Mom remembers daughters killed in Conn. Christmas Day blaze, calls tragedy ‘incomprehensible’

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The Afternoon RoundupGraphic by Jay Lane
The Afternoon Roundup

Mom remembers daughters killed in Conn. Christmas Day blaze, calls tragedy ‘incomprehensible’

 

Calling the Christmas Day fire that killed her three daughters and parents “incomprehensible,” fashion ad exec Madonna Badger told hundreds of people packed in a Fifth Avenue church this morning that she’ll never forget her family. “Why did this happen to my parents and my children and why now? Nothing will bring my babies back,” Badger told mourners during an emotional eulogy at St. Thomas Church. Read More: New York Post

City’s New 911 Call Center Improves Capacity, Maps

 Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday what he called a major milestone when it comes to upgrading the city’s 911 system. Earlier in the day, members of the media were given a tour of the new emergency services call center at the MetroTech Center in Brooklyn. The $2 billion upgrade expands the center’s capacity six-fold, and includes technology that maps a caller’s location instantly. Previously, operators had to go through multiple steps to create a visual location. City officials say the upgrade is crucial as more than half of the calls received come from mobile phones. Read More: NY1

 

Feds announce MS-13 gang takedown in Queens

Federal officials say 10 members of a violent international street gang known as “MS-13” have been charged with racketeering and attempted murder after a lengthy investigation. Members of the group have been accused of at least two attempted murders. Authorities believe they plotted to kill rival gang members. Federal officials say the group marauded in Queens. Officials say they also worked with fellow members throughout the U.S. and the group’s El Salvador headquarters to smuggle gang members over the border. The indictment filed by U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch was unsealed Thursday. Read More: New York Post

 

Nurses protest at Flushing Hospital

Registered nurses at Flushing Hospital Medical Center hit the picket line — demanding contracts for health and pension benefits. Hundreds of nurses gathered outside of the hospital on Parsons Boulevard during their designated break time — from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — today on January 5 to protest after the union and hospital administration reached negotiation stalemates. Read More: Queens Courier

 

WATCH: Casey Anthony speaks out in video diary, doesn’t mention daughter

For the first time, it seems Casey Anthony might be speaking out. The mother acquitted of charges of killing her two-year-old daughter, Caylee, allegedly appears on a video diary that surfaced on the web Thursday morning. The woman, who looks and sounds like Anthony, talks only in general about her well-being and references being kept in an undisclosed location. NBC News reported that they confirmed the video was of Anthony. Read More & Watch: New York Post

 

 

7 arrested, including councilman at NYC protest on worship in schools

 

Several pastors and a New York City councilman have been arrested at a protest against the city’s plans to evict worship services from school buildings. Seven demonstrators, including Councilman Fernando Cabrera, were charged with trespass Thursday. Police say they refused to move from the entrance to the city’s Law Department in Manhattan. The city has told about 60 churches they must stop holding worship services in public schools after Feb. 12. It argues separation of church and state and cites a court decision. In addition, the city Housing Authority says it’s reviewing its policy on renting space to outside groups, including five churches. Read More: New York Post
Hatred fueled Queens man to toss Molotov cocktail at mosque

 

A deranged Queens man told detectives he attacked a mosque with a Molotov cocktail because “I hate all Muslims and Arabs. They’ve been trying to take over my life for 40 years.” Ray Lazier Lengend’s bizarre confession was revealed today while he was being arraigned under pyschiatric examination at Bellevue Hospital Center. Lengend, 40, dressed in burgundy t-shirt and blue jeans, appeared attentive but disgusted during the brief hearing. In his confession, Lengend described how his New Year’s Day attack began when he drove his Silver Buick to an Amoco Mobil gas station on Hillside Avenue to buy five frappacino glasses to turn into Molotov cocktals. “The store gave me three free,” he said. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Retrial set for March 8 in East Village case of coma-inducing argument over parking spot

A March retrial date has been set for the muscle-bound Brooklyn electrician who punched a woman into a coma when they argued over an East Village parking spot. Oscar Fuller will be retried on felony assault on March 8 in Manhattan Supreme Court for the single punch he landed on the face of 25-year-old Lana Rosas as they argued nose-to-nose on East 14th Street last February. The blow struck the 4-foot-11 Rosas so hard, that according to numerous eyewitness accounts she was briefly airborne before striking the pavement with the back of her head. She was in a coma for nine days and hospitalized for months. Read More: New York Post

 

Suicide girl’s mom rages at her bullies

Tragic Amanda Cummings’ mother and sister used her Facebook page yesterday to lash out at the “evil son of a bitches’’ whose unrelenting bullying drove the Staten Island teen to suicide. Amanda jumped in front of a city bus two days after Christmas when she was dealt the final blow — her 19-year-old boyfriend dumped her. Her tormenters zeroed in on areas where their victim was most vulnerable. They joked that the slim 15-year-old was anorexic, and taunted her about the love triangle she was involved in. “This is to all you evil son of a bitches that picked on, talked about and threatened my baby,” heartbroken mother Cece Weber wrote on her daughter’s Facebook page. Read More: New York Post