New City Building Fire

Firefighters from the New City, West Nyack, Pearl River, Nanuet, and Hillcrest departments were able to get a building fire under control within a half an hour at 450 West Clarkstown Road, near Clay Street and West Burda Place in New City at around 11 a.m. this morning. The fire, not believed to be suspicious, began in the attic with all tenants able to escape without injury.

Lowey Announces Push For Education Funding

Congresswoman Nita Lowey is pushing for greater funding for the elementary school children of Rockland and Westchester. Today’s press release described her efforts to increase funding for the Title 1 program of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the 17th Congressional district by just under $100,000 over last year’s allocation. According to the chart provided with the release, the East Ramapo School district would receive the majority of funds for Rockland students at nearly $17 million with the Haverstraw/Stony Point District very distantly behind at just over $1 million followed by Nyack, Clarkstown, Ramapo, South Orangetown, Pearl River, and Nanuet all receiving under less than $1 million in funds. The ESEA Title I grants are based on a formula that factors in the number of need-based students in public schools. The release also states that Title I funding would reduce the burden on taxpayers as a federally appointed grant.

State Funding For Road Resurfacing

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that funding totaling $75 million will go toward accelerating the resurfacing of state highways in New York damaged by the previous harsh winter to be completed this year. This is in addition to the $437 million to pave the over 2,000 miles of state roads this fiscal year. State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald stated that the severity of the freeze-thaw cycles caused the poor state of the roads. In Rockland County the areas between Route 17 and 202 and 202 and Hemion Road on Route 59 would be treated as well as the roadways between the New Jersey border to Route 59.

Hundreds Gather In Support of East Ramapo Bill

Hundreds of activists met in support of the controversial East Ramapo oversight bill on Monday evening. Starting at 7:00 at Memorial Park in Spring Valley, members of the community including County Executive Ed Day, State Assembly people Ellen Jaffee and Kenneth Zebrowski, and New York Regent Judith Johnson spoke to the crowd about the need for oversight. The Assembly has already voted to approve the bill that would allow monitor to veto decisions made by the board and would require the district to follow a five year improvement plan. However, according to Senator David Carlucci, who was one of the sponsors of the original bill, the senate recently stated they would not be voting on the legislation, leading him to present a new version that takes away veto power and lessens the oversight time to two years. In response Jaffee and Zebrowski revised their own version as a form of compromise. The rally was held in an attempt to get the Senate to hold a vote today, as they remain in session for the time being. A petition in support of the bill reached 6,000 signatures and the emotion behind the crowd on Monday night was strong as students, parents, and community leaders marched through the streets, ending at the East Ramapo District offices. The Legislature is set to end their session today.

Bardonia Bar Fight Leads To Arrests And Injuries

The Clarkstown Police Department released a statement regarding a large fight outside of the Lexington Bar and Grill in Bardonia this passed Sunday, during which three men were arrested and two officers were injured. The fight occurred late Saturday evening into Sunday morning, with officers responding around 2:40 a.m. at 120 Route 304. Jason Cantave of Spring Valley, was charged with assault in the 2nd degree, escape in the 3rd degree, obstruction of governmental administration in the 2nd degree, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct for fighting another, leading to his arrest and minor injuries to two officers. His bail was set at $5,000 and is remanded to the Rockland County Jail. Two other men were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, also remanded to the County Jail. The officers were treated and released at Nyack Hospital.

Boulders Weekend Recap

The Boulders played their remaining three games in the four game home series against the Shikoku Island League Japanese All Stars this weekend. On Friday the Boulders won 10-2, and on Saturday despite the fog and wet weather they won again 7-2. On Sunday with thousands of fans attending the Father’s Day festivities at Provident Bank Park, the Boulders won 2-1, winning the series against the international team. Tonight the Boulders remain home to play the Sussex Miners in a three game series starting at 7:00 PM. You can listen live here on wrcr.com or on the dial at 1300 AM!

Spring Valley Man Drove Drunk with Child in Car

According to Ramapo Police a 35-year old Spring Valley man was arrested on Saturday for driving while intoxicated. Police stated that Edgar Espino-Vasquez was pulled over at 1:19 AM after his gray Honda was spotted driving erratically on North Main Street in New Hempstead. When the officer approached the car it was discovered that Espino-Vasquez’s 8-year old nephew was in the car as well, not wearing a seatbelt. The Rockland Child Protective Services returned the boy to the care of his parents and the man was charged with an aggravated DWI, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor and was released from jail on $1,000 bail.

RCC Student’s Settlement With Hospital Reached

A hospital in Westchester County has settled with the parents of an Orange County teenager who was also a student at Rockland County Community College, who passed away in May after complications following testing. 19-year old Raina Ferraro had an endoscopy at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center for stomach pain in 2013. During the procedure the young woman went into cardiac and respiratory arrest, falling into a coma from which she did not wake up. Ferraro’s family filed a suit against the hospital claiming that doctors were negligent and careless while treating their daughter, and the anesthesia was not properly administered. Raina passed away at the age of 21 after two years in a vegetative state, and the hospital and two other defendants settled with the Ferraros for $18 million.

County Executive Controls Fate of Rockland Drone Law

The drone law proposed by Rockland Legislator Jay Hood with the help of the County Sheriff’s Department was passed last week. At the Legislature’s meeting members approved the bill that would regulate the use of unmanned drones by limiting where they are allowed to be flown. Sheriff Louis Falco raised concerns that the devices could be used to smuggle drugs or weapons into sensitive areas, such as prisons, prompting Legislators to draft the bill that makes it illegal to fly a drone within 100 feet of a jail, school, houses of worship, or government buildings and allows the owner to fly their drone only on their own property, or with the permission of the property owner. Anyone caught breaking the law would be fined a minimum of $250, $500 for a second offense, and $1,000 and one year in jail for a third offense. County Executive Ed Day has 16 days remaining to veto the law or sign it into action, though he stated that there may be unnecessary side effects if it passes, for example the law could effect people flying kites, or radio controlled airplanes. Day is working with County Attorney Thomas Humbach to evaluate the bill, Humbach stated there may be a way to limit the law to spying or preventing smuggling.

Rally For East Ramapo Oversight Bill Support

Advocates for the East Ramapo School District will be hosting a rally tonight, while state officials continue debating whether or not to pass the oversight bill presented by Assembly members Kenneth Zebrowski and Ellen Jaffee and Senator David Carlucci that would give a state appointed monitor veto power over board decision. Recently the bill was passed by the Assembly, and was set to move on to a vote in the Senate, though according to Carlucci many members were unwilling to approve the legislation, expressing fears about taking power away from an elected body. In response Carlucci presented a new bill that took away the veto power and lessened the oversight time from five years to two years. Since Carlucci’s proposal many residents have spoken out against the Senate’s choice not to vote and the Assembly presented a revised version of the original law, seeking a compromise. Supporters are holding a rally at Memorial Park in Spring Valley at 7:00 PM where Jaffee and Zebrowski will be addressing the crowd in a final attempt to get the Senate to vote.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

Please click on the image below to view all snow closings for Rockland County.