Body Pulled From the Hudson
On Wednesday afternoon, a man on a rowboat spotted a body in the Hudson River, near the Nyack Beach State Park. The rower called 9-1-1, who then brought the Rockland Sheriff’s Marine Unit to the scene. The body was identified as male, but the Rockland Medical Examiner’s Office is yet to determine who he his and the cause of death.
North Rockland Adopts School in Puerto Rico
Students from North Rockland High School are raising money for elementary school students in Puerto Rico devastated this summer by Hurricane Maria. The North Rockland students are helping the Puerto Rican youths buy supplies and other things that are needed. The elementary school Dr. Julio J. Henna Elementary School has a student body of 270 kids from kindergarten through fifth grade. It is located in an impoverished part of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, and faced destruction that ranged from flooding to deep structural damage.
Multiple clubs at North Rockland High School are holding small sales and spreading awareness to gain donations. The high school clubs are also partnering up with local businesses. Not only did students raise money, but the “adoption” of the Puerto Rican school allows them to converse through video so the students could relate and empathize with one another.
This is a great example of the community coming together to help those in need, not only through material means, but emotional support as well.
Spain Continues to Resist Catalonian Independence
Catalonian voters backed pro-independence parties during the most recent election by a slim margin, taking 70 of 135 seats. Although Catalan secessionists were victorious in last week’s election, Spain’s central government claims it can block them from forming a new regional government. Authorities could use direct rule provisions to ensure a unionist group is leading the new Catalan government. Spain’s King Felipe mentioned the issue during his Christmas message, saying, “The solution cannot be a return to the conditions that brought on confrontation.”
Cuomo Grants Clemency to 61 People
Governor Andrew Cuomo granted clemency to 61 people who have “proved their rehabilitation, in some cases for decades, but have been unable to gain legal status or fully reenter society due to the stigma of conviction.” Of those 61, 18 individuals are immigrants facing deportation, 39 committed misdemeanors and non-violent crimes at the ages of 16 or 17 and have been crime-free for more than 10 years, and two individuals were guilty of violent crimes but have since demonstrated substantial evidence of rehabilitation. “I have personally worked with each of the individuals receiving a commutation today,” Julio Medina, executive director of Exodus Transitional Community, said, “and have witnessed their power as positive role models both inside and outside of the prison.
Unlike Rockland, Westchester Will not Allow Prepayment of County Taxes
Westchester taxpayers won’t have the ability to prepay their 2018 property taxes like their neighbors in Rockland and Putnam counties. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced his outgoing administration will not deliver a tax warrant, claiming Westchester ran out of time. Tax warrants are typically issued in March due to legal, operational, and practical reasons.
However, some towns, including Cortlandt, Ossining, and Bedford, will issue warrants to allow prepayment of their taxes, and New Rochelle and Rye are accepting prepayment of 2018 city taxes. Property owners in Newcastle, Lewisboro, Mount Vernon, Pound Ridge, Mount Pleasant, and North Castle said property owners could prepay based on what they paid in 2017. An executive order signed by Governor Cuomo requires a tax warrant for prepayment of town and county taxes to claim those payments as deductions on their 2017 returns. Under the new federal tax reform plan signed by President Trump, deductions for state and local taxes will be capped at $10,000 for the 2018 tax year.