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05/30/13 12:00pm
05/30/2013 12:00 PM
Flanders Flag in Hamlet

Shannon Merker, 17, is a life-long Flanders resident and McGann- Mercy High School junior.

A Flanders teenager who designed a flag for her hometown hamlet will see her creation flying high above Flanders Memorial Park later this month.

Shannon Merker, 17, a life-long Flanders resident and a McGann-Mercy High School junior has volunteered at the memorial park for eight years, and first proposed designing a flag for the Southampton Town hamlet six years ago.

Her design, a 3-by-5-foot blue and white flag featuring the landmark Big Duck and the reeds of the Peconic waterways, was adopted as the official flag of the hamlet by the Southampton Town Board on May 14.

The flag will be raised at the Flanders Road park for the first time June 11 at 10 a.m. in a ceremony to honor Shannon and the historic hamlet.

04/25/13 1:00pm

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The first performance of “Into the Woods” is at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

The McGann-Mercy Theatre Company presents “Into the Woods,” based on the stories of the Brothers Grimm beginning tonight at 7:30 p.m.

There will be another performance Friday at the same time and a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday followed by and an evening performance at 8 p.m.

The show is performed at the school auditorium at 1225 Ostrander Avenue in Riverhead.

Tickets are $10.

11/20/12 6:50pm
11/20/2012 6:50 PM

The Riverhead Town Board has added exactly $103,730 in spending to the 2013 town budget originally proposed by Supervisor Sean Walter, according to a resolution the board voted to approve.

The now-adopted budget adds back a personnel director that the supervisor had proposed to cut, but doesn’t add back a youth bureau director.

The additional spending in the final 2013 budget was taken from fund balance, and thus, will not change the ‘town wide” tax levy or tax rate numbers from the supervisor’s budget, which increased both numbers by 2.92 percent.

Spending increased from 2.6 percent to 2.8 percent over the 2012 budget with the added $103,730, which brought the final number to just over $53 million.

In a 3-2 vote, board members rejected a series of budget cuts and revenue increases that would have allowed the town to fund the youth bureau director position for half a year, beginning in July.

The so-called town wide budget refers to the three funds — general, highway, and street lighting — paid by all town residents. Overall, the town spends more than $89 million when water and sewer districts, ambulance, garbage collection and other special districts are included.

Along the way at Tuesday night’s meeting, Councilwoman Jodi Giglio became involved in heated discussions with both Anthony Coates, a political advisor to Mr. Walter who has announced his intentions to run for Town Board next year, and with Matt Hattorff, the president of the town employees union, over budget issues.

Check back at riverheadnewsreview.com for more detailed information on the final budget.

News-Review reporter Tim Gannon reported live from the the meeting.

Click below to see what transpired:

Riverhead Town Board agenda 11-20-2012

06/06/12 6:46pm
06/06/2012 6:46 PM

Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School held its 52nd graduation ceremony Wednesday evening as the Class of 2012  said goodbye to the Riverhead school.

The class includes 106 graduates , 85 of whom have received scholarships offers totaling more than $14 million, school officials said.

While two of the graduates will enter the Armed Forces, he remaining 104 plan to attend college.


02/09/12 2:00pm
02/09/2012 2:00 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Students from McGann-Mercy High School build a house in El Salvador during their missionary trip last August.

When Theresa Spath, a senior at McGann-Mercy High School, went on a trip to El Salvador last year, she thought she was volunteering to help villagers in the area.

But in the end, she said, the people of El Salvador helped her just as much.

“You think that you’re going there to teach them, but they really teach you more about yourself,” Ms. Spath said. “You open up a lot. It’s definitely humbling.”

Theresa was one of 13 Mercy students to travel more than 2,000 miles to Santa Ana, El Salvador, last August as part of a missionary trip with the school arranged by the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, a charity devoted to sponsoring children in developing countries.

The students will discuss their experience during a slide show presentation Thursday evening, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. in the school’s seminar room. It’s open to anyone who’s interested in learning more about the trip and the program. Next year’s trip will be open to McGann-Mercy alumni as well as students.

Last August, the Mercy students and their chaperones spent their six days in El Savador speaking with locals, taking in their customs and helping them with school aid and construction. The program started with a small trip nearly 20 years ago, and has since expanded to include more than a dozen students yearly, said teacher Michelle Nappi, who coordinates and makes the trip each year. She added that it’s an opportunity for students and teachers to meet the children they sponsor through monthly donations.

“On the East End, without exaggeration, there’s probably 400 kids sponsored from our area. We need to thank mostly senior citizens who are doing that.”

During last year’s trip, students helped build a house for a struggling Salvadoran family. Husband and wife Miguel and Jackie, with a 3-year-old son and another child on the way, had been living in a small shack made of garbage bags nailed to wood. With Miguel’s help, the students built them a house made of sheet metal and wood. They students also attended a quinceañera, a birthday party similar to a Sweet 16, celebrated in Latino communities on a girl’s 15th birthday, and spent time volunteering at a nearby school.

Catherine Dickhoff, a Mercy 10th-grader who had been on the trip before, said the day she met with her sponsor child was the best day of the trip.

“I have two sponsor children, one from my sister and one from me, and you really get to see how much they appreciate just $30 a month,” she said. “They love you so much, even the first time they meet you.”

Senior Emily Venesina added that language barrier between visiting students and Salvadoran children was not a problem.

“I can’t speak Spanish and [my sponsor child] only speaks Spanish, but you really didn’t need words to speak to each other. You could just look into each other’s faces and see how happy we were to be in each others presence,” she said. “There was a lot of crying that day, from me anyway,” she added.

Ms. Dickhoff, Ms. Venesina and Ms. Spath all said the trip also caused the students to grow closer.

“We really never even talked to each other, all of us, before the trip,” Ms. Spath said. “But then we went on the trip and developed a really close relationship. We became one big family.”

Ms. Venesina said she had no regrets about traveling so far from home and encouraged others to go on missionary trips.

“You don’t want to second guess it,” she said. “You think about going to El Salvador, and that’s not easy. Don’t think about it, just go.”

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01/30/12 7:00am
01/30/2012 7:00 AM
Principal's Award honorees (from left): Ed Romaine, representing his son, Keith; Patricia Blake; Dave Gamble; and Colin Ratsey.
COURTESY PHOTO | Principal’s Award honorees (from left): Ed Romaine, representing his son, Keith; Patricia Blake; Dave Gamble; and Colin Ratsey.

McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead kicked off plans for its annual Principal’s Award Dinner recently with the announcement of the event’s four honorees.

Patricia Blake, P.C., will receive the Principal’s Award; Colin Ratsey of Ratsey Construction will receive the Catherine McAuley Award; and Dave Gamble (Class of 1982) of Phil Gamble & Sons and the late Keith Romaine (Class of 1991) will be honored with Alumni of the Year Awards.

The dinner will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, March 23, at Giorgio’s in Baiting Hollow, with proceeds to support the school’s technology fund. Call 631-727-5900, ext. 21.

11/13/11 12:30pm
11/13/2011 12:30 PM

DEANNA ANDES COURTESY PHOTO | The Riverhead Blue Waves 4x boys team, which came in first in its division Sunday.

The Peconic Riverfront in downtown Riverhead looked like a mini Olympic village Sunday.

Crew teams from as far as Nyack and as close as Riverhead and McGann-Mercy high schools descended on the river to compete in the annual Snowflake Regatta.

Times were still flowing in from the races as of 11 a.m., but teams from Riverhead and Mercy had already competed in a pair of heats, including the Men’s Jr. 2x race, which the Riverhead ‘A’ team took second in at 13:48. McGann-Mercy (14:37) placed sixth and the Riverhead ‘B’ squad (14:54) finished seventh in that nine-team race.

The Riverhead women’s JV team took third out of four teams with a time of 16:05 in the 4x final.

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Riverhead’s rowers were wearing shirts that paid homage to coach Al Boghard, who founded the program eight years ago and is currently hospitalized.

“They wanted to show their solidarity for Coach Al,” said fellow Blue Waves coach Ryan Greene.

The regatta is one of about nine events the Riverhead crew team takes part in throughout the school year, but it’s an extra special one since it takes place in the Waves’ backyard.

The event is organized by East End Rowing and features more than 100 crews participating in 20 races, beginning at 8 a.m. and going until 3 p.m.

It is not a head-to-head competition, but rather a timed event.

“You’re racing against the clock,” Coach Greene said. “You go out one boat at a time and whoever has the best time wins.

“It’s a nice community event.”

This year teams were launching from a new dock built this week by East End Rowing with grant money from Suffolk County. The $90,000 grant will also help the group build a boathouse nearby on the riverfront.

Check back later for complete race results.

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11/02/11 11:15am
11/02/2011 11:15 AM

Representatives from the McGann-Mercy Varsity Teams: Principal Carl Semmler (back left) and athletic director John Lonardo (right) with the plaque and commendation given to McGann-Mercy October 12th.

It appears the brains and the jocks are one and the same at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School.

The private catholic high school was one of only two schools on Long Island named a 2010-2011 Scholar/Athlete Team School of Distinction by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. The honor, which was announced at the association’s Athletic Council meeting on October 12, means that all Mercy varsity teams has an average GPA of more than 90 percent.

Mercy has a varsity baseball, boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, football, golf, boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, softball, girls’ tennis, boys’ indoor track, girls’ indoor track, boys’ outdoor track, girls’ outdoor track, volleyball and cheerleading team.