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Hudson Valley News

Pleasant Valley Black Lives Matter Protest, July 18, 2020
Courtesy of the Dutchess County Sheriff's office

Members of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office delivered a presentation Thursday before a county legislature committee about the department’s response to and an analysis of a Black Lives Matter protest in July. Counter-protestors also appeared and tensions escalated into verbal sparring and violence. Legislators had many questions.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC / cdc.gov)

In New York, Sullivan County health officials are warning about possible COVID-19 exposure at a family picnic.

Enlarged City School District of Middletown Superintendent Richard Del Moro (left) and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
Video courtesy of the Office of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

With New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision about reopening K-12 schools expected any day, school districts across the state have submitted their plans for the state’s approval. Those plans were due July 31. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney held a videoconference with the superintendent of a school district in Orange County, sharing questions from area residents.

Rockland County workers clean up after storm damage, August 2020
Courtesy of Rockland County government

As outages persist throughout New York’s Hudson Valley following Tropical Storm Isaias, some elected officials are pointing fingers at the response of their utility companies. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for an investigation and some power restoration estimates are still pending.

Tropical Storm Isaias damage in the Hudson Valley
Courtesy of Central Hudson

In light of the widespread power outages from Tropical Storm Isais, a New York state Assemblyman from the Hudson Valley is calling for a study.

Rhinebeck Town Supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia unveils Violet Capital marker as Norm Magnusson watches
WAMC, Allison Dunne

You’ve heard of the Rust Belt… the Corn Belt… the Sun Belt…but what about the Violet Belt? The Violet Belt ran through a portion of New York’s Dutchess County. On Monday, a ceremony in the heart of what used to be the Violet Belt commemorated the town as the Violet Capital of the World.

Vassar College President Details Reopening Plans

Aug 4, 2020
Vassar College President Elizabeth Bradley
Courtesy of Vassar College

College campuses across New York are welcoming back students before the end of the month with a host of new rules in places to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, students will return on a staggered basis, beginning August 15. Vassar President Dr. Elizabeth Bradley spoke with WAMC’s Allison Dunne, who is based at WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau at Vassar. This is the second part of their interview.

Courtesy of USMA Public Affairs, Wikimedia Commons

New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on top officials to rename Confederate monuments, including at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. This comes after the Senate and House recently passed their respective versions of the National Defense Authorization Act. Both include provisions that Trump opposes to remove Confederate names at military bases. 

Westchester County Executive George Latimer delivers a COVID-19 briefing August 3, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of the Weschester County Executive

Westchester County Executive George Latimer delivered a COVID-19 briefing Monday. He covered a range of issues, including preparation ahead of Tropical Storm Isaias, which is expected to hit the region Tuesday.

Vassar College President Elizabeth Bradley
Courtesy of Vassar College

There is new research just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Open Network about the safety of reopening colleges during COVID-19. Vassar College President Dr. Elizabeth Bradley, who is also a global health expert, wrote an opening editorial to the study. She spoke with WAMC’s Allison Dunne, who is based at WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau at Vassar.

DCC Offers Reduced Tuition To Eligible Students

Aug 2, 2020
Courtesy of Dutchess Community College

Certain New York students are eligible for reduced tuition at a community college in New York’s Hudson Valley.

New York state Thursday adopted maximum contaminant levels for three chemicals in drinking water. Environmental and community advocates wanted to see lower levels adopted, and more PFAS chemicals included, but say it’s a good start. One of the limits is a national first.

Courtesy of USMA Public Affairs, Wikimedia Commons

The House of Representatives recently passed the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act. Two New York congressmen from the Hudson Valley are behind a number of the measures that were included.

Flickr

A New York congressman, who sits on the House Agriculture Committee, has introduced bipartisan legislation to support partnerships between small farms and local schools.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer Delivers Briefing July 27, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of the Weschester County Executive

The Westchester County executive says the county is working with CUNY to study wastewater for COVID-19. The hope is to detect spikes in coronavirus infections weeks before clinical diagnoses. Separately, the county executive is rolling out plans so that November elections run smoothly.

Several Enviro Bills Await NY Gov's Signature

Jul 27, 2020
AP Photo

The New York state legislature recently passed a number of environmental bills that await Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature. Among them is a fracking-related bill that would be a first in the nation.

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary Executive Director Rachel McCrystal
Courtesy of the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

The Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in Ulster County, New York remains closed to the public after COVID-19 shut its doors in March. Without visitors and their in-person donations, gift shop purchases and more, the non-profit’s bottom line has taken a hit, but rescues and care continue. Executive Director Rachel McCrystal spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

A New York Congressman from the Hudson Valley is calling on the White House to expedite funding opportunities for COVID-19 testing of wastewater.

Officials from the Biden for President campaign have tapped a group of New York veterans to launch an organizing group aimed at engaging the more than 830,000 veterans and their families in the state to support Joe Biden for President. A Hudson Valley county executive is one who helped with the launch.

Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Antonio Delgado

Democratic Congressman Antonio Delgado is one of the many voices from New York’s delegation calling for the U.S. Senate to include direct aid for state and local governments in the next coronavirus relief package. Delgado, from the 19th District, spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Poughkeepsie’s mayor on Thursday announced more financial cuts to help close the city’s projected multimillion-dollar budget shortfall from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (top); Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan (bottom left); and NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario
Courtesy of the Office of Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro

Four county executives participated in a New York State Association of Counties video press conference Thursday to urge Congress to pass a coronavirus stimulus package with direct state and local aid. A House bill passed in May contains billions of dollars’ worth, but Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump reportedly agreed Thursday on a package with no such aid.

One consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic is that visitors are flocking to the Catskills and Adirondacks to enjoy the outdoors. But they’re leaving a trace. Now, the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation is responding to increased reports of trash being left behind. WAMC”s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with DEC Chief of Staff Sean Mahar about the agency’s emphasis on its public education campaign.

Courtesy of the City of Newburgh

In New York, the City of Newburgh is seeking proposals from nonprofits to start a program to prevent homelessness stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

School bus
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Westchester County has established a working group to assist local school districts with reopening in the fall. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says that in early August he’ll announce details about K-12 schools reopening and whether students will return in-person.

Josh Eisen
Courtesy of Josh Eisen

Two independent candidates petitioning to appear on the November ballot in New York say an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo puts them at a disadvantage during the COVID-19 pandemic. One has sued Cuomo, while the other says he will join the lawsuit.

Yonkers Uses Sprayers To Help Disinfect Facilities

Jul 22, 2020
Yonkers Parks employee disinfects local playground with Professional Electrostatic Backpack Sprayer
Courtesy of the City of Yonkers

City of Yonkers personnel have new arsenal in their daily cleaning of facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NYS Senators David Carlucci (at the podium) and James Skoufis (left) and local EMS providers at Anthony Wayne Recreation area in Bear Mountain to call on Verizon to begin construction on two cell phone towers, Feb. 2020
Courtesy of the Office of NYS Senator David Carlucci

Two New York state senators from the Hudson Valley say construction on two cell-phone towers has begun for a dead zone along a highway through two counties.

Joni Siani
Courtesy of Joni Siani

A college professor whose course includes a digital cleanse says switching to online teaching in light of COVID-19 has produced interesting results. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Manhattanville College Visiting Assistant Professor Joni Siani about her digital socialization course and how the pandemic helped breed interpersonal communication skills.

Three attorneys general, including those from New York and Massachusetts, held a press call Monday, to announce their lawsuit against the Trump Administration for rolling back protections under the Affordable Care Act.

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