Theft ring brought down in NYC
Over 100 people were arrested in connection with a far reaching NYC crime ring. Service employees such as bank tellers and restaurant workers ripped information from residents and tourists, stealing the identity of thousands. Out of the 111 people charged with crimes, 86 are in custody. The others are still being pursued by law enforcement. This is the largest case that the Borough of Queens, who had five criminal groups operating straight out of it, has seen in 20 years. The crime ring had only been in operation since 2010 but the damage done was significant. The stolen data was used to make faux credit cards and IDs. These cards would then be given to other criminals who would use the cards to go on shopping sprees at high-end stores. They would then sell the merchandise overseas. Over $13 million of pilfered money was spent on everything from iPads to hotel rooms. People affected should contact their credit card companies for reimbursement.
Billy Bob Thornton’s daughter serves time for one-year-old’s death
Amanda Brumfield, 32, was sentenced to 20 years in jail last week for the charge of manslaughter. The estranged daughter of Billy Bob Thornton was baby-sitting the one-year-old daughter, Olivia Madison Garcia, of her best friend in 2008 when the incident occurred. Brumfield had also been charged of murder and child abuse but was found not guilty. While in her care, the baby suffered a fracture to the back of her skull coupled with bleeding and swelling in the brain. Brumfield maintains that the child sustained the injuries from a fall from her playpen.
Central Nyack to get flood relief
After many years of fighting back floodwaters, the residents of Central Nyack now hopefully have a solution. The Town of Clarkstown is planning to build a detention basin along with a damn in Central Nyack. This comes as part of a three-part project to fix the many decade problem of flooding after every major storm. A local stream swells from Orangetown to Central Nyack, draining into the Hackensack River. A 12-foot-high damn will be built at the southern end of Central Nyack. The detention basin will only fill in times of extreme rain, holding back floodwaters from rushing into the hamlet.
The project will also be rejuvenating downtown with new lights, landscaping, sidewalks, storm drains and curbing. This project aligns with many other revitalization projects Clarkstown has done in its hamlets. It took six years for this plan to be officially presented to the public, as there were many permits and engineering studies that needed to be completed first. It will cost between $9 million and $12 million to complete. The money will be bonded from Clarkstown taxpayers. Local residents are excited for the changes.
Violence in Egypt continues
At least 24 people are dead and more than 200 were injured in recent violence between Christians and Muslims in Egypt. Egypt’s main news agency is reporting that there are “instigators of chaos” that have been arrested following an attack on a church in southern Egypt. Troops have not intervened to stop attacks on Christians, which make up 10% of the country’s population. TV stations loyal to military leaders have been casting Christian protesters as violent dangerous mobs. A peaceful protest at one of these stations turned into a bloody nightmare when protesters were attacked and run down my army vehicles. Riots have even been breaking out in churches in southern Egypt by
Muslims who are upset over church construction.
This is a major setback for Egypt’s move toward civilian rule. This has been the most unrest the county has seen since Hosni Mubarak was ousted. The military regime currently in control of Egypt was supposed to hand back control to a civilian administration about a month ago, however the violence will likely further delay this transfer of power. Some activists blame military rule for the rocky transition period, and cite alleged human rights violations by the regime. The European Union has criticized the violence saying that Egypt should be protecting its people regardless of who they are or what they believe in.
Ramapo budget under 2 percent tax cap
Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence says property owners in the Town of Ramapo are looking at a 1.95 percent increase in their town tax rates with the proposed $81.98 million budget is approved for 2012. Spending would increase $3.4 million. Property taxes for Ramapo would see a 1.95 percent increase while sewer fees would increase 1.98 percent. Police services for the town will increase 2 percent. The town will be holding a public hearing for the budget around November 9. The budget trims some of the fat from different departments. They will be reducing printing and postage cost, canceling private contracts for work that can be done internally and salaries have been cut for employees at parks, the golf course and the pools. They have also reduced their workforce by 20 percent, 43 employees, through incentive workers. The town will also be raising Highway Department service fees by 2 percent to raise money for the town. This would include snow removal and pothole filling.
As the Occupy Wall Street movement holds strong in NYC, the movement has spread through the country, including to Rockland county. Main Street in Nyack saw hundreds of protests in Veterans Park recenlty. Last Sunday over 300 protesters stood for an hour showing frustration with the state of the nation. They expressed upset over things like corporate greed and supposed 9/11 conspiracy theories. They feel they are not getting their fair share of the pie. While police reported no incidents here, the same cannot be said for their counterparts in Manhattan, where arrests have been as common as the traffic.
Several stars on Monday joined the movement, including, Russell Simmons, Kanye West and Rev. Al Sharpton. The group continues to network through the web, announcing on its Facebook site “We. Will. Occupy. Everywhere.” Currently the movement has protested in over 140 locations across the nation and continues to spread.
Hasidic signs cause stir
A sign in a Hassidic community in Brooklyn reading roughly “precious Jewish Daughters, please move over to the side when you see a man come across,” written in Yiddish, was removed by city workers recently. The signs began showing up around the Jewish neighborhoods over a week ago. Some residents were annoyed by the signs that were secured with bolts to the trees. Others believed the message was an important one to remember as women in Hasidic communities are instructed by religious law to move over for men. Some believe the signs were posted by strict Rabbinic groups as part of a crack down on rebellious behavior. Similar signs have been seen in Kiryas Joel and New Square. The city maintains that the signs were removed because it is illegal to post signs on trees.
Jobs official cause of death revealed
The cause of death for famed Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, has been reveled to the public upon release of a death certificate. The technology icon died from complications stemming from his well-known long battle with pancreatic cancer. He went public with his cancer back in 2004 and resigned as Apple’s chief executive back in August for, people surmise, heath issues. Jobs suffered respiratory arrest in his Palo Alto home at age 56 on October 5 where he “died peacefully.. surrounded by his family” according to a statement released from the family. The certificate lists his job as “entrepreneur” and states he had a “metastatic pancreas nueroendrocrine tumor” for the past five years. A private burial was held last Friday. There will be a memorial service October 19 in Cupertino California hosted by Tim Cook, the successor Jobs chose himself.
James Looby, Bergen deacon, accused of stealing from poor
James Looby, 51, deacon at Saint Therese Lisieux Church, is facing charges for $53,000 from the church’s fund for helping the poor. Police found that Looby had been using the money for personal expenses like credit card bills and plain tickets. Authorities were alerted to the scam when an audit revealed that money was missing from the account established by the church. Looby apparently got a credit card connected to the account to make withdrawals beginning in January 2006 up until last May when he left and moved to Del Valle, Texas. Looby was released with out bail and will appear in Bergen County Central Municipal Court in Hackensack.