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Hurricane Topped 2012 News

Boat tragedy, election captured headlines in Huntington.

Most of Huntington struggled with the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, losing power as the storm brought down trees, cut power to thousands and sent many to wait in gas lines. It was the biggest story of 2012.

Hurricane Hits Huntington

A Lloyd Harbor man ushering his family to safety was killed by a falling tree when the storm hit Oct. 29.  Thousands of residents lost power or struggled to get around their neighborhoods as the storm brought down trees and debris, some of which still remains piled alongside roads. The storm quickly led to a gas shortage, forcing residents to line up at gas stations. A week after the superstorm hit, some lost power again when a nor’easter came through a week later, adding cold to the misery of residents.  Whitman High School lost part of its roof during the storm and both school districts were forced to remain closed for days as many roads were impassable for school buses.

Chad Lupinacci Elected to State Assembly

South Huntington school board member Chad Lupinacci was elected to the 10th Assembly District seat left vacant by the death of the long-serving James Conte. Lupinacci resigned from the board in December and was replaced by interim trustee Laura Carey.

Oyster Bay Boat Tragedy

Three children, including two residents of Huntington, drowned when a boat carrying 27 people capsized and sank at a July 4 fireworks show in Oyster Bay. Harlie Treanor, 11, and Victoria Gaines, 7, both of Huntington, and David Aureliano of Kings Park, died.

Huntington Hospital Executive Disappears

East Hampton Town police searched for a missing Huntington Hospital executive who disappeared in August while on vacation. George Richardson, 50, was last seen at Hartman's Briney Breezes hotel Tuesday at around 1 a.m.  Detective Sgt. Robert Gurney said his family noticed him missing from the hotel around 6 a.m., the morning they were supposed to leave. They waited for him to return and then called police at around 10 a.m., he said. 

Advantage Title Building Comes Down

Workers tore down the much-disputed Advantage Title building in December. Where once a grand hotel, a department store and later a business office stood, the site was the focus of opposition to its owner's decision to sell the property to make way for a new TD Bank. Neighbors and other denounced the plan to tear down the building, citing its history as a hotel and its proximity to the Conklin historical site.

Bennardo Named South Huntington School Superintendent

David Bennardo took up the reins as superintendent of the South Huntington school district, replacing the retired Thomas Shea in July. Bennardo was hired away from the Harborfields school district, where he served as high school principal.

Toddler Drowns in Heckscher Park Pond

A Huntington Station boy drowned Nov. 11 in a pond at Heckscher Park.  Suffolk County Police said Alejandro Ortez Vilorio, 2, was at the park with his father when he fell in the water. He was taken to Huntington Hospital but pronounced dead.

Finnegan’s Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Finnegan’s Restaurant and Pub, a mainstay of Huntington social life and history, celebrated its centennial in July with a parade and a gathering of bartenders Huntington artist Philip Jordan finished a restoration on a mural he painted at Finnegan's in 1978. The mural features 140 actual customers and workers from that time period.

Huntington Considers STEM School

The Huntington school district announced in October that it is studying a plan to create a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) school to be based at Jack Abrams school. “The goal is to ultimately establish a rigorous, engaging and inquiry-based program,” said Superintendent James Polansky. “We have a building that is available (JAS), so the plan does include the idea of establishing this building as a STEM magnet, which would make it an attractive educational choice.” That building has been closed to regular classes for the last two years because of some parents' fears about crime in the neighborhood.

Trouble Outside Paramount Causes Concern

Arrests outside the Paramount caused considerable concern in March after six people were arrested and nine others treated for sickness. With cops already in place in advance of a March 3 Barstool Blackout show, 35 officers, plus additional fire personnel and emergency medical staff were eventually called in, police say, as problems began with intoxicated event-goers waiting in line outside the theater. 

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