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Over 100 deer’s sterilized on the east end

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Biologists surgically sterilized 114 deer in East Hampton Village over 12 nights this month in an experimental population-control program used for the first time on Long Island.
A team from White Buffalo Inc., a Connecticut nonprofit that specializes in deer management, is to return next month as it tries to meet its goal of sterilizing a total of 140 to 160 deer, estimated to be 70 to 80 percent of the village’s population.
White Buffalo founder Anthony DeNicola said he was “reasonably pleased” with the initial results.
State environmental regulators would not allow the team to use bait to attract deer because of an extended bow hunting season this year. The biologists had to look for the deer from roadways, “which obviously is far less efficient than attracting them to predetermined locations,” DeNicola said.
East End residents have complained that the region’s growing deer population poses a motor-vehicle hazard; destroys farms, gardens and forest undergrowth; and spreads tick-borne diseases such as Lyme.

Joe Franklin passes


Joe Franklin, the man widely credited with pioneering the TV talk show format, has died. Franklin’s longtime producer said he passed away over the weekend from symptoms related to prostate cancer.  He was 88.

A mainstay of the New York broadcast scene, Franklin help boost the careers of then-emerging stars Al Pacino, Bette Midler and Bill Cosby through his TV talk show that began in the 1950s and ran into the 1990s.

Silver strikes a deal to remain in office


A powerful New York politician is giving up his duties as state Assembly speaker to fight federal corruption charges.

Sheldon Silver is under immense pressure from his fellow Democrats to resign, but instead struck a deal that will allow him to pawn off his responsibilities instead of quitting altogether. Lawmakers are expected to discuss the proposal today.

Silver is accused of abusing his power to hustle massive kickbacks and bribes to fill his own pockets. He’s held the influential post for more than two decades.

Governor urges everyone to stay home today…


With a massive nor’easter upon the state, Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging commuters to stay home today if possible.

New York State has more than 18-hundred plows and 126-thousand tons of salt ready.  However, roads and public transportation throughout Long Island, as well as New York City and the Hudson Valley, could be closed as a result of the potentially historic blizzard.

The Long Island Expressway could be closed before this evening.  Additionally, the LIRR may experience closures.  And hundreds of flights have been cancelled for today and tomorrow at New York’s major airports.

Plan to revitalize Port Jeff

A plan to revitalize Port Jefferson Village and its business district is apparently a little too lofty for some residents.
Currently, rundown buildings and empty storefronts line Main Street. Village officials say they have come up with a master plan to revitalize the area.
Mayor Margot Garant says after listening to engineers and architects for almost six years, as well as getting input from a citizen advisory committee, the village trustees are ready to adopt the plan. It calls for increasing building heights from 35 to 45 feet to allow developers to put apartments above businesses.

LIRR Fares going up again

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It’s official: Fares throughout the MTA system, including on the Long Island Rail Road and at bridges and tunnels, will go up by 4 percent in March.
And many Nassau bus riders will probably feel the fare hike, too.
As widely expected, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board on Thursday voted to approve the fare increase, which will take effect on March 22.
On the LIRR, the cost of a monthly ticket will increase $7 to $19 depending on distance traveled. On New York City Transit subways and buses, the “base fare,” or cost of one ride, will increase 25 cents to $2.75, but riders will get an extra 11 percent credit for MetroCards worth $5.50 or more — up from the previous 5 percent.
The monthly MetroCard goes from $112 to $116.50.
Tolls at MTA bridges and tunnels will also climb about 4 percent. On the agency’s major crossings, including the Queens Midtown Tunnel and Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, will climb 50 cents for cash users to $8 and 21 cents for E-ZPass users to $5.54.

Tough weather heading our way

It seems like Long Islanders may be catching a break with a nor’easter that’s heading this way Saturday.
As of earlier Thursday its track was still uncertain, but by afternoon the view was becoming more focused, said Tim Morrin, National Weather Service meteorologist based in Upton.
Look for precipitation in the form of snow to start earlier than had been expected, possibly around 3 to 4 a.m. Saturday, he said, with a potential 1 to 2 inches dropping by daybreak.


Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver arrested

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was charged Thursday with fraud and conspiracy in federal court in Manhattan, accused of taking $4 million in bribes and kickbacks disguised as legal fees from people and firms with business before the state.
A five-count criminal complaint says the scheme had two prongs — more than $3 million Silver got from the personal injury law firm Weitz & Luxenberg for referrals from a doctor to whom he steered state funds, and $700,000 from a real estate law firm that got business steered to them by developers Silver favored.
The second firm was not identified, but sources said it was Goldberg & Iryami, a Manhattan real estate firm. The complaint said a partner at the firm was a former counsel to Silver and a co-conspirator.
The charges apparently stem from the work of the Moreland Commission on public corruption that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo decommissioned last year, and the complaint says Silver “took legal action and other steps to prevent disclosure” of his legal fees to the commission.
Silver, 70, a lawyer, has represented the Lower East Side in the Assembly since 1976, and has been speaker since 1994. He was re-elected by his fellow Democrats in January.

Drunk driver crashes into home in Hauppauge

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Suffolk County Police today arrested a woman for driving while intoxicated after she crashed her vehicle into a house in Hauppauge with her daughter in the vehicle.
Arlene Lamb-Palermo crashed into a house with her SUV and her 15-year-old daughter in the vehicle at approximately 7:15 p.m. Her daughter suffered a minor injury and was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore. No one inside the residence was injured.
Lamb-Palermo, 48, of Hauppauge was charged with Aggravated DWI with a Child 15 Years Old or Younger (Leandra’s Law), Driving While Intoxicated, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
Lamb-Palermo will be held overnight at the Fourth Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on January 22.

Missing teen found dead

The body of an 18-year-old man missing since Monday was found Wednesday afternoon near South Oyster Bay Road in Hicksville, Nassau police and a relative said.
A preliminary investigation into the death of Kieran Walsh, of Hicksville, found no signs of criminality, police said.
Walsh, who Nassau police said suffered from a mental illness, was last seen just after midnight Monday, officials said. He would have turned 19 in one week, police said.
The man’s cousin, Owen Steele of Smithtown, said that at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, he found Walsh’s body “laying down in a walkway that goes to a field behind” a Days Inn on South Oyster Bay Road.