Tag Archives: aggregation

ESPN fallout over crack about Lin


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

ESPN fallout over crack about Lin

ESPN yesterday called an offensive foul on two employees for using a racist term in a headline and story about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin. A headline writer, whose name was not released, was fired, while anchor Max Bretos was benched for 30 days. The out-of-bounds phrase — “chink in the armor” — referred to Chinese-American Lin’s struggles Friday in the Knicks’ first loss since he made a splash. It appeared as a headline on ESPN’s mobile site Saturday. Read More: New York Post

 

NYC’s Allen Christian School is closing

The well-regarded Allen Christian School is closing after nearly 30 years because of financial difficulties. The announcement was made Tuesday by the Rev. Floyd Flake, who said the decision brought him “great sadness.” The politically influential Queens pastor and former congressman founded the school with his wife, the Rev. Elaine Flake. Public Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said his four children have “fond memories of attending Allen Christian.” Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Knicks talking title after Lin leads them to win over Mavericks

After Jeremy Lin’s nationally televised theatrics were over, after the point guard’s international stardom had reached yet another level, after Jason Kidd said Lin indeed looks like Steve Nash in Phoenix, Tyson Chandler soaked it all in and declared what may have become obvious by now: Lin’s Knicks are a genuine contender for a championship this season. Chandler should know best, having helped the Mavericks to a title eight months ago. Chandler faced Dallas during the Knicks’ 104-97 victory in yesterday’s thrilling Garden matinee, and said he feels his new club is championship-caliber with Lin’s fairy tale, J.R. Smith’s arrival and Carmelo Anthony’s grand return to Linsanity scheduled tonight against the Nets. Read More: New York Post

 

Spit hits fan in teach spat

A veteran Queens math teacher was yanked from the classroom yesterday after a cellphone video posted online showed an apparent confrontation with a student. Department of Education officials said they are investigating 19-year veteran David Pecoraro, a vocal union leader at Beach Channel HS in Far Rockaway, on allegations of corporal punishment. An 80-second video posted on YouTube last week captures the alleged incident but doesn’t provide a clear answer on what the teacher did. Read More: New York Post

Whitney Houston’s dress, ‘Bodyguard’ earrings up for auction

A black velvet dress that belonged to Whitney Houston and a pair of earrings she wore in “The Bodyguard” will be sold to the highest bidder next month. Celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien said Sunday the pieces and other Houston items became available after the singer’s unexpected death on Feb. 11 and will be included among a long-planned sale of Hollywood memorabilia such as Charlie Chaplin’s cane, Clark Gable’s jacket from “Gone With the Wind” and Charlton Heston’s staff from “The Ten Commandments.” Read More: New York Post

 

Transit Officers Catch Alleged Subway Pickpocket In The Act

Two transit offers were on the right train at the right time on Saturday and ended up catching an alleged pickpocket in action. Police say the officers were patrolling a Queens-bound E train early Saturday morning in Manhattan, when 50-year old Manuel Alduey got on an adjoining car at West 4th Street and sat next to a sleeping passenger. Investigators say the officers saw Alduey take the sleeping victim’s wallet and iPhone before getting off at West 23rd Street. The officers followed and arrested Alduey. Alduey is being charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Read More: NY1

 

Memorial Service For Mets’ Gary Carter To Be Held In Florida

A private memorial service will be held this Friday in Florida for former New York Mets catcher Gary Carter. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be made to the Gary Carter Foundation. Carter, known as “The Kid,” died on Thursday at age 57 after a battle with brain cancer. The Hall of Fame catcher was traded to New York from Montreal in 1985 and spent five seasons in Queens. Carter was a major element of the Mets’ 1986 World Series championship team. Read More: NY1

 

Greg Kelly claims ‘flirtatious’ text messages from rape accuser show their rendezvous was consensual and for a ‘sexual purpose,’ sources say


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Greg Kelly claims ‘flirtatious’ text messages from rape accuser show their rendezvous was consensual and for a ‘sexual purpose,’ sources say

The paralegal who says TV host and top-cop son Greg Kelly raped her while she was drunk told cops she got pregnant and had an abortion as a result, NYPD sources said. “Why’d you do that?” she says she angrily demanded in a call to the Fox newsman after the late-night encounter in her downtown Manhattan law office, according to a police source. But Kelly, the popular co-host of “Good Day New York” and the son of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, claims “flirtatious” text messages from the woman show their rendezvous was consensual and for a “sexual purpose,” sources said. “That could be the big key,” one investigator told the Daily News on Thursday. “Unless she taped the phone call, whether this guy gets charged could be determined by the texts.” Read More: Daily News

 

Two Con Ed Workers Rescue Woman From Robbery

Two Consolidated Edison workers are being called heroes after they rescued a woman being robbed in Queens. The two workers were fixing a gas leak near 201st Street and 42nd Avenue in Auburndale when they heard signs of a struggle nearby. They say they discovered a man with a gun assaulting a woman while trying to steal her purse. “As soon as I turned around we saw them, it was a commotion, a lot of yelling, arguing. As soon as we heard that we ran right there, you know. You hear something like that happen and you just run right there. You just go right into mode, you want to help somebody,” said Con Ed worker John McDonnell, seen above left. Read More: NY1

 

Upper East Side woman stalked for 18 years, through six states

Their first and only date was an innocent stroll through Central Park. But when an Upper East Side woman rejected her running-club pal’s bid for an encore, the creep lost his mind and embarked on an 18-year reign of terror — stalking her through six states as she desperately tried to escape his reach. “I was terrified of him,” Linda Arnaud, 45, told The Post of twisted Queens native Moses Shepard, who last week was finally found guilty of federal stalking charges. “He showed up at my place of work. He showed up at my school, at my apartment — he showed up on the subway platform. He stalked me all over New York City.” Read More: New York Post

 

Stabber gets jail

A Queens judge ripped into a teenager convicted of stabbing a neighborhood friend as the attacker was sentenced yesterday to as much time as possible for the senseless crime. Wayne Henderson, 17, was found guilty last month of the attempted murder, assault and disfigurement of Luis Martinez, who was 12 when he was attacked on Jan. 9, 2010. “This is the most vicious crime I’m seen in my 25 years on the bench,” said Judge James Griffin as he sentenced Henderson to the maximum under juvenile-offender guidelines — five to 10 years in prison. Had he been tried as an adult, he could have gotten up to 20 years. Read More: New York Post

Super Bowl Bound: Giants Nip 49ers In OT To Set Up Title Rematch Vs. Patriots


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Super Bowl Bound: Giants Nip 49ers In OT To Set Up Title Rematch Vs. Patriots

For the second time in five seasons, Big Blue is going to the big game. The New York Giants recovered two mishandled San Francisco kick returns, the last one setting up the game-winning field goal in sudden-death overtime, as Big Blue defeated the 49ers 20-17 in Sunday’s NFC Championship to advance to the Super Bowl for the second time since 2008. Sunday’s win sets up a Super Bowl rematch with the New England Patriots, whom the Giants defeated in Super Bowl XLII to claim the franchise’s third Super Bowl title and ruin the Patriots’ pursuit of a perfect season. Read More: NY1

 

 

‘Headless Body in Topless Bar’ killer seeks release from prison

The maniacal murderer who spawned the famous New York Post headline “Headless Body in Topless Bar” is trying to get sprung from prison, The Post has learned. Charles Dingle, 53, will ask a three-person parole panel this week to free him from the upstate Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo. But if his 1983 psychotic rampage and ensuing pathetic prison record are any indication, his chances are questionable. The convict’s infamous blood-drenched spree is considered one of New York’s most notorious crimes. Read More: New York Post

 

‘I tried to stop cop suicide’

The devastated fiancée of the suicidal cop who blew his brains out on the job last week revealed to The Post yesterday how she had desperately tried to talk him out of it in a phone call only seconds before he pulled the trigger. “We weren’t fighting,” insisted Maria Stuart, 28, who was planning to marry NYPD Officer Terrence Dean, 28, on Aug. 18. “All I was trying to do was tell Terrence he needs help.” Stuart said she had admitted to Dean during the frantic Thursday-night call that she had just phoned his Queens precinct house and made vague warnings about a suicidal officer. Read More: New York Post

 

MTA scuttles free-shuttle plan

MTA officials have proven again that they excel — at taking service away from desperate riders. Brass at the cash-strapped agency have incredibly rejected an offer of a free shuttle bus — financed in full by a local lawmaker — for 7-train riders slammed by 11 straight weekends of service outages. City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer offered to pay for the $250,000 direct, no-transfer bus from Long Island City to Grand Central while the MTA worked on the signal system under the East River. The money would have come out of his own discretionary funds. Read More: New York Post

 

Two People Injured In Queens House Fire

An investigation is underway into a house fire in Jackson Heights, Queens that injured two people early Sunday. More than 100 firefighters responded to 37-39 90th Street around 1 a.m. and fire officials said two people were pulled from the home. One of the victims is said to be okay, and the other one was taken to Elmhurst Hospital with serious injuries. Read More: NY1

 

Former Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Dies

Family members announced that former Penn State coach Joe Paterno died Sunday at age 85, after suffering from complications from lung cancer. A native of Flatbush, Brooklyn, Paterno attended Saint Edmund Elementary School and Brooklyn Preparatory High School and gave up a career in law to coach football. He coached the Nittany Lions for 46 years and won 409 games, more than any other coach in major college football history. Among the former Penn State athletes coached by Paterno is New York Giants offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie, whose team played in Sunday’s National Football Conference Championship game in San Francisco. Read More: NY1

Queens Man Indicted On Charges From December Shootings


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens Man Indicted On Charges From December Shootings

A Queens man was indicted Wednesday on charges he killed two people and injured a third in a shooting rampage last month. Damel Burton, 34, seen above, has been indicted on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree attempted murder. The Queens district attorney said Burton shot to death 18-year old Keith Murrell, apparently in retaliation for a fight. He then boarded a Q111 bus and allegedly opened fire again, killing Marvin Gilkes and wounding another man. Read More: NY1

Man charged in NY Fed Reserve software theft

U.S. prosecutors arrested a Chinese computer programmer on charges he stole software code valued at nearly $10 million from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Bo Zhang, 32, of Queens, worked as a contract programmer at the bank. He was accused of illegally copying software to an external hard drive, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. district court in Manhattan. Authorities said the software, owned by the U.S. Treasury Department, cost about $9.5 million to develop. A New York Fed spokesman said in a statement that the bank immediately investigated the suspected breach when it was uncovered and promptly referred the matter to authorities. Read More: MSNBC

Queens aims for Apple core 

Queens might be on the verge of getting a bite of the Apple. A real estate developer is in preliminary talks with Apple about opening one of the brand’s iconic stores on bustling Austin St. in Forest Hills. Heskel Group Chairman Yeheskel Elias said if a deal is reached, the sleek store could open in as little as a year. It would be only the second Apple location in the city outside Manhattan. A Staten Island store opened in 2005. “I will do anything I can to bring Apple in,” Elias said. “Queens has to have an Apple store.” Apple spokeswoman Michaela Wilkinson said the company has “made no announcements” on new stores outside Manhattan. But Elias said a broker for Apple reached out to him several months ago to discuss potential store locations in Forest Hills. Read More: Daily News

Brooklyn and Queens see home prices tumble in 4Q

It wasn’t such a merry end to 2011 for Brooklyn and Queens homeowners. Fourth-quarter prices fell in both boroughs and sales activity slumped in Queens, as worries over the economy had buyers hitting the pause button. “The market in Queens and Brooklyn is stable, but fragile,” said Michael Guerra, managing director of Brooklyn for Prudential Douglas Elliman. The median price of a Brooklyn home dropped 4.3% from last year to $454,383. The number of transactions increased 6.1% to 1,558. Read More: Daily News

Mark Wahlberg apologizes for ‘insensitive’ 9/11 remarks

Box-office badass Mark Wahlberg created the perfect storm of controversy yesterday, saying in a new interview that “it wouldn’t have went down like it did” if he had been on one of the airplanes hijacked on 9/11. But the Tinseltown tough guy quickly backed down, using a second take to “deeply apologize to the families of the victims” for his “insensitive” remarks, which read as if they came straight out of a lousy action-movie screenplay. Read More: New York Post

JFK, La Guardia and Newark terminals among worst in world

Three area airport terminals were cited as among the worst in the world yesterday — with Kennedy’s Terminal 3 earning the dubious distinction as the most miserable layover location on the planet. The former Pan Am terminal — which now houses Delta Air Lines — took home the dubious dishonor for its “endless immigration lines,” crummy food and shopping options, and dank environment, according to the travel Web site Frommer’s.  Read More: New York Post

President Obama In Manhattan Today For Fundraisers

As his re-election campaign ramps into full gear, President Barack Obama is heading to the city today for a series of fundraisers. He’s expected to arrive at John F. Kennedy airport around 4 p.m. As usual, his visit will mean street closures and frozen zones whenever his motorcade is on the move. The president’s first stop will be a fundraiser at Daniel restaurant on the Upper East Side, followed by an event at Spike Lee’s home then a visit to the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Read More: NY1

TSA apologizes to elderly women for strip search at Kennedy Airport


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

TSA apologizes to elderly women for strip search at Kennedy Airport

In an about-face, the feds have admitted wrongdoing in the cases of two elderly women who say they were strip-searched at Kennedy Airport by overzealous screeners. Federal officials had initially insisted that all “screening procedures were followed” after Ruth Sherman, 89, and Lenore Zimmerman, 85, went public with separate accounts of humiliating strip searches. But in a letter obtained by the Daily News, the Homeland Security Department acknowledges that screeners violated standard practice in their treatment of the ailing octogenarians last November. Read More: Daily News

Governor Cuomo’s public pension bomb

Gov. Cuomo lobbed a political grenade at New York’s powerful public-employee unions yesterday, proposing a radical pension overhaul for future city and state workers as part of his $132.5 billion state budget plan. Cuomo said the plan would save New York City $30 billion in pension costs over 30 years, while saving $83 billion for the state and local governments outside the city over the same period. “We can no longer sustain the current pension system,” Cuomo said, citing a projected 185 percent treasury-busting increase in pension costs from 2009 to 2015 if nothing is done. Read More: New York Post

Bayside mourns beloved father of six

When Lawrence Hilsdorf was laid to rest, an entire community cried. The 55-year-old, affectionately known as “Larry,” was more than just a Bayside resident – he was a neighborhood icon, and his roots in the community ran deep. He went to Sacred Heart, then Bayside High School, before settling to raise his own family in the area. The father of six boys – Charlie, 25, James, 20, twins Billy and Bobby, 18, Patrick, 15, and Jack, 13 – Larry put his life on the line as a police officer beginning in 1981, first with the Queens North Task Force, and then with the 114th Precinct in Astoria. Read More: Queens Courier

Hunt for cruise victims on hold as wreckage shifts

Italian rescue workers suspended operations Wednesday after a stricken cruise ship shifted slightly on the rocks near the Tuscan coast, creating deep concerns about the safety of divers and firefighters searching for the 22 people still missing. The $450 million Costa Concordia cruise ship had more than 4,200 passengers and crew on board when it slammed into the reef Friday off the tiny Italian island of Giglio after the captain made an unauthorized maneuver. The bodies of five adult passengers — four men and one woman, all wearing lifejackets — were discovered in the wreckage Tuesday, raising the death toll to 11. Their nationalities were not immediately released. Read More: New York Post

Giants passing game could slip against 49ers if weather is bad

There is zero percent chance the Giants will be able to operate their high-flying passing attack at peak efficiency Sunday against the 49ers in the NFC Championship. Anyone who thinks they can is all wet. The cohesive, rugged, old-school (think defense first) 49ers would be a challenge no matter where and no matter what the conditions, but looming up ahead is the true test whether or not the Giants are an all-weather team. After a rousing 37-20 Divisional beatdown of the defending champion Packers in the cold at Lambeau Field, go figure that a trip to northern California could be fraught with soggy peril for the Giants. Read More: New York Post

Wikipedia goes dark in protest of anti-piracy legislation

Free online knowledge site Wikipedia has gone dark as part of a protest over legislation in the US Congress intended to crack down on online piracy. The English version of the online encyclopedia shut down at midnight Tuesday ET. The website will be inaccessible for 24 hours to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate version, the Protect IP Act (PIPA). It was replaced with a message that read, “Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge.” “For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the US Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia,” it went on. Read More: New York Post

Residents Protest Jackson Heights Supermarket

Some Jackson Heights residents and elected officials have declared the Trade Fair store on 37th Avenue a blight on the neighborhood and are rallying for it to clean up its act. Read More & Watch the Video: NY1

Two Correction Officers Sentenced In Connection With 2008 Rikers Assaults

After reaching a plea deal with the Bronx district attorney’s office, former Correction Officers Michael McKie and Khalid Nelson learned their fates Tuesday in State Supreme Court in the Bronx. City investigators said the pair were among officers at Rikers Island running an intimidation campaign known as “the program,” and they had ordered teenage inmates to beat up others to maintain discipline in the adolescent unit. McKie, seen above left, who pleaded guilty to assault, was sentenced to two years in state prison. Nelson, seen above right, who pleaded guilty to attempted assault, was sentenced to one year. Read More: NY1

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

Queens hotel fire rescue


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens hotel fire rescue

Firefighters fought their way through heavy smoke and shooting flames yesterday to rescue a man with no pulse from a burning Queens motel and bring him back to life. The victim was in a third-floor room at the Conduit Motor Inn in South Ozone Park at around 4 p.m. when members of Engine 302 and Ladder 155 arrived on scene. Firefighter John Summerville crawled into the room to stay beneath the smoke. “I found him face down by the window. The situation was like an inferno,” Summerville said. After reaching the victim, described as being in his 40s, Summerville pulled him out and put him in an ambulance, where another member of Engine 302 began performing CPR and got a pulse back. Read More: New York Post

Cuomo Turns His Budget Focus To Public Pensions, Education System

Governor Andrew Cuomo is getting ready to reveal his budget proposal for the new fiscal year on Tuesday. Although the governor would not share many details of the expected $130 billion plan in advance, he touted on Monday a brighter picture looking forward. “The good work that we did last year is actually going to pay dividends this year,” said Cuomo. “So, from just a budget point of view, where we had a true crisis last year, we had a $10 billion deficit, we had chaos. We have a much better budget situation on the numbers.” “We got a good start last year, moving in a better and a new direction. Took about a 90-degree turn,” said Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco of Schenectady. Read More: NY1

Astoria Houses kids now have ‘Promise’

More than 1,600 underprivileged children have been “granted” the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Local elected officials and community leaders gathered on January 13 to announce that a $500,000 Promise Neighborhood planning grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) had been procured for the children of the Astoria Houses. Read More: Queens Courier

Druggists’ cure for anxiety: a pistol

Your friendly neighborhood pharmacist will soon be locked and loaded. Rattled druggists from Long Island to the city are increasingly applying for gun permits following a spate of fatal robberies by armed thugs desperate to score highly addictive painkillers. “I’m applying for a pistol permit because of this,’’ said Todd Svec, 48, a pharmacist and owner of the Arlo Drug store in Massapequa Park, LI. “I will feel safer if I have one.’’  Svec’s wife is also a pharmacist at the store — and his four daughters work there. He pointed out that Charlie’s Family Pharmacy in Seaford, LI, where on New Year’s Eve a pill-popping ex-con attempted a stickup that left the thug and an off-duty federal agent dead “is just two miles from here.”  Read More: New York Post

Baby born on PATH train between NJ & NYC

Next stop, maternity ward! A woman went into labor on a New York-bound PATH train yesterday, and her baby took the express track — he was born before the train even pulled in to its Manhattan terminal. When Rabita Sarkar and her husband, Aditya Saurabh, left their Harrison, NJ, home they were still planning their unborn child’s exciting future. But by the time their train rumbled into Manhattan’s 33rd Street station, they were a new family, complete with a baby boy and a train car full of honorary uncles and aunts. “He came in a very dramatic fashion,” the smiling new mom told The Post from her bed at Roosevelt Hospital. Read More: New York Post

One more time, vengeance shall be Giants’

The Giants wanted another shot at the 49ers, wanted the stakes higher than they were in November. Now they have it, and it doesn’t bother them in the least that the game is in San Francisco, because they would play this one, the one that is the Golden Gateway to Glory, on the moon. Jim Harbaugh has restored the pride to a storied franchise, and 60 minutes from the Super Bowl means the Giants will be expecting a hostile environment Sunday night — and possibly a rainy one as well — at Candlestick Park. “I can care less about how hostile it is, it’s a game,” Antrel Rolle said. “When you’re home, you want to bring ’em to their feet. When you’re away, you want to bring ’em to their knees, and that’s the way I look at it.” Read More: New York Post

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announces blackout to protest anti-piracy bills in Congress

Wikipedia will black out the English language version of its website Wednesday to protest anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress, the foundation behind the popular community-based online encyclopedia said in a statement Monday night. The website will go dark for 24 hours in an unprecedented move that brings added muscle to a growing base of critics of the legislation. Wikipedia is considered one of the Internet’s most popular websites, with millions of visitors daily. “If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States,” the Wikimedia foundation said. Read More: Daily News

Queens man kills wife in front of daughter


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens man kills wife in front of daughter

A Queens man fatally slit his estranged wife’s throat in front of her terrified young daughter — and was nabbed after cops tracked his bloody trail for three blocks, law-enforcement sources said today. “My stepfather stabbed my mom,” the stricken 9-year-old daughter of victim Diane Sharma told cops at their home on 117th Street in Jamaica. Sources said Sharma, a 32-year-old mother of three whose two younger children also were at home at the time, had had an order of protection against her Ukrainian husband. The man, who was not immediately identified, had been arrested Sept. 2 for allegedly assaulting and choking his wife, who then took out the restraint against him. Read More: New York Post

Perv pol lands Queens lobbyist gig

Disgraced ex-Councilman Dennis Gallagher now works with a Queens consultant who’s under attack for trying to strong-arm GOP candidates into hiring him, The Post has learned. Gallagher, who stepped down in 2008 after pleading guilty to sexual-abuse charges stemming from accusations that he raped a woman in his Middle Village office, is listed on a city government database as an “additional lobbyist” with GSP Consulting, a Sunnyside-based firm run by Jay Golub, a dentist. Gallagher, a Republican, confirmed that he does consulting work with Golub and that he’s done consulting for Councilman Peter Koo (R-Queens) but said he hasn’t done any work for Republicans in Queens “on a paid basis.” Read More: New York Post

Gas kills 2 in Queens

A man and his father were found dead from an apparent carbon monoxide poisoning at their Queens home yesterday. Aaron Chen, 29, and Kuo-Kuang Chen, 66, were found at their home on 101st Avenue in Ozone Park after the father didn’t show up to babysit his 12-year-old granddaughter. “He doted on her,” said his daughter, Marien Chen. Fearing the worst, she went to their house to check on them. “I crawled through the window. I was thinking, ‘please let them be OK.’ “My father was in his bed and my brother was lying on the floor. It looked like he was trying to get out,” Chen, 33, said. Read More: New York Post

Vallone Helps Astoria Clean Up Its Own “Flatiron Building”

A Queens lawmaker is behind an effort to spruce up the borough’s mini version of the Flatiron Building. Sitting at the intersection of Astoria Boulevard, 21st Street and 27th Avenue, historians say the triangle-shaped building was once the commercial center of Astoria. In recent years, the century-old neighborhood landmark had fallen into disrepair and been covered with graffiti. Last summer, Queens Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. started working with the NYPD and the New Hampshire owners of the building to wipe away the graffiti and repaint the property. Read More: NY1

Dead Body Discovered On Queens Beach

Police are investigating after a body was found on a Queens beach. Officers were called to the shoreline near Beach 17th Street in Far Rockaway just before 8 a.m. Saturday. When the officers arrived, they found a woman unconscious and unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials say it appears the woman was in her 40s. Read More: NY1

TSA Collected Nearly $47,000 In Loose Change At JFK In 2011

The Transportation Security Administration is raking in some pretty pennies. TSA officials say agents collected more than $409,000 in loose change left by airline passengers last year. John F. Kennedy International Airport netted the most amount of money with nearly $47,000 left behind. TSA officials say says most of the money comes from people rushing through security or foreign travelers who don’t want to take it home with them. Read More: NY1

Cruise ship disaster death toll hits 6; Captain blamed for ‘judgment errors’ in Costa Concordia tragedy

The captain of the capsized Costa Concordia “seems to have made judgment errors with grave consequences,” the owners of the boat said Sunday — and prosecutors say he may purposely have sailed close to shore to greet a friend with a blast of the ship’s horn. Captain Francesco Schettino drove the 10-story ship into the rocky Tuscan island of Giglio, ripping a catastrophic 160-foot gash in its hull that sent the boat tumbling onto its side. At least six people were killed. “There was someone in particular that wanted to be signalled from the ship,” said prosecutor Franco Verusio. “We are looking into the possible responsibility of other people in this hazardous maneuver,” he told Italian TV. Read More: Daily News

City heroin ring smashed by arrests after yearlong probe, authorities say

Well-to-do suburbanites turned the Long Island Expressway into “Heroin Highway,” copping highs at bargain prices from pushers in Brooklyn and Queens, prosecutors said Friday. A yearlong investigation led to the arrest over the past week of eight alleged members of a drug ring who arranged for the sale of high-quality South American heroin at hotels, diners and electronic stores in Brooklyn and Queens, authorities said. More than 120 other suspects — most from eastern Long Island — have been nabbed over the past year traveling into the city to buy up heroin at a discount. All the buyers used the drug themselves, and some also resold the smack to pals, authorities said. Read More: Daily News

Joseph Naso, suspected serial killer, kept rape diary: authorities


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Joseph Naso, suspected serial killer, kept rape diary: authorities

A suspected serial killer who may be New York’s infamous “Double Initial” murderer kept a gruesome rape diary and posed photos of dead prostitutes, California authorities said Wednesday. A lead investigator revealed the damaging diary during a preliminary hearing for 78-year-old Joseph Naso — the Reno, Nevada, man charged with killing four northern California prostitutes with matching first and last initials in the 1970s and 1990s. “Girl in north Buffalo woods. She was real pretty. Had to knock her out first,” read one alleged entry in Naso’s journal. The diary — found in his house during a probation search tied to a larceny conviction — is filled with similar twisted entries and references to rape, Nevada Department of Public Safety Det. Richard Brown said. Read More: Daily News

 

Tea Party big Mark Meckler pleads guilty, gets fined $250 in gun at LaGuardia case

A Tea Party hotshot copped a plea Thursday to accusations he tried to carry a pistol and ammunition onto a flight at LaGuardia Airport last month. In an agreement with prosecutors, Mark Meckler, 49, was fined $250 after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct. His Glock 27 handgun will be destroyed. Meckler, the high-profile founder of the Tea Party Patriots, declined to comment after a brief appearance in Queens Supreme Court. He smiled before he and his lawyer jumped into a waiting car. Read More: Daily News

 

Parks Department worker busted for hanging doll from noose at agency’s Bronx office

A Parks Department worker has been busted for hanging a baby doll from a noose at the agency’s Bronx headquarters, police said Thursday. Fariz Ahmemulic, 28, was charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime. The suspect asked for a lawyer and did not say anything else to detectives. The Daily News reported last week that the city worker who found the noose claimed supervisors tried to cover up the Dec. 20 hate crime before police got involved. Read More: Daily News

 

Bloomberg vows to nix under-performing teachers in bombshell state of city speech

Mayor Bloomberg is laying down the gauntlet on the city’s under-performing teachers – promising to get rid of many of them in a bombshell announcement sure to cause a stir with their union. In his 11th annual State of the City Speech in the Bronx today, hizzoner is announcing that he could boot up to half the teachers in dozens of struggling schools whose federal grant funding was pulled earlier this month because of a fight with the United Federation of Teachers over evaluations. Bloomberg said he is going to circumvent the UFT and reapply for the $58 million in lost federal funds for these schools. Read More: New York Post

 

Week off may be curse for Packers, not blessing

Even the Packers admit Dunta Robinson had a point last Sunday. Robinson, the Falcons veteran cornerback, stood in the Atlanta locker room after a 24-2 NFC Wild Card loss to the Giants and predicted the Giants would have a decided edge against rested Green Bay this weekend because of one word: momentum. The Packers did not dispute that yesterday, mainly because they rode a similar wave of energy all the way to a victory in the Super Bowl last season. Read More: New York Post

 

Seven arrested in NY for $1M ID theft ring

A sophisticated ring of fraudsters rang up more than $1 million in crooked charges at major retailers including Home Depot, Sears and Kmart, authorities charged today. The long-running scam allegedly involved using the stolen identities of more than 180 New Yorkers with charge accounts at the stores to purchase pricey goods and gift cards. The merchandise was then returned for store credit, some of which was sold — along with the gift cards — for about 60 percent of face value. A complaint filed in Manhattan federal court identifies Phillip Smith, 54, of The Bronx, as the ringleader and mastermind of the scheme. Read More: New York Post

 

Kin lambastes evil killer of 4

Justice was delayed briefly for a Brooklyn man who killed four people in a drug-fueled rampage, but he still got an earful from the brother of one of his victims yesterday. Maksim Gelman had already killed three people when he mowed down Steve Tannenbaum, 60, in a stolen car last February. Gelman pleaded guilty to four counts of murder and a host of other charges, but his sentencing was delayed for a week after his lawyer sought to have him examined by a neuro-psychologist. But Tannenbaum’s brother Mitch, who traveled from out of state, was allowed by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent DelGiudice to make his victim-impact statement so he would not have to return for the rescheduled Jan. 18 sentencing. Read More: New York Post

 

Velvet Underground sues Warhol Foundation in fight over who has rights to artist’s iconic banana design 

The legendary Velvet Underground, in a complaint filed by founders Lou Reed and John Cale, sued the Andy Warhol Foundation for illegally licensing the iconic banana cover from their 1967 debut album. The influential New York rockers, in taking a walk on the legal wild side, claimed the Foundation was wrongly peddling the banana image for use with Apple’s iPhone and iPad. “The banana design became a symbol, truly an icon, of the Velvet Underground,” charged the suit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court. Read More: Daily News

Scam fam sent off to prison


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Scam fam sent off to prison

A seething Queens judge walloped three members of a crooked Richmond Hill family yesterday, sending them upstate to serve a combined 418 years for a brazen immigration and real-estate scam. The mom, dad and daughter — dubbed “The Ramsundar Gang” by Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder — paid a shocking price for defrauding 19 families of $1.8 million over six years. Holder said his harsh sentences are nothing compared to the street justice the Ramsundar family would have faced back in their native Trinidad. Read More: New York Post

Body of man found in garbage pile fire outside Furniture Zone store

A man’s charred body was discovered in a burning pile of garbage in Brooklyn Thursday morning, police said. Firefighters who were called to a blaze on Hendrickson Street in Marine Park shortly before 4 a.m. made the grisly discovery. The body, believed to be that of a white male, was lying on top of several boxes and had been burned beyond recognition, sources said. The fire erupted at the side of a Furniture Zone store in an area frequented by vagrants, according to a taxi stand manager who works in the area. Read More: Daily News

Queens Residents Brace For 7 Train Disruptions

It’s going to be a long winter for the several thousand western Queens residents who rely on the 7 train to get around town on the weekends come January 23. That’s when an 11-week service shutdown begins, which means no trains on Saturdays and Sundays until the spring. “This is not a neighborhood that has five different places where you can use instead. We’re very isolated there,” said Queens resident Moitri Savard. The MTA says the work is essential to make critical infrastructure improvements and upgrade tracks and switches. It also needs to clean the tracks of muck it says have accumulated over the years. Read More: NY1

Elevators in building where Manhattan ad exec died had numerous problems

Elevator problems were an epidemic at the building where a Manhattan ad executive died in a horrific accident last month, newly revealed Buildings Department records show. City inspectors wrote 11 violations against 13 elevators at 285 Madison Avenue in the immediate aftermath of the December 14 tragedy that killed Suzanne Hart, 41, the public records show. Investigators are still trying to determine the exact cause of the malfunction that killed the Brooklyn resident. The elevator that killed Hart so far has only been cited for a paperwork problem — it was among several elevators in the building that lacked a “certificate of compliance” with Buildings rules, the records show. Read More: New York Post

Pedestrian hit on FDR

A taxi passenger was struck by a minivan on the FDR last night after he impatiently hopped out of the cab in heavy traffic and darted across the roadway, police sources said. The unidentified victim was headed northbound near East 105th Street at around 11:30 p.m. when his cab hit congestion, the sources said. He left the vehicle and was struck in a southbound lane by a Toyota minivan. The victim was rushed to Metropolitan Hospital in unknown condition. Read More: New York Post

New arrests at Zuccotti

A gang of Occupy Wall Street protesters skulked back to the park yesterday, racking up three arrests. The 2:20 a.m. arrests came about seven hours after cops took down barricades that were erected when the group was evicted from the park on November 15. All three were charged with trespassing, and two were also hit with resisting arrest. Read More: New York Post

St. John’s loses to Marquette

For all the freshman mistakes and youthful inconsistency, St. John’s has played hard this season, rarely had its effort called into question. But last night it wasn’t so much questioned as flat-out criticized, the Red Storm folding in the second half of an 83-64 beating at the hands of No. 24 Marquette. The bowed heads and slumped shoulders and palpable frustration told the tale. The Red Storm (8-8, 2-3 Big East) have lost all six of their games against ranked teams, and with a chance at a breakthrough, what it got was a breakdown. It let Marquette shoot 67.7 percent to turn a second-half lead into a blowout loss. Read More: New York Post

Cab Driver Charged With Raping Passenger May Be Linked To Second Attack


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Cab Driver Charged With Raping Passenger May Be Linked To Second Attack

Police have arrested a yellow cab driver who they say raped a passenger at knifepoint in Brooklyn last spring, and sources say he may be charged with a second attack that took place in the fall. Gurmeet Singh, 40, of Queens was arrested on Monday and now faces charges including rape, robbery, assault and sex abuse. Police say Singh picked up a 26-year-old woman on May 6 in Williamsburg and allegedly attacked her in the back seat of the cab. The woman, who had been drinking and fell asleep in the cab, woke up during the assault and found she had a knife to her throat. She was then abandoned in Downtown Manhattan, where she contacted police. Read More: NY1

Mayor’s plan to limit booze sales

First, Mayor Bloomberg went after smoking in public places. Then trans-fats, salt and sugary drinks. Now Bloomberg — known for sipping fine wine and downing a cold beer from time to time — wants to crack down on alcohol sales to curb excessive drinking, according to a provocative planning document obtained by The Post. The city Health Department’s far-reaching Partnership for a Healthier New York City initiatives proposes to slash the number of establishments in the city that sell booze. Community “transformation” grants provided under President Obama’s health-care law would help bankroll the effort. Read More: New York Post

JFK Terminal 4 expansion on schedule

After a smooth takeoff, the $1.2 billion project to expand a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFKIAT) is on track — with no foreseeable delays to its arrival destination date. Improvements to Terminal 4 — the Delta Airlines terminal, which officials say serves 10 million international passengers a year — have been underway for the past year. Upon completion in May 2013, fliers can expect to see a new mechanized baggage screening system — which officials say will expedite the process — a centralized security system on the terminal’s new fourth floor, as well as nine additional gates and a 1,500 linear foot passenger bridge to connect Terminals 2 and 4. Read More: Queens Courier

Beyoncé & Jay-Z’s $1.5M in ‘Blue’ gifts

What to get the baby that has everything — even more. Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s baby girl, Blue, has been lavished with more than $1.5 million in gifts, from a golden rocking horse to a “fantasy” crib fit for Cinderella. Blue Ivy Carter — the music world’s smallest diva — left Lenox Hill Hospital yesterday in the arms of her famous parents for home, where she’ll enjoy the priciest swag this side of Buckingham Palace. When she gets bigger, baby Blue will rock on a solid-gold, handmade horse from Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka that Jay-Z bought for $600,000. Read More: New York Post

Sparano to replace Schottenheimer as Jets offensive coordinator

Jets fans won’t have offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to kick around anymore. The Jets announced last night Schottenheimer informed them he would not return for next season. It seems unlikely he would just walk away from the two years and $3.2 million left on his contract, so it appears the two sides worked out an agreement for him to walk away instead of getting fired. Former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano, according to a source, will replace Schottenheimer.  Read More: New York Post

Genovese wiseguy Anthony Romanello lucks out, cops to gambling rap with feds 

A Genovese geezer hit the daily double Tuesday, pleading guilty to illegal gambling and winning permission from a federal judge to hang out with a mobbed-up pal who runs the famed Parkside Restaurant in Queens. Reputed capo Anthony (Rom) Romanello, 74, got lucky when a cooperating witness for the feds had a heart attack over the weekend while prosecutors were prepping him for the gangster’s trial, which was to begin this week. Read More: Daily News

Prosecutors and defense disclose plea talks in Jose Pimentel bomb plot case


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Prosecutors and defense disclose plea talks in Jose Pimentel bomb plot case

Prosecutors and defense lawyers say they’re in plea negotiations in a rare state-level terror case against a New York City man. He’s charged with building a homemade bomb to try to attack soldiers, police and other government targets. The Manhattan district attorney’s office disclosed the plea talks during a court date Monday in Jose Pimentel’s case. Defense lawyer Lori Cohen says prosecutors haven’t made any firm offer yet. Pimentel didn’t have to appear for the brief session. He’s due back in court March 1. The 27-year-old is being held without bail on charges including weapons possession and conspiracy as terror crimes. Read More: New York Post

 

Man killed in Bx. shooting previously injured in August shootout

A gun-toting thug fatally shot a man in the Bronx yesterday, police said. The victim, Ricky Rodriguez-Recio, 20, was believed to be the intended target of a shooting in August that left a 2-year-old critically injured, sources said. The victim was outside of his home on East 181st Street in Bronx Park South at 6:17 p.m. when an unknown gunman opened fire striking him in the chest and hitting another man in the hand, cops said. Rodriguez-Recio was previously shot in the lower back on August 29 when Luis More, 23, opened fire at him, striking two children playing outside. Read More: New York Post

 

Report: Aqueduct Racino Pulled In $90M During Year’s Final Stretch

The money is reportedly flowing at the new Aqueduct racetrack casino in Queens. The Daily News says the racino brought in close to $90 million in revenue in November and December — more than five other gambling operations in New York made all last year. Only locations in Yonkers, Saratoga, and the Finger Lakes took in more money in 2011, but those are open year-round. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver pinned Aqueduct’s success on the number of video slots, table games, and its proximity to the city. Read More: NY1

 

Trial on tap in Giants Stadium escalator accident

Opening arguments are under way in a trial brought by eight people who were injured when a Giants Stadium escalator malfunctioned four years. The trial started Monday in state Superior Court in Hackensack in a lawsuit brought against the company that maintained the escalator and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operated Giants Stadium. The escalator malfunctioned as fans were leaving a New York Giants game against the New England Patriots on Dec. 29, 2007. An attorney for the plaintiffs says one person lost a leg and another has had more than a dozen operations on his foot. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Blue Ivy Carter an instant Twitter sensation: Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby garners celebrity attention

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s baby was trending on Twitter at birth. The social media site was aflutter Sunday with celebrity pals and relatives of the hip-hop royal couple posting messages of 140 characters or less. “The most beautiful girl in the world,” Beyoncé’s sis, Solange Knowles, tweeted of her newborn niece, Blue Ivy Carter. Within hours of entering the world at Lenox Hill Hospital on the upper East Side Saturday night, the infant boasting the lineage of the R&B princess and the rap impresario caused a stir in the Twittersphere. Read More: Daily News

 

No Pants Subway Ride hits New York City for 11th year 

It’s like commuting, but without the pants. Straphangers throughout New York City nonchalantly stripped to their underwear from the waist down Sunday afternoon as part of a global practical joke coordinated by prankster outfit Improv Everywhere. To participate in the 11th annual No Pants Subway Ride, the only requirements were people had to be “willing to take pants off on subway” and “able to keep a straight face about it,” organizers said in a post on their website. Read More: Daily News

 

Trial begins in murder of Laura Garza, young Brooklyn woman who went missing from a Manhattan nightclub  

A murder trial is getting under way for a registered sex offender accused of murdering an aspiring dancer from Texas whose body was found in Pennsylvania more than a year after she went missing in New York. Jury selection is set to begin Monday in Orange County Court in the murder trial of Michael Mele of Wallkill. The victim, Laura Garza, met Mele at a Manhattan nightclub in December 2008 and disappeared afterward. Her body was found in April 2010 near Scranton, Pa. Garza had moved to Brooklyn from McAllen, Texas, five months before her disappearance. Read More: Daily News

 

Long Island police investigate swastika drawn on garage door in Sea Cliff

Long Island cops are hunting the vandals who drew a swastika on a garage door in Sea Cliff. Nassau County police say the 63-year-old resident of the home discovered the Nazi symbol over the weekend. Police say it was drawn in black marker sometime between between 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. The incident is being investigated as aggravated harassment. Police say a school, park and three homes were the targets of similar vandalism in Sea Cliff between Dec. 27 and Dec. 30. Read More: Daily News

 

Police Release Photo Of Suspected Bronx Subway Groper

Police in the Bronx are looking for a man they say groped a woman on the subway. The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. on the evening of December 14 at the East Kingsbridge Road and Grand Concourse station on the D line. Police say a 25-year-old woman was walking up the stairs when a man approached from behind, lifted her dress and touched her backside. Read More: NY1

 

Good Samaritan critically injured rescuing drunk man from subway tracks


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Good Samaritan critically injured rescuing drunk man from subway tracks

A good Samaritan trying to help a drunken man off the Staten Island Railway tracks was hit by a train and critically injured Sunday, officials said. Steven Santiago, 39, came across a drunk who had jumped onto the tracks to retrieve his lost shoe in the New Dorp station about 1:30 a.m., relatives and cops said. When the drunk couldn’t get back onto the platform, Santiago jumped down to help him, officials said. “He is a great man who risked his life to save someone he doesn’t even know,” said the hero’s stunned brother Edwin Santiago, 42. A Tottenville-bound train barreled into the station with both men still on the tracks. The drunk somehow avoided being hit, but Steven Santiago was taken to Staten Island University Hospital North in critical condition after the train slammed into his head, police said. Read More: Daily News

Dallas Cowboys receiver Kevin Ogletree sits at bedside of brother who was shot in Queens

Dallas Cowboys player Kevin Ogletree was holding vigil Sunday at his big brother’s hospital bedside in Queens — praying he would survive being shot in the head by a pair of bicycling gunmen, a relative said. Calvin Ogletree, 25, remained in critical condition at Jamaica Hospital Sunday night, a day after he was shot in front of his luxury car rental shop on Linden Boulevard in St. Albans. “He’s a good kid; he has a good heart,” Calvin Ogletree’s uncle, Mark Ross, told the Daily News. Read More: Daily News

Worry on Whitestone waterfront; impending sale of 13-acre parcel sparks overdevelopment concerns 

A 13-acre property in Whitestone is up for grabs — the largest single parcel of land for sale in Queens — and it’s attracting the attention of developers but also causing concern among community leaders. The former industrial site, located at 151-45 6th Road, was re-zoned for 52 one-family homes in 2008. The waterfront property comes with an additional five acres that is submerged underwater. Local leaders worried about overdevelopment in the community said they are concerned that a new owner could build many more homes or even multi-family dwellings. Read More: Daily News

Queens Broker Is Accused of Bringing Immigrants’ Ruin

For years, a self-made real estate magnate named Edul Ahmad personified the collective dreams of Richmond Hill, which is populated by many immigrants from Guyana, in South America. Ahmad drove a yellow Lamborghini, sponsored a cricket team and held white-glove parties at a lavish banquet hall that he owned. At a prominent intersection near the border of Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park, his smiling face looked down from a large billboard that promoted his real estate services. Many residents responded, taking out high-risk mortgages that they were told they could readily afford. In July, it all came crashing down. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Mr. Ahmad, charging him with masterminding a $50 million mortgage fraud that seemed to exemplify a nationwide phenomenon of celebrated immigrant brokers who were accused of preying on their own. Read More: New York Times

Straphangers Cope With Major MTA Weekend Repairs

With the Metropolitan Transportation Authority doing maintenance and construction this weekend, 17 of the city’s 22 subway lines — the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A, C, D, E, F, G, J, N, Q, R and S lines — are experiencing some type service disruption. For many, it was confusing, annoying and downright frustrating. Some Q train riders in Downtown Brooklyn said on Saturday night that they had it with all the weekend service disruptions. “You got to get off at one particular point in Brooklyn, switch to the bus, get back on another train and it’s not the train that we need. It’s crazy,” said one rider. Read More: NY1

Fallout over failed Queens center

A longtime board member of a politically connected Queens nonprofit resigned yesterday after The Post reported that his publicly funded group owed the Port Authority $2.7 million over its stalled plan to create a new business center. The sudden resignation of Greater Jamaica Development Corp. board member Cruz Russell, whose $173,000-a-year day job is with the PA, came as the bistate agency announced an exhaustive review of its dealings with the nonprofit over the ailing JFK Corporate Square project. Read More: New York Post

New York coalition presents redisticting maps to boost Asian-American, Latino and African-American representation

A coalition of Asian-American, Latino and African-American groups has released a new set of redistricting maps it believes will give the city’s large ethnic populations a greater voice in future elections. The so-called Unity Maps are just one proposal being sent to state lawmakers as they decide how Senate, Assembly and congressional districts in the city should be redrawn to reflect changes in the 2010 Census. A state task force is slated to release its redistricting proposal in the next week or so. Read More: Daily News

Beyonce’s hospital mates baby-bumped

Pushy parents Beyoncé and Jay-Z installed bulletproof glass and burly bodyguards at the Upper East Side hospital where their diva daughter was just born — and even booted worried moms and dads out of the neonatal intensive-care unit. The fuming other parents at Lenox Hill Hospital said they were essentially put on “lockdown” so that the pampered songstress and her party could come and go as they pleased. “They just used the hospital like it was their own and nobody else mattered,” blasted new dad Neil Coulon, who said his efforts to see his premature, newborn twins in the neonatal ICU were disrupted at least four times by the arrival of Beyoncé and her tiny rap princess, Blue Ivy Carter, over the weekend. Read More: New York Post

Liu kicked in arrears

Embattled Comptroller John Liu, the city’s chief fiscal officer, is an accused deadbeat. Con Edison and the state Tax Department have taken separate legal action against his campaign committee, People for John Liu, for allegedly failing to pay nearly $1,500 in outstanding bills and taxes, The Post has learned. Con Ed is suing in Brooklyn Civil Court for about $500 in unpaid electric bills and has sicced a collection agency on him. The delinquency covers energy usage from a campaign office that Liu rented at 1424 Fulton Street in 2008 and 2009 when he was running for his current job, records show. Con Ed filed its initial suit October 14, 2009. A second suit was filed June 25, 2010, after the bills remained unpaid. 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

Jackson Heights bank robbed


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Jackson Heights bank robbed

A gunman dressed in a brown UPS uniform took a female bank employee hostage as he held up a Queens branch yesterday, authorities said. The man walked into the Sovereign branch on 31st Avenue in Jackson Heights at 9:40 a.m., pressed the barrel a silver revolver into the back of the bank employee, and demanded $20,000 in large bills, said the FBI. The bandit received cash from multiple bank tellers and fled on foot with several thousand dollars. The man is in his early 30s, stands about 5-foot-7 and has a beard and dark skin, according to the FBI. Read More: New York Post

 

LaGuardia trash-smash tussle in court

Government lawyers yesterday tried to convince a federal appeals court that the city’s plan to build a trash transfer station near La Guardia Airport follows aviation-safety rules. The building will be sealed so as not to attract plane-endangering birds, said Justice Department lawyer Abby Wright. “All the trash processing occurs inside the building,” said Wright, and opponents’ claims that the building isn’t enclosed are “baseless.” A bird-plane collision was blamed for the Hudson River ditching of US Airways Flight 1547 two years ago. Read More: New York Post

 

Challenges Persist As Liu Continues Down The Campaign Trail

City Comptroller John Liu is working nonstop lately, moving from Brooklyn Borough Hall through Sunset Park and Sunnyside to a Democratic club in Flushing. On Friday, he visited the Three Kings Day Parade in East Harlem. Despite a federal investigation into his campaign account, Liu is not quitting the campaign trail.  “My primary focus as comptroller has been rooting out waste, find money that has been improperly kept or spent,” said Liu. But in November, a Liu fundraiser was accused of setting up straw donors to get over-the-limit contributions to the comptroller.  Read More: NY1

 

 

NYPD cop suspended after getting hauled off bus for alleged drunkenness

An NYPD sergeant who was hauled off a Greyhound bus in Philadelphia for alleged drunkenness has now been suspended, the Daily News has learned. Sgt. Carlos Fabara became an accidental YouTube star Dec. 27 when he refused the driver’s orders to get off the bus. Philadelphia police came to assist in removing the off-duty sergeant, who was lead away in handcuffs. A fellow passenger caught the altercation on tape and posted it to YouTube. Read More: Daily News

 

Cop’s legs crushed

A plainclothes cop’s legs were mangled last night in a horrific accident that left him pinned at the knees between two vehicles during a traffic stop in Brooklyn. The unidentified detective had pulled over a black vehicle with four men inside and was standing behind the car when a white van rammed into him, crushing his legs and leaving pools of blood in the street. “It looked real bad,” said Manny Mora, 42, owner of John Deli on the corner of Dorchester Road and Coney Island Avenue in Flatbush. Mora said he heard a loud sound from outside around 10:30 p.m. When he looked out, he saw the officer pinned between the bumper of a white van and the car the cop pulled over. Read More: New York Post

 

Day-care outrage

A high-ranking FDNY safety inspector ignored safety violations at buildings housing day-care centers in exchange for bribes, the feds said yesterday. Carlos Montoya — who formerly oversaw inspections of all city day-care centers — was arrested yesterday for the alleged misconduct, which included repeatedly certifying use of a Brooklyn warehouse for the temporary care of infants and children younger than 2. He allegedly got at least $12,000 in payments from the center’s owner, who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and is cooperating with the feds. Read More: New York Post

 

Granny horror retrial

Her first jury found her guilty of homicide. But now Lynette Caban, a lead-footed driver with a suspended license who struck and killed a grandmother in 2003, is getting a chance to beat the rap, thanks to a momentary mistake six years ago by a now-retired Manhattan judge. Caban is once again facing charges of criminal negligence for driving backward against a light through a Third Avenue crosswalk, catapulting sweet, 82-year-old Francesca Maytin to her death. Her case has bounced between two appeals courts, ultimately being set down for retrial due to errors committed by former Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Budd Goodman during the original deliberations. Read More: New York Post