07/15/13 10:19am
07/15/2013 10:19 AM
Church heat wave sign

CYNDI MURRAY | Old Steeple Church has some fun with a heat wave message Monday.

Update: Riverhead Town has opened a cooling center in Aquebogue and will extend town beach hours as residents try to stay cool.

The Senior and Human Resources Center at 60 Shade Tree Lane will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Friday to provide water and air conditioning for those who can’t beat the heat, Supervisor Sean Walter said in a statement Monday.

Beaches will also remain open with lifeguards on duty until 7 p.m., officials said.

The National Weather Service issued a Heat Advisory for Suffolk County Monday afternoon until 8 p.m. Residents are advised to drink plenty of fluids, seek air conditioning, and stay out of the sun.

Original Story: A mid-summer heat wave will bring high temperatures in the low- to mid-90s and muggy conditions that may feel as hot as 100 degrees to the North Fork throughout this week, weather officials said.

The high temperatures are expected to begin today, Monday, with a high in the low 90s, said National Weather Service meteorologist Ashley Sears. Those temperatures will stay about the same through Tuesday, and will climb into the mid-90s by Wednesday, she said.

The area won’t see relief from the heat until as late as Sunday, when a string of thunderstorms could cool off the area, Ms. Sears said.

Because of the weather, Riverhead Town officials announced Monday that town beaches will remain open and staffed unti 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

The heat wave is caused by a system of hot, dry air that’s parked over most of the eastern United States, from everywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line and east of the Mississippi.

“We have this massive high pressure system that’s ushering in the dry weather and the really high temperatures,” Ms. Sears said.

Though a heat advisory is in effect for Nassau County and most of the tri-state area, no advisory has been issued for Suffolk County  yet. Ms. Sears said the advisories are only put out when heat indexes reach 100 degrees.

Still, residents should take precautions, she said.

People are advised to stay indoors when possible, drink plenty of fluids, wear light clothing and not exert themselves outdoors if possible, she said. Pets are also vulnerable to the heat and should be well cared for, Ms. Sears added.

Residents without air conditioning should look to visit a mall, shopping center or a friend or family member who may have air conditioning to cool off.

“Now would be a good time to catch up” with old friends, she said.

psquire@timesreview.com

MaxT1_okx

03/15/13 2:25pm
03/15/2013 2:25 PM
Aquebogue man charged in Meadowbrook crash

GOOGLE MAPS | The fatal crash March 4 reportedly happened just south of the Southern State Parkway.

A 5o-year-old Aquebogue man involved in a double fatal crash in Nassau County earlier this month was re-arrested Monday and is facing upgraded charges after blood tests revealed he was impaired by drugs at the time of the crash, authorities said.

ROBERT BEODEKER

ROBERT BEODEKER

Robert Beodeker, who was initially charged with reckless driving and aggravated driving without a license after the March 4 Meadowbrook Parkway crash, had been free on $1,000 bail.

He is now facing aggravated vehicular manslaughter, two counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, two counts of criminally negligent homicide and driving while ability impaired by drugs, according to a criminal complaint.

He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top charge.

He was arraigned Friday in First District Court in Hempstead, where he pleaded not guilty to the new charges and was ordered held on $1 million bond or $500,000 cash bail, said a spokesman for Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

The complaint states his blood contained .17 percent of methamphetamine and .12 percent of amphetamine at the time of the crash.

Police said he consented to a blood test.

Mr. Beodeker’s lawyer, N. Richard Wool of Plainview, said prosecutors “had no lab report [at the arraignment] to show that he did anything wrong.”

“He’s a good guy,” Mr. Wool said in an interview. “Obviously, he’s been dean of students at Suffolk Community for 20 years. He’s a nice, respectful man who has never been arrested before in his life.”

Mr. Beodeker, an associate dean for student services at Suffolk County Community College, was heading south on the Meadowbrook about 12:40 p.m. in Roosevelt when he struck a disabled Nissan Maxima and two pedestrians that were tending to the sedan, police said.

The pedestrians, John Elder, 76, of Freeport and Edward Ross, 65, of North Bellmore died at the scene.

The victims were both in the Nissan before it broke down, according to a police report. They had stopped the car in the parkway’s hazard markings, police said.

State police said the car was pulled over on the right shoulder near where three southbound lanes merge to two.

Mr. Beodeker, who was driving a 2012 GMC pickup truck, “either didn’t observe or failed to see that the lanes were merging, and he struck the vehicle that was broken down and was being worked on by the two individuals that were killed,” a state police investigator told Newsday after the crash.

At his March 5 arraignment on the initial charges, he told the court he had taken Ambien and depression medication before the crash, according to a News12 report. He was released on bail after pleading not guilty.

Aside from his work at Suffolk’s Eastern Campus, Mr. Beodeker also teaches at Columbia University’s Teachers College and has been active for years in the North Fork’s performing arts community.

“The authorities continue to investigate this tragedy,” Mary Lou Araneo, a spokeswoman with Suffolk County Comomunity College, said Friday afternoon. “The college is monitoring the details as they emerge and we continue to assess the circumstances as they unfold.”

He is known locally as an actor, director and was a president of the North Fork Community Theatre group in Mattituck. He has also been involved with the Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre group, which traditionally puts on a fall show at the high school.

He stepped down as North Fork Community Theatre president after the crash, theater officials said

“He’s very upset,” Mr. Wool said when asked about Mr. Beodeker’s state of mind. “Based on that fact that, whether there’s a criminal charge or no criminal charges he’s very upset that two people are not alive today. But this is all new to him. He’s never been arrested, never mind convicted.”

mwhite@timesreview.com

03/12/13 8:00am
03/12/2013 8:00 AM

SCCC

Police are investigating threatening phone calls made against an Aquebogue man charged with reckless driving after a Nassau County car accident that killed two people last week, authorities said.

Officials from Suffolk County Community College’s eastern campus contacted Southampton Town police Thursday about a voice mail regarding the college’s dean of student services, Robert Beodeker, who was involved in the fatal Nassau crash.

According to a police report, one of the school’s secretaries reported a message in which threats were made against Mr. Beodeker and his family.

Mr. Beodeker, who is active in the theater community in Riverhead and Southold towns, was driving a GMC pickup truck when he collided with a disabled vehicle on the side of the Meadowbrook Parkway last Monday, state police said.

The vehicle struck and killed two men who were working on the car, John Elder, 76, of Freeport and 65-year-old Edward Ross of North Bellmore, state police said.

Mr. Beodeker was charged with reckless driving and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in Nassau County criminal court last week, court officials said. He told the court that he had taken Ambien and depression medication before the crash, according to a News12 report.

He pleaded not guilty and was released after posting $1,000 cash bail, court officials said. Mr. Beodeker, who is representing himself in the proceedings, is due back in court April 12, according to online court records.

In the meantime, he has stepped down as president of the North Fork Community Theatre in Mattituck, theater officials said. Several calls to Mr. Beodeker seeking comment were not returned.

A Southampton police detective is investigating the threats, according to the police report.

psquire@timesreview.com

03/05/13 1:57pm
03/05/2013 1:57 PM
Aquebogue man charged in Meadowbrook crash

GOOGLE MAPS | Monday’s fatal crash reportedly happened just south of the Southern State Parkway.

An Aquebogue man is facing reckless driving charges after he crashed into a disabled vehicle along the Meadowbrook Parkway  in Nassau County Monday, striking and killing two men who were working on the car, state police said.

Robert Beodeker, 50 — a college educator who is active in the performing arts community on the North Fork — was heading south on the Meadowbrook about 12:40 p.m. in Roosevelt when he struck a disabled Nissan Maxima and two pedestrians that were tending to the sedan, police said. The pedestrians, John Elder, 76, of Freeport and Edward Ross, 65, of North Bellmore died at the scene.

The victims were both in the Nissan before it broke down, according to a police report. They had stopped the car in the parkway’s hazard markings, police said.

State police told Newsday.com the car was pulled over on the right shoulder near where three southbound lanes merge to two.

Mr. Beodeker, who was driving a GMC pickup truck, “either didn’t observe or failed to see that the lanes were merging, and he struck the vehicle that was broken down and was being worked on by the two individuals that were killed,” a state police investigator told Newsday.

An accident investigation closed the Meadowbrook’s southbound lanes for about six hours, state police said.

Mr. Beodeker was charged with reckless driving and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in Nassau County criminal court, officials said. He told the court that he had taken Ambien and depression medication before the crash, according to a News12 report.

He pleaded not guilty and was released after posting $1,000 cash bail, court officials said.

Mr. Beodeker is an associate dean for student services at Suffolk County Community College.

“We would like to express our sadness at hearing about the loss of life that resulted from the accident,” school officials said in a statement. ” While not officially contacted, we understand through news reports that the individual involved is one of our employees. As this is an ongoing police investigation, the college will wait until it can review the outcome of that investigation.”

Mr. Beodeker also teaches at Columbia University.

He’s also known locally as an actor, director and president of the North Fork Community Theatre group in Mattituck. He’s been involved with the Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre group, which traditionally puts on a fall show at the high school.

Mr. Beodeker will next appear in court on Thursday, court officials said.

psquire@timesreview.com