An Orange County man was convicted on Monday on charges of second-degree manslaughter. In August 2013 27-year old Christian Benson was arrested after his girlfriend, 30-year old Kristi Babcock, was shot in the chest when the gun they were handling discharged. Babcock was a well-liked member of the New Windsor Recreation Department, and Assistant Attorney Michael Milza stated that Benson was experienced in handling guns and acted recklessly and irresponsibly that day. On Monday an Orange County jury decided to convict the man, who will be sentenced on September 16 and is being held on bail until then.
Former Mount Pleasant Police Chief Brian Fanelli was seen in court on Monday afternoon for accusations of child pornography. The 56-year old Mahopac resident was arrested by the Department of Homeland Security after he was found to be collecting and sharing images and videos of children engaged in sexual acts on his home computer from October 2013 to January 2014. On Monday, before a judge in White Plains Federal Court, Fanelli admitted that he began collecting the media guilty to charges of possession of child pornography, and could receive 41-51 months in prison at his sentencing in November.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that upgrades will be made to multiple airports in the area. At a press conference Cuomo stated that LaGuardia Airport would be completely redesigned and rebuilt, allowing for an upgraded system that will expand the cramped, inefficient terminals there currently. The plan was presented after Vice President Joe Biden criticized the dated airport last year and worked with the governor’s office to come up with a solution. Work will begin next year, with private funding providing half of the $4 billion needed, including Delta Air Lines who is a partner in the terminal. Cuomo also announced that Republic Airport on Long Island and Stewart Airport in New Windsor have been approved for Start Up New York, which will allow them to act as start up businesses tax free for ten years. John F. Kennedy Airport will also have one of its existing buildings turned into a hotel. According to Cuomo and Biden the unified terminal at LaGuardia will create jobs and provide the airport with much needed room for concessions and security screenings.
The Ramapo Police department released information regarding three arrests made in Hillcrest late Saturday evening after responding to a dispute at a house party at 14A South Hillside Drive. According to the report, the responding officers found two men with wounds to their abdomen, arms, and neck and were then treated by Rockland Paramedics and Spring Hill Ambulance Corps. before being transported to Nyack Hospital for treatment. A third victim was found with a laceration to his torso and was treated at Good Samaritan Hospital. The alleged dispute broke out when the victims confronted a group of uninvited guests who arrived at the party armed with weapons. Jeremiah Ellie, 19 of Nanuet and Noe Valcin, 20 of Monsey, were charged with first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and are held on $50,000 bail. Bradley Tony Lauture, 18 of Spring Valley was charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the third and fourth degrees for being found carrying a 9mm handgun. Officials are expecting additional charges and arrests in the ongoing investigation. Anyone with information from the incident is encouraged to call 357-2400 and speak with the Ramapo Police Department Detective’s Bureau.
Route 6 in Cortlandt is closed from the Bear Mountain Bridge to Annsville Circle following an overturned tractor trailer on the narrow stretch of road. The accident which occurred at around 9 a.m. this morning, caused minor injuries when the northbound trailer carrying wooden railroad ties could not maneuver the tight corner and toppled onto two southbound passenger vehicles. State police are reporting that the driver of one of the vehicles hit, sustained injuries to their face and was transported to the hospital for treatment. Officials are hoping to clear out the blocked roadway by the evening commute.
The Boulders played their final games against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks this weekend. On Friday the Rockland team started the game with a 5-0 lead by the third inning. The game ended with the Boulders winning 9-5. On Saturday the RedHawks held a 3-0 lead until the Boulders started scoring in the fourth inning. Continuing to bring in runs, Fargo-Moorhead wound up winning the game 5-3. The Boulders play the New Jersey Jackals, who they are half a game ahead of in the Can-Am League, at Provident Bank Park on Tuesday at 11:00 AM.
An elderly man was riding his bike in Fair Lawn New Jersey on Saturday when he was hit by a car and seriously injured. First responders were called to the scene at the intersection of Plaza Road and Waverly Avenue where they performed CPR; the man who was not wearing a helmet was then transported to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center where he is listed in critical but stable condition. No charges were issued against the driver.
One official in a Rockland County school district has resigned unexpectedly, while parents and students are still calling for the resignation of another. Juan Pablo Ramirez, who was voted into the East Ramapo School Board just two months ago, announced last week that he will be stepping down as a member to focus on his family and the ministry he and his wife started, claiming there were no political reasons behind his departure. Ramirez was the only representative for the Latino community in the district; the board is run by a majority of Ultra-Orthodox men, one Haitian, and one African-American. Meanwhile, the minority community which is made up of 8,500 students who are mostly Hispanic and Latino, have been protesting for weeks, urging the resignation of school Superintendent Joel Klein. On Sunday evening more than a dozen members of the district marched to Klein’s New City home, standing outside his property with signs calling for him to resign. This is the fourth protest since the state legislature declined to pass bills that would provide oversight of the district. There have been no formal announcements made by officials regarding the Superintendent’s dismissal, though the board stated that they were sorry to see Ramirez leave his position. They will be meeting this week to choose a replacement.
A firefighter pleaded guilty on Friday for his part in a Westchester car accident that led to the death of a woman. Eric Refvik of Mahopac was seen in court, where he admitted to being influenced by drugs and alcohol when he drove the wrong way on South Lexington Avenue and struck the Honda Civic carrying 47-year old Reyda La Madrid and her ex-husband 49-year old Edgar Lopez. La Madrid was killed and Lopez was seriously injured in the crash. Refvik pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter and at least fifteen other charges after admitting to being high on cocaine, clonazepam, and bath salts, as well as being drunk during the accident, for which he faces 5 to 15 years in prison. He will be sentenced on September 25 and has since been suspended from the White Plains Fire Department without pay.
No injuries were reported on Sunday afternoon after a car crashed through the front window of a Dunkin Donuts in Glen Rock New Jersey, where four people were inside at the time. According to officials, the accident occurred after a teenager practicing for his learners permit pulled up to the spot in front of the store, which is on an incline, and accelerated too quickly, lost control and went through the window. A flatbed two truck later removed the car while officers cleared the scene.