Police Officials Address Safety Concerns with Criminal Reform Bill at Orangetown Meeting

The town of Orangetown’s Police Commission held a meeting earlier this week to discuss the controversy that’s been swirling, primarily north of the city, of the criminal justice reform bill that passed with the state budget in April and is set to take effect January first. The bill makes sweeping changes in bail and other court rules that could end up with significant price tags for local municipalities. Orangetown police chief Donald Butterworth said the reform package was born out of fear-mongering, instead of the facts…

Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel, who also heads up the county’s Police Chiefs Association, said new rules regarding evidence-gathering will be difficult to comply with…

Rockland’s incoming District Attorney Tom Walsh said the new rule that would allow a defendant accused of robbing a house to come back to the home with an attorney is unrealistic…

Walsh and others agree there are some rules that could be changed, but without the funding many communities will be hard-pressed to afford them. Two upstate lawmakers have introduced legislation to have the laws delayed a year, while western Ramapo and Orange County assemblyman Karl Brabanec has suggested a bill that would cancel the reform package altogether.

Report: DMV May Be Moving from West Haverstraw Location

The DMV in West Haverstraw may be looking to move. That’s according to LoHud.com, which says the Hub shopping center in West Nyack, where MetFresh, Stop and Shop and Grand Union supermarkets were once located, is being considered for the new location. The DMV has been in West Haverstraw for 50 years, but has reportedly been renewing its lease month-to-month for the last three.

Hillburn Bridge Replacement Project Begins

A maintenance project for Hillburn’s 4th Street bridge got underway earlier this week. Work began Tuesday to fix the bridge that connects the village to Orange Turnpike. Ramapo supervisor Michael Specht says the project was originally supposed to begin at the end of October…

The upper deck of the railroad bridge is being replaced, work that’s been needed for a decade. Detour signs have been posted. Specht says the repairs should be done before the end of the year.

Stony Point Ambulance Corps Holding Pancake Breakfast, Looks to add Volunteers

The Stony Point Ambulance Corps is looking for some volunteers to join their ranks. They’re holding a pancake breakfast tomorrow from 8 to noon where supervisor Jim Monaghan says you can have a great meal, support the corps, and maybe even find out how you can join the team…

The breakfast costs $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for kids 6-12, under 5 are free. It’s being held at the ambulance corps building at 47 Liberty Drive. They’re also doing a blood drive from 10 to 2:30, so have some pancakes and sausage, and then give a pint of blood.

Monsey Man Charged in $1.4 Million Bank Loan Fraud

A Monsey man, the former director of Park Avenue Bank, has been arrested and charged with bank fraud and other charges for attempting to obtain a $1.4 million loan from the bank. Geoffrey Berman, the U-S Attorney for the Southern District of New York, says 61 year-old Mendel Zilberberg worked with others to exploit his position at the bank to get the loan for themselves. Charged alongside Zilberberg was 46 year-old Aron Fried of Toms River, New Jersey. Berman says Fried and another unnamed co-conspirator wanted the money to invest in a home health care business, but needed help from Zilberberg because the third party wasn’t credit-worthy and had a criminal record. Both face several charges including bank fraud, and making false statements to a bank, and each charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Fire Hits Pearl River Pizza Place, No Injuries Reported

No injuries reported after an early-morning fire in Pearl River. Fire officials say the blaze took place at Sorento’s Pizza and Restaurant on Middletown Road at around 5:30 this morning.

Ramapo PD: Woman Extricated from Car After Swerving to Avoid Deer

An unidentified woman suffered minor injuries after reportedly swerving to avoid a deer on Rockland Lane in Ramapo early this morning. Ramapo Police say she struck a parked car, causing her car to roll over onto the driver’s side. She had to be extricated from the car by the Hillcrest Fire Department.

New City Mom of Twins Who Died in Hot Car Last Summer to Appear on Dr. Phil TV Show

The New City mother of the one year-old twins who died in an overheated car this past summer while her husband was at work is telling her story to Doctor Phil. In a brief clip posted on the show’s website, Marissa Rodriquez says she was angry and she didn’t understand how it happened. Juan Rodriquez faces second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges after allegedly forgetting to drop his kids off at daycare. His attorney has been trying to get prosecutors in the Bronx to drop the charges.

Local Lawmaker Wants Water Company to Give Customers Credit for Recent Odor and Taste Issues

A local lawmaker has been hearing from area residents, and experiencing first-hand, the earthy smell and taste from SUEZ Water, and though he trusts the water is safe, he is still concerned. The company says the smell and odor come from an algae bloom in Lake Deforest due to a lack of rain. Rockland and Westchester state senator David Carlucci says affected ratepayers deserve a credit from the company…

SUEZ New York’s Director of External Affairs, Bill Madden, addressed the issue here on WRCR last week, and said the water in Rockland is indeed safe to use and drink…

The company is working to resolve the issue. SUEZ got two special permits from the New York State DEC to use copper sulfate to help reduce algae levels and the objectionable taste and odor.

Clarkstown Police Help Bust Alleged Drug Trafficker after Nabbing Truck Driver with $2.4 Million in Narcotics

Three men have been arrested and charged with taking part in a massive national illegal narcotics ring after one of them was recently busted in West Nyack with an estimated 2.4 million dollars’ worth of drugs. Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan and New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill say 49 year-old Giovanny Arias of White Plains ran a complex network of truckers that would bring in carfentanil, a substance 100 times more deadly than fentanyl, and other drugs from southern California. Clarkstown Police Detective Peter Walker says one of Arias’ truck drivers was nabbed in West Nyack back in September…

The investigation began in May 2018, and has since recovered 6 firearms, 68 pounds of cocaine, 50 pounds of fentanyl, heroin, Ketamine and Tramadol. Arias and his co-defendants face a 23-count indictment stemming following his arrest last month. If convicted, Arias faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

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