Nanuet Says Bye Bye Macy’s, Hello Home Decor Store

Macy’s is leaving the Shops at Nanuet in early 2019. The department store will continue to be located in West Nyack and online, however the decision to close the Nanuet location comes after an ongoing review of Macy’s Inc.’s real estate portfolio. Clearance sales will begin in mid-January for about 8-12 weeks. Taking the retailer’s spot, Nanuet will gain a new home decor superstore, At Home. At Home is a Texas based company that has signed a 10-year lease in Nanuet. This is the chain’s first Rockland location. At Home will be on the lower level of the Macy’s property. Metropolitan Realty Associates, which purchased Macy’s property, plans to make it a multi-unit location and will bring in other tenants. Sear’s is also expected to close in late 2019.

OATH, Formerly AOL, to Pay Almost $5 million for Child Protection Violation

OATH, formally known as AOL, has reached a record settlement for violating COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. This is the largest penalty in a COPPA case since it was passed by Congress in 1998. New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood made the announcement on Tuesday Dec. 4. Oath Inc., a subsidiary of Verizon Communications Inc. collected, used and disclosed personal information and data from hundreds of sites directed at children under the age of 13. Oath then used the data for advertisers to track and serve targeted ads. The company will be reforming its practice and pay a record $4.95 million in penalties. “COPPA is meant to protect young children from being tracked and targeted by advertisers online,” Underwood said. “AOL flagrantly violated the law – and children’s privacy – and will now pay the largest-ever penalty under COPPA.”

Measles Contamination Continues at Mall, East Ramapo School

The Palisades Center is one of the most recent measles exposure sites in Rockland. The ongoing meals outbreak continued over Thanksgiving weekend on Saturday Nov. 24. According to health officials the latest exposure took place at Best Buy between 7 pm and 9:30pm. Recently a case was reported at an East Ramapo elementary school. This was the first report of exposure at a school since the outbreak began months ago in October. Students were sent home with a letter warning parents and guardians about the outbreak. The Rockland County Department of Health asked the school for a list of all students immunization status. There are 87 confirmed cases and seven other suspected ones in the county. Measles is highly contagious and can stay in the air for up to two hours. Symptoms usually appear 10 to 12 days after exposure but can appear as early as seven days or as late as 21.

Cuomo and Trump Talk Hudson River Tunnel

Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with President Donald Trump in late November to discuss the tunnel across the Hudson River. They discuss the $13 million Gateway project with Trump as his administration has declined to recognize the Obama-era agreement to cover half the costs. The 108-year-old tunnel continues to deteriorate after the salt water damage from Superstorm Sandy in 2012. While the two spoke about next steps for the project, Trump did not commit to funding it yet. “There’s no Democratic or Republican way to fix a tunnel,“ Cuomo said to LoHud. “The water comes in, the tunnel collapses. That’s not a Democratic or Republican problem.”

New North American Trade Agreement Signed at G20

Leaders from the U.S., Mexico and Canada have signed NAFTA 2.0 at the G20 Summit in Argentina. This new agreement, USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) comes 25 years after NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed. Some of the changes revolve around automakers, new labor and environmental standards, intellectual property protections and digital trade provisions. The agreement will head to Congress in 2019, meaning the new provisions will not go into effect until 2020. One of the major changes includes that cars or trucks must have 75 percent of their components manufactured in the U.S., Mexico or Canada to qualify for zero tariffs. U.S. farmers will gain access to the Canadian dairy market and copyright terms will extend to 70 years beyond the life of an author. All three governments need to ratify the USMCA before it becomes a reality.

Suffern Family Loses Home, Pets in Fire

A Suffern family recently lost their home when a fire broke out as a result from a space heater. The fire took hours to get under control. Homeowner Debbie McGhee and her sons survived. Her 22-year-old was home with a friend, and both escaped. Unfortunately the family’s two dogs and two of their cats died in the fire. One of their cats however survived he blaze. McGhee lived in the home her entire life. Donations are being accepted by the All Souls Community Church.

Orangetown Proposes New Town Hall

The Orangetown Town Board announced plans to build a new Town Hall, and replace the 57-year-old building. This $13 million project costs almost as much as renovations to the existing Town Hall would be. A proposal was announced Tuesday December 4 during a Town Board meeting. According to officials no improvements have been made in over 50 years. The plan is to build a two-story building, and basement, across from the current Police Station entrance. The current Town Hall will be destroyed and turned into a pedestrian plaza and parking area. The town will take about four years to complete the project including reviewing Request for Proposals, selecting an architect and construction.

Large Award for Eugene Palmer, Rockland Murder Suspect

Between the FBI, US Marshals Service and the Town of Haverstraw, a $30,000 reward is on the line for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Eugene Palmer. Palmer is the main suspect in the 2012 murder of Tammy Palmer. She was killed at the family’s Haverstraw home and Eugene Palmer is suspected to have escaped into Harriman State Park. The 47,527-acre park is the second largest in New York. Palmer, a woodsman, hunted, fished, trapped and hiked in the park frequently. The now 79-year-old is suspected dead by immediate family members who said he depended on diabetes, heart and other medications.

West Nyack Shooting

On Saturday December 1, Youbens Joseph was shot and killed at his West Nyack auto shop. Joseph, 37, was shot by Eric Hue Ross Jr., over an ongoing car sale argument. Ross faces second-degree murder and first-degree criminal use of a firearm charges. He is currently being held in Pennsylvania and awaits extradition to New York. Ross, a Delaware resident, spent time in Rockland including going to college in the area. Back in July he purchased a Hyundai Sonata from Joseph. Since there, an ongoing dispute between the two was brewing over money. On Saturday Ross allegedly shot Joseph and then fled in the Sonata. Joseph died the following day at the hospital. Law enforcement arrested Ross in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.

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