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Week in Review: Parents Honor Lost Son, Schools Get Aid Boost & More

Also this week, a group of LGBTQ students returned to speak to students at Miller Place, Brookhaven Town battles illegal rooming houses and more.

Catch up on the week's top headlines from the area:

Inspector: Parade Went Off 'Without a Hitch'

The 63rd annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Rocky Point was "a fine parade" that saw few incidents as a result of the festivities, according to the Suffolk County Police Department's seventh Precinct commander.

Inspector William Neubauer said no arrests were made during the parade itself, and four arrests were made afterward.

Gay Miller Place Alumni Return to Inspire Current LGBTQ Students

When Miller Place alumni Doug Shapiro, Kate O'Brien and Michael Pesce went to high school as gay youths, acceptance at the time in the 80’s and 90’s was tough to come by. 

Fast forward to 2013, and while there is more widespread acceptance, LGBTQ youth still must deal with the challenges of coming out. The three alumni teamed up with Live Out Loud’s Homecoming Project and Miller Place High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance to share their stories with students going through their own struggles and triumphs; sharing the important message that while it is never easy, it can get better.

Live Out Loud has been doing their Homecoming Project since 2008 as a way of connecting youths to role models and leaders in the LGBTQ community. 

Local Schools See Boost in Final State Aid Numbers

With state Assembly members poised to vote on a final budget on Thursday, state leaders announced Wednesday school aid totals for the 2013-2014 budget year, with local districts receiving nearly $1.9 million more than originally expected this upcoming year.

According to the office of state Sen. Ken LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, the final budget – which is expected to be the third budget passed on time in a row, a feat for state legislators – will restore $50 million in high tax aid that was cut under the proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. LaValle said $44 million of that total would have come from Long Island schools.

Nonprofit Organization in the Works to Honor Local Family's Lost Son

It was in a moment of clarity, amid the heavy sadness of the circumstances, that the purpose of ReesSpecht Life was born.

Rich Specht was asked to say a few words at the memorial service for the 22-month-old son he had just lost in a tragic accident in their Sound Beach backyard on Oct. 27, 2012. "I just looked at everyone and said, 'Do something right by each other, and do something for each other,'" he said.

Town Councilwoman Jane Bonner announced this week that two community events, a tax grievance informational meeting and a medication take-back program, are scheduled for the first week of April.

Bonner and Brookhaven Town Tax Assessor James Ryan will hold an informational meeting on how to grieve your property taxes on Thursday, April 4, at 6 p.m. at the Rose Caracappa Senior Center in Mt. Sinai.

Where Are They Now? 5 Standout Athletes Building a Career in College

Here at Patch, we like to celebrate students' achievements as they represent their schools with pride. What happens after they graduate? Well, we like to celebrate that too. Here's what some recent standout athletes from Rocky Point High School have achieved on the college level.

State: Brookhaven To Get $750K More For Road Repairs

Gov. Cuomo's budget increases state funding for road, highway repairs by $75 million.

Town Exploring Ways to Combat Illegal Rooming Houses

The Town of Brookhaven is getting ready to increase fines levied against residents who purposefully violate town housing codes as well as introduce several new code amendments that will make it easier for town investigators to pursue action against them.

Supervisor Ed Romaine on Monday said fines would go from $2,000 up to $5,000 for what he called "unscrupulous landlords" who are convicted of a first offense; for a second offense, fines would go from $3,000 up to $10,000.

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