Indictments In DMV Test Taking Scheme

(New York, NY)  —  Twenty-one people are facing charges for their roles in a scheme to cheat on tests for commercial driver’s licenses.  Manhattan prosecutors say the defendants paid people to fraudulently provide them with answers to written exams given by the New York State DMV.  According to court documents, the defendants paid as much as four-thousand-dollars to fraudulently receive answers to the exams between April and August of last year.  Nineteen people were indicted in the same scheme last year.

Posted On 02 Apr 2014

911 Operator Helps Save Dad’s Life on First Day on the Job

(NEW YORK) — The 911 operator who helped save her father’s life on her first day of work says her “hands froze over her keyboard” when she got the call.

Crystal Morrow was four hours into her first shift as a 911 operator in Dekalb County, Ga., in August when she answered a call about a 55-year-old man with diabetes who was incoherent.

The person on the other end of the newly released 911 call was Morrow’s aunt, Gail Morrow, who was calling about Crystal’s father.

“I heard her voice and I saw her name pop up on the screen,” Crystal Morrow said. “I said, ‘Wait, that is my aunt.’

“I did freeze, my hands froze over the keyboard, but I knew I had to get the call in,” she said.

Morrow walked her aunt through lifesaving steps to save her father until paramedics arrived, all while her aunt had no idea it was her niece on the other end of the phone.

“I want you to watch him very closely, if he becomes less awake and vomits, quickly turn him on his side,” Morrow can be heard instructing her aunt in the 911 call. “If he gets worse in any way, call us back immediately for further instructions, OK?”

Morrow’s father beat the odds and survived, just like his daughter beat the odds in getting the call in a 911 center that has as many as 12 operators answering close to 3,000 calls per day.

“Because of so many people being in the room, I didn’t think I would get the call,” Morrow said. “It’s crazy that I got it on my first day.”

Posted On 02 Apr 2014

“Top Gun 2” Will Have High-Tech Twist, Jerry Bruckheimer Says

(LOS ANGELES) — Producer Jerry Bruckheimer says he and Tom Cruise are still trying to get Top Gun 2 off the ground.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Bruckheimer teased the new film will have a high-tech twist befitting the nearly 30 year gap since Cruise’s Maverick flew into theaters.

“The concept is, basically, are the pilots obsolete because of drones. Cruise is going to show them that they’re not obsolete,” he explained. “They’re here to stay.”

Posted On 02 Apr 2014

Amazon Unveils ‘Fire TV’ Streaming Box

(NEW YORK) — With the announcement of Amazon Fire TV, an entertainment streaming box, the hottest entertainment battleground is right in your living room.

The box, which is not taller than a dime, was unveiled in New York City on Wednesday by Amazon’s Vice President Peter Larson, who said the company’s goal was to “invent and simplify.”

“It’s tiny, incredibly powerful and unbelievably simple,” Larson said of the Amazon Fire TV, which runs on Android and will retail for $99. It starts shipping Wednesday.

Users will be able to watch content from Amazon, Hulu, Netlix, YouTube, ESPN on the device, Larson said, and won’t be limited to “one ecosystem” — meaning they can shop around for the best prices for watching their favorite shows.

The Amazon Fire TV comes with built-in Wi-Fi and boasts three times the performance and power of its top competitors — Google’s Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku 3, according to Larson.

Users will also be able to play games, including some Amazon originals, and can separately purchase a gaming controller for $39.99 to access even more options.

Also unique to the Fire TV is a voice search option that allows users to speak into a remote in the microphone and search for broad requests, such as “princess movies,” which Larson demonstrated at the launch.

Patrick Moorhead, principal technology analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, told that Amazon’s entrance into the crowded streaming market “makes perfect sense.”

“It’s a conduit for what Amazon does best, which is content,” Moorhead said. “What took so long is they had to find the right cost model for a price they could either give away for free or price absurdly low.”

Moorhead said he expects Amazon’s device to be a “major player” in the streaming marketplace and predicted that it could even overtake Chromecast, which at $35, is currently the bestselling electronics device available in Amazon’s online store.

Posted On 02 Apr 2014

Do You Need the Measles Vaccine?

(NEW YORK) — Measles — a disease eliminated from the U.S. more than a decade ago — is making a comeback.

At least 21 people in Orange County, Calif., and 20 people in New York City have contracted the virus, which causes flu-like symptoms, a miserable rash and, in rare cases, death.

Most (but not all) U.S. children receive the MMR vaccine — an immunization against measles, mumps and rubella. A single dose of the vaccine, usually administered in 1-year-old kids, is 95 percent effective in preventing measles. And a second dose virtually eliminates the risk completely.

So how did measles make its way back stateside? We imported it.

The measles is still common in other countries, accounting for 330 deaths daily, according to the World Health Organization. And because symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear, visitors can unwittingly bring it into the U.S.

If you’re vaccinated, you’re immune. But if you’re not, there’s a 90 percent chance that you’ll get the virus through close contact with an infected person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Roughly 95 percent of U.S. kids are vaccinated, according to 2012 data from the CDC. But the rates vary by state.

How do you know if you’re vaccinated? Every shot you get is recorded, so ask your doctor, your parents or your high school. Some states even have vaccine registries.

If you’re still not sure, your doctor may be able to test your blood for antibodies, according to the CDC. Worst case: you can get the vaccine again just to be safe.

Speaking of safe, the MMR vaccine is “much safer” than getting measles, according to the CDC. The most common side effects are fever, a mild rash and swelling of glands in the cheeks and neck.

Posted On 02 Apr 2014

Rocky Point Bank Robbed


Suffolk County Police Pattern Crime Unit detectives are investigating a bank robbery that occurred this morning at a Capital One Bank in Rocky Point.

A man entered the bank, located at 366 Route 25A, approached a teller at 9:35 a.m. and demanded cash. The teller complied with the demand and gave the robber cash from the drawer. The suspect fled on foot in an unknown direction.

The man is described as white, approximately 5 feet 9 to 5 feet 11 inches tall, between 25 and 30 years old with a thin build. He was wearing blue jeans and a flannel shirt over a gray hooded-sweatshirt.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.

Posted On 02 Apr 2014

Petrone Supports Move to Keep Guns from Violent Teens

Huntington, NY – Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone joined community leaders April 1 in supporting federal legislation introduced by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) to prevent violent juvenile offenders from obtaining firearms when they turn 18.

Rep. Israel’s legislation is aimed at closing a loophole in the federal Brady Bill, which bars individuals who have been convicted of a crime and served more than one year in prison from owning a firearm. As Rep. Israel notes, many juvenile offenders receive more lenient sentences because of their age, meaning that even though they commit violent crimes, they can still get a gun because they did not spend more than a year in prison.

Rep. Israel’s legislation would close the loophole by adding individuals who committed “violent juvenile acts” to the list of those who are excluded from owning a firearm.

During a news conference at the Suffolk County Police Department’s Second Precinct stationhouse, Supervisor Petrone noted, “Closing a loophole that otherwise would allow teenagers with violent histories to own a gun when they turn 18 is an important step in protecting us all and should help law enforcement in their efforts to combat violent street gangs who recruit teenagers. I commend Representative Israel for identifying this loophole and for acting to address it.”

Also taking part in the news conference were Dolores Thompson and Betty Miller, past and current presidents of the Huntington branch of the NAACP; Xavier Palacios, president of Friends of he Huntington Station Latin Quarter; the Rev. Larry Jennings, pastor of the Bethel AME Church;  the Rev. Jerry Artis of the Huntington Outreach Ministry; and representatives from the Suffolk County  Police Department.

Posted On 02 Apr 2014

Bad News Mets


The New York Mets will be without closer Bobby Parnell for the next couple of weeks as their regular season gets underway.

Parnell has been diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament that could require surgery.  The 29-year-old pitcher blew the save in Monday’s Opening Day loss against the Nationals.  He also had neck surgery in December.

Pool store fire not suspicious

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The Nassau County Fire Marshall’s office says the massive fire that destroyed a pool store and damaged three other buildings on Hicksville Road is not suspicious.

Chlorine and other pool chemicals burned for hours on Monday as firefighters from 13 local department battled the flames.  Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire and say the air is safe and the chemical tainted water was mostly contained in the basement of the pool store.

NY Comptroller approves on NY State Budget


New York’s Comptroller says the state’s new budget is a positive step.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says Governor Cuomo and Albany lawmakers deserve credit for adopting another spending plan on time.  He notes his office will examine how the 138-billion-dollar agreement will keep the state on track for budget balance, and the impact it has on the state’s debt burden and out-year finances.

He did frown upon some aspects of budget negotiations, calling the failure to enact real campaign finance reform and publicly fund elections a “missed opportunity” for comprehensive reform to change the electoral system for the better.