06/20/14 2:00pm
06/20/2014 2:00 PM
Meb Keflezighi, who won the Boston Marathon in April, will be running in the  Island's  10K on Saturday. (Credit: courtesy)

Meb Keflezighi, who won the Boston Marathon in April, will be running in the Island’s 10K on Saturday. (Credit: courtesy)

When Mary Ellen Adipietro confirmed that Meb Keflezighi would race in this Saturday’s Shelter Island 10K, it was months before the Olympic medalist became the first American to win the Boston Marathon in April.

His win in Boston only added to his allure, she said. But it was his life story as one of 10 children who travelled from Eritrea, a small East African village, with their parents to eventually settle in California and begin his pursuit of the American dream, that inspired Ms. Adipietro to invite him. (more…)

04/22/14 1:00pm
04/22/2014 1:00 PM
Meb Keflezighi, winner of the Boston Marathon, the night before his historic victory with Liam Adipietro of Shelter Island. (Credit: courtesy)

Meb Keflezighi, winner of the Boston Marathon, the night before his historic victory with Liam Adipietro of Shelter Island. (Credit: courtesy)

The next race for the winner of the Boston Marathon will be run along the streets and roads of Shelter Island.

Meb Keflezighi, who ran an historic race in Boston Monday, becoming the first American man in almost 30 years to win the most famous footrace race in the world, had already accepted an invitation to run in the Shelter Island 10K on June 21. (more…)

07/26/13 12:00pm
07/26/2013 12:00 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Megan Tuthill, shown with her husband Robert, was one of 14 people featured on the cover of The Improper Bostonian for her efforts during the Boston Marathon.

Greenport native Megan Tuthill’s picture is on the cover of the latest edition of a Boston monthly magazine. Well, sort of.

A professional emergency medical technician for the City of Boston, Ms. Tuthill was on duty in the medical tent near the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, helping runners at the end of the 26-mile course with mostly minor complains such as blisters and sprains, when the two pressure cooker bombs went off nearby at 2:49 p.m.

An often fun assignment instantly became anything but. The EMTs went into crisis mode and within 18 minutes provided initial treatment and transported about 80 victims, many with horrendous injuries, to trauma centers across the Boston area. In an instant they went from simple city employees to heroes, showered with praise, thanks and tokens of appreciation, such as Red Sox tickets.

One of the more conspicuous examples of their celebrity status was appearing on the cover of The Improper Bostonian, a glossy lifestyle magazine, for its “Boston’s best” issue. The accompanying story includes a link to the magazine’s website, where Ms. Tuthill and others describe that day in their own words.

When viewed at a newsstand, the cover photo shows only half the 14 men and women who share their stories of that day. The rest, including Ms. Tuthill, are on the foldout’s inside flap.

And that’s OK with her.

“I’m fine behind the scenes, which is why I never went into acting or anything like that,” said Ms. Tuthill, a Greenport High School graduate and a Suffolk Times student athlete of the year for 1988-89. “It helps that it’s on the inside cover and it seems to be mostly people at work who noticed, not the general public.

“I was asked to do it and it was more to represent my co-workers,” she said. “I honestly feel that the Emergency Medical Service is left behind sometimes. But we’re always involved in things that the fire department and police are involved in.”

Her marathon day experience, she said, “was different, but not life-changing.”

Ms. Tuthill, 42, has been a city EMT in Boston for 17 years and is currently assigned to an ambulance center in the Roxbury neighborhood. Her marathon day shift started at 9 a.m., but she didn’t get home to her husband, Robert, also a city EMT, and two sons, ages 5 and 10, until after 11 that night. Her husband didn’t work the day of the marathon.

“You’re on high alert all day and uncertain all day,” she said. “We’re trained that there’s not just one explosion, there’s always more and you have to keep looking around. You feel like it will never be over, but it feels good to get home.”

She was aware of the role she played, but still didn’t have the big picture. “I hadn’t seen any of the coverage so I had to sit down and watch the news,” Ms. Tuthill said.

Falling asleep that night proved not to be a problem and, in what turned out to be fortuitous scheduling, she had the next day off.

The passage of time has not given her pause to reassess her role in a historic event.

“I don’t think it was that difficult for the Boston EMS because we train for many scenarios, including mass casualties,” Ms. Tuthill said. “It was like a drill for us with real people.”

Knowing what to do and where to go came as second nature, she said. “This is what we were trained to do.”

She jumped into an ambulance to take a double amputee to Boston Medical Center, one of the area’s four trauma centers. She then returned to the tent to take two other victims to a different hospital.

“The most important thing is they need to go to an OR,” said Ms. Tuthill. “We have to get them out fast.”

The EMTs were offered counseling after the bombings and were told that they could be hit with post-traumatic stress syndrome later on.

Ms. Tuthill continues to say that the bombing injuries, while horrific, fall within her job description.

“I’ve seen a lot of this before,” she said. “Just not all at once.”

And while the next race is nine months off, she and her fellow EMTs are already being asked if they’ll return to the ’14 marathon. It’s not hard to guess Ms. Tuthill’s reply.

“Why wouldn’t we?” she said. “It’s a fun day to work. I’m there to encourage the runners, many who do it to raise money for charity or awareness for a cause. I would never do it. Running at 5 a.m. through a snowstorm? I’ll pass.”

She plans to work as an EMT as long as she’s able.

“I still love it,” she said. “I just hope my body will let me keep doing it for a while. It’s strenuous and physically demanding. You’re constantly lifting people and carrying people down stairs. Society has definitely not gotten skinnier, I can tell you that.”

As for the threat of future terrorist attacks, she said, “Every day there’s a chance of something happening, but you can’t live like that. Life is too short and you have to enjoy every moment.”

She’s adamant in asserting that she’s not just putting a happy face on tragedy.

“People say your life must have changed. It hasn’t,” Ms. Tuthill said. “I still get up and go to work each day. I wake up and don’t have to worry about how to put on a new leg. I always see someone who’s having a worse day that me. The little things in life make you happy. Me and my colleagues always joke and say, ‘This is the best day ever.’ ”

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04/20/13 4:11pm
04/20/2013 4:11 PM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | One runner dawned a hand made T-shirt in support of Boston.

Close to 50 supporters gathered this rainy Saturday morning to participate in a walk/run in honor of the tragedy in Boston on Patriot’s Day.

The run was organized by the NoFo Runners Group. Members of the group along with many others ran or walked 2.2 miles in Mattituck. The course was down Marlene Lane to Peconic Bay Boulevard, up Bray Avenue and down Old Main Road.

Donations were also collected to give to those in need in Boston.

04/19/13 12:11pm
04/19/2013 12:11 PM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | SWAT officers at the exit of the Cross Island Ferry in Orient Friday afternoon.

UPDATE (1:15 p.m.):

Local authorities say a walk-on passenger to a Cross Sound Ferry boat heading to Orient Friday morning “fit the description” of a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings and set off a scare that drew dozens of police officers to Orient and New London, Conn.

“It was not him,” said Southold Town Police Chief Martin Flatley said from the scene. “It was someone who looked like him.”

Suffolk Police did apprehend the passenger, but determined he was not the suspect. As of 1:15 p.m., the man was being transported to Southold Town police headquarters to further check his status with county investigators — as a precaution, he said.

Police were going to run the man’s fingerprints electronically through what’s called a “live scan,” to run the prints through state and federal databases. The live scan has replaced ink and roller as a means of taking prints, Chief Flatley said.

But, he added, “they have no reason to believe it is him at this point. He was fully cooperative. He definitely fit the description.”

Police at the scene also X-rayed the man’s bag, he said.

“We received a call after 11 a.m. from crew aboard the Cross Sound Ferry,” Chief Flatley said. “There were concerns about someone that had a resemblance to the man from Boston. After the crew contacted them, they notified the Suffolk County Police Department, who sent an emergency services unit, a bomb team. There was no arrests.”

A utility worker at the Orient ferry yard who did not give a name, told a reporter he saw police swarm the passenger and force him down on his stomach near the ferry’s snackbar.

The worker said he thought at the time the man was being arrested.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Police were blocking traffic at the Orient Causeway on Route 25 just before 12:30 p.m. Friday.

PRIOR COVERAGE:

At least a half dozen Suffolk County police cars — their lights and sirens blaring — were spotted heading east on Route 25 in Mattituck about 11:40 a.m. Friday, for what could be shaping up to be a false alarm.

Police have shut Route 25 west of Orient, at the Orient Causeway, officials said, though some cars were being allowed to pass through as of just before 12:30 p.m.

Boston Bomber suspect called in Orient

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Police vehicles heading east on Route 25 in Mattituck about noon Friday.

The Day of New London newspaper reported before noon that police tactical teams also reported to the waterfront in New London for reports of “a possible suspect” in the Boston Marathon bombings Monday and subsequent shootings Thursday night in Cambridge.

But The Day updated the site a few minutes later after reporting passengers were boarding the ferries as normal. Ferries at the New London terminal go to Block Island, although seasonally, Orient and Fishers Island.

Meanwhile, schoolchildren have been told by police to remain indoors.

Oysterponds School District Superintendent Richard Malone said he received a call from the police shortly before noon.

“I spoke directly with the police and they told me to keep the kids inside and not to let anybody in or out,” he said.

[Video from New London, via theday.com]

The Oysterponds school on Route 25 is not on lockdown, he said, but the district has staffers at the doors.

Classes are continuing, Mr. Malone said, but he is awaiting word from the police on how to handle dismissal, which is at 2:45 p.m.

“The children are in the classrooms and we’re using the gym for recess,” he said.

Police gave the same order to the neighboring Greenport School District, but the district’s school already had a half-day scheduled due to parent/teacher conferences.

The children were dismissed at 10:52 a.m.

“We’re all secure here,” said district superintendent Michael Comanda, adding that though children were gone, staffers were still in the building.

“We’ve got a person at every door and we’re monitoring the situation and waiting for the green light from the police,” he said.

“It’s unexpected, but we’ve been practicing our lockdown and evacuation procedures regularly now we’re putting them to use,” he said.

A Suffolk County police spokeswoman could not comment on the matter.

Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley was not immediately available.

[email protected]

with Tim Kelly, Michael White and Joe Werkmeister


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04/18/13 6:01am
04/18/2013 6:01 AM

AP PHOTO/CHARLES KRUPA | Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday.

New Yorkers are supposed to despise New Englanders. We hear it all the time.

But is it really true?

We’d argue that — particularly here on the North Fork, where a ferry system effortlessly connects us to New England — that simply isn’t the case.

We have so much in common with our cousins to the north. Many of our immigrant ancestors came from the same places. Our seaport communities feel like theirs. Our funny little accents even sound alike to the untrained ear.

There are countless similarities between the inhabitants of New England and our former Middle Colony, yet our differences, forged mainly through meaningless sports rivalries, are so often the focus.

Unfortunately, this past Monday, New England’s principal city gained one more thing in common with ours. We have both now been targets of terrorist attacks.

So we’re told we’re supposed to dislike Boston, but today we love it more than ever.

The news of Monday’s tragedy hit particularly close to home for many in our newsroom, some of whom once lived in or around Boston or have family living there today. This is what they had to say.

Sarah Olsen, co-owner: Boston University graduate

“Yesterday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon brought me right back to that city that was my home for four years. As a small-town North Fork girl, going to college there was incredible but a bit overwhelming at times because the entire city really is your campus at BU. The bombing site is not far from the center of BU’s campus. I attended my fair share of Patriot’s Day marathon parties, cheering on the runners from the side of the road. There was always a great sense of a party atmosphere that day, since it’s a state holiday. I kept thinking what a sad and scary thing for today’s BU students (and their parents) to go through — something that this generation has had to think about far more than mine due to Sept. 11. Let’s all hope this is something that will not define this generation.”

Paul Squire, reporter: Boston native, Boston University graduate

“The marathon’s the heart and soul of the city. I’m shocked by what happened but, at the same time, Bostonians are nothing if not proud. I get this sense of determination that they’re going to get through this and next year they’ll be along the marathon route cheering twice as loud. Because no one messes with Boston. There were some very nervous moments yesterday as I tried to reach out to friends up in Boston to make sure they were OK. I could barely think straight.”

Cyndi Murray, reporter: Suffolk University graduate

“When I first heard about the explosions I was in disbelief. I always say I am a New Yorker by birth, a Bostonian by choice. While I attended Suffolk University, I lived just three blocks from the finish line in Copley Square. I have fond memories of watching the runners come down Boylston Street with my college roommate. There are photos of us standing at the site of the blast three years ago, cheering. It makes me sick to think we could have been there. My first thought was the safety of my friends who live in the Commonwealth and attended the race. One of my friends, who works for the Globe, was reporting at Exeter and Boylston, another was taking the T to Copley. When you hear about a terrorist attack the last place you want a loved one to be is on a subway. Bostonians are strong people. Go Sox!”