Hudson Valley News

Zika Mosquito

The Hudson Valley has its fourth case of Zika virus after a confirmed case in Putnam County. In addition, a number of U.S. senators are calling for further response to the outbreak. A Putnam County resident has been confirmed positive for Zika virus and a second resident is being tested. Putnam County Department of Health officials made the announcement Thursday, saying both residents had recently travelled out of the country. Dr. Michael Nesheiwat is Putnam County interim commissioner of health.

Tampon Aisle
Rachel Hutton, Flickr

A Hudson Valley state senator and Manhattan assemblymember say it’s time to remove sales tax from feminine hygiene products.  Republican State Senator Sue Serino and Democratic Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal announced Thursday that they worked on legislation that would exempt feminine hygiene products, such as tampons, from the state sales and compensating use tax.

Calita Kabir/Flickr

A report issued by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli shows sales-tax collections for 2015 dropped in 30 of New York’s 57 counties outside New York City. While two Hudson Valley counties fit this profile, one bucked the trend well beyond its neighbors.

Ulster County had the third highest increase in sales-tax collections outside New York City last year. Brian Butry is a spokesman for the state comptroller.

There was a murder-suicide Thursday in Rockland County. Police say a husband shot his wife and then himself. Ramapo police say they received a 9-1-1 call shortly after 7 Thursday morning from a man who said he just shot his wife. Police arrived at the Village of Wesley Hills residence, where the couple lived alone, and heard two gunshots. They say 65-year-old John Lord was on the rear deck and had shot himself. They found his 63-year-old wife Irene dead in the bedroom. Police say both had gunshot wounds to the head. Police say the .38 caliber revolver used was registered to Irene Lord.

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
Wiki Commons

Additional testing has turned up higher levels of radioactive tritium in groundwater than what was reported last week at the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Plant officials say this is to be expected and stress there is no risk to public health and safety.


State Senator David Carlucci (D, New City) has called on the state education commissioner and attorney general to investigate how culturally insensitive and historically inaccurate information was included in educational videos regarding Judaism and members of the Jewish faith.

Courtesy of New York Medical College

A Hudson Valley congresswoman Wednesday announced two grants for New York Medical College in Westchester County. Congresswoman Nita Lowey, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, announced two National Institutes of Health grants totaling more than $500,000 for New York Medical College to study Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and illness caused by strep. The first grant, from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, will allow the college to study Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in adolescents and young adults.

Courtesy Town of Hyde Park

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli Wednesday announced an agreement to convert an abandoned gas station in Dutchess County to community green space. The agreement between the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund, or Oil Spill Fund, Dutchess County and the Town of Hyde Park is to convert an abandoned gas station on Route 9G in the town to green space. The Oil Spill Fund, which is administered by DiNapoli, has paid $500,000 for cleanup and petroleum remediation efforts at the gas station and neighboring properties dating back to 1978.

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
Wiki Commons

Additional testing has turned up even higher levels of radioactive tritium than what was reported last week at the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Plant officials stress there continues to be no risk to public health and safety.

Indian Point parent Entergy Wednesday released updated findings from groundwater tests at the Buchanan-based plant that confirm anticipated fluctuations in tritium levels. Jerry Nappi is spokesman for Entergy.

part sun promotion

A New York congressman has called on Amazon to ban the sale of gun-shaped phone cases. Though officials say the online giant already has such a ban in place, one of its third-party retailers was able to slip through the cracks.

Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel last week called for the retail giant to stop the sale of cell phone cases that are made to look like guns. Although Amazon itself does not sell them, Engel found that a third-party retailer was able to list this type of case on Amazon’s online marketplace.

HV Assemblywoman Hosts Aid in Dying Forum

Feb 9, 2016
WAMC, Allison Dunne

A New York assemblywoman has introduced a bill to allow Aid in Dying and recently held her first forum on the topic. Amy Paulin, a Westchester Democrat, acknowledges the sensitive and emotional nature of the issue but remains hopeful about her bill becoming law.

Paulin, from Scarsdale, says her bill is newly introduced this legislative session and in its third form, adding more protections than in previous iterations.  

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday announced more than $35 million in grants for capital projects at higher education institutions across the state. Some of the colleges are in the Hudson Valley.

A Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group has filed a complaint against one of the candidates running for New York’s 19th congressional district, alleging violations of the federal election law.

Nonprofit group Campaign for Accountability has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission requesting an investigation into alleged illegal coordination between the campaign of Republican Andrew Heaney and a super PAC, the New York Jobs Council. Anne Weisman is CfA executive director.

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
Wiki Commons

Radioactive tritium-contaminated water has leaked into the groundwater at the Indian Point nuclear power plant. New York’s governor over the weekend ordered two state department heads to investigate. Indian Point officials say the leak was contained and there is no risk to public safety.

Marist College Names New President

Feb 8, 2016

A law school dean has been named president of Marist College in Poughkeepsie. Loyola University Chicago School of Law Dean and Professor David Yellen will become the fourth president in Marist’s 87 years as a college. Yellen will succeed President Dennis Murray, who has held office since 1979. Murray announced last year his plan to step down from the position on June 30 after 37 years leading Marist. Yellen has written extensively on sentencing issues and served as an advisor on white collar crime to President Clinton's transition team.

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
Wiki Commons

A radioactive material has been detected in the groundwater below the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County and New York’s governor Saturday called for state officials to investigate.

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
Wiki Commons

A radioactive material has been detected in the groundwater below the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County.

U.S Attorney Preet Bharara
U.S Attorney Preet Bharara

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is being honored Friday night in Westchester County.  U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara will be the keynote speaker tonight at the Westchester County Crime Stoppers dinner at the VIP County Club in New Rochelle.

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.