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TWA Flight 800: Anguish, questions linger 20 years later

Newsday Coverage

TWA Flight 800: Anguish, questions linger 20 years later

It’s been exactly two decades since TWA Flight 800 crashed in the ocean near Center Moriches—killing 230 people. Yet the painful memories—and unanswered questions—linger on. Relatives who lost loved ones vividly recall their last goodbyes and the horror of learning what happened. Though the government has called the downing of Flight 800 an accident, critics point to evidence of a missile strike and a massive government cover up. Others ask if lessons learned from the crash have made airline passengers safer. Watch “TWA Flight 800—20 Years Later” – only on News 12 Long Island, as local as local news gets.

A Brother's Struggle

Airs 7/12: Richard Penzer’s sister Judy was an artist whose work still brightens the walls of his home. 20 years ago, Judy disappeared in a fireball over the Atlantic. Penzer still struggles to understand—and cope.

Fueling the Missile Theory

Airs 7/13: Was the crash an accident? The government says yes. But numerous eyewitnesses report seeing a missile rising to hit the plane. And a senior federal investigator assigned to the crash tells News 12 there is evidence of an official cover-up. After decades, the missile theory refuses to fizzle.

Lessons Learned?

Airs 7/14:What was done---and not done---to improve passenger safety after the disaster of Flight 800?

Expanded Coverage: Interviews and Resources

Extended Interviews

Raw interviews with the key people featured in the three-part series and extended archival video.

Documents

Read important documents related to the crash of Flight 800 and the subsequent investigation.

Previous Coverage

An archive of News 12 Long Island's coverage of TWA Flight 800 dating back to 1996.

Photos

Photos of the recovery, investigation and aftermath of TWA Flight 800.

Numbers and Links

Additional resources for the series.

Newsday.com

More in-depth coverage at Newsday.com.

Battle of the Bands entry form

Newsday’s Battle of the Bands Contest Entry 2017

Is your band ready for a battle?

Newsday is looking for the greatest band rocking Long Island, across all genres from country to metal. To get in on the competition, enter your band below before 11:59 p.m. New York time on July 11, 2017.

The following week, the contest will open for reader voting on Newsday.com — so be sure to share with your fans and encourage them to vote! A panel of music industry judges will then choose a contest winner from the Top 10 bands with the most reader votes.

The 2017 Battle of the Bands Contest champion will win an opening act slot at The Paramount in Huntington, plus a feature story by Newsday’s music critic in Newsday and on Newsday.com, plus major bragging rights as Long Island’s best band. Enter now for your shot at fame!

Fill out the Battle of the bands form here.

Long Island’s Extraordinary Seniors 2016

Live. Laugh. Give. Repeat. That seems to be the life course of Extraordinary Seniors in the Class of 2016. Each year, Newsday receives nominations from principals, teachers and guidance counselors in Nassau and Suffolk counties about students who exemplify the best of qualities: Kindness, perseverance, humility, thoughtfulness, determination, altruism. Those traits and more shine among the 16 seniors selected this year.

Quentin Thomson: A super-powered love for his community

More about Quentin

Community service is one of Quentin Akwasi Owusu-Adjei Thomson’s secret superpowers. The graduating senior is involved with volunteer groups in and out of his busy school career. He credits the Leaders Club at his local YMCA for kicking off his passion for community work. “That club really transformed me and developed my character by helping me in different endeavors and helping me to see my potential, and see where I would like to go with my future,” Thomson said. He also said the National Honor Society “helped a lot in terms of developing me academically where I would like to focus.” Read more. (Reporter: Sophia Chang / Videographer: John Paraskevas)

Morgan Zuch: A cancer survivor’s path is forever changed

More about Morgan

At 2 years old, while other children were playing outside and starting to explore the world, Morgan Zuch was isolated in a hospital room. It was 2000, and with a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, her life was lived inside. Her next three years were a blur of chemotherapy, medication, injections and surgeries. Zuch was considered a “standard risk” patient, and the cure rate for her leukemia was about 80 to 85 percent. But she wasn’t allowed to play with other children or attend preschool, for fear that her suppressed immune system could turn a simple cold into a deadly infection. Zuch’s mother, Nancy, said her daughter at times suffered the most from the side effects of the chemotherapy, which she said included severe leg pain, constant nausea, spinal headaches and night terrors. At one point Zuch stopped walking, talking and eating for two weeks. Read more. (Reporter: Christine Chung / Videographer: John Paraskevas)

Triplets Carmine, Francesco and Marconi D’Auria-Gupta: Triplets who sing in harmony

More about Carmine, Francesco and Marconi

The D’Auria-Gupta brothers have been in harmony for as long as they can remember but the 18-year-old fraternal triplets have already amassed a string of successes as a family singing act. Carmine, Francesco and Marconi started practicing tunes as children about a decade ago, but grew into serious singers with performances at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and at the 2008 U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens. Over the past few years, they’ve performed classical pieces with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York and as a barbershop group with brothers Gaetano, 20, and Leonardo, 15. “Since we’re all related, the way our voices blend and work together just gives it a different sound than when it’s just four unrelated people,” said Marconi, a tenor. Read more. (Reporter: Will James / Videographer: Chuck Fadely)

Marie Albanese: A high-octane passion for volunteering

More about Marie

Marie Albanese has spent her high school career relentlessly giving back to make someone else’s life better. She volunteers to bake and cook at the Ronald McDonald House, various senior centers and a local soup kitchen. She participates in clothing and shoe drives. During her free time during the school day she helps the speech pathologist by sitting in on sessions and assisting with the lesson. After school Albanese, who is 18 and lives in Franklin Square, volunteers to help autistic students, and when she’s not doing that she heads to a local elementary school to help kindergarten students with their homework. Oh, and last year she led the effort to create a club called Saving Our Society, which participates in various community service projects, such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises money to fight childhood cancer. All this she does while maintaining strong grades and being a member of the cheerleading team. Read more. (Reporter: Deborah S. Morris / Videographer: Raychel Brightman)

Tyler Bloch: Tourette syndrome doesn’t get in his way

More about Tyler

Tyler Bloch is not only a top student and tennis master but is also a teenage foodie with thousands of fans. Bloch, 17, cooks healthy dinners for his family each night, has an Instagram food blog with more than 3,600 followers and appeared on the Food Network show “Chopped” when he was only in ninth grade. From curried lentil stew to charred scallion bruschetta to banana-oat pancakes — he’s driven by a greater purpose. Read more. (Reporter: Candice Ferrette / Videographer: Barry Sloan)

Ross DiBetta: Helping others, at home and abroad

More about Ross

In the winter, when lacrosse captain Ross DiBetta hangs up his gear, he’s leading the cheering section for the basketball team, riding a hobbyhorse mustang — the school’s mascot — its pole a lacrosse stick he made in woodshop. What started as a group of a dozen of his friends who wanted to rev up the crowds at the junior-varsity games has grown into a boisterous group of more than 60 strong at all school sporting events. Dressed in white, sometimes black, or red, white and blue, they make up “the stable.” “We take it pretty seriously,” said DiBetta, 18, of Mount Sinai. That’s not a surprise to his school’s principal. Read more. (Reporter: Scott Eidler / Videographer: Raychel Brightman)

Danielle Fauteux: ‘Ready for anything’ as an EMT

More about Danielle

Danielle Fauteux never knows when the call will come that sends her racing out the door and off to an emergency in her neighborhood. It could be in the middle of dinner or while she is doing homework; one call came right before a school pep rally. But as a certified Emergency Medical Technician and a volunteer with the East Marion Fire Department, Fauteux, 18, knows that when the call comes she has to go. “I am ready for anything,” said the East Marion resident. “You can never gauge when it will be. It will be a school night and I would get a call at 3 a.m. and I would go to school; that’s happened multiple times . . . I had a call where I was out til 5 a.m.” Read more. (Reporter: Joie Tyrrell / Videographer: Chris Ware)

Krish Kamdar: An immigrant himself, he helps others adjust

More about Krish

Krish Kamdar knows how tough it can be for an immigrant to adapt to life in the United States: He was one himself. He arrived from India in 2004 at the start of first grade, and struggled to understand English and make friends. He has turned it around and now uses the experience to help others in the same predicament. Kamdar, 17, became a volunteer at a center in New Hyde Park that helps elderly Indian immigrants adjust to life in the United States. Kamdar helps them obtain Social Security cards and fill out immigration papers. He also tutors Indian children who are very much in the same situation he once found himself in. Read more. (Reporter: Bart Jones / Videographer: John Paraskevas)

Erin Goldrick: Medical condition inspires an interest in nursing

More about Erin

She has a metal plate, a metal bolt and metal rods in her head, and the back of her neck “looks like a racetrack or a candy cane” because of cuts made for the insertion of shunts. But for Erin Goldrick, school has always been the most important thing to focus on. “My parents — they’ve helped me out a lot,” said Goldrick, 18, of Hampton Bays. “They told me ‘education first.’ My dad said, ‘There’s only a little amount of time [to spend in school] to set up the rest of your life.’ ” Read more. (Reporter: Lisa Irizarry / Videographer: Randee Daddona)

Frances Gould: A zeal for social justice that started at home

Frances Gould has never been known to take anything lightly, whether it is her passion for the environment or a college-level course at New York University. At the end of her freshman year, she conceptualized a paper recycling program for her high school and spent the following years putting it into place. She developed a proposal, contacted the local sanitation department and asked the school’s endowment fund to pay for recycling bins. Now, the program is in full swing, with paper picked up and recycled on a regular basis. “This year it is becoming fruitful and we are seeing amazing results,” she said. Read more. (Reporter: Joie Tyrrell / Videographer: Chris Ware)

Kyle Kratzke: Turning a brain tumor into fodder for comedy

More about Kyle

If a brain tumor has a bright side, it seems Kyle Kratzke found it. “He always looked at it as ‘Lucky me, look at what happened to me and how I’m so lucky to get the chance to do all these things and make my life better,’ ” said his mother, Lisa Kratzke. Kratzke was diagnosed when he was 5 and has undergone eight surgeries. His tumor causes cognitive disabilities, including a slower processing of information and reduced memory. But he has used his tumor as fodder for jokes in the more than 20 stand-up comedy acts he has performed at clubs throughout New York City and Long Island over the past three years, some at fundraisers for nonprofits, others for pay. “The brain tumor is why I got started in comedy,” Kratzke, 18, said. Read more. (Reporter: David Olson / Videographer: Raychel Brightman)

Alexander Perlak: A life-changing trip inspires a desire to help others

More about Alexander

Alexander Perlak likes to say he is motivated by a “service heart.” He works tirelessly to give back to his community, and thanks to his leadership, more families in the school district had a little more for the holiday season. As co-president of the school’s Key Club and student council, Perlak, 17, is instrumental in coordinating events that bring together students, parents and faculty to raise money for needy families. Through a Family Feud game show-style event to raffles to organizing the school’s food pantry, Perlak started many initiatives in the district that will continue after he graduates. “It was really nice to see that my hard work starts a tradition,” said Perlak, of West Hempstead. “I think you always have to give back to your community and your school. They’ve done so much for you and you have to return the favor.” Read more. (Reporter: Candice Ferrette / Videographer: Alejandra Villa)

Liane Russell: Turning her differences into strengths

More about Liane

If you ask Liane Russell what has most defined her as a teenager, the last answers you’ll hear are her vision impairment, cerebral palsy or leg braces that run from her shoes to her knees. Rather, you’ll hear about a place where she’s as visible and vulnerable as a teen can be the “I figure it’s a part of me, so why dwell on it?” Russell, 18, said of her disabilities. “I love chorus and Drama Club. With singing, it isn’t a physical activity and I can sing as loud as I want . . . With acting, I can be someone else and still be myself at the same time.” Russell’s journey began when she was born nine weeks early and was subsequently diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Her right foot is turned inward and a vision impairment causes eye fatigue if she stares too long. Today, she wears ankle-foot orthosis braces and leaves classes five minutes early to navigate her school’s hallways and stairs, the latter of which she calls “a bit of a monster.” Read more. (Reporter: Michael R. Ebert / Videographer: Raychel Brightman)

Dante Vigliotti: A love of animals, a knack for business

More about Dante

Animals hold a special place in the heart of Dante Vigliotti. “Animals don’t have a voice,” he said. “When they need help, people aren’t always there.” That doesn’t apply to Vigliotti, 18, who spent most of his middle and high school years volunteering and caring for pets at the animal shelter in Glen Cove at least once a week. He said the shelter doesn’t enjoy the same resources as others on Long Island, so he decided to do his part by undertaking multiple initiatives to raise money for the facility. His efforts started in his parents’ basement several years ago after he bought goods from a local pet shop to start his own dog and cat supply store. “I went door to door putting fliers in my neighbors’ mailboxes,” to draw attention to his business, Vigliotti said. Read more. (Reporter: Deon J. Hampton / Videographer: Barry Sloan)

Muhammad Ali, 1942-2016

Remembering Muhammad Ali

Remembering Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was the most transcendent sports figure in American culture.

The legend of Muhammad Ali

'The Greatest'

Obituary

'The Greatest'

Muhammad Ali, the heavyweight champion of hyperbole and showbiz as well as prizefighting, died at a hospital in the Phoenix area.

A thousand words

Remembrance

A thousand words

Robert Cassidy remembers his family’s encounters with Muhammad Ali: 'Dear Robbie, Your Daddy is the Greatest - Muhammad Ali.'

How Ali inspired a movement

How Ali inspired a movement

Nearly a half-century ago, Muhammad Ali was the object of vituperation and something close to hatred.

The world's champion

The world's champion

Muhammad Ali fought anywhere and everywhere across the globe, only to travel the world over again as an ambassador of goodwill.

Ali vs. Frazier

A brutal trilogy

Ali vs. Frazier

With the possible exception of David vs. Goliath, the greatest rivalry in the history of individual human combat was the three-fight trilogy staged by Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier from 1971 to 1975.

Fighter, activist, icon

Documentary

Fighter, activist, icon

Muhammad Ali may be the greatest boxer of all time, but that's just a small part of the impact he made on society as a whole. From his outspoken demeanor around boxing to his political views, from his converting to Islam to his refusing to be drafted into the Vietnam War, Muhammad Ali is a transcendent cultural figure.

Muhammad Ali’s funeral

He was and is the greatest

He was and is the greatest

Ali always will be recalled as a proud black man who changed his religion and name, risked his career on a divisive political stand then became a global ambassador for goodwill.

Clinton captures Ali's essence

Clinton captures Ali's essence

Bill Clinton was given the honor of the last words at Muhammad Ali's funeral, and he got them precisely right as he summed up a weeklong, global remembrance of the icon.

Rope-a-dope

Rope-a-dope

An MSG photographer gave Muhammad Ali the idea for the rope-a-dope style he used to beat George Foreman in the 'Rumble in the Jungle.

'People's champ'

'People's champ'

Thousands mourned Muhammad Ali, a man who held Islam close to his heart, in a hometown service open to all faiths.

A golden age

A golden age

Boxing has faded to the point that there is no modern context to what Muhammad Ali was and did.

Muhammad Ali fight photos

The Thrilla in Manila

The Thrilla in Manila

After winning the final fight in his trilogy against Joe Frazier via TKO after the 14th round, Muhammad Ali said 'Closest thing to dying that I know of.'

Rumble in the Jungle

Rumble in the Jungle

Muhammad Ali debuted his rope-a-dope technique to knock out George Foreman and win back his heavyweight title on Oct. 30, 1974, in Kinshasa, Zaire.

Fight of the Century

Fight of the Century

When Joe Frazier met Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971, the storyline went much deeper than a title clash of two undefeated heavyweights.

Ali vs. Liston

Ali vs. Liston

Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, was a 7-1 underdog when he beat Sonny Liston in Miami Beach on Feb. 25, 1964. Liston gave up after six rounds.

Ali vs. Norton

Ali vs. Norton

In their third fight, Muhammad Ali retained the title by winning a unanimous decision against Ken Norton at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 28, 1976.

Muhammad Ali’s life

The chronology of Ali's life

TIMELINE

The chronology of Ali's life

Born Cassius Clay in 1942, Muhammad Ali is many things to many people — social activist, cultural icon and the charismatic voice of the turbulent 1960s.

Muhammad Ali: A life in photos

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Muhammad Ali: A life in photos

Nicknamed 'The Greatest,' Muhammad Ali became a once-in-a-lifetime personality.

The master

Media

The master

Muhammad Ali was not the first athlete to understand and exploit modern media hype, but he was the greatest at it.

Ali's greatest victory

Impact

Ali's greatest victory

Muhammad Ali’s longest and most significant fight occurred outside the boxing ring.

Ali electrified the world

Opinion

Ali electrified the world

He was recognized in every country on every continent. And he electrified us all when he lit the torch at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Final fights

Recap

Final fights

Muhammad Ali had the opportunity to go out on his own terms at boxing’s pinnacle when he retired with the heavyweight title in 1978, but he couldn’t make it stick.

The world mourns Ali's passing

Grieving a great

The world mourns Ali's passing

See reactions to Ali's death from across the globe.

Ali's death marked on Twitter

Celebs remember

Ali's death marked on Twitter

Muhammad Ali's death drew responses from around the world of sports and beyond.

A history of Dowling College Founded in 1955 as an expansion of Adelphi University and established as an independent institution in 1968, Dowling College announced in May 2016 that it would close. Published: June 3, 2016

01 January 1970

A fire badly damages the college’s Vanderbilt mansion, the institution’s main building. It is later rebuilt.

01 January 1970

Norman Smith, who was credited with bringing Wagner College on Staten Island back from the brink of closure in the late 1980s, becomes Dowling president.

01 January 1970

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The deal with the academic partner stalls, a state senator announces.

01 January 1970

Dowling says it will affiliate with an unnamed academic partner to remain afloat.

01 January 1970

Dowling’s faculty union approves $4.7 million in contract givebacks to help close the 2014-15 budget gap.

01 January 1970

Dowling agrees to pay more than $400,000 to Gaffney in a settlement of his lawsuit against the Oakdale school.

01 January 1970

Standard & Poor’s Rating Services indicates a poor outlook for Dowling, dropping its long-term debt rating from B to B-minus.

01 January 1970

Inserra is pictured, center, on June 14, 2002. (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Dowling names Albert F. Inserra, chairman of Dowling’s doctoral program in educational administration, leadership and technology, to be the college’s chief.

01 January 1970

Moody’s says the school is “likely in or very near default” on bonds issued by the industrial development agencies of Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven.

01 January 1970

In recent weeks, Dowling lays off staff members and reassigns others in a downsizing because of declining enrollment and struggling finances.

01 January 1970

The board of trustees names Elana Zolfo interim president.

01 January 1970

Astronaut Wally Schirra opens the college’s new transportation campus in Shirley.

01 January 1970

The Dowling campus in Oakdale on Aug. 5, 2010. (Credit: Michael E. Ach)

Moody’s Investors Service downgrades $14.1 million of Dowling’s already junk-rated bonds.

01 January 1970

Dr. Jeremy D. Brown gives the commencement speech at Dowling on May 19, 2012. (Credit: Heather Walsh)

Jeremy D. Brown, the former head of Edinboro University in Edinboro, Pa., begins his tenure as Dowling’s president.

01 January 1970

Facing outrage from students and employees over an announcement the previous week, Dowling says its aviation school will remain open. It had said it would stop training pilots to focus on aviation-management classes.

01 January 1970

Gaffney resigns and is succeeded by Scott Rudolph, a trustee.

01 January 1970

Gaffney is pictured on Sept. 19, 2002. (Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)

Robert Gaffney, the former Suffolk County executive, becomes Dowling president.

01 January 1970

A late-night vote by the faculty on a new contract ensures that professors will be in the classroom for the first day of the fall semester.

01 January 1970

Victor Meskill, one of the longest-tenured college presidents on Long Island, is forced out by the board of trustees, who in previous years had lavished on him a large salary and a host of pricey fringe benefits that included a house near the campus and a personal loan so that Meskill could buy a condominium in Montauk.

01 January 1970

Five top administrators are fired as part of a reorganization plan.

01 January 1970

A student carries his belongings as he leaves Dowling College on June 1, 2016. (Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Dowling announces it is shutting down.