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BREAKING NEWS

LIRR talks head to DC

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The latest round of talks between the MTA and LIRR unions ended after less than four hours Tuesday with both sides holding their positions, and the MTA’s chief looking to Congress for a solution.
At the conclusion of the bargaining session, Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Adam Lisberg announced that agency chairman Thomas Prendergast will head to Washington, D.C., Wednesday to talk to congressional members about whether they intend to intervene in the four-year-long labor dispute, which could culminate in a July 20 strike.
Lisberg declined to detail what went on during the negotiation session, which was overseen by members of the National Mediation Board and included a half-dozen Long Island Rail Road union leaders, but indicated both sides stuck with their most recent settlement offers.
The MTA is pushing for a leaner contract, with 17 percent raises spread over seven years and several concessions affecting future workers. Without a settlement, LIRR workers could legally walk off their jobs in less than two weeks.
Further extinguishing hope to avert a strike, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo indicated Monday that he would not intervene to help broker a deal.

New party line for Astorino

 

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said Tuesday he’ll create a new ballot line called “Stop the Common Core” as he seeks to use unrest about the controversial academic standards in his bid to upset Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Astorino said he’s tapping into a “grassroots movement which has taken hold across this state” that involves “teachers and parents of all stripes.” A Cuomo spokesman called it “pandering.”
Astorino, the Westchester County executive, acknowledged he’s looking to woo people who might not normally get involved or excited about statewide political races, and the Common Core issue highlights a “clear difference between Andrew Cuomo and me.”
“‘Stop the Common Core,’ as a third-party line, will allow parents to be part of this reform movement — either to cast a protest vote against Common Core or support me on this issue,” Astorino said, adding the ballot strategy isn’t just about winning. “It’s about making a major statement in this state that we believe it is on the wrong path in regards to education.”

 

Idina Menzel heading to the ballgame

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Idina Menzel is bringing Broadway to baseball.
The Tony-winning performer will sing the national anthem at the MLB All-Star Game on July 15 in Minneapolis. Menzel will also perform during the pre-game ceremony, including a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.”
The game at Target Field will air on Fox, where country singer Joe Nichols will sing “God Bless America.”  MLB All-Star week will also include a Saturday concert by Grammy-winning rockers Imagine Dragons at the TCF Bank Stadium.
A day later, Panic! At the Disco will perform at the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game at Target Field.  Singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc will hit the stage at the Home Run Derby on July 14. It will air on ESPN.

 

Retired cop out of jail

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A retired NYPD cop accused of fleeing the scene of a crash that left a 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome dead is out of jail. 

“Newsday” reports Michael Elardo was released last night after his bail was lowered to 50-thousand-dollars from one-million dollars. Elardo has been in jail since his arrest last month for running down Bryanna Soplin as she tried to cross Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown. 

Elardo claims he left the scene because he thought he had hit a construction barrel.  He faces arraignment on a grand jury indictment tomorrow. 

Father could be deported for shoplifting

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A father of two may be deported after police say they caught him shoplifting at a Massapequa Wal-Mart.
Jose Rodriguez, a father of two, is accused of shoplifting, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. The El Salvador native was caught by the border patrol entering the country illegally in 2005.
Rodriguez’s wife claims that video surveillance footage shows that her husband was not the aggressor during the incident. She says a plainclothes Nassau County detective pushed her husband while he was trying to calm down their 4-year-old son.
According to the felony complaint, Rodriguez tried to leave the area, grabbed the detective’s arm and then fought with him over the handcuffs.
Rodriguez is due in court in two weeks. A deportation order has already been placed.