Times of Middle Country

Exploring
A 2004 Ford Explorer was stolen after its owner left the vehicle and went to an ATM on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station on July 26 at around 1 a.m. A wallet containing credit cards was left in the car, and police said the cards were used.

Not kool, man
An unknown masked man demanded money and took off with the whole cash register from the Kool Mart on Hallock Avenue in Port Jefferson Station, at around 9:20 p.m. on July 21.

Forgetful
A wallet left behind at a 7-Eleven on Old Town Road in Port Jefferson Station didn’t make it back to its owner. Police said the owner reported returning to the convenience store on July 20 to find someone else took it.

Bumper cars
A 51-year-old Port Jefferson Station woman was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an incident involving property damage on July 21. According to police, the woman was driving a 2013 Chevy Traverse on July 1 in Setauket when she struck the right side of the rear bumper on a 2006 Honda minivan and fled the scene.

Shattered
A resident on Main Street in Port Jefferson awoke to glass breaking at around 3 a.m. on July 26 and reported a door pane had been broken.

Knocked down
A man was knocked unconscious on West Broadway in Port Jefferson at around 1:40 a.m. on July 25. Police said the man was punched in the face, fell on the pavement and struck his head. He was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Not fast enough
A woman who had dropped her cell phone in a Miller Place parking lot on Route 25A on July 20 reported that someone else claimed and took the phone before she returned.

Garden Road getaway
A Garden Road resident in Rocky Point returned home on July 20 at around 3:30 p.m. to find the front door open and several items, including two flat-screen TVs, jewelry and an Xbox 360, stolen.

Game on
At around 8:30 p.m. on July 25, a man entered a Game Stop in Centereach and demanded cash. Police said he displayed what appeared to be a weapon wrapped in a white cloth. The store clerk obliged and the man fled with cash.

Mission: Impossible
At around 10:30 p.m. on July 21 an unknown person or persons broke through the wall of a Middle Country Road store in Centereach to gain entry to the adjacent shop and attempted to pry open a vault there but was unsuccessful.

Dine and dash
Someone stole a leather wallet from a 2006 Toyota parked at the Suffolk Diner in Centereach at around 1 p.m. on July 20.

It’s personal
A 24-year-old Middle Island woman was arrested in Selden on July 22 and charged with second-degree forgery after she forged a signature on a personal check and chased it.

Off-road thief
A Clearview Avenue resident in Selden reported on July 24 that between 1 and 6 a.m. someone stole a 2005 Yamaha ATV from the backyard.

A quick DWI
Police said a 22-year-old man from Setauket was arrested in Stony Brook on July 25 at 1:42 a.m. and charged with driving while intoxicated. Police said the man was pulled over driving north on County Road 97 in Stony Brook because he was speeding.

DWI crash
A 23-year-old woman from North Massapequa was arrested in Stony Brook on July 24 and charged with driving while intoxicated after being involved in a motor vehicle crash. Police said the woman was driving a 2014 Nissan southbound on Quaker Path in Stony Brook at about 6 p.m. when she was involved in the crash.

Tablet grab
Someone entered an unlocked 2010 Honda Civic parked at a Bentley Lane home in Stony Brook on July 25 and stole an iPad tablet. The incident occurred sometime between 5:13 and 8 p.m.

That Chase
Someone stole money from the Chase bank account of someone who lives on Pheasant Court in Stony Brook. The incident happened sometime around 9:18 p.m. on July 24.

Infiniti window shattered
Someone entered a locked 2012 Infiniti by shattering the rear driver side window and stole money from the car. The car was parked at World Gym in Setauket on Mark Tree Road. The incident happened sometime between 2 and 3 p.m. on July 24.

Stop & Punch
Police said a woman reported that a man punched her in the face while at Stop & Shop on Route 25A in Setauket-East Setauket on July 24 at 9 p.m. She said the punch caused a cut lip.

Stop for a DWI
A 32-year-old man from Medford was arrested in Smithtown on July 25 at about 2:30 a.m. and charged with driving while intoxicated. Police said he was pulled over at Route 25 and Terry Road in Smithtown after failing to stop for a red traffic light.

To the left, to the left
Police said a 34-year-old man from Nesconset was arrested on July 23 at 12:07 a.m. and charged with driving while intoxicated. According to police, the man, who was driving westbound on Lake Avenue in Nesconset, was pulled over after he failed to signal left and was observed speeding.

Sloppy DWI
A 20-year-old woman from Setauket was arrested in Nesconset on July 23 and charged with driving while intoxicated. Police said she was driving eastbound on Route 25 at 2:20 a.m. in a 2009 Jeep and failed to maintain a single lane of travel, driving onto the shoulder of the road.

Missing jewels
Someone stole a jewelry box on the bathroom vanity of a home on Nissequogue River Road in Smithtown sometime between July 25 at 10 a.m. and July 26 at 9 a.m.

Hotel heist
A woman from Madison Street in Smithtown told police she gave someone a deposit on what she thought was a six-night stay at a hotel, but the person had no connection to the hotel. The bank transfer occurred on July 17 at about 10 p.m.

Car parts jacked
Tires and rims were stolen off of a 2015 Chevy parked at Enterprise Rent-A-Car on East Main Street in Smithtown on July 21 at 8:45 p.m.

A dark day
Someone took Ray-Ban and red Maui Jim sunglasses and jewelry by breaking a rear driver-side window of a BMW parked at Carrabba’s Italian Grill on Smithtown Bypass in Smithtown on July 22.

School graffiti reported
An unknown person made graffiti at the R.J.O. Intermediate School on Old Dock Road in Kings Park by spray-painting two walls sometime between noon and 1:49 p.m. on July 25.

Cadillac grab
Someone stole a 2009 Cadillac containing property from St. Johnland Nursing Center on Sunken Meadow Road in Kings Park sometime on July 23 at 11:20 p.m. to July 24 at 8:30 a.m.

Lights out
Someone damaged the left taillights of two vehicles on Ellen Place in Kings Park on July 23 sometime between 11:30 and 11:45 p.m. There have been no arrests.

Astros second baseman and catcher is originally from Kings Park

Craig Biggio and wife Patty greet the crowd at an MLB Hall of Fame induction parade. Photo by Clayton Collier

By Clayton Collier

Much like he did during his 20-year playing career, Craig Biggio left it all out on the field Sunday.

However, instead of an orange-and-white Houston Astros jersey and eye black, the former catcher and second baseman was donning a navy blue suit and a touch of perspiration seeping from his forehead on the hazy summer afternoon, with the hair above his ears just beginning to show signs of graying.

Instead of coming to bat before a packed Astrodome or Minute Maid Park, Biggio took to the podium in front of an estimated 45,000 people on the grassy plain behind the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown to accept his induction into the MLB Hall of Fame.

Grinning ear-to-ear as he began his 17-minute speech, Biggio spoke at length about the place where the journey to his now-Hall of Fame career began, “in a little town, Kings Park, New York.”

A young Craig Biggio tags out a base runner for Seton Hall University. Photo from Seton Hall
A young Craig Biggio tags out a base runner for Seton Hall University. Photo from Seton Hall

Senator John Flanagan (R-East Northport), who represents the Second Senate District, congratulated Biggio in a statement on his Facebook page saying the longtime Houston Astro is “an inspiration to young local athletes by showing them that they can achieve greatness if they work hard every day.”

Biggio, a member of the 3,000-hit club, said he acquired his work ethic from his parents, Yolanda and Lee. The seven-time All-Star’s voice became shaky as he described them: “two hard-working people who are no longer here. But I know they’re watching.’’

His father was an air-traffic controller who never missed a game. Every day, Biggio said, his father would tie a rope around his waist, then to the backstop while he threw to the young slugger during batting practice to prevent him from lunging at the plate.

“It worked,” Biggio said in his acceptance speech, hours before his plaque was installed in the MLB Hall of Fame. “But I came home every day with rope burns around my waist.”

Biggio said although sports were important, he had a number of commitments that kept him busy.

“Growing up in Kings Park, I had three responsibilities: school, sports and I had a job,” he said. “My job was I had a newspaper route.”

Baseball was not the only sport Biggio thrived in at Kings Park. The now 49-year-old was awarded the Hansen Award, recognizing the best football player in Suffolk County in 1983. Kevin Johnson, the then-assistant football coach at Kings Park, said at the time, he thought Biggio was better at football than he was baseball. Earlier this week at dinner, Johnson said he and then-Kings Park baseball coach John Rottkamp pinned Biggio down to the question of whether he thought his talents were superior in baseball or football.

“He picked the sport with the larger ball,” Johnson said with a laugh. “He thought he was a better football player at the time, too.”

Craig Biggio, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz are MLB Hall of Fame inductees. Photo by Clayton Collier
Craig Biggio, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz are MLB Hall of Fame inductees. Photo by Clayton Collier

Biggio had received interest from major football programs such as Boston College and Oklahoma State University, among others, but Johnson said the schools were looking at him as a punt and kickoff returner — a rough position on the body for any athlete, let alone a 5-foot, 10-inch, 165-pound high school senior.

“That’s not a safe occupation in football when you’re undersized,” Johnson said. “When we found out what colleges were going to do with him, right away we were a little nervous that he was just going to get so banged up. Then the Seton Hall scholarship fell into place.”

St. John’s head baseball coach Ed Blankmeyer, then an assistant coach at Seton Hall University under Mike Sheppard — and now Blankmeyer’s father-in-law — was responsible for recruiting Biggio to the Pirates. Blankmeyer said it was Biggio’s hard-nosed style of play, in spite of his small stature, that initially struck him.

“He played bigger than his size,” said Blankmeyer, who has amassed 688 wins in his 19 seasons as head coach of the Red Storm. “He had some outstanding skills. He could run like the wind, he could hit, he had outstanding instinct, but whether he played good or bad, you always found something good about Craig Biggio and the way he played the game. He played with an intensity; he played with a big heart. You had to go away liking the guy, that’s what it was. I just loved the way he played.”

Despite the multitude of football offers and a draft selection by the Detroit Tigers out of high school, Blankmeyer signed Biggio.

“Not many coaches can say they’ve had an opportunity to recruit and coach a big league player,” said Blankmeyer when asked about the satisfaction in knowing he signed Biggio. “But a guy who played 20 years with one organization, who played three positions, an All-Star and now a Hall of Famer? Boy I tell you, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime situation.”

A young Craig Biggio rounds the bases for Seton Hall University. Photo from Seton Hall
A young Craig Biggio rounds the bases for Seton Hall University. Photo from Seton Hall

After Seton Hall’s catcher Tony DeFrancesco was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1984, there was a spot to fill at backstop. Sheppard called upon his star recruit, who had experience at catcher, to move back behind the plate.

“Craig used to call himself the retriever who became a receiver because he used to chase the ball back to the backstop,” Sheppard told WSOU, Seton Hall’s student radio station. “But let me tell you, he was so fast he could chase it to the backstop and still throw the guy out at first base.”

Biggio played on a Seton Hall squad consisting of future major leaguers Mo Vaughn, John Valentin and Marteese Robinson. They would capture the Big East regular season title all three years Biggio played for the Pirates and earned an NCAA Regional bid in 1987.

Off the field, Biggio converted to Catholicism and met his future wife, Patty.

“Seton Hall is very special to us,” Patty Biggio said. “It’s where our family began. It’s the roots of our relationship.”

Sheppard’s teams prided themselves on a scrappy style of baseball. Biggio said that it was simply the culture of the athletics program at the time, playing on a field he described as a “dirty, nasty bubble.” A far cry from the current playing grounds of the well-manicured turf of Owen T. Carroll Field. Most of all, Biggio said he remembers a common phrase of coach Sheppard.

“Coach Shep’s motto was, ‘Never lose your hustle,’ which is something I took to my pro career,” he said in his speech.

“He was part of the journey,” Biggio said in his post-induction press conference. “How do you get to the Hall of Fame? You got to have a little bit of talent and a lot of people to help you along the way, and Shep was one of those people.”

Biggio was drafted in the first round of the 1987 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros, going on to play the entirety of his two-decade career in an Astros uniform.

Adam Everett, a teammate of Biggio’s from 2001 to 2007, said he learned a great deal from Biggio about how to play the game the right way.

Craig Biggio, right, is all smiles with MLB Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson as he receives his induction plaque. Photo by Clayton Collier
Craig Biggio, right, is all smiles with MLB Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson as he receives his induction plaque. Photo by Clayton Collier

“There’s only one way to play, and that’s hard,” he said. “I owe a lot of my career to him and I really appreciate what he did for me.”

Biggio amassed 3,060 hits, 661 doubles and was hit by a record 285 pitches while playing second base, catcher and outfield at various points in his major league career. He also drew 1,160 walks and stole 414 bases.

What many do not know, however, is Biggio’s extensive charity work, particularly as the national spokesman for the Sunshine Kids, an organization supporting children with cancer. Biggio said his interest in helping children battling cancer came when a boy from a family on his paper route came down with leukemia.

“The Sunshine Kids are a big part of my life and one of the reasons I stayed in Houston for 20-plus years and continue to live there today,” he said.

It was because of his work with the Sunshine Kids and others that he was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award, something Johnson said is more indicative of who Biggio truly is, rather than his baseball statistics.

“I think that says more about him as a person than all the facts and figures that he amassed over the years,” Johnson said. “People have a tendency to look at what he did as a baseball player, but the Roberto Clemente award says much, much more about him as a person.”

Though Biggio has lived in Houston for more than 25 years, his impact on Kings Park is still felt.

“It’s great having an alum like Craig Biggio, because we can always refer to him to our current student-athletes as to what is possible and what can happen through hard work,” current athletic director Bill Denniston said.

The first three words of Biggio’s Hall of Fame plaque read “gritty spark plug,” an appropriate description of a player known for giving it his all in every game. In return, the game of baseball has given the local paperboy from Kings Park turned-MLB great an even greater gift, immortality.

“I gave the game everything I had every day,” Biggio said. “In baseball, tomorrow is not guaranteed, and I tried to play every game as if it was going to be my last. I want to thank the game for everything. The game has given me everything: my family, my friends, respect, but most of all memories of a lifetime.”

Brookhaven’s Youth Bureau is collecting school supplies. File photo

The start of school is right around the corner, and the Brookhaven Town Youth Bureau is making sure no student goes back empty-handed.

Through Aug. 24, the bureau is collecting back-to-school supplies at locations throughout the town, including Town Hall in Farmingville, the Highway Department in Coram, the Rose Caracappa Senior Center in Mount Sinai and all Astoria Bank branch locations.

Pens, calculators, backpacks, notebooks, lunch boxes, folders, glue and binders are among the items needed and that will be distributed to needy families. Last year, the bureau collected enough supplies to help more than 1,500 children, according to a press release from the town.

For more information or to find additional collection bin locations, visit www.brookhaven.org or call 631-451-8014.

Stony Brook University international students at a potluck supper hosted by the Colatosti family of Setauket. Photo from Susan Colatosti

Soon, hundreds of international students will be arriving at Stony Brook University to begin their academic careers in search of advanced degrees. For most, it will be their first time in the United States. They have no family or friends here, and are in a completely foreign and unfamiliar environment.

The Host Family Program, a community-based organization now in its fourth decade, provides a newly arrived international student with the friendship of a local American family.

It is run by volunteers, with the cooperation of the university, and has been directed by Rhona Goldman since 1974. It is not a home-stay program; students live on or near campus. Host families invite students to share a meal, some sightseeing, or a favorite activity.

Both students and host families can have the enriching experience of a cultural exchange and gain perspective about the world. A host family may be a retired couple, a family group, or a single individual. The only prerequisite is the desire to make an international student feel comfortable in a new setting.

Students are arriving on campus in late August for the start of the fall semester and are looking forward to meeting an American family. The university will host a reception for the students and the host families to meet each other before the semester begins.

There is always a shortage of local volunteers to host all the students who sign up for the program.
If you would like to find out more about the program, email Rhona Goldman at: sbuhostfamilies@gmail.com.

Eight affordable rental housing parcels in the works

Veterans roll up a flag at a press conference on the Housing our Homeless Heroes initiative. The county Legislature will vote on a measure to transfer properties to create affordabe housing for homeless veterans at its Sept. 9 meeting. File photo by Rohma Abbas

Suffolk County has gained some footing in the war against veteran homelessness.

Last week, officials announced a proposal to transfer eight tax-defaulted properties over to nonprofit groups that will be charged with developing them into rental housing for homeless veterans or those who are at risk of becoming homeless. The units will be overseen and managed by the non-profit organizations.

The move is part of the Housing our Homeless Heroes legislative initiative, a package of four bills sponsored by Legislator Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills). Officials say there are about 750 Long Island veterans who are either homeless or who are expected to be homeless by the end of 2015.

In a phone interview on Monday, Stern said the county Legislature would vote on the transfer of the properties at its Sept. 9 meeting. He said he expects the resolution, which he is co-sponsoring with County Executive Steve Bellone (D), to gain unanimous support.

Stern, who is the chairman of the county’s Veterans and Seniors Committee, said in addition to housing resources, the veterans will receive additional services through these nonprofits, such as job training and placement; primary and mental health care; disability management and health care coordination; family counseling; financial training and substance abuse services.

“The Housing our Homeless Heroes initiative is the housing part of providing assistance to our veterans and families,” Stern said. “But it can never be just about four walls and a roof.”

Once transferred, the nonprofits would foot the construction bill through roughly $10 million in state and federal grant funding available for such projects, Stern said. Funding for the construction will be provided in part from the New York State Homeless Housing Assistance Program and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME Investment Partnerships Program.

Two parcels in Central Islip will be transferred to the Concern for Independent Living for the construction of three single-family homes. Bay Shore-based United Veterans Beacon House has proposed to rehabilitate an existing home on a Copiague parcel, and build a single-family unit on a Yaphank parcel.

In addition, the Association for Mental Health and Wellness is proposing to build a new four-bedroom house for three senior disabled veterans and a live-in house manager on two parcels in Mastic; rehabilitate a house in Riverhead for one veteran family; and build a new set of four, single room occupancies for veterans on a parcel in Medford.

The Legislature approved the Housing our Homeless Heroes initiative last year, and Bellone signed the legislation into law just days before Christmas. The four laws tackle the issue of veteran homelessness from different angles — one establishes a partnership between agencies and community advocates that serve veterans and their families and helps them set up an informational web portal on the county’s website to direct them to services available across all levels of government and within the nonprofit sector. Another maximizes access to available housing for veterans. The third amended the county’s human rights law by adding veterans as a group of individuals protected against discrimination in housing and employment opportunities. The last bill will require a veteran services officer to work at the county’s Department of Social Services on a regular basis. The officers must be veterans as well, in order to establish a peer-to-peer relationship between those they are helping.

“As an agency committed to ensuring empowering people to overcome the impact of health and mental health disabilities, it is our intent to devote these houses to assist male and female veterans who have been affected by service-connected and post-service transition mental health challenges,” Michael Stoltz, chief executive officer of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness said in a statement. “I thank Suffolk County for partnering with our organization to further assist us in supporting our veterans.”

Stock photo

Mosquito samples from Port Jefferson Station, Rocky Point and East Northport have tested positive for West Nile virus, Suffolk County Health Services Commissioner James Tomarken announced on Friday.

In total, six mosquito samples tested positive for the virus, bringing this year’s total to 13. While the insects were infected, no humans, horses or birds have tested positive for the virus in Suffolk County this year.

Two samples collected from Port Jefferson Station on July 14; one sample collected from Rocky Point on July 16; and one sample collected from East Northport on July 17 tested positive, according to a press release from the health services department. Two other samples were gathered from Copiague and Dix Hills.

West Nile virus was first detected in birds and mosquito samples in Suffolk County in 1999, and is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. According to the Center for Disease Control, 70 to 80 percent of those infected with the virus do not develop any of the symptoms, which can include fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea and rash. Severe cases — less than 1 percent of infections — could lead to a neurological illness.

Tomarken said while there is no cause for alarm, his department is asking residents to help in their efforts to reduce the exposure to the virus.

First, residents should try to eliminate stagnant water where mosquitoes breed. Popular breeding grounds include tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, discarded tires, wading pools, wheelbarrows and birdbaths. In addition, residents can make sure their roof gutters are draining properly, clean debris from the edges of ponds and drain water from pool covers.

To avoid mosquito bites, residents should minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, cover up when mosquitoes are most active, use repellent and make sure windows and doors have screens in good repair.

To report dead birds, which may indicate the presence of the virus, residents should call the county’s West Nile virus hotline at 631-787-2200 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Residents are encouraged to take a photograph of any bird in question.

To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the vector control division at 631-852-4270.

For medical related questions, call 631-854-0333.

A motorcyclist was seriously injured early on Saturday morning when an SUV hit him as he was lying in the road.

The Suffolk County Police Department said 31-year-old Flushing resident James Dang lost control of his bike, a 2004 Suzuki, while riding north at about 1:35 a.m. on Moriches Road in Lake Grove, just south of Jericho Turnpike. He was lying in the road when a dark-colored SUV struck him and then fled the scene.

Dang was treated at Stony Brook University Hospital for serious injuries, police said.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 4th Squad are investigating the crash. Anyone who may have witnessed it is asked to call them at 631-854-8452 or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

Middle Country's Ashley Miller stands poised and ready to make a save in a previous contest against Northport. File photo by Desirée Keegan

Ashley Miller has been a part of two undefeated girls’ lacrosse seasons in Middle Country school district’s history, and as she moves on to play at Dowling College, she will have the opportunity to add another to her resume.

“It feels great to look back at what I’ve accomplished,” the now former Middle Country goalkeeper said. “I remember in eighth grade my middle school lacrosse team went undefeated and to have both my high school and middle school careers end undefeated is a good feeling.”

This past season, the Mad Dogs went 14-0 in Division I before falling to West Islip, 11-10, in double overtime in the Suffolk County finals. It was the first time the varsity team went undefeated and was the furthest the team had made it in the postseason. In 2014, Middle Country fell in the semifinals to the same West Islip team, 12-11, with one second left on the clock.

Middle Country's Ashley Miller watches the play downfield. File photo by Desirée Keegan
Middle Country’s Ashley Miller watches the play downfield. File photo by Desirée Keegan

Being in goal, Miller has been the last line of defense for both undefeated seasons and as she has gotten older, her skills have only improved. As a starter in goal for the last two seasons, head coach Lindsay Dolson noted the advances she saw.

“She definitely has come a long way and has improved her skills so much and worked really hard to get there,” she said. “We felt confident in her. She’s worked really hard and done all the extra work to get to where she is today. She came up with big saves for us.”

Dolson also pointed out that Miller was part of the reason the team was so successful the last two years and made it as far as they had.

“If you don’t have a good goalie in the cage there’s not a lot that you can do to stop people from scoring, especially in girls lacrosse, so she helped us become the team that we are today,” she said. “Ashley was a great player and very coachable. Anything we wanted to try, she was always willing to do it.”

Miller started out playing lacrosse with her cousins when she was young, but wasn’t interested in the sport at first. Not on an official team until seventh grade, she used the sport as a way to stay athletic and make new friends. According to her father, Butch, she played field hockey and lacrosse in junior high but switched to lacrosse in high school because she had more of a passion for the sport.

“She picked it up in middle school and was always a determined individual,” he said. “Whatever she starts, she follows through. She doesn’t give up, she’s not a quitter and she gives it her all.”

Middle Country's Ashley Miller races away from the cage to send the ball into play. File photo by Desirée Keegan
Middle Country’s Ashley Miller races away from the cage to send the ball into play. File photo by Desirée Keegan

Miller learned a lot of the basics in seventh and eighth grade and as she moved up to the high school level, she played year-round with off-season practices and winter and summer leagues. She was pulled up to the varsity team during the playoffs when she was a freshman and remained on the team, starting between the pipes her junior and senior year.

“The team was really close, we all got along really well and it was interesting how I was able to build up so quickly and pick up the game so fast and to be able to get pulled up to varsity early,” she said. “We became really close and it felt great to be a part of that and experience that, because it was the best team I’d ever been on. It meant a lot to be able to play such a major role.”

Miller’s father said his daughter was always interested in playing locally and was thrilled with her decision to play at Dowling.

“It’s hard to put into words how amazing it is that her hard work is paying off for her,” he said. “She’s done a lot for herself and it’s made her a better person. I’m very proud to be her father. All of her dedication earned her a scholarship and there are a lot of doors that have now been opened for her. I want her to strive to be the best and never settle; always reach for the stars.”

The Dowling freshman will be competing against three other goalkeepers for the starting position and hopes to be able to make an immediate impact on the team.

“One of my goals is to never stop improving, but I also want to try to get a starting position,” she said, laughing. “I love the sport, it helps you get out there and meet new people and it also helps you take your stress out and just have fun. I learned how to push myself through the sport, be a good team member and to be the best that I can be.”

In threes
A group of young men were arrested in the early morning of July 16 and charged with second-degree robbery. According to police, a homeless 24-year-old, a 19-year-old from Stony Brook and an 18-year-old from Port Jefferson Station forcibly stole money from a person on Route 25A in Port Jefferson Station.

Quick cash
An unknown man pushed a woman to the ground and stole property from her by a bar in Port Jefferson Station on July 15 at around 4:15 a.m.

Failed getaway
Police arrested a 35-year-old Port Jefferson Station man in Port Jefferson on July 13 and charged him with second-degree criminal possession of a loaded firearm, third-degree possession of a narcotic with intent to sell, first-degree leaving the scene of a crash and second-degree obstructing government administration. According to police, at around 4:58 p.m. the man was instructed to shut down his vehicle when stopped at Old Town Road but instead drove north on Jayne Boulevard at a high speed. When he attempted to make a right onto Maple Avenue, he failed to stay to the right and collided with a 2013 Nissan, whose driver required medical attention. The man then fled on foot until apprehended by police. Police said the man possessed a loaded semiautomatic weapon and heroin.

Changing gears
An unknown person stole a bike right off the rack from the The Port Jeff Bike Dr. on Main Street in Port Jefferson on July 19, at around 2:10 p.m.

Can’t even
A woman assaulted another woman in the female bathroom at Portside Bar and Grill in Port Jefferson on July 18, at around 2:30 a.m. According to police, the suspect thought the victim said something negative about her, so she punched her. The victim was transported to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson to receive medical treatment. No arrests have been made.

Old-fashioned fisticuffs
A 25-year-old Rocky Point man was arrested in Port Jefferson and charged with disorderly conduct on July 18 after he engaged in a fistfight with security personnel at Billie’s 1890 Saloon on Main Street.

Friendly fire
Two co-workers at Heritage Diner in Mount Sinai were involved in a tiff on July 18. Police said one worker swung a utensil at the other, causing a laceration to the person’s face. No arrests have been made.

ATM on-the-go
An unknown person broke the front door of a CVS Pharmacy on Route 25A in Miller Place on July 16, at around 2:17 a.m., and fled with the cash register.

Lawn games
An unknown person drove across a lawn on Harrison Avenue in Miller Place on July 15 at some point between 10:45 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Homerun
A Hawkins Road home in Centereach reported a broken window above a front door on July 16 at 11 p.m. The damage was thought to be caused by a softball.

I’mrich
A 2013 Honda parked at a Ulrich Road home in Centereach was robbed of a wallet and credit cards at some point between July 14 and July 15.

Caught
A woman was given a field appearance ticket after attempting to take property from a Bob’s Store in Selden on July 19 at around 2 p.m. Police said the culprit tried to conceal a bathing suit and blender bottle in her bag.

Coffee buzz interrupted
Police said two men from the Bronx were arrested in South Setauket on July 15 and charged with third-degree burglary and possession of burglar tools. According to police, the men entered a Dunkin’ Donuts on Nesconset Highway at about 1 a.m. on July 15 and attempted to break into a safe. Police said they possessed a sledgehammer, a wedge tool and a pry bar.

Does this gift card buy drugs?
Two men were arrested on Pond Path in Setauket-East Setauket on July 15 and charged with loitering and unlawful use of a controlled substance. Police said the men, one 23 and the other 34 years old, were observed in a 2014 Honda at about 1:20 p.m. Police said the 23-year-old was observed exchanging a Home Depot gift card for heroin. The other man was seated in the passenger seat and possessed heroin.

Repeat burglar busted
An 18-year-old man from East Setauket was arrested on July 15 at 6:37 p.m. at his home and charged with two counts of second-degree burglary of a dwelling and one count of petit larceny. Police said that sometime between Feb. 1 and 28 the man stole master keys to an apartment complex on Jefferson Ferry Drive in South Setauket. Sometime between March 22 and March 31, he entered a residence using the stolen keys and stole property. He entered another Jefferson Ferry Drive residence on March 29 and stole jewelry.

Movie, popcorn, mischief
Someone broke the passenger-side front window of a 2015 Mercedes parked at AMC Loews Stony Brook 17 theater on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook and stole Beats by Dre headphones, cash and cologne between 9:40 and 11:54 p.m. That same day, someone broke the window of a 2006 Ford F350 between 8 and 11:35 p.m. and stole tools from the same location.

Shattered window
Someone broke the rear passenger-side window of a 1994 Plymouth Voyager parked outside a home on Hollow Road in Stony Brook sometime between 8 p.m. on July 16 and 10 a.m. on July 17.

Jewelry box lifted
Someone snatched a jewelry box containing jewelry that was inside an unlocked 2006 Mercedes parked on Spring Meadow Road in Setauket-East Setauket sometime between 3:25 and 4:25 a.m. on July 19. There have been no arrests.

Car handle hulked
Someone ripped off the driver-side handle on a 2015 Ford Mustang parked on Adams Way at the Sayville Commons parking lot in Sayville. The incident happened on July 19 sometime between 12:05 and 12:50 p.m.

Phone jacked
Someone took an iPhone 4 and cash from an unlocked 2014 Honda CRV sometime between 6 p.m. on July 14 and 7 a.m. on July 15.

Bicyclist killed in Lake Ronkonkoma crash
Suffolk County police are investigating a motor vehicle crash that killed a Bohemia bicyclist in Lake Ronkonkoma on Tuesday evening.
Laura Heerbrandt, 23, of Ronkonkoma, was driving a 2014 Nissan eastbound on Portion Road when her car struck Luis Benitez, 51. According to police, Benitez swerved into her lane of traffic as he was traveling westbound on Portion Road.
Benitez was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner. Heerbrandt was not injured.
The vehicle was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is continuing. Detectives are asking anyone with information about this crash to contact the Fourth Squad at 631-854-8452.

Armed robber hits Hauppauge 7-Eleven
A masked man robbed a 7-Eleven in Hauppauge early Monday morning, injuring the clerk on duty.
According to the Suffolk County Police Department, the masked suspect, who was also wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and sunglasses, entered the convenience store on Townline Road shortly before 2 a.m., displayed what appeared to be a gun and demanded cash from the clerk. After the clerk complied, giving him cash from the drawer, the assailant fled on foot, heading west on Townline.
The clerk suffered a minor injury during the holdup, police said. He was treated at Stony Brook University Hospital and released.
Police described the robber as being about 6 feet tall and having a thin build.
Detectives from the SCPD’s 4th Squad are investigating the robbery. Anyone with information is asked to call them at 631-854-8452 or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

Police search for man who stole $400 in clothes from Commack store
Suffolk County police and 4th Precinct Crime Section officers are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating a man who stole merchandise from a Commack store last month.
The man stole assorted men’s clothing from Kohl’s at 45 Crooked Hill Road on June 2 at about 6:15 p.m. The clothing has a value of about $400.
Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

One of 20 Long Island business professionals gearing up for annual Long Island Fight for Charity in November

Rhonda Klch gloves up for last year’s Long Island Fight for Charity. This year, Klch will head back into the ring for the charity match, which raises money for the Long Island Community Chest. Photo from Corbett PR

By Rachel Siford

Mount Sinai’s Rhonda “Master of Financial Disaster” Klch is heading back into the ring on Nov. 23, 2015, for her second Long Island Fight for Charity match.

Klch is the founder and CEO of Equity First, LLC, a financial advising firm based in Coram. She started the company in 2004.

The charity boxing match raises money for the Long Island Community Chest, a nonprofit organization that provides short-term financial support to needy families and individuals who have suffered a crisis. Last year, Klch left her match victorious.

Klch was inspired to participate in the fight when she heard the money was going to the Community Chest. More than $850,000 has been donated to Long Island charities since its inception 12 years ago.

“Due to the fact that my firm works heavily in budget planning and helping clients that are in financial distress, I felt it was very close to what we do,” Klch said.

Rhonda Klch left the ring with a victory last year. Photo from Corbett PR
Rhonda Klch left the ring with a victory last year. Photo from Corbett PR

Preparing for the match takes time. Fight for Charity requires all participants get a physical exam. Fighters also have to check in at certified gyms to track how much they are training. Boxers typically need to complete three to four days of cardio a week, with two or more days of sparring.

Klch will have to wait until September to find out who she will be fighting on the night of the event.

“Right now, I have to train like I’m going to get my butt kicked,” Klch said smiling. “I have no idea who it is going to be yet.”

Klch and her company try to get involved with many organizations.

Equity First is also involved with The Starkey Hearing Foundation, which supplies hearing aides to those who can’t afford them, and Pink Tie, a cancer research fundraiser. Last year, the company sponsored 160 children from the Longwood community who were either homeless or in transient housing and provided them with their holiday gifts. Klch is also on the Friends of Karen, which supports critically ill children and their families, Long Island advisory board.

“We have a pretty good corporate culture here,” Klch said. “Everyone wants to chip in and help out; it’s almost a prerequisite for their employment.”

Prior to founding Equity First, Klch was a branch manager for First West Mortgage Bankers. She actually started Equity First as a side business while still working at the bank.

“I’m just very entrepreneurial by nature,” Klch said. “I feel like I am a good leader and I like having my own concepts and being able to see them through from start to finish.”

Klch said staying involved with charities helps people learn about their communities and issues they may not have realized existed.

“You just never know enough about yourself until you put yourself into an uncomfortable position,” Klch said. “You’ll never grow if you never go out of your comfort zone.”

For more information on the event go to www.lifightforcharity.org.

Social

9,457FansLike
0FollowersFollow
1,149FollowersFollow
33SubscribersSubscribe