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Chappaqua's Top Stories of 2011

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - With contested elections, budget cuts and natural disasters causing power outages, there has been plenty to cover in the six-and-a-half months since The Daily Chappaqua launched.

With the year drawing to a close, we asked residents of New Castle to look back and nominate their biggest stories from 2011. Here are the top five stories from Chappaqua in 2011:

Stormy Weather Rocks Chappaqua

In the span of two months, Chappaqua was devastated by two unlikely storms. In August, Tropical Storm Irene flooded South Greeley Avenue with nearly a foot of rain, causing major damage to a number of local businesses.

“(Squires owner Susan Bierne) came here yesterday for 12 hours and ripped up the floor with her father,” Tracy Merolli, a spa employee, told The Daily Chappaqua in August. “It’s really sad to see.”

A massive snowstorm then caught residents and officials by surprise on Oct. 29, causing power outages for tens of thousands of New Castle residents. Not only did the pre-Halloween storm bring more snow than anticipated, but tree canopies were still completely covered with leaves, causing branches and trees to snap, taking down electrical wires in the process.

New Castle was hit far worse than many other areas in the county. While approximately 34 percent of customers lost power in Westchester, 76 percent of New Castle residents were affected.

As with Irene , residents rallied and provided support for each other in the wake of the storm. New Castle Community Center and Horace Greeley High School provided residents with hot showers and a warm place to sleep.

D’Agostino’s Closes

After months of rumors, Chappaqua officially lost its only supermarket when D’Agositino’s closed the doors to its King Street store for good in September .

An online petition was created when it was revealed that a new supermarket would not take the place of D’Agostino’s, and the space would instead be sold to Walgreens, a pharmacy.

“It was so obvious to me that if we had lost our grocery store to another pharmacy that would be a real problem for this community,” said Debbie Glickman, who started the petition.

The petition currently has 692 signatures and caught the attention of politicians. Incoming New Castle Town Board member Jason Chapin recently told The Daily Chappaqua that the board will try and diversify the business district by preventing the addition of businesses that New Castle already has enough of.

Construction Comes to a Close on Route 120 Bridge

Years of headache-inducing construction on Chappaqua’s Route 120 bridge came to an official close with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 22. For nearly three years, the oft-delayed construction both disrupted traffic and business in the heart of Chappaqua along South Greeley Avenue.

New Castle Cop Saves Child’s Life

Officer Raymond Borbeau was responding to a car accident around 5:30 p.m. on Sep. 29 when he received a call that a nearby child was choking. Borbeau arrived at the Saw Mill River Road residence minutes later to find that Kethan Labana, 3, had already turned purple and gone limp.

Borabeau then began performing the Heimlich maneuver on the child and, after about a minute, Labana began coughing up the orange pulp that had been stuck in his throat and was able to breathe again. Borbeau was honored for his life-saving action at New Castle Town Hall on Oct. 10 .

Horace Greeley Boys Soccer Team Wins Section Title

The varsity boys soccer team capped off a Cinderella run through the Section 1 Class AA tournament on Nov. 4 behind the foot of senior Jeremy Kesselhaut, who scored both Quaker goals in a 2-1 win over John Jay-East Fishkill.

The week-long journey began for the 13th-seeded Quakers when they pulled off a 1-0 upset over No. 4 Suffern in the first round. From there, they took down No. 5 Scarsdale and No. 8 Clarkstown South, both by the score of 3-0. It was Greeley’s first section title since 2007.

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