The Suffolk Times staff’s favorite stories of 2013

12/25/2013 12:00 PM |

CARRIE MILLER FILE PHOTO | Loretta Lawlor with Gypsy at North Shore Horse Rescue at Gold Rush Farms in Baiting Hollow. Ms. Lawlor, 26, of Southold was born with retinoblastoma, which has made her blind. Gypsy, a 24-year-old paint mare that had been abandoned at a barn in Southold, is blind in one eye.

We asked our crew what stories they most enjoyed reading or meant the most to them.

Here’s their favorite stories of 2013:


“The story about Loretta Lawlor, the blind woman, and her incredible bond with Gypsy, the half-blind horse. I was just amazed at Loretta’s resilience and all that she has been through since she was a baby. When we as humans complain about things happening in our lives, all we have to do is think about Loretta and wish her everything good that life can offer her.”
Karen Kine, office manager



“The story about Lordy the dog. He was such a part of Greenport Village and in his whole six years of life, like the story stated, he brought more joy to those around him than some humans manage to accomplish in a lifetime. I admired Lordy.”
Maria Gennaro, editorial production assistant



“The special report on school security. I felt The Suffolk Times provided important information to the community during a time when every parent was asking,‘How could this happen?’ It brought national news to the local level.”
Sonja Reinholt-Derr, sales and marketing director



“The piece about Cutchogue firefighter James Parker Wickham being honored in Albany more than 80 years after his death. As a volunteer fireman, I see firsthand the time and effort the many volunteers across the North Fork put in to make us all safe. No one sacrificed more than Mr. Wickham.”
Andrew Olsen, publisher



“How cool was it when David Gamberg and Mike Comanda hatched a plan that would see Mr. Gamberg serve as the superintendent of both schools? Hopefully other school administrators take notice.”
Grant Parpan, executive editor



“The feature about how the Southold High School robotics team named its robot after Ronan Guyer, who died last year while practicing for the state cross country championships. I liked learning about Ronan’s life and how the Southold community rallied together to honor him.”
Jennifer Gustavson, senior staff writer



Alex Whittle, the autistic Greenport valedictorian. It was amazing to see not only what he has accomplished on his own, but how his parents, the school and members of the community helped him along. You read and hear so many stories of kids being bullied, even on the North Fork. I think it says something about Greenport’s anti-bullying campaign, which seems to be one of the stronger programs in the local districts.”
Laura Huber, editorial assistant



“I particularly enjoyed the story about the family quilt discovered and finished by a Cutchogue woman, Sandra Midgley — admittedly because the quilt has connections to my own family in Southold. My great-grandmother’s is one of the names embroidered on the friendship quilt, which was started in 1894 and finally completed earlier this year.”
Lauren Sisson, senior associate editor



“My favorite fun story of the year had to be the column about the silly things tourists say. One character from the reality show ‘Princesses: Long Island’ compared an area vineyard to the Garden of Eden, then proceeded to relieve herself between the rows of grapes. Another young woman on the show later cried that she was ‘in the middle of nowhere.’ The column provided some hilarious insights into what people think of us.”
Michael White, editor



“The comprehensive exposé ‘Leaving the Farm’ was a realistic and practical report on migrant workers who toil in the fields of the North Fork’s agricultural industry, literally growing and harvesting the food we eat.”
Matt Kapelas, editor,



“I think the reopening of the Suffolk Theater in downtown Riverhead was an important story, because it confirmed the fact that downtown is in the process of a real rebirth as the grand and vital destination it once was.”
Bert Vogel, advertising production manager



Jackie Spinella: the first girl to ever play football for Bishop McGann-Mercy. What I like about the story is the great courage, physical and otherwise, it must have taken her to go out for the team and stick with it through the season.”
Bob Liepa, sports editor