Month: December 2020

  • Cops: 2 Shot at Deer Park Gentlemen’s Club

    first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police First Squad detectives are investigating an early-morning shooting at a Deer Park gentlemen’s club Saturday that injured two men. Police said 26-year-old Andre Thompson and 27-year-old Jaleek Battle, both of Brentwood, were shot at Illusions Gentlemen’s Club on Saxwood Street at 3:25 a.m. Both victims transported themselves to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore. Their injures are not considered life threatening, police said. The investigation is continuing, police said. Detectives ask anyone with information to contact the First Squad at 631-854-8152 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.last_img read more

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  • Skelos Corruption Trial Expected to Begin Tuesday

    first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Jury selection began Monday in the case of New York State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and his son, Adam, whose trial on corruption charges is expected to start Tuesday at Manhattan federal court.U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood peppered potential jurors with more than 50 questions quizzing their ability to be fair and not let any biases sway their deliberations—should they be among the 12 jurors and four alternates picked. Ironically, only a minority of the group was able to name their state legislative representatives when asked.“I believe I know the Assembly person, however, there’s just been an election, so I could be wrong,” said a 65-year-old Manhattan woman, who was among eight of about 60 potential jurors to say they knew who represented them in either the state Senate or Assembly.Skelos and son have pleaded not guilty to allegedly extorting bribes from three companies in the form of jobs for Adam in exchange for legislative help from the senator, who resigned his post as majority leader shortly after his arrest in May.Opening statements are expected as early as Tuesday afternoon in the Skelos case, which comes as the trial against state Assemb. Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), the former Speaker of the Assembly, enters its third week in the same courthouse. Silver also pleaded not guilty to similar charges for allegedly abusing his power.While the high-profile cases involving two former members of the so-called “three men in a room” that set the state’s legislative agenda—the third being Gov. Andrew Cuomo—is closely watched by political observers, some potential jurors suggested that the case may be too boring for them to focus.A 68-year-old Westchester man who said he once served as a juror on a murder trial told Wood that he thought the case would be interesting, but he found it difficult to pay attention. When Wood promised that jurors in the Skelos case would have breaks to stretch as well as coffee and muffins, he said it’s “sounding better,” sparking laughter in the courtroom.Later, when another potential juror who said they knew their state Senator was asked to identify their representative, the 46-year-old Manhattan man gave the name Schumer—as in U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). Wood corrected the juror, noting that Schumer is a member of the U.S. Senate, not the state Senate, but said she understood the confusion.“He does represent a state, after all,” Wood said.last_img read more

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  • Mount Sinai Woman Dies in Car Crash

    first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 39-year-old woman died after the car she was a passenger in had crashed into another vehicle in the victim’s hometown of Mount Sinai over the weekend.Suffolk County police said Tejas Acharekar, 25, of Port Jefferson, was making a left turn in a Toyota Camry from Route 25A onto Chestnut Street when the driver hit a Hyundai Sonata at 11 p.m. Friday.Ekaterina Blednykh, a passenger in the Camry, was taken to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, where she was pronounced dead.Acharekar and the woman driving the Hyundai were taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.Sixth Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on this crash to call them at 631-854-8652.last_img read more

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  • Concussion Issue Hasn’t Slowed Down Long Island’s Interest in Youth Football

    first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Nick PascoA federal appeals court this week approved a nearly $1 billion settlement in a class-action lawsuit thousands of retired professional football players filed against the National Football League, a ruling that came one month after an NFL executive admitted a link between a devastating brain disease and repeated blows to the head.The court said the settlement was imperfect but fair, overruling a challenge by some players who argued that the deal didn’t cover potential victims of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which some researchers say is caused by concussions. Yet despite the debate over the safety of football regularly making national headlines, parents on Long Island are increasingly allowing their children to playing at the introductory level.“Of course, concussions and CTE is a serious deal,” said Benjamin Carey, president of the Long Island Youth Football Association (LIYFA) and vice president of the Northport Youth Football Club, who’s seen record enrollment over the past four years. “But the media blows it way out of proportion.”He said the LIYFA has seen a 4-percent increase in enrollment in 2013, a 15-percent increase in 2014, another 4-percent increase in 2015 and the group is projecting another increase this year.That’s because, Carey believes, parents are not unaware of the health risks but they appreciate football’s positives—“the life lessons the sport teaches”—such as promoting teamwork and helping kids overcome their fears. To mitigate health concerns, his organization, in partnership with the NFL, has implemented a “heads-up football culture,” he said, which “teaches kids the proper way to tackle, and also teaches coaches signs of concussions, and when it is necessary to pull a kid out of a game.”He cites a study conducted by Datalys Institute on behalf of Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides youth football in 42 states for children from ages 5 to 16 years old, that found “in youth football there is an absence of catastrophic head and neck injuries and disruptive joint injuries found at higher levels.” The study suggests that youth football has fewer injuries than soccer, bicycling or skateboarding.“At the pro level, of course, it’s a dangerous game,” Carey conceded. “They know what they’re signing up for, and they get paid a lot of money to play this game. At the youth level, we are teaching these kids how to play the game the right way, and I am hoping to continue to spread this message across the Island to other clubs.”Dr. Karl Friedman, a consulting physician who’s worked for 30 years with the Nassau County Safety Committee, which advises the county’s Athletic Association on its high school football rules, first wrote the concussion guidelines in 1990 and later revised them in the mid 2000s. He’s also a school doctor at five Nassau school districts as well as a high school football official. He cautioned against a rush to judgement on the concussion issue.“There needs to be more research done before we jump to conclusions like we know everything about CTE,” Friedman said. “You look at ex-players like Troy Aikman, Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms—all who had multiple major concussions and yet all three you see and hear on Sunday broadcasting games. None seem to have any effects of CTE; Aikman is one of the smartest announcers out there.”Friedman is aware of the sport’s dark side, too.“Then you look at the tragedy with Junior Seau, and it just does not match up,” said Friedman, referring to Seau, the NFL All Pro who committed suicide in 2012 by shooting himself in the chest. The former linebacker had his brain donated to science, and researchers at the National Institutes of Health subsequently confirmed that it tested positive for CTE.“How could there be so many extremes between the two?” asked Friedman. “This is why we need to continue to do more research and find out more.”At present, Friedman believes that high school football has responded well to the concerns raised.“With the numerous rule changes and limiting the practices on how much you can hit, you can see the intent to make the game safer,” he said.Friedman has experience on the national level with the National Federation of High School Sports Medicine Advisory, where the concussion topic is not ignored.“Everyone is aware of the issue,” he said. “And they are doing all they can with what they have to adjust and make the game safer. Still we need to learn more about the disease in order to continue to make strides.”But there’s only so much doctors, referees and coaches can do to prevent injuries, considering the violent nature of the sport. In 2014, Tom Cutinella, a 16-year-old Shoreham-Wading River High School football player, died of traumatic brain injury after a John Glen High School defender hit Cutinella with an illegal helmet-to-helmet tackle. Cutinella was one of three high school football players in the nation to die in a one-week time-span.The death sparked changes in local high school football, including stiffer penalties for helmet-to-helmet hits, pre-game safety announcements and new safety coaches. Cutinella’s parents are also speaking out to change the culture of celebrating hard hits.“What made me say that the culture of football is wrong, having watched my son’s death live and first hand, was watching it on video,” Cutinella’s father, Frank, told ABC News. “The [John Glenn] player fist pumps like he had just done something good. I could hear some of their fans cheering. … You can check every rulebook out there from youth leagues to the NFL, and every one states you can’t lead with the crown of your helmet, or target another player, and five referees missed that play. It wouldn’t have brought my son back to life, but no flag was thrown.”Despite the changes aimed at making high school football safer, some parents remain reluctant to let their kids play football.“When you wrap players with protective padding and scream at them to perform for their team, they are going to throw their entire heart and soul into moving the ball down the field,” said Stefanie Baranek, a mother of three from East Islip. “Their fear of injury is minimized by the protective gear. Right up until they see stars and have a headache and/or nausea for days. Then it’s too late.”If a player is fortunate enough to get back on their feet, there’s a good chance they’d head straight to a local hospital. In 2010, a Centers for Disease Control official testified before the Subcommittee on Health Committee on Energy and Commerce in the U.S. House of Representatives that emergency rooms treat an estimated 135,000 sports-and-recreation related traumatic brain injuries each year among children ages 5 to 18. No sport was singled out.Despite injury concerns, local athletes seem satisfied with procedures meant to limit the risk of serious head injuries. Jack Brown, a junior varsity coach at Seaford High School, supports the rule that a player who’s had a concussion during a game can’t take the field, let alone practice with the team, until he’s been cleared by a qualified medical authority.“I believe we’re taking the right steps to prevent more concussions in the future with our protocols before a student athlete can return to play,” he said.last_img read more

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  • Delaware County man to run for 122nd District seat

    first_imgAfter a school shooting in Walton in 1992, Rick worked with the New York State Police and BOCES in writing a training program called School Emergency Response to Violent Events, or SERVE. Rick will also work to fund School Resource Officers (SRO) in the district. Shaw is a veteran, former School Health and Safety Coordinator, was a past member and President of the Downsville Fire Department. He even worked as an EMT with the Emergency Squad. DOWNSVILLE N.Y. (WBNG) — Richard “Rick” Shaw announced his intention Thursday to run for a seat in the New York State Assembly’s 122nd District. If elected, Shaw intends to focus on repealing or revising the Bail Reform Act and the Safe Act, and fixing the failed infrastructure in our area. last_img read more

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  • Local sports bar receives $15,000 in help from Binghamton small business loan program

    first_imgAnd like many other small businesses, the sports bar is struggling. However, she said she’s not worried about closing her doors. When asked if she’d be in more financial trouble had the money not been available, Newton replied, “I think so, it’s hard to say, it’s like I said the safety net, you feel better, the stress level goes down a little bit because you know that money’s there if you need it.” She explained the $15,000 helps pay for rent, utilities, payroll and more. “We’re here to stay, we’re not going anywhere.” The mayor’s office says the program uses federal dollars to fund interest-free loans of up to $15,000. Learning about the loan program, she decided to take advantage. Newton said the process of applying for the loan to receiving the money took about two weeks. The Relief Pitcher, according to Binghamton Mayor Rich David’s office, was the first small business to take part in the program with a $15,000 loan.center_img BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — One small business owner is speaking out about how a loan program offered by the city of Binghamton is keeping her sports bar afloat. Tabatha Newton has worked at the bar for decades and recently took over as owner. “Well obviously we don’t have our in house customers, it’s all takeout, we have a great banquet business which we no longer have,” said Newton. “It’s a safety net, we don’t really know what to expect in this, and how long it’s going to be, so any help that we can get we’re going to take it.” Loan repayment is deferred for 12 months. In order to qualify, businesses must have less than 50 employees and show they’ve been impacted by the pandemic. “Like everybody else, we’re just trying to adapt,” Newton explained, “We’re getting by.”last_img read more

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  • ‘Wine fairies’ spread female positivity one small gesture at a time, and you can too!

    first_imgTo learn more about the group, click here. “The gist of the whole thing was just to brighten somebody’s day, drop something off to someone you may completely not know, you don’t know their circumstances,,” explained Bennett. “It gives them something to do, it gives them a good feeling to be able to focus on doing something positive for others when right now everything that we can do is very limited, it gives them a sense of purpose and then for those that are getting dusted that sense of surprise and sense of joy from knowing that somebody picked you and thought of you during that day, it just makes a whole difference in your outlook,” adds Bennett. Nearby moms Alison Bennett and Dawna Stafford started the group, not anticipating how large it would grow. Locations and recipients are all coordinated through the online group. Gifts often include alcohol, so this group is limited to women 21 years of age or older. It’s a project that’s about much more than just the material items.center_img “Just to spread some kindness during this time, I mean nobody has every experienced anything like this before in our lifetime… just that little something that somebody thought of you and surprise, is enough to put a smile on your face for a week or more,” said Stafford. Women, often anonymously, drop small gift baskets off at each others homes in what’s called “dusting.” The group has grown so large, organizers are now working to split it up by school district or other smaller communities. The ‘Wine Fairies’ group is a push for positivity that started because of the recent crisis, but organizers hope it doesn’t stop when life returns to normal. (WBNG) — A Facebook group called the ‘Wine Fairies’ has started a positive movement in the Southern Tier among thousands of women by giving each other small gifts during the coronavirus crisis.last_img read more

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  • Johnson City resident honored by Red Cross after hundreds of blood donations

    first_imgIf you’re interested in donating blood, you can find local donation locations here. Even after he’s met his 1,000 unit goal, he plans to up that goal to 1,500. Nearly 400 trips adds up to more than 600 units of blood donated, potentially saving hundreds of lives. However, Greene says he’s not done yet. He says 400 more units of donated blood will take him about six years to complete. He says every trip is worth it. “I have a goal of 1,000 donations, so I’ve got some time to go,” said Greene. Greene started donating when he was 18 years old after a friend during that time was battling cancer. One trip to the Red Cross turned into a lifetime journey for Greene, donating both whole blood and platelets regularly. “I would recommend everyone try it. There are so many ways you can donate, and it’s incredibly important, the need is really great,” said Greene. (WBNG) — The Red Cross of Western New York is honoring Johnson City resident John Greene with the Blood Donor Award. The award is given to a citizen that has saved countless lives with the amount of blood donated. “I’ve actually made about 400 trips to the blood bank over the years,” said Greene. last_img read more

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