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Tara Conry

Long Island native Tara Conry is newsday.com's Nassau community journalist. A Hofstra University communications graduate, most recently she was a local editor for Patch and previously reported for the New York Daily News, Reader's Digest and SmartMoney. She's earned awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Press Club of Long Island and the American Society of Magazine Editors. When not covering Long Island's local communities, Tara enjoys running (often with her Old English Sheepdog by her side), playing soccer and indulging in her love of musical theater.

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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Chris Marshall reunited with stranger who saved him on LIRR

Bill Gerow, 50, of Farmingdale, visits Chris Marshall,

(Credit: Eileen Palermo)

Bill Gerow had never performed CPR on a human being before, “only dummies.”

The 50-year-old Farmingdale man had taken a lifesaving course when he was 13 to earn a Boy Scouts merit badge, but never had to put those skills to use — until last Thursday.

Gerow and his 15-year-old son, Max, were coming home from work on the 5:53 p.m. Long Island Rail Road train from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma...

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After flooding, Babylon rebounds to host Dirty Sock Run

Runners competing in the Classic 10k Dirty Sock

(Credit: Tara Conry)

Just days after a record-setting rainstorm left parts of Babylon Village flooded with up to four feet of water, a record number of runners turned out Sunday for ninth annual Classic 10k Dirty Sock Run.

“It’s a miracle that we even had the race today,” said Raymond “Hapi” Auer, the director of the run, which is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Babylon.

Mayor Ralph Scordino said the village’s...

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Paraplegic Gabriel Cordell aims to roll across Israel to promote peace

Gabriel Cordell, a 43-year-old paraplegic who travelled across

(Credit: Lisa France)

While rolling his wheelchair 3,100 miles from California to Long Island last summer, Gabriel Cordell, 43, who is paralyzed from the waist down due to a car accident in 1992, was already thinking about his next journey.

The former Long Islander and his documentary crew were two thirds of the way through their 99-day trek in early June 2013 when they stopped at a YMCA in Illinois to speak with...

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Famous LIers taking ice bucket challenge for ALS

Olympic figure skating champion and Great Neck native

(Credit: YouTube)

The cold never bothered Sarah Hughes anyway.

Over the weekend, the Great Neck native and Olympic figure skating champion accepted the ice bucket challenge that has been sweeping through social media.

In a video posted to YouTube Sunday, Hughes, 29, is seen sporting ice skates and a blue skating dress, which she says she stole from the closet of her sister, fellow Olympic figure skater...

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OneRepublic, 'The Giver' give sick LI teen epic first concert

Torren Mitchell, 13, of Stony Brook, meets her

(Credit: Helene Oswald)

Everyone remembers their first concert, but for 13-year-old Torren Mitchell, the experience was truly epic.

On June 29, Torren got more than front-row seats to see her favorite band, OneRepublic, play the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. The Stony Brook teen also got to meet the group’s members backstage and they gave her a special shout-out during their show.

“There’s a special person...

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Miss Long Island 2011 Marina Montes turns crown into career

Miss Long Island 2011 Marina Montes after her

You can take the girl out of Long Island, but if it’s Miss Long Island, she’ll just bring Long Island wherever she goes.

That’s what East Setauket native and 2011 Miss Long Island winner Marina Montes has done.

After graduating from the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill School of Law in 2011, Montes decided to launch a pageant modeled after Miss Long Island in her new home in...

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Crowdfunding helps LI woman with high kidney transplant costs

From left, Claudia Bowers, 62, of Smithtown, will

(Credit: Erica Jackson)

In a video posted last week to YouTube, 8-year-old Shirley resident Karen Jackson and her brother, Cole, 5, can be seen making pleas on behalf of their grandma.

“Please help us get money, so my ‘Beba’ can get her kidney fixed,” says Cole, referring to his grandmother, Smithtown’s Claudia Bowers.

Bowers, 62, has been in renal failure since January 2013, and has been undergoing nine hours...

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Olympic hopeful wins Long Beach volleyball tournament

Pro volleyball player Mark Burik, 28, of Glendale,

(Credit: Tara Conry)

Pro beach volleyball player Mark Burik has traveled the world competing and coaching, but on Sunday, the 28-year-old Olympic hopeful was back on familiar sand, playing in the Bethpage FCU Summer Breeze tournament in Long Beach.

“This is the beach where I learned on,” said Burik, who grew up in Glendale, Queens, and spent summers at his family’s home in Breezy Point. “These are the guys who...

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Autistic Great Neck runner, Alex Schneider, closer to magazine cover

Alex Schneider, 22, of Great Neck, at the

(Credit: Picasa / Robyn Schneider)

Alex Schneider has pulled away from the pack.

The 24-year-old Great Neck resident who is competing for the cover of Runner’s World has earned a spot on the leader board.

Schneider is one of the roughly 1,700 runners vying to be on the cover of the national magazine’s December 2014 issue, and as of Monday morning, online voters had put him in the 15th place, with more than 1,800 votes. 

“It’s...

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