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.

Pages

Many reasons for chosing Hochul over Bellone
7:12 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Bellone wasn't interested in Lt. Gov anyways

Nominees N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, his running mate, former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, state Attorney Gen. Eric Schneiderman, and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, left to right.
Credit AP/Richard Drew

During his nomination speech yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo mentioned Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone very briefly before moving to heap praise on his choice for lieutenant governor, former upstate congresswoman Kathy Hochul.  

Bellone was often mentioned as a possibly lieutenant governor but a lot of things stood in the way, not the least of which was that Bellone wasn’t interested. 

Read more
Most school budgets pass
7:36 am
Wed May 21, 2014

3 of 4 schools fail to pierce tax cap

Then gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo promoted his property tax cap in 2010.
Credit AP/Mike Groll

Three of the four Suffolk County school districts that attempted to pierce the state tax cap last night failed. A 2011 law requires that schools in New York must get a supermajority of voters to approve a budget that hikes property taxes by more than 2%. 

Only East Hampton was able to do that. Bridgehampton and West Babylon failed to get the required two-thirds of voters. And Sayville failed to get a simple majority. 

The districts that failed must resubmit their budget and if they fail again, last year's budget will be enacted. 

Read more
Refund for "illegally high interest"
12:44 am
Wed May 21, 2014

NYAG: online lender will refund $20M to New Yorkers

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, speaks during a news conference in 2013.
Credit AP/Matt Rourke

An online payday lender will begin refunding borrowers in New York up to $20 million in what regulators call "illegally high interest" rates. 

Western Sky Financial was a prominent online lender that offered short-term loans at triple digits interest rates. New York sued along with several other states with strict usury laws that cap interest rates. In New York the interest rate cap is 16%.  

Officials say the users of the site who register with settlement manager will get refunds based on the difference between the legal interest rate and the rate charged.  

Read more
"Tax Freeze" made schools weary of big hikes
10:26 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Few Long Island schools aim to pierce tax cap

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo touting new "tax freeze" law.
Credit AP/Mike Groll

Long Island schools put their budgets up for vote Tuesday. Most school districts hope to increase their tax levies at or just below the 2% cap on property tax increases that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law in 2011.

Four Suffolk schools are attempting to exceed that cap: West Babylon, Sayville, East Hampton, and Bridgehampton. Officials say the districts received less state school aid than they were hoping and so piercing the cap is necessary.

Read more
Passenger 'fainting' also spikes
6:29 am
Mon May 19, 2014

LIRR injuries up 30%, blamed on winter weather

LIRR workers near Jamaica Station
Credit AP/Mary Altaffer

So far this year injures of workers on the Long Island Rail Road have increased more than 30% while passenger injuries have increased about 20%.

Read more

Pages