Timeline: September 6, 2012

Reverend Arrested for Child Rape
The former head of the New Rochelle-based Salesian Brothers’ eastern division and former director of Marian Shrine, a Roman Catholic Retreat Center in Stony Point, pleaded not guilty to five charges of raping a boy 30 years ago. Reverend Richard McCormick, 71, was arrested on Thursday, August 30 in New Rochelle. The prosecutor said that during 1981-1982 at a summer camp in Ipswich, McCormick sexually abuse and raped a boy age 9-11 in his dorm room and in the camp office.

The statue of limitations in Massachusetts is 27 years after the victim turns 16, but that clock stops if the abuser moves out of state. McCormick was released on $1,000 bail. His conditions include that he live at Salesian Provincial Residence but is not allowed any unsupervised contact with minors and may not appear or have a role at New Rochelle’s Salesian High School for boys.

Strange but True: Murderer Receives Taxpayer-Funded Sex Change
Robert Kosilek of Massachussets began identifying as a woman in prison after convicted of killing his wife. Kosilek changed his name to Michelle. Now, a federal judge in Boston ruled that he is entitled to a taxpayer-funded sex-change operation because he is suffering from gender-identity disorder. Prison guards are concerned about Kosilek’s safety as a woman in a men’s prison.
“Everyone has the right to have their health care needs met, whether they are in prison or out on the streets,” Kosilek was quoted saying in the AP. “… my medical needs are no less important or more important than the person in the cell next to me.”

M&T Bank Buys Hudson City
On Monday, August 27, M&T Bank Corp. announced it would be buying Hudson City Bancorp, the parent company of Hudson City Savings Bank, for $3.7 billion. The deal is expected to close next year. It will give M&T an additional 135 branches in three states, the fourth retail market share in New Jersey and move it closer to ranking in the top 10 banks.

According to Governor Andrew Cuomo this acquisition is a sign of good things happening in New York and its surrounding areas. “This acquisition is proof that New York has turned a corner and is truly open for business. Over the past 20 months, by working with the private sector, we are transforming our state into a premier place for business to invest and grow. The agreement between M&T Bank Corp and Hudson City Bancorp Inc. is yet another example of how New York has become a state where businesses come to succeed and prosper.”

Empire State Building Shooting Victim Remembered
Nanuet raised Steven Ercolino was killed by a disgruntled co-worker on Aug. 24 near the Empire State Building. Jeffrey Johnson, 53, was laid off from his fashion design job at Hazan Import Corp. about a year ago. He confronted Ercolino on the street and shot him repeatedly.

Ercolino, 41, was a devoted son, sibling and boyfriend, according to his family. He was a sports fan of the Jets, Mets, Knicks and Rangers. The funeral service was held on Wednesday, August 22 at Our Lady of Sorrows in White Plains and cremation at Fencliff Cemetery in Hartsdale followed. Ercolino is survived by his parents, Rosalie and Frank Ercolino; sister, Maria Rashford; and brothers, Paul and Peter Ercolino.

Two Arrests After Haverstraw Car Chase
On Tuesday, August 28, the police were chasing Anthony O. Nash of Stony Point, a man wanted on felony drug charges, but Eddie B. Lopez of Haverstraw mistakenly thought they were chasing him because he had stolen a car. Both men are now in the Rockland County jail.

Lopez, 22, crashed into a police car while trying to avoid a police chase near the Walnut Hill Apartments. He saw the lights flashing while driving a stolen car and attempted to flee but hit a police car causing minor injuries to the officer inside. He drove off but police caught up and arrest him. The man the police were initially chasing, Nash, 25, tried to run but the police caught him as well. Lopez was charged with second-degree assault, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree criminal mischief, all felonies. He was also charged with reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, third-degree fleeing an officer, and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, all misdemeanors.

Nash was arrested on an outstanding warrant charging him with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and second-degree assault, all felonies. He was also charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving, third-degree fleeing an officer, resisting arrest and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, all misdemeanors.

Murderer of 8-Year-Old Leiby Kletzky Sentenced
Levi Aron of Brooklyn pled guilty to kidnapping, killing and dismembering 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky and has been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison. Aron, 37, was spared a criminal trial and the possibility of life to prison without parole when he pled guilty. During the sentence hearing, Aron chose to not speak. He will be eligible for parole after 40 years.

Orthodox communities in Brooklyn and Monsey were deeply disturbed after this case. It’s possible that Aron had Kletzky in the trunk of his car while visiting Monsey for a wedding. According to Aron’s attorney, Aron suffered head injuries as a child and mental illness his entire life and was never treated.

New City Salon Accused of Tax Evasion
Investigations into the books for Rojo Salon in New City have resulted in tax-evasion charges. Margaret Viola of Stony Point, the salon’s owner, and hairstylist Donnie Maglione of Nyack pled not guilty on Wednesday, August 29 to tax evasion. Viola is accused of failing to pay $14,700 in income taxes and $68,000 in payroll taxes from 2004-2007. According to court filings, she agreed with the employees that only 25-30 percent of the income would be on the books. Both were released but must reappear in court when a date is set.

Three Arrested in Cocaine Bust
Three men were arrested Tuesday, August 28 for meeting at a hotel for a supposed cocaine deal. Christopher Ganthier, 20, and Carlos Estime, 25, both of Spring Valley, and Widler Preval, 23, of Nanuet, were each charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a half-ounce of cocaine, and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. The police department’s Drug and Alcohol Task Force made the bust at SpringHill Suites Tarrytown Greenburgh at 475 White Plains Road. They are being held at the Westchester County Jail awaiting court.

Strange but True: World’s Smallest Man and Woman Meet
The world’s smallest man and world’s smallest woman met in person as part of the 2013 edition of the Guinness World Record, which will be published September 13. Chandra Bahadur Dangi, a 72-year-old Nepalese man, is 21.5 inches. Jyoti Amge, an 18-year-old woman from Nagpur, India, is 24.7 inches.

Ange hopes to parlay her fame into a career as a fashion designer and a Bollywood actress. Guinness officials knew about Ange for years, but waiting until she turned 18 to declare her “world’s shortest woman” title. Dangi, on the other hand, was just discovered in the remote Nepalese mountain village of Rhimkholi.

Man Killed in Palisades Parkway Crash
Daniel McWeeney of Garnerville was killed when his car hit a tree on the northbound side of the Palisades Interstate Parkway on Monday, September 3. McWeeney, 25, was alone in the car when the crash happened and no other cars were involved, authorities say. It is not clear what caused the crash at the entrance to the State Line Lookout in Alpine. It was reported at about 3 a.m. by a passing motorist.

MTA Submits $65 Million Claim for Tropical Storm Irene
The MTA has submitted its Federal Emergency Management Agency and insurance claims to recover the $65 million in losses it suffered due to flood and wind damage to the regional transit infrastructure related to Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011. FEMA has so far approved $27.7 million for locations throughout the MTA service area. The insurers are reviewing the claims and already have provided a $5 million advanced payment. The MTA is working to maximize recovery from all sources.

“MTA employees in the field worked tirelessly, both to minimize damage in preparing for the storm and to make the repairs needed to restore service as quickly as possible,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota.

Higher Tax Bill in Clarkstown
Clarkstown residents will see a higher charge than expected for their school tax bill this year because the town decided to start charging the school districts a processing fee of one percent of the tax levy to collect school taxes. That charge will come to about $1.4 million for the school district. For homeowners with a market value of about $550,000, the tax increase will be $240 instead of $160 that was expected this year. The increase shows up as part of the school but in fact goes to the town.

Last Jewish Synagogue in Egypt Closes
For the first time in 2,000 years there will be no Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur services at the Eliyahu Havani Synagogue in Alexandria, Egypt. The authorities have banned services for security reasons.

“It seems this is really the end of Jewish life in Egypt,” said Levana Zamir, the head of the International Association of Egyptian Jews in Israel. “The authorities have found a way to take over the last Jewish bastion, since all the remaining synagogues are already archeological and tourist sites. It is very sad.”

Police Catch Monsey Burglary
Two Rockland men were arrested and are facing felony charges after police caught them in the middle of an afternoon burglary of a Monsey home. Anton Naumkin, 27, and Michael Punch, 26, were found leaving the house at 73 Carlton Road with a large bag and recycling bin of bopper and wiring. Naumkin, of Suffern, was out on bail after being charged with a burglary in January and Punch, of Pomona, was on parole. The two were send to Rockland County jail and will present at a grand jury.

WWII Vet Kills Home Intruder
A 92-year-old World War II veteran, Earl Jones, shot and killed a suspected robber attempting to break into his Kentucky home on Monday, September 3. Two others involved in the break-in were arrested. Lloyd Maxwell, 24, broke into Jones’ basement at 2 a.m. and tried to get into the first floor. Jones was woken by the noise, grabbed his .22 caliber rifle and pointed it at the basement stairs. When Maxwell kicked in the door, Jones fired one shot at Maxwell’s chest. Maxwell and his partners, Ryan Dalton, 22, and Donnie Inabnit, 20, ran away but Maxwell died in the car. The others are charged with second-degree burglary and tampering with physical evidence.

New York State Poet and Author Announced
Marie Howe was appointed to serve as the 10th New York State Poet and Alison Lurie was appointed to serve as the 10th New York State Author. They were announced on Wednesday, August 29 and will serve from 2012 to 2014. These positions are selected by the NYS Writers Institute at University of Albany and they are chosen based on substantial bodies of work of notable literary merit.

Howe, born in Rochester, worked as a reporter, taught high school English and wrote three books of poetry. Lurie, grew up in White Plains, graduated from Radcliff College, taught at Cornell University and wrote novels, a short story collection and several children’s books and nonfiction.

Thousands to Participate in Breast Race
The Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure presents the 22nd annual Komen Greater NYC Race for the Cure on Sunday, September 9 at 9 a.m. in Central Park. Participants will walk or run a 5K (3.1 mile) course through Central Park, starting at the American Museum of Natural History and ending at the Bandshell. Thousands are expected for the event, which brings in millions each year to help provide local breast health screening, treatment, education and support programs for the uninsured, underinsured and at-risk New Yorkers.

New Online NYS Tax System Launches
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced it launched a more business friendly online sales tax system. The new system uses state-of-the-art web technology to provide a one-stop, seamless online experience for sales tax filers. Businesses can now perform all their sales tax filing and reporting tasks online. The enhancements help businesses comply with the law and pay the appropriate sales tax.

“Eliminating paper saves taxpayers dollars and improves services to the business community,” said Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox. “This new system builds on our ever-expanding platform of online services, and enables faster and more efficient processing.”

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