NY COVID Numbers Stable; Rockland Death Count Holds Steady

COVID-19 numbers continue to rise elsewhere around the country but in New York they remain relatively stable. COVID-19 by the numbers now, in Rockland, we’ve got four in the hospital being examined, another three have been confirmed with coronavirus. The state says we’ve got 13,925 reported cases, 7 more than yesterday, and the Rockland Health Department confirms 674 fatalities here in the county, no change since Tuesday nearly two weeks ago.

North Rockland Bridge to Get Major Makeover

The bridge connecting Haverstraw to Stony Point by way of Grassy Point Road, also known as Beach Road, is getting a major makeover, primarily on the state and federal dollar. Plans for the new bridge are in the works, and Haverstraw supervisor Howard Phillips says the current bridge will remain open until the new one is complete…

The county will be paying just five percent of the project’s $2.5 million price tag. The state will take care of 15 percent and the feds will handle the remaining 80 percent. The bridge was first opened in 1928.

Americans with Disabilities Act Marks 30th Anniversary

Advocates for people with disabilities are both celebrating a landmark in the fight for civil rights and still waiting for its promise to be fully realized. The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 30 years ago, on July 26th, 1990. Susan Dooha, who heads the Center for Independence of the Disabled New York, says it opened new doors for people with disabilities in transportation, housing accessibility, employment, education and public accommodations…

But she adds that there’s still a long way to go to achieve equality, especially when it comes to access to public transportation and employment. She says the loss of jobs due to the COVID pandemic also came earlier and has been deeper for people with disabilities nationwide.

Rockland COVID-19 Death Count Holds Steady

The state won’t let schools open in any areas that do not have coronavirus under control. Ultimately, the governor says, parents and local schools will make the final decisions. COVID-19 by the numbers now, in Rockland, we’ve got three in the hospital being checked out, another five have been confirmed with coronavirus. The state says we’ve got 13,918 reported cases, 15 more than yesterday, and the Rockland Health Department confirms 674 fatalities here in the county, no change since Tuesday last week.

NY Looks to Renewable Sources for Power

In ten years, New York is expected to be getting 70-percent of its electric power from renewable sources. Clean-energy advocates are discussing how to send that power where it’s needed. Solar and wind farms and offshore wind projects are in the planning stages now and they’ll need a transmission infrastructure, as much of New York’s existing electrical grid was built more than half a century ago. Anne Reynolds heads the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, and says in just a few years, the limits of the current grid could start slowing down clean-energy development…

Reynolds says simply making much of the electrical grid stronger and more resilient will help New York state achieve its renewable-energy goals.

Rockland Supervisors Blast O&R Planning and Restoration Efforts

Orange and Rockland Utilities has come under fire from local and state lawmakers who are concerned about the company’s preparation for and response to Tropical Storm Isaias, which blew through the county earlier this week. Rockland’s five town supervisors penned a letter to O&R’s CEO expressing their dismay and displeasure at the effort, which Stony Point supervisor Jim Monaghan says the company needs to review what happened and report back to the public…

Haverstraw supervisor Howard Phillips calls the company’s seven-to-ten-day time-frame for restoring power to all of Rockland “bizarre”…

Rockland County Executive Ed Day says the storm took out ten major transmission lines within the county, creating much of the chaos. Day says, however, some of the blame falls on the governor and the state Public Service Commission, which oversees utilities like O&R…

Day says area cell phone companies have also been having spotty coverage issues. He’s concerned that could create public safety hazards if not improved. Around 40,000 O&R customers still remain without power, about 15,000 in Rockland as of last night.

Rockland Supervisors and Governor Want Answers on O&R Storm Response and Preparation

24 hours after Tropical Storm Isaias marched through Rockland, New York’s governor says he wants answers as to why power restoration is taking so long. The Department of Public Service will look into storm responses by power companies in the state, including Orange and Rockland Utilities. The governor also declared a state of emergency yesterday including Rockland that provides local governments with additional clean-up and operational support. Orangetown supervisor Teresa Kenny says she’s thankful that it wasn’t worse…

Kenny and Rockland’s other four town supervisors have written a letter to O&R to express their “dismay and displeasure” with their preparation and response to the storm. Rockland County Highway Superintendent Skip Vezzetti says about a dozen poles came down along the causeway over Lake Deforest in Congers…

Vezzetti says we got much more wind and less rain than expected. For its part, O&R says they plan on restoring power to the vast majority of the 200,000 or so customers who lost power by Tuesday night, Aug. 11th.

If you don’t have power and you need some relief from the heat, there are cooling centers are available around the county. In Clarkstown you can go to Town Hall, the Street Community Center, the Pascack Community Center and the Congers Community Center. Haverstraw Town Hall, Orangetown Town Hall and Ramapo Town Hall are also available. O&R is doing a drive-thru distribution of bags of ice at Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomona today. The distribution will continue until they run out.

RC Tourism Director: Lifting of “Restrictive Covenant” on Palisades Center Could Make it More Competitive

The restricted covenant against Palisades Center prohibiting them from building in their so-called fourth floor attic, extra space that’s been dormant for more than 20 years, will go before the voters in Clarkstown this fall. Rockland Director of Economic Development and Tourism Jeremy Schulman says lifting the covenant will help Palisades Center become more than a retail and entertainment center…

Supervisor George Hoehmann says the mall’s owners are also challenging their tax assessment…

With the referendum scheduled to be on the ballot in a presidential election year, Hoehmann expects there to be a large turnout and increased interest in the referendum come November.

COVID-19 Prompts Unique Trash Issues

One of the residual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is added trash that usually isn’t scattered about – masks and gloves thrown on the ground instead of being disposed of properly. Mike Wilson hosts the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland “Storm Water Consortium” show here on WRCR, and laments between the discarded PPE and takeout containers, area waterways have suffered…

The Environmental Protection Agency also encourages Americans to properly dispose of personal protective equipment.

COVID-19 by the numbers now, in Rockland, we’ve got six in the hospital being checked out, another four have been confirmed with coronavirus. The state says we’ve got 13,903 reported cases, ten more than yesterday, and the Rockland Health Department COVID dashboard says we’ve got 867 fatalities here in the county but that is a mistake, the death count is still at 674, no change since last Tuesday. The county is working to get that fixed.

RCC Student Launches Emergency Fund for Students during COVID-19

A recent Rockland Community College graduate has launched an emergency fund to help his fellow students during the COVID-19 pandemic. We get details from WRCR’s Kathryn Cambrea…

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

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