02/25/13 4:30pm
02/25/2013 4:30 PM

cops-southold-man-arrested-on-gun-harassment-charges1

A Laurel man was arrested for drunk driving just after midnight Saturday during a traffic stop in Mattituck, Southold Town police said.

Police saw a 1997 Toyota failing to signal turns and “turning improperly” about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, according to a police report. An officer pulled the vehicle over and conducted sobriety tests on the driver, 57-year-old Cornelius Dembinski, police said.

Mr. Dembinski was unsteady on his feet, had glassy red eyes and his breath smelled of alcohol, police said. He failed several sobriety tests during the traffic stop and was arrested for driving drunk.

He was charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, and other traffic violations. Mr. Deminski was taken to police headquarters and held for morning arraignment.

02/21/13 6:00am
02/21/2013 6:00 AM

To the Editor:

Over the past number of years Peconic Bay has been subject to a number of brown tide events. These brown tides are examples of HABs, or harmful algal blooms. 

The brown tide is an explosion of algae that reduces the light penetration through the water and causes sea grass and other bottom-growing organisms to slow down or die off. This was a part of the scallop loss, among other things. Importantly, though, human health was not threatened. This past summer there was a new harmful algal bloom in Peconic Bay, a “rust tide” or possibly the start of a red tide. I saw this “rust” tide myself for the first time in many years of bay watching. It was rusty streaks in the water and not yet widespread over the bay.

This is an algal bloom that is very different from the brown tide. Is it preliminary to the red tide? We don’t know, but I certainly worry. The red tide can kill fish and cause floating carcasses to create a horrible smell up and down the beach as well as litter the beach with dead fish. I witnessed this mess in Sarasota, Fla.

These HABs are directly tied to pollution of our surface and groundwater. Our out-of-control septic discharge and cesspool waste are a large part of the problem. This is not nature running amok, it’s us.

It would behoove us to pay attention to these HABs and to be aware that going from our brown tide and rust tide to the very damaging red tide may not be a large leap. The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies here. Let’s pay attention and act now and save the bay before it is too late.

Howard Meinke, Laurel

02/20/13 7:00am
02/20/2013 7:00 AM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Winifred Riches of Laurel was joined by her great niece Sarah Cassidy and niece Una Cassidy Tuesday afternoon to celebrate her 100th birthday.

To celebrate her centennial birthday, Winifred Riches of Laurel gathered with her “bridge crew” to recall some of her favorite memories over the past 100 years. Her niece, Una Cassidy, and great niece, Sarah Cassidy, traveled from Belfast, Ireland to celebrate.

“She always talks about how she lost her hat the day World War II ended,” Sarah Cassidy said. “She lost it when they all threw them up to celebrate.”

Mrs. Riches was in Manhattan on Aug. 14, 1945 when President Harry Truman announced the war had ended. Her soon to be husband, Thomas Riches, served in the war.

Mrs. Riches was born in Northern Ireland Feb. 19, 1913, and immigrated to Canada at age 17 to help her father with work. She eventually moved to New York City where she met her late husband. The couple, who never had any children, retired to Laurel over 42 years ago to enjoy time by the water and on the golf course — a few of Mrs. Riches’ favorite pastimes.

“She is a wonderful lady. She is charismatic and loves God,” said Comfort Amissah, Mrs. Riches’ live-in aid.  “She taught me how to play golf in the garden.”

Although she can’t make it to the course these days, she still plays bridge every Monday night, Mrs. Riches said.

“She’s capable and able,” Sarah Cassidy said. “She did everything, and she took care of her husband.”

Sarah Cassidy recalled how her great aunt and uncle ended up in their Laurel home more than four decades earlier.

Mrs. Riches was searching for a retirement destination. Her husband said, “Now don’t you go buying a house.” She came back and said, “I bought a plot,” Sarah Cassidy joked.

Mrs. Riches home today sits on that very same plot.

cmiller@timesreview.com

12/07/12 3:06pm
12/07/2012 3:06 PM

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Mattituck rescue personel work to free a woman from a Volkswagen Passat Friday afternoon on Route 25 in Laurel.

The driver of one of three-vehicles involved in a crash on Main Road in Laurel Friday afternoon was treated for what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.

Main Road was closed in both directions for about an hour as police and the Mattituck Fire Department rescue squad responded to the crash, which occurred shortly before 2 p.m. The road has since reopened.

Witnesses said a Mercury Mountaineer heading west on Route 25 attempted to make a left turn into a driveway when it was rear-ended by a late-model Ford Taurus.

The impact apparently pushed the SUV into the eastbound lane, where it collided with a Volkswagen Passat.

The Passat’s driver, a young woman, appeared conscious and alert when she was being tended to by Mattituck firefighters, though it was not immediately known if she was hospitalized.

Jorge Perez, 20, who lives at the address where the SUV was headed, said his sister was driving the Mountaineer and was not hurt..

“This happened last year to my cousin. She was OK too. And my father was hit, same thing — rear ended, at the Laurel Post Office.

“People just don’t look where they’re going.”

The Ford’s driver, a man, also appeared to be uninjured after the crash.

mwhite@timesreview.com

10/28/12 4:59pm
10/28/2012 4:59 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Southold Town police responded to a report of shots fired near the Empire Gas station on Main Road in Laurel Sunday afternoon.

A Mattituck man was arrested after he allegedly shot at two people near the Empire gas station on Main Road in Laurel Sunday afternoon, Southold Town police said.

Brian Rive, 38, fired a 9mm handgun at two people during a dispute near the gas station about 3:30 p.m., police said. Police responded to the scene, and located Mr. Rive, who was identified as the man with the handgun, police said. A Southold police K-9 unit searched the area and found the handgun near the scene, according to a police report.

Police obtained a search warrant for Mr. Rive’s residence and searched the dwelling. During the investigation, one of Mr. Rive’s pit bulls charged at the police dog helping to search the scene and began “viciously fighting it,” police said. Police were unable to separate the dogs and shot the pitbull, killing it, according to a police report.

After searching the home, police found evidence of guns and illegal drugs, police said.

Mr. Rive was arrested and charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree criminal possession of a weapons, second-degree menacing and second-degree aggravated harassment. He was held for arraignment, police said.

The alleged shooting comes about a month after a 24-year-old Shirley man was arrested for allegedly attacking a female companion and then reaching for a responding police officer’s gun at the same Laurel gas station.

jennifer@timesreview.com

10/24/12 12:13pm
10/24/2012 12:13 PM

CHARLIE TUMINO PHOTO | The scene after Jordan Gormez allegedly resisted arrest in Laurel last month.

All but two charges have been dropped in the case of a 24-year-old Shirley man arrested last month for allegedly attacking a female companion and then reaching for a responding police officer’s gun at a Laurel gas station, authorities said.

Jordan Gormez was initially arrested for felony criminal mischief and attempted grand larceny, resisting arrest, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and four counts of second degree harassment. He now faces just two charges, resisting arrest and criminal mischief, and has pleaded guilty to both, said Bob Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.

“We were unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the felony criminal mischief in the third degree charge, since it is dependent on the cooperation of the defendant’s girlfriend, who did not cooperate,” he said of Mr. Gormez’s companion, who was allegedly choked during the Sept. 12 altercation.

“The defendant was a passenger in his girlfriend’s vehicle and during an argument, allegedly kicked and broke her windshield,” Mr. Clifford said. “She stopped at the Laurel gas station and the defendant allegedly choked her. A court officer and his wife driving behind them pulled into the gas station, saw the altercation … and called police.”

When police arrived, Mr. Gormez fled and, when caught by police, got into a physical altercation and attempted to take the officer’s gun, according to the original police report. The off-duty court officer assisted Southold police in subduing and arresting Mr. Gormez, police reported.

“The girlfriend told the DA she would not comply with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury and would not work with law enforcement in any matter,” Mr. Clifford said of the case. “She asked that the order of protection be dropped, the court complied and the order was vacated.”

When he returns to court on Nov. 30, Mr. Gormez is scheduled to be sentenced to seven months in the county jail, officials said.

gvolpe@timesreview.com

08/16/12 9:35am
08/16/2012 9:35 AM

A Riverhead man was arrested for misdemeanor DWI Wednesday night, Southold Town police said.

Police received a report of an intoxicated person leaving a Laurel residence in a 1996 Toyota Landcruiser about 7:30 p.m., they said.

Manuel Arriaza, 36, was later found operating the vehicle while intoxicated.

Mr. Arriaza was arrested, transported to police headquarters, processed and held overnight for pending arraignment.