Massapequa

Intestines Found Non-Human: Police

When intestines were found on the bay side of Tobay Beach in Massapequa, many suspected the worst.

But according to police, the entrails found at around 12:46 p.m. today came from an animal, not a human being. Initial reports said the guts were found in a garbage can, but police later said it discovered in the water.

Cops said a lifeguard gathered the organ parts from the water and called the police. Nassau County Medical Technicians arrived on the scene but could not determine the origin of the remains, which were later brought to the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office for further analysis.

The beach was reopened with no restrictions after an initial evacuation.

 

 

 

Massapequa Feels Heroin Sting

As the heroin epidemic creeps across Long Island, Massapequa continues to see the needle and the damage done.

A ninth-grade social studies teacher at Massapequa High School’s Ames Campus was arrested recently and now faces drug charges after she was found in possession of heroin during a traffic stop in Freeport, police said.

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Kerri Creegan

According to authorities, Kerri Creegan, 33, was driving on Babylon Turnpike in Freeport at about 3 p.m. Wednesday when her car was stopped with defective taillight.  After an investigation, police said they found a bag containing heroin and Creegan was arrested without incident.

This incident comes at a time when opiate-related overdoses are becoming more and more prevelant throughout Long Island and the state at large — and the numbers show that it is a growing problem in Massapequa. Nassau County data shows that through May, Massapequa, Massapequa Park and North Massapequa had a total of 26 non-fatal opiate overdoses and six overdoses that proved fatal.

The Massapequa School District confirmed it received a call from police regarding Creegan’s arrest, but could not comment further.

“The district received a call from the Nassau County Police Department late Wednesday regarding this arrest,” the Massapequa school district said in a statement. “As this is a personnel matter and an active investigation, we cannot comment further at this time. We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement in all aspects regarding this incident.”

The teacher was charged with a misdemeanor seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and given a desk appearance ticket for June 23.

Parents in Massapequa said that while there is concern about a local teacher being found in possession of heroin, it is not in the community’s best interest to vilify the young woman.

“I feel sorry for her. I don’t have the attitude that a lot of parents on social media have right now, calling for her head and saying she should never teach again,” said Kristen Ferrari, a mother of three. “I wish people would look at this as an opportunity to teach young people that addiction can happen to anyone.”

Ferrari said she knows some young people who have already been in and out of rehab a few times. She believes this is a societal problem that goes well beyond Massapequa borders.

“It is so sad to see these young kids like this. These are nice kids, they aren’t bad kids,” she said. “There needs to be a focus on treatment. And we have to figure out what we can do to educate young kids and give them the tools they need to cope with problems in healthy ways and not with drugs.

Diana Hibbard LoCascio, a Massapequa parent with two boys, said she believes the Massapequa School District will take responsible actions in regards to the teacher recently arrested.

“I imagine she will not be back in the school teaching children until she gets the treatment she needs,” said LoCascio, adding that more than anything, she was saddened by the news. “This is a young woman who worked so hard in her college years, got a job teaching and has a purpose in life. She made a mistake. It is something you hope wouldn’t happen, but now the concern is that she gets help.”

Teacher Nabbed On Heroin Charges

A ninth-grade social studies teacher at Massapequa High School’s Ames Campus faces drug charges after she was found in possession of heroin during a traffic stop in Freeport, according to police.

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Kerri Creegan

Kerri Creegan, 33, was driving on Babylon Turnpike in Freeport at about 3 p.m. Wednesday when her car was stopped with defective taillight, police said. After an investigation, police said they found a bag containing heroin and Creegan was arrested without incident.

“The district received a call from the Nassau County Police Department late Wednesday regarding this arrest,” the Massapequa school district said in a statement. “As this is a personnel matter and an active investigation, we cannot comment further at this time. We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement in all aspects regarding this incident.”

The teacher was charged with a misdemeanor seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and given a desk appearance ticket for June 23.

Massapequa Monument Dedicated

On a narrow strip of land, nestled between a children’s playground and a soccer field, stands a memorial seven years in the making. The Towers of Freedom Monument, located in John J. Burns Park in Massapequa, tells the historical timeline of Sept. 11, 2001 and represents those lost with beautifully detailed bronze sculptures resting on a raised platform with two steel towers.

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A 9/11 monument was recently dedicated at Burns Park.
(Photos by Cynthia Paulis)

First responders and long-time Massapequa residents Tommy Smith, a retired NYPD detective, and Frank Haskell, a retired FDNY firefighter, envisioned the monument. Massapequa lost 12 residents that day, including firefighters, police and civilians. The monument was privately funded through fundraisers spearheaded by Maureen McDonough, an assistant with the Town of Oyster Bay.

The sculptures were designed by Harry Saarinen, who passed away before the park was completed and dedicated on Memorial Day. Sculptures include a bronze briefcase, a policeman’s hat, a firefighter’s boots and a hard hat representing those who worked on the pile. There is also a poem bronzed in a book, written by Massapequan Lauren Costantino, then 15 years old, who came to the ceremony to read her poem.

Walking down a narrow path of bricks flanked by flags from each of the armed services is a timeline depicting when each plane hit the towers, the time each fell and the day the country began the war on terrorism. Each branch of the military is represented by its respective seals, culminating with a red, white and blue star within the shape of a pentagon.

On Memorial Day the founding members, politicians, religious leaders and guests of honor assembled by the memorial as Kenny Haskell gave the opening remarks.

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Massapequans Tommy Smith (left) and Frank Haskell (right) stand with survivor Helen Dachtler.

 

“Thirteen years ago American began its fight against terrorism, the longest protracted engagement in our nation’s history,” he said. “A fight that still continues today. On that horrible day in September and subsequent years since, thousands of great people have lost and given their lives. Their memories were the genesis of this memorial’s concept and the goal of honoring their lives is what brought this project to fruition. A place that provides a meaningful area to those that lost a loved one and pays tribute to those that served. A respectful site that will educate each generation on the importance of service and the significance of sacrifice.”

Guest speakers included Congressmen Peter King; Supervisor John Venditto; Dan Murphy, father of Medal of Honor recipient U.S Navy Seal Lt. Michael P. Murphy who died in Afghanistan; and Helen Dachtler, a 9/11 survivor.

Dan Murphy shared with the audience stories of his son, Michael, who served four tours of duty before he was killed at the age of 29.  Known as the fighting Irishman from Long Island, he graduated with honors from Penn State University and was accepted to four law schools, but instead chose to be a Navy Seal. The movie and book Lone Survivor is based on Murphy’s story.

“For those of you who have seen Lone Survivor you will note that on Michael’s right shoulder he wore the patch of the Fire Department of New York, as did his teammates over in Afghanistan,” said Dan Murphy. “The reason being is that they wanted to remind each and every one of them what transpired on September 11, 2001.”

Helen Dachtler held everyone spellbound with her story of survival. She was working at Morgan Stanley in tower two on the 69th floor when the first plane hit and felt the building shake. She saw flames coming from the top of the building. In spite of being told to remain in their seats, she and a coworker decided to leave.

“We heard a second plane heading toward our window,” she said. “With the smoke and the flames bellowing from above we joined hundreds of frightened shell-shocked individuals trying to make their way to safety.”

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One of the bronze statues depicts a rescue dog.

Detective Tommy Smith (co-founder of the memorial), who Dachtler refers to as her “guardian angel,” found her and guided her to safety. They have been in touch these past 13 years, but had not seen each other until the dedication ceremony.

This beautiful memorial has at the base of the platform a poem, written by co-founder Frank Haskell, which is evocative of the feeling one has when visiting it.

“Amongst the children’s laughter and spirited crowds that roar we honor all who fell at home or on the battlefield of war. As you visit here with others, or peacefully on your own embrace our eternal presence, for you are never here alone.”

The Towers of Freedom is a 501c3 charitable organization. To donate to the cause or to buy a memorial brick, which will be included in the pathway go to www.towersoffreedom.com or write to Towers of Freedom, 4940 Merrick Rd., Box 156, Massapequa Park, NY 11762.

Fundraising Car Wash – May 18

FIREOn Sunday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be a junior firefighter fundraising car wash for the South Farmingdale Fire Department at the Merrits Road Fire House. The kids are between 12 and 17 and are tomorrow’s heroes and future leaders.