This week in Riverhead history: Waves stripped of title

100 years ago …

Riverhead High School must give up pennant

It seems now that the Riverhead High School athletic team won a hollow victory in the Interscholastic League games here on May 25, we wrote in the June 21, 1912 issue of the Riverhead News.

They won the pennant and the relay race cup, but must give up both because it has been discovered that Harrison Tyte, who helped win the highly prized trophies was 21 years old just before the meet and as such was not eligible to compete, we wrote.

Southampton High School had learned of Mr. Tyte’s age and reported him, thus claiming the title they had lost by just two points. But the News also reported that Patchogue High School planned to report Southampton for a similar offense and claim the pennant for themselves.

Even after learning the school had been stripped of its title, one Riverhead athlete said he wasn’t crushed. “Never mind,” the unnamed athlete told the News. “We had a dandy of a banquet for winning that pennant and I don’t see how they are going to get that from us.”

Postscript: Mr. Tyte was born April 9, 1891, according to public records, which means he missed the deadline to compete in the games by 46 days. He died on May 10, 1979 at the age of 88. He was survived by 19 grandchildren and 18 great grand children, according to his obituary in that week’s News-Review. The obit made no reference to the scandal or his former athletic prowess.

25 years ago …

SWR teacher cops plea in abuse case

The Shoreham-Wading River teacher arrested in March for sexually abusing a boy while acting as his “buddy” under a one-on-one youth program has pleaded guilty to three charges in exchange for considerations in his sentencing, we reported in the June 18, 1987 issue of the News-Review.

Todd Kelley, 34, of Port Jefferson resigned and also agreed to surrender his New York State teaching license as part of the agreement, we wrote.

The boy had said Mr. Kelley abused him on several occasions while he was spending the night at the teacher’s house as part of a program called “Kids in Need.”

Mr. Kelley taught in SWR for 13 years and was being considered for an administrative position at the time of his arrest. He offered to pay for the boy’s counseling, we wrote.

Postscript: According to state records, Mr. Kelley, who was sentenced to two years in prison in 1987, began collecting a $3,744 pension from Shoreham-Wading River in 2008. To date he has been paid nearly $15,000 from the New York State Teachers Retirement System.

Dems tap Civiletti versus Prusinowski

The mood in the Black Lantern Room at Polish Hall was upbeat Monday night as the town Democratic Party nominated its roster for the fall election and proclaimed the vulnerability of Republican incumbents, editor Sue Miller wrote in the June 18, 1987 issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

At the top of the ticket is Alan Lane, 51, who announced his intention last week to run for supervisor against incumbent Joe Janoski, who is seeking his fifth term, or Republican Lou Boschetti who is challenging Mr. Janoski in a primary, she wrote.

Councilman John Lombardi is also seeking reelection and his running mate for the two open Town Board seats — Republican Vic Prusinowski is also up for reelection — is Denise Civiletti, a 29-year-old attorney from Coram who attended St. Isidore’s School in Riverhead and has lived here since 1985, she wrote.

In her acceptance speech, Ms. Civiletti chided the current administration for its complacency and status quo mentality that “is ineffective in dealing with the monumental issues facing Eastern Long Island in the 1990s and the 21st Century.” Among her primary concerns are the environment, development, affordable housing, waste disposal and the economy.

Postscript: Ms. Civiletti beat the incumbent Mr. Prusinowski and served one four-year term on the Town Board. She later became editor and co-publisher of the News-Review. Today, she serves as co-publisher of Mr. Lombardi also won that year giving Democrats the majority. Mr. Janoski, however, defeated Mr. Lane to remain town supervisor.

20 years ago …

Riverhead Savings Bank declared dead at 120

The last time depositors lined up outside Riverhead Savings Bank as best as anyone can remember was after the stock market crash of 1929, publisher Troy Gustavson wrote in the June 18, 1992 issue of The News-Review. But there were lines again on Monday morning, following the New York Banking Department’s decision to seize RSB and its parent American Savings Bank of White Pains. Write them off as victims of the Great Real Estate Crash of the late 1980s and early 1990s, he wrote.

The New York State Superintendent of Banks at the time told the News-Review that RSB “had a substantial negative net worth.”

“There is no equity there,” Derrick Cephas said. “There was no hope and no possibility that the banks could ever revive themselves.”

Depositors lost about $2 million with the closures, we reported. That, coincidentally, was about the same amount as was withdrawn from the bank’s three branches by depositors on the day news of the seizure broke.

The branches were taken over by the Bank of New York.

Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant declared defunct

The final chapter in the controversial $5.5 million Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant, which has never produced a single watt of commercial power, is about to be written, we wrote in the June 18, 1992 issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued an order on June 18, 1992 approving plans to decommission and dismantle the ill-fated nuclear power plant.

“I’m thrilled,” said former LIPA chairman Richard Kessel. “I think it’s about time.”

 [email protected]