According to South Nyack Police a former softball coach at Nyack College was arrested on Thursday for inappropriately touching more than ten players on the team. Police stated that 43-year old Kurt Ludwigsen was hired by the college in September and fired in March after he was accused by the girls and their parents of unwanted touching and kissing on the mouth. After further investigations into the claims, Ludwigsen was charged with 45 counts of inappropriate touching, 49 counts of harassment, and one count of sexual abuse. The Ridgewood, New Jersey resident, where he lives with his family, is being held on $15,000 bail until his next court date on April 13, while the former coach will be taking over the remainder of the season, or until a new head coach is found.
The Rockland County District Attorney’s office released a full report today on the investigation into the shooting death of former New City resident Vincent Cordaro who instigated a night-long standoff with police from February 8. A Rockland County Grand Jury convened for three days, presented with evidence and testimony from that night and rendered a, ‘No True Bill’ verdict against the officer. This result dismissed any charges against the officer as there was no probably cause that a crime had been committed because, “The Grand Jury has found the officers actions in using deadly physical force against Vincernt Cordaro to be justified.” The tense standoff incident that occurred at Cordaro’s home on North Little Tor Road escalated when officers used CS gas, tear gas, to try and mitigate the dangerous situation at which point Cordaro fired shots at the officers who returned fire, fearing for their own lives. It was later discovered that Cordaro had multiple firearms and ammunition inside his home where he threatened his relatives before they called the police.
According to a story that is circulating online and through local media sources, a family was recorded allowing their children to climb and play on the 9/11 Memorial at Haverstraw Bay County Park. The photo shows the Hasidic Jewish family viewing the memorial while behind them their children are sitting on top of part of the installment. It was first seen online and sparked outrage among residents and visitors paying their respects to loved ones and those lost in the September 11 terrorist attacks. One couple stated to News 12 that they often visit their son’s name at the memorial and have seen this type of behavior before. The outcry led County Executive Ed Day to release a statement on his FaceBook page stating, “The ethnic makeup of the family in question is not what matters here. What matters, and what I would ask everyone to focus on, is the desecration of this sacred site.” He went on to say that he will be working with the Parks and Sheriff’s Departments to create signage or ways to ensure there is respect. The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council released a statement against the County Executive’s remarks stating, “Ed Day and his son Chris Day both adapted the photo to post it simultaneously as new posts on their respective FaceBook pages; thus generating more hate comments against Orthodox Jews.” The statement also referenced a recent video titled “The Jew in Rockland”, which compares the secular rift in Rockland County and hateful comments made on social media to Nazi Germany, and most county officials’ calls to remove it. Visitors of the memorial all appear to agree that the main issue is that there was a lack of respect surrounding the place of remembrance.
According to the first annual report of the Start-Up NY program released last Wednesday, the first year produced 76 jobs of the 2,085 promised costing taxpayers $53 million in advertising though Empire State Development Chairman, Howard Zemsky stated that most new businesses in the program only began operation in the 2nd half of the year. Existing companies have been responsible for job and investment expansion. The program allows for new businesses moving into regions near colleges across the state to get 10 years of free business, corporate, income, sales, and property taxes. But bulk of Start-Up NY companies are located near SUNY Stonybrook and Buffalo with none yet in the Hudson Valley region.
A 16 year-old unnamed Suffern boy was arrested Tuesday evening for reckless driving and smaller traffic infractions as his speeding car knocked over a utility pole leaving some residents without power. The driver was turning onto River Road when he lost control of the vehicle which struck a fence before snapping the pole. Both he and his also 16-year old passenger were treated at Good Samaritan Hospital for minor injuries. The Tallman Fire Department also responded to the accident with no other reported injuries.
Acting State Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary sentenced Lacey Spears to 20 years to life in Westchester County Court today. On March 2, a jury found Spears guilty of second-degree murder in the poisoning death of her 5 year-old son Garnett. Spears faced up to 25 years to life in prison, the maximum penalty for the crime with the prosecution citing her “depraved, despicable, and evil” actions to seek this out. Defense attorney David Sachs brought forward letters of support from family as he requested the minimum of 15 years to life, maintaining her innocence from the start of trial. Justice Neary believed Spears to be suffering from Munchausen by proxy, a rare syndrome that may have accounted for her actions. After sentencing, Spears’ defense attorneys found the sentencing, “curious” as there had been no evidence presented regarding Spears’ mental illness.
The 27-year old former Chestnut Ridge mother Lacey Spears will be seen in court for sentencing later Wednesday. Spears was found guilty by a jury in early March, after being accused of poisoning her five-year old son Garnett with lethal amounts of sodium. The young boy was required to wear a feeding tube to obtain nutrients, and after entering the hospital in January of 2014, succumbed to sickness. Doctors called the police when they found large amounts of sodium in the boys’s blood, and an investigation began, leading to the woman’s arrest. Spears faces 15 to 25 years to life in prison for the charge of second-degree murder, and prosecutors have stated that they will be seeking a life sentence.
Officials with the Thruway Authority and Village of South Nyack met last week, with Executive Director Robert Megna recently releasing a statement that the two parties are working to compromise on the location of a bike and walking path for the new Tappan Zee Bridge. Currently the plans are to put the entry to the path in a residential area, which many residents and village officials have taken a stand against, many stating that the excessive amount of visitors to the bridge’s walkway will lead to traffic and parking problems. According to officials the village and Thruway are working on finding a resolution, one proposal being the use of Exit 10 off the Thruway as an entrance, when it is finished being used as a construction site. Recently South Nyack received a grant for $250,000 to complete a study on traffic patterns and accessibility of Exit 10. The Thruway Authority has completed a study that estimates about 473 people will be visiting the path per hour.
The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending upgrades for fuel cars after yet another derailment in North Dakota on Sunday, the 5th in North America this year. The Board says cars should either be replaced or fitted with a better mechanism against catching fire as the current steel construction does not provide enough protection. County Executive Ed Day expressed concern for the proximity of tracks and grade crossings to populated towns, “Just feel like it, in my hometown of New City and here in Rockland, it would be like the entirety of the center of New City being obliterated– two blocks on either side of Main Street, four from the court house, down to St. Augustus church.” Department of Transportation spokeswoman Susan Lagana stated that rules to up tank car standards are under final review and will improve safety. The National Transportation Safety Board also recommended a speed reduction for trains in the interim before new safety standards are enacted.
The Clarkstown Police Department issued a Fraud Alert on their facebook page today that details an incident involving the deletion of a woman’s computer information due to a fraudulent phone scheme. According to the facebook post, a caller from an unknown number told the women that her computer had been hacked by Russian thieves and that by granting remote access and paying him $3,000 to 5,000, he could save her computer files. When she refused, the caller then deleted the contents from her computer. Nothing could be retrieved when she attempted help from ‘Apple Care.’ The Police department’s alert warned against trusting just anyone with remote access to a computer and to contact local authorities if they had been victim to an internet or computer scheme.