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KINGS POINT / Students less unhappy

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy dropped a notch in Princeton Review's annual ranking of the nation's "Least Happy Students," moving the Kings Point-based school from being first last year to second this year in a field of 20 schools whose students have the blues.

The survey, "The Best 373 Colleges," tallies the responses of 122,000 students on academics, demographics, town life, schools by type, politics, extracurricular, social scene and quality of life, the subcategory where the Merchant Marine Academy fared poorly.

The only other Long Island school to make the "Least Happy Students" list, Stony Brook University, also fell lower among the least satisfied, from third last year to 11th this year.

Both schools, however, were ranked by Princeton Review as among the "Best Northeastern Colleges."

- ZACHARY R. DOWDY

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MASTIC BEACH / Village-status vote

Mastic Beach residents will vote Aug. 31 on whether to turn their unincorporated hamlet into a village with its own government.

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Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko set the election date earlier this week, town officials said. Lesko ruled in March that voters in the 11,500-resident hamlet should vote on the issue after members of a citizens group submitted a petition for incorporation.

Mastic Beach will become the ninth incorporated village in Brookhaven if the measure passes.

- PATRICK WHITTLE

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ASHAROKEN / Seawall repairer picked

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract for federally funded repair of the Asharoken seawall damaged in a March nor'easter. The $2.25-million work goes to Cutting Edge Group of Lake George, Asharoken officials said.

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Work will begin as soon as heavy rocks are delivered, with projected completion by February.

- DEBORAH S. MORRIS

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