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DEC Announces Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator & Leashed Tracking Dog Exams

DEC Announces Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator, and Leashed Tracking Dog Examinations 

Exams set for April 7; Registration deadline is March 17

Examinations for individuals seeking a license to practice the sport of falconry, become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals are scheduled for Friday, April 7, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

The exams will run from 10 a.m. to noon at most DEC Regional Offices across the state. A list of DEC Regional Offices can be found on DEC’s website.

The registration deadline for these free exams is Friday, March 17, and exam registration forms are available from DEC’s website.

Apprentice Falconry License

Falconry has a rich history and tradition throughout the world and requires a significant commitment in time and effort. Apprentices are limited to possessing one bird, either an American kestrel or a red-tailed hawk. A falconry study guide and examination manual are available at no cost from DEC’s website. The cost of a five-year falconry license is $40.

To qualify for the Apprentice Falconry license, applicants must:

  • score 80 percent or higher on the written exam;
  • be at least 14 years of age;
  • possess a valid New York State hunting license; and
  • maintain DEC-approved facilities for housing falconry raptors.

Wildlife Rehabilitator License

Wildlife rehabilitators provide for the care of injured, sick and orphaned wild animals for the purpose of returning rehabilitated animals to the wild. Prospective applicants are encouraged to gain experience by serving as an assistant to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. A wildlife rehabilitator study guide and examination manual are available at no cost from DEC’s website. There is no cost for the license, which is good for five years.

To qualify for the Wildlife Rehabilitator License, applicants must:

  • score 80 percent or higher on the written exam;
  • be at least 16 years of age; and
  • be interviewed by DEC regional wildlife staff.

Leashed Tracking Dog Handler

Leashed tracking dog handlers use their dogs to track and recover dead, wounded, or injured big game animals. Leashed tracking dog handlers provide a valuable service in aiding hunters to locate wounded big game that otherwise may go unrecovered. A leashed tracking dog study guide is available at no cost from DEC’s website. There is a $50 license fee for the five-year license and a $25 non-refundable application fee.

To qualify for a Leashed Tracking Dog Handler License, applicants must:

  • score 80 percent or higher on the written exam; and
  • possess a valid New York State hunting license.

To apply for any of these exams, visit the DEC Special Licenses Unit web page and fill out an exam registration form. Mail, fax, or email the completed form to: NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752 Phone: 518-402-8985, Fax: 518-402-8925, Email: SpecialLicenses@dec.ny.gov.


"A Scout Is Reverent" Scout Sunday At United Methodist Church Commack


Some of Matinecock District’s Boy Scouts and adult scouting volunteer leaders pose for a photo with members of the church community following the Scout Sunday service at Commack United Methodist Church (Commack) on February 12. Commack United Methodist Church, which sponsors Boy Scout Troop 125, was one of five Matinecock District (BSA)’s Host Churches for the Protestant Faith during the start of National Boy Scout Week.  As the Boy Scouts of America celebrate their 107th year of serving youths, local Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Explorers attended and participated in the annual “A Scout is Reverent” recognitions during the Scout Sunday Services at various local Catholic and Protestant Churches and the Jewish Scout Sabbath services at area temples and synagogues during the month of February. 



Volunteers Needed For Smithtown's Meals On Wheels Program

Volunteer Drivers Needed for Meals on Wheels Program

Do you have a couple of free hours in your week?  Would you like to provide a vital service to senior citizens in your community? The Town of Smithtown Senior Citizens Department has an opportunity for you! 

We are looking for volunteers to deliver meals to the homebound elderly in the Smithtown community. Meals are delivered in the late morning each Monday - Friday and require as little as two hours a week, one to four days per month. You can even choose to be a “back-up” driver if your time is limited. Our volunteers use their own vehicles and are reimbursed for mileage. 

Volunteer with a friend and share the experience! If you have the time to spare, we would love to have you join our wonderful group of volunteers. For more information, call us at 631-360-7616 and ask for Tina.

Funding for this nutrition program is provided by the Suffolk County Office for the Aging, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services through the New York State Office for the Aging, and the Town of Smithtown.

For more information about the Smithtown Senior Citizens Department visit us at 420 Middle Country Road in Smithtown or  HYPERLINK “http://www.smithtownny.gov” www.smithtownny.gov.


St. Catherine's Valentine Baby Nora Grace

SMITHTOWN, NEW YORK—February 14th, better known as Valentine’s Day, is the national day of proclaiming love, and what better way for a child to proclaim love to parents, than by entering the world to say, “hello, nice to meet you.”

For parents, Daniel and Lauren Kant, Valentine’s Day will always be remembered with even more cheer and celebration because at 9:18 AM on February 14, 2017, they became proud parents to Nora Grace. 

Baby Girl Nora Grace, weighing 7 lbs., was ready to join the celebration with a Valentine’s Day message and donning a special handmade hat in support of National Heart Health Month, made by the Ladies of Good Shepherd Friendship Garden, Church of Good Shepherd in Holbrook, NY. At just eight hours old, Baby Nora Grace was ready to help raise awareness about heart health in her community.

February is National Heart Health Month—a time to remember that good health, takes heart and education. St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center is committed to educating the community about heart health during the month of February and throughout the year.

“Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, and Stroke is No 5. By following simple lifestyle changes, you can reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke,” stated St. Catherine’s Stroke Coordinator Catherine Videtto. 

Videtto implores all community members to be aware of stroke warning signs and symptoms by learning the BE FAST model. B= loss of balance or coordination, inability to walk, dizziness; E= eyes, loss of vision, blurry vision; FACE= Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop; ARMS= Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward; SPEECH= Is the person unable to speak or has slurred speech; TIME= Terrible headache with no known cause; TIME TO CALL 9-1-1 even if symptoms go away. Check time that patient was last known well, and report to 9-1-1 staff.

St. Catherine of Siena is proud to be the recipient of the 2016 Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus & Target Stroke Elite Honor Roll Award by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, and awarded the “Certificate of Distinction” for Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center in 2017. St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center is a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the US, for attaining and sustaining excellence for Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Stroke, Pneumonia, Surgical Care and Perinatal Services.

For more information about St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, please visit stcatherines.chsli.org.


Annual Scout Sunday Observance

Local Cub Scouts Presented with Catholic Cub Scout Emblems during the Annual Scout Sunday Observance

On Scout Sunday, February 2.2017 at, St. Joseph’s RC Church in Kings Park. Fr Sean Gann, who was the Celebrant for the Mass, blessed and then presented the emblems to each of the Cub Scouts who had earned their Catholic Cub Scout Religious Emblems.

By Carolyn Flynn

(photo Rose Mangogna)

The Matinecock District scouts and their volunteer scouting leaders participated in the annual “A Scout is Reverent Week”, in recognition of the anniversary of Boy Scouts of America and the 12th point of the Scout Law, during February. The youths attended and took part in leading services at all of the houses of worship both in the host Churches and Temples as well as at their local places of worship (some of which are the Cub Scout Pack, Boy Scout Troop, Venturing Crew or Explorer Post’s sponsoring organization).

Cub Scouts from local Cub Scout Packs with the assistance of their parents, leaders and Chaplain recently completed the Light of Christ and Parvuli Dei Catholic Scout Religious Emblems programs. These courses consist of activities and Bible studies designed to help the Scout become more aware of God’s presence in his daily life, especially within the home and community. By completing the requirements, the Scout has strengthened their spiritual growth and religious knowledge.

Presentations of the Catholic Cub Scout Religious Emblems were made during the Celebration of the Mass at St. Joseph’s R.C. Church, Kings Park, at Scout Sunday services. Said St. Joseph’s Scouting Coordinator Carolyn Flynn, “Scouting For 107 years, the Boy Scouts of America has created a strong foundation of leadership, service, and community for millions of America’s youth. Scouting has brought families and communities together for over 100 years to prepare America’s youth to live, work, and play with character and integrity. Scouting is as vital and relevant today as it was when our journey began. The Scout Sunday tradition was started to make people in houses of worship aware of Scouting, and to allow Scouts to live out their “Duty to God” pledged each week”

At St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church (Kings Park) Boy Scouts The Boy Scout Troops that participated were: Troop 75 and Troop 539 (Kings Park), Cub Scout Pack #75 (Kings Park), Pack #379 (Kings Park) from the Matinecock District, and Benjamin Tallmadge District Cub Scout Pack #326 (Smithtown)

Candidates for the Pope Pious XII Catholic award, assisted with the Mass with readings, medal presentations, gift bearing, closing song and guidance for the Cubs and Webelos. These boys are Cole Tekverk, Richard Mangogna and Kole Suhvosky from Troop 75, Kings Park and Paul Rome, Stephen Vellecca, and Andrew McMaugh from Troop 539, Kings Park.

Cubs Scouts Kieran Haggerty, Blake Petermann, and Jack McDermott from Pack 326 Smithton Myles O’Connell from Pack 379 Kings Park earned their Light of Christ medal. The purpose the Light of Christ program is to help the Cub Scout develop a personal relationship with Jesus. With the parents’ active assistance and participation in this program, it is hoped that the Cub will come to see Jesus as a real person and his friend.

The Parvuli Dei (Children of God) medal recipients were Nathan Barbou, Andrew Gelfand, Ryan Jorgensen, Christopher Kovacs, Patrick McCarroll and Michael Puleo from Pack 326, Smithtown as well as Michael O’Connell and Kyle Wozniak from Pack 379, Kings Park. The purpose of the Parvuli Dei (Children of God) program is to help young boys explore a wide range of activities in order to discover the presence of Jesus in their

daily lives as members of their families and parishes, and also to develop a good, positive self-image through the contributions they can make.

The Reverend Sean Gann presented the medals and invited the boys to line up for recognition by the congregation.

Scouts and all participants in the Mass participated in a “Souper Bowl.” Bins were set up to collect cans of food to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.