Author Archives: Leonard Sparks

Leonard Sparks

Leonard Sparks covers the City of Newburgh as a reporter for the Times Herald-Record newspaper.

Newburgh counsel says police review board needs support

Nearly a year after Newburgh’s Police Community Relations and Review Board met for the first time after a restructuring that included expanded powers, the board is floundering and needs support, Corporation Counsel Michelle Kelson told the City Council on Thursday. The nine-member board started fast, raising a regular quorum over its first few meetings and [...]

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Mayor lobbies Civil Service Commission to change police chief’s exam

Days before Friday’s application deadline, Mayor Judy Kennedy is making a last-ditch effort to persuade the City of Newburgh’s Civil Service Commission to offer a police chief’s test for current employees instead of the open exam scheduled for March 5. Absent a change, current chief Dan Cameron, who is popular with both officers and residents [...]

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Newburgh woman organizes water drive for Flint, Mich., residents

So much of the news about the water debacle in Flint, Mich., has rightly focused on the failures of local and state officials who decided to draw water from the contaminated Flint River and then ignored warnings about health problems among the city’s residents. For Tyhesha Garner the focus is on the children exposed to [...]

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City manager deletes cloud, creates storm

Newburgh City Manager Michael Ciaravino has been accused of having a communication problem. Now, his solo decision to delete all information stored on city government’s “cloud” because of a perceived “security breach” has angered Council members, some of who lost irretrievable information they accessed from their city-issued iPads. Councilwoman Cindy Holmes called for an investigation [...]

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Skateboarding enthusiasts raising money for lounge and shop in Newburgh

If all goes well, the City of Newburgh will see contractors break ground some time this year on a long-awaited skateboard park at Delano-Hitch Park. But a group of skateboard enthusiasts are also planning something else: a skate lounge selling boards along with coffee and sandwiches. Over the weekend organizers held a launch party in [...]

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Newburgh school district sees big jump in number of kids eating breakfast

Last year the Newburgh school district was one of 11 districts nationwide to receive a grant funding free breakfast for all kids, a recognition of the nexus between hunger and students’ inability to learn. During Thursday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Roberto Padilla provided examples of how the initiative has significantly increased the number of kids [...]

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Town of Newburgh police chief says goodbye

Retiring Town of Newburgh police Chief Mike Clancy literally lives across the street from the department’s headquarters, but he still paused to say goodbye and to walk a line of saluting officers as he officially ended a 41-year law enforcement career on Tuesday. He leaves at a time when a spate of police-involved shootings and [...]

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Newburgh councilwoman: Firefighter grant ‘like robbing Peter to pay Paul’

While U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Assemblyman Frank Skartados scrambling to save 10 City of Newburgh firefighters from the unemployment, Councilwoman Karen Mejia publicly raised an issue others must have considered: Should the city rely on temporary grants to pay for first responders. Two years ago Newburgh tapped a Federal Emergency Management Agency program [...]

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Council members intensify demands over alleged spending on disability probe

A faction of the City Council escalated its war of words with City Manager Michael Ciaravino over allegations that tens of thousands of dollars in public money was spent on an investigation into disability fraud by a now-resigned police lieutenant. At Monday’s Council meeting Councilman Cedric Brown and Councilwomen Cindy Holmes and Gay Lee took [...]

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Newburgh firefighters donate bike helmets to city kids

Newburgh’s main firehouse on Grand Street is a regular stopping point for city children needing air for their bicycle tires or a quick adjustment of their chains. So fire officials figured the station was an ideal place to promote bike safety by distributing helmets to children. On Aug. 11 they did just that, handing out [...]

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