TIMELINES 6/6/19

Ex-BOCES teacher’s aide Gillian Jeffords, who brought gun to school gets probation

School shootings have become a hot bed issue today. People are afraid of outsiders or even students bringing loaded guns to school. Now, an ex-teacher’s aide, Gillian Jeffords 25, of Warwick in Orange County, was licensed to carry a concealed firearm in New York and Pennsylvania, worked at the Jesse J. Kaplan School, which serves about 300 students with developmental disabilities, was accused of bringing a loaded pistol in her handbag into a West Nyack school has been sentenced to three years probation, according to Richard Kennison Moran, Rockland County executive assistant district attorney.

Jeffords pled guilty to the charge of attempted criminal possession of a firearm on school grounds which is a misdemeanor. The gun was a 9 mm Ruger, which a police officer seized from Jeffords. She was removed from the Parrott Road building, according to Clarkstown police. The guilty plea was entered on Feb. 25 before County Court Judge David Zuckerman and Jeffords was sentenced Tuesday by Rockland County Court Judge Larry Schwartz, During her probation she will not be permitted to apply for the reinstatement of her pistol license, which was revoked when she was arrested March 28, 2018.

In addition to the gun, four loaded magazines with 28 rounds of ammunition of which half were hollow – point bullets were found in Jeffords’ pocketbook, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Jeffords, had not displayed the weapon and had not used it in a threatening manner at the school, police said. BOCES fired her the next day.

The charges Jeffords was indicted on in September 2018 were one count of criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, a felony, and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

Nanuet school district settles sex-harassment case vs. ex-principal

Many prominent people have been accused of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct recently. A former Nanuet High school principal was accused of rape, sexual harassment and retaliation against her for rejecting his advances by a teacher. 

The teacher had filed a $1 million lawsuit against the district, dropped it and has settled the case. The teacher will collect her $109,000-a-year salary, plus annual union-mandated raises and increases through June 30, 2022. Another part of the settlement is that she no longer has an assignment in the school district, according to the settlement, a copy of which was obtained by The Journal News/lohud through a Freedom of Information request. In exchange for this and continuing to receive health benefits, even if she is hired in another district, she will officially resign from the district on June 30, 2022, and waives her right to make legal claims against the district.

The district ic covering $40,000 of attorney’s fees but she must pay $3,000 to the lawyer who represented her in her legal claim. The agreement, which was approved by the Board of Education Oct. 9 and went into effect Oct.16, contains no admission of guilt or wrongdoing by any of the parties, according to the settlement.

Local area has direct ties to D-Day

As the United States and its allies mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which turned the tide of World War II in Europe, the region is reminded it has a special connection to the war.

Camp Shanks in Orangetown served as the largest point of embarkation for soldiers headed for the front lines in Europe and North Africa during the war. “Thousands of soldiers participated in the D-Day invasion, landing on, and sometimes dying on, the beaches of Normandy, France,” reflected Army veteran Philip Soskin, the only veteran serving on the Rockland County Legislature.

“On Thursday, June 6, 2019, it is fitting that we pause for a moment of silence in remembrance of those who fought in that great battle for freedom, and most especially, of those who never returned home, having sacrificed their youth, their future, and their lives in the fight,” Soskin said.

The Camp Shanks Museum in Orangeburg is open from noon to 4p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from June through August. Meanwhile, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will be attending a commemoration of D-Day at the Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor today, meeting with Purple Heart recipients and saluting their service to the nation.

That facility will undergo a $10 million expansion next year to include a new wing with interactive exhibits and enhanced galleries, improved pedestrian circulation and additional public gathering space.

From MidHudson News

Military truck overturns near  West Point with casualties

WEST POINT – A military vehicle from West Point overturned near Route 293 near the academy Thursday morning with reports of casualties.

A total of 23 people have been reported taken to area hospitals.

The truck was reported to have been about one mile into a wooded area when the accident occurred.

Check back for further developments as information becomes available.

MidHudson News

DEC finds 157 snakes in man’s City of Newburgh home

NEWBURGH – To quote Indiana Jones in the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when he climbed into his friend’s small plane and found the man’s large pet snake in the seat, “Jock, I HATE snakes!”

Well, apparently that was not the case with a Newburgh man. State Environmental Conservation Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation Unit officers executed a search warrant at 82 Maple Street and found 157 snakes in the basement of the home.

Officers were alerted to the reptiles by Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx when a man showed up after having been bitten by a venomous Asian pit viper he owned. He received five doses of anti-venom and was released on Monday.

The man did not have a license to possess any of the snakes. Venomous snakes are illegal to possess in New York State without a license and are only licensed for educational or exhibition purposes.

Bronx Zoo staff went to the house to assist environmental conservation officers inventory and remove the snakes from the house. They will be kept at the zoo for the time being.

MidHudson News

Westchester police chief supports legalization of marijuana

WHITE PLAINS – While most police chiefs around the Hudson Valley and state oppose the legalization of marijuana, one chief is lobbying for it.

Chatham Chief Peter Volkmann participated in Tuesday night’s panel discussion at Pace University in White Plains where supporters of making recreational pot legal discussed their reasons for backing it.

Volkmann said the drug, in an uncontrolled form, is being used now and he equated it to Prohibition when production and sale of alcoholic beverages were illegal from 1920 to 1933.

“Everyone still used it in their basement. Everyone still used it on clubs, on gangs were fighting each other,” he said. “Police were in an unending battle and what happened was they finally realized and rescinded Prohibition, but they kept certain drugs like marijuana on it. So we’ve been in prohibition for marijuana and we have been having a war on drugs for decades and it’s not going very well.”

Volkmann would only support legalization providing there are restrictions in age, amount and how potent it is.

Others speaking in favor of legalization were a school board member, a representative of WomenGrow, a lawyer and an addiction treatment professional.