Timelines, Week of February 25, 2016

Hazardous scare in Upper Nyack

A home in Upper Nyack was the scene of a hazardous materials investigation on Tuesday. The homeowners had hired workers to clean water damage in their basement when the workers found a barometer filled with mercury broken. About two to three ounces of mercury leaked from the barometer. The incident was confined to the house and no one was injured.

Putnam County civil servant pleads guilty to corruption

Jean Noel, former Director of the Putnam County Department of Consumer Affairs, pled guilty Tuesday  to stealing Putnam County funds. Noel pled guilty to the class “A” misdemeanor charge of petit larceny under Penal Law § 155.25 in Carmel Town Court.

According to the State Comptroller’s Office, within the last two years Noel has skimmed $4,575 in payments that were supposed to satisfy county-issued fines. Noel has repaid $4,300 and owes another $275 on top of paying back part of her salary.

In addition to paying restitution, Noel has agreed to end her employment at Putnam County.

Fewer enrollees expected in Pearl River School District

A recent demographics report showed an expected decline in student enrollment at the Pear River school district. The report said that kindergarten through fourth grade enrollment would drop 28 percent by the year 2024 and grades five through seven would drop over 36 percent.

The reason for the expected decline is the lack of new homes being built in Pearl River, meaning less families moving in. The Pearl River population as a whole is also getting older.

State spent $180K on East Ramapo Central School District monitors

Within the past year alone New York has spent close to $180,000 to have three monitors in the East Ramapo Central School District.

The monitors all came up with the same solution for the controversy stricken district: install another overseer with the power to veto school board decisions. The issue that much of the community has with the school board is that the board governs 14 schools, the majority of which are filled with Latino and Haitian students, and that same board governing those schools is made up of mainly ultra-Orthodox Jewish men with children in private schools, or yeshivas.

In December East Ramapo Central School District public school advocates were pleased when the state Board of Regents agreed to the monitor’s 19 recommendations, along with $12 million to $15 million in new state funding for the 2016-2017 school year.

Spring Valley to spend $6.4M for Fire Dept. equipment and infrastructure

The Spring Valley Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to spend $6.4 million in bond funds for new Fire Department equipment and infrastructure repairs. The majority of the bond will cover infrastructure repairs, but about $1.4 million will go to the Fire Department for new command vehicles, turnout gear and, possibly, a new pump truck.

West Haverstraw fire displaces eight people

A fire blazed through the top level of a three-story house on Benson St. in West Haverstraw earlier this week. West Haverstraw, Haverstraw and Thiells fire departments were all on scene to douse the flames and managed to subdue the fire in 30 minutes. Fire department Chief Robert LaGrow said that the fire was most likely started by a charging iPad. All family members were home during the incident but no one was injured.

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