Timothy Bolger

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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.

Syosset Residents May Find Plane Parts After Crash, Cops Say

Syosset Plane Crash

Investigators believe they’ve recovered most of the small plane that broke up and fell from the sky over Syosset on Tuesday, killing three occupants, but authorities said residents may still find wreckage.

Nassau County police, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators worked through the night to secure the aircraft parts scattered in five sites across an estimated 1/3-mile-long debris field along Cold Spring Road.

“There may still be some pieces of the plane in and around the area,” Nassau Police Chief Steven Skrynecki told reporters Wednesday during a news conference near the scene. He urged residents to call police if they find plane parts or personal effects that may belong to the victims.

The Beech BE35, built in 1973, had taken off from Myrtle Beach, SC and was on its way to Robertson Field in Plainville, Conn. when the crash occurred at 3:39 p.m. Tuesday, the FAA has said. Nassau officials said that the pilot of the doomed craft had sent out a “mayday” call that was received at Republic Airport in Farmingdale.

Robert Gertz, an NTSB investigator, told reporters that a plane breaking up mid-air was a rarity, but not unprecedented. He said he’s seen about five such cases in his 18 years on the job.

“It’s not completely unheard of, but it’s not common,” Gertz said, noting that the plane appears to have broken apart and didn’t explode.

Nassau police said they are still working to confirm the identities of the three occupants killed in the crash. One body was found in the parking lot of the Long Island High School for the Arts, another was found in the nearby woods and the third was found 50 yards away in the Village of Oyster Bay Cove, police said.

Skrynecki noted that despite the tragic events, nobody on the ground was injured and the only property damage appears to have been minor, from a wing hitting a house.

The incident prompted the Syosset School District to order students and faculty at three nearby schools to stay indoors while the investigation was underway. Residents in the area reported hearing buzzing and a loud boom when the plane came down.

The NTSB is continuing its investigation into the cause of the crash.

Mastic Man Killed in Car Crash

A 38-year-old Mastic man was killed in a car crash in Coram early Wednesday morning.

Suffolk County police said Christopher Burgos was driving an Infiniti on Margaret Drive when his vehicle left the roadway and struck a utility pole and tree south of Beach Lane at 1:50 a.m.

The victim was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he died.

Sixth Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on this case is to call them at 631-854-8652.

Yaphank Man Shot, Dog Killed by Gunman Who Set Home on Fire

A 27-year-old man and two of his dogs were shot, killing one of the dogs, by a gunman who set the victim’s Yaphank home on fire on Tuesday, Suffolk County police said.

The shooter entered the victim’s Long Island Avenue home and opened fire before igniting the blaze and fleeing the scene at 5:30 p.m., police said.

Yaphank Fire Department firefighters extinguished the flames with the help of the Medford Fire Department, Ridge Fire Department, Brookhaven Fire Department and Middle Island Fire Department.

The victim was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The surviving dog was taken to a local animal clinic, where he was being treated and is recovering. The dead dog was taken to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office to have the bullet removed for the investigation.

Sixth Squad and Arson Section detectives ask anyone with information on this case to call them at 631-854-8652 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.

Todd Kaminsky Confirmed Winner of Ex-Sen. Skelos Seat

Todd Kaminsky, Chris McGrath and Lawrence Seth Hirsh
From left: Todd Kaminsky, Chris McGrath and Lawrence Seth Hirsh

New York State Assemb. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) is expected to be sworn in Tuesday as the new state senator representing the southwest corner of Nassau County upon his winning a pivotal recent special election. He is Long Island’s first Democratic state senator in six years.

will I be approved for a business loan

Nassau County Board of Elections officials certified Monday that Kaminsky beat Republican opponent Chris McGrath, an attorney from Hewlett, in the race to replace ex-State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), who was expelled from office when he was convicted on federal corruption charges in December.

“This district has been without representation for close to five months, and we look forward to his immediate swearing in,” said State Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers).

Kaminsky, who will represent the 9th Senate District, will be the lone Democratic state senator from Long Island, where the other eight state senators are Republicans. The group was previously known as the Long Island Nine. The last Democratic state senator was Nassau’s Sen. Craig Johnson, who lost by 451 votes to former Mineola Mayor Jack Martins in 2010. Kaminsky’s victory will give Democrats a 32-31 majority in the chamber, but the GOP is expected to retain control thanks to their alliance with six breakaway Democrats.

“I am honored that my neighbors have elected me to deliver for Long Island and clean up Albany as their State Senator,” Kaminsky said in a statement. “For far too long, South Shore taxpayers have been the victim of politicians who put themselves before their community and I pledge to fight everyday to return our state government to the people”

The results were certified one day before the state legislature returns from its spring break. LI’s newest senator will only have two months to negotiate legislation before the legislative session ends in June, unless a special session is called later this year before the new session starts in January. Kaminsky will also have to run for re-election in November for a full two-year term.

Ethics reform was among the top issues in the Kaminsky-McGrath race as a result of Skelos’ and his son Adam’s convictions, which they are appealing. They face up to 20 years in federal prison when they’re scheduled to be sentenced this month.

Kaminsky declared himself the winner in the race when unofficial results showed him winning by nearly 800 votes two hours after the polls closed April 19. McGrath refused to concede, and his campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Coming in third place was Green Party challenger Laurence Seth Hirsh, an accountant from Valley Stream.

Roslyn Crash Leaves Motorcyclist Dead

A 28-year-old Queens man was killed when his motorcycle was involved in a crash with an SUV in Roslyn on Thursday evening.

Nassau County police said the motorcyclist was riding a Honda motorcycle northbound on Roslyn Road when he was involved in a collision with a southbound GMC at 7 p.m.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity wasn’t immediately released.

Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation. They impounded both vehicles and did not charge the 90-year-old driver.

Humpback Whale Found Dead in Amagansett

Marine biologists are investigating the discovery of an estimated 25-foot-long dead humpback whale found that was floating in Napeague Bay in Amagansett over the weekend, officials said.

East Hampton town bay constables received the initial report on Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard members stationed in Montauk confirmed its location off Cranberry Hole Road on Monday and experts with the nonprofit Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation responded Tuesday to take samples, officials said.

The whale was found in shallow water on the north side of the South Fork near the Amagansett-Montauk line. Responders tied a line to the whale’s tale and towed it to Little Albert’s Landing in East Hampton, where it’s beached, officials said. Biologists will perform a necropsy Wednesday to determine the whale’s cause of death. East Hampton Town officials are working on a plan to dispose of the carcass, the East Hampton Star reported.

It is not uncommon for dead whales to wash up on Long Island. At least a half dozen washed up on LI last year. Among them were a humpback whale found dead of ship strike on Fire Island in June, a True’s beaked whale found dead of starvation the following day in Westhampton Beach, a Minke whale covered in shark bites that washed up dead at Robert Moses State Park in July, another humpback whale found dead of apparent blunt force trauma in Lloyd Harbor in October and a Northern Bottlenose Whale that was euthanized after being found stranded in Long Beach later that month.

Live whales are also occasionally spotted off the Atlantic coast on the South Shore, including one seen off Lido Beach on Monday, according to a resident there. Rare sightings of humpbacks and belugas off the North Shore in the Long Island Sound, where they are less likely to swim, also made news last year.

So far this year, the Riverhead foundation has rescued a stranded gray seal pup in Hampton Bays, a beached dolphin in East Hampton and a harbor seal that was found tangled in rope and gill netting in marshland south of Merrick. Also so far this year, the group released a sea turtle and two seals that it had previously rescued and treated at its Riverhead headquarters.

Humpback whales are a threatened species that can grow up to 60-feet long, 25-to-40 tons and have a lifespan of 50 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). They are primarily threatened by being entangled in fishing gear, ship strikes, whale watching harassment, habitat changes and hunting, NOAA said.

The Riverhead foundation urges anyone that finds marine wildlife on the beach to call their stranding hotline: 631-369-9829.

Lakeview Crash Leaves Motorcyclist Dead

A 44-year-old New York City man was killed when he crashed his motorcycle in Lakeview on Sunday night.

Nassau County police said James Moy was riding a Harley Davidson westbound on Lakeview Avenue when he was thrown from the motorcycle at the intersection of Waterview Road at 8:28 p.m.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fifth Squad detectives impounded the motorcycle but do not suspect foul play.

Suspect Nabbed for 2010 Central Islip Murder

Suffolk County police have arrested an upstate New York man for allegedly stabbing a 38-year-old man to death in the victim’s Central Islip home six years ago, authorities said.

Christopher James
Christopher JamesCentral

Christopher James, 23, of Binghamton, was charged Sunday with second-degree murder.

Homicide Squad detectives alleged the suspect stabbed Kevin Pierson to death in his Maplewing Drive residence, where he was found dead on Feb. 12, 2010.

An acquaintance checking on Pierson’s welfare had called 911 upon discovering blood at the entrance of the victim’s apartment. Responding officers found his body in his bedroom, police said.

James will be arraigned Monday at First District Court in Central Islip.

Franklin Square Fatal DWI Hit-and-run Suspect Charged

An accused drunken driver was arrested for an alleged hit-and-run crash that killed a 47-year-old taxi cab driver in Franklin Square over the weekend, Nassau County police said.

Duke Obule of Queens was speeding in a BMW on Hempstead Turnpike when he hit a taxi, which then hit a utility pole at the corner of Lincoln Road at 4:16 a.m. Saturday, police said.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the BMW was taken to a local hospital for treatment of a fractured left ankle.

Obule fled the scene but was apprehended nearby, police said. He was charged with second-degree manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, assault, vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an accident with death, leaving the scene of an accident with serious physical injury, driving while intoxicated and driving without a license.

He was ordered held without bail and is due back in Nassau County court May 4.

Carle Place Crash Leaves Pedestrian Dead

A 65-year-old retired Nassau County police detective from Mineola was fatally hit by a car while crossing a road in Carle Place.

Police said retired Det. Joseph G. Skowronski was walking across Old Country Road when he was hit by an eastbound Nissan Maxima near the corner of Cherry Lane at 3:40 p.m. Thursday.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Homicide Squad detectives impounded the car and are continuing the investigation, but the 18-year-old driver of the Nissan was not charged.