Timothy Bolger

Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of 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.

Services Set for Suffolk Cop Killed in Crash

Patrick Curley
Suffolk County cop killed in Commack
Suffolk County police officer Patrick Curley died while off-duty in Commack on Friday.

Services have been set for Suffolk County Police Officer Patrick Curley, who died in a crashwhile off-duty in Commack last week.

Wake services will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at McLaughlin Kramer Megiel Funeral Home in Glen Cove.

A funeral mass for Curley is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Patrick Church in Glen Cove.

The 40-year-old officer, a 17-year veteran of the force, died early Friday morning when the SUV he was driving was involved in a crash with a garbage truck on Jericho Turnpike.

He is survived by his wife, Emily, and daughter, Sophia Jane.

Teen Charged With Murder of Freeport Man

Jazz Murphy
Jazz Murphy

A New York City teenager has been arrested for killing a 34-year-old Freeport man in Hempstead on Sunday evening, Nassau County police said.

Jazz Murphy, 17, of the Bronx, will be arraigned Monday on a charge of second-degree murder at First District Court in Hempstead.

Homicide Squad detectives said the teen fatally shot the victim, whose identity was not immediately released, at the corner of Linden Avenue and Linden Place following an altercation shortly after 8 p.m.

The victim was taken to Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Sayville Crash Kills 1, Suspect Charged With Drugged Driving

An alleged drugged driver has been accused of causing a crash that killed an 82-year-old man in Sayville while the suspect was fleeing a hit-and-run Sunday evening, Suffolk County police said.

Thomas Herman was driving his Chevrolet Trailblazer westbound on Main Street when he struck five vehicles, fled the scene and then simultaneously struck a westbound Honda Accord and an eastbound Hyundai Elantra that he was trying to pass between shortly after 5 p.m., police said.

The driver of the Elantra, Sam Longo of West Islip, was pronounced dead at the scene.  His passenger, 79-year-old Ann Gilbert of Oakdale, was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where she is listed in critical but stable condition with neck and pelvic injuries.

The driver of the Honda Accord, 49-year-old Robert Schutt of Sayville, was treated for minor injuries at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue.

Herman, 46, of Patchogue, was also taken to Brookhaven hospital for non-life-threatening neck, facial and internal injuries.

He was arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and leaving the scene of an incident. Police said additional charges are possible as the investigation continues.

Fifth Squad detectives ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or any of the events leading up to it, to call them at 631-854-8552 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.  All calls will be kept confidential.

Hempstead Shooting Leaves Victim Wounded

Nassau County police are searching for a gunman who shot and wounded a man in Hempstead over the weekend.

The 23-year-old victim was walking with his 29-year-old cousin when three suspects confronted them near the corner Washington Street in and Seitz Avenue shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday, police said.

One of the trio pulled out a handgun and shot the victim in the left shoulder before the assailants fled on foot, police said.

The victim was driven to an area hospital where he is listed in stable condition.

The suspects were described as black men in their 20s wearing black clothing. The shooter was 6-feet, 2-inches tall.

Third Squad detectives request anyone with information regarding this crime to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous

Bohemia Man Killed in Yaphank Crash

A 39-year-old Bohemia man died after he crashed his car in Yaphank over the weekend.

Suffolk County police said Daniel Methven was driving a Chevrolet Impala northbound on Yaphank-Middle Island Road when he hit a utility pole at 8:50 p.m. Saturday.

The car came to rest in a wooded area. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Methven was working for Longwood School District Security at the time of the crash. The vehicle has been impounded for a safety check.

Seventh Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone who witnessed the crash to contact them at 631-852-8752.

Hempstead Man Held Without Bail on Murder Charge

U.S. Marshalls helped Nassau County police apprehend a an accused drug dealer wanted for shooting another to death last month.

Diquan McClough was arrested Thursday in Georgia and charged with second-degree murder. He had been free on bail while facing charges of criminal sale of controlled substance stemming from a March 2012 arrest.

Police said he gunned down Quavis Ford on Dec. 8 near the corner of Terrace Avenue and Bedell Street, a notorious open-air drug market in Hempstead.

Ford was taken to Nassau University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Both the suspect and the victim are 20 years old and from Hempstead.

McClough was ordered held without bail Saturday during his initial court appearance at First District Court in Hempstead. He is due back in court Tuesday.

Bohemia Woman Dies After House Fire

A 71-year-old woman who was rescued from a Bohemia house fire last week has died.

Suffolk County police said Nancy Fives died at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore the day after she was critically injured early Friday morning when her Middleton Road apartment caught fire.

Homicide Squad and Arson Section detectives are continuing the investigation. The cause does not appear to be criminal, police said.

Bohemia Fire Department firefighters extinguished the flames.

LI Pols Hopeful $50B Sandy Aid Will Pass Next Week

Rep. Tim Bishop held a meeting in Rocky Point on Sandy aid Thursday.
Rep. Tim Bishop held a meeting in Rocky Point on Sandy aid Thursday.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Long Island’s congressional delegation are hopeful that the remaining $50 billion in the Sandy relief aid package will pass next week, although doubts linger after the initial snub.

Reps. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) and Peter King (R-Seaford) have said the legislation is expected to come up again after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last week refused to schedule a vote for the full $60 billion bill. Both LI congressmen expressed cautious optimism.

“I am reasonably confident that we will get enough votes to pass it,” said Bishop. “We’re hopeful that [our] colleagues will recognize that it’s now the time for New York, Connecticut and New Jersey to receive the assistance that we have provided to other states.”

King said on his Facebook page Thursday, “I don’t want to be overconfident, but I think we’re going to have the votes to pass $50B Hurricane Sandy aid package next week.”

The House, which approved more than $9 billion for the national flood insurance program last week after sparking outrage by not passing the full $60 billion bill, is expected to vote on the rest of the aid in two parts.

Bishop said the $18 billion bill to address emergency needs should first pass relatively easily. But a $33-bill appropriation for longer-term projects to prepare against future storms is more controversial.

Sandy destroyed thousands of homes across the Long Island area, like this on on Fire Island.
Sandy destroyed thousands of homes across the Long Island area, like this on on Fire Island.

Some members of the House GOP majority argue that the aid should be offset by spending cuts. The original proposal easily passed the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate.

The two bills will fund key federal agencies involved in the recovery efforts, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others.

The deadline is Jan. 28 for residents to apply for the FEMA Individual Assistance program and for businesses to request low-interest Small Business Administration loans.

King made national headlines when he blasted his own party last week for leaving Sandy survivors out in the cold by not passing the aid bill two months after the Oct. 29 superstorm.

“Anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds,” he was widely quoted as saying. “Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace.”

Nassau Sandy Fund Offers Help Bridging Aid Gap

The Nassau Hurricane Recovery Fund is inviting county residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy to apply for aid if they lack insurance and government assistance.

The fund created in November is also designed to assist those whose losses exceed reimbursements from their insurance carrier and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“With the storm devastating the lives of thousands of our residents, it is incumbent upon our community to do all we can to aid residents in their recovery and rebuilding efforts,” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said.

More than 35,725 Nassau residents were displaced and more than 34,602 vehicles were damaged or destroyed in the storm, according to Mangano.

Application forms can be found on the fund’s website.

Donations can be made to The Nassau Hurricane Recovery Fund, care of the Nassau County Police Department, Room 216, 1490 Franklin Ave., Mineola, NY 11501.

NY Pols Taking Lead in Renewed Gun Control Debate

Andrew Cuomo State of the State
Andrew Cuomo State of the State
Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave his State of the State address in Albany on Wednesday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave his State of the State address in Albany on Wednesday.

The gun control debate got a shot in the arm this week when a school shooting broke out during a White House task force meeting on the issue the day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged New York to pass the nation’s toughest firearms regulations.

Proposed re-enactment of the federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that expired in 2004 is at the forefront of the current debate. But pro-gun lobbyists shot down such regulations as an infringement of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Emotions continue to run high on both sides.

“There has got to be some common ground, to not solve every problem but diminish the probability” of future mass shootings, Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday. “That’s what this is all about.”

Biden was meeting with a group of hunting organizations when a 16-year-old armed with a shotgun critically wounded a fellow student in a California high school. The task force was formed after a gunman massacred 20 school children and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. last month.

The National Rifle Association, whose leader has proposed armed guards in every school—although in the latest case, the school’s armed guard was snowed in at home—characterized the meeting as “disappointing” and said it will work with Congress instead.

“No one hunts with an assault rifle,” Cuomo said Wednesday while unveiling his gun-control package. “No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer. And too many innocent people have died already. End the madness now!”

He proposed banning gun clips manufactured before 1994 that hold more than 10 bullets—hardware used by the Newtown gunman and other mass murderers—modernizing the pistol permitting process to ensure felons and others barred from owning handguns don’t fall through the cracks.

Cuomo also gave a nod to the NRA and conservatives such as state Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), who have suggested the gun control conversation falls short without addressing mental health and stricter punishments.

“There is no doubt that illegal guns are a major threat to public safety—but it is not the only one,” Skelos said after Cuomo laid out his plans in his State of the State address. “More frequently we are reading about crimes committed by people with a history of mental illness who may not be getting the treatment they need.”

The governor’s package includes enhanced sentencing guidelines for those convicted of using illegal guns, which mirrors a series of proposals Skelos unveiled last week. Cuomo also plans to propose measures to ensure mental health professionals alert authorities when they become aware a gun owner is likely to cause harm.

In addition, he also wants to close a loophole that allows private gun owners to sell guns to others without the buyer being subject to the background checks they would face when making a purchase from a licensed gun dealer.

On the federal level, New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are calling on Biden to include measures to crackdown on illegal guns and strengthen background checks into his final recommendations.

The senators are pushing bills mandating that states share records on felons, drug abusers and those seriously mentally ill to be used in background checks for gun buyers. They also are pushing a bill cracking down on trafficking firearms into New York.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) is also reintroducing her legislation to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines for guns—a bill that is likely to be part of the Newtown task force’s recommendations Tuesday to President Obama.

McCarthy has devoted her political career to combating gun violence after her husband was murdered and son critically injured during the 1993 Long Island Railroad massacre. Rep. Diana Degette (D-Colo), whose district includes the infamous Columbine High School and is adjacent to Aurora—where a gunman murdered 12 people and wounded nearly 60 others at a movie theater last summer—is cosponsoring the legislation.

“These devices are used to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time possible and we owe it to innocent Americans everywhere to keep them out of the hands of dangerous people,” said McCarthy. “We don’t even allow hunters to use them—something’s deeply wrong if we’re protecting game more than we’re protecting innocent human beings.”