Timelines: July 12, 2012

West Nile Found in Ramapo and Haverstraw
Mosquito samples collected at the end of June in Rockland County have been testing positive for West Nile virus, confirming that it is appearing early and frequently in this area this summer. Two mosquito pools came from Ramapo, one came from Clarkstown and one from Haverstraw. The infected samples were found in Ramapo and Haverstraw.

West Nile virus is passed back and forth between birds and mosquitos. People can contract it through a bite from an infected mosquito. Many people have no symptoms or at most a flu-like illness. But the virus can result in brain inflammation and death. In 2011, two people in New York, one in Queens and one in Nassau, died of West Nile virus. Health officials remind Rocklanders to eliminate standing water on their property, especially where mosquitos might like to breed.

Fight at Rockland Lake Leads to Injured Child
When police arrived at Rockland Lake on Thursday, July 5 around 5:30 p.m. to break up a fight of 15-20 people, there were several injured parties. Two were treated there for minor cuts. But a 12-year-old boy was taken to Nyack Hospital with an injured neck.

Two Spring Valley men, Edbin Ramirez, 27, and Jiorling Medina, 21, were charged with disorderly conduct, a violation. Gregory Price, was charged with disorderly conduct and misdemeanor counts of false impersonation and resisting arrest. He is wanted by New Jersey authorities and is being held in the Rockland County jail. Police do not know what sparked the fight and have not identified all the individuals involved.

Strange But True: Utah Mayor Asks for Vote on 18-Inch Mustache
Mayor Dan Snarr of Murray, Utah asked residents to vote on whether he should save or shave his 18-inch mustache. During the Fourth of July parade residents of the Salt Lake City suburb were given the opportunity to voice their opinion on Snarr’s enormous handlebar mustache.

The mayor’s wife, April, was apparently tired of being poked by her husband’s facial hair and she carried a giant pair of wooden scissors during the parade to make her opinion clear. On the other hand, Snarr, 62, dressed as Uncle Sam and carried a sign, “I Want You to Save My ‘Stache.”

He’s been growing it for the past 31 months. And the maintenance is not easy. To make sure it doesn’t droop, he sprays it with Big Sexy Hairspray, then blow-dries it on cold for five minutes on each side, and finishes it off with Crew Superglue styling gel. Thousands showed up for the parade and to vote. But so far, the vote was too close to tell which side won. Footage of the parade is being reviewed and thumbs up’s and down’s are still being counted.

Tappan Zee Bridge Vote Postponed
County executives of Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties asked for more information about the state’s plan for the new $5 billion Tappan Zee Bridge project. This postponed the vote that had been scheduled for Tuesday and a new date has not yet been set.

Without this vote, federal officials can’t give final approval on the project. Local county officials said they wanted the chance to review the state’s final environmental impact statement, expected to be released at the end of this month, prior to making their final vote.

Barclay Libor Scandal Causes Investigation into Other Banks
Authorities in North America, Europe and Japan are not investigating more than a dozen banks after the Barclay Libor scandal. Just some include Citigroup, HSBC, UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Analysts and bankers expect there will be more big fines as they discover additional scandals. Barclay was fined 290 million pounds after some of its derivatives traders were found to have attempted to rig the Libor rate, causing confidence in banks shattered.

Libor, London Interbank Overnight Lending Rate, is the referenced benchmark rate for multiple hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of securities and contracts. The rate is therefore extremely important to the markets and global economy. After the scandal came out, Bob Diamond, Barclay’s CEO, resigned and chairman Marcus Agius also announced his resignation as soon as a successor is found.

$18 Million Lotto Winner Unknown
The winning $18 million ticket in Saturday, July 7th New York Lotto was sold at the Riverside Deli on Albany Post Road in Croton-on-Hudson. Yet no one has come forward to claim it. No one won the New York Lotto drawing for several weeks and the winning grew from $3 million to $18 million. The owners of the store, Victor and Mervat Tewfick, are very excited that and have put signs there announcing they sold the winning ticket. The winning numbers were 6-10-19-22-37-43 with a bonus number of 13.

Five Charged in Border Patrol Agent’s Death
The Justice Department released an indictment, charging five people in connection with Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s death and one on a related incident. The department also offered a reward of $1 million for information leading to the arrest of four suspects still at large.

In a statement, the Brian Terry Foundation applauded federal prosecutors for taking steps to bring justice. Terry and the squad of federal agents with him at the border were firing bean bags, not bullets, at the heavily armed drug cartel crew in the mountains south of Tuscon. Terry was shot during this exchange.

Two men in custody are Manuel Osario Arellanes and his brother Rito. The rest of believed to be hiding out in Mexico. They include: Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza. The charges include first-degree murder, second-degree murder and assault on a federal official. Anyone with information on the fugitives is asking to call the FBI Phoenix office at 623-466-1999.

New City Jewish Center Welcomes New President
Alyce Kitt has been a part of New City Jewish Center her entire life and now is becoming the president. Four generations of Kitt’s family attended the center and its synagogue. She had her bat mitzvah and wedding there. And her father, Dr. Robert Scher was the president there 50 years ago.

It was actually when her father passed away, five and a half years ago, that she decided she wanted to become president there. She plans on working to make sure that the place is around for many more generations to come so that people have a place to connect to Judaism, pray, study and give back to the community.

New City Woman Killed by Lightning
Indira Tursunova of New City was struck by lighting on a New Jersey beach and killed on Saturday, July 8. Tursunova, 48, was with her family visiting Monmouth Beach in New Jersey when a fast-moving storm came through, they were rushing to get off the beach when lightening struck and killed her.

Tursunova was behind the rest of her family by about 20 feet when it happened. Her husband and son were with her. And a borough patrol officer nearby witnessed the event as well. The officer called for EMS, paramedics and the fire department. She was taken to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch and died Sunday morning.

Gas Leak in Valley Cottage
A gas leak was detected on Friday morning after a contractor struck a gas pipe in Valley Cottage. As soon as the leak was discovered, Orange & Rockand Utilities shut off the gas line and the four houses surrounding the area lost power while O&R workers tried to repair the damage. Shining Star Landscaping of Nyack was building a wall on Miller Road when workers struck and pulled up out of the ground a pipe. The company had not obtained a map of the underground utility lines, according to O&R spokesperson Michael Donovan.

New Yorkers Protest for Their Rights to Super-Sized Drinks
A peaceful rally was held on Monday in New York City protesting Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on super-sized drinks. The protest near City Hall Park was called “Million Big Gulp March” and organized by the NYC Liberty HQ, a grass-roots group. Participants included businesses owners, local politicians and other New Yorkers against the ban.

Bloomberg wants to ban restaurants, movie theaters, sports arenas, food carts and delis from selling sodas and other sugary drinks in servings larger than 16 ounces. He claims it is a way to fight obesity. The city already spends billions of dollars each year on weight-related health problems. Opponents see the city as overstepping its authority and infringing on personal freedoms. Bloomberg’s response to the rally was that if New Yorkers wanted to kill themselves with sugar that is their right.

Parking Spaces Designated Just for Men in German Town
Triberg Mayor Gallus Strobel in Germany has come up with a new parking policy, designating special parking spaces just for male drivers. His reasoning: the spots are harder to get into and men are better at these sorts of challenges.

The spaces set aside for women are wider, well lit and closer to the exits. But the men’s spaces require skillful maneuvering in order to avoid cement pillars. The spaces are marked with large images of standard gender symbols. The mayor admitted that the parking policy was part of an inexpensive publicity stunt to bring tourists to the small town.

East Ramapo Education Board Elects Schwartz
The East Ramapo Board of Education elected Daniel Schwartz as president on Tuesday, July 10. They also swore in two new board members during the annual reorganization meeting that night. Schwartz is a New Hempstead resident and works at a Chestnut Ridge law firm, Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman. He was first elected as vice president of the board last year.

The board elected Yehuda Weissmandl as vice president. Eliyahu Solomon was re-elected for his second term. And newcomers Jacob Lefkowitz and Yonah Rothman were sworn in. This upcoming school board for 2012-13 is made up of a seven-person Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish majority. In other East Ramapo re-organizations, Catherine Russell was reappointed as district clerk and executive assistant to Superintendent Joel Klein at a salary of $68,654. Israel Bier was reappointed district treasurer at a salary of $33,765. Arthur Fisher was appointed deputy treasurer with no additional pay.

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