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TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT * LOCATIONS AFFECTED - Huntington - Smithtown - Port Jefferson * WIND - LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Equivalent Tropical Storm force wind - Peak Wind Forecast: 30-40 mph with gusts to 60 mph - Window for Tropical Storm force winds: Tuesday afternoon until Tuesday evening - THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Potential for wind 39 to 57 mph - The wind threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment. - PLAN: Plan for hazardous wind of equivalent tropical storm force. - PREPARE: Efforts to protect property should now be underway. Prepare for limited wind damage. - ACT: Act now to complete preparations before the wind becomes hazardous. - POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Limited - Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects blown about. - Many large tree limbs broken off. A few trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Some fences and roadway signs blown over. - A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban or heavily wooded places. Hazardous driving conditions on bridges and other elevated roadways. - Scattered power and communications outages. * STORM SURGE - LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Localized storm surge possible - Peak Storm Surge Inundation: The potential for up to 2 feet above ground somewhere within surge prone areas - Window of concern: Around high tide - THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Potential for storm surge flooding greater than 1 foot above ground - The storm surge threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment. - PLAN: Plan for storm surge flooding greater than 1 foot above ground. - PREPARE: Efforts should now be underway to prepare for storm surge flooding, especially in low-lying vulnerable areas. - ACT: Take actions to protect life and property. Prepare to leave if evacuation orders are given for your area. - POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Limited - Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along immediate shorelines and in low lying spots, or in areas farther inland near where higher surge waters move ashore. - Sections of near shore roads and parking lots become overspread with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where surge water covers the road. - Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly in usually vulnerable locations. Strong and frequent rip currents. - Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings. * FLOODING RAIN - LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: - Peak Rainfall Amounts: Additional 1-3 inches, with locally higher amounts - THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Potential for moderate flooding rain - The flooding rain threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment. - PLAN: Emergency plans should include the potential for moderate flooding from heavy rain. Evacuations and rescues are possible. - PREPARE: Consider protective actions if you are in an area vulnerable to flooding. - ACT: Heed any flood watches and warnings. Failure to take action may result in serious injury or loss of life. - POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Significant - Moderate rainfall flooding may prompt several evacuations and rescues. - Rivers and streams may quickly become swollen with swifter currents and may overspill their banks in a few places, especially in usually vulnerable spots. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may overflow. - Flood waters can enter some structures or weaken foundations. Several places may experience expanded areas of rapid inundation at underpasses, low lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Some streets and parking lots take on moving water as storm drains and retention ponds overflow. Driving conditions become hazardous. Some road and bridge closures. * TORNADO - LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: - Situation is somewhat favorable for tornadoes - THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Potential for a few tornadoes - The tornado threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment. - PLAN: Emergency plans should include the potential for a few tornadoes. - PREPARE: If your shelter is particularly vulnerable to tornadoes, prepare to relocate to safe shelter before hazardous weather arrives. - ACT: If a tornado warning is issued, be ready to shelter quickly. - POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Limited - The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings. * FOR MORE INFORMATION: - http://scoem.suffolkcountyny.gov - https://weather.gov/nyc - https://ready.gov/hurricanes

A.G. Underwood Announces Lawsuit Against Three Employment Agency Operators For Scamming Vulnerable New Yorkers

LongIsland.com

Suspects targeted unemployed and financially vulnerable individuals looking for low-wage cleaning and maintenance jobs, Underwood says.

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Photo by: witwiccan

New York, NY - August 16, 2018 - Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced a lawsuit against employment agency operators Jose M. Ortiz (a/k/a Jose M. Velez, Jose M. Ortiz-Velez, Joseph Ortiz), 44, of New Jersey; Maritza M. Quinones (a/k/a Ms. Velez), 42, of Pennsylvania; and Johanna Y. Miranda (a/k/a Lisa Garcia, Julia, Isabella, Carmen, Karol), 42, of the Bronx, for allegedly conducting deceptive business practices in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens that targeted unemployed and financially vulnerable individuals looking for low-wage cleaning and maintenance jobs. The Attorney General’s lawsuit seeks a court order enjoining Ortiz, Quinones, and Miranda from engaging in fraudulent conduct; restitution for complainants; and over $300,000 in fines and penalties.
 
“It is shameful to steal money from vulnerable New Yorkers looking for honest work,” Attorney General Underwood said. “We allege that these scam artists set up their business to target unemployed and financially vulnerable New Yorkers with the promise of a job. My office will continue to investigate and prosecute businesses and individuals that try to scam New Yorkers.”         
 
As alleged in the petition filed in Bronx County Supreme Court today, the Attorney General’s investigation found that Ortiz, Quinones, and Miranda falsely advertised cleaning and maintenance jobs that purportedly paid $13.50 to $29.00 an hour and charged upfront fees for these employment opportunities they knew were fake. The three agency operators targeted unemployed and financially vulnerable individuals looking for low-wage cleaning and maintenance jobs by putting advertisements in Spanish-speaking newspapers such as El Diario, and online classified jobs exchanges such as “Clasificado” and “Especialito.” They also advertised in the New York Post, AM New York, and Metro New York.
 
The respondents charged between $140 and $499 for “guaranteed jobs” and “immediate hire” cleaning and maintenance employment opportunities, but then allegedly failed to obtain jobs for any of their clients. One of their agencies, Empire Services, allegedly sent customers to job interviews with companies that were unfamiliar with the agency and did not have available jobs.
 
Consumers were also allegedly told they had to pay upfront fees for an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) training course, an OSHA course completion certificate, and an OSHA license, in order to secure a job. Victims were led to believe that under New York State law, it is illegal to work as an office cleaner or maintenance worker without an OSHA license. The course certificates and licenses were all a scam – there is no New York State or federal requirement that office cleaners and maintenance workers be OSHA certified.
 
Once consumers realized they had been scammed and demanded refunds, Ortiz, Quinones, and Miranda allegedly disconnected their phones and abandoned their offices without issuing any refunds. A few weeks later, they would allegedly relaunch the same business under a different name and in another New York City neighborhood. 
 
Ortiz and Quinones operated Empire Services in the South Bronx from June 2015 through December 2015. Ortiz and Miranda operated Empire Safety Services from midtown Manhattan and the South Bronx from June 2017 through November 2017. Ortiz and Miranda operated Global Training Services in the South Bronx from October 2017 through January 2018 and have been operating National Safety Training Services from Jamaica, Queens since February 2018.
 
The investigation was conducted by Investigator Ramon Almodovar and Senior Investigator Angel LaPorte, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Sylvia Rivera; and Senior Investigator Andres Rodriguez and Investigator Kevin Briffa, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Cynthia Kane.
 
This case was also brought with the assistance of Robert Murphy, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Training and Education for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration; Lee Grabel, Attorney with the Office of the Solicitor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor; Eileen Franko, Director of the Division of Safety of Health, New York State Department of Labor; Investigator John Gaskill and Sarah Frasch, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Frauds, Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General.
 
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General-In-Charge Roberto Lebron and Assistant Attorney General Jason Clark of the Harlem Regional Office, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Jane Azia of the Consumer Frauds Bureau, and Gary Brown, Acting Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs.