Articles by

Joe Werkmeister

01/15/15 1:15pm
McGann-Mercy students were brought into the auditorium at Riverhead High School following a threat made against the school. (Credit; Barbaraellen Knoch)

McGann-Mercy students were brought into the auditorium at Riverhead High School following a threat made against the school. (Credit: Barbaraellen Knoch)

(UPDATE 1:30 p.m.): Bishop-McGann Mercy High School was cleared of any threat after an automated message called into the Riverhead school this morning warned of “some kind of device,” according to Riverhead police Lt. David Lessard.

Faculty staff and K-9 units from the New York State Police searched the building, Lt. Lessard said. Students who were evacuated were told to leave their backpacks outside on the high school football field and a police dog searched the bags. No threats were found, Lt. Lessard said.

As Mercy students were transported to Riverhead High School via Riverhead buses to await pickup, another threat was called into Riverhead, describing a bomb somewhere toward the front, outside the high school building.

Lt. Lessard said he wasn’t sure yet if that message was a similar automated message. Police are conducting an IT investigation to try to trace the IP address and determine if it was called from an online app, he said. An automated message sent by the school to Riverhead parents just before 1:30 p.m. said that the building was cleared and there was no threat. After-school activities for the high school were canceled, the message said.

Similar threats were called into the Southampton School District. Lt. Lessard said investigators are in contact with Southampton Village Police are unsure yet if the calls are related.

It was the second straight day a threat was called into Mercy High School.

1st Update: A threat was called into Riverhead High School just minutes after Bishop McGann-Mercy students were being transported there to await pickup following a threat at that school, Riverhead police at the scene confirmed at around 11:30 a.m.

A Riverhead offical said students were given an early dismissal at 12:30 p.m. The middle school students were expected to be dismissed at normal time.

“I’m worried and upset,” said Dawn Reiter, the mother of a Mercy sophomore, as she waited outside Riverhead High School. “If it’s a phone call, I don’t understand why they can’t trace it. I want them to close until they figure this out.”

Riverhead senior Sean O’Brien said students were scared to go back into the school as he came back from an off-campus lunch.

“This is crazy,” he said.

A third East End school district was in lockdown as well. The Southampton School District received a threat to its high school, according a message from Scott Farina, the superintendent of schools.

“The threat was not specific in date or time, but indicated would come from the outside,” the message said. “As a precautionary measure, the district’s three buildings are currently in lockout status.”

Southampton Village Police were on scene investigating and the school was still in lockdown as of 1 p.m., according to Amy Pierson, a spokeswoman for the school.

There were currently no threats to East End districts in Mattituck, Southold and Greenport.

Original Story: Students at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School were quickly evacuated out of the school this morning for the second straight day after threats were made against the Riverhead school, according to school officials.  (more…)

12/16/14 9:56pm
Mercy's Mia Behrens drives to the basket as teammate Julia Cintron-Leonardo blocks out a defender. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Mercy’s Mia Behrens drives to the basket as teammate Julia Cintron-Leonardo blocks out a defender. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

An often heard phrase echoing throughout gymnasiums from basketball coaches is a plea to “value the basketball.”

In Tuesday’s non-league game between Bishop McGann-Mercy and Westhampton, all bets were off. The basketball traded hands between the two teams so frequently, it was like a game of hot potato. At times, the shot clock barely reset after a turnover before another turnover gave possession right back to the first team.  (more…)

12/15/14 8:46pm

TUCKERS 68, ROYALS 40

Daniel Fedun didn’t know what to expect this season making the jump from JV to varsity. His role, he figured, would be a hustle guy, the kind of player whose work doesn’t always appear in the stat sheet.

Mattituck coach Paul Ellwood quickly grew to appreciate the hustle Fedun supplied and began using him as the first player off the bench.  (more…)

12/11/14 9:42pm
Mattituck's Katie Hoeg, pictured against Southold Monday, scored eight points in the league opening win against Southampton Thursday night. (Credit:  Garret Meade)

Mattituck’s Katie Hoeg, pictured against Southold Monday, scored eight points in the league opening win against Southampton Thursday night. (Credit: Garret Meade)

TUCKERS 46, MARINERS 15

The tide can shift quickly at a small school, where one player can lift a program, or one graduating class can leave a void that takes several seasons to fill.

Consider two years ago, Southampton boasted one of the best teams on Long Island, and not just for small schools. The Mariners played teams like Long Island Lutheran in non-league that season, which ended with a trip to the state semifinals.  (more…)

11/15/14 10:39am
Two accidents were reported on County Road 51 early Saturday morning. (Credit: Google Maps)

Two accidents were reported on County Road 51 early Saturday morning. (Credit: Google Maps)

A Cutchogue woman crashed into an unoccupied Southampton Town police car early Saturday morning on a closed roadway in Manorville as police and firefighters were responding to a single-car accident that seriously injured a Manorville man, Southampton Town police said. (more…)

11/08/14 12:30pm
Southold's Owen Klipstein and Mattituck's Melanie Pfennig, pictured at last week's state qualifier, were the top finishers for their teams at Saturday's state championship. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Southold’s Owen Klipstein and Mattituck’s Melanie Pfennig, pictured at last week’s state qualifier, were the top finishers for their teams at Saturday’s state championship. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

Mattituck sophomore Melanie Pfennig posted the top time for the Tuckers at Saturday’s cross country state championship at SUNY Canton.  (more…)

11/06/14 12:00pm
Mario Arreola (left) and Shayne Johnson will lead their respective teams into the regional finals Saturday. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Mario Arreola (left) and Shayne Johnson will lead their respective teams into the regional finals Saturday. (Credit: Garret Meade)

The matchups for Saturday’s boys soccer regional finals have been set.

Mattituck will host Rye Neck  of Section I at 4 p.m. in Class B at Diamond in the Pines. Southold will follow with its regional final game against Rhinebeck of Section IX at 6 p.m. in Class C.  Admission for both games is $7. The times for both games were pushed back from their original listings Thursday afternoon. (more…)

11/01/14 5:34pm
McGann-Mercy quarterback KJ Santacroce lets go a pass as running back Reggie Archer blocks in front. (Credit: Bill Landon)

McGann-Mercy quarterback KJ Santacroce lets go a pass as running back Reggie Archer blocks in front. (Credit: Bill Landon)

KNIGHTS 48, MONARCHS 13

No more than a handful of plays into Saturday afternoon’s game, the pristine white road uniforms of McGann-Mercy High School were stained muddy brown.

The pounding rain, accompanied by gusts of wind, made for one sloppy day for football at John Glenn High School.  (more…)

11/01/14 8:00am
Mario Arreola (left) and Shayne Johnson will lead their respective teams into county championship games today. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Mario Arreola (left) and Shayne Johnson will lead their respective teams into county championship games today. (Credit: Garret Meade)

UPDATE: Southold’s game has been postponed until Tuesday. Check back later for more details.

ORIGINAL STORY: Diamond in the Pines has become an annual destination for the Mattituck boys soccer team. Once again this afternoon, the Tuckers will play for a county championship. This time, looking for their fifth straight title.

Top-seeded Mattituck will play No. 2 Center Moriches at noon for the Class B title in Coram. The time of the game was moved up with poor weather in the forecast.  (more…)