04/05/14 8:08am
04/05/2014 8:08 AM
Jean Taber. Courtesy photo.

Jean Taber. Courtesy photo.

An elderly woman went missing in Riverside yesterday afternoon, and family members and friends are gathering at 9 a.m. sharp to try and find her.

Jean Taber, an 82-year-old who suffers from dementia, was walking her springer spaniel south on Route 104 near the mobile home park where she lives — Riverwoods — about 2 p.m. yesterday. She hasn’t been seen since.

She was wearing a black vest, black dress and family members say she may be in need of medical attention. She is white, and is listed at 5-foot-10, 110 pounds with red hair and hazel eyes. Her dog is white and tan-colored.

New York State Police is leading the investigation, and is expected to issue a statement shortly this morning.

Mark Norton, Ms. Taber’s grandson, said the family has been working with the state police and Long Island Search and Rescue to find Ms. Taber, and will be meeting at the mobile home park’s clubhouse at 9 a.m. to conduct a search for her.

01/15/14 1:30pm
01/15/2014 1:30 PM

CAROL MORAN/SOUTHAMPTON PRESS PHOTO | Richard Morrison was staying with a family friend in Riverside after his Flanders home burned last month.

Richard Morrison, the Flanders man whom a neighbor rescued from his burning home last month, died in his sleep Monday at the home of a family friend. He was 73.

Shelley Egan, a longtime family friend in Riverside, said Mr. Morrison always kept his spirits up, even in the wake of the fire that destroyed his home.

“He was a really good guy,” she said. “He had a great disposition and he didn’t let anything ruin it.”

Mr. Morrison had been staying with Ms. Egan after the Dec. 16 fire, which came two days after he was released from the hospital. He had been treated for congestive heart failure and diabetes.

Ms. Egan said a recent trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles was the only time she ever saw him get mad.

“I told him, ‘I don’t get it. You get upset over the motor vehicle department and you didn’t say a word when you’re house burned down,’ ” she recalled.

Although they weren’t related, Ms. Egan said she referred to Mr. Morrison as Uncle Richie.

“Everyone called him Uncle Richie,” she said. “He was one of the sweetest men you could ever meet. He was a gentle soul. He wasn’t depressed, and he never got mad.”

Mr. Morrison had been planning to move to North Carolina to live with a relative later this year, Ms. Egan said.

“But he really didn’t want to go,” she said. “He grew up here and I was spoiling him rotten.”

Joe Marshall, Mr. Morrison’s neighbor on Priscilla Avenue, noticed the flames coming from the home on the morning of Dec. 16. He banged on the door, imploring him to get out. He helped pull Mr. Morrison, who used a walker, to safety shortly before the entire house caught fire, officials said.

Mr. Morrison suffered second-degree burns on his back from falling debris, but was released from the hospital three days later.

Richard Naso of Flanders, a member of Southampton Town’s Citizen Advisory Committee for Flanders, Riverside and Northampton, said members of the CAC and others, including parishioners from his church, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Aquebogue, had been helping Mr. Morrison and even bought Christmas presents for him.

“The people have been wonderful,” Ms. Egan said. “People from all over the state, even people he didn’t even know were reaching out to help him.”

Mr. Naso said residents were planning additional help, such as building a handicap ramp for him and helping him get his homeowner’s insurance restored on his home. The homeowner’s insurance policy had been canceled on Oct. 30, while Mr. Morrison was in the hospital.

Mr. Morrison was born Sept. 7, 1940, to Herbert and Anna Morrison. He served in the U.S. Army and worked for 40 years as a produce clerk at King Kullen in Riverhead. He was also a member of Loyal Order of Moose. Family members said he loved doing word search puzzles.

He was predeceased by his sister, Helen Kruk and his brother William and is survived by his brother Frank, of Seattle, Wash.; two nieces; and four great-nieces.

The family will receive visitors Thursday, Jan. 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead, where a funeral service will be held Friday, Jan. 17, at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Calverton National Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to American Cancer Society.


12/31/13 7:43am
12/31/2013 7:43 AM

A traffic stop in Riverside led to the arrest of a Greeenport man on drug charges early Tuesday, police said.

Howard Brooks, 49, was stopped by police on Flanders Road about 1:50 a.m. when he was found to be in possession of crack cocaine and marijuana,  Southampton Town police said.

He was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, police said.

He was being held for arraignment in Southampton Town Justice Court.


12/30/13 2:46pm
12/30/2013 2:46 PM

A 38-year-old Southampton man was arrested in Riverside Monday morning for driving with a suspended license, Southampton Town police said.

John A. Dupee was stopped by police on Lake Avenue about 9:53 a.m. for a missing front licence plate, police said. Mr. Dupee was found to have a suspended license and was arrested for second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, a misdemeanor, police said.

He was transported to police headquarters and Southampton Town Justice court for arraignment.

SouthamptonPD HQ2 - 500

12/15/13 10:00am
12/15/2013 10:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A boarded-up house on Flanders Road in Riverside, just east of the traffic circle.

The developers selected to be the “master developer” for Riverside says it won’t cost Southampton Town anything to have the company serve in that role.

“Renaissance Downtowns is a for-profit real estate developer. We spend our own money and incur our own risk,” said Sean McLean, the company’s vice president of planning development, at a presentation to the Southampton Town Board last Thursday.

“At no point do we expect the town to be paying for any of this,” he said. “We don’t receive a fee. We make money by potentially developing real estate in the future, if this process is successful and we move forward.”

Mr. McLean, a Flanders resident, and Renaissance Downtowns CEO Donald Monti addressed the Town Board after the company had been selected as master developer Nov. 26. Renaissance Downtowns was one of three companies that had answered a “request for qualifications” the Town Board issued earlier this year.

Renaissance Downtowns is currently involved in large-scale redevelopment projects in Huntington Station, Hempstead and the Nassau County “hub” area near the Nassau Coliseum. It doesn’t own any property in Riverside.

Mr. Monti and Mr. McLean said they try to encourage private property owners to partner with them in redevelopment projects, and they try to group together smaller, hard-to-develop properties into larger properties that will have more development potential. The company offers development experience and finances that smaller property owners might not have, they said.

“We don’t ask for eminent domain, we don’t take over people’s property and we don’t engage in a counter-intuitive bidding war against property owners,” Mr. McLean said.

“We show them how a $50,000 building could be worth millions, if they want us,” he said.

Private property owners can either sell their property to Renaissance Downtowns, partner with them or not be involved at all, Mr. Monti said. Private property owners are free to decline parterning with the company, Mr. McLean said. The town will still maintain control over the master developer process, he said.

Since they have been selected as the master developer for the Riverside redevelopment project, four area property owners have already contacted them, he said. The company will also try to lure grant money to the area to cover costs of infrastructure improvements, he said.

Renaissance Downtown plans to seek community feedback, through public meetings and social networking, on the type of development residents would like to see in their community.

Renaissance Downtowns plans to set up an office in Riverside, officials said.

Councilwoman Bridget Fleming expressed concern that certain property owners would be displaced through the redevelopment process.

Mr. Monti said his group tries to ensure that local people get jobs and that the town maintains control over the process, “so the community builds itself up from within. If a retail use has been there for 30 years, we will make sure that if they want to remain, they will. It could be in a different storefront, but our approach is non-confrontational.”

Seven new businesses were created at a Renaissance Downtowns project in Bristol, Conn., Mr. McLean said.

The next step in the process will be for the town to come up with a formal master developer contract with the company, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said.

“It’s a community that wants this to happen,” she said. “And the state is looking for these types of projects to happen, too, so the timing is advantageous.”