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Westchester 2012 Year in Review: October

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Murderous Mom

Four-year-old Jason “Jake” Reish, caught in the middle of his parents’ custody fight, is killed by his mother, Manuela Maria Morgado, in their Mamaroneck condo. A dispute over the boy’s schooling with his father, Dr. Timothy Reish, an orthopaedic surgeon who lives in Briarcliff Manor, is what supposedly sets her off. More than 200 mourners gather at Scarborough Presbyterian Church for the boy’s funeral.
 

Grow Old with Us

You’ll be in good company: Westchester County’s 60-plus population is expected to soar by 20 percent over the next eight years. Just in time, we receive a stamp of approval as “an age-friendly community” from AARP and the World Health Organization.
 

A Tragic Series of Events

Late last year, 68-year-old Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., a former Marine with heart problems, had somehow triggered his medical alert system. An ambulance, along with police cars, responded—standard operating procedure. There are conflicting reports as to what happened next, but despite Chamberlain’s insistence that he was fine, police broke in and tased the man, then shot him dead. Police claimed Chamberlain had grabbed a knife and charged after the officers. His family files a $21 million federal wrongful-death lawsuit against the City of White Plains and police; however, a team of criminologists, commissioned by the City days after a grand jury votes not to indict the officers involved, claims the “shooting of Chamberlain was totally justified.” The family disputes the findings.
 

A New Lease on Life

The suspense was killing us. Two years ago, the county asked for proposals on how to restructure Playland. Would the iconic but money-sucking park close? Would it turn into a giant Trump World with a crazy hair machine? Coexist with condos? Thankfully, no on all counts. County Exec Rob Astorino announces a plan that would keep the historic aspects of the park intact while adding new year-round amenities and about $1.2 million to the county’s coffers via a 10-year lease to a local nonprofit manager, Sustainable Playland. Days later, two leaders of the group stepped down in light of back tax issues to the tune of $200,000. We’ve got to wonder: will this plan be sustainable?
 

The Frankenstorm

Hurricane Sandy lives up to the hype: trees and power lines topple throughout the county, blacking out nearly 200,000 homes, shuttering businesses, closing schools, limiting Metro-North schedules. Tragically, two North Salem boys, Michael Robson and Jack Baumler, are killed when a huge tree crashes through the family room where they are playing. Yonkers resident Tiago Neto, 54, also dies when his car hits a fallen tree on the Sprain Brook Parkway.
 

photo by Jim Sulley/newscastNew York’s First Legoland

A note to all you parents tired of stepping on Lego blocks in the middle of the night: A solution is at hand. Work has started on a $12 million, 33,000-square-foot Legoland Discovery Center at Ridge Hill in Yonkers, which will have more than three-million(!) Lego pieces for your kids (okay, and maybe you, too) to play with—in their posh playrooms.
 

An Icon Shuttered

After a last-ditch effort to close an estimated $300,000 budget shortfall, the board of Peekskill’s Paramount Center for the Arts closes the theater’s doors “while it explores opportunities to reorganize.” The 1,025-seat, lavishly restored 1930s movie house has hosted Al Jarreau, Tom Chapin, Randy Newman, Patti LaBelle, Frankie Valli, Gregg Allman, BB King, Bernadette Peters, and others.
 

1 Million Dollar Meth Bust

Breaking Bad in New Rochelle: In what the DEA calls the biggest drug bust in state history, 50 pounds of methamphetamine is seized from a house on Church Street. Two people are arrested. They are not named Walter White or Jesse Pinkman.
 

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