02/20/15 10:00am
02/20/2015 10:00 AM
The Riverside traffic circle. (Credit: file photo)

The Riverside traffic circle’s expansion won’t begin anytime soon. (Credit: file photo)

Thanks to understaffing at the county Department of Public Works, expansion of the Riverside traffic circle isn’t likely to begin earnest for at least another two years, according to county Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk).  (more…)

02/19/15 10:24am
Town Board members took John Cahill (center) of The Pataki-Cahill Group on a tour of EPCAL Tuesday morning. 'There's tremendous infrastructure on the site,' Mr. Cahill said. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Town Board members took John Cahill (center) of The Pataki-Cahill Group on a tour of EPCAL in December. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A divided Riverhead Town Board held off Wednesday on voting to authorize an agreement with Pataki-Cahill Group, a consulting firm headed by former Governor George Pataki, to market the Enterprise Park at Calverton.

The board voted 3-2 to table the resolution, with the board majority saying they wanted to discuss it further.  (more…)

02/19/15 8:00am
From left, Tracey Foutaine and TK. Mr. Fountaine credits his faith, extended family, friends and even the help of strangers for helping his family get back on its feet. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Tracey Foutaine and his wife, Lyn, in front of their home. Mr. Fountaine credits his faith, extended family, friends and even the help of strangers for helping his family get back on its feet. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Northampton resident Tracey Fountaine can remember seeing an owl perched on the roof of his house as he arrived home from work one day last June.

A few hours later, the owl was still there.

It was a strange sight, he recalls. Normally owls don’t get that close to homes, or stay around long.

That was all before the aging electrical outlet sparked in the basement near the clothes dryer, before the fire leapt up the wall, before Mr. Fountaine was covered in a flaming blanket while desperately battling the blaze. That was also before he spent days in a hospital recovering from burns while his family dealt with what remained of the family home.

But even when the house — the place his wife, Lyn, had called home since childhood — did catch fire and firefighters tried to contain the blaze, the owl didn’t fly away. It stayed there, hopping from one side of the roof to the other, consumed in smoke.

Only after the fire was out and everyone was OK did the owl leave its perch, Mr. Fountaine said.

He believes that owl was like a guardian, watching over his family and keeping them safe. Nine months after the devastating fire, small owl trinkets litter the trailer the Fountaine family is living in as their home is rebuilt bigger and stronger.

“The owl has become like a family symbol,” Mr. Fountaine said. “I know when we go back home, it will come back.”

In many ways, Mr. Fountaine’s story mirrors the lives of other residents in the North Fork area who have lost their homes and possessions — and more — to fire in the past few years. There’s the initial devastation, the grueling recovery and the importance of support from family and friends.

The News-Review sat down with four area residents who were the victims of house fires in recent years to learn more about that recovery process.

Click on the tabs below to read their stories.

02/18/15 5:30pm
02/18/2015 5:30 PM

liveblog

The Riverhead Town Board tabled a vote tonight on approving an agreement with the Pataki-Cahill Group, a “specialized business development firm” headed by former Gov. George Pataki.

The firm would be hired through a professional services contract — meaning no bid would be required — to market property at Enterprise Park at Calverton. (more…)

02/18/15 4:00pm

A worker surveys the scene at last week's Water Mill explosion. (Credit: Christine Fuge courtesy photo)

According to Southampton Det. Sgt. Lisa Costa, the preliminary results of an investigation have revealed that a Water Mill home explosion was sparked when a power tool cut through a live gas line, igniting the flame that blew up the Old Country Road home and sent two Riverhead men to the hospital.

The incident is not considered criminal at this time.

(more…)