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LIRR to clear contaminated soil

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The Long Island Rail Road will excavate more than 4,750 tons of contaminated soil at seven substations in Queens and Nassau County this year and into early 2016 to remove mercury, lead and other toxins.
The work is part of an $11 million capital plan program the LIRR started in 2010 to clean up 20 sites from Shea Stadium to Babylon.
The contamination dates back to the early 1930s through 1951, when the LIRR used tubs of mercury at substations to help convert alternating current into direct current to power locomotive and passenger cars.
The rectifiers that converted the power were removed in the 1980s and replaced, but the contamination remained.
The new cleanup was prompted when a worker saw mercury beads in the corner of a building in the late 1990s, said Andrew Wilson, LIRR director of the Department of Program Management.


More winter weather…

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A winter storm warning is in effect for Long Island through 7 p.m. Thursday. News 12 Long Island meteorologists say rain and drizzle will change to snow overnight.Snow will be moderate to heavy at times with 1 to 3 inches of snow expected by the Thursday morning commute  Snow totals are expected to reach 3 to 6 inches across the area. Temperatures are expected to dip to nearly 13 degrees Thursday night.

Route 25 most dangerous in Suffolk

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For the second year in a row, Route 25 in Suffolk County has been named the most dangerous road for pedestrians in the region in an annual study.
And Hempstead Turnpike isn’t much better, according to the report by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
The study, which compiled federal accident statistics from 2011 to 2013 for roads in New York’s 12 downstate counties, found that 20 people were killed on Route 25 — known in various stretches as Jericho Turnpike, Middle Country Road and Main Street — during that period. The road is also the deadliest in the entire tri-state area, which includes New Jersey and Connecticut, according to the report.
Nearly half those deaths occurred within an 11.5-mile stretch from Centereach to Ridge.

High on drugs and crashes into a building

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Suffolk County police yesterday arrested a man for driving while ability impaired by drugs after he crashed into a nail salon in Deer Park this afternoon.
Michael Fusaro was operating his GMC Envoy in the Hess gas station parking lot, located at 1800 Deer Park Ave., when he apparently lost control of the vehicle at approximately 3:15 p.m. Fusaro drove over a snow bank as he left the gas station, crossed the Deer Park Avenue southbound lanes, drove over a concrete median and struck a northbound Dodge Dart as he was crossing the northbound lanes of Deer Park Avenue.  The SUV then crashed into UR Stylist Nail and Spa located at 1805 Deer Park Ave., Deer Park.  No patrons or employees were injured. The business sustained substantial damage.
Fusaro and the man driving the Dodge were transported to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip where they were treated for minor non-life-threatening injuries.
Fusaro, 36, of Huntington Station, was charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Unlawful Possession of a Hypodermic Instrument and Reckless Driving.  He will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip at a later date.

Missing in action in Mastic Beach

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Mastic Beach trustee Gary Stiriz has been in Florida since mid-January, neglecting his responsibilities to supervise plowing village streets after this winter’s series of snow storms, village leaders said.
Mayor Bill Biondi said that Stiriz, who as trustee supervises the five-member public works staff, is responsible for snow removal, but has been absent for the past four winter storms, including Sunday night’s snowfall.
Village officials said this is the second consecutive year Stiriz has left the village behind for an extended period during the winter months.

Need Salt?

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Road salt supplies have reached critically low levels across Suffolk County as area highway departments gear up to face two more winter weather events this week alone — the latest in a series of storms that have battered the island this winter.
And now the company that supplies highway crews across Long Island, NYC, Westchester and Rockland with road salt — Atlantic Salt of Staten Island — has itself run out, according to area highway officials.
Officials say they were informed today by the supplier that the deliveries they expected today wouldn’t be arriving.
“They said their barge was delayed,” Southold Town Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando said today. They didn’t provide any additional information — or an ETA, he said.
Officials in Riverhead and Brookhaven got the same message.


Another LIRR crash

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There’s been another collision between a Long Island Railroad train and car.  A train struck a car at a Patchogue crossing just after noon yesterday at Rider Avenue.

One person in the car has been taken to Brookhaven Hospital.  No one on board the train out of Babylon appears to have been hurt.  Service was suspended on parts of the Montauk Branch.

The incident comes a day after a Long Island Railroad train hit an SUV at a crossing near Valley Stream.  Officials say the driver on Monday ignored warning lights and bells at the crossing, and drove onto the tracks.  The 63-year-old woman survived the crash, and no one on board the train was injured.

Report for new restrictions at E. Hampton Airport not ready

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A key report on the potential fiscal impact of proposed new restrictions at East Hampton Airport will not be ready in time for a public hearing on Thursday.

Members of the Budget and Finance Advisory Committee had promised the East Hampton Town Board a report on the financial sustainability of the airport, if the new regulations are enacted, in time for the hearing, and most likely at Tuesday’s planned Town Board work session. But its members admitted Tuesday that after working on the issue for weeks, they have not been able to agree on definitive numbers.

Opponents seized on the committee’s failure to deliver as a sign that the new regulations—which would identify “noisy” aircraft and impose new restrictions and curfews, essentially eliminating helicopter traffic in the summer—should be rejected.

Islanders with deadline moves


The Islanders acquired forward Tyler Kennedy from the Sharks before yesterday’s trade deadline for a conditional draft pick.  They also got forward Dustin Jeffrey from Vancouver for forward Cory Conacher, and goalie Michal Neuvirth from Buffalo for goalie Chad Johnson and a pick.

LIRR crash in Valley Stream


Officials say the driver of an SUV hit by an oncoming LIRR train Monday ignored warning lights and bells at a railroad crossing, and drove onto the tracks near Valley Stream.

The crash caused service suspension in both directions on the Long Beach branch between Valley Stream and Long Beach.  The 63-year-old woman survived the crash, and no one on board the train was injured.

Meantime new changes to the Long Island Rail Road schedule went into effect Monday.  They’re tied to track work and ongoing construction but also bow to commuter demands for more westbound service before holidays.