On Dec. 30, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced the arrest of a Nassau County Corrections officer for multiple offenses related to his involvement with female inmates at the Nassau County Correctional Center (NCCC).
According to the DA’s office, Officer Mark Barber, 47, of Levittown, was arrested and arraigned on charges of rape, forcible touching and sexual abuse of female inmates. He is charged with three counts of rape – 3rd degree; 10 counts of sexual abuse – 2nd degree; three counts of forcible touching; receiving reward for official misconduct – 2nd degree; six counts of promoting prison contraband – 2nd degree; and 35 counts of official misconduct, the DA’s office said. He faces up to 16 years in prison if convicted.
Westbury native Damon “Dave” Mock who, for more than two decades, was best known as the “voice” of the Green Dragons, passed away suddenly Dec. 26 from a heart attack. Mr. Mock, who had suffered a mild stroke in September 2009 that hindered his ability to communicate, was just 41 years old.
Mr. Mock had a varied media background that began some 26 years ago as a writer. In 1983, at the age of 15, Mr. Mock received his first paycheck for writing; it was at this time that he had an article published in Advertising Age magazine. Later that same year, while a sophomore at Westbury High School, Mr. Mock became a staff writer for The Westbury Times. His relationship with the newspaper would last for 10 years, including four years as editor of the Times, and earn him several state and Long Island region journalism awards. He was also the recipient of a New York Press Association Writer of the Year award during a 1997 editorship of Anton Community Newspaper’s Levittown Tribune.
On Wednesday, Dec. 16, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi held a farewell party at the Garden City Hotel. He reflected on his years as county executive in front of staff members and supporters.
“Never forget you were part of something positive that made people’s lives better,” he told his staff members and supporters.
He also encouraged his supporters and staff members to stand by each other and take pride in the job they have done. “The challenge for each of us is to take this defeat and define meaning from it,” Suozzi said.
Despite narrowly passing a 2.5 percent home energy tax earlier this year, the Nassau County legislature last week voted 13-5 in favor of repealing it. During a meeting Dec. 21, the 19-member legislature voted 13-5 in favor of eliminating the tax; Republican Nassau County Executive-elect Edward Mangano, who currently represents the 17th District, was not present for the meeting and therefore did not vote.
The home energy tax, approved by the legislature in February and implemented in June, was imposed on all residential home energy sources – including LIPA electric usage, oil, natural gas, steam services and even coal, propane and firewood.
Republican legislators were opposed to the tax since initially proposed but earlier this year the 10-member Democratic majority approved it. As a result, Republicans, specifically Mangano, promised elimination of the tax once in office and, as of Jan. 1, the GOP will have an 11-8 majority.
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced last week that 13 additional social networking sites, including those owned by Google, Yahoo! and AOL, have agreed to remove New York sex offenders from their sites. This comes in the wake of the attorney general’s announcement earlier this month that Facebook and MySpace – the two largest social networking sites – successfully removed over 3,500 sex offenders.
As of press time, 15 major social networking companies have agreed to use New York’s Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP), authored by Cuomo, to purge registered sex offenders from their sites. The law requires all registered sex offenders to register their email accounts, screen names and any other Internet identifiers with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). That information is then made available to social networking sites. Several other companies continue to ignore this critical measure to make the Internet safer.
With the 2009-2010 school year in full swing, Dr. Constance Clark-Snead, superintendent of the Westbury School District, recently sat down with The Westbury Times to discuss student accomplishments, district initiatives and the various “misconceptions” surrounding the school community. Clark-Snead said the message, not just to parents but to the entire community, is that Westbury students are improving.
According to the district, between the 2005-2006 and 2008-2009 school years, the graduation rate has steadily increased from 85 percent to 88 percent. In fact, in 2008, 89 percent of the district’s 270 graduates, including those with special needs, went off to attend two- and four-year colleges and universities, including such prestigious schools are Dartmouth and Harvard.
Last week, Nassau County Executive-elect Edward P. Mangano named Republican Assemblyman Rob Walker of Hicksville his Chief Deputy Executive and on Monday, Mangano held a press conference to provide an update on the transition process and announce that he appointed Tim Sullivan as Deputy Nassau County Executive for Finance.
On Dec. 8, Carle Place, East Meadow and Westbury residents took to the polls to cast their votes in various special elections. The results are as follows:
Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi announced Dec. 1 that he would not challenge the election between him and Republican opponent Ed Mangano, ensuring that Mangano will become the next Nassau County Executive next month.
The parent company of Nassau University Medical Center has renamed itself in hopes of connecting with its community in a new way. In September, the board of directors for the Nassau Health Care Corporation (NHCC) – which consists of Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC), the A. Holly Patterson Extended Care Facility and five Family Health Centers – became the NuHealth System.
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