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Treacherous Turnpike

Nassau County Police are on the hunt for a hit-and-run driver, who struck and killed a 13-year-old Levittown student along Hempstead Turnpike early Father’s Day morning. 

 

According to police, Wisdom Lane Middle School student Brianna Soplin was crossing at the corner of Gardiners Ave. when she was struck by the driver of a blue Town and Country minivan at 12:02 a.m. on

Sunday. She was immediately rushed to Nassau University Medical Center with head and body trauma and was pronounced dead by hospital staff at 4:30 a.m. 

 

In response to the tragedy, Levittown School District Superintendent Dr. James Grossane informed students, faculty, staff and parents that grief counselors will be made available to students as needed. 

 

"We are extremely saddened to learn of the tragic death of Bryanna Soplin...she was always smiling and had a zest for life," Grossane said. "Bryanna was an enthusiastic participant in school and always lit up the room. She touched all of her classmates and teachers in a special way and the children and staff will miss her deeply. The Levittown Board of Education, administration, faculty and staff extend their deepest condolences to Bryanna's family and friends during this difficult time."

 

News of the ongoing investigation comes just four months after another incident in February, when a 14-year-old Levittown student suffered multiple injuries after being struck in a hit-and-run at the corner of Hempstead Turnpike and Shelter Lane. Last May, another pedestrian—81-year-old Robert Chapman Sr.—died around the intersection of Hempstead Turnpike and Gardiners Avenue.

 

More recently, on Mother’s Day, five teenagers in the nearby Village of Farmingdale tragically lost their lives when their car collided into a GMC Suburban driving along Conklin Street—which is also known as Rt. 24, Fulton Ave. and Hempstead Turnpike in other parts of Nassau County.

 

Over the past 10 years, an average of three pedestrians a year have died along Hempstead Turnpike, making it one of the most dangerous thoroughfares in the state. 

 

Detectives have also indicated that the driver of the minivan failed to stop after the collision and was last seen traveling eastbound on Hempstead Turnpike and then northbound onto the Seaford-Oyster Bay 

Expressway. Police are requesting anyone with information regarding this crime to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-8477. All callers will remain anonymous.

 

On June 16, Nassau County Police apprehended Michael Elardo, 48, of Syosset, on charges of leaving the scene of an incident. 

News

U.S. Navy Veteran Richard Meyerowitz of Levittown joined the military in 1962, enlisting straight out of high school. While he would never see combat, Meyerowitz served as a boilerman aboard the U.S.S. Dewey amid the United States’ blockade of Cuba.

“They gave us our orders,” Meyerowitz said, “turn any vessels away. If not, blow ‘em out of the water.”

During the blockade, Meyerowitz said he only encountered one ship, which they warned to turn back. Just a kid at the time, Meyerowitz said it didn’t occur to him at the time, how the country could have been on the verge of nuclear war.

Hempstead town officials recently announced plans to improve the roadway along Longfellow Avenue in Levittown.

“One way we invest in our communities is by improving our roadways,” said Town Supervisor Kate Murray. “Upgrading our streets saves money in the long term, while making roadways safer and more aesthetically pleasing for neighbors.”

Construction is slated to begin as early as this month and is expected to be complete by October. The project will include repairs to Longfellow Avenue and Byron Place, as well as portions of Milton and Emerson avenues.


Sports

Christopher Joseph of Levittown was recently selected to play on the United States world university hockey team in Italy this year. A 2009 MacArthur High School graduate, Joseph was captain of his high school team for two seasons, leading them to two championships. Joseph would later go on to play junior hockey for New York Apple Core and the New Jersey Rockets junior ‘A’ team.

Joseph’s parents, Hal and Theresa, along with his brother Robert and sister Kristin said they are very proud of Christopher’s accomplishments and are cheering him on as he heads off to Italy.

Farmingdale State College had four players named to the 2014 D3baseball.com All-New York Team. Senior outfielder Edward Bergmann of East Meadow, earned First Team honors, while junior shortstop Anthony Alvino of Lindenhurst was named to the Second Team. Junior outfielder Michael Marino of Franklin Square and sophomore pitcher Alex Weingarten of East Rockaway also earned Third Team honors this year.

Bergmann batted a team-leading .421 this season and also led the Rams in hits (53), runs scored (42), doubles (8), on-base percentage (.503), stolen bases (30) and held a perfect fielding percentage. Nationally, Bergmann ranks 4th for stolen bases per game (0.88), 10th in stolen bases, 23rd in both on-base percentage and batting average and 29th in runs scored per game (1.21).


Calendar

BOE Planning Session

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Bad Seed Auditions

Thursday, Aug. 28

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs

Friday, Aug. 29



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com