11/14/14 10:30am
Lawmakers are trying to grapple with the legal issues surrounding flyboarding and other similar water sports. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Lawmakers are trying to grapple with the legal issues surrounding flyboarding and other similar water sports. (Credit: Paul Squire)

One thing was made clear as Riverhead Town Board members again discussed regulating flyboarding — a new water sport — on the Peconic River Thursday morning: flyboarding and the town, they said, weren’t a good fit. (more…)

11/14/14 8:00am
Riverhead, Walmart, Newtown, Sandy Hook, Route 58, Riverhead

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said the owner of the former Walmart building on Route 58 may be interested in bringing in a movie theater. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Riverhead Councilwoman Jodi Giglio’s comment at the end of Thursday’s Town Board work session meeting almost flew under the public’s radar.

Someone might be interested in bringing a movie theater to Riverhead, she mentioned. (more…)

11/12/14 9:17am
(Credit: Google Maps)

(Credit: Google Maps)

Two men are being held on bail after their arraignment Wednesday on a slew of charges — including felony robbery and assault — related to a Tuesday night hold-up at a Hampton Bays home, according to Southampton Town court documents.

The two men, 22-year-old Jairo Arteaga of Riverside and 21-year-old Jimi Valdez-Banegas of Hampton Bays, are accused of physically attacking a man in the home Mr. Valdez-Banegas lives in, according to the court filings.

About 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Mr. Arteaga attacked the 29-year-old victim — whose identity is being withheld — inside the home on Penny Lane, striking him in the shoulder with a baseball bat and causing “substantial pain” and a “large” bruise, the court filings show.

At the same time, Mr. Valdez-Banegas held a knife up to the throat and head of the victim while threatening to kill him, according to the court documents. The two men stole the victim’s wallet, keys, and $600 in “assorted U.S. currency,” according to the report.

The victim ran from the house and flagged down someone who then called police, said Southampton Sgt. John Boden. Officers on patrol got to the house soon after and caught the two men, he said.

Sgt. Boden declined to comment on why the victim was targeted inside the house, or if he had any relationship with the attackers.

Both men were charged with felony robbery, assault and unlawful imprisonment, as well as misdemeanors for weapons possession and menacing.

Mr. Arteaga and Mr. Valdez-Banegas were arraigned in Southampton Town Justice Court and held on $755,000 and $505,000 bail, respectively, a court clerk said.

Both men are due back in court on Monday.

Editors note: Police originally said Mr. Arteaga lived in Riverhead in a news release. Court paperwork attached to the charges filed against him lists Mr. Arteaga’s address as being in Riverside. The story has been altered to clarify his place of residence.

psquire@timesreview.com

11/10/14 1:11pm
Cops executed a search warrant at this Pine Court property in Northampton on Friday. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Cops executed a search warrant at this Pine Court property in Northampton on Friday. (Credit: Paul Squire)

A third East End Drug Task Force raid Friday netted two arrests on felony drug sales and possession charges in Northampton, according to a Southampton Town police report.

The search warrant was executed at a property on Pine Court at 6:20 a.m., only a few minutes after authorities searched two other properties in Riverhead on Doctors Path and Union Avenue and arrested six people.

The three search warrants came two day after another property in Riverhead was also searched by members of several police agencies working with the task force.Authorities have not yet said whether the four all raids were related, though a police report out of Southampton Town states the Northampton arrests came as the result of a “long term investigation.”

Southampton Town police declined to provide further details about the investigations, referring all questions to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

ROMAINE HOPKINS

ROMAINE HOPKINS

QUANDOL LEWIS

QUANDOL LEWIS

The DA’s spokesperson could not be reached for comment. (more…)

Credit: Patrick W. Moore

Credit: Patrick W. Moore

One concerned grandmother went before the school board Tuesday night, railing against what she called a “secretive” decision to install a solar panel plant on a sod farm across the street from the district middle school.

Michelle Sterling of Shoreham said she was disgusted by the Town of Brookhaven, which she claimed approved the sod farm solar plant without informing residents or the district.

Residents have complained to other boards in recent months: namely Brookhaven Town Board and Brookhaven Planning Board. The latter unanimously approved plans for the project last month, despite much opposition from neighbors, according to Newsday.

“We went by the codes,” Planning Board Chairman Vincent E. Pascale told the paper. “We did all our checking. We took facts from factual sources.

Board president William McGrath said last week that the Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education was also concerned by the circumstances around the approval of the installation and said the district was “looking into it.”

Ms. Sterling went on to claim that the solar panels would cast radiation onto the district’s students and said “studies” couldn’t prove that the solar panels wouldn’t cause cancer.

“Our children are certainly not going to be the guinea pigs to find out,” she said. The board didn’t comment on those claims.

11/08/14 10:00am
Peconic Community School lower primary student Sawyer Harbin shows the Zimbabwe schoolchildren the doll he bought during a live video conference Friday morning as Tinashe Basa, a nonprofit director, watches on. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Peconic Community School lower primary student Sawyer Harbin shows the Zimbabwe schoolchildren the doll he bought during a live video conference Friday morning as Tinashe Basa, a nonprofit director, watches on. (Credit: Paul Squire)

“What do you do for fun?” the girl in Aquebogue asked.

“Do you have pets?” the boy in Zimbabwe asked.

“How big is your school?”

“Do you have a garden?”

These questions and more were answered Friday morning when a group of roughly 30 students at the Peconic Community School in Aquebogue met a group of Zimbabwe orphans through a live online video.

The meetup, coordinated by the nonprofit group ZimKids Orphan Trust, was the first time any of the students in Aquebogue had met kids from Africa, as well as the first time the Zimbabwe students had met someone outside their community. The school also hosted Dennis Gaboury, who founded the nonprofit, and its director — Tinashe Basa.

Mr. Gaboury said the video chat would help the young students here on the North Fork learn more about other cultures.

Mr. Basa, who joined the nonprofit group as a teenager, said he was excited to take part in the “culture [ex]change.”

Some of the students bought homemade dolls from Zimbabwe (those proceeds will go to the nonprofit) and played games with Mr. Basa, who told them about what life was like where he grew up.

ZimKids helps orphaned and abandoned children in Zimbabwe by providing schooling and vocational training. Mr. Basa himself was mistreated as a child, and nearly poisoned by some of his relatives who didn’t want to care for him.

“That whole time, it was a life lesson to know that there are kids out there going through the same thing,” he said. “I want to help them.”

psquire@timesreview.com

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River superintendent Steven Cohen and school board president Bill McGrath.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River superintendent Steven Cohen and school board president Bill McGrath.

The Shoreham-Wading River school board approved a contract worth over $7 million with a worldwide manufacturing company to improve energy-saving measures throughout the district.

Assistant superintendent Glen Arcuri said the contract will pay for itself through resulting energy savings.

Mr. Arcuri explained that the district will borrow the necessary money to pay off the contract.

“It’s a type of a lease arrangement,” he said.

Officials from Honeywell, which recently won the project bid, said in February that making the improvements will save the district more than $250,000 each year on its roughly $1.2 million energy bill.

Improvements would include energy-efficient LED lighting, a “smart” system for heating and cooling and a natural gas line to the high school that would allow the school to use either natural gas or oil, depending on which fuel was cheaper.

The district will use those energy savings to pay off the entirety of the lease, Mr. Arcuri said. If the district doesn’t save as much as projected, Honeywell will have to cover the difference between what they promised and what they delivered, he added.

The state education department will next review the scope of the work to ensure that the district gets “maximum savings,” Mr. Arcuri said.

If the state determines that the district won’t break even on the deal, they will refuse to issue the site plans.