Coram Man Killed in Mt. Sinai Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An 81-year-old Coram man died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was struck by a truck in Mt. Sinai on Monday afternoon.Suffolk County police said Bennie Demaro, 86, was making a left turn in his Cadillac from County Road 83 onto Canal Road when his vehicle was hit by a southbound Mazda pickup truck at 2:35 p.m.His passenger, Salvatore Anselmo, was taken to John T. Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson where he was pronounced dead.Demaro was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital where he was listed in critical condition.The Cadillac also struck a Dodge Magnum driven by 53-year-old Lauren Pedone of Port Jefferson Station. Neither she nor her 16-year-old son was injured.The driver of the pickup truck, 27-year-old Timothy Grady of East Patchogue, was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.Vehicular Crime Unit detectives impounded the vehicles, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information to contact them at 631-852-6555.last_img read more

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Haber Pitches LI Host 10-day Summer Sports Festival

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Adam Haber has been going door to door to increase his name recognition in the Democratic primary for the Nassau County executive’s race (Spencer Rumsey).Trying to score a $5-million prize for Long Island—and perhaps show that he can think outside the box—Adam Haber, who’s running in the Democratic primary for Nassau County executive against former incumbent Tom Suozzi, is proposing that Nassau and Suffolk join together to host a 10-day “Summer Festival.”The fest would feature athletic competitions in cycling, golfing, beach volleyball and cricket as well as specialty food, entertainment and tours of the North Fork wineries and the North Shore Gold Coast mansions. Haber, the retired Wall Street trader, restaurant owner and Roslyn School Board member, hopes that his proposal—whose details still need to be ironed out—could help LI walk away with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top prize for the best idea in a regional tourism competition.“I believe Nassau and Suffolk are perfectly situated to work together to win this prize money,” said Haber, who hopes to win the Democratic Party line to challenge Republican County Executive Ed Mangano in November. “We’ve got natural resources that are underutilized. That’s how I look at it.”Haber’s idea is to host this event around the July Fourth weekend, “which is a good travel weekend,” he noted, and involve venues across the Island. He’d schedule it when basketball and hockey seasons are over and football has yet to begin so the sporting contests would get a good shot at being broadcast live. He says that sponsorships, entry fees and television rights would help offset the costs of running the events and provide cash prizes for the winners.As Haber sees it, the festival would draw “top amateur talent” from across the nation to participate in events ranging from a lacrosse tournament with finals at Mitchell Field, a three-stage bicycle race, a bi-county marathon, a fast-pitch softball series, and an Iron Man Triathlon, to an amateur golf tournament capped by a championship round at Beth Page Black.“I want to create a tournament where we give a million-dollar prize in several different sports,” he told the Press, citing the loss of the Islanders hockey team as creating a vacuum that this sports festival could fill, thereby creating a new identity for our region. The earliest he could see it happening would be 2015.For a precedent, he pointed out that the Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay started about 20 years ago with 20,000 people attending and grew into a three-day event drawing more than 100,000 people, becoming one of LI’s largest annual events. Tourists, Haber pointed out, spend money, which translates into sales taxes that can pour directly into the counties’ coffers.Currently, the task of promoting our region’s assets is the primary responsibility of the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission, which reportedly received about $764,000 from Nassau and $1.9 million from Suffolk in its 2013 budget and spent some $1,700,000 on marketing and sales.According to Smith Travel Research, the Island gained $4.8 billion in travel spending in 2011, the most recent figures available from the bureau, although anecdotal reports suggest LI tourism is down slightly this summer after Sandy.Haber declined to criticize the bureau’s activities, but he did tell the Press that he thinks “it’s really not reaching its full potential.” He would like to see a fully integrated, Island-wide focus and believes that a 10-day event in July could put the Island on the map.“This sports festival, if done properly, would be a phenomenal way to get this region moving again,” he said.last_img read more

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Long Island Special District Elections Next Tuesday

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Elections for 158 of Long Island’s special taxing districts will be held next Tuesday.Just in time for the vote, a new website is now available to help voters figure out for themselves what districts they’re in and where they should cast their ballots. In the past, sparse turnout has been the rule for these district elections although the outcome has always played out on the bottom line of Long Islander’s property tax bills in which tax increases can quickly add up.This new online tool was created by the Long Island Index, a project of the nonprofit Rauch Foundation, which has had a long-time focus on civic issues affecting Long Islanders, with technical assistance from the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.“Public participation in elections is crucial to democracy,” said Nancy Rauch Douzinas, president of the Rauch Foundation and publisher of the Long Island Index. “This new online tool makes it easier for voters to know how to participate.”These special districts provide basic services such as fire, police, sanitation, water, schools and libraries and they are managed by publicly elected commissioners who oversee the services and determine the taxes to pay for them. And they tend to overlap. According to the Long Island Index, there are 665 of them on the Island.“Long Island is unique in having so many government entities, and it makes it hard for Long Islanders to know when and where to vote,” said Ann Golob, director of the Long Island Index.The new tool – available free of charge at mydistricts.longislandindexmaps.org – lets users in Nassau and Suffolk counties to enter their address and learn which special districts serve them, if their elections are on Dec. 10 (not all them will take place then), as well as any information about polling locations and the hours that the polls are open.“It’s not that people don’t care—it’s that people don’t know,” said Laura Mallay, executive director of Residents for Efficient Special Districts, a citizens’ action group based in South Hempstead. “Special taxing districts have flown below the radar for years. This tool will help to educate residents throughout Long Island.”last_img read more

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A-Rod Suspended for 2014 Season, Vows to Fight On

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez had his suspension reduced to 162 games. (Photo: Facebook)The arbitrator hearing Yankees’ slugger Alex Rodriguez’s appeal dropped the hammer on the lightning rod third baseman, suspending Rodriguez for the entire 2014 season, the longest doping ban in baseball’s history.MLB released a statement Saturday announcing the 162-game suspension, which also includes the postseason.Rodriguez won a slight victory with arbitrator Fredric Horowitz reducing the ban from 211 games.Rodriguez, in a statement on his Facebook page, once again denied using performance enhancing substances, as alleged by Major League Baseball. The three-time Most Valuable Player immediately announced his plans to appeal the arbitrator’s ruling in federal court.“The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one,” Rodriguez said. “This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable.”He added: “I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension.”Multiple news outlets have reported that it’s unlikely a federal judge will overturn an arbitrator’s decision in a labor case.Rodriguez now becomes the 13th player to be suspended as part of MLB’s investigation into Biogenesis, a now-defunct Florida anti-aging clinic.A-Rod, who was originally facing a 211-game ban, was the only player linked to the Biogenesis probe to appeal. The Major League Players Association released a statement Saturday saying it “strongly disagrees” with Horowitz’s season-long ban, despite the reduced suspension.But, the players association said “we respect the collectively bargained arbitration process” and will make no further comment regarding the issue.Rodriguez will not be paid the $25 million owed to him in 2014 while he serves the suspension. But, the Yankees still owe the slugger $61 million until 2017. It’s unclear what the future holds for Rodriguez, who has battled several injuries and has experienced a drop off in productivity at the plate.Still, Rodriguez said, “I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship.”“I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal,” he said.last_img read more

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Newsday Gets 3rd New Publisher in 6 Years

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Newsday named a former Dow Jones executive as publisher of Long Island’s lone daily newspaper in what comes as the third change at the helm in a span of about six years.Gordon McLeod will take over as head of Newsday Media Group on April 1, the paper, which is owned by Bethpage-based Cablevision Systems Corp., announced in a news release Thursday.“I am honored to be joining such a talented team and I look forward to continuing their work of enhancing Newsday‘s vital role for readers, advertisers and the community,” McLeod said in a news release.McLeod replaces Fred Groser, a former phone book publisher, who announced his plans to retire last year. Groser had taken over for Terry Jiminez, the former publisher of free New York City daily amNewYork, in 2010. Jiminez’ brief stint as Newsday publisher started when Timothy Knight resigned after five years in the fall of ’09, the year after Cablevision bought the Melville-based paper.The incoming publisher will oversee editorial, digital and business operations for the newspaper, its website, amNewYork, amny.com, exploreLI.com and the company’s group of weekly shopper publications. He will report to Brian Sweeney, Cablevision’s senior executive vice president of strategy.McLeod had previously worked at Krux, an ad-tech start-up, after he left News Corp.’s Dow Jones & Company, as president of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network in ’10. Before that, he held executive roles at CBS News, Grey Entertainment and Time Inc.As of March ’13, Newsday ranked as the 12th largest daily newspaper in the nation with an average circulation of more than 377,000, which marked a 5 percent drop from the year prior, according to the latest figures available from the Alliance for Audited Media.last_img read more

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Levittown Hit-and-run Leaves Girl, 13, Dead

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A hit-and-run driver killed a 13-year-old girl who was crossing Hempstead Turnpike in her hometown of Levittown shortly after midnight Sunday, Nassau County police said.Brianna Soplin was walking across Route 24 at the corner of Gardiners Avenue when she was struck by an eastbound vehicle that fled the scene without stopping, police said.The victim was taken to Nassau University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.The driver was last seen fleeing northbound on to the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway in a vehicle described as a 2011 to 2013 blue Town and Country minivan.Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information regarding this crime to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.  All callers will remain anonymous.last_img read more

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North Bellmore Crash Leaves 2 Men Dead

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 20-year-old man and his teenaged passenger were killed when their car collided head-on with a landscaping company dump truck in North Bellmore on Monday afternoon.Nassau County police said Stephen Clark of East Meadow was driving a Honda Accord westbound on North Jerusalem when his car crossed into the eastbound lanes and crashed into an eastbound Mitsubishi truck shortly before 2 p.m.Police and firefighters extricated Clark and his 19-year-old passenger, Robert Treimanis, also of East Meadow, from the Honda, after they were trapped in the car, authorities said.The victims were taken to a local hospital, where they were pronounced dead.The driver of the truck and his two passengers were treated and released for minor injuries at a local hospital. The truck driver was issued traffic tickets for driving without a license and having a suspension on his existing record.Homicide Squad detectives impounded both vehicles and are continuing the investigation.last_img read more

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Freeport Murder Suspect Identified

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Nassau County police have identified a suspect wanted for allegedly gunning down a 21-year-old man outside of the victim’s Freeport home last weekend.Homicide Squad detectives alleged that Autrey “Pluto” Watson repeatedly fired a semi-automatic pistol into a crowd, striking Lyreek Crawley in the head during a house party at on Colonial Avenue shortly after 1 a.m. Dec. 28. The gun has not been recovered, authorities said.The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Neighbors told the Press that the dispute may have been gang-related, but police did not confirm that. Police did say that a house in Freeport was shot at on Tuesday night, but it was not clear if it was the same residence.The murder suspect may have fled the scene in a champagne-colored Toyota Camry that was last seen heading westbound on Colonial Avenue toward Main Street, according to investigators.Watson is described as 5-feet, 6-inches tall, 130 pounds with short hair. His last known address was 117 Debevoise Ave., Roosevelt.Nassau County Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in this case.Homicide Squad detectives ask anyone who has any information about the whereabouts of this suspect, or with any information about this crime, to call them at 516-573-7788 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.last_img read more

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Higher Ed Lobby Quietly Joins For-Profit Schools to Roll Back Tighter Rules

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Obama administration is set to achieve one of its top domestic policy goals after years of wrangling. For-profit colleges, which receive tens of billions of dollars in U.S. grants and loans yet often leave their students with little beyond crushing debt, will need to meet new standards or risk losing taxpayer dollars.But as the July 1 deadline approaches, the troubled industry has been mounting a last-ditch effort to avert or roll back the new rules. And suddenly it’s getting a lift from a set of unlikely allies: traditional colleges and universities.For years, the higher education establishment has viewed the for-profit education business as both a rival and an unsavory relation — the cousin with the rap sheet who seeks a cut of the family inheritance. Yet, in a striking but little-noticed shift, nearly all of the college establishment’s representatives in Washington are siding with for-profit colleges in opposing the government’s crackdown.Most of the traditional higher education lobbying groups signed onto a recent letter to Congress stating their support for Republican legislation that would block the new restrictions on for-profit colleges, as well as undo or weaken other accountability rules for colleges. And a new report on higher education regulation commissioned by the Senate and overseen by the American Council on Education, the leading lobby group for traditional schools, slammed the rules on for-profit colleges as part of a broader critique of the administration’s approach.The emerging alliance points to a new calculation by the higher education lobby. By throwing in with the for-profits, traditional schools might be able to capitalize on the Republicans’ current control of Congress in order to limit the government’s reach into their own campuses. Among other things, colleges and universities would like to block the proposed new federal ratings system designed to help families choose institutions based on how many of their students graduate and where they get jobs.This bid for GOP favor may seem counter-intuitive, given that many conservatives view academia as a bastion of pampered liberalism. In reality, the higher education lobby represents an industry as self-interested as any other—the two largest of its many trade groups reported spending $500,000 on federal lobbying last year—and it sees an opportunity in the de-regulatory instincts of the Republican majority.The gambit underscores one of the under-appreciated truths about lobbying in Washington in an era of divided government: Special interests are often as interested in preserving a favorable status quo as they are in getting government to take an action to their benefit. To that end, gridlock can be a feature to be encouraged, not something to expunge.At stake in this case is the roughly $150 billion that the federal government shovels annually into colleges and universities in the form of Pell grants and subsidized loans for students. Current and former higher education regulators say the federal government is obliged to assure that taxpayers are getting results for that spending.“The higher ed lobby doesn’t want any accountability—they want money, and they want money without limitations, without restrictions, without accountability to anybody outside the academy,” said David Bergeron, who served as Obama’s acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education before joining the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank that’s close to the administration.“What that has led to is very poor performance by our institutions—graduation rates are alarmingly low, and employers are becoming increasingly concerned that the employees they’re hiring out of the academy don’t have the knowledge and skills they require,” Bergeron said.The colleges say the administration has gone far beyond what’s necessary.“This is not about getting rid of regulation—it’s about making regulation more rational and relevant,” said University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. “Brit” Kirwan, who co-chaired the recent Senate task force. “The Department of Education has developed an insatiable appetite for expanding regulation.”For most of Obama’s tenure, the department’s top regulatory priority has been reining in abuses by the for-profit sector, which as of 2012 accounted for only 13 percent of the nation’s college enrollment, but 47 percent of the defaults on student loans.A 2012 Senate report found that taxpayers spent $32 billion in the prior year on companies operating for-profit colleges—which rely almost entirely on federal student aid for revenues—and that most of their students left without a degree, half within four months. The report found that at the 30 companies studied, the average CEO pay was $7.3 million, and that 22.4 percent of revenue went to marketing and recruiting, 19.4 percent to profits, and only 17.7 percent to instruction.A 2010 Government Accountability Office report found that four colleges “encouraged fraudulent practices” in meetings with undercover investigators posing as prospective students. All 15 colleges that were investigated, including industry leaders such as the University of Phoenix and Kaplan Inc., “made deceptive or otherwise questionable statements.”A Bloomberg investigation that year also found that for-profit colleges were being particularly aggressive in recruiting military veterans so they could capitalize on increased funding available under the GI Bill. Late last year, federal and state authorities in Florida charged that a for-profit chain there was hiring exotic dancers to recruit students.In 2011, the administration moved to assure that for-profit colleges were actually giving students the skills they were promised so they could land jobs and repay their loans. The so-called “gainful employment” rules cut off federal aid for programs that fell below certain thresholds for how students were keeping up with payments and how their earnings compared with the debt they’d accumulated.The for-profit college industry challenged the regulations in court, with vocal backing from congressional Republicans and conservatives. In 2012, a federal judge struck down the threshold on loan repayment rates as overly arbitrary. Last October, the education department released the revised rules, built around two different measures of debt-to-earnings loads for graduates. The industry is challenging them in court as well.Early on, the traditional higher education lobby generally backed the administration. When the revised regulations came out last fall, Terry Hartle, chief lobbyist for the American Council on Education, which represents 1,700 schools from Abilene Christian University to Yale, called them “an honest effort by the department to find an appropriate balance.”“These issues are complicated,” Hartle added, “and they’re trying to get it right.”Then the Republicans took control of the Senate and the signals changed.In February, all major higher education lobbying groups but one—the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities—sent a letter backing the “Supporting Academic Freedom Through Regulatory Relief Act,” authored by Rep. John Kline of Minnesota and Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, the Republicans who chair, respectively, the education committee and the higher education subcommittee. The bill, which has a counterpart in the Senate, would bar the regulations on the for-profit institutions, among other regulatory rollbacks.The shift prompted cheers from the for-profits, which have seen their enrollment fall amid all the bad publicity for the industry and the threat of tougher oversight. One major chain, Corinthian Colleges, has been shut down entirely.“We welcome anybody that’s interested in stopping over-burdensome regulations that are not helping students,” said Noah Black, a spokesman for the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, which records show spent $650,000 on federal lobbying last year. “We’re always happy when people agree with us.”The traditional higher education lobby said their groups signed onto the letter because the revised regulations are both too weak to root out the most problematic for-profit colleges and too nettlesome for other institutions that will also have to comply. To address the for-profit industry’s charge that it is being singled out, the regulations also apply to non-degree programs at community colleges and traditional universities, which have been expanding such offerings amid the rise in online learning and career certification courses. As such, the new regulations drew criticism.“They’re extremely expensive, utterly pointless, and disgracefully ineffective,” said Barmak Nassirian, chief lobbyist for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. “Virtually all of the worst actors will pass them with flying colors.”Sarah Flanagan, his counterpart at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, said the same: “We ended up with this complex reporting requirement with no teeth in it. We said we’d support them if they had teeth in it.”The administration rejects this assessment, noting that the revised regulations are expected to disqualify seven times more programs than the original ones did and are already driving for-profits to close their most egregious programs.“The rule will make a huge difference for the more than 800,000 students enrolled in the worst programs, who otherwise face unaffordable debts and defaults with life-changing consequences,” said James Kvaal, deputy director of the White House’s Domestic Policy Council.Black, the for-profit association spokesman, said the revised regulations are unquestionably tougher in how they determine whether a program is falling short. “You can’t make the case that this one is weaker” than the initial regulation supported by much of the traditional college lobby, he said.The more likely motivation for the traditional schools is that it gives the lobby strength in numbers in challenging the administration’s other regulatory actions, said Amy Laitinen, a former higher education adviser in the Obama administration who is now at the New America Foundation. Among other things the traditional college groups are upset about are the tightened standards for credit hours, which determine how much student aid the U.S. awards to students. The Department of Education’s inspector general found that accreditors were allowing colleges to inflate credit hours, but the higher education lobby said the tightened standards will stifle distance-learning courses.Traditional universities are also unhappy with the administration’s proposed new rules for assessing teacher-preparation programs. Above all, they are resistant to the administration’s plan for a new ratings system for colleges to supplement the oft-criticized U.S. News rankings.University officials—led by private colleges, which are especially opposed to the administration’s push for greater accountability and transparency—say the available data aren’t good enough to produce reliable rankings. At the same time, many of them have lobbied against a proposal to improve student data.It is doubtful whether the Kline-Foxx deregulatory bill could advance past a Democratic filibuster in the Senate, much less get Obama’s approval, unless it were attached to other must-pass legislation. For now, it is serving as a stand-in for the real battle, the upcoming reauthorization of the 1965 Higher Education Act, which was last updated in 2008. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican and chairman of the education committee, is expected to take that up soon, and the task force report commissioned by the committee was the first step in that process.Alexander has praised the task force report. The over-regulation of colleges, he said at a hearing on the report, represents “sloppy, inefficient governing that wastes money, hurts students, discourages productivity and impedes research.”This gives the higher education lobby hope that he’ll push to include many of its deregulatory proposals in the reauthorizing bill. But consumer advocates say the report should be taken with a dose of skepticism, given that the task force was picked entirely by the higher education lobby’s biggest group, with no advocates for taxpayers or students represented.“It should surprise no one that regulated entities want fewer regulations and strings attached to the funds they receive,” said Pauline Abernathy, of the Institute for College Access and Success.At least one university president is chiming in against the higher education lobby’s new turn. Louisiana State University Chancellor F. King Alexander said the lobby’s complaints of over-regulation ring hollow. “Naturally, [the lobby groups] love the idea of telling the federal government to get your hands off the money and don’t tell us what to do with it—just put it on the stump and leave,” he said.But in the case of the for-profit regulations, this approach is short-sighted, Alexander said. The more that fly-by-night for-profit programs soak up federal aid dollars, the less that is left for students at traditional colleges, and the more calls there will be to reduce funding for student aid, he said.“We’re pouring money into places no one’s ever heard of before,” Alexander said. “We’re not going to have any more federal aid unless we have a better handle on who’s getting it.”Related stories: For more coverage of politics and lobbying, read ProPublica’s previous reporting on the rising influence of single donors, an imploding super PAC and gaps in oversight.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.last_img read more

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Lynbrook Hit-and-run Driver Sought after Killing Pedestrian

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A hit-and-run driver killed a pedestrian crossing Merrick Road in Lynbrook on Thursday night, Nassau County police said.A man was crossing the road when he was hit by an eastbound vehicle near the corner of Hilton Street shortly after 9 p.m., police said. The vehicle continued driving without stopping. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity wasn’t immediately available.Homicide Squad detectives ask anyone with information regarding the above crime to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.last_img

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