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ISLIP/Free cab rides for vets

A taxi operator at Long Island MacArthur Airport will offer free taxi rides to military service members arriving at the airport this month and next, Islip Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt and Lindy's Taxi operations manager Frank Paolinoa, a Vietnam War veteran, announced Wednesday. Lindy's also will pick up family members and drive them to meet a returning service member at the airport. The Town of Islip last year launched its Hometown Heroes Welcome program, greeting service members who fly home to MacArthur. - JENNIFER MALONEY


CALVERTON/ Payment issue for park

The three-year saga to create a billion-dollar theme park in Calverton continued when Riverhead Resorts officials promised - once again - that their check was in the mail.

The company gave the Riverhead town board a check for nearly $4 million on Nov. 3, money that it owed for two separate payments to Riverhead to extend its contract to purchase 755 acres of land at the town-owned Enterprise Park at Calverton.

But the town never actually got the money.

The nonrefundable funds were to be wired to an escrow account controlled by the town attorney, and released after the town board passed a resolution extending the closing date on the contract to Aug. 31, 2011, and lowering the price for the land from $155 million to $100 million. The town also was to get an additional separate payment of $8 million at the closing.

But a stop-payment order was imposed on the Riverhead Resorts checking account, which the firm blamed on a photo of the check that ran in a weekly newspaper clearly showing the routing and account numbers.

"We never got the money," Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said earlier this week. Because Thursday is Veterans Day - a legal holiday when banks are closed - the transfer cannot be made. And tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., Walter said he is prepared to vote to cancel the contract.

Mitch Pally, Riverhead Resorts attorney, said, "We're well aware of the town meeting time and date . . . we're just waiting for it to show up."

- MITCHELL FREEDMAN

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