Hudson Valley News | WAMC

Hudson Valley News

Central Hudson

Some commuters were able to board Metro-North trains this morning and more households and businesses have the lights back on - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has more on the Hurricane Recovery effort.

Jerry Kleiner

  Sullivan County public safety and fire officials are concerned about the increase in carbon monoxide calls that have come in over the last two days.

Matt Rourke / AP

The Westchester County Department of Health on Wednesday urged people with private wells that were flooded to either boil their water before consumption or to use bottled water as a precautionary measure since sewage and other harmful contaminants can be washed into private wells by storm waters. 

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy are trying to resume normal lives despite grim projections of power and mass transit outages lasting several more days. Subway tracks and commuter tunnels beneath New York City sustained heavy damage and Metro-North Railroad service remains suspended today. Utilities have crews out repairing damaged and downed transmission lines. Hudson Valley Bureau chief Dave Lucas has an update:


The Westchester County Department of Health is advising people who use the Hudson River waters for recreational purposes, namely swimmers, boaters, kayakers and windsurfers to avoid direct contact with the water until further notice along the Westchester shoreline. This advisory is due to flooding-related shutdowns at one waste water treatment plant and two waste water pumping stations along the river that have resulted in raw and partially treated sewage entering the Hudson River.

Steady progress was made Tuesday in repairing damage to Central Hudson’s electric system in the wake of severe winds delivered by Tropical Storm Sandy.

By 8 p.m., power was restored to more than 50,000, or nearly half of all impacted customers, and crews worked throughout the night.

Consolidated Edison says power will be restored everywhere in Manhattan and Brooklyn within four days, but it could be at least a week for other boroughs and Westchester County because power is delivered to those areas largely using overhead lines. More from WAMC's Dave Lucas.

On Tuesday morning, ConEd said that 337,000 customers were without power in the two boroughs. There were 442,000 without power in the boroughs of Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx and Westchester County following Hurricane Sandy.

Officials in Ulster County say dozens of roads and streets are closed because of trees and power lines knocked down by Sandy. More from WAMC's Dave Lucas.

County Executive Michael Hein said Tuesday that the storm is blamed for one death. State police say 69-year-old Doreen Richardson was killed Monday evening when her vehicle was struck by a large section of roof that blew off a home in a trailer park in Kerhonkson.

Hurricane Sandy has left a path of destruction behind in its wake and Hudson Valley Bureau Chief reports there are ongoing problems with travel disruptions and power outages as clean-up efforts continue.

Hank Gross

  Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, Monday, presented his proposed 2013 budget of $408.3 million that comes in under the two percent state tax cap and reduces spending by $7.6 million.

Molinaro attributed the reduced spending plan to his three-pronged approach at reinventing county government.

Hank Gross


  Former President Bill Clinton made a brief appearance at a rally for Democratic congressional candidate Sean Patrick Maloney Sunday afternoon.  Clinton touted Maloney’s qualifications saying that he was competent in both the White House and in state governance.

“Being elected to Congress is a job,” Clinton said. “It requires a preference for evidence over ideology, for arithmetic over illusion, for shared prosperity over trickle down, for we’re-all-in-this-together over you’re-on-your-own.”

Credit Hank GrossHein, in the Ulster County emergency operations center on Sunday, said they were prepared for Irene a year ago, and are confident they can handle SandyEdit | Remove

Students, parents and teachers in an Orange County School District are embracing mobile-optimized learning technology, as we hear in this report from Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas.

Hank Gross

  US Senator Kristen Gillibrand came to the Hudson Valley on Thursday to announce her support for the Women’s Enterprise Development Center.

The senator is working to secure a federal investment for the effort that would see creation of a satellite center on the Marist College campus in Poughkeepsie.

“I think we can ignite a very powerful economic engine by just finding these great women with business ideas and helping them get started,” said Gillibrand.

She made her comments at a stop at Oxyvita, Inc., adjacent to Stewart Airport in New Windsor.

Hank Gross

  State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office released an audit of the City of Newburgh’s financial oversight that said officials failed to accurately track the city’s budget which led to millions of dollars in shortfalls and a higher than necessary tax hike for its residents.

The audit, released on Thursday, said that the city, after failing to account for a $1.3 million deficit, passed an unbalanced budget in 2010 that created a new $ 6 million cash deficit which was closed the following year with a 41 percent tax levy increase.


A yearlong celebration gets underway Friday in Orange County... with a visit from the Fab Four... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

The race for New York's newly drawn 102nd Assembly district seat pits Republican Pete Lopez, seeking his fourth two-year term against Democratic challenger Jimmy Miller, who served for two decades as official spokesman for the Albany police department: Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas takes a closer look at the race.

  The New Paltz Town ReUse building was officially opened for business on Wednesday, providing a one-stop location for the municipality to collect recyclables and offer them for reuse.

Town Recycling Coordinator Laura Petit said the town has a good track record of reuse with a wide variety of items.

The Environmental Integrity Project and 16 other organizations have petitioned the US Environmental Protection Agency to require the oil and gas extraction industry, including those companies engaged in hydrofracking, to report a list of the chemicals they use to extract natural gas.

The issue has become a regional hot potato since fracking in the Marcellus shale and Utica shale areas has been placed on the table.

Authorities say an upstate New York police chief has admitted he knew about sex crimes against underage victims but didn't do anything about it. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has more…

Ulster County District Attorney D. Holley Carnright said Tuesday that town of Ulster Chief Matthew Taggard pleaded guilty to a charge of official misconduct. He was suspended in June and retired in September.

The City of Peekskill will issue a request for proposals for a new operator to run its Paramount Theatre, which was closed recently by the current non-profit organization, the Paramount Center for the Arts.

“The city is being very aggressive in protecting this vital community asset while we seek out a viable proposal to turn this theater into the economic juggernaut it really should be,” said Mayor Mary Foster.

She said whoever takes over the operation, would be required to offer a wide array of entertainment.

Hank Gross

Candidates for the New York State Senate got a chance to meet Ulster County business leaders at a Chamber of Commerce debate held in Kingston Tuesday morning.

Little disagreement was heard from the speakers on topics including casino gambling, mandate reform, and property tax relief. Each expressed support for small businesses, and promised bipartisan cooperation in the state legislature

Hank Gross

When the property tax bill comes next year, Ulster County residents won't be spared any pain. But under a new law, the government will be required to tell you where it hurts.

The Taxpayer Relief Insert, announced by county officials Tuesday afternoon, contains an itemized receipt of sorts – as opposed to a mere I.O.U.

The information is designed to show a breakdown of the property tax levy, particularly in terms of unfunded mandates such as Safety Net (welfare) costs, pensions, and related issues beyond local control.

Special Advisor to the Governor on the Tappan Zee Bridge Project Brian Conybeare and Civic Engineer Mark Roche provided an update on the status of a new Tappan Zee Bridge at a session in Sleepy Hollow Monday evening.

“Most people just want information,” Conybeare said.   “They want to be able to ask questions and learn about the project. We’re here to give out the latest updated information on where the project stands and hopefully make them comfortable with what is obviously a pretty big project.”

Hank Gross

The Newburgh City Council stood out openly against City Manager Richard Herbek on Monday night, with three of five council members saying or implying that they would at the very least not renew his contract, which expires in January. Whether or not he will be terminated for being sighted in his car with an alleged drug addict and prostitute is still being discussed.

Mayor Judy Kennedy said the matter was "problematic to the city.

Hank Gross

Four days after Newburgh City Manager Richard Herbek was stopped in his car with a woman he said was a heroin addict, he has quit.

Herbek told Mayor Judy Kennedy on Sunday that he was resigning.

After the traffic stop last Wednesday, Herbek told that he was helping her kick the drug habit and that he was offering her counseling.  The following day, Kennedy said Herbek would have decisions to make, but she did not elaborate.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sued a Queens beauty school, claiming it convinced hundreds of students to pay course fees but failed to train them as nail specialists. WAMC's Dave Lucas has more...

The suit, filed this week, names Tinny Beauty Inc. and two of its officers, saying it used ads in Chinese-language newspapers distributed across New York State, as well as word-of-mouth advertsing to find and mislead students about obtaining nail specialty licenses. Fees charged ranged from $350 to $500.


A major construction project in Ulster County will come to a screeching halt next month - all because of a fish. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas explains.

Officials say the lengthy re-building of Kingston's Abeel Street with new sidewalks, curbing and traffic signals will encounter a seasonal delay: the multi-million dollar improvement project will be on hiatus through April.

Siena Research Institute

Four weeks of campaigning and one less candidate have tightened the race in the 18th Congressional District - which includes parts of Westchester and Dutchess counties, as well as all of Putnam County and Orange County. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports on the results from the latest Siena Poll...

Jobs rose by 7,000 in the Hudson Valley for the 12 months ending in September. That’s a 0.9 percent increase. The largest gain was in the Putnam-Rockland-Westchester Metropolitan Statistical Area at 1.3 percent.

The Dutchess-Orange Metro Area grew by 0.5 percent while the Ulster County Metro Area jobs fell by 0.4 percent.

In non-metro areas, Sullivan County experienced no job growth in September while Columbia County fell by 0.6 percent and Greene County fell by one percent.