01/29/15 8:00am
A blood drive is being held at North Shore Christian Church on Thursday. (Courtesy photo)

A blood drive is being held at North Shore Christian Church on Thursday. (Courtesy photo)

With blizzard conditions sweeping the region this week, the last thing on many people’s minds has been donating blood — and it’s created the largest loss of blood donations since Hurricane Sandy, according to New York Blood Center officials. (more…)

01/27/15 3:00am

Father Piotr Narkiewicz and Father Robert Kuznik shovel the front steps of St. Isidore’s Church during a snowstorm earlier this year. (Barbaraellen Koch photo)

I stepped outside, shovel in hand, and eyed my very snow-worthy Jeep.

But I was overconfident.

As I began to dig into the white stuff, I soon realized I had underestimated the 10 or 12 feet I had to remove in order to actually access my car. Being the overeager newbie reporter that I am, I had unwittingly offered to take photos of the freshly fallen snow, aptly timed as the first task of my morning — or so I thought. (more…)

01/26/15 1:27pm
The scene of a fire at the county center in Riverside on Monday. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

The scene of a fire at the county center in Riverside on Monday. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Riverhead firefighters were called to the County Center in Riverside, where a building was evacuated about 12:50 p.m. Monday after a second-story fire broke out.

Though the fire was contained to a small area and brought quickly under control, Riverhead Fire Department Chief Joseph Raynor said “there was quite a lot of water damage.” (more…)

01/26/15 12:25pm


Felony charges including attempted rape and criminal possession of a weapon against a 30-year-old Wading River man are set to be dismissed, following an “extensive” follow-up investigation into the incident, prosecutors revealed Monday.

Southampton Town police arrested Richard Rause, 30, for allegedly attacking a 30-year-old woman near a lake at the Wildwood Town Park located at on Lake Ave in Northampton about 2:15 p.m. Jan. 14.


01/23/15 11:00am
Governor Cuomo giving his State of the State address the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany Wednesday. (Credit: Courtesy Flickr photo)

Governor Cuomo giving his State of the State address the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany Wednesday. (Credit: Courtesy Flickr photo)

Small business owners across the North Fork could soon benefit from tax reductions that would make income tax rates the lowest in New York State history, according to a proposal outlined by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State address Wednesday.

The proposition would help small businesses incorporated in New York State by reducing the net income tax rate from the current rate of 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent over a three-year period, amounting to a four percent reduction by 2018.


01/22/15 8:08am
(Credit: Crime Stoppers photo)

(Credit: Crime Stoppers photo)

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in a Main Road burglary on Jan. 13.

Sometime between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. at least one suspect entered MCN Distributors warehouse, located at 121 Main Road, and stole assorted air conditioning equipment by loading it into a box truck (pictured above). The truck was then driven to another location, where the stolen items were removed from the truck, according to a release.


01/21/15 12:00pm

Despite news that Southampton Hospital is one step closer to merging with Stony Brook University Medical Center, officials of the East End Health Alliance say their association with the South Fork hospital is intact — at least for now.

Formation of the Alliance — established in part to offer community hospitals better leverage in dealing with large insurance companies and to minimize competition among facilities — was recommended in a 2006 report by the Berger Commission, a state panel that examines health care capacity and resources in New York State.

Last Tuesday, the State University of New York Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with an affiliation that, once finalized, will allow Southampton Hospital to provide care under Stony Brook’s state operating license.

Any agreement would require the approval of multiple state regulatory authorities, including the state Department of Health, Attorney General’s office and state comptroller, according to a Stony Brook press release about the decision.

Peconic Bay Medical Center and Eastern Long Island Hospital — the other members of the East End Health Alliance — are also pursuing affiliations with a larger health system and are currently in talks with both Stony Brook and North Shore-LIJ.

If all three East End hospitals do not choose to align with the same larger system, “the Alliance would disestablish,” said ELIH president and CEO Paul Connor, an Alliance spokesman.

Alliance members met most recently Dec. 14, when they finalized a new contract with Empire Blue Cross that took effect Jan. 1, Mr. Connor said.

“No determination has been made to end the Alliance,” he added.

Disbanding it would require coordinated meetings and conversations by the organization’s board, said Demetrios Kadenas, chief development officer for PBMC Health.

The potential mergers are a response to new insurance reimbursement methods brought about by the Affordable Care Act, which now place a value on the quality and outcomes of care provided instead of the extent of care, Mr. Connor said in a release.

“ELIH has much to gain in terms of financial stability by partnering with one of these [larger systems],” he said.

Stony Brook officials are now working to file a Certificate of Need with the state health department that will be evaluated to ensure services align with community needs, according to the health department website.

Andrew Mitchell, president and CEO of PBMC Health, said that “as an integral member of the East End Health Alliance, we look forward to reviewing the Southampton Hospital-Stony Brook transaction when it is brought forward to the Alliance.”

Mr. Kadenas said Southampton Hospital’s affiliation “currently has no impact on PBMC Health and does not affect any current collaboration between PBMC Health and [Stony Brook].”

Mr. Connor added, “Until Stony Brook and Southampton gain all the requisite approvals, ELIH will not be impacted.”

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