Top-10 News Stories of 2011

West Islip Patch's most significant headlines of the year.

One would think that covering a close-knit community like West Islip doesn't produce a lot of news over the course of a year.  Well, that couldn't be any more further from the truth.  

Below are a collection of the top news stories from 2011.  Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments section.   


The revelation that Steven Kinalis, the driver of an automobile that crashed into one driven by Kevin Gaffney, took prescription pills before driving outraged the community.  Kinalis is due back in court on Jan. 30.   


Suffolk police reported that the turf field was spray painted and damaged over the course of a few days in October.  Rumors swirled who the suspects were, but ultimately nothing was proved.  


Meet hero Max Bakalo; the 9-year-old who grabbed his younger twin brothers as his house was in flames, ran to his neighbors and called 911.  

7.  WI welcomes four new businesses in two month span

First it was a , then a , then an , capped off with frozen yogurt.  Certainly a busy fall for town business folks.  


Carpenter made headlines last March when she announced that she was running for Suffolk office.  She was the first Republican to announce her candidacy. 


Despite facing a 7.7 percent property tax increase, West Islip residents came out in support of the proposed school budget, by a vote of 2,175 to 1,617.


October was certainly a busy month on Patch.  But no other news generated more feedback than the 7-11- Getty station discussion.  The community held a meeting with the property owners to again voice their opinions. 


Hurricane Irene had the entire hamlet on their toes at the end of the summer.  It was so serious that Islip Town officials called for a mandatory evacuation for everyone south of Montauk Highway. 


The sudden death of WIHS Music Director Sal Fiore shocked and saddened the entire community.  Fiore was so loved by his colleagues and students, that the district decided to rename the auditorium in his honor.  


No doubt the biggest news of the year (as per all the comments on our articles about it).  And in just a couple of weeks, we'll find out which two the BOE will choose.  

Wendy Regan December 30, 2011 at 12:55 AM
AJ, Did the BOE officially decide to close two elementary schools or were they merely "polled"? Are you trying to tell us something or just nudging the hornet's nest? :) :)
A.J. Voelpel December 30, 2011 at 03:03 AM
Nope, two schools are officially closing. Announcement to come in a couple weeks.
Wendy Regan December 30, 2011 at 04:31 PM
Ok, I'll dance with you....The title of your article is: District Decides to Close Two Elementary Schools, not District Decides to Close Two Schools. Come on AJ, do you know something the rest of us officially don't? I've always wanted to ask you why you included the word 'Elementary' in the title of your artice. Why did you?
Jessica Horvath December 30, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Because they voted to close 2 ES buildings at the November 29th meeting! Whether they admit to it or not! A news organization wouldn't print things that aren't facts! Isn't that the point of the news?
A.J. Voelpel December 30, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Haha, okay here goes: The district decided that two elementary schools will be closing for the 2012-13 school year. Period. They will announce which two elementary schools at a meeting in January. That is all.
Marianne Bowden December 31, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Look out AJ you are now part of the conspiricy LOL


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