Timelines – October 13, 2016

Creepy-Clown Phenomenon Hits Rockland Schools

Several Rockland County schools received a threat from an online post regarding the creepy-clown phenomenon that is sweeping the nation. The social media post claimed clowns, “will be at the high schools this Friday to either kidnap students or kill teachers going to their cards,” and a later post named Spring Valley, Ramapo, North Rockland, Nyack and Nanuet high schools as the targets.

Law enforcement authorities believed the threats were not credible but increased patrols at the named schools on Friday Oct. 7. Threats were made against almost two-dozen Westchester schools. Across the country the clown incidents have been pranks, though few situations have escalated to harassment. The Rockland BOCES Chief Operating Officer Mary Jean Marsico urged parents not to forward social media rumors to help students and prevent anxiety, fear and anger.

Hofstein Proposes Plan to Move Sain Building Sale Forward

The county-owned Sain Building is still a heated topic for the county legislature and executive. A new proposed law by legislator Lon Hofstein, R-New City, would enable the county to bypass local law and negotiate directly with the developer.

The most recent bid included terms the county legislators are not comfortable with, including a $100,000 reimbursement of the developer. National Development has bid twice on the property, and hopes to turn it into a senior living facility. While Hofstein’s plan is unconventional, Legislator Michael Grant, D-Garnerville, said if it passes through several tests of accountability and transparency then, “it has the possibility of moving forward.”

County Executive Ed Day supports Hofstein’s proposal. According to Grant it’s becoming more unlikely the building will not be sold by the end of 2016.

New Rockland BOCES Program Partners with RCC to Teach Cybersecurity

Rockland Community College is increasing cybersecurity knowledge in the county through a new Rockland BOCES cybersecurity program. This partnership gives high school juniors and seniors the chance to earn college credit, learning about software engineering, digital forensics and PC management.

This new Rockland BOCES program curriculum aligns with the one used in RCC’s cybersecurity associate degree. The first year of the BOCES program focuses on basics including understanding computer hardware and troubleshooting. The second year teaches students about security and digital forensics, and features guest speakers from different fields.

Bartaco Might Come to Nyack

Nyack might be welcoming a Bartaco to its waterfront. The popular Mexican restaurant chain responded to the village’s request for proposals for taking over the Village-owned marina restaurant. “Everybody would love to see a really vibrant waterfront in Nyack,” said Mayor Jen White.

The Village of Nyack has entered into the negotiation phase with Bartaco’s owner, the Barteca company. The Port Chester menu includes tacos filled with fish, pork belly, chicken, chorizo, Portobello mushroom, sesame ribeye or many other options. Their menu stretches beyond just tacos to include rice bowls, rotisserie chicken, tamales, salads and more.

Missile Fired at U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy destroyer was targeted in a missile attack Wednesday for the second time this week. U.S. military said the attack came from a territory in Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels. Sunday’s strike on the USS Mason killed over 140 people on board and after Wednesday’s target; the US is looking to retaliate. The Pentagon said they will respond “at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner.”

Michael Knights, an expert on the Yemen conflicts said the missile attacks were the Houthis’ response to the attack last weekend. They denied they had any involvement to strike the USS Mason. “Targeting U.S. warships is a sign that the Houthis have decided to join the axis of resistance that currently includes Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran,” Knights said.

US officials said that there are indications that the Houthis rebels were in fact involved in Sunday’s incident.

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