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Go the Extra Mile benefit begins today

The Morgan Center, a Hicksville preschool for children with cancer, is kicking off an effort today aimed at raising $250,000.

Go the Extra Mile 4 Kids with Cancer will encourage people to walk, run, ride or travel in any other way for a mile or whatever distance they'd like and then donate to the center, said Rod Zuch, the Bay Shore resident who founded the center in 2003 with his wife Nancy.

The couple's daughter, Morgan, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2 and went through 2 ½ years of chemotherapy. Morgan, now 17, is considered cured and came up with the idea for Go the Extra Mile, Rod Zuch said.

The Zuchs, current and former children and families from the center, former New York Islanders player Clark Gillies and Miss New York Jamie Macchia are among those scheduled to walk a mile in the center's gym today to launch the effort, Zuch said.

The center was established because children with cancer have suppressed immune systems and often cannot attend preschool for fear of contracting serious illnesses. The center is believed to be the first preschool in the country for children fighting cancer and serves an average of 20 to 24 kids a year, Zuch said.

Some of the money raised will be used to open a second location in Islip Terrace and possibly programs outside New York, Zuch said.

For more information on the Morgan Center, and to donate, go to or to the center's Facebook page: The Morgan Center. Participants in Go the Extra Mile can post photos or videos of themselves completing the challenge on the website or Facebook page.


Town approves new ambulance purchase

The City Council has approved buying an ambulance for the volunteer fire department and paramedics.

The city purchased the PL-Custom Chassis Ambulance for $183,467 from the Islandia-based Hendrickson Fire company to replace a 2003 ambulance that survived superstorm Sandy in October 2012.

The ambulance has a 2012 Ford F-150 chassis. The vehicle only has 20 miles on it and will be used for volunteer fire and paramedic 911 calls.

Funding was available in the city's capital improvements fund and transfers of $3,467 from the fire equipment fund.


Police to host drug take-back Saturday

The police department announced its participation in the 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at its headquarters at 34 Maple Ave.

"Local residents can return their unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal," a news release from the village said.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, the news release said, adding that "rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs."


Waste station hearing postponed

The Hempstead Village Planning Board has postponed today's meeting one week until Sept. 28 to hear an application for a waste transfer station.

A Hempstead-based gravel and trucking company, Fildon LLC, is seeking to convert a vacant 15,020-square-foot property at Sewell and Mirschell streets into a green waste and construction material transfer station. That location is a decontaminated brownfield site located across the street from homes. The area is zoned industrial and sits next to a recycling center and scrap metal yard.

Developers with Fildon and Inwood-based Don Cristi LLC are expected to make a presentation to the planning board regarding the environmental impact, improvements to control dust and odor and hear recommendations from the traffic safety board. The project would be subject to a Department of Environmental Conservation review before it is built.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at Village Hall, 99 Nichols Court in Hempstead.


Tomorrow marks LI's annual Car-Free Day

Organizers of Long Island's third annual Car-Free Day hope to see a lot of occupied driveways tomorrow.

Car-Free Day, observed on Sept. 22 by some 1,500 cities in 40 countries, was created in 2000. The event aims to reduce traffic, conserve energy, protect the environment and promote fitness by getting drivers to consider transportation alternatives, including buses, trains, carpooling, cycling and telecommuting.

"This is Long Island's event," event co-chairwoman Rosemary Mascali said at a rally at Farmingdale State College on Thursday. "It's about Long Islanders taking action to have a positive impact on our environment."

Mascali, manager of the MTA's Transit Solutions program, said 2,800 people pledged to go "car-free" or "car-light" last year, and she expected to reach at least 3,000 this year. As of Thursday, some 2,300 people had taken the pledge this year at

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