PNS Daily Newscast - July 3, 2020 

Economists say coronavirus disaster declarations may be the quickest path to reopening; militia groups use virus, Independence Day to recruit followers.

2020Talks - July 3, 2020 

Trump visits South Dakota's Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore today; nearby tribal leaders object, citing concerns over COVID-19 and a fireworks display. Plus, voter registration numbers are down from this time in 2016.

One of Long Island's "Most Distressed" Communities Plots Comeback

June 8, 2007

A New York suburb that made headlines for a tragic murder is plotting an economic comeback. You may know this town because a resident was found murdered with his 3-year-old son sleeping on his body, but now Bellport is hoping to take a bite out of crime through a community planning process where locals re-imagine their community. Soul Marie Jones with Sustainable Long Island says one of the first things many Bellport residents say they need is a viable downtown.

"[We need things like] restaurants and mixed use buildings with condos on the top and businesses on the bottom. [It helps to have] eyes on the street 24 hours to eliminate crime because there's activity."

This summer the Greater Bellport Coalition will participate in a "SWOT" analysis where residents will identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to their town.

One way to get Bellport off the list of the county's most distressed communities is to deal with the large number of boarded up properties, according to Suffolk County legislator Kate Browning.

"We need to get them back on the tax rolls, but we also need to take care of these properties because they're an eyesore. So that's part of the revitalization of the area, to encourage homeownership because while we need some rentals, we can't have all rentals."

New Cassel underwent a similar process several years ago and already has attracted $60 million in public and private investment, so Kate Browning expects good things for Bellport.

"It's been successful elsewhere, and it's going to be successful here. Bottom line -- it's the people in the community. They are determined. They feel it's their turn and rightfully so."

Michael Clifford/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - NY