Orange County News Roundup, December 30

By Yvonne Marcotte
Yvonne Marcotte
Yvonne Marcotte
December 30, 2015 Updated: December 30, 2015

Annexation Stirs Secession Feelings in Monroe

 Members of the Residents Association Lake Sapphire in Monroe addressed the Tuxedo Town Board at their Dec. 15 board meeting about seceding from Monroe and joining Tuxedo. President of the association Tom Ludington and others said homeowners are concerned about possible increasing development after the Village of Kiryas Joel annexes land in Monroe, reported the Times Herald-Record. Lake Sapphire is a private community of 60 homes along the Tuxedo and Monroe line. Roads, wells, and septic systems are privately owned. Ludington said, “We are about sensible building and keeping the zoning the way it was meant to be.” Law enforcement is a concern, Luddington said, since Monroe has none of its own and relies on protection from state police.

Middletown Police Dog Hudson Passes on

The Middltown Police Department reported on their Facebook page that Hudson Thoelen of the K-9 has died: “We have sad news. K-9 Hudson Thoelen passed away peacefully today, December 27, 2015, at Monhagen Veterinary Hospital in Middletown, NY, surrounded by his family and friends. He was 10 years old. Hudson was previously certified as a Police K-9 for the City of Middletown Police Department, retiring exactly one year ago today, on December 27, 2014, after 7 years of dedicated service as a Patrol and Explosives Detection K-9. We are honored to have served with him and send our thoughts and Prayers to his family. RIP Hudson.”

Solar Farm Development Put on Hold in Goshen

The Goshen Town Board enacted a six-month moratorium on new proposals for solar farms at the Dec. 21 board meeting. This flies in the face of farmers who are interested in making use of the alternative energy source, reported the Times Herald Record. Solar farms are a large array of solar panels that collect the sun’s energy and sends it to the power grid for the community. Any proposals need the approval of O&R Utilities. Individual users—homes, businesses, and municipal offices—are exempt from the moratorium. No one spoke in favor the board’s action and several spoke against it. Megan Appello, whose farm owns a 50-acre hay farm said a solar business approached him about leasing 15 acres.

Handicapped Parking Enforcement in Walden Gets Some Muscle

The Village Board of Walden passed a local law at its Dec. 15 meeting that strengthens handicapped parking regulations. The new law closes a loophole in state law that restricts enforcement in small strip malls or designated fire zones. The law allows police to give a ticket to anyone who parks wherever handicapped parking space is required by law, reported the Wallkill Valley News. A first offense requires a $100 fine or 15 days in jail. Trustee Gerald Mishk said. “The fire zone and handicap parking at Dunkin’ Donuts were unenforceable under state code. So we need the local code in order to enforce those laws.”

Town of Newburgh Police Chief Clancy to Retire

 Police Chief Michael Clancy of the Town of Newburgh Police Department will retire in January, reported the Wallkill Valley News, after 40 years in law enforcement. Clancy started as a patrolman in the City of Newburgh in 1974. “There was always a lot of action,” Clancy said.

He said on his first night on patrol, he responded to a riot at the local high school. “On my first night on patrol with my training officer, a full-blown riot started up at the Newburgh Free Academy during a Battle of the Bands concert. “It lasted four days. Businesses were looted. The East End of the city was shut down.” Clancy plans to do volunteer work and travel. “I’d like to see the west, and national parks like Yosemite and the Grand Canyon,” Clancy said.

Highland Schools Develop Online Curriculum Mapping

Highland Assistant Superintendent Sarah Dudley-Lemek addressed the school board about curriculum mapping three years in development that will now focus on English Language Arts, reported the Photo-News. Dudley-Lemek said last summer the district subscribed to New York Learns that allows the district to store and review their curriculum maps online. She demonstrated a “dashboard” to give the board an idea of what New York Learns looks like, what it contains and how to access it. It also allows a teacher to have their own virtual file cabinet with the ability to share it with other teachers or a department. Dudley-Lemek administers the site and can keep track of progress and is able to see every map in the district.

Salvation Army Worker Returns Cash Left in Donated Clothing

Middletown police say a woman donated clothing to the Salvation Army, dropping the items off at the 237 Wickham Ave. location between 8-9 a.m. on Dec. 16. A Salvation Army employee later found “a substantial amount” of cash in the pocket of one of the items, police said. The Salvation Army turned over the money to the Middletown Police Department for safekeeping, and now police and the non-profit are trying to find the person who donated the clothes so they can return the cash. When the woman donated the clothes, officials say, she was given a document that will help identify her as the rightful owner. Anyone with information on the donor’s identity is asked to call Middletown police Lt. Gregory Metakes at 346-4006.

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