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Hauppauge

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The space in Smithtown where Chick-fil-A wants to establish a new branch. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

Chick-fil-A is finally coming to Hauppauge, though the last store operating where the corporate company intends to build doesn’t see much of a reason to celebrate.

“We knew it was going to happen, but of course it’s very sad because we’ve been there for over 30 years,” said Donna Ahr, matriarch of the family-run Bagel Gallery Inc., locally known as Hot Bagels in Hauppauge and Smithtown.

The bagel shop is the last store that remains open in the doomed shopping plaza.

We knew it was going to happen, but of course it’s very sad because we’ve been there for over 30 years.”

— Donna Ahr

The Town of Smithtown town council conditionally approved the site plan for the restaurant chain to demolish the existing 15,743-square-foot  shopping center at the corner of Route 347 and Route 111 in Hauppauge to make room for a 4,650-square-foot counter-service restaurant.

The round-the-clock open bagel shop has endured in that location since 1980, owned and operated by the Ahr family since 1985. In 2016, local residents got wind that Chick-fil-A was intending to tear down the shopping center where Hot Bagels was located to put in one of its restaurants. In the months that followed, close to 5,000 people signed a Change.org petition to try and keep Hot Bagels around. Though the fast-food chain won its petition for a zoning change two years ago to create a drive-thru, the restaurant’s site plans were only approved this month.

“I got a year and half more out of it than I originally thought I would, so God is good,” Ahr said.

The location houses two shopping centers, both of which are independently owned. Those stores in the building directly opposite the impending Chick-fil-A fear what could happen once construction begins.

It’s going to kill my business, or at least hurt my business with all the construction going on.”

— Tony Barbato

“It’s going to kill my business, or at least hurt my business with all the construction going on,” said Tony Barbato, the owner of Ciro’s Pizza located at 550 Route 347. “I think the chicken shop coming in is the stupidest thing ever. Everybody in that shopping center was pretty successful, but then they threw everybody out so they could send more money to [a national corporation] instead of keeping it local.”

In February 2018, the Ahr family opened up a second location along Hauppauge Road in Smithtown, a little less than two miles from their  original storefront. Even though Ahr and her family appreciate that many of their loyal customers will still be sticking around, their old location is where the family holds many of their fondest memories.

“It will be a very sad thing when the store goes because as much as people love the new location its still not the store that we all grew up in; my customers, me, my kids, my customers kids,” she said.

The approved Chick-fil-A site plans call for a reconfiguration of the parking lot surrounding both current shopping centers to allow for drive- thru access and additional spaces.

“It will be a very sad thing when the store goes because as much as people love the new location its still not the store that we all grew up in.” 

— Donna Ahr

Al Amato, founder of the Garden City-based Amato Law Group, PLLC, who is representing Chick-fil-A, attended the Sept. 20 meeting and said both locations would provide an adequate amount of parking individually, and that the new property would not block access to the other shopping center. Neither Amato nor a representative of Chick-fil-A were available to say when demolition on the old structure and construction of the new restaurant will begin.

In the meantime, Bagel Gallery is the last store in that shopping center that remains open. Ahr said she has been notified a tentative date to move out is Nov.10. She said she hopes to host a going away party for their old shop before they have to close for good.

“When I do have the exact date I want to do [something] special,” Ahr said. “They will tear it down in front of our eyes, and we’re all going to cry.”

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Smithtown May 25 to say goodbye to one of New York’s bravest who was taken too soon.

A funeral was held Friday for New York City Police officer John Martinez,  of Hauppauge, who was killed in an upstate car crash earlier this week. One lane of East Main Street was closed as a full police motorcade escorted Martinez’s body from Saint James Funeral Home to the funeral Mass celebrated at St. Patrick R.C. Church.

Martinez was killed in a single-car crash with fellow NYPD officer and Huntington Station resident Michael Colangelo, 31, a single-car crash May 20 in Shandaken. New York State police said Martinez was driving a 2018 Maserati southbound on Oliveria Road at approximately 11:23 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle, striking a large tree and flipping the car. The vehicle came to a stop on its roof.

Colangelo and Martinez were pronounced dead at the scene. A third passenger was transported to Albany Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, according to state police spokesman Trooper Steven Nevel.

Colangelo was a member of the NYPD’s canine unit who had married his sweetheart, Katherine Berger, earlier that day at the Full Moon Resort in the Hudson Valley. Martinez worked for the NYPD’s 84th Precinct’s detective squad.

The men had departed from Full Moon Resort, but their planned destination was not known, according to Nevel. He said the stretch of Oliveria Road is very rural, curves and has no street lighting. State police said based on skid marks left on the roadway that the vehicle was traveling well in excess of the posted 40 mph speed limit at the time of the accident.

“We don’t know the exact speed they were going at this time,” Nevel said. “We are looking to get that information from the black box of the Maserati.”

State police said they did not know if drugs or alcohol may have played a role in the deadly crash, but an investigation remains ongoing. An autopsy of the driver was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. May 21, but the
results would not be immediately available.

“We’ve interviewed several people at the wedding reception, and everyone was very distraught,” Nevel said.

Colangelo and his wife had planned to travel to Costa Rica for their honeymoon, according to their www.honeyfund.com site, which read, “We’ve lived together quite a while with all our pots and pans, and as we don’t need very many home goods we’ve got another plan. We know it’s not traditional, but it would be a lot of fun, to have some items on our wedding list that will help us catch some sun.”

Anyone who may have witnessed the accident or has information on the events of May 20 is encouraged to contact the state police’s Catskill barracks Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 518-622-8600.

 

Huntington Station resident Michael Colangelo in uniform. Photo from Facebook

Two off-duty New York City police officers from Long Island were killed in an upstate car crash Sunday.

New York City Police Department said in a press statement Huntington Station resident Michael Colangelo, 31, and Hauppauge resident John Martinez, 39, were killed in a single-car crash May 20. Colangelo was assigned to the NYPD’s canine unit while Martinez worked in the 84th Precinct’s detective squad.

New York state police responded to reports of a fatal motor vehicle accident on Oliveria Road in Shandaken, New York at approximately 11:23 p.m. May 20. Police determined that Martinez was driving a 2018 Maserati when the vehicle left the roadway and struck a large tree, before flipping and coming to a stop on it’s roof. Both Colangelo, a passenger, and Martinez, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. A third passenger was transported to Albany Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Watch TBR News Media for more to come on this breaking news story.

Correction: Updated 2:38 p.m. May 21:  The NYPD officer killed is John Martinez, not James as first reported. 

Police arrested Alhong Wang, Chunhua Cui, Guiyu Piao, and Hailian Shen were arrested for allegedly practicing massage without a license May 4.

Suffolk County police arrested four women for allegedly unlicensed massages during a raid at a massage parlor in Hauppauge.

In response to numerous community complaints, Suffolk County police 4th Precinct crime section officers and the Town of Islip fire marshal executed a search warrant May 4 at the Royal Spa, located on Motor Parkway, at approximately 4 p.m.

Hailian Shen, 49, of Flushing; Chunhua Cui, 50, of Flushing; Guiyu Piao 48, of Flushing; and Aihong Wang, 49, of Little Neck; were all arrested and charged with alleged unauthorized practice of a profession, a class E felony under the New York State Education law. In addition, Cui, Piao and Wang were also charged with prostitution.

During the investigation conducted by Islip fire marshals numerous violations and summons were issued.

Cui was held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail, which was not posted as of May 7. Wang was held in lieu of $7,500 cash bail, which also was not posted as of May 7.

The arrestees were arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip May 5. Details on Shen and Piao’s arrangements were not immediately available.

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Eagles pitcher Kevin Sambuco picks up third straight win

Hauppauge’s Ryan Mackey slides safely into second ahead of Kings Park Jayson Sanchez’s tag. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Hauppauge’s Kevin Sambuco is solid from the mound.

The starting pitcher gave up five hits and two walks and struck out four to lead Hauppauge past Kings Park, 7-2, at home April 9. The win was the third straight for Sambuco, who picked up “W”s in the first games of the Rocky Point and Westhampton Beach series. In an 11-2 victory over Westhampton to start the season, Sambuco tossed six strikeouts over five innings.

“I just make sure I feel like I’m ready to go no matter who I face 60 feet away — it’s really just confidence and trusting your pitches,” Sambuco said. “Solid defensive plays behind me in big moments helped us hold onto the lead and helped us get out cheap.”

Hauppauge (4-3) grabbed an early 4-0 lead off two runs in the first and scores in the second and third.

Sambuco said despite his win in game one against Rocky Point, losing the series gave the team motivation to make bigger moves against Kings Park.

“We played how we were supposed to play,” he said, adding he felt relaxed at the mound given the early advantage. “We scored one to two runs every inning.”

Kings Park (3-3) was held scoreless through three innings, but cut the lead in half in the fourth.

After a base hit by center fielder AJ Fenton, the senior stole second and was brought home with junior second baseman Jayson Sanchez’s sacrifice fly to right field. With one out, third basemen Joe Tardino worked the count and drew the walk looking to keep the Kingsmen alive. The junior took second base on a passed ball at home plate and senior left fielder Rich Kim ripped the ball through a gap to score Tardino, but that was as close as Kings Park would come.

“We’ll need more energy,” Sanchez said. “We were dead from the first inning. But it’s one game, we need to shake this off.”

Kings Park starting pitcher Derek Shreve found himself in trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning with runners in scoring position. He came close to loading the bases, but threw strikes over the plate when he had to. The junior pitched himself out of the jam, stranding both runners on base.

Kings Park threatened in the top of the fifth after catcher Garrett Bower led off with a single. With one out, junior first baseman Paul Gugliuzzo was patient at the plate and drew a walk that sent Sambuco into the dugout. But Hauppauge’s error-free defense sent the next two batters back where they came from to end the inning.

Kings Park helped Hauppauge extend its lead on a wild pitch in the bottom of the inning, and the Eagles tacked on two more insurance runs in the sixth.

Hauppauge’s Brett Boller and Ryan Mackey each had two hits, and Mackey and Jeremy Contreras each had two RBIs.

“We really can’t dwell on the past — we can’t do anything about this one — this game is over,” said Kim, adding he too thought his team lacked intensity. “We’ve got to work hard in practice tomorrow and focus on the next one.”

The two teams face off in Game 2 April 11 at Kings Park at 4 p.m. and wrap up the series April 12 at Hauppauge at 4 p.m.

Desirée Keegan contributed reporting

FIle photo

Suffolk County police 4th Squad detectives are investigating a motor vehicle crash that killed a man in Hauppauge March 24.

Ruben Ferreira was driving a 2007 Nissan Murano northbound on Joshuas Path when his vehicle crashed head-on into a 2013 Mercedes Benz van driven by Kenneth Cluen, who was traveling southbound on Joshuas Path at approximately 5:45 a.m.

Ferreira, 69, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the office of the Suffolk County medical examiner. Cluen, 31, of Farmingville was transported to Southside Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks.

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Suffolk County police 4th Squad detectives are investigating a two-vehicle crash that killed a woman in Hauppauge Feb. 18.

Patrick Chestnut was driving a 2014 Mazda eastbound on Nesconset Highway when he attempted to make a turn at Route 111 — his vehicle crashed head-on with a 2017 Honda traveling westbound on Nesconset Highway at approximately 12:15 p.m.

The driver of the Honda, Robert Sheehan, 73, of Lake Ronkonkoma, was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious injuries.  His wife, Lorraine Sheehan, 70, was transported to St. Catherine’s of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, where she was pronounced dead. Chestnut, 32, of Fairfield, Ohio, and his passenger Karma Spear, 31, of Bay Shore, were both transported to Stony Brook University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Cougars earn nod for first time in school history, Hauppauge also places second

The Centereach High School varsity cheerleading team placed second in nation at the Universal Cheerleaders Association’s National High School Cheerleading Championship. The Cougars placed in Division II Large Varsity finals for the first time in school history.

Hauppauge also placed second, in Division II Small Varsity. Mount Sinai finished fourth in Division II Large Varsity and Rocky Point tied for seventh place in Division II Medium Varsity.

Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island launches year-long study on maximizing park's potential

Terri Alessi-Miceli, president and CEO of the Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island. Photo by Sara-Megan Walsh.

The Hauppauge Industrial Park’s future may include  new apartments and recreational spaces as it looks to move into the 21st century.

The Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island announced Jan. 19 at its annual conference that it is launching an opportunity analysis study that will attempt to identify ways the park can maximize its growth and competitiveness — with a focus on keeping millennials on Long Island.

“We have the ability to really keep these kids on Long Island,” said Terri Alessi-Miceli, president and CEO of HIA-LI. “We see the Hauppauge Industrial Park as an opportunity to do that. We are looking to make better
connections to how they get jobs, where they get jobs and where they live.”

The year-long study will be led by the Regional Plan Association, a nonprofit
research, planning and advocacy firm dedicated to the tristate area’s business growth and sustainability, which will work with Stony Brook University and the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency. It aims to build off the results of an economic impact study of the park completed last year by SBU.

“The Hauppauge Industrial Park is the second largest industrial park in the country,
second to only Silicon Valley,” said Joe Campolo, board chairman of HIA-LI. “That’s an amazing statistic if you think of how much notoriety Silicon Valley gets and how little notoriety Hauppauge Industrial Park gets.”

Campolo said the two-year economic impact study, included research performed by three SBU graduate students, concluded that Hauppauge’s business economy lagged behind due to Silicon Valley’s partnership with Stanford University.

“A light bulb went off after that phase of the study to say, ‘How do we now collaborate with Stony Brook University directly?’” he said. “Because from a business owner’s perspective the No. 1 challenge is getting and keeping good talent here on Long
Island, and the No. 1 challenge Stony Brook has is making sure their graduates have good, solid jobs.”

The opportunity analysis will consist of surveying and gathering input from current Stony Brook students of what changes they would like to see made to the park to make it more attractive to live and work here,
according to Campolo, citing successful revitalization of Patchogue and Port Jefferson. In addition, there will be a series of meetings with current Hauppauge businesses to discuss what they need to grow.

“There’s no reason the HIA and the Hauppauge Industrial Park cannot also be a tremendous success in integrating where people work and where people live and where people recreate,” said Mitchell Pally, CEO of the Long Island Builders Institute.

One major factor the study will look at is the creation of multistory apartments in the industrial park in mixed-use buildings or along neighboring Motor Parkway. Alessi-Miceli said this is a new possibility since the Town of Smithtown created a zoning overlay district in 2015 that allows buildings along Motor Parkway up to 62 feet in height and along Northern State Parkway up to 50 feet.

Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R) said the overlay zoning is a “vital component to the success of the park” as the area saw a 2015 development spike after the zoning change, largely in recreational businesses and programs moving into the area.

If this new study confirms more zoning changes are needed for the park’s future growth, Wehrheim said he would welcome the HIA-LI to discuss it with the town.

File photo

Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad detectives are investigating an incident in which a woman was found dead in a parking lot in Hauppauge Dec. 23.

Paula Chavez-Quintanilla was found in the rear parking lot of 150 Motor Parkway at approximately 9:10 a.m. Chavez-Quintanilla, 65, of Brentwood, appeared to be a victim of violence and was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

Homicide Squad detectives ask anyone with information regarding this incident to call detectives at 631-852-6392, or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-8477 (TIPS). All calls will remain confidential.

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