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Dix Hills

Junior firefighters work a fire hose. File photo by Victoria Espinoza

By Victoria Espinoza

Stop drop and enroll in Dix Hills’ first-ever junior fire academy, a one-week summer program designed to introduce children between the ages of 12 and 14 to the volunteer fire service.

Commissioner Todd Cohen said the program will give kids an understanding of how the fire department works and what it means to be a volunteer there.

“Our academy will be tailored for the community,” he said in a statement. “We’re working hard to not only provide the kids with valuable knowledge and hands-on skills, but also to give them a fun week. This program gives youngsters a unique set of skills. There’s nothing else like it on Long Island — it’s truly one of a kind.”

Kids who attend the academy will learn fire safety, CPR, first aid, leadership and respect, as well as receive a Heartsaver certification card from the American Heart Association. There will also be limited hands-on training for hose-handling and rescue techniques. Kids will be taken on field trips to the Yaphank Fire Academy, the Suffolk County EMS call center, the Islip airport fire rescue department and more. Firefighters from the Dix Hills Fire Department will run the program.

Councilwoman Susan Berland (D), a Dix Hills resident, said she was excited to partner the town parks department with the fire department to launch the program.

“It’s a great opportunity for kids to learn all they can about the department,” she said. “It is our hope that this program will inspire students to join the fire department and instill in them a sense of volunteerism and responsibility. It promises to be a fun and rewarding experience for all involved. This is the first of its kind on Long Island.”

According to a press release, the idea began 15 years ago at the Cold Spring Fire Department in Putnam County. The academy grew immensely popular and, as a result, has been replicated throughout the country. Cohen and Todd Baker, a Dix Hills firefighter, are working with the originators of Cold Spring’s program to successfully duplicate it in Dix Hills.

The academy runs from Aug. 15 to 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Dix Hills Fire Department Headquarters at 115 East Deer Park Road. Registration opens on June 3.

Jason Geier photo from SCPD

Update, 4.18.16, 10 a.m.: Police said Jason Geier was found in Brooklyn, unharmed.

A missing Dix Hills teenager who has depression and bipolar disorder has not had his medication in more than 24 hours and might be suicidal.

Police first issued an alert for 17-year-old Jason Geier on Tuesday, after he was last seen on Arista Drive around 3:30 p.m. that day. The teen was still missing on Wednesday night, and the Suffolk County Police Department renewed a public request for help to find him.

Anyone who has seen Geier, who has blonde hair and blue eyes, or has information about his location is asked to call 911 or the SCPD’s 2nd Squad at 631-854-8252.

In addition to having depression and bipolar disorder, the teen has ADHD, police said. He could possibly be suicidal.

Geier is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. When he was last seen, he was wearing a blue jacket, blue jeans and bright yellow sneakers.

Police said the Dix Hills kid also has family in Merrick.

Go around me

A 47-year-old man from Asbury Park, N.J., was found in the middle of Old Nichols Road in Islandia just before 5:00 a.m. on Feb. 7, passed out in the driver’s seat of his 2016 Mazda, police said. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Marijuana mall

In the parking lot of the Smith Haven Mall just after 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 6, police said a 23-year-old man from Hampton Bays was arrested for possession of marijuana. He was sitting in the driver’s seat of a 2015 Volkswagen. He was charged with criminal possession of marijuana.

Driving drunk with a child

At about 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 6, a 30-year-old woman from Holtsville was driving a Nissan Frontier while drunk with her 5-year-old daughter in the car on Hawkins Avenue in Ronkonkoma, police said. She also had food stolen from Stop&Shop on Portion Road in Ronkonkoma, according to police. She was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child under the age of 15, endangering the welfare of a child, petit larceny and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. She also violated an order of protection prohibiting her from being under the influence in the presence of her daughter, police said.

Burned

Police arrested a 21-year-old man from Kings Park for having marijuana in his home around midnight on Feb. 5. Police discovered the drugs when they responded to a fire at the home. He was charged with criminal possession of marijuana.

Foul pole

A 24-year-old man from Ronkonkoma was arrested after he crashed his 2000 Honda Civic into a telephone pole on North Country Road in Smithtown at about 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 5, police said. He was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit.

Mischief on Midwood

At about 2:00 a.m. on Feb. 4, a 22-year-old man from Nesconset was arrested for breaking the window of a home on Midwood Avenue, police said. He was charged with criminal mischief.

Dodge couldn’t dodge police

A 42-year-old man from Lindenhurst was arrested on Feb. 4 in Islandia and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. Police said he was driving on Veterans Memorial Highway just before 9:00 p.m. in a 2002 Dodge when they discovered he was driving with a revoked license.

Swerving SUV

At about 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 4, a 53-year-old man from Smithtown was stopped by police for failing to stay in his lane while driving his 2004 GMC Envoy on Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge, police said. He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.

Ha-Sheesh

Police arrested a 17-year-old man from Smithtown and charged him with criminal possession of a controlled substance at 11:00 a.m. on Feb. 3. Police said he had hashish and THC oil when he was arrested on Lincoln Blvd. in Hauppauge.

Heroin arrest

A 27-year-old man from Shirley was arrested in the parking lot of Woodmont Village Apartments in Lake Ronkonkoma at about 11:00 p.m. on Feb. 3 with heroin on him, police said. He was charged with loitering and unlawful use of a controlled substance.

Long Island arrest-way

A 47-year-old man from Kings Park was arrested on Feb. 6 at 9 a.m. after police said he was driving a 1998 Subaru on the Long Island Expressway in Dix Hills while on prescription pills without a prescription. He was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, first-degree operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

High up on the lake

On Feb. 6, a 46-year-old man from Centerport was arrested after police said he had marijuana in his possession at 5:25 p.m. on the corner of Main Street and Lakeside Drive in Centerport. He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Quite a couple

Police said a 23-year-old man from Hicksville and a 22-year-old woman from Massapequa had cocaine in their possession at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 on the corner of New York Avenue and West 21st Street in Huntington Station. They were both charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a controlled substance and loitering.

Corner of oh no and trouble

A 20-year-old man from Huntington was arrested on the corner of 11th Avenue and West 21st Street in Huntington Station on Feb. 6 at 5:15 p.m. after police said he had marijuana in his possession. He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

But she got a fake ID

Police said a 39-year-old woman from Brooklyn used a fraudulent credit card and identification while shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue on Walt Whitman Road in Huntington on Feb. 5. According to police, the woman used two fraudulent credit cards just after 4 p.m. and tried to impersonate the woman using a fraudulent driver’s license to open a new credit card. She was charged with fourth degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal impersonation of another person, second-degree forgery of public record, and second-degree possession of a forged instrument.

Jewelry gone

An unknown person broke into a residence on Andrea Lane in Greenlawn on Feb. 5 between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., and stole jewelry.

RIP GMC

Police said an unknown person punctured the tires of a 2002 GMC parked on Jericho Turnpike in Elwood on Feb. 5 between 5:50 and 6:20 p.m.

Oh, boy!

Police arrested two 17-year-olds from Port Jefferson Station for petit larceny on Feb. 6. The pair allegedly stole Playboy cologne from the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove a month earlier, on Jan. 7. The teens were arrested at the McDonald’s fast-food restaurant on Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station.

What a saint

On Feb. 7, police arrested a woman from Mastic Beach for grand larceny. The 33-year-old woman stole a wallet from another woman’s pocketbook that day at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, police said. The wallet contained several credit cards. She was arrested at the scene, around 10:05 p.m.

Shopping spree

A 17-year-old girl from Centereach was arrested on Jan. 31 for petit larceny after officials said she entered the Walmart on Nesconset Highway in East Setauket and stole assorted makeup and bath products. Police arrested her at the scene at 7 p.m.

Welcome home

Between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 1, someone entered a residence on Jarvin Road in Port Jefferson Station and stole cash and jewelry.

Route to handcuffs

Police arrested a man from Patchogue for driving while ability impaired on the afternoon of Feb. 5. He had been driving east on Route 25A in Stony Brook when an officer pulled him over for speeding. Police allegedly discovered the man was intoxicated and driving with a suspended license.

Fight to the finish

On Jan. 31 around 1:45 p.m., two men got into a fight on Route 25A in Port Jefferson. Police said the men were in the street when one of them punched the other in the face. The victim refused to go to the hospital.

Green-thumbed thief

Someone entered the property of a residence on East Gate Drive in Mount Sinai and stole a Japanese maple tree planted in the yard. Police said the incident happened between 6 p.m. on Feb. 2 and 6:30 a.m. on Feb. 3.

The rest is history

Police said someone broke the door lock and latch of the Miller Place Historical Society building between noon on Feb. 4 and 1:45 p.m. the following day.

Bang bang into the room

On Feb. 4 around 9 p.m., someone shot a BB gun at a residence on Longview Avenue in Rocky Point. A pellet left a small hole in the window.

Weekend allowance

An unknown person stole a purse from a 2012 Hyundai parked outside a residence on Hawkins Road in Centereach between 6 p.m. on Feb. 6 and 9:30 p.m. the following day. It was unclear whether the suspect broke into the car or if it had been left unlocked.

Gold digger

On the morning of Feb. 4, a woman at home on Middle Country Road in Selden received a scam call from someone posing as a federal employee of the Internal Revenue Service. The unidentified person told the woman that she would be charged if she didn’t send money. Police said the victim sent more than $1,000 to the caller.

According to police, a woman on Glen Court in Stony Brook received a scam call on Feb. 5 from a man who claimed to be her grandson and asked her for money. The woman sent more than $3,000 to the man.

The Rite to remain silent

A 32-year-old man was arrested for petit larceny on Feb. 7. Police said the Middle Island man took electronic items from the Rite Aid on College Road in Selden. He was arrested at the scene.

Sight for sore eyes

Police arrested a woman from Centereach for assault on Feb. 3, after she allegedly punched another woman in the face and injured her right eye on North Coleman Road. Police said the victim required medical attention.

And you’re out

On Feb. 2 at 7:56 p.m., police arrested a man for driving while ability impaired. According to officials, the man was unconscious when he crashed his 2001 Toyota into another car in a parking lot near Route 347 in Stony Brook. Police said the man had overdosed on heroin and was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital.

File photo

A mother was delivering a baby on the side of the road when officers on patrol stepped in early Wednesday morning.

The Suffolk County Police Department said a car was stopped on the side of Deer Park Avenue, just south of Jericho Turnpike in Dix Hills, shortly after 2 a.m. and when patrol officer Joseph Ferro offered assistance, the driver said his wife was in active labor.

Officers Gerard Maxim and Jonathan Murray also responded, police said, and Murray helped the 32-year-old woman deliver a healthy baby girl.

Police said the Huntington Community First Aid Squad transported the Dix Hills couple and their new baby to Huntington Hospital.

Brandon Niederauer plays during a show. Photo from Gary Niederauer.

This young boy from Dix Hills sure knows how to rock.

Brandon Niederauer, 12, has only been playing the guitar for four short years, but he has already had more career milestones than most kids his age.

Brandon has already played on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, with the Allman Brothers Band, and at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. But his most recent accomplishment is perhaps his most impressive.

Brandon Niederauer plays during a show. Photo from Gary Niederauer
Brandon Niederauer plays during a show. Photo from Gary Niederauer

This December, he will be in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s newest musical on Broadway: “School of Rock-The Musical.” Brandon said he first became interested in playing the guitar after seeing the original movie, “School of Rock.”

After competing against more than 50 musicians to get the part and going through an eight-week workshop, Brandon said he got the call that he had gotten the role while he was playing basketball with his brother.

“All the kids and adults in the cast get along really well,” Brandon said in an email. “We have a lot of fun playing pranks and joking around. We are like a family.”

As for working with legendary composer Webber, Brandon said he has already taught him a lot.

“School of Rock — The Musical” officially opens on Dec. 6 at the Winter Garden Theatre.

This month, Brandon performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote the musical.

According to Brandon, when Webber was asked to be a guest on the show, the producers thought it would be a good idea to have him on the show as well.

“I was very honored to play the whole set with such an amazing band,” Brandon said. “I was one of the band. There is something special about that. They showed me the music and set list right before the show and I had so much fun playing and fitting it.”

Brandon Niederauer in "School of Rock — The Musical." Photo from Gary Niederauer.
Brandon Niederauer in “School of Rock — The Musical.” Photo from Gary Niederauer.

Brandon will also be performing with his cast in The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year on the Gibson guitar float.

“Being on the Gibson float is a dream come true,” Brandon said. “I saw that float a year ago and said, ‘I want to do that.’”

Brandon’s father, Gary Niederauer, said he knew right away that his son had special talents.

“I knew after the first lesson,” Niederauer said in an email. “Everything was easy and natural for him. He knew where all the scales were after only being taught one.”

As for seeing his son up on stage, Niederauer said he delivers every single time.

“It is thrilling to be able to watch your son create amazing sound from nothing with other amazing advanced musicians,” he said. “I really can’t believe it. He has no fear and loves to perform for an audience.”

When asked about any plans for the future, Brandon said there’s nothing concrete.

“I have been a guitar player, singer, writer — now I’m acting on Broadway,” he said. “I really have no plan. Things have been happening on their own, so whatever it is, I just want it to be fun!”

Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern joins Congressman Steve Israel at the site of a zombie home in Dix Hills. Photo from Amanda Lindner.

One North Shore lawmaker’s proposal to provide housing to homeless veterans is now being used as a model for a federal bill.

U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) introduced the Housing Our Heroes Act this month, which creates a three-year federal pilot program that provides grants to purchase and renovate zombie homes for veterans use. That proposal reflects similar sentiments expressed in legislation Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) drafted last year.

The Housing Our Homeless Heroes Act, signed by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) in December 2014, allows for “zombie homes,” or tax-defaulted properties, in Suffolk County to be distributed to veterans.

“No soldier who has ever worn the uniform of our great nation and gone off to protect the ground we stand on should ever have to come home to sleep on it,” Stern said in a statement.

Israel’s legislation is an expansion on an act from Stern, who serves as chairman of the Veterans and Seniors Committee.

“My legislation will not only put a roof over our heroes’ heads, it will also transform unsightly zombie homes into renovated properties that will revitalize housing markets in many of our Long Island communities,” Israel said in a statement. “Whenever we get the opportunity to eliminate two problems with one sustainable solution, we should act on it.”

Israel’s proposal would make grants available to veteran service organizations, non-governmental organizations and homeless organizations. It is intended not only to house homeless veterans but also eliminate blight from neighborhoods, the lawmaker said.

Stern praised Israel’s legislation for helping to ensure “that our military heroes have a place to call home while turning blighted properties into houses fit for heroes.”

According to Stern, he and Israel always saw his act as a model to use at the federal level.

“I’m proud to say we implemented it at a local level,” Stern said in a phone interview. “What we started here is serving as a national model.”

One of the big differences between Stern and Israel’s acts is the funding.

Stern said at the local level, they are utilizing properties the government already owns because of foreclosure. Israel’s legislation doesn’t need to rely on those types of homes because of the funding they receive from grants, so “there is real opportunity for innovation with the spectrum of properties.”

He also said these two bills will complement each other going forward.

Approximately 50,000 homeless veterans are on the streets of the United States every day, including more than 2,500 in New York, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Blighted properties have been an ongoing issue in Huntington Town.

“Huntington residents have been dealing with the zombie home epidemic in our neighborhoods for far too long,” Huntington Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D) said in a statement.

Edwards said Israel’s legislation would improve both the lives of veterans and the worth of Huntington resident’s homes.

At a press conference announcing Israel’s proposal on Nov. 9, Gina Raio Bitsimis, a Dix Hills resident and zombie home neighbor, thanked Israel for his commitment to tackle this problem.

“Zombie homes aren’t only eyesores in our neighborhood, they are actively reducing the value of our homes that we have worked so hard to maintain,” Bitsimis said in a statement. “My family and I will welcome these brave men and women into our neighborhood with open arms and look forward to the increase of both our quality of life and the value of our property.”

Huntington Councilwoman Susan Berland (D) previously drafted legislation to crack down on blighted properties, and said in a phone interview that the zombie house in Dix Hills, where the press conference was held was the exact house that inspired her to draft an anti-blight act.

“I saw the condition of the house and how it affected the neighbors,” she said. Her legislation includes a point system that determines if a property should be added to the town blight list and enters a restoration agreement with the town.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also said in 2009 that the homeless veteran population was more than 74,000 in a single night and last year more than one in ten of every homeless adult were a veteran.

At the press conference in Dix Hills, members of veteran organizations from Long Island spoke about the necessity of the bill.

“Placing homeless veterans in these homes will give them the opportunity and foundation they need to become independent successful members of our community,” said Frank Amalfitano, director of United Veterans Beacon House.

Beth Gabellini, regional director of Long Island Supportive Services for Veteran Families echoed the sentiment.

“After fighting for our country, veterans deserve every opportunity possible to help get back on their feet and on track,” she said.

Does not compute
Early in the morning on Oct. 23, an unknown person entered an unlocked business on Oakland Avenue in Port Jefferson and stole a computer.

NoGood
An unknown person stole a woman’s wallet from her purse on Oct. 25 while the woman shopped at the HomeGoods on Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station.

Got my eye on you
Police said a dispute broke out between two males on Main Street in Port Jefferson on Oct. 24, during which one punched the other in his face, near his eye. It was not clear if the victim needed medical attention after the altercation.

Left unlocked
An unknown person entered an unlocked 2005 Toyota Sequoia on Harbor Beach Road in Mount Sinai and stole assorted items between Oct. 22 at 9:30 p.m. and Oct. 23 at 3:30 a.m.

A clean getaway
At some point between Oct. 22 and Oct. 23, unknown people entered a residence on Norwich Road in Sound Beach through a basement window and stole a washing machine from the residence.

Beer me
Police said on Oct. 23 a man entered a store on Middle Country Road in Centereach and took a 12-pack of beer without paying.

Getting to work
On Oct. 24, an unidentified person stole work gloves and cell phone accessories from the Centereach Mall in Centereach.

Smashing pumpkins
An unknown person smashed a pumpkin in front of a residence on Ambassador Lane in Selden on Oct. 23, then threw another pumpkin through the front window of the residence. Police didn’t know if the individual was acting alone or with others.

Cold case
Police said three people took off in a yellow sedan after stealing five coats from the Kohl’s on Nesconset Highway in Selden on Oct. 23.

Drove my Chevy to the jailhouse
Police arrested a 23-year-old woman from Centereach for driving while ability impaired on Oct. 23, after pulling her over for failing to maintain her lane while driving east in a 2004 Chevy on Chereb Lane in Port Jefferson Station. The officers arrested her at the scene at 1:15 a.m.

Larceny tour
Police arrested a 39-year-old man from Farmingville on four charges of petit larceny, after he hit different stores throughout the county. According to police, on Sept. 11, the man stole assorted merchandise from the Walmart in Centereach, then stole a snow blower from the Kmart in Farmingville 10 days later. On Oct. 5, he stole a vacuum from the Walmart on Middle Country Road in Middle Island, and on Oct. 20 stole toys from the Kmart on North Ocean Avenue in Farmingville. Police arrested the man at the 6th Precinct two days after the final incident.

Gone with the ganja
A 38-year-old woman from Mount Sinai was arrested for criminal possession of marijuana on Oct. 23, after Suffolk County police executed a search warrant at her residence on Island Trail in Mount Sinai. Officers found more than one pound of marijuana. Police did not elaborate on why the search warrant was issued.

Stay focused
A 33-year-old woman from Selden was arrested for unlicensed operation of a vehicle on Oct. 23, after she was pulled over while driving a 2005 Ford Focus down Route 25 in Centereach.

Low maintenance
On Oct. 25, a 25-year-old woman from Mount Sinai was arrested for driving while ability impaired. Police said the woman was driving a 2013 Hyundai east on Route 25A in Port Jefferson shortly after 1 a.m., when police pulled her over for failing to maintain her lane.

Targeted approach
A 42-year-old woman from Centereach was arrested for petit larceny on Oct. 25, after she stole clothing and toys from the Target on Pond Path in South Setauket.

Man gets batty
Police arrested a 50-year-old man from East Setauket for menacing after he prevented the female passenger in his 2002 Toyota from leaving the car on Oct. 26. The driver then exited his car with a baseball bat and hit her car. The incident occurred on Old Town Road in East Setauket.

Stolen apparel
A 36-year old man from Plainview was arrested after police said he stole assorted apparel from the Smith Haven Mall in Smithtown on Oct. 24. He was arrested at 1:20 p.m. and then, once he was taken to the 4th Precinct, police said he had an altered New York State identification card. He was charged with second degree forgery of an official document.

Smoke sign blows away
It was reported that business signs from Aroma Smoke Shop in Smithtown were damaged by four unknown teens at 4 p.m. on Oct. 24.

Xanax o’clock
Police said a 24-year old woman from Northport was in wrongful possession of Xanax at 5:55 a.m. at 4 Parsons Lane in Nissequogue on Oct. 22. She was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Not so lucky
Police said an unknown white man entered Gulf gas station on Nesconset Highway and fled with scratch lotto tickets on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.

Oxy-co-don’t
A 17-year old man from Smithtown was arrested after police said he was in possession of oxycodone at Commack Liquors on Route 25A in Commack on Oct. 23 at 6:05 p.m. He was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Rims gone
It was reported that two sets of rims and tires were stolen from a 2016 Cadillac Escalade at a dealership in Smithtown sometime between 10 p.m. on Oct. 20 and 8 a.m. on Oct. 21

Bad contact
On Oct. 22, a 23-year old woman from Commack was arrested after police said she hit someone on the head on Route 454 in Commack at 3 a.m. She was charged with second degree physical contact.

Home Depot items have new home
A 47-year old man from East Northport was arrested on Oct. 22 after police said he stole miscellaneous items from Home Depot on Jericho Turnpike in Commack at 10 p.m. He was charged with petit larceny.

Wrong turn
On Oct. 24, a 40-year old man from Bay Shore was arrested after police said he made an illegal left hand turn on Route 25A in Smithtown and they discovered he was driving drunk. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Boozing and speeding
A 36-year old man from Centereach was pulled over for speeding on Route 347 in Commack when it was discovered that he was driving drunk at 1:50 a.m. on Oct. 22. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Toke at the traffic stop
A 25-year-old man from Dix Hills was arrested when police said he had marijuana in plain view during a traffic stop on the corner of Lebkamp Avenue and Brennan Street in Huntington on Oct. 24. He was arrested at 7:50 p.m. and charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Welcome to New York
Police said a woman was punched and kicked in the face on New York Avenue in Huntington on Oct. 24 at 3:12 a.m. She was transported to Huntington Hospital for treatment of a broken nose.

Under control
On Oct. 21, a 20-year-old man from Central Islip was arrested after police said he had marijuana and another controlled substance on him at the corner of Park Avenue and Pulaski Road in Huntington Station. He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Police would not specify which other controlled substance the man had on him, nor why he was not charged with unlawfully possessing it.

Wild times
Someone reported that a wallet containing cash, a credit card and a driver’s license was stolen from a counter in Wild by Nature in Huntington on Oct. 23.

High times at the beach ramp
A 19-year-old man from Commack was arrested at 7:54 p.m. on Oct. 21 in the parking lot of the Hobart Beach boat ramp in Eaton’s Neck for having marijuana and another unspecified controlled substance on him. He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Oh no in the Volvo
Someone entered a 1991 Volvo on Fort Salonga Road in Huntington on Oct. 23 and took medication and cash.

The nail polish remover
Police said a 30-year-old woman from East Northport stole 75 bottles of nail polish from a Walgreens on Larkfield Road in East Northport on Oct. 23. She was charged with petit larceny.

An unknown person stole numerous bottles of nail polish at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 21 from Walgreens on Larkfield road in Commack.

Puffing at the park
A 17-year-old man from Huntington was arrested after police said he possessed marijuana in plain view in Elwood Park in Huntington on Oct. 23 at 12:35 p.m. He was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

On the fence about staying
Early in the morning on Oct. 24, a 41-year-old man from Centerport was arrested after police said he hit a fence at a residence on Dunlop Road, at the intersection with Greenlawn Road in that neighborhood, with a 2008 Nissan and fled the scene. He was charged with leaving the scene of a crash and property damage.

Minor problem
A 69-year-old man from Lindenhurst was arrested after police said he was selling a can of beer to an underage person on Oct. 23 on New York Avenue. He was charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child.

File photo

Local politicians and Huntington Town residents have successfully lobbied the state Department of Transportation to halt construction of a rest stop on exit 51 of the Long Island Expressway.

Individuals were up in arms over the proposal, and lawmakers expressed their dissatisfaction about the plans. Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) said it’s an unacceptable location for a rest stop and said the rest stop itself is unnecessary.

“It backs a residential area,” Stern said in a phone interview. “Unlike other rest stops or centers, where they carry on commercial activity, on the LIE, here all the exits are about a mile apart. There is an ample supply of restaurants, shopping centers and restrooms at every exit, so there is no need for a separate rest stop at this location.”

Stern said the plan calls for featuring the state’s Taste NY program, designed to promote New York’s agriculture vendors. This particular Taste NY would serve as a gateway for Long Island wine country out east, according to Stern.

“This exit is a long way from being a gateway to the East End,” Stern said about why this exit choice doesn’t make sense to promote Taste NY.

According to Stern, Suffolk County has made an offer to work with New York State to create a Taste NY location off exit 67 in Yaphank, which Stern said is a more appropriate location.

Gary Holmes, director of communications for the state’s Department of Transportation, said no work is currently being done at exit 51.

“The commissioner has held several productive meetings with local and state officials on Long Island, and while no decisions have been made about the rest stop at exit 51, we look forward to continued conversations about the health and safety of all users of the LIE,” Holmes said in an email. “LIE motorists deserve a safe place to rest and we’ll keep working on the best way to do that.”

Town Councilwoman Susan Berland (D) said the rest stop should not be added, and that she started fighting plans for it 15 years ago.

“I led the charge against this rest stop when I was vice president of the House Beautiful Dix Hills Civic Association,” Berland said in a phone interview. “I have always been opposed to this.”

She also said the Taste NY aspect is inappropriate, and that the state should not be selling alcohol on an expressway: “The last thing you want to do is give people the opportunity to get alcohol there.”

Berland said the rest stop is too close to a residential community, and the construction the state’s done so far was done without permission. She said residents are already being impacted by the sound of the LIE because brush berms have been removed.

Assemblyman Chad A. Lupinacci (R-Huntington Station) agreed that the rest stop is disruptive to residential life near exit 51.

“The location is poor because of the noise and the secondary effects it will have to the area and the residents,” Lupinacci said in a phone interview. “I am totally against it.”

Suffolk County Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport) agreed with his colleagues that the rest stop should not go up, and that the voices of Huntington are not being heard.

“It doesn’t sound like the Town of Huntington was involved in this decision,” Spencer said in a phone interview. “I always think coordination and communication with the community is key.”

Drawing a crowd
Police say a 22-year-old Selden man arrested at 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 5 on Broadway in Port Jefferson repeatedly engaged in violent behavior directed toward a nearby crowd.

Out of control
Police said a 56-year-old Riverhead man was arrested on Sept. 5 on the corner of Chereb Lane and Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station. The man was in possession of a controlled substance.

On Sept. 2, police arrested a 25-year-old man from Holtsville for criminal possession of a controlled substance on the corner of Route 25A and Miller Avenue in Shoreham-Wading River. Police found Suboxone when he was detained at 4:10 p.m.

Second time’s the charm
A 29-year-old man from Mount Sinai was arrested in Port Jefferson Station on Sept. 4 after a car crash. Police discovered the man, who had been driving a 1999 Dodge south on Jayne Boulevard at the time of the collision, had been drinking alcohol and was operating the vehicle without interlock, a device that prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit. The man was obligated to use the device due to a prior drunk driving conviction.

Let there be rock
Police arrested a 21-year-old Centereach man on Sept. 5 after he made verbal threats and struck an unidentified man with a large rock.

Cross-stealing
A 51-year-old man from North Patchogue was arrested at the 6th Precinct in Selden on Sept. 3. Police said the man stole women’s apparel and accessories from Smith Haven Mall.

It happened in the tresspast
An 18-year-old male from Holtsville was arrested in Selden on Sept. 3, about two weeks after police say he trespassed at Sachem East High School.

It’s electric
Police arrested a 61-year-old man from Rocky Point for reckless endangerment on Glenwood Road on Sept. 3. Police said the man had tampered with an electric meter in July.

Calling shotgun
On Sept. 5 at 1:30 p.m., an unidentified person stole a shotgun from a residence on Forest Avenue in Port Jefferson Station.

Steal like an eagle
Police said an unknown person stole lawn sculptures from someone’s yard on Lenox Street in Port Jefferson Station on Sept. 3. One of the pieces was a wooden eagle sculpture.

Entering and breaking
An unknown person stole cash, a laptop and a laptop bag from a home on Middle Court in Miller Place. The incident happened on Sept. 5. Police said the person also broke the window on the driver’s side of a 2001 Ford Mustang that was parked in the driveway.

Clean this
On Sept. 6 at 4:04 p.m., the front glass window of the dry cleaning shop on Echo Avenue in Miller Place was broken.

A jewel of a thief
On Sept. 5, police said an unidentified man took a box containing a bracelet without paying from the Kohl’s on Route 25A in Rocky Point.

Ponti-attack
An unknown person damaged the rear passenger door and tire on the right side of a 2008 Pontiac on Sept. 4 on Route 25 in Selden.

Something fishy
On Sept. 6 someone stole fish and other merchandise from the Shop Rite on College Road in Selden. Police said the person left the store with the stolen items and got into a car that was waiting outside the store.

Cig-nificant steal
Police said on Sept. 5 an unknown person stole money and cigarettes from a 2010 Jeep and a 2005 Saturn. The incident occurred on Middle Court in Miller Place.

Not friends anymore
An unidentified person stole a license plate off a 1988 Jeep on Friendship Drive in Rocky Point. Police said the incident happened on Aug. 30 at noon but was reported on Sept. 2.

Incoming message
On Sept. 4 an unidentified person or persons damaged a mailbox on North Howell Avenue in Centereach.

To Infiniti and beyond
Police said someone broke a window of a 2011 Infiniti on Tree Road in Centereach on Sept. 4. Police were unsure which window was damaged.

Wanted for grand larceny
Suffolk County Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the man who used a stolen credit card at two locations last month.
Police said a man used a stolen credit card at Speedway Gas in Lake Grove and Stop and Shop in Ronkonkoma on Aug. 6. The man fled in a red vehicle. A purse containing the credit card that was used had been stolen from a vehicle that was broken into at the LA Fitness parking lot, located at 110 New Moriches Road in Lake Grove on Aug. 6 between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.
Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering 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 (8477). All calls will be kept confidential.

Cars vandalized
Suffolk County Police are investigating whether or not a string of incidents of criminal mischief at Stony Hollow apartments on Old Town Road in Port Jefferson Station is related. Residents reported to cops on the morning of Sept. 3 that a number of vehicles were vandalized: a windshield on a Nissan Sentra was shattered; rear passenger windows on a 2007 Mazda and a 2014 Honda were broken; and someone took a GPS cable and damaged the windshield wiper control lever on another vehicle. The incidents are estimated to have taken place sometime between 10 p.m. on Sept. 2 and 4:15 a.m. on Sept. 3. 

Shove off
A 19-year-old man from Clarksburg was arrested in Stony Brook on Sept. 3 at 11:08 p.m. and charged with second-degree harassment. Police said the man shoved a male police officer in the middle of the roadway on North County Road in Stony Brook.

In the dark
Police arrested a 21-year-old man from Stony Brook on Sept. 3 at 11:21 p.m. and charged him with driving while intoxicated. Cops said the man was driving a 2014 Mitsubishi with no lights on when he was pulled over and arrested.

Emergency heroin
A 37-year-old man from Farmingville was arrested in Stony Brook on Sept. 2 and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said that at 10:10 p.m. the man possessed heroin in the trauma room of Stony Brook University Hospital’s emergency room.

Sloppy DWI
Police arrested a 21-year-old man from East Setauket on Sept. 4 at 1:33 a.m. and charged him with driving while intoxicated. Cops said the man was driving a 2005 Hyundai on Sheep Pasture Road and was pulled over after they observed him failing to maintain his lane, crossing over the yellow lines and into the shoulder.

Not staying in the lines
A 39-year-old woman from Bohemia was arrested in Setauket-East Setauket on Sept. 4 and charged with driving while intoxicated. Police said that at about 3 a.m. the woman was pulled over after she was observed failing to maintain her lane, crossing over the double yellow lines in a 2013 Jeep, on Lower Sheep Pasture Road.

Jewels and jams
Cops arrested a 44-year-old Selden woman on Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. on Nesconset Highway in Setauket-East Setauket and charged her with petit larceny. Police said she took jewelry and headphones from Kohl’s department store on Nesconset Highway.

Taking the high road
Suffolk County police arrested an 18-year-old man from St. James in Smithtown on Sept. 5 at 12:35 a.m., and charged him with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs in the first degree. Police said the man was driving northbound on Route 25A in Smithtown in a 2004 Jeep and failed to maintain his lane of travel.

Pole-iced
A 44-year-old man from St. James was arrested in Smithtown on Sept. 5 and charged with operating a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. Police said the accident occurred on Moriches Road in Smithtown on Sept. 4 at 6:35 a.m. — cops said he drove a 1995 Chevy van north on the road, hit a utility pole and fled the scene. He was arrested at the 4th Precinct the next day at 10:30 a.m.

Bud Light blues
Two 17-year-old girls were arrested at the 4th Precinct on Sept. 4, and each was charged with petit larceny for stealing $25 worth of Bud Light beer from Gulf gas station on Express Dive South in Ronkonkoma, on Aug. 28 at 12:30 a.m. One girl was from Ronkonkoma, the other from Holbrook.

Beer me!
A 46-year-old man from Smithtown was arrested in Nissequogue on Sept. 4, at about 8 p.m. and charged for selling alcohol with a revoked license. Police said the man served beer and wine at an event on Long Beach Town Park.

Hug it out
Police received a report of a man and woman pushing each other after getting into a verbal dispute at Watermill Caterers on Nesconset Highway in Smithtown on Sept. 3 at about 10:20 p.m.

Fender, hood damaged
Someone damaged the hood and right fender of a 2015 Nissan parked at a home on Kental Lane in Nesconset. The incident occurred after midnight on Sept. 3.

Check-mate
Someone wrote a bad check out to AAA maintenance in Smithtown on West Jericho Turnpike on Nov. 4 last year. There have been no arrests.

Got mail?
Someone damaged the mailbox of a Grove Road home in Kings Park on Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. There have been no arrests.

Pickpocketed
Someone took a pocketbook with money in it from an unlocked 2001 Toyota parked on County Road 14 in Kings Park on Sept. 2 at 11 a.m. There have been no arrests.

Bad hair day
Someone broke the driver side window of a 2004 Toyota at Pat’s Place Hair Salon on Lake Avenue in St. James on Sept. 6 at 1 p.m. There have been no arrests.

Wheeled away
Someone stole a black Raleigh speed bike from a driveway on Lake Avenue in St. James on Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. There have been no arrests.

Three’s a crowd
Police arrested a 32-year-old woman from Wantagh and charged her with leaving the scene of a crime and property damage. Cops said that on Sept. 5 at about 2 a.m. the woman struck a 2015 Toyota on High Street in Huntington. Driving a 2005 Nissan, she hit the Toyota and the Toyota then struck a 2013 Nissan. Significant damage was caused to all three vehicles. The woman then fled the scene and was arrested later that day at the 2nd Precinct.

High time
Cops arrested a 21-year-old man from Huntington Station on Sept. 3 and charged him with unlawful possession of marijuana . He was arrested at the corner of 5th Avenue and West 11th Street at 12:40 p.m. inside a 2012 Nissan.

Coke in sheep’s clothing
Cops arrested a 52-year-old man from Huntington Station at Tremont Court in South Huntington on Sept. 3  at 4:25 p.m. and charged him with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said he had a large quantity of cocaine in a cigarette pack.

Heroin spotted
A 20-year-old man from Dix Hills was arrested in Dix Hills on Sept. 2 and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Cops said he was in a 2010 Jeep in the driver’s seat at Otsego Park in Dix Hills at 10:50 p.m. when an officer observed heroin on the center console of the vehicle.

Partying too hard
Cops arrested a 41-year-old man from Massapequa on Sept. 6 at about 7:30 a.m. off the road on East Jericho Turnpike in Huntington and charged him with driving while ability impaired by drugs, with a prior conviction in the past 10 years. Police said they found the man passed out, slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle with the key in the ignition and the engine running.

Weed on display
Cops arrested a 24-year-old man on Sept. 4 and charged him with criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree. Police said he was on the corner of West Shore Road and Mill Dam Road in Huntington with a large quantity of marijuana in public view.

The wrong kind of batting team
Two men reported being jumped by multiple men on Sept. 9 at 4 a.m. in Huntington Station on Broadway. The suspects kicked and punched the victims multiple times with a baseball bat, causing a broken nose and many contusions. Both men were transported to Huntington Hospital to be treated. Nothing was stolen from either.

Not so luck-key
A woman found her gray 2008 Honda keyed on the driver’s side in the Walt Whitman Mall parking lot in South Huntington on Sept. 6. She reported the incident at 10:50 p.m.

Chasing the Chase imposter
A man said someone withdrew money from his Chase bank account without his permission on Sept. 4 at 9 a.m. in Dix Hills.

Pickpocketed in plain sight
A woman reported that she left her pocketbook in the front seat of her car on 2nd Avenue in Huntington Station on Sept. 5. She saw a suspect open the door of her car, remove her pocketbook and then flee the scene at 11:20 p.m.

Rachel Goldsmith is crowned Miss Teen New York last October. Photo by Richard Krauss

By Rita J. Egan

After being crowned Miss Teen New York International in October, Dix Hills resident Rachel Goldsmith is ready to represent her state and share the stage with teens from around the globe. The New York competition was the first time the 14-year-old entered a pageant, and she is thrilled about competing at the Miss Teen International Pageant in Jacksonville, Fla., on July 30 and August 1.

Rachel Goldsmith is crowned Miss Teen New York last October. Photo by Richard Krauss
Rachel Goldsmith is crowned Miss Teen New York last October. Photo by Richard Krauss

When she won the crown at the New York pageant, Rachel said everything was a blur to her. “It was nothing like I ever experienced before,” she said.

However, the recent graduate from West Hollow Middle School is no stranger to the pageant circuit. Growing up she, along with her father Steven and brothers Daniel and Jonathan, would watch her mother, Lidia Szczepanowski-Goldsmith, participate in pageants and win titles such as Mrs. New York America and Mrs. New York International.

Rachel said she remembers her mother looking so beautiful on stage and thinking to herself that she wanted to be in pageants, too. She also remembers how much fun the family would have traveling and attending the events.

“The whole thing was just a really positive family experience. It was positive for my mom; it was positive for the future. It was amazing overall,” Rachel said.

The pageant participant said she is looking forward to meeting contestants from all over the United States, as well as the world, at the Miss Teen International event in Florida. She is also eager to present her platform, which is to raise awareness when it comes to teen suicide.

Rachel said she went through a rough time in middle school at first. However, she quickly learned to reach out to her parents and others. Her experience led Goldsmith to research teen depression and create the website U Will B Ok, where teens can visit for information and to share their stories.

“Middle school is that one time where if you ask any parent or older teen, they’ll all say that, ‘Yeah, middle school is awful.’ And, it’s that time when kids don’t really know who they are — they’re still discovering themselves, and they are in groups and they’re trying to figure out how to treat people. There are a lot of cliques. They don’t know who they are as a person, so they need to click off of other people to feel like they belong somewhere, and sometimes around that time it’s really hard for the kids that aren’t in the cliques,” Rachel said.

Rachel Goldsmith, Miss Teen New York International, receives a proclamation earlier this year from the Town of Huntington Board of Trustees, from left, Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D); Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D); Supervisor Frank Petrone (D), Councilwoman Susan A. Berland (D) and Councilman Gene Cook (I). Photo from Town of Huntington
Rachel Goldsmith, Miss Teen New York International, receives a proclamation earlier this year from the Town of Huntington Board of Trustees, from left, Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D); Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D); Supervisor Frank Petrone (D), Councilwoman Susan A. Berland (D) and Councilman Gene Cook (I). Photo from Town of Huntington

Her mom understands the demands on teenagers nowadays, with their studies, testing and extracurricular activities. While Rachel does extremely well in school academically and is a high honor roll student, her mother said, like many young teens, she had a hard time fitting in at first.

“It was very difficult at that transition time, where everyone is trying to find themselves, because she didn’t fit in anywhere,” Szczepanowski-Goldsmith said.

Over the last few years, Rachel has become more comfortable in her own skin and said she has adapted a punk fashion sense. Her mother said when you meet her, her daughter is the epitome of what you wouldn’t expect from a beauty queen. However, while her everyday style may not say pageant winner, her volunteer work does.

In addition to her website, for several years Rachel has been the teen ambassador and a volunteer for the National Organization for Women’s Safety Awareness Inc., where she has participated in fashion shows and sold merchandise to raise money. The pageant winner also visits veterans and organizes parties with the organization Yes We Care Inc.

Rachel, who in her spare time enjoys archery, scuba diving and watching “The Walking Dead,” dreams of one day becoming a special effects makeup artist for movies, where prosthetics and makeup are needed to create monsters and zombies. She said if that doesn’t work out, she would love to do something in a creative field such as graphic design, illustrating, marketing or journalism.

Rachel Goldsmith is interviewed before being crowned Miss Teen New York last October. Photo by Richard Krauss
Rachel Goldsmith is interviewed before being crowned Miss Teen New York last October. Photo by Richard Krauss

For now, Rachel directs her energy toward preparing for the upcoming pageant, and she said she and her mother are having a lot of fun doing so. Szczepanowski-Goldsmith says her daughter’s decision to participate in this competition has provided them with more mother-daughter time. The two not only shop together to find the perfect outfits, but her mother also helps her prepare for the interview segment, sometimes even asking her questions in the car.

Rachel said she isn’t nervous about whether or not she’ll be Miss Teen International when she starts Half Hollow Hills High School East this September. She said she has learned from her mother to enjoy the overall experience of participating in pageants, including the preparation.

“You can’t just focus on the moment. You have to look at what it took to get to that point,” her mother said.

Szczepanowski-Goldsmith has also taught her daughter to go into a pageant with no expectations, and most important of all, to just be herself. “I just want her to have a positive experience. I know how wonderful and how much fun it was for me, and I think that it’s really all about the journey, and I think she’s going to have a great time,” Szczepanowski-Goldsmith said.

To visit Rachel’s website, go to www.uwillbok.com. To find out more about the Miss Teen International Pageant, visit their official site at www.missteeninternational.us.

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