03/31/13 5:00pm
03/31/2013 5:00 PM

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | Former Riverhead Town Supervisor Joe Janoski swears in Evelyn Hobson and other members of the Riverhead Police Department’s 1993 recruiting class.

20 years ago

Town hires first black woman cop

As misty eyed parents looked on, six new police officers were sworn into the Riverhead Police Department on March 29, 1993, including the first black female police officer, reporter Cheryl Clark wrote in that week’s issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

Evelyn Hobson, now a detective, remains the only black woman in the Riverhead Police Department today.

Minority hiring in the department became a major issue that year, after Sgt. Donald Green, then the only black officer in Riverhead, “went public with allegations that the town has systematically excluded African-Americans and other minorities from the department,” we reported.

“I am ecstatic over her hiring,” Sgt. Green said that week. “We must not put aside, however, that this is only the first step of many steps that need to be taken to complete the job.”

Read more on the issue

5 years ago

Feds approve Broadwater proposal

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Broadwater Energy’s application to build and operate a floating liquified natural gas terminal in the middle of Long Island Sound five years ago this week, we reported in the March 27, 2008 issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

The terminal would have been located in the waters off Shoreham.

The proposal was shot down by New York State three months later when Governor David Paterson ruled Broadwater’s plan was inconsistent with the state’s Long Island Sound Coastal Management Policy in a decision to deny the company necessary permits.

25 years ago

High-speed chase leaves three dead in Wading River

An 81-year-old woman and her 80-year-old male friend were killed when the car they were riding in was struck by a Medford teen who was attempting to evade police in a stolen car, we reported in the March 31, 1988 issue of the News-Review.

Lillian Feigle, a resident of Glenwood Village in Riverhead, was being driven home by Frank Kehlenback when they were killed.

The driver of the allegedly stolen car, Edward Gotch, 18, also died in the crash, we wrote. He had taken the car from the parking lot of Suffolk County National Bank on Second Street in Riverhead.

30 years ago

School district aid restored

It’s a similar story every year: The governor proposes massive cuts in state aid to schools in January before the state Legislature restores funding in late March.

In the March 31, 1983 issue of the News-Review we published an info box showing how much aid to each district would be increasing or decreasing in the 1983-84 school year.

So how much has state aid gone up in the past 30 years? Take a look:


1983-84 — $3,457,575

2013-14 — $20,451,658

Shoreham-Wading River

1983-84 — $1,946,661

2013-14 — $8,924,075

75 years ago

Supervisors continue fight for bridges

The County Board of Supervisors showed its support of a plan to explore the feasibility of building loop bridges at Smith Point and Shelter Island in March 1938, according to a Suffolk Times story.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Dennis Homan had proposed a bill to rescind a $60,000 appropriation to create a “fact-finding committee” on the bridge issue, but eight of the board’s 10 members voted against his bill.

80 years ago

County cuts $50,000 in expenses

County workers making more than $1,000 a year agreed in March 1933 to a 15 percent reduction in salary. The agreement, along with several other expense adjustments, was expected to save Suffolk County $50,000 annually, according to an article in the March 31, 1933 issue of The Suffolk Times.

Among the other cuts: Heads of departments agreed to receive just 50 cents a day in food allowances, down from $1 the year before.

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03/31/13 2:30pm

Suffolk County residents should be on the lookout for telephone scams, the Suffolk County Police Department said after scammers targeted several Long Islanders this week.

The department has gotten more than a dozen reports of telephone scams where “potential victims are asked to wire money immediately for a family member in trouble,” police said.

Police say the caller will attempt to pressure the victim into sending money without verifying the family member’s whereabouts.

In one scenario, the caller tells the victim that they have just been in a car accident with a relative of the victim who refuses to pay for the damage and claims to have the family member at gunpoint until the victim pays thousands of dollars, according to a police press release.

Other scenarios may include tricking the victim into wiring money to bail out a family member from jail or pay off a faked debt, police said. In these scams, the victim is asked to withdraw money from an ATM and the caller will guide them to where they can wire the money.

The department has gotten reports of about 70 similar scams and believe that dozens more have gone unreported, police said. Police investigations have found that the victims are selected randomly.

The Suffolk County Police Department has advised residents to “independently verify the threatened relative’s whereabouts” and not share any personal information during a call. Those who believe they’re being targeted by a scammer should call the Suffolk County Police Department at (631) 852-2677.

03/31/13 12:23pm
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Three children were hurt after a car crashed into a tree in Calverton.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Three children were hurt after a car crashed into a tree in Calverton.

Three children were injured when the car they were riding in swerved off the road and struck a tree Sunday morning after the driver accidentally made a wrong turn into oncoming traffic in Calverton, police said.

A 17-year-old was driving a blue Honda Civic east on Route 25 in Calverton with her mother and two siblings about 11:10 a.m. when she tried to follow another car making an illegal left turn north onto Route 25A, police said. The teen, who was unfamiliar with the area, thought the oncoming turning lane was her turning lane and “panicked” when she saw oncoming traffic, police at the scene said.

The Civic swerved off the road, fell into a ditch and hit a tree on the east side of Route 25A, police said.

The three children in the car, two young kids and a teenager, were taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center by Wading River and Riverhead ambulance volunteers for treatment of minor injuries, emergency officials said. The mother was not injured in the crash, police at the scene said.

Police briefly closed the road while the accident scene was being cleared. By 11:45 a.m., the roads were reopened.

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03/31/13 10:00am

A Calverton woman was arrested last week in Riverhead after leaving three small children unattended in a parked car while she shopped at a home improvement store, Riverhead Town police said.

Sharee Jones, 21, was arrested about noon Tuesday outside Lowe’s on Route 58 and charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to a report.

Ms. Jones allegedly left three children — a 6-year-old and two 1-year-olds — unattended in a vehicle with the windows down and the keys in the ignition while she shopped, police said.

A Lowe’s employee notified police, officials said.

The responding officer stayed with the children for about 10 minutes before Ms. Jones returned to the vehicle. It is unknown how long the children were left unattended, police said.

Ms. Jones was transported to Riverhead Police headquarters and arraigned, according to a report.

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03/31/13 8:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Carl Gabrielsen (left) with GreenLogic energy consultant Dan Malone in Gabrielsen Farms’ West Lane, Aquebogue, greenhouse.

Carl Gabrielsen is hoping to make his greenhouse on West Lane in Aquebogue even greener.

Mr. Gabrielsen owns Gabrielsen Farms, which grows flowers and plants in greenhouses on Herricks Lane in Jamesport and West Lane in Aquebogue, and is building a solar panel system at the Aquebogue site that he says will eventually end up eliminating his electric bill.

Working with Dan Malone, an energy consultant from GreenLogic Energy in Southampton, Mr. Gabrielsen is installing about 400 solar voltaic panels behind the West Lane greenhouse to generate about 60 kilowatts of power.

“It’s basically a $200,000 project, but there’s a 30 percent federal tax credit that’s available and LIPA has a solar energy rebate of $1.30 per watt used,” Mr. Gabrielsen said. He estimates he will lay out about $37,000 initially but believes the project will have paid for itself in five years through the energy savings.

“My feeling is that anything in the greenhouse that can pay itself off in five years, you have to do it,” said Mr. Gabrielsen, brother of Riverhead Councilman George Gabrielsen. “But there’s two sides to the equation. There’s the economical reason, which is why I’m doing it, and there’s also the environmental reason. The lifetime carbon dioxide reduction from this is 2.7 million pounds over 30 years.”

GREENLOGIC COURTESY PHOTO | A ground-mounted solar array similar to the one that will be installed on Gabrielsen Farms’ Aquebogue greenhouse.

“That’s the equivalent of planting 17 acres of trees,” Mr. Malone said.

The solar panels will generate more electricity than needed at some times of the year and less during others. Any surplus energy goes back into the grid, and Mr. Gabrielsen gets a rebate for that amount.

The LIPA program doesn’t allow people to generate power for the sole purpose of selling it to LIPA, Mr. Malone said.

“We can only design our systems up to 105 percent,” he said.

Mr. Gabrielsen expects that over the course of a year his electric costs should fall to zero.

“It averages out over 12 months,” he said. “It’s a great benefit for agriculture out here.”

The solar panels are currently being installed and Mr. Gabrielsen, a member of the Suffolk County Planning Commission, intends to give his fellow commissioners a tour of the West Lane operation in early April, by which time the solar panels will be further along. He expects the system to be operating by June.

“It’s not just the solar energy,” Mr. Gabrielsen said. He’s also recycling the water he uses at the greenhouse, and he has been using what’s called integrated pest management for the past five years.

That’s when you introduce “beneficial insects” that will kill off insects that are harmful to the plants.

“We’ve cut our pesticide use by 95 percent,” he said.

Mr. Gabrielsen, whose family has been involved in farming on Long Island for more than 200 years, said he had wanted to install solar panels at his Jamesport greenhouse as well but doesn’t have enough land left at that site.

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03/31/13 6:00am

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | A basket of eggs at Saturday’s Blessing of the Food Baskets at St. Isidore Church in Riverhead.

St. Isidore R.C. Church in Riverhead held its annual Blessing of the Food Baskets Saturday on the eve of Easter Sunday.

Worshipers from across Long Island came to take part in the tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Food items ranging from hard-cooked eggs and bread to horseradish and bottles of wines in baskets were to be blessed by the priest. Many of the baskets were lined with hand-sewn or crocheted napkins.

03/30/13 7:16pm
03/30/2013 7:16 PM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Firefighters respond to a house fire in Aquebogue Saturday.

A good Samaritan driving past a Main Road home in Aquebogue noticed flames late Saturday afternoon and stopped to notify the family inside, Riverhead police said.

About six people and a dog safely evacuated the home after hearing word of the flames, police said.

Riverhead police and about 30 Jamesport Fire Department volunteers responded to the scene about 4:30 p.m., said Chief Duffy Griffiths of the Jamesport Fire Department.

Fire officials determined the flames were likely caused by embers that had blown out of a recently lit fireplace, Chief Griffiths said.

The home sustained minimal damage and no one was hurt, he said.

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03/30/13 4:00pm

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River center fielder Haley Tilton tries to lay down a bunt against Sayville Saturday.


As a sophomore last year Kristen Bricker only saw time in the field for the Sayville Golden Flashes. On a team loaded with talented hitters, Bricker never got the chance to step into the batter’s box.

A year later, after the graduation of several key players from the lineup, Bricker has gotten her chance.

As Shoreham-Wading River found out Saturday afternoon, the Sayville first baseman can crush the ball.

Bricker hit a pair of home runs in a 7-2 Sayville victory at Shoreham-Wading River High School on opening day for the Wildcats. After winning the first state championship in program history last year, the Golden Flashes have picked up right where they left off with two strong victories to open the season.

The Golden Flashes have been the road block for Shoreham to get to the county championship series in each of the past two seasons. Sayville won 6-1 in the Class A semifinals against Shoreham last May.

“We have a good healthy rivalry,” said Sayville coach Tiffany Rowan.

“Against Sayville we’re always a little extra nervous,” said Shoreham coach Christina Shiffman. “Excited, but a little nervous. I think to start our season it’s always tough against our rival team. But we’ll bounce back.”

Bricker crushed a 1-1 pitch over the center field fence in the third inning to give Sayville a 4-1 lead. In the sixth inning she hit an 0-2 pitch to nearly the same spot for a solo home run.

Afterward Rowan was laughing at the fact Bricker never got into the lineup last year.

“She’s a very good hitter,” Rowan said. “She was younger last year and we had a lot of older kids so it was tough to get her in the lineup. But she worked really hard all throughout last year and it’s showing off now.”

Sayville (2-0) scored all seven runs off senior Chelsea Hawks.

Shiffman said she thought Hawks threw the ball well and was victimized by good hitting.

“The first [home run], that was a rise ball and that was good hitting,” she said. “[Bricker] was a good hitter and wherever we put it she was able to get to it.”

Hawks struck out 10 and gave up nine hits to a Golden Flashes team that already looked to be in mid-season form at the plate.

Getting into a groove offensively will be the focus for the Wildcats as the league season begins Tuesday. The Wildcats were solid defensively against Sayville and Shiffman said she has no worries about the team’s ability to pitch and field.

“It’s about hitting,” she said. “We’re focused on hitting and having good at-bats.”

The Wildcats got runs in the second and fifth inning, both on the benefit of some misplays in the field by Sayville. In both innings the Golden Flashes botched a rundown when a Shoreham runner got hung up between two bases. Third baseman Alex Hutchins came around to score in the second after reaching on a leadoff walk. Right fielder Alexis Biemer scored in the fifth after reaching on a one-out single.

Sayville junior Julia Simpson earned the win in her first varsity start. Following in the footsteps of Merissa Selts, who pitched the Flashes to the state title last year, Simpson and Amanda Eremita will split the pitching duties this season.

Rowan said Simpson was poised in her first start.

“She has good control, which is nice,” she said. “She doesn’t get flustered, she just goes out and does her job, which is awesome.”

Simpson gave up just three hits over seven innings and struck out four.

The Wildcats begin their league schedule Tuesday at home against Southampton. As the newest member to League VII, the Wildcats will be facing all new competition throughout the league season.

“We don’t really know what to expect,” Shiffman said. “It’s almost kind of nice not knowing the reputation of the team because we just have to come out and do whatever we’re capable of doing.”

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