Assemblyman kenneth Zebrowski and Assemblyman James Skoufis are asking the state to begin immediate repairs on the Palisades Interstate Parkway and will be holding a press conference today with local officials. The Assemblymen are urging that repairs from Exit 10 to Bear Mountain State Park on the Palisades be added to the 2014-2018 Transportation Improvement Plan by the Department of Transportation. Zebrowski’s office stated in a press release that it has been years since the Northern section has seen serious repairs and the increase in commuters has done damage to the road. The conference will be held today at 12:00 PM at the Palisades Parkway visitor center between Exits 16 and 17.
Rockland county is moving forward with plans to build a new facility for the Highway Department, which was originally proposed in 2000 and shut down in 2008 when the estimated price rose to $30 million. According to County Executive Ed Day’s state of the county address earlier this month, the new site would be located off of Exit 14 on the Thruway and would allow more access to every part of the county. The newly proposed site would replace the aging facility located at the New City Government campus, and would include a building for salt storage, a car wash, and a possible natural gas filling station, which Day states could lead to increased revenue for the county. The Committee of Budget and Finance will be looking into the proposal, with the rest of the Legislature to ensure that the new project is cost effective.
Firefighters responded to a call in Upper Grandview on Friday to find a home in flames. Around 1:00 PM neighbors reported that the fire on Route 9W was spreading quickly through the home. According to officials when they entered the home they found nearly $30,000 books stacked against the walls, blocking doors and windows. The books belonged to the owner of the home, Fred Rosselot, who collected and sold rare books. The 82-year old man was injured in the blaze, officials reporting that he was taken to Nyack Hospital for treatment to burns and smoke inhalation. The fire took hours to be put out completely, due to the slope of the hill the house was built on and the freezing weather and ice, as well as the extent that the flames spread through the old books. Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire and it appears the home did not have a working smoke detector. Rosselot was provided temporary housing and neighbors have started a Fundrazr page online to help collect money for the man.
Firefighters are reportedly at the scene of a blaze in Upper Grandview off of Route 9W. Piermont, Nyack and Central Nyack Fire Departments responded at around 1:00pm and continue to work to contain the fire where one person escaped unharmed and was sent to Nyack Hospital for treatment. Route 9W from Treeline Terrace to Old Mountain Road is closed off at this time.
A 31 year old man was pronounced dead at the scene behind Corpus Christi Holy Rosary school in Port Chester early this morning. Police remarked that there were no visible signs of violence or trauma yet his partially clothed body remained suspicious with the clothes found beside him. In the final stages of hypothermia however, individuals can sometimes tear off their clothing. At the time of his discovery, the White Plains area temperature was at minus 1 degree. The School’s principal, Sister Theresa Lee alerted parents with an email detailing that the body found by a maintenance worker, was not in sight from the children’s classrooms. As a reminder, warming centers are open throughout Rockland county with some staying open as late as 10:00pm. In these winter conditions, hypothermia can set in quickly with symptoms ranging from shivering, dizziness, nausea, faster heart rate, and fatigue. For a complete list of warming centers and hours, visit rocklandgov.com.
The Constitution Pipeline is a major cause of concern for some New York homeowners whose land and lives would be disrupted if the pipeline is built on their property. Williams Partners, LP in a joint venture with Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, would funnel gas from the Marcellus Shale in Susquehanna County Pennsylvania to Schoharie County in New York. Under eminent domain, the project has the go-ahead for government to use private land for public use which some homeowners are fighting. Anne Marie Garti is a lawyer representing the homeowners holding out on construction. The pipeline submitted its first drafts in 2012 receiving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commision’s approval last December. Garti is part of the organization, Stop The Pipeline, which cites environmental impacts, negative effects from fracking, loss of property value, and mortgage and insurance difficulties as the basis for staunch opposition to the construction project.
Thursday marked the second day of trial for New Jersey Rabbi Mendel Epstein in which prosecutors played recordings obtained by undercover agents alleging Monsey Rabbi Martin Wolmark’s involvement in the illegal kidnapping and divorce schemes. Wolmark is clearly heard on the recordings urging undercover agents to bring unwilling husbands to New York to carry out the forced religious divorces. Indicted last month, Wolmark plead guilty to interstate travel and using threats of violence as part of Epstein’s kidnapping ring. His sentencing is scheduled for May 18 and could face up to 5 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
United States Senator Charles Schumer held a press conference on Thursday asking the Coast Guard to make efforts to begin cutting and clearing the ice on the Hudson River around the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry. While at the terminal in Haverstraw, Schumer stated that the frequent suspension of services provided by the ferry in the winter is an inconvenience for local residents who commute to the other side of the river and back each day and it would be ideal to have the ferry running year-round. A spokesman for the Coast Guard stated to the Journal News about the press conference that they are doing their best with the resources they have access to and their main priority is to keep the river open for supplies, such as oil to heat homes, which has to be shipped up the Hudson.
Former Speaker of the New York Assembly Sheldon Silver, who was arrested in January for alleged extortion, was indicted on those charges on Thursday. Interest in Silver’s financial relationship with outside law firms spurred an investigation into money he was receiving for “referral fees”, on cases, which officials claimed he used his power as speaker to obtain equaling about $4 million for the assemblyman. A grand jury indicted Silver on charges of extortion, mail fraud, and wire fraud for the alleged briberies. Silver’s position of Speaker was passed to Carl Heastie shortly after his arrest, though he remains a member of the assembly. He will be arraigned in court on Tuesday.
According to Ramapo Police a family in Chestnut Ridge all suffered from Carbon Monoxide poisoning in their home on Thursday morning. The nine family members ages ranging from an infant to 42-year old were all taken to Westchester Medical Center after they reported suffering from symptoms caused by the odorless and colorless gas filling their home on Beckett Court. Police stated that it appears the Carbon Monoxide was backed up into the house because of a problem with the furnace and heat. It also seems the home did not have a Carbon Monoxide detector, which officials stated are incredibly important and will detect andy level of the gas in a home. All the family members are expected to be fine after the incident.