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Change is in the air at Northport-East Northport schools.

School board Trustee Andrew Rapiejko, a five-year incumbent who served as vice president, was sworn in as the board’s president at its reorganizational meeting on Wednesday, following a nomination by President Julia Binger and an 8-1 vote. Trustee Regina Pisacani was the lone vote against the appointment.

Newly re-elected Trustee David Badanes was nominated and voted vice president of the board — but not without an unsuccessful attempt by Pisacani to nominate newcomer Trustee David Stein to the slot. Her motion to do so failed to gain support, and Badanes was unanimously appointed.

The July 1 meeting was the district’s first with new Superintendent Robert Banzer at the helm. Banzer, along with Stein, recently re-elected Trustee Tammie Topel, Badanes, District Clerk Beth Nystrom and new audit committee member Edward Kevorkian were all officially sworn in.

In his remarks to the community, Rapiejko called it a “critical year” for the district, and pointedly addressed what he called a divide on the board.

“The elephant in the room is this split on the board,” he said

While the board typically votes unanimously on most items, Rapiejko said in a Thursday phone interview that the community perceives a divide on the school board. Those differences among board members have given rise to tensions that began under the administration of former Superintendent Marylou McDermott, he said.

“The former superintendent is out of the equation now,” he said in his speech on Wednesday. “And I’m looking forward and to move on. I think we have to move forward and it’s critical we do that.”

He urged the school community to respect each other and said it is the board’s responsibility to set that tone of respect. In a phone interview, he said he was heartened that his appointment earned almost unanimous support, which hasn’t been the norm at reorganizational meetings in recent years past.

“We can disagree, we can have very strong opinions, but there’s a way to do it and a way to do it respectfully.”

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The Northport High School Class of 2015 graduated on Saturday, June 27. The bleachers were filled to capacity as speakers U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) congratulated the students and offered some advice.

Principal Irene McLaughlin, as well as other Northport High School staff members and members of the Northport-East Northport school board handed out diplomas and cheered on the students. Valedictorian Joseph Wetzel and Salutatorian Ana Chisholm gave poignant speeches, and the Northport High School Choir sang “Fields of Gold.”

1-800-Checks
An Oakland Avenue florist in Port Jefferson Station reported on June 20 that a box of business checks had been stolen from their office.

Ripped from the headlines
Between June 17 at 10 p.m. and 10:30 a.m. on June 18, a person rummaged through a 1999 Pontiac on Piedmont Drive in Port Jefferson Station and damaged the vehicle headliner.

Chest bump
Police responded to a road rage incident on Route 347 in Port Jefferson Station on June 17 at about 11:20 a.m. According to police, a woman reported that a man’s car bumped mirrors with her own vehicle and he began cursing at her. The woman also said the man bumped her with his chest after the two exited their vehicles.

Taking advantage
Between June 18 and 19, two Port Jefferson vehicles on Vantage Court were robbed. At some point between 6 p.m. on June 18 and 6 p.m. on June 19, someone stole a laptop, prescription glasses, headphones, a car charger and an iPad charger from a 2010 Ford. On June 19 between midnight and 9 a.m., someone stole a wallet with cash from inside a 2015 Subaru.

Impatient
A St. Charles Hospital employee reported that a patient at the Port Jefferson hospital had slapped her on June 18.

The gravity of the situation
A 22-year-old Port Jefferson Station man was arrested at the local Long Island Rail Road station on June 19 for fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Police said they were notified about a man with a knife and found a gravity knife in the man’s pocket.

Holey moly
Things were busy on Oakland Avenue in Miller Place last week, as police reported two separate incidents. On June 18, a resident reported that someone had made a small hole in their home’s front window and vinyl siding on June 18. Two days later, a person stole a GPS, a Blackberry and a bag from an unlocked 2007 Toyota.

Street smarts
Someone took a wallet containing cash and credit cards from a vehicle parked at Centereach High School on June 17.

Gassed up
A woman struck a man in the head and face at a Selden gas station on Middle Country Road on June 21 shortly after 4 p.m.

Buzzed
A man reported being assaulted by three males and one female at The Hive on Middle Country Road in Selden on June 17 at around 2:40 a.m. According to police, the man suffered from lacerations to his head and face and had a broken tooth. He was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment. No arrests have been made.

Suspended
A 24-year-old Selden man was arrested for third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle on June 20. According to police, the man was driving a 2008 Cadillac south on Dare Road in Selden when he was pulled over and police discovered his license had been suspended or revoked.

Found with drugs
Police arrested a 25-year-old Dix Hills man and charged him with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana. Police said the man was found with substances inside a 2002 Honda Civic at the corner of Straight Path and Burrs Lane in Dix Hills on June 19 at about 6:50 p.m.

Punched out
A 36-year-old Huntington Station man was arrested in Huntington on June 18 and charged with third-degree assault, with intent to cause physical injury. Police said on May 9 at about 12:10 a.m. he assaulted another man, punching him until he fell to the ground on New York Avenue. He continued to punch the person, who required treatment at Huntington Hospital. He was arrested at 6:09 p.m.

Parking lot DWI
A 77-year-old woman from East Northport was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 of 1 percent. Police said the woman struck another parked vehicle in a parking lot on Larkfield Road in East Northport on June 19 at 1:45 p.m. She was arrested at the scene.

Crash ‘n dash
Police arrested a 47-year-old woman from Centerport and charged her with leaving the scene of an accident where there was property damage. Police said the woman crashed a 2011 Toyota into a telephone pole in front of a home on Washington Avenue in Centerport on June 20 at 6:20 p.m., damaging the pole. She was arrested at the precinct at 1 p.m. on June 22.

Car keyed
A 2009 Honda Accord parked on Ridgecrest Street in Huntington was keyed sometime between 9:30 and 11 p.m. on June 22. There are no arrests.

Boat burglarized
Someone stole power tools out of a 2002 Catalina boat at Coneys Marina on New York Avenue in Huntington. The incident occurred sometime between 3:30 p.m. on June 21 and 10:30 a.m. on June 22.

Quad missing
A 2006 Suzuki quad was stolen from the yard of an Alsace Place home in East Northport on June 21 at 1 a.m. There are no arrests.

Jewelry stolen
Someone stole a bracelet from a home on Altessa Boulevard in Melville sometime between noon on May 23 and noon on June 13.

Punch it up
Police arrested a 21-year-old man from Deer Park at the 4th Precinct and charged him with third-degree assault with intent to cause physical injury. Police said the man punched somebody in the face several times on June 7 at 6 :05 p.m. on Portion Road in Ronkonkoma. He was arrested on June 19 at 9:54 a.m.

On a roll
A 44-year-old Nesconset woman was arrested at the 4th Precinct and charged with criminal mischief with intent to damage property. Police said she punctured the two rear passenger-side tires of a 2014 Kia Soul. She was arrested at about 7 p.m. on June 19, and police said the crime happened on Adrienne Lane in Hauppauge.

Phone jacking thwarted
Police arrested a 28-year-old Hauppauge man on June 19 and charged him with petit larceny. Police said he stole a cell phone from a Walmart on Veterans Memorial Highway in Islandia at 9:35 p.m. on June 7.

Rifle-happy
A 61-year-old Lake Ronkonkoma man was arrested at the 4th Precinct on June 18 at 8:30 a.m. and charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, possessing three or more firearms. Police said that the man possessed four semiautomatic rifles at his home on Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

What a tool
Someone stole tools from an unlocked shed in the driveway of a Ridge Road home in Smithtown, sometime between June 20 and June 21. The tools included a saw, compressor, chain saw and floor jack.

Cards swiped
Someone entered an unlocked 2015 Grand Cherokee in the driveway of a home on Poplar Drive in Smithtown and removed several different credit and debit cards. The incident occurred between June 16 at 1 a.m. and June 17 at 3:20 p.m.

Door damaged
An unknown person shattered a storm door by unknown means at a Nesconset home on Marion Street sometime between June 17 and June 20. There are no arrests.

Window woes
Someone stole a 2012 Jeep plastic rear window from Smith Haven Jeep on Route 25 in Nesconset. The incident occurred between June 16 and June 18.

Hateful graffiti
Someone reported graffiti of a swastika on the boys’ bathroom wall at Kings Park High School on June 19 at 8:45 a.m. There are no arrests.

Pesky kids
A man told police an unknown object was thrown at his vehicle while he was driving a 2001 Ford Explorer southbound on Ashland Drive in Kings Park. The object damaged the door window. Police said it’s possible youth were involved. The incident occurred at 10:55 p.m. on June 18.

License-less
Suffolk County Police arrested a 20-year-old man from Central Islip in Stony Brook on June 19 and charged him with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Police said the man was driving a 1994 Honda westbound on Nesconset Highway with a suspended or revoked license. He was arrested at 11:30 p.m. at the scene

Snatched on the down Loews
Someone took a camera bag containing a camera, a Nintendo gaming system, games and a backpack from a 2007 Hummer parked at AMC Loews Stony Brook 17. The incident happened on June 17 between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Gadgets gone
Someone broke the passenger window of a Toyota pickup truck parked in a Nesconset Highway parking lot in Stony Brook and took a backpack, iPad mini, a GoPro camera and accessories. The incident occurred sometime between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on June 17.

Phoning it in
Police said a man concealed merchandise in his pocket and walked out of Walmart on Nesconset Highway in East Setauket with a charger and a cellphone screen protector on June 19 at about 5:10 p.m.

I see stolen underpants
A woman stole undergarments after entering a fitting room at Kohl’s on Nesconset Highway in East Setauket on June 18 at about 2:20 p.m. There are no arrests.

Morizsan to be sentenced to 25 years

Suffolk County Police Officer Nicholas Guerrero is released from Stony Brook University Hospital and transported to a rehab center. File photo by Barbara Donlon

A Northport man pleaded guilty to assault and other charges after striking two Suffolk County police officers and critically injuring one of them before fleeing the scene in a stolen car last September.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said that Chad Morizsan waived his right to appeal and will be sentenced to 25 years in state prison. He pleaded guilty to charges of assault, assault on a police officer, leaving the scene of an accident, grand larceny and more, according to a statement from Bob Clifford, spokesman for Spota.

Chad Morizsan. Photo from SCPD
Chad Morizsan. Photo from SCPD

Daniel Guttmann, who is listed in online court records as Morizsan’s attorney, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment on Wednesday.

Morizsan was arrested in September of last year for running down two Suffolk County police officers following a traffic stop in Huntington. After speeding off, Morizsan stole gas, collided with another vehicle at the gas station and carjacked a 2005 Toyota Camry from an 87-year-old woman.

Nicholas Franzone, also a Northport resident, accompanied Morizsan in the car and is scheduled to appear in court before State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho on July 14.

Officers Nicholas Guerrero and Heriberto Lugo attempted to pull over Morizsan and Franzone on September 22 for traveling in a stolen Ford Explorer in Huntington on Partridge Lane. Morizsan sped off, striking both police officers as they approached the vehicle, critically injuring Guerrero.

Guerrero was hospitalized with a severe head injury at Stony Brook University Hospital for more than three weeks. He was monitored in the neurosurgical intensive care unit. He has been with the police department for four years. Lugo, his partner, was treated and released.

Police arrested Morizsan and Franzone at a department store in Central Islip several hours after the hit and run, where the pair attempted to purchase a television with a stolen credit card belonging to the woman whose car they had hijacked.

Morizsan was held at the time on bail of $3 million cash or a $30 million bond; Franzone was held on bail of $150,000 cash or $450,000 bond.

Morizsan was charged with third-degree grand larceny for allegedly stealing the Ford Explorer from the Commack area, petit larceny for stealing the gas, leaving the scene of incident involving property damage and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. On top of that, Morizsan was also arrested on three open warrants for violation of probation and petit larceny.

Franzone was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle for his alleged role in the carjacking incident, police said.

Ian Fitzgerald, of Central Islip, said Franzone had nothing to do with the hit-and-run.

“He was in the back seat of the car. He had nothing to do with Mr. Morizsan fleeing and injuring the officer … he had no control over the vehicle,” Fitzgerald had said in an interview last year.

 

Group files petition, board size reduction up for vote next year

Armand D’Accordo, a member of the United Taxpayers of Northport-East Northport who presented the petition, speaks at a meeting last week. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

Next year, Northport-East Northport school district voters will weigh in on whether to downsize its school board from nine trustees to seven.

On Monday, June 15, the United Taxpayers of Northport-East Northport presented a petition at a school board meeting with nearly 300 signatures in support of the reduction. Beth Nystrom, the district clerk of the Northport-East Northport school district, confirmed in a phone interview that the petition is legitimate and a proposition to downsize the board should be up for a vote in next year’s election.

Armand D’Accordo, a member of the United Taxpayers of Northport-East Northport who presented the petition, said he’s seen a number of issues with the current size of the nine-member board and the length of time board members are in office.

“I have gotten the sense at board meetings, both through watching and interacting, that it seems a bit dysfunctional, due to the makeup of how many members and how long they’ve been around,” D’Accordo said.

Nine members is the largest number permitted on a school board, and three the fewest, according to New York State education law.

“If such a petition is brought forward to the district it will be included in the annual budget vote and decided by the community,” board President Julia Binger said in a statement.

D’Accordo said the group got interested in pursuing this issue after Nina Dorata’s research in “School District Boards, Audit Committees, and Budget Oversight: Seeking a Formula for Good Governance,” published in the March 2013 issue of the CPA Journal, exposed the correlation between school district budget increases and tenure of board members.

In the article, Dorata surveyed Long Island school districts, and 83 percent responded that the average number of members on a school board is approximately six, with the average tenure of five and a half years.

In Northport-East Northport, with the exception of outgoing Trustee Stephen Waldenburg, Jr., who has served for 15 years on the board, all other members each tout tenures of five years or fewer.

The members of the United Taxpayers of Northport-East Northport believe that “statistical and anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that school districts operate in a more effective and efficient manner when the composition of the board is limited to no more than seven board members.”

Dorata is a member of the United Taxpayers of Northport-East Northport and a previous member of the school board’s audit committee, along with D’Accordo. She is a professor at St. Johns University, as well as the assistant chairperson of the school’s department of accounting and taxation.

She discovered in her data that “the bigger the board, the bigger the budget,” and that “after years of reading corporate literature, I found that the entrenchment theory was due to longevity.”

Objectivity becomes lost with board members who have been on the board for many years, Dorata said.

But that’s not a view with which some school board members agree. Waldenburg said he believes the opposite —  the longer a board member stays on the board, the better the budget is. He said the knowledge he has gained over the years is more beneficial to the community. In his 15 years, the budget is much better now then when he started, he said.

“I don’t know why it’s necessary, I think that there is a good symmetry on the board with nine members, there is an even amount up for re-election every year,” he said.

Waldenburg also believes that a smaller board would be less representational, and that with a larger board, there’s room for more diversity in opinions. “It always leads to a better decision.”

Recently re-elected Trustee David Badanes echoed those sentiments. Badanes is currently not in favor of a reduction to the size of the board, “the statistics are speculative and so far the arguments do not convince me,” he said in a statement.

“We have a large and diverse community, with a lot of different areas to represent. The more people that participate gives you more eyes for each issue,” he said.

If the school board fails to give notice at the annual board meeting that a proposition vote on this matter will take place, then the notice will be given by Mary Ellen Elia, the education commissioner of New York.

D’Accordo believes that the public will be in favor of the reduction.

“I do feel confident, in the public there is a general sense I have been getting while collecting signatures for this petition that the public wants a smaller school board.”

Vineyard would be Huntington Town’s first

The property is located on Norwood Avenue. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

A Northport property is one step closer to becoming Huntington Town’s very first winery.

The Huntington Town Planning Board granted the owner of a Norwood Avenue parcel conditional site plan approval on June 17 to grow grapes on the approximately 10-acre property. The board also added a condition requiring a second site plan approval if the owners want to build a winery.

Landowner Frederick Giachetti already has approval to subdivide the residentially-zoned property into seven homes, but decided to take the property down a different direction, his attorney Anthony Guardino told the board at last week’s meeting. Plans for a winery still have to be finalized, but the applicant said he wants to go forward with planting eight acres of sterile corn crop to nourish the soil for the planting of vines later on.

Planning Board Chairman Paul Mandelik prompted Guardino to talk about the vineyard plans. Guardino said Steve Mudd, a North Fork viticulturist, who is credited with pioneering Long Island’s wine industry, would be a partner in the business. Guardino also tossed around some ideas for the winery.

The applicant said he envisions a small tasting room on the property, along with wine-making on premises that would occur in a building that would need to be built. Patrons would be able to come in, taste the wine and be able to purchase it, and the business would also sell local honey, and perhaps some cheeses, jams and jelly. He likened it to Whisper Vineyards on Edgewood Avenue in St. James and said the operation would be “very, very small.”

“I don’t want people to think there’s a catering facility,” he said. “That is not something that is being contemplated now or in the future.”

The scale of the operation was a concern some residents brought up in comments to the board, as well as concerns about the operation’s proximity to Norwood Avenue Elementary School. One woman said she wanted to know whether there was potential soil contamination on the land. Out of the approximately dozen individuals who spoke, many were in favor of the proposal.

“This is a unique opportunity in my mind to preserve open space,” Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) said, noting that there is not much more land left in Huntington Town. He urged the board to move quickly in approving it.

One Northport resident expressed concern about being able to manage the popularity of such a business.

Todd Gardella said he works across from White Post Farms in Melville and has witnessed overflow parking in the area.

“My concern is that this might become something that we cannot foresee at this point in time,” Gardella said.
Alexander Lotz, 20, of Northport, said he’s loved agriculture his whole life and is heartened to see the winery proposal, because it shows younger generations that farming can be done.

“To have someone like Fred present something that’s so unrepresented in our area is inspiring,” he said. “And I appreciate him doing this more than anything.”

Mudd was present at the meeting last week, and spoke to some of the residents’ concerns. He said he’s been on the property and tested the soil, and didn’t see anything concerning with regard to soil contamination. He also committed to staying on the community’s good side.

“We will be right neighborly,” he said. “We will do the right thing.”

Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota, above, said Winston Rose and his brother Uriel Rose purchased drugs from Robert Maldonado for $3.50 per bag — a full dollar cheaper than last year’s whole sale price. Photo by Giselle Barkley

Suffolk County police, alongside the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor of New York City, united to bust a heroin ring operating on Long Island, officials announced on Wednesday.

A wiretap investigation, conducted by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office and county police narcotics unit, lead to the arrests and indictment of 14 individuals involved in the ring, including alleged leaders Winston Rose, 35, of Deer Park and his brother, Uriel Rose, 31, of Bay Shore. Residents from Rocky Point, Coram and Northport were also charged.

According to District Attorney Tom Spota, between the months of April and May, Robert Maldonado, 28, of the Bronx, allegedly delivered more than 20,000 bags of heroin from the borough to the Rose brothers on Long Island. Kenny Gonzalez, of Bay Shore, also supplied the brothers with heroin for their drug operation.

“The source of the heroin that we see flowing into Suffolk is primarily coming from the City of New York and more often than not, from the Bronx,” Spota said following the arraignments on Wednesday.

The Rose brothers were indicted for operating as major traffickers, as investigators claim they sold heroin and cocaine in Suffolk communities and elsewhere from around Dec. 4, 2014 to June 4, 2015. The brothers sold around 325 to 500 bags daily for $10.

Phil Murphy, the attorney representing Winston Rose, said he did not see an issue with his client’s business when he visited. He also said his client had rental property and rented available gyms among other materials for the business.

Calls to attorneys for Uriel Rose, Maldonado and Gonzalez were not immediately returned.

Winston Rose was on parole for possession of a weapon at the time of his arrest. In addition, he has nine prior felony and misdemeanor convictions while his brother has six prior misdemeanor convictions. Four of these convictions were for drugs.

According to Spota, the brothers posed as businessmen and allegedly used an event and catering business based out of Deer Park as a front to peddle drugs.

The brothers, as well as Desiree Dietz, 33, of Rocky Point; Emily Ruiz, 24, of Deer Park; Daniel Demaio, 23, of Northport; James Lantero, 41, of Bay Shore; Edward Molewski, 47, of East Islip; Charles Hennings, 41 of Coram and Dillon Noseda, 26, of Northport were arraigned in Riverhead as well. The individuals, along with five others, have been charged with conspiracy in the second degree, a Class B felony in the state of New York.

Noseda is accused of being a major seller of heroin in the Village of Northport and the surrounding communities. Ian Fitzgerald, Noseda’s attorney, said his client denied being a major seller in the case. In a phone interview, he said his client only knew Winston Rose for about two months.

Attorney information for Dietz, Ruiz, Demaio, Lantero, Molewski, and Hennings was unavailable.

“Somebody and some day they are all going to know that they’re never going to see the light of day if they’re convicted,” Spota said.

Bail for Winston Rose was set at $3 million cash or $6 million bond, while Uriel Rose’s bail was set at $2 million cash, or $4 million bond.

If convicted as major traffickers, the Rose’s face a minimum sentence of 15 to 25 years, to a maximum life sentence, according to Spota.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said solving individual cases such as this case, might not “end the crisis,” but have a significant local impact.

According to Special Agent James Hunt, of the DEA, heroin related deaths have increased 172 percent from 2003 to 2013.

Spota attributes their success to the collaborative efforts of all law enforcement officials who were involved. Brennan agreed and said that collaboration will help overcome the distribution of heroin.

“We are now facing a huge heroin problem,” she said. “The only way to beat it is the way we’re doing it. Step by step case by case joining hands and not just us alone but with the collaboration of many others.”

By Dan Woulfin

Northport celebrated new and old traditions on land and by sea this past Saturday, June 13.

The Northport Running Club held its inaugural Northport Nautical Mile Run, a downhill 1.15-mile race with hundreds of participants through the heart of Northport and ending at the foot of the harbor.

Afterward, the Coast Guard auxiliary and local clergy held the annual Blessing of the Fleet at the village docks to mark the start of the summer season.

John Martin demonstrates how to administer Narcan at a training session in Northport. File photo by Rohma Abbas

The Northport-East Northport Community Drug and Alcohol Task Force wants to recruit 18- to 25-year-olds in the fight against drug addiction and fatal overdoses.

Next week, the group will host a workshop that will train participants in administrating Narcan, a drug that thwarts opioid overdoses. Task force leaders say they hope to attract members of a young age group to attend because those individuals have the highest overdose statistics locally.

The workshop is on Wednesday, June 17, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Northport Public Library. This training session and hands-on workshop is hosted by the task force, and will be run by the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. The training is easy to understand and free for anyone who registers.

“I want to equip the kids with the awareness and knowledge to battle this ongoing problem the youth today is dealing with,” Anthony Ferrandino, co-chair of the task force, said this week.

Narcan is a prescription drug that reverses an opioid overdose. An opioid describes drugs like heroin, morphine and oxycodone. Narcan cannot be used to get high and is not addictive. It also has no known negative side effects, so it is completely safe to administer this drug, even if there is uncertainty about a person having a drug overdose.

“The Northport [Village] Police Department has a 100 percent success rate for overdose victims when they have gotten to the scene in time,” Scott Norcott, the public relations coordinator for the task force, said in an interview.

In 2013 alone, there were 216 confirmed opioid-related deaths in Suffolk County, according to Ferrandino. In 2014, the number declined slightly to 167 deaths. More than half of the opiate deaths in 2013 were individuals in the 20-29 age group.

Ferrandino wants to focus on teaching kids not only how to administer the drug and the process of calling for help, but also the workings of the Good Samaritan laws. These laws protect the caller and the overdose victim from arrests for drug possession or being under the influence. Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia have varying policies that provide immunity from arrests for minor drug-law violations by people who help on the scene.

“I don’t want them to be scared to call 911 — that is a common fear — that they don’t want to get in trouble for being at the scene at all, so they become fearful of calling for help,” Ferrandino said.

The training session will include instructions on how to administer Narcan. Each participant will be given a prescription that allows him or her to carry and administer Narcan wherever they are, along with a free kit. New York State covers the costs of Narcan and the training.

Ferrandino was motivated to spread the word about Narcan to as many 18- to 25-year-olds as possible by a former student who graduated from Northport High School. When she was at college, a student overdosed at a party she was at, and she felt that if she had been trained in Narcan administration, she could have helped save the student’s life.

The task force has participated in many programs this year to try and spread awareness of the rising number of drug overdoses in town. Recovery, awareness and prevention week is an annual series of events throughout the Northport-East Northport school district with forums and events to help students learn how to avoid drugs and how to help friends who might be struggling with addiction.

Narcan training sessions will also be held in Hauppauge at the Suffolk County Office of Health Education in the North County Complex on Veterans Memorial Highway on June 15 and 29, and July 20.

“Narcan is really a Band-Aid, it’s a great one, but the endgame here is to get the kids to hear the facts, to smarten them up and see the dangers, so that one day we won’t need the Narcan training,” Norcott said.

1.15-mile race will end at the harbor

Members of the Northport Running Club in their element. The Northport Nautical Mile is open to participants age 15 and up. Photo from Stewart MacLeod

The first ever Northport Nautical Mile race will take place on Saturday, June 13, in Northport Village.

The downhill 1.15-mile race will go through the heart of Northport and end at the foot of the harbor. The race is meant to be fast, fun and family-friendly.

“We wanted to do something a little different, a little unique and specific to Northport,” Stewart MacLeod, the race director for the Northport Running Club said in a phone interview. That’s why the race is a nautical mile instead of an average one-mile run. A nautical mile is a term used in measuring distances at sea.

There will be an award ceremony held at the gazebo at the waterfront park, along with raffles and refreshments. At 11 a.m., the annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony will take place, which includes participation by local officials as well as clergymen from multiple denominations. The Northport Farmers Market will also be in full swing, featuring vendors from all across Long Island.

The race will have a male and female wave, but there are no age distinctions within each wave. Runners age 15 and up are welcome to participate.

The Northport Running Club organizes the race, and approximately 400 participants are expected. Trophies will be awarded to the overall first, second and third place male and female finishers.

Many establishments in Northport are sponsoring this race, including Skipper’s Pub, Copenhagen Bakery, the Great Cow Harbor 10K Run and more. Main Street will be closed for the duration of the race, with the official start at William J. Brosnan School on Laurel Avenue.

It costs $20 to enter the race before June 6, and $25 after that. You can register online at www.nrcrun.org/events-and-races/northport-nautical-mile.

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