03/05/14 6:01pm
03/05/2014 6:01 PM
(Credit: Facebook Screen Shot)

(Credit: Facebook Screen Shot)

Social networking giant Facebook has vowed to help put a stop to illegal gun sales initiating on its social media sites, officials announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Facebook, which also owns the picture sharing platform Instagram, has agreed to remove posts by users who are trying to skirt gun laws and sell firearms illegally, said Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management.  (more…)

11/13/13 5:35pm
11/13/2013 5:35 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO

One of the four local men citied by the Department of Environmental Conservation for illegally taking and pursuing wildlife and posting the evidence online is speaking out after he says officers have exaggerated the circumstances behind the incidents.

Eighteen-year-old George Salzmann of Calverton said he and his friends were trying to help the two deer they found while driving home from a friend’s house in Wading River about 2 a.m. on Oct. 27.

The first deer was found trapped inside a fence near Grumman Memorial Park when Mr. Salzmann said he found and quickly released the animal. The other, he said, was found running parallel to the car on Hulse Landing Road with a bloody face.

Noticing the deer’s wound, Mr. Salzmann said they captured the animal to clean up its face. He chose not to call DEC to handle the situation because of the late hour, he said.

GEORGE SALZMANN COURTESY PHOTO

GEORGE SALZMANN COURTESY PHOTO

His account differs from the DEC statement that said the men trapped and wrangled the deer between the vehicle and the fence in order to hop out and catch it.

“They said we chased down the deer and cornered into the fence which is false,” Mr. Salzmann said to the Riverhead News-Review in a phone interview Wednesday. “We pulled one of the deer out and we were trying to help it. I go out and I try to do the right thing and it came back to bite me in the butt.”

The animals were released unharmed, according to DEC.

Officials said that on Halloween, they were forwarded pictures from the two separate incidents, one of which included one of the men drinking a Natural Ice beer. The following day, Mr. Salzmann said he and his friends were approached by Environmental Conservation Officers at Bean & Bagel, a bagel shop on Route 25 in Calverton.

While remorseful for taking photos with alcohol, Mr. Salzmann believes the group did the right thing for the deer.

“The photo that was taken with the beer was probably not the best photo, but the photo of us holding it and smiling – I don’t see any harm in that,” Mr. Salzmann said. “We didn’t have to bring it inside. It was just bleeding and we figured we’d clean it up and give it water.”

Mr. Salzmann said he and his friends were not intoxicated at the time of the incident.

Instagram photo courtesy of the Department of Environmental Conservation

The four men – ranging from ages 18 to 20 – were issued citations for illegal take and pursuit of protected wildlife. Officials said Mr. Salzmann, seen holding the deer in both photos, was given three tickets — two for illegally taking and pursuing deer, and one more for having an untagged deer head at his home.

Mr. Salzmann said that the untagged deer found on his property was the fault of Riverhead Police, and plans to fight that ticket.

“Riverhead Police Department was supposed to issue me a tag for a dead deer that was on the side of the road and that I took to my home, they said that the Ridge officer – where DEC is located – was unavailable, and the cop followed me home so I wouldn’t get in trouble from the DEC,” Mr. Salzmann said. “For that ticket, I blame the police department for not doing their job and not making out a deer report and issuing me a tag.”

Conor Lingerfelt, 19, of Jamesport, was given two citations for illegally taking and pursuing deer. He is spotted in both photos with Mr. Salzmann, officials said. Joseph Sacchitello, 20, of Riverhead, and Anthony Infantolino, 20, of Wading River, were each charged once. DEC officials said one of the photos has all four individuals with one stressed deer.

“Although these young men may have thought their actions were harmless and trivial, serious consequences can occur due to these types of actions,” said DEC Regional Director Peter Scully. “Wildlife can be dangerous and unpredictable, and DEC’s environmental conservation offices deserve recognition for their successful pursuit of this case.”

The four men are due in Riverhead justice court on Nov. 27. Each offense carries a $250 fine.

Mr. Salzmann said there is no danger of him losing his hunting license.

11/13/13 2:25pm
Instagram photo, courtesy Department Environmental Conservation

Instagram photo courtesy of the Department of Environmental Conservation

After posting pictures of themselves on Instagram with a pair of live deer they caught, four local young men who were later caught by Department of Environmental Conservation officers in Calverton face citations for illegally taking and pursuing wildlife.

DEC officials said they were tipped off on Halloween when someone sent the two pictures to them, which were posted on the social media photo sharing website. The next day, the four men were spotted at a local business in Calverton, however it was not immediately clear at which establishment they were seen.

The four men – ranging from ages 18 to 20 – were issued citations for illegal take and pursuit of protected wildlife. Officials said 18-year-old George Salzmann of Calverton, seen holding the deer in both photos, was given three tickets — two for illegally taking and pursuing deer, and one more for having an untagged deer head at his home.

Conor Lingerfelt, 19, of Jamesport, was given two citations for illegally taking and pursuing deer. He is spotted in both photos with Mr. Salzmann, officials said. Joseph Sacchitello, 20, of Riverhead, and Anthony Infantolino, 20, of Wading River, were each charged once. DEC officials said one of the photos has all four individuals with one stressed deer.

According to DEC spokeswoman Aphrodite Montalvo, one deer had been trapped inside a fence when Mr. Salzmann and Mr. Lingerfelt wrangled it. The other, she said, was tracked down on Hulse Landing Road in Wading River by the four men. She said as they drove their vehicle parallel to the deer alongside deer fence on the road, they cut off the deer and trapped it between the vehicle and the fence. They were then able to hop out and catch it.

Both deer were apparently brought back to Salzmann’s house. Ms. Montalvo said both deer involved in the incidents were released unharmed.

“The pursuit and capture of native wildlife is not tolerated in New York State,” said DEC Regional Director Peter Scully. “Although these young men may have thought their actions were harmless and trivial, serious consequences can occur due to these types of actions. Wildlife can be dangerous and unpredictable, and DEC’s environmental conservation offices deserve recognition for their successful pursuit of this case.”

The four men are due in Riverhead justice court on Nov. 27. Each offense carries a $250 fine.

Individuals who spot illegal activities are encouraged to call DEC’s Environmental Conservation Police at (631) 444-0250 during business hours, and 1-877-457-5680 or 1-800-TIPP-DEC at all other times to report suspected illegal activities.

Instagram photo, courtesy Department Environmental Conservation

Instagram photo courtesy of the Department of Environmental Conservation

07/26/13 2:00pm
07/26/2013 2:00 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Skye Gillispie photographs Suki of Suki’s Spa in Greenport.

In between writing college admissions essays, working a summer job and maintaining an active social life, incoming Greenport High School senior Skye Gillispie is also the girl behind the camera in an emerging social media phenomenon.

The 17-year-old is using Facebook, Twitter and the photo sharing app Instagram as a platform for a photo blog called “Humans of Greenport.” The photos, inspired by the popular “Humans of New York,” profile everyone from village politicians to business owners to the everyday folks who add to Greenport’s unique charm and character.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ‘HUMANS OF GREENPORT’

“People come here to visit and they love all the sights, but they really don’t know the people that make Greenport such a special place,” Skye said. “It’s been a lot of fun. I love my community and I love to blog.”

Lots of other people love it, too.

“This is such a beautiful way to show off the North Fork and recognize the people that live and work in Greenport,” said t Libby Koch, a Greenporter featured in one of the photos. “Skye is amazing. This is what it is all about — putting smiles on people’s faces.”

Since its launch in June, the “Humans of Greenport” Facebook page has received more than 600 “likes,” in addition to many Twitter and Instagram followers. Through the power of social media, the posts have been shared and viewed by thousands more.

“I didn’t expect much to come of it, but it reached over 2,000 people on the first day,“ Skye said. “I knew it would get positive feedback, but I didn’t realize how many people it would reach.”

Skye said she has a running list of villagers she hopes to feature and so far she hasn’t had any problem checking them off. Previous photos have featured local historian Gail Horton hanging out at home and Mayor David Nyce celebrating his birthday.

“I always keep my eyes open,” she said. “Sometimes it’s spontaneous. I take photos whenever I can catch people in their natural habitat.”

Community and communications are a way of life for Skye. Her mother, Yvonne Lieblein, is a marketing and communications specialist and the founder of the public relations firm Lieblein Associates.

“I’m really interested in public relations, marketing and entrepreneurship because of my mom,” Skye said. “She is so creative with things like this and she really inspires me to reach out to the community.

“It started because I’ve always followed ‘Humans of New York’ and I got to thinking about all the quirky people we have in the village,” she said. “I was literally just sitting on my couch when I decided to make the account.”

Brandon Stanton, a young self-taught photographer like Skye, started the critically acclaimed “Humans of New York” in 2010. His initial goal was to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and mark their locations on a city map. Today, “Humans of New York” has close to one million followers and is the subject of an upcoming book.

Skye said she looks forward to turning her passion into a career and plans to study public relations and marketing when she heads to college.

Her followers are looking forward to Skye’s next steps, too.

“It’s exciting to thinking about how far she’s going to go in her life,” Ms. Koch said.

[email protected]

07/21/13 5:47pm
07/21/2013 5:47 PM

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | A goalkeeper makes a save during a Sunday afternoon soccer game at Strawberry Fields in Mattituck.

On the first day of relief from a heat wave that blistered the North Fork this week, folks left their air conditioned homes and headed for a day out on the North Fork Sunday from Orient to Wading River.

Here’s some of the moments we captured.For more photos from the day follow northforker1 on instagram.

You can also add your photos to the slideshow with the “click to upload” button below.