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BREAKING NEWS

Sochi 2014 Winter Games – Day 8 Results

Sochi 2014 Winter Games:

Medal Count

Norway – 13

Netherlands – 12

United States – 12

Russia – 11

Germany – 10

Canada – 10

Cross Country – Men’s 15KM Classic Style

Gold: Dario Cologna – Switzerland – 38:29.7

Silver: Johan Olsson – Sweden – 38:58.2

Bronze: Daniel Rickardsson – Sweden – 39:08.5

31st: Noah Hoffman – United States – 41:02.7

Alpine Skiing – Men’s Super Combined Final

Gold: Sandro Viletta – Switzerland – 2:45.20

Silver: Ivica Kostelic – Croatia – 2:45.54

Bronze: Christof Innerhofer – Italy – 2:45.67

6th: Bode Miller – United States – 2:46.60

GM Recalls Chevy Cobalt, Pontiac G5 After Fatal Crashes

General Motors is recalling more than 600,000 cars in the United States and another 159,000 worldwide to fix what the company said Thursday is a problem with the ignition switch that could cause the cars’ engines to power down while in motion, and without warning.

The issue affects 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts and 2007 Pontiac G5 vehicles, and has caused 22 accidents and six deaths, according to GM.

“In the affected vehicles, the weight on the key ring and/or road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position, turning off the engine,” according to a notice posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A sudden loss of power could make for a dangerous scenario — perhaps even a crash. And because the vehicle has no power, GM worries the car’s airbags could fail to deploy upon impact.

“When the cars get old, and especially when you have a bunch of stuff on the key ring, it kind of rocks the ignition switch,” Mike Austin, the automotive editor at Popular Mechanics, said in an interview with ABC News.

Dealers will replace those switches for free, according to GM. In the meantime, the automaker recommends that owners of these cars cut unnecessary clutter from their key rings.

Tax Tip: Filing Your Taxes for Free

For the past dozen years or so, the Internal Revenue Service has let families file their taxes for free.

Explaining how it works, Eric Smith with the IRS says: “You access free file through the free file link at IRS.gov. There are over a dozen participating software developers who have brand name software available and if you’re adjusted gross income is $58,000, you qualify for that more guided approach to doing your return.”

If you make more than $58,000, you can still use the IRS free fillable forms, which look like online versions of the tax forms.

“They do some basic math for you, so fillable forms is really great for people who are comfortable doing their own return and still want to take advantage of electronic filing,” Smith says.

One of the advantages of filing online is that you’ll make fewer mistakes.

“One in five have mistakes that are done on paper of one kind or another. It’s fewer than 1 percent of returns when you file your return electronically,” he notes

“About Last Night,” “Winter’s Tale,” “Endless Love” Open Friday

On Wednesday, RoboCop hit theaters nationwide, earning $2.8 million in its first day of release, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Three more new films join it at the box office on Friday. Here’s a closer look:

About Last Night: Kevin Hart — who’s already been a box office star in 2014, with his smash hit Ride Along — headlines this romantic comedy, about two new couples and the ups and downs of their relationships. Michael Ealy, Regina Hall and Joy Bryant also appear in the film. Rated R.

Winter’s Tale: Colin Farrell is a thief, Peter Lake, who falls in love in New York with a woman dying of consumption. He attempts to save her, even as his former mentor tries to take Peter’s life. Russell Crowe and Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay also star in the film, which is an adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel and features a story that spans more than a century. Rated PG-13. [Click here to read a review]

Endless Love: Alex Pettyfer plays a boy who falls for a privileged girl, Gabriella Wilde, and sparks a passionate romance with her, over the objections of her parents. Robert Patrick and Bruce Greenwood also star. Rated PG-13

First Model in Wheelchair at New York Fashion Week Has Message for Fashion Industry

The first woman to ever “walk” the runway at New York Fashion Week in a wheelchair says she plans to open the door that’s “tightly closed shut” and appeal to high-end fashion lines to use persons with disabilities as models.

“I feel like the industry has gotten more accepting of diversity but you never hear of a model in a wheelchair and it’s just ludicrous,” said Dr. Danielle Sheypuk, who made history Feb. 6 as a model at the Carrie Hammer fashion show in New York City.

“I would like the whole spectrum of fashion designers to tune in, all the way up to high fashion like Tory Burch, Gucci and Louis Vitton because, why not?” Sheypuk said. “Many of us have successful careers and we have money and we want to spend it and we want to look good.”

Sheypuk, 35, who has been in a wheelchair since age five due to spinal muscular atrophy, is one of those career women she describes. She is a New York-based clinical psychologist and was Ms. Wheelchair New York 2012.

Though she modeled briefly in high school, in Scranton, Penn., Sheypuk never had dreams of being a runway model until she met Hammer at a gala last year. Hammer, who gave up a job in advertising sales to start her eponymous fashion line, asked Sheypuk to join other CEOs, entrepreneurs and even a former Miss USA as “role models,” instead of runway models, in her show this year.

“I remember tons and tons of flashbulbs going off and people applauding a lot,” Sheypuk said of her runway debut. “The consensus afterwards was that the models, all of us, we exuded this happiness and pride that infiltrated the room, and the audience reacted.”

Sheypuk says she added some of her own “style and finesse” on the runway to differentiate herself from the other models who were able to do the “typical runway strut,” but that walking on the runway was just like how she lives her daily life.

“My wheelchair is just a part of my body — an extension of me — and I’m the main focus, not the chair,” Sheypuk said. “That’s how I look at it and I moved that perspective to the runway.”

Now Sheypuk, who will be featured this spring in the Raw Beauty Project, a series of glamorous and sexy images of women with disabilities, says it is time for all of the fashion industry to follow Hammer’s lead.

“Fashion is about dressing the body that you have,” Sheypuk said. “It doesn’t matter what disability you have, or if you have one. It’s about knowing what to accentuate.”

“It’s important for the fashion industry to demonstrate how to do this because we really have no role models out there in terms of the fashion industry,” she said. “The only way we can really normalize being in a wheelchair and increase acceptance is if everyone is listening.”

Hammer, who is currently in London preparing for fashion week there next week, says she, for one, is not only listening but plans to feature “role models” again at her second New York Fashion Week show, this fall, and take the concept even further.

“There was an energy and sense of thrill that I’d never felt before at a fashion show,” Hammer told ABC’s Good Morning America by email. “For Fall Fashion week we will have our second Role Model fashion show at Lincoln Center and the first row won’t be media or buyers — it will be young girls and women who will learn that role models are the ones to look up to.”

“The brands that step up to the plate by casting women who better and more accurately represent their customers will get big kudos and recognition,” she said. “At the end of the day, aren’t our customers what we do this for? Let’s be sure that we are empowering them rather than demoralizing them.”

Marriage Isn’t What It Used To Be

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a researcher at Northwestern University has revealed what grumpy old people have been telling us for years: Marriage isn’t what it used to be.

That doesn’t mean marriage is worse than it was before, however.

“The average marriages are struggling these days, but the best marriages are better than ever,” said Eli Finkle, a professor of social psychology at Northwestern University who spent the last nine months examining literature on marriage from historical, sociological, economical and psychological perspectives.

He found that marriage has become more about mutual self-discovery and satisfaction and, in the last several hundred years, less about steering clear of starvation. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other obligations, such as full time jobs and PTA meetings. As a result, husbands and wives aren’t putting in the time to make their marriages meaningful.

“Marriage has a greater potential for greatness than ever before, but a larger proportion of people are failing to meet that potential,” Finkle said. “It’s a supply and demand issue. If what you’re asking requires profound insight into each other, you’d better invest a lot of time in each other.”

His advice? Manage expectations by deciding what you’re willing to expect not to get from your marriage. If you can’t invest as much time because of the bad economy, for instance, be comfortable overlooking certain needs temporarily.

But, if that’s the case, “hold in your back pocket that the kids will eventually get older, and the economic climate will get better,” Finkle said

No biking in Suffolk?

barraga-letter
letter sent to a constituent by Suffolk County Legis. Thomas Barraga in which he says that no one in Suffolk “should ever ride a bicycle” is spreading rapidly across the internet. 

Barraga’s letter was sent to 17-year-old Matthew Cutrone, who wrote the legislator regarding his concerns about bike safety following an accident that seriously injured his mother. 

In his Dec. 16 letter, Cutrone, of West Islip, wrote that he thought there should be ”some sort of bike lane or maybe even just some warning signs to put around in certain areas so that drivers can know when to be careful of bicyclists.”

Cutrone’s mother, Sandy, was hit by a van while biking on Montauk Highway in Babylon in September. Matthew said his mother was wearing a helmet at the time and “following the proper bike laws of the road.” 

Barraga, in his response dated Jan. 29, said bike lanes and additional signage “would do little to solve the problem.” In fact, the West Islip Republican said no one in Suffolk should ride a bike at all. 

 

Snow not over yet for the week

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Out with the old storm and in with the new.

Long Island is dealing with another round of heavy snow.  The National Weather Service says much of Long Island is getting hit with an additional two inches of snow, bringing the storm’s total to ten to 14 inches. The snow is expected to end just before sunrise.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Nassau County and portions of Suffolk County until 6 a.m.  And as if this week’s weather wasn’t enough, more snow is on the way for this weekend.

The LIRR is running on a modified weekday schedule which means about 90% of all trains are running.  There will be about 14 cancelled trains system wide.  As of right now, flights are schedule to start taking off at at MacArthur   Airport.

Southwest is scheduled to resume service at 10:20am

US Air Express is expected to resume service at 11:20am

Penair’s first flight is scheduled for 8:10am

Allegiant air’s flight is scheduled to take off at 5:20pm

Vecchio back in Office

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Patrick Vecchio is now off the unemployment line.  Vecchio and Councilwoman Lynne Nowick have been reinstated to their jobs.

The town board voted unanimously to reinstate the longtime town supervisor and first time councilwomen after they lost his job because of a clerical mistake.

Vecchio and Councilman Lynne Nowick failed to sign and file an oath of office within 30 days of winning the election.

Both town officials say the clerk is playing petty politics, and that he should have alerted them the paperwork was due. 

To prevent this from happening again, the town board plans to pass a law to require the town clerk and town attorney’s office to work together to give elected officials notice to sign an oath of office.

Kids left home alone in Central Islip

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A Long Island couple is facing charges after they allegedly left their kids alone at home with little food and no heat for several days.

“Newsday” reports that 34-year-old Tulio Ayala and 31-year-old Maria Ayala were arrested Wednesday and arraigned yesterday. The children, who are between the ages of four and 15, were left alone with barely any food in their Central Islip home between February 7th and February 12th. The parents reportedly stayed in a local hotel.

The couple has been charged with four misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child.