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The 10 Most Read Stories of 2012

As 2012 winds down Patch, offers a glimpse of the most popular news stories.

Deer Park Soccer Prodigy Goes Viral

More than a million people watched 15-year-old Nkosi Burgess, a Deer Park High School freshman, score an incredible overhead goal that most people wouldn’t believe unless they saw it with their own eyes. The move was captured on camera and uploaded to YouTube, where it soon went viral. Patch interviewed the newly discovered soccer prodigy.

When Hurricane Sandy touched down in Deer Park and North Babylon, it left hundreds of downed trees and thousands without power. The pool roof was blown off of Deer Park High School and the "Welcome to North Babylon" sign was left in pieces near the Southern State Parkway. Deer Park and North Babylon residents still faired much better than their neighbors south of Montauk Highway though where homes had to be evacuated and some people lost their homes to flooding. Those without a place to go took solace at Robert Frost Middle School in Deer Park, which turned into a Red Cross shelter. On Thanksgiving, the Red Cross kitchen in Deer Park, districuted nearly 1,000 meals to Long Islanders who were still without their homes.

Local Gay Couple Applauds President's Announcement

President Barck Obama made a landmark announcement this May when he became the first sitting president to publically announce that same-sex marriage should be legal. For North Babylon couple, Vincent Verni and Michael Vazzano, Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage served as a message of hope that all couples, regardless of gender, will soon be granted the same legal rights. The couple has been together for almost seven years, and was married in Ridgefield Connecticut before same sex marriage was legal in New York. The pair now live together in a home near where Vazzano grew up and have a 1-year-old daughter.

North Babylon High School on Lockdown

North Babylon High School went on lockdown this October, after a student reported seeing gunman outside of the North Babylon Library on Deer Park Avenue, across from the school. Suffolk County Police said that no threats had been found during their investigation, however, the building remained under a modified lock down for the remainder of the school day.

Deer Park Removes 300 Students From District

At an October Board of Education meeting, Deer Park School officials announced that 300 students who had been identified as non-residents of the district had been removed from its schools over the past five years. The district is in its sixth year of a residency process, which requires students to be re-registered when they advance to a new school building. Over the past five years, 300 students have been relocated, the administration said.

N. Babylon Woman Seriously Injured in House Explosion

 a State Farm Insurance representative from North Babylon, was at the residence of 12 Prospect Drive in Brentwood regarding a claim submitted for flooding when the house exploded at 11:55 a.m. on Aug. 14. Salegna-Maqueda, 46, was one of 17 people injured in the blast. She later died from her injuries. Salegna-Maqueda is the second person to have died from the explosion. The first was Rah-quan Palmer, an 18-month-old boy.

Montauk Highway Closed in Town of Babylon

The New York Department of Transportation shut down Montauk Highway across in both directions from Amityville to Babylon Village as Hurricane Sandy blew through the area and caused massive flooding. Robert Moses Causeway south of Montauk Highway was also closed due to flooding.

Cuomo: Gas Headed to Long Island

Hurricane Sandy kept Long Islanders idle in gas lines for hours as the city's deliveries had been cut off due to closed briges and tunnels during Hurricane Sandy. The gas deliveries came as Long Island residents anxiously waited in line for hours to fill up gas tanks at the few stations with petroleum supplies. According to published reports, nearly two-thirds of the gas stations in the New York metropolitan area were out of gas.

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