Fire in Orangeburg will not Cause Lingering Damage

A contractor working outside the Aluf Plastics plant caused a fire in Orangeburg on Tuesday February 27. No injuries were reported from the blaze that occurred around 2:30 p.m. on Glenshaw Street. It started in a trailer that was going to be demolished, and was knocked down by 5 p.m. Fire Inspector Michael Bettman believes the plastics will not create lingering effects for local residents. Both Blauvelt and Orangeburg volunteer fire departments arrived at the scene.

Dick’s to Ban Assault Weapon Sales after Florida Shooting

Dick’s Sporting Goods has banned the sale of assault weapons in their stores following the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Dick’s is the nation’s largest sporting goods retailer with local stores in West Nyack, White Plains, Yonkers and Yorktown Heights. Most of the Dick’s locations stopped selling assault weapons after the Newtown, Connecticut shooting but the Field & Stream locations continued to offer them to customers. The company also called for Congress to ban assault weapons, raise the minimum purchasing age to 21 and outlaw sales of high-capacity magazines.

Spring Valley Pedestrian in Serious Condition

A 28-year-old Spring Valley man who was struck by a northbound car on Route 303 in West Nyack remains in serious condition. Clarkstown Police reported the driver is a 24-year-old from Ganerville driving a 1999 Mazda sedan. No arrests have been made yet.

State Invests in Hemp

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state will host an industrial hemp research forum this week at Cornell University. This will help develop and help transform the state’s agricultural economy. Cuomo’s State of the State proposal claimed New York will become a national leader in hemp research, production and processing. This forum will focus on improving and expanding New York programs and offer opportunities to support economic growth. Part of Cuomo’s State of the State promises an investment of $2 million into seed certification and breeding program. “(This research forum) is a great way to bring everyone to the table to share ideas and success stories,” State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said, “and to better understand areas of research that need more resources or have yet to be explored.”

After another mass shooting in school, Trump calls on Congress to change some gun laws

President Donald Trump, who said NRA members are “true Americans who love our country,” nonetheless went on to state his disagreements with some of the organization’s beliefs. Trump believes it should be illegal for an 18-year-old to be allowed to buy assault weapons but must wait till they are 21 to buy a handgun. “I’d like to see the age for assault weapons also raised to 21, and I’d like to see extensive background checks being done on gun purchasers. I know the NRA is against this, but I’m concerned about safety.”

Over 400 students, teachers and other staff at schools across the county have been lost or injured in gun violence inside schools since the beginning of the year. Trump called on both sides of the aisle to beef up 2013 Manchin-Toomey gun legislation. Tensions have heightened to fever pitch since the killing of 17 students and several others wounded at a high school in Broward County, Florida. The police reported they had received at least 20 complaints over the past two years about the shooter, Nicholas Cruz. It begs the question: Why?

Trump Communications Director Hope Hicks resigns

Hope Hix, one of President Trump’s inner circle of advisors that has worked with him in both business and behind the desk in he Oval Office, handed in her resignation on February 28. After testifying before the House Intelligence Committee and confessing to telling “little white lies.” Responding to her resignation, Trump said he was sorry to see her go and wished her the best in her new endeavor outside of politics. Trump’s first year in office has brought many changes in staff as the millionaire businessman finally decided to run for POTUS after first mentioning it 15 years ago to the New York Daily News. He accomplished one of his many promises, one that seemed the toughest hurdle—changing the tax laws. While some oppose it, the bipartisan agreement Congress agreed on complied with one of Trump’s main objectives: Bringing U.S. companies back to American shores, pointing to the rise of car manufacturing coming back to the U.S.

Olympic fever hopes to put North and South Korea together in summit talks

Both Koreas sat together during the 2018 Winter Olympics held in PyeongChang, South Korea the last two weeks in February, the first time the world has witnessed cordial relations between the two countries. The winter games, with performances put on by North and South Koreans working in tandem, was one of the top highlight of the Olympic challenge. Norway took the most medals, though the U.S. was no slouch, coming in third place with a total of 29 medals—nine gold, eight silver and ten bronze.

While relations have somewhat cooled since the Games ended, the North Korean’s president’s sister. Kim Yo-jong, told South Korean President Moon Jay-in her country’s desire to have a summit. The U.S. Delegation, consisted of Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, along with Ivanka Trump. Many countries hoping the Olympics will be the beginning of talking and the ending of North Korea’s nuclear testing.

Stewart Airport gets name change, upgrades, as Norwegian Airlines brings in international business

The nearly 240 acre parcel Archie Stewart donated for an airport may see even better numbers than the high of nearly 900,000 in 2007 when the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey took on the private leaseholder’s remaining 99 years. With the success of Norwegian Airlines flight’s to Ireland and Scotland, passenger numbers have risen dramatically, as have the millions pouring in from the MTA coffers, Albany and the airport’s Fixed Base Operator, Signature, have revved up. Plans for a new terminal, hangar and a new Customs Station to accommodate foreign travelers.

PANY/NJ did have built a “temporary” customs station in a few years ago, but the charter flights it hoped to lure did not materialize. With the name change from Stewart International to New York Stewart International, with the MTA giving deference to the Stewart family in the decision, will let people know the airport is in NYS. That’s been part of the confusion, but with the new Resorts International in the Catskills and Stewart’s close proximity to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley—which attracted 13 million visitors last year—the MTA and Orange County hope to see the “regional” tag given to the airport to an international attraction. “How could this ever happen in this country? How could this happen in this state?” said Florida Governor Rick Scott said, adding that his “prayers are with everybody impacted.”

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