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Poll: What Was Westchester's Top Story In 2015, Eastchester?

Westchester County saw a busy 2015, and is looking forward toward 2016.
Westchester County saw a busy 2015, and is looking forward toward 2016. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - With the year 2016 just days away, Daily Voice looks back at 20 of the top stories that influenced Westchester County residents in 2015.

Poll
What Was The Biggest News Story In Westchester This Year?
Reader Results Voting Closed

What Was The Biggest News Story In Westchester This Year?

  • Valhalla Train Crash
    64%
  • County Wins Court Appeal In Affordable Housing Case
    9%
  • Lois Colley Homicide
    6%
  • Iranian Hack Attack In Westchester:
    4%
  • Harrison Murder-Suicide
    4%
  • Chappaqua Crossing Changes
    2%
  • New Rochelle Downtown Redevelopment
    1%
  • Somers PepsiCo Site Sale
    1%
  • Pleasantville Murder
    1%
  • Titicus Reservoir Crash
    1%
  • Generation Yonkers
    1%
  • Janet DiFiore's Ascension To Judge
    3%
  • Mudslinging Mount Vernon Mayoral Race
    1%
  • Other
    4%

Tragedy on the Tracks : In February, Westchester County was rocked when a Mercedes SUV was struck on the tracks by a Metro-North train at the crossing in Valhalla, instantly killing the driver, who was from Edgemont, five train passengers and injuring more than a dozen others.

Hochman Murder-Suicide: Harrison was caught by storm when retired White Plains Police Officer Glen Hochman took the lives of his two youngest daughters before taking his own in February, leaving behind a five-page suicide note.

Somers PepsiCo Site Sale: The PepsiCo campus in Somers sold for nearly $100 million in the spring. According to town and Westchester County records, the buyer was a little-known company, titled: One P Way LLC - reportedly linked to Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim - which purchased the site for $87 million.

Titicus Reservoir Crash : A South Salem couple lost their lives in November, when a small plane they were travelling aboard crashed in North Salem. After a lengthy search, police confirmed that Val Horsa – who was piloting the plane - and his wife, Taew, who owned the Bangkok Restaurant in Danbury for more than three decades, were the two victims. The cause of the crash remains unclear to investigators.

Presidential Contenders: No less than three presidential either live or have lived in Westchester: Bedford estate owner Donald Trump and former Peekskill mayor George Pataki on the Republican side and Chappaqua's Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side . Trump and Clinton are leading in the polls for their respective party. There has also been quite a bit of mudslinging among the trio, with Pataki being the only GOP candidate to say he won't support Trump if he's the party's nominee and Trump and Clinton exchanged heated attacks the last two weeks.

Generation Yonkers: City business leaders and Mayor Mike Spano launched Yonkers' second generation of its marketing campaign. Developed by advertising agency Thompson and Bender, the city's initiative seeks to "position the city as the next great urban frontier to live, work and play ."

Chief Judge DiFiore: Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore was nominated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to become New York’s next chief judge, a seat she will fill if she is confirmed by the Senate next year.

Lois Colley Murder: North Salem residents are still on edge following the unsolved murder of the North Salem socialite, after she was found dead at her 300-acre estate from blunt force trauma. A search for one item missing from the crime scene – a fire extinguisher – continues to elude investigators. Her death was ruled a homicide by New York State police in November.

Mount Vernon Mayoral Race : In one of Mount Vernon’s most hotly contested and debated mayoral races in years, more than six candidates were vying for embattled incumbent Mayor Ernest Davis’ seat in office, with current Mayor Elect Richard Thomas set to take over in the new year.

Chappaqua Crossing: The New Castle Town Board approved several major changes to developments at Chappaqua Crossing this year, following several tweaks. The changes include rezoning to install 28 affordable-housing units in the historic Reader’s Digest cupola building, as well as the construction of a two-lane roundabout at the intersection of Route 117 and Roaring Brook Road.

Modell's Move To Mount Kisco: The s porting good store is poised to move into the former space in Mount Kisco occupied by Borders Books and Music.

Iranian Hack Attack In Westchester: Hackers from Iran gained access to the control system of a small dam on the Rye-Port Chester border in 2013, prompting concerns that reached the White House, and a sharp response from County Executive Rob Astorino who faulted the government for never having informed the county of the situation.

County Wins Court Appeal In Affordable Housing Case: The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said in a ruling issued Friday that “there has been no finding, at any point, that Westchester actually engaged in housing discrimination.”

Letterman Exits Stage Left: North Salem's David Letterman retired after more than three decades as one of the mainstays of late-night TV with a special show that included stars and current and former presidents.

Silver, Skelos Booted From Albany After Corruption Conviction: Two of Albany's most powerful political figures -- one Democrat (Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver ) and one Republican ( State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos ) -- were booted from their posts after being convicted of corruption charges.

Common Core Debate Rages: Locally, and statewide, parents of about 20 percent of students in grades 3 to 8 opt out of taking Common Core standardized tests , prompting the state Board of Regents to suspend their use in judging student and teacher performance for four years and potentially risk loss of more than $1 billion in future federal aid.

Calls For Controlling Coyote, Deer Populations: Several Westchester towns continue to wrestle with the issue.

New Rochelle Redevelopment : After announcing their intention to undertake “the most ambitious downtown redevelopment in New Rochelle history” at the end of 2014, city officials made earnest progress on the expansive project, reaching out to the community to come up with a cohesive vision for what master developer RDRXR should seek to create in the downtown business district.

Pleasantville Murder Suspects: In November, Westchester County police began an investigation into two suspects believed to be involved in the murder of 76-year-old Linda Falkoff in Pleasantville. According to reports, the case was an attempted murder turned homicide.

Affordable Housing in Mount Vern on: Mount Vernon city officials joined with local developers to break ground on a pair of multi-million dollar developments in their continuous effort to develop a more transit-oriented downtown business district. It is estimated that the developments will create hundreds of temporary and permanent jobs.

What do you think the biggest story was in Westchester this year? Vote in our poll and continue the conversation in the comments.

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