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Hudson Valley News

Kingston Mayor Steve Noble, proposed 2021 budget address, October 16, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble/Screenshot by WAMC, Allison Dunne

Kingston residents would see their tax rate stay the same under the mayor’s proposed 2021 budget. Mayor Steve Noble says that despite tough fiscal impacts from the coronavirus pandemic, the city is able to make do.

Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY
Courtesy of Marist College

A college in New York’s Hudson Valley was scheduled to return to in-person classes Saturday. Marist College had gone all virtual for a week following a number of positive COVID-19 cases.

Justice Scales
Adobe Stock

In New York, an Orange County grand jury has cleared Newburgh police officers who were involved in the shooting death of a city resident. The county’s district attorney also says an independent investigation by his office found that the police were justified in using deadly physical force.

Bard College Center For Civic Engagement
Courtesy of Bard College

A New York state Supreme Court judge has denied a petition from Bard College to move an off-campus polling site to its Annandale-on-Hudson campus. Bard had filed suit against the Dutchess County Board of Elections in September, alleging unsafe conditions at the current polling site and voter suppression.

Westchester County map of COVID-19 cases as of October 13, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer

While not calling it a second wave, the Westchester County executive says a recent increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases is concerning. Part of the climb is attributed to an outbreak among students at Iona College in New Rochelle, a city that was once the epicenter of the pandemic.

East Ramapo Central School District Facebook message October 12, 2020
Courtesy of the East Ramapo Central School District

Following criticism about leaving certain schools within a Rockland County district open for in-person classes, the acting superintendent of the East Ramapo Central School District has put all schools on remote learning. This came with guidance from New York state officials after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his Cluster Action Initiative for COVID hot spots.

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and Ulster County District Attorney Dave Clegg announce expansion of Restorative Justice Program
Courtesy of the Office of Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan

A restorative justice program in Ulster County is being expanded to young adults. The county executive and district attorney say the new initiative builds upon the success of the county’s restorative justice program.

NY19 GOP Candidate Van De Water Talks About The Race

Oct 12, 2020
Kyle Van De Water
Courtesy of Kyle Van De Water for Congress campaign

Two years ago, New York’s 19th Congressional District was one of the nation’s most closely-watched races as first-term Republican John Faso was unseated by Democrat Antonio Delgado. Now, Republican Kyle Van De Water is challenging Delgado in November. Van De Water spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.

NYS Has Two Newly Enacted Bills To Help Farmers

Oct 11, 2020
New York grown fruits and vegetables
Courtesy of NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed two bills to help farmers. The bills were sponsored by Hudson Valley lawmakers.

Sandra Wilson
Courtesy of Hannemann Funeral Home via Tribute Archive

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo this week signed a bill honoring a slain library security guard in Rockland County.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer
Courtesy of the Office of Weschester County Executive George Latimer

The Westchester County executive postponed his State of the County address Thursday after a Board of Legislators member tested positive for COVID-19.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day delivers COVID briefing October 6, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Rockland County Executive Ed Day/screenshot WAMC, Allison Dunne

In New York, the Rockland County executive is recuperating after shoulder surgery.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies President Josh Ginsburg (upper right); Drs. Rick Ostfeld and Felicia Keesing
Courtesy of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies/Screenshot WAMC, Allison Dunne

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is examining the role of biodiversity in preventing pandemics. On a recent virtual discussion, two disease ecologists addressed the topic of infectious disease spillovers, and spoke about the pathogens that cause diseases like COVID-19.

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, the Westchester County executive has postponed his State of the County address after a Board of Legislators member tested positive for COVID-19. 

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro
Courtesy of the Office of Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro

The Dutchess County executive has been elected to serve as president of a New York State Association of Counties affiliate.

Slide portraying zone regulations for COVID-19 clusters
Courtesy of the Office of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo via the Office of Rockland County Executive Ed Day

Hoping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in certain New York City, Broome County and lower Hudson Valley hot spots, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced an initiative that implements zones. The color-coded system essentially amounts to containment zones with new rules and restrictions in each. The Orange and Rockland county executives say they fully support the new effort.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer delivers briefing October 5, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the epicenter in New York was in New Rochelle, in Westchester County. Yet new hotspots more than six months later are in two Hudson Valley counties across the Hudson River and have not impacted Westchester. During his weekly COVID-19 briefing, Westchester County Executive George Latimer says there has been an uptick in active cases, but no spikes landing any Westchester zip codes on what has become a top-20 statewide list.

Impact of Creek wildfire in Fresno, CA
Courtesy of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz

The director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz is in California assisting the American Red Cross with wildfire recovery efforts. According to the Red Cross, wildfires in California have burned more than 4 million acres this year, destroying over 8,400 homes and other structures. Dr. Amy Nitza is in Fresno for a two-week deployment and spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about what she’s experiencing.

Courtesy of SUNY New Paltz

SUNY New Paltz faculty members have published a book about the legacy of women’s suffrage in New York during a year marking the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, prohibiting states and the federal government from denying the right to vote based on sex. A few of the college’s history and political science professors are among the contributors.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo gives COVID press briefing (NY Health Commission Dr. Howard Zucker, right) October 5, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo

COVID-19 clusters in parts of New York City and Orange and Rockland Counties are raising alarm. After announcing some schools in clusters in Brooklyn and Queens would close starting tomorrow, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says schools in the Orange and Rockland hotspots are under consideration for closure.

Courtesy of Tompkins Excavating

A New York state senator is launching a virtual initiative to spark interest among local teens in the trades.

Graffiti on a utility box in Cornwall, NY
Courtesy of the Office of NYS Senator James Skoufis

A New York state lawmaker says a utility provider in the Hudson Valley has committed to removing graffiti in a city in Orange County.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day delivers 2021 budget proposal outside county office building, Oct. 1, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Rockland County Executive Ed Day/screenshot by WAMC, Allison Dunne

It’s budget proposal time across New York as COVID-19 has wreaked fiscal havoc on both state and local governments. Rockland and Orange Counties are seeing some sales-tax recovery and hope for a continued upswing. The proposals don’t include layoffs, but there are property tax increases.

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan Delivers 2021 Budget Proposal at SUNY Ulster, Stone Ridge, NY
Courtesy of the Office of Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan

In New York, the Ulster County executive delivered his budget address Thursday. He has a number of projects on the list to develop what he calls a people-centered economy.

Masks to help protect from COVID-19
Courtesy of the Town of Ramapo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he spoke with Orthodox Jewish leaders Wednesday morning to come up with an action plan to contain the spread of COVID-19 clusters. A second discussion to set the outreach plan in motion was slated for 3 Wednesday afternoon. Cuomo says 20 zip codes in the state have high infection rates. Among the highest are three locations in Orange and Rockland Counties.

Indian Point nuclear power plant, Buchanan, NY
WAMC, Allison Dunne

A New York Congresswoman says a Westchester County town in her district has been awarded funding to help expand its tax base. This comes as the nearby Indian Point nuclear power plant is set to completely shut down in seven months.

Funding Will Help Agribusiness In The Hudson Valley

Sep 29, 2020
farm produce
US Department of Agriculture

Democratic congressional lawmakers in New York have announced federal funding to support economic growth in the Hudson Valley’s low-income and distressed communities.

Bard College Center For Civic Engagement
Courtesy of Bard College

After filing a lawsuit earlier this month, Bard College in Dutchess County is awaiting a state Supreme Court judge’s decision on its petition to move an off-campus polling site on campus. Bard College’s president and students allege a history of voter suppression against young voters. This year, though, it’s also about safety during COVID-19.

County Jail Now Has An Acute Mental Health Unit

Sep 29, 2020
Westchester County jail
Courtesy of Google maps via law.com

There’s now a special housing unit at a county jail in New York’s Hudson Valley to support mental health treatment.

Long before the September 18th death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at least one congressional candidate in New York was talking about expanding the Supreme Court. Now, as President Trump has nominated conservative Amy Coney Barrett, other Democrats are considering the same, among other options.

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