01/28/14 3:05pm
01/28/2014 3:05 PM
COURTESY PHOTO | Juanita Trent, Demitri Hampton's mother, at a bench dedicated in his honor on the campus of Suffolk County Community College.

COURTESY PHOTO | Juanita Trent, Demitri Hampton’s mother, at a bench dedicated in his honor on the campus of Suffolk County Community College.

On Monday afternoon, Demitri Hampton’s mother, brother, sister and girlfriend visited the bench dedicated in his memory at the Suffolk County Community College campus in Riverhead. They laid flowers at the site and went to eat together to talk about him. (more…)

12/06/13 10:00am
12/06/2013 10:00 AM


Suffolk County Community College culinary students will compete against each other at the downtown Riverhead campus Friday, but won’t know what they’re cooking until the event begins.

Much like the reality cooking show Chopped, students will receive a mystery basket of ingredients and asked to turn them into a dish. Judges will be evaluating each one’s creativity, presentation and taste.

The top chef will win a seven-night stay at the Sheraton Clearwater Beach Resort in Clearwater, Fla., and an opportunity to work under the supervision of the resort’s executive chef. The contest’s “Battle for the Beach” prize also includes round-trip airfare and ground transportation.

“This competition takes students a step closer to becoming professional chefs,” Suffolk County Community College’s Culinary Arts Program director Richard Freilich said in a statement. “It is a great opportunity to help them grow and to see if this is truly a career they want to pursue.”

The free event starts at 2 p.m. and is open to the public.

For more information, contact the culinary school at (631) 548-3700.

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11/28/13 7:52am
11/28/2013 7:52 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Culinary students Kristina Caschetta (left) Anastasia DeRosa (center) and Alexa Cimino with the carved up roasted turkeys that were prepared for the Dominican Sisters Wednesday morning.

Suffolk County Community College’s Culinary School in downtown Riverhead partnered for the fourth year with the Dominican Sisters Family Health Service to cook and prepare about 140 dinners for long-term patients and home-bound seniors of the Dominican Sisters of Hampton Bays.

Local businesses on the North and South Forks teamed up to raise money for the feast.

Chef instructor Vinny Winn worked with about 40 students and high school volunteers in the culinary’s kitchen to prepare the meal. They cooked 15 turkeys weighing 15 pounds each, 100 pounds each of mashed and sweet potatoes, seven gallons of gravy and 20 pounds of stuffing. There were also rolls, cranberry sauce and 24 apple pies and 24 pumpkin pies.

Local elementary schools students made and decorated trays for the meals.

10/18/13 11:07am
10/18/2013 11:07 AM

COURTESY PHOTO | Suffolk County Community College’s alumnus, Keith Dinielli wins an Emmy as one of the producers for “The Voice” in the Best Competition Reality Series category.

From shooting a film about downtown Riverhead’s Suffolk Theater to shooting live TV in Hollywood, Suffolk County Community College alumnus Keith Dinielli recently won an Emmy Award as one of the producers for NBC’s “The Voice” in the Best Competition Reality Series category.

In 1990, Mr. Dinielli of Port Jefferson, received his Associate Degree in Radio and Television Production from SCCC. He went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts in 1996, but credits much of his accomplishments to his education at SCCC.

“I can credit the success I have had to hard work, perseverance and to the sound advice I received from my Suffolk County Community College professor, Alan Bernstein,” Mr. Dinielli said in a press release. “In a moment of caring and candor, Professor Bernstein pulled me aside and informed that while I had talent, I wouldn’t be successful unless I could learn to work with people.  It was a life changing moment and a piece of advice that I practice to this day.”

The summer after he received his degree from USC, he returned to Long Island where he co-wrote, produced and directed the feature film, “Changeover”, shot on location in Riverhead. According to IMDB.com, the film, centered around a group of ushers working their last days before the downtown anchor closed its doors in the late 1970s.

The low budget production featured SCCC students in front of and behind the cameras. The film premiered at Theater Three in Port Jefferson in 1998, proving as a jumpstart to Mr. Dinielli’s career.

Since then, he landed production assistant work on several TV shows before a long stint in feature film development, where he worked on the “Fast And Furious” franchise, “SWAT”, “Vantage Point” and “Click.” He also continued to write and direct his own films.

In 2010, Mr. Dinielli took a producer position on a reality show called “Your Own Show” for the fledgling Oprah Winfrey Network, which eventually led to his joining “The Voice” in 2011. The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards was held Sept. 22 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

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04/11/13 1:45pm
04/11/2013 1:45 PM

The Aquebogue man involved in a fatal car crash that killed two men in Nassau County last month was arraigned on a grand jury indictment for aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter, and other felony charges Thursday morning, prosecutors said.



Robert Beodeker, 50, who is also well-known in the North Fork’s performing arts community, was driving south on the Meadowbrook Parkway about 12:40 p.m. on March 4 when he hit a disabled Nissan Maxima and two pedestrians who were tending to the sedan in the road’s shoulder, police have said.

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

Mr. Beodeker — an associate dean of student services at Suffolk County Community College — was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, first-degree vehicular manslaughter, several aggravated unlicensed driving counts, unlawful possession of a hypodermic instrument and a slew of other felony and misdemeanor charges, according to the indictment.

Mr. Beodeker was originally only charged with reckless driving after the accident, but the charges were later upgraded after  tests revealed his blood contained .17 percent of methamphetamine and .12 percent of amphetamine at the time of the crash, according to a criminal complaint.

During his initial arraignment Mr. Beodeker told the court that he had taken Ambien and depression medication before the crash, according to a News12 report.

Richard Wool, Mr. Beodeker’s attorney, could not be reached for comment.

In a previous interview with the News-Review, Mr. Wool said his client was “very upset.”

“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,” Mr. Wool said. “But this is all new to him. He’s never been arrested, never mind convicted.”

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

Mr. Beodeker remains held on $500,000 cash bail or $1 million bond, court officials said.

He is due back in court on April 30.

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02/04/13 1:51pm
02/04/2013 1:51 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Demitri Hampton's friends and family give a standing ovation for his mother, Juanita Trent, during Monday's memorial service.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Demitri Hampton’s friends and family give a standing ovation for his mother, Juanita Trent, during Monday’s memorial service.

James Banks stood before the crowd in the large lecture hall and spoke about biblical heroes like Moses, and how the Bible says they lived hundreds of years.

“It took them all those years to be recognized as heroes,” Mr. Banks said. “But our Demitri, he became a hero at 21.”

Nearly 100 people packed an auditorium at the Suffolk County Community College Eastern Campus on Monday morning to celebrate the life of Demitri Hampton, the young man killed in a Flanders home invasion last week.

Mr. Hampton was shot in the chest trying to protect his girlfriend and family from masked intruders.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | James Banks comforts Evelyn Carrasquillo after she sang a Whitney Houston song in Demitri Hampton's memory.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | James Banks comforts Evelyn Carrasquillo after she sang a Whitney Houston song in Demitri Hampton’s memory.

Mr. Banks, the coordinator of multi-cultural affairs at the school who worked with Mr. Hampton in a volunteer group, lead the ceremony.

Many of Mr. Hampton’s relatives and classmates spoke as well.

The crowd laughed as people told stories about how Mr. Hampton would joke around — then cried during songs sung in his honor at the event.

Around the room, small corkboard displays showed Mr. Hampton smiling in family photos.

Mr. Hampton’s mother, Juanita Trent, thanked the crowd for their support and urged them not to turn their back on their faith in the wake of tragedy.

“I want you all to know that I didn’t cry my last tear, but I’m at peace, because I know the God I serve, he’s going to carry us through,” Ms. Trent said. “I’m not about the vengeance. God has given me strength.”

Mourners gave her a standing ovation after her speech.

RELATED: Demitri Hampton was the best kind of person

Frances Acevedo, Mr. Hampton’s girlfriend, spoke at the service and read from poems she wrote about Mr. Hampton after his death.

“I cry, hold my head up high, and look to the sky, and say see you later, because I know it’s not goodbye,” Ms. Acevedo said. After reading her poems, she walked over to where she was sitting next to Mr. Hampton’s family members and embraced them.

Jason Sims, Mr. Hampton’s closest friends, said the two were “like two peas in a pod.”

He told the crowd they would often talk about their futures and how to better themselves.

“[Demitri] always said, ‘Yo Sims. I want to try to make it. I don’t want to die a nobody,’ ” Mr. Sims said. “I just wish I could tell him he didn’t die a nobody.

“He died my best friend, a good person.”

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A funeral for Demitri Hampton was held Saturday in Riverside

01/31/13 3:00pm
01/31/2013 3:00 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Demitri Hampton's sister Jennifer Davis (left), brother Jamal Davis and first cousin Latisha Diego with photos of Demitri, who appeared on the cover of a Suffolk Community College campus magazine in 2012, during a meeting with reporters in Polish Town Tuesday.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Demitri Hampton’s sister Jennifer Davis (left), brother Jamal Davis and first cousin Latisha Diego with photos of Demitri, who appeared on the cover of a Suffolk Community College campus magazine in 2012, during a meeting with reporters in Polish Town Tuesday.

Latisha Diego said the masked men who burst into her home on Priscilla Avenue in Flanders never demanded her money or possessions. At one point, they pointed a gun at her in her bedroom and ordered her not to move. Most of her family was asleep when the men broke in. But her younger cousin, Demitri Hampton, was awake playing video games, she said.

When Demitri confronted the intruders, they shot him.

“The next thing I know he’s running in and he’s telling me to call the police,” she said. “And he’s shot and he’s bleeding.”

Ms. Diego says the men could have taken anything they wanted in the house. Instead, they took her cousin.

“The only thing they took out of the house that night was his life, and that was the most valuable thing in there,” Ms. Diego said, holding back tears.

Friends and family are in mourning after the killing of 21-year-old Demitri Hampton, a Riverhead High School graduate and outgoing college student gunned down in a home invasion early Sunday.

RELATED: Candlelight vigil scheduled for Thursday night

RELATED: Demitri Hampton was the best type of person

The break-in occurred about 3 a.m. when two armed masked men broke through the front door of Ms. Diego’s house, family members said. A struggle ensued near the kitchen after Mr. Hampton confronted the intruders.

“There was a struggle and he was shot during the struggle,” said Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Suffolk County Homicide Squad.

The men quickly fled the scene. Mr. Hampton had been shot in the chest and was rushed to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Detectives said they are investigating the killing and have made no arrests in the case. Police have asked anyone with information on the crime to call 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential, police said.

Family members said Mr. Hampton was a “good, good kid,” a jokester who always tried to get a laugh and cheer others up.

COURTESY PHOTO  |  Juanita Trent with Demitri Hampton this past Mother's Day.

COURTESY PHOTO | Juanita Trent with Demitri Hampton this past Mother’s Day.

Just before the attack, Ms. Diego, Mr. Hampton and his girlfriend, Frances Acevedo, had spent Saturday afternoon and evening watching movies together on Ms. Diego’s bed, quoting lines from a comedy flick while joking and talking about their futures.

They talked about the lottery and what they’d do with the millions of dollars if they won. Mr. Hampton had a list of people he’d give money to if he won the lottery to help them “make it.”

“We had a lot of good times,” Ms. Diego said. “A lot of good times.”

Mr. Hampton was the “baby” of the family, the youngest of his siblings and cousins for quite some time. Ms. Diego said he was a determined young man whose family was always there to help.

Mr. Hampton was there for them, too, she said. He’d make jokes and dance around to cheer them up or offer words of encouragement when they needed comfort.

“He’d always say ‘It’s gonna be OK. I know you’re going to do it,’” Ms. Diego said.

During a meeting with reporters Tuesday, family members recalled how much he loved lima beans — he would eat the home-cooked beans for a week straight — and how he adored his 1992 Lincoln Town Car, which he dubbed Felicia.

The windows didn’t work on the car, the grill was missing and the key was stuck in the ignition, they said. But that didn’t stop Mr. Hampton and his closest friend Jason Sims from spray painting the rims to “touch up” the car, Ms. Diego said. He would often crack that if he ever made it rich, Felicia was coming with him.

It’s that sense of humor that friends and family said they’ll miss the most.

“Demitri was the kind of person who would make you laugh when you were in a bad mood,” said his friend Edwin Perry. “He always joked around and had something funny to say. I never really saw him a bad mood.”

At his former high school, classmates and teachers were stunned by the news of his death.

“He was only three years out,” said Riverhead High School principal David Wicks. “I’m still in shock.”

The high school will host a candlelight vigil for Mr. Hampton, a 2010 graduate, at 6 p.m. Thursday. The vigil is open to all and mourners are asked to bring candles to light.

Suffolk County Community College, where Mr. Hampton was studying criminal justice, will also hold a memorial for him at 11 a.m. next Monday morning, Feb. 3.

This spring was supposed to be Mr. Hampton’s last semester at Suffolk County Community College, Ms. Acevedo said. He was thinking of joining the Air Force or applying to Mercy College to further his education.

Now, his family is left to ponder what could have been for a life that long held so much promise.

“I won’t ever get to see him get married someday,” said his sister, Jennifer Davis, tears streaming down her face. “It was senseless to take his life … They took his future from him, and that’s not fair.”

A wake and funeral services for Mr. Hampton will be held Saturday morning, according to Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton.

The services will be held at Galiee First Church of God in Christ, 87 Old Quogue Road, in Riverhead. The wake is set for 10 a.m., with a funeral mass at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Southampton Cemetery. His family plans to establish a scholarship in his name.

Mr. Hampton, who always had a positive attitude, wouldn’t want others to be upset, one of his cousins said.

“Demitri always said that he wanted [us] to have a party [if he died],” said Neko Gettling. “ ‘I don’t want nobody crying, I don’t want none of that. I want to have a party.’ ”

But for a close-knit family that lost a brother, a cousin and a son — and now a hero who fought to protect his family — that wish is hard to grant.

“Demitri, that was our baby,” Ms. Davis said, sobbing. “I didn’t have him, but that was my baby, that was my baby.”

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