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The Dangerous Road

Community calls for changes in wake of crash

Neighbors report that the stretch of Conklin Street where a crash early Saturday morning killed five Farmingdale teenagers is a well-known trouble spot.

“I have been pushing for a red light on one of these two corners,” said Anthony Vitale, who lives near the scene and is a former member of the Farmingdale Board of Education. “You cannot make a turn here, either on Staples Street or Oakview Avenue because you can’t see anything coming from that side. We need a traffic light...usually when there is a light, cars tend to slow down.”

 

Daniel Romano, manager of Frankee’s East Side Gourmet Restaurant, joined many others in Farmingdale calling for changes in the area.

 

“There should be speed bumps on that street,” Romano said. “It is unfortunate that we have to learn after an incident like this. It should have been prevented years ago.” 

 

Conklin Street is the local name for State Route 24, which is also known as Fulton Avenue and Hempstead Turnpike in other parts of Nassau County. Over the past decade, an average of three pedestrians have died each year on this roadway, making it one of the most treacherous in the state. Statistics on vehicular accidents preceding Saturday morning’s crash were not immediately available. 

 

According to police, the 2001 Nissan was westbound on Conklin Street when it crossed into the eastbound lanes and collided with a GMC Suburban driven by a Maryland resident, who police identified only as a 53-year-old man. His passenger was identified only as a woman.

 

One teenager was pronounced dead at the scene, and two more died upon impact, said police. Another was pronounced dead at the hospital. Cody Talanian, 17, was taken to the hospital in serious condition and died Sunday evening. The occupants of the Suburban were hospitalized in serious condition, said authorities.

 

Restaurant manager Romano remembered the students. 

 

“They were just here four days ago,” he said. “These were not kids who got in trouble. These were ‘golden’ kids. They were never negative, always smiling, always happy.”

 

Romano said that the restaurant will hold a fundraiser to help the victims’ families. 

 

Local officials are determined to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.

 

“What the mayor and deputy mayor and this board will do in the next week or so is write a letter to the traffic safety [division of the] DOT of New York State and ask them to please review the traffic patterns on Rt. 24, and especially on Rt. 109 where there have been more fatalities, and come up with some measures that can help abate traffic safety,” said Mayor Ralph Ekstrand.

News

It’s been more than 50 years since the Farmingdale High School class of 1964 roamed the halls of their beloved high school, but that doesn’t mean that the memories have faded. The class—the first to graduate from Farmingdale High—came together on Saturday, October 18 at the Marriott in Islandia to celebrate all of the good times past and make new memories as a class.  

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution. 

 

In Farmingdale, school district officials have been vigilant in their efforts to combat the virus. 


Sports

3rd Grade Division

The Giants and Jets met for the 2nd time this season, with the Giants again getting the victory over the Jets.  Jalen Gordon scored late into the 1st half for the Giants, which turned out to be the only points in the half.  The Giants shut the Jets down for both halves, keeping the offense off the board.  The Jets strong point this weekend was the defense, with Kyle June and Jake Kuller picking up the weekly William June Foundation awards.  In what is turning into a rough offensive season for the Jets, these awards continue to remind the boys of the perseverance and determination of the award’s namesake and his “never say quit” attitude.

 

—Submitted by Paul Caputo


William Merola, a member of the Farmingdale School District’s wrestling program, was recently selected to attend the third annual U.S. Marine Corps Summer Leadership and

Character Development program, which is limited to 150 sophomores and juniors throughout the nation.

 

Over the summer, from July 20-26, Merola attended the third annual Marine Corps recruiting command summer leadership and character academy at the USMC base in Quantico. 

 

The SLCDA (Summer Leadership and Character Development Program) educates high school leaders about Marine Corps Officer Programs by participating in classroom academics, ethics training, accelerated college prep, physical fitness training, a field exercise, a community service component and a field trip to Washington, D.C.


Calendar

Networking Event - October 29

Halloween Parade - October 31

Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair - November 2


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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