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Warm December got people off couch and into stores, a boon for retailers
"When it snows, people are staying home in their pajamas doing online shopping," said Lisa Field of the Sag Harbor Variety Store. Not so this year, as pre-Christmas temperatures rose into the 60s. Durell Godfrey

Many questions as Army Corps’s ‘big dig’ slowly takes shape
Work continues on the Army Corps of Engineers’ project on the downtown Montauk beach, where a sandbag seawall is taking shape. R.J. Bimson

One grassroots effort for refugees has local volunteers ready to do more
Bob Miller of Montauk, right, worked with a Greek sea rescue team off the island of Lesbos to save refugees who met trouble while crossing the open water from Turkey.
A shoreside medical bus staffed by two South African doctors was well stocked with medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and other supplies thanks to donations collected by Denise Schoen, standing at center back, a Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps critical care E.M.T., and others among the volunteer team that worked with refugees recently on Lesbos, including Freshta Po, standing at right, a nurse.
Along the beach at Skala Sikamineas, a Greek village just six miles from the Turkish shore, volunteers formed lines to guide refugee rafts to shore and help their occupants safely disembark. The beaches are littered with the remains of the flimsy boats and the lifejackets, often fakes inadequate for flotation, that were sold to refugees. Joanne Pilgrim
The Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, where those arriving in Greece must register with the government, provides limited and rough short-term accommodation, such as these pup tents on "Afghan Hill." Joanne Pilgrim
Smugglers charge around 1,000 euro per person for passage to Greece on overcrowded rafts, which refugees must pilot themselves. Volunteers on shore wave rafts toward the safer landing spots, and are on hand to help all get safely to land, where dry clothes and shoes, hot soup, tea, and medical assistance, if needed, are provided, along with reassurance and smiles. Joanne Pilgrim
Denise Schoen, at left, worked alongside doctors from all over the world who have volunteered on Lesbos to treat refugees with hypothermia and other medical conditions. At right, Emma Newbery of Montauk holds one of the younger refugees.
A little girl, left, with a new toy and warm clothes, walks through Moria camp. At right, a Syrian boy paints an image of his experience crossing the sea to Greece on the wall of a children's art and play tent. Joanne Pilgrim
Instructions in Arabic and English, left, provide new arrivals at Moria with information about the procedures they must follow to register as refugees. Scenic shores all along Lesbos show the evidence of the thousands of refugees that have arrived at Greek beaches seeking a safer and more peaceful life.Joanne Pilgrim, Bob Miller photos
The volunteer team sponsored by East End Cares and Do Your Part arrived in Greece with bags of medical supplies to help the doctors at beachfront sites and the refugee camps provide better care for those in need.Joanne Pilgrim
Eugene DePasquale, standing at right, of Montauk, helps refugees who have successfully made it across the sea to Greece, in an image from a photo essay shot by a German photojournalist.Martin Gommel

Kyle McKee, left, looks for the pass and while Jack Reese, right, went in for a basket. Jack Graves
The Bonac Dance Force, East Hampton's dance team, took center court at half-time. Jack Graves

John J. Finello, superintendent of the Springs School District, center, was the target of several negative comments during the public comment sessions at Monday's school board meeting. Christine Sampson

Call to reopen Aucapina death investigation
The parents of Lilia Aucapina, Raquel and Miguel Parra, listened on Tuesday as speakers called on police to reopen the investigation into her death. T.E. McMorrow
Foster Maer of LatinoJustice said that police should not only delve deeper into the circumstances surrounding Lilia Aucapina’s death but that of Gabriela Armijos, another Latina immigrant, last year. Looking on were Ms. Aucapina’s brother Victor Parra and Cristina Banados of the Retreat. T.E. McMorrow

Johnny Kronuch, left, owner of Johnny’s Bait and Tackle, stood with Tom Brown, who has been caring for the store’s neon sign for many years. The business is closing and the sign will go to Mr. Kronuch’s son. T.E. McMorrow

The Coast Guard instructed Capt. Roy Fridenberger to "put the boat on the beach.” T.E. McMorrow
On Sunday the Fridenberger family, including eight brothers and five sisters, were on the beach surveying the situation and working to salvage what they could of the vessel, which has been in the family for over 30 years.T.E. McMorrow
Brett Fridenberger was one of three brothers on the sinking boat on Saturday.T.E. McMorrow

Andy Sabin

Oct. 23, 1931 - Nov. 21, 2015
John Niles Sr. : Oct. 23, 1931 - Nov. 21, 2015