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Hempstead / Journalist hurt at media event suing Nassau

A journalist who fell backward in her wheelchair while trying to board a bus at a New Year's Day media event has filed an intent to sue Nassau County.

Barbara Yanger, 42, of Hempstead, was going up a bus ramp at a Garden City news conference for the county's new bus system when her wheelchair flipped backward, slamming her head against the depot tarmac.

Friday, Yanger, a reporter for two public access television programs, announced at a Garden City news conference that she has served legal notice of her intent to sue Nassau County.

Yanger's lawyer, Joseph Soffey, of Garden City, says he is seeking clarity on whether Nassau County was still responsible for the bus at the time of the accident. Violia Transportation took over the county's bus system, now called Nassau Inter-County Express, that day.

Katie Grilli-Robles, a spokeswoman for the county, said her office did not comment on pending litigation. A representative for Veolia Transportation Services did not return calls seeking comment.

Yanger was using a wheelchair after a heart attack and stroke in November. -- ANN GIVENS


Bay Shore / Auto shop owners accused of stealing car parts

A Brentwood woman whose damaged car was taken to a Bay Shore auto repair shop found the windows missing when she went to pick it up, Suffolk police said.

An investigation by Third Precinct Crime Section officers determined Salvatore Osnato and James Jeffery, owners of Jim's Perfection Auto on Wisconsin Court, stole the windshield and door windows of her 1997 Nissan, damaged Sunday in a Brentwood car accident, police said in a Friday news release.

The Nissan owner told police the windows were intact when she was taken to Southside Hospital after the accident and the car went to the repair shop, police said.

Osnato, 62, of Holbrook, and Jeffery, 54, of Central Islip, were arrested Friday and charged with petty larceny and making a false statement, police said. They were released with field appearance tickets. Police are seeking other victims. -- ELLEN YAN


Hempstead / Cops: 4 Crips arrested in drug raid at home

Four members of the Crips street gang were arrested on drug charges Thursday, as State Police and investigators for the Nassau County district attorney's office raided a Hempstead home, authorities said.

State Police said a search warrant was executed at 6 a.m. Thursday at 17 Covert St. after a long-term investigation into drug sales at the house.

Two of those arrested face felony charges for possession of crack and for possession of cocaine, police said. They are: Akini Gibbs, 28, of 138 Woodfield Rd. West Hempstead and Juanita Flakes, 26, of 23 Mirin Ave., Roosevelt.

Also arrested were Makese Gadson, 33, of 1601 Johnson Ave., Elmont, and Quacey Gomez, 26, of 66 Cumberbach Ave., Wyandanch.

Each is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, police said. Arraignment information was not immediately available.-- GARY DYMSKI

Carle Place / Man, 25, strikes trees, killed in skiing accident

A Carle Place man died in a skiing accident Friday in the Adirondacks, New York State Police said.

Daniel M. McGovern, 25, lost control and struck several trees while skiing on Whiteface Mountain, one of the sites of the 1980 Winter Olympics that was based in nearby Lake Placid.

McGovern, who was wearing a helmet, was skiing with family on the Excelsior Trail, when he lost control, went off the trail and struck the trees about 10:30 a.m., police said.

Whiteface Ski Patrol Emergency Medical Technicians responded and attempted emergency life saving measures, police said, but McGovern was pronounced dead at the site, about 30 feet off the trail.

He was a 2004 graduate of Carle Place High School.

-- BILL MASON

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