Hudson Valley News

Rockland Has Its First Case Of Zika Virus

Feb 5, 2016
Zika Mosquito

A lower Hudson Valley county has its first case of Zika virus, and the county is preparing for additional cases. Rockland officials Friday confirmed the county’s first case of Zika virus in a local woman. The patient recently traveled to a South American country where Zika virus transmission has been documented. The virus primarily is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The infection is associated with severe birth defects.

Orange County Man Is Sentenced For Fatal Stabbing

Feb 5, 2016
Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office

An Orange County man Thursday was sentenced for fatally stabbing his wife. Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler says that 52-year-old Leonard Salters, of Highland Falls, was sentenced to 18 years to life in state prison for stabbing his wife to death. The District Attorney’s Office had recommended that Salters be sentenced to twenty years to life. In August, Salters pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with the June 2014 stabbing. On the date of the stabbing, neighbors in Salters’ apartment building heard a commotion and called police.

New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently released his annual fiscal stress scores for school districts. A few in the Hudson Valley made the list, in varying degrees.

Bebeto Matthews / AP

Five U.S. senators are urging President Obama to fill the vacant National Transportation Safety Board seat with a candidate who has a strong background in rail safety. Wednesday’s letter came on the first anniversary of the fatal Metro-North crash at a rail crossing in Valhalla, in Westchester County.

Metro-North Sets Ridership Record For 2015

Feb 3, 2016

New York transit officials say ridership increased on the nation's two largest commuter railroad systems last year. Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials Tuesday said there were a record number of riders on the Metro-North Railroad in 2015. They say more than 86 million people rode on the commuter rail system that connects New York City, its northern suburbs in the Hudson Valley and Connecticut.

HV High School Students Win A Grant For Their App

Feb 2, 2016

Students from a high school in Westchester County have won a $20,000 grant for their concept for an app to combat hunger.

The mayor of Kingston Monday announced the launch of an outreach campaign to market the city. Kingston Mayor Steve Noble says the “Welcome to Our Hometown” outreach campaign kicks off with the creation of the 2016 Kingston Visitors Guide. He wants local residents engaged in showcasing why people want to visit as well as live and work in Kingston and invites them to submit photos for the guide along with for the city’s website, social media platforms and other tools. Photos from different time periods, of special events, architecture and natural landscapes are encouraged.

WAMC Allison Dunne

Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of what has been called the deadliest crash in Metro-North Railroad history. Federal officials Monday said much has been done to improve grade crossing safety since the crash in Westchester County, and other actions are in the works.

On February 3, 2015, a Metro-North commuter train crashed into an SUV that was stopped on the tracks at the Commerce Street crossing in Valhalla, killing five people on the train and the car's driver. In the weeks following the crash, federal officials pledged their commitment to improve rail crossing safety.

New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is out with his annual fiscal stress scores for school districts, and two in the Hudson Valley show large swings.

A HV Library Is Named Best Small Library In America

Jan 30, 2016
Courtesy of Albert Wisner Public Library

A public library in the Hudson Valley has been named by Library Journal the 2016 Best Small Library in America. The Albert Wisner Public Library in Warwick, in Orange County, receives the 2016 honor, and is the first library in New York to have done so for the annual award that began in 2005. The award is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to showcase the exemplary work of public libraries serving populations under 25,000.

Wikimedia Commons

A New York state Democratic assemblyman from the Hudson Valley has introduced legislation to ban guns for people who appear on a federal “No-Fly” list. The bill, which echoes calls on the national level, is drawing both support and opposition.

Westchester County Assemblyman Tom Abinanti has introduced legislation to prohibit people named on the FBI’s No-Fly List from obtaining or renewing a license to carry firearms.

“If you’re not safe to fly, you’re not safe to have a gun,” says Abinanti. “It’s just plain, simple common sense.”

Picture of Heroin
Adobe Stock

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Thursday announced more than $1.6 million in annual funding to create first-of-their-kind clubhouses for teens and young adults battling substance abuse and addiction. One clubhouse will be in the Hudson Valley.

Orange County Teacher Dies In A Crash

Jan 28, 2016

School counselors will continue to offer help after an Orange County teacher died in a crash Thursday morning. It was not yet known whether black ice was a factor.

Clearwater Hones Mission As Executive Director Resigns

Jan 28, 2016
Courtesy of Clearwater

The executive director of the Beacon-based non-profit Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has resigned. His resignation comes just one week after Clearwater announced it was cancelling its annual music festival.

Clearwater Executive Director Resigns

Jan 27, 2016

The executive director of the Beacon-based non-profit Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has announced his resignation. Sloop Clearwater Executive Director Peter Gross has stepped down, citing, quote “significant differences between his and the organization’s vision to the path to building a stronger future for Clearwater and dealing with the organization’s long-standing financial and structural challenges.” Gross served as executive director since May of 2014.

Courtesy of the National Transportation Safety Board

The families of two Hudson Valley men killed last year when a Metro-North train struck an SUV have filed negligence lawsuits against the railroad and its engineer.

Westchester Receives CDBG Funds

Jan 27, 2016

Two congressional representatives and Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday announced that more than $4.3 million in federal grants have been awarded to 10 local governments in Westchester County.

Wikimedia Commons

With familiar names now on both sides in the race for New York’s 19th congressional district seat, WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne has a look at perhaps the not-so-familiar ones.

Dutchess County Appoints Its First Poet Laureate

Jan 26, 2016
Courtesty of Richard Renaldi/Bard College

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced Monday he has appointed Annandale resident Robert Kelly as the county’s first Poet Laureate. Molinaro says Kelly will read two poems at Wednesday’s state of Dutchess County address, and one poem us dedicated to the county Executive in honor of his 2016 initiative, “Act Boldly.” In his unpaid role as Poet Laureate, Kelly will serve for a one-year term and bring poetry to the community through a series of readings and events.

The Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate who challenged New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2014 announced Monday she is running for Congress.

Zephyr Teachout calls herself an Independent Democrat.

“This district is full of independent-minded people, whether they’re registered as Democrats or Republicans or not registered with either party,” says Teachout. “And I have shown, really throughout my whole career, that I’m willing to stand up and be independent and stand up against powerful interests, and I can do that in Washington as well.”

HV Assemblyman Secures Grant To Help Home For Girls

Jan 26, 2016

An Assemblyman in the Hudson Valley has secured a grant for a group home for girls in Orange County.

After 16 years, the latest plans for the proposed Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park have been approved. But as WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne reports, a lawsuit against a New York state agency is holding up construction.

Courtesy of Waterkeeper Alliance

A leading environmental law attorney says one of TransCanada’s lawsuits against the U.S. government for rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline could set a dangerous precedent for similar legal action under a trade deal not yet approved in the U.S. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Waterkeeper Alliance President Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., about the lawsuit and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Courtesy of Clearwater

Clearwater announced Thursday that it was cancelling its Great Hudson River Revival, citing financial reasons. Reaction has ranged from disappointment to anger. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Poughkeepsie Journal music writer John Barry, who attended Clearwater’s Board of Directors meeting Wednesday, where the decision was made to steer clear of taking such a big financial risk by holding the festival.

West Point Cadet Is Acquitted Of Sexual Assault

Jan 23, 2016
Courtesy of USMA Public Affairs, Wikimedia Commons

A West Point cadet has been acquitted of sexually assaulting a fellow cadet he was dating.

Beacon Schools Superintendent Resigns

Jan 22, 2016
Courtesy of Beacon City School District

The superintendent of a Hudson Valley school district has resigned. She was the district’s eighth superintendent in 10 years.

Clearwater Cancels Great Hudson River Revival

Jan 21, 2016
Courtesy of Clearwater

For the first time in its history, there will not be a Clearwater Festival this year. A costly renovation of Clearwater’s flagship is a major reason.

Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival, founded by the late Pete and Toshi Seeger, is taking a break to save the sloop. Clearwater Board President Annie Osborn, who also sits on WAMC’s community advisory board, says, instead, Clearwater will hold smaller music events up and down the Hudson River throughout the year. The reason, she says, is to focus on restoring America’s environmental flagship.

Allison Dunne

Former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich addressed an audience nearly 300 strong in Orange County Wednesday night, joining opponents of a gas power plant.

Two-time presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was the guest speaker at a forum in Warwick about the CPV Valley Energy Center in Wawayanda.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh

Our region is marking the Martin Luther King Day holiday today. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh held its 5th Annual MLK Day of Service. Volunteers worked on gutting houses while kids were building birdhouses.

Some 65 volunteers with Habitat Newburgh worked on four houses on South Miller Street, part of the city’s historic district. They braved blustery conditions and a temperature of just 25 degrees. Celeste Bloomer is a house captain who has been volunteering with Habitat for about 16 years.

Courtesy of the Westchester Board of Legislators

Westchester residents have a new way to find the best prices for home heating oil.

The Westchester County Board of Legislators has come up with a tool to help Westchester families get the best price available for home heating oil. Board of Legislators Chairman Mike Kaplowitz, who appears in a video showing the site, says the home page of has the link for the oil prices tracker.