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Port Jeff Station

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Seyma Ikizoglu attacks the net for the Warriors in a road game against East Islip Sept 1. Bill Landon photo

After an abbreviated 12-game season last spring, the Comsewogue girls’ volleyball had their hands full in their season opener on the road against East Islip Sept. 1.

The Lady Warriors fell in three sets 11-25, 14-25 and 10-25. Comsewogue retook the court Sept. 3 where they hosted Hauppauge, followed by another road game against West Babylon Sept. 10.

First service for both games is 5:45p.m.

All photos by Bill Landon

Photo by Kimberly Brown

The Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce finished off its Summer Concert Wednesdays Aug. 11 with a classic car show, performances by the School of Rock and a BMX stunt show in the Port Jefferson/Terryville train car park. 

Dozens of families attended to enjoy the rock concert put on by Port Jefferson’s School of Rock singing classics from Queen and other iconic rock bands. 

“It’s been so rewarding to see this concert series grow and evolve over the years,” said Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), one of the sponsors. “The turnout this year was some of the best I’ve seen with a mix of young families, retirees, veterans and music lovers coming together to enjoy a free night out in the community.”

The BMX bike show, presented by Dialed Action from New Jersey, featured two skilled BMX bikers who amazed the crowd with their daring stunts, from flipping upside down to imitating Superman in the sky. 

“The BMX stunts are a yearly favorite and always bring out a crowd,” Hahn said. 

Despite the COVID-19 Delta variant becoming a concern as cases spike up again, families continued to attend the three-part Summer Concert Wednesdays while keeping in mind the need to socially distance. 

For this year, the series also hosted a Hawaiian-themed night followed by a tribute to Long Island’s frontline workers. The other show was a ’60s night with Just Sixties, including a tribute to veterans. 

The events were sponsored by Brookhaven Town Councilman Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) and the chamber of commerce with Hahn. 

“We ended the series last night on a high note, with music from the School of Rock Port Jefferson, a classic car show, BMX stunts and some free ice cream on a hot summer night,” she said.

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File photo

Suffolk County Police 6th Squad detectives are investigating a shooting that took place outside a residence in Port Jefferson Station Tuesday night.

Sixth Precinct officers responded to 95 Pine St. after a 911 call reported a man shot at approximately 11:40 p.m. on Aug. 17. When officers arrived they found Angel Bermudez in the backyard with two gunshot wounds.

Bermudez had left a party inside the residence when he was shot. Bermudez, 26, of Freeport, was transported to a local hospital in serious but stable condition.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on the shooting to contact the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.


Ira Dunne, president of The Social Brain in Port Jefferson Station, at last month’s Bike and Helmet Safety Day event. Photo from the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce

By Joan Nickeson

Selfless and supportive. There are many 501c3 nonprofits in our communities, which hold a special recognition by the state and local governments. In the old days we referred to them as “charities.” 

Being charitable has never been more important, so I’m shining the light on one exceptional organization, The Social Brain, founded by Ira Dunne. 

A behavioral specialist with a master’s in therapeutic recreation, Dunne has transformed the lives of traumatic brain injury survivors on Long Island and their office center is right here in Port Jefferson Station.

“Traumatic brain injury survivors may be getting support during the week, but come the weekend, there is a void,” Dunne said. “Building social activities that accommodate their physical challenges has lacked organized support. That’s why we created the Social Brain.”

They just completed their first music therapy event, where clients interacted with a certified therapist and 15 different instruments. Dunne explained how singing of familiar songs builds cognitive skills, sparking memories. Manipulating instruments motivates and engages the individuals in a fun group setting. 

The Social Brain, a member of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce, recently held a hugely successful Bike and Helmet Safety Day at the chamber train car. 

TBR News Media covered the event where new helmets were given away to children and adults, and the importance of head protection was discussed. All helmets had been donated via the Social Brain website; thesocialbrain.org. 

One hundred percent of their services are provided through donations. For more information contact Ira Dunne at 631-793-4311 or [email protected]

Joan Nickeson is an active member of the PJS/Terryville community and community liaison to the PJS/T Chamber of Commerce.

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Suffolk County Police Sixth Squad detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the assault of a man who was located behind a Port Jefferson Station strip mall on Monday,  June 12.

Sixth Precinct officers responded to the rear of 5145 Route 347 at approximately 9:20 a.m. after a 911 caller reported finding an injured man. The man, who detectives determined had been assaulted, was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this incident to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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Six people were arrested at the start of the holiday weekend in Port Jefferson Station.

Highway Patrol Bureau Selective Alcohol Fatality Enforcement Team (SAFE-T) officers conducted a sobriety checkpoint at the intersection of Route 112 and Hallock Avenue during the overnight hours of July 3 into July 4. from 11:05 p.m. until 2:15 a.m. 

The checkpoint was part of an ongoing holiday weekend enforcement initiative targeting alcohol and drug impaired driving.  A total of 435 vehicles went through the checkpoint. 

The following people were charged with Driving While Intoxicated:

  • Cesar Ortiz, 32, of 54 Carver Blvd., Bellport
  • Erik Anderson, 38, of 208 Terryville Road, Port Jefferson Station
  • Richard Russo, 61, of 12 Mark St., Port Jefferson Station
  • Hashim Qayyum, 23, of 619 Hawkins Road, Selden
  • Alexia Smith, 23, of 3540 Gregg Court, Wantagh
  • Salvatore Laduca, 58, of 7 Blueberry Ridge Road, Setauket

All six will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on July 4.

A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.



Photos from Comsewogue School District

This year, Comsewogue High School held their commencement at Stony Brook University’s LaValle Stadium on Wednesday, June 23.

Speakers at the ceremony included High School Principal Michael Mosca, Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Quinn, Valedictorian Sydney Carter, Salutatorian Anthony Lin, Board of Education President John Swenning, Vice President Alexandra Gordon and Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini.

Suffolk County police car. File photo

On Thursday,  June 17,  a man was found dead in Port Jefferson Station at the Greenway Trail, near Clifton Place at approximately 1 a.m.

Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad detectives are investigating the stabbing death of a man that occurred on the trail. The body of the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on the case to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392.



Comsewogue High School

On May 18, the Comsewogue Board of Education will elect three members to the board for a three-year term — commencing July 1 of this year.

Margaret Mitchell 

Margaret Mitchell worked in the Comsewogue School District for 47 years as a secretary before retiring. 

“I just feel that I can give back to the district now, and I’m hoping to make a difference,” she said. 

Mitchell retired last August, and she said she would still be working if it weren’t for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 73-year-old said she was concerned about the virus impacting her or her family so she decided it would be in her best interest to retire. 

“I didn’t want to retire,” she said. “I enjoyed working in this district. I know so many people, teachers, administrators, students. I developed a bond with a lot of people in the district and I just feel I want to give back.”

Mitchell’s late husband was on the board for 27 years, and all three of her children attended district schools from kindergarten through senior year. 

“Our whole life was centered around the district,” she said. “I miss it, I really miss it.” 

As a first-time candidate, she said that between raising a family and working at Comsewogue, she has been in the district for 50 years.  

“I’ve seen a lot of changes,” she said. “I’ve seen the good, I’ve seen the bad, and I think on the upswing, we’re at a good place right now. And I want to help to continue it.”

Mitchell said her main concern right now is the COVID-19 situation. 

“Our seniors missed out on so much last year,” she said. “I felt so sorry for those kids. And I think our administration has handled it beautifully. I think if we spoke to many of the parents in the community, they would agree. They’ve gone above and beyond to make sure that our students get what they need.”

She said she also wants to make sure all Comsewogue graduates have the best support possible to make sure they’re prepared for the real world upon graduation.

“I really think that our district is one of the best around and I want to continue that,” she said.

Margaret Mitchell did not provide a photo.

Corey Prinz

Although Corey Prinz grew up in Wantagh, he has been a resident of the Comsewogue community for over 15 years now. 

“I am still a new person around here,” he said. “Which is a great sign of the community, overall.”

Up for reelection, Prinz said most of his term has been emergency based.

“My whole focus has been, ‘Let’s protect the kids, let’s find a way to get them learning and move forward,’” he said. “This district has done a lot in the last 10 or 15 years, and I think we’ve gotten a little complacent.”

Prinz feels the district can continue to strive for greatness. 

“I’d like to see us continue to remember that we can do better, not because we’re doing badly, but because we can do better,” he said. “My caveat has always been we’re trying to create good humans here. Right? So, let’s make more of them.”

A commercial banker by day and father of two, Prinz has a wife who is a teacher in the district. His main goal is to get kids back to school safely and full time again, as well as providing more social and emotional support for students and staff. 

“COVID has affected a lot of people in different ways,” he said. “We have to help the kids through this, the kids who have lost their college opportunities because of this.”

But that all stems from his No. 1 goal of teaching students at Comsewogue to be of good character. 

“I think the most important thing is I want people to be good people,” he said. “And it starts with our kids. We need to be reminded to focus on our children to be better-rounded people. There’s opportunity here, we just have to decide to use it.”

Richard Rennard

Rick Rennard is seeking reelection for the Comsewogue Board of Education, after finishing his second full term as a trustee.

After being on the board for seven years, he said he wants to continue all the projects he and the board have worked on. 

“I think it’s important to continue the work that we’ve started, that I’ve been involved in over the last seven years,” he said. “From the commitment to our Middle States accreditation, to the creation of our project-based learning programs that are really starting to take off now,  I think that everything we’ve been doing has been really great.”

Rennard has been a resident in Comsewogue for 16 years, and is a married father of three children who all attend schools within the district. He is a social studies teacher in the Middle Country school district by day.

He said that facing the continuous challenges of the coronavirus and the shutdown last year, he wants to make sure the district’s buildings continue to stay safe. 

“I want to continue to serve our community and get us back to a hopefully full reopening this fall,” he said. “I plan on continuing my policy of making decisions that seem rooted in what’s best for the kids in our district, and just to continue to use that as my guideline for when we have to make decisions — what’s best for them and go forward with it.”

Rennard said his favorite thing about being a board member is seeing how much students within the district progress.

“That’s really the most rewarding part about it,” he said. “It’s to see that our kids turn around and give back to the community.”

The gooey inside of the O-Mellow cookie. Photo by Julianne Mosher

This Port Jefferson Station mom has a secret that everyone is talking about: Secret Stuffed Cookies.

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused Ashley Winkler to halt working at her beauty salon, the mother of three decided to get creative. 

Ashley Winkler, founder of Secret Stuffed Cookies, holding her Rainbow OG cookie. Photo by Julianne Mosher

“I’m a baker,” she said. “So, I started doing it for my family. I stuffed a rainbow cookie into another cookie. Then we had some Girl Scout cookies, and I stuffed those in. I just had fun with it.”

That’s when Winkler posted her tasty creations to social media — and they blew up. Friends began asking her if they could order a dozen of her stuffed, hearty treats. 

“I was just doing it for fun,” she said. “I wasn’t trying to make money.”

Winkler said she felt guilty operating a cookie company out of her home when other local bakers were struggling to keep their doors open. She also wasn’t sure how long she’d be able to do it. 

Last March, she thought the pandemic might only last a month — but nearly a year later, her quarantine project has become a passion.

Originally her Secret Stuffed Cookies Instagram page was private, only accepting close friends and relatives for local cookie pickups.

“But then May came and people were getting stimulus checks … They started ordering two dozen cookies every week from me and referring my account to their friends,” she said. 

Back to work, and raising three little kids, Winkler wasn’t sure if she’d want to continue the baking. With a little help from her sister and a few neighbors, she decided to keep at it. 

By February of 2021, 11 months since her first cookie being made, she has nearly 4,000 followers and ships her baked goods nationwide.

Three days a week, she bakes a minimum of 300 cookies. She always has her “Rainbow OG,” a chocolate chip cookie stuffed with a homemade rainbow cookie, the “O-Mellow,” an Oreo marshmallow cookie and several others on the menu — but she’s always switching it up.

Compared to other stuffed cookie companies, Secret Stuffed has several options for people with a sweet tooth. 

“I don’t want to tell people what they have to get. I want people to choose what they want,” she said. “There’s a whole range, and they can choose how they want to pay and how many cookies they want to get.”

Secret Stuffed offers same-day pickup from her Port Jefferson Station home, next business day shipping and a pre-order option. She also recently set up a cookie subscription box, which features new types every month.

Baked fresh and packaged individually, Winkler said her cookies stay good for two weeks. They can be frozen or refrigerated to last up to a month. 

She also teamed up with local businesses to sell cookies in-person. Right now, customers can find her sweets in Town and Country Market in Miller Place, Joe’s Campus Heroes in Selden, and Rose and Boom Boutiques in St. James and Mount Sinai. 

To order and find out more information, visit @SecretStuffedCookies on Instagram and Facebook