Tag Archives: airport

Tennessee man arrested at JFK Airport for having guns and ammunition


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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A 23-year-old Tennessee man was arrested Saturday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport for allegedly traveling with multiple guns and ammunition, authorities said.

Keenan A. Draughon, 23, allegedly wanted to check in two handguns, two rifles and two high-capacity magazines for his flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, according to District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Both guns had their serial numbers defaced, Brown said.

Draughon was stopped at the United Airlines counter at JFK Airport’s Terminal 8 at approximately 7:45 a.m., the district attorney said.

“Firearms illegally possessed in this city pose a serious and deadly threat to public safety,” Brown said. “Before leaving home, passengers should acquaint themselves with the weapon laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting and comply with any and all legal requirements if they choose to travel with a weapon.  Otherwise, they may find themselves being arrested and charged with serious felonies – as is what occurred in this case.”

Draughon – who is from Clarksville, Tennessee – was held pending arraignment Saturday in Queens Criminal Court. His lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment.

He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, the district attorney said. 

Near collision over Queens points to increased air traffic: pol


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Two planes nearly collided over Queens as one aircraft took off and another was completing a landing, officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a June 13 incident in which a Delta Airlines Boeing 747 regional jet arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 2:40 p.m. came perilously close to a Shuttle America Embraer E170 flight departing from LaGuardia Airport.

The planes were turning away from each other when they lost the required three mile separation between them, the agency said in a statement.

Both landed safely, though according to published reports, the two aircraft were at one point only 200 feet apart vertically and about half a mile horizontally.

The FAA said flight routes approved in December “ensure the required three-mile separation” between JFK arrivals and LaGuardia departures while using a new, precise navigation system.

But State Senator Tony Avella said the close call was a warning sign of public safety hazards to come if the administration continues to increase air traffic over the city.

“This latest incident is indicative of this danger,” the lawmaker said. “Unfortunately, if the FAA continues to pursue this goal, near misses could become more common and lead to truly tragic events.”

 

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Airplane noise torments northeast Queens residents


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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A nonstop rush of aircraft flights and a barrage of low flying planes have residents in northeast Queens alarmed at the deafening “war zone” they say their neighborhoods have become in the last two months.

“The sound — it’s like you’re living in an airport,” said Angela Polito of Bayside. “It’s nonstop, every 20 seconds, one after another. It’s been terrible.”

Residents from Bayside and downtown Flushing say they have been tormented since mid-June by the ear-splitting roar of airplanes they say soar past their homes by the minute each day from 6 a.m. to noon and then again from 6 p.m. to midnight.

Oiman Chan of Flushing, who suffers from anxiety, said the constant blaring booms that rattle the windows of his Franklin Avenue co-op have become “numbing.”

“It sounds like you’re under a war zone,” said the 63-year-old retired Department of Education employee. “I am suffering from panic attacks already and this is killing me.”

Eddy Liu, 68, who lives in the same Flushing co-op, said the nonstop noise distresses thousands of shareholders, including masses of elderly people.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did not comment before press time. But in a June 22 letter sent to State Senator Tony Avella, the agency said they were conducting a six-month trial to test a procedure at LaGuardia Airport, in which departing traffic turns left to the north off Runway 13.

Amy Yeung of Flushing said flight routes used to run north over College Point Boulevard, only shifting downtown during the annual U.S. Open tournaments. But recent lavish neighborhood developments like the Sky View Center mall, Sky View Parc luxury condos and upcoming future plans for Willets Point, she said, could be the motive behind the rerouting.

“That’s my wild guess,” said Yeung, 45. “[But] you can’t make one group of people happy and disturb the others, if that’s the case. Everybody has to go to work and everybody has to have quality of sleep.”

The FAA said it would take in public comment before making the new route permanent.

“The agency does not have the authority to prohibit aircraft from flying over a particular geographic area unless the operation is unsafe or the aircraft is operated in a manner inconsistent with federal aviation regulations,” the FAA said in the letter.

Meanwhile, Polito said the frequent flights over Bayside are almost as unnerving as how low the planes are flying.

“We can practically wave to the people in the planes,” she said.

Queens residents in Woodside and Briarwood have also said they’ve been living in turbulence from thundering aircraft.

JFK most likely U.S. airport to spread disease


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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If a disease is to spread across the country, JFK Airport will most likely be the starting point.

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study looked at the 40 largest airports in the country to determine the most likely to spread a contagion throughout the nation, with JFK topping the list.

The Queens airport’s ranking had nothing to do with sick passengers or cleanliness — though waiting times were considered — but with how a disease may advance to other parts of the world.

“Our work is the first to look at the spatial spreading of contagion processes at early times, and to propose a predictor for which ‘nodes’ — in this case, airports — will lead to more aggressive spatial spreading,” says Ruben Juanes, the ARCO Associate Professor in Energy Studies in MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The spread of disease was compared to the dissemination of information over social networks and the connectivity of JFK’s connecting airports vaulted it to the top of the list.

The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, was done to help determine measures for containing infections and distributing vaccinations in the early days of a contagion.

JFK is followed on the list by Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco, Newark, O’Hare and Dulles.

 

‘Travel & Leisure’ magazine names La Guardia worst airport in the US


| jlane@queenscourier.com

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Air travelers are weighing in on the best and worst airports in the United States.

A poll by Travel and Leisure magazine puts New York’s LaGuardia Airport at the bottom of the heap.

Travelers complain about the airport’s check-in and security process and say it’s the worst for staff communications, design and cleanliness. Read More: New York Post

 

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

DOE takes two ‘politically connected’ schools off the chopping block, axes 24 others

The city’s education-policy board voted just before midnight last night to close and then immediately reopen two dozen schools with new names and new staffers in an unprecedented move that could displace more than 1,000 teachers. Two last-minute reprieves were granted yesterday before the vote, and they went to a pair of politically backed schools — Grover Cleveland HS in Queens, which counts state Assembly Education Committee Chair Cathy Nolan as an alumna, and Bushwick Community HS in Brooklyn, which garnered several vocal supporters, including Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Read More: New York Post

 

Air man’s dogged pursuit

The Port Authority worker who got down on his hands and knees to try to rescue a canny canine who wandered onto a busy runway at La Guardia airport Wednesday is a cat lover who is allergic to dogs, he lamented. But Paul Malichek, 57, didn’t want to spook Byrdie — a 14-month-old Rhodesian ridgeback who had escaped her travel crate and turned the runway into her own private dog run — so he crawled toward her as jets idled nearby. Read More: New York Post

Occupy Protesters Turn Focus To Mounting U.S. Student Debt

Occupy Wall Street protestors gathered in Union Square in Manhattan on Wednesday to mark the day they say the U.S. student debt reached $1 trillion dollars and to draw attention to what they called the financial sector’s “predatory” student loan market. The Federal Reserve disputes the figure, saying U.S. student debt is currently $870 billion. President Barack Obama and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney have called attention to the issue on the campaign trail to try to court the college-age vote. U.S. Senate Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives have proposed separate bills to keep interest rates for poor and middle class students at the current level for another year. Read More: NY1


 

Mother, Sister Of Queens Terror Suspect Testify On His Behalf

The mother and sister of a Queens man accused of plotting a terror attack in the city gave emotional testimony for the defense in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday. Alisa Medunjanin choked back tears as she talked about her brother, Adis, and the raid on their home. She recounted the story of dozens of agents with weapons storming their sixth-floor apartment to arrest her brother. Alisa said she thought her brother had gone to Pakistan to get married. Prosecutors, who wrapped up their arguments earlier Wednesday, said Adis Medunjanin was there receiving Al-Qaida terror training. Read More: NY1


 

Rapper Talib Kweli emcees at St. John’s University

Like any great rapper, Talib Kweli knows how to freestyle. Without any notes or prompts, the Brooklyn native rattled off a first-person history of hip hop music to a captive audience of more than 400 students at St. John’s University on Tuesday. “Hip hop is such a folk thing,” the 36-year-old lyricist told the Daily News. “It speaks directly to the people and the language that they are using right now.” Read More: Daily News

 

While NY Giants sit tight with No. 32 pick, NFC East division rivals Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys load up to challenge Big Blue

 

One of the crucial issues for the Giants as they go through the offseason getting ready to defend their Super Bowl title is whether they indeed have an identity crisis. Are they the Giants who struggled to become the first team to not only win the NFC East with a mediocre 9-7 record but the first team to win the Super Bowl at 9-7? Or are they the team that raised its game to an unimaginable level in the playoffs and beat the Falcons at home in the wild-card game and then the Packers and 49ers on the road — the two best NFC teams in the regular season — before finishing off their incredible run with another Super Bowl victory over the Patriots? Read More: Daily News

 

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Gillibrand Wants Geese Roundup In Wake Of Bird Strikes

In the wake of a pair of recent bird strikes involving planes in the New York area, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is looking to rein in the flying nuisance responsible. She’s proposing a new measure that would make it easier for the Department of Agriculture to round up and kill Canada geese on federal land at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge near Kennedy Airport. Wildlife advocates oppose the idea. The birds can shatter windshields, dent fuselages and ruin engines. Read More: NY1

 

 

Jackson Heights BID Delivers On Promise, Merchants Say

The Jackson Heights shopping strip is looking a lot prettier these days with news trees, benches and cleaner streets. It’s a far cry from what the 82nd Street business improvement district or BID used to look like. Now it’s got a new look, new leadership and a new name. It’s now called the 82nd Street partnership and business owners appear to like it. Retail businesses are members of the BID and many of the store owners had complained to local leaders that under the old Business Improvement District there wasn’t a lot of improvement. Read More: NY1

 

 

Power line from Quebec to Astoria draws mixed reviews

A proposal to create a $2.2 billion power transmission line to bring wind and hydroelectric power from Quebec to Astoria is pitting environmentalists and against each another and creating some unusual alliances. The Champlain Hudson Power Express project would bring up to 1,000 megawatts of Canadian power into the city through a roughly 333-mile underground, and at times underwater, cable. Read More: Daily News

 

Judge clears crane magnate James Lomma of manslaughter in deaths

Manhattan crane czar James Lomma was acquitted Thursday of the deaths of two hardhats who were killed when one of his giant machines collapsed on them. Lomma, who was charged with manslaughter in the deadly May 2008 accident at an E. 91st St. construction site, sat stoically as Judge Daniel Conviser handed down his verdict in Manhattan Supreme Court. Lomma faced up to 15 years in prison for the deaths of Donald Leo, 30, and Ramadan Kurtaj, 27. The two were killed when the crane cab plunged 200 feet down into the street. Read More: Daily News

 

Knicks’ Lin beats Lakers’ Bryant in NBA jersey sales

Jeremy Lin outsold Kobe Bryant in official jersey sales over the past year, the NBA revealed Thursday, despite the Knicks phenom only emerging to prominence in February. Fans rushed to get the former undrafted D-Leaguer’s name on their back at an unprecedented rate when “Linsanity” took hold little more than two months ago as his breakthrough performances captured global attention. The mass demand meant only Bulls guard Derrick Rose sold more jerseys than Lin last year. It is the first time the Chicago star, who was boosted by last season’s MVP title, has topped the annual list. Read More: New York Post

Camera catches prostitute accused of stealing $500K worth of diamonds

This is the savvy prostitute who allegedly swiped half a million dollars worth of uncut diamonds from a hapless gem trader — caught on surveillance video as she made her barefoot getaway from a Manhattan hotel, police say. Erika Cooper, 34 — a k a Bianca Williams — is now the target of an NYPD manhunt for allegedly pulling off the April 17 heist at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, where she waited until her john Kurt Kaiser fell asleep before she fled with his loot. Her big mistake was giving Kaiser her real phone number, which cops have used to identify her and dig up mug shots from an earlier prostitution bust, a police source said. Read More: New York Post

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Late-night win brings relief for Yankees team struggling for clutch hits

This one, like its two immediate predecessors, carried the vibe of, “Well, we better beat the Orioles regularly. They’re terrible!” Yet this victory last night, 6-4 over Baltimore in 10 innings at Camden Yards, felt a little different, too. For a team eternally saddled with (and marketing) great expectations, you could sense some relief. Read More: New York Post

Wife bares hero’s stand

He died trying to be a hero. The wife of a man beaten to death outside his Astoria home in 2008 while trying to protect a neighbor from a crazed drifter yesterday told a Queens jury she begged him not to get involved. “I told him, ‘Please, please, don’t go,’ ” Dora Nowillo said of her husband Nicolas, 65. His alleged attacker, Eric Cherry, 47, faces manslaughter and assault charges. Read More: New York Post

Surfin’ US‘O’

Michelle Obama is flexing her muscle at the Rockaways’ legendary cabana clubs. The Obama administration made promoting the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” health-and-fitness campaign a criteria for winning the concessions contract for two Queens beach clubs in the Gateway National Recreation Area. The National Park Service insisted it wasn’t a case of government overreach. “These are presidential initiatives and we are part of the executive branch. Gee whiz,” said spokesman John Warren. “How can you disagree with . . . getting healthy?” Read More: New York Post

Delta Launches Construction Of New Domestic Hub At LaGuardia

Delta broke ground Wednesday on an expansion of its new domestic hub at LaGuardia Airport.Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand to help usher in the construction project, the largest at the airport in more than 40 years. The expanded terminal will increase service at LaGuardia by 60 percent, adding 100 new flights and 26 new destinations by this summer. flights between the airport and more than 60 cities. The airline is also investing $160 million to modernize Terminals C and D at LaGuardia and build a connector between them. Read More: NY1

 

Mayor Bloomberg is moving to regulate pay of unionized city trade workers, taking the power away from the City Controller

The Bloomberg administration is moving to seize regulatory control over close to 10,000 unionized city trade workers — yanking the power away from embattled City Controller John Liu. Officials from the city Office of Labor Relations on Wednesday contacted the unions representing city workers under some 95 job titles — including electricians, plumbers and steamfitters — to let them know about the impending switch. Since 1894, according to administration officials, the Controller’s office has set the trade workers’ pay levels based on the average earnings of their private sector counterparts. Read More: Daily News

‘Bomb’ botch at LaGuardia


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

‘Bomb’ botch at LaGuardia

Clueless TSA agents found two possible pipe bombs in a passenger’s luggage yesterday at La Guardia Airport — and kept them in a public area for six hours without notifying cops, The Post has learned. The Transportation Security Administration bozos at one point left the pipes — which eventually turned out to be harmless — resting on a radiator as hundreds of fliers passed through security nearby, sources said. “Six hours to report a potential bomb? It’s outrageous,” one Port Authority police official fumed. Read More: New York Post

 

Eli can become ring-leader in Peyton’s back yard


This isn’t Peyton’s Place so much as it is Eli’s Place. The place where he can become the first New York quarterback to win two Super Bowls. The place where he can become the first Manning to win two Super Bowls. The place for Histor-E. It is so much different for Eli Manning now than it was four years ago. He is no longer the Other Manning. And he is no longer the Other Quarterback in the Super Bowl, even though the Patriots’ Tom Brady is once again the other quarterback for the other team. Read More: New York Post

 

Jailmate sues Lillo in prison ‘assault’

TV tough guy Lillo Brancato just can’t stay out of trouble. A fellow inmate has filed a lawsuit against the hot-tempered “Sopranos” actor for a vicious beatdown he suffered when Brancato allegedly attacked him for talking on a prison phone. Small-time thief Alvaro Hernandez, 40, filed the suit in Queens Supreme Court seeking unspecified damages for injuries he suffered last Jan. 26 in a common room at now-closed Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, NY. Hernandez was on the phone chatting with his wife, Barbie Hernandez, when an enraged Brancato, 35, demanded that he hang up. Read More: New York Post

 

Auburndale Atrocity

Contrasted against a sea of well-kept homes and pristinely-manicured lawns in Auburndale looms an abandoned property – a massive four-unit building left destitute, much to the dismay of locals who take pride in their neighborhood. The structure, located at 47th Avenue and 198th Street, once a single-family home, was converted into four separate houses by a self-certified builder roughly 10 years ago. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Rego Park resident competes as ‘worst’ on Food Network

Richard Allen Chen’s girlfriend concludes that he is the absolute worst cook in America, gagging and cringing when forced to consume his culinary creations. And she might be right. Chen, an attorney and resident of Rego Park, was selected to compete on Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America,” a program that pits 16 of the country’s most hopeless chefs against each other, overcoming gastronomic obstacles and dishing out some (hopefully) decent grub. The contestant crowned the best of the worst chefs walks away with $25,000. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Developers Hope To Revitalize Rockaways Courthouse

For decades, residents living next to an old courthouse in the Rockaways have listened to many proposals to rehabilitate the site, but locals hope the latest push is more than just talk. Watch the Video: 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

Man who ‘killed’ wife took control of life-insurance payout for kids


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man who ‘killed’ wife took control of life-insurance payout for kids

The man being sued for allegedly murdering his Upper West Side wife surreptitiously took control of the $1.6 million life-insurance-policy payout she’d left behind for their two kids, The Post has learned. Rod Covlin, 39, filed papers in Westchester County Surrogate’s Court in April seeking to be named guardian of the cashed-in Aetna policy that Shele Danishefsky Covlin, a money manager, had left for Anna and Myles. “I am Anna’s father,” an affidavit reads. “I have her best interests at heart, and I am in the best position to determine her current and future needs.” Read More: New York Post

Man posed as a cop during sexual assault

The New York Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the individuals wanted in connection with a sexual assault and robbery. On Sunday, November 20 at approximately 10:30 p.m., one female victim was posting flyers when she was approached on the street by a burgundy-colored van or SUV with four individuals inside. One suspect — described as a Hispanic male — displayed a business card with a police logo, then told the victim it was illegal to post flyers and asked for her identification, according to police. Read More: Queens Courier

End of an era: Flushing’s Palace Diner closing

The faithful frequenters of Flushing’s Palace Diner will have to find a new haunt once the local landmark serves its last meal after more than three decades in the neighborhood. The diner, which sits along the Long Island Expressway on the corner of Main Street and Horace Harding Expressway and has been a neighborhood mainstay for 35 years, will close its doors for good on Friday, December 30. “Friday is going to be another very emotional day,” said owner George Mantzikos. Read More: Queens Courier

Office Cleaners Rally In Midtown As Strike Threat Remains

Contract negotiations will continue Thursday to try to prevent a strike of more than 20,000 office cleaners in the city, but rallying service employees in Midtown and their supporters pledged on Wednesday to strike if an agreement is not reached by the time the old contract expires. The Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, which represents building management, and Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ failed to resolve their differences over wages and benefits in the Sheraton Hotel on Wednesday. Read More: NY1

New State Law To Ban Minors From Local Hookah Bars

Steinway Street between 25th and 28th Avenue in Astoria is Queens’ so-called “Hookah Strip,” where people go to smoke “shisha,” or flavored tobacco, through a water pipe known as hookah. The industry is not well-regulated and the businesses are exempt from the state’s ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, so the owners often create their own rules when it comes to minors. Many places do not allow them inside, but some do. That is about to change under a new state law banning minors from these mostly Middle Eastern establishments that have become popular with other Americans. Read More: NY1

Western Queens parents group: we’ve got two overcrowded schools that need additions built  

A western Queens parents group plans to push the city to build additions at two overcrowded elementary schools where the the lack of space is so severe that students are studying in hallways or in a leaky modular unit. Community Education Council District 30 will present its concerns about Public School 11, in Woodside, and PS 2, in Jackson Heights, to the city on January 6 in its annual recommendations to the School Construction Authority. Read More: Daily News

Astoria realtor to shave off his signature mustache to raise money for autism support group

A respected Queens community leader is attempting to turn the mustache he’s sported for the last 35 years into some cold hard cash for an autism organization. Astoria realtor Paul Halvatzis, 52, of Flushing, is to have his beloved whiskers shaved off on Friday at the Redken Saloon Salon in Astoria in an attempt to raise $35,000 for Quality Services for the Autism Community. The group provides support services to autistic individuals and their families in New York City and Long Island. Read More: Daily News

Counterfeit Cash Smuggler at JFK

A Colombian woman was busted at JFK with nearly $300,000 of counterfeit U.S. currency in her luggage, federal officials said yesterday. Karol Andrea Chilito Solarte, 29, who flew here from Medellin, was arrested on December 15 after Customs and Border Protection officers spotted an unusual thickness at the bottom of her suitcase, a spokesman for the agency said. The oddly shaped suitcase sparked the suspicions of Customs officers — and a closer examination uncovered 46 packages of phony $100 bills totaling almost $300,000, the spokesman said. Read More: New York Post

Two Men Shot Dead, One on a Bus in Queens


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Two Men Shot Dead, One on a Bus in Queens

A gunman killed two people — one on a crowded city bus — in Queens on Friday afternoon, the authorities said. The police said that when they arrested a suspect, he told them he “had a beef to settle.” One of the victims was his girlfriend’s son. He apparently did not know the other one. A third person was shot on the bus, but survived. The violence began at about 3:40 p.m. in an apartment in the Baisley Park housing complex at 116th Avenue and Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in South Jamaica, the police said, where an 18-year-old, described as the son of the suspect’s girlfriend, was shot in the neck and then fell or jumped out of a second-floor window. Read More:  New York Times

 

TSA Officials Deny Grandmother Was Strip-Searched At JFK

A grandmother from Long Island says she was injured and humiliated during a strip search at Kennedy Airport. Lenore Zimmerman, 85, says she asked be patted down instead of walking through a body scanner because she thought it would interfere with her defibrillator. Instead of a pat-down, she says the security screeners took her to a private room and asked her to remove her pants and other clothing. Read More: NY1

 

Victim Marvin Gilkes told wife ‘I love you so much’ before being shot to death by maniac on Q111 bus in Queens

The Queens bus passenger fatally shot by a crazed ex-con told his wife “I love you so much” the day he died — and was on his way to see his mom when he was shot on the Q111. Minutes before Marvin Gilkes was shot in the back of the head Friday, accused gunman Damel Burton had killed his girlfriend’s 18-year-old son, police said. Authorities say he was delusional, certain his past crime victims and every passenger on the bus was out to get him. Injured — but recovering in Jamaica Hospital— was Jojuan Lipsey, 29, who was shot in the jaw on the bus. Read More: Daily News

 

Marlins reel in Jose Reyes for 6 years, $106M

Jose Reyes is speeding to the suddenly splurging Miami Marlins. The All-Star shortstop became the second top free agent to land with the Marlins in a matter of days, agreeing Sunday night to a $106 million, six-year contract, CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler confirms. After adding All-Star closer Heath Bell for $27 million over three years, the Marlins gave the NL batting champion a deal that includes a club option for 2018 that would make the contract worth $120 million, a person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been announced. Read More: CBS News

 

Heist cop hired to drive Brooklyn bus

An infamous dirty cop — who was caught moonlighting as a bank robber in the 1990s — has a new gig driving a city bus in Brooklyn, The Post has learned. Former Queens cop Paul Voss is now working the night shift driving the B44 bus, some 13 years after his arrest for sticking up five banks — including one when he was on duty. The MTA knew all about his criminal past, but it decided to hire the badge-betraying bandit last April. Read More: New York Post

 

J. Cole earns Best New Artist Grammy nod

In a year that J. Cole released a debut album that reached the top of the Billboard charts, the St. John’s University graduate has been recognized for his meteoric rise with a Grammy nomination. Cole, 26, was nominated for Best New Artist where he will go up against The Band Perry, Bon Iver, fellow Queens rapper Nicki Minaj and Skrillex.  Acts such as The Beatles, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys have taken home music’s version of Rookie of the Year. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Accused deadbeat dad ordered to pay child support for Staten Island son

A Queens man is accused of ducking out on more than two years of child support payments for his Staten Island son. Authorities say Sammy D. Pico, 28, was ordered in October 2007 by a Family Court judge to pay $63 a week in child support. According to court papers, he was in arrears for $16,485.  His son, who is now 11 years old, lives in Grymes Hill, according to authorities. Read More: Staten Island Live

Man in Fake Beard Fires at Officers in Queens, Police Say

A man disguised with a fake beard and wearing a dark trench coat pulled a gun from his pocket and shot at two police officers who approached him in Queens on Friday afternoon, the police said. Neither officer was injured when the man, described only as in his 30s, opened fire at the corner of 37th Road and 76th Street in the Jackson Heights section. He fled and was not caught. His fake beard, dark glasses and hat were recovered during the chase, the police said. Read More: New York Times

Police Find Queens Shooting Victim In Car With Multiple Wounds

Police are investigating the shooting death of a man found with multiple gunshot wounds inside a car in Queens. Ronny Valdez, 29, was found Saturday morning slumped over the wheel of a White Acura with New Jersey license plates in Howard Beach. Neighbors say Valdez was shot while driving and lost control of the vehicle, side-swiping another car before coming to a stop. Read More: NY1

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/07/2011: Small child’s severed foot found on front lawn in Rosedale


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up - News From Around Queens Updated Daily

Suspect smashes 12 cars in Astoria

A driver is under arrest for allegedly plowing into a dozen vehicles in Queens. Police say Michael DeLorenzo jumped into a friend’s car early Sunday morning following a dispute in Astoria. When responding police attempted to stop him, they say he took off and ran through two red lights, striking a car at each intersection. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Small child’s severed foot found on front lawn in Rosedale

A man taking out the garbage Sunday night made a gruesome discovery. The man found the severed foot of a small child on his front lawn. The child is believed to be three or four years old. Search dogs worked the area on 139th Street, but apparently found nothing else. Read More: CBS News

 

26 Army National Guard soldiers from Queens ready for deployment to Afghanistan

Twenty-six men and women from the Army National Guard left for training ahead of a deployment to Afghanistan on Saturday. There were tears, hugs and lots of goodbyes in Queens at an American Legion during a farewell ceremony for 26 members of the 14th Finance Detachment. Read More: CBS News

 

Ex-tribal chief peddled ecstasy

An elderly former upstate Mohawk chief who once ran on an anti-drug platform in a tribal election has just been charged with ecstasy-trafficking in New York City. Federal agents last week busted Native American honcho Philip Tarbell after he allegedly tried to sell $60,000 worth of the psychedelic drug — stashed in a candy box — to an undercover officer near JFK Airport. He had already pleaded guilty to peddling marijuana last year. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens Courier crowns ‘Kings’

The Queens Courier hosted its 4th Annual Kings of Queens at Terrace on the Park, at which leaders in the business and no-for-profit worlds were feted. Read More: Queens Courier

FAA Investigates Lasers Shined On Planes At LaGuardia

The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating Sunday after lasers were pointed at two airplanes on the same runway at LaGuardia Airport the previous night. Officials say a laser was pointed at a Jetlink flight that was landing around 6 p.m. Saturday and another was pointed at a United plane about an hour later. Read More: NY1