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Islip says no to Wendy’s

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Some Islip residents are fighting back against a plan to build a fast food restaurant near a school.
Residents started a petition over the weekend that has grown to over 100 signatures in opposition to the building of a Wendy’s. 
Residents tell News 12 they are concerned about the proposal to build the fast food restaurant on Main Street across from Islip Middle School. 
The town will be holding a planning board meeting on April 9, but residents say they are still in the dark about the meeting because the Wendy’s has already been proposed.

Comsewogue board to vote on ELA testing

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The Comsewogue school board will be voting next week on a resolution to consider not administering the state-standardized ELA and MATH exams in grades 3 through 8 or the science exam in grades 4 and 8.  Last year, 63 percent of the students in the district refused to take the exams.
“It’s huge because it shows the escalation of what’s happening,” says Jeanette Deutermann, of Long Island Opt Out. “It shows our numbers of opting-out districts are already reporting you know, 40, 50, 60 percent of their students have already sent in letters. And just showing the progression of where we are headed, that now school districts are recognizing that this may be our final act to be able to stop this abusive nature of testing.”

Babylon lining up developers for 110 project

Babylon Town officials have released a short list of master developers for a portion of the Route 110 corridor, but New York State’s plans to ramp up activity at nearby Republic Airport could affect the project.
The shortlisted companies are Plainview-based Renaissance Downtowns and Blumenfeld Development Group, of Syosset, companies with extensive experience in the region.
Along with the announcement earlier this month came a request from town officials to the companies under consideration: how might a remade Republic Airport affect the area of East Farmingdale around Route 110 and Conklin Street, where the town hopes $1 billion of residential, retail and commercial building will take place?


Republicans disapprove of Cuomo’s teacher assessment

Republicans who control the State Senate oppose Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal to base 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation to students’ scores on standardized tests, lawmakers said.
“We want to knock that number down,” said Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset). “We think it’s too high.”
Marcellino added that he was speaking “personally” and not for all Senate Republicans, though others said the conference, in a lengthy closed-door meeting Monday, overwhelmingly disapproved of the governor’s initiative.
Under the current teacher-evaluation process, 20 percent of an instructor’s rating is based on students’ test scores. But Cuomo has knocked the current system as “baloney” and has pushed for 50 percent.

Schumer upset on MacArthur Airport delays

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Sen. Charles Schumer criticized the federal government for a yearlong delay in approving a master plan for Long Island MacArthur Airport that proponents say could bring in more air traffic and revenue to the struggling airport.
In a news conference at the Ronkonkoma airport Monday, Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for the Federal Aviation Administration to approve the Islip Town master plan immediately, saying the plan will help alleviate air congestion at the region’s major airports and also help revitalize MacArthur Airport.
“The FAA has the plan sitting on its desk and it’s been sitting there for over a year,” Schumer said. “My job today is to level this bureaucratic turbulence so that MacArthur’s master plan can clear the runway, landing Long Island and the Town of Islip a solid win. My job is to make sure that the FAA moves this plan far more quickly than now.”

Town of Brookhaven still trying to stop Medford casino

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Brookhaven Town has hired outside counsel to determine whether it has legal authority to stop a planned $65 million Suffolk Off-Track Betting Corp. gaming facility in Medford.
The town has hired Manhattan-based law firm Nixon Peabody LLP to issue an opinion on the matter, Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said at the town council’s work session Monday.
“Nixon Peabody will review all legal questions connected with video lottery terminals,” Romaine said.
Under state law, the New York State Gaming Commission is the only agency with the authority to approve or deny plans to build the casino. .

Teacher’s union suit dismissed

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A lower-level state court has dismissed an amended lawsuit by teachers’ unions seeking to overturn the state’s property tax cap.
The rejection was expected, given the dismissal of the union’s original complaint in September.
New York State United Teachers argued that the property-tax cap, enacted in 2011, is unconstitutional because it erodes local control of school finances, harms impoverished districts and violates the principle of “one man, one vote.”
State Supreme Court Judge Patrick McGrath of Rensselaer County on March 16 rejected the union’s argument.


Body found in Setauket

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Authorities are investigating after human remains were found off a trail in Suffolk County’s north shore.

Police got a call Sunday afternoon about skeletal remains along a trail that starts off Gnarled Hollow Road in Setauket.  The Suffolk County Medical Examiner is working to identify them and determine a cause of death.

Fares and tolls increased by the MTA

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MTA commuters now have to fork over more cash to ride the trains, buses and subways. Fare hikes went into effect yesterday.

Subway riders now have to pay 25-cents more for single rides and four-percent more for monthly cards.  People using the Long Island Rail Road, Metro North and the MTA’s bridges and tunnels are also seeing about a four-percent increase.

The MTA says it needs the money for maintenance and capital improvement projects.

Shooting at Best Buy

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An investigation is underway into a police-involved shooting in Bay Shore.

Suffolk Police say officers responded to reports of a robbery at the Best Buy on Sunrise Highway around 7:45 last night. The alleged robber then fled the store with police in pursuit and that’s when he was shot.

The suspect’s condition is not yet known.