The state and New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association President Michael Powers announced yesterday a tentative contract agreement between the State and the labor union representing over 20,000 employees in the Security Services Unit that provide for the safety and security of correctional facilities, mental hygiene facilities and many other State agencies. (Source: Journal News)
Mid-Hudson News is reporting that top county officials of the state have been urging Governor Cuomo to sign legislation on his desk that would have the state pick up the cost of indigent defense attorneys. Right now, each county must pick up the tab. County officials argue that since it is required of the counties to pay for legal representation for those who cannot afford it , the state should pay for it. Cuomo said Wednesday that he is considering it. He said, “The question on the indigent defense is just a financial question; we are reviewing it now. But, it is being done outside the budget context and it is a very expensive bill for the state and would have a significant impact on the budget. But, we are reviewing that.” (Source: Mid-Hudson.com)
State Senator David Carlucci has launched a petition calling on the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs to review its decision to eliminate shuttle service for veterans on January 30. The service departs New City Community clinic and takes veterans to VA hospitals in the region including Montrose and Castle Point facilities. In just 24 hours, approximately 500 people signed the senator’s petition. (Source: Mid-Hudson.com)
New York’s minimum wage will increase once again in the New Year. Part of the state law approved in March will increase minimum to $15 an hour by 2021. The first hike starts December 31 – as the minimum wage for workers in New York City will increase to $11 an hour or $10.50 an hour for employers with less than 10 workers. Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester will increase to $10 and hour. Outside the metropolitan area, the wage will be raised to $9.70 an hour. (Source: The Journal News)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a prominent Brooklyn Satmar community activist Issac Sofer on Thursday morning on charges that he lied in order to obtain food stamps. Sofer was the public face of his community’s support for Bill de Blasio during the 2013 mayoral campaign. According to a complaint unsealed in Federal court, Sofer vastly understated his own income and assets in order to receive $30,000 in food stamps through the federal SNAP program. According to the complaint, Sofer claimed in his SANP applications that his income was between $0 per month to $25,500 per year, and that he had no substantial assets. But he told an insurance company in 2012 that he had income of $100,000 per year and assets of $600,000. Sofer also allegedly claimed in his SNAP application to have no life insurance, but was making regular $325 quarterly payments towards a $1 million policy. (Source: Forward)
Gary Zeh, who passed in 2014 and was the owner of a school bus company, lifelong village resident and firefighter of Haverstraw is being honored with a street naming. His daughter Renee Zeh-Garrison told Lohud that her father, “Like the back of his hand, he knew all of the streets.” The village recently announced it would name a stretch of Riverside Avenue for Zeh, including the section that runs past Haverstraw Transit, the bus company he ran for many years. (Source: Journal News)
She is the mother of three, grandmother of 16, great-grandmother of 12 and great-great grandmother of 3. She recently had surgery to remove a malignant tumor, but doctors say she is doing well. She’s Colo, the nation’s oldest living gorilla, and she’s turning 60 today at the Columbus Zoo. Colo was the first gorilla in the world born in a zoo and has surpassed the usual life expectancy of captive gorillas by two decades. Her longevity is putting a spotlight on the medical care, nutrition and up to date therapeutic techniques that are helping lengthen zoo animals’ lives. (Source: AP)
The Journal News is reporting that 57-year-old Michael “Mickey” Schlisser of Pomona, who has served time for securities fraud faces a new federal charge of wire fraud for allegedly misspending money from a $1.2 million account given to him by investors to buy and sell companies. According to FBI Special Agent, Michael Savona, Schlisser used the money personally, including credit card payments, checks to his wife’s unnamed Rockland bakery, his son’s schooling and payments on loans previously made involving another investment. A December 6 complaint to US Attorney Preet Bharara’s office alleges that through a wire fraud Schlisser devised a scheme to obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses and obtained $1.2 million for the scheme from investors by interstate wires and other means. The FBI arrested Schlisser on December 7. Bail has been set at $1 million. (Source: The Journal News)
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney has worked hard for the Hudson Valley to get the Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act passed in the House and establish a federal investment program to allow states and local governments to seek funding for the rehabilitation of high-hazard publicly owned dams. Under Maloney’s plan, part of the Water Infrastructure investment for the Nation Act, the federal government would invest $445 million over the next 10 years, providing 65 percent of funding, while state and local jurisdictions would provide the other 35 percent. There are close to 100 dams in the Hudson Valley that are considered high-hazard, something that is according to Maloney “pretty scary for families and businesses throughout our area.” New York State has 403 high-hazard dams, the eighth most in the nation. (Source: Mid-hudson News).
HiTor Animal Care Center wants to wish everyone a Happy Holiday season – and if you are looking for a great way to help the animals of Hi To while you enjoy a delicious meal – BJ’s located the The Shops at Nanuet, on Thursday Dec. 29th from 11 am to 11 pm will donate 20% of food and soft beverage sales to Hi tor’s General Operating Fund, which goes directly to help all the animals at the shelter. You will need to print out a copy of a flyer and present it to you serve. Contact HiTor.org and get on their mailing list to get your flyer. Remember its for the animals!