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Entries in Long Island (28)

Wednesday
Nov142012

Long Island Power Authority Head Resigns Amid Sandy Criticism

Long Island Power Authority(NEW YORK) -- The head of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is stepping down amid widespread criticism of the company in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

In a statement Tuesday, LIPA Chairman Howard Steinberg said Mike Hervey's resignation as chief operating officer will be effective at the end of the year.  Hervey has been with the company for 12 years.

LIPA has received much flack for its slow response in restoring power to more than a million customers after Sandy struck the area on Oct. 29.  As of Wednesday morning, more than 8,000 customers still remain in the dark.

The company said on Tuesday that it had restored power to 99 percent of customers who are able to safely receive power.  But for about 35,000 others who are in flooded areas, customer repairs will need to be done first before LIPA can turn their lights back on.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov092012

New York City, Long Island Impose Gas Rationing System

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York City and Long Island drivers will have to check their license plates before attempting to get in line for gas in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

Beginning Friday morning, drivers with license plates ending in an even number will only be able to fill up their tanks on even-numbered days; those with license plates ending in an odd number can get gas on odd days.  Vehicles with license plates ending in a letter or other character will be able to buy gas on odd-numbered days.

Commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, buses and paratransit vehicles, Medical Doctor (MD) plates and vehicles licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission are exempt from the gas rationing system.

"Last week’s storm hit the fuel network hard -- and knocked out critical infrastructure needed to distribute gasoline,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Thursday.  “Even as the region’s petroleum infrastructure slowly returns to normal, the gasoline supply remains a real problem for thousands of New York drivers."

With more than 500,000 customers still living without power in the region, many also need the fuel to keep generators running in these frigid temperatures.

"We have to do something," Bloomberg said.  "This is practical and enforceable and a lot better than doing nothing."

"I think that makes sense.  I think that should have started from the beginning.  I think it would have eased up, and you wouldn't of had this these long lines," a Queens, N.Y., driver told ABC News affiliate WABC-TV.

The long lines for gas are eerily reminiscent of the dark days of the 1979 energy crisis under President Jimmy Carter -- the last time a gas rationing system was put in place.

Officials said something needed to be done so everyone -- both drivers and people using gas to fuel generators -- can have their chance at a fair share.

"This is designed to let everybody have a fair chance, so the lines aren't too oppressive and that we can get through this," Bloomberg said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie implemented a rationing system shortly after the demand for fuel became too great.  Christie has said that the new rules have curbed lines from more than three hours to under an hour.

The rationing system comes two days after a nor'easter blew through the area, knocking out power to those who just got it back from superstorm Sandy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul052012

Captain of Capsized Boat in NY Blames Wave

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(OYSTER BAY, N.Y.) -- A yacht that capsized on the Fourth of July, tossing 27 passengers into the waters off New York's Long Island and killed three children, was hit by a wave, the boat's captain said Thursday.

"We're coming home and a wave got us and it turned the boat around," Sal Aureliano, the boat's operator, whose nephew was one of the children killed, said Thursday. "It just turned the boat and everyone was in the water and chaos."

The Candi I, a 34-foot Silverton vessel, had been out on the water so that family and friends could watch a fireworks display.

The boat capsized a little after 10 p.m. near Oyster Bay as a result of weather and a wake from another vessel on the water, said Nassau County Police Inspector Kenneth Lack.

"It was a lot of people in the water," Lack said. "It was a tremendous response by multiple agencies. Most of the people were taken into other crafts very quickly."

Three children in the boat's cabin -- David Aureliano, 12, and two girls, Harley Treanor, 11, and Victoria Gaines, 8 -- were killed.

The first victim was found in the water shortly after the distress call came in. Divers located the two others in the vessel hours after it sank, Lack said early Thursday morning.

Danielle Barbone tried to save as many people as she could, including the mother of one of the girls killed.

"We just started plucking them out like ants. Just one, two, three -- whoever we could get on," she told ABC News affiliate WABC. "There was a grandmother. She was floating. She couldn't swim. There was no life vests on the boat."

She said one child's mother was screaming her daughter's name.

"It was a very bad night for everybody," Barbone said.

Richard Valicenti, owner and president of Bridge Marine Sales & Marina, said Thursday that a 34-foot boat with 27 people aboard was "overpopulated."

Valicenti said that large wakes could be formed when a large number of boats left the bay at the same time.

"That means you've got waves rolling in from every direction," said Valicenti, who has spent more than 40 years on Oyster Bay. "It's hard to maneuver your boat if you're not prepared. It can rock pretty severely."

Authorities said Thursday that until they could recover the yacht, which is now under 60 feet of water, they could not determine the cause of the accident. WABC said the boat was owned by Kevin Treanor, who was aboard the yacht at the time, according to his lawyer. His relationship to Harley Treanor was not known.

"The boat could have sunk for many reasons," said Nassau County Detective Lt. John Azzata at a news conference Thursday. "It could be overcrowding. It could be mechanical malfunction, It could be a wake created by another boat."

Two 25-foot rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station Eaton's Neck, along with rescue teams from the Nassau County Police Department, Oyster Bay Constable, Tow Boat U.S., and several local fire departments aided in the rescue efforts, according to a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Witnesses say they saw adults and children in the water and did what they could to help, including throwing life jackets and life preservers in the water.

Investigators said they don't believe alcohol played a role in the accident, but they did say there were not enough life vests for everyone onboard the boat.

According to state law, children 12 and younger must wear life jackets when they are on the deck but not when they are inside the cabin.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul052012

Three Children Dead After NY Yacht Capsizes off Long Island

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Three children died and 24 people were rescued after a yacht bringing passengers out to view a Fourth of July fireworks display capsized in the waters off Long Island, N.Y.

The boat capsized late Wednesday night as a result of weather and a wake from another vessel on the water, Nassau County Police Insp. Kenneth Lack said.  The 24 passengers were rescued from the Long Island Sound after the boat capsized around 11 p.m. in the vicinity of Oyster Bay.

The first person to be found dead in the water was discovered shortly after the distress call came in.  Two others were located in the vessel hours after it sank by divers, Lack said early Thursday morning.  The identities and ages of the victims have not been released.

"It was a lot of people in the water," Lack said.  "It was a tremendous response by multiple agencies.  Most of the people were taken into other crafts very quickly.  Tragically, three people did not make it out of the Silverton vessel."

Two 25-foot rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station Eaton's Neck, along with rescue teams from the Nassau County Police Department, Oyster Bay Constable, Tow Boat U.S., and several local fire departments aided in the rescue efforts, according to a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard.

A total of 27 people were originally aboard the 34-foot Silverton vessel, according to authorities.

Police are now investigating whether the vessel sank because of overcrowding. Some of the passengers aboard the boat had life jackets, while others did not, Lack said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Dec172011

Long Island Beach Remains Identified as Shannan Gilbert

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(OAK BEACH, N.Y.) -- Skeletal remains found in an impassable tangle of swamp and thick brush on a Long Island, N.Y., barrier beach have been identified as Shannan Gilbert, the woman whose disappearance led to the discovery of what police say is a serial killer's burial ground.

The Suffolk County Medical Examiner's Office identified the remains Saturday, and though the cause of death is still undetermined, police have said they believed it was accidental.

The body was found last week about a quarter of a mile from where the 24-year-old Gilbert's purse, identification and shoes were located last week, near Oak Beach.

"[The homicide squad] were on an amphibious machine edging forward into thick brush when the homicide squad detective spotted the skeletal remains lying on the surface of the ground," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said after the remains were found.

Oak Beach is on a barrier island along the South Shore of Long Island, separating the Atlantic Ocean from South Oyster Bay. In the summer the ocean beaches are crowded, but in winter the beaches are largely deserted.

Dormer called the area where the body was found a "very tough, desolate, tangled mess."

He said that Gilbert could have likely been able to see the lights on a nearby parkway and attempted to go in that direction, but that she did not get very far in the marshy, tough ramble.

"If it is Shannan Gilbert, then her location is indicative of her trying to make it to the causeway, which is northeast of where her remains were found," Dormer said.

"There's no way Shannan Gilbert could have gotten through that brush to make it to the parkway," Dormer said. "If somebody is disoriented and anxious and running, it certainly would take a toll on you."

Gilbert, 24, was last seen in May 2010 apparently running from someone near today's search area. On the night of her disappearance, witnesses told police Gilbert did not appear to be acting rationally.

"It appeared at first when they searched that there's no way anyone could get in there," Dormer said. "We went in with the idea that we were going to do this one last time to see if we can find anything and we did."

The search for Gilbert led to the discovery of 10 sets of dismembered bodies that are believed to have been the victims of a serial killer, but Gilbert's death is not believed to be linked to the other 10 deaths.

Detectives believe a single killer is responsible for the dismembered bodies of young women, a male transvestite and a toddler found dumped along a pristine stretch of Long Island's south shore from 1996 to 2010.

Police believe that all 10 of the victims were linked to the sex trade, with DNA indicating that the toddler was the likely daughter of one of the victims.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec072011

Shannan Gilbert ID Found in Search for Her Remains at NY Shore

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) -- Investigators have recovered identification and other evidence linked to Shannan Gilbert, a woman who disappeared in 2010 near the swampy area on the Long Island, N.Y., shore that Suffolk County Police have searched for three days, officials told ABC News.

A pocketbook with Gilbert's identification, a pair of jeans, shoes and a cellphone believed to be hers all were found Tuesday during a search in Oak Beach, N.Y., Suffolk County's police commissioner said Wednesday.

Forensic tests were well underway on the items, sources said.

The evidence found during the search did not include human remains, sources added.

A medical examiner's team was on the scene Wednesday, but sources said remains discovered during the search were identified as animal remains.

Reports that human remains were found were inaccurate, multiple officials told ABC News. Reports that a woman's stockings were found were also inaccurate.

Gilbert is believed to be a missing person and not the victim of either a serial killer believed to have dumped numerous corpses by the shore beach or of another killer.

However, because the remains have not been found and homicide cannot be completely ruled out, investigators face a dilemma over what information can be released. Were the case to be a homicide, under the law, authorities would be strictly limited on what they could release.

Gilbert's mother on Tuesday expressed anger over her claim that authorities failed to inform her prior to the search.

A third day of searches at the Gilgo Beach Association area began Wednesday.

Ten sets of dismembered human remains have been found in the area, believed to be the work of a single serial killer who dumped his victims' bodies there.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Wednesday
Dec072011

Shannan Gilbert Search: Female Accessories Found at NY Shore

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) -- Investigators have firmly linked evidence found in a search near Long Island, N.Y., beaches to Shannan Gilbert, who disappeared in 2010 near the swampy area that Suffolk County Police have searched for three days, officials told ABC News.

Searchers found a woman's purse and shoes after they donned wet suits to comb the swampy area, sources said.

The evidence they found did not include human remains, the sources added.

A medical examiner's team was on the scene Wednesday, but sources said remains discovered during the search were identified as animal remains.

Reports that human remains were found were inaccurate, multiple officials told ABC News. Reports that a woman's stockings were found were also inaccurate.

Investigators have opened the purse and examined its contents, but would not discuss in advance of a media briefing what they believe firmly linked the evidence to Gilbert. Media reports have suggested the purse may have contained identification.

Currently, Gilbert is believed to be a missing person and not the victim of either an apparent serial killer believed to have dumped numerous corpses by the shore beach or of another killer.

However, because the remains have not been found and homicide cannot be completely ruled out, investigators face a dilemma over what information can be released. Were the case to be a homicide, under the law, authorities would be strictly limited on what they could release.

Ten sets of dismembered human remains have been found in the area, believed to be the work of a single serial killer who dumped his victims' bodies there.

In fact, there is a strong likelihood that Gilbert was not murdered at all, sources said, but was a victim of cold water and strong currents after possibly falling in to the water.

On the night of her disappearance, witnesses told police Gilbert did not appear to be acting rationally. She was last seen in May 2010 apparently running from someone near the search area.

The renewed effort began Monday under FBI direction and using information gleaned from past FBI flyovers with sensitive photography equipment able to see down through ground cover.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec072011

Search for Woman's Remains at Long Island Beach Yields Evidence

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Police searchers recovered evidence on Tuesday potentially linked to Shannan Gilbert, a young woman who disappeared near the same stretch of the Long Island, N.Y., beach where an apparent serial killer dumped the bodies of his victims.

Police recovered the item or items during Tuesday's search of a swampy area near the ocean beach, according to sources.  The sources did not specify what evidence was found.

A third day of searches at the Gilgo Beach Association area begins on Wednesday.

Ten sets of dismembered human remains have been found in the area, believed to be the work of a single serial killer who dumped his victims' bodies there.

Gilbert's disappearance, however, is not believed to be linked to the serial killer, sources said.  In fact, there is a strong likelihood that Gilbert was not murdered at all, sources said, but was a victim of cold water and strong currents after possibly falling in to the water.

On the night of her disappearance, witnesses told police Gilbert did not appear to be acting rationally.  She was last seen in May 2010 apparently running from someone near Tuesday's search area.

Tuesday's search, which included putting divers in the water, was not based on any new tip, nor were any human remains found.

The renewed effort began Monday under FBI direction and using information gleaned from past FBI flyovers with sensitive photography equipment able to see down through ground cover.

Rabbit and seagull carcasses were found, but no human remains.

Based on the belief that Gilbert may have wandered into the swamp, the search will continue.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov302011

Single Killer Now Blamed for Long Island Beach Bodies

Susan Wood/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York detectives now believe a single killer is responsible for the dismembered bodies of young women, a male transvestite and a toddler found dumped along a pristine stretch of Long Island's south shore from 1996 to 2010, officials and investigators told ABC News.

That killer is still at large, prompting concern that he may strike again and claim more lives before he is caught.

This past May, just as beaches were preparing to open for the summer season, officials on Long Island said they thought the killings could be the work of more than one killer. They have since changed their minds.

After eliminating numerous early theories on where the possible killer might reside, police also believe the killer is probably a Long Islander.

"Serial killers evolve. They change their MO's. They don't necessarily do the same thing all the time. What's common here is the dumping ground, and the people who are victims: sex workers," said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer, nearly a year to the day since the first gruesome discovery along the ocean parkway.

All but one of them are believed to be prostitutes who advertised as escorts on Craigslist before they vanished. All the bodies were reportedly wrapped in burlap before they were dumped on the side of the road over the past 15 years.

"It is our theory the serial killer is working alone. The girls that he contacted with met him alone," Dormer said.

The police commissioner says that the victims are all linked to the sex trade.

It was the search for Craiglist escort Shannan Gilbert that yielded the grisly discoveries. Gilbert disappeared the previous May after meeting a client in nearby Oak Beach.

But Gilbert was never matched with any of the remains found. Now, Dormer says, police think her case is completely unrelated to the other 10 victims.

"Our theory is that this is a coincidence. She went missing in Oak Beach and this has nothing to do with the serial killer," said Dormer.

When asked what happened to Gilbert, Dormer had no answer. "That's a mystery," he said "We have 10 bodies now. Ten bodies and no Shannan Gilbert…it's a mystery."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov222011

More Arrests in SAT Cheating Scandal

Hemera/Thinkstock(MINEOLA, N.Y.) -- Eleven young adults, including three men who authorities say posed as students and took the SAT for others in exchange for money, surrendered to authorities at New York's Nassau County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday to face felony charges in a college entrance exam cheating scandal that continues to grow.

"Educating our children means more than teaching them facts and figures. It means teaching them honesty, integrity and a sense of fair play," Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said Tuesday in Mineola, N.Y. "The young men and women arrested today instead chose to scam the system and victimize their own friends and classmates, and for that they find themselves in handcuffs."

Joshua Chefec, 20; Adam Justin, 19; and George Trane, 19, were escorted by their parents as they turned themselves in to investigators on Long Island. The fourth accused man, Michael Pomerantz, 18, is expected to turn himself in Monday.

Authorities said the men headed up a cheating ring that charged students $3,500 in exchange for them taking the SAT or ACT. Prosecutors said that eight of the nine students who paid the four to take the tests surrendered as well Tuesday. They could all face misdemeanor charges.

Kathleen Fineout Steinberg of the College Board said the agency and Educational Testing Services would continue to review its security enhancements. The ETS hired a firm led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh to determine whether its security procedures were deficient.

This scam involved current or former students at Roslyn High School, St. Mary's in Manhassett, Great Neck South and North Shore Hebrew Academy in Great Neck.

The charges follow the September bust of a ring allegedly led by Emory University student Sam Eshaghoff, who prosecutors say charged $1,500 to $2,500 to take the tests for six students. The students, who knew one another from Great Neck North High School, were also charged.

In 2011, 138 scores were canceled after ETS concluded that individuals had cheated on the exam. More than 2 million students take the test each year, according to the College Board website.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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