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Timothy Bolger

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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.

5 Suffolk Home Invasions Reported in 1 Week

Five armed home invasions have been reported in Suffolk County in a week—two on Sunday alone—but despite eight arrests, three of the cases are so far unsolved, authorities said.

None of the incidents appear to be random and the victims in some cases knew their attackers, authorities said. The incidents occurred in Mastic, North Lindenhurst, Dix Hills, Huntington and Coram between Jan. 15 and Jan. 22. Five were nabbed in the Huntington case and three were busted for the North Lindenhurst case.

The first case came when police said a Mastic woman reported a pair of masked gunmen broke into her Wills Avenue home, stole her iPhone and fled at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15. The victim reported that one assailant was wearing a Spiderman mask.

Then at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, three Brentwood men—one armed with a handgun—forced their way into a North Lindenhurst home on Feustal Street, where they stole cash and cell phones from the victims inside. The trio was arrested shortly afterward.

A half hour later, two masked gunmen walked into a Dix Hills house on Deer Park Avenue through an unlocked door, pistol-whipped a man and woman inside and fled with the victims’ wallets and cell phones, police said.

“They appear to be targeted locations,” Second Squad Det. Sgt. Richard Auspaker said of the Dix Hills case and the arrest of five men for an alleged home invasion in nearby Huntington two days later. “It’s possibly related.”

In the Huntington case, police said three suspects entered a home on Leigh Street through an unlocked door, threatened five residents inside and demanded cash while the other two suspects acted as lookouts outside at 1:20 a.m. Tuesday.

All five men fled in a Lincoln but were apprehended shortly later on Deer Park Avenue in Dix Hills, police said. Two guns were allegedly recovered.

And in the fifth case in the eight-day span, police said four men forced their way into a Coram home on Townhouse Road, one suspect displayed a rifle and the group tied up a woman and three children at 9:30 p.m. Monday. It’s unclear what the suspects stole.

The victims in the Dix Hills case were treated for minor injuries at Huntington Hospital. The victims in the other four cases were not injured.

No arrests have been made in the Mastic, Coram or Dix Hills cases. A police spokeswoman said the Mastic and Coram cases were also believed to be targeted.

“It doesn’t appear that these two are related to other precincts,” Auspaker said of the Huntington and Dix Hills home invasions versus the other three.

Principal’s Testimony Enters 3rd Day in NCPD Conspiracy Case

William Flanagan surrendered to Nassau County prosecutors in March.
William Flanagan surrendered to Nassau County prosecutors in March.

A school principal and key witness sparred with a defense attorney who cross examined her Tuesday in the trial of an ex-Nassau County police commander accused of covering up a burglary for a friend.

Bruce Barkett, attorney for former second deputy commissioner William Flanagan, asked Lorraine Poppe, principal of Bellmore’s John F. Kennedy High School, about emails she sent in 2009 as well as conflicting testimony she gave to the grand jury and prosecutors.

“You thought the other event they didn’t need to know about?” Barkett asked Poppe of why she failed to tell prosecutors and grand jurors about one of two meetings with detectives involved in the case.

“I did not recall it,” Poppe said, conceding that she must have been nervous and that her memory was not perfect about events four years prior.

She repeatedly insisted that she never waivered in her request to have Zachary Parker, the son of wealthy police donor and Flanagan’s friend Gary Parker, arrested for stealing $11,000 in electronics from the school in 2009.

Flanagan and two other ex-supervisors being tried separately have pleaded not guilty to covering up the thefts. Zachary Parker pleaded guilty this year to the burglary and is serving prison time after the alleged cover-up was exposed.

“I thought I was being stonewalled and I thought the police department was trying to bury the case,” Poppe told Assistant District Attorney Bernadette Ford during direct examination. “As a [school] district, we do not want to treat wealthy kids different than not so wealthy kids.”

Barkett also questioned Poppe about an email she sent to a detective involved in the case in May 2009 saying she wanted police to put everything “on hold.” Poppe said she wrote that because she needed the school district’s authorization before requesting a student’s arrest and she wanted to determine if Zachary Parker had more stolen property in his possession.

“I wasn’t giving [the detective] an alternative, I was informing him I was speaking with the superintendent about alternatives,” she told the court upon cross examination by Barkett. She testified it was “just part of the process that we go through at the school.”

Poppe, who first took the stand on the second day of the trail last Thursday, is slated to be back in court to offer a third day of testimony Wednesday.

2 Killed in Brentwood Tried to Beat Train, LIRR Says

Two people were killed when their car was struck by a Long Island Rail Road train in Brentwood after the car drove around the crossing gate three miles down the track from a where similar incident occurred about two years prior.

The eastbound non-passenger train was heading to the Ronkonkoma yard while traveling at the maximum allowable speed of 80 mph when it hit the 2010 Nissan at the Second Street crossing just west of the station at 10 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.

“At the point of impact, apparently the car burst into flames,” said Sal Arena, an LIRR spokesman, noting that the engineer honked the horn and hit the emergency brakes but couldn’t stop in time. “When it came to a halt, the burning continued.”

MTA police are waiting for Suffolk County medical examiners to complete the victims’ autopsies to confirm the identities of the victims, whose bodies were burned beyond recognition.

The engineer, conductor and assistant conductor aboard the train were not injured. The front of the train was badly burned and the vehicle was partly lodged under the first car.

Brentwood Fire Department firefighters extinguished the flames. MTA police then pulled the victims from the wreckage.

Witnesses told MTA police that they saw the car drive around the gates, which were down with lights flashing at the time, Arena said. He added that computer data has confirmed the accounts of witnesses and LIRR workers that the gates were down at the time.

Service was suspended and buses replaced trains for about five hours between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma while crews repaired a third rail that was damaged in the crash. Service was restored in time for the evening eastbound rush hour commute.

The incident is similar to a May 17, 2011 incident in which a bread delivery truck driver was killed when he tried to beat the train by going around the gate just east of the Deer Park station—the next stop west of the Brentwood station.

Woman’s Skeletal Remains Found in Lattingtown

Police said this necklace was found along with a woman's skeletal remains in Lattingtown.
Police said this necklace was found along with a woman’s skeletal remains in Lattingtown.

Nassau County police are investigating the discovery of human skeletal remains with a necklace in Lattingtown this week.

Police said a woman walking her dog in the sand at the end of Sheep Lane, which overlooks the Long Island Sound, made the discovery at 3 p.m. Monday.

Investigators believe the remains to be those of a woman between 20 and 30 years old.  Police released photos of a gold necklace with a pig pendant that was recovered at the scene in the hopes of identifying the woman.

Pigs symbolize luck in some cultures. Police are planning a news conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss the case.

Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone who recognizes the necklace or has any information to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS or the Homicide Squad at 573-7789.  All callers will remain anonymous.

Truck Driver Charged With Fatal July Crash

A cement truck driver was charged this week with vehicular homicide for alleged drugged driving that caused a crash in Locust Valley that killed a bus driver six months ago.

Nassau County police Tuesday arrested Raymond Ragen on a slew of charges including vehicular manslaughter, driving while ability impaired by drugs in a commercial vehicle, assault, reckless driving, drug possession and other counts.

Police said the 44-year-old Mineola man was high on drugs and talking on his cell phone while driving Oshkosh cement mixer truck eastbound on Oyster Bay Road when he crashed into a Long Island Rail Road overpass near Matinecock Court on July 23, 2012.

The truck then hit a westbound school bus, killing its driver, 45-year-old Jorge Guevara of Locust Valley. Four boys and a 64-year-old man on the bus were treated for minor injuries.

Ragen will be arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Hempstead.

5 Men Nabbed for Huntington Home Invasion

Among the suspects was Jason Gwaltney, who was reportedly a prior Long Island star football player.
Among the suspects was Jason Gwaltney, who was reportedly a prior star Long Island high school football player.

Five men have been arrested for an armed Huntington home invasion early Tuesday morning, Suffolk County police said.

Three armed men entered a home on Leigh Street through an unlocked door, threatened five residents inside and demanded cash while the other two suspects acted as lookouts outside at 1:20 a.m., police said.

All five men fled in a Lincoln but were apprehended shortly later on Deer Park Avenue in Dix Hills, police said. Detectives recovered two handguns, police added. None of the victims were injured.

Charged with burglary and criminal possession of a weapon were 25-year-old Jason Gwaltney of Brentwood, 18-year-old Jaquese Jones of Bay Shore, 19-year-old Demetrius Edwards of Wyandanch, 17-year-old Nouvelle Lucas of Wyandanch and 17-year-old Tahjiea Carpenter of Huntington.

Carpenter was also charged with four additional counts of burglary for allegedly burglarizing four other Huntington homes. All five are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Central Islip.

Second Squad detectives are continuing the investigation.

North Bellmore Woman Admits Killing Ex-husband

Nancy Boland
Nancy Boland

A North Bellmore woman has admitted to stabbing her ex-husband to death and dumping his body on the side of a road following an argument in 2011.

Nancy Boland pleaded guilty Tuesday at Nassau County court to first-degree manslaughter, criminal contempt, tampering with physical evidence and criminal possession of a weapon

Prosecutors said the 57-year-old woman and her ex-husband, Walter Boland, with whom she still lived on Waltoffer Avenue, got into an argument on Nov. 16, 2011. The fight escalated when she claimed that he threatened her with a sharp-bladed instrument.

“Nancy Boland said that she grabbed it out his hand and stabbed him with it once in the abdomen, driving it upward and four inches deep,” the district attorney’s office said in a news release.

The victim, who had a valid order of protection against his ex-wife, refused to be taken to the hospital, according to Nancy Boland’s statement to police.

She left him at home to go to work the following day but when she returned home, she found her ex-husband unresponsive. Once she concluded that he was dead, she dragged his body to her mother’s car and dumped his body on the Wantagh State Parkway bike path north of Sunrise Highway.

Nancy Boland had told family, friends and co-workers that he had left after the fight and hadn’t returned.  A jogger found the body the morning of Nov. 18, 2011.

Nancy Boland is expected to be sentenced March 13 to seven years in prison.

Press Salutes Launch of Living Out

living out coverThe launch of any new publication is always reason to celebrate. It’s another voice. It’s another outlet for the community to express itself. It offers new views, brings to life new visions and inspires others to do the same. It informs and entertains the public.

Factor in the added significance of Living Out as the monthly voice of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community on Long Island—one historically underserved here, especially considering gay rights icon Harvey Milk grew up in Bay Shore—and you’ve got especially good reason to celebrate.

Living Out’s second issue is currently on stands now and is packed with GLBT news and features, spanning personal tales from Hurricane Sandy, travel, health, music and movie reviews and food recommendations to the cover story, an insightful interview with comedian and Celebrity Apprentice alum Lisa Lampanelli. We suggest you grab a copy before they’re all gone!

We at the Press are proud to play a role, however minimal, in Living Out’s creation. Our parent company Morey Publishing, LLC, under its custom publishing arm Private Label, publishes and distributes Living Out. Under the direction of Living Out Publisher David Kilmnick, chief executive officer at the Long Island Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Services Network, Living Out’s talented team provides the content. Our editorial and production crew assists in the layout, design and copyediting.

Heading Living Out’s staff is Meryl Lumba, its editor; Jeff Main, its art director; and Andrew Schleider, its advertising director.

We look forward to many, many years of great coverage—we know the Island surely needs it.

The Press congratulates the staff of Long Island’s new GLBT publication, Living Out!

Brentwood Trio Nabbed for North Lindenhurst Home Invasion

From left: Yamil Miesesulerio, Jeffrey Artiles and Jonathan Sanchez
From left: Yamil Miesesulerio, Jeffrey Artiles and Jonathan Sanchez

Three Brentwood men have been arrested for an armed home invasion in North Lindenhurst on Sunday night, Suffolk County police said.

The three men, one armed with a handgun, forced their way into a house on Feustal Street where they stole cash and cell phones from a resident and the victim’s friend at 10:30 p.m., police said.

The assailants fled on foot but were apprehended by a K-9 officer shortly later. Neither victim was injured.

Charged with burglary and robbery were 18-year-old Jeffrey Artiles, 24-year-old Yamil Miesesulerio and 26-year-old Jonathan Sanchez. Artiles was additionally charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

All three were scheduled to be arraigned Monday at First District Court in Central Islip.

Long Island Plays Supporting Role at Inauguration

President Obama, pictured here during his inauguration, said in a speech Friday that some changes would be coming to the NSA.
inauguration-inner
President Barack Obama gave his second inaugural address in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Jan. 21, 2012.

Long Island played a supporting role in the presidential inauguration from offering musical talent before the big day to supplying celebratory libations afterward—plus local residents that went to Washington, D.C. for the occasion.

Bedell Cellars winery in Cutchogue provided a 2009 Merlot for the 2013 Inaugural Luncheon on Monday. The Stony Brook School’s Chamber Singers sang a South African song called “Bonse Aba” during a pre-inauguration celebration Saturday. And countless Long Islanders braved the cold to watch President Barack Obama’s second inauguration live.

“Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life,” Obama said from the steps of the Capitol Building. “It does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time—but it does require us to act in our time.”

The president gave his second inaugural address Monday after a ceremonial oath. Chief Justice John Roberts had sworn Obama shortly before noon Jan. 20, as is legally required, but his swearing in ceremony was redone publicly Monday for the full day’s events, which coincided with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Whenever Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday, it is rescheduled for the following day.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said the caterers for the 2013 Inaugural Luncheon chose Bedell, the North Fork wine.

“Serving Long Island’s own Bedell Cellars Merlot at the Inaugural luncheon shines a spotlight on one of New York’s world-class wine industry,” said Schumer. The senator was reportedly pushing for Long Island duck on the menu, but the Merlot will be served with bison instead.

The 16-member Stony Brook School Chamber Singers had received an invitation to sing in an inauguration event at the National City Christian Church as well. They were among 40 ensembles invited to perform from across the country.

In addition to LI residents who drove down to the nation’s capital on their own, some organized bus trips, including an NAACP-chartered coach to D.C. from Lakeview that left early Monday morning destined for the National Mall.

Comparing the Founding Fathers to the partisan gridlock in today’s Congress were dominant themes woven throughout Obama’s speech as he nudged the Republican majority that has blocked his legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay,” the president said. “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.  We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect.  We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and 40 years, and 400 years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.”