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A Look Back At Mount Vernon's Top Stories In 2012

Hurricane Sandy knocked down plenty of trees and a fence on Gramatan Avenue in Mount Vernon.
Hurricane Sandy knocked down plenty of trees and a fence on Gramatan Avenue in Mount Vernon. Photo Credit: Greg Maker

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- As readers look ahead to 2013, The Mount Vernon 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.

Fulton Avenue Bridge In Mount Vernon Reopens

The Fulton Avenue Bridge made headlines when it had to be closed twice in 2012. The bridge was closed in June, and after $131,000 in repairs, it reopened at the end of July.

The bridge that connects Mount Vernon and Pelham over the Hutchinson River then had to be closed again in early September. The bridge finally reopened in December after more repairs.

"I know this bridge was important to residents and business alike in the area," County Executive Robert Astorino said in a news release.

The approximately $4 million renovation project removed and replaced the concrete deck of the bridge, as well as the sidewalks.

Mount Vernon Asks For Patience During Sandy Cleanup

Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to 70 percent of Consolidated Edison customers in Mount Vernon when it hit the area Oct. 29. In some cases, power wasn't restored for two weeks.

"There are many properties that require our attention and we must prioritize and take the most serious conditions first," said a statement from the city in the storm's immediate aftermath. "Please be patient. We are working as hard as we can to restore normalcy to you and your family as soon as possible."

But the two weeks following Hurricane Sandy were anything but normal. Gas became scarce, and cars waited on lines on Sandford Boulevard for hours. Trick-or-treating on Halloween had to be postponed, as many street and traffic lights remained dark for over a week.

Many trees fell, some on houses, others on cars, causing property damage across the city. Community groups such as Habitat for Humanity and the Sisters of the Heart helped victims find food and shelter.

Mount Vernon Declares Four Houses Unsafe

At the end of July, the Mount Vernon City Council declared four houses on the south side of the city unsafe. The battle to knock them down has lasted nearly a decade.

Though discussions arose about the legality of knocking the houses down, complaints from residents living in the immediate area led to one house being razed. The other three houses that were declared unsafe still stand.

Seven Mount Vernon High School Students Arrested After Brawl

Seven Mount Vernon High School students were arrested on Nov. 30 when several brawls broke out at Mount Vernon High School. The school was placed under lockdown.

Students said the brawls began when someone bumped into someone else. They escalated from there. The following day, attendance at Mount Vernon High School was down.

"Half the school didn't show up, probably because their parents wanted to keep them home," said junior Okeino Gregory said. "I came to school because I don't get into anything with anybody."

Suspect Arrested In Fatal Mount Vernon Stabbing

Lucius Crawford, 60, of Mount Vernon, was arrested Tuesday as the suspect in a fatal stabbing earlier in the day, police said. He had not been charged with anything as of 7 p.m.

The victim was a woman, stabbed at Crawford’s apartment at No. 7 Beekman Ave., police said. Police said Crawford is a convicted felon, having served 13 years in a South Carolina prison for attempted murder. He was released on parole in 2008, with parole set to expire in 2014.

Westchester County 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.

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 Theater 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.

Air Tran 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.

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.

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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