City renews express bus service plans between Jamaica and Flushing after nod from mayor


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Despite calls from community members and politicians in neighborhoods like Kew Gardens Hills, the transformation of the Q44 and Q25 into a Select Bus Service (SBS) line is set to begin as early as this fall, according to a Department of Transportation spokesman, but no official schedule has been announced.

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Pressure builds to expand school program in northern Queens and Whitestone


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

A push to expand programs for gifted and talented students into middle schools in a northern Queens district has the support of local elected officials and at least 500 parents who have signed petitions backing the effort.

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Funeral, wake for fallen NYPD officer held in Glendale as the world watched


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photos by Dominick Totino Photography

The eyes of the nation were on Glendale this weekend as its streets were lined with more than 20,000 police officers in uniform for the wake and funeral of slain police officer Rafael Ramos, who was gunned down with his partner while on duty in Brooklyn on Dec. 20.

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New law permits schools to close for more religious and cultural holidays


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo via UrbanUrban_ru/Flickr

For decades, the city closed schools for Christian and Jewish holidays but other religions’ holidays — like Eid al-Fitr and Diwali — didn’t receive the same benefit. But the passage of a new law backed by elected officials in Flushing is changing that.

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Local pol fights to gain national recognition of Flushing’s ties to religious freedom


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

Congress passed a bill that would require the federal government to maintain sites like the John Bowne House in Flushing that are associated with the 1657 signing of the Flushing Remonstrance, the document recognized as the forerunner of religious freedom in America.

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Rep. Meng joins the fight to clean up Flushing Creek


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Rep. Grace Meng has put out the call to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help come up with a plan to stop more than 2 billion gallons of untreated sewage from flowing into Flushing Creek and Flushing Bay every year — more sewage overflow than any other waterway in New York City has to handle.

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Bayside small businesses praised by feds


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the borough president's office

With more small businesses than big box stores on Bell Boulevard, the commercial strip was the perfect destination for the head of the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) when she made the trip to New York last week.

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Outrage after DMV dismisses tickets against driver who killed toddler in Flushing


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The Department of Motor Vehicles has dropped two tickets against the driver who fatally struck a 3-year-old girl in Flushing last year, angering the toddler’s father and others.

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Conservancy group pushes local pols to fund meditation garden in Kissena Corridor Park


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Illustrations courtesy of the Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy

The Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy is trying to turn a section of the Flushing park that’s overgrown with weeds into a meditation garden. But a lack of money is keeping the group from attaining tranquility.

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