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.

[email protected]

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:

08/25/13 9:55am

SoutholdPD Sign - Summer - 500

A seafood delivery truck driver from Southold was arrested on drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident charges after a two-car crash Saturday evening in Riverhead, authorities said.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Brian Pressler, 26, of Southold is walked into Southold Town Justice Court Sunday. He was charged with DWI in Southold and cited with leaving the scene of a crash in Riverhead.

Brian Pressler, 26, was driving east on Route 25 in Laurel about 8 p.m. in a delivery truck from Braun’s Seafood in Cutchogue when he was pulled over by Southold Town police, who were alerted to the accident by Riverhead Town police.

Riverhead police said Mr. Pressler had his high beams on and was tailgating a brown Honda at the intersection of Main Road and Edgar Avenue in Aquebogue about 7:50 p.m., when he rear-ended the vehicle.

After he was eventually located in Laurel, officers at the scene determined Mr. Pressler was intoxicated, police said.

He was charged with DWI and issued a citation from Riverhead police for leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, police said.

Southold Town Justice Rudolph Bruer said at an arraignment Sunday that this was not the first time Mr. Pressler, who was released on his own recognizance, has been before him for an alcohol-related offense.

08/12/13 9:00am
08/12/2013 9:00 AM
CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | A classic car show fundraiser was held in Southold Sunday to benefit the Sweeney family of Laurel.

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | A classic car show fundraiser was held in Southold Sunday to benefit the Sweeney family of Laurel.

More than 400 local residents attended a classic car show in Southold Sunday to support Mattituck fireman Michael Sweeney and his family.

The Sweeney home in Laurel was badly damaged in a fire just two weeks ago.

The benefit classic car and motorcycle show at the American Legion Hall was organized by a group of Mr. Sweeney’s oldest friends. You can read more about how the fundraiser came to be by clicking here.

07/01/13 11:13am

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | A LIPA worker cuts the line at a house fire on Delmar Drive in laurel Monday morning.

One day after moving into a house they were renting on Delmar Drive in Laurel, a family was forced to evacuate when an electrical fire sparked.

The fire broke out at about 10:30 a.m. Monday, as a Cablevision worker was installing service to the house, officials said.

“Someone was working on the house, they hit a wire and that’s what started it,” said Cutchogue fire chief Tony Berkoski.

Conditions in the burning house were challenging, the chief said, with temperatures as high as 140 degrees.

LIPA arrived at the scene shortly before 11 a.m. to cut off power, as firefighters used an ax to break through the side of the house to extinguish the fire.

“We had a hard time because the house was built properly, it had double sheetrock on the walls and ceiling so it was hard to pull down,” Mr. Berkoski said. “That was the problem. Once the fire got into the ceiling it was hard to get down.”

Nobody inside the house was injured, but at least two different emergency workers were transported to Eastern Long Island Hospital for treatment of exertion.

The family renting the house declined comment.

The Cutchogue and Jamesport fire departments assisted the Mattituck Fire Department at the scene.

[email protected]

05/19/13 5:00pm
05/19/2013 5:00 PM

RICHARD EHLERS COURTESY PHOTO | Alix Ehlers’ first novel, ‘A Power in the Blood,’ is now available on amazon.com, 13 years after the Laurel resident’s death. The book was e-published after her sister, a published author, discovered a draft of it.

Suspense, intrigue, a dreadful decision that turns a small town upside down; a first novel by local author Alix Ehlers, “A Power in the Blood,” has all the makings of a best seller, but it almost never saw the light of day.

Now, thanks to her family, the book is finally available on Amazon — 13 years after the Laurel resident’s death.

Ms. Ehlers’ sister, mystery author Betsy Thornton, began shopping the novel around after coming across a draft in 2002, two years after her sister passed away from ovarian cancer.

“My agent loved it but, as sad as it is, she told me when an author is dead it’s hard to sell a book,” Ms. Thornton said. “But I thought it was amazing and I wanted people to be able to enjoy it.”

Ms. Thornton is an accomplished author in her own right. She has published seven novels, including “A Song for You,” which was nominated for a Mary Higgins Clark Award in 2008.

Having recently added her own books to the Amazon Kindle library, Ms. Thornton turned to the Internet to make her sister’s work available to the public.

“We always like to think she is looking down on us knowing we got her book done,” Ms. Thornton said. “This is my memorial to my sister.”

Ms. Thornton e-published the manuscript in April. E-publishing allows authors to bypass traditional publishers and instead deal directly with Amazon. Digital self-publishing has become increasingly popular, as the number of readers who prefer tapping their tablets to flipping pages grows. According to Amazon, 27 of the current top 100 Kindle books are self-published.

Publishing “A Power in the Blood” was a family effort. Ms. Ehlers’ daughter, Betsy Ehlers Comiskey, wrote the foreword and her nephew, Alex Chapin, designed the novel’s cover.

“It’s exciting, the change in the world’s technology,” said Ms. Ehlers’ husband, Richard, a Riverhead judge. “In 2000 you couldn’t e-publish a book. I think my wife would be very happy with all the love and care her sister and her daughter put into it to see it finally done.”

North Fork readers will feel a special connection with the book, Mr. Ehlers said. “I think the characters will remind people of people here,” he said.

Set on Peconic Bay, the book chronicles the lives of the well-to-do Ford family and Charlene Lutz, whose fight for her daughter’s love leads her to make a terrible decision, a choice that threatens to destroy the Ford family.

“I can see reality in [my mom’s] novel,“ Ms. Comiskey said. “I recognize places, scenes and bits of people from my childhood and her past. I read it a few years after my mom died. [Her] writing brought me back to Long Island; I saw the old A&P. I climbed the sandy steps of the yacht club. I met friends’ parents. I saw the farm fields, the library.”

While this is Ms. Ehlers’ only novel, she had been an accomplished magazine and newspaper journalist. She studied English at Ohio Wesleyan and literature at Eastern Michigan before earning a degree at Florida State University College of Law. Even after launching a successful career at a law firm in Riverhead, Ms. Ehlers never stopped writing. She wrote for True Confessions magazine and was a contributing editor and book reviewer for Turf and Sport Digest. She also wrote a gardening column for Times/Review Newsgroup.

“A Power in the Blood” is available for download on amazon.com.

[email protected]