Five years later, wrong way Taconic crash settled

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Civil lawsuits are finally being settled five years after a Long Island mother drove the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway killing herself and seven others. 

A Garden City attorney tells “Newsday” there’s been four recent settlements out of Westchester state Supreme Court against the estate of West Babylon woman Diane Schuler, though the terms are confidential and the court records are sealed.  The lawsuits claimed Schuler was negligent when she crashed her vehicle head-on into another car killing herself, one of her kids, three other children in the car, and three men from Yonkers in the other vehicle. 

It was later found she was drunk and had used marijuana. 

Cuomo announces flood mitigation program

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Governor Cuomo has announced a flood mitigation program that would allow 65-hundred homeowners to elevate their homes. 

Under this optional plan, the state will provide 300-million-dollars to homeowners whose homes were damaged by either Hurricanes Sandy or Irene or Tropical Storm Lee, and are in the 100-year-floodplain.  There is no cost to the homeowner.  The state will pay half of the cost upfront, and the remainder when the elevation is complete. 

So far, most elevations that have been done have been required by the federal government. 

Park clean-up to get underway

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Long Island officials are working to clean-up their parks after a number of sites were found to be dumping grounds for toxic material. 

The Town of Islip is beginning the clean up process next week at the Police Athletic League fields in Central Islip and the Bay Shore Marina where they will clear out areas discovered to have asbestos. 

The town ordered a review of its 100 parks after a Suffolk County District Attorney probe was launched in April examining illegal dumping in Brentwood’s Roberto Clemente Park.  It led investigators to several other infected sites. 

Jumper dies in Skydive accident

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A New York City correction officer was killed and his skydiving instructor was critically injured during a tandem jump on Wednesday on Long Island, according to Riverhead police.

25 year old Gary Messina was  killed while landing at Skydive Long Island in Calverton.  His instructor was flown to Stony Brook University Medical Center in critical condition, the police said.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but according to the New York Times, initial reports are that a whirlwind of dust at about 75 feet above the ground caused the parachute to malfunction.

Messina would have celebrated his 26th birthday today.