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St. James

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The money police said a St. James man sent to St. Louis as part of a phone scam. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Police worked in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to intercept cash sent by a St. James man as part of a phone scam.

Police said a 79-year-old man received a phone call April 8 from an individual who claimed the man’s grandson had been involved in a motor vehicle crash and subsequently arrested. The caller said the victim needed to send $9,500 in cash to an address in St. Louis to be utilized for his grandson’s bail.

This kind of scam has been used before, where scammers pretend to be a family member needing cash for bail. Scammers often use social media to get facts about the person before calling up family members, usually the grandparents.

The man, who sent the cash via USPS, then spoke with his grandson and determined the call was a scam and called police. Financial Crimes Unit detectives contacted officials at the New York office of the Postal Inspection Service who then contacted officials in the St. Louis office. Postal inspectors intercepted the package prior to delivery and turned over the cash to detectives April 14 to be returned to the victim.

“I would like to commend the efforts of the Financial Crimes Unit detectives who kept an innocent victim’s money from making its way into the hands of a scammer — a result that is not always easy,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. “We would like to remind people to be alert to scams such as this one, as well as those involving the IRS, Social Security and utility companies. It is also important to be aware of emerging scams relating to COVID-19.”

For more information on scams, visit www.suffolkpd.org.

District Attorney Tim Sini (D). File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Several individuals from all over Long Island, including Selden, St. James and Northport, have been implicated in multiple labor crime violations.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini (D) joined Suffolk police along with multiple New York State officials from the labor and insurance departments to announce their arrest.

Sini said, collectively, the charged crimes involve the theft of more than $250,000 in employees’ wages and benefits, nonpayment of more than $58,000 to the state Department of Labor for unemployment insurance fund contributions and nonpayment of more than $133,000 to the New York State Insurance Fund for workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

Paul Gilistro, 58, of Selden, and his company Goldstar Installation Services Inc. are each charged with a scheme to defraud in the first degree and willful failure to file a true certified payroll.

From 2016 to 2019, the defendants, formerly doing business as The Floor Worx of Long Island, allegedly misclassified 12 employees as independent contractors to avoid paying the statutory prevailing wage on public works jobs performed throughout Suffolk and Nassau counties. The DA said, during that time period, Gilistro allegedly regularly falsified the sworn certified payroll records he submitted to reflect the job classifications and wages the employees should have received.

“Here in Suffolk County, we will not tolerate the exploitation of workers or our taxpayers by greedy corporations and business owners,” Sini said. “Not only will our efforts protect workers and taxpayers, they will also prevent these bad businesses from gaining an unfair competitive advantage against legitimate, law-abiding businesses.”

Alan James, 70, of St. James, and his company APJ Restoration Inc. were each charged with fraudulent practices against the state insurance fund in violation of New York State workers’ compensation law.

An audit by the NYSIF revealed evidence that between August 2017 and August 2018 the defendants allegedly failed to report more than $450,000 in revenue to the NYSIF in order to avoid paying $68,613.69 in policy premiums that would have otherwise been assessed.

Richard Hall, 57, of Northport, and his company Regal Contracting Inc. were each charged with a scheme to defraud and willful failure to pay prevailing wages in an amount less than $25,000, a misdemeanor in violation of state DOL law. In addition, Hall and Triangle Enterprises of Long Island Inc. are each charged with fraudulent practices against the NYSIF in violation of New York State workers’ compensation law.

In the summer of 2018, Hall and Regal Contracting Inc. allegedly failed to pay $7,400 in benefits to the Laborers Local 66 Benefit Fund for multiple workers on five different projects. In December 2018, Regal canceled its state insurance fund policy. Hall then incorporated Triangle Enterprises of Long Island Inc. and allegedly fraudulently omitted his ownership of the company on its application for workers’ compensation insurance. Regal Contracting allegedly owes more than $28,000 in unpaid unemployment insurance fund contributions to the DOL and allegedly owes more than $48,000 in unpaid workers’ compensation premiums to the insurance fund, therefore making Hall ineligible to take out a new policy.

A scene from the 2019 St. James St. Patrick's Day Parade. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Editor’s note: As of March 12, the St. James St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been postponed.

During this year’s 36th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in St. James, spectators will witness a first — two grand marshals leading the parade.

Mario Mattera

Hosted by the St. James Chamber of Commerce, the parade committee has chosen residents Kerry Reilly DeJesus and Mario Mattera as grand marshals for 2020. William Garthe, chamber board member, said each year residents are asked to write in to say who they would like to see lead the parade. This year the chamber received an overwhelming and equal number of nominations for Mattera and DeJesus.

Mattera said he was surprised when he heard he was chosen because he thought the grand marshal had to be of Irish descent. The St. James resident said he was humbled and honored.

When he heard DeJesus was also chosen, he was thrilled and described her as a wonderful person.

“Just her personality brings a smile to your face,” he said. “That’s the type of woman Kerry is. We need more of that.”

DeJesus also had complimentary things to say about Mattera.

“I couldn’t be in better company than Mario,” she said, adding she was overwhelmed when she heard the news that she was chosen.

“I was so flattered,” she said. “I thought that was so sweet of them to think of me.”

Mattera, a Smithtown resident for 55 years, moved from Nesconset to St. James in 1996. He said his wife of 26 years, Terry, and his two daughters Jessica and Jayme will be on hand to walk with him in the parade.

The husband and father is the business agent for Plumbers Local Union 200 of Ronkonkoma. In addition to his work with the union, he is a member of the Smithtown Executive Board representing St. James, and on the boards of Community Association of Greater St. James, the Suffolk County Water Authority and the Suffolk County Consumer Affairs Plumbing, Licensing and Fire Protection. He is also a Suffolk County Workforce Housing Committee member, the plumber’s union chairman for the political PAC fund for the county and board member for the New York State Apprenticeship Committee.

In his free time, he volunteers with Helmets to Hardhats, which works with returning veterans, and he also finds time to cheer on the Smithtown High School East’s Whisperettes, the kickline team, of which both of his daughters have been members.

DeJesus works as a call center manager for the Stony Brook University’s Southampton Hospital. She has lived in St. James for more than two decades where she and her husband, Ralph, of 25 years, have raised four children. She said she’s excited that her son Ralph Jr., who is serving in the U.S. Marines, has been granted a weekend leave to march with her and the family.

Kerry Reilly DeJesus

The wife and mother has taught religion at St. Philip and St. James R.C. Church, and with her teaching career in St. James and past service in two other churches, she earned a 20-year service award. She has also been active in the Smithtown Central School District as a Family Living chairperson working on food drives at Mills Pond Elementary School and was vice president of the PTA at the elementary school for two years. She later went on to serve as PTA president for two years. As her children advanced in the school district, so did DeJesus. For three years she was PTA president at Nesaquake Middle School and then did the same for six years at Smithtown High School East’s PTA. She has worked in other roles too as Spiritwear chairperson, recording secretary, vice president and a two-year stint as council president and vice president for the district.

Outside of religious instruction and the school district, DeJesus said she has been a Girl and Boy Scouts leader for her children’s troops. She has volunteered through the years at Deepwells Haunted Mansion where she has played a witch and dead doll, as well as working the concession.

“That’s a lot of fun,” she said. “That’s another great community thing that we do in St. James.” 

While Mattera has participated in past parades with the car club, DeJesus has marched with the Boy and Girl Scouts. When it comes to parades, both grand marshals agree it’s important for communities.

“It brings everyone together, and bringing the community together, especially with the feeling right now — that we’re going to give the town a jump start — it’s a lot,” Mattera said, referencing the revitalization of
Lake Avenue.

DeJesus said parades are also a way to draw people to St. James from other hamlets in the township. Plus, she said the St. Patrick’s Day Parade signals that spring is around the corner and gets everyone out of their homes.

“I feel like I’m reconnecting with old friends when I see all these people,” she said.

Mattera and DeJesus will be joined by the parade’s princesses and princes. The court includes two-year-old Avianna Manning, St. James Elementary School third-grader Juliana Cating Gleeson, kindergartener Jayden Cassidy Gleeson, third-grader Samantha Keil, first-grader Violet Keil, third-grader Mia Sherlock, kindergartener Sydney Sherlock, fourth-grader Ethan Tuzinkiewicz, second-grader Benjamin Tuzinkiewicz, first-grader Daniel Tuzinkiewicz and Nesaquake Middle School sixth-grade studentw Kayla Moore.

The St. James St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at the Smithtown High School East parking lot on Woodlawn Avenue and travels to Lake Avenue where it makes a right and continues to the St. James Gazebo by the Long Island Rail Road station.

File photo

Police said an East Setauket woman, who had been trying to assist people involved in a separate crash in Islandia, was struck and killed by a passing vehicle the morning of Monday, March 2.

Suffolk County Police said a 2005 Toyota was rear-ended by a 2002 Toyota on eastbound Suffolk Avenue, west of Casement Avenue, at around 5:40 a.m. Jennifer Burgess, 36, of East Setauket, who was not involved in the crash, stopped to render assistance to the involved drivers.

A 2014 Toyota and a 2003 Chevrolet then struck the 2005 Toyota, causing Burgess to step into the westbound lane of Suffolk Avenue where she was struck by a 2018 Honda.

Burgess was transported to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where she was pronounced dead.

The driver of the Honda, Chris Cardinale, 59, of St. James, was not injured.

The Honda was impounded for a safety check. Detectives are asking anyone with information on this crash to call the 3rd Squad at 631-854-8352.

Legislators and residents are worried about how possible development in St. James and Stony Brook will affect traffic and water quality, while others are in favor. Photo from The Northwind Group website

Elected officials and residents are weighing in on proposed and possible developments along the Route 25A corridor in St. James and Stony Brook.

While the development of Gyrodyne — which would include subdividing its 75-acre land for a hotel, assisted living facility, offices and sewage plant — has been a hot topic of conversation on both sides of the town line, many are also keeping their eyes on the sites of the International Baptist Church in Stony Brook and BB & GG Farms and Nursery in St. James.

On The Northwind Group website, under the proposed developments tab, is listed a 55-and-over community called Stony Brook Meadows that will stand on approximately 12 acres of property.

According to the website, it “will address a need for housing for a valued regional resource and at the same time, help to alleviate various housing concerns.”

On its site, Northwind said the development will result in little or no impact on local streets and, as far as the economic impact, the property is currently not taxed due it being occupied by a religious institution, and “the redevelopment will result in increased tax dollars for the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County and New York State.” The website also claims it will provide much-needed jobs during the construction phase, and any new community residents will support local businesses.

In the Town of Brookhaven’s Route 25A — Three Village Area: Visioning Report, the International Baptist Church was cited as an ideal spot for an assisted living facility due to residents not driving and staff members coming and going at various hours. In order for the development to go ahead, a zoning variation would be needed from the town.

As for BB & GG, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) signed legislation in October that gave the county Legislature the go ahead to appraise the land for possible county purchase under the Drinking Water Protection Program. According to the resolution, an application was made by William Borella for the property to be considered for inclusion in the Suffolk County Farmland Purchase of Development Rights Program, which was approved by the Legislature in July. County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) said the farm is currently in the appraisal status.

“Kara is exactly in the right direction by putting the resolution forward, and I strongly support both the concept of protecting this part of our historic North Shore and all of the national and local treasures that are found there.”

— Steve Englebright

Resolution Proposed

At its Feb. 11 general meeting, the county Legislature tabled a resolution to study a segment of road in the vicinity of the Smithtown and Brookhaven border. The resolution, introduced by Hahn, would allow the county to analyze the Route 25A corridor in St. James and Stony Brook to determine the regional impacts associated with proposed and planned development projects in this area. It would also identify vacant and preserved parcels as well as existing zoning, amongst other criteria. The resolution will be voted on at a future Legislature general meeting. The next general meeting, March 3, will be held in Riverhead.

State Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), who has addressed the Smithtown Planning Board at past public meetings about the downfalls of development along the corridor, said in a phone interview that the stretch of road in the area was recognized by the state in the early 1970s for its historic importance and a number of structures along or right off the route are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Englebright said nearby Stony Brook Harbor is the last unspoiled harbor in the vicinity. He added it has been sheltered by the Head of the Harbor village and wise land-use policies, and the proposed county legislation is important to reconcile some of the issues in the area.

“Kara is exactly in the right direction by putting the resolution forward, and I strongly support both the concept of protecting this part of our historic North Shore and all of the national and local treasures that are found there,” Englebright said.

Hahn said there needs to be real discussions in Smithtown, because while she understands development is needed, she said there needs to be smart planning.

“There’s just a lot of availability in an area that is bucolic and historic, and it would be wonderful if there could be a check on development,” she said.

The county legislator added, regarding the sewage treatment plant that is planned for the Gyrodyne property, that other spots may be more beneficial to many areas of the town. The property is located on the northern part of Smithtown. Currently, plans are to hook up Lake Avenue businesses to the sewage plant. She said there is a lot of state money for downtown development if it is done properly, and if a sewage plant would be positioned centrally, it can not only benefit St. James, but also Nesconset, Smithtown and Jericho Turnpike to get businesses off antiquated cesspools and hooked up to sewers.

“It’s shortsighted to propose a project that would only address one downtown, when properly placed it could help several, and spur economic development, help water quality, and help out development where it should be in our downtowns and by our transportation zones,” Hahn said.

“We take our responsibility as stewards extremely seriously. This plan has been a long time in the making. We have worked closely with the Town of Smithtown to accomplish their goals.”

— Richard Smith

Gyrodyne the Catalyst for Controversy

At the Legislature meeting, residents spoke for and against the resolution. Richard Smith, a member of the Gyrodyne board of trustees and mayor of Nissequogue, asked legislators to vote “no” when it came to the resolution.

Smith said he and the Gyrodyne board have worked with the Smithtown Planning Department to fulfill the requirements of the town, which he said has done comprehensive studies of what the community needs for their downtown areas.

He said the company has worked more than three years on a “smart plan” and added that Gyrodyne would have the right to subdivide more extensively than they have, but chose now to. There will be a 200-foot setback from Route 25A, and he said he feels the sewage treatment plan will protect the groundwater and Stony Brook Harbor. He also cited the benefits of the tax revenues to the town and county as well as the St. James Fire Department.

“I don’t think there’s anyone who is more concerned with this area than myself and my colleagues on the board,” Smith said. “We take our responsibility as stewards extremely seriously. This plan has been a long time in the making. We have worked closely with the Town of Smithtown to accomplish their goals.”

Recently, the civic group We Are Nesconset changed its name to We Are Smithtown to address all development issues in the town instead of just in their hamlet. The civic group originally worked to oppose a boutique hotel near the Watermill Inn on Route 347 and the proposed Nesconset development The Preserve at Smithtown.

“Our focus currently is Gyrodyne and its effect on the environment, especially given what’s going on with Grumman Aerospace,” Phyllis Hart, vice president of the group, said, referring to the so-called Grumman plume in Bethpage.

In a recent email to members to explain the name change, the group called the Nesconset projects and Gyrodyne a “terrible trio” of projects. The group said the three, as well as other developments, were “all but dead until 2018, when the town council “decided to prioritize development at all costs.”

Hart said the civic group asked the town to place a moratorium on any new building until Smithtown’s master plan is complete.

However, Smithtown’s public information officer, Nicole Garguilo, said in an email that a moratorium on development before the master plan is completed would be a reckless decision.

“The financial ramifications that a moratorium on development would have, not just on the town’s fiscal stability but on the taxpaying residents and small business owners, would be catastrophic,” she said. “Demanding a moratorium on development makes for a great press soundbite … but there’s not a planner or engineering professional on the Island that would make a recommendation like this and for good reason.”

Garguilo said a moratorium would not only hurt developers but homeowners and small business owners. She said a moratorium could also cause a rush to the town’s building and planning departments to submit site plans before it takes effect.

“The answer here is balance and moderation, as well as removing outdated ordinances and loopholes in the town’s existing master plan, to avoid unwanted types of development,” she said. “All of which we are currently doing.”

Gerry Duff, a 30-year resident of Stony Brook who lives on Stony Brook Road, said he recently joined the Three Village Civic Association due to his concerns about the proposed development at Gyrodyne and talk of others in the area. He said the congestion at the end of Stony Brook Road around rush hour, which he said starts around 3:30 p.m., backs up to the Stony Brook University entrance. He added he and others feel that Smithtown will receive the tax benefits of developments such as Gyrodyne, while Stony Brook will inherit the headaches.

“[Smithtown has] blinders on, and they look at one project at a time,” he said. “They’re looking at Gyrodyne for example. They’re not looking at the fact that 100 feet to the left and 100 feet to the right are two more developments going on. All of this should be taken into consideration, because all of this is going to add to the traffic and the congestion and the pollution.”

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Michael Owen was charged with with Murder 2nd Degree. Photo from NCPD

A St. James man was arrested for allegedly murdering his estranged wife.

Kelly Owen, 27, who was pregnant, was found dead in her South Farmingdale home Jan. 15, according to Nassau County Police Department. On Jan. 29, St. James resident Michael Owen was arrested and charged with Murder 2nd Degree.
The medical examiner’s office determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation.

Community members and public officials gather in Smithtown for a public hearing on the development of the Flowerfield/Gyrodyne property in St. James in January. Photo by David Luces

By Cindy Smith

As a Smithtown native who mobilized my neighbors to study the Gyrodyne project and speak at the hearing, and having spoken myself, I am gratified at what was predominantly an open-minded reception. Clearly many residents had not been informed of the grossly negative impact that project might have, and why they should insist the Smithtown Planning Board ask more questions before rubber-stamping the proposal.

Cindy Smith. Photo by Jim Lennon

Based on research by dozens of concerned residents, including nationally known environmental advocates like Carl Safina, we testified to evident prior use of lead arsenate, methyl bromides and excessive nitrates at Flowerfield — a fact not mentioned in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). We documented how the Planning Board excluded data concerning traffic, provided evidence of potential harm to Stony Brook Harbor and surrounding waterways, and — disturbingly — rebuffed regional officials like Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) who sought to provide information about shared infrastructure and planned regional development.

We also presented economic evidence that many jobs potentially created by the development will produce low-paying, minimum-wage positions — and that the property might actually be removed from the tax base, causing it to shrink rather than grow.

Lastly, we shared our concern that the development will trigger more high-density use along historic 25A, creating more suburban sprawl.

As a descendant of Richard “Bull” Smith, I envision a shared North Shore future that values both our history and our tomorrows. I hope Smithtown residents will visit us online at www.UnitedCommunitiesAgainstGyrodune.com and at Facebook.com/UnitedCommunitiesAgainstGyrodyne.

The conversation is not over! The Planning Board will accept written comments through 5 p.m. Jan. 24. Residents should also communicate their concerns directly to Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R).

Thank you, Smithtown, for welcoming your neighbors into the planning process. 

Cindy Smith

United Communities Against Gyrodyne Development community group

The Gardiner foundation awards the Order of the Ancient and Honorable Huntington Militia a grant to collaborate with the Raynham Hall Museum in Oyster Bay to present demonstrations on colonial crafts and trades. Photo from Raynham Hall l Museum

Since 1639, the Gardiner family and their descendants have owned a 5-square-mile island in the Atlantic Ocean nestled between Long Island’s North Fork and South Fork. The property, known as Gardiner’s Island, was obtained from King Charles I of England as part of a royal grant. Today, that legacy is benefiting all of Long Island, thanks to Robert David Lion Gardiner, the island’s 16th Lord of the Manor, who died in 2004.

In 1987, Gardiner established the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation to support the study of American history. Each year, the foundation awards $5 million in grants to Long Island and New York nonprofits focused on preserving history. Look around at preserved pieces of history all across Long Island and in New York City, and you will likely find the foundation often behind the scenes offering support.

Thanks to the Gardiner Foundation, the new interactive software display highlights the displays in the First Order Fresnel Lens Building that is alongside the Fire Island Lighthouse. Photo from Gardiner Foundation website

The foundation helped reinvigorate the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site in West Hills, for instance, in preparation for this year’s 200th birthday year celebration.

And as the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City prepared for its 50th anniversary of the Apollo mission this past July, Gardiner helped fund programs and space travel exhibits. It’s considered a substantial addition to the museum and Long Island’s contribution to the space program.

The 107-year old Huntington Lighthouse was preserved and restored with a $145,000 matching grant from the foundation. The Whaling Museum & Education Center at Cold Spring Harbor has the foundation to thank for its climate-controlled storage rooms for its collections.

Big or small, the foundation has been a wonderful resource for nonprofits. Since the foundation aims to preserve Long Island heritage and encourages collaboration, it is possible to find many success stories.

In Setauket, some may have noticed the sagging 1887 carriage shed at the Caroline Church has been replaced. The foundation over the last few years has helped fund its stabilization and replacement.

St. James is currently undergoing a revitalization, and the foundation helped fund the Celebrate St. James organization in staging a musical comedy about the entertainment history of the community.

This month, the foundation awarded its 2019 grants. Recipients include the Order of the Ancient and Honorable Huntington Militia which presented Dec. 14 a demonstration at Raynham Hall Museum in Oyster Bay of handmade colonial crafts and trades. The presentation included a free exhibition with artisans who showed how to do silver and black smithing, weaving, horn and leather work and basket weaving.

Harriet Gerard Clark, executive director of Raynham Hall Museum, is one of many people from organizations that recognize the distinct value of Gardiner.

“I would say that the Gardiner foundation is profoundly changing the way we understand history on Long Island, not only by providing very much needed brick-and-mortar funding, but also by proactively encouraging and incentivizing new ways of networking and collaborating among institutions concerned with historic scholarship, so that we Long Islanders can gain a truer understanding of our own identity,” she said.

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization, which owns historic properties in Stony Brook and Setauket, has also benefited from the Gardiner’s work. The foundation most recently sponsored a live historically-themed play entitled “Courageous Women of the Revolutionary War.” The production highlights the previously unsung female heroes of George Washington’s spy ring.

The Gardiner foundation is comprised of a five-member board, plus an executive director. Kathryn Curran bears that title and deserves special recognition.

“Kathryn is a terrific lady, she is very creative and brings people together.”

– Gloria Rocchio

WMHO president, Gloria Rocchio, is very grateful to the foundation and recognizes Curran’s unique qualities.

“Kathryn is a terrific lady,” Rocchio said. “She is very creative and brings people together.”

One of the conditions of WMHO’s grant was to talk to other historical societies.

“We are making new connections because of that effort,” Rocchio added. “That was all because of Kathy.”

The Smithtown, Northport, Port Jefferson, Miller Place-Mount Sinai and many other Long Island historical societies have grown or become better established because of the Gardiner foundation.

The organization also announced this month that it will fund a Long Island Radio & Television Historical Society documentary that will explore the development of wireless technology on Long Island, featuring the Telefunken wireless station in West Sayville and an international spy ring in the lead-up to World War I. The project also highlights the work of Nikola Tesla of Shoreham and Guglielmo Marconi of Babylon.

The foundation seeks to support 501(c)(3) organizations that demonstrate strong and organized internal capacity, effectiveness, financial and human resources as well as the intellectual capacity to successfully manage the project. Newly formed historical entities are welcomed to apply for a grant.

At a time when historical preservationists report a decline in financial resources, the foundation’s support becomes more and more noteworthy.

For high school students interested in studying history, the foundation also offers a generous undergraduate scholarship worth $40,000.

The Gardiner’s grant portfolio and scholarship information can be viewed on its website at www.rdlgfoundation.org, which gives an in-depth overview of its preservation efforts.

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Kit Gabrielsen

Voters have elected Kit Gabrielsen as a commissioner to the St. James Fire District for the single open seat on the five member board. He secured 390 votes.  Ryan Davis, who currently serves as fire chief, also ran for a seat on the commission.  He got 315 votes from the community.  Incumbent Bill Kearney received 115 votes. The election means the district will operate in the new year with a majority of commissioners in support of maintaining operations at the historic St. James firehouse, one of two firehouses in St. James.

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Nancy Richard.

Nancy Richard died tragically Monday, Dec. 2, after being struck by a car driven by her husband, Peter, who was backing out of their driveway at their Fort Salonga home.

After walking her grandchild to the bus stop, Richard was returning to her home at 9 Concord Drive, when she was struck by a 2015 Mercedes S550 at 7:30 a.m.

Nancy Richard, 79, was transported to Huntington Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Peter Richard, 83, was not injured.

Suffolk County police state that the vehicle was impounded for a safety check.

The accident occurred just a little more than one year after the family donated more than $3.5 million to establish the expansion of the pediatric emergency care unit of Stony Brook University Hospital. The Stony Brook Children’s Hospital lobby was named in the family’s honor in recognition of that gift. The university has acknowledged the couple’s philanthropic effort has meant better services for the families and children on Long Island.

“Nancy Richard was a remarkable friend of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, and all of us send our heartfelt condolences to Peter and the entire Richard family,” said Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, senior VP for Health Sciences and dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University.

The couple’s daughter Susan Habberstad, a St. James resident, had played an important role in identifying Stony Brook Children’s Hospital as a worthwhile project to support. In a profile posted on the university’s website, she recognized her parents’ strong family values and how the donation instilled a strong sense of pride:

“My parents’ priority in their life is their children,” Habberstad stated. “And it’s not just their kids; it’s their grandchildren, it’s everybody’s kids. Everybody’s kids are so important, and they are Nanny and Pop to everybody. They’re Nanny and Pop to hundreds of kids.”

Peter Richard was the longtime executive vice president of the P.C. Richard & Son chain of appliance and electronics stores. The retailer has serviced Long Island for more than 110 years. Peter is the grandson of the store founder Pieter Christian (P.C.) Richard. The business today has 66 showrooms in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, three distribution centers and two service centers.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations in Nancy Richard’s memory to Stony Brook Children’s Hospital at stonybrook.edu/childrenshospitalgiving.

Funeral services have not yet been announced.