Tag Archives: afternoon roundup

Queens woman ‘married’ to multiple men in immigration scams


| mchan@queenscourier.com

roundup

Queens woman ‘married’ to multiple men in immigration scams

Anna Vargas thought she was happily married — she just didn’t know she was “married” to four guys.

The 37-year-old Queens mom has been the victim of an identity-theft nightmare, in which a parade of mysterious creeps arranged fake marriages by using her birth certificate which she lost some 16 years ago. Read more: New York Post

 

Police nab Queens barbershop shoot suspect using hi-tech face-detector

A violent thug was busted for shooting a man in a Queens barbershop after cops tracked him down by using cutting-edge facial recognition technology, police said.

Jordan Rodriguez, 37, stepped into Da Barbershop on Seneca Ave. in Fresh Pond to confront a man over a beef about 9:10 p.m. last Saturday, cops said. Rodriguez, toting a sawed-off shotgun, and his brother walked up to a man getting a haircut and said, “What are you going to do now?” Read more: Daily News

 

Coke’s not it: 16 workers sue, call giant ‘cesspool’ of racial discrimination 

Sixteen black and Hispanic production workers are suing Coca-Cola, claiming they have been forced to work in a “ cesspool of racial discrimination.”

The suit, filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, accuses the company of relegating minorities to less favorable assignments, unfair disciplinary action and retaliation for complaining. Read more: Daily News

 

Queens Democrats Begin To Eye Congressman Ackerman’s Seat

Gary Ackerman’s announcement Thursday he would end his 30-year career in Congress perhaps caught no one quite as off-guard as Rory Lancman. Just hours earlier, the Queens state assemblyman announced he would no longer challenge Ackerman in a primary. Read more: NY1

 

 

Kony man goes wild

The creator of a viral Web video about African child soldiers was detained by San Diego police yesterday after he got naked and masturbated near a busy intersection.

After his run-in with cops Jason Russell, 33, was hospitalized for exhaustion, said Ben Keesey, the CEO of Invisible Children, the humanitarian group that made the “Kony 2012” video, which was released about two weeks ago. Read more: New York Post

 

Posada Announces Retirement, Says He Will “Forever Be A Yankee”


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Posada Announces Retirement, Says He Will “Forever Be A Yankee”

New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada officially announced his retirement from the game today at Yankee Stadium. During an at-times tearful press conference, the 40-year-old catcher said he is leaving the game after 17 seasons, all with the team that drafted him. He said the decision was completely his, and that he made his choice shortly after last season. “I was able to live my dream, to play baseball for the best sports franchise in the world, the New York Yankees,” said Posada. Read More: NY1

 

Family of slain designer Sylvie Cachay wants ‘every penny’ Nick Brooks has

The family of slain swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay is going after “every penny” that may come the way of her accused killer – the son of creepy “You Light Up My Life” tunesmith Joseph Brooks. “We will take all steps to find any penny that he has, and every royalty that he has,” Susan Karten, a civil lawyer for the Cachay family, said after a brief appearance by Nicholas Brooks in Manhattan Criminal Court. The 25-year-old Manhattan man is charged with killing his stunning 33-year-old girlfriend inside a tub at the sleek Soho House in December 2010 – then going to a party. Read More: New York Post

 

Online video captures moment cops shoot, kill man outside Carl’s Jr. in California [Warning: Graphic Video Inside]

Graphic video posted online captured the shocking moment cops shot and killed a man outside a fast food joint in California Monday morning. Police were called to the Carl’s Jr. in Monterey Park around 9:30 a.m. after receiving a report that the unidentified man was breaking windows at the restaurant, according to KTLA 5 News. When he emerged from the fast food place, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release they ordered him to drop what they described as a three-foot metal bar. Read More & See the Video: Daily News

 

Bloomberg Calls For “Sensible” Pension Reforms At Albany Hearing

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in Albany today testifying on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget and Reform plan. In his prepared remarks before the State Senate Finance Committee and the State Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee, the mayor gave his support to several points of the plan, including pension and teacher evaluation reforms. The governor’s $132.5 billion budget calls for the creation of a new Tier VI pension, which would offer new hires a 401k-type, market-based retirement plan. However, they would also have the choice of taking a reduced benefit pension plan that raises the retirement age from 62 to 65. Read More: NY1

 

Veteran NYPD detective admits robbing cigarette smugglers

A crooked, second-generation cop pleaded guilty this morning to brazenly ripping off cigarette smugglers while wearing his NYPD “raid” jacket and armed with his service weapon. Shame-faced Kyron Collins, 39, then capped off his court appearance by running away from a photographer and leaving his lawyer in the dust. Collins, a 16-year police veteran who most recently was a detective in the 52nd Precinct, was busted last year in a 10-month string of robberies of bootleg cigarette dealers in Manhattan and The Bronx. Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD officer pleads guilty to false arrest

A NYPD officer admitted today that he falsified charges to arrest a black Staten Island man after the two exchanged angry words during a street encounter while he was on plainclothes patrol. Michael Daragjati, an eight-year veteran, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to misusing his authority as a police officer to intentionally violate the man’s civil rights. As part of a plea agreement with Brooklyn federal prosecutors, the 32-year-old officer will resign from the NYPD after his sentencing and never seek another job in law enforcement, his attorney told Judge William Kuntz II. Read More: New York Post

Man Behind Two-Borough Stabbing, Carjacking Spree Awaits Sentencing


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man Behind Two-Borough Stabbing, Carjacking Spree Awaits Sentencing

A man who admitted to killing four people and wounding two others in a 28-hour rampage is scheduled to be sentenced today. Maksim Gelman faces up to 100 years in prison when he’s sentenced in Brooklyn. He pleaded guilty to murder, assault and attempted murder in the February 2011 crime spree which began in Brooklyn and ended on a Manhattan subway 28 hours later. Read More: NY1

 

Protest Over Anti-Piracy Legislation Spans Web

Some of the most popular sites on the web are taking part in a 24-hour blackout in protest of legislation currently making its way through Congress. Hundreds of technicians, Internet activists and website users are expected to show up in Midtown today to rally in front of the offices of Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. The politicians support the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, which advocates say will impede free speech. Both Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down their sites at midnight to protest the acts. Google put a black banner over its logo but is still functional. Read More: NY1

 

Ex-Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. slapped with new corruption charges

Former New York state Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. has been hit with yet another round of charges in the growing corruption case against him. Brooklyn federal prosecutors today unveiled two new charges of making false statements against the former legislator – including one allegation that Espada intentionally under-reported his salary when submitting government forms related to his medical business, Soundview Health Center,. The feds say Espada knowingly lied to the US Health and Human Services Administration by filing forms that listed his annual salary as $185,063 – when it was really $246,750, according to an indictment handed up by a Brooklyn federal grand jury. Read More: New York Post

 

Graffiti cop sentenced to three years probation

A former NYPD patrolman convicted of plastering his nickname on a highway overpass was given a pep talk by a Queens judge today before he was sentenced to three years probation. “Its time for you to put your family in front of those friends you talk to,” said acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Salvatore Modica about the text messages introduced in Steven Weinberg’s bench trial that he sent to his graffiti buddies about his tagging activities. Weinberg, 44 of Flushing, was convicted of fourth-degree criminal mischief and making graffiti last month for plastering his former tag, “NEO,” on a Clearview Expressway overpass. Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD, Manhattan DA, take down East Harlem PCP drug sales network; angel dust back in vogue

COPS HAVE started rounding up more than two dozen pushers charged with selling the dangerous retro drug angel dust in East Harlem, law enforcement sources revealed Wednesday. The targets of an 18-month investigation around 117th St. and Madison Ave., are two brothers who headed up the “extremely active drug sale business,” the sources told The News. The men, whose names are expected to be released later Wednesday, will be charged under the 2009 “drug kingpin” statute for moving millions of dollars worth of PCP, along with cocaine and heroin, the sources said. Read More: New York Post

 

5th Columbia drug kid guilty

A student accused of selling LSD at Columbia University pleaded guilty yesterday to attempted drug possession, resolving the last case in a takedown of an on-campus drug ring. Adam Klein was the last of five students to plead guilty in the case, which authorities called the biggest in recent memory against drug dealing at a city college. The case spurred a discussion of student drug use and questions of privilege and punishment from the New York Post’s editorial page to Time magazine’s Web site. Klein, 21, is expected to get five years’ probation at sentencing, which is scheduled for Feb. 28. Read More: New York Post

 

Man Hospitalized Following Jamaica Hotel Fire


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man Hospitalized Following Jamaica Hotel Fire

The Conduit Motor Inn on 138th Avenue in Jamaica, Queens caught fire Monday night, and an injured man found inside one of the hotel rooms was taken to Jamaica Hospital with burns throughout his body. Read More: NY1

 

Maksim Gelman to get extra 25 years for Manhattan portion of killing spree

A Manhattan judge today promised to tack on an additional 25 years to the certain life sentence that Maksim “Butcher of Brighton Beach” Gelman faces in Brooklyn when sentenced tomorrow for admittedly slaughtering four people back in February. Gelman had pleaded guilty last month to the Brooklyn end of his blood-drenched, 28-hour spree, admitting he’d stabbed his mother’s boyfriend to death, stolen that victim’s car and fatally mowed down a pedestrian, then stabbed to death the object of his affections, beautiful Yelena Bulchenko, and her mother. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens Rapper Joins Growing Chorus For Awareness About Redistricting

A Queens rapper is adding his music and his voice to the growing chorus against a hot-button political issue. Himanshu Suri of the hip-hop group Das Racist performed Monday night at a fundraiser in Richmond Hill to help out SEVA, a community organization that is raising awareness about the potential consequences of gerrymandering, the redrawing of local political districts to benefit incumbents. Read More: NY1

 

Man dead, another arrested in LI police shootout

A man is dead and another in custody after following a shootout last night with a Nassau County cop, police said today. The body of the dead suspect was found inside the Valley Stream home following a botched home invasion attempt, Nassau County police homicide chief Det. Lt. John Azatta said. The events unfolded when at least two men attempted a home invasion at about 9:15 a.m., police said.  The homeowner drove up and noticed a man in the bushes with a gun. That’s when he tried honking his horn to scare him off, police said.  When that didn’t work, the man called his brother and told him, “There is a problem here,” according to Azatta. Read More: New York Post

 

Mother of Rikers inmate killed in ’08 fight club lashes out at guards

The mom of a Rikers inmate who was killed in connection to a sick fight club run by guards, lashed out today two disgraced officers and the wrist-slapping deal they cut.  Charnel Robinson, 38, lamented how she’ll never again see her 18-year-old son Christopher Robinson, who was beaten to death in October, 2008 by fellow inmates for refusing to participate in the jailhouse blood sport. “I’m not happy. It’s not a win for me. My son is gone,” Robinson said in Bronx Supreme Court, during the sentencing of two guilty corrections officers.  “At the end of the day, these people are still able to see their families. My only child is a sight I’ll never see again,” Robinson said. Read More: New York Post

 

Bronx boy shot through door lives in terror

An 11-year-old Bronx boy who was shot when a bullet ripped through his family’s front door lives in fear of being attacked again. “I don’t like answering doors anymore and I don’t want to go back there,” a traumatized Ryan Aguirre told The Post from a new apartment where he’s staying.  The sixth-grade honors student escaped serious injury when he was shot in the right hip late on the night of Jan. 5. “I was just playing a game and the doorbell rang, so I got up to answer it,” Ryan said. “When I was walking toward the door, I said, ‘Who?’ and they just started shooting. Read More: New York Post

 

Five more bodies found on Italian shipwreck Costa Concordia

The death toll from the crippled Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia rose to 11 after five more bodies were pulled from the shipwreck on Tuesday. The lifeless bodies of four men and one woman, estimated to be in their 50s and 60s, were found below the water line at the ship’s front, rescue officials said.  They were all still wearing lifejackets. Twenty four others, a mix of tourists and crew members, are still believed trapped inside. The latest find comes after Italian marine divers armed with explosives blasted their way into the capsized wreck and began navigating its jumbled, murky interior. Conditions inside the half-sunk Costa Concordia were disastrous, and the frogmen were fighting their way through piles of floating debris in the ships labyrinth of cabins, restaurants, bars, casinos and theaters, rescue officials said. Read More: Daily News

 

Occupy Wall Street in ‘winter hibernation’ as donations dwindle and weather gets icy

Occupy Wall Street has gone into “winter hibernation” as donations have dwindled and the weather has gotten colder. “We’re not broke,” Pete Dutro, a member of the OWS finance committee, said Tuesday. “But donations have not been as plentiful as they were last fall.” Asked about reports that the group had just $170,000 left in its bank account, Dutro chuckled. “There are other accounts,” he said. “In fact I just deposited $100,000 we set aside for bail.” Dutro confirmed an account in the Wall Street Journal that OWS’s main government body voted over the weekend to freeze all new spending. Read More: Daily News

 

 

Italian captain ignored orders to return to ship: audio recordings

The captain of a grounded Italian cruise ship can be heard in a recording making excuses as a coast guard official repeatedly ordered him to “get on board now,” according to a transcript of the conversation released today. In a telephone conversation, the Italian coast guard official berates the captain, who is on a lifeboat and repeatedly says he doesn’t want to return to the ship even as passengers are still being evacuated. Read More & Hear Audio: New York Post

 

Beyoncé says Blue Ivy Carter ‘just like any other kid’ in first interview since giving birth

Beyoncé shares that “words can’t be found” to describe holding her daughter Blue Ivy Carter for the first time. In her first interview since giving birth, the “Countdown” songstress also reveals that she believes her daughter will be “just like any other kid” and that husband Jay-Z will indeed change his daughter’s diapers.  “Nothing can describe the feeling,” Beyoncé tells Star magazine of nurses first handing her Blue Ivy Carter to hold. “You have the instant connection once you know your child is growing inside you, but when you hold it for the first time, the words can’t be found.” Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD developing new device to detect guns carried by criminals

The NYPD is developing a new device that can detect whether a perp is carrying heat without frisking him, Commissioner Ray Kelly announced today. The large mechanism uses infrared rays to scan a “form of radiation emitted from the body” of someone who is concealing a gun on the streets of the Big Apple, Kelly said at the Police Foundation’s State of the NYPD breakfast. Since the infrared rays cannot pass through metal, the device provides officers with a digital outline of exactly where the firearm has been tucked away on the subject’s body, Kelly said. Read More: New York Post

Brother of Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree shot in Queens


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Brother of Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree shot in Queens

The older brother of Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree was clinging to life Saturday, a day after he was shot in the head during a dispute in Queens, sources told the Daily News. Calvin Ogletree, 25, was standing in front of his luxury car rental shop on Linden Blvd. near 200th St. in St. Albans when two men approached him about 3 p.m., police sources said. Investigators believe the three men were arguing over money, when at least one of the two suspects pulled out a gun and fired — sending a bullet into Ogletree’s head, police sources said. Read More: Daily News

 

New super painkiller Zohydro is more dangerously  potent than Vicodin: narcs and docs 

Drug companies are cooking up a potent new painkiller that New York narcs and addiction experts say could unleash the worst pill-popping plague since Oxycontin hit the streets. A single extended-release capsule will contain up to 10 times the amount of hydrocodone — a potentially addictive opiate — as the lowest-dose Vicodin pill. One manufacturer on the verge of asking the feds to approve a formulation it calls Zohydro says it’s “safer and more convenient” for treatment of chronic pain. But law enforcement officials and drug experts worry it will open a new front in the war against prescription drug abuse. Read More: Daily News

 

NY Giants smother the Atlanta Falcons in 24-2 wild card rout as Big Blue advances to face Green Bay Packers 

The Giants spent the regular season riding the waves of the most explosive offense in franchise history. But the first round of the playoffs it was the defense that made the biggest splash. They turned back the clock with a dominating performance as they smothered the Atlanta Falcons, 24-2, in a wild-card playoff game at the Meadowlands on Sunday afternoon. The Giants’ defense pitched a shutout – the only Falcons scoring was a second-quarter safety – as they won a playoff game at home for the first time in nearly 11 years. Read More: Daily News

 

Eyes on Meeks’ shady house sale

A watchdog group is asking federal prosecutors to examine a real-estate deal involving Rep. Gregory Meeks. The Queens Democrat sold his Far Rockaway home in 2006 to a buyer with dubious qualifications who used a lawyer later convicted in a multimillion-dollar mortgage-fraud scheme, according to the National Legal and Policy Center. The Virginia-based group contends that buyer Cecil Lloyd had an income of just $9,895 the year he bought the house for $402,800. Lloyd and Evelyn Miller secured two mortgages from IndyMac Bank to buy the home at 660 Grassmere Terrace. They financed 100 percent of the purchase price, city records show. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Extort’ slap at GOP’s Queens kingmakers

City Councilman Eric Ulrich is demanding an investigation into claims that Queens GOP leaders milked candidates “for financial gain.” His call comes amid mounting criticism of the county party from prominent Republicans, including former Rep. Rick Lazio, Rep. Bob Turner and ex-Councilman and party honcho Thomas Ognibene. “The District Attorney’s Office or the US Attorney’s Office should look into these issues because they’re deeply troubling,” Ulrich said. “These con artists have been playing this game for far too long.” Read More: New York Post

 

Brooklyn Man Allegedly Kills Friend In Knife Fight

The hunt is on for a man police say stabbed his friend to death during a knife fight in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn. Law enforcement sources say they are looking for Keylester Williams, seen above. Police say the suspect and 22-year-old Marcquel McDuffy were drinking together Friday night in Vinegar Hill. Sources say the two men started play-fighting, but it turned deadly when Williams allegedly stabbed McDuffy in the chest. The victim’s younger brother, Keon White, told NY1 that McDuffy and Williams had known each other for about four years and were very close. Read More: NY1

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


| jlane@queenscourier.com

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


| jlane@queenscourier.com

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

Madonna Badger spared details of fire that killed her 3 daughters & parents


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Madonna Badger spared details of fire that killed her 3 daughters & parents

The marketing executive whose three daughters and parents died in a Christmas morning fire was spared the horrific details of the tragedy, her brother said Tuesday. Madonna Badger was “as devastated as you could imagine,” Wade Johnson said. “Like any mother and child would be. She’s largely unaware of many of the details … She’s resting.” Badger, who escaped the inferno at her Connecticut mansion, wasn’t told that her father died trying to save one of his granddaughters. Their bodies were found just inches apart on either side of an open window amid the rubble. Read More: Daily News

 

Off-duty firefighter saves elderly couple from blaze on Staten Island

An elderly Staten Island couple and their beloved pet cat were rescued from the balcony of their burning apartment by an off-duty firefighter driving home on Christmas night. Steven Carl, a seven-year FDNY veteran, was heading back to his South Beach residence on Sunday after celebrating the holiday at his parents’ home when he spotted flames at 11:45 p.m. above the roofline not far from his block. With his wife and their two kids in the car, Carl followed the trail of black smoke to Atlantic Avenue and discovered a two-family home engulfed in flames. Read More: New York Post

Tidal crime wave hits Rockaways

The Rockaways are getting rocked by crime! Felonies in the 100th Precinct in Queens, which blankets Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel and other western areas of the peninsula, have gone through the roof, according to the latest police statistics. Burglaries have jumped 144 percent, from 54 last year to 132 this year. Felony assaults have soared 66 percent, from 78 to 130. Robberies have gone up 31 percent, from 63 to 83. Grand larcenies are up 26 percent over last year. The crime wave is so pervasive that a local deli is even offering pamphlets that warn customers, “Do You Feel Safe and Secure? We Hope You Do … But Maybe You Shouldn’t!” Read More: New York Post

 

Knicks claim former Harvard guard Lin

The Knicks have claimed former Harvard PG Jeremy Lin off waivers, according to a league source. Lin spent his rookie year in Oakland, but was waived by the Warriors, and new coach Mark Jackson, on Dec. 9. The Rockets picked Lin up, but waived him Sunday to clear roster space in order to sign Samuel Dalembert. Lin, 23, was undrafted out of Harvard but appeared in 29 games for the Warriors as a rookie last season, averaging 2.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest. Read More: New York Post

 

Registration open for Golden Gloves

The crown jewel for boxing aficionados, the Daily News Golden Gloves, is increasing its reach and accepting jabs from a wider population. For the first time in Golden Gloves history, the tournament will be open to all entries from the state of New York when registration opens for 2012. “After 85 years of world-class competition, it’s about time that we expand the reach of the Daily News Golden Gloves to include all of New York,” said Gloves director Brian Adams. “As the oldest and largest boxing tournaments in the world, we want to set a positive example for the youth of New York state, not just those representing the metropolitan area. It’s a chance to follow in the footsteps of the many boxing greats that got their start in the Daily News Golden Gloves.” Read More: Queens Courier

 

Conn. mayor: Fire that killed 5 not foul play

A Christmas Day fire that killed three children and their grandparents was a tragic accident related to a fireplace in the home, not the result of foul play, the mayor said Tuesday. Investigators were expected to reveal the cause of the fire later Tuesday, but Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia told The Associated Press described the cause as “fireplace-related.” He could not provide more details. “The preliminary information is it was just a tragic accident,” he said, adding that foul play had been ruled out. Neighbors said they were awakened by screams shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday and rushed outside to help but could do nothing as flames devoured the large Victorian home. Read More: New York Post

 

Bronx tot dead, dad under arrest after fight with girl’s mother

Police say a 3-month-old Bronx girl is dead and her father is under arrest following an altercation with the child’s mother and grandmother. Police said Tuesday that 20-year-old Kevin Palmer was arrested on assault charges after a physical confrontation with the 19-year-old mother of his child and her 43-year-old mother. Neither woman received major injuries. Read More: New York Post

 

Public Advocate Releases City’s Worst Landlords Watch List

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio on Tuesday released his latest list of what he says are the worst landlords and buildings in the city. Some 358 buildings are on the list, owned by 317 landlords. “1071 Home Corp” ranks at the top of the list, with 753 hazardous violations and five buildings on de Blasio’s “watch list”. Three of the top five landlords have buildings in the Bronx, and two have buildings in Brooklyn. Read More: NY1

 

Straphangers Stranded In December Blizzard File Suit

A group of passengers is suing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority one year after they were stranded on an A train in Queens during the post-Christmas blizzard. About 25 people trapped for eight hours on the A train are named as plaintiffs in the suit. They were left without heat, water or food when the train got stuck in several feet of snow between Aqueduct and Rockaway Boulevard. New York City Transit President Thomas Prendergast told the City Council earlier this month MTA officials “forgot” about the train. Read More: NY1

 

New dirt on pervy UWS super

Shocking, newly released court documents describe the ordeals of alleged victims of a former Upper West Side building super accused of pressuring cash-strapped female tenants to pay their rent with sexual favors. “He told me to take my clothes off really slowly so that he could watch,” one of the women said in a deposition about William “Billy” Barnason. “He had sex with me for about probably a minute . . . He slapped me on the ass and said, ‘Now we’re even.’ ’’ The woman and her roommate were allowed to move into another apartment the next day, owned by the same elderly landlord, Stanley Katz. Read More: New York Post

 

Al Qaeda in Iraq says it was behind Baghdad blasts

An al Qaeda front group in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks that ripped through markets, cafes and government buildings in Baghdad on a single day last week, killing 69 people and raising new worries about the country’s path. The coordinated attacks struck a dozen mostly Shiite neighborhoods on Thursday in the first major bloodshed since U.S. troops completed a full withdrawal this month after nearly nine years of war. They also coincided with a government crisis that has again strained ties between Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites to the breaking point, tearing at the same fault line that nearly pushed Iraq into all-out civil war several years ago. Read More: New York Post

Army: Eight Charged In Death Of Manhattan Soldier


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Army: Eight Charged In Death Of Manhattan Soldier

The U.S. Army says eight of its soldiers are facing charges in connection with the death of a fellow soldier in Afghanistan. Private Danny Chen, 19, died in October. The exact cause of death has not been released. The Army has said he died of non-combat-related injuries. Five of the eight soldiers are charged with involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide. Other charges include assault, battery, and reckless endangerment. Read More: NY1

Police: Brooklyn Teen Stabbed In Head Over Basketball Spat

A Brooklyn teenager is fighting for his life after police say another teen stabbed him in the head with a pair of scissors Police say the two teens got into an argument during a pick-up basketball game at Erasmus Hall High School in Flatbush. They say Alfredo Allen, 15, was stabbed multiple times in the head by the other boy, identified in published reports as Chevoy Nelson, 16. Allen was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Read More: NY1

Students’ posters aim to erase graffiti

Senator Tony Avella is aiming to erase any thoughts of vandalism from the minds of the students in his district – and paint them a clear anti-graffiti picture. The senator joined representatives from the Bayside Business Association (BBA) and students from across northeast Queens on December 15 for his first annual Anti-Graffiti Poster Contest. Read More: Queens Courier

NYPD Investigates Noose Found At City Parks Office

The New York City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating after a doll was found hanging by a noose Tuesday in the Parks Department’s Bronx borough headquarters. According to Geoffrey Croft, president of the watchdog group NYC Parks Advocates, an African-American parks worker found the doll near his work space. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe says the department is fully cooperating with the investigation. Read More: NY1

Woman Snaps Picture Of Bronx Subway Flasher

Police are searching for a man they say exposed himself on a Bronx subway last week. Investigators say this man exposed himself to a 30-year-old woman on a northbound 6 train at the Buhre Avenue station Thursday night. The woman was able to snap a photo of the suspect. He’s described as being in his 30′s, about 5’6″ tall and weighing 175 pounds. Read More: NY1

IT geek’s apartment gizmo catches burglar in act

A computer whiz yesterday busted a brazen burglar at his Manhattan pad — all while sitting at his work desk six blocks away. Levent Cetiner, 30, an IT ace at the School of Visual Arts in Gramercy, had set up a motion-detection camera in his West 21st Street apartment that sends him real-time photos of his home by e-mail when triggered. Read More: New York Post

Mourners Gather At Fallen NYPD Officer’s Funeral


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Mourners Gather At Fallen NYPD Officer’s Funeral

Family, friends, and fellow officers will gather on Long Island today to say a final goodbye to a city police officer who was gunned down last week in Brooklyn. The funeral for Officer Peter Figoski will take place at 11 a.m. at the Parish of St. Joseph Church in Babylon. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was among the hundreds who paid their respects on the second day of Figoski’s wake yesterday. Police say Figoski, 47, was shot in the face by Lamont Pride, 27, during a botched robbery last Monday morning in Cypress Hills. Pride is charged with first and second degree murder in Figoski’s death. Read More: NY1

 

Kim Jong Ils death rocks North Korea, gives region jitters

It was the scenario strategists from Beijing to Washington fretted over: Kim Jong Il’s sudden death befalls North Korea, before the isolated regime completed a power transfer to his young son and rejoined disarmament talks with the US. With news of Kim’s death Monday, the impoverished country with a nuclear program plunged further into uncertainty, raising risks for the region. Read More: New York Post

 

Roughin’ it to roofin’ it

Sheryl-Ann Peters’ occupation was never televised. But unlike Occupy Wall Street protesters — who recently seized a vacant East New York home and moved in a homeless family — her housing takeover was entirely legal. Peters became a first-time homeowner last month thanks to an affordable-housing program for neighborhoods hardest hit by the housing crisis. The city bought the vacant, foreclosed, three-bedroom in St. Albans, Queens in August 2010 for $266,833 under a federal housing program. It added $177,190 worth of renovations, bringing the total worth to $444,023. Read More: Daily News

 

FDNY: Five Firefighters Injured In Brooklyn Brownstone Fire

Five city firefighters were hospitalized Monday while fighting a two-alarm fire in brooklyn. The New York City Fire Department says crews responded to a three-story brownstone located at 1102 Prospect Place in Crown Heights just after 9 a.m. Two firefighters were taken to Cornell Burn Center, one of whom suffered burns over 40 percent of his body. Three others were also injured. No civilians were hurt. The fire was under control in about an hour. Read More: NY1

 

Sources: Cornell Wins Bid For Roosevelt Island Tech Campus

Cornell University is about to become the winner of a competition to build a new science and engineering campus in the city, sources tell NY1. An official announcement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected later today. The city has offered free land on Roosevelt Island and up to $100 million worth of infrastructure. In a major sign of strength, the Cornell bid received a $350 million anonymous donation to help build the campus. Stanford University — another top contender — announced Friday it was pulling its bid. Columbia and NYU were also in the running. Read More: NY1

 

Brooklyn Man Awaits Arraignment For Burning Woman Alive

A Brooklyn man is expected to be arraigned today on charges he killed a woman by setting her on fire in her apartment building elevator. Jerome Issac, 47, is charged with murder and arson. Police say he turned himself in yesterday reeking of gasoline and saying he set a fire. Investigators believe he waited for Deloris Gillespie, 73, on the fifth floor of her building in Prospect Heights Saturday afternoon. Police say Isaac is the man seen in surveillance photos. When the elevator doors opened, they say Isaac sprayed Gillespie with a liquid accelerant, and kept spraying after she crouched down. They say he lit a Molotov cocktail and set Gillespie on fire, then tossed the flaming bottle in the elevator and kept spraying the victim. Read More: NY1

 

Haggerty sent to prison for 1 and 1/3 years for Bloomberg campaign cash theft

Disgraced political consultant John Haggerty — described by his own lawyer as broke, divorced and dishonored — was sentenced this morning to serve at least one and one-third years — and as much as four years — in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from Mayor Bloomberg. The sentence was handed down by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ronald Zweibel, and immediately enacted, with Haggerty being cuffed and led away to a back holding cell for processing. The sentence covers Haggerty’s October conviction for money laundering and second degree grand larceny. Read More: New York Post

55 gang members busted in $2M ID theft ring involving Jewish charity


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

55 gang members busted in $2M ID theft ring involving Jewish charity

Over 50 gang members have been busted for running an identity theft ring that targeted people who’d given to charity, prosecutors announced today. The Manhattan DA’s office said 55 members of the Bloods, Crips and Outlaws were arraigned after taking part in a check scam. Prosecutors said a worker at the United Jewish Appeal, which is based in Midtown, would photocopy checks the charity received from donors. The employee, Tracy Nelson, allegedly sold the checks to the gang members, who then assumed the identities of those who had donated money. As part of the same ID theft ring, prosecutors said they had also arrested three JP Morgan Chase tellers, a worker at TD Bank and a US postal worker. Read More: New York Post

 

In stunner, Stanford yanks tech-campus bid

After months of pressing its case to open a tech campus in the city, Stanford University abruptly pulled out of the competition Friday. In a statement, Stanford President John Hennessy said, “after several weeks of negotiations with New York City, university leaders and the Stanford Board of Trustees have determined that it would not be in the best interests of the university to continue to pursue the opportunity.” Read More: Crain’s New York

 

The Courier plays Santa for South Queens Boys & Girls Club

The Queens Courier got a sneak peek of what Christmas morning would be like for the youngsters of the South Queens Boys & Girls Club (SQBGC). On Thursday, December 15, Courier reporters — playing Santa and his Christmas elves — distributed hundreds of toys to the club’s underprivileged kids. Read More: Queens Courier

 

DOB Investigates Chelsea Scaffold Collapse

An investigation has been launched after a construction scaffold collapsed onto a busy Manhattan sidewalk during Friday’s morning rush. It happened around 8 a.m. on 14th Street near Seventh Avenue in Chelsea. No one was hurt. “The doorman called up and said we need to evacuate. He didn’t say why. We just looked outside and saw all of the fire trucks and ambulances, so I came down and saw the scaffolding had collapsed,” said one building resident. Read More: NY1

 

Two Missing NJ Girls Found Safe Upstate

Police have tracked down two young New Jersey girls who were the subject of an AMBER Alert earlier this morning. Investigators say Emma Trapp, 5, and her 20-month-old sister Sophia were found unharmed at a motel near Bear Mountain in Orange County. The kids are in the custody right now of the New York State police. Old Bridge police officers and officers, investigators from the Middlesex County prosecutors office are up there right now as well as I understand the FBI,” said Captain Robert Weiss of the Old Bridge Police Department. The girls’ father, Anthony Trapp, 39, was found dead of an apparent suicide inside one of the motel’s rooms. Read More: NY1

 

Bloomberg invites DC lawmakers to attend slain cop’s funeral to highlight illegal gun sales

 

If it were up to him, members of Congress would be attending the funeral of police Officer Peter Figoski to see for themselves the havoc wreaked when an illegal gun falls into the hands of a career criminal. Bloomberg got to discussing illegal weapons in a response to a Tweet on his radio show this morning from a listener asking why the city was wasting so much time pushing for stricter federal gun controls. Read More: Daily News

Queens Teacher Charged With Raping 13-Year-Old Student


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens Teacher Charged With Raping 13-Year-Old Student

A Queens teacher is facing charges including rape after authorities say he had an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old student. Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon says Charles Oross, 44, a teacher at IS 238, had a sexual relationship with the girl while she attended the school in 2009. Officials say the two also exchanged inappropriate emails and Facebook communications. Oross was removed from the school last month. Read More: NY1

 

Boyfriend of Young & Rubicam elevator victim Suzanne Hart calls her ‘bright spot’ 


The heartbroken boyfriend of elevator accident victim Suzanne Hart said Thursday “she was the bright spot in my life.” “I don’t have the words for this,” Chris Dickson said outside the couple’s Brooklyn Heights home. “I can’t process this.” Dickson, who said he and Hart “were together for five-and-a-half years,” was with her father, Alex Hart, and step-mother, Mary, when he spoke. Read More: New York Post

 

Man Accused Of Beating Jets Fan Faces New Charges

Charges were upgraded Wednesday against the man accused of attacking a Jets fan after Sunday’s game. Merle Lee, 35, is now being charged with aggravated assault. He was previously charged with simple assault. Police say Lee punched James Mohr of Queens in the face after an argument ended with a group of men. Mohr, 23, has been taken out of intensive care and is listed in fair condition. Investigators say the dispute wasn’t about the game. Read More: NY1

 

One last spin for land marking Forest Park Carousel

Forest Park Carousel is getting one more spin at landmark status. Area residents and leaders hope to have the historic local landmark officially recognized as one by the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission. The carousel — which last spun in 2008 — is currently being reviewed by the commission to see whether it meets the eligibility for landmarking. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Queens Courier Exclusive – What Would Judy Say?™ – Judge Judy Sheindlin answers your questions about problems that trouble you most. Read: Queens Courier

 

Facebook Timeline now available to all users

Facebook’s 800 million users can now access the site’s Timeline feature, which turns their profile pages into a virtual scrapbook of big photos, memorable posts and life events. For many users, turning on Timeline will likely serve as a trip down memory lane as they rediscover photos and updates they shared months and years ago. All that’s been stored on Facebook. Read More: New York Post

Body of missing escort Shannan Gilbert likely found in Oak Beach, L.I. one year after disappearance


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Body of missing escort Shannan Gilbert likely found in Oak Beach, L.I. one year after disappearance
A year after the search for Shannan Gilbert led to the discovery of 10 bodies at Gilgo Beach, L.I., the missing escort’s corpse was found a few miles away, police said Tuesday. Gilbert’s purse, including her ID and cell phone, and her jeans and shoes were found in marshland last week, and police expanded their efforts to find her body. Skeletal remains were found at the Oak Beach site, and police said they believe they belong to Gilbert but have not confirmed it through forensics. Read More: Daily News

 

Seaburn Bookstore, Astoria’s only independent bookseller, to close this month 

The only independent book store in Astoria selling mainstream titles is slated to close its doors for good this month. Seaburn Bookstore has been losing money for years and its owner tried to shutter the shop last year. But an outpouring of community support at the time — and a jump in sales — prompted the owner, Sam Chekwas, to keep the beloved store open. He even remodelled and added an Internet cafe to appeal to new customers. Read More: Daily News

 

Disabled Flushing resident says the Veterans Administration botched his wheelchair

Matthew Raible, a 63-year-old Vietnam veteran, said he waited nine months for the Veterans Administration to give him a proper wheelchair that he desperately needed for his everyday life. And less than a week after it arrived, both wheels fell off, he said. This is one of many complaints that Raible, a quadriplegic, has with the VA, which is responsible for providing his wheelchairs and other health care services. Read More: Daily News

 

Teacher has students do ‘God’s’ work

A Queens high school teacher got students to unwittingly do volunteer work for a controversial religious charity run by the son of Christian evangelist Billy Graham that has been accused of mixing its celebrated aid to the poor with proselytizing. Students in John Bowne HS said their math teacher, Mr. Joseph, asked them in class last month if they would bring in shoe boxes filled with toys, clothes and teddy bears for the Samaritan’s Purse annual Operation Christmas Child program. Read More: New York Post