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BREAKING NEWS

Deficit in Nassau

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Nassau County is facing a $71.6 million deficit by year’s end, after a three-year employee wage freeze was lifted and sales tax revenues cratered, the county legislature’s budget office reported yesterday.
The projected deficit does not include the estimated cost of $70 million in commercial tax refunds, which the county traditionally has paid by borrowing, according to a midyear report by the legislature’s bipartisan Office of Budget Review.
“County finances are at a cross road,” said Budget Review director Maurice Chalmers in the 9-page report. Although County Executive Edward Mangano has taken steps to increase revenues and cut expenses, Chalmers wrote “the county has lost its financial flexibility to absorb uncertainties.”

Boat Explosion in Manorhaven

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A boat refueling at a Manorhaven marina went up in flames after it exploded, killing one man, forcing another to jump into the water and burning a dock worker who got the drifting, fiery vessel away from shore, authorities said.
The vessel’s owner and one passenger were on the boat at the Manhasset Bay Marina at Matinecock Avenue when the vessel exploded at 2:49 p.m., said Det. Lt. John Azzata of the Nassau police homicide squad.
“During the fueling process, the boat exploded,” he said. “The passenger jumped to safety. The owner of the boat is deceased.”

Impaired driver busted for New Hyde Park Hit and Run

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Nassau County Police say an impaired teenager is responsible for the crash on Covert Avenue in New Hyde Park that killed a man and injured his wife and six-year-old daughter. 

Seventeen-year-old Deepak Kumar has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.  Police say Kumar plowed into the victim’s car at about 11:30 last night at the intersection of Covert and Second Avenue. 

The victim’s name has not been released. 

Two busted in distracted robbery scam

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Suffolk County Police today arrested two men who burglarized an elderly woman’s home last week by utilizing a home repair scam.

Bruce Wimmer and Michael Windland entered a 92-year-old female’s home in Bellport on August 16 at approximately 2 p.m. by pretending to be chimney cleaners.  The men identified themselves as employees of a company called N.Y. Finest Home Improvements and said they were performing a chimney inspection. While one of the men distracted the resident, the other stole $130 cash from church envelopes and $35 cash from bank envelopes.  They also stole a quantity of the victim’s prescription drugs.  The men quoted a price of $3000 for unnecessary chimney work and offered to drive the victim to her bank to withdraw the money.  The victim declined and the suspects made arrangements to do the work on a later date. After the individuals left, the victim became suspicious and contacted police.

Michael Windland, 28, of 2nd Street, Lake Ronkonkoma was charged with Burglary 2nd Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.   Bruce Wimmer, 32, of Debbie Lee Lane, Bohemia, was charged with Burglary 2nd Degree.  Both men are prior convicted felons.

Windland and Wimmer will be held overnight at the Fifth Precinct and are scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on August 21.

Fifth Squad detectives are seeking to identify any other potential victims of these individuals. If you feel you may have been a victim of this scam, you are urged to contact the Fifth Squad detectives at 631-854-8552

Police looking for help in Central Islip hit and run

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The Suffolk County Police Vehicular Crime Unit is asking the public’s assistance in identifying the driver of the vehicle that struck and seriously injured a pedestrian in Central Islip on Sunday evening.  After striking the pedestrian, the vehicle left the scene and most likely fled northbound on Carleton Avenue.

The injured pedestrian, Edgar Abrego, 25, of Central Islip, is at Stony Brook University Hospital where he has been admitted for serious injuries to his head and body.

The vehicle that fled the scene has been described as a dark-colored minivan with damage to the driver’s side of the vehicle, specifically the driver’s side mirror.

Anyone who may have witnessed or has information on this crash is asked to call the Vehicular Crime Unit at 631-852-6555 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

FEMA is coming to town

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A federal storm damage assessment team is set to visit Suffolk County Wednesday to inspect homes and businesses slammed one week ago by torrential rains that flooded basements and highways from Babylon to Rocky Point, officials said Tuesday.
The inspection is expected to help determine whether the towns hardest hit by the storm — Islip, Brookhaven and Babylon — will be declared a disaster area, making them eligible for federal financial aid, officials said.
Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are scheduled to meet Suffolk County and town officials Wednesday to examine multiple sites damaged by the storm, which dumped a state-record 13.57 inches of rain in less than 24 hours at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma

LI Music Hall of Fame gala tickets to go on sale

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Thought the Billy Joel tickets went fast for his show at The Paramount last year? Just wait until the tickets go on sale Wednesday for this year’s Long Island Music Hall of Fame gala.
Though Joel isn’t officially part of the gala, his core band from the ‘70s and ‘80s – including drummer Liberty DeVitto, who sued Joel over royalties in 2009, and the late Doug Stegmeyer, his longtime bassist and backing vocalist – is set to be inducted at the biennial gala scheduled for Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington, according to sources close to the event.
Joel told Newsday through his spokeswoman that he will not be able to attend the event because he will be out of the country that night.
An official announcement about the Long Island Hall of Fame induction is expected Wednesday, along with ticketing information.

 

Suffolk County commissioner pleads guilty

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The Suffolk County Information Technology Commissioner who resigned yesterday will not be going to jail. 

Donald Rodgers of Centereach pleaded guilty yesterday and was sentenced on two misdemeanors.  One involves the county’s bid last year for a multimillion dollar software deal with Microsoft. The other involves his failure to disclose ownership of a computer consulting company, Red Dog Design, and income he earned from in 2012. 

His attorney says Rodgers made mistakes and today is taking responsibility for the errors he made. 

Islanders sold

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Not long after the New York Islanders move to Brooklyn they should have a new owner.

The team says it is being sold to a group led by Jon Ledecky, a former co-owner of the Washington Capitals.  London-based investor Scott Malkin will have a minority interest. Terms of the deal were not announced. But current owner Charles Wang will stay on as a majority stock holder for two years.  After that, the new group will take over. 

President Obama invited to Selden

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Suffolk Community College president Shaun McKay is asking President Barack Obama to come to the Selden campus this fall to learn how the state’s largest community college is leading the way to help grow a prosperous middle class for the next generation.
McKay said he decided to invite the president Monday after listening to Obama’s weekend radio address where he talked about higher education as “surest ticket to the middle class,” where graduates average $28,000 more a year than those with a high school diploma.