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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

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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.

Uniqua holds her two new teddy bears tightly. She received the gifts from members of Mount Sinai's Students Against Destructive Decisions club. Photo by Kevin Redding

Just one night at Mount Sinai High School helped to make the season bright for local families in need.

For Christmas, all 6-year-old Uniqua really wanted was an Elf on the Shelf toy, a gift her mom struggled to afford. But Moniqua McGee, who lives with her daughter at Concern for Independent Living in Medford, knew she had nothing to worry about. She had Mount Sinai high schoolers to rely on.

A family from Concern for Independent Living receive gifts from Mount Sinai children through Hauppuage-based nonprofit Christmas Magic. Photo by Kevin Redding

On Dec. 6, during the Students Against Destructive Decisions club’s Christmas Magic dinner in the high school’s cafeteria, a beaming Uniqua not only got her wish, but two new teddy bears and holiday-themed face paint, too. She even met Santa Claus and Rudolph.

“I’m grateful they’re doing this for the families and putting smiles on the kid’s faces,” said Moniqua McGee, who has been coming to the event the past five years. “It works every time.”

The McGees were just one of dozens of families from the Medford nonprofit enjoying the holiday spirit in the room. An 18-year partnership between the Hauppauge-based organization Christmas Magic and the SADD club, the Christmas soiree served as the ultimate payoff of a shopping spree by the students Dec. 1. Under the supervision of SADD club advisors John Wilson and John McHugh, they spent that day rushing around Smith Haven Mall and Walmart to buy gifts for more than 60 boys and girls from Concern for Independent Living, which provides housing and employment help for struggling families, based on wish lists they wrote to Santa. The school district also raised $8,000 for Christmas Magic.

Members of Mount Sinai’s Students Against Destructive Decisions club watch children open up presents. Photo by Kevin Redding

“I’m happy and proud to be part of a program and district that not only encourages, but fosters this type of activity,” McHugh said. “The students involved display the best we have to offer … we have grown our program every year and that makes me feel great.”

With all the gifts wrapped and labeled, every kid left the dinner with at least three presents given to them by Santa, played by rosy red cheeked wrestling icon Mick Foley, who also posed for pictures. Christmas tunes blared through the cafeteria’s speakers as families ate chicken, pasta and desserts, and SADD club members — some dressed up in costume — went around the room with little gift bags of extra toys for attendees. SADD club members also played games and watched “Elf” with the kids.

“It’s so nice to be able to see all the kids here and see them get the gifts we got for them,” said Allie Garrant, an 11th grader and SADD club member, who picked up a lacrosse stick and Rubik’s Cube for a 13-year-old boy. “Just seeing their faces — it’s a whole different thing. It’s like, ‘Wow, these are real people I’m helping’ and you get to see firsthand the difference you’re making.”

Renato Lugo, whose four children were ecstatic over their gifts, expressed his gratitude to those involved in the event.

Students dressed up to entertain children during a Christmas Magic dinner at Mount Sinai High School. Photo by Kevin Redding

“It’s a beautiful thing to have organizations like these that help out and take care of people in need,” said Lugo, who has been aided by Concern for Independent Living for six years. “The students bring joy and cheer and they make my kids very happy.”

His 12-year-old daughter, Elena, was ecstatic receiving a long-sleeve Unicorn pajama shirt from Santa.

“I think it’s really amazing I got the present I wanted,” Elena said. “And the food is amazing and everyone’s so happy. I love SADD. They’re really like another Santa.”

Kim Dellamura, who’s been at the nonprofit agency for six months, said the event allowed her 4-year-old daughter MacKenzie to have a Christmas.

“It feels good because I don’t know how much I would’ve been able to give her this year,” Dellamura said. “So this really helps out a lot. She loves it.”

For Lawrence Aurigemma, the event is a perfect reflection of what this time of year means.

“This season is all about peace and generosity,” said Aurigemma, a military veteran whose 14-year-old son received Pokemon cards. “These students are just fantastic. They go out of their way to help out the less fortunate people here. It’s a wonderful thing. They knew exactly what to get my son … he’s so happy.”

Smithtown resident and former WWE wrestler Mick Foley dishes out gifts to children. Photo by Kevin Redding

Also at the event was Christmas Magic founder Charlie Russo and representatives of Concern for Independent Living, including case managers Ella Cantave and Julio Villarman, who were excited to see their clients enjoying the holidays.

“It’s a very special day for them,” Cantave said. “It took a lot of effort to make it happen and to make it nice for them.”

As everybody in the room sang “Jingle Bells,” Santa arrived and joined in. Each kid’s name was called out to sit down with the big man in the red suit.

Foley, who has been a volunteer with Christmas Magic since 2000 and officially assumed the role of Santa for the organization in 2014, said he looks forward to the event all year round.

“It’s a great organization — they spread joy and happiness to so many of the less fortunate in the community, and it’s an honor to wear the red suit and represent Christmas Magic,” Foley said before turning his attention to the SADD club. “I make it a point to thank all of them because I think it’s wonderful that they get involved in volunteer work at a young age. They do a great job and it’s really easy for me to show up and get a lot of the credit from children, but the truth is, without them, absolutely none of this is possible.”

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