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Weird News of Week: Mansion Crumbles, Foxes Stage Comeback

Some stories are downright strange. Here's our wrap-up from around Northern Suffolk and the East End.

As a local news organization, Patch covers stories of all kinds, from heartbreaking tragedies to inspiring tales of community brotherhood. But some stories are just plain weird. Here are some of the stranger headlines from the past seven days.

Abandoned Mansion Wastes Away in Nissequogue

The picture of luxury you might expect from the tony North Shore village of Nissequogue is nowhere to be seen for one estate that's been left to the elements.

The estate at 523 Long Beach Road, between Stillwater Road and Short Path, is completely abandoned, a rare sight in an area where massive estates line the bluffs and tax bills can approach six figures. According to the home's listing in Blockshopper, the circa-1971 estate is not listed for sale, though it has sat in shambles, with tall grass breaking through the concrete, deadbolts rusting on the front door and light casings shattered.

According to tax information listed on the Town of Smithtown's website, the estate is owned by Eugene Culbreath, and property taxes are $32,000 a year on the estate.

Zillow.com estimates the home's value at $1.5 million.

Click here to see more photos of the estate.

While the hysteria over an alleged jaguar sighting in the Hamptons has pretty much faded, the episode has brought to the surface a different issue altogether. And it's something one local said should be celebrated.

The state's Department of Environmental Conservation said the sighting could have been of a fox with mange, especially since fox populations are on the rise.

Wild Dog Foundation Director Frank Vincenti wrote to Patch this week celebrating this phenomenon.

"The red fox (of which we will talk about now) has held on in some pockets of Suffolk and Nassau Counties, such as State and County Parks, estate properties and South Shore beaches, but in the last 15 to 25 years, they experienced a trepidations decline due to several factors. Foremost, loss of habitat due to hyper development, diseases, such as canine distemper, parvovirus and mange, and killed on Long Island's roadways.," he wrote.

See his full column here.

Frank T October 01, 2012 at 02:53 PM
That's odd. There are treatments for mange. Did you see a vetinarian?
Chris October 01, 2012 at 05:47 PM
I saw a mangey fox last week on my front lawn. Riverhead/Calverton area. Never saw one in the 10 years I'm here. I called STAR foundation and they knew what it was. They gave me 5 doses of liquid medication to put on smalls amount of food and instructions on how to be successful. If everyone who sees one of these poor foxes helps to cure them, these foxes will not spread it to our dogs & cats (and us?). STAR has always, always been there to help me with every wildlife issue I have ever had -humanely. Keep their number. Don't forget to help them cover the costswhen you use their free and necessary services. STAR foundation: 631-736-8207 • info@savetheanimalsrescue.org
Frank T October 01, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Good info Chris, but fox or dog mange cannot be spread to humans. Please be careful what you write or the witchhunt will start and foxes will be banned from LI.
luke vuolo October 01, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Good info from both Frank and Chris. I hope it eases Mary's anxiety. Stay safe, all. ---Luke vuolo
Chris October 01, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Frank T you are absolutely right. I hadn't even considered that... I was trying to write it as a question because I didn't know. Now I can see how people would misinterpret that. Thanks

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