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Driving less, saving money

Money-saving trends on car expenses

Driving rates nationally went down 28% in the spring, and though that might tick up as places reopen, various factors could lead to sustained change in driving behavior, said Kacie Saxer-Taulbee, a data scientist at Insurify. Economic uncertainty means people are looking for ways to save money on car insurance.

"People are facing more economic uncertainty now than they ever have before, so that the dual circumstance of having less money to go around and not needing to drive as much because they’re either laid off or working from home, I think has led many Americans to consider canceling their car insurance," she said.

Data is still too early to measure, but there are a few trends that appear to be gaining momentum, such as buying insurance online and usage-based insurance, said Robert Passmore, a policy expert at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. And, opting to store one car and keep only comprehensive insurance can save significant money, Saxer-Taulbee said.

Looking to save on car insurance? Here are some tips (and what to watch out for).

Cuomo: NY's positivity rate above 1% as targeted hot spot efforts continue

The state's coronavirus levels remained relatively stable, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Friday, though officials continue to battle about 20 "hot spots" where the levels are about four times the state average.

The statewide average positivity rate was 1.25% in testing from Thursday, and 4.8% in the hot spots in Brooklyn, Queens, Orange and Rockland counties. The state average was 1.14% excluding the hot spots.

Meanwhile on Long Island, as of Friday afternoon:

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  • Sayville Middle School was closed Friday after a person at the school tested positive, Schools Superintendent John E. Stimmel said in a notice posted to the school website.
  • Finley Middle School in the Huntington school district was closed to students Friday after a student tested positive, according to a letter dated Thursday from school officials on the district’s website.
  • At Riverhead High School, a student is headed to quarantine after testing positive.

See the updated list of new cases reported in LI schools.

The number of new positives reported today: 105 in Nassau, 104 in Suffolk, 660 in New York City and 1,707 statewide.

The chart above shows how many people in the state were hospitalized each day with the coronavirus over the past 30 days. Search a map of new cases, and view more charts showing the latest local trends in new cases, testing, deaths and more.

Touring the COVID-19 changes for jury trials

Nassau County's top judge guided attorneys from the local Bar Association's COVID-19 Committee on a tour Thursday of Supreme Court in Mineola to see the changes made for jury trials during the pandemic.

"We're involved in the slow and deliberate return to operations," Nassau Administrative Judge Norman St. George said. " … It's our view that the courts separate civilization from anarchy because here is where people come to have their matters addressed."

Those changes start right at the door. Everyone in the building must wear a face mask. Visitors also undergo a temperature check and answer questions about potential COVID-19 exposure at magnetometers by the entrances. Once inside, social distancing stickers on the floor remind people to stay spaced apart and hand sanitizer stations are throughout the building.

This nonprofit founder is giving away Halloween costumes

As a founder of a nonprofit organization called Helping Makes U Happy, it’s safe to say Keith Caputo is happy to help others.

He and his mother, Cassy Caputo, created the organization in 2015, in which they mobilize volunteers to fundraise for scholarships and collect donations of food, clothing, school supplies and more across Long Island.

When the pandemic hit, their efforts got put on hold. Keith, 39, who has Down syndrome, has a compromised immune system.

They stayed home for a few months but resumed operations in smaller group settings. Recently, they held their annual Halloween costume drive, where they gave away costumes outside the Center Moriches Fire Department — and still have more to give away.

"It’s always such a fun thing," Cassy said. "The costumes are beautiful and the kids love coming to look at them."

More to know

After a coronavirus outbreak at SUNY Oneonta, the school announced its president had resigned to "pursue other opportunities."

Long Island job growth improved last month, marking a 2.2% increase over August’s jobs report, state data shows.

New York State's guidance for high school winter sports is expected to be released in early November before winter sports teams may begin practices.

Thursday marked the 47th consecutive day that there were no new positive coronavirus tests among players, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced Friday.

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Christopher Cross was diagnosed with what he says was a near-fatal case of the coronavirus.

News for you

No indoor concerts, but there is pizza. Ella's has found a new home at Huntington's Paramount Theater. After operating as a summerlong pizza pop-up in Greenlawn, it's debuted its pizza and rustic looks on the ground floor of the concert venue. Find out more.

Applying for college looks different. In our Newsday Live webinar on Tuesday, admissions professionals from colleges will talk about how to cope, what to prioritize and how they’re looking at applications during the pandemic. Register here.

Home improvement projects? There are apps for that. These apps can help you find products and virtual floor plans, and see how items would look in your home. Check them out.

A drive-through job fair. The Express Employment Professionals staffing agency is hosting a drive-through job fair in Farmingdale on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees can learn about job openings while staying in their vehicles.

Teen trends found in quarantine. Dressing for hybrid school, small gatherings or backyard events has amped up teen style lately — some drawing inspiration from TikTok trends. Check out what's in style.

Plus: FAFSA is now open, and due to the pandemic, some families that didn’t plan to apply for federal financial aid now expect to. Experts say filing early gives a better shot at college aid. Here's what you need to know.

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Commentary

Matt Davies, Newsday’s Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist, responds to news on Long Island and around the world.

Take a look through more of his cartoons.

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