TIMELINES 5.31.18

Infant Killed By Father in Accident

A 1-year-old died Monday May 28 after being hit by a minivan driven by the victim’s father. According to police, 15-month-old Gitty Rosenberg, was struck by a minivan her father Levi was driving on Phyllis Terrace. Ramapo Police responded to the incident and the girl was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The police are investigating the incident which occurred in a residential parking lot. Pedestrian accidents like these are a concern for Ramapo.

 

Ramapo Gym Owner Accused of Sex Abuse

A Ramapo man arrested on sex-abuse charges will not be returning to an all-girls sleepaway camp in Pennsylvania this summer. Joseph Lewin, head of gymnastics at Camp Blue Ridge, faces accusations claiming he sexually abused at least five girls under 13-years-old in Ramapo gyms. The camp director reached out to Ramapo Police to assist in the investigation. Lewin, also known as Joseph Lewandowski, owned gyms in Hillburn and Suffern. These crimes allegedly took place between 2001 and 2014 at The Gym in Hillburn, and The Gym in Suffern, which are both no longer in business.

 

Ramapo Finally Fires Reimer

Ramapo fired former financial officer Melissa Reimer who cooperated with the FBI to convict former Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence on fraud charges. She currently has a pending civil rights lawsuit against the town when back in December she demanded the town either fire her or put her back to work. Reimer was suspended in June 2013 but was paid $170,000 annually. The Town Board voted 3-0 to remove Reimer. She plans to press federal charges accusing the town officials of retaliating against her for cooperating with the FBI.

 

RCC Hosts Separate Graduation for Jewish Students

Last week, a special graduation ceremony was hosted at the Hillel at Rockland Community College for students who could not participate in the main graduation ceremony the Sunday before. The school’s main commencement ceremony was on Shavuot, a two day Jewish holiday that occurs seven weeks after the first Passover seder. The Hillel of Rockland’s director pitched the idea to the school after hearing concerns from both families and students. Other schools have made similar accommodations including SUNY Binghamton, University of Rochester and Hofstra University.

 

School Lunches Offering Healthier Options in East Ramapo

East Ramapo School District will now feature Meatless Mondays, an initiative started by the district’s food supplier Whitsons Culinary Group. Whitsons supplies food to more than 95 public school districts in the Northeast. The school will still offer meat options on Mondays but will use this day to encourage students to cut meat from their diet once a week. The group has partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to improve students health and help the environment. Whitsons serves more than 3,000 breakfasts and 7,000 lunches each day in East Ramapo.

 

Former North Rockland Coach Leads Texas College to NCAA Victory

Gene Dall, former North Rockland High boys track coach, helped lead the Texas A&M-Kingsville track and field team to victory. Dall, who now coaches in Texas with his son Ryan, head track coach of the Division II team, helped the team win its first NCAA team championship in the school’s history. Originally Dall joined his son in Texas to help bring the NCAA Division II track and field championships to Texas A&M-Kingsville. Dall is in The Armory Coaches Hall of Fame and retired last year after 47 years at North Rockland. Coaching college athletes has been a different experience for Dall who used to watch high schoolers grow from freshman to senior year. “These kids are good already,” he said, referring to the college athletes. “And you help make them better.”

 

Local Beverage Company Cheats NY Out of Bottle Deposits

Oak Beverages Inc. in Blauvelt owes the state $4.3 million for falsely inflating the number of empty bottle returns and cheating $1.85 million in unpaid deposits between 2013 and 2016. The general manager, Manuel Busto Sr., faces first-degree grand larceny and second-degree tax fraud charges. Busto is the man accused of running the scam according to an investigation by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood and District Attorney Thomas Zugibe. Oak Beverages was notified in June 2017 and has cooperated with the state’s investigation. An unnamed former Oak Beverage employee told authorities about the scam. New York’s Bottle Bill encourages recycling and “when cheaters scam the government,” Zugibe said, “law-abiding citizens foot the bill.”

 

Brinks Robbery Mastermind Stays Behind Bars

A federal parole panel refused to release Mutulu Shakur, mastermind behind the 1981 Brinks robbery in Nanuet. This robbery led to the murders of two Nyack police officers and an armored car guard. Nyack Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Waverly “Chipper” Brown were killed by gunfire, as well as Brinks guard Peter Paige. Paige was killed at the Nanuet Mall in front of bank, while the two Nyack officers were killed at a roadblock. Shakur, the stepfather of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur, will remain in prison after serving 30 years so far. He was sentenced to 60 years for operating a criminal enterprise. Shakur lead the Black Liberation Army and the Republic of New Afrika movement. A parole panel denied his request in 2016.

 

East Ramapo Moves Forward with Same Budget

The East Ramapo school board decided to put the same budget to a vote in June. The $237.3 million spending plan will have a public hearing on June 5 at the district’s administration building in Spring Valley. Residents will vote on June 19. This is the same plan voters rejected May 15. Members from the South East Ramapo Taxpayers Association who use private schools want more from the budget, including 11 days of non-mandated busing which was cut in 2011. Private school demands should be taken seriously as a majority of the students in the district attend private schools. Busing is provided on days when public school is open because the state provides reimbursements for the service. The proposed plan includes a flexible busing plan to allow private yeshivas to pick four days of busing on days public schools are off, in exchange of skipping four other days of service.

 

High School Student Granted Key to the County

Cole Donnellan received a key to the county for his service and founding Pegleg22 to raise awareness for veteran suicide. The ceremony on May 25 was held at the Piermont Pier Watchfire. Donnellan started the non-profit in honor of his uncle Jerry Donnellan. Jerry created the annual Memorial Day “Watchfires” in Rockland. These occur at Clausland Mountain, Piermont Pier, Bowline Park and Gene Levy Park – where veterans stand watch and change shifts as they did generations ago. Cole created the non-profit as his High School senior project to raise awareness for the 22 veterans who succumb to suicide each day.