Rodney King Found Dead
Rodney King, the victim of police brutality in 1991, which led to the Los Angeles riots, was found dead on Sunday, June 17. He was 47.
His fiancé found him at the bottom of the pool at their home in Rialito, Cal. She told friends that King was drinking and smoking weed prior to finding him dead.
Law enforcements were called to the scene, removed him from the pool and attempted CPR. They said an investigation is now open, but so far they have found no signs of foul play.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck released a statement saying, “Rodney King has a unique spot in both the history of Los Angeles and the LAPD. What happened on that cool March night over two decades ago forever changed me and the organization I love. His legacy should not be the struggles and troubles of his personal life but the immensely positive change his existence wrought on this city and its police department.”
Roger Clemens Found Not Guilty
Roger Clemens, one of the best pitchers in baseball history, was acquitted Monday, June 18 of all charges concerning use of steroids and human growth hormones.
He was acquitted of charges that he lied to Congress in 2008 when he insisted he never used steroids or human growth hormones during his baseball career. If he had been convicted he would have faced up to 30 years in federal prison.
This is the second failed attempt at convicting Clemens.
As Clemens got the news in the courtroom he wiped away a tear, hugged his lawyers and wife and huddled with his sons. “We’ve waited a long time for this,” said his lead lawyer Rusty Hardin.
Clemens, 49, is a seven-time winner of the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in his league.
“I put a lot of hard work into that career,” Clemens said.
Art Walk Returns to Nyack
The weekend of June 15-17 brought Art Walk back to Nyack for its seventh year with hundreds of people walking the streets.
The event invites professional and emerging artists to put up their work on display in shops along Main Street and Broadway. There were 23 artists from the New York City metropolitan area showing their paintings, photographs and mixed media work.
“It’s a great venue for artists to exhibit, get feedback, talk about the artwork and become their own best salesperson,” said Paulette Ross, Art Walk’s producer and the owner of the boutique, p.ross, on Main Street.
Strange But True: Hypnotist Seeks Help, Students Stuck in Trance
A hypnotist had to call in a mentor to help rescue several students from a trance.
During a show at a private girls’ high school in Sherbooke, Que., College du Sacre-Coeur, Maxime Nadeau, a young hypnotist, could not manage to bring all of the students back to an awakened and aware state.
He was working on a small group of 12- and 13-year-old girls while the rest of the school watched. When it came time to end the event, several girls didn’t snap out of it. He eventually called his mentor, Richard Whitbread, who traveled an hour to the school and managed to return them from their trance state.
Whitbread made the girls think they were being re-hypnotized and then brought them out of it using a stern voice.
Nadeau kept calm the entire time. He said, “Being in a trance is a state of well-being. I wasn’t stressed. I knew they would get out of it.”
Administrators at the school learned only after the fact that hypnosis is not recommended for those under the age of 14.
Abused Dog Takes the Stage
A Shetland sheepdog that answers to the name of Colt was rescued from an abusive home, run over by a car, became a therapy dog and now is on stage at Antrim Playhouse in Nyack.
He was one of the 23 dogs taken in 2008 from the home of Karol O’Connell in Wesley Hills, a hoarder who failed to care for any of the animals.
O’Connell managed to get Colt back. He immediately tried to run away, but was struck by a car. He sustained a broken back that required surgery and a body cast.
The dog was then cared for by the Humane Society. And now, fully recovered, he is performing in the production of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.”
The director of the play, Brooke Malloy Ortiz, has grown quite fond of the dog.
“Colt has the best bio of all of us,” he said. “He’s really sweet, a retired therapy dog. He’s not old, so we changed the dialogue to talk about how he has this wound on his leg and his back is broken. And we wet down his fur to make him look a bit more worn.”
Obama Attorneys Argue He Isn’t Nominee
Arguments occurred before Florida Judge Terry Lewis on Monday, June 18 regarding Obama’s motion to a complaint filed by a registered member of the Democratic Party challenging Obama’s eligibility to appear on the Florida ballot.
Obama’s attorney, Mark Herron, said that despite Obama being the only Democrat in the Florida preferential preference primary, that does not make him the party’s nominee for president. He stated that the preferential primary election only serves to elect delegates who will vote at the convention to select the party’s nominee.
The founder of the government watchdog organization Judicial Watch, Attorney Larry Klayman, represented Michael Voeltz, who filed the complaint. Klayman said that the defendant was attempting to push the issue down the road until it is too late.
Lewis took the matter under advisement, asking the two parties to submit a written form.
Nyack Car Thief Arrested
Steven Butterfield of Nyack was arrested Monday, June 18 after police chased him down Route 9W in a stolen car from an auto-body shop.
Butterfield is accused of drunk driving and stealing an Acura MDX from Imperial Collision on Catherine Street.
They caught up to him in front of TappanZee Elementary School.
Butterfield was convicted of car theft in 2000 and served a state prison sentence of several years.
Orangetown police charged Butterfield with third-degree grand larceny, a felony with theft of more than $3,000; driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor; and numerous traffic violations. He is to be arraigned in Nyack Village Court.
New Obama Biography Reveals Grandfather Not Detained
A new biography about Barack Obama reveals that his grandfather was not detained by the British in Kenya nor was he tortured.
“Barack Obama: The Story” by David Maraniss lists dozens of instances where Obama deviated from the truth in his book “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.”
One of the major points Maraniss argues with in Obama’s book is that his paternal grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama was imprisoned in 1949 by the British for helping the anti-colonial Mau Mau rebels and held for several months.
Maraniss researched Obama’s life and found that there were no remaining records of any detention, imprisonment, or trial of Hussein Onyango Obama. He interviewed five people who knew Obama’s grandfather and questioned the story’s truth.
Maraniss also questions Obama’s grandmother’s tales of racism in Kansas, Obama’s story of being abandoned by his father and others.
Tim Donaghy of the NBA Wins Suit
Tim Donaghy, an NBA ex-referee, recovered gambling addict and felon, won a $1.3 million civil suit in Florida on Friday, June 15.
The suit Donaghy won was against Shawna Vercher and her now defunct company VTi Group, which published the book “Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA,” a tell-all book about Donaghy, the NBA and its referees.
“The lady made my life a living hell and basically tortured me through the press by putting fictitious stories out there,” he said. “I knew at some point my time would come. And my time was Friday.”
The lawsuit stemmed from a dispute between the two parties. Vercher called the cops after Donaghy threatened her and book vendors. He complained that she ripped him off by pocketing nearly $250,000 in book sales.
According to Nicholas Mooney, Donaghy’s lawyer, the jury sided with him on all counts, including breach of contract, theft and infliction of emotional distress.
Child Throws Rock at Bus in Spring Valley, One Injured
A 12-year-old boy threw a rock at a passing bus on Friday, June 15, the glass window shattered and put one nine-year-old boy in the hospital for surgery on his head.
The boy was charged for reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, but no hate crimes have been charged.
The bus was carrying children ages nine and 10 from the United Talmudical Academy, a Satmar Hasidic Jewish school on Madison Avenue in Spring Valley. The rock thrown shattered the glass in one of the windows cutting one of the children’s heads.
The nine-year-old was taken to Westchester Medical Center.
The 12-year-old said he didn’t mean to hit the bus or hurt anyone, he was just playing with his friends.
Several in the Hasidic Jewish community believe the incident was racially motivated. But to charge a hate crime, they would have to prove the thrower was at least aiming for the bus based on the riders’ race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
Clarkstown Graduation Information Changed Due to Weather
Clarkstown graduates and moving-up ceremonies were moved around due to high temperatures and humidity.
The Birchwood School ceremony originally scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20, instead took place at 7 p.m.
New City Elementary School fifth graders’ moving-up ceremony was relocated to Clarkstown South at 5:30 p.m.
The Clarkstown South High School graduation planned for 5:30 p.m., instead took place at 8 p.m. on the school’s football field.
Finally, the Congers Elementary School moving-up ceremony was moved to Clarkstown South on Thursday, June 21 at 3 p.m.
Energy Salesman Charged with Burglary
Joel W. Pastor, a Manhattan man selling energy drinks door-to-door, is accused of entering a Nyack house illegally and stealing a laptop computer.
Pastor, 25, was arrested on felony charges of second-degree burglary, fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.
A week prior to the event, Pastor had visited the apartment building claiming to be selling for Just Energy.
“The South Nyack resident recognized the guy from their previous encounter at the apartment,” said South Nyack-GrandView Police Chief Robert Van Cura. “He [the resident] saw him [the salesman] on the street carrying a laptop and went back to his apartment.” The resident then found out his laptop was missing. The resident ran after the man, they wrestled on Franklin Street and Brookside Avenue and he managed to recover the computer.
South Nyack Justice Thomas Mascola set Pastor’s bail at $5,000. He remains in the county jail.