TIMELINES 9/4/14

Woman injured by thruway overpass jump
A Connecticut woman sustained serious injuries Thursday afternoon after she jumped off an overpass and onto a Nyack on ramp of the New York State Thruway. The Hamden woman parked her car and jumped from the on ramp of Exit 10, which connects the Thruway to Route 9W and South Franklin Street. After falling 25 feet, she was injured but remained conscious when emergency crews arrived and transported her to Nyack Hospital. Though jumpers are a known occurrence at the Tappan Zee Bridge and people considering an overpass jump have been found and rescued in the past, South Nyack- Grand View Police Chief Brent Newbury reported this is the first known instance of an individual jumping from the Thruway overpass.

Rockland attorney stripped of law license now stands accused of DWAI
A Rockland defense attorney whose ability to practice law had been revoked in 2010 was arrested on Sunday for driving under the impairment of drugs and possessing both marijuana and heroin. Andrew DePodwin, 64, was found at Ramapo Cirque Boulevard, asleep at the wheel of his Subaru with the engine running and the transmission in drive. After physically preventing the car from rolling forward, they found DePodwin was under the influence of drugs. A search of the car revealed that DePodwin also possessed both marijuana and heroin. He was then arrested and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance , driving while ability impaired by drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana, the latter of which is a violation. DePodwin has had a checkered history in Rockland. Though he was once a prominent criminal and civil defense attorney based out of Nanuet, a Ninth Judicial District Grievance Committee investigation suspended him after he admitted to being unable to practice.

Mohegan Lake teen survives jump from Bear Mountain Bridge
A 16-year old from Mohegan Lake managed to survive a suicide attempt at the Bear Mountain Bridge Tuesday of last week, making it out of the Hudson River withh the help of a nearby Westchester County police marine unit. Witnesses reported she had parked on the Westchester side of the bridge and walked out to a point where she jumped 153 feet down. The marine unit spotted the girl lying face up and semi-conscious in the river shortly after she had jumped. Other marine units were contacted to rescue the girl, but were called off once the Westchester unit puller her out of the water. She was reported to have possibly broken a bone but was otherwise in good condition. The bridge is a known spot for jumpers. The most recent instance of a jumper surviving the fall was a West Point cadet who broke his leg in a 2005 jump but was able to swim to shore.

Second American journalist beheaded by ISIS
The terrorist militia Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released a second video purporting to show the beheading of an American journalist this week. The United States confirmed the authenticity of the video on Wednesday. ISIS said they were executing the journalist, Steven Sotloff, because the United States had been conducting bombing raids against the group, which controls thousands of square miles in Eastern Syria and Northwestern Iraq. American reporter James Foley was also beheaded by the fanatical Islamist group in August.

East Ramapo superintendent head causes anger with “drop-out” remarks
Comments made by the superintendent of the East Ramapo Central School District on August 19 regarding immigrant students have sparked a backlash in the district by residents who perceived it as blame on non-native students for the district’s high dropout rate. In a partially recorded statement, Superintendent Joel Klein seemed to indicate immigrant students-many of which arrive in the district from Central and South America-enroll knowing they will eventually drop out. He also advocated steering immigrant students away from the Regents diploma path to avoid an inflated dropout rate. “They want to learn the language,” Klein said. “They want free lunch, breakfast, and whatever else they can get. They know they cannot get a diploma. It’s a major, major issue, so we’re dealing with it.” Though Klein appeared to communicate a desire to accommodate students with English language difficulties, many East Ramapo residents interpreted it as discriminatory. About 80 protesters rallied against the plan prior to a board meeting on Tuesday night. According to school administrators, a recent surge of 350 new immigrant students has pushed the district to consider alternate programs which help students-many of whom speak little or no English-to build their language proficiency and prepare them for the workforce.

CDC: Ebola outbreak is growing out of control
The growing outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is spiraling out of control and requires immediate action to prevent catastrophe, according to the director of the Center for Disease Control. In an interview with “CBS This Morning,” Dr. Tom Frieden explained the virus was spreading at an alarming pace and could not be addressed merely by sealing off infected countries such as Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Instead, he argued a scaled up global effort was required to not only prevent the spread of the virus to other countries but also prevent its spread in Africa. “This is not just a problem for West Africa, not just a problem for Africa, it’s a problem for the world and the world needs to respond,” Frieden said. Frieden also argued there was no time to wait for further manufacture of ZMapp, the experimental vaccine which has shown some positive results in animal testing and limited human cases. Instead, he argued supportive care must be emphasized so those who are infected have a greater chance at survival. Since the beginning of this year, ebola has killed over 1,500 individuals and is expected to infect at least 20,000 before it is brought under control.

New Board of Elections regulations could stifle free speech
The New York State Board of Elections’ new “emergency regulations” on political speech has come under fire by critics who argue it could permanently stifle free speech under a maze of bureaucratic red tape. In theory, the regulations are meant to control political spending by independent groups. However, in practice they could give the Board of Elections broad discretion to determine which speech must be subject to campaign finance laws. The regulations classify brochures and pamphlets as “independent expenditures,” even when they are distributed by private citizens rather than political action committees. In effect, the law could discourage individuals and smaller political groups from going through the cumbersome process of registering as a committee and submitting regular reports on contributions. The unelected Board of Elections is given the discretion to determine which entities can be considered political committees and can issue fines of $1,000 for failure to register.