01/31/12 1:48pm
01/31/2012 1:48 PM

Sonya Mebus of Southold died Jan. 24 in Florida at the age of 68.

She was born Sept. 9, 1943, in Queens to Richard and Helen (Kap) Hofmann and completed several semesters of college. She worked as an administrative assistant for her husband’s firm, Stanford Mebus & Co. CPAs P.C., in Southold.

She is survived by her husband, Stanford; her daughters, Sonya Sulton and Pamela Cuffalo; her son, Ted; her brothers, Richard and Bruno Hofmann; and 17 grandchildren.

Visiting hours will take place Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Reginald H. Tuthill Funeral Home in Riverhead. A service will be held Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick R.C. Church in Southold, followed by interment at the church cemetery.

01/31/12 1:22pm

Katherine M. Spindler of Calverton died Jan. 29 at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead. She was 90.

She was born Sept. 24, 1921, in Vineland, N.J., to Antonio and Mary Saracina and had worked as a clerk for the Long Island Lighting Company.

Family members said she enjoyed playing bridge and Scrabble and loved to swim.

Predeceased by her husband, Joseph, in 1961, she is survived by her children, Michael and Mary, of Calverton, Peter and Robert, of Maine, and Joseph, of Texas; and six grandchildren.

Visiting hours will take place Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 2 to 5 p.m. at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead. A service will be held Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 10 a.m. at St. John the Baptist R.C. Church in Wading River. Cremation will be private.

01/31/12 1:11pm

Charles W. Anstett of Riverhead died Jan. 29 at the age of 69.

He was born May 10, 1942, in Brooklyn, and worked as a title closer at Ticor Title Guarantee in Riverhead.

Mr. Anstett was a member of the American Legion. Family members said he enjoyed bowling.

He is survived by his son, Christopher, and his sister, Midge Sones, both of Riverhead.

Visiting hours will take place Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 7 to 9 p.m. at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead. A graveside service will be held Thursday, Feb. 2, at 10:30 a.m. at Calverton National Cemetery, followed by interment.

01/31/12 12:00pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | When one family hung a New England Patriots banner outside their Jamesport home, their neighbors responded with a Giants banner.

When New England reached the Super Bowl in 2008, the Panciocco family hung a Patriots banner across part of its South Jamesport driveway.

Two days later, their banner had company.

Their next-door neighbors, the Lombardis, had hung a New York Giants banner across the other half of the driveway the two families share off Peconic Bay Boulevard. Now, four years later, the banners are back up.

For these two families, Sunday’s Super Bowl rivalry will hit extra close to home.

“New York and New England are very close,” said John Lombardi, who lives with his wife, Donna, and his youngest daughter Samantha. “But here, they’re even closer.”

Greg Panciocco’s love for New England sports — he likes the Red Sox, while Mr. Lombardi’s a Yankees fan — dates back to his time growing up just outside Foxborough, Mass., where the Patriots play their home games. He met his wife, Jenny, a Coram native, at college and moved to Long Island where they live with their son, Peter, daughter, Emma, and dog, Fenway.

The two families actually knew each other before they were neighbors, since Mr. Lombardi served with Ms. Panciocco’s father in the Suffolk County Police Department.

To say the Lombardis and the Pancioccos have been close neighbors for the past dozen years is a literal statement, too. All that separates their properties is a 10-foot-wide island at the end of their long, two-family driveway.

They live so close to each other, Sunday’s game is sure to take the losing family out of its comfort zone, as it did in 2008, when the Pancioccos quietly removed their Patriots banner the morning after the loss.

“We definitely took our lumps,” said Ms. Panciocco. “But they were gentle.”

The Lombardis joked this week that they couldn’t even find their neighbors in the days following the previous Giants-Pats Super Bowl.

“We didn’t see them for a couple weeks,” Ms. Lombardi recalled with a chuckle.

The Patriots banner didn’t find daylight again until last week, when the Pancioccos brought it out of hibernation in the back shed following New England’s 23-20 win over Baltimore in the AFC Championship game.

The Lombardis, who let their Giants banner fly proudly over the driveway for days following the 2008 Super Bowl win, once again waited a couple days to break it out from safekeeping inside their garage.

Since the banners have been hung back up, friends and neighbors have taken notice of the rivalry.

“People will stop and talk about it,” said Ms. Panciocco, who joked that visitors to her home are parking on her neighbor’s side of the driveway. “Everyone is having a lot of fun with it.”

On Sunday, the Lombardis will host a Super Bowl party at home, but they don’t expect to see their next-door neighbors there.

“They’re invited,” Mr. Lombardi said. “But Greg doesn’t want to listen to Giants fans all night.”

Instead, Mr. Panciocco said he’ll be watching the game with only his wife and kids by his side, a few walls away from their neighbors.

Both families say they’re approaching Sunday’s game with cautious optimism, but the Lombardis have one reason to believe their team will once again be hoisting the trophy that coincidentally bears their last name.

In the days leading up to Super Bowl XLII the Lombardis woke up one morning to find that an overnight windstorm had blown their banner down. They shrugged off any conspiracy theories, hung it back up and watched their team win a title.

This Monday, they once again had to hang their banner back up after it was blown down.

“It’s a good omen,” Ms. Lombardi said.

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01/31/12 10:30am

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | North Fork Bagels in the Mattituck Walbaums shopping center closed Monday.

North Fork Bagels Cafe in Mattituck closed Monday after serving up fresh bagels to the local community for nearly 15 years.

According to employees at Cardinale Group-Daniel Gale Sotheby’s, whose office is located next door and is handling the sale of the bagel shop, the owners have “decided to move on.”

The owners could not be reached for comment.

Now that North Fork Bagels Cafe has closed, the only other “bagel shop” in Southold Town is East End Bagel Cafe located on Route 48 in Southold. Nearby North Road Deli and Caterers also makes its own bagels.

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01/31/12 8:21am

SURVEILLANCE PHOTO | Suffolk County Crime Stoppers and the Riverhead Police Department are seeking the public’s help to identify and locate the men who stole more than $1,000 worth of apparel from True Religion at the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead.

Police are searching for four men they say stole more than $1,000 worth of clothing from a Tanger Outlet store earlier this month.

Four unknown men were caught on store video surveillance taking “assorted clothing” from the True Religion store on Jan. 7. The men then left the store without paying for the merchandise, and are wanted for grand larceny.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at (800) 220-TIPS.  All calls will be kept confidential.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

01/31/12 7:00am

The following stories were excerpted from Riverhead News-Review issues published 15, 20 and 30 and 100 years ago this week:

20 years ago …

Wading River man arrested after body found under garage

A woman’s guilty conscience reportedly led police to the grisly discovery of a dead body entombed under the cement garage floor of a Wading River home on Jan. 25, 1992, we reported in that week’s issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

And for five years, the man who was arrested, 42-year-old Roert Henry, continued to live in the very house that concealed the evidence of his alleged crime, we wrote.

Riverhead police said they received an anonymous call from a woman who said she watched Mr. Henry shoot Laurence Marrs during an argument on Christmas Eve 1986. After four hours of cutting through the floor and several iron posts that had apparently been used to reinforce the concrete, police found the body of Mr. Marrs, who died from a shotgun wound to the head.

A prosecutor said the fact that Mr. Henry had continued to live in the house for five years after the murder showed a “hardness of spirit and a singleness of purpose.”

The anonymous woman said she declined to come forward about the crime for so long because Mr. Henry had threatened to kill her.

Postscript: Mr. Henry served three years in prison on manslaughter charges, state records show. He was paroled in 1996.

Redistricting plan would merge forks

The North and South Forks would be merged into one State Assembly district instead of two under the new redistricting plan proposed by the Legislative Task Force on Demographic research and Reapportionment, we reported in the Jan. 30, 1992 issue of The Riverhead News-Review.

Assemblyman Joe Sawicki said that week he was against the plan.

“There’s no reason to combine the two of us other than politics,” he said. “The East End deserves nothing less than two representatives.”

Postscript: A similar proposal was announced last week. In 1992, Assembly districts were supposed to have about 120,000 residents. Today that number is over 129,000.

15 years ago …

Fast food cooking on 25A in Wading River?

Is McDonald’s coming to Wading River? That was the lead of one page 3 story in the Jan. 30, 1997 issue of the News-Review.

Postscript: Yes.

Multiplex on Main Street

A multiplex in the Rimland building? That was the lead of another page 3 story in the Jan. 30, 1997 issue of the News-Review.

Postscript: No.

30 years ago …

Flanders residents hit school board for tax relief

A boisterous overflow crowd of about 100 Riverhead School District residents this week presented the Board of Education with a stinging message to control tax increases, we reported in the Jan. 28, 1982 issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

The residents were there to express concern over a 17.5 percent tax rate increase for district residents living in Southampton Town. Riverhead Town residents faced just a 2 percent increase in their tax rate.

“We are asking the board to consider our plight,” said Flanders resident Angela Serini. “We are asking that you make a conscientious effort in these critical times of economic depression to bring us a budget that we can approve.”

Postscript: Similar concerns exist today, with no clear path of resolution ahead.

100 years ago …

Papers were served Jan. 26, 1912 on 21 South Jamesport scallopers arrested for catching bug scallops, we reported in that week’s County Review.

They were to be sued in civil proceedings in the Supreme Court to recover a $60 penalty each, we reported.

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01/30/12 8:00pm
01/30/2012 8:00 PM

Are the inmates running the police department?

That’s what you might have thought if you stopped by the Southampton Town Police Department this week and saw guys in orange jumpsuits filling the hallways.

But the inmates are in fact painting the police department.

About a dozen inmates from the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverside were at work at police headquarters in Hampton Bays this week as part of the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program (SLAP), according to Police Chief William Wilson.

“This is something I spoke to Sheriff (Vincent) DeMarco about months ago,” Chief Wilson said. “Getting help doing some cosmetic work in and around the Southampton Town Police Department.”

The program provides both skilled and unskilled laborers to municipalities and certain not-for-profit organizations, Chief Wilson said.

“It’s a two-tiered program,” he said. “It gives low-risk, minor-offense inmates the chance to go out and practice their skills, because there is skilled labor within the inmate population. And along with that, they’ll take unskilled labor and combine them with the skilled labor as a way to provide career training for them in hopes that when they are released, they will find a job.”

The SLAP program cleaned the area around the Riverhead train station two years ago. At the time, Sheriff DeMarco told the News-Review that the inmates in the program do work inside the jail and outside, performing jobs ranging from carpentry to painting to landscaping.

The inmates painted the detective offices in the basement of the police department last week and are painting the upstairs walls and offices this week, Chief Wilson said. Next week, they will be doing some cleaning and “aesthetic upgrades” to the holding cells at the police department, he said.

“We’re grateful to the sheriff’s department,” the chief said. “This facility is 30-plus-years-old and it probably hasn’t received the attention that it should, just because the town work force is very busy. This is a way for us to have some upgrades done at no expense to the taxpayers and take advantage of the assistance that the sheriff’s department was offering us.”

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