and paying her cable bill with someone else debit card. Authorities are unsure how Johnson obtained the debit card and have stated that the victim will not be able to recoup the money that was lost. (Source: LoHud)

The West Milford, New Jersey school district has banned clown costumes ahead of Halloween after the recent disturbing clown sightings that have occurred in the area and across the nation. School district officials have stated that this ban is intended to ensure that all students feel safe during the holiday and can have fun without worry. (Source: NewJersey)

In national baseball news, The Cleveland Indians are on the verge of advancing to the World Series after they beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 last night. Today at 4 p.m., those two teams will play again in Canada and it is do or die time for Toronto. Meanwhile, on the National League side of the action, The Dodgers and Cubs are tied at one game apiece and will play game 3 of the NLCS tonight at 8 p.m. in Los Angeles.

-Patrick Flood

Unclaimed Funds for 2016

New York State Comptroller may be looking for you.  Do you have unclaimed funds left in a dormant bank account, money left over from property sales, and unused gift cards.  Here is where you can check the if you have found monies:

South Orangetown Middle School Closed Today, 10-18

Early this morning there was a 12” water main break in front of the South Orangetown Middle School at the entrance on Van Wyck Road. School is closed today, October 18.  According to Bill Madden of Suez Water, crews were onsite as of 6 a.m.  There are now 80 homes without water.  Later today, Madden believes six of the homes and the school near the site will be issued a boil water alert for the next two days at minimum.  Suez is working with the school district to come up with solution for getting children back to school while there is no water. Madden expresses his “apologies for the inconvenience” and he added that crews are working fast and safely to restore services.

Two NJ School Buses Crash

Yesterday afternoon, two NJ school buses from Northern Valley Regional High School collide near the exit 11 ramp of the Palisades Parkway. One bus rear-ended the other. Approximately 60 students were transferred to Nyack Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital via ambulances and additional school buses. There were minor injuries and the investigation is ongoing.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

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