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News Nearby: A Democratic Primary, a New Place to Hang Out

A roundup of nearby headlines from Patch towns.

Local Olympian to Serve as Grand Marshal

The autism nonprofit Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI) has announced that it has chosen Olympian and Sachem Alum Maria Michta to be the Grand Marshal of its annual "DDI Walk and Motorcycle Run for Autism" event. The organization said Michta confirmed her availability late last night. The 5K tour will be held on Sept. 23 at the Holtsville Ecology Center. "We knew with the Olympics and all the Olympic frenzy everyone was in, that Maria would be a good fit for our event," said Julie Grilli, a spokesperson for the DDI. "Plus, she's a racewalker and this is a walk, so it's perfect." to read more from Sachem Patch.

Upcoming Primary to Choose LaValle's Challenger

Democrats in New York's First Senate District will go to the polls on Thursday to pick their party's candidate to challenge longtime Republican incumbent Sen. Kenneth LaValle, of Port Jefferson. Bridget Fleming, of Noyac, and , of Rocky Point, are going head-to-head for the nomination. to read more from Port Jefferson Patch.

More Competition From Croxley's Welcome in Smithtown

Smithtown has its share of bars and pubs, and three weeks ago the town welcomed another one to the scene – Croxley's Ale House & Biergarten. The bar took over the . While Croxley's will provide competition for the other local long-standing bars and pubs, owners and managers of these establishments feel that it will help, not hurt their business. "It's always good to have people in town, it makes Smithtown a destination," said Brendan Dunfin, manager at  on Main Street. "When people are in town they tend to bounce around, so it's good for everyone." for more from Smithtown Patch.

Fundraiser is Putting a Smile Back in Heritage Park

If your daily travels have ever taken you to in Mt. Sinai or even if you've just driven by, at some point or another you’ve been greeted by the smiley face cut into the grass or made up of thousands of little flowers on the knoll facing Route 25A. This year, volunteers are holding a fundraiser to bring the flowery smiley face back to the park. According to Fred Drewes, chairman of Heritage Park's Farm Committee, back in the fall of 2004 volunteers planted 7,500 crocus that formed the first blooming smiley face. Over the the next two years the crocus came back. to read more from Miller Place-Rocky Point Patch.

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