Headlines for April 11 2012 - Daily Hudson Valley News

Headlines for April 11 2012

Apr 11th, 2012 | By | Category: Headlines Off The WALL

A MAGNITUDE EIGHT-POINT-SIX EARTHQUAKE HAS STRUCK IN THE INDIAN OCEAN OFF INDONESIA’S WESTERN COAST. AND TSUNAMI WARNINGS HAVE BEEN ISSUED FOR A WIDE AREA THAT SAW DEVASTATION FROM A SIMILAR EVENT IN DECEMBER 2004, INCLUDING THAILAND, SRI LANKA, INDIA AND INDONESIA. AFTERSHOCKS FOLLOWING THE INITIAL TREMOR HAVE REGISTERED AS HIGH AS EIGHT-POINT-TWO ON THE RICHTER SCALE.

BY THE RECKONING OF AN A-B-C NEWS ESTIMATE, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR RICK SANTORUM CAN CLAIM 285 DELEGATES TO THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION. BUT THERE’S UNCERTAINTY ABOUT NOT JUST WHAT MAY HAPPEN TO THOSE DELEGATES NOW THAT SANTORUM HAS DROPPED OUT OF THE RACE, BUT ALSO OVER HOW MANY OF THAT NUMBER HE CAN REALISTICALLY CLAIM. FOR ONE THING, SOME OF THOSE DELEGATES SANTORUM WON ARE NOT NECESSARILY REQUIRED TO CAST THEIR VOTE FOR HIM AT THE CONVENTION SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST IN TAMPA. THAT REALITY AND OTHER FACTORS LEAVE A TOTAL OF 188 DELEGATES WHO MUST VOTE FOR SANTORUM COME CONVENTION TIME, THAT IS UNLESS HE CHOOSES TO LET THEM GO.

THE EQUATION IN THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL SWEEPSTAKES HAS CHANGED AS OF TUESDAY WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY FORMER SENATOR RICK SANTORUM THAT HE’S SUSPENDED HIS CAMPAIGN. SANTORUM’S EXIT FROM THE RACE GIVES MORE CREDENCE TO MITT ROMNEY’S STATUS AS NOT MERELY THE FRONT-RUNNER, BUT THE PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE OF THE PARTY TO TAKE ON PRESIDENT OBAMA IN NOVEMBER. ROMNEY IS FAR AHEAD OF SANTORUM IN THE CURRENT DELEGATE COUNT AND POLLS LEADING INTO THE APRIL 24TH PRIMARY IN SANTORUM’S HOME STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA SHOW ROMNEY CLOSING IN ON HIS STRONGEST CHALLENGER IN THE PRIMARIES TO DATE.

IT WASN’T RESPIRATORY FAILURE SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON SPOKE OF WHEN SHE ADDRESSED AN AUDIENCE AT THE U-S NAVAL ACADEMY IN ANNAPOLIS MARYLAND TUESDAY. SHE WAS DESCRIBING THE IMMEDIATE REACTION OF HERSELF AND OTHERS AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO THE EVENTS WHICH UNFOLDED AS THEY WERE WATCHING THE OPERATION THAT TOOK OUT AL-QAEDA LEADER OSAMA BIN LADEN IN MAY: MRS. CLINTON SAID NO ONE “COULD BREATHE FOR 30 TO 35 MINUTES.” THOSE WORDS FROM CLINTON CAME WHEN SHE TOOK QUESTIONS FROM FUTURE NAVAL OFFICERS AFTER DELIVERING A PREPARED SPEECH ON U-S STRATEGIC CONCERNS IN THE PACIFIC RIM AND ASIA.

THERE’S SPECULATION THAT CHARGES MAY BE COMING AGAINST GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, THE MAN WHO SHOT AND KILLED TRAYVON MARTIN, A BLACK TEENAGER WHO WAS UNARMED WHEN ZIMMERMAN CONFRONTED MARTIN AS THE YOUTH WAS WALKING HOME FROM A CONVEINENCE STORE; ZIMMERMAN, A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH CAPTAIN BELIEVED MARTIN TO BE SUSPICIOUS AND A THREAT AND PURSUED MARTIN IGNORING 9-1-1 DISPATCHERS WHO TOLD ZIMMERMAN NOT TO. ON TUESDAY, ZIMMERMAN’S LAWYERS GAVE WORD THAT THEY WOULD NO LONGER BE REPRESENTING HIM. NOT LONG AFTERWARD, AN ANNOUNCEMENT CAME FROM FLORIDA STATE PROSECUTOR ANGELA COREY THAT SHE WILL BE HOLDING A NEWS CONFERENCE WITHIN THE NEXT 72 HOURS ABOUT THE CASE. COREY HAS DECLINED TO SEND THE MATTER FOR CONSIDERATION TO A GRAND JURY, MEANING THAT THE DECISION ABOUT ANY POSSIBLE CHARGES AGAINST ZIMMERMAN WILL BE HERS ALONE.

RESEARCHERS AT THE SIENA COLLEGE RESEARCH INSTITUTE ARE OUT WITH THE RESULTS OF SURVEYS ON BOTH CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AND THE RACE FOR U-S SENATE IN NEW YORK. THE DATA ON CONSUMER CONFIDENCE SHOWS A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN ALL REGIONS OF THE STATE FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2012, WITH NEW YORK CITY POSTING THE HIGHEST GAINS AS WELL AS TOPPING THE STATEWIDE LIST OVERALL. INCREASED CONSUMER CONFIDENCE WAS SHOWN ACROSS ALL NINE METRO SURVEY AREAS IN THE STATE WHILE SIENA’S DOCTOR DOUGLAS LONNSTROM STILL CITES SOME LINGERING CAUTION BY THE STATE’S CONSUMERS, HE ALSO SPEAKS OF A REAL CHANGE IN THEIR OUTLOOK BEING REFLECTED IN MORE PURCHASES, PARTICULARLY FOR FURNITURE AND HOME IMPROVEMENTS.

NANCY PROYECT OF THE ORANGE COUNTY CITIZENS FOUNDATION PRESENTED THAT ORGANIZATION’S ANNUAL QUALITY OF LIFE REPORT DURING A GATHERING OF THE ORANGE COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE THIS WEEK. THE CITIZENS FOUNDATION MEASURED SEVERAL TRENDS BOTH ECONOMIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC IN THIS LATEST REPORT CARD AND TWO THINGS SEEM TO STAND OUT, ONE OF THEM BEING A REDUCTION IN THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE IN THE 25-TO-34 AGE GROUP, DOWN ROUGHLY SIX PERCENT IN THE LATTER HALF OF THE LAST DECADE. THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE LIVING IN THE COUNTY WHO ARE OF FROM 45 TO 54 YEARS OF AGE INCREASED BY NEARLY NINE PERCENT FROM THE YEARS 2005 TO 2010. THE CITIZENS FOUNDATION, OF WHICH PROYECT IS THE PRESIDENT PLANS TO MAKE THE FINDINGS OF THE REPORT CARD AVAILABLE IN MORE COMPLETE DETAIL ON THEIR WEBSITE IN A MATTER OF DAYS.

ONE INDICATOR OF THE LOCAL ECONOMY IN ORANGE COUNTY IS SHOWING POSITIVE SIGNS, THAT BEING REVENUE COMING INTO THE COUNTY’S COFFERS FROM SALES TAXES. SINCE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE WOODBURY COMMON AND OTHER GROWTH IN THE RETAIL SECTOR OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES, SALES TAXES HAVE SEEN HEALTHY GROWTH AND CONTINUE TO DO SO. THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND REVENUE IN ALBANY IS OUT WITH THE FIGURES FOR 2011, AND ORANGE COUNTY TOOK IN 238 POINT NINE (M) MILLION DOLLARS IN SALES TAXES LAST YEAR, COMPARED WITH 223-POINT-ONE (M) MILLION IN 2010. COUNTY OFFICIALS, INCLUDING EXECUTIVE ED DIANA SPEAK OFTEN ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY’S HEALTHY FISCAL AND FINANCIAL SITUATION, AND THE SALES TAX NUMBERS ARE JUST ONE SUCH EXAMPLE THEY POINT TO: ANOTHER IS THE COUNTY’S BOND RATING. BUT OTHER AREAS WHERE NUMBERS ARE BEING CRUNCHED AND DEBATED RIGHT NOW INCLUDE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW GOVERNMENT CENTER AND THE SALE OF THE VALLEY VIEW NURSING HOME. BOTH MATTERS ARE
UP FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE LEGISLATURE IN THE WEEKS AHEAD.

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Headlines provided by Bob Schaeffer for WALL Radio 1340 AM
Mark West in the Morning with Bob Schaeffer and Chris Mitchell

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