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BREAKING NEWS

Retirement homes coming to S. Setauket

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The Brookhaven Town Board has narrowly approved a zoning change to allow 200 retirement homes at a South Setauket golf course.

The 4-3 vote on Tuesday came after more than a dozen residents spoke against the project proposed by Islandia-based luxury apartment developer Heatherwood Communities, saying the homes would generate too much traffic.   Republican Supervisor Edward P. Romaine and Democratic councilwomen Valerie Cartright and Connie Kepert cast the dissenting votes.

The zoning change permits construction of a Planned Retirement Community with townhouses, apartments and detached houses on about 25 acres at the site, on Arrowhead Lane. A nine-hole, 45-acre golf course with pitch-and-putt greens would remain and serve as a buffer between the development and nearby houses, said David Sloane, an attorney for the developer.

Plenty of toilet paper on the Southern State

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A tractor-trailer hauling rolls of toilet paper struck a bridge overpass on the Southern State Parkway early Thursday in North Massapequa, scattering bath tissue across the road, forcing its closure, police said.

State Police said the accident occurred on the eastbound roadway at Exit 30, North Broadway, at 12:30 a.m. One lane remained partially blocked at 6:45 a.m., though the New York State Department of Transportation said the road reopened at about 8:15 a.m.

Tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles are not allowed on most parkways in New York State.

Bohemia drug raid snares so much more

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Suffolk County police say they stumbled upon hundreds of live and dead animals during a drug raid at a Bohemia home.

The horrific discovery was made when detectives were executing a search warrant at the Sycamore home of 48-year-old James Bizzaro the morning of December 2nd. They found 40-thousand dollars worth of marijuana and crack cocaine, along with marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia, but that’s not all. Detectives also found around 300 deer hides, a stash of frozen bird carcasses and two large vats of live snapping turtles.

Police say Bizzaro was also stealing electricity from PSEG through an illegal tap. He faces a slew of charges. Two of Bizzaro’s tenants were also arrested.

77 miles of road repaved so far

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The state repaved 77 lane miles of road on Long Island in recent months at a cost of $35 million as it sought to repair some of the worst area roads in the wake of a harsh winter, officials said Thursday.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced in May that the state would accelerate $100 million in projects covering 300 lane miles, but set no timetable for the projects.

In a statement this week, the state Department of Transportation said “all the priority sections” — totaling 77 miles — were completed by Nov. 15, but it did not say how it had established which sections were given top priority.

The state did no repaving on one of the worst-hit roads on the list, the half-mile Nassau Expressway loop in the Five Towns area that is a primary South Shore evacuation route in emergencies. Potholes were filled instead, with repaving set to begin in spring, the state s

Reputed gang members murder trial underway

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Opening statements were made Wednesday in the trial of a reputed gang member accused of murdering two Long Islanders in Suffolk County.
Prosecutors say 37-year-old Reginald Ross, of Yaphank, killed both Raymond Hirt and John Williams.
Friends of Hirt, 51, say he was shot to death sitting in his car in Lake Ronkonkoma in May 2010. At the time, Hirt was waiting to start his job as a flagman for the Portion Road construction project.

According to prosecutors, Ross got stuck in the construction traffic and had an argument with Hirt. Ross then allegedly found Hirt at his job weeks later, and shot him execution-style.
Williams was shot and killed in front of his Holbrook home five months later. Prosecutors say a friend of Williams owed drug money to Ross. When the friend skipped town, the district attorney says Ross killed Williams in hopes that Williams’ funeral would lure him back.

Combating the fare hike

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The federal government will allow thousands of public transportation users, including some Long Island Rail Road riders, to recoup part of their 2014 commuting costs — more than offsetting a planned fare hike in March.

Sen. Charles Schumer announced Wednesday that Congress on Tuesday approved a package of tax breaks that includes the Commuter Tax Benefit. It allows public transportation users to pay the cost of their monthly commutes using up to $250 in pretax dollars through employer-administered programs such as WageWorks.

Schumer’s office said President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill this week.

Drug traffickers busted

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A heroin pipeline stretching from Long Island to Mexico is busted after an 18-month investigation.

The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office says the traffickers sold millions of dollars worth of heroin, and also used Craigslist to offer cocaine, ecstasy and anabolic steroids under code names. Nine people are under arrest, including one from Mexico, two from Queens, one from Brooklyn, three from the Bronx and two from California.

DA Kathleen Rice will announce more details at a news conference this afternoon.

No wind farm off Montauk

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The LIPA Board of Trustees has rejected a proposal to build an offshore wind farm off the coast of Montauk.  They cited the cost of the project as their main obstacle.  Environmentalists and wind energy advocates said they were disappointed with the decision.

“Once again, LIPA has said ‘no’ to wind with the same old antiquated thinking that holds Long Island back,” said Adrienne Esposito, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “They really aren’t forward-thinking and they’ve missed a golden opportunity once again.”
Several LIPA board members individually expressed support for wind power, but said it just cost too much. Deepwater Wind, the company proposing the wind farm, previously estimated the cost of construction and operation at $1-$1.5 billion.

What to do with Port Jeff land…

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A vote is being held in Port Jefferson Station Tuesday night on how to use the land at the Lawrence Aviation superfund site.  The spot was declared a superfund site seven years ago.  A moratorium is set to expire in January on the plot of land that was once the Lawrence Aviation site. The site contains asbestos and is undergoing a $25 million cleanup.

A land-use plan is now on the table that would rezone the site for some residential and commercial use.  Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward Romaine believes the land should be left alone.  “I don’t think the land should be developed. There’s a path forward other than that. I want to take that path. I want the land to heal itself,” said Romaine.

Town officials will be meeting to discuss the site at 6:30 p.m. A vote is expected later tonight.

The Thunderbird’s are returning

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The Thunderbirds are returning to the annual Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park.

After a six-year hiatus, the U.S. Air Force demonstration squadron will fly high at the 2015 Memorial Day weekend show, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Tuesday.

The Air Force has committed to bring the Thunderbirds back to the Jones Beach event after federal budget cuts, part of sequestration, prohibited the service branch from fulfilling its scheduled performances in 2013, according to Schumer.

Schumer, in a statement, called the Thunderbirds “the cherry on top” when it comes to the Jones Beach show.

The event has attracted up to 400,000 people and last year drew more than 300,000, officials said. Schumer called the show a “large revenue stream” for Long Island.