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A Look Back At New Rochelle's Top Stories In 2012

Tree branches and wires were down across New Rochelle after Hurricane Sandy ripped into town
Tree branches and wires were down across New Rochelle after Hurricane Sandy ripped into town Photo Credit: File Photo

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - As readers look ahead to 2013, The New Rochelle Daily Voice is taking a quick look back at some of the top headlines of the past year .

In no particular order, here are the top stories of 2012.

New Rochelle Pounded By Hurricane Sandy

Residents awoke on Oct. 29 to brutal winds, driving rain and for some, no power thanks to downed power lines.

Schools were closed for a week and New Rochelle had to set up a temporary shelter at Albert Leonard Middle School.

In the days following the storm, residents struggled with power outages while Con Ed crews worked to get live wires off the streets and turn the juice back on.

New Rochelle Firefighter Killed In Boat Accident

A large crowd gathered at Holy Name Church in New Rochelle to bid farewell to 30-year-old firefighter Keith Morris following a tragic boating accident in Stamford, Conn.

Morris was killed July 23 when the boat he was piloting smashed into a breakwall and flipped. Four other passengers in the boat survived the accident.

Authorities in Connecticut said toxicology reports showed Morris was above the legal limit for alcohol.

New Rochelle Police Officer Facing Sex Crime

New Rochelle cop Matthew Melillo, 31, is due back in court on Jan. 29 on a charge of attempted dissemination of indecent material to a minor, a felony.  He is accused of engaging in a series of Internet “chats” with an undercover investigator between Aug. 3 and Aug. 29, according to the district attorney's office.

New Rochelle Man Charged In Train Station Robberies

Olivier Famby of New Rochelle is due in court on Feb. 13 to answer charges in connection with a series of armed robberies at train stations in New Rochelle, Pelham Mamaroneck and Harrison

The 21-year-old, of 62 Dewitt Place, was arrested April 27 and charged with eight counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree assault, all felonies; and one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and one count of criminal possession of stolen property, both misdemeanors.

Westchester Budget Controversy

The December vote on the county budget got messy when seven Republican legislators and two Democratic defectors passed their own version of the budget after the chairman of the Board of Legislators had attempted to adjourn the meeting. County Executive Rob Astorino signed the budget later that day, but Democrats argued that it had not been legally passed. The Republicans contend that it is now law.

Fireworks, Parade Saved By Donations

The city set up a fund so residents could help defray the costs of events like parades and the annual July 4 fireworks because of a tight budget in 2012. The move paid off and residents were able to enjoy the fireworks and both the Memorial Day and Thanksgiving Day parades.

Increased Bridge Strikes On Westchester Parkways

Truck drivers, many of whom were using GPS devices designed for passenger vehicles, not tractor-trailers, struck county overpasses 62 times in 2012, the most in five years. Despite more signs, wayward trucks continue to make their way onto county parkways. In September, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) urged the U.S. Department of Transportation to regulate GPS devices for all truck drivers.

Capitol Theatre Reopens

In September, The Capitol Theatre returned, bringing big names and a revitalization in Port Chester. More than 40 shows have been played since, including big-ticket names such as The Roots, Bob Weir and The Rascals.

New Rochelle Moves On Echo Bay Project

The city was awarded $1.5 million in Regional Economic Development Funding for reclamation of the Echo Bay Waterfront at the end of December, which will assist the City in transforming contaminated and inaccessible land into a vibrant, mixed-use waterfront community featuring more than five acres of open space, market-rate and affordable rental housing and retail. In May, the City Council unanimously adopted a resolution detailing how it wants the city’s waterfront to look when the Echo Bay project is completed.

AirTran Leaves Westchester County Airport

The Westchester County Airport was the subject of many headlines in 2012. Geese struck a JetBlue plane in April, AirTran Airways left the airport in August, and Hurricane Sandy forced all activity to be shut down at the end of October.

What did you think was the top story of 2012? Comment below or join us on Facebook to share your thoughts.

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