Support local journalism.

Now more than ever, local news matters.


Laurie Downs

Officials, advocates discuss comments that led to school board member’s resignation

by Mar 31, 2023
Hours after Riverhead school board Vice President Laurie Downs announced her decision to step down from the board, officials and community advocates applauded her decision and called on the board to make more of an effort to engage with the district’s Latino population.  

Riverhead school board VP Laurie Downs resigns after backlash over ‘derogatory’ comments about Brentwood and Latino gangs

by Mar 28, 2023
Riverhead school board Vice President Laurie Downs has resigned from the board, following blowback for “derogatory” comments made last week about Latino people and gangs in Brentwood.

School board VP apologizes after activist group condemns derogatory comments about Brentwood

by Mar 27, 2023
Riverhead Board of Education Vice President Laurie Downs has apologized for comments she made about the presence of Latino gangs in Brentwood after public pressure from a Brentwood-based youth activist group who said Downs’ statement was “perpetuating harmful stereotypes" about the western-Suffolk hamlet and "promoting discrimination." 

School board member claims ‘enormous amount’ of students are ‘getting jumped and getting robbed’ while walking home from school

by Mar 24, 2023
Comments by Riverhead school board member Laurie Downs about crimes against students caused a stir at a downtown civic meeting Saturday, but police records do not back up her allegations. She later said she is fearful of violent Latino gangs she said are in the area.

Leadership shuffle on Riverhead school board: Connelly elected president, Downs shifts to VP

by Jul 6, 2022
The Riverhead Board of Education elected a new president at its organizational meeting for the 2022-2023 school year. Trustee Brian Connelly was named board president while immediate past-president Laurie Downs we elected vice president.

Riverhead Town is again late remitting school taxes to district, BOE president complains

by Jul 21, 2021
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.

Downs returned to school board president post, but board fails to agree on VP

by Jul 7, 2021
The school board reappointed Laurie Downs as president but could not agree on a vice president last night. Trustees Brian Connelly and Colin Palmer were sworn in, as was the new Superintendent Dr. Augustine Tornatore.

Riverhead school budget revote set for July 28; Laurie Downs elected school board president

by Jul 7, 2020
The school board voted unanimously to schedule the revote on July 28, the date established by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for school budget re-votes across the state.

Angry parents, board members clash over school district transparency issues

by Sep 21, 2016
Angry words flew at the Board of Education meeting last night over the question of how much salary and other information should be provided to the public about employee salaries and credentials when the board is acting on personnel resolutions.

On the other side of the podium: board ‘watchdog’ Laurie Downs takes her seat

by Jul 6, 2016
The Riverhead school board's newest member was uncharacteristically quiet through most of her first meeting as a district trustee.