40 years after the summer of Son of Sam

On August 10, 1977, police officers finally arrested David Berkowitz – a Yonkers man who would become infamous as the “Son of Sam.” Today marks the 40th anniversary of his arrest following the 13 people he shot at using his .44. Of those 13, six were killed, one was paralyzed and another was blinded. His attacks throughout the boroughs of New York City surrounded its people with fear.

After his murders, Berkowitz would return home to his apartment on Pine Street in Yonkers. Now in his 60s, he resides in Shawangunk prison in Wallkill, serving a sentence of more than 300 years. His neighborhood has not changed much over the years, although his former address has been changed from 35 Pine Street to 42 Pine Street in an attempt to erase any connection with its former resident. However, even after all of these years, people still remember.


Hiker dies at Harriman Park

State Park Police and local emergency personnel responded to a cardiac arrest involving a 40-year-old man along the Blue Trail near Pine Meadow Lake in Harriman State Park. The unidentified man was located about a half-mile in the woods behind the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center.

Upon arrival emergency responders immediately began CPR measures, but the man did not survive. The man’s body was handed over to the Rockland County medical examiner’s office to determine a cause of death. In addition to the hiker, one first responder also had to be taken to a local hospital after feeling ill. There is no word on his status. An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the hiker’s death.


Sloatsburg man found dead in Ramapo River

A 51-year-old man was found dead Tuesday in the Ramapo River around noon, according to the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office. Numerous police departments were on the scene off Waldron Terrace, behind the I-87 Thruway rest stop within the Eleanor Burlingham Memorial County Park, a 45-acre nature preserve in Sloatsburg Village.

The Thiells Fire Departments responded to the scene with its new underwater search & rescue truck as well as the Stony Point Fire Department to assist the Sloatsburg Fire Department. Police know the man’s identity but have not made it public yet.


Police may soon be able to determine if cellphone was in use in NY crashes

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed his Traffic Safety Committee to study “textalyzer” technology in an effort to possibly implement it in local municipalities. The Committee has been directed to speak with advocates who support the technology and other stakeholders to determine if it will be useful in the state. According to Cuomo, the Committee will study the existing technology, and legal issues associated with the implementation of the technology, how it has been used elsewhere, any possible amendments needed to implement the technology in New York.

From 2011 to 2015, 12 people were killed in New York and 2,784 people were injured in cell phone crashes, according to a report by The Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research. “New York has long been on the forefront of taking steps to protect drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians. We were the first state to adopt a motorcycle helmet law, a seat-belt law for front-seat passengers and a cell phone law,” New York State DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said to the Daily Voice.


Legislation combatting Tick-Borne diseases in NY introduced

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney hopes that new legislation will prevent New Yorkers from suffering tick-borne diseases. “If you’re out hiking with your family or working on your farm and you get a tick bite, you should be able to get your hands on the tools you need to determine your level of risk and figure out your next steps,” Maloney said in a press release.

The Tick Identification Pilot Program Act of 2017 works to educate the public on tick-bite prevention methods, engage the public on tick-borne illnesses to improve public health outcomes and collect data on tick populations as well as the frequency, seasonality, and geographic locations of tick encounters and/or bites. The legislation would establish a pilot grant program under the CDC allowing states to apply for grants to establish tick identification programs.

The tick identification programs would allow individuals to send pictures of ticks they encounter to a vector-borne biologist who would identify the tick and respond to the individual with information about the type of tick and what to do next. Congressmen Eliot Engel (D-The Bronx) and John Faso (R-Kinderhook) are among the co-sponsors.


Starbucks closing all 379 of its Teavana Stores

The coffee chain announced in July that it will be closing all 379 of its Teavana stores in the likelihood that its underperformance will only continue. Starbucks bought the Teavana chain for $620 million in 2012, hoping that it could bring the same level of success that Starbucks has had with coffee. Starbucks will continue to sell Teavana tea at its namesake stores. Starbucks said the 3,000 Teavana store employees will have the chance to apply for jobs at a Starbucks store.




Trump Angrily Tweets at Sen. McConnell About Healthcare Legislation 

After Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) stated that Trump is new to the job and “had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process,” referring to the prolonged amount of time it has taken for the White House to repeal and replace ObamaCare as Trump had promised, President Trump angrily took to Twitter to respond.

The president tweeted, “Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so. After seven years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?” Much to Trump’s frustration, until there’s a majority vote in the Senate, ObamaCare will remain the law across America.



Denmark Police Launch, “Hug A Terrorist” Program

In an unconventional and controversial new method, the Denmark police have launched a new program that aims to offer support and kindness to people who they believe might become terrorists instead of isolating and mistreating them. The program is showing some positive results.

A man using the alias “Jamal,” claimed that being a Muslim in Denmark caused him to already be treated like a criminal by the police. Jamal said, “In my mind I was like, ‘they treated me as a terrorist. If they want a terrorist, they will get a terrorist.’” However, because of “Hug a Terrorist,” also called “Hug A Jihadist,” and their mentorship opportunities, he changed his mind and the extremist views he was developing.



LGBTQ+ Group Sues Trump Because Of His Proposed Transgender Ban

On August 9, five transgender soldiers filed a lawsuit at the U.S. District Court against President Trump for his proposed ban on transgender people in the military. The ground is that this ban would violate the Fifth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause of the Due Process section, which stipulates that no person in American  territory can be excluded from a law. In this case, transgender people should not be restricted from serving in the military if all other American people are allowed to do so.


Secretary Mattis Warns North Korea Against Use of Nuclear Weapons

Though Trump has already sent a warning to North Korea (DPKR) that they will face “fire and fury” if they use their nuclear weapons, Trump’s Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, has recently chimed in, as well. Mattis said, “The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”

However, this language is not one-sided. An official outlet in North Korea published an article saying the possible U.S. strike on North Korea is “A very foolish act of precipitating self-ruin.”

Human smuggler drowns migrants in Arabian Sea

On August 8, a human smuggler forced over 120 Somali and Ethiopian migrants off his boat and into the sea as the boat approached the coast of Shabwa, a Yemeni Governorate along the Arabian Sea. These migrants had been hoping to reach countries in the Gulf via war-torn Yemen. Staff from the International Organization for Migration – the United Nation’s Migration Agency – found shallow graves of 29 migrants along the beach in Shabwa during a routine patrol.

Additionally, up to 22 migrants are reportedly still missing, raising the potential death toll to over 50. The IOM’s medical staff provided urgent care to 27 surviving migrants who remained on the beach by providing initial health checks and emergency relief. Since January 2017, IOM estimates that around 55,000 migrants left the Horn of Africa to come to Yemen, most with the aim of trying to find better opportunities in the Gulf countries. More than 30,000 of those migrants are under the age of 18 from Somalia and Ethiopia. The approximate average age of the passengers on this boat was 16.

PC RUN AMOK: Google fires employee for mentioning pattern he observed

Last week, 28-year-old James Damore, a software engineer for Google, released a 10-page memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”

This memo argued that personality differences between men and women – like women having a lower tolerance for stress – explained why there were fewer women in engineering and leadership roles in the company. He added that efforts by Google to reach equal representation of women were “unfair, divisive, and bad for business.”

The letter was shared widely inside the company and throughout Silicon Valley. Google fired Damore, stating that he had violated the company’s rules by “advancing harmful gender stereotypes.” While many opposed Damores memo, there were also many who felt that his termination went against the freedom of speech. Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and human resources expert stated that Damore “used company property to send this memo to his coworkers. This gives Google the grounds to fire him, as he is expressing controversial beliefs on company time and distracting his coworkers with his opinions.”

Wilson further explained that regardless of Damore’s opinions, employers have the right to prevent and punish speech which is political and divisive in nature – especially if those opinions are distracting and offensive to other employees.

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