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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"most don't even know they were shortchanged"
9:46 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

FEMA Settles 160 Superstorm Sandy Claims, But 200 More Surface

People wade and paddle down a flooded street as Hurricane Sandy approaches, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in Lindenhurst, N.Y.
Credit AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has tentatively settled insurance claims with 160 Superstorm Sandy victims, who allege engineering firms altered damage estimates. Meanwhile, lawyers say roughly 200 new policyholders say their reports were also changed.

FEMA manages the National Flood Insurance Program which, allows people to buy flood insurance from the federal government.

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Victims want another $3B
11:32 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

Talks Stall Between Superstorm Sandy Victims And FEMA

Investigators from the New York state attorney general's office remove boxes of documents seized from a search warrant at the Long Island offices of GEB HiRise in Uniondale, N.Y., on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. The company has been accused in civil lawsuits of submitting bogus inspection reports involving homes damaged in Superstorm Sandy.
Credit AP Photo/Frank Eltman

Negotiators for Superstorm Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey said talks with the Federal Emergency Management Agency have stalled.

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Superstorm Sandy recovery
1:07 pm
Sat February 21, 2015

Superstorm Sandy Victims Say FEMA's Role Is Fatally Conflicted

Kathy Hanlon and her sons, Sergio (left) and Cristian, were traumatized by Superstorm Sandy. Hanlon says her flood insurance company made life after Sandy even more horrible
Credit Charles Lane/WSHU

After Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Kathy Hanlon's life crumbled. Her Long Beach, N.Y., home had no electricity, her family was traumatized and one of her sons was getting sick. On top of that, there was the bureaucratic maze of flood insurance.

"I cried many times because I was so angry when I got off the phone with the insurance company," Hanlon says. "It was demeaning. We had to send them things repeatedly. We had to wait for phone calls. We had to wait for people to come visit the house."

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Business
4:37 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Why Slow Electronic Payments Can Cause Cash Flow Problems

Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, wants payments to catch up with real-time life.
Josep M Suria iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 2:17 pm

Electronic messages can circle the globe in an instant these days. But electronic payments can still take days to complete, and that slow pace puts consumers at greater risk of getting hit with late payments, overdraft fees or other costs.

Now, regulators are pushing for faster electronic payments.

Jasmine Dareus, a college freshman, is scrolling through some recent bank statements. "A lot of it was books and stuff like that, like textbooks," she says.

One of those books cost $3.

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54 percent spike in abandoned homes
9:59 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

NY Attorney General Introducing Bill To Combat Rise Of 'Zombie' Properties

New York's metro area has the highest number of "zombie" foreclosures in the country.
Credit Chart courtesy of RealtyTrac

Long Island is experiencing a spike in "zombie" homes—properties that are often abandoned after their owners receive a notice of foreclosure. They can fall into disrepair, reducing the values of surrounding property and serving as magnets for crime and vandalism.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is re-introducing legislation to combat the rise of abandoned properties. The bill is aimed at closing the gap of responsibility when a homeowner defaults.

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