1. The Jamesport Fire Department parade, a North Fork summertime favorite, returns after a long pandemic year of isolation.

It seemed like old times. Spectators lined both sides of Main Road in the hamlet of Jamesport, waiting for the first chirp of a siren in the distance and the first glimpse of flashing red lights at the bend a few hundred yards up the road. Mask-free faces lit up with smiles. American flags flapped in the breeze. The scents of popping corn and sizzling burgers wafted to the road from the carnival set up at the George Young Community Center.

Forty fire departments from around the region paraded down Main Road showing off shiny engines, ladder trucks and antique firefighting vehicles. They were joined by a host of community groups, parading with everything from vintage military vehicles to 1960s muscle cars, antique tractors and miniature horses.

Check out our extensive photo gallery and coverage in the story.

2. COVID-19 test positivity rate rises above 2% in Suffolk for the first time since early May.

With most restrictions lifted and the new delta variant circulating throughout the state, the number of confirmed COVID infections is climbing.

The testing percent-positive rate in Suffolk edged above 2% yesterday for the first time since early May, with 2.2% of the 3,923 people tested in Suffolk showing positive results. The percent-positive number in the Long Island region was 2.3%. The seven-day rolling average in Suffolk was 1.4%. In contrast the county’s seven-day average was 0.4% when the governor lifted all restrictions on June 15.

“A lot of people are celebrating like COVID is over, that we won the battle, that we don’t have to deal with this again, said Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. Gregson Piggot. “But we’re finding that that’s not the case. That there’s still COVID circulating. That every time that virus finds a mutation that is more adaptable, more transmissible, we are susceptible to that.”

Find out what that means for Suffolk County in our report here.

3. "Love the color? Want some?" Irate Manorville resident Clare Bennett sprayed discolored tap water from her home in the air at a town board meeting..

Clare Bennett of Manorville, whose tap water is contaminated with a host of chemicals, went to the meeting determined to let town board members know how fed up she is with the situation. She demanded action to bring public water to an area south of the former Grumman site, where private wells are contaminated with a number of chemicals.

“Honestly the thing that really worries me is no one has studied and no one knows what the cumulative effect of all of these contaminants is on our health,” Bennett said. “I have to use this water every day.” Even if residents use bottled water for drinking and cooking, they are still using tap water for showering, washing laundry and dishes and utensils, she noted. “What’s the effect of all that over time?”

4. No, it wasn’t aliens: Why Riverhead’s landfill reclamation project went off-course.

Things took place at the town dump many years before the reclamation project got underway — at the direction of some in Town Hall — that surprised town officials years later. And it had nothing to do with aliens or artifacts. Here's what really happened. Column by Greg Blass.

5. The Riverhead Central School District wants its tax money.

School board President Laurie Downs went to Town Hall to ask the town to remit the school tax revenue that was due to the school district on June 30. The district has emailed the town but got no response, she said. So she went to the podium to ask in person.

“When will the town release the tax money to the school district that was due by June 30, 2021?” Downs asked.

The question was met with silence from the board. Deputy Supervisor Devon Higgins then asked, “Do you have any further comments, Ma’am?”

“I’d just like an answer,” Downs said.

The Riverhead Central School District, which last July filed a notice of claim against the town demanding remittance of school tax revenues, has again not received the full property tax remittance due on June 30.

6. Town board candidates criticize the Aguiar administration on nonfunctioning downtown security cameras.

"How can something like this get overlooked or ignored or just not deemed important enough for your safety?" Retired Riverhead Police Det. Evelyn Hobson-Womack, a candidate for town council, criticized the Aguiar administration for failing to get the already-installed downtown security cameras operational nearly two years after the town spent over $190,000 to buy them.

7. With limited water capacity, future Riverhead planning board approvals will be contingent on water supply availability.

“We're kind of in limbo here. We know that there's an issue. So how do we as planners approve it, knowing that you can't service it?” With Riverhead Water District's capacity issues, the planning board can't approve projects that depend on public water knowing that the water district can't service it, Planning Board Chairman Stan Carey said Thursday.

8. Opinion: This two-story medical office proposal violates the spirit and letter of Rural Corridor zoning.

Once again, Riverhead Town is being threatened with chainsaws and overdevelopment that is absolutely unnecessary, putting the Main Road rural corridor at risk of morphing into western Suffolk. Guest column by Juan Micieli-Martinez.

9. Police seek information about deceased woman in submerged vehicle at Iron Pier Beach.

Riverhead Police have identified the woman found dead in a submerged vehicle at Iron Pier Beach June 29 and are asking anyone with any information to call 631-727-4500. All calls will be kept confidential, police said.

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