According to officials work has resumed on the New Tappan Zee Bridge, which took a hiatus during the rough winter the lower Hudson Valley has faced this year. Ice and snow on the river forced much of the construction to slow or stop completely, including pile driving, which has also begun once again. Many South Nyack residents have complained that the noise created by the process is overwhelming and Mayor Bonnie Christian stated that the village should be given at least 48-hours notice to inform residents that pile driving will be happening. Also this month Tappan Zee Constructors, the company working on the new bridge, began replacing silos used for concrete storage on the two floating mixing plant, after one collapsed in December. The officials stated that an investigation into the cause of the fall is continuing and without the barges trucks have to drive in mixed cement from an outside site. Along with pile driving, crews will also resume work on the areas where the bridge reaches land. Noise from the site is meant to be kept below 90 decibels, which is monitored by equipment 50 feet from the work, and in response to various complaints Mayor Christian stated that she has requested the monitors be moved closer to the site.
16 Year-old Christopher Bermeo was seen in Rockland County Court on Wednesday where a Judge lowered bail for the Spring Valley High School student who was arrested last week after stabbing a classmate in the halls of the school. The 17 year-old victim was stabbed four times with a penknife and according to Bermeo’s defense attorney, Benjamin Greenwald, his client was defending himself from verbal and physical bullying. On Wednesday, the teen pleaded not guilty to charged of attempted murder and assault and the Judge agreed with Greenwald to lower the bail from $500,000 to 50,000 based on Bermeo’s age and the unlikeliness that he would flee. The victim spent a few days in the hospital for serious but non-life threatening injuries and is not home with a protective order against his assailant. Bermeo was suspended from school and would most likely be home schooled in the event he makes bail.
The unofficial results are in for Wednesday’s village elections. In the race for Pomona Mayor, Mayor Brett Yagel was reelected to continue serving another term, winning against Trustee Ian Banks. The Pomona Village Clerk stated to The Journal News that Banks requested a recount that will take place today. Trustees Leon Harris and Nicholas Wilson were also reelected. In Airmont, Trustee Philip Gigante beat Trustee Ralph Bracco and Planning Board member Thomas Gulla, for the position that was held by Veronica Boesch who announced that she would not be seeking another term. Also in Airmont, Paul Marchesani and Anthony Valco won the open seats on the Board of Trustees. And in Hillburn, Mayor Craig Flanagan ran uncontested and was reelected along with Trustee Eleanor DeGraw who was reelected over Shelly Flanagan-Ramos. Of the eleven village elections, these three were the only contested races.
Firefighters responded to a call early Thursday morning to find the Hillcrest Service Center engulfed in flames. According to oddicials, the fire started around 3:00am at the autoshop on Route 45 in Hillcrest and was put out after forty minutes, though North Main Street was closed until 6:00am. Police were forced to evacuate the neighboring home and the building next door was not damaged. No injuries were reported however, the autoshop was destroyed including the three cars inside with several cars outside in the lot damaged from the heat from the blaze.
The case against Spring Valley High School student Christopher Bermeo is quickly moving forward, going before a grand jury on Monday. The 16-year old was arrested after stabbing a 17-year old student four times with a penknife last Monday. The victim was taken to a hospital and appears to have recovered successfully and Bermeo claimed that he was being bullied by the other student and was defending himself. On Monday afternoon the grand jury indicted Bermeo on felony charges of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault. He remains held on $500,000 bail and faces 25 years in prison, as he is being charged as an adult.
According to County Executive Ed Day’s office the county is implementing a new system that will allow riders of TOR, Tappan Zee Xpress, and TRIPS buses to receive alerts faster and easier. Riders can now sign up for the free electronic Transit Alert option that will send them text messages or emails informing them of delays or changes in schedules caused by holidays or other reasons. The program is being funded by local transportation money and will cost $720 a year, though not from County taxes. For more information visit www.rocklandbus.com.
According to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer the Senate approved a new U.S. Marshals Service Chief for the region, which includes Rockland, Westchester, Orange, and Putnam Counties. Michael Greco of Rockland County has been a State Trooper for 32 years and was approved by a 96-0 vote after being recommended for the position by Senator Schumer, who stated that Greco has the type of commitment that will make him successful in the position. As the region’s chief Greco will oversee services including the Federal witness protection program, tracking and capturing fugitives, and protecting federal judges.
Ferry services between the Haverstraw and Ossining terminals are set to resume this week after nearly two months of being suspended. On January 26 the ice and snow on the Hudson River forced the suspension of the ferry, which transports nearly 450 Rockland commuters daily, a problem that is faced nearly every winter. Senator Charles Schumer requested that the Coast Guard find a way to break the ice in the future so services could continue through the winter, though the agency stated that they have limited resources and must create a travel route for barges to go North up the river. The ferry services will resume on Wednesday morning starting at 5:50 AM.
On Friday 16-year old Christopher Bermeo was seen in Spring Valley Village Court before a judge. The Spring Valley High School student is facing an attempted murder charge for stabbing a 17-year old student in school on Monday morning, and is currently being held on $500,000 bail. According to coverage of the case from News 12, many of Bermeo’s friends arrived at the courthouse to support him and his claims that he was being verbally and was defending himself when he stabbed the boy four times with a pen-knife. The court hearing could not go before a Grand Jury on Friday, because the victim who faced serious but not life threatening injuries to his abdomen, back, and arms, was forced to receive further treatment at the hospital. The case is set to move forward sometime Monday.
According to Ramapo Police, officers spent much of Sunday night searching for a man suspected of robbing a gas station. Around 9:00 PM the man, who may or may not have been armed, robbed a gas station on Route 17 in Sloatsburg before running towards the Ramapo River. Police stated that with the assistance of the Rockland Sheriff’s Department and state Police they searched the river and surrounding areas, using wetsuits, airboats, and helicopters. Around 10:50 the suspect was found hanging onto a rock in the freezing water and was taken into custody after receiving treatment for hypothermia.