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East Shoreham

A map of the Rails to Trails project provided by the county’s Department of Public Works. Photo from Legislator Sarah Anker’s office

Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) will host two public information meetings to discuss the proposed design for the Port Jefferson-Wading River Rails to Trails project. The two dates for the public meetings are:

•March 22 at 6 p.m. at Shoreham-Wading River High School, 250 Route 25A in Shoreham.

•April 5 at 6 p.m. at Miller Place High School, 15 Memorial Drive in Miller Place

The proposed trail, a project that was spearheaded by Anker, is a 10-mile-long shared-use recreational path.

The path will be built along the abandoned Long Island Rail Road right-of-way, which currently is owned by the Long Island Power Authority. The trail will run through the hamlets of Port Jefferson Station, Mount Sinai, Miller Place, Sound Beach, Rocky Point, Shoreham, East Shoreham and Wading River.

These meetings will give residents an opportunity to hear from the Suffolk County Department of Public Works regarding the plan for design and construction of the trail. For more information, contact Anker’s office at 631-854-1600.

Shoreham-Wading River school board member Michael Fucito, at center with a commemorative dedication statue, was congratulated by the board on his retirement. Photo by Kevin Redding

At the end of last week’s Shoreham-Wading River school board meeting, it bid farewell to its “rock of reason” — a member who’s devoted 27 years to bettering the district and the lives of its students.

In announcing the retirement and resignation of Michael Fucito, 79, who first joined the school board in 1977, board president John Zukowski said Fucito had an incredible commitment to the community and had always been prepared for every meeting, leaving the job with the same dedication he started with.

Michael Fucito, on right, who was a member of the Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education for 27 years, is congratulated on his retirement by his peers. Photo by Kevin Redding

“When we get this job, we’re all sent out for this training [in Albany] and they tell you how to be a board member,” Zukowski said. “What they ought to do [instead] is say, ‘go follow Mike Fucito around for a couple days’ … he’s always applied his common sense and his logic and he kept everybody on track.”

Fucito, who was born in Brooklyn and raised in Wading River, served in the U.S. Air Force from 1955 until 1959 working on radio systems and learning about electronics before becoming an electrical engineer at Northrup Grumman Corporation in Calverton, where he worked for 34 years. He married his wife Joan in 1960 and together they had three daughters, all of whom went through the school district.

Fucito decided to join the board, and served for two terms from 1977 until 1993 and then from 2006 until last week, because he felt it was his responsibility to give back to the community and improve the district as best he could.

During his tenure, he was a mover and shaker when it came to building maintenance, budget and overall safety for the students, serving on the main board of liaisons on the safety committee formed in the late 70s and 80s, when the much-opposed Shoreham nuclear power plant stood in East Shoreham.

The safety committee, consisting of concerned residents, board members and teachers, was formed to discuss the district’s evacuation plans in the event of a serious nuclear accident at the plant, in the wake of the Three Mile Island accident.

“Mike is the epitome of what a trustee should strive to be. He’s always prepared … he’s always willing to serve, go the extra mile, sit through the ardor of every different committee and always comes out with his same smile.”

—William McGrath

“He was always an incredibly conscientious, hardworking, reflective guy and that’s what you want in a board member,” said Ed Weiss, a former board member and Fucito’s longtime friend. “You’re there to help kids and that’s the way he worked.”

He didn’t anticipate his early March resignation. He planned on finishing out the school year before retiring, moving from Wading River to his summer home in Wells, Vermont, but his house ended up selling in just three days.

Board trustee William McGrath, who’s worked alongside Fucito on the board for nine years, said his friend’s early resignation is New York’s loss and Vermont’s gain.

“Mike is the epitome of what a trustee should strive to be,” McGrath said. “He’s always prepared … he’s always willing to serve, go the extra mile, sit through the ardor of every different committee and always comes out with his same smile … He has been the glue that has held this district together for an awful long time.”

Upon receiving a plaque presented by the board, Fucito humbly stated his accomplishments weren’t a one-person effort, and said it takes a whole board to work to get something done.

“It has been my pleasure to serve the community all these years and I also have a great deal of respect for each of the members I’ve served with,” he said. “I wasn’t on the board to try to be a superhero or anything, I just tried to work with the staff and see how we could improve the situation for the students.”

FIle photo

A driver was killed on the North Shore on Sunday evening when his car slammed into a utility pole.

The victim, 60-year-old Joseph Labate, was driving a 2001 Isuzu Rodeo west on Route 25A in East Shoreham, the Suffolk County Police Department said, when he lost control of the car. At about 6 p.m., he hit a utility pole near Miller Avenue, according to police.

Labate, a Rocky Point resident, was pronounced dead at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson.

Police impounded the Isuzu for a safety check, and detectives from the SCPD’s 7th Squad are still investigating the one-car crash.

 

Caught trespassing
An 18-year-old man from Smithtown was arrested on Oct. 11 after police said he entered a resident’s home without their consent at 4:45 a.m. on Judges Lane in Village of the Branch. He was charged with second-degree criminal trespassing.

The man with the lead pipe
Police said an 18-year-old man from Copiague made threats with a lead pipe to a person on Apple Lane in Commack on Oct. 8. He was arrested at 6:47 p.m. and charged with second-degree menacing with a weapon.

Ay yai yai in the Hyundai
On Oct. 8 police said a 45-year-old man from Yaphank operated a 2012 Hyundai on Ronkonkoma Avenue in Smithtown, hitting a 2015 Ford and then fleeing the scene. He was arrested at 12:20 a.m. and charged with third-degree fleeing from an officer in a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of a crime with property damage.

Sticky fingers at Walmart
A 32-year-old female from Bayshore was arrested after police said she took health items and clothing from Walmart on Crooked Hill Road in Commack on Oct. 9. She was arrested at 12:12 p.m. and charged with petit larceny.

St. James DWI arrest
On Oct. 8 a 43-year-old man from St. James was arrested after police said he was driving drunk. He was driving a 2006 Dodge Charger on Route 111 in Smithtown at 8:30 p.m. and hit a pedestrian. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Can’t maintain a lane
Police said a 28-year-old woman from Smithtown was driving drunk at 1:26 a.m. on Oct. 11. She was arrested on Jericho Turnpike in Commack after failing to maintain her lane while driving a 2011 Nissan and swerving into other lanes, according to police. She was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Shattered glass
At Oriental Kitchen on Smithtown Boulevard in Nesconset it was reported that someone smashed the glass front door and stole money at 10:15 p.m. on Oct. 8.

Documents gone
A resident of Tracklot Road in Nissequogue said that someone entered his or her locked 2006 Volvo and stole documents from a bag at 11:45 p.m. on Oct. 9.

Afternoon cocktails
Suffolk County police arrested a 46-year-old woman from Coram for driving while ability impaired. Police said the woman was driving west on Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station on the afternoon of Oct. 9 when she crashed her 2001 Hyundai into another vehicle. Police discovered she was intoxicated and arrested her at the scene.

Rock it out
A 22-year-old woman from Miller Place was arrested for criminal mischief after she caused more than $250 worth of damage to a 2014 Honda. Police said she struck the left side of the car with a rock on Sept. 28 on Long Beach Drive in Sound Beach and was arrested on Oct. 11 on the same street.

Stolen Chevy
On Oct. 10, police arrested a 20-year-old Sound Beach man on Miller Place Road in Miller Place for possession of a stolen car. According to police, the 2014 Chevrolet, which was parked, had been reported stolen.

Busted
A 50-year-old woman from Rocky Point was arrested on Oct. 11 for petit larceny after she entered the Kohl’s on Route 25A in Rocky Point and took a bra without paying. Police arrested the woman at the scene shortly afterward.

Nailed it
A 22-year-old man from Holtsville was charged with petit larceny on Oct. 9, after the man took a nail gun from a business on Pond Path in Centereach. Police arrested the man at the 6th Precinct.

Boosted tech
Police arrested a 23-year-old man from Shirley for petit larceny and criminal mischief after he entered the Walmart at the Centereach Mall on Oct. 8 and stole a Boost Mobile phone and assorted electronics. He also cut the packaging of various store merchandise.

Drinking and swerving
A 23-year-old woman from Rocky Point was arrested on Oct. 9 for driving while ability impaired. She had been driving a 2002 Mitsubishi south on Nicolls Road in Stony Brook when she failed to maintain her lane and was pulled over. Police discovered the woman was intoxicated and arrested her at the scene.

Don’t sweat it
Police said an unidentified person broke the rear passenger window of a 2011 Infinity parked by LA Fitness on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station on Oct. 9 and stole a pocket book containing cash and credit cards.

Vive la résistance
On Oct. 9, police arrested a 36-year-old man from Rocky Point for criminal possession of heroin and resisting arrest. Police didn’t specify why officers were called to the man’s residence on Daffodil Road in Rocky Point, but when officers arrived, the man slammed a window on one of the officers before running into the bathroom to dispose of the heroin. When police attempted to arrest the man, he refused to put his hands behind his back or allow police to cuff him.

Shattered glass
An unidentified person shattered the rear window of a 2015 Honda Accord that was parked on East Main Street in Port Jefferson on Oct. 11. Police said nothing was stolen.

On Oct. 11 police said an unknown person damaged the passenger window of a 2012 Honda CR-V. The car had been parked near a residence on Hewlett Drive in Sound Beach.

Egging ’em on
An unidentified person egged a person’s house and 2012 Nissan Rogue that was parked near the residence on Vineyard Way in Mount Sinai on Oct. 9.

It’s MyPhone now
Police said an unknown person stole an iPhone 4 from a 2004 Mercury on Oct. 11 while the car was unlocked and parked at a residence on Tyler Avenue in Miller Place.

Two times the theft
Early in the morning on Oct. 11 an unidentified person took cash and assorted items from a 2014 Jeep and a Chevrolet. Police said the cars were parked on Long Bow Road in East Shoreham at the time of the theft. Police did not say if the cars were locked.

On the hunt for coins
An unknown person entered a 2012 Honda and took coins from the car on Oct. 11. Police said the car was unlocked and parked in the driveway of a residence on Hunters Trail in East Shoreham.

Put it on my tab
On Oct. 9, an unauthorized person used a Centereach resident’s credit card information to purchase items for a substantial amount of money. Police did not say where the suspect acquired the information or how much money was lost.

Boom right in the kisser
Police said a 26-year-old man from Northport punched someone in the face, causing injury at 3 a.m. on Oct. 7. The man was on Green Street in Huntington when the incident occurred, and cops charged him with third-degree assault with intent to cause physical injury.

Wallet woes
Someone reported that an unknown person took a wallet from a 2002 Ford parked on Lantern Street in Greenlawn at 1 a.m. on Oct. 7

On a roll
Police said a 29-year-old man from Corona was driving drunk at 4:10 p.m. in Huntington on Oct. 10. He was driving a 2003 Ford on East Jericho Turnpike when he failed to yield right of way to an approaching vehicle while trying to turn into a parking lot of Anthony’s Discount Tires. He then struck the other vehicle, struck three parked cars in the parking lot he was trying to turn into and the building itself. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

No sunshine in Malibu
On Oct. 11, an unknown person scratched a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu’s front and side doors at 1:50 p.m. on Park Avenue in Elwood.

Trespassing to pass the time
A 24-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested on Oct. 10 at 10:50 p.m. after police said he remained in a side yard on Leyden Street in Huntington Station where there was a no trespassing sign. He was charged with trespassing.

Jewelry jam
An unknown person entered a home on Kimber Court in East Northport at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 and stole jewelry.

Burglary spree busted
A 17-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested in Huntington on Oct. 10 at the 2nd Precinct and charged with multiple crimes, according to police. On May 6, cops said he unlawfully entered a home on 1st Avenue in Huntington Station and stole property. On Oct. 5, cops said he entered a home in Sioux Place in Huntington Station and stole jewelry, a gaming system and other items. On Oct. 9 he allegedly entered a house on E. 25 Street in Huntington Station and attempted to take property. He was charged with three accounts of second-degree burglary in a dwelling.

Not what the doctor ordered
An unknown person keyed the car door of a 2015 Nissan Altima on Oct. 11 at 2:00 p.m. at the Huntington Hospital parking lot on Park Avenue.

One woman is dead and another seriously injured after a car crashed into a tree on Thursday afternoon.

The Suffolk County Police Department said Grace Quinones, 20, was driving north in a Dodge Caravan on Randall Road — north of Whiskey Road, along the border of East Shoreham and Ridge — at about 1:15 p.m. She lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree.

Her passenger, 38-year-old Deidre Bifulco, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Quinones was in critical condition at Stony Brook University Hospital.

According to addresses provided by police, Quinones and Bifulco are neighbors on Sally Lane in Ridge.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 7th Squad are investigating the single-car crash and police impounded the Dodge for a safety check.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call detectives at 631-852-8752.