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Year in Review: Top 10 News Stories of 2012

Here are a few of the most-read stories of 2012 on North Fork Patch.

Marked by one of the biggest hurricanes to hit the Northeast and tragic deaths of community members, 2012 was also filled with inspiring stories of recovery and charity after Sandy, local artists making a splash and fire departments doing what they do — saving lives.

Here are some of the most-read headlines of 2012:

John Romanelli, the president of Burt's Reliable fuel company, died in the early morning hours of Jan. 3 at Stony Brook University Medical Center. Romanelli, 47, was He was airlifted to Stony Brook Medical Center by Suffolk County Police medivac after a fuel hose from a bio-diesel fuel truck ruptured and sprayed a heat source that Romanelli was using.

John is survived by his wife, Heather, and his two children, Ethan and Tara. The North Fork community came together to grieve and remember Romanelli, sharing their thoughts about the well-liked businessman on Patch.

North Fork residents were ordered to evacuate parts of Mattituck, Laurel, Cutchogue, New Suffolk, Nassau Point, Southold, Peconic, Greenport, East Marion and Orient as Hurricane Sandy approached.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell and the town's emergency management team released the order, adding that if a local fire department encouraged residents to leave an area outside of these orders, they should comply.

Social media blew up during Hurricane Sandy with pictures of the Village of Greenport flooding.

Many Greenport businesses owners located near the harbor on Front and Main Streets suffered some of the worst damage from flooding on the North Fork, with that section of the village existing under flood waters from 6 to 10 inches during the overnight period of Hurricane Sandy. Claudio’s Restaurant, Clam Bar and Crabby Jerry’s took a pounding from waves and flooding, resulting in damage that according to owner Bill Claudio will be a major effort to repair.

“We’ve been through this before, so fortunately we know what to do beforehand,” he said.

Despite losing ferry service during an overnight period while Hurricane Sandy passed over Shelter Island, Jim Read, police chief and the island’s emergency management coordinator, said that emergency crews and highway department workers “did a fabulous job” keeping everyone safe and that Shelter Island weathered the storm well.

Read more Sandy coverage here: FULL EAST END COVERAGE: Hurricane Sandy

Ronan Guyer, a Southold High School freshman, died in mid-November after suffering cardiac arrest and collapsing during a warm-up before the New York State Public High School Athletic Association cross country championships in Elma.

Ronan survived five days in a medically induced coma at the Womens and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo after being revived from cardiac arrest. The active student-athlete had been familiarizing himself with the cross country course before the race. Ronan played tennis, lacrosse, and loved sailing.

Coast Guard officials continued their search for the missing captain of the HMS Bounty, 63-year-old Capt. Robert Walbridge.

Walbridge was the lone member of the Bounty crew unaccounted for after the ship was abandoned 90 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., during Hurricane Sandy.

With the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 happening in 2012, the Tall Ships festival attracted over 50,000 visitors to the village this Memorial Day Weekend. It was also the first and last time for many to see the HMS Bounty, which was lost during Hurricane Sandy.

Members from the entire 8th Division including Orient, and Mattituck fire departments responded to the scene of a working house fire at 600 Major Pond Road in Orient the afternoon of Feb. 27. The fire started in a workshop in a garage attached to the house. The fire spread through the basement into the main house. Firefighters worked to get the fire under control despite windy conditions and water problems. Helmars and Jocelyn Ozolins and their two children were home when the fire started but escaped unharmed.

Greenport native and rising hip-hop artist Mike Check took the stage at Manhattan’s Tammany Hall in August to perform some of his latest tracks and unveil his newest music video, for the song, “Beastly,” which was shot on the North Fork and featured numerous local residents. The event, which was streamed live online, celebrated the video’s official release which occurred the next day.

“Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come and the goal is to reach MTV, VH1 and BET,” Check told Patch. “For now, we’re just hoping it will continue to go viral.”

The video definitely went viral on North Fork Patch, gaining thousands of viewer hits in a matter of hours after this article was published.

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