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Banned Workers Win Lawsuit Against Hempstead Town, Scholars Honored

A weekly look-in at news from around the Town of Hempstead.

After two years of ongoing litigation, the three banned volunteer animal rescue workers from Hempstead Town Animal Shelter have won their case against the town.

It was announced Tuesday that the plaintiffs -- Diane Madden of East Meadow, Lucille DeFina of Merrick and Frances Lucivero‐Pelletier of Levittown -- had accepted an offer of judgment that their lawyer, Steven Morelli, referred to as a "total victory against the Town of Hempstead, Town Supervisor Kate Murray and various town officials."

Court documents state that the settlement totalled $150,000, including attorney's fees.

Click here to read more about the lawsuit.

Town Honors Siemens Westinghouse Finalists, Regional Finalist and Semifinalists

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray honored students from throughout the township at the Jan. 8 Town Board meeting. The students are finalists, semifinalist and regional finalists in the Siemens Westinghouse Science Competition.

The Town of Hempstead is very proud to honor the following students for making it to the semifinals: Devan Oodal of Garden City High School; Kyle Johnson, Thomas Keady and Samantha Preshad of South Side High School; Shovan Hasan, Kathryn Hockberg, Daphne Superville, Benjamin Kramer and Valery Zajkov of Hewlett High School; Jessica Ramos and Lee Stetson of Freeport High School.

The town's very own regional finalist is Evan Chernack of South Side High School. Chernack, of Rockville Centre, received a $1,000 scholarship for having competed in a regional competition at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., in November. His project was: “A Study of the Role of the ROCK Kinase Pathway in Dental Pulp Stem Cell Differentiation and Mineralization.” This project dealt with advanced research for clinical regenerative therapies.

In addition, Hempstead Town is home to three finalists: Jeremy Appelbaum, William Gil and Allen Shin of Hewlett High School.

The finalists -- Appelbaum of Woodmere, Gil of Valley Stream and Shin of Valley Stream -- are teammates who competed in the finals at George Washington University in Washington D.C. The three teammates split a $100,000 scholarship with each other.

Their project was, “COP1 Arrests Photomorphogenesis in Dark Grown Gametophytes of Ceratopteris Richardii; A Study of COP1 in Cryptogams.” This project examined a fern protein with potential for fighting cancer.

The team did this after struggling with the flooding effects of Hurricane Sandy on their exhibit posters, which were stored in Jeremy’s basement in Woodmere. Not only were the posters ruined, but also their school was shut down for eight days because of the storm’s impact. The teammates managed to design smaller substitute posters and local school officials supported their efforts to use the school building on weekends. 

There were 2,255 applicants in the competition. A total of 322 students were named semifinalists and 93 were named regional finalists, representing 25 states. Another 63 students were named semifinalists and 16 students in New York State were named regional finalists, the largest number for any state.

A J Smith January 13, 2013 at 04:05 PM
If volunteers were no longer volunteering what is the reason taxpayers have to pay them and their attorney $150,000? Sounds RIDICULIS!
A J Smith January 13, 2013 at 04:12 PM
I feel very sorry for that baby in the picture being denied fresh air circulation, that plastic must be trapping CO2 and denying Oxygen to that sleeping child. Pathetic
Janice January 13, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Well it was the Town's offer of judgment so obviously if it went to trial it could have been significantly higher. All told this two year old case cost the taxpayers approximately $650,000, which to me seems quite avoidable if only the Town had not defended such bad conduct by the defendants.....
Michael G. January 13, 2013 at 05:26 PM
The Town needs to clean house. Kate Murray has done a decent job, but it's time to look at what and who is working in cushy town jobs and well as who is on the zoning board (think strip club in Seaford). Punishing whistleblowers is just the tip of the iceberg here. The money should come form the salaries of the employees at the shelter. It won't.
S.M. January 13, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Kate Murray is a wasteful spender...Mini goats for grass cutting, 3 graphic artists on staff one of which has a father employed at the TOH and a windmill at the lido beach facility. God only knows if the cost of that is worth it in the long run. She keeps winning re-election though...insanity!
Rebecca January 13, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Oh, Kate has done a decent job all right. A decent job of making the Islanders head for Brooklyn, torpedoing the Nassau Coliseum redevelopment, political cronies, obstructing the demolishing of the crackhead-infested Courtesy Motel in West Hempstead until it became unavoidable and then she turned around and made believe like she supported it all along... Friend, what must you have smoked to think Kate Murray did a "decent" job???
Kevin B January 13, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Windmill? Wind turbine, that produces electricity to power the hydrogen station and then some. While I personally disagree with the construction, it was funded significantly, if not all, with federal energy grant money. Had you bothered to read those flyers the TOH sends out, you would know that. I disagreed with the construction since LIPA was shot down for ocean construction, which would tell me that people were against them. Then again, if LIPA did get them, you would be paying dearly in your electric rates. And yes, Grant money is in turn taxes, but if the TOH doesn't get it, surely someone else will in some other state.
Joe January 14, 2013 at 05:18 PM
one thing I can't figure out, in this modern day, why are there so many cats/dogs around, I mean spayed and neutering is common practice, in many cases extremely discounted cost or even free, yet we have hundreds and hundreds of these pit bull mixes everywhere, which as it just turns out family's are not crazy about adopting, how about solving the real problem?

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