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East End Notebook: Gay Advocacy Org To Host Forum After Student Death

Also this week, a Riverhead teacher charged with DWI, driving with a loaded gun, is off district payroll and an elderly woman rescued from a burning house dies.

The following is a round-up of top stories posted by East End Patch sites during the week of October 8. 

East Hampton

Gay Advocacy Org To Host Forum in East Hampton School After Student Death

Just a week after 16-year-old East Hampton high school student David Hernandez Barros died, a forum has been scheduled to discuss the issues of homosexuality and bullying that have been raised since his sudden death.

The Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth announced Tuesday that it will host a meeting at East Hampton High School on Oct. 22 at 6 p.m.

Riverhead

A fourth grade Riverhead teacher charged with driving while intoxicated and driving with a loaded gun in his car has been removed from the school district's payroll through February.

"Mr. Johnson has been removed from the district’s payroll through February 1, 2013," Riverhead Central School District Superintendent Nancy Carney said in an email Wednesday. "The district will continue to monitor the proceedings involving Mr. Johnson in Suffolk County Court and will take appropriate action upon the conclusion of the matter in criminal court."

Westhampton-Hampton Bays

Westhampton Beach Village Board members voted during a special meeting on Wednesday evening to hire an outside attorney that will audit the village's finances. The resolution passed 4-1 with Mayor Conrad Teller casting the lone dissenting vote.

North Fork

Southold Residents on Tick Eradication Need: ‘Lyme Disease is a Silent Crisis’

Aches and pains. Loss of communication skills. Seizures. Misdiagnosis. These are only some of the themes five members of the newly formedSuffolk County Tick Eradication Task Force, made up of a doctor, a resident of Shelter Island — which has recently found success in quelling tick populations through a “4-poster” tick management study — a representative of the Empire State Lyme Disease Association,and a deer management expert from the Department of Environmental Conservation, heard from speakers describing their symptoms of Lyme Disease at a forum held at the Southold Town Recreation in Peconic Wednesday night.

Organized by Coutny Legis. Ed Romaine, the task force members were there to hear these painful stories and another message — Southold Town and the county cannot be silent about the seriousness of tick borne illness anymore.

“This was the worst year for ticks in 20 years,” said Linda Weir of Peconic, who said she’s been living with Lyme Disease since 1979 and went undiagnosed until 2004. “Because I’ve gone on with this for so long, I have kidney and liver problems now. My granddaughter has been bit and was misdiagnosed with Tourette syndrome. But we don’t publicize the problem we have with ticks out here — why? Is it because of tourism? Why are we waiting to address the problem?"

Southampton

Elderly Woman Rescued From Burning House Dies

An act of heroism ended in sadness Friday, when news spread that an elderly womanrescued from a burning house in Southampton Village on Thursday later died.

Southampton Village Police said Friday that the victim, identified as Ona R. Masters, 95, died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to Detective Sergeant Herman Lamison, Commanding Officer of Criminal Investigations, the Southampton Village Police Department received a 911 call on Thursday at approximately 5:30 p.m. from a Stop & Shop Peapod driver, who reported smoke coming from a home at 30 Bellows Lane, which was occupied by an elderly woman.

Officers from the police department, Southampton Fire Department, and the Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance were initially dispatched. Firefighters were able to enter and rescue an elderly woman, bringing her to safety in an act of heroism and bravery.

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