Tag Archives: Brooklyn

LIC students unveil Marco Polo mural in Brooklyn


| editorial@homereporter.com

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photo by Anthony Izaguirre

BY ANTHONY IZAGUIRRE

A mural painted by a group of high school art students from Queens that depicts the famous Venetian explorer Marco Polo was unveiled at Marco Polo Ristorante in Carroll Gardens on May 21.

Six students from Information Technology High School in Long Island City started the acrylic painting last November and said they used historical documents to create a portrait of Polo along with scenes of his legendary exploits.

“I love it. It came out incredible,” said Marco Chirico, chef at the longstanding restaurant. “A hand painting was missing. We needed some color.”

Soufian Mankour, a sophomore, said that working on the large painting has given him a new appreciation for art.

“This has opened me up to paintings. I was never interested, but now I really like it,” he said. “It was a fun experience.”

Another student, Kevin Astudillo, said he enjoyed spending time with his classmates in the after-school sessions when they worked on the project.

“It was my first time working with paint,” the 12th grader said. “I made friends while working on this project.”

Chirico said the painting would soon be moved to a permanent spot inside the restaurant.

“We’re extremely fortunate,” said Jorge Luis Cordero, the art teacher who supervised the creation of the mural. “Marco and his father have always taken an interest in art and we thought it would be a great idea.”

Freshmen Tasnia Hussain and Mary Jane Faderan; and sophomores Ivon Ramirez and Taynia Sharma also contributed to the large-scale painting.

Marco Polo Ristorante will be donating $800 to the high school’s art program as well as two $100 awards to Faderan and Astudillo for their hard work on the project, Chirico said.

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Alleged Resorts World Casino killer fatally shot by cops in Brooklyn


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File Photo

Updated 2:28 p.m.

BY ANGY ALTAMIRANO AND ROBERT POZARYCKI

A 51-year-old woman was shot and killed in the parking lot at the Resorts World Casino early Tuesday morning by her ex-boyfriend, who was later killed in a shootout with police in Brooklyn, according to authorities.

The victim – Patricia Mohammed of East 39th Street in Flatbush – was shot multiple times in the torso by 51-year-old Dalton Branch at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd. in South Ozone Park at about 2:20 a.m., police said. She was later transported to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

According to the Daily News, the incident occurred after Branch– a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident who was the victim’s ex-boyfriend and works for a charter bus affiliated with the casino– saw the 51-year-old woman kiss her new boyfriend in the casino’s parking lot.

Branch then reportedly opened fired at the woman and her boyfriend, who managed to escape unharmed, before heading back into his white Dodge Charger and fleeing to Brooklyn.

Officers assigned to the Queens Warrant Squad, while traveling in a white unmarked van, reportedly spotted Branch’s vehicle in a parking lot in the area of Stanley and Pennsylvania avenues at about 5:53 a.m.

When the three officers approached the car, Branch displayed a gun and fired several shots at the van, police said. The officers then exchanged fire, striking Branch multiple times about the body.

Paramedics rushed Branch to Brookdale University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police recovered a .380-caliber firearm and additional bullets at the scene.

The three officers involved in the shooting were treated at Jamaica Hospital for tinnitus.

An investigation is ongoing.

“Resorts World is heartbroken by the tragedy that occurred earlier this morning in the casino’s parking lot. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with the NYPD in the investigation into this incident,” said a Resorts World Casino New York City spokesperson.

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Brooklyn man shot to death in Jamaica


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

CrimeSceneTapeHC1010_L_300_C_R-624x416

A Brooklyn man was found dead from a gunshot wound to the torso in Jamaica over the weekend, police said.

Officers from the 113th Precinct discovered the 54-year-old victim, identified as James Burnett, at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday near 110th Road and Sutphin Boulevard, authorities said.

EMS rushed Burnett to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

There are currently no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

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Junior’s moving its Maspeth cheesecake baking operation to New Jersey


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Property Shark/Scott Bintner

Updated 4:43 p.m.

BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ROBERT POZARYCKI 

A slice of Queens is heading to New Jersey.

Junior’s, the famous Brooklyn cheesecake institution, is moving its baking operation from 58-42 Maurice Ave. in Maspeth to Burlington, New Jersey, according to the company.

“We can’t afford the real estate around here,” Alan Rosen, grandson of Harry Rosen, who founded the business in 1950, told Crain’s New York Business, which first reported the relocation.

Its new baking facility across the river also affords more space — 103,000 square feet compared to 20,000 square feet in Queens — and features more refrigeration, freezers and loading docks, according to Rosen.

Junior’s has been reportedly renting the Maspeth facility for the last 15 years to supply its four restaurants in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut, as well as its wholesale and mail-order businesses.

According to Rosen, by July its baking operations will be moved to its New Jersey facility. Up to 75 jobs could be affected by the move, the New York Times reported, but only about 15 employees are expected to come to the new place. Workers were told about the relocation in January following the decision to relocate, which Rosen said was made in late 2014.

The product quality won’t be affected, he said.

“Not one iota. I tested cheesecakes there on Monday with my grandfather looking down on me. [Our cheesecake] has not changed one bit in 64 years,” he told The Courier.

Some baking will continue in New York at its flagship location in Brooklyn, according to a Junior’s spokeswoman. Last year, there was talk of the cheesecake maker selling the 386 Flatbush Ave. building, but the owner decided to stay put.

Rumblings about Junior’s relocation of its Maspeth facility began in 2011 when the city was considering the Maspeth bypass plan — a truck route through an industrial part of the neighborhood. The plan converted the segment of Maurice Avenue where Junior’s factory is located from a two-way street to a one-way thoroughfare.

At a Community Board 5 meeting in June 2011, a lawyer for Junior’s stated that the Maspeth bypass plan was untenable due to delivery logistics, adding that the board was “forcing [Junior’s] to move to Jersey” if it had supported the Maspeth bypass. The board recommended the bypass plan’s approval in July, and the DOT implemented it in November of that year.

Rosen said the Maspeth bypass situation had no impact on Junior’s decision to move from the area.

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It’s Tartan time at The Rookery


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

New York City’s annual Tartan Week, a celebration of Scottish culture and heritage, is in full swing, and authentic British food with a twist can be found close to Queens at Bushwick’s The Rookery.

Located at 425 Troutman St. off the Jefferson Street L train station, The Rookery was founded in 2013 by Jamie Schmitz and his wife, Shana Bellot. Schmitz had worked as a bartender in Bushwick and got to know the neighborhood very well. After years of bartending, Schmitz was inspired to open a place of his own. He relocated to Bushwick with Bellot eight years ago and the couple began their search for the perfect location.

Housed in a former warehouse, the bar itself combines modern, urban elements with a cozy, rustic aesthetic. The industrial loading bay doors flood the bar with light. Soaring ceilings are accented with skylights, vintage pendant lamps and exposed bronzed metal beams. An impressive traditional high-backed oval mahogany bar is the pub’s centerpiece.

The bar, created by a local Bushwick-based carpenter, features a bronzed accent wall and shelves filled with heirlooms, portraits, a taxidermy peacock and an extensive Scotch selection. The rustic booths are complimented by vintage floral block print wallpaper that was transported from the UK and carefully installed by Schmitz’s mother as a labor of love.

The menu itself is a unique mix of Schmitz’s British roots with Bellot’s West Indian heritage. “What we did here came very easily. They work together very well,” Schmitz explained. The British-West Indian fusion comes through in dishes like the Oxtail Sloppy Joe ($8), Curried Goat Shepherd’s Pie ($13), Oxtail Pho ($12), Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts ($8) and Mum’s Chips, a plate of slow roasted potato wedges served with Jamaican dipping sauce and scotch bonnet mayonnaise ($5).

The Rookery is also known for its traditional Scotch egg ($8) which features a soft-boiled egg wrapped in sausage and panko served on a bed of watercress and arugula. The Scotch egg is fried until it is crispy on the outside with a runny yolk at its center.

In addition to pub fare, The Rookery also boasts an impressive collection of British cocktails and beer, including Bellhaven Scottish Ale. The cocktail menu features British classics such as the Pimm’s Cup, as well as more adventurous offerings like The Blackwatch ($12), a mix of Jonnie Walker Black, Becherovka, Sweet Vermouth and Creme de Casis. The Alexander Fleming ($14), named for the Scottish biologist and inventor of penicillin, combines Jonnie Walker Red with triple Laphroaig, Drambuie, honey, ginger and lemon.

The popular Highland Boy ($12) blends Cragganmore 12, Heering, Stones Ginger Wine with Ramazzotti and orange. The cocktail was named after the large painting of Schmitz’s great uncle Thomas Macrae that overlooks the bar.

The portrait, painted by well-known Scottish artist and relative Thomas Austen Brown, is a family heirloom that once graced the dining room wall at Schmitz’s grandfather’s house in Durington, UK. “That ended up being what we built the bar around,” Schmitz said, “It kind of helped set the bar’s identity as well.”

In honor of Tartan Week, The Rookery will feature specials on their Scotch egg, Bellhaven Scottish Ale and Scotch cocktails.

“We hope to get a lot of kilted folk through here,” Schmitz said. “I’ll be going to the Tartan Parade on Saturday in my kilt for sure.”

The Rookery
425 Troutman St., Brooklyn
718-483-8048

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Suspects sought in more than a dozen burglaries across three boroughs


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are seeking three men in the burglaries of more than a dozen businesses around the city, including 12 in Queens, where as much as $10,500 in cash was taken during one theft, authorities said.

According to police, the suspects typically break into the businesses by clipping the lock on their front entrance roll gates.

The series of burglaries and several attempted thefts include at least 17 locations across Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, dating from January to April of this year:

  • On Jan. 22, at about 4:52 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Good Market, located at 61-05 39th Ave. in Woodside, and removed 25 cartons of Marlboro cigarettes, $300 in cash and a safe containing $4,000.
  • Between 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7, and 10 a.m. on Feb. 8, the suspect(s) entered Cigar Hookah Inc., located at 65 West 14th St. in Manhattan, and removed $6,526 in cash.
  • On Feb. 15, 2015, between 4:11 and 4:30 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Ping’s Restaurant, located at 83-02 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, by clipping the lock for the side door roll-down gate but fled without taking anything.
  • On March 1, at about 2:30 a.m. the suspect(s) entered Homecrest Pharmacy, located at 1826 Gravesneck Rd. in Brooklyn, and removed $100 in cash.
  • On March 1, at about 4:17 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Taran Grocery, located at 43-10 45th Ave. in Sunnyside, and removed $1,000 in cash.
  • On March 2, at about 2:30 a.m., the suspect(s) entered the Deep Trading Corporation, located at 29-10A 30th Ave. in Astoria, and removed $10,574 in cash from the safe.
  • On March 5, between 4:50 and 5:10 a.m., the suspect(s) entered a Saba Deli located at 232 Underhill Ave. in Brooklyn, and removed $80 in cash.
  • On March 5, at about 5:40 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Kingston Pharmacy, located at 1106 Saint Johns Pl. in Brooklyn, and removed a safe containing $6,000 in cash.
  • Between 5 a.m. on March 9 and 10 a.m. on March 10, the suspect(s) entered Sharp Rite, located at 1682 East 13 St. in Brooklyn, and removed an empty safe which was later recovered in the vicinity of the location.
  • Between 2 and 8:30 a.m. on March 10, the suspect(s) entered Lake Pavilion, located at 60-15 Main St. in Flushing, through the rear basement door, and removed $600 in cash and multiple checks.
  • On March 13, at about 5:50 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Franny Lew Wine and Liquor, located at 198-29 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows, by prying open the front door but fled without any goods.
  • Between 11:45 p.m. on March 13 and 11 a.m. on March 14, the suspect(s) entered New Great Wall, located at 69-13 Woodside Ave. in Woodside, and removed $100 in cash.
  • Between 1 and 8 a.m. on March 14, the suspect(s) entered a restaurant, located at 192-20 Northern Blvd. in Flushing, by breaking the front door but fled without any goods.
  • Between 5:05 and 5:20 a.m. on March 14, the suspect(s) entered Sushi Fusion and Grill, located at 105-43 64th Rd. in Forest Hills, and removed $520 in cash.
  • Between 5:05 and 5:20 a.m. on March 14, the suspect(s) entered Super Glatt Kosher Mini Market, located at 105-45 64th Rd. in Forest Hills, and removed $250 in cash.
  • On March 17, at about 3:30 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Elmhurst Pharmacy, located at 81-06 Baxter Ave. in Elmhurst, by prying opening the front door and removed $100 in cash.
  • On April 1, at about 2:50 a.m., the suspect(s) entered N&K Jmart, located at 79-23 Northern Blvd. in East Elmhurst and removed $5,500 in cash.

Authorities have released a photo of one the suspects from the March 13 burglary at the New Great Wall restaurant located at 69-13 Woodside Ave. in Woodside.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Detectives talk woman out of jumping off Kosciuszko Bridge


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A pair of NYPD detectives spent around two hours Monday talking a suicidal woman off the edge of the Kosciuszko Bridge, according to police.

That morning, police arrived about 11:30 a.m. to find the 45-year-old Brooklyn resident on top of a pipe on the outside of the bridge, which connects Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with Queens.

Two detectives—Meghan Kinsella, a 14-year veteran who works as a domestic violence officer, and Steven Stefanakos, a 24-year veteran who has spent 20 of those years with the Emergency Service Unit—moved into action to try to talk the woman out of taking her life.

At first, according to police, the woman wasn’t responsive to either of the detectives as they took turns engaging her in conversation.

“I tried to convince her that no matter what, we would be with her every step of the way,” Kinsella said. “He would talk and I would talk. I didn’t even realize I was there for two hours. I was completely focused on her.”

When Stefanakos, who is an instructor with the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit and teaches officers how to interact with emotionally disturbed people in crisis, mentioned the possibility of the woman having a family or children, she grabbed back onto the wire, authorities said.

“I told her, ‘I don’t know what is going on and what is happening with you, but give us [a] chance to talk to you,’” he said.

Kinsella also told the woman, who is a mother of one, that she was strong enough to get through the situation, and the detectives were finally able to convince her to come off the edge of the bridge.


As video footage of the rescue released by police shows, officers were able to pull the woman to safety, and EMS took her to Elmhurst Hospital for treatment.

“It’s a huge relief. It actually is euphoric because you made a difference in somebody’s life, right there and then,” Stefanakos said.

“I’m a mom so I just wanted to get her home safe with her family,” Kinsella added.

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Queens man pleads guilty to sexually abusing girl at Fort Hamilton Army Base


| mmcgoldrick@homereporter.com

Gavel 2

Queens resident Fausto Bonifaz, 39, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to coercing and enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity on a weekly basis at the victim’s home at the Fort Hamilton Army Base.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bonifaz began to abuse the young girl sexually in late 2009 when the victim was 12. Over the next year, he assaulted her on a weekly basis.

Bonifaz — a civilian admitted to the south Brooklyn base as a visitor and friend of the victim’s mother — admitted to abusing the young girl sexually at his plea proceeding.

When sentenced, Bonifaz faces a mandatory minimum term of at least 10 years in prison and up to a maximum of life, as well as restitution, a fine of up to $250,000, and mandatory registration as a sex offender.

The guilty plea was announced by Loretta Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

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Two charged in deadly shooting at Richmond Hill gas station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via NYPD

Two Brooklyn men have been arrested for the fatal January shooting of a man at a gas station near the Van Wyck Expressway, police said.

Charles Williams, 26, and Moeleek Harrell, 25, have both been charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the Jan. 20 incident, according to authorities.

The two allegedly approached Derek Quattlebaum, a 28-year-old Brooklyn resident, at about 3 p.m. that day at a BP gas station in Richmond Hill at the intersection of Van Wyck Expressway and Atlantic Avenue, and then fired at him.

Video footage released by police shows two suspects running into a blue Audi at the station and driving away.

Quattlebaum was shot in the head, torso and limbs, and taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he died.

A motive for the shooting was not immediately clear.

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Watch Rego Park woman compete in ‘Jeopardy!’ Teachers Tournament semifinals


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

BY JAIME DEJESUS

It’s a daily double for one Queens woman!

Bay Ridge Prep fifth-grade teacher and Rego Park resident Erin McLaughlin was chosen to compete on the hit game show “Jeopardy!” The competition was filmed a month ago, with McLaughlin’s latest episode airing this Monday night on ABC 7 as part of the show’s annual Teachers Tournament.

Though she came in second in her first game of the tournament on Feb. 2, she still advanced to the semifinals by landing one of four wildcard spots — given to the competitors who won the most money aside from the winner.

McLaughlin, who has been an avid fan of the show since she was a child, tried out for the show many times online. She even received auditions in the past.

She then got the call for the third audition. Despite jitters some may have during the audition process, McLaughlin’s experience was a positive one.

“They make it really fun,” she said. “We played a pretend game of ‘Jeopardy!’ and they gave advice on how to behave.”

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Months after the audition, she was about to give up hope and take the online test again, when she was asked to fly to California to make her appearance on the game show.

“I was very surprised I got the call,” McLaughlin said. “Once you’re in the contestant pool, you are only in it for 18 months. After December, I was going to be out of the pool. That was it. I was just going to try again. But I guess the third time was the charm.”

Once her appearance was confirmed, she had six weeks to practice before she flew to the West Coast in December to compete against fellow teachers.

“I spent time studying categories that I didn’t know that much about like opera, presidents, composers,” McLaughlin said. “I took a lot of online quizzes. Other people quizzed me too. I knew a lot about pop culture and literature, so I didn’t prepare for those areas as much.”

When it was finally time to compete, she was ready to for the challenge. “I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. There was no time to be,” she said. “I’ve watched the show since I was a kid so it was so surreal being on the stage. When that famous music started to play, I finally realized that it’s really happening. It was so strange.”

McLaughlin also enjoyed meeting the show’s longtime host, Alex Trebek, whom she described as “nice and personable.” She also liked being amongst her peers.

“Meeting the other contestants was great because we all have the same jobs and we had a lot in common,” McLaughlin said.

She wasn’t the only one excited about competing in the show. Her husband and stepdaughter were in attendance, cheering her on, and her students back home were as well.


“My students are very excited for me,” McLaughlin said. “They interviewed me and also asked me lots of questions about my experience.”

Her school, Bay Ridge Prep, located in southern Brooklyn, is also thrilled for the dedicated teacher and showed it by throwing a party the day her first episode ran.

“They’ve been so great and supportive,” she said.

Although McLaughlin didn’t know what to expect, she realized that playing at home is slightly easier than the real thing. “It was harder than I thought it would be,” she admitted.

“It was lots of fun and I realized whatever the outcome was, it didn’t matter,” McLaughlin said. “I’m just sad I can’t do it again.”

To watch McLaughlin compete in the Teachers Tournament semifinals, tune in on Monday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. on ABC 7. 

-With additional reporting by Cristabelle Tumola

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Community expresses mixed feelings on city-commissioned sculpture in LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But for one community in Long Island City, a bright pink statue that would stand more than 8 feet tall just might not fit their vision of beauty.

At the recent Community Board 2 meeting, the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs presented the newest project for the Percent for Art program that is being commissioned for Jackson Avenue and 43rd Avenue.

Since 1982, the city’s Percent for Art law has required that one percent of the budget for eligible city-funded construction projects be spent on public artwork.

For this commission, a panel convened by the agency selected Brooklyn-artist Ohad Meromi and at the Dec. 4 board meeting, the community got a preview of what is being proposed for the Long Island City site.

Meromi’s proposed sculpture is an 8.5-foot-tall, bright pink piece called “The Sunbather” which is shaped as a human figure. About $515,000 of city tax dollars will go toward the construction of the piece, made of bronze.

Although Meromi said he is “excited for the opportunity” to sculpt the piece, community board members and residents at the meeting brought up issues such as the community at large not having had the opportunity to give their input on the sculpture earlier and also the color just being a little too much.

“I personally do like the art,” said Moitri Chowdhury Savard, a community board member. “But I think the bright pink color and the size of it has been brought up by many residents of the community as too much for the area. I think it might be a little too much for a lot of the residents there.”

Resident Christian Amez, also a member of the organization Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, said he also wished the community could have been more well-represented earlier in the process. They also would have liked it if a local artist could have been chosen.

According to Sarah Reisman, director for Percent for Art, the agency presented a rough draft of a rendering to the community board’s land use committee first, and members of the board were invited.

Reisman also added that about 40 artists, including local Long Island City artists, were presented to a panel that later picked finalists. After finalists presented proposals, Meromi, who has presented pieces at the SculptureCenter and MoMA PS1, was chosen.

The sculpture’s size and color are still not finalized, but a permanent piece by Meromi is expected to be located at the site.

“I really thought the site could use color,” Meromi said about the color selection of the sculpture. “I think pink is bold and the site could use something bold.”

Now the agency will take the comments from residents and the community board comments and go back to the renderings of the sculpture. Then, the agency will present a conceptual design to the public design commission at City Hall.

“We want to know what you think, take it to consideration and take it to the design commission,” Reisman said. “We’re here to listen.”

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Queens man arrested for sexually abusing three girls at Brooklyn army base


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP

A Queens man is accused of sexually abusing three girls at a Brooklyn army base after the crimes were uncovered several years later, according to the FBI.

Fausto Bonifaz, 39, allegedly coerced and enticed the victims, whose ages ranged from 12 to 13, into engaging in sexual activity with him while at the Fort Hamilton Army Base.

Bonifaz was a civilian who was admitted to the base because he worked with one of the victim’s mothers and had access to her house, officials said.

The acts were committed between September 2009 and September 2010, according to the New York Post.

The acts were later uncovered when one of the victims reported the abuse to a counselor.

According to the Post, that girl was the daughter of the woman from the base, and the other victims were her friends.

Before his arrest, Bonifaz admitted to FBI agents that he had sexually abused one of the victims and signed a written statement detailing the abuse, officials said.

He denied sexually abusing the other girls when he spoke with federal agents on Thursday, the Post reported. But he did say “not all 12-year-old girls are the same” when faced with the allegations.

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Man wanted in armed, police-impersonation robberies in Queens and Brooklyn


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of FBI

Authorities are looking for a suspected member of a street gang who they say is responsible for several armed, police-impersonation robberies in Queens and Brooklyn.

Ringo Delcid, of Brooklyn, is being sought after the arrest of one of his suspected associates on Oct. 21, according to the FBI.

Delcid is described as 26 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 220 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes, and was born in Panama. He was last seen with a goatee beard and is often referred to as “Castro,” “Ringo Castro,” or “Ringo Halister Del Cid Carrillo.” Delcid should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

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Grand Street Bridge to be closed for construction on three Saturdays


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

The Grand Street Bridge, linking Maspeth and Brooklyn, will be closed for parts of three consecutive Saturdays for much needed repair work, the Department of Transportation (DOT) said.

The DOT will be closing the bridge on Oct. 4, 11 and 18 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. to strengthen the deck gratings and replace the pedestrian path.

During that time motorists can use Metropolitan Avenue as an alternate route.

These repairs are not part of the DOT’s plan to replace the decrepit bridge entirely. It expects those plans to be finished by 2016.

But the DOT had promised to make short-term repairs to keep the bridge stabilized while plans are being drawn up.

“The agency continues to monitor the structure and make any necessary short-term repairs prior to the start of this project,” a DOT spokeswoman said in June. “DOT will also continue to update local stakeholders, including the community boards, on any temporary closures required for repair work.”

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West Nile spraying scheduled for parts of Queens this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Tuesday, Sept. 16, there will be West Nile spraying in parts of Queens, including along the Brooklyn-Queens border, to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

The spraying will take place between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Wednesday, Sept. 17 during the same hours.

The following neighborhoods are being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity with high mosquito populations, according to the city’s Health Department:

Parts of City Line, Cypress Hills, Highland Park, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Ozone Park, Spring Creek and Woodhaven (Bordered by Jamaica Avenue and to the north; Shepherd Avenue, Fulton Street Line and Fountain Avenue to the west; Jamaica Bay to the south; and Rockaway Rail-Line, Rockaway Boulevard and Woodhaven Boulevard to the east).

For the application, the Health Department will spray pesticide from trucks and use a very low concentration of Anvil®, 10 + 10, a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health.

The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

  • Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions  are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.
  • Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
  •  Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If  outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using  again.
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

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