Timelines 5 –10

Strange but true: Young woman bites dog

Analise Garner, 19, is being charged with animal cruelty, domestic battery and underage drinking, according to police.

The Lake in the Hills, Illinois resident allegedly bit her family’s 80-pound English bulldog while drunkenly arguing and fighting with her mother. Concerned neighbors called the police when they heard the ruckus.

Three bite marks were found on the dogs skin. According to Sergeant Mike Smith, the dog did eventually bite Garner back, but since it was in self-defense no charges are being brought against the dog.

Garner was taken to the hospital for the dog bites. She was released on $3,000 bond.


State funds improperly paid to inmates

Due to a lack of cross checking, $36,000 in workers’ compensation benefits were improperly paid to inmates by the State Insurance Fund, according to reports released Friday by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses, but inmates serving jail time for felony convictions are not eligible to collect these benefits.

“Simply stated, inmates serving felony time are not entitled to a dime of workers’ compensation benefits,” DiNapoli said. “These payments are indefensible and should have been stopped.”

Another 193 inmates may have been inappropriately compensated, but records for them have not yet been disclosed since private insurance carriers were used.

DiNapoli suggested recovering the payments. And to avoid mistakes like this in the future, stronger internal controls and routine cross checking.


New Rochelle man talked down from Tappan Zee Bridge

State police coaxed a man down threatening to jump off the Tappan Zee Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

Authorities would not identify the 55-year-old New Rochelle resident. But he was taken to Westchester Medical Center for a psychological evaluation once calmed down.

Police were called to the scene when drivers noticed an eastbound car moving suspiciously slowly along the bridge and stopping periodically.

According to State police Investigator Joseph Becerra, the man got out of his car and climbed down on the scaffolding to about 10 feet below the roadway. From there, police talked to the emotionally troubled man for about an hour, while Rockland County Technical Rescue Team with helicopters and rescue boats surrounded the area.

“He had some personal issues regarding his marriage and his job,” said Beccera. But “we were able to convince him to not take his life, and he surrendered to us.”

Although the bridge remained open during the incident, traffic was extremely slow on the Westchester-bound side.


Stony Point business park in early stages

As reported in the Rockland County Times in January, town officials hope building a business park on a 14-acre lot on Holt Drive off Route 9W will expand the tax base and bring jobs to Stony Point.

The idea is still in the very early planning stages but has progressed since January. Currently, Patrick Magee is in the process of buying the lot from its current owner, Bruce Tracy of KBT Properties. And neither would comment on the negotiation or plan.

The land first received attention in 2008, when Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence was chairman of the Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority. He planned on building a yard-waste facility there. That plan was voted down.

Authorities believe that since the business park will benefit taxpayers and bring business to the area it is worthwhile. The only question is whether the location is ideal since drivers have to cross the CSX railroad tracks to get to the site from Route 9W. In addition, the lot has been the site of environmental cleanup.


Cuomo education plan leaves out local teachers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new commission on education reform does not include representatives of school districts, administrators, board members, teachers or parents, and many are bewildered.

The 20 members that make up the commission include mostly academics and leaders of think tanks.

“It’s a shame they won’t have input from educators who do the educating,” said Port Chester Schools Superintendent Edward Kliszus.

The commission is to review New York’s education system thoroughly, including teacher performance, student achievement, education costs and funding, the challenges of poor districts, and the best use of technology. They are to come to the governor with their preliminary recommendations by Dec. 1.


Mother sentenced after killing infant over Farmville

Alexandra V. Tobias was sentenced to 50 years in prison after she pled guilty to shaking her 3-month-old son to death because his cries were distracting her from playing the Facebook game Farmville.

The 22-year-old Jacksonville, Fla. resident told police that she shook her son, Dylan Lee Edmonson, after he’d been crying for a while and interrupting her game. She went for a cigarette to compose herself and then shook him again. She said the baby may have hit his head.

Tobias was sentenced with second-degree murder.


Shaq earns doctorate degree

In a bright red, XXXL-sized robe, NBA icon and four-time champion Shaquille O’Neal received his doctoral degree in education from Barry University on Saturday morning.

O’Neal left Louisiana State University early in order to join the NBA, but he went back to finish his bachelor’s degree. Following that, he earned his master’s and now doctorate in education, specifically organizational learning and leadership.

“I promised my parents I would [follow my passion for education],” said O’Neal, who celebrated by lifting up his professor into the air. “I wanted to continue my education and I wanted to challenge myself.”


Largest multi-state settlement over pharmaceuticals

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the largest ever multi-state related settlements with Illinois-based pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories on Monday.

The settlements concern the marketing and sales of anti-seizure drug Depakote for unapproved uses.

The first of two settlements involves a $1.5 billion global settlement with other states and the federal government to settle civil and criminal allegations that the pharmaceutical company illegally marketed Depakote with New York’s share being $50 million. The second is a $100 million settlement reached by Schneiderman along with 44 other State Attorney Generals and the District of Colombia arising from alleged improper marketing and promotion of the drug.

“New York consumers should not have to put their health at risk as a result of the illegal promotion of drugs for all-label uses by pharmaceutical companies,” said Schneiderman.


Nyack Motor Lodge robbed at gunpoint

Two men threatened and then robbed cash from the clerk at the Nyack Motor Lodge on Tuesday morning, police said.

The two men were black and in their late teens, wearing black hoodies and dark jeans. One was 5-foot-10, the other 6-foot-2.

No one was reported injured. The amount of money stolen is currently not known.

After the robbers left the lodge, they crossed Route 303 and went in the direction of the Palisades Center Mall.


Sloatsburg man sues Lowe’s for sexual harassment

Edward Marse is suing Lowe’s on the basis of numerous incidents of sexual harassment while working at the Orangeburg location.

Marse worked at the store since June 2008 and claims to have been harassed even after he complained to management. Many of the instances of bullying included employees repeatedly calling him derogatory, homophobic names. Although Marse says he denied being gay to fellow employees.

According to court papers, Marse was asked questions about whether he enjoyed fellatio and told he was acting like a “menstruating woman.”

“This is a case about the right to be free from workplace bullying, whether you’re a woman or a man,” said Jillian Weiss, Marse’s lawyer.


New home for North Rockland seniors

Members of the North Rockland Senior Center now have a new home in Letchworth Village. They were on the verge of no longer having a place to call their own, when Town Supervisor Geoffrey Finn stepped in and found a spot for them in the Stony Point Community Center.

Last month, Meals on Wheels of Rockland notified its seniors that the center at Garnerville United Methodist Church on Bridge Street would be closing because of the changing neighborhood and the facility’s deteriorating conditions. For two years they had searched for a new location but to no avail, thus the decision was made to close.

Finn managed to make arrangements quickly with Stony Point. And North Rockland was given a room in their center, which is also known as the Rho building, on Clubhouse Lane.

“It’s a wonderful thing that we can stay local,” said North Rockland senior Martin Bagrosky. “Change at this age is very difficult.”

According to Barbara Kohlhausen, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels, the new location will be ready May 21 and in the meantime a bus service will provide seniors with transportation to the Nyack center.


Project finally begins on Rt. 303 and Erie St.

It’s way overdue, but revamping the intersection of Route 303 and Erie Street may finally be starting, according to Supervisor Andy Stewart on Monday.

The Orangetown Town Board is currently working, along with the Department of Transportation’s plans, to add a 1,000-foot-long median barrier that stretches north and south of Erie Street along Route 303 with left-turn lanes at the intersection. Poorly planned out intersections, like this one, without turn signals have contributed to higher accident rates.

The project is estimated to cost between $3 and $4 million. It was proposed in 1992, but has been delayed for this long due to lack of funding.

Paul Valentine, a town board member and owner of an electrical contracting business off Route 303, said he’s seen too many accidents over the years. “This is something that’s way past due,” he said.


Clarkstown police rescue 17-year-old from fire

Three Clarkstown police officers entered a Congers home engulfed in flames on Sunday morning and rescued a 17-year-old boy.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire that destroys a three-story two-family home and sent a police officer to the hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation.

During the process of extinguishing the flames, the building’s second floor caved in and briefly trapped two firefighters. Luckily both were pulled out uninjured.

More than 70 firefighters from a half-dozen departments responded to the 1:25 a.m. call.


Change to meters in Nyack

The Village of Nyack will instate a new parking plan beginning May 15, which includes paying for parking at the meters between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The plan will start with a 90-day trial.

Parking in the heart of Nyack, along Main Street, Broadway or in the three municipal lots, will be free from 6 to 11 p.m.

The change will please and encourage the dinner crowd, which has complained over the years to village officials. However, those visiting Nyack for its bars late at night will have to pay the meter or receive a ticket. This is part of Nyack’s plan, as bar patrons sometimes leave a mess or cause problems, and this will cover some of the costs of policing and cleaning up after them.

According to Matt Hudson, owner of the Hudson House restaurant at 134 Main St., understands Nyack’s reasoning and even agrees with it. He sees the vomit and broken glass sometimes on the streets at 3 or 4 in the morning.

But he also worries that he’ll lose business over the new meter arrangement. As patrons have to get up to pay the meter they may chose to call it a night rather than pay more just to stay put, he worries.

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