01/31/13 10:17pm
01/31/2013 10:17 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Carley Staples of Southold is swarmed by Pierson/Bridgehampton's Bridget Canavan (24), Emily Hinz (23) and Meg Evjen (00).

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Carley Staples of Southold is swarmed by Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Bridget Canavan (24), Emily Hinz (23) and Meg Evjen (00).


It’s doubtful that anyone could fully appreciate how hard it was for Michaela Christman to watch Southold’s girls basketball team complete one of its greatest seasons ever last year — except Michaela Christman.

The team won the League VIII championship, a Suffolk County crown, its first Long Island championship since 2002, and reached a Southeast Regional final, falling one win shy of a place in the New York State final four. Christman saw much of it, as much as she could take. It wasn’t easy for her.

“Some of the time I needed a break,” she said. “It was kind of hard to watch.”

What was hard about it was being a spectator and not a player. Christman had played in the first few games of that season before her right knee decided it had other plans for her. A torn anterior cruciate ligament put an early end to Christman’s junior season. She underwent surgery, physical rehabilitation, and looked ahead to her senior season in 2012-13.

Christman undoubtedly missed playing. Southold senior Nicole Busso recalled: “Every single game she texted me: ‘How’s it going? What’s the game? What’s the score?’ She is a true basketball player.”

Now Christman, the player, is making up for lost time.

“She worked hard and she came back,” Southold coach Joe Read said. “She plays strong. She’s a tough kid. She has a beautiful shot.”

Christman plays with a brace around her right knee, which after a 44-40 loss to Pierson/Bridgehampton on Thursday night she said was “sore, but it’s fine.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southold senior Michaela Christman, who is tightly defended by Pierson/Bridgehampton's Abby Ruiz, sat out almost her entire junior season with a knee injury.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southold senior Michaela Christman, who is tightly defended by Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Abby Ruiz, sat out almost her entire junior season with a knee injury.

Christman can play guard or forward. She has been used primarily as a post player lately, with forward Melissa Rogers sitting out her fourth straight game Thursday with an ailing knee and watching from the official scorer’s table. That sounds all-too familiar to Christman, who said, “I know what Melissa is going through right now.”

The First Settlers are grateful to have a healthy Christman on the court again.

“It’s huge having Michaela right now,” Busso said. “I don’t know where we would be [without her]. She’s a huge help down low. She really does everything.”

Christman has rejoined Busso, Rogers and the team’s two other seniors, Sydney Campbell and Carley Staples. That fivesome has been playing together since they were 12, and they have a lot to play for this season. Southold is contending for the league title again, but the upset it suffered at the hands of Pierson/Bridgehampton in Sag Harbor didn’t help. At the start of the day, the First Settlers were tied for first place with The Stony Brook School.

Pierson/Bridgehampton (9-8, 7-4), which may meet Southold (9-5, 8-2) in the playoffs, secured what its first-year coach, Kevin Barron, said may have been the team’s “sweetest” win in two years. When the game ended, the happy Whalers hopped around the court, hugging each other and screaming over their well-earned triumph in a hard-fought, scrappy affair that didn’t see many easy baskets for either side.

Pierson/Bridgehampton, which honored its eight seniors during an emotional pregame Senior Night ceremony, saw three of those seniors score critical points down the stretch. Emily Hinz made a basket despite being fouled by Busso, who fouled out on the play, to snap a 39-39 tie with 43.9 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. A free throw by Abby Ruiz and two more foul shots by Sydnee McKie made it a 44-39 game with 10.1 seconds left.

Kasey Gilbride and Ruiz led Pierson/Bridgehampton with 9 points apiece. Bridget Canavan added 8 points and 11 rebounds.

Busso turned in a tremendous effort, finishing with 12 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Abby Scharadin played well, too, for Southold, producing 9 points.

Pierson/Bridgehampton scored the first 9 points of the third quarter — including three straight baskets by Meg Evjen for her only 6 points — to build a 28-17 lead. But Southold gradually whittled away at the lead, tying the score at 34-34, 35-35 and 39-39.

Shooting troubles spelled Southold’s doom, though, especially in the first three quarters when the First Settlers shot 9 of 32 from the field.

Southold was undoubtedly feeling the affects of a hard-played game the day before when it defeated Port Jefferson. That may partly explain why Pierson/Bridgehampton outrebounded the First Settlers, 43-28, and pulled down 23 offensive boards.

“This team loves playing Southold,” Barron said. “It’s always a competitive game, and then on top of that, it’s Senior Night for us. The girls have had this game circled all year. I told them before the game, ‘Show the rest of the league that we’re for real.’ ”

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01/31/13 8:03pm

An Indiana man was charged with aggravated DWI after he was stopped for speeding on Route 48 in Southold Thursday afternoon, town police said.

Robert Howard, 45, was driving his 1999 Honda sedan eastbound near Hortons Lane when he was stopped about 2 p.m., police said.

He was transported to police headquarters and held overnight for a Friday morning arraignment, police said.

01/31/13 7:57pm

An Orient man pulled over for a traffic violation on Orchard Street in Orient Thursday afternoon now faces a marijuana possession charge, Southold Police reported.

The officer who stopped Alexander Hands, 20, shortly after 5 p.m. reported finding a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle, police said.

He was released and is to appear in court sometime in February.

01/31/13 6:00pm


The Mardi Gras party planned for Feb. 9 to help promote business in Greenport village during its slower season was cancelled, according to event organizer Rena Wilhelm, who also owns the White Weathered Barn on Front Street.

“I just couldn’t sell the tickets,” Ms. Wilhelm said. “There were people online saying they were going, but nobody was buying the tickets and I couldn’t risk it. I needed to sell at least a 100 and there were only 13.”

Proceeds from the event would have benefitted the North Fork Education Initiative, which creates educational programs and opportunities that focus on the arts, environment and community, according to the event’s blog.

“It was a great idea, I just needed help and a little more collaboration, but it wasn’t happening,” Ms. Wilhelm said. “I’m disappointed more people didn’t get involved, but I’m also relieved because I was taking it on all myself. This was the point to get excited about something, but I only had three of the same merchants get involved that tend to volunteer for everything and I couldn’t get anyone to post it to their Facebook or share it. It’s sad because the village has a real potential for greatness.”

She said she’d already lost a couple hundred dollars preparing for the event before decorations even came into play.

“I would have love to have it next year,” she said. “I think if I had more people helping and the costs involved weren’t as high as they were it would become a really successful event.”

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01/31/13 4:15pm
M KELLY PHOTO | A man searches West Creek in New Suffolk for blue-claw crabs just after sunset this past summer.

TIM KELLY PHOTO | A man searches West Creek in New Suffolk for blue-claw crabs just after sunset this past summer.

Residents have a chance tonight to weigh in on part one of the natural resources chapter of Southold Town’s new comprehensive plan, which focuses on water resources.

The town will hold two public meetings — tonight and Saturday — at which residents can air their views on the chapter. Today’s meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Peconic Community Center on Peconic Lane and the Feb. 2 session starts at 10 a.m. at Poquatuck Hall in Orient.

The chapter deals with issues ranging from the quality and quantity of groundwater available for the use of Southold residents and on the quality of surfaces waters throughout town.

The draft of the full chapter is available below.

Southold Town Comprehensive Plan Natural Resources — water resources chapter

01/31/13 3:00pm
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO  |  The first performance of 'Beauty and the Beast Jr' will be 7 p.m. Friday.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Shelby Dufton (foreground) as Belle in Cutchogue East Elementary School’s production of ‘Beauty and the Beast.’

Cutchogue East Elementary School fifth and sixth graders will present ‘Beauty and the Beast Jr’ with a premiere performance at 7 p.m. Friday at Main Road school. There will also be a 2:30 p.m. performance Saturday.

Click below for a slideshow from rehearsal:

[nggallery id=408 template=galleryview]
01/31/13 9:00am

Brooke Dailey

New Suffolk native Brooke Dailey is the new president of the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce, replacing Donielle Cardinale, whose term has expired.

Ms. Dailey’s family owns and operates Laurel Stone Supply Plus on Main Road in Laurel. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, she has extensive experience in advertising and marketing, including serving as marketing director for the Twomey Latham law firm in Riverhead. She joined the chamber’s board of directors in 2009.

As president, Ms. Dailey said, she’d like to increase participation in the chamber and offer members relevant and effective tools and ideas to spur business growth.

Chamber still selling gift cards

The Mattituck Chamber of Commerce is still selling Mattibucks gift cards, which can be used anywhere, at face value, without an activation fee.

The chamber launched the Mattibucks program during the holiday season to support local merchants. While group members hope the cards will be used locally, especially during the off-season, they are good at any business that accepts credit cards.

Mattibucks cards are available in $25 and $50 denominations at Suffolk County National Bank in Mattituck. Anyone purchasing $250 worth of cards gets a $25 card free.

01/31/13 8:45am
CANDICE SCHOTT PHOTO  |  The high winds damaged these chicken coops in Southold.

CANDICE SCHOTT PHOTO | The high winds damaged these chicken coops in Southold.

As many as 500 North Fork residents were without power this morning after heavy winds came whipping across the North Fork overnight into today. A Long Island Power Authority outage map showed most of the outages in Cutchogue, with 380 customers affected.

LIPA expects to have power restored to those affected by late morning, according to the map.

The National Weather Service issued another severe weather warning at 7:58 a.m. for a “squall line moving across Eastern Long Island.”

There were more than 34,000 outages total across Long Island as of 8:33 a.m., according to LIPA.

While scattered showers are expected to pass the area by around 10 a.m., the wind will likely remain throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service. Gusts could reach 49 mph and wind will be sustained around 24-28 mph.