Community

Notable Stories Of 2016

Responders inspect the Toyota Matrix that crashed in Lake Mahopac with two MHS students inside. Cullen Malzo pulled the girls out of the car. He was awarded the state’s Liberty Medal for his heroism. Credits: Tabitha Pearson Marshall
Undersheriff Peter Convery passed away in November. Credits: Tabitha Pearson Marshall
Michael Kline Credits: Photo Courtesy of Facebook
After 15 years, Freezin’ for a Reason came to an end in March. It raised nearly $1.6 million for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation during that time. Credits: Tabitha Pearson Marshall
Michelle Margilaj Credits: Bob Dumas

MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Another year has come and gone in Mahopac and it’s time to look back on 2016 and recap the most noteworthy stories of the past 12 months. Being memorable doesn’t necessarily mean a joyous occasion; this past year did have some heartbreaking moments. However, it was also a year of heroes, a year of triumph and a year of progress. So, in no particular order, here are some of the most notable stories from 2016:

Two teenage girls were rescued from Lake Mahopac in November after their car crashed and flipped into the water. The Good Samaritan who saved them, 19-year-old Cullen Malzo, was in his driveway when the crash occured. He sprang into action and dove into the frigid waters and pulled the girls to safety. The story gained attention from the area news networks on TV and went viral online. Malzo was later awarded the Liberty Medal by Sen. Terrence Murphy for his heroic actions.

Michael Klein, former treasurer of the Mahopac Fire Department was arrested and charged with stealing more than $5.7 million from the department’s treasury.

Sign Up for E-News

Putnam County Undersheriff Peter Convery, a Mahopac resident, died in November from an apparent heart attack. Convery was well-known throughout the community, not just for his police work, but as a member of the Lake Mahopac Rotary Club, the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department, myriad charities such as Relay for Life and for his work with senior citizens. He was a parishioner of St. John’s the Evangelist Church in Mahopac.

After 15 years, the iconic Mahopac cystic fibrosis fundraiser, Freezin’ for a Reason, came to end. The event’s founder, Christine Stack, said her daughter, Jacqueline, was healthy once again and back playing sports. Christine wanted to return to the workforce and so she made the hard decision to end the annual fundraiser where hundreds of community members jumped into the frigid waters of the lake at Sycamore Park to raise money for cystic fibrosis.  During its 15-year run, the event raised an astonishing $1.6 million for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

A plan by the county to construct a cell phone tower on county property near Mahopac’s Airport Park soccer fields angered neighboring residents and some lawmakers, who insist that a new location should be found.

The project, known as the Emergency Services Network Improvement Plan, was the result of area law enforcement and EMS services’ concerns about poor cell service throughout the region. But neighbors say the tower is a health detriment and would lower property values. The plan is still pending.

After five years of working without a new collective bargaining agreement, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 456, which represents members of the Carmel Highway Department, finally got a new contract. While the five-year pact will provide pay raises, workers will also now be required to contribute to their health benefits package.

Town officials unveiled plans for a community recreation center at Sycamore Park last week—an 18,000-square-foot facility which, along with some ancillary projects, would cost a little over $10 million. The blueprint calls for a great room that would double as a gymnasium/basketball court and have a stage at one end. Surrounding that main room would be a series of smaller rooms, including a senior meeting room, a teen meeting room, a game room, storage rooms and a kitchen. There is also a rock-climbing wall in the main room.

A referendum to repair school roofs and make energy improvements throughout the district’s buildings was turned down by voters by just 15 votes. The $8 million capital improvement project would have been done without borrowing money or raising the tax rate but was voted down nonetheless. It will be placed back on the ballot in May during the budget vote.

In the wake of the million-dollar embezzlement revelation at the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department, the company agreed to hold meetings that are open to the public and report its expenditures to town officials on a regular basis, among other fiscal constraints, as part of a new contract agreement between the town and the department.

Other stipulations in the contract included that the board of directors must use its best efforts to ensure that vacancies in the offices of directors and commissioners occurring during the contract period are filled by district residents to create a super majority and each board members be required to undergo annual Fireman’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) training and continuing education.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Mahopac

Responding to My Critics

A couple of items I commented on have been called into question. Rightly so. I could have made myself clearer.

1) A correction. Recently I wrote about being mad at future “Con Ed” bills. My bad. I should have said, in regarding Indian Point, that it is owned by Entergy. However, Entergy does not do the billing; Con Ed bills me for my electric service. So, even though Entergy owns ...

Feeding the Swamp He Promised to Drain

Donald Trump signed an executive order in the Oval Office this month calling for review of the Obama administration’s landmark retirement savings “fiduciary” rule.  Shortly after, a fellow I worked with a number of years ago, who follows my column, emailed me this story: 

“Back in the early ‘80s, my wife and I were teachers in the city. I worked at a ...

Musical Joy Ride in a Time Machine

For those who fondly recall the pop hits that defined AM and then FM radio of the ’60s and ’70s, there’s a time machine you can climb into at Westchester Broadway Theatre. That’s where a nifty little musical revue called “The Bikinis” is warming the hearts of audiences through the very last day of winter, March 19, when it makes way for the next show, ...

The Psychic Wives Network

After almost 25 years of marriage, my husband and I have finally figured out why sometimes we have trouble communicating: He can’t read my mind.

I know. I was shocked, too. But there it was. And the sad fact was, I was enlightened over a bag of garbage.

One morning I came downstairs to find a bag of garbage sitting near the back door, exactly where I had left it the previous night ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, February 22, 7:00 PM

Putnam Hospital , Carmel

Breast and Ovarian Cancer Support Group

Health & Wellness

Thu, February 23, 6:00 PM

Mahopac High School, Mahopac

Harlem Wizards at Mahopac High

Community Calendar Sports

Thu, February 23, 7:00 PM

Putnam Hospital, Carmel

Breast and Ovarian Cancer Support Group

Health & Wellness

How to Adapt Your Home to Support a Learning Disabled Child

Dana Stahl, a learning specialist and educational consultant, will address educational questions and concerns that parents may have regarding their children’s academic development and progress in school. Topics center on such concerns as how to handle homework dilemmas or what questions to ask at a CSE meeting. Questions can range from “How best do parents advocate for their ...

Somers Business Joins Smart Home Market

February 14, 2017

Jilco Window Corp. of the Somers hamlet of Granite Springs has announced that part of their product line will now include PowerView motorization.

Hunter Douglas is helping homes achieve a higher level of intelligence with the industry’s most innovative collection of custom window treatments, digitally programmed to automatically raise, lower, tilt and traverse exactly how and when you ...