STORY AND PHOTO BY KOREY WILSON
Eight o’clock at night is on Valentine Day’s is usually a time for couples to celebrate. At Haverstraw Town Hall, it was time to conduct business. The regularly scheduled Monday night Town Board meeting was moved to this day in observance of Presidents’ Day.
During the meeting, Haverstraw policeman, Richard Spatta was appointed to the position of Detective Youth Officer. Spatta, a 15-year veteran at the Haverstraw Police Department, will primarily focus on most serious matters involving youth in the town. Police Chief, Charles Miller explained his role to the Rockland County Times, “He will be responsible for all youth investigations and suspects under the age of 16. He will also investigates crimes that were reported by someone under age 16. He will investigate things that go on in the school district and be responsible for programs such as the Youth Court and Youth Police Academy.”
“Rich has really been doing an excellent job,” said Howard T. Phillips, Jr., Haverstraw Town Supervisor. “I’ve had the good fortune of knowing his parents for a number of years. He comes from a good family. He is a very dedicated officer.”
Chief Miller said, “He was serving as the youth officer currently and was doing a great job. I believe he deserves to moved to detective status.”
The new detective simply stated, “Thank you for recognizing the work that I do.”
Cheerleaders from North Rockland Midget Football, who recently competed nationally and won two national championships, presented the town board with their plaques at the meeting.
“As a tradition, we have been hanging the plaques here at Town Hall. We gracefully will be dedicating a new wall because we’re running out of room for the cheerleaders,” Phillips said. “We’re so proud of the coaches, young ladies and their parents for all the hard work you put into doing this.”
According to Doreen Garrison, who is a director of the cheerleaders, the girls who participate in the program range between the ages nine and 13. The junior pee-wee cheerleaders, coached by Brenda Ashby, won the national championship. The junior midgets, coached by Garrison, also won first place national champion honor. The pee-wee cheerleaders, coached by Tanya Kelsch, won was third place out of 11 teams, in their first stint competing nationally.
The national competition is held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Garrison, who has coached for 18 years, said, “In 2007, the first team ever from North Rockland went to Disney to compete. In 2010, we had two teams compete. One team won the national championship. The other team came in second. North Rockland is making a name for itself.”
After their championship run, the girls were recently celebrated with parade in North Rockland. All three plaques are currently on display at Haverstraw Town Hall in Garnerville.