July 2011

Report of Vandalism at New Rochelle Armory

July 20, 2011 - 00:46

Talk of the Sound received an email from a New Rochelle veteran.

I noticed the flag flying from just one grommet in front of the armory late yesterday afternoon and parked my car and proceeded up the steps when I found freshly spilled maroon colored paint all over the steps and on part of the walk going towards the front entrance. There also appeared to be new damage to the sides of the stonework alongside the steps.

It was curious that the paint appeared to be the same color as the doors. I also found the flag halyard lying on the ground, looking as if someone tried and did indeed pull the halyard from the flag and pole.

Westchester County Health Department Issues Heat Advisory

July 18, 2011 - 23:21

With hot and humid weather forecast for this week, the Westchester County Health Department is issuing a heat advisory. As the temperature rises, residents are advised to avoid strenuous activity, drink plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated fluids, and take precautions against suffering heat-related illness.

Heat stroke is a serious and life-threatening condition that claims many lives nationwide each year. Symptoms include hot, dry skin; shallow breathing; a rapid, weak pulse; and confusion. Anyone suffering from heat stroke needs to receive emergency medical treatment immediately.

“Heat stroke and dehydration can take you by surprise,” said Dr. Cheryl Archbald, Westchester County acting commissioner of health. “The elderly, young children and those with high blood pressure, heart disease, or lung conditions need to be especially careful to avoid heat-related illnesses.”

The Health Department recommends the following preventive measures against heat-related illnesses:
Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.

New Rochelle Police Officer Jamillah Blair Again Suspended With Pay, Dismissal Looms for DWI Cop

July 18, 2011 - 23:16

jamillahblair_mugshot.jpgNew Rochelle Police Officer Jamillah Blair has once again been suspended with pay by the New Rochelle Police Department, sources say. This time may be the last time. Sources tell Talk of the Sound that suspension with pay is often a preliminary to termination.

Blair, 31, was arrested by Westchester County Police in March 2010 and charged with Driving While Intoxicated and Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident. Both misdemeanors. Talk of the Sound was the first to report the news of Blair's arrest:

Call Congresswoamn Nita Lowey to object to ban on incandescent bullbs

July 18, 2011 - 23:01

A bill in the House of Representatives would ban incandescent light bulbs. Congresswoman Nita Lowey voted to ban these bulbs but now apparently another vote is coming up for the same bill.

This bill would create a hardship for many oeople because the new bulbs are much more expensive and possibly dangerous.

Call Congresswoman Nita Lowey to object to the ban, 428-1707.

New Rochelle Insurance Agent Receives Community Award, Allstate Foundation Donates $1000 to Youth Bureau

July 18, 2011 - 22:52

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (July 18, 2011) – Allstate Insurance agent Nelson Puello, whose office is located at 215 North Avenue in New Rochelle, has received the Agency Hands in the Community Award for his commitment to volunteering in the community. With this award came a $1000 grant from The Allstate Foundation for the New Rochelle Youth Bureau, where Puello volunteers.

“Nelson is an active and respected member of the business community, protecting people with insurance and financial services products,” said Linda Collora, New York regional sales leader at Allstate Insurance Company. “He also makes a point of getting involved personally by dedicating his time and efforts to making a difference in people’s lives.

“Allstate believes that it is very important for corporations to take an active interest in the communities they serve. Allstate is proud to support the Youth Bureau through The Allstate Foundation,” concluded Collora.

Westchester County District Attorney Releases 2010 Annual Report

July 18, 2011 - 22:03

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore today has released the 2010 Annual Report of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

The 48 page report outlines the accomplishments and initiatives of the District Attorney’s office in 2010, setting goals for 2011 and looking ahead in a challenging fiscal climate to maintaining programs that have been implemented over the last five years.

“Our record of effectively prosecuting offenders remains very strong,” said District Attorney Janet DiFiore, who began her second term on January 1, 2010. “In 2010, we again surpassed the statewide average rate for convictions in felony and violent felony cases. Continuing the best practice of vertical prosecutions, our experienced prosecutors ensured comprehensive investigations and tough prosecutions in cases involving violent felonies and vulnerable victims.”

Some of the report’s highlights are:

The 2010 conviction rate for all felonies was 98%, and for violent felonies, 97%, with both figures surpassing statewide conviction rates.

Two Charged with Assault at Glen Island in Separate Incidents in New Rochelle

July 18, 2011 - 21:49

Lopez MitchellTwo persons were arrested on assault charges Sunday night following separate incidents at Glen Island Park in New Rochelle.

In the first incident, Westchester County Police arrested Daniel Lopez, 22, of Brookside Place, New Rochelle, and charged him with Assault 2nd Degree, a felony, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th Degree, a misdemeanor.

Lopez is accused of smashing a beer bottle over another man’s head and then stabbing the man in the back with part of the shattered bottle. The assault occurred about 7:45 p.m. The victim and Lopez know each other.

Lopez suffered a self-inflicted cut to his leg in the assault. He and the victim were each taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx for treatment. Lopez was placed under arrest at the hospital about 9:30 p.m.

In the second incident, a Yonkers woman is accused of attacking another woman after the two were involved in a minor accident in the parking lot. That incident occurred about 9:30 p.m.

New Rochelle Man Charged with DWI, Assault After Driving Wrong Way on BRP and Ramming Police Car

July 18, 2011 - 15:42

WCPCrash0718A New Rochelle man was arrested on Assault and DWI charges this morning after he drove the wrong way on the Bronx River Parkway and collided nearly head-on with a Westchester County police car.

Nelson Escobar, 46, of 43 Calton Road was charged with Vehicular Assault 2nd Degree, a felony, and Driving While Intoxicated, a misdemeanor, at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla where he was taken by ambulance after the 4 a.m. crash. He was being treated for minor injuries and is expected to be released later today.

Police Officer Gerard Cole was also taken to the medical center, where he was treated for a broken wrist and other injuries and released.

Cole was driving northbound on the parkway in the right lane when he observed Escobar’s vehicle coming at him at a high-rate of speed. He took evasive action, but Escobar struck the police car on the front passenger side.

Cleansing Long Overdue in New Rochelle

July 16, 2011 - 19:50

I've read this blog for three years and watched it mature. There have been mistakes but all are human so mistakes are a fact of life. Even if you dislike Cox and his style of "reporting" you can't refute the documents foiled and posted. The jury is still out on Fevang but the most curious thing about this case is what the DA omitted from the indictment. I’m referring to the documents foiled and posted on TOTS, which are undisputable. There was a truck repair for $12,000 that was billed, paid and the repair never done. That amount far exceeds the $3,000, $5,000 or $10,000 (Strome wasn’t sure of the figure) that allowed Fevang to operate “under the radar”. First off for a city manager to come to a press conference he called and be unprepared by not having exact figures is slipshod. Second, for a city manager to state there was no other employee involved then later in the same press conference state two employees falsified documents at Fevangs order is contradictory.

Nightmare on Stephenson Boulevard: Nefarious New Rochelle Neighbors Have Only Scratched the Surface

July 16, 2011 - 16:23


This is Part IV in a series. To read from the beginning, go back to Part I.

Suzanne Ribando was not sure why but she was in the Westchester County Jail.

Never in trouble before the Hickeys bought the house next door in 2004, her quiet life had fallen to pieces ever since. She did not understand how things could have come to this point. Days earlier, pushed to the breaking point after two years of torment at the hands of her neighbors, Patrick and Tracey Hickey, she had put a knife to her throat and told police officers she wanted to die. She had been taken by the police to Mount Vernon hospital for psychiatric observation and released after it was determined she was not a danger to herself or others. Although the court was aware that she had been confined against her will at Mount Vernon hospital, an appearance date was scheduled during her confinement and an arrest warrant issued for her failing to appear. For reasons not clear to her, Ribando was subsequently arrested and remanded to Valhalla. When her mother, Betty Ribando, came to the jail to visit her, she told her mother that although she thought she had been sent for psychiatric observation no psychiatrists had evaluated her.

In the meantime, Betty Ribando, a frail woman with significant medical problems, had called Michael Galluzzi, a successful Manhattan attorney specializing in civil litigation. Galluzzi, born and raised in Yonkers, was no stranger to the ways of the Westchester old boys network. He grew up knowing Suzanne Ribando as the quiet, shy daughter of his godfather, Jimmy Ribando a big band trumpet player who toured the country as a professional musician.