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Westchester 2012 Year in Review: August



White Plains Kudos

Well, if there had ever been any question that White Plains was a terrific city, the September issue of Money magazine has laid it to rest by including it in its annual list of 100 best places to live.


Foster Death Ruled Accident

Sixteen-year-old Corey Foster never regains consciousness after staff members at the Leake & Watts residential school for troubled kids subdue him with a “therapeutic hold” after an altercation in the gym. No criminal charges are filed as the Westchester Medical Examiner’s Office rules that the death was accidental, caused by cardiac arrest.

$14 Tolls?

Okay, so this is kind of a downer. We may be getting a brand-spanking-new, bigger and better Tappan Zee Bridge, but it’s going to cost a bundle to actually use it. Rumors have it that cash tolls to cross the bridge will be about $14, with discounts for commuters and E-ZPass users.

Photo by John FortunatoGood Humor Joe

Joe Villardi, who died in June at 82, spent 62 years running a Good Humor ice cream truck, dispensing Popsicles and other icy treats to generations of kids. In his honor, White Plains declares August 6 “Good Humor Joe Day,” and, two days later, free ice cream bars are handed out at Kittrell Park, one of the stops along Villardi’s route.

Tragic End

Dobbs Ferry High School’s 2012 class valedictorian, Martha Corey-Ochoa, 18, dies after leaping from her dorm window at Columbia University. Her parents had helped move her into John Jay Hall just hours before.

A Senior Moment

A knife-wielding intruder picks the wrong woman to mess with when he breaks into her apartment at The Osborn retirement community in the middle of the night. The 71-year-old resident fights him off, grabs his knife, hits and punches him, then bites him on the ankle for good measure. You go, girl!


A private contractor strikes a 30-inch water main while installing fiber-optic cable, flooding parts of the Saw Mill and Cross County Parkways and affecting as many as 70,000 home owners.

photo courtesy of Cornell University PhotographyWord Play

Apparently, Westchester has the write stuff. Poetry superstar Billy Collins was living in Somers when he was named US Poet Laureate and then New York State Poet Laureate. Now, White Plains native Alison Lurie, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and academic, is named the official New York State Author, while Marie Howe, a poet who teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, is named State Poet.


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