East Ramapo Schools Looses Another Round in Special Education Needs Case

The East Ramapo School District has taken another hit. This time in the fight against the state over the placement of special education students within the district. The fight has been on going with the state claiming that the district settles to easily, sending students with special needs to private schools when they’re supposed to be educated in the most main stream setting possible, according to law. The school board president stated in part that there has been many on going issues with the state on how to provide the best education for these students, going on to say that tremendous progress has been made. Many Ultra- Orthodox and Hasidic parents have argued, saying they want their kids in a private school environment rather than in public schools. The district settles with these parents, saying that is costs no more to send these students to schools outside the district and would cost much more to fight these cases. In 2013 the school district settled 21 out of 27 cases, however the court said the district does not have the right to challenge the states power to enforce these laws. This comes at a time when the school district is also fighting the possibility of a state monitor overseeing the school boards decisions.

Former Rockland Jail Officer Files Federal Lawsuit

A former female Rockland County Jail Officer has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that former male colleagues sexually taunted her and spread explicit rumors about her. Valerie Russell is claiming that there were sexual taunts made by male officers as well a rumor spreading that she had sex with 13 officers. When she approached Anthony Volpe, who is now the jail chief with the complaint he told her that the claims were unsubstantiated and if she went to Sheriff Lou Falco with the complaint she would likely be terminated. Russell has hired attorney who has won other similar cases on behalf of female corrections officers. The lawsuit also states that the taunts and rumors continued even after other officers were reprimanded by a lieutenant. Russell’s lawsuit also states that she applied for the patrol unit but was not called. She claims the Sheriff Falco told her he did not want to “waste his time” and have her going elsewhere after he found out she also applied for the Clarkstown Police Department. Falco, Volpe and Ed Day are named in the lawsuit, only the initials of the officers are listed in the lawsuit but their names will be released at the trial.

Haverstraw Woman Lies About Being Robbed

A 38-year old woman from Haverstraw has been sentenced to five-years probation and ordered to pay back 1,815 dollars after pleading guilty to fourth degree grand larceny. Dulce Santos, the former manager at McDonalds in Haverstraw told police two men robbed her when she was depositing money from the restaurant at the Chase Bank on 9W in Haverstraw. However, after investigating her claim detectives became suspicious after there were many inconsistencies with her story, as well there being no sign of a robbery on the banks surveillance tape. When questioned, Santos told investigators she stole the money to catch up on her rent and because her father was sick. She must also preform 200 hours community service.

Water Main Break

Officials say Sickletown Road in Blauvelt will remain closed until further notice following yesterday afternoon’s water main break. A 16-inch water main gave way, creating havoc for area residents and school buses during the afternoon. The pavement in the southbound lane of the two-lane road just north of the one-way tunnel buckled, causing county officials to shut the road down from the tunnel near Fifth Avenue to O’Grady Court.
As of 7pm last night, several homes in the areas of Sickletown Road, Rolyn Hills Road and Abbey Road were under a “boil water order” by the Rockland County Health Department. United Water said that after the repairs are complete, it could take three to five days to administer water analysis tests, so it is important for customers in the affected area to continue to boil water until further notice. Repairs to the roadway are expected to begin on Friday. No timetable for completion has yet been set.

Murder Guilty Plea

In what could be called a gift for the prosecution, one of the four women charged in the death of Peggy Nadell of Valley cottage has pleaded guilty. Diana Nadell, the alleged mastermind of the killing and the daughter-in-law of the victim, has been charged with first degree murder.
Tanisha Joyner has admitted to hindering prosecution, a lesser charge than what she was initially charged with: conspiracy and providing Diana Nadell with an alibi. The felony hindering charge carries a maximum penalty of two-and-one-third to seven years in prison.
Peggy Nadell was found murdered in her Valley Cottage home in January. Diana Nadell, who is being held without bail in the county jail, is believed to have hatched the plot to kill her mother-in-law to get at her husband’s share of an inheritance. Her husband, Peggy Nadell’s son James, has not been charged and authorities reportedly do not suspect he knew about his wife’s plan. The DA’s office is currently presenting evidence to a grand jury.

Clarkstown Electronic Tracking Device

An electronic tracking device is being credited with helping Clarkstown police quickly locate an elderly Nanuet resident after she wandered away from her home Monday evening.
Earlier this week, Clarkstown police reportedly received a call about the missing Alzheimer’s patient at 7 p.m. on June 3rd. The woman was located in a wooded area not far from home is under 6 minutes.
She had only been wearing the device for a week. The device is part of a program called Project Lifesaver, which was designed to assist in cases just like this.
The radio transmitters emit a unique tracking signal that helps locate a missing person. Police say the system greatly helps reduce search time, which can turn out to be the difference between a safe return and serious injury. There is a fee to participate in the program. For more information contact the Clarkstown police or town clerk.

Search for Eugene Palmer

Missing murder suspect Eugene Palmer was the target of a search by authorities yesterday in Woodbury, but he was not found.
Acting on a tip, police officials searched a former chemical plant for Palmer, who was reportedly seen on the property. Police suspect the 74-year-old fatally shot his daughter-in-law, Tammy, of Haverstraw back in September 2012. The 39-year-old mother of two was found shot to death in the front yard of her home.
Some family members have said Palmer never made it out of Harriman State Park after leaving the scene and going into hiding. They believe major health issues ultimately contributed to his death.
A $2,500 reward is being offered by New York State Crime Stoppers for information leading to Palmer’s arrest and conviction.

DA Upgrades Charges Against Murder Suspect

50 year-old Diana Nadell of Florida entered a plea of not-guilty yesterday in Clarkstown Justice Court for her arraignment on the upgraded first degree murder charge in connection with the slaying of her mother-in-law, 80 year-old Peggy Nadell of Valley Cottage.
According to reports, Diana Nadell and Andrea Benson made an early-morning cell phone call to get Peggy Nadell to open her door in the late January incident, and then stabbed her. Diana Nadell, the wife of Peggy’s son James, reportedly wanted to get her hands on money her family expected to inherit.
The other three charged in Peggy Nadell’s murder have already been arraigned in Clarkstown Justice Court. Benson was arraigned June 2 on second-degree murder and conspiracy charges.
Diana Nadell was originally charged with second-degree murder and second-degree conspiracy. Eltia Grant and Tanisha Joyner were arraigned last month. They were charged with second-degree conspiracy to commit murder. Bail was set for Grant and Joyner at half-a-million dollars. Diana Nadell is being held without bail at the county jail. She’s due back in court July 14.

Airmont Road to be Closed

Come mid-July you might want to check with the Google maps or MapQuest or pay closer attention to the WRCR traffic report as a major road closure is expected to hit the Town of Ramapo.
Railroad track work on northern Airmont Road is expected to partially shut the busy roadway over a three-day period, from July 18 through the 20th. The area in question is right between Route 59 and the Thruway exit.
Ramapo Supervisor Chris St. Lawrence says area businesses will be accessible but drivers will have to use different routes to reach them. Montebello and Spook Rock roads will reportedly serve as the primary detour routes.
Norfolk-Southern Railroad will be upgrading the tracks in the area, removing 120 feet of existing track and replacing it with a single unit to be assembled on site. Drivers can expect a gentler ride thanks to a new, rubberized material that will be surrounding the tracks, once the project is complete.

The Rockland Co. Dept. of Health Warns of Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at Local Restaurant

A confirmed case of acute Hepatitis A has been identified in a food handler at the La Fontana restaurant in Nyack. Patrons and other employees may have been exposed to the Hepatitis A virus between March 19 and April 1, 2014.
The Rockland County Dept. of Health is offering free Hepatitis A vaccines to restaurant patrons and employees starting Saturday, April 12 from 11AM–5PM, Sunday, April 13 from 11AM-3PM, and Monday, April 14 from 9AM-12PM at the Rockland County Fire Training Center, 35 Fireman’s Memorial Drive in Pomona.
The Rockland County Dept. of Health recommends that all people who ate at the restaurant on March 29, March 30 and April 1, 2014 receive a Hepatitis A vaccine.
For additional information call the Div. of Disease Control & Prevention at 845-364-2997.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

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