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COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT * WHAT...One to locally two feet of inundation above ground level expected in vulnerable north shore communities of the twin forks of LI, north shore of LI, and north facing LI barrier island communities for today's AM and possibly PM high tides near the waterfront and shoreline. * WHERE...Northwest Suffolk, Northeast Suffolk, Southwest Suffolk, Southeast Suffolk, Northern Nassau and Southern Nassau Counties. * WHEN...Until midnight EST tonight. * COASTAL IMPACTS...Minor to locally moderate flooding is expected in the most vulnerable locations near the waterfront and shoreline. Expect around 1 to locally 2 feet of inundation above ground level in low lying, vulnerable areas. A few to several roads and low lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns and homes/businesses with basements near the waterfront will experience shallow flooding. A few cars may take on water and be damaged if not moved. * SHORELINE IMPACTS...3 to 5 ft surf likely for north shore of LI and north shore of south fork shorefront with Sat AM tides, which will likely cause beach erosion and possibly minor damage to shoreline structures. Along the oceanfront, surf should build to 4 to 8 ft tonight into Sun AM, with scattered dune erosion impacts during those tidal cycles. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Minor to locally moderate coastal impacts are possible for the same north shore communities of the twin forks of LI, north shore of LI, and north facing LI barrier island communities for this evening's high tides as well. There is potential for more widespread minor coastal flooding along the southern and eastern bayfront communities of Long Island with the Sunday morning high tide.

Audit Uncovers 4 Years of Fraud: Two Special Ed. Facilities Overbilled NYS Taxpayers Over $7M

The Lake Grove School is one of two schools that has bilked taxpayers out of millions in inappropriate and unsupported costs.

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In a report released on Friday, it was found that two special education schools run by the same company have overcharged New York taxpayers as much as $7.7 million for inappropriate and unsupported costs over a four-year period.

The allegations of malfeasance hit close to home, as one of the schools accused is the Lake Grove School in Suffolk County, a special education and residential facility that currently houses about 50 students from around the state with behavior disorders or learning disabilities.  The second school, the Mountain Lake Academy, is in Lake Placid, is also a residential facility, and offers special education classes and recreation for troubled boys and young men.

Both schools were run by Windwood Meadow Inc. up until recently, but New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said that it was Windwood Meadow that "took advantage of lax oversight to bilk taxpayers.” 

The private special education sector receives $2 billion annually from the state, which DiNapoli says needs to be better policed.

"The State Education Department and the Office of Children and Family Services need to step up and do a better job policing providers and making sure they only charge for appropriate costs they incur for their services, not exorbitant salaries and perks," DiNapoli said in a press release.

According to the audit of the Lake Grove School, the school’s former chief executive John Claude Bahrenburg was paid a significantly higher salary than executives at similarly-sized nonprofits, with compensation in 2008-2009 that totaled $580,000 including a $14,000 car allowance and the forgiveness of $55,395 in interest payments on a loan.

In addition, a Lake Grove School board president was inappropriately paid $180,000 over three years, and Windwood paid $278,963 to three board members for serving as consultants, but there is no evidence of any consulting work product either produced or received.

DiNapoli is suggesting that the state revise reimbursement rates for both the Lake Grove School and Mountain Lake Academy, and seek restitution for any overpayments by the state.