We’re looking back at the 2018 stories that drew the most readers on HuntingtonNow.com since our launch on April 23.
Funeral scheduled for St. Anthony’s Student
Sept.25. Ryan Spencer Mullen, a St. Anthony’s High School student died after he went “car surfing” atop an Uber vehicle, and fell, striking his head. The Uber driver was later arrested and charged with manslaughter. In an interview with WNBC-TV, his parents urged others to ensure their children avoided dangerous stunts in an effort to win attention on social media.
Sour Notes at Lighthouse Music Disruption
Sept.4. Several boaters disrupted the Huntington Lighthouse Musicfest in September, organizers say, by tying up together and blasting loud music that at times drowned out the program’s scheduled entertainment. Because of jurisdictional issues, town bay constables were unable to resolve the problem because although the lighthouse is in town waters, the moored boats were in the Village of Lloyd Harbor waters. The Town of Huntington said that its constables asked one of the boaters to turn the sound down to avoid interfering with the musicfest, but he refused, and so the town had no authority to enforce it.
Services Set for Man Who Went Missing
June 26. Funeral services were held June 30 for Brian Matthew Plante. The lifelong Huntington Station resident was reported missing on June 11, and died on June 22. The Suffolk County Police Department had earlier issued a Silver Alert for him. He was 24.
Teen Charged in Hit-and-Run Death of Pedestrian
Aug.2. A Dix Hills teen was arrested and charged in the hit and run death of a pedestrian in Greenlawn. Sair Rodriguez, 32, of Greenlawn was walking on the southbound shoulder of Broadway at the intersection of Legacy Court when he was struck by a vehicle southbound on Broadway hat then fled the scene. The teen driver was arrested a few hours later.
Whitman Bids Farewell to Coach Altebrando
April 25. Hundreds of students, athletes, parents and others took part in a candlelight vigil Wednesday night at Walt Whitman High School to remember wrestling coach Vincent Altebrando, who died Friday of an autoimmune disease. One speaker described him as the “father of a thousand sons.” Others called him a brother, a lifelong friend, a second father. Still others, a mentor, a coach and above all, a family man. In July, Whitman High School hosted an outdoor wrestling tournament in his honor.
Greenlawn Couple Injured During Burglary
Oct.26. Suffolk County police said a man entered the home near Broadway and demanded cash and credit cards from the elderly couple. He pulled a knife and slashed the woman, cutting her on her arm and hand. He also punched the man several time in the chest before fleeing the scene with the cash and a credit card.
The Bryant Restaurant Opens
Dec. 3. The Bryant, part of the Poll Restaurants chain, opened n the spot vacated by a TGIF restaurant in January 2017. Waiters in crisp white linens could be seen scurrying about the restaurant ahead of the opening of the 10,000-square-foot property near the Walt Whitman Shops on New York Avenue. The organization, owned by Gillis and George Poll, offers a wide variety of restaurants, from trattorias to taverns and bistros. This is their first in Suffolk County.
Outback Shuts Its Doors in Huntington
Aug. 29. The Outback Steakhouse restaurant in Huntington closed its doors Sunday after operating on the site for more than 20 years. A sign on the door announced that the restaurant had closed, thanked its customers and invited them to try its restaurant at the Mayfair Shopping Center in Commack. A sign bearing the restaurant’s name had been removed from one side of the building, though remained on the other and on the entrance to the parking lot.
Spray Park Opens
July 11. A spray park named for a slain New York City police officer opened at Elwood Park. The Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo Spray Park is the first in Huntington. Tuozzolo, a Greenlawn resident, was killed in the Bronx in November 2016 when he approached a man wanted in a home invasion. That gunman was then shot dead by other police on the scene.
Lawsuit Accuses Lupinacci of Assaulting Ex-Aide
Dec.4. A civil lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci of committing sexual assault against an aide last year. Arthur Aidala of the Manhattan law firm Aidala, Bertuna and Kamins said that Lupinacci assaulted aide Brian Finnegan in December when the two went to Albany to clean out Lupinacci’s office. Lupinacci had been serving as state assemblyman but resigned after he was elected as town supervisor to a term that began in January. Finnegan was his chief of staff at the Assembly and co-chairman of his campaign committee. But an attorney for the town supervisor said, “unequivocally false and completely without merit. To be clear, these claims and the orchestrated press conference that accompanied them are an attempt at an unjust and unwarranted financial payday.”
Other top stories for the year were the withdrawal of the application for the Villadom project, the plan to reopen the Thatched Cottage restaurant, 14 vegan restaurants in Huntington, a car crash that killed a woman in Dix Hills, and the death of a pedestrian struck by two cars on Route 110.