Our staff gives its picks for favorite stories of the year

(Credit: Michael Versandi)

Every year at this time we ask our staff about the stories we published that moved them.

As per usual, it’s a collection of heartwarming features and news stories that made a difference in 2018.

Check out our staff picks and click on the links to read any stories you may have missed.

“I didn’t know Rich Fielder personally, but I live in Greenport and would see him outside his gallery. I loved the way Joe Werkmeister wrote his front-page obituary and I truly enjoyed learning about his incredible life.”

Sonja Reinholt Derr, director of sales and marketing

“The conclusion of ‘Gone,’ the investigation into the 1966 disappearance of Louise Pietrewicz, was tops for me. The in-depth reporting and dedicated police work that helped find Ms. Pietrewicz’s remains after more than 50 years was a testament to the power of community journalism. Seeing the family find a sense of closure was profound.”

Cyndi Zaweski, associate content director

“Since I grew up sailing with Old Cove Yacht Club in New Suffolk, the story on the 25th anniversary of the Whitebread Sailing Race was one of my favorites. I loved the multimedia aspect with the podcast and photography.”

Andrew Olsen, publisher

“I loved the story about the couple whose wedding plans were thrown off by Hurricane Florence. There’s a good lesson in resiliency in their story: ‘The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.’ Reading about how many different North Fork businesses came together to give them a dreamy, last-minute wedding makes me proud to live and work in this community.”

Tara Smith, staff writer

“I loved reading about Yolanda Miranda, 61, studying like she was a high school student to become a U.S. citizen. It was so heartwarming to hear how her co-workers at ELIH and her daughter helped her study and pushed her to do better.”

Rachel Siford, staff writer

Claire Anne Lincoln just two months before her sudden, tragic passing. (Credit: Lincoln family)

“The story about Claire Anne Lincoln, who passed away from SUDC really stood out. I have a 15-month-old, so this story hit close to home. Being a Mattituck resident, my daughter and I frequent Claire’s Corner, the toddler section of Mattituck-Laurel Library created in her honor. It’s a really special little place and I think of Claire each time we are there.”

Michelina Da Fonte, brand strategist

“My favorite Suffolk Times story for 2018 was about Southold High School boys soccer coach Andrew Sadowski. The in-depth story about him in his 25th year coaching the team revealed a lot of background information that I didn’t know (such as a relative having played for Birmingham in England) and detailed his love for the beautiful game, going back to when he was 5 years old.”

Bob Liepa, sports editor

“I loved reading about Marc Wahl, the Cutchogue physical therapist who works with professional golfers. Just a week after the story ran, Brooks Koepka, who’s quoted in the story, defended his U.S. Open title by winning at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.”

Joe Werkmeister, editor

“The East End News Project focusing on the opioid epidemic has been, in my humble opinion, some of the most important work done this year. Each contribution has helped to shed a light on something that is quite difficult to understand if you’ve not been affected.”

Cerria Torres, production manager