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Hudson Valley News

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan during a Memorial Day candle-lighting ceremony, held virtually, May 21, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan

The Ulster County executive took part in a peaceful protest recently against George Floyd’s death and systemic racism. He was surprised to encounter a military-grade armored vehicle standing at the ready. Democrat Pat Ryan says he had used equipment like this in combat when deployed to Iraq, and he does not want to ever see his community turned into a war zone. Ryan spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about this along with what kind of police reforms he wants to see locally.

Dutchess County Exec Wants Updated Guidance From OPWDD

Jun 11, 2020
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro
Courtesy of the Office of Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro

The Dutchess County executive says it is time to restore visitation at residential group homes as New York recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. He is calling on state officials to issue guidance to allow family members of individuals with developmental disabilities to resume visits after nearly three months.

NY Congressman Eliot Engel
Courtesy of the Office of NY Congressman Eliot Engel

The Democratic primary in New York’s 16th Congressional District is being closely watched as veteran Congressman Eliot Engel faces a challenge from Jamaal Bowman and others. Observers say it could be a second AOC election, referring to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset of New York City Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley in 2018. Her race started a wave of primary challenges from those to the left of entrenched congressional Democrats. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne reports on Wednesday night’s debate, where a big focus was on the recent protests and institutional racism.

Courtesy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

A few New York congressmen are recipients of a new award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Mid-Hudson Region Begins Phase Two Reopening

Jun 9, 2020
Courtesy of the City of Newburgh

Phase Two of reopening began Tuesday in the Mid-Hudson region of New York. Hair salon and restaurant managers are among those who have been prepping for the day, while a number of residents have been waiting to occupy a barbershop chair or outdoor table at their favorite restaurants.

Following many calls to hold graduations outdoors, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday he will permit such ceremonies beginning at the end of the month.

A Family In A Small, Rural Town Protests Racism

Jun 8, 2020
Kate Bixby and her mother, Heather Myers, protesting in Bangall, NY, June 6, 2020
WAMC, Allison Dunne

There have been several large protests in the Hudson Valley since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, including over the weekend. But a few protestors in Dutchess County have started one of their own, in their own backyard and, so far, solely within their family.

Courtesy of New Rochelle Police Department

As WAMC News first reported today, the New York state attorney general’s office will not investigate an officer-involved shooting in New Rochelle, New York. The city’s mayor had been calling for such an investigation. Meantime, the New Rochelle police union is standing by the unnamed officer who fatally shot the African-American man on Friday.

Westchester Is Growing Its Electric Vehicle Fleet

Jun 7, 2020
Courtesy of New Flyer

The electric vehicle fleet in Westchester County is expanding.

Children's Museum Initiates Peace Rock Project

Jun 6, 2020
Courtesy of Mid-Hudson Children's Museum

In New York, the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum has launched a community art project in response to both COVID-19 and nationwide protests against systemic racism.

Following an argument over communication, the Sullivan County Legislature Friday afternoon moved a resolution to cut the salaries of a number of county employees to an executive agenda in a few weeks. The cuts were proposed by the county manager to help stem the fiscal impacts of COVID-19.

Courtesy of Orange County, NY government

Staff from two Orange County, New York departments will be distributing free personal protective equipment to hair salon and barbershop owners on Saturday.

WAMC File Photo

In New York, Sullivan County employees could see their salaries cut temporarily because of fiscal impacts of COVID-19.

Courtesy of the City of Beacon government

City of Beacon, New York officials will talk about their police department’s training and best practices at a City Council meeting Monday. It follows the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week and resulting protests nationwide, including in Beacon.

Victoria Bennis, graduate student at Pace University's School of Education
Courtesy of Pace University's School of Education

When schools in New York went virtual as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, teachers-in-training had to switch gears as well. Officials at Pace University’s School of Education at the Pleasantville campus in Westchester County had to adapt just as students did. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne has a story about a new program that fills a need for both students in the Ossining School District and teachers-in-training at Pace.

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York President & CEO Laura McQuade
Courtesy of PPGNY/Laura McQuade

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, like other health services organizations, responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by relying more on telehealth. Planned Parenthood was deemed an essential service and has remained open throughout for in-person visits. President and CEO Laura McQuade spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about the pandemic, abortion access and more, including protests outside its centers. The interview was recorded before protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

A vote in New York on whether to adopt recommended maximum contaminant levels in drinking water for three chemicals has been postponed a second time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, clean water advocates say they are disappointed with another delay.

A protest is planned in Poughkeepsie Tuesday afternoon in the aftermath of the George Floyd death.

Following the death of George Floyd in police custody last week in Minneapolis, the Westchester County executive is forming a working group to review county police academy polices.

NYS Senator James Skoufis
Courtes of the Office of NYS Senator James Skoufis

In one of its first major moves since the coronavirus pandemic took hold, the New York state legislature last week passed a package of COVID-19-related bills. Democratic State Senator James Skoufis co-sponsored many of the bills that range from education needs to price gouging penalties. Skoufis, who chairs the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about some of the measures along with whether his committee will be looking into Governor Andrew Cuomo’s actions regarding nursing homes during the pandemic.

Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC), Kingston, NY
Courtesy of Timothy Lee

The City of Kingston in Ulster County, New York is launching a cultural planning project. The city’s mayor says a master plan will help preserve cultural assets and help artists facing challenges in this economic landscape.

SUNY Purchase Has A New President

May 30, 2020
Dr. Milagros “Milly” Peña, the sixth president of Purchase College.
Courtesy of SUNY Purchase

The State University of New York Board of Trustees voted unanimously Friday to appoint the next president of SUNY Purchase in Westchester County.

NYS Says Five More Communities Are Climate Smart

May 30, 2020

The New York state Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the latest round of certified climate smart communities. Two of the five are in the Hudson Valley.

New York state Senate Democrats and others are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to follow New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s lead when it comes to graduations. Murphy said Tuesday that graduations can take place beginning July 6 in person, outdoors and adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Courtesy of Rockland County government

Rockland County, New York has a new program to help small businesses and nonprofits reopen safely emerging from the COVID-19 crisis.

Courtesy of the New York National Guard

The Trump Administration has reversed course and extended authorization of National Guard service. This comes following pushes from many elected officials, including two New York congressmen.

NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli in Dutchess County, Dec. 2017, to discuss NY ABLE program
WAMC, Allison Dunne

The Dutchess County Executive and New York state Comptroller hosted a Facebook live discussion Thursday afternoon on the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact. They discussed the fiscal condition of both the county and New York, and what financial recovery might look like.

MTA Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi
Courtesy of MTA Metro-North Railroad

With the beginning of Phase One reopening in the Mid-Hudson Valley Tuesday, Metro-North began adding trains to its three lines east of the Hudson. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Metro-North instituted an Essential Service Plan, with hourly service seven days a week. Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi tells WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne that the railroad is now upping train capacity by 26 percent to meet expected increased demand.

Dr. James Halpern
Courtesy of SUNY New Paltz

The American Red Cross is operating a virtual Family Assistance Center in New York to help those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Dr. James Halpern, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Red Cross. Now retired, he was the founding director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz.

Dutchess Will Roll Out Memorial Day Convoy

May 24, 2020
Courtesy of Dutchess County government

Most traditional Memorial Day celebrations have been cancelled or are not open to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In New York’s Hudson Valley, Dutchess County has organized a vehicle convoy to recognize fallen heroes.