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BREAKING NEWS

Five years later, wrong way Taconic crash settled

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Civil lawsuits are finally being settled five years after a Long Island mother drove the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway killing herself and seven others. 

A Garden City attorney tells “Newsday” there’s been four recent settlements out of Westchester state Supreme Court against the estate of West Babylon woman Diane Schuler, though the terms are confidential and the court records are sealed.  The lawsuits claimed Schuler was negligent when she crashed her vehicle head-on into another car killing herself, one of her kids, three other children in the car, and three men from Yonkers in the other vehicle. 

It was later found she was drunk and had used marijuana. 

Cuomo announces flood mitigation program

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Governor Cuomo has announced a flood mitigation program that would allow 65-hundred homeowners to elevate their homes. 

Under this optional plan, the state will provide 300-million-dollars to homeowners whose homes were damaged by either Hurricanes Sandy or Irene or Tropical Storm Lee, and are in the 100-year-floodplain.  There is no cost to the homeowner.  The state will pay half of the cost upfront, and the remainder when the elevation is complete. 

So far, most elevations that have been done have been required by the federal government. 

Park clean-up to get underway

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Long Island officials are working to clean-up their parks after a number of sites were found to be dumping grounds for toxic material. 

The Town of Islip is beginning the clean up process next week at the Police Athletic League fields in Central Islip and the Bay Shore Marina where they will clear out areas discovered to have asbestos. 

The town ordered a review of its 100 parks after a Suffolk County District Attorney probe was launched in April examining illegal dumping in Brentwood’s Roberto Clemente Park.  It led investigators to several other infected sites. 

Jumper dies in Skydive accident

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A New York City correction officer was killed and his skydiving instructor was critically injured during a tandem jump on Wednesday on Long Island, according to Riverhead police.

25 year old Gary Messina was  killed while landing at Skydive Long Island in Calverton.  His instructor was flown to Stony Brook University Medical Center in critical condition, the police said.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but according to the New York Times, initial reports are that a whirlwind of dust at about 75 feet above the ground caused the parachute to malfunction.

Messina would have celebrated his 26th birthday today.

Amazin’s helping to save pavilion

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The Mets will donate a portion of Friday’s ticket sales to a group trying to save the New York State Pavilion. 

The rusting relic in Flushing welcomed people to the World’s Fair back in 1964.  The Mets will give five dollars for every ticket sold to the group, “People for the Pavilion.” 

Mets fans attending Friday’s game against the Giants will get a t-shirt with an outline of the pavilion on it in Mets colors. 

Mosquito spraying in Suffolk

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Suffolk County will continue spraying for mosquitoes today on Fire Island. 

The spraying will be done between 6:00 and 10 p.m. using the pesticide Anvil.  The Health Department is urging “common sense” by staying out of the affected areas during spraying and by keeping doors and windows closed.  Mosquito bites can transmit the West Nile virus to humans. 

Town Supervisors name coming down

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Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine on Tuesday stripped his name from a sign at a town sports facility — a symbolic gesture that he said he hopes other officials will emulate.
Romaine, a Republican, unscrewed a sign bearing his moniker from a sign outside the Medford Athletic Complex, the first of many such placards he pledged to remove. His action followed a Newsday story Monday examining the longtime Long Island tradition of elected officials emblazoning their names on signs, pencils and other objects.
Romaine said he never wanted his name on town signs after he took office in November 2012, but he was convinced then that the practice would not cost much. He said he could not estimate the cost of the signs.
Romaine said his name would be replaced with a town phone number, 451-TOWN, which residents may use to report problems.

Nassau deficit

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Nassau County is on track to end the year more than 76-million-dollars in the hole. 

That’s word from County Comptroller George Maragos’ 2014 mid year financial projections.  He says the County will end with a 76-point-nine-million dollar budget deficit unless lawmakers take swift action to end the year in balance.  He says the anticipated deficit is a result of an estimated 90-million-dollar shortfall in sales tax revenues from lower economic activity after the prior year’s surge from Superstorm Sandy recovery spending, and a shift to online shopping. 

Man found dead in pool identified

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A man found floating face down at the Syosset-Woodbury Community Park pool Sunday has been identified as Jonathan Sobel, 44, of Woodbury, Nassau County police said.
Police said Sobel was swimming in the main pool about 1:25 p.m. when “a short time later” his body was found floating face down.
Lifeguards pulled the man from the pool and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He was then transported to nearby Syosset Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.