Hudson Valley News | WAMC

Hudson Valley News

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.

Hyde Park Deputy Superintendent Discusses Reopening

Jul 20, 2020
Hyde Park Central School District Superintendent Aviva Kafka, July 16, 2020, during U.S. Senator Charles Schumer's visit
WAMC, Allison Dunne

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says that in early August he’ll announce details about K-12 schools reopening, whether students will return in-person and what this will require. The majority of students finished the last three months or so of the second half of their school year online after the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Deputy Superintendent of the Hyde Park Central School District Aviva Kafka about her district’s plans and needs.

NYS Senator Crafts Bill To Reduce Truck Emissions

Jul 19, 2020
Courtesy of Leon Brooks via Wikimedia Commons

A state senator has introduced a bill to help New York meet its climate goals by reducing truck and bus emissions.

Rep. Maloney To Hold Town Hall At A Drive-In

Jul 18, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

A New York congressman from the Hudson Valley will host a town hall Saturday, at a venue intended to make such a gathering safe during COVID-19.

Schumer Pitches Bill To Help Schools Reopen Safely

Jul 17, 2020
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer at FDR High School, Staatsburg, NY, July 16, 2020
WAMC, Allison Dunne

New York U.S. Senator Charles Schumer was in the Hudson Valley Thursday, pushing legislation to ensure educators get the funding they need to open schools safely this fall in light of COVID-19. School administrators say their calculations for needed equipment and services show the funding is sorely needed.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Environmental and community advocates are calling for the immediate repair of a temporary water filtration system at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh that failed after about a month of use. It was supposed to trap PFOS-contaminated water. The advocates say the system was not equipped to handle the flow in the first place, a concern also shared by New York state officials.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer signs term limit law, July 15, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer

The Westchester County executive signed legislation Wednesday imposing stricter term limits on his own office.

Mondaire Jones Wins Democratic Primary In NY-17

Jul 14, 2020
Mondaire Jones
Courtesy of Mondaire Jones

A Democratic primary for a congressional seat opening up in New York’s Hudson Valley has been won by Mondaire Jones, an attorney who had the backing of the party’s left wing. 

SUNY New Paltz Revises Theatre Season Due To COVID-19

Jul 12, 2020
Spring 2019 production of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf“
Courtesy of SUNY New Paltz

A college in New York’s Hudson Valley has retooled its theatre production season in the face of COVID-19 requirements.

Courtesy of Mother Earth's Storehouse

In New York, Ulster County health officials say an employee at a health food store in Kingston has tested positive for COVID-19.

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus at the podium; Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of the 18th District
Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus spent Thursday in several places for different reasons.  WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne caught up with him in New Windsor to talk about vandalism in a nearby village, mall re-openings and more.

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
WAMC, Allison Dunne

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney was in Orange County Thursday to talk about his bill that was included in a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package the House passed last week. Maloney, an 18th District Democrat, stood with the Orange County executive near a bridge that would benefit from the legislation.

Courtesy of Metallica and Westchester Community College

A heavy metal band is partnering with Westchester Community College to support career and technical education programs.

Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney and others hosted “A Listening Town Hall: People of Color Sharing their Experiences in Dutchess County” Tuesday night. About a dozen residents shared their stories about police encounters, racism and lack of opportunities.

SUNY Orange Unveils Fall Semester Plans

Jul 8, 2020
Courtesy of SUNY Orange

SUNY Orange is the latest college in the Hudson Valley to announce its plans for the fall semester.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer Delivers Final Daily COVID-19 briefing, July 6, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer

With the Mid-Hudson region in Phase Four of reopening Tuesday, the Westchester County executive delivered his final daily coronavirus briefing Monday. Democrat George Latimer discussed the Chappaqua COVID cluster along with Phase Four questions for the state.

Courtesy of Scenic Hudson

Amtrak is back at the drawing board with plans for a fencing project along the Hudson River. Railroad officials say the project is to improve safety and will include preserving public access to the river. Elected officials and environmentalists are concerned about just how much access will be included, and what it will look like.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer proposes voluntary separation program, July 1, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer

As county leaders grapple with large budget gaps from revenue shortfalls largely from COVID-19 shutdowns, some are proposing employee buyouts.

unemployment application

Two New York state lawmakers from the Hudson Valley say they’ve introduced legislation to protect people whose personal information was leaked after applying for unemployment benefits.

A Fourth of July rally is slated to take place Saturday at an historic intersection in Kingston, New York.

Vassar College Lays Out Fall Semester Plans

Jul 3, 2020
Courtesy of Vassar College

A private college in Dutchess County, New York, is one of the latest schools to announce its blueprint for the fall semester amid COVID-19. 

Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert and Rockland County Executive Ed Day talk about the Clarkstown COVID-19 cluster, July 1, 2020
Courtesy of Rockland County government

Months after the lower Hudson Valley became the first epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., Rockland County officials say a new COVID-19 cluster has emerged after a person who was ill with the virus held a party in June. COVID has since spread, and the county health commissioner says partygoers have not been cooperating with contact tracing. And officials are promising enforcement July Fourth weekend as they find out about more parties.

A state park in Sullivan County will close for July Fourth weekend amid concerns about spreading COVID-19.