Morning News Update

Jiwan Coleman, the Spring Valley teen accused of robbing and murdering another teenager pleaded not guilty in Rockland County Court on Thursday. The 16 year-old Coleman is charged with two second-degree murder counts and first-degree robbery. Police say Coleman hit Ruben Torres on the head with a rock last month as the victim was returning home from a part-time job. Torres’s family disconnected him from a ventilator July 2nd and he died at Westchester Medical Center.

· A key figure in New Jersey’s “Bridgegate” scandal pleaded guilty on Thursday to an unrelated federal corruption charge in a scheme involving United Airlines. An internal United investigation had looked into whether former Port Authority chairman and Governor Chris Christie confidante David Samson tried to get the airline to add non-stop flights from Newark to South Carolina where he had a vacation home. Samson resigned in 2014 during the bridge scandal as Port Authority chairman. The plea deal reportedly does not force Samson to cooperate in the government’s ongoing Bridgegate investigation. Bridge lane closings sparked a three-day traffic jam in September 2013. Sentencing is scheduled for October. Prosecutors are asking for two years in prison.

· Three Middletown residents face marijuana possession and other charges following a stop on Route 17 by Upper Saddle River police Wednesday afternoon. Police say the three had an ounce of pot, $5,500 in cash and a .38 caliber revolver in their car. Justin Rivera and Hector Paz, both 20 years-old, were being held in the Bergen County Jail on bail. A 17-year-old who was with them was sent to the Bergen County Juvenile Detention Center in Teterboro on weapons and drug charges.

· The Nyack Chamber’s “Classic Car Night” has been rescheduled for next Thursday, July 21 from 5 p.m. until dusk. The free event, which features vintage and specialty cars lining Main Street, was cancelled last night due to the rain. Visit NyackChamber.org for more information.

· A New Jersey woman was charged Wednesday for failing to pay over 250 EZ-Pass tolls – a whopping $16,000! Various media reports say Denise Simien of Verona, NJ, was nabbed Wednesday morning as she allegedly tried to go through the Holland Tunnel into Manhattan.

And in CanAm baseball news – The Rockland Boulders faced the New Jersey Jackals in the third of their three-game, split-series Thursday night at Palisades Credit Union Park. The Boulders rallied in the 9th down 8-3 to force extra innings, winning it in the 10th, 9-8. The Boulders travel north of the border to face Ottawa tonight at 7:05pm.

Morning News Update

New York State Police from Troop F are also investigating yesterday’s multi-vehicle fatal accident on I-84 near exit 5 in Montgomery. The westbound lanes were closed for hours following the crash. One was killed and several others hurt in the 6-vehicle pile-up that reportedly involved two tractor-trailers. The incident occurred just a few miles east of another big crash that also shut down the westbound lanes for four hours on Monday.

Clarkstown Police say an 84 year-old New City man was backing out of a parking spot Tuesday evening at the Burger King on Main Street in New City when he lost control of his car and crashed into a commercial and residential building located at 11 Third Street. The man’s 2003 Toyota ended up in the northwest corner of the building. There were no injuries and no tickets issued.

A casino expansion constitutional amendment goes before New Jersey voters this November, but a new poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind suggests you might want not want to bet that the plan will pass. FDU says only thirty-five percent of respondents are in favor of the plan that would allow two counties in northern New Jersey to each have one new casino. Fifty-seven percent are opposed to the amendment. It reportedly requires tax revenue from any North Jersey casino be shared among the eight remaining Atlantic City casinos. The survey was conducted by phone from June 22-26 using a randomly selected sample of 712 self-identified registered voters in New Jersey.

The Village of Rye Brook will hold a public hearing next month to consider a law banning the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats. If passed, Rye Brook would join the Village of Mamaroneck and Mount Pleasant in prohibiting puppy mills. New Rochelle and Harrison have discussed similar legislation.

Afternoon News Update

In Middletown last night, police were involved in a confrontation, that lead to the death of one man. A 56 year old man threatened to shoot his girlfriend and responding officers if they tried to enter the residence. Police were then able to save the woman and take out the armed assailant. No other people were harmed in the incident.

A 19 year old Bronx man was taken into custody last night after he robbed store on Marble Avenue. Police aren’t releasing many details, but they stated that the suspect displayed a gun and stole merchandise from the store’s owner. Authorities were called at around 4 pm on Tuesday, and by using a description of the suspect, were able to arrest the man.

Bergen County freeholders have voted for a ban on exotic or wild animal shows on county property. The vote, which was a unanimous decision, happened on Wednesday night after years of protests. This decision comes after growing concerns for exotic animals across the country including outcries over Orca whales at SeaWorld and elephant performances at various traveling circuses.

The Rockland Boulders won big yesterday in an 11-4 rout of the New Jersey Jackals at Yogi Berra Stadium. David Fischer earned the win for Rockland while James Stokes took the loss for New Jersey. Tonight the Boulders will play the Jackals again at Palisades Credit Union Park, game time is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Afternoon News Update

In Hillcrest, a man has been charged with attempted murder after shooting a female friend in the leg. 22 year old Junathan McNeil fired at least 5 shots at the victim on Sunday morning during an apparent argument. The woman was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while McNeil was sent to county prison on a 500 thousand dollar bail.

In Spring Valley on Saturday, a man was arrested a third time for driving while intoxicated. 37 year old Luis Gomez-Pichisaca was driving erratically on route 59 early Saturday when police pulled him over. Pichisaca was released from the Rockland County Jail after posting 9,000 dollar bail.

The State University of New York System has tasked weatherman and Today show host, Al Rocker to help with the search for a new chancellor. Al Roker, who graduated from SUNY Oswego in 1976, will be one of twenty two members vetting candidates to replace the current chancellor, Nancy Zimpher. The committee held its first meeting this Monday.

The Rockland Boulders lost 10-6 in a slugfest yesterday against the New Jersey Jackals at Palisades Credit Union Park. Jason Byers took the loss for Rockland while Matt Parish earned the win for New Jersey. Tomorrow the Boulders will play the Jackals again at Palisades Credit Union Park, game time is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

BLM Rally’s in Nyack Middletown on Wednesday

Local chapter of Black Lives Matter – Rockland & Orange Alliance held a rally Friday at Tiger’s Den Park in Spring Valley and a second rally yesterday in Nyack. Approximately 60 people marching in protest of last week’s shooting deaths of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana by white police officers attended yesterday’s rally. They carried signs saying “White Silence = Violence” and “Black Lives Matter”. Weldon McWilliams IV, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Spring Valley and a founding member of the local BLM Chapter said, “We’re very upset, but we stand in unity.” Marchers staged a “lie in” in front of Nyack Village Hall to symbolize those who were lost. Tomorrow a Rally for Justice will be held at Thrall Park 42-21 Grove Street, Middletown, NY.

IG Releases Report on YFT and Child Abuse Cover Up

The Inspector General of Yonkers, Brendan J. McGrath completed the investigative report of the Yonkers Federation of Teachers in regards to reporters who posed as teachers in YFT offices and videotaped advice on how to cover up alleged child abuse. The report says that Union President, Patricia Puleo, and Executive Vice President, Paul Diamond schemed to “cover-up criminal acts and to perpetrate a fraud upon the taxpayers of the City of Yonkers.” According to the report, both Puleo and Diamond refused to cooperate with McGrath’s investigation and the report ultimately recommends that their “employment with the Yonkers Public School District be terminated.” In response the YFT issued a statement saying the report was “hastily produced in the middle of difficult contract negotiations.”

Happy 101st Birthday Albert Penchansky

State Senator David Carlucci presented a proclamation yesterday in honor of WWII veteran Albert Penchansky on his 101st birthday and for his military service during the Second World War. Penchansky told The Journal news he credits his longevity with working out and occasionally dancing — from all of us at WRCR, Happy 101st Birthday, Mr. Penchansky.

Median for Rockland Single Family Homes Increase 4.9%

With the fallout from the Brexit vote , Puerto Rico insolvency, Federal Reserve rates and the upcoming elections homeowners begin to worry about the value of their property. The good news, Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, has some positive projections in regards to Westchester, Putnam, Orange and Rockland County. The second quarter of 2016 posted a five-year high in transactions — with single-family homes leading the way. Putnam, Rockland and Orange posted an increase in the median sale price of a single-family home as well. Putnam is up 8.5% to $314,000, Orange is up 6% and Rockland 4.9%. Westchester posted a decrease of the median single-family home 1.6% from $660,000 to $650,000. Mortgage rates continue to be as low as they have ever been.

Unit 2 Reactor Back in Service After Unexpected Shutdown

According to Entergy, the owner of Indian Point nuclear power plant, Unit 2 reactor is back in service as of Thursday afternoon. Unit 2 unexpectedly shutdown on Wednesday morning while technicians were testing the electrical systems at the plant. Governor Cuomo, a strong opponent of the plant, has directed the New York Department of Public Service to investigate the unexpected shut down and assess steps that should be taken to avoid future events.

SNAP Expands Qualification for Relief

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – or SNAP – which helps fight hunger among working New Yorkers has just been expanded as part of Governor Cuomo’s Anti-Hunger Task Force. The qualification earned income level has increased to $2,512 per month for a family of three, now giving access to more than 750,000 additional working families who can qualify for relief. SNAP participants may use their benefits to purchase healthy, fresh food options at participating farmers’ markets in New York, and through the FreshConnect Checks program they can make their benefits go even further. For more information visit: myBenefits.ny.gov

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

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