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Miller Place

Keith Frank, left with school board president, Mike Unger, right, finds out he won a seat on the Miller Place school board. Photo by Erika Karp

Miller Place residents came out in support of the district’s proposed nearly $70 million budget on Tuesday with 79 percent of voters casting a “yes” ballot.

The approved budget, which stays within the district’s tax levy increase cap of 2.85 percent, maintains programs and adds a few new instructional programs, support services and extracurricular activities. Out of the 1,226 ballot papers lodged, 964 were in the affirmative.

In addition, residents approved a proposition for library services and elected Keith Frank, 50, as their new school board trustee.

“I think that almost 80 percent is certainly a record in the district for the budget and in a light voter turnout, it means even more,” school board president, Mike Unger, said.

Frank, an attorney and father of three kids, waited anxiously for the results to be announced on Tuesday evening. He received 781 votes, while opponent Mike Manspeizer, 55, fell short with 287 votes. After finding out he won, Frank smiled and was congratulated by other board members. He said it felt great to be elected.

“I just want to thank everyone for coming out and voting,” Frank said. “I’m just looking forward to the next three years.”

The newcomer will take Unger’s seat as the board president did not seek re-election for a third term. In an email, Unger said he feels the board is in great shape and it’s a good time to hand things off. Frank will assume his school board role on July 1.

“I am pleased with Keith Frank as the new trustee,” Unger said. “Both candidates had valuable experience to offer. Keith will be a great addition who will work very well with the existing board, the administration and the community.”

Manspeizer said he will continue to serve and be involved in the community.

“I am disappointed in the outcome, but I have a great deal of respect for Keith and I know he’ll do a great job,” he said.

Miller Place Superintendent Marianne Higuera said she was pleased the budget passed.

“We’re very appreciative of the community’s support of our programs and staff, and we look forward to another successful year,” she said.

Cold Spring Harbor
Voters passed a $64 million budget, 335 votes to 130. Proposition 2, to spend capital reserve money on various projects, passed 318 to 107. Proposition 3, to establish a new capital reserve fund, passed 314 to 114. Board President Anthony Paolano and Trustee Ingrid Wright ran unopposed for re-election and received 366 and 359 votes, respectively.

Commack
Community members passed Commack’s $185 million budget 1,927 to 575.

Comsewogue
The district’s $85.2 million budget passed, 1,024 to 204. Proposition 2, to add bus service for 38 John F. Kennedy Middle School students, passed 1,096 to 134. Three people ran unopposed for board seats and were elected, board President John Swenning, Trustee Rick Rennard and newcomer Louise Melious.

Harborfields
An $80.5 million budget passed with 82.5 percent voter support. Voters also supported a proposition on the ballot to establish a new capital reserve fund, with 79.4 percent in favor. Incumbents Donald Mastroianni and board President Dr. Thomas McDonagh were returned to the board, and voters elected newcomer Suzie Lustig. Candidates Chris Kelly and Colleen Rappa fell short.

Hauppauge
Voters passed the district’s proposed budget, 1,458 to 442. Michael Buscarino and Stacey Weisberg were elected to the board with 1,098 and 1,122 votes, respectively. Candidate Susan Hodosky fell short, with just 984 votes.

Huntington
A $120.3 million budget passed, 1,228 votes to 301. Proposition 2, to spend just over $1 million in capital reserve monies to pay for state-approved projects, passed 1,252 votes to 251. Four people ran unopposed for re-election or election: board President Emily Rogan got 1,193 votes, board members Xavier Palacios and Tom DiGiacomo received 1,139 votes and 1,185 votes, respectively, and newcomer Christine Biernacki garnered 1,189 votes. Rogan, Biernacki and DiGiacomo won three-year terms. As the lowest vote-getter, Palacios will serve the remaining two years on a term of a vacated seat.

Kings Park
Voters passed an $84.7 million budget, 2,065 to 577. A second proposition on the ballot, regarding a school bus purchase, passed 1,998 to 542. A third proposition, regarding a capital project to replace the high school roof, passed 2,087 to 455. Incumbent Diane Nally was re-elected to the board with 1,821 votes, while newcomer Kevin Johnston was elected with 1,886 votes. Incumbent Charlie Leo fell short in his re-election bid, garnering 1,108 votes.

Middle Country
Middle Country’s $236 million budget passed, with 1,863 votes in favor and 579 against. All three school board incumbents — President Karen Lessler and Trustees Jim Macomber and Arlene Barresi — were running unopposed and were re-elected to their seats.

Miller Place
Newcomer Keith Frank won a seat on the school board, edging out candidate Michael Manspeizer, 781 to 287.
“I’m just looking forward to the next three years,” Frank said. “I have big shoes to step into.”
Residents also passed the district’s $70 million budget, with 964 voting in favor and 262 voting against.
Board President Michael Unger said voter turnout was low “as a result of a good budget and good candidates.”

Mount Sinai
Voters approved the $56.7 million budget with 1,241 in favor and 316 against. Newcomer Michael Riggio was elected to the board with 993 votes, followed by incumbent Lynn Capobiano, who garnered 678 for re-election to a second term. John DeBlasio and Joanne Rentz missed election, receiving 624 and 321 votes, respectively.

Northport-East Northport
The $159.6 million budget passed, 3,281 to 788. Proposition 2, to spend $1.2 million in capital reserves, passed 3,561 to 504. Incumbent David Badanes, former trustee Tammie Topel and newcomer David Stein were elected to the board, with 2,446 votes for Badanes, 2,130 for Topel and 2,548 for Stein. Incumbent Stephen Waldenburg Jr. fell short of re-election, with 1,290 votes. Newcomers Peter Mainetti, Josh Muno and Michael Brunone missed the mark as well, with Mainetti garnering 1,018 votes, Muno receiving 542 votes and Brunone getting 1,039 votes.

Port Jefferson
Voters passed a $42.4 million budget, 491 to 130. Proposition 2, to create a new capital reserve fund that would help replace roofs throughout the district, passed with 467 votes in favor and 122 against.
Trustee Vincent Ruggiero was re-elected to the board with 468 votes. Write-in candidates Tracy Zamek, a newcomer, and Trustee Mark Doyle were elected with 246 and 178 votes, respectively. There were a number of other community residents who received write-in votes, including former board member Dennis Kahn, who garnered 58 votes.

Rocky Point
The $78.7 million budget passed with 788 votes in favor and 237 against. Board Vice President Scott Reh was re-elected to a third term, with 679 votes. Newcomer Ed Casswell secured the other available seat with 588 votes. Candidate Donna McCauley missed the mark, with only 452 votes.

Shoreham-Wading River
The school budget passed, 910 to 323. Michael Fucito and Robert Rose were re-elected to the school board, with 902 and 863 votes, respectively.

Smithtown
Smithtown’s $229.5 million budget passed, 2,582 to 762. School board President Christopher Alcure, who ran unopposed, was re-elected with 2,295 votes, while newcomer Jeremy Thode was elected with 2,144 votes. MaryRose Rafferty lost her bid, garnering just 860 votes. A second proposition on the ballot, related to capital reserves, passed 2,507 to 715.

Three Village
Voters passed a $188 million budget, 2,401 to 723. Incumbents William F. Connors, Jr. and Deanna Bavlnka were re-elected, with 2,200 and 2,052 votes, respectively. Challenger Jeffrey Mischler fell short, garnering only 1,095 votes.

Port Jefferson Free Library board President Laura Hill Timpanaro and Library Director Robert Goykin present the findings of the library’s strategic plan to more than 40 community leaders on Wednesday. Photo from Robert Goykin

Port Jefferson Free Library is checking out architects as it moves toward expanding its facilities, officials announced on Wednesday at a breakfast meeting with community members.

At the meeting, library staffers updated a few dozen neighborhood leaders on the library’s strategic plan, which its board of trustees recently finalized and includes ideas of how the institution will serve residents in the future. Those plans involve branching out to two properties adjacent to its central building at the corner of Thompson and East Main streets: a residence on Thompson that it has acquired and a business on East Main that it is in the process of acquiring. The goal of expansion is to bring the Teen Center, which is now housed in a separate building across East Main, into the main building.

And an “inadequacy of library meeting space, in addition to parking challenges, were prime considerations,” library board President Laura Hill Timpanaro said in a statement.

The library is looking to hire an architectural firm that will consider the area’s historical character while designing the potential expansion, Library Director Robert Goykin said in a phone interview Thursday. “The library board is extremely committed to preserving the historic streetscape and the historic nature of this corner of the town.”

Once the board hires an architect, there will be public meetings to get community feedback and suggestions during the design process.

“We want to keep the public informed and aware every step of the way,” Goykin said.

According to a press release from the library, the adjacent property on East Main Street, which currently houses Scented Cottage Garden, measures 7,750 square feet.

Marge McCuen and Mary Lee, who co-own the property with their husbands, John McCuen and Roger Lee, said while the sale of the property is not final, the business will be closing on May 31.

The library director said the property would help the space-strapped library meet village parking requirements while satisfying the library’s needs.

Goykin said the meeting Wednesday at the library was positive, as the community offered supportive comments “and really showed how much the public appreciates the library here in Port Jeff.” He said it’s a good sign for the future, in terms of receiving community input on the design of the facility expansion.

“To see this diverse group of people seemingly in agreement … is a good start.”

This version corrects information about the sale of the Scented Cottage Garden property.

Two remain in school board race

The two remaining candidates running for one open seat on the Miller Place Board of Education opened up to the community Tuesday night during the district’s meet the candidate night.

Keith Frank photo by Barbara Donlon
Keith Frank photo by Barbara Donlon

Mike Manspeizer, 55, a former board member and Keith Frank, 50, an attorney running for the first time, answered questions from roughly 20 people in the audience during the 45-minute event.

Tom Brischler, a retired high school English teacher, announced he was withdrawing from the race on Tuesday.

Manspeizer, 55, a program manager for Cisco Systems, said board members do a lot and he wants to be there to review sensitive issues, like those discussed in executive session.

“I want to make sure we’re thoughtful about the things that we do so when personnel issues come up, we want to make sure we address that,” he said.

Frank said he is running because he’s seen how well the district has met the needs of his three children and he would like to be part of helping others as well.

“I think the main reason I wanted to run for the board this year is because I live it everyday [with his own children],” Frank said.

Residents at the meeting wanted to know what the two candidates would bring to the board. Both men felt their careers would assist them.

Mike Manspeizer photo by Barbara Donlon
Mike Manspeizer photo by Barbara Donlon

“What I will bring to the board is my 25 years experience working with businesses, working with management, working with unions, working as a labor and employment attorney, working to make everybody work together,” Frank said.

Manspeizer highlighted the contractual work he does with his company and the technology knowledge he could bring to the board. Manspeizer said his business in the tech world has given him a somewhat worldly background.

“I work with people from all over the world, different cultures,” Manspeizer said.

When a question on education reform was asked, things got tense, as Manspeizer stopped mid sentence to address an audience member who may have rolled their eyes.

“Like I said before, things are changing the world is changing. Education may stay the way it is for a while, but forces will break it eventually. So you have to … ,” Manspeizer said with a slight pause. “Yeah I mean you can come up here and you know talk if you want to if you want to roll your eyes that’s fine.”

Manspeizer went on to finish his statement. He said that because the district is a state institution, they must adhere to the law.

Frank expressed similar sentiments.

“What it really does come down to is we are guided by the law, we do have to follow the law,” Frank said. “However parents can feel the way they want to feel [and] parents can do what they feel is necessary for their child.”

In their closing remarks, the candidates thanked the community for coming out to the event and encouraged residents to come out more often.

The school board election and budget vote will be held on Tuesday, May 19 at North Country Road Middle School from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Construction could start in September

Stephen Normandin, of The RBA Group, answers residents’ questions at the Sound Beach Civic Association meeting on Monday. Photo by Erika Karp

Echo Avenue in Sound Beach is getting a makeover.

Brookhaven Town officials presented plans for a revitalization project along the busy street at the Sound Beach Civic Association meeting on Monday. Handicap-accessible sidewalks, new curbs, decorative lighting and ornamental trees are set to line the approximate .3-mile stretch between New York Avenue and North Country Road in the near future, as leaders seek to beautify and make the area safer for pedestrians.

Steve Tricarico, deputy highway superintendent, said the project will “bring that downtown feel like you may have seen the highway department do in Rocky Point.”

Late last year, the department completed a similar project along Broadway in Rocky Point.

In 2013, the town adopted a four-phase plan to revitalize Echo Avenue and received a Community Development Block Grant for the first phase. Last year, officials applied for more CDBG funding, but found out the hamlet no longer qualified for the grant.

Tricarico said the highway department went out to bid for new contracts and was able to get a better deal and was therefore able to match the 2013 grant and fund the project in its entirety — a total cost of about $240,000.

According to Stephen Normandin, director of design and planning for The RBA Group, the engineering group selected to oversee the project, starting at the intersection of New York Avenue, a four-foot-wide sidewalk will be constructed on the east side of Echo Avenue that connects all the way up to Handy Pantry. Then, a crosswalk will be created, by Devon Road and Caramia Pizzeria, that crosses over Echo Avenue and links up to another sidewalk on the west side of the street, ending at North Country Road. In addition, the triangle by Handy Pantry, which houses the civic’s “Welcome to Sound Beach” sign, will be extended in an attempt to slow traffic at the Shinnecock Drive and Echo Avenue intersection.

Normandin said the project does come with its challenges, as there are hills and existing guardrails and trees, and limited space within the public right-of-way.

“We are sensitive to the [private] properties,” he added.

If all goes according to plan, the project will commence in late August or early September and wrap up before the winter season. The road will be paved once the sidewalk and concrete work is complete.

A few residents, including Bea Ruberto, civic president and the driving force behind the project, requested some additional lighting by New York Avenue and Mesquite Tex Mex Grill. Currently, the plans don’t include new sidewalks and lighting on that side of Echo, but Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point) said her office would look in to it. However, an easement agreement between the town and property owner might be needed, which could delay the project.

“None of this is set in stone; the dollar amount kind of is, so wherever we can … cut from one area and add to another, we are certainly willing to do that,” Bonner said.

Two candidates remain

Tom Brischler. Photo from Brischler

Just one week before the election, a Miller Place school board candidate has withdrawn his petition to run for the one open seat on the board.

Tom Brischler withdrew his petition on Tuesday, according to a district spokeswoman. In a phone interview, Brischler said he pulled out of the race for personal reasons. The news comes just hours before a meet the candidate night at the high school.

According to a press release from the district, petitions to run can still be filed until 5 p.m. on Tuesday and are available at the district office, 7 Memorial Drive, Miller Place.

Last month, Brischler, a retired high school English teacher, said he decided to run for the board because he felt public education was in jeopardy. He said he hoped to bring shared decision making come back to the Miller Place school district.

Two candidates — Michael Manspeizer and Keith J. Frank — remain. Manspeizer, a program manager for Cisco Systems, is a former school board member and 10-year Miller Place resident. Frank is an attorney and is running for the first time

The election and 2015-16 budget vote will take place on May 19 at North Country Road Middle School.

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Amanda Stein’s refurbished home décor shop opens

Amanda Stein, owner of reLove in Miller Place. Photo from Amanda Stein

By Julianne Cuba

Miller Place is getting some extra love this spring with the opening of Long Island native Amanda Stein’s reLove shop and paint boutique.

The reLove shop in Miller Place. Photo from Amanda Stein
The reLove shop in Miller Place. Photo from Amanda Stein

The store, located at 87 North Country Road in Miller Place, held its grand opening on April 11 and features Stein’s own refurbished and painted furniture, along with home décor and homemade jewelry from other local artists, as well as CeCe Caldwell’s Paints, an eco-friendly line of natural chalk and clay paints.

Miller Place residents may recognize Stein’s work from Facebook, as the wife and mother, started posting pictures of her original furniture and custom-painted signs on the social media site about a year ago.

Stein, who has lived in Miller Place for about a year and a half, said her love of interior design stems from her grandmother, who collected antiques, and that she began painting furniture after she moved out of her parents’ house.

After leaving her career in real estate to look after her two children — Ella, 5, and Adam Jr., 4 — Stein said she wanted to take her passion and turn it into a business.

“It was one year ago that I started reLove from my house as a stay at home mom,” she said. “I always painted furniture for years and years, and all my friends kept telling me I should sell it. So I started with a Facebook page. It was literally overnight [that] it took off.”

Stein said she started the page with just seven pieces of furniture, but that number quickly grew as she began marketing all over social media.

Inside reLove in Miller Place. Photo from Amanda Stein
Inside reLove in Miller Place. Photo from Amanda Stein

Within a few months, Stein said she was getting booked with custom jobs and selling out of her furniture and signs.

“I did all of this from my two-car garage,” she added in an email.

reLove’s grand opening was jam-packed the whole weekend, Stein said. The store was supposed to close at 7 p.m., but people were still coming in until after 7:30 p.m.

“The opening was absolutely amazing,” she said.

For its opening weekend, reLove offered free paint samples to everyone who came in and a $50 dollar raffle for the store.

“A couple of people took the [paint] samples home and they immediately painted a piece of furniture with it and sent me pictures of the furniture they painted, which was very cool,” Stein said.

A piece of custom painted furniture for sale at the reLove shop in Miller Place. Photo from Amanda Stein
A piece of custom painted furniture for sale at the reLove shop in Miller Place. Photo from Amanda Stein

Dolores Spyowicz, of Country Charm in NYC, who has items for sale at the shop, said she met Stein through a painting group on Facebook and the two became good friends. She said reLove’s owner is a hard worker with a “beautiful vision.”

“I thought that being in a store in such a wonderful, beautiful neighborhood, my pieces would get more attention, and I’d be helping her out as well,” Spyowicz said. “I just thought it would be a wonderful opportunity.”

In addition to being a “one-stop-shop” for customers who paint and refurnish furniture, Stein said reLove will host several workshops — from painting basics to parent and child craft nights to bride nights out.

Stein also said reLove will maintain an eco-friendly and socially responsible business.

“It’s all eco-friendly,” she said. “The paint line that I sell, there are absolutely no chemicals in the paint.”

Stein said she’s thrilled to be following her dream as a business owner in beautiful and historic Miller Place.

“It’s been a wonderful thing because I’ve had a lot of positive feedback.”

Unger makes a statement regarding pending lawsuit and superintendent's action

Miller Place school board President Mike Unger praised the district’s superintendent and administration for how they handled the situation. Photo by Barbara Donlon

Miller Place school board President Mike Unger broke his silence four weeks after a student announced he would sue the school for allegedly violating his first amendment rights.

At the school board meeting on April 29, Unger took a minute to comment on the situation, which stemmed from the high school’s variety show back in March. During the show, Kyle Vetrano, senior class president, appeared in a skit poking fun at the high school’s bathroom policy, which allows one student at a time to use the facilities in an effort to combat drug use and sales. According to the senior, he improvised the line that later got him into trouble.

“Is this what our superintendent gets paid all that money for? To write bathroom policy,” Vetrano said in the act.

Vetrano was not allowed to participate in the next performance and was banned from school grounds during the second show, as the line was not included in the pre-approved script.

On April 2, the Vetrano family, his lawyer John Ray, of Miller Place-based Ray, Mitev and Associates, students and community members held a rally in support of Vetrano outside the high school and announced their plan to sue. The crowd also marched toward the district office where Ray and his associate served the district with a notice of claim, which must be filed before a municipality or municipal agency — like a school district — can be sued, according to state law.

While Superintendent Marianne Higuera sent out a letter to residents that addressed the incident, the school board has stayed mum.

At the April 29 meeting, Unger described the family as “seekers of 15 minutes of fame” and described Higuera as “the rock of this district.” He said he admired her strength and praised her and the rest of the high school administration for how they handled the situation.

“While I’m not supposed to comment on recent litigious events, I want to state that I support the actions of our high school administration and Dr. Higuera 100 percent,” Unger said to a round of applause from attendees.

The school district has 90 days after receiving the claim to conduct a 50-h hearing, which is similar to a deposition. After 30 days, the complainant has a right to proceed with the lawsuit.

As of Monday, the district had yet to request the hearing Ray said in a phone interview, adding that while he could proceed with the suit, he plans on waiting until the 90-day deadline.

Ray said that while the school can specify a wrong doing on Vetrano’s part all they want, there isn’t one. He said Vetrano is an American citizen and has a right to free speech.

“It’s an arbitrary rule by the district,” Ray said regarding the bathroom policy. “That person [Vetrano] has a duty, a high duty, to take the district to court and right the wrong.”

Miller Place's Mike Bodnar maintains possession with a longstick midfielder pressuring to try and force a turnover. Photo by Desirée Keegan

The Panthers pounced early, and despite letting their advantage slip away, the Miller Place boys’ lacrosse team came away with a 7-4 win over Westhampton Beach Monday to improve to 11-2 in League III.

“Westhampton came here and they always play us tough,” Miller Place head coach Keith Lizzi said. “They come in, they run a tough defense and they had us thinking and trying to do different things every possession, but we were able to score in spurts and pull away at the end.”

Miller Place's Jake Buonaiuto makes his way past a swarm of Westhampton players. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Miller Place’s Jake Buonaiuto makes his way past a swarm of Westhampton players. Photo by Desirée Keegan

The first spurt came in the opening minutes of the first quarter. Miller Place senior midfielder and co-captain Brendan Callahan stuffed the ball in, less than a minute into the game, off an assist from senior midfielder and co-captain Thomas Liantonio. Just 30 seconds later, the team did it again. This time, sophomore midfielder Kevin Gersbeck scored off an assist from junior attack Chris Nielsen.

Next, it was senior attack and co-captain Jake Buonaiuto’s turn, when he scored unassisted for an early 3-0 lead.

Miller Place’s defense drove Westhampton to take difficult shots as the Panthers surrounded their opponents and forced turnovers, but with 5:56 left in the quarter, Westhampton put its first point on the board.

Liantonio scored a goal of his own next, after Buonaiuto picked up an offensive rebound and passed it out and across the field to the senior midfielder, who whipped it in for the 4-1 advantage to end the first 12 minutes of play.

“The quick goals were definitely a good momentum booster, but we didn’t really take it and run with it,” Liantonio said. “We stalled out.”

Forced turnovers and saves by Westhampton’s goalkeeper, who made 13 during the match, kept Miller Place scoreless in the second, while the Hurricanes tacked on one goal to cut the Panthers’ lead to 4-2, heading into the halftime break.

“In the opening minutes we came out hot and then we kind of settled in,” Lizzi said. “Their defense settled in I think, too, and it was just trying to figure each other out offensively and defensively.”

Westhampton was able to get the ball rolling, and in the opening minutes of the third stanza, the team scored two quick goals to tie the game, 4-4.

Kevin Gersbeck pulls back to fire the ball across the field for Miller Place. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Kevin Gersbeck pulls back to fire the ball across the field for Miller Place. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Miller Place won faceoffs and scooped up some ground balls, but bad passes that bounced out of bounds helped the Hurricanes regain possession.

“We got a little complacent,” Buonaiuto said. “We thought we could just score, score, score, but obviously, that didn’t happen. We just needed to relax, find and get back into our rhythm, and find our way, which we did.”

With 5:45 left in the third, Buonaiuto, from behind the cage, passed the ball to Gersbeck in front, whose shot was saved by the goalkeeper, but bounced back behind the net. Buonaiuto scooped it up and again passed it in front to Gersbeck, whose shot hit its mark this time, for a 5-4 advantage.

Miller Place made a few big saves to preserve the lead heading into the fourth, and the Panthers held the Hurricanes scoreless, while Buonaiuto and Liantonio connected for another goal. This time, Liantonio assisted after scooping up a ground ball in the Panthers’ zone and taking it all the way up the field before passing to Buonaiuto, who rocketed his shot into the back of the cage. With 2:51 left to play, Nielsen connected with Gersbeck for the final score of the game, and Gersbeck’s hat trick goal.

Junior goalkeeper Jake Bowrosen finished with seven saves, while classmate Joe Kessler made five.

“Defensively, we really had a good game I thought,” Lizzi said. “Both goalies played excellent and [senior] Christian Stalter played great at the faceoff ‘X.’”

With two regular-season matchups left before the playoffs, the Panthers will first travel to Harborfields Friday at 4:45 p.m. and follow by hosting Elwood-John Glenn on Tuesday, May 12, at 4:30 p.m. Miller Place is looking to take wins and momentum into the postseason.

“Our fundamentals weren’t there — passing and catching, we didn’t clear the ball well, didn’t catch, threw the ball out of bounds a lot and had a lot of turnovers today,” Liantonio said. “Every guy here brings something different to the team. We need to play a full game, cut down the turnovers and try to find a way to win.”

A 16-year-old Miller Place resident was killed after being struck by a car on Route 25A on Tuesday night.

John Luke, a junior at Miller Place High School, was crossing the four-lane highway at the intersection of Route 25A and Miller Place Road when he was hit by a 2015 Chevrolet SUV. The driver, a 35-year-old Farmingville man, was traveling westbound on Route 25A at 11:30 p.m. when the accident occurred.

Luke was transported to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, where he was pronounced dead. The driver was transported to St. Charles Hospital, also in Port Jefferson, where he was treated for trauma and released.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check and Suffolk County Police 6th Precinct detectives continue to investigate the incident. Detectives are asking anyone with information about the crash to call the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652.

On Wednesday morning, district Superintendent Marianne Higuera, released a statement.

“We are deeply saddened over the loss of a student member of the Miller Place High School Junior Class in a tragic accident Tuesday evening,” she said. “We extend our deepest condolences to the student’s family and friends during this heartbreaking time for the Miller Place community.”

The district also said it is providing resources including grief counselors and support groups for students and staff.

A member of Luke’s family could not be reached for comment.

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