Two non-profit groups filed a federal lawsuit against Suffolk County this week because of cuts made to the municipality's child care program, which is subsidized by the state.
According to an article in Newsday, the Empire Justice Center and National Center for Law and Economic Justice filed the suit because the county is dropping more than 1,200 children from the program - a move they say puts too much strain on working families.
A spokeswoman for the county said Suffolk did nothing illegal, and Social Services Commissioner Gregory J. Blass told Newsday the cuts came as a result of thinner state funding.
Advocates and parent and union members demonstrated outside the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge on Thursday against the cuts.
A July 26 hearing is scheduled at the United States District Courthouse in Central Islip.
More Mosquito Samples Positive for West Nile
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services this week said five new mosquito samples collected in the county tested positive for West Nile Virus, raising fears of the dangerous disease spreading in the county.
The SCDHS said the samples were collected in Holbrook, South Huntington, Northport and Farmingville. So far this season 15 mosquito samples have tested positive for the disease, as well as six birds.
While many people who contract the virus from a mosquito bite might not experience any symptoms, those who do could exhibit high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and even paralysis.
Symptoms might last several weeks, and might yield permanent neurological effects.
The SCDHS asked locals to heed the following tips to help control the mosquito population.
- Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
- Remove all discarded tires on the property.
- Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters.
- Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Change the water in birdbaths.
- Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds and keep shrubs and grass trimmed.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
- Drain water from pool covers.
An Incentive to Read
Suffolk has launched a new reading contest that plans to reward the area's biggest young bookworms with their own e-readers.
The Suffolk Library system said in order for kids to be eligible, they only need to join their local reading programs at their local libraries - all libraries except Southold and West Islip libraries are participating.
The top readers are eligible to win a Sony e-reader. Winners will be chosen on September 13.