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Long Island news, weather, schools and LIRR updates for Monday, April 7, 2014

Central Islip High School, located at 85 Wheeler

(Credit: Brittany Wait)

Welcome to Newsday's Long Island Now live post for Monday, April 7, 2014. 

Although we've wrapped up today's live coverage, below you can find a round-up of some of the local stories Newsday has been following throughout the day.

Scroll down to view social media updates from Newsday's reporters including Laura Figueroa and Paul LaRocco, who are covering today's Nassau...

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South Farmingdale fire district ratings upgraded by Moody's

The South Farmingdale Fire Department, which includes Engine

(Credit: Alexi Knock)

Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the South Farmingdale Fire District’s general obligation bond rating from A1 to Aa3.

The action is a result of Moody’s new local government general obligation methodology and affects $3.6 million in debt.

The upgrade “reflects the district’s sizable tax base with high wealth levels, minimal debt burden, and stable financial position,” Moody’s officials...

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Bellport budget would hike taxes 14 percent

South Country Road looking east in Bellport Village

(Credit: Carl Corry)

The Bellport Village Board is expected to vote Monday night on a $4.5 million budget that would raise taxes an average of 14 percent.

Mayor Ray Fell said repairs and improvements to village buildings and roads contributed to a 4.6 percent increase in the proposed 2014-15 budget. The spending hike would push the average tax bill to $1,368 next year, from $1,200 this year, Fell said.


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Riverhead downtown sidewalk improvements, teacher honored

Starting April 7, 2014, four miles of sidewalks

(Credit: Brittany Wait)


$2.1M to improve downtown sidewalks

Starting today, four miles of sidewalks in downtown Riverhead are to be installed or in some places reconstructed, as well as enhanced with ramps and other requirements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the state Department of Transportation said Friday.

The $2.1 million project is focused on upgrading Main Street’s...

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Polar Plunge a birthday affair in Blue Point

Linda Fishman celebrated her 60th birthday by completing

(Credit: Meghan Fitzgerald )

On her 60th birthday, Linda Fishman of Medford was ready to cross an item off her bucket list. So she headed to Blue Point.

Fishman, who said she has jumped out of planes and flown a helicopter, was one of about 100 brave souls who plunged into the 41-degree water at Corey Beach on Sunday for the fourth annual Blue Point Bayport Lions Club Polar Plunge.

While Fishman jumped in, Michael...

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In Patchogue, an April St. Patrick's Day parade

Steve Tomasini, Lori Bocker and Beth Tomasini get

(Credit: Instagram user imerica)

While St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, Irish eyes smiled at the 18th annual Patchogue St. Patrick’s Day parade and 5k run, which took place Sunday, a week after it was rescheduled due to heavy rain.

Patchogue’s streets were lined in green as nearly 30 marching groups and eight pipe bands entertained the crowd.

Leading the parade, which started at the corner of Route 112, were over...

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Long Island's Claudio Gonzalez preps for North Pole Marathon

Claudio Gonzalez, 39, trains for the North Pole

(Credit: Johnny Milano)

Claudio Gonzalez of Westbury is set for the North Pole Marathon, which was created in 2002 and sells itself as the "World's Coolest Marathon."

Gonzalez will pull on running shoes with metal spikes, layer up in fleece and set out to run 26.2 miles on the polar ice cap on Wednesday.

If that's not daunting enough, the 39-year-old runner also may have to grapple with polar bears.


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Fire engulfs vehicle in Copiague parking lot

North Amityville firefighters extinguished a vehicle fire Saturday,

(Credit: Paul Mazza)

North Amityville firefighters extinguished a vehicle fire Saturday morning in a parking lot on Sunrise Highway in Copiague.

Firefighters arrived shortly after 9 a.m. to find a Ford Expedition on fire. The blaze was brought under control in about 15 minutes, according to a fire official.

No injuries were reported....

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North Shore Animal League promotes adoption, good health

North Shore Animal League of America is encouraging

(Credit: Jim Staubitser)

North Shore Animal League of America in Port Washington is inviting Long Islanders to bring home a "get in shape buddy."

Those are the words that Lindsey Calabrese, communications manager at North Shore, used while talking about the promotion this weekend offering discounted adoption fees.

The shelter is hoping that sedentary souls are motivated by the spring weather to adopt a dog and...

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No Long Island Rail Road trains this weekend on Hempstead branch

A westbound Long Island Rail Road train entering

(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

There will be no Long Island Rail Road trains operating on the Hempstead branch this weekend, as the LIRR performs track work near Bellerose station.

The service outage will last from 11:38 p.m. Friday night until 4 a.m. Monday. The LIRR said it expects to restore full train service in time for the Monday morning commute.

Buses and vans will replace trains for stations from Hollis through...

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