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Top 10 Harrison Stories Part One: Acocella, Polera

HARRISON, N.Y. - As the new year approaches, The Daily Harrison has compiled a list of the top 10 stories to come out of the town this past year. With some help from  local residents, we're hoping we can take readers back through the year and remember, reflect and discuss the biggest stories.

Stories are not ranked in any particular order.

Harrison Stops to Remember Joseph Acocella - Original story ran 8/12/11

Last summer, beloved Town Clerk Joseph Acocella Jr. died at the age of 30 from medical complications. He was awaiting a kidney transplant at the time of his death. The town seemed to stand still when Acocella's casket was carried into St. Gregory the Great Church on Halstead Avenue. An enormous flag was also erected at the intersection of Halstead and Harrison avenues in honor of the late clerk while Harrison police stopped all traffic on the road during the funeral.

The life and legacy of Acocella were honored in October during the annual " It's Great to Live in Harrison Day " when the town remembered the late clerk and named him citizen of the year .

Acocella was running for re-election on the Republican ticket for 2012 at the time of his death. Since then, Harrison resident Jacqueline Greer replaced Acocella on the ticket and eventually won the election. Greer received the endorsement of the Acocella family during her election campaign and will be sworn into office Jan. 1 in downtown Harrison.

Polera Pleads Guilty in Harrison Pizza Prank Case - Original story ran 11/29/11:

Harrison politics were at the forefront of conflict in 2011 when former Harrison Democratic Party District Leader Maria Polera pleaded guilty to second degree harassment and disorderly conduct for unsolicited food deliveries to Mayor/Supervisor Joan Walsh in July.

Polera was fined $250 and Walsh received a two-year order of protection from Polera. Polera was ordered to pay a total of $228.93 back the pizzerias and eateries for the unsolicited orders.

What was sometimes referred to as the "pizza prank" case became a summer saga as former Town Judge Ronald Bianchi recused himself from the case and handed it over to Town Judge Marc Lust.

The former district leader ran for receiver of taxes on the same ticket as Walsh twice in the past five years and lost both times. She also endorsed Walsh in her mayoral run in 2007.

Harrison court records said Polera was no longer on good terms with Walsh after allegedly hearing Walsh's comments on her "body odor" and that she was "unelectable."

Stay tuned throughout the week for follow-ups and expanded reflections on more stories.

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