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10 Biggest Stories of 2013 in Kings Park

Catch up on the biggest news stories to sweep through Kings Park in 2013.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
As we start counting down the final hours of 2013, we're taking a look back at the biggest news stories to sweep through Kings Park this year. 

Residents in the local area were fascinated as photos of the Kings Park Psych Center went viral, before controversy struck the community over an altered "Silent Night." Overall, 2013 had its struggles and triumph that the community faced together. 

Here is our list of the 10 biggest stories of 2013, based on readers and comments received: 

Haunting Photos of Former Kings Park Psych Center Go Viral
The Kings Park Psych Center has always drawn photographers, but pictures capturing one recent exploration have gone viral. 

ViralNova, a website chronicling trending stories on the Internet and social media, shared a post showing"Terrifying Photos of Kings Park Psych Center" on Friday. 

School Chorus Sings Altered 'Silent Night,' Removes Religious References
A Kings Park parent is not keeping silent about being offended by the school chorus's rendition of holiday carol "Silent Night."

Kevin McDonald said a Kings Park school teacher removed all religious references from the lyrics of "Silent Night" to avoid offending non-Christians at a fifth-grade holiday concert held at Ralph J. Osgood Intermediate School on Dec. 12. 

Police: Kings Park Couple Arrested After New Orleans Shooting
New Orleans police arrested a couple from Kings Park in June after they say the pair was involved in a shooting at a hotel in New Orleans.

Friends of the pair circulated a flyer in Kings Park last week stating the couple was missing and that they believed the two had fled to North Carolina.

Trio of Burglaries Hit Fort Salonga
Suffolk County police confirm that three Fort Salonga homes were hit by burglars in late October.  

Kings Park Man Dies of Head Injury Weeks After Struggle With Cops
A Kings Park man who took a blow to the head during a police struggle nearly three weeks ago died Saturday as a result of that injury, according to police.

On Sept. 24, Suffolk County Police received a call that Lawrence Ports, 60, was acting irrationally at his 35 Hemlock Drive home in Kings Park, and after arriving police decided to call the county's Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team to take Ports to Stony Brook University Hospital.

School Board Pres: "Enough, Kings Park" Over Barrett Fundraiser Controversy
Kings Park Board of Education's latest efforts to resolve ethical questions raised by a community fundraiser for trustee Liz Barrett dissolved into a yelling contest in front of students and parents on Dec. 3. 

Public Safety: Kings Park Man Arrested for Tending Commack Marijuana Farm
Smithtown Public Safety officers arrested a Kings Park man on Wednesday night for helping tend a marijuana plant farm inside a Commack water recharge basin. 

Mark Kern, 44, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree, a felony charge, after undercover town officers found him tending to more than 100 marijuana plants off Vanderbuilt Motor Parkway and Redleaf Lane in Commack at 10:22 p.m., according to Public Safety's Deputy Chief Kevin McPadden. 

Liz Barrett Resigns From Kings Park Board of Education
Kings Park Board of Education Trustee Liz Barett has given her resignation to the school district after standing at the center of a community controversy for the past four months. 

In a Dec. 10 letter posted in Kings Park Central School District's website, Board of Education members said a district employee reached out to one of them on Dec. 5 alleging Barrett publicly discussed his employment status. 

Kings Park Family Hopes to Win 'Worst Kitchen in America'
A Kings Park family tired of using their oven door handle for a chin-up bar is hoping to win the infamous title of 'Worst Kitchen in America." 

Mike Egan, a lifelong Kings Park resident, and his family are among the top five finalist for the DIY Network's contest "Worst Kitchen In America." They've submitted a video "Save Our Family" for online voting, hoping they'll win a full kitchen makeover on the show's season finale. 

Kings Park Mother Pleads for Return of Son's Stolen Memorial
A Kings Park mother begged Smithtown officials for help in tracking down her late son's military cap - one of many items missed when his memorial suddenly disappeared. 

Rose Byrne came forward to ask for public's help in finding items stolen from the memorial for her late son Seamus Byrne, an army veteran who received the Purple Heart for his service in Afghanistan, who was killed crossing Main Street after a birthday celebration in February 2011.  

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