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Schumer To National Grid: ‘Give Notice’

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is asking National Grid to notify customers in advance when utility workers will visit the home. The call comes in the wake of a string of deception burglaries, in which suspects posed as utility workers to enter homes. Three senior citizens, in Herricks, Westbury and Syosset were victims from June 19-20. These three communities, Schumer said, should be first in line for improved alert systems.

“The recent burglaries demonstrate that more must be done by National Grid to ensure homeowners know exactly who to expect at their door for an in-home technician visit, and at what time,” Schumer stated at a press conference in Herricks last week.

Utility companies are required to send a written letter to customers if meter readings have been unobtainable for more than six months. In a letter to National Grid President Ken Daly, Schumer cited nine Nassau County deception burglaries where two women dressed as utility workers stole jewelry and cash as a reason for action. Last year, police apprehended criminals posing as National Grid workers in Staten Island.

“While I appreciate that National Grid has recently taken some measures to mitigate the risk of these kinds of incidents, such as issuing workers newer, more identifiable uniforms and redesigning the exterior of workers’ trucks, deception burglaries continue to occur,” Schumer stated.

A National Grid spokesperson released a statement saying, “We are reviewing Sen. Schumer’s recommendation, as we are always looking for ways to improve our current processes for the safety and security of our customers.”

Schumer suggested outreach and educational opportunities for customers to help them identify real or fake utility employees.

“National Grid is not to blame for these deception burglaries, but it’s critical for the safety of the company’s customers that there is a clear, 24-hour advanced notice in writing or on the phone, for when National Grid plans to do an in-home meter reading or any other visit,” said Schumer. “I am also urging National Grid to pay special attention to the communities where this pattern has emerged and educate customers how to identify a real employee.”

A 79-year-old Herricks woman on Pine Street received a knock at her front door on June 20 at 12:40 p.m., when a man posing as a utility worker said there was a gas explosion in the area, police said. The woman was told to turn sink faucets on and off while the subject worked in a bathroom near the master bedroom.

Assorted gold jewelry was stolen from the residence, police stated.

“We see this happen from time to time,” Nassau Chief of Detectives Kevin Smith said recently. “It’s another ploy on tree trimming and electricity, where people deceive you to come into your house.”

Police described the suspect as a male with dark skin, 5-foot-7 inches tall, 30-35 years old. The man, police said, had a blue ink tattoo on his right forearm, spoke with a lisp or stutter and wore a construction hat and vest.

Police ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential. Callers are eligible for a cash reward of up to $5,000.

News

James Sokol and Jake Leeds from Boy Scout Troop 298 recently completed their service projects.

 

Sokol and fellow Scouts replaced the backboards, rims and nets in the basketball court in Nuzzi Park. They also trimmed trees and repainted the court lines. 

The debate over New York State Common Core standards continues, with students from local school districts showing a mild resistance to the exams.

 

According to the New York State Allies for Public Education, 39 students in the Herricks School District opted out of the English exam, while 74 did not take the math test. For the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District, 17 students did not take the English test while 18 refused to take the math test.


Sports

The Sewanhaka Indians varsity football team hosted Elmont Spartans on Saturday, Oct. 18 in its final home game of the regular season. 

 

It certainly did not go as the Indians had hoped, falling 18-8, in a mistake filled game. Head coach George Kasimatis said the Indians had their chances, but kept digging themselves into a hole with mental mistakes on both sides of the ball. 

 

Playing from behind, senior running back Brenton Mighty was able to break free for a long touchdown run, to put the Indians on the board. 

Sewanhaka Indians Head football coach George Kasimatis told his team to expect a dogfight in this weeks game against the New Hyde Park Gladiators, and he was right after its 35-21 victory last week. 

 

“All the kids know each other really well, it’s always competitive when we play each other,” he said. 


Calendar

PTA Meeting - October 22

International Night - October 23

Halloween Dance - October 24


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