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East End Business Notebook: After Bomb Scare, Home Depot Ups Security

Catch up on the East End's biggest business stories from the past week.

North Fork Pumpkin Crop Strong in 2012

After a tropical storm in 2011 and more rains that soiled much of last year's pumpkin crop, this year is looking great so far, according to one report.

“It’s been a pretty darn good year – super weather, and super sales, and a great crop,” Jim Stakey of Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm told CBS New York.

A report released in late August noted that Suffolk County is the state's top grower of pumpkins, among other crops such as sod and flowers.

EAST HAMPTON

FedEx Won't Reinstate Driver Despite Community Outcry Over Firing

In response to a groundswell of support for a longtime FedEx Ground delivery man in East Hampton whose contract was terminated last week, the corporation gave no signs of hope for a reconciliation on Monday.

FedEx received hundreds of comments, Facebook messages and calls in which customers pleaded for the reinstatement of Barry Gilliam, who they said delivered their packages for the past 11 years with a smile and attitude that is rare.

"We appreciate the feedback that we have received. Our business relationship with Barry Gilliam, Inc., has ended," Erin Truxal, a FedEx Ground public relations manager based in Moon Township, PA, told East Hampton Patch on Monday evening.

WESTHAMPTON-HAMPTON BAYS

Area Dentist Office Offers Cash for Candy

In an effort to keep children's teeth free of cavities, Jason Parli, DDS of Beach Dental is once again offering cash for candy through a program, called, Halloween Candy Buy-Back.

Through the program, children, up to age 18, can bring their Halloween candy to Beach Dental on Nov. 2 and 3 and in return receive $1 for every pound traded.

All of the candy, said Parli will then be shipped — along with toothbrushes — to soldiers overseas through Operation Gratitude.

SOUTHAMPTON

West Water Street Condo Developers File for Bankruptcy

East End Development, LLC, the developers behind the 21 West Water Street condominium project in Sag Harbor Village, has filed for bankruptcy, dealing another blow to a half-finished project that hasn't made any progress in three years, The Sag Harbor Express reports.

The company filed for Chapter 11 on Oct. 12, according to The Express, which reports that more than $35.3 million in debt is sunk into the 19-unit condo project, while the property and building, in its unfinished state, are valued at just $27.3 million

RIVERHEAD

After an alleged bomb was found in a Huntington Home Depot this week, authorities are stepping up security in other Home Depot locations, including the Riverhead store on Route 58.

According to Suffolk County Police, a 911 call was received at 4:11 p.m. on Monday regarding a letter warning of a suspicious package at a Home Depot store located at 839 New York Avenue, in Huntington Station.

Management at the store made the decision to evacuate approximately 50 people, including employees and customers, at approximately 4:30 p.m. No other stores or nearby homes were evacuated, police said.

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