This past year was a rollercoaster of dramatic weather, lots of business change-ups, 9/11 remembrances a decade later, and tragic losses of community members. North Fork Patch was here to cover it all — here are the top 10 most-read articles of 2011, many of which still continue to receive hits, in order of popularity:
Southold residents John and Janine Bakanic and their daughter Jessie were not home at 3:45 p.m. on Feb. 25, when an completely gutted their home on North Bayview Road. Members of the and responded to the scene and had the fire contained by 10:15 p.m. Photographer Andrea Pickerell caught these images at the scene of the blaze — the worst Southold Fire Chief Keith Cummings said he'd seen since a fire destroyed a home on Paradise Point Road a number of years ago. in the weeks following the fire to help the Bakanic family, who also has horses and chickens on their property.
Jim Bissett, the co-owner of and the recently opened Hyatt Hotel in downtown Riverhead, was found dead in his car in the parking lot of in Mattituck shortly before 6 p.m. on Dec. 14. Chief Martin Flatley said foul play was not suspected, but Riverhead and North Fork residents were shocked by the news. Bissett, 48, was the father of three grown children, had lived in a sprawling home on Cox Neck Road in Mattituck and had of a 5,000-square-foot exhibition center and 100-room hotel, a $24 million expansion to the downtown aquarium complex. said they remember Bissett as an optimistic, hard-working and giving man with an unmatched vision for downtown Riverhead.
North Fork residents got a preview in March of what they could expect at the vacant property once home to the popular Seafood Barge restaurant in Southold — the owners of Mattituck’s announced that they would open an 85-seat “fish house” called in May. They did, and since then have plates of
Barbara and Kathryn Primich, daughter and mother, died on the morning of Aug. 23 in a house fire on Goose Creek Lane in Southold. The fire started around 5:15 a.m. in the living room of the 1930s-era two-story home and was extinguished by 7:30 a.m. Barbara, 56, had for years been taking care of her elderly mother, Kathryn, 83, in the home, which did not have fire detectors, tucked away on a dirt road near Goose Creek. "They lived together all year round," said a neighbor, who did not want to give her name. "I admired these people tremendously. They lived a happy life together."
Phillip Beltz, Deputy Supervisor of Southold Town, announced on the morning of April 29 that Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell was taking an extended leave to take care of personal matters. The news came after Southold Town Police were called earlier that week to Russell’s house in Cutchogue for a family disturbance, but no arrests were made. On May 11, that he would return to work on May 16, saying that “recent incidents were a result of my poor health … the fact is that for some time now I have allowed myself to become physically and mentally fatigued.”
After a lengthy renovation process, Tony's Fusion, a Hamptons-based restaurant featuring Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisine and a wide selection of sushi, opened for business on July 10 in Mattituck. Located on Route 25 across the street from the Magic Fountain, Tony's took the place of the old North Fork Grill building just west of North Fork Pool Care and is one of the few places on the North Fork to find dishes as well as a
before it fizzled to a mere tropical storm, took over our lives at the end of August and into cleanup in September. Before, during and after the storm, North Fork Patch staff members worked non-stop with a network of Patch editors, representatives of LIPA and the National Weather Service, local weather experts and emergency authorities to cover every aspect of the potential natural disaster (at least until our batteries gave out). Here is only one power outage update that local readers swarmed to during Irene; check out this topic page for a look back at complete Irene coverage for the North Fork.
Betty Hermann, 80, of Southold was hospitalized after being pulled from a 2007 Toyota following a car accident at the Empire gas station in Southold just after 4 p.m. on Nov. 15. Hermann was attempting a left turn onto Route 25 to exit the gas station when she failed to yield the right of way to Keith Zurek, 39, of Greenport who was driving a 2001 Dodge pickup truck with his wife, Laura, as passenger. This accident was, some fatal, that occurred on the North Fork in 2011.
After police conducted a drug investigation at the on the corner of Route 25 and Depot Lane in Cutchogue on the night of April 15, Kevin Crenshaw, 31, of Bellport, Kevin Parker, 22, of Greenport, and Melissa Bondarchuk, 30, of Greenport were found to be in possession of a large quantity of heroin and ecstacy pills, police said. Each were charged with several drug-related offenses. and the conducted several drug busts across the North Fork in 2011.
Freelance photographers Mark Stetler and Caroline Knopf lived in a spacious second-floor loft on Nassau Street in Lower Manhattan when the World Trade Center towers collapsed before their eyes. The husband-and-wife couple, now Greenport residents, ran to the roof of their building when they heard and felt the first plane hit. Camera in hand, Stetler didn't stop snapping as the Twin Towers fell, and he didn't leave the rooftop until fast-moving debris forced him inside. Stetler, who had published only a few images from this series, decided to share these photos a decade later with North Fork Patch on the eve of a 9/11 memorial weekend. North Fork Patch told the rest of their story and the 9/11 remembrances of several other local residents throughout the month of September.