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Mineola Third-Grader Lends Voice To Benefit Hurricane Victims

Friday, 28 December 2012 00:00

Amanda Lapierre, a third-grade student at Jackson Avenue School in the Mineola School District, recently sang a song with her aunt, recording artist Dahna Bender, for the benefit of Hurricane Sandy victims. Ms. Bender, who recorded the album “Giving of the Heart” asked her niece to sing the prelude to the track “Winter Wonderland.” 

“It makes me feel good to know I was actually helping others,” Amanda said of her decision to do the recording. “It makes me feel very happy.”

The song, which sells for 99 cents on iTunes, is part of an album that is less than $6 and benefits hurricane victims in the Rockaways. Amanda and Ms. Bender’s goal is to raise $1,000 for the cause.



Mineola To Receive Efficiency Grant

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 28 December 2012 00:00

School district awarded for financial, managerial responsibility

The Mineola School District has been selected to receive a $213,129 grant for the 2012-13 school year from the New York State Education Department, District Superintendent Michael Nagler revealed. Mineola is receiving the School District Management Efficiency Competitive Grant as a result of its application detailing the ways in which it has streamlined its costs.

Nagler mentioned that this is because the district closed two school buildings and reorganized resources while still providing educational programs for its students. He said the grant would be used on technology tools for students.


Werther To Run As Independent In March Elections

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 21 December 2012 00:00

New Line Party endorses Durham, Strauss and newcomer Walsh

Reported first by the Mineola American on Friday, Dec. 14, the New Line Party announced its endorsements of current Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss, Trustee George Durham and 30-year Mineola resident Dennis Walsh for the March 2013 village elections. One familiar face was not on the ticket: current Trustee Larry Werther.

Werther, a founding member of the New Line Party, did not receive the party’s endorsement. He feels this was in the works well before the party announced its slate for the March 19, 2013 elections.

“It’s always easier to try to get rid of somebody, rather than negotiate,” said Werther. “Quite frankly, I think I proved my value to the village. Just look at the stuff that Jack [Martins] and I put together when we first got it in. The village was headed to fiscal ruin. We brought back fiscal sanity.”


Mineola Reacts To Connecticut School Shootings

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 21 December 2012 00:00

Nagler: ‘Safety plans may be modified’

The horror that struck Newtown, CT on Friday, Dec. 14 sent a wave of terror across the country after a 20-year-old man gunned down 20 elementary school students and seven teachers. Since then, local school officials have faced questions about safety and security.

Whether it was a coincidence or a sign of safe planning, the Mineola School District held safety and lockdown drills at two buildings just before shooting, District Superintendent Michael Nagler told the Mineola American on Monday, Dec. 17. Drills were held at Mineola High School and the Hampton Street School.

“We do lockdown drills in conjunction with Nassau County Police,” he said in a phone interview.


Texting Argument Ends With Shooting In Williston Park

Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 12 December 2012 12:14


Police: couple arguing over TV show leads to woman being shot in her back

What started out as a disagreement on two QWERTY keyboards ended in a 26-year-old woman being shot on Marcellus Road in Williston Park, police revealed at a press briefing on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Jared Gurman, 26, was charged with second-degree attempted murder after the 2:40 a.m. shooting.

Lt. Ray Cote of the Third Squad said the argument sparked during a discussion of the AMC television show The Walking Dead while the two were together on the night of Sunday, Dec. 2. According to Cote, Gurman was growing concerned over the idea that a possible real-life situation, like a military accident, could occur resulting in catastrophe.


Mineola Man Gets What’s Rightfully His After Six Decades

Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 12 December 2012 12:13

World War II veteran finally receives medals, recounts D-Day invasion, other battles

The 18-year-old soldier sat aboard a boat clenching his rifle just 300 yards from Utah Beach, which was being bombarded by both sides of World War II. With five days of food and equipment, he and the other young men on the boat were about to make their mark on one of the most important moments in world history.

Neither he nor the other members of 359th Infantry of the 90th Division knew the true gravity of the situation as they approached the beach. He plunged into the water prepared to make his way to the beach, but there was a significant obstacle in his path: he didn’t know how to swim.


Pension Costs Could Affect School Tax Levy

Written by Rich Forestano, Friday, 07 December 2012 00:00

Mineola officials, regardless of the option,

do not want to pierce the state imposed tax cap

Teacher retirement in the Mineola School District could affect next year’s tax levy, which has a state-imposed 2 percent limit that was put into law in 2011. Finance Superintendent Jack Waters revealed that the district could have $800,000 exempt from the cap due to the estimated retirement costs that would go into effect in the 2013-14 school year.

Waters said the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) increases for next year is about $1.5 million. Mineola under state law could put out a 3.05 percent increase for the next year, with half of the estimated TRS cost spikes not included, leveling out piercing the cap, a move the district does not want to make.


Former Mineola Resident Celebrates 104th Birthday

Friday, 07 December 2012 00:00

Ida Zipkis, a former Mineola resident and current resident of the Bristal Assisted Living Community in Westbury celebrated her 104th birthday with her daughter Roberta and son-in-law Jay Katzeff and fellow residents of the Bristal. Zipkis’ wish as she blew out the candles was, “health and happiness for everyone.”

The key to longevity she says is simple, “just leave it to God.”


MTA, Mineola School District Settle Contract Woes

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 30 November 2012 00:00

After two years of negotiations, Mineola teachers get a new contract

The Mineola School District and the Mineola Teachers Association (MTA) finally ended an employee contract tussle, District Superintendent Michael Nagler revealed on Thursday, Nov. 15. The deal was ratified earlier that day.

Before the agreement was reached, the 275-member MTA had operated without a contract since June 30, 2011 but negotiations date back to 2010, Nagler said. An impasse was declared on Oct. 19, 2011 after negotiations broke down between the MTA and the district.


Sandy Shake-Up Could Cost Band Trip To Florida

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 30 November 2012 00:00

Mineola modifies school calendar, shortening February break and puts band trip in jeopardy

The Mineola School District went dark for five days due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Even though the blustery winds are long gone, the effects are still prevalent in the village and it’s showed after the administration released its newly revised school calendar.

The Mineola High School Marching Band “Disney’s Magic Music Days in Florida” trip from Feb. 15 to 22 was caught in the storm’s fray and is in jeopardy of being canceled. Some parents have already put non-refundable deposits down for the journey south, with the total cost per student reaching $1,300.


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