Despite dire end-of-the-world predictions based on the Mayan calendar, the Sound Shore—as well as the rest of Westchester county—has remained quiet during the last few weeks of 2012.
The same could not be said for the latter half of 2012.
From the tragedy in Newtown, CT to Hurricane Sandy, there have been a whirlwind of major events occurring in the Sound Shore, or nearby, that have caused many to wonder if the end of the world was actually upon us.
Here, in no particular order, were the top stories on Larchmont-Mamaroneck Patch in 2012:
- Mamaroneck Mother Charged with 4-Year-Old Son's Death - Police discovered a semi-conscious Manuela Morgado cradling her dead son, Jason, in her Mamaroneck condo on Oct. 1, after an attempted suicide and murder. Morgado was engaged in a custody dispute with the boy's father, Dr. Timothy Reish. In a felony hearing on Oct. 17, the chilling details of the murder were revealed by the detective who heard Morgado's account of the events that transpired that night. Morgado is currently in Westchester County Jail awaiting trial.
- Hurricane Sandy - Although less people were displaced in this storm than during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, many in the Sound Shore area remained without power or heat for weeks due to heavy winds that knocked out power lines across the region. Several local businesses and organizations—including the Hampshire Country Club, Stephanie's Kloset, the Larchmont Rotary Club and the Town and Village of Mamaroneck Fire Departments—set up donation drives to collect money, clothing and supplies for residents in Breezy Point, Queens and Staten Island, two of the hardest-hit areas. Other residents donated their time to help victims still in need of food, water and medical supplies in hard-hit parts of Queens.
- - A vicious pit bull attacked a 75-year-old woman walking her Coton De Tulear on Florence Street in the Village of Mamaroneck, causing the death of the woman's dog and the loss of her fingertip. The article provoked a heated debate from the community regarding whether or not pit bulls should be kept as pets and how the village's law would apply to other pit bull owners. The dog was sent to live at a shelter for pit bulls in Long Island and will not return to Mamaroneck.
- Are Minority Students at Larchmont School Being Disproportionately Assigned to Same Class - Arguably one of the biggest stories of the year, the debate over an Office of Civil Rights (OCR) complaint filed by a Larchmont mother generated much controversy in the community. In October, 2011 Rina Jimenez became concerned at the disproportionate number of minority students in her son's class. She filed a formal complaint with the federal office in December of the same year. In August of 2012, the OCR issued a formal report that concluded the District had applied its criteria “inconsistently and subjectively,” and that non-white students had, in fact, been disproportionately assigned to the class in question for 2010-11 and 2011-12. OCR will monitor the District through September 2013.
- Mugger Targets Area Commuters - A masked gunman terrorized commuters in the Town and Village of Mamaroneck, Harrison, Pelham and New Rochelle in early 2012, robbing eight victims of electronics and cash before he was caught by Pelham police in April. New Rochelle resident was indicted in county court on 10 felony charges in November, and faces up to 25 years in prison on each robbery count.
- Newtown Gunman Kills 26 - The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on Dec. 16 will forever remain a dark day in history. The senseless deaths of 20 children and 6 adults have reshaped the nation's views on guns, with many calling for a ban on semiautomatic assault rifles, similar to the Bushmaster AR-15 that Adam Lanza used in his attack.
- Larchmont Crossing Guard Assaulted - Two New Rochelle men, Anthony Vaccaro and Lucian Cappello, were charged in connection with the assault of a 66-year-old Murray Avenue School crossing guard in May. After a verbal dispute, Cappello struck the guard in the chest; the guard was also struck in the leg by a Nissan Rogue driven by Vaccaro. Both men pled guilty to lesser charges in September and paid $375 fines.