Legislature Overrides County Executive’s Vetoes

At the Rockland County Legislature meeting on Monday night members voted 15-2 to override County Executive Ed Day’s decision to veto the adopted 2015 budget vote. Last week the Legislature voted to approve a revised version of Day’s $772 million proposal, amending the Deficit Reduction Act to allow payback of $4 million towards the county debt rather than $10 million. By amending the law the Legislature provided money to save 36 positions within the Sheriff’s Patrol Units and funding for the nonprofit organizations. On Friday Day vetoed parts of the plan, cutting funding for ten nonprofits, as well as the mounted patrol unit and the position of captain in the Sheriff’s Office. Joseph Meyers and Chris Carey both voted no on the override with the other 15 members voting yes. Day stated on Monday night, “My original proposal made the hard decisions on spending while following the law. But, the Democratic-controlled Legislature voted to amend it’s own Deficit Financing Act to continue the status quo and avoid the same hard decisions I faced.” The adopted budget will raise taxes for Rockland residents by $20 a year.

Young Boy Cornered by Man

According to Clarkstown police a boy was followed an cornered by a man outside of his home in Bardonia in what appears to be an attempted luring incident. The fourteen-year old boy was dropped off by the bus at his home and was approached by a man he described to police as black, 5-feet 9-inches tall, medium build, with bloodshot eyes, wearing jeans, boots and a red and black checker patterned button down short under a black jacket. Police stated that the teenager made it to his door and locked the man out, after which the man sat out front in a red van with New Jersey license plates for ten minutes. The incident took place around 2:50 in the afternoon and was reported to police at 8:00 PM, investigations are continuing, anyone with information should call Clarkstown Police at 845-639-5840.

Spears, Accused of Killing Son, Has Trial Date Set

Lacey Spears, who was accused of poisoning her five-year old son Garnett with sodium, leading to his death in January, was seen in a court hearing in Westchester on Thursday where prosecutors informed her lawyers and the judge that they will be presenting evidence in the case that show Spears may have been the cause of high levels of sodium in her son’s blood at a previous date in Alabama. They are also asking to use in the case, stories that Spears allegedly made up about a fiance and two other children, all of who appear not to exist. The case will go to trial on January 26, though another hearing will be held in early January.

New Tappan Zee Bridge Tolls Predicted To Be High

According to a report done by the Empire Center for New York Policy on the budget for 2015 for the Thruway Authority, the tolls for the new Tappan Zee Bridge could reach as high as $15. The toll is currently $5 and the new bridge is being built for $3.9 billion. The completed study shows that the organization is already facing a $305 million deficit with less access to federal funding than expected, which could lead to a much higher toll cost for drivers. Officials with the Thruway Authority and New York State have yet to announce the actual cost and Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that there will most likely be subsidies given by the state to lower costs though it is too early to clearly say how high tolls will be.

Anti-Semitic Attack in Brooklyn

In a report done by News 12 Rockland, leaders in the Jewish community are expressing fear and concern after reports of an attack at a Brooklyn synagogue on Tuesday morning. In the attack, 22-year old student Levi Rosenblat was left in stable condition after a stab wound to his head by 49-year old Calvin Peters, who was later shot and killed by police when he lunged for an officer. The attack was filmed and Peters can be heard saying, “Kill the jews” multiple times before his death. Patrols by the Rockland Sheriff’s Department have been increased around the county, and officials stated to the news source that centers of worship in the area will most likely be closely watched, though the incident appears to be involving just Peters in Brooklyn, and unrelated to a terrorist group.

Suffern Woman Drives into House Under the Influence of Marijuana

A Suffern woman was arrested on Sunday when she drove her car into the front porch of a home. According to officers in the Ramapo Police Department, 28-year old Courtney Hauser was driving while impaired with drugs, when she drove into the home on Stemmer Lane. Police later discovered marijuana and a smoking apparatus in the vehicle. The building received minor damage, with no residents reporting injury. Hauser was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital for minor neck injuries, and was charged with a violation of unlawful possession of marijuana, and a misdemeanor count of driving while ability impaired by drugs, and was released from police custody.

Fire in New City

Fire fighters responded to a call in New City on Tuesday night, to find a house fire on Twin Elms Lane. Around 8 PM, volunteers from New City, Congers, West Nyack, and Hillcrest arrived at the address and began to work at putting out the flames that officials stated started on the first floor, and had it extinguished within a half hour. According to Red Cross officials, the five residents are now without a home due to the extent of the fire, and one woman was treated for smoke inhalation at Nyack Hospital. Investigators are still searching for the cause of the fire, but stated it does not seem suspicious.

Tax Cap Under Scrutiny

According to the Rockland County Legislature, the County Executive’s 2015 budget proposal has gone over the New York State tax cap by 100 thousand dollars. On Tuesday, a letter was sent to the budget and finance committee from the financial firm O’Connor Davies, which stated after a review of the proposal that the payments in lieu of taxes were claimed as 160 thousand dollars by County Executive Ed Day, but the correct number is 260 thousand dollars. The New York State Comptroller’s office recently approved the budget proposal, stating that the county will remain under the two percent tax cap. Day stated “We find the timing of this document’s submission to the media, asserting a 1/100th percent variance in the budge two hours prior to the meeting, extremely suspect.” The Legislature is set to vote on the budget at a 7:00 meeting tomorrow night.

Woman Involved in 1981 Heist Requests Freedom

A woman charged in the 1981 robbery of a Brinks Security truck that got two Nyack police officers killed has requested clemency from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. 64-year old Judith Clark requested to be freed recently, after spending 33 years in prison on murder charges for her role as an accomplice and getaway driver in the 1.6 million dollar robbery. Cuomo’s office has declined to comment on the request for clemency, though Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe stated to the Journal News that he will be filing opposition papers with the state by today, calling the robbery an act of terrorism. County Executive Ed Day also stated his opposition, expressing that he was on the side of the families of the police officers left behind after the attack, and that it would be unjust to release Clark.

Local Sports Gambling Crime Ring Busted

According to the Rockland District Attorney’s office, at least 14 people were arrested on Tuesday morning after an investigation led to the discovery of a sports gambling ring. District Attorney Thomas Zugibe stated that the investigation into organized crime took place over a 16-month period and those charged worked within the gambling ring, which appeared to have connections to and may have been providing money for organized crime groups on the East Coast. The arrested, aged 27 to 74, were from both Rockland and Westchester counties and were charged with felony counts of gambling offenses. The organized crime unit, as well as police from Rockland, Westchester, and New York State, were able to seize over three million dollars in cash and the defendants were released without bail.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

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