6 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2020
IN THE NEWS
WEB BRIEFS LI AT A GLANCE
LI WOMAN TESTIFIES VS. WEINSTEIN
An aspiring actress from Long Island is among the
half-dozen women who testified against Harvey
Weinstein at the movie producer’s rape trial in
January at Manhattan State Supreme Court.
Tarale Wulff is one of four women who are testifying
to show a pattern of behavior, while the charges
of predatory sexual assault and one criminal
sexual act Weinstein is facing stem from incidents
involving two other women. Wulff was allegedly
victimized by Weinstein at the disgraced movie
mogul’s apartment, which she had gone to hoping
to get hired, but she never told anyone about it.
“She tried to forget and move on, put on a brave
face, and pretend that nothing happened,”
Manhattan Assistant District Attorney
Meghan Hast said, according
Wulff is one of
about 100 women
or raped them.
His case was the
catalyst for the #MeToo movement, in which
women increasingly began coming forward two
years ago with allegations against men who used
their positions of power as leverage over women
they sexually abused or raped.
ZELDIN DEFENDS TRUMP
U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), the congressman
representing the East End of Long Island, was appointed
in January to serve on President Donald
Trump’s impeachment defense team.
Zeldin, who has become among Trump’s chief defenders
in TV interviews, criticizing Democratic
leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and
their handling of the impeachment inquiry since
last fall, is one of eight Republican members of the
president’s congressional defense team.
“The president never should have been impeached
in the first place,” Zeldin tweeted on the eve of the
impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, noting that
he’s “honored to be asked to serve” on the team.
Trump’s impeachment trial may last several weeks.
The Republican-led U.S. Senate is widely expected
to acquit Trump.
NORTHPORT STUDENTS RELOCATED
More than 600 Northport Middle School students
and teachers were relocated for the rest of the
school year while the administration deals with
concerns about toxins found in septic tanks on the
The move comes after the school’s environmental
firm, P.W. Grosser Consulting, Inc. (PWGC), reported
to the school district that soil samples from
two different septic systems at Northport Middle
School contained elevated levels of mercury and
benzene that will require further remediation per
the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.
“It is important to note that preliminary air testing
indicated no observable detection of VOCs (Volatile
Organic Compounds) — which includes benzene
— inside the building, or from the soil samples, as
well as at the source of the septic tanks,” Northport
School Superintendent Robert Banzer wrote in a
letter to parents.
PWGC has been conducting a comprehensive investigation
of environmental conditions at the school,
including extensive testing of soil, vapor, indoor
air quality, a geophysical survey and testing of the
school’s sanitary system and storm water.
HEMPSTEAD OVERSIGHT COMPROMISE
New York State lawmakers have proposed a revised
version of the Hempstead School District oversight
bill that appears to be a compromise, easing administrator’s
concerns that the original plan was too strict.
The most significant change is that the revised
version of the bill removes the proposed monitor’s
veto power over the board of education’s spending
measures and nixes the watchdog’s ability to
appoint superintendents. A revised version of a
similar bill enacting oversight of the Wyandanch
School District was also proposed. The governor is
expected to sign the bills into law when they pass
the state Assembly and Senate.
“After discussions with the legislature, we’ve
reached an agreement that will help us achieve
this goal,” said Jason Conwall, a spokesman for
Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Among the key provisions in the negotiated
amendments are requiring public input, requiring
the board and the monitor to work collaboratively
and come up with consensus academic and fiscal
plans and annual budgets, and
if they fail to reach consensus,
of education. It
also provides fiscal
relief for Wyandanch
and reduces the oversight panel
from three monitors to one.
NEW GILGO EVIDENCE REVEALED
Suffolk County police shared a previously undisclosed
piece of evidence in the unsolved Gilgo Beach
murder investigation Jan. 16, nine years after the
evidence was found and shortly before a movie
about the case debuts.
The evidence was a black leather belt embossed
with the half-inch initials “HM” or “WH” in light
blue lettering found at an unspecified victim’s
dump site, police said. Investigators believe the
belt was handled by the killer and didn’t belong to
any of the victims, but they declined to release the
“We are hopeful this photo will bring someone
forward with information about its origin,” Suffolk
County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said.
In addition, police launched a new website dedicated
to the case, gilgonews.com, where the public can
read up on the investigation, submit tips, and police
may release new details down the line. Hart also
announced that the New York State Department of
Health has approved investigators’ request to provide
DNA samples from the unidentified victims to
the FBI, which will conduct genetic genealogy in an
attempt to identify them.
The announcement came before Lost Girls, a Netflix
movie about the case, debuts March 13.
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