Hamptons Police Blotter: Lighthouse Ghost, Sag Harbor Sonic

Plans for a Sonic restaurant in Sag Harbor
Plans for a Sonic restaurant in Sag Harbor, Graphic: Oliver Peterson, Meinzahn/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock

Lighthouse Ruse Revealed
Residents of Shelter Island have long refused to go near the abandoned lighthouse out on Folger’s Neck, saying it was haunted. Only Old Man McGumbus, the 104-year-old WWII veteran and night watchman for the late Will Fortescue’s menhaden-rendering factory next to the lighthouse, ever went near it, and he told everybody else to stay away as he’d seen some spooky stuff. Then this week a group of young hipsters came to Shelter Island in a van for a few days’ visit with an old uncle, and they got curious about the lighthouse. Determined to get to the bottom of what was happening, they went there late Friday night, but were scared off by mysterious sounds and ghostly apparitions, including a figure that resembled Will Fortescue—and he’s been dead for 15 years! Exploring the area on Saturday, the hipster sleuths discovered a tape recorder and a movie projector. Armed with this knowledge, the mystery-solvers decided to wait at the lighthouse until nightfall to catch whoever was scaring people off. Sure enough, when the sun went down a shadowy figure emerged from the menhaden-rendering factory and crept toward the lighthouse. Not wasting a moment, the brave crime-stoppers turned on the tape recorder and movie projector, thus capturing the villain in his own trap. When police arrived, “Will Fortescue” was revealed to be none other than McGumbus, who had been scaring people away from the old lighthouse because he wanted to buy it cheap from its terrified owners. McGumbus was quoted as saying that he would have gotten away with his plan if it hadn’t been for those meddling hipsters.

Sag Harbor Sonic Overload
Outraged Sag Harbor residents took to the streets this past week to protest a plan to build a restaurant at an already troublesome intersection. Police were on hand to deal with any disturbances. The plan seeks to erect a Sonic restaurant on the site of the small traffic island and flagpole, where Main Street and Bay Street intersect near Long Wharf. Developers feel that Sonic, with its old-fashioned carhop service, would blend nicely with the historic character of Sag Harbor. The plan is to have customers text their orders in advance, so the restaurant’s talented carhops can deliver hot meals to the customers while their cars are stopped at the intersection. The restaurant will obviously take up a lot more room than the current traffic island, and car space will be tighter around the intersection, slowing traffic and allowing more time for meals to be delivered. Protestors eventually dispersed after officials announced that they would consider an alternative proposal to build a Cinnabon instead.

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