12/31/12 2:19pm
12/31/2012 2:19 PM

Dana F. Davis Sr. of Aquebogue died Dec. 28 at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead. He was 78.

Born Jan. 28, 1934, in Gloucester, Mass., to Catherine J. (Markuson) and Theodore H. Davis, he was educated through high school and married Lucy Seebeck on Nov. 18, 1956. He served in the U.S. Air force in the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard, at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach.

Family members said he was an avid reader and enjoyed fishing, hunting, bowling and softball.

Visiting hours will be held Wednesday, Jan. 2, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead. Interment will take place Thursday, Jan. 3, at Riverhead Cemetery.

A full obituary will appear in a future edition of the News-Review.

12/31/12 12:00pm

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Jalyn Brown goes up for a shot during last winter’s playoff run.

As the league season neared the halfway point last January, it became abundantly clear that the few, if any teams, were going to have a chance at defeating the Riverhead girls basketball team. As the Blue Waves tallied lopsided wins, there was a growing sense that the team was on the verge of something special.

Led by the talented trio of Jalyn Brown, Melodee Riley and Shanice Allen, the Blue Waves entered the Class AA playoffs as the No. 3 seed. In the playoff opener against Patchogue-Medford, the Blue Waves cruised to a 67-46 victory as Brown eclipsed 1,000 career points. She became only the third Riverhead player to reach the milestone, although it wouldn’t take long for another player to join the exclusive club.

It was an emotional start to the playoffs, a journey that would continue for close to a month.

After wins against Ward Melville and Lindenhurst, the Blue Waves found themselves in the county championship, playing in front of a raucous crowd at Farmingdale State College against an undefeated Hauppauge team. “Special girls basketball teams like Riverhead’s don’t come along often, so when they do, they want to leave their mark,” wrote News-Review sports editor Bob Liepa.

The Blue Waves did just that with a thrilling 60-52 victory, which included Allen surpassing 1,000 career points, to set the stage for a Long Island championship game against Baldwin. In front of another enthusiastic, towel-waving crowd, the Blue Waves punched their first ever ticket to the state semifinals with a 56-50 win over Baldwin.

While their run came to an end against Penfield in Troy, N.Y., the Blue Waves nonetheless captivated the community with their play and left a lasting mark on Riverhead athletics. In the end, the Blue Waves graced the cover of the News-Review five times.

12/31/12 11:07am

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A couple was robbed at knife-point while walking from the Long Island Aquarium to a nearby parking lot Saturday, police said.

A couple visiting the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead was robbed at knifepoint by a man on a bike as the pair walked back to a parked car Saturday afternoon, town police said.

The out-of-towners were walking north on Ostrander Avenue away from the aquarium about 4:15 p.m. when a voice from behind yelled for them to “get out of [his] way,” police said.

The voice then said “stop right there,” the couple reported to police. The alleged robber, a man riding a bicycle, then pulled a knife on the couple.

The unidentified man took the couple’s wallets and cell phones before fleeing south on Ostrander Avenue, police said.

The victims were not injured.

The parking lot the couple was walking to was a public lot off of the Aquarium’s property and not subject to the center’s security, an employee said. Long Island Aquarium executive director Bryan DeLuca was unavailable for comment Monday morning.

Riverhead detectives are investigating the incident, police said.

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12/31/12 8:00am

GIANNA VOLPE FILE PHOTO | Giant sas lines at Hess in Riverhead in the days following Superstorm Sandy.

While Superstorm Sandy — a combination of a massive hurricane out of the south and upper level trough out of the Midwest — spared the Riverhead area its worst, houses in several coastal hamlets were damaged by wind and flood waters during the storm. And several beaches were severely eroded.

Thousands of local residents went without power for days, even over a week after Sandy, whose surge struck the region Monday, Oct. 29. Some stayed with friends and relatives. Others were forced to shelters set up in Riverhead and Southampton towns.

A subsequent gas shortage compounded the already stressful situation. Many were still without power with temperatures reaching near-freezing levels and generators running dry of precious gas.

And tensions were running high on some lines.

“People don’t know how to adapt without the luxuries they’re used to,” Calverton resident Judy Torrieri said at a Hess station line. “They’re willing to go out and get what they need and siphon out your gas. Any means necessary.”

Perhaps the lasting local image from Sandy was that of downtown Riverhead’s southern side, much of which was under water on the Monday morning before the storm’s full brunt was even close to being felt. Features of downtown’s Grangebel Park, like railings and foot bridges, became indiscernible as the tides rose to record levels and a gazebo in the riverfront park to the east was lifted up and deposited elsewhere in the park.

Upon realizing that points to the west and south of Long Island suffered much more damage, our communities, led by our fire departments, rallied by collecting goods and money to be distributed in Mastic, Shirley and other places.

Many in Wading River, Aquebogue, Jamesport and Flanders said they’d never seen the bay or Sound waters so high.

Linda Heller, who’s lived on Creek Road in Wading River for 16 years, returned home to discover that so much land had been wiped away behind her home, almost the entire cesspool was exposed, she told the News-Review that week.

“I was very surprised to say the least,” she said. “You don’t expect to see your cesspool.”

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

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet, a Riverhead High graduate, rushed for 220 yards against Army this season.

As Miguel Maysonet soaked in the Riverhead football team’s county championship victory over North Babylon at Stony Brook University in late November, he joked about how he heard he’s responsible for a decline in attendance at Riverhead games this season.

People kept telling him, Maysonet said, that everyone in Riverhead would travel to Stony Brook on Saturday afternoons to watch him play.

There was plenty of reasons to make the trip west, as Maysonet put on a weekly show as running back for the Seawolves. A 2009 Riverhead graduate who helped lead the Blue Waves to an undefeated season his senior year, Maysonet capped off his college career with a jaw-dropping senior season that landed him the Big South Conference Offensive Player of the Year award for the second straight season.

Maysonet was one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Award as the top player in the Football Championship Subdivision. He ended up second in the voting, which was announced during a ceremony Dec. 17 in Philadelphia.

Maysonet was named to a bevy of All-American teams following the season, including the Associated Press first team.

At 5-foot-10, 210-pounds, Maysonet rushed for 1,964 yards this season, tops in the FCS. He scored 23 touchdowns to join former Stony Brook running back Brock Jackolski as the only players in Big South history with a 20-touchdown season.

His rushing total was the 11th most yards in a season in FCS history.

He helped lead Stony Brook to a 10-3 season that ended in the second round of the FCS playoffs against Montana State. Maysonet scored two touchdowns in the Seawolves’ playoff victory over Villanova.


12/30/12 11:30am

POLICE MUG SHOTS | Teresa Doige, left, and Lillian Kirchberger stand accused of stealing Christmas packages off the front steps of homes in Wading River.


The Southold Town Police Department announced Sunday it has returned packages to 33 alleged victims of the two women arrested earlier this month for stealing Christmas presents delivered to houses across the North Fork. This will likely lead to 33 additional counts of misdemeanor larceny, police said. This investigation is still active and charges are pending.

There are still a number of unclaimed items being held, police said. If you feel you may have been a victim and are missing property please contact Detective Harned at (631) 765-2974.

Dec. 19, 2012

Turns out it wasn’t the Grinch who stole Christmas presents off the front steps of North Fork houses the past few weeks.

Two Mattituck women were arrested Tuesday and charged with the theft of several UPS packages from the front steps of homes in Wading River, Riverhead Town police said.

The suspects are believed to be connected to similar incidents on the North Fork, Southold Town police said. Some of the packages taken were recovered by police, and are waiting for their rightful owners to pick them up.

Police received reports of packages, many of them Christmas gifts, being stolen from in front of houses in the area Friday. One of the thefts was captured on surveillance footage, which was turned over to investigators, Riverhead police said.

Police identified the thieves as Lillian Kirchberger and Teresa Doige, both 42, according to a police report. They were charged with three counts of petit larceny, police said.

Two weeks ago, packages were taken from two separate houses in Aquebogue, according to police reports.

In the first incident on Dec. 5, two women driving a blue station wagon pulled up to an Edgar Avenue home and removed several packages near the house. Three days later on Dec. 8, an unknown person took a package from the front porch of a home on Linda Avenue, police said.

Police said it was not clear if the incidents were related.

“We definitely have them on the three that they’re charged with,” said Riverhead police Det. Sgt. Joseph Loggia.

Southold police Det. Sgt. John Sinning said Southold police had not arrested the women yet, but were investigating about a half-dozen incidents and will make an arrest in the future.

Sgt. Sinning said police recovered some of the stolen Christmas presents from the suspects’ home and vehicle.

“My whole office is filled with Christmas presents,” he said.

Sgt. Sinning asked that North Fork residents who think their presents were stolen contact Southold police.

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12/30/12 8:00am

PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | Governor Andrew Cuomo shakes hands with a Ridge firefighter in Calverton April 10.

The largest Long Island wildfire in over a decade burned more than 1,000 acres of forest and property from Ridge to Calverton — with other, smaller fires breaking out in Flanders, Yaphank and elsewhere — during a prolonged dry spell in April.

The larger “Wildfire of 2012” damaged dozens of structures and forced evacuations in neighborhoods along Wading River Manor Road in Manorville. At its peak, a plume of smoke could be seen from much of Suffolk County and Connecticut.

Manorville firefighter Andrew Preli said the fire was like nothing he’s ever seen in his three years of volunteer service.

“I’ve been on a bunch of brush fires,” he said. “Nothing this crazy, nothing this big. It sounded like a train coming through.

“Everywhere I looked something was on fire.”

Firefighters from more than 100 departments across Suffolk and Nassau counties spent over two days bringing the flames under control. One Manorville volunteer, William Hille, 35, suffered severe burns to his face after he and two colleagues had to abandon a brush truck that caught fire in the woods.

The truck was destroyed.

All responders were later honored with a “firefighter appreciation festival” at the Brookhaven Amphitheater, which featured free concerts for volunteers and their families.

Investigators later determined the fire was intentionally set on undeveloped property at the Brookhaven National Laboratory site.

Suffolk County police are offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

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12/29/12 7:33pm
12/29/2012 7:33 PM

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Riverhead’s Shanice Allen going up for a layup against Northport in the Suffolk Shootout.


The Riverhead Blue Waves dug themselves a hole that was too deep to climb out of as they dropped an 84-58 decision to Northport at the Suffolk Shootout girls basketball tournament in Northport on Saturday.

The Tigers (7-1) bolted to a 22-10 advantage late in the opening quarter before extending it to 46-26 at halftime. The Blue Waves (3-4) pulled to within 13 points at 55-42 midway through the third period, but could not get any closer.

Senior guard Shanice Allen, who was named to the all-tournament team, led Riverhead with 23 points. Senior guard Naysha Trent added 14 points.

All of Northport’s starters finished in double figures, paced by senior forward Allie Clarke’s career-high 25 points. She also grabbed 11 rebounds.

Junior guard Lizzy Atkinson and senior forward Dorrien Van Dyke contributed 16 points apiece. Senior forward Kristin Cleary had 15 points and junior guard Allie Pavinelli 10.

The Blue Waves will host Centereach on Thursday.