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LI Aquarium owner found dead, Stony Brook U. receives large donation, 5 indicted in slain officer case and other news headlines for December 17, 2011

Long Island Aquarium Owner Found Dead; Stony Brook University Receives $150 Million Donation; Bus Contract in Nassau Approved Despite Public Outcry; Justice Served: In Case of Slain NYPD NYPD Cop, 5 Indicted; Pedestrian Killed Crossing ...

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Long Island Aquarium Owner Found Dead

Jim Bissett, co-owner of the Long Island Aquarium, was found dead in his car in Mattituck this Wednesday. Jim was 48, and was an active part of the Riverhead community – owning multiple other businesses including Bissett Plant Nursery, Hyatt Place East End Hotel, and Treasure Cove Resort Marina. He was found by police late Wednesday evening, and foul play is not suspected.

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Stony Brook University Recieves $150 Million Donation

This week, Stony Brook University confirmed that it has received a monumental gift of $150 million to help fund their medical research programs. The gift comes from Jim and Marilyn Simons and the Simons Foundation, and is described as one of the largest gifts to a public university by the President of the college, Samuel L. Stanley Jr. The money will go to help build their new Medical and Research Translation Center, as well as fund undergraduate merit-based scholarships.

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Bus Contract in Nassau Approved Despite Public Outcry

The bus privatization in Nassau County has been voted upon by the county legislature, and not all of the Nassau County constituents are pleased. The vote took place this past Monday, after much debate as to whether or not the buses should stay in control of the MTA, or if they would be handed by the private bussing company, Veolia Transportation. The legislature unanimously approved Veolia taking control of the bus system – they are operating at a cost that is drastically less expensive than the MTA: $2.5 million annually as opposed to the $9.1 million that the MTA was receiving.

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Justice Served: In Case of Slain NYPD Cop, 5 Indicted

Earlier this week, NYPD veteran police officer, Peter Figoski was killed in the line of duty while responding to a burglary report. The five men involved in the crime have been captured, and were indicted on Friday. All five defendants are being held without bail, and will face murder charges for the slaying of Officer Figoski during their botched home invasion. Figoski, a native Long Islander from Babylon, is survived by his four daughters, and funeral services will be held for him on Monday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Babylon.

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Pedestrian Killed Crossing Street in Garden City Park

Early this morning, around 12:30am, Fidel Vanegas, a Garden City Park man who was crossing the street was fatally struck by a New Hyde Park man driving a 2010 Nissan. Vanegas was transported to Winthrop University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The car has been impounded for safety checks, and no criminal charges have been pressed at this time.

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