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New Patrol Cars For Port Police

portcarResidents of Port Washington are going to be seeing new police cars all over town, as the district has purchased a fleet of vehicles whose design features the input of domestic and international law enforcement officials and whose equipment includes lasers to hone in on texting activity.

Of the eight customized “Interceptor” police vehicles, the district has already taken possession of four while the others will be delivered during the year. The vehicles are SUV style with front wheel drive and good clearance, said Officer Tony Guzzelo.

The Police District acted because its current fleet is outdated. Each of the new vehicles cost $36,635. [Read more...]

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Fire On Main Street

fireThis photo shows the parking garage at 28 Haven Ave. after Sunday night’s two-alarm fire which caused damage to businesses along Main Street and Haven Avenue.

Two upstairs suites were gutted. Some businesses suffered minor damage, from water and smoke. Starbucks, Katims Optometrist, Colonial Wines and Liquors, Yummy Oriental Restaurant, Aiko sushi bar and American Beauty Nail were also affected, and remained closed Tuesday afternoon.

Two firemen were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and were treated and released. No other injuries were reported. About 125 firemen responded from six fire departments.

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Woman Charged With Dog Scheme

tobonA woman who allegedly filed false paperwork at a Port Washington animal shelter in order to adopt a dog and sell it for a profit was arrested on March 14 and charged with filing false paperwork and making false representations to local animal shelters.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said on Nov. 19, 2013, 23-year-old Lisette Tobon of Central Islip entered the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter and told a shelter employee that she wanted to adopt an 8-year-old Pekinese named “Willow” that she had previously seen on the town’s website. Tobon then filled out adoption paperwork consisting of an adoption contract, a New York State Dog License, and a Town of Hempstead Report of Disposition, listing an address in Rocky Point where she had not lived for several months and a false telephone number, according to Rice. Tobon took custody of the animal later that day.

In the Town of North Hempstead adoption contract, Tobon assented to various conditions of the adoption, including an agreement not to give away, sell, or dispose of the dog without the consent of the shelter. Another condition was that shelter staff had the right to follow up on the adoption by making a personal visit to the premises of the adopter to check up on the animal.

[Read more...]

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Elementary Hosts Gymnastics Show

gymnasticsExcitement filled the air at South Salem Elementary School in Port Washington when students, parents and staff gathered for the school’s eighth annual gymnastics show.

The event, hosted by the physical education department, featured a variety of gymnastics routines performed by fifth-grade students. The program began with a rhythmic gymnastics welcome dance, followed by parallel bars, balance beam, rings, vault and handsprings demonstrations.

The annual show promotes overall physical activity and fitness among students, while helping them develop balance, body control, flexibility and strength. The event drew rousing applause from attendees and made for a memorable demonstration of skill and talent.

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Man Arrested In Snow Incident

mugA Manorhaven man was arrested on Feb. 9 for allegedly pulling a gun on a snow plow driver.

Police say at 6:40 p.m. in Manorhaven, while snow plowing the private parking lot of 25 Matinecock Avenue, the 34-year-old male driver and his 22-year-old male passenger were approached by Raymond Hounigringer, 49, who was armed with a shotgun. [Read more...]

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Senior Aide Pleads Guilty To Theft

aideA former Personal Care Assistant at The Tuttle Center, a life care retirement community that is part of The Amsterdam at Harborside in Port Washington, pleaded guilty to attempting to steal $10,000 from an 88-year-old client.

Stephanie Benodin, 26, admitted that she took the victim’s check out of her checkbook, signed the victim’s name without permission or authority, made the check payable to Benodin’s mother for $10,000 and deposited it into her mother’s bank account. The check was returned for insufficient funds, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“The abuse of New York’s elderly citizens, often the most vulnerable among us, can be criminal – and in this case, it will mean jail time for the perpetrator,” Schneiderman said. “This aide and others like her will be brought to justice and should be barred from caring for the infirm.” [Read more...]

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Tainted Heroin Warning After Deaths

24kThe Nassau County Medical Examiner is reporting that glassine packets marked as “24K,” that are presumably being distributed as heroin, in fact contains the extremely potent narcotic analgesic fentanyl and could be responsible for several deaths initially assumed to be linked to the abuse of heroin.

Evidence associated with two of these cases has been analyzed by the Forensic Toxicology Laboratory and has been determined to contain fentanyl in combination with the banned antipyretic metamizole. Specifically these glassine packets are stamped as “24K” in red ink, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.  [Read more...]

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Flower Hill Burglaries Spur Action

flower-hillFlower Hill has decided the best defense is a good defense.

The village, generally known as a safe enclave, has been hit by three home burglaries since November.

Detective Vincent Garcia of the Third Precinct said it was rare for Flower Hill, where homes go for upwards of $1 million, to have a rash of home burglaries, in part because of the village’s small size. The population was 4,508 at the 2000 census but has since grown, the village’s website says. The home burglaries took place Nov. 10, Nov. 13 and Jan. 2.

“It’s unusual for this area to have three in a two month span,” Garcia said. [Read more...]

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Manorhaven Averts Alleged Fraud

manorThe spot-on suspicions of Manorhaven officials prevented the village from being ripped off to the tune of over $250,000 by two alleged longtime residents who have now been indicted for fraud.

The alleged perpetrators—Carlo Strangolagalli and Michael Mercante—were involved in a superstorm Sandy scam in which they acted as representatives of John Construction, the company that was conducting storm clean-up for the village, and demanded payment for the balance of work that had been done, village officials said.

The men went into Manorhaven Village Hall, saying they were the new owners of John Construction and sought $271,914, said Manorhaven Village attorney James Toner. But officials, not recognizing them as members of the company, declined to cut a check, Toner said. “It was their vigilance that stopped any money from being paid.” [Read more...]

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Expenses Stretch Police Budget

As police commissioners Dave Franklin, James Duncan and Angela Lawlor-Mullins voted to approve abstract 886 in the amount of $4,611,700.19 they acknowledged it was the highest monthly expense any of them could remember.

An abstract is a summary of all the monthly expenses for a village, district or municipality and, for the police district, must be approved by the commissioners before any payments can be made.

The largest single item for this month is the $4,345,433 payment to the New York State Police and Fire Retirement System—a 40 percent increase from last year. Duncan pointed to larger-than-normal expenses due to a change in the retirement system and “different investments that did not pan out the way we thought they would.”

Richard Finkel attorney for the district added, “These are the same things that municipalities are facing throughout the state; rising pension costs and making up past years’ investment losses. It may level out; it may not. It’s hard to predict what the future holds.” All other expenditures were consistent with normal monthly expenses. [Read more...]

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