04/30/13 12:14pm
04/30/2013 12:14 PM

Frances Irene Maks of Berne, Ind., died April 24 at Swiss Village. She was 94 years old.

She was born Oct. 4, 1918, in Riverhead to Michael and Mary (Datkum) Grabas. After graduating from Riverhead High School in 1937, she attended Brown’s Business School and later worked as an assistant bank manager. She was a member of St. Isidore R.C. Church in Riverhead.

She married Frank Maks June 23, 1940, and during their 66-year marriage, they enjoyed snow skiing well into their 70s and playing golf, family members said, and she even had a hole-in-one. Other activities included working in the yard, going to the senior center and taking trips to the casino.

Predeceased by her husband in 2007, Ms. Maks was survived by her son, Francis, of Aurora, Colo.; her daughters, Patricia Bloss of Riverhead and Michelle, of Phippsburg, Maine; eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She was also predeceased by her brother and sister.

Arrangements were handled by McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead.

Services will be announced at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to Swiss Village Samaritan’s Endowment Fund, 1350 West Main St., Berne, IN 46711, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

04/30/13 10:30am

COURTESY PHOTO | First-year medical student Sarah Flannery.

First-year medical student and Riverhead High School graduate Sarah Flannery is on a mission to help the medically underserved.

And she needs the community’s help to make it happen.

The 23-year-old will be traveling with 14 fellow medical students to Peru in June to bring free general medical care and supplies to a region with limited access to health care.

“When we get to Peru we will be given a training session on the most common things we should expect to see,” Ms. Flannery said. “I’ve heard a lot of children there are getting pneumonia, something that can easily be treated here.

It is more common there because these people don’t have regular access to doctors.”

The students, of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, are seeking donations of vitamins, over-the-counter medications, personal hygiene products and children’s clothing to supply to people in the region.

Cash donations to purchase these items would also help.

Each student is in charge of his or her own travel and lodging expenses, costing Ms. Flannery about $3,000. The mission, organized through the nonprofit International Service Learning Group, will last two weeks or until supplies run out.

“It’s all about having enough stuff to supply as many people as we can,” the 2008 Riverhead High School graduate said. “When we run out of stuff, we would have to close our clinic.”

The types of items in high demand: anti-inflammatory medicine such as Aleve or naproxen, antihistamines, feminine-care products like Monistat, cold medications — especially for children — and multivitamins.

Ms. Flannery will be leaving the U.S. on June 8 and said she’s looking forward to getting out of the classroom and putting things she has learned to good use.

“I’m pretty sure it will put me in a more optimistic standpoint, because you get to work with people and help them, as opposed to staying in the lecture hall,” she said.

For those looking to donate, Ms. Flannery’s family is willing to pick up goods on her behalf or they can be dropped off at 48 Ellen St. in Riverhead. Email Robin Flannery at [email protected] with any questions.

[email protected]

04/30/13 8:00am


Two men were arrested Sunday afternoon after getting caught drinking in public and then running from cops, Southampton Town police said.

Officers noticed Luis Canel, 27, of Riverhead and Nery Chacon, 26, of Riverside, each drinking from a 12-ounce can of Budweiser near 40 Pine Street in Riverside — which appears to be junk yard — about 4:45 p.m., authorities said.

When Mr. Canel saw an officer pull up, he dropped his beer can and started running.

Police yelled, “Police! Stop!” but Mr. Canel and Mr. Chacon continued to run from the officers.

Mr. Chacon was caught after a brief pursuit and Mr. Canel was nabbed behind Marta’s Deli, according to a police report. The two men were arrested and charged with resisting arrested and open alcoholic container violations.

They were taken to police headquarters and held for arraignment.

04/29/13 6:30pm
04/29/2013 6:30 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | From left: John Turner from Huntington/Oyster Bay Audubon, Randy Parsons from The Nature Conservancy, Congressman Tim Bishop, Charles Rothenberger from Save the Sound.

Environmental groups from both sides of the Long Island Sound  hosted a public meeting in Orient Monday on protecting Plum Island’s undeveloped areas.

Group for the East End and the Save the Sound organization from Connecticut were  joined by Congressman Tim Bishop and dozens of concerned community members at Poquatuck Hall to address the future of the island.

Reporter Cyndi Murray blogged from the meeting. For a recap click on the link below.

04/29/13 3:45pm
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A woman driving this Hyundai Santa Fe crashed into three other vehicles Monday morning, sending all four drivers to the hospital.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A woman driving this Hyundai Santa Fe crashed into three other vehicles Monday morning, sending all four drivers to the hospital.

Update: The woman injured in Monday morning’s four-car accident is listed in “critical condition” at Stony Brook University hospital, according to a hospital official.

Original Story: A Coram woman was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries after crossing into oncoming traffic on Route 25 in Wading River Monday morning and smashing into three vehicles, Riverhead Town police said.

Three other people suffered minor injuries in the crash, police said.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The wreckage of a pickup truck that was struck in a multi-car accident in Calverton Monday morning.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The wreckage of a pickup truck that was struck in a multi-car accident in Calverton Monday.

Police said Melinda Covino-Costanza, 39, of Coram was driving a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe compact SUV eastbound near Fink’s Farm about 7:40 a.m. when she crossed into the westbound lane and struck a 1993 Mercury driven by Daniel Sheppard, 62, of Mattituck.

Ms. Covino-Costanza kept driving east and collided with two other vehicles, a 2000 Dodge pickup truck driven by Sean Gordon, 38, of Jamesport and a Chrysler 300 sedan driven by Calverton resident Richard Murdock, 57, before stopping in front of the farmstand, police said.

Riverhead and Suffolk County police closed off Route 25 as Wading River and Ridge fire crews rushed to the scene.

Ms. Covino-Costanza was taken to Stony Brook University Medical Center with “serious physical injuries,” according to a police report issued about 3:30 p.m.

An airlift was called to take her to the hospital, but she was taken by Wading River ambulance crews by ground instead because she couldn’t be stabilized, said Wading River Fire Chief Jim Evans.

Mr. Murdock, Mr.Gordon, and Mr. Sheppard were taken by Wading River, Ridge and Riverhead ambulance crews to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries, police said. There were no passengers in any of the vehicles, police said.

Police impounded all of the vehicles for a safety inspection.

Ms. Covino-Costanza was issued a traffic violation for driving on worn-out tires, though the investigation is continuing.

Mr. Gordon was cited for unlicensed driving, according to the report.

Investigators are asking that any witnesses to the crash call (631) 727-4500 ext.326.

All calls will be kept confidential.

[email protected]

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated Ms. Covino-Costanza was airlifted to Stony Brook University hospital. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

04/29/13 3:00pm
Chris Dorr and Riverhead School Board

COURTESY PHOTO | Chris Dorr is running against two incumbent school board members in this month’s at-large election for two seats.

Baiting Hollow parent Christopher Dorr, the challenger running against two incumbents for a seat on the Riverhead school board, says he knows all too well about the ins and outs of state-mandated student assessments.

He’s a Nassau BOCES data coordinator who analyzes student tests, staff evaluations and handles state reporting for schools in Nassau. In the midst of new assessment and teacher evaluation mandates coming from Albany, Mr. Dorr believes his skills would be a great asset to the Riverhead School District.

“I do believe some testing is needed, because sometimes students may fly under radar in the classroom,” he said. “These tests help to pick them out.”

The downside to the current state-assessment model, Mr. Dorr said, is it involves “over testing” students and is tied to teacher evaluations.

He believes the best way to gauge how teachers are performing is to have them evaluated solely by “the people that know them best,” such as their principals, peers and students.

The parent of a senior high school student and 10-year-old twins said he’s thought about running for school board for awhile and decided to jump in the race now because he wants to make sure quality education is maintained.

“I don’t think budget constraints should be the reason to cut programs,” he said. “We have to find a way around that.”

Mr. Dorr will face incumbents Jeff Falisi of Calverton and Amelia Lantz of Riverhead. There are two seats carrying three-year terms up for grabs on the seven-member board.

While he understands challenging current school board members is difficult, he believes he has a good chance of winning the race.

“I know it’s tough running against incumbents, but that could be plus for me,” he said. “I’ll be able to provide a fresh set of eyes.”

The 2013-14 school board and budget vote is scheduled for May 21.

[email protected]

04/29/13 12:24pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Runners navigate the muddy Survival Race course last year.

Thousand of runners and “zombies” are expected to descend on the Dorothy P. Flint 4-H Camp in Baiting Hollow this coming weekend, May 4 and May 5.

But while Saturday’s Survival Race and Sunday’s Zombie Race appear to have the support of Riverhead Town Board members, race organizers still don’t have a Town Board resolution approving the two-day event.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said on Friday that town officials were still waiting on information from a town fire marshal.

Mr. Walter said he anticipates the events will be approved by the Town Board, but that approval might not happen until Thursday’s work session, which is just three days before the first race.

“This should have been submitted much earlier,” he said, indicating that the Town Board only first discussed the proposals two weeks ago, and the applications were only filed on March 1.

Both events are being organized by Dean Del Prete, who also owns Cousins Paintball centers in Medford and Riverhead, and race director James Villepigue.

The two organized a one-day Survivor Race at 4H last September, which attracted more than 4,000 runners and spectators.

This year, they plan to hold a May 4 Survival Race, the May 5 Zombie Race, and a second Survival Race on Sept. 7 — all at the 4H camp off Sound Avenue, according to Mr. Villepique.

The Survival Race is a 5K run in which participants will tackle a number of obstacles and mud puddles.

The Zombie Race is a 5K run in which participants must allude people dressed as zombies who will try to capture flags worn at the runners’ waists, said Mr. Villepique. Racers have a belt with four flags, like in flag football, and if the zombies capture all four flags, that runner is out of the race and turns into a zombie.

“The difference between the two is that the Survival Race is more of an athletic type event while the Zombie Race is more of an entertainment event,” Mr. Villepique said.

The zombies are given costumes and are screened, he said. The zombies cannot touch runners and are instructed not to scare people to the point they are actually frightened, especially children, he added.

“It’s not like we have zombies wandering in the forest,” Mr. Villepique said. “We have designated areas that we call a zombie hoard. And then there are managers of each hoard, so, say, there may be 10 zombies in a hoard, and then there is one manager in the hoard who oversees the conduct of each group of zombies, to make sure they follow our code of conduct.”

When the group appeared at the April 11 Town Board work session, board members initially said an event of this size should have been proposed much earlier, and Mr. Walter suggested it might need a mass gathering permit from the county, and that it had already been submitted too late for that.

But race organizers said they would keep the attendance below the 5,000 attendance figure for which a mass gathering permit would be required.

Riverhead Police Lieutenant Richard Boden also said that last year’s event did not cause traffic problems.

A main complaint last year was that the Survival Race used Terry Farm Road, which is a private road. The race organizers say they will not use that road this year.

While the Survival Race may have about 4,000 runners, the runners start in waves of about 100 each half hour, so there is never a point where all 4,000 runners are entering or leaving the site at the same time, Mr. Villepique said.

[email protected]

04/29/13 8:00am

Environmental groups from both sides of Long Island Sound will host a public meeting on protecting Plum Island’s undeveloped areas in Orient tonight.

The Group for the East End and the Save the Sound organization from Connecticut will be joined by Congressman Tim Bishop at Poquatuck Hall on Skippers Lane for the session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The fate of the 840-acre island off the North Fork’s eastern tip has been in question for several years as federal authorities consider the construction of a replacement animal disease research facility in Manhattan, Kan. That project, which Congress has yet to fully fund, calls for closing the Plum Island lab and selling the property.

The public forum comes just one week before Southold Town will hold a public hearing on the proposal would divide Plum Island into three zoning districts.

[email protected]