Friday, November 16th all Putnam County Government Offices are OPEN for Normal Business

The winter storm of November 15, 2018 – November 16, 2018 has left the area with a mix of snow, sleet and rain. To ensure the safety of our seniors County Executive MaryEllen Odell has closed all Office for Senior Resources’s senior activities including Senior Nutrition Programs. “We were able to deliver emergency food supplies to our home-bound seniors prior to the start of the storm. This will help our seniors that would normally receive a healthy meal from the County to stay home where it is safe and still receive a nourishing meal”, said County Executive Odell.
In addition to the Senior Programs being canceled, our public transportation system is on Snow Routes starting at 8:00 AM. All ParaTransit and Veteran’s Transports have been suspended. Pre-K/EI Transportation to schools in Putnam and Westchester Counties are not expected to operate as they are dependent on the schools schedule. All other Government Office are open on a normal schedule.

The Trauma, PTSD and Suicide: Helping Professionals at Risk Presentation on 11/15/18 from 6-9 has been cancelled due to inclement weather.

The Trauma, PTSD and Suicide:  Helping Professionals at Risk Presentation on 11/15/18 from 6-9 has been cancelled due to inclement weather.

2019 Putnam County Summer Internship Program Offers Area Students Real World Experience Close to Home

Carmel, NY – Putnam students may soon apply for paid and unpaid summer internships in county government through the Putnam Invests in Leaders of Tomorrow (PILOT) Program.  Accepted students gain hands-on professional experience in areas such as finance, criminal justice, engineering, communications, information technology, law, health, psychology and more.

The concept of the PILOT Program was first introduced by County Executive MaryEllen Odell in 2013, with support of the Putnam County Legislature.

“The PILOT program is one of the most important investments that Putnam County makes in its future,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “We are introducing the workings of county government to the next generation and giving our youth a professional experience that may impact the career they choose to pursue.”

Eligible participants must be Putnam County residents who are graduate, college, or high school students in their junior or senior year.  For college students, a GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended.

Applicants must complete and submit all materials online beginning November 26, 2018 through January 31, 2019. Filing instructions are posted on the Putnam County website at

For more information, contact Adriene Iasoni, Putnam County Personnel at 845-808-1650 ext. 46625 or


CARMEL, NEW YORK – November, 2018: Putnam County District Attorney Robert V. Tendy announced today that on Wednesday, November 7, Andrew Hickey, of Carmel, NY was convicted after a jury trial of three counts of Burglary in the Second Degree and one Count of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree. Tendy personally handled the trial.

Over a five week period in 2017, Hickey broke into three houses—two on the same night. Two of the homes were occupied. The defendant was traced through DNA left at two of the scenes, and was arrested at the third home with the burglary in progress.

“This was a great collaborative effort involving the District Attorney’s Office, Carmel PD, Kent PD, the NYS Police Forensics Lab, and Putnam’s own I.T. Department.” Tendy said. “This defendant was involved in some very dangerous activity. In one home a mother and her baby were alone when he broke in, and in another a young woman was alone. Fortunately, no one was hurt. A lot of great police work went into securing this arrest and conviction. Law enforcement did a great job.”


Tendy was assisted at trial by ADA Melissa Lynch, and the case was tried before Judge James Reitz. Sentencing is scheduled for January 15.

 18-10 – PUTNAM DA PRESS RELEASE- Andrew Hickey Conviction

Recycling Reaps Rewards; Third Annual America Recycles Day Contest Scheduled for Nov. 15

BREWSTER, NY— Plastic film is everywhere: Store “carry-out” bags are made of it and paper towels come wrapped in it. Unfortunately most of it is not recycled, but the Putnam County Department of Health is trying to change that. Thursday, November 15 is America Recycles Day, and the health department is holding its Third Annual “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest that day and the following day, Friday, November 16.

On both days, the recycling coordinator from the health department will be looking for residents who recycle plastic film and rewarding them with a free reusable shopping bag, and social media recognition for their efforts. Thursday’s event will take place in the morning at Acme in Mahopac, 149 Route 6, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, and then from 2 to 4 p.m. in Brewster at DeCicco & Sons, 15 Independent Way at the intersection of Route 312 and Interstate 84. On Friday, the event will end with a morning session in Cold Spring at Food Town, 49 Chestnut Street and Route 9D.

“Plastic film is an environmental hazard, and an eyesore when found scattered along the roadside in our beautiful county,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Many people don’t know it can be recycled because it is not collected from your home. Instead, plastic film must be dropped off. Many of the larger stores we shop in every day are required to collect it. It’s the right thing to do, for your family and for your community.”

“The number of plastic bags that people use is staggering and less than one percent are recycled,” says interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “The positive impact on the environment would be immense if everyone would make the effort to start and it then becomes routine.”

The health department works with stores in the county that are required by law to accept plastic films. All large retail stores, or chains with more than five smaller stores, must participate. Currently there are 24 drop-off locations in Putnam County, including Home Depot, Acme, and Kohl’s in Brewster, Acme in Mahopac, and at Foodtown in Cold Spring. A complete list is posted online at the PCDOH website.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Tobacco 21 is Now Law; Smoking and Vaping Regulation Aims to Protect Youth

BREWSTER, NY It has been a long road, but Tobacco 21 is finally law in Putnam County. The new legislation, which goes into effect early in 2019, makes it illegal to sell tobacco, nicotine and vaping products to anyone under the age of 21. Previously the legal age to buy these products had been 18. Putnam County joins 24 other New York State municipalities that have enacted Tobacco 21 laws.

            County Executive MaryEllen Odell signed the bill into law earlier this week. She thanked the legislators for coming together on this issue, saying, “The health and safety of our young people has prevailed. It may have taken some compromising, but this is the right thing to do. Vaping is a significant problem in our schools. It has serious health consequences, and unfortunately many youth think otherwise.”

            Debate on the bill, spearheaded by Garrison resident and County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, heated up last summer. The measure passed from the Health, Social, Educational and Environmental Committee, which Legislator Scuccimarra chairs. Lawmakers heard from numerous experts, as they spoke about both the health and business factors involved in the issue. Representatives from health advocacy groups including The American Cancer Society and POW’R Against Tobacco, offered not only evidence on the health risks of smoking tobacco at a young age, but also on the epidemic of teenagers who try and continue to vape. The business perspective was presented by the retailers’ trade organization the New York Association of Convenience Stores.

A number of local Putnam County agencies and organizations have been battling the war on tobacco and other addictions on many fronts. The One Army in the War on Addiction Task Force, chaired by Legislator Scuccimarra, brings together representatives from the County Executive’s Office, the Sheriff’s Department, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Services and Mental Health, and the District Attorney’s Office. Represented community organizations include The Prevention Council of Putnam, the Putnam Communities That Care (CTC) Coalition, Drug Crisis in Our Backyard, and CoveCare Center, as well as other provider organizations that tackle the addiction crisis daily.

At the recent Public Health Summit, research was presented by Kristin McConnell, director of The Prevention Council, which for many years has spearheaded local research and provides education on all forms of addiction. Ms. McConnell showed an alarming picture of Putnam County’s youth vaping numbers, which are double the national averages. The percentage of Putnam County tenth graders who used e-cigarettes (vaping) in the past 30 days is 27.3 percent, compared to the national average of 13.1 percent. For twelfth graders the national average is 16.6 percent and Putnam’s is at 33.8 percent. Another concern of The Prevention Council from their data is that 5.8 percent of teen e-cigarette users report using marijuana in the vaping devices, while 66 percent think the device, as purchased, holds just flavoring.

“That’s why this legislation is so important,” says Interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “We had been winning the battle against teen smoking until vaping came along. This is a very sad story. People think vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes. The truth is that it is far from harmless. One of the inhaled chemicals, particularly in the flavored variety, has been linked to what is commonly called ‘popcorn lung.’ There is also ample research showing that among youth, vaping leads to a switch to tobacco cigarettes later on.”

When the bill came to a full legislative vote back in early September, it hit a bump as lawmakers voted 6 to 3 to table the measure. Among them was the Legislature Chairman Joseph Castellano, who explained that while he had been undecided, he was moving toward favoring the bill, saying, “I have teenage daughters myself so I can see value in raising the age. We need to work out the issues so we can get this on the books.”

Work it out they did: in early October Tobacco 21 passed with a solid 6 to 3 vote.

The Putnam County Department of Health, which currently conducts “compliance checks” to ensure that retailers are not selling tobacco to minors under age 18, is initiating a campaign to educate retailers and the public about the new law.

“We have approximately two months to get all establishments up to speed on this new law,” says Dr. Nesheiwat. “It’s a large undertaking, but it’s what we do—protecting the public’s health. It’s for the best—and now it’s the law.”

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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Please let us know if we can provide any additional information. If you need further help, contact our Public Information Officer Barbara Ilardi with any questions at 845-808-1390.

County Executive Odell and Sheriff Langley release a joint statement on Nelsonville hate crime

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Putnam County Sheriff Robert Langely have released the following statement about the hate crime reported in Nelsonville on Oct. 30.

“We have met regarding the hateful incident in Nelsonville. We are working together to make sure all resources are being deployed to apprehend those responsible for this heinous and shameful act. We stand with the good people of this great county who believe hatred and violence against neighbors will not be tolerated in Putnam County.”

Public Health Summit VIII Draws Crowd to PHC

Collecting Data Begins with “Forces of Change” Assessment

BREWSTER, NY— More than 85 public health partners from nearly four dozen community agencies convened at Putnam Hospital Center (PHC) on Thursday, October 18, for the eighth annual public health summit. This year for the first time, a broad effort was made to invite public participation through social media and nearly 20 Putnam residents were also in attendance. Organized by the Putnam County Department of Health with support from Putnam Hospital Center, the event kicked off the data collection process for formulating the next community health improvement plan, known as the “CHIP.”

County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Putnam Hospital Center President Peter Kelly, interim Health Commissioner Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Commissioner Michael Piazza and Deputy Commissioner Joseph DeMarzo of the Department of Social Services and Mental Health, and County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, chairperson for the Health, Social, Educational and Environmental committee, were among the community leaders in attendance.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell thanked Putnam Hospital Center for its support, saying “This hospital is the heart and soul of our community. Many of us were born here, and had children here. Many also say their final farewells here.” She went on to applaud the hospital’s efforts during the last storm event, when 90 percent of the county was out of power. “All roads led to this center. It was a critical point in getting our county through the crisis,” continued County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

Dr. Nesheiwat welcomed and thanked the attendees, saying “Today’s program examines the ‘forces of change’ that are at work in our community. Your participation plays an instrumental role not only in planning ways to improve population health, but also in the strategic planning for the health department.”

Stephanie Marquesano opened the morning session of presentations by community partners. She is founder and president of the harris project, a unique nonprofit organization committed to co-occurring disorders (COD), a diagnosis of one or more mental health challenges together with substance misuse. She launched the organization after her 19-year-old son Harris died of an accidental overdose, after struggling with COD in a public health system that lacks the cohesiveness to properly address these dual conditions.

The significance of this fractured health care system and the challenges communities face when trying to fix it was described by presenter Ashley Brody, MPA, chief executive officer of Search for Change. His organization, which has received funding and licensure from the NYS Office of Mental Health for over 40 years, has been on the front lines of providing housing and other support for individuals who are faced with emotional, social and economic barriers. He pointed to their historical “abstinence only” orientation to substance use disorders, and the slow, uneven progress toward harm reduction and other alternate approaches. To transform to a more people-oriented care approach, the first step is to recognize that co-occurring issues and conditions are the norm—not the exception, and that recovery occurs through adequately supported, individualized and concurrent, skill-based learning for all conditions.

Other partner updates came from Kristin McConnell, director of the Prevention Council of Putnam, a local substance abuse prevention provider, who spoke about the history, implications and lessons learned regarding the Tobacco 21 Legislation. The legislation limits sales of tobacco products to individuals under 21 years of age, and includes electronic nicotine delivery systems products, commonly known as “vapes.”  Sarena Chisick, community health educator at the hospital, presented on the recent Falls Prevention Expo at PHC and the ongoing efforts of the Falls Prevention Task Force, created to focus on the latest CHIP priority of reducing injuries caused by falls.

The “forces of change” assessment that followed was a fast-moving discussion on a variety of factors including social, economic, political, technological, scientific, ethical, legal and environmental that may affect the county and the country at large. Political trends were more in the spotlight this year with audience members mentioning the possible dismantling of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), potential legalization of marijuana for recreational use and the weakened regulation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Other social and scientific or technical trends that were named included the continued prevalence of sexual and domestic violence, the dramatically rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases, increase and prevalence of cancer, and growing number of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Identified trends were all discussed in terms of threats and opportunities for change. A full report of the Forces of Change assessment will be drafted and posted on the health department’s website

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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Please let us know if we can provide any additional information. Feel free to contact our Public Information Officer Barbara Ilardi with any questions at 845-808-1390.

Full Volume Test for Indian Point Sirens Set for Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 at 10:30 AM

Entergy is conducting a full-volume test of the Indian Point siren system in Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam counties on Wednesday, October 31st at approximately 10:30 AM.
During the test the sirens will sound for four minutes. WHUD Radio (100.7 FM) will test the Emergency Alert System immediately following the siren test.

County officials will use the siren system to alert the public during an emergency at Indian Point. A sample of the Siren Sounds can be found at our website.
In an actual emergency, all the sirens would sound at full volume for four minutes. Sirens are not a signal to evacuate; but to alert the public to tune to their local Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio or TV station for important information. The EAS stations are listed in the booklet “Are you Ready ? Putnam County Indian Point: Emergency Guide,” which was distributed, as well as available online.

For additional information on this siren test:


Information on Indian Point emergency planning is on the New York Alert website:

Putnam Prepares for Upcoming Storm by Teaming up with Local Highway Departments

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County’s Bureau of Emergency Services Commissioner Ken Clair is working with the Putnam County Highway Department and the highway departments of the local towns to prepare for the forecasted Nor’Easter that is expected to touch down on Friday night. He is making sure that the highway departments have the necessary supplies and equipment in case downed trees force road closures or worse.

“The two nor’easters we had in March and the tornadoes that touched down in Kent, Patterson and Putnam Valley were difficult, but through it we truly learned that by working together we can get through anything,” said Commissioner Clair. “I can’t say I am looking forward to having another storm, but I can say we are ready for it.”

Commissioner Clair worked with Commissioner Fred Pena of the Highway Department to deliver a battery powered highway sign to Town of Kent Highway Superintendent Richard Othmer. The sign will be able to let residents know about road closures of where to get supplies if needed.

“When the tornadoes touched down on the Town of Kent, Putnam County’s Highway Department and the Bureau of Emergency services were there to help us through the recovery,” said Othmer. “I appreciate them sharing their resources and assisting us now.”

“We work together with the local highway departments because it is the right thing to do,” said Commission Pena. “Especially during storm recovery periods. It is not about what is yours and what is mine, it is able helping those who need it.”

County Executive MaryEllen Odell was on hand to show her support. “It is great to see our new Commissioner take the lead and make sure that we are prepared for whatever Mother Nature brings on.,” said Odell. I am confident that Commissioner Clair and Commissioner Pena will be keeping a close eye on the storm and will keep the people of Putnam County safe.”

Commissioner Clair recommends that residents sign up for NY-Alert at if they want to be informed about the latest storm information. He also recommends making a storm plan at In addition, he recommends that people prepare their homes and yards for the potentially strong winds and torrential rain.

For more information, visit