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Long Island news, weather, traffic and LIRR updates for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

Good morning, Long Island.

Welcome to the LI Now Live post for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014.

Here's the latest local happenings. Check back often for the latest breaking news, traffic and weather alerts and train delays.

Mobile users can click the link below to access our live coverage.


A group of Notre Dame greats is holding a football reunion...

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James Franco, 'Michael' co-stars film at East Rockaway High School

Actor James Franco poses with fans outside East

(Credit: Tara Conry)

Sporting sunglasses and a leather jacket, actor James Franco late Wednesday night greeted about 70 fans who had been staked outside East Rockaway High School for hours waiting for a glimpse of the star.

“There’s going to be one photo,” the Oscar-nominated actor told the crowd, which had been lined up single-file, smartphones in hand, ready to take selfies with him.

Instead, the “Spider-Man”...

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LIRR’s new schedule starts Sept. 2, covers track closures

A train on the Port Jefferson branch of

(Credit: Chris Ware)

The new temporary MTA Long Island Rail Road schedule takes effect Sept. 2.

The new schedule, which will be in effect until Nov. 16, will reflect changes to the LIRR’s 11 branches, which have been made due to ongoing construction projects and track repair programs.

There will be track surfacing on the Babylon branch, resulting in one of two tracks between Valley Stream and Rockville Centre...

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Long Island news, weather, traffic and LIRR updates for Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

Suffolk County police are looking for two men

We've wrapped the LI Now Live post for Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, but here's a look at some of the stories Newsday has been following throughout the day.

Scroll down to see a daily roundup of tweets from Newsday and its reporters.

(Mobile users: Access social media updates via the link below.)


Suffolk County police are looking for two unidentified...

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Sand-sculpting champ repeats in Lido Beach contest

Sea Cliff resident and professional sand sculptor Andy

(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Castles in the sand are more than just a hobby for Joe Sloboda.

The Seaford resident took on two sand castle competitions in less than a week — and emerged victorious in both of them.

“There’s a whole new meaning now, to going to the beach,” Sloboda said.

After winning the Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest only three days before, Sloboda took home top honors — and a $500 prize...

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Roundup: Middle Island church gets grant for repairs

A Middle Island church has received a $2,000 state grant to repair the congregation’s 175-year-old sanctuary building.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy awarded the grant to help the Middle Island United Church of Christ fix a roof and reinforce beams in the belfry supporting the church’s bell. A ladder will be added to improve access to the belfry, the conservancy said in a news release.


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Sweet corn icon Harbes gives watermelons center stage at festival

Visitors participate in the watermelon rolling contest at

(Credit: Meghan Fitzgerald)

Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Sweet Corn Festival last year. But the popularity of another crop is growing, prompting another annual event.

The second Watermelon Festival took place last Saturday and Sunday at the Mattituck farm. Owner Ed Herbes, 57, of Mattituck, said watermelon has become a best-seller, taking up several acres on his 100-acre farm...

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Miss Exceptional Long Island pageant bestows crowns, confidence

Kaitlyn Keisner, 9, of Coram, is crowned Miss

(Credit: Jennifer A. Uihlein)

For the 10 delegates who graced the stage at Sunday’s third annual Miss Exceptional Long Island pageant at the CM Performing Arts Center in Oakdale, an evening of stardom and fanfare carried with it a much more lasting mission -- building self-confidence.

The pageant was founded in 2012 by Nikki Silva and Christine Box to allow participants with developmental and intellectual disabilities...

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Long Island news, weather, traffic and LIRR updates for Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014

Drake on the last date of his "Would

(Credit: AP / Owen Sweeney)

Thank you for visiting the Long Island Now post for Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014.

We're winding down for the day, but here are a couple of things to keep an eye on.

Mobile users can view below for social media updates.


* The LIRR is adding extra stops at Forest Hills station for those attending the Drake/Lil Wayne concert at Forest Hills Stadium tonight. See...

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Roundup: Northport's new dock fees a success

A view of Northport Harbor on Sept. 3,

(Credit: Brittany Wait)

New dock fees a success, village officials say

Northport’s new dock fees have been successful, according to village officials.

The board approved the increased fees, which were proposed by trustee Ian Milligan, in May. The goal was to attract more boaters to the waterside community.

Milligan said at last week’s board meeting that the village collected $9,013 in July. Last year,...

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