Linkin Park Singer Commits Suicide
Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, hung himself, taking his own life on July 20. Authorities found him in his Palos Verdes Estate. The 41-year-old rock band singer had a rough past that included sexual abuse and drug addiction. Some believe that the suicide of Soundgarden frontman, Chris Cornell, back in May played a role in the suicide, since he was a good friend of Bennington. Bennington was married to model, Talinda Ann Bentley and had six children from two relationships.

Press Secretary Spicer Resigns
At the end of August, the resignation of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer will be in effect. Spicer said that he resigned to give President Donald Trump a “clean slate” as he moves forward. Daily briefings from Spicer have grown less prevalent lately and have been handled by Deputy Press Secretary Sara Huckabee.

Halting the Coast Guard’s Mooring Infrastructure
The House of Representatives recently passed Representative Sean Patrick Maloney’s Anchorages Away Act, which requires the Coast Guard to report the impacts of proposed anchorages on existing habitats of endangered species to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee within 180 days of passage. The Coast Guard is prohibited from establishing anchorages on the Hudson River between Yonkers to Kingston until 180 days after the submitted report.

Military to Ban Transgenders
On June 26, President Donald Trump tweeted that he plans to ban transgender people from serving in the military due to medical costs. The announcement comes as Capitol Hill lawmakers currently debate how the Pentagon pays for medical treatment for gender transition. The Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released a statement that Trump is “keeping his promise to return to military priorities—and not continue the social experimentation of the Obama era that has crippled our nation’s military.”

NY Spends Most on Inmates
New York spends over $69,000 a year for each imprisoned inmate, making it the highest in the United States. The average cost came in at $33,849. Data was used from the state expenditure reports, state correctional agencies and departments and the US Census.

Push for More Barley Crop Insurance
Senator Charles Schumer wants the US Department of Agriculture to offer extended crop insurance to New York barley farmers due to the state’s booming brewing and distilling industries. The next level of insurance is called the Malting Barley Endorsement, which is available in 11 western and Midwestern states where traditionally, barley growing is strong. Barley can be difficult to grow due to its susceptibility to weather and insect damage. The endorsement would provide more protection for these risks involved.

Paid Family Leave Adopted Regulations
Regulations for New York’s paid family leave program were recently adopted. Coverage starts in January 2017 and will be phased in over four years. In 2018, employees will be able to sign up for up to eight weeks of paid leave with half of their weekly wage. By 2021, the average weekly wage will go up to 67 percent of the state average weekly wage. This coverage will be provided for the first year of a birth, adoption of fostering of a child, or those caring for a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent or grandchild with a serious health condition. Provisions will also be made for those providing family assistance when a loved one is deployed on active military duty.

Renewal for Rail Crossing Safety Evaluations
The National Transportation Safety Board found that the third rail design impacted the 2015 Metro North Crash in Valhalla. In response, Senator David Carlucci and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti renewed a call for rail safety improvements to be done by the state. Legislation was passed to require safety evaluations of all 5,304 rail grade crossings across New York.

NY Counties Lawsuit Against Drug Makers
Nine New York counties filed lawsuits blaming pharmaceutical companies for misrepresenting the dangers of prescription opioids for years. These lawsuits were issued to a single state court justice in Suffolk County on July 18. Administrative Judge Justice C. Randall Hinrichs said that pending cases in Broome, Dutchess, Erie, Nassau, Orange, Seneca, Schenectady and Sullivan counties will join an identical pending case in Suffolk County, which will be presided over by Justice Jerry Garguilo.

Services for Former Rockland Sheriff Kralik
Retired Rockland Sheriff James Kralik died of cancer on July 24 at the age of 74. Two wakes are planned: July 27, 4-8 p.m. and July 28, 4-9 p.m. at McGowan Sons Funeral Home, 71 Central Highway in Garnerville. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, July 29 at 10:45 a.m. in Sacred Heart Church in Suffern. Kralik will receive a full-blown police ceremony, including an honor guard outside the church, 21-gun salute, a motorcycle brigade, mounted officers and K-9 units.

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