05/11/14 8:00am
05/11/2014 8:00 AM
Five-year-old Claire McKenzie with her mother, Erica, at home in Laurel last month. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Five-year-old Claire McKenzie with her mother, Erica, at home in Laurel last month. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

When asked to pose for a photo, many small children tense up and present a self-conscious, often goofy version of themselves. They tilt their heads, smile crookedly and hunch their shoulders. They might even stick out their tongues.

Smile nicely, their parents plead.  (more…)

03/28/14 4:50pm
03/28/2014 4:50 PM

Southold police apprehend two Riverhead men on Main Road in Laurel Friday. (Credit: Michael White)

Two Riverhead men, one of whom was armed with a loaded revolver and has a long history of arrests, were apprehended in Laurel Friday morning after residents in Mattituck allegedly saw the men casing a neighborhood and trying to enter a house.

One of the men is facing a felony burglary charge after a woman said the man broke into her house and stole a bag of candy before leaving, according to a police statement.

Southold Town police outside of a Cadillac off Main Road. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

Police said they were called to Pacific Street about 10 a.m. when a resident reported a man who had knocked on her door moments before was looking in her neighbor’s windows and trying to open the door.

Cops searched the area, and learned that the man had gotten into one of the homes and was confronted by a woman, according to a police statement. The man — later identified by police as 46-year-old Kenneth Belcher — asked the woman for money, but she refused.

After she told him she couldn’t help him, he took a bag of Snickers candy bars and left the house.

Police located Mr. Belcher and 88-year-old Willie James Blackmon leaving the area on Main Road in Laurel and arrested them during a traffic stop, according to the report.

Police said they found the loaded gun inside the Cadillac sedan they were in.

Mr. Belcher was charged with felony burglary, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal possession of stolen property, police said.

Mr. Blackmon was charged with one count felony criminal possession of a weapon.

Mr. Belcher had been arrested numerous times prior to Friday’s alleged incident on charges ranging from resisting arrest earlier this month to giving a false name to police to avoid getting arrested on an active warrant in 2011, according to previous News-Review articles.

The two men are being held pending arraignment in Southold Town court, according to the report.

psquire@timesreview.com

01/16/14 4:30pm
01/16/2014 4:30 PM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Police investigate the scene of a fatal accident Thursday morning in Laurel.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Police investigate the scene of a fatal accident Thursday morning in Laurel.

Southold Town police say the Jamesport man who was killed after being struck by two cars while out jogging along Main Road in Laurel Thursday morning was lying in the road when he was hit by the vehicles.

James Callaghan, 49, was hit in dense fog before dawn about 250 feet east of Laurel Lane, according to a police statement.

He died at the scene, police said.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but police said it appears that Mr. Callaghan was struck by two westbound vehicles — an SUV and a sedan — shortly before 5:45 a.m. The drivers of the two vehicles were not injured, police said.

Investigators are looking into whether Mr. Callaghan was hit by a first vehicle that left him in the road and fled the scene of the crash, according to a police statement. Police also said that Mr. Callaghan may have suffered a medical emergency while jogging that caused him to be lying in the road.

Authorities said Riverhead and Southold police were originally called to the scene.

Jamesport Fire Department’s heavy rescue team and the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps also responded but the scene was turned over to Mattituck’s rescue squad when it was determined that the crash had happened within their jurisdiction, fire officials said.

Mattituck firefighters closed Main Road in both directions while the scene was cleared; the road remained closed until about 2 p.m. while Southold police, the county District Attorney’s Vehicular Crime Bureau, crime lab, and county medical examiner’s office investigated the scene.

Police have asked anyone with information about the crash to call police detectives at (631) 765-2600.

psquire@timesreview.com

01/16/14 9:28am
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Police investigate the scene of a fatal accident Thursday morning in Laurel.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Police investigate the scene of a fatal accident Thursday morning in Laurel.

A pedestrian was struck and killed in a motor vehicle accident just east of the Riverhead Town line early Thursday morning, police and fire officials confirmed.

Authorities said Riverhead and Southold police were originally called to the scene a few hundred feet east of the Laurel Post Office shortly before 5:45 a.m.

Jamesport Fire Department’s heavy rescue team and the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps also responded but the scene was turned over to Mattituck’s rescue squad when it was determined that the crash had happened within their jurisdiction, fire officials said.

Two vehicles were involved in the accident, an SUV and a sedan.

At least one victim had become trapped, fire officials said. Southold Police said the pedestrian was jogging on Main Road. The drivers of the two vehicles were not injured, police said.

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Southold Police deployed its new command van to the scene of Thursday’s accident. It was the first official use of the van.

Mattituck firefighters closed Main Road in both directions while the scene was cleared; the road remains closed while Southold police investigate.

Police  expect the road to remain closed through the morning. Southold police deployed its brand new command van for its first official use.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office is also on scene to help investigate.

Southold Police Department said it would release more details from the accident shortly.

12/07/13 3:43pm
12/07/2013 3:43 PM

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | A Toyota Prius was damaged after a collision near Herricks Lane in Jamesport, which briefly blocked traffic this afternoon heading westbound.

A woman was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center after a two-car accident on Main Road in Jamesport Saturday afternoon, Riverhead Town police said. The injuries were non life-threatening, police said.

The woman, driving a Honda Accord, was making a left out of Herricks Lane when she collided with a Toyota Prius heading westbound on Main Road about 2:45 p.m., police said. Traffic was briefly blocked going westbound.

Both cars were towed from the scene.

11/28/13 1:40pm
11/28/2013 1:40 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Joseph Finora with his first novel, which takes place in Wine Country.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Joseph Finora with his first novel, which takes place in Wine Country.

Taking his first stab at fiction writing, Laurel resident Joseph Finora has recently released his first mystery novel, “Red Like Wine: The North Fork Harbor Vineyard Murders.”

The novel tells the story of down-and-out New York City crime reporter Vin Gusto and his former girlfriend, photographer Shanin Blanc, who discover that more than wine is being made at the vineyard in a farming-and-fishing community that’s slowly becoming a wine destination.

When a renowned but reclusive winemaker turns up dead in a vat of his own juice, the couple tries to solve the crime while repairing their relationship and careers amid the murder and mayhem.

Mr. Finora, whom you might know from his involvement with the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League or his recent campaign for Town Trustee, is the first to admit the tale is inspired by his experience working as a New York City reporter, his relationship with his wife and the changing dynamic of the North Fork from a quiet town to an increasingly popular tourist destination.

“I have always wanted to write a murder mystery,” he said. “And I have always been in love with the local wine community. It’s a ripe setting for it.”

The novel, three years in the making, was the result of a lot of research about crime investigations and a lot of early morning writing, Mr. Finora said. His wife, Mary Grace, to whom the book is dedicated, also played a big part in the editing process.

“She is one of those straight-shooting critics,” he said. “She was not shy about telling me what she thought and pointing out how to make the storyline better.”

The 360-page novel is Mr. Finora’s first full-length work of fiction. However, he is no novice. A full-time writer, he’s penned thousands of articles as a freelance journalist, in addition to two business books — “Media Relations and Creative Marketing Tips for Financial Professionals” in 2007 and “Recession Marketing” in 2009.

The reviews of “Red Like Wine” have already been positive. Smoke Magazine has called it “a vintage read” and author Georgeann Packard said the writing is “crisp and natural,” adding that “you won’t be able to put Finora’s book down.”

Mr. Finora said he’s already working on his next novel.

“I am letting a few ideas settle, but I am definitely working on another fiction book,” he said. “I love writing in the early mornings. I can’t wait to get back to it.”

“Red Like Wine: The North Fork Harbor Vineyard Murders” is available locally at BookHampton in Matituck and Preston’s in Greenport and online at amazon.com.

cmurray@timesreview.com

09/15/13 5:10pm
09/15/2013 5:10 PM

SoutholdPD Sign - Summer - 600

A Laurel man was arrested Sunday for shooting an air rifle at another man, striking him in the face and causing a “large laceration,” Southold Town Police said.

Brayan Cahueque, 23, fired the shot at a man police described as “a 23-year-old Hispanic male,” during an altercation about 4 a.m. at 1345 Main Road in Laurel, police said.

Mr. Cahueque was arrested and charged with second degree assault. He is being held at Southold Police Headquarters until his arraignment Monday morning in Southold Town Justice Court.

Police said they are holding the weapon as evidence.

The victim was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of his injury, police said.

09/13/13 2:29pm

AMANDA RILEY PHOTO | A water spout formed over Peconic Bay waters this afternoon.

North Fork residents said what appeared to be a waterspout formed over Peconic Bay waters Friday afternoon. And many took photos to prove it.

A spout is a whirling column of wind and mist that resembles a tornado, according to a National Weather Service description.

Joey Picca of the National Weather Service said a small storm cell was passing over the Riverhead and Mattituck area about 2 p.m.

Click below for more photos: