This Week in North Fork History: Teen charged in death of child

09/08/2014 10:00 AM |

Amy Ellwood Cutchogue arrest

A Cutchogue teen was arrested in connection with the death of her newborn 25 years ago this week. 

Amy Ellwood, the 18-year-old daughter of then-Greenport High School principal William Ellwood, concealed her pregnancy before giving birth to the baby boy in the bathtub of her parents’ home while alone on the morning of Sept. 8, 1989. She then wrapped the body in plastic, causing his death, and placed the body in a styrofoam cooler, police said. That night she dropped the body into the water at Laurel Lake, where it was discovered the next day.

Ms. Ellwood was arrested Sept. 12 and she confessed to police, we reported.  Eighteen months later, she was convicted of second-degree manslaughter. After losing a pair of appeals in 1994, she was sentenced to 2 1/2 to 7 years in prison.

She was paroled in 1997 after serving the minimum sentence.

10 years ago this week

Big bucks to settle spill case

The Southold Town Board voted Sept. 7, 2004 to pay $825,000 to the state to settle a legal fight over a gas spill at a former service station in Peconic.

The spill had occurred in the late 1980s, but the state found the town responsible due to state law that left a town responsible for spills detected at closed businesses.

The town and state battled in court for a dozen years, before the settlement was reached, we reported.

Wine region gets new name

Governor George Pataki announced the official designation of the “Long Island Wine Region” 10 years ago this week.

At the time of the designation, the region included 36 wineries and 3,000 acres of grapes, we reported.

20 years ago this week

21 arrested in Greenport sweep

Twenty-one people were arrested by the Greenport Village Police Department in the largest mass arrest in the history of the department Sept. 3, 1994.

The arrests were a response to “numerous complaints” the village received over alleged gambling and drug activities in the vicinity of the Community Action Southold Town building, where neighbors complained teens were exposed to “unacceptable activities” on a daily basis.

Each of the arrested was charged with loitering, gambling or both, according to a report in the Sept. 8, 1994 issue of The Suffolk Times.

Two months later, residents of the village voted to disband the police department.

Bayview Fire Station’s going up

The first bricks were laid for the construction of the Southold Fire Department’s Bay Water Avenue substation on Sept. 6, 1994.

The project cost $800,000, half of which was paid through bonds approved earlier that year, we reported.

25 years ago this week

Blass knocked off November ballot

After 10 years in office, Suffolk County Legislator Greg Blass was defeated in a Republican primary on Sept. 12, 1989. The South Jamesport resident lost by fewer than 300 votes to challenger Michael Caracciolo of Wading River, who would go on to win the general election.

Mr. Blass reclaimed the seat four years later.

45 years ago this week

Conservatives favor Peconic County

The Southold Town Conservative Party made its platform public for the local 1969 election and it involved the creation of Peconic County at the earliest possible date, we reported in the Sept. 12, 1969 issue of The Suffolk Times.

The platform was similar to the Southold Democrats, we wrote.

70 years ago this week

Greenport participates in Blackout test

Greenport Village joined Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester counties as well as New York City in performing a blackout test on Sept. 5, 1944.

The blackout test was the most successful of any the village had performed at any previous point during World War II, we reported.

Coincidentally, the largest earthquake in New York State occurred earlier that day. The quake, which measured a 5.8 on the Richter Scale, was reported shortly after midnight in Massena, N.Y., near the Canadian border.

100 years ago this week

Four Greenport streets to be made public

Four roads in Greenport were dedicated to Southold Town for the purpose of converting them to public highways on Sept. 8, 1914, according to that week’s issue of The Suffolk Times.

The streets were given the names of Wiggins, Corwin, Seventh and Eighth. Community opposition was withdrawn at the meeting and the property owners signed releases, we reported.

The four roads still connect today.

102 years ago this week

Railroad station packed at end of summer

About 800 summer visitors returned to their city homes via the Greenport train station on Sept. 2, 1912, we reported in that week’s issue of The Suffolk Times.

About 75 percent of those visitors had been staying on Shelter Island, we wrote.

105 years ago this week

Watermelon thieves should watch out

Two unnamed Orient farmers went to extremes to keep local watermelon thieves from stealing their crops, we reported in the Sept. 11, 1909 issue of The Suffolk Times.

After a rash of thefts were reported in the area, one farmer set up a bear trap hoping to catch a thief. That was nothing compared to what the other guy did.

The other farmer rigged a gun to a string, in case an “unwary foot pulls the strings.”

“Don’t get into any patch and your own boys and you will be safe,” we wrote.