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Centereach

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A raccoon in Centereach wandered into a backyard while its face was stuck in a peanut butter jar. Photo by Frankie Floridia

A raccoon with his face cramped tight in a peanut butter jar wandered onto a Centereach homeowner’s property Oct. 29, but luckily a local rescue group managed to save its life.

The homeowner contacted Frankie Floridia, the president of Strong Island Animal Rescue League, a Sound Beach-based animal rescue group, concerned for the creature’s life. By the time the rescuer arrived, the animal had disappeared. He then set up thermal cameras and told the Centereach resident to call him again if he heard anything more. At 3 a.m. Oct. 30, the creature appeared again, and this time climbed a tall tree. Floridia took a catchpole up a 20-foot ladder to nab the raccoon before getting down on the ground and physically removing the jar as the raccoon squeaked in fear.

“It was a high adrenaline moment,” Floridia said. “He was so strong, and that’s to say I’m not a light guy, I’m 175 pounds, but I was pulling and pulling, and we both came off, and I hit the ground hard.”

After the animal had calmed down, he gave one last gracious look to his two rescuers before scampering off. The raccoon even came back the next night for cat food from the homeowner.

Floridia said that raccoons often get their faces stuck in jars as they look for food. He added that the raccoon in Centereach most likely had been stuck for close to 24 hours, and it most likely did not have much time to live if it remained in that state without being able to breathe, eat or drink.

“I don’t think he had much longer to go,” he said.

Sunny skies were the perfect backdrop for Northport High School’s 2018 homecoming celebration held on Oct. 20 in the Tigers newly redone stadium.

Northport varsity football team took on the Centereach Cougars in a match that saw the visiting team take an early lead. Tenacity and skill won out, as the Tigers won with a final score of 35-6. 

The halftime show featured the marching band, Tigerettes and Flagline who performed a variety of popular songs for the crowd. Seniors Trevor Koulemos and Pegeen Friese were crowned homecoming king and queen at the dance. 

Earlier in the day, Northport-East Northport school district held its annual  Hall of Fame induction in the auditorium. This year’s inductees included: Max Bartig, Class of 2006; Andrew D’Eloia, Class of 1991; Corinne Gandolfi, Class of 2006; Bryan Quinn, Class of 2003; Jaenine Michealsen, Class of 1986; the 2002 state championship girls varsity volleyball team and the Northport Tiger Marching Band, Flagline and Tigerettes.

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Suffolk County Police Department 6th squad detectives are investigating a motor vehicle crash that killed a motorcyclist in Centereach Oct. 12.

George Kellerman, 58, of Centereach, was riding a 2003 Harley-Davidson motorcycle northbound on Horseblock Road when his motorcycle collided with a southbound 2004 Toyota that made an illegal U-turn on Horseblock Road at approximately 11 a.m.

Kellerman was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the Toyota, Jose Diaz Benitez, and his 2-year-old son, who was in a car seat in the vehicle, were not injured.

Diaz Benitez, 39, of Centereach, was issued tickets for Unlicensed Operator and Improper U-Turn.

Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks. Detectives are asking anyone with information about this crash to call the 6th squad at 631-854-8652.

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Suffolk County detectives are investigating a crash that killed a motorcyclist in Centereach Oct. 1.

Steven Benjamin was operating a 2004 KTM motorcycle westbound on Middle Country Road when he collided with a 2010 Jeep Liberty that had been traveling eastbound on Middle Country Road and was making a left turn onto Eastwood Boulevard at approximately 8:05 p.m.

Benjamin, 26, of Selden, was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the Jeep, a 17-year-old female from Selden, remained at the scene and was not injured.

The motorcycle and the Jeep were impounded for safety checks. Detectives are asking anyone with information about this incident to call the 6th squad at 631-854-8652.

On Sept. 27, Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini (D) announced the conviction of a 33-year-old Centereach woman for attempting to murder her newborn son by smothering him with a pillow.

Soily Aparacio Santos was convicted for attempted murder for trying to smother her newborn child last year. Photo from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office

“It’s incomprehensible to imagine a mother trying to murder her newborn baby just minutes after he was born, but that is exactly what this defendant did,” Sini said. “It’s a miracle that the baby survived and now, thanks to the hard work of Assistant District Attorneys Shauna Kerr and Sarah Skahill, justice was served on behalf of this innocent victim.”

Soily Aparicio Santos was found guilty by a jury Sept. 26 of attempted murder in the second degree, attempted assault in the first degree, attempted assault in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child.

Last year, Santos attempted to smother her newborn son immediately after giving birth to him at her home in Centereach. A family member who was present in the residence saw the baby with a pillow over his head and called the police. The child was transported by the Centereach Fire Department to Stony Brook University Hospital for evaluation. He did not sustain any serious injuries and is currently in foster care.

Santos faces a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison. She is expected to be sentenced Nov. 1.

 

The Centereach girls varsity soccer team edged out the Huntington Blue Devils for the win, 2-1, Sept. 20 while on the road.

This improved Centereach’s record to 4-1 in Division I competition. Watch the Cougars play as they host Riverhead at 6 pm. Friday and also host Brentwood Sept. 24 at 4 p.m.

The loss drops Huntington to a 1-3-1 record. The Blue Devils will travel to Central Islip Sept. 22 at noon before coming home to host Newsfield at 4 p.m. Sept. 24.

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Suffolk County Police Department 6th squad detectives are investigating an incident in which a man and woman were shot in Centereach and later died from the injuries.

The 6th Precinct officers responded to a 911 report of two injured people in a car on Washington Avenue at approximately 8 p.m. Sept. 11, according to police. When officers arrived they found the woman in the driver’s seat of a 2014 Kia Soul with a gunshot wound to the head and the man in the passenger’s seat with a gunshot wound to the head. A firearm was recovered inside the vehicle.

Police have identified Erick Horton, 48, of Coram, and Stacy Rountree, 48, of Coram, as the of the incident. Horton and Rountree have both died from their injuries following the shooting, according to police.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about the incident to call 631-854-8652.

This post was updated Sept. 14 following updates from the police on the victims’ status.

Setauket Elementary School students were ready for the first day of classes, Sept. 5. 2017. File photo by Rita J. Egan

It’s back to school time, and we want to help you commemorate the occasion. If your child attends one of the following school districts and you’d like to submit a photo of their first day of school attire, them boarding or arriving home on the school bus, or waiting at the bus stop, we may publish it in the Sept. 6 issues of Times Beacon Record Newspapers. Just include their name, district and a photo credit, and send them by 12 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5 with the subject line “Back to school,” and then be sure to check Thursday’s paper.

Email The Village Times Herald and The Times of Middle Country editor Rita J. Egan at rita@tbrnewsmedia.com if your child attends:

  • Three Village School District
  • Middle Country School District

Email The Times of Huntington & Northports and The Times of Smithtown editor Sara-Megan Walsh at sara@tbrnewsmedia.com if your child attends:

  • Huntington School District
  • Northport-East Northport School District
  • Harborfields School District
  • Elwood School District
  • Smithtown School District
  • Commack School District
  • Kings Park School District

Email The Port Times Record and The Village Beacon Record editor Alex Petroski at alex@tbrnewsmedia.com if your child attends:

  • Port Jefferson School District
  • Comsewogue School District
  • Miller Place School District
  • Mount Sinai School District
  • Shoreham-Wading River School District
  • Rocky Point School District

Happy back to school!

Police are searching for a couple who stole groceries in Centereach. Photo from Suffolk County Police Department

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers and Suffolk County Police 6th Precinct Crime Section officers are seeking the public’s help to identify and locate two people who stole merchandise from a Centereach store.

A man and woman allegedly stole steak and shrimp from Stop & Shop, 260 Pond Path,  July 20 at approximately 6:30 p.m. The stolen merchandise has a combined value of approximately $300, according to police.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about these incidents can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers to submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-800-220-TIPS (8477), texting “SCPD” and your message to “CRIMES” (274637) or by email at www.tipsubmit.com. All calls, text messages and emails will be kept confidential.

Eric Williams, 27, of Centereach, was found dead in an Oakdale home. Photo from Suffolk County Police Department

Suffolk County police found Eric Williams, 27, dead inside a house on Vanderbilt Boulevard in Oakdale July 16.

According to SCPD 6th squad detectives, Williams’ parents reported him missing July 14. He left his Centereach home, located on Jonas Boulevard, July 13 at 5 p.m. in a 2011 gray Ford Ranger.

The death does not appear suspicious, according to SCPD.

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