Tag Archives: 9/11

No Changes At Area Airports Expected In Wake Of Foiled Bomb Plot


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The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security say there are no plans to change security procedures at airports here in the city or beyond amid news federal intelligence officials foiled a new al-Qaeda underwear bomb plot against U.S.-bound aircraft.

U.S. officials say an attack was to have taken place around the time of the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Officials say the non-metallic device was a more sophisticated version of the one used by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in his failed Christmas Day attempt in 2009.

[NY1]

This Morning’s Headlines


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Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens jurors lead city in no-shows

Looks like Queens needs a boroughwide civics class. More than one-third, or 35 percent, of Queens residents ignore their jury-duty notices — the highest in the five boroughs. “We’re dealing with thousands of people, and we just don’t have the staff,” said Queens County Clerk Audrey Pheffer, who acts as the commissioner of jurors. In fact, Pheffer, a former assemblywoman, said the office stopped bothering to impose fines as it upgrades its jury-selection system. Read More: New York Post

Queens deli destroyed by early morning fire, explosion

A Queens deli was destroyed by an overnight fire — and an explosion at the store could be felt two blocks away. The fire was reported at 3:30 a.m. at the corner of Hempstead Avenue and 220th Street. Firefighters used ladder trucks to spray the building, as the fire was too strong to fight from the inside. The business, Deli Grocery & Grill, is relatively new — only about two months old. No injuries were reported, and there’s no word on the cause of the fire. Read More: New York Post

 

Deliberations To Begin This Week In Queens Terror Trial

A jury could start deliberations as early as Monday in the case of a Queens man accused of plotting to blow up the city’s subways. Adis Medunjanin is accused of conspiring with admitted terrorist Najibullah Zazi to detonate suicide bombs on Manhattan subway lines in 2009. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and receiving terrorist training from al-Qaida. Medunjanin faces life in prison if convicted on conspiracy and terror charges. Read More: NY1

 

Hundreds Of Union Job Applicants Camp Out In Woodside

Hundreds of applicants vying for a job with the ironworkers’ union waited outside the union’s office in Woodside, Queens for nearly a week, leaving some neighbors upset about the camp-out. Read More: NY1

Historic Forest Park Greenhouse gets $3.8 million upgrade, replacing century-old structures with high-tech ones

The historic Forest Park Greenhouse, which grows plants and flowers that liven up concrete stretches in Queens and Brooklyn, is moving beyond its early 20th century roots. A section of the greenhouse has just undergone a $3.8 million reconstruction that will increase its capacity and make it more environmentally-friendly. The first stage of the renovation focused on two of the houses that were built in 1905 and designed by greenhouse experts of the time, Lord and Burnham. Read More: Daily News

 

1 WTC to vault past Empire State Building today and become tallest tower in city

ONE WORLD Trade Center is set to eclipse the Empire State Building as New York’s tallest building Monday afternoon, officials said. As long as the weather cooperates, the tower will surpass the 1,250-foot Empire State Building at 2 p.m. on its way to a final height of 1,776 feet. “It’s wonderful,” Mayor Bloomberg said Sunday. “It’s taken a long time. This is probably the most complex construction site in any place ever. I think what we’ve shown is that democracy works.” Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


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Graphic by Jay Lane

New crane horror: Worker dies in W. Side collapse at subway pit

A construction worker was killed and three of his colleagues were injured last night when a crane collapsed at the No. 7 train subway-extension construction site on the West Side, authorities said. The accident occurred at around 7:20 p.m. at West 34th Street and 11th Avenue when two pieces of the crane — 80- and 40-foot sections — became dislodged and fell into the below-ground site and onto the workers, officials said. Read More: New York Post

French Academic Found Dead In His Midtown Hotel Room

Police were investigating late Tuesday the death of prominent French academic found inside a Midtown hotel room. Richard Descoings, 54, was discovered in his bed at the Michelangelo Hotel on Tuesday afternoon. Investigators say hotel security went to his room after he did not check out. Sources say Descoings was found naked and his computer and phone were thrown from the seventh floor window. They also say police are looking for people who may have come into his room during the overnight hours. Read More: NY1

 

Off-Duty School Safety Agent Awaits Arraignment On Rape, Weapons Charges

An off-duty school safety agent was awaiting arraignment Monday after being arrested on rape charges in Queens. The New York City Police Department says Tommy Johnson, 28, is also charged with criminal weapons possession, menacing and assault. Sources say Johnson raped his ex-girlfriend in Brooklyn over the weekendJohnson currently lives in Ridgewood, Queens, where neighbors say he resides with his mother. Read More: NY1

 

Woman Dies Following Cooking Accident In Jackson Heights Home

A woman died Monday following an apparent cooking accident in her apartment in Jackson Heights, Queens. The New York City Fire Department says they responded to a 911 call Monday morning for a woman in cardiac arrest. Fire officials believe the woman was severely burned when her sleeve caught on fire while cooking. They say she then went into the hallway, where she went into cardiac arrest. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Read More: NY1

 

Key approval is won for Willets Point project

The city has won a key approval for its massive Willets Point redevelopment, dealing a blow to local property owners who hoped to delay or even halt the project. The Federal Highway Administration ruled that ramps proposed for the Van Wyck Expressway would have “no significant impact” on the surrounding area, according to a letter sent to the state Department of Transportation late last month and released Monday by city officials. Read More: Crain’s New York Business

 

NYPD investigating image on Al Qaeda forums as possible threat to New York City

A graphic featuring the New York skyline and posted on terrorism websites blares a chilling message in bold letters: “Al Qaeda coming soon again in New York.” The NYPD and the FBI are scrambling to locate the source of the message and trying to figure out whether it’s a credible threat or a sick taunt. The 3-D images spotted on Al Qaeda Internet forums Monday show the letters scrawled across a city street, as a father and son stroll by in amazement. Read More: Daily News

 

Authorities still looking for motive in Oakland shooting rampage at small Christian college that left seven dead

One wounded woman cowered in the bushes after the gunman opened fire on the campus of a small Christian university. One student hid in a locked classroom as the shooter banged on the door. Another heard the shots and ran to safety. All within an hour Monday, police said, a 43-year-old former student named One L. Goh walked into Oikos University, and began a rampage that left seven people dead and three people wounded, trapped some in the building and forced others to flee for their lives. Read More: Daily News

 

 

‘Rape’ victim dad’s anguish

Don’t let your daughters move to New York City. That’s the heart-wrenching advice of the father of a city schoolteacher who is still devastated after being sexually assaulted at gunpoint by an off-duty cop last summer. “It’s a dangerous city,” said the dad, whose name and location are being withheld to protect the identity of his 25-year-old daughter. “When things like this happen, it just makes you think twice,” the dad told The Post from his small, out-of-state farm. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Handyman Convicted Of Murder Of Manhattan Building Cleaner

A handyman accused of killing a Manhattan building cleaner and hiding her body in an air-conditioning duct was convicted of second-degree murder Monday. After deliberating for two days, jurors also found Joseph Pabon, 27, guilty of first-degree kidnapping. Prosecutors say Pabon smothered 46-year-old Eridania Rodriguez with industrial tape in July 2009. Read More: NY1

 

Boy, 10, shot in Williamsburg

A 10-year-old boy was hit by a stray bullet in Williamsburg late last night, police said. The child was with his father below the elevated subway tracks on Broadway near the Hewes Street station at around 10:55 p.m., when teens down the block began arguing, cops and witnesses said. “Ten or 15 people [were] fighting. I called 911 when I heard the gunshots, two or three shots,” said Baruch Bing, 23, who lives near the shooting scene. Read More: New York Post

Koch endorses Queens House pol

Ed Koch’s legendary clout with Jewish voters is about to be tested again. Hoping to repeat his kingmaker role from a closely watched congressional race six months ago, the outspoken ex-mayor yesterday threw his support behind Assemblyman Rory Lancman in a three-way race for the Democratic Party nomination in Queens’ 6th Congressional District. He called Assemblywoman Grace Meng and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley “first rate” but said he preferred Lancman’s position on Israel. Read More: New York Post

Prosecutors want ‘Millionaire Madam’ lawyers to zip it 

A Manhattan judge is weighing prosecutors’ demand to bar lawyers for accused “Millionaire Madam” Anna Gristina from publicly discussing some of the most sensational evidence in the case. Gristina, a 44-year-old soccer mom who is being held on $2 million bail, was not in court Monday as officials asked for a “protective order” to keep their evidence secret. Read More: Daily News

Headlines From Around the Web


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Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens man indicted for New Year’s Day fire-bomb spree

A Queens man has been indicted on state and federal charges for a fire-bombing spree that targeted an Islamic mosque, a Hindu temple, a convenience store and three homes over several hours on New Year’s Day, authorities announced today. Accused fire-bug, Ray Lazier Lengend, also known as Suraj Poonai, already was in jail after being arrested within days for all but one of those incidents, which spanned Queens and Long Island. Read More: New York Post

 

Federal Judges Approve State’s New Congressional Districts

A three-judge panel in Brooklyn federal court has approved a map for New York’s new congressional districts that was proposed by a federal magistrate earlier this month. Due to population changes around the country, New York is set to lose two members of Congress this year, going from 29 seats in the House of Representatives to 27. The map drawn by federal magistrate Roanne Mann keeps most of the current districts, but one change is a new Queens district that is almost 40 percent Asian-American. Read More: NY1

 

Peyton near deal with Broncos

Peyton Manning wants to play for the Denver Broncos in Act II of his outstanding career. A person briefed on negotiations said the NFL’s only four-time MVP called Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams and told him that he had picked the Broncos. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter. Read More: New York Post

 

Shopping cart victim says she wishes boys who hurt her ‘well’

A Manhattan charity worker who was nearly killed by a shopping cart pushed over a garage railing by teenage punks in October spoke publicly for the first time today — expressing compassion for the pranksters who dropped the cart on her head. Marion Hedges, during a walk outside her Upper East Side apartment, said she hasn’t received an apology from the evil-doers. Read More: New York Post

 

12 injured in Brooklyn bus accident

Twelve people were injured in a bus accident in Brooklyn today, fire officials said. The collision occurred shortly after 10 a.m. after a car blew through a red light on Avenue J and rammed into a B11 bus, said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz. At least three of the dozen people injured were passengers on the bus, Ortiz said. The victims were taken to Lutheran Medical Center and Kings County Hospital. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Shakedown’ rabbi loses appeal

A Manhattan appeals court today upheld the conviction of a crooked Brooklyn rabbi for trying to shake down billionaire Steve Cohen’s hedge fund with phony allegations of inside trading. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Rabbi Milton Balkany’s claim that jurors should have been allowed to consider if he was entrapped, saying “Balkany failed to present any evidence that the government ‘induced’ him to commit the crimes charged.” Read More: New York Post

 

Tennessee woman gets no-jail deal after trying to check gun at 9/11 Memorial

A registered nurse and fourth-year med student got a no-jail, misdemeanor deal today for the Tennessee-registered gun she tried to check at the 9/11 Memorial in December. Manhattan prosecutors this morning dropped the felony gun possession charges Meredith Graves had originally been slammed with — charges carrying a mandatory minimum of 3 1/2 years prison. Read More: New York Post

Elite unit rescues U.S. hostage from pirates in daring night-time raid into Somalian base


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U.S. special forces swooped into Somalia this morning to rescue an American woman and a Danish man after a shootout with pirates holding them hostage that left nine captors dead.  Jessica Buchanan, 32, and Poul Hagen Thisted, 60, were freed and are unharmed at a safe location following their kidnap from Galkayo in the Galmudug region of Somalia last October. Nine Somali pirates were killed and five captured during a brutal gun battle after the mission at 2am on Wednesday to save the two hostages, who had been working for the Danish De-mining Group. The sensational mission was carried out by SEAL Team Six, who were already famous for killing former Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden last May in Abbottabad, Pakistan, ten years after 9/11.

The two hostages had been working in northern Somalia for the DDG, whose experts have been clearing mines and unexploded ordnance in conflict zones in Africa and the Middle East.  Danish Foreign Minister Villy Sovndal said the poor health of one hostage had led the U.S. to take action and said the rescue operation did not necessarily pave the way for further copycat missions. People involved with the hostages said that Ms Buchanan had been suffering from a possible kidney infection. Both of them are now ‘on their way to be reunited with their families’

 

Read More of this Story at: Daily News

Shock cop suicide


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Shock cop suicide

An NYPD cop fatally shot himself last night while on-duty and interviewing the victim of a Queens car break-in, sources told The Post. The officer, whose name was withheld pending family notification, got into a heated argument on his cellphone with his girlfriend and fired one bullet into his face after the conversation ended at around 11 p.m., the sources said. The cop, a five-year veteran assigned to the 111th Precinct, went with his partner to a house on 211th Street near 85th Avenue in Hollis Hills to talk to a man whose car had been broken into Wednesday. Read More: New York Post

 

Bus teen shot on ‘slay’ line

A 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg yesterday while riding a bus on the Queens line that saw a fatal shooting last month, authorities said. The shooting took place at 3:20 p.m. on the southbound Q111 bus near Seagirt Avenue and Beach 20th Street in Far Rockaway, said an MTA spokesman. Police said the teen has been uncooperative and no arrests have been made. He was treated at Long Island Jewish Hospital After he was shot, the teen approached the driver to report that he had been shot in the leg, according to the MTA spokesman. On Dec 2, Damel Burton, 34, allegedly killed one innocent passenger and wounded another on a crowded Q111 bus in Jamaica. Read More: New York Post

 

Police Shoot Suspect In Attempted Carjacking

Police on Thursday shot a man accused of trying to carjack an elderly driver in Queens. Investigators say the suspect approached his 89-year-old victim while he was parked on Christie Avenue in Corona. The suspect allegedly struck the victim with a gun and then fled the scene. Police gave chase and the suspect later ran into a driveway on 46th Avenue. An officer fired one round at the suspect when he turned to police holding a gun. The weapon turned out to be a BB gun. Read More: NY1

 

Super outlook for Manning

This is when you separate the Mann from the boys. Win one game. Win this game. The hope and dreams of a storied franchise, of a city thirsting for another championship, heaped on one Mann’s shoulders. The Right Mann. The Only Mann Giants fans want for the job. Everyone can see the focus in his eyes, now and forever. He sees 49ers directly in front of him, and that Lombardi Trophy he craves to hoist again in the not-so-distant future. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Qaeda’ subway plotter No. 4

Federal prosecutors have revealed that there was a fourth man in the United States connected to a 2009 al Qaeda-sanctioned plot to blow up subway lines in New York City. Officials last week quietly revised the indictment against one of the conspirators, Adis Medunjanin, alleging that he — along with former high school classmates Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay — tried to recruit someone identified only as “John Doe” to travel to Pakistan “to wage violent jihad.” It’s the first time prosecutors indicated there was a fourth person in the United States linked to what may have been the most legitimate terror plot since 9/11. Now Medunjanin’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, wants Brooklyn federal prosecutors to unveil the identity of the mystery man before he turns up as a possible witness at a trial set for March. Read More: New York Post

 

Parody video ‘S—t New Yorkers Say’ by blogger Eliot Glazer goes viral — and he doesn’t go to Queens

 

Out of left field

Pieces of Citi Field history — all three years of it — are on sale to the highest bidder. In a decidedly odd online auction, the cash-strapped Mets are hawking seven separate chunks of the padded barrier, that’s been guarded by such “old-time” Amazin’s legends as Daniel Murphy and Jason Bay. Flushing faithful with a few thousand bucks in their pockets can get their hands on markers celebrating their favorite corporate sponsors and championship teams. Mets VP Jay Horwitz insisted the sale isn’t a cash grab, just a routine auction prompted by the team’s left-field redesign. Read More: New York Post

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


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Graphic by Jay Lane

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

Weiner mistress claims he wanted to have a threesome with a man


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Graphic by Jay Lane

Weiner mistress claims he wanted to have a threesome with a man

Anthony Weiner wanted to do more than share his crotch shots with women online, his former X-rated chat buddy claims. Traci Nobles, who came forward as one of the New York politician’s sexting partners earlier this year, told Radaronline.com that he wanted to have a threesome — with her and another man. She claimed that he detailed his desires in an explicit chat earlier this year. “I’m not really talking about other chicks … How about with another guy,” he allegedly said, according to the blonde bombshell. “Are you turned on by other guys?” Nobles claims she asked. “Well it depends on the guy, but generally yes,” Weiner allegedly replied. Read More: Daily News

Family still waiting to bury Brooklyn woman burned to death in brutal elevator attack

The body of the Prospect Heights woman burned to death in her apartment building elevator is still awaiting final burial. The family of Deloris Gillespie said that because she was so badly burned in the shocking December 17 attack authorities have not yet officially identified her — leaving her family unable to get a death certificate or proceed with a funeral. Read More: New York Post

Death on tracks

A man was fatally struck last night by a subway train in Washington Heights — and cops are investigating whether he went onto the tracks to relieve himself, police sources said. The victim, whose name wasn’t released, was struck at around 9:20 p.m. at the 191st Street station on the No. 1 line. Read More: New York Post

Knife-wielding thug attacks woman, ransacks Tribeca law firm: cops

A knife-wielding thief barged into a lower Manhattan law firm, shattered the jaw of a female employee, tied her up with a phone charger and ransacked the place, police sources said today. The mayhem started at 3:20 p.m. Monday, when the unidentified man was caught on video strolling into an office tower and talking to a doorman on Broadway near Walker Street. Read More: New York Post

NTSB cites ice in report on NJ crash that killed exec, family

Federal investigators have released a preliminary report on last week’s plane crash in New Jersey that killed five people. The preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report released late Monday draws no conclusions on what caused the December 20 crash. A final report could take a year or more to complete. The single-engine turboprop crashed about 15 minutes after takeoff from Teterboro Airport and was headed to Georgia. The report describes how pilot Jeffrey Buckalew radioed to air traffic controllers that he was experiencing icing and requested to climb to a higher altitude. The plane peaked at 17,900 feet before descending. Read More: New York Post

Husband faces civil suit in death of rich UBS wealth manager Shele Danishefsky Covlin

The Manhattan public administrator has gone where the cops and the DA have not: publicly accusing ex-stock trader Rod Covlin of killing his rich, beautiful wife two years ago. Shele Danishefsky Covlin, 47, a UBS wealth manager, was found dead in her upper West Side bathtub on New Year’s Eve 2009. Her scalp was cut and the death was ruled an accidental fall. Her Orthodox Jewish family refused an autopsy, and she was buried almost immediately, following religious tradition. Read More: Daily News

Court win for kin of World Trade Center cop

A hero cop injured at the Twin Towers on 9/11 died from World Trade Center-related cancer, a state appeals court ruled yesterday. The Appellate Division ruling means Frank Macri’s widow is entitled to accidental-line-of-duty death benefits — and, in fact, he will be listed as having died in the line of duty, said the family’s lawyers, Michael Murray and Christopher McGrath. “I’m at a loss for words,” his widow, Nilda Macri, told The Post. “Frank really deserves this honor. This would’ve meant a lot to him, to know he’s still remembered . . . He was a special, special guy.” Read More: New York Post

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to green Queens locomotives

Two fuel-efficient locomotives will roll through Queens in 2013 with technology designed to reduce pollution and lower costs for local businesses that use freight trains to move goods. With a $2 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, two conventional locomotives will be overhauled to use low-emissions diesel technology, the city Economic Development Corp. announced last week. Read More: Daily News

Ex-‘Saturday Night Live’ writer Joe Bodolai found dead after hotel room suicide

Former “Saturday Night Live” writer Joseph Bodolai has committed suicide in a Hollywood hotel room, the Los Angeles coroner’s office said Tuesday. Coroner’s office spokesman Craig Harvey said room service staff found the body of the 63-year-old Bodolai at 1:30 p.m. Monday in a room at Hollywood’s Re-Tan Hotel. He checked into the hotel December 19. Harvey said Bodolai drank a mixture of Gatorade and antifreeze. The death, first reported by celebrity website TMZ, has been ruled a suicide. Read More: Daily News

Winning $206M Mega Millions jackpot ticket sold at Long Island grocery store

One Long Island lottery player received a belated holiday gift Tuesday, but it was worth the wait: a $206 million jackpot. The winner nailed the five numbers picked in Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing — 23, 32, 33, 39 and 43 — along with the “Mega Ball” of 8, the lottery said on its website. The winner has not yet come forward, said Christy Calicchia, director of communications for New York Lottery. Three other New Yorkers picked the first five numbers — but not the Mega Ball — and won $250,000 each. The lone jackpot-winning ticket was sold at a King Kullen supermarket in Middle Island. Read More: Daily News

Suspects Held Without Bail In Alleged Murder Of NYPD Officer


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The Round Up

Suspects Held Without Bail In Alleged Murder Of NYPD Officer

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Lamont Pride didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on NYPD Officer Peter Figoski. “He was targeted for homicide because he wore the uniform of the NYPD,” said Ken Taub, chief of homicide at the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. Prosecutors say Pride and four accomplices went to a basement apartment on Pine Street in Cypress Hills early Monday to rob a drug dealer, but when police arrived, the alleged robbers were cornered. Pride allegedly shot Figoski once in the face, killing him. Read More: NY1

Cop-slayer suspect’s gun came from same Virigina store as 1990 killing

Twenty-one years separate the fatal shooting of Officer Peter Figoski from the senseless murder of 9-month-old Rayvon Jamison, but they are linked by a terrible history. The guns that killed them both came from the same Virginia store. And that store is still owned by the same man, Marlon Dance. In August 1990, little Rayvon became the poster boy for victims of senseless gun violence when he was felled in his Bronx apartment by stray shots that pierced a metal door and cut him down in his walker. Now, Figoski — a 47-year-old father of four — has become the face of New York’s futile fight to stop the flow of deadly guns from Virginia’s gun dealers up the so-called Iron Pipeline to the city. Read More: Daily News

Five charged in killing of Officer Peter Figoski: Lamont Pride, Kevin Santos, Nelson Moralez, Ariel Tejada and Michael Velez

The five men who took the life of decorated NYPD Officer Peter Figoski in a botched robbery have spent much of their lives pulling the kinds of crimes Figoski dedicated his life to stamping out. The five petty crooks in their have lengthy rap sheets stretching back a dozen years. “Even though they’re relatively young people, they still have significant experience in crime,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Their criminal resumes are littered with larcenies, muggings, drug possession and trespassing raps. Read More: Daily News

Two sanitation workers make life-saving catch in Rockaways

Two sanitation workers made life-saving grabs as they caught five children who leapt from a burning house in the Rockaways. Joseph Maneggio and Semi Nkozi saw a house ablaze on McBride Street while on their route at approximately 6:15 a.m. this morning.  The sanitation workers raced over and caught the children as they jumped from the roof.  A woman, also on the roof, suffered a broken foot from the jump. Read More: Queens Courier

Jet fan’s vicious ‘chief’ beatdown

A diehard Jet fan was savagely beaten on his own turf by a drunken gang of Kansas City Chiefs fans after their team was trounced on Sunday — with one of the assailants barking “F–k New York” and “You all deserved what happened on 9/11!” the victim’s distraught family told The Post. James Mohr, 23, a physical-education teacher at the Bronx Guild vocational high school, was wearing his Jets gear after the team’s 37-10 victory as he walked through Parking Lot J at MetLife Stadium when a woman standing with a pack of thugs screamed the vile taunts. Mohr took offense and told the rowdies their 9/11 insult was “disrespectful,” said his sister, Anna Mohr, 28. Read More: New York Post

Jury slams cage door on SoHo’s ‘Cat Woman Burglar’

The “Cat Woman” burglar — whose cat-masked wanted poster became an Internet sensation last year — was convicted today of armed robbery charges from heists at two high-end SoHo boutiques. It took a Manhattan Supreme Court jury just 30 minutes to reach their verdict against Shana Spalding, 29, of Astoria, Queens. She is to be sentenced Jan. 18, and faces a maximum of 15 years on the top armed robbery charge against her. Read More: New York Post

City fined owner of  building where cop was shot for illegal apartments

The rundown Brooklyn house where a police officer was shot to death Monday has long been on the city’s radar screen as a trouble spot. The city has spent $6,500 in taxpayer money on emergency repairs at 25 Pine St. in Cypress Hills and has repeatedly cited the owner for running an illegal single-room occupancy hotel in what is supposed to be a two-family home. Neighbors believed it was a drug den. Read More: Daily News

Cuomo To Seek Deal On Livery Cab Bill

Governor Andrew Cuomo is looking to reach a deal on the controversial livery cab bill Wednesday. He will be holding a summit with the stakeholders involved in the legislation negotiations. The proposed bill would allow the city to issue 30,000 livery cab medallions so drivers can pick up street hails in Upper Manhattan and the other four boroughs. Cuomo said he will veto the bill unless it includes a provision to make more cabs wheelchair-accessible. Read More: NY1

City eyes site in Jamaica for new Animal Care and Control receiving center in Queens 

A plan to convert a veterinarian’s office into the new Queens drop-off point for stray animals has raised the hackles of some animal lovers. Community Board 8 is set to review the proposal Wednesday night as part of a promised city effort to expand animal control services in Queens and the Bronx. The city wants to move its animal receiving center, operated by NYC Animal Care and Control, from its current spot in Rego Park to the veterinarian’s office at 185-17 Hillside Ave. in Jamaica. Read More: Daily News

Ex-NBA player Kenny Anderson charged with leaving scene of Miramar crash

Retired NBA point guard Kenny Anderson was charged with leaving the scene of an accident Sunday after Miramar police say his Cadillac Escalade failed to negotiate a curve and crashed into two trees along a swale.
No one was injured, Miramar police said, and Anderson, 41, was charged with the misdemeanor offense after the early evening crash. The Queens, N.Y.-born Anderson, who played for nine NBA teams, left the scene on foot, according to a Miramar police complaint affidavit. Read More: Sun Sentinel

Post Offices To Remain Open Until May Under New Deal

The United States Postal Service is holding off on plans to close 3,500 facilities across the country, including 34 in New York City. The moratorium was announced Tuesday as part of a deal with the Senate. No post offices or mail sorting facilities will be closed until at least May 15, giving Congress more time to come up with a cost-cutting plan. “When it’s all said and done, this is a challenge to Congress: put up or shut up. If you don’t like what the postal service has put forward, in terms of closing processing facilities and post offices and eliminating jobs, come up with a better approach,” said Illinois Senator Richard Durbin. Read More: NY1

 

The Lunch Break – 11/21/2011: Mother Of Hamilton Heights Terror Plot Suspect Speaks Out, Offers Apology


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Grahpic by Jay Lane

Mother Of Hamilton Heights Terror Plot Suspect Speaks Out, Offers Apology

The mother of an alleged al-Qaeda sympathizer and Manhattan resident who has been arraigned on charges of plotting to detonate bombs in the city is speaking out. Authorities say Jose Pimentel, 27, was targeting US troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and wanted to blow up post offices and police cars. Pimentel, a US citizen, is a native of the Dominican Republic who lived in Hamilton Heights. His mother, Carmen Sosa, says she’s shocked and saddened by the news. Read More: NY1

 

Police Barricades Protect Mayor Bloomberg From ‘24-Hour’ Drum Circle

The Occupy Wall Street protesters who had planned to throw a 24-hour drum circle party (a violation of several United Nations human rights treaties) outside NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Manhattan manse didn’t quite make it thanks to NYPD officers and barricades. Undaunted, they held their percussive party down the street.  Read More: Gawker

Financial Spat Could Delay Opening Of 9/11 Museum

The long-awaited opening of the National September 11th Museum could be delayed due to a simmering financial dispute between the Port Authority and museum officials. Sources tell NY1 museum construction at the World Trade Center Site has slowed because of hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns. Read More: NY1

 

Outdoor hockey games could come to West Side tennis stadium
Top NHL prospects may skate in outdoor games in Queens if plans go through to transform a tennis stadium that hosted the U.S. Open into an ice skating rink, the Daily News has learned. A hockey executive who runs the sport’s top minor league said he could envision games at West Side Stadium in Forest Hills. Read More: Daily News

 

Police Arrest Doctor Who Reportedly Filled Prescriptions for David Laffer

A pain management doctor who reportedly filled prescriptions for pharmacy killer David Laffer has been arrested. The charges against Stan Li, of Hamilton, N.J., were for a different case. Prosecutors allege he sold prescriptions to a man who later died of an overdose. Michael Cornetta, of Queens, died a year ago. Authorities alleged Li had provided him with dozens of prescriptions for controlled substances, including oxycodone. Read More: NBC News

 

A Thanksgiving to Remember: Four from Queens and Long Island Share $4,000,000 in Lottery Jackpot Prizes

The New York Lottery’s Yolanda Vega today awarded $4,000,000 in over-sized prize checks to four very thankful jackpot winners from Queens (Jackson Heights and Woodside) and Long Island (Port Jefferson Station and Shirley). The recently opened Times Square Casino at Resorts World Casino New York City in Queens served as the centerpiece for the Lottery’s special pre-Thanksgiving winner celebration. Read More: Read Media

Residents Gather to Mark Tenth Anniversary of 9/11


| jlyons@queenscourier.com

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North Shore Towers residents were joined by local elected officials and members of law enforcement as they marked the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Board President Bob Ricken began by acknowledging Towers residents Tom Lyons and Todd Heiman. Lyons responded to Ground Zero following the attacks while Heiman worked at the Staten Island recovery site.

“All of the events of September 11 will forever live in our memories. We will never forget the images of planes flying into the World Trade Center, or the smoke rising from the Pentagon,” Ricken said. “We’ll always admire the courage and compassion of the heroes who also entered the burning building to save the lives of our countrymen.”

Ricken also said that the day of remembrance requires reflection, as it is determined how best to honor those who sacrificed their lives.

“The highest honor we can pay to those we lost is to do what our adversaries fear the most – to stay true to who we are as Americans, renew our sense of common purpose and not let the act of a small band of murderers threaten and divide us,” he said. “On this day and the days to come we should choose to honor the fallen, protect our families, our way of life, and support the first responders and servicemen throughout the world.”

Following Ricken’s opening remarks, Sergeant Polly Jill MacAlpine of the NY Army National Guard sang the National Anthem. Rabbi Randy Sheinberg then gave an invocation, during which she noted that people all over were “coming together as a community in tribute to those whose lives were lost tragically 10 years ago and waving flags of patriotism, of pride and of hope in the future.”

Located elected officials Senator Tony Avella, Assemblymember Ed Braunstein and Councilmember Mark Weprin were also on hand for the ceremony and gave remarks, talking about the importance of never forgetting and the way New Yorkers came together following the terrorist attack.
“New Yorkers are tough spirits and we love this city and we love this country,” Weprin said. “We are going to make a statement that you’re not going to scare us out and we’re going to stay united together.”

North Shore Towers General Manager Glen Kotowski, who worked at Ground Zero off and on following the attacks, also read a letter from Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent for the event. In addition to welcoming the 250 to 300 people in attendance, Bloomberg’s letter spoke of the opening of the World Trade Center Memorial and said that lower Manhattan is “more alive than ever.”

“In the days and weeks after the event, we vowed that we would never forget and that we would work together to create a brighter future,” Bloomberg wrote, adding that New York continues to keep that promise.
The event concluded with MacAlpine singing “God Bless America” as residents joined in.

Honoring the fallen at St. Michael’s


| bdoda@queenscourier.com

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Equally as striking as the monument listing the names of the 343 firefighters that sacrificed their lives on September 11, 2001 are the bricks at its base with the names of the first responders from all emergency services that died as a result of working on “the pile.” As of now, the number of first responder deaths remains at 95, but there are plenty of bricks that will undoubtedly add to that number.

The memorial service and dedication at St. Michael’s Cemetery honoring fallen firefighters, police and Port Authority officers brought together elected leaders, FDNY and NYPD officials, as well as families of those lost for an afternoon of grieving and a celebration of their lives. The event, on Saturday, September 24, began with an invocation by Father Christopher Keenan who read the Gettysburg Address followed by a statement by Congressmember Joe Crowley who commented on the two dozen young firefighters dressed in bunker gear who stood during the ceremony.

“They’re taking up a job that has a legacy,” said Crowley. “Many believed that the fire department could never recover after the attack, but nothing could be more false . . . They have never forgotten those that have fallen.”

Crowley also included an anecdote about his cousin John Moran, a Battalion Chief on Randall’s Island who died at the World Trade Center.

“I’m sure each and every one of you can take out a moment about a son or daughter that you lost that day and look back and smile,” said Crowley.

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, one of the sponsors of the Zadroga Act – named for police officer James Zadroga who died of a respiratory disease attributed to toxins at Ground Zero – spoke to the long road the legislation took until enacted in January 2011. The act expands death benefits and monitored care for those who worked at the World Trade Center site.

“Who would have thought it would have taken us seven years to pass the Zadroga Act?” asked Maloney. “This bill will save lives. We will not stop until we make sure that it continues to take care of the men and women who took care of us.”

She continued to mention the beauty of the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site and urged those in attendance to take a trip downtown to see it.

Also in attendance was Comptroller John Liu who helped fund the St. Michael’s 9/11 memorial, Former Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr., FDNY Chief Kevin Butler, PAPD Inspector Brian Sullivan, NYPD Chief Dianna Pizzutti as well as the PAPD Pipes and Drums, among other special guests.

Former FDNY Chief Alexander Santora and his wife, Maureen who – along with Ed Horn of St. Michaels – were instrumental in erecting the memorial, spoke about the importance of remembering those, like their son, Christopher, who died on 9/11. After encouraging those in attendance to come back to see the additions to the bricks at the base of the memorial, the former chief summed up the feeling of many on hand:

“They have one hell of a fire department up in heaven.”

Precint Council addresses events, wanted man


| nkarimi@queenscourier.com

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Chrissy Voskerichian, president of the 109th Precinct Community Council, and the members of the board recently welcomed back community members to their September meeting to discuss future events and crime statistics around Flushing.

Upcoming events include a Halloween festival at Bowne Park, a Thanksgiving meal with the officers and a holiday get-together at the Marco Hotel.

Other future events include a defensive driving class, a CPR certification class through the Red Cross and a trip to the 9/11 Memorial, all dates to be determined.

Assemblymember Grace Meng and Councilmembers Peter Koo and Dan Halloran also spoke about the importance of being vigilant in the community.

Deputy Inspector Brian Maguire reported that there were no murders in the 109th Precinct within the prior month, two rape cases and 18 robberies. Maguire went further to highlight a wanted black male — 6’4” tall, in his 20s, with tattoos around his hand and neck — known for stealing iPhones. The man allegedly stops people with a story about a lost sister in order to pilfer the phone

School’s moving tribute to 9/11


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

File photo

Although the fourth and fifth graders of P.S. 16 have no memory of the attacks on September 11, 2001, members of the grades united to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice a decade ago.

The students hosted a memorial performance on September 19 in honor of everyone who risked and lost their lives at the World Trade Center.

The children gave speeches, read quotes, recited poems and sang seven songs during the show. The subject of each song was related to either the attacks on 9/11 or the United States of America.

“Each of the seven songs had a meaningful relationship to the events of September 11,” said Irene Laakkonen, the music teacher at P.S. 16, located at 41-15 104th Street in Corona. “One song honored the victims and their families, while another was dedicated to first responders. The children also sang songs discussing the country’s healing process, as well as a few that were patriotic and expressed love for America.”

Several officers of the NYPD and FDNY attended the performance as distinguished guests of the school.

“I wanted the children to learn to honor those who gave their lives for our country and to respect the values and beliefs we hold dear,” said Laakkonen. “I think they also need to learn to appreciate those men and women who put their lives on the line every day to secure our safety. These are the heroes they should be inspired by.”

At the tribute’s conclusion, the audience rose to their feet and aided the children in singing “America the Beautiful.”

Honoring the fallen at St. Michael’s


| bdoda@queenscourier.com

DSC_0315w

Equally as striking as the monument listing the names of the 343 firefighters that sacrificed their lives on September 11, 2001 are the bricks at its base with the names of the first responders from all emergency services that died as a result of working on “the pile.” As of now, the number of first responder deaths remains at 95, but there are plenty of bricks that will undoubtedly add to that number. The memorial service and dedication at St. Michael’s Cemetery honoring fallen firefighters, police and Port Authority officers brought together elected leaders, FDNY and NYPD officials, as well as families of those lost for an afternoon of grieving and a celebration of their lives. The event, on Saturday, September 24, began with an invocation by Father Christopher Keenan who read the Gettysburg Address followed by a statement by Congressmember Joe Crowley who commented on the two dozen young firefighters dressed in bunker gear who stood during the ceremony. “They’re taking up a job that has a legacy,” said Crowley. “Many believed that the fire department could never recover after the attack, but nothing could be more false . . . They have never forgotten those that have fallen.” Crowley also included an anecdote about his cousin John Moran, a Battalion Chief on Randall’s Island who died at the World Trade Center. “I’m sure each and every one of you can take out a moment about a son or daughter that you lost that day and look back and smile,” said Crowley. Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, one of the sponsors of the Zadroga Act – named for police officer James Zadroga who died of a respiratory disease attributed to toxins at Ground Zero – spoke to the long road the legislation took until enacted in January 2011. The act expands death benefits and monitored care for those who worked at the World Trade Center site. “Who would have thought it would have taken us seven years to pass the Zadroga Act?” asked Maloney. “This bill will save lives. We will not stop until we make sure that it continues to take care of the men and women who took care of us.” She continued to mention the beauty of the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site and urged those in attendance to take a trip downtown to see it. Also in attendance was Comptroller John Liu who helped fund the St. Michael’s 9/11 memorial, Former Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr., FDNY Chief Kevin Butler, PAPD Inspector Brian Sullivan, NYPD Chief Dianna Pizzutti as well as the PAPD Pipes and Drums, among other special guests. Former FDNY Chief Alexander Santora and his wife, Maureen who – along with Ed Horn of St. Michaels – were instrumental in erecting the memorial, spoke about the importance of remembering those, like their son, Christopher, who died on 9/11. After encouraging those in attendance to come back to see the additions to the bricks at the base of the memorial, the former chief summed up the feeling of many on hand: “They have one hell of a fire department up in heaven.”