June 2012

Basement Fire Destroys Two New Rochelle Business"s

June 25, 2012 - 10:32

A early morning fire in a basement located at 601 North Avenue has put two New Rochelle business owner's on hard times. La Guadalupana Grocery & Meat Market and The Ionian Grill and Cafe suffered heavy smoke damage to the upper floor. Their basements were destroyed. The fire did not spread to the restaurant area of the Ionian Grill.

New Rochelle firefighters responded to an automatic alarm sounded around 4:15 am Monday morning. Upon arriving at the scene firefighters observed heavy smoke coming from the basement and from the storefronts. New Rochelle fireman went to work quickly to stop the blaze from spreading to a apartment building next door.

The chief on the scene called a 2nd alarm and all New Rochelle units responded along with mutual aid from Eastchester, Mount Vernon and Yonkers. In all, twenty-five firefighters were called to the scene and fought the fire for about an hour.

Fire Chief Lou DiMeglio said the fire was not suspicious. He said the fire broke out in the basement of La Guadalupana in a storage area. DiMeglio estimated the damaged to be about $40,000.

One New Rochelle fireman is being treated for possible heat related issue's.

North Avenue is closed both north and southbound from Fifth avenue to Treno Street.

Some old time New Rochelleans will remember this was the former location of GARY'S Barleycorn, a world-famous college hangout.

It's been a busy week for New Rochelle's Fire Department. Also this morning, a House Garage Struck By Lighting In New Rochelle and on Friday there was an Early Morning Fire at Laundromat at 43 Drake Avenue Leaves Residents in Three Apartment Buildings Without Power

In Memoriam: Detective John C. Phillips, New Rochelle Police Department October 9, 1963 - October 1, 1981

June 25, 2012 - 08:52

JohnPhillipsDetective John C. Phillips was appointed to the Department on October 9th , 1963. He was killed in an auto accident on October 1st , 1981 at 2:30 a.m. Detective Phillips was a passenger in a car returning from a police investigation in the Bronx when it overturned on Shore Road after swerving to avoid an oncoming vehicle.

Detective Phillips was well-liked and respected by his superiors and fellow officers. "He was the key to my whole operation," said his boss, Lieutenant William Crumm. "He was the type of Detective who you handed any type of case to, the most difficult ones-and he'd solve them."

Police Officer Francesco Provenzale Honored by New Rochelle Police Department for Improving Safety at Train Station

June 25, 2012 - 08:52

FrankProvenzalePolice Officer Francesco Provenzale was appointed to the Department in August 2007, and is assigned to the Police Services Division's Second Tour. He is the recipient of one Class C Citation and one Commendation Award. In the Month of May, Officer Provenzale was among the leaders on the Tour in enforcement contributing to the Department's overall goals and objectives. The Department had received numerous complaints from commuters regarding people loitering inside the train station during rush hour. He made numerous daily inspections of the station, issuing ten summonses for loitering, and he filed an additional twelve field interview reports documenting suspicious persons. His presence at the train station promoted an improved sense of safety. In recognition for his outstanding work, Officer Francesco Provenzale was designated Officer of the Month for May 2011.

In Memoriam: Officer Gary D. Pagano, New Rochelle Police Department March 10, 1969 - September 14, 1982

June 24, 2012 - 08:52

GaryPaganoPolice Officer Gary D. Pagano was appointed to the Department on March 10th , 1969. He was killed in a car accident during a high speed chase of robbery suspects on September 14t \ 1982 at 1:34 p.m., when his patrol car skidded off the New England Thruway into an abandoned truck on the shoulder and caught fire. The robbery suspects had fled 12 Kensington Oval after tying up a maid and gagging an 11 year-old boy. The suspects were later apprehended and convicted.

A thirteen year veteran of the Department, Officer Pagano had earned three citations for exceptional police work.

He was a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps who served his country in Vietnam from 1963 to 1967. He was described by colleagues as a family man and a dependable officer who was always there for others. The tough nature of the former United States Marine was masked by a full, congenial face.

Police Officer Steven Geertgens Honored by New Rochelle Police Department for Quick Response to Man on Roof

June 24, 2012 - 08:52

StevenGeertgensPolice Officer Steven Geertgens was appointed to the Department in January 2001, and is currently assigned to the Police Services Division's Critical Incident Unit. He is the recipient of two Class C Citations, six Commendation Awards, and one Lifesaving Award. During the month ofJune, Officer Geertgens was involved in two noteworthy incidents. In the first, he and other members of the Critical Incident Team were dispatched to a report of a distraught man on a roof threatening to jump. Officer Geertgens, along with his teammates, were able to execute a tactical plan and safely apprehend the man without further injury to anyone else. The second incident occurred during the early morning hours ofJune 27th , when a series of larcenies from vehicles were discovered. Approximately forty five minutes later, Officer Geertgens located a suspicious subject who was eventually implicated in six thefts.

Conviction of Jerry Sandusky Sad Reminder of Continued Failure of New Rochelle Board of Education in Jose Martinez Case

June 23, 2012 - 12:27

SexAbuseCasesThe conviction of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky on 45 counts of felony child sex abuse and the charges that Penn State officials failed to report suspected abuse is a reminder of the failure of the New Rochelle Board of Education with their own "Jerry Sandusky" case.

Shortly after the arrest of Jose Martinez, current Board President Chrisanne Petrone promised a thorough independent, internal investigation to better understand who knew what and when along with a public report on the results of that investigation. That investigation has never taken place and no results of any Board of Education investigation has ever been made public.

In Memoriam: Patrolman Daniel F. Murphy, New Rochelle Police Department May 12, 1924 - April 25, 1930

June 23, 2012 - 08:52

DanielMurphyPatrolman Daniel F. Murphy was appointed to the Department on May 12th , 1924. He died on Friday, April 25th , 1930, five days after he was severely injured while on motorcycle patrol on Easter Sunday.

Patrolman Murphy had been assigned to motorcycle patrol for about eight months, and had been making a right turn from Pelham Road onto Centre Avenue when he was struck by an automobile.

Patrolman Murphy was president of the Police Association at the time of his death. He had earned a commendation for rescuing a bedridden invalid during a fire on North Avenue. "Patrolman Murphy was one of our best officers," said Acting Chief Frank Berningham. He was conscientious and hard working and his death will be regretted by all who knew him."

Detective Denise Waters Honored by New Rochelle Police Department for Role in Arrest of Father in Death of Two Year Old

June 23, 2012 - 08:52

DeniseWatersDetective Denise Waters was appointed to the Department in January 1981, and is currently assigned to the General Investigations Unit. Detective Waters is the recipient of the Police Commissioner's Award, two Class C Citations, two Commendation Awards and was also the recipient of the Department's Problem Solver of the Year Award in 1997. In January 2011, Detective Waters was assigned to investigate the sudden death of a two year old child. The father reported that the child had fallen and that any injury to the child had been accidental. Detective Waters' familiarity with the family and circumstances surrounding the incident, however, led her to suspect otherwise. Detective Waters quickly secured the scene for further investigations, and immediately questioned and persuaded the father to make a statement. These timely actions on Detective Water's part later proved crucial in making the case against the child's father when the Medical Examiner determined the death a homicide.

West End Fireworks Problem

June 23, 2012 - 03:19

At around 10:27pm this evening I had noticed a group of about 7 to 8 teens shooting off fireworks near my house on Washington Avenue. I thought nothing of it untill i noticed the youths throw lit firecrackers on top of a taxi cab waiting at the traffic light on the corner of Washington Avenue ans Warren Street. As I was about to contact the police, I had noticed them throw lit firecrackers on top of my neighbor's car parked in his driveway. As my neighbor came out and as I was calling the police, the teens ran down Walnut Street towards Union Avenue. The problem with teens shooting off fireworks has gotten worse over the years in New Rochelle's West End. These teens are being recklees when shooting off fireworks. I often see them throwing them out of car windows and at cars and pedestrians as well as on people's property such as mine and my neighbor's. I feel that this problem should be adressed before someone gets severely injured or before there is ant significant amount of property damage.

County Executive Astorino Addresses Republicans

June 22, 2012 - 23:42

County Executive Rob Astorino Addresses the New Rochelle Republican City Committee

Westchester still has the highest taxes in the Country despite efforts by County Executive Rob Astorino to pare down the budget. Astorino said he along with Republicans on the County Board of Legislators were doing their part to hold the line and keep costs down. But because of mandated Medicare and pension costs, savings had to be sought elsewhere in the budget. An "overly aggressive Federal Government," he said, has been pushing for a housing settlement by trying to get the County to change the zoning. The Federal government is also trying to force landlords to accept Section 8 housing. He also spoke of the recent court decision on this housing and cited Nan Hayworth as the only elected official helping the County.
An interesting question by John D'Alois was posed. He asked how the County came to withdraw from ICLEI. Astorino answered that after his appearance on the Sean Hannity show he was flooded with emails about the central planning and zoning by the UN. The money funding for ICLEI was stopped.