Written by Ronald Scaglia Wednesday, 07 November 2012 09:08
According to Suffolk County Police, Sommer was driving a school bus with 29 Plainedge Middle School seventh-graders on board, when he attempted to park the bus and backed into a tree limb. The Plainedge School District released a statement from Superintendent Edward Salina, stating the teacher chaperoning the trip notified the building principal of the incident and local police were contacted. The statement from the district further explained that the principal, the district transportation supervisor, and the assistant to the superintendent for facilities and special projects arrived to assess the situation and ensure the students’ safety. According to the police, one of the students was taken to Huntington Hospital with minor injuries.
In the statement from Salina, he said that the district is fully cooperating with local authorities and will take appropriate action based on the outcome of an investigation. A spokesperson later told the Massapequan Observer that the current transportation policies and procedures are under review as the safety and security of students and staff is paramount. That spokesperson also stated that the Plainedge School District has its own fleet of buses and that the drivers are district employees. Some school districts, such as Massapequa, hire bus companies to transport district students. As of press time, an update was not available regarding the employment status of the driver that was arrested.
The arrest comes soon after a Massapequa Park man, Frederick Flowers, 66, was also arrested and charged by Nassau County Police with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child, fives counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of driving while intoxicated. According to Nassau County Police, Flowers was operating a school bus in Syosset when the vehicle left the roadway and struck a residence.
Although both of the drivers arrested were from the Massapequas, neither one is an employee of the Massapequa School District. Alan Adcock, the deputy superintendent of the Massapequa Public Schools, spoke with the Massapequan Observer about the protocols that are in place to ensure the safety of Massapequa students when they are being transported.
“It’s unconscionable that anyone would operate a school bus in a state of intoxication,” commented Adcock.
Adcock said that Massapequa does not hire its own fleet of drivers, and instead contracts out for transportation, primarily using Educational Bus Transportation and Atlantic Express, as well as Acme Bus Company. Adcock says that the district checks the hiring protocols of the companies that are used, and that any bus drivers hired by the district’s contractors are subjected to drug and alcohol testing before being hired. In addition, Adcock also said that each of the companies randomly checks its employees after the initial hiring process.
“The safety and security of our students is of primary importance,” he said.
In addition, Adcock says that the contracted companies also employ safety officers who do random checks of the routes to check on how the driver is performing. Furthermore, Adcock said that Keyana Wright, transportation director for the Massapequa School District, also randomly goes out and follows school buses to make sure that the buses are being driven in a safe manner.
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
A recent lawsuit against Northrop Grumman Corp. for groundwater contamination has the Massapequa Water District ensuring residents that its drinking water is safe for public consumption.
Bethpage Water District officials recently filed a federal lawsuit against Northrop Grumman Corp., claiming the company’s facilities caused “irreparable harm” by creating a toxic plume that has contaminated the groundwater, costing the district millions of dollars and threatening more than 33,000 customers in Bethpage, Old Bethpage, Farmingdale, Levittown and Plainview — while coming close to Massapequa.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
For the first time in its history, the Massapequa High School Mock Trial Team was invited to hone its skills at Harvard University’s High School Training Seminar. The seminar offers a range of basic and advanced classes that better position teams to win state and national competitions.
Participants — seniors Rebecca Girardin, Jenna Petrungaro, Christie Flanders, Cameron Wunderlin, Justin Jakubowski and juniors Selin Solen, Jeremy Wiss, Griffin Konen, Emily O’Leary, Nicole Feeley, Nicolle Dananberg, Taylor DelValle, Jillian Prystupa and Katie McMahon — called the experience, “amazing.”
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
With the Nassau County title on the line, junior kicker Zach Kolodny was the most composed player on the field. With time expiring, he booted the game-winning kick to send the Farmingdale Dalers into the Long Island Championship with a 29-26 victory over the Massapequa Chiefs.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Kolodny. “I was confident from the beginning that I would make the kick,” he added. “We practice this every day.”
The game featured a bevy of twists and took on a completely different feel in the fourth quarter than it did for the first three quarters.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
It was a historic day for the Chiefs as both the boys and girls varsity soccer teams capped the season with state championship titles. The win was the first state championship for the boys, who defeated Fairport, 1-0 at SUNY Cortland and the fifth for the girls, who beat North Rockland, 2-1 in Middletown, New York.
The winning goal for the boys team was scored by sophomore Dylan Nealis, who just the day before scored the winning goal in the AA state semifinal.