Bronx: Officer from Putnam Charged in Death

A New York City police officer from Mahopac was charged Tuesday (Jan. 23) with causing the death of a Bronx man by throwing a cooler as he fled an arrest on a motorized scooter. 

Sgt. Erik Duran, 37, faces charges of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and first- and second-degree assault, all felonies, according to the state Attorney General’s Office, which investigates deaths involving police officers.

Duran was working undercover on Aug. 23 when officers attempted to arrest Eric Duprey. When Duprey fled, Duran allegedly grabbed a cooler from a table and threw it, striking Duprey in the head. Duprey sideswiped a tree and hit his head on a curb; he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Annandale: Bard to Honor Banned Authors

The Eleanor Roosevelt Center and the Fisher Center at Bard College will present the first Eleanor Roosevelt Awards for Bravery in Literature at the college on Feb. 17. The awards were created in response to a rise in book banning, according to the centers.

The honorees will be Judy Blume for lifetime achievement; Maia Kobabe for Gender Queer; Alex Gino for Melissa; George Johnson for All Boys Aren’t Blue; Laurie Halse Anderson for SHOUT; Mike Curato for Flamer; and Jelani Memory for A Kids Book About Racism.

The Mid-Hudson Library System, whose 66 members include the libraries in Beacon, Cold Spring and Garrison, is a partner in the event. It said in a statement that any title appearing on the American Library Association’s annual most-challenged books list is available to cardholders.

Kingston: Committee Drops Cease-Fire Resolution

The Laws and Rules Committee of the Common Council on Jan. 17 failed to advance a proposed resolution calling for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza. 

Majority Leader Reynolds Scott-Childress questioned if the Common Council should express a view of the conflict. “The process of voting on this resolution will become increasingly adversarial,” he said, according to the Daily Freeman. “We have already seen bitter acts of calling out others and taking sides and reducing an incredibly complex issue — reducing it to simple solutions.”

Newburgh: City Council Backs Cease-Fire

The Newburgh City Council voted 5-0, with two abstentions, on Monday (Jan. 22) to support a resolution calling for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, according to the Mid Hudson News.

The City Council heard from 40 speakers, including residents of Beacon, before its vote. The resolution calls on President Joe Biden, New York’s senators, Rep. Pat Ryan, State Sen. Rob Rolison and Assembly Member Jonathan Jacobson to back a cease-fire.

New York City: Last of Newburgh Four Released

The last member of the “Newburgh Four,” each sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for allegedly plotting to shoot down military planes at Stewart Air National Guard Base, among other crimes, has been released.

James Cromitie was convicted, along with Laguerre Payen, David Williams and Onta Williams (who are not related), of terrorism charges in 2010. The latter three were released in July; a judge admonished the FBI for “inventing the conspiracy” while reducing their sentences to time served plus 90 days.

After Cromitie petitioned for “compassionate release,” the judge reduced his sentence to time served plus 90 days, as she had for the other three defendants. She did not reverse his conviction.

Peekskill: Cyber Criminal Avoids Prison

A federal judge in Virginia on Jan. 10 sentenced a Peekskill man accused of enabling the sale of stolen databases to two years of house arrest with GPS monitoring. 

Conor Fitzpatrick, 21, will remain on supervised release for 18 more years, until he turns 41, according to the Peekskill Herald. In addition, he will not be allowed to access the internet for a year.

Federal prosecutors asked for a sentence of at least 15 years. Fitzpatrick was arrested in Peekskill in March 2023 and pleaded guilty in July to federal charges of offering stolen databases for sale on a site he created called BreachForums.

Port Jervis: First Black Council Member Sworn In

This city in western Orange County on Jan. 1 swore in its first nonwhite council member, reported the Mid Hudson News.

Jacqueline Dennison, 63, a lifelong resident who is Black, is a teaching assistant in the Middletown school district. A Democrat, she said she may have been the first nonwhite person to run for a seat. She expressed hope that Port Jervis would someday elect its first female mayor; Elizabeth Miller was defeated in November.

Red Hook: Church Campus Sells for $14 Million

A 260-acre property that was once a seminary for the Unification Church founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon has been purchased by Bard College for $14 million, according to the Mid Hudson News.

Moon was a messianic leader from Korea who said that Jesus appeared to him when he was 16 to anoint him to complete his work. Moon founded the church in Seoul in 1954; the seminary opened in 1975 and closed in 2019, when it relocated to New York City.

Carmel: Kent Man Convicted After Overdose Death

A 47-year-old Kent resident was convicted by a jury on Jan. 17 of selling heroin and fentanyl after being tied to a fatal overdose in Southeast.

According to the Putnam County district attorney, investigators connected drugs sold by William E. Mancusi III to the death, which occurred in November 2021. Undercover officers then purchased a potent mix of heroin, fentanyl and xylazine from Mancusi.

Mancusi will be sentenced on March 5. He faces up to 24 years in prison. According to the DA, Mancusi was convicted in 2014 of driving while impaired by drugs and in 2008 of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs following a collision in which he killed a bicyclist in Dutchess County. 

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Articles attributed to "staff" are written by the editor or a senior editor. This is typically because they are brief items based on a single source, such as a press release, or there are multiple contributors, such as a collection of photos.

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