Cadets Graduate From New York Military Academy

By Mark Gerlach

When recent New York Military graduate Somar Hadid of the Town of the Newburgh first attended the school in 2012, he hated being away from home, push-ups, sits-ups, being yelled at, and military training.

But the training ultimately made Hadid a better person, he said, and in the end he didn’t want to leave.

“I remember myself lying down on my bed terrified and shaking, but three years later I realized I could not have survived any other way,” said Hadid, cadet lieutenant and NYMA valedictorian.

About 13 cadets graduated during the 126th New York Military Academy commencement in Cornwall-on-Hudson on May 30.

The graduates included: Christopher Augur; Mason Brunco; Baoyu Chen; Eric Elmakias; Samson Faccon; Momar Fall; Lawrence German; Somar Hadid; Lydia Kang; Kiahnna Pauletta; Nikita Sinyaev; Fiona Tai; and Yao Wang.

“I didn’t want to graduate,” said Hadid, 17. “I’m in an extreme state of disarray. While I should be happy that I’m graduating, it’s a bittersweet moment because all great things must come to an end…”

Hadid attended NYMA for three years. He’s now off to Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts to study business management, he said.

Head Tactical Officer Staff Sgt. (Ret) Shelly Brockington and Tactical Officer Mario Espinoza helped Hadid realize his potential when others doubted him, he said. “They made me the person that I am,” Hadid said. “They treat every cadet with dignity and respect.”

C.A.R. Committee Announces Honorees

The Newburgh Enlarged City School District Committee of Acknowledgement and Recognition, or C.A.R., Committee, announced its honorees for this year’s awards: Sara Feliz, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction; Mark Epstein, cleaner at the Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus; Tara Marshall, principal of the NECSD Pre-K Center; and John Garzione, science specialist at Fostertown ETC Magnet School.

C.A.R. celebrates the exemplary work, professionalism, dedication and community service of Newburgh Enlarged City School District employees, a school district announcement said.

During a month long period, nominations were accepted from the following categories: Central Office Administration, Civil Service Employees Association, Newburgh Supervisors and Administrators Association and the Newburgh Teachers’ Association. The committee selected the winners on May 19.

Cornwall Falls to Saugerties

Saugerties 9, Cornwall 6

Cornwall left fielder Nick Krafft laid down a bunt. (photos by Frank DeSantis)
Cornwall left fielder Nick Krafft laid down a bunt. (photos by Frank DeSantis)

Section IX Class A Championship at Gruner Field in Lake Katrine on May 30
It was a very relaxed Cornwall team that ran out onto the field to begin their third Class A title game in four years. The Green Dragons won titles in 2012 and 2013 before relinquishing the Section IX birth to Wallkill and Marlboro in 2014. However, in 2015, Cornwall compiled a record of 17-4 to become the number one seed.
Alex Mack and Dom Marzigliano had two hits apiece for Cornwall. However, shoddy play in the field and questionable calls behind the plate resulted in Cornwall’s demise.

Chester Brings Home Track Title

Chester Academy competed for sectional titles in various classes on May 29 at Middletown High School. Junior Timothy Boyd was the Section IX Champion in the 400-meter and 200-meter sprint. Senior Jason Freeman was the Section IX Champion in the 100-meter sprint and took second place in the 200-meter sprint. They both set new school records in all three events.

The boys 4 x 100 relay team took second place with Jason Freeman, Tim Boyd, Kolby Herring and Harry LaBoy. The girls 4 x 100 relay team took second place with Mariela Fuentes, Alexa Wilson, Tyrinn Boyd and Allie Steinberg.

Many of the other athletes on the team placed in the top five overall in their respective events.

Jason Freeman, winner of the 100-meter sprint at the Section IX Championships.
Jason Freeman, winner of the 100-meter sprint at the Section IX Championships.

Reckless Driving Leads to Arrests

A recent trend of reckless driving has struck the Town of Newburgh, culminating in a pair of arrests.
A high speed car chase with police came to a head on June 4 as a driver, who had previously ran a red light, recklessly turned into Tot’s ‘n Us Day Care while there were adults and small children in the driveway. He was driving a Ford pick-up truck.
No one was struck or injured.
The driver, upon arrival by police, fled the scene. The driver headed north on Route 300 and then north on Route 32 at high rates of speed passing other vehicles in no-passing zones, police said.
The driver entered Plattekill and made a high-speed turn onto Firehouse Road – a dead end street. At the end of the street, the driver attempted to make a U-turn on the lawn of a home and only gave up when an officer drew his weapon.
The truck was stolen from the Quality Landscaping company lot off Gardnertown Road, police said.
Harold Hall, 21, was charged with five reckless endangerment felonies, as well as a misdemeanor reckless endangerment charge and more than 20 traffic violations.

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A Blizzard in May?

By Eugenia Moskowitz

The Sunoco gas station covered in white powder. (photo by Eugenia Moskowitz)
The Sunoco gas station covered in white powder. (photo by Eugenia Moskowitz)

The Sunoco’s automatic dry chemical fire suppression system discharged its powder over the entire gas station on East Main Street in Washingtonville at noon last Saturday.

The cause of the discharge was undetermined, according to Washingtonville Fire Department Assistant Chief Gary Hearn, and no one was injured in the discharge.

Section IX Class C Championships

In Saugerties at Lorenz Field on May 30
Chester 11, Webutuck 5

After beating Webutuck, the Chester baseball team plays Tuckahoe on Friday. (photo by Frank DeSantis)
After beating Webutuck, the Chester baseball team plays Tuckahoe on Friday. (photo by Frank DeSantis)

Chester was ahead of Webutuck 5-2 when Hambletonian pitcher Colin Marco gave up a three-run homer to Webutuck’s LeShawn Thrasher to tie the score at five. However, that would be all the runs
Marco would surrender for the rest of the game. Chester opened up for six more runs thanks to a 3-for-5 day from catcher Kyle Marco who had a double and 2 RBIs. Senior right fielder Zack Munderville added a 2-run double in Chester’s four-run sixth inning. Chester senior third baseman Brandon Sadlier boasted Section IX titles in three sports this year in baseball, football and basketball.
” I’m proud of these guys,” said Chester head coach Mike Doucette. “They have been loose for about three weeks now. In the beginning of the season it was all about stats. It’s not about that now. They are all about the team.”
Chester (18-4) plays Section I champion Tuckahoe (17-4) in the opening round of the state tournament on Friday at 3 p.m. at Cantine Field in Saugerties. The winner of that game hosts Southold, the Section XI champion, in a state quarterfinal on Saturday.

Last Flood House Demolished

By Eugenia Moskowitz
Last Monday, a house was demolished on East Main Street, just across from the Sunoco gas station. According to the Washingtonville Police Department, it had been damaged from the flood resulting from Hurricane Irene in 2011, and has since been uninhabited.
A string of similar houses along West Main Street across from the middle school and high school were demolished last fall. Since nothing new can be built in a flood zone, it remains to be seen what will happen with the land.

Town Supports Medical Marijuana

By Mark Gerlach
Two medical marijuana companies that want to set up local growing operations received letters of support from the Town of Newburgh this week.
Both companies, Hudson Health Extracts and Medigro Organics, are vying to be selected by the state Department of Health for one of about five state medical marijuana licenses.
Patients that suffer from cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other sicknesses could obtain medical marijuana, according to the state Department of Health website.
“The medical marijuana would have some medical benefits for people with different illnesses,” Newburgh Town Supervisor Gil Piaquadio said Thursday. The town council voted to approve the support letters during a Monday night meeting.
Hudson Health Extracts is eyeing a 170,500-square-foot industrial building on 12 acres of land at Stewart International Airport Business Park, located at 40 Governor Dr. The manufacturing facility estimates to bring 100 construction jobs and 125 permanent jobs into the area, according to CEO Ethan Ruby, who made a presentation to the town council. The investment would cost in the ballpark of $10 million, Ruby said.
“Safety and security are paramount at this facility,” Ruby said.
Ruby is also at the helm of a medical marijuana facility in Watertown, Connecticut called Theraplant. The facility is secured with 130 cameras, on-site guards, biometric security systems (e.g., fingerprint and retina scanning) and other security measures. Similar precautions would be taken in Newburgh, he said.
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City Police Starting Body Camera Pilot Program

XXX Cops CommitteeSome City of Newburgh police officers will be wearing cameras this summer, at least on a trial basis.

The cameras, which are on a 90-day trial period starting June 1, would be worn on the outside of the officers clothing, and could be located on their police vests. “It’s going to be worn on the outermost clothing,” Daniel Cameron, acting police chief, said.

The catalyst for the cameras is a national trend, Cameron said. The city police department tested body cameras in 2012, but the program never got off the ground, he said.

Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland saw uprisings and protests after controversial actions by police that resulted in the deaths of two men, one from each city – Michael Brown and Freddie Gray.

Cameron made the statements at a Police-Community Relations and Review Board meeting held at city hall Wednesday night.

The board reviews “complaints of misconduct by members of the City of Newburgh Police Department,” the City of Newburgh website said.

“This board’s mission is to bridge the gap of communication between the police and the community they police,” Corey Allen, Police-Community Relations and Review Board chairman said. “We’re basically trying to produce a transparency that you’ve never seen.”

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