Charles Lane

Senior reporter for Long Island

Charles is a radio reporter, story teller, Excel ninja, database grasshopper, and loves to FOIL records. He's worked for NPR, Deutche Welle, Radio Netherlands, Soundprint, Penthouse, the Religion News Service, and the Catholic World Report.  He's won three SPJ Public Service Awards, a National Murrow, and was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.  He once did 3Gs in a stunt plane, ran the Tough Mudder, and dove 40 meters on a single breath.  Charles is extraordinarily friendly so don't hesitate to contact.

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New York cashes $4.6B in penalties
5:04 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

NY nets more in bank fees

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York Department of Financial Services, speaks to business leaders on Long Island. Lawsky has so far collected $4.6 billion in bank fines.
Credit Charles Lane

The amount of money New York State is receiving in penalties levied against banks is increasing. In the last three months state coffers have added more than $4.6 billion in bank fines.

The bulk of the money comes from a record settlement against BNP Paribas, a French bank that admitted to violating US sanctions against Iran, Sudan, and Cuba. It was first reported that New York would receive $2.2 billion, but that number ticks up by another billion because New York City will be giving a portion of its penalty to the state.

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Overcoming a "sissy" image
6:37 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Badminton woos Americans on Long Island

The Danish Flemming Quach returning a volley at the US badminton championship held at Suffolk County Community College
Credit Charles Lane

The tall and lithe Michelle Li from Toronto dings a goose feathered shuttlecock to and fro in a lazy, backyard barbeque sort of way. The rubber-nosed projectile flies over the net as she takes a dainty step here, a swing of the ponytail there, and then she jumps a foot and half in the air, and…

WHOP

Li hasn't clocked her "smash" but she guesses it's around 200 MPH. This with a racket weighing less than a quarter pound which, perhaps, mischaracterizes the sport in general as non-contact, non-competitive, non-American.

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The psychology of falling for a Ponzi scheme
5:15 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

How to fall for a Ponzi in three steps

The Panoramic View Resort in Montauk, NY. Scammers told victims they were investing in a safe mutual fund but instead used the money in the troubled resort.
Credit Photo courtesy of Ed Kim

Six years after Bernard Madoff became a household name people still fall for Ponzi schemes. That's probably because schemers have a tried and true method backed up by psychology. 

Last year there was a big $96 million Ponzi scheme on Long Island. It had all the trapping of a Hollywood con: offshore shell companies, luxury cars, and there was even a famous beachfront resort near the Hamptons.

But for the victim there was nothing glamorous about it

"I thought it was some run of the mill fund," Jan says in a sweet Texan twang that makes friends of almost any ears.

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32BJ endorses Senator Klein
5:18 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Union "certain" Democrats will control Albany

Senate co-leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx (right) beside Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre
Credit AP/Mike Groll

The influential labor union 32BJ SEIU endorsed State Senator Jeff Klein Thursday. The endorsement is the latest in a series of moves that stands to put Democrats back in charge of Albany.

After Democrats appeared to win control of the State Senate in 2010 Klein stopped caucusing with them and started the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference which aligns itself with Republicans.

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Officials worry time is running out
4:29 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Cuomo urged to stop LIRR strike

LIRR trains idle in the yard during the 1994 strike. Officials are worried another strike could leave 300,000 commuters stranded.
Credit AP Photo/Richard Drew

Worried time is running out, several Long Island State Senators are urging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to intercede in the stalled contract negotiations between the MTA and Long Island Rail Road workers.

Technically there is no deadline. LIRR workers are legally allowed to strike beginning Sunday, July 20th. However, they previously offered to push that date back to the end of summer where a strike would have more impact. There would be fewer people on vacation, college students would be back on the train, and it's the eve of November's gubernatorial election.

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