NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – As 2012 draws to a close, The North Salem Daily Voice is recapping some of the biggest stories of the year. In case you missed them, here is a summary:
The 2011 mystery of the decaying body found in the Gaymark Preserve by some trail riders may be solved. The body was later identified as Epifanio Medina, 65, and in March 2012, police charged Jessica Ryan French, 24, and three cohorts with second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, second-degree robbery and unlawful imprisonment, all felonies.
The historic Purdys Homestead took on a new persona as the Farmer & The Fish restaurant, which took off with great, continuing popularity.
The oft-debated 65-unit affordable housing complex proposed for a site near Kingsley’s on June Road finally obtained all approvals. “We expect to have the first building done in just under a year," developer Bill Balter said in late December. “We’ll start marketing in about two months.”
Pequenakonck Elementary School said farewell to 14-year veteran Principal Rebecca Reiner, and welcomed its new principal, Mary Kathryn Johnson, an experienced teacher and administrator from Connecticut.
In other school news, the 2012-13 school budget squeaked in under the state’s mandated 2 percent tax levy cap, and the debate over the number of fourth-grade teachers was resolved when Superintendent of Schools Ken Freeston hired an additional teacher. Judith Schurmacher and Paul Giamundo were re-elected to the school board.
The long-awaited Peach Lake sewage system floated into action in the spring, with the official ribbon-cutting celebrated in late October.
When Hurricane Sandy roared into town just before Halloween, nearly everyone lost electricity for a number of days. Trains were halted, telephone and Internet service were lost, driving was difficult, and many were without heat and water. The North Salem Highway Department earned kudos for being one of the first to clear its town roads of fallen trees and debris.
The inconveniences of the storm were nothing, compared to the tragedy it caused when young Jack Baumler and Michael Robson were killed by a giant tree crashing through the roof of the Baumler home. All of North Salem and several of its neighboring communities deeply mourned the loss and pitched in to support the families, both spiritually and financially.
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