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State football champs arrested
HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON Two Dobbs Ferry High School football players celebrating the team's state championship this weekend were arrested after purchasing six cases of beer from a local supermarket, village police said yesterday.

The two 17-year-olds were charged with unlawful possession of an alcoholic beverage, a violation, after a Hastings police officer saw them coming out of The Food Emporium with a cart filled with the beer cases late Friday night, said police.

One of the players, a senior co-captain, was also charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, a misdemeanor, after police confiscated a fake Pennsylvania driver's license he had used to purchase the beer, Lt. Thomas O'Sullivan said.

Both players were released to their parents and ordered to appear in Village Court on Dec. 11.

School officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The victorious Eagles and hundreds of their fans returned from Syracuse on Friday afternoon after their last-second victory over Dolgeville in the Class D championship game.

About 11:20 p.m., the two players and a third teenager pulled up to The Food Emporium on Main Street and parked in the fire lane. A village police officer saw the car and as he approached to move it along saw the players leaving the store with the beer, said police. The boys started to walk away from the cart when they saw the officer, O'Sullivan said. The other occupant of the car was not charged. No information was available as to where the boys intended to take the beer.

The lieutenant said police were investigating the origin of the forged driver's license and whether it was connected to several other cases involving fake ID's in the area.

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Movie revival planned for Dobbs Ferry theater


(Original publication: September 30, 2002)

DOBBS FERRY A century-old domed theater that once featured vaudeville shows and silent movies is being revived as a neighborhood cinema designed to make Dobbs Ferry's downtown a weekend destination.

The theater, located in the Stolen Moments music studio on Cedar Street, will begin screenings Nov. 1 sponsored by the village's Chamber of Commerce. The revival comes about a quarter century after the theater closed with the growth of larger multiplexes in the area. It will be called the Pickwick Arts, after the movie theater's former name, and will play foreign, art and popular films.

"It's going to bring additional people, visitors from outside the area, into our town on weekends," said chamber President Celeste Meneses. "It's the beginning of bringing activities into the downtown area."

The idea for screening movies at the theater came from a meeting of the village's Downtown Improvement Committee at which merchants and residents were trying to think of ways to attract more people and new stores to the business district.

Village resident Bettina Speyer suggested screening movies at the music studio, where the owners have been renovating the 140-seat theater. The owners agreed.

"Helping the downtown is what this is all about," co-owner Paul Scatt said. "We're the only facility in town that can probably pull it off."

When people walk into the theater, their eyes are immediately drawn to the white plaster dome, supported by steel beams and lined with gold designs. When one stands in the center, the dome produces a reverberating echo that Scatt said singers really enjoy when he opens the facility for compact disc release parties.

"The sound travels in here like unbelievable," Scatt said, as he stood in the theater.

The theater opened as a stage for vaudeville performers and became a cinema when silent movies became popular. But over time, the theater began to deteriorate, and newer multiplexes took away its patrons. About 25 years ago, it was bought and turned into a recording studio. Scatt has added a music school and store.

Efforts to revive old movie houses are not unique to Dobbs Ferry. Volunteers and merchants in Tarrytown are working to bring movies back to the Tarrytown Music Hall, a performing venue on Main Street where silent movies once unspooled. They are following on the path of the Jacob Burns Film Center, created out of the old Rome Theater in Pleasantville by a nonprofit foundation last year.

Speyer said residents are excited about the reopening of the theater, which the chamber also plans to use for lectures and community concerts. The chamber is raising money from merchants and residents to operate the theater, which will show DVD and VHS movies projected onto a full-size screen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The first showing Nov. 1 will be the French film "The Dinner Game."

"People are really looking forward to having a place to go to," Speyer said.

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Las Vegas man arrested in Net contact with girl


(Original publication: September 20, 2002)

DOBBS FERRY A Las Vegas, Nev., man who met a 16-year-old Dobbs Ferry girl in an Internet chat room and is alleged to have sent her nude pictures has been arrested after traveling to the village, police said.

Thomas Boucher, 40, was arrested Wednesday after being seen on Ashford Avenue, police said. He was arraigned yesterday in Village Court on several charges, including disseminating indecent material to a minor, a felony, and third-degree stalking, a misdemeanor.

Boucher and the girl struck up an online relationship about four months ago, police said. They never met, but Boucher repeatedly sent her gifts, police said.

He came to the New York area in August, police said. Police were notified about his presence by a former acquaintance of the girl, who said Boucher contacted him last month and told him he had been hired to kill him.

Boucher was charged with aggravated harassment in connection with that alleged conversation.

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Dobbs Ferry gets its wish

(Original publication: Sept. 18, 2002)

It appears that Dobbs Ferry will get its wish to put its old library building back on the tax rolls while preserving its historic appearance. A California couple has proposed buying the two-story structure on Main Street for more than its appraised value.

Although the sale isn't yet final, the village Board of Trustees approved a contract last week to sell the building to Bruce Richards and Kimberly Kanatani, who are relocating from Los Angeles and looking for a large work space. Richards is an art instructor, printmaker and painter.

"In selling the building, the village required that the new owner maintain the look of the current building," said Mayor Brian Monahan. "They gladly agreed. They're anxious to come to Dobbs Ferry, and I'm glad they're coming."

While it appears an ideal future for an old building that has been on the market for six months, not everyone is applauding. Trustee Allegra Dengler told reporter Robert Marchant that she was concerned that an opportunity for the village might be lost. Concerned about the use, she said the village might have sought something on the site "to revitalize the downtown."

The prospective buyers agreed to a $525,000 price for the building, appraised at $400,000. They would renovate the second floor as living space and use the first floor for a studio and exhibits. The building had been a library since 1909.

The former library is being replaced by a new $5.2 million library on lower Main Street that is scheduled to open in December.

Preserving the former library's facade was made a condition as the village prepared to market the building. The buyers have reportedly agreed to that. The other goals were getting the building back on the tax rolls and selling it for more than the appraised value.

It is all apparently ready to happen.

Copyright - The Journal News

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Dobbs Ferry robbery, assault suspect found


(Original publication: September 6, 2002)

A Manhattan man suspected of beating and robbing a Dobbs Ferry resident he was visiting was arraigned yesterday after village detectives picked him up in Massachusetts.

Luis Antonio Canales, who turned 19 yesterday, was arrested in Springfield, Mass., on Wednesday after police spotted him loitering in a car in a high-crime area. A computer check of the license plate revealed that the 1993 Plymouth was the one stolen Saturday from the Dobbs Ferry victim, police Chief George Longworth said.

The 56-year-old victim met Canales over the weekend at Port Authority Bus Terminal and brought him to his Broadway apartment in Dobbs Ferry. On Saturday evening, a neighbor found the victim lying unconscious in the hallway. Police said Canales beat him, stole $70 and his car keys, and fled in the Plymouth.

Canales had driven an acquaintance to Springfield, but police said they knew of no other ties he had to that area.

Canales appeared yesterday in Hamden County District Court, where he agreed to return to New York. Dobbs Ferry Detectives Thomas Leahy and Patrick Sullivan picked him up, and he was arraigned in Village Court yesterday afternoon on a charge of first-degree robbery. He was held without bail at the Westchester County jail and is due back in court Sept. 12.

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Dobbs Ferry police sure missing teen was killed


(Original publication: August 26, 2002)

DOBBS FERRY When village police reopened the investigation into a teenager's 1981 disappearance three years ago, nearly all the leads suggested that the boy had been killed shortly after a woods party near Ardsley Country Club.

But only now are detectives willing to publicly rule out any other explanation for why Martin "JR" Crumblish vanished the night of May 2, 1981. They are not discussing what, if any, new leads they have in the case and Crumblish's body still has not turned up, despite several searches by a cadaver dog.

But a retired New York City detective assisting in the investigation said a review of the case this year by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children left no doubt that the 17-year-old Crumblish was the victim of foul play.

"Martin never left Dobbs Ferry that night or any other night. He's still there, probably in a shallow grave," said Michael Harris, a volunteer investigator with the center. "The key is to find him, because making a homicide case is hard without a body."

Harris, who lives in Ardsley, is assisting in several cold cases from around the region, including the Crumblish case and the 1995 disappearance of Robin Murphy, a 17-year-old girl from Carmel.

Dobbs Ferry Police Chief George Longworth confirmed Harris' assessment, but said he wasn't prepared to discuss additional details of the case. He said detectives had spoken in recent years with several people who saw Crumblish the night of the party but would not identify anyone as a suspect.

That police are no longer investigating the disappearance as a missing-person case came as no surprise to Karen Kelly, Crumblish's mother, who moved to the Adirondacks in 1994 and has waited two decades to learn what happened to her son.

"It's the only thing that makes sense," Kelly said yesterday. "If he had committed suicide or run away, there would have been a trace of him, someone would have known what happened. I still think about JR every day. I just want them to find him."

Crumblish was having a troubled junior year at Dobbs Ferry High School and went to live with Kelly's brother and sister-in-law in Yorktown a few weeks before he disappeared. On May 1, 1981, he stayed at a friend's house in the village so he could take the SATs the next morning. Late on Saturday night he joined several friends for a woods party at The View, a popular hangout on the Juhring Estate that borders the Ardsley Country Club golf course.

Police suspect Crumblish walked out of the woods twice that night, first to walk a friend home and then with a group of people who got into a car on Luzern Street. He went to the house where he was going to stay that night but left again and never returned.

His mother called police to report him missing Sunday night after he didn't go to his house or return to Yorktown.

The case lay dormant for years, with Kelly routinely calling to ask about any progress. Longworth and Sgt. Sean White reopened the case three years ago after the chief attended a training course at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They checked several national databases to make sure Crumblish's identification had not been used.

A New York City police cadaver dog searched parts of the estate and the woods along the Old Croton Aqueduct trail in the summer of 2001. About 75 yards from The View, he alerted detectives to a small ridge, but they dug and found nothing. The dog keys into tiny molecules of DNA released during human decomposition, but small traces of human tissue or blood left behind innocently can also trigger a reaction.

Kelly said her son had trouble with some teens that spring, but she had no idea why anyone would have wanted to kill him. She said she believes he was killed by someone he knew, a suspicion shared by Harris.

"We don't know exactly what happened to him, but it wasn't a stranger who did it," the retired detective said. "With these old cases, the saying goes that, if you want to know who the perp is, he's in the box. He's in the box with all the records and all the interviews and it's just a matter of finding him."

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