The year that was: A look back at the stories that made headlines in the Star-Review in 2012

Nicotra said he enjoyed the experience. He is still, however, a bachelor.

Cicero-North Syracuse basketball phenom Breanna Stewart was named USA Basketball’s Female Athlete of the Year for her 2011 accomplishments.

The national honor, handed out since 1980, has, among its honorees, some of the greatest players in the game’s history, including Cheryl Miller, Lisa Leslie, Dawn Staley, Chamique Holdsclaw and Diana Taurasi.

Stewart joined that elite list after a 2011 that included two U.S. national team appearances. First, in July she led Team USA to the gold medal at the FIBA Under-19 World Championships in Chile, averaging 11.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Then, in October Stewart joined 11 college players on Team USA for the Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, just the second high school player so honored. She responded by leading Team USA in points (15.3) and rebounds (11.3) as the Americans went 2-2 and finished seventh in the tournament.

Stewart now plays for the University of Connecticut Huskies.

Cicero officials agreed to settle a $2 million lawsuit against the town, the chief of police and a specific police officer at the town board meeting Feb. 8 for $4,500.

The suit was brought in federal court by Albert Merola Jr., a resident of Beach Road in Brewerton, against the town of Cicero, Cicero Police Chief Joseph Snell and Cicero Police Officer James Snell. The suit, filed in United States District Court, Northern District of New York, on March 23, 2011, stems from incidents that took place in April of 2010. The suit alleged that James Snell physically assaulted Merola during an attempt to arrest him without cause, exacerbating injuries Merola sustained in a work accident in 2000 that left him permanently disabled and wearing a neck brace. James Snell’s actions caused numerous other injuries, the suit alleged.

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