Tag Archives: daily news

Ex-Met Dykstra sentenced to 3 years in Calif. prison for car scam


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Ex-Met Dykstra sentenced to 3 years in Calif. prison for car scam

Former New York Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra was sentenced Monday to three years in state prison in a grand theft auto case. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig sentenced Dykstra after refusing to allow him to withdraw a no-contest plea. The judge said the theft scheme showed sophistication and extensive planning. Dykstra was immediately remanded to custody and he walked into the court’s back room, hands in his pockets. Read More: New York Post

 

Judge says trustee can go after phony $83M profits Mets owners received from Madoff Ponzi scheme

The Mets’ owners will have to cough up their phony profits from investing with Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, a judge ruled today. But Manhattan federal Judge Jed Rakoff said the exact amount — which Madoff bankruptcy trustee Irving Picard pegged at $83.3 million — “will be determined in a subsequent order and may require further briefing and oral argument.” Read More: New York Post

 

MTA won’t give cancer survivor door-to-door service

It’s been a rough ride for a 69-year-old, retired school teacher from Brooklyn. The MTA is refusing to provide door-to-door “Access-A-Ride” service for ailing grandmother Iris Marcus, who fought off stage-three breast cancer seven years ago but says she can’t walk more than several steps without feeling severe pain from a degenerative back disease and diabetes-induced ulcerated feet. For six years, the Midwood senior relied on Access-A-Ride to commute to her doctors and other destinations. Read More: New York Post

NYPD’s Muslim Surveillance Efforts Get Show Of Support

Muslim leaders joined Long Island Congressman Peter King today in support of the New York City Police Department’s efforts that some say unfairly target Muslims. The group spoke this morning at a news conference outside police headquarters organized by the American Islamic Leadership Coalition. They say the police department’s counter-terrorism efforts – including the monitoring of Muslim communities in and around the city and at area colleges – is necessary to keep New Yorkers safe. Read More: NY1

 

Demi Moore heads home to LA after rehab

Demi Moore has returned to Los Angeles following a stint in rehab. Moore, 49, appeared relaxed and tanned as she emerged from her private plane Sunday evening donning a white sweater and jean shorts with an unidentified man as her escort, in photos obtained by TMZ. Read More: New York Post

 

Christina Hendricks, Olivia Munn nude photo scandal: Hacker leaks stars’ racy cell phone pictures online

The two latest victims in Hollywood’s ongoing nude photo hacking scandal, Christina Hendricks and Olivia Munn, are claiming that though some of the released personal photos are of them, others are most definitely not. Namely, the naked ones. A full-frontal nude photo allegedly of Munn, 31, surfaced on the Internet Sunday, but sources close to her deny that the snaps are of the “I Don’t Know How She Does It” actress, according to TMZ. Read More: Daily News

Teens charged in Queens vid-kill slapped with more charges


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Teens charged in Queens vid-kill slapped with more charges

Two Queens teens were arrested for gunning down an 18-year-old after the shooting was caught on camera, and each has since been hit with separate charges of attempted murder, cops said yesterday. Sean Barnhill, 19, and Alexander Burgess, 16, allegedly shot and wounded Daryl Adams, 18, then chased him down and fired the deadly round after he collapsed to the ground at 12:30 a.m. Friday, cops said. Read More: New York Post

 

Citi Field’s run $lows to a walk

Citi Field revenues have dropped more than 30 percent since the Mets’ ballpark opened in 2009, and premium ticket sales are down by nearly 50 percent, according to financial records. Overall attendance declined 26 percent, to 2.3 million, and during that time, revenues for concessions and parking slipped. The financial records reveal that concessions revenue has dropped 28 percent since 2009, to $10.9 million in 2011, and parking was down 37 percent, to $7 million. Read More: New York Post

 

Man heads to Queens club with pals, dies en route

A 21-year-old man mysteriously died while partying with pals in Queens, police said. The victim, whose name was withheld pending family notification, and two friends were at a family birthday party on Myrtle and Cypress avenues when they left around 12:40 a.m. today, cops said. They piled into a Lincoln Aviator to go to the Flamingo Night Club on Roosevelt Avenue near 86th Street in Jackson Heights, cops added. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens driver killed, 3 others injured after car rear ends box truck

A Queens man was killed early this morning when he rear-ended a commercial truck in Springfield Gardens. The driver, identified as Joseph Brown, 29, was traveling southbound with three other people in his Nissan sedan car when it collided with a white box truck at 4:06 a.m., on Rockaway Blvd. between Brookville Blvd. and Guy R. Brewer Blvd., police said. Brown, of Queens, was declared dead at Jamaica Hospital. Read More: New York Post

 

State Lawmakers Want Added Price Protections At The Pump

As fuel prices across the country continue to rise, two state lawmakers want consumers to be protected from price spikes at the gas pump. State Senator Eric Adams and State Assemblyman David Weprin introduced a bill this week that would require all gas stations to post signs with contact information for the State Consumer Protection Board. That way, if a consumer suspects price gouging they know who to call immediately. Read More: NY1

 

Whitney had secret affair with Jermaine Jackson, and Michael disapproved: report

Jermaine Jackson had a torrid affair with Whitney Houston and carried a torch for her until the day she died, according to a report published yesterday. The attraction had been instant between the pair after the married Jermaine was brought in to produce Houston and perform duets with her in the early 1980s, and they soon began a secret, yearlong fling, The Sun newspaper in London said. Read More: New York Post

Liu fund raiser’s ‘cruel’ fate


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Liu fund raiser’s ‘cruel’ fate

A day after she was slapped with federal fraud charges for alleged illegal fund-raising on behalf of John Liu’s mayoral campaign, Jia “Jenny” Hou described New York as a “cruel city” and questioned who can be trusted. In a missive on her Chinese social-networking page, Hou, 25, told friends that she’s OK — despite facing a maximum of 60 years behind bars if convicted on a slew of charges. Read More: New York Post

One teen, two others shot on Jamaica Avenue

One teenager and two 20-year-olds were shot on Jamaica Avenue in what was according to witnesses, likely gang-related activity. The shootings took place outside a Jamaica Avenue Wendy’s this afternoon at approximately 3 p.m. Two victims were shot in the leg, with one taking a bullet to the arm. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Governor’s Proposed Convention Center May Fall Flat, Skeptics Say

Some key stakeholders are sounding off as the debate heats up over Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to build the country’s largest convention center in Queens. Since the governor announced the plan in his State of the State Address in early January that he wanted to build a massive convention center at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens and dismantle the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan there has been a lot of skepticism about the proposal. Key players and policy shapers are divided. At a breakfast forum hosted by Crain’s New York Business Thursday, concerns were raised about the true cost of the center, its proposed location, and whether it would be successful. Read More: NY1

 

 

 

Rezone plan for Richmond Hill and Woodhaven get thumbs down from some merchants 

A city plan to rezone parts of Richmond Hill and Woodhaven is getting a thumbs down from some local business leaders who say it’s too restrictive. “The new census data is showing the community has increased so why are we talking about down-zoning,” said Vishnu Mahadeo, president of the Richmond Hill Economic Development Corp. “I have signed petitions from people who oppose this. They did not know this would happen when they bought their property.” Read More: Daily News

 

 

Upstate widow accused of violating law with ‘slave’ maid
A wealthy upstate widow allegedly turned her multimillion-dollar mansion into a “forced labor” camp where her helpless immigrant maid worked 17-hour days for years while sleeping in a closet. Annie George, whose real-estate mogul husband, Mathai, died in a 2009 plane crash, allegedly made the woman cook meals, clean the 30,000-square-foot estate and care for the family’s six children, according to a federal criminal complaint. Read More: New York Post

Elevator Company Fires Five On Duty During Fatal Midtown Accident


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Elevator Company Fires Five On Duty During Fatal Midtown Accident

An elevator service company says it fired five mechanics who were on duty during a deadly accident that killed an advertising executive in Midtown. Transel Elevator announced the firings just two days after a city report said a mechanic had overridden an important safety system before the December accident. Suzanne Hart, 41, was crushed to death when the elevator jumped up as she stepped in. Read More: NY1

 

Obama Back In Town For Re-Election Fundraiser

President Barack Obama is headed to town this afternoon for a fundraising sweep. As usual, his visit will likely mean traffic tie-ups in Manhattan. The president is scheduled to arrive at John F. Kennedy Airport at 4 p.m. following a day trip to New Hampshire. He’s set to attend an event at a private residence around 5 p.m. After that he will head to the Flatiron District for a fundraising dinner at ABC Kitchen, followed by another event at a private residence. Read More: NY1

 

 

Teen collared in Far Rockaway, Queens, shooting had 2 prior busts

Christopher Chinloy, 17, a 5-foot-6, 150-pound nobody till he felt like somebody as an alleged gun-packing member of the Crips, has been arrested three times since last September with loaded handguns. Amazing. On Feb. 22, a little past midnight, Chinloy was busted for opening fire with a .40-caliber Glock on a group of people outside a grocery store on Beach Channel Drive, hitting one 14-year-old in the buttocks, police say. Read More: Daily News

Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart dead at 43

Conservative media publisher and activist Andrew Breitbart, who was behind investigations that led to the resignations of former Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York and former U.S. Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, has died in Los Angeles. He was 43. Breitbart’s website, bigjournalism.com, announced Thursday he died of natural causes in Los Angeles. His death was confirmed by breitbart.com editor-in-chief Joel Pollak, who said he was at the hospital, and by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Read More: New York Post

 

Yankees owner counting on young pitchers to lower payroll

Hal Steinbrenner believes the additions of Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda improved the Yankees from a year ago. And the Yankees boss guaranteed the 2014 payroll will be at $189 million because the financial benefits in the collective bargaining agreement are hard to ignore. To get there, Steinbrenner said it’s up to the young arms in the organization to develop into dependable major league winners so big money doesn’t have to be spent on free agents. Read More: New York Post

Liu hints he might abandon run for mayor in light of scandal


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Liu hints he might abandon run for mayor in light of scandal

Beleaguered city Comptroller John Liu hinted last night he might abandon a run for mayor following the arrest of his campaign treasurer in the mushrooming straw-donor fund-raising scandal. “All options are on the table. We’re moving forward,” Liu said in a vague response to questions about his future before hosting a Black History Month event at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. Read More: New York Post
 

Sex attack on elderly Fresh Meadows woman

A 67-year-old Queens woman was sexually assaulted in her home after she invited in a man who had asked for a glass of water, cops said. She encountered the pervert Monday in her building in Fresh Meadows at 2 p.m. When she invited him in, he pulled a knife and forced her to perform a sex act. Police said he is black, between 45 and 65 years old, 5-foot-9 and weighs 160 pounds. He wore black-rimmed glasses. Read More: New York Post

Yeshiva tutor admits molesting girls, 8

A yeshiva student trusted by parents to tutor their children pleaded guilty yesterday to sexually molesting two fourth-graders. Hillel Selznick, 25, of Flushing, told Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter he inappropriately touched the two 8-year-old girls over the course of a year during private tutoring lessons inside the victims’ homes. Read More: New York Post

Fanning racial fires

A tutorial workshop for the upcoming FDNY entrance exam turned raucous last night when the organization that represents black firefighters — which was hosting the Queens event — turned away whites who wanted to attend. “This is absurd,” fumed Rob, a 21-year-old who was one of about 60 whites refused entry by the Vulcan Society at MS 72 in Jamaica and whose angry reaction drew 30 NYPD cops and school safety officers. Read More: New York Post

TSA Introduces Expedited Security Screening Lane At JFK

Getting through security at John F. Kennedy Airport is a little easier for some passengers as the Transportation Security Administration launched Wednesday its Pre-Check Program at Terminal 8. Low-risk passengers can volunteer information about themselves before flying to get expedited screening at checkpoints. Under the program, passengers may be allowed to keep their shoes, belts and other items on while passing through security. “I’m not a frequent flyer though, but it is annoying. I understand you need it, but if you can avoid it why not?” said one air traveler. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Film Festival Gives Credit To Local Talent

Jackson Heights resident Richard Uhlig, who wrote and directed the film “Can’t Dance” is ready to show it off. “‘Can’t Dance’ is about a lonely widower who plays with his toy trains all day and his dead wife’s ghost comes back, and she coaches him on how to talk to the neighbor lady, so he can get a life again,” said Uhlig. Uhlig’s film is one of more than 125 in the Queens World Film Festival, which opens Thursday night and runs through Sunday. He says having his film in the festival is a great opportunity and that he shot it in his apartment in just two and a half days. Read More: NY1

The Monkees lead singer Davy Jones dead at 66 from heart attack


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

The Monkees lead singer Davy Jones dead at 66 from heart attack

Davy Jones – lead singer of The Monkees – has died … TMZ has learned. An official from the medical examiner’s office for Martin County, Florida confirmed with TMZ they received a call from Martin Memorial Hospital informing them that Jones had passed away. Jones is survived by his wife Jessica and 4 daughters from previous marriages. He was 66-years-old.  Jones was married to Jessica Pacheco — his 3rd wife. Read More: TMZ

 

 

Yeshiva student pleads guilty to sexually molesting two fourth-graders

A Yeshiva student who was trusted by parents to tutor their children pleaded guilty today for sexually molesting two fourth grade students. Hillel Selznick, 25 of Flushing, admitted to Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter that he inappropriately touched a set of eight-year-old girls — over a year-long period — during private tutoring lessons inside the victim’s homes. Selznick, who was a student at Rabbinical Seminary of America, pleaded to two counts of course sexual misconduct against a child and will be sentenced on April 17 to six months in jail, 10 years probation, complete a sex offender program and register as sex offender. Read More: New York Post

Police probe latest Long Island pharmacy holdup

Police on Long Island are investigating another pharmacy robbery. Newsday reported the robbery occurred Tuesday night at the Health Mart Pharmacy in Bay Shore. Suffolk County police said a gunman took cash. It is not clear if any prescription medications were also taken. The robbery follows two fatal pharmacy holdups in 2011 on Long Island. Last June, a man shot and killed two employees and two customers while robbing a Medford pharmacy. On New Year’s Eve, a federal ATF agent intervening in a Seaford pharmacy robbery was killed in a suspected “friendly fire” shooting. The holdup man also was killed. Read More: New York Post

 

Feds: City ring ran $275M car insurance scam

A Russian-American ring based in New York ran an audacious scheme to bilk car-insurance companies out of $275 million through bogus medical clinics that billed for phantom treatments, the feds said Wednesday. Three dozen people — including 10 doctors and three lawyers — were indicted in the scam allegedly run by fraudsters with nicknames such as “Russian Mike,” “Fat Mike” and “Skinny Mike.” The ringleaders opened a series of clinics in the city that were really fraud mills designed to exploit the state’s no-fault auto insurance law, prosecutors charged. Read More: Daily News

ROTC Teacher Charged With Groping Manhattan High School Student

An ROTC teacher at a Manhattan high school was arrested Tuesday and charged with groping a 14-year-old girl. Authorities say Darryl Lynch, a 55-year-old resident of Bridgeport, Conn. who has taught at the High School of Graphic Communication Arts since 1997, groped the student on school grounds earlier this month. The alleged victim told a guidance counselor, who then told the principal. Lynch was charged with sexual abuse, forcible touching and acting in a manner to injure a child. Read More: NY1

Liu “Stunned” By Fraud Charges Against His Campaign Treasurer


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Arrest Made In Connection With Queens Synagogue Burglary

Police say tips from the public led them to an arrest in the burglary of a Queens synagogue. Efram Sanders, 28, was arrested Tuesday and was facing burglary, grand larceny and stolen-property charges in connection with the break-in at Congregation Degel Israel in Kew Gardens Hills. More than a dozen items were taken, including silver torah crowns and breastplates, worth thousands of dollars in all. Police say they were able to recover all stolen items except for two silver pointers. Read More: NY1

 

NYPD cop impersonators may have used high-quality masks to pull off check-cashing heist

Three cop impersonators wanted for stealing $200,000 from a Queens check-cashing business may have worn masks that were Hollywood quality, the Daily News has learned. Investigators began to suspect the trio that pulled off the Valentine’s Day caper had worn masks that were far from the average costume-shop props after they got a tip, the sources said. One of the false faces even looked like pro wrestler Bill Goldberg. Read More: Daily News

Liu “Stunned” By Fraud Charges Against His Campaign Treasurer

In a serious blow to City Comptroller John Liu’s 2013 campaign effort, authorities on Tuesday announced the arrest of one of his top campaign aides on fraud charges, and the comptroller said he was shocked by the allegations. The U.S. Attorney’s office says Jenny Hou, 25, seen above right, was taken into custody in connection to what authorities call a scheme to use straw donors to get over the limit campaign contributions to Liu. Read More: NY1

 

Mayor Stands By Released Teacher Rankings As Charter School Data Is Published

Mayor Michael Bloomberg again defended the release of teacher data reports Tuesday as the Department of Education released the same information for charter schools and District 75. Charter school teachers make up a majority of the 334 reports. Their participation was optional but District 75, which serves children with special needs, had to take part for two of the three school years represented. A DOE spokesperson says the reports for the charter and District 75 schools are not comparable to those for city schools. Read More: NY1

 

Hero cop: ‘I don’t know how he didn’t hit me from that range’

The partner of the NYPD cop saved by his gun belt said the stunning sequence was like the scene in “Pulp Fiction” where a gunman opens fire on the main characters at point-blank range and misses with every shot. “We were only a couple feet away. I don’t know how he didn’t hit me from that range,” Thomas Dunne told The Post of alleged shooter Luis Martinez. Dunne’s partner, Thomas Richards, 36, was saved when a round hit the extra clip in his pocket. Read More: New York Post

Elevator guy still on job

The lift mechanic whose botched job resulted in a young ad executive getting crushed to death was still allowed to tinker with the city’s elevators yesterday. Michael Hill arrived at his home in Glen Gardner, NJ, after a long day on the job — wearing a navy blue New York Elevator Operators uniform and covered in grease. Hill was working on the city’s elevators just one day after investigators on Monday released a scathing report, accusing him of overriding the critical elevator safety system that led to Y&R ad exec Suzanne Hart’s gruesome death on Dec. 14. Read More: New York Post

Grades spur parents’ revolt


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Grades spur parents’ revolt

Armed for the first time with data that rates the effectiveness of more than 12,000 math and reading teachers, parents yesterday said they’ll now take action to steer their kids clear of bad apples. At PS 89 in The Bronx — which had the highest number of teachers who were rated poorly in 2010 — several parents returning to school yesterday after last week’s mid-winter recess said they plan to pull their kids out. Forty-three percent of the Bronxdale school’s teachers were rated below average or worse, while just 7 percent were above average or better, according to the city’s numbers. Read More: New York Post

Thieves out ‘4’ iPhones

It wasn’t just techie nerds who were eagerly awaiting the iPhone 4’s release — sneaky cellphone subway thieves were just as anxious to snag the gadget, NYPD officials said yesterday. The June 2010 release of the iPhone sparked an underground cellphone-swiping frenzy that still hasn’t stopped, said NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Joseph Fox. Cellphone “thefts accelerated in July 2010 coinciding with the release of the pretty popular iPhone 4,” he said at the MTA’s transit committee meeting. In 2011, 47 percent of all property stolen underground involved electronics — up from 39 percent in 2010 and 35 percent in 2009. Read More: New York Post

Two confirmed dead, three injured in Ohio school shooting

An Ohio teen described as an “outcast” was due to appear in court Tuesday after allegedly killing two of his classmates and injuring three others in a fatal shooting at a suburban Cleveland high school. The first victim of the shooting at Chardon High School was Daniel Parmertor, 16, who died Monday at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. A second victim, named as 17-year-old Russell King, was pronounced brain dead at 12:42 a.m. at the same hospital, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuesday. Read More: New York Post

Family Fights To Prevent Deportation Of Jackson Heights Father

Mohammad Anwarul Islam’s family in Jackson Heights, Queens is fighting to keep the husband and father in the country, while he awaits deportation to Bangladesh in a New Jersey jail. His family says Islam immigrated legally but was not granted political asylum. Read More: NY1

NYPD officer saved as bullet pouch stops shot: police


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

NYPD officer saved as bullet pouch stops shot: police

Another NYPD officer narrowly escaped a bullet today after a firefight erupted in lower Manhattan, police said. Officers Thomas Richards and Thomas Dunne had just gotten out of their police van at 1:44 a.m. on Columbia Street in lower Manhattan when they were approached by Luis Martinez, police said. Martinez, 25, began firing at the officers – one shot hit Richards’ bullet pouch, narrowly missing his stomach “by an inch” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said this morning. Read More: New York Post

 

Cop’s slaying could cripple cig-smuggling case This criminal case could go up in smoke. A top state tax investigator allegedly slain by her former-cop husband in Queens last year was the arresting officer in a tobacco case that may be in jeopardy as a result of her death, The Post has learned. Tracey Young, 42, was a well-respected undercover cop specializing in busting tobacco smugglers when she was shot 10 times, allegedly by hulking hubby Clarence Cash, 49, in their Briarwood apartment Dec. 10. Cash was said to have been upset over money woes and Young’s threats to leave him. Read More: New York Post

 

‘The Artist’ nabs Best Picture Oscar; Streep honored for ‘Iron Lady’ Moviegoers were at a loss for words last night as Oscar thumbed his nose at the year’s most popular films and gave the top honor to “The Artist,’’ a silent black-and-white film beloved by cinema snobs. It was the first black-and-white silent movie to win Best Picture since 1929, when “Wings,’’ a film about World War I fighter pilots, won the big prize a few months before the stock market crashed. Read More: New York Post

 

One hour and $260 can get you phony green card, soc. security and license It’s a passport to trouble — and it can be bought for just $260 on the streets of Jackson Heights, Queens. In just one hour, The Post was able to buy a phony green card, Social Security card and New York state driver’s license from a stranger on a corner — all of which could serve as a gateway to obtain legitimate IDs. The cards are frighteningly real — convincing enough to fool creditors, potential employers and security at buildings and even the airport. Read More: New York Post

 

Mets’ Uniforms To Feature Memorial Patch For Gary Carter

The New York Mets will wear a special patch on their uniforms this season to honor the life and legacy of the late catcher Gary Carter. The team’s fan page on Facebook features a photo of the patch, with a home plate design, Carter’s number 8 and his nickname, “The Kid.” Carter died on February 16 after a long battle with brain cancer at the age of 57. Read More: NY1

 

State Orders Peninsula Hospital To Stop Taking Patients


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

State Orders Peninsula Hospital To Stop Taking Patients

Laboratory problems are forcing changes at Peninsula Hospital in Queens. The State Department of Health has ordered the hospital to stop admitting patients and performing surgeries, and plan to transfer its current patients elsewhere. The order comes after Peninsula’s lab permit was suspended for 30 days after an inspection found, “problems that failed to meet the accepted standards of care.” The hospital says it is complying with the state’s orders and is developing a plan to fix the problems as soon as possible. Read More: NY1

 

Man accused of running over girlfriend extradited to NJ, set to be arraigned on murder charges

The deranged New Jersey man accused of running over his girlfriend three times and leaving her to die on a busy street was extradited this morning to New Jersey, where he will be arraigned on murder charges, authorities said. Charles J. Ann, 26, of Fort Lee, allegedly fled the scene Monday evening, but was tracked down at a friend’s house in Flushing, Queens, with a stack of cash and his passport. Authorities believe that he was going to flee to South Korea. Read More: New York Post

Four Sought In Valentine’s Day Home Invasion

Police are searching for four men behind a frightening home invasion in Manhattan last week where two of the robbers climbed through an apartment window. Investigators say it happened around 4 a.m. on February 14 inside an apartment located at 601 West 185th Street near Saint Nicholas Avenue. Authorities say two of the men got in through the window. The other two came through the front door. Read More: NY1

 

‘Subway pusher’ found guilty of assault, not attempted murder

A man accused of pushing a fashion exec onto the subway tracks was found not guilty today by a Manhattan jury of attempted murder, but guilty of first degree assault. That’s not much a break for Jose Rojas, 26, because both charges carry the same penalty, meaning he’ll still be facing between 5 and 25 years behind bars when he’s sentenced on March 16. Rojas had insisted that he did not cause a tall, blonde woman, Ute Linhart, to hit the train intentionally. Read More: New York Post

 

Ex-Mets star Dykstra granted permission to attend Carter’s funeral

Former Mets star Lenny Dykstra will be permitted to attend the funeral of his former teammate Gary Carter. Dykstra, who is under house arrest in Los Angeles on allegations of bankruptcy fraud and embezzlement, filed papers with a judge earlier this week in an attempt to attend Carter’s funeral today, according to TMZ.com. The judge signed off on Dykstra’s request, allowing him to attend Carter’s funeral in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Dykstra and Carter were teammates on the Mets from 1985-89, and both played pivotal roles on the 1986 World Series-winning ball club. Read More: New York Post

DOE Releases Evaluations For Thousands Of Public School Teachers

Parents will soon know if their children’s teachers have been earning passing grades, as the city’s Department of Education released today the performance scores of tens of thousands of teachers later today. A judge ordered the department to do so, despite resistance from the teachers’ union. The teacher data reports were compiled for three years, beginning with the 2007-2008 school year. News organizations, including NY1, plan to publish the reports with the teachers’ names on the Internet this afternoon. Read More: NY1

Queens Teaching Aide Charged With Sexual Abuse Of Six Female Students


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens Teaching Aide Charged With Sexual Abuse Of Six Female Students

A full-time paraprofessional working in an art class at P.S. 52 in Springfield Gardens, Queens has been arrested and charged with sexual conduct with six female students. Brett Picou, 30, who worked as a teacher’s aide and a substitute at P.S. 52 since 2008, was awaiting arraignment Thursday on seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse, seven counts of forcible touching, one count of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and six counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Read More: NY1

 

11 people, including 3 kids, escape from house fires in Queens and Manhattan

Eleven people, including three children, escaped two separate blazes in Queens and downtown Manhattan early Thursday — and one may have been the result of a firebomb. The first fire ignited in a Rockaway Blvd. apartment in South Jamaica just before 3 a.m., and the flames trapped the residents inside their homes. Witnesses later told fire investigators that a Molotov cocktail was tossed near the apartment, setting the home ablaze, sources said. Six people on the second floor suffered minor injuries along with three firefighters who were taken to Jamaica Hospital Center for evaluation, officials said. Read More: Daily News

 

Disgraced former Governor returning to national politics with fund-raiser

The Love Gov is climbing back into bed — with lawmakers. For the first time since a tawdry hooker scandal trashed his political career, Eliot Spitzer is holding a fund-raiser for a politician looking to make a national splash. The former governor is hosting the event at his Fifth Avenue home for Washington state gubernatorial hopeful Jay Inslee on March 5. Inslee, currently a Democrat in the House of Representatives, shares many of Spitzer’s left-leaning political stances. Insiders believe Spitzer’s soiree shows he’s trying to become a political mover and shaker once again — this time as a national kingmaker. Read More: New York Post

 

Not-so-Finest moment as cop caught napping on F train

A hero cop has been disciplined for catching Z’s on the F rain while armed and in uniform. Officer Matthew Sobota, 43, was caught snoozing on the subway by a straphanger, who snapped photos with his cell phone camera and emailed them to NYPD brass. “I thought maybe a teenager could take (Sobota’s) gun and sell it or use it. I felt like it was a potentially unsafe thing,” said Martin Bisi, 51, of Brooklyn, who took the photos of the sleepy cop on Feb. 16. Read More: Daily News

 

Knicks lose to Heat; Lin plays poorly

Jeremy Lin finally met his match last night, and it was ugly. In by far his worst performance during this 12-game surreal surge, Lin fell apart under the South Beach spotlight and the Knicks caved with him in a disappointing 102-88 loss to the mighty Heat last night at rabid AmericanAirlines Arena. “He can’t be Peter Pan every night,’’ Mike D’Antoni said. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and point guard Mario Chalmers made sure Linsanity calmed down as the Heat (27-7) won their eighth straight game by 12 or more points — one short of an NBA record. Read More: New York Post
19K taxi drivers accused of ripping off passengers won’t face charges

It was one of the biggest scandals in the taxi industry’s history, but nearly 90 percent of the 21,819 cabbies accused of ripping off passengers with inflated fares will get off scot-free, The Post has learned. In a stunning move, the Taxi & Limousine Commission is giving a free ride to 19,515 yellow-cab drivers caught setting their meters to the higher, out-of-town rate while traveling around the city. Overall, officials estimated that unwary passengers were fleeced for $1.1 million between 2008 and 2010. Of that, $238,854 in overcharges was attributed to the cabbies who will escape penalties. Read More: New York Post

Jimmy Fallon sings ode to Knicks guard Jeremy Lin on Late Night

Jeremy Lin’s game has spoken so loudly that comic Jimmy Fallon performed a Pearl Jam parody to honor the Knicks point guard. With a scraggly wig on his head, Fallon sang a tribute to the Harvard grad to the tune of the band’s 1992 hit “Jeremy.” “At home, shooting free throws and three point shots, waiting for a job/name not yet a pun/Carmelo injury,” he croons. “Came out of nowhere like an Asian Tebow.” Read More: Daily News

 

5 injured in Long Island house fire

Authorities on Long Island are investigating an early morning house fire in which five people were injured. Nassau County arson bomb squad detectives say the fire broke out at the Levittown house on Prentice Lane at 12:30 a.m. today. The four occupants — a 46-year-old woman and three 11-year-old children — managed to get out of the house quickly. They suffered smoke inhalation and were transported to a hospital for treatment. Read More: New York Post

New video shows Bronx boy, 8, just before shooting


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

New video shows Bronx boy, 8, just before shooting

An 8-year-old boy was checking out a rack of potato chips inside a Bronx bodega just before taking a bullet in his shoulder, a shocking surveillance video shows. The stunned tyke in a gray track suit, who sources identified as Armando Bigo, can be seen gripping his left shoulder immediately after being shot inside Papa Yali’s Deli in Soundview. Sources said two other people inside the bodega may have been the intended targets of a bike-riding gunman who fired into the small Randall Avenue storefront around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. The boy was taken to Jacobi Medical Center with a non life-threatening gunshot wound. Read More: New York Post

Long Island woman one of two Western journalists killed in Syria shelling

Two Western journalists were killed Wednesday in the flashpoint city of Homs after Syrian security forces shelled the building where they were staying. UK foreign secretary William Hague confirmed that the journalists were Marie Colvin from Long Island, a veteran war correspondent for The (London) Sunday Times, and French freelance photographer Remi Ochlik. Read More: New York Post

 

Whitney had drug cocktail

Whitney Houston had a deadly mixture of Valium, Xanax and alcohol in her system when her life was cut short at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the eve of the Grammys, according to a report yesterday. Although the coroner is awaiting final toxicology results to determine which one of the three played the largest role in her death, the preliminary results almost certainly rule out that Houston drowned, although she was found partially submerged in a bathtub. Read More: New York Post

 

Man, 81, pushed to tracks in iPhone theft

An 81-year-old man was shoved onto the tracks at a Brooklyn elevated subway station after he chased a teen who stole his iPhone, authorities said yesterday. The victim was waiting for a J train at the Lorimer Street station in Williamsburg at about 11:45 a.m. Friday when a young punk grabbed his smartphone and took off, cops said. When the man started running after him, his accomplice shoved him onto the tracks, cops said. The victim was pulled from the roadbed and was in stable condition at Woodhull Hospital. Read More: New York Post

Providing Yankees peace of mind is part of Rivera’s legend

If this were just about replacing a closer — even a legendary closer — then the Yankees would have a difficult, yet plausible, job ahead. But if this really is Mariano Rivera’s last season, then the Yankees are on the clock toward something much more difficult: Replacing a feeling. It is not that Rivera avoided all failure. Heck, he blew Game 7 of the World Series. But, even when that ended the 2001 season, no one with the Yankees fretted for one second how that would impact 2002. Rivera would not be cowed and the internal clubhouse confidence in him would not waver. Ever. Read More: New York Post
 

Cardinal Dolan Makes Ash Wednesday Rounds

Cardinal Timothy Dolan hit the ground running this morning, for the start of the Lenten season. Just back from Rome, Dolan arrived at St. Francis of Assisi Church this morning where he handed out food to the homeless. A crowd of well-wishers was on hand to greet him as he started his busy day and to congratulate him on his elevation to the College of Cardinals. Dolan thanked everyone for their support and also addressed the importance of today. Read More: NY1

 

Police: Bicyclist Fired Shot That Hit Boy Inside Bronx Deli

An eight-year-old boy is recovering after being shot in the arm at a Bronx deli on Tuesday. Police say the child was inside Papa Yala’s Deli on Randall Avenue in Soundview when shots were fired from a man riding on a bicycle just before 8 p.m. Investigators say a bullet grazed the boy on his left shoulder. He was taken to Jacobi Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition. Residents said they were concerned for their children. Read More: NY1

 

Bronx Substitute Teacher Charged With Forcibly Touching Student

A city school employee was under arrest Tuesday, as one of the Chukwuma Duru, 27, a substitute teacher at Bronx Career and College Prep High School in Morrisania, was charged with forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. The Department of Education says the incident happened at the school on February 9 and involved a student there. Education officials also say the alleged incident does not appear sexual, but Duru has been removed from the school. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Rape Suspect Caught On Surveillance Video

Police are on the hunt for a man who they say tried to rape a woman in Queens this past weekend. Officials say the man, who was seen on surveillance video, grabbed a 25-year-old woman from behind Sunday night around 10:30 p.m. in Ridgewood. They say he then pushed her to the ground and tried to rape her, but snatched her purse and ran off when the woman began screaming for help. Read More: NY1

Chunk of Queensboro Bridge falls on Mercedes


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Chunk of Queensboro Bridge falls on Mercedes

A New Jersey man was driving to Queens Tuesday evening when he got an unexpected surprise — a piece of the Queensboro Bridge crashed through his Mercedes Benz. Andrew Campbell, 40, of Bergenfield, was heading to an indoor soccer game in Jackson Heights when he said a large screw and a piece of metal shattered the windshield of his white luxury car about 7 p.m. on the bridge’s lower level. Read More: New York Post

Playmate strips NY of $1.2M

Busty former Playboy Playmate Stephanie Adams was awarded $1.2 million yesterday after a Manhattan civil jury ruled she was the victim of excessive force by the NYPD. “I waited six years for this,” an emotional Adams said after the jury gave her $350,000 more than her lawyer had asked for from the 2006 run-in with cops, which was sparked when a cabby told cops the first openly lesbian Playmate threatened to shoot him — even though she sat in the back of his cab in a skimpy, skintight outfit that could barely conceal a cigarette lighter. Read More: New York Post

 

Mets strike out Kosher-dog vendor

Religious Jews attending Mets games at Citi Field on the Sabbath will have to stick to peanuts and Cracker Jacks. A judge yesterday ruled against a vendor who made a federal case out of the team’s order that it not peddle kosher hot dogs on Friday nights and Saturdays. Internal memos showed that team officials felt that Sabbath hot-dog sales did not cut the mustard under Jewish law and feared offending observant Jews. Read More: New York Post

New Agreement Could Bring 440-Seat Public School To Woodside

According to officials, a new 440-seat public school is coming to a lot at 57th Street and 39th Avenue in Woodside, Queens, and it will ideally provide some relief to the overcrowded PS 11. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Woman Claims Mold Drove Her From Home

A Queens woman says she’s struggling to find a new place to live after her apartment was recently overtaken by mold. Patrina Smith says she first noticed the problem in her bathroom last year. She asked her landlord to fix it, and a contractor came to clean it up but the mold came back just days later. Now, after months of back and forth, the mold has spread throughout her home. Smith says it’s taking a toll on her health. Read More: NY1

Ex-Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels pleads guilty to theft, ordered to pay $50K


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Ex-Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels pleads guilty to theft, ordered to pay $50K

Sticky-fingered ex-Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels dodged prison today by admitting he lined his pockets after swiping and selling millions of dollars worth of signed team hats, jerseys and other souvenirs. Samuels, 52, who was banned for life from CitiField and the Mets’ spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla, was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to repay about $50,000 in back taxes and restitution to the team and Queens DA’s office. Read More: New York Post

 

Cops arrest man in horrific New Jersey hit-and-run murder

A 26-year-old New Jersey man was arrested today for allegedly murdering his girlfriend by repeatedly running over her with his car in Fort Lee, NJ, yesterday after she attempted to break up with him, authorities said. Charles J. Ann, of Fort Lee, was busted in Queens, where he fled, authorities said. He’s being held in Queens Criminal Court on $3 million cash bail for allegedly killing Aena Hong, 25, also of Fort Lee. He was charged with first-degree murder. Read More: New York Post

 

Assemblywoman Grace Meng roasts Boston Market over racial remarks 

Assemblywoman Grace Meng said employees of a Boston Market in Flushing repeatedly referred to her as “la china” during a January visit to the chain restaurant. “Whether they were trying to be racist or not — it’s not appopriate,” said Meng (D-Flushing). “I was the only customer in there.” Meng, who has a basic knowledge of Spanish, confronted the workers after paying for her dinner, but they only shrugged. Read More: Daily News

Strauss-Kahn detained by French police over prostitution ring

French police detained former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn for questioning Tuesday over allegations he took part in orgies in Paris and Washington with prostitutes paid for by businessmen. The 62-year-old former Socialist senior lawmaker, who until last year was seen as the front-runner to replace Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France, had been summoned as a witness but prosecutors said he is now a suspect. Read More: New York Post

 

Eagle Academy to move into Allen Christian School

The city is giving a successful all-boys school with strong political ties its own building in southeast Queens, while moving a less-connected high school out of its own space and into a building occupied by a middle school. The Department of Education plans to sign a lease to put the Eagle Academy for Young Men into the Allen Christian School, in Jamaica, within the next few weeks, an agency official said. Read More: Daily News

Rihanna and Chris Brown record two suggestive songs together

Ill-fated exes Rihanna and Chris Brown are back together — a least in the studio. Three years after a lovers’ quarrel turned physical, leaving Rihanna in the hospital and Brown pleading guilty to assault charges, the former couple has teamed up for two new remixes. While Rihanna lends her voice to Brown’s “Turn Up the Music,” the Barbadian pop star invited Brown to sing on her explicit track, “Birthday Cake.” The lyrics of both songs appear to imply that the two might have rekindled their romance. Read More: New York Post

 

Anonymous hackers could disrupt US power grid, official warns

The director of the National Security Agency warned that the hacking group Anonymous could have the ability within the next year or two to bring about a limited power outage in the US through a cyber attack. Gen. Keith Alexander, the agency’s director, provided his assessment in meetings at the White House and in other private sessions, according to people familiar with the gatherings. While he has not publicly expressed his concerns about the potential for Anonymous to disrupt power supplies, he has warned publicly about an emerging ability by cyber attackers to disable or even damage computer networks. Read More: New York Post

 

Famous masterpiece ‘The Scream’ to fetch $80M at New York auction

A version of Edvard Munch’s famous masterpiece “The Scream” is expected to fetch more than $80 million at a New York auction, Sotheby’s announced Tuesday. The work, which is one of four versions of the composition and the only one still in private hands, dates from 1895 and is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and customer of the artist. “The haunting composition stands as the visual embodiment of modern anxiety and existential dread, referenced by everyone from Andy Warhol to The Simpsons,” the auctioneer said in a statement. Read More: New York Post

 

Trial starts for owner of E. Side’s killer crane

Long decades of ethnic violence, genocide and religious repression in their native Kosovo could not crush the family of Ramadan Kurtaj. Instead, it took the freakish horror of one moment — a massive tower crane plummeting out of the Manhattan sky. “How? How can this happen in the United States?” Kurtaj’s heartbroken father, Uka, said yesterday, red-faced and sobbing on the eve of trial for the millionaire crane magnate charged with manslaughter in the East 91st Street crane collapse of 2008. Read More: New York Post

Knife terror aboard N train


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Knife terror aboard N train

A crazed subway panhandler pulled a knife and threatened a straphanger on a crowded train yesterday before being subdued by a good Samaritan and held until cops arrived, authorities and witnesses said. The 35-year-old woman boarded the Manhattan-bound N train at around 6:40 p.m. at Queensboro Plaza and began asking for money. Another woman, 52, began mocking her, unleashing the vagrant’s anger. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Witness-tamper’ hit vs. Espada

The feds claim former New York Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. coached a woman to lie before a federal grand jury investigating corruption allegations against him, The Post has learned. Although witness tampering is a crime, Brooklyn federal prosecutors are not charging Espada with new counts stemming from the incident — but they want the jury in his upcoming corruption trial to hear about the alleged misconduct. Read More: New York Post

 

Soaring Gas Prices Fuel Concerns Among City Drivers

Drivers in the city and across the nation are being hit with record high prices at the pump. Gas prices are the highest ever for this time of year and experts say they will only continue to rise. The national average for a gallon of regular hit $3.57 cents, up more than a quarter since January 1. Prices in New York are even higher. The current average in the city is $3.96, up 15 percent from a year ago. Read More: NY1

 

Dolan’s mother meets Pope Benedict

Capping a whirlwind nine-day trip with a final visit to the Vatican, Timothy Cardinal Dolan introduced his 84-year-old mom to Pope Benedict XVI yesterday — then jokingly asked the pontiff if he could make her “the first lady of the College of Cardinals.” Amid cheers and applause, Dolan walked his mom, Shirley, up to the stage to greet his boss during a papal audience before an enthusiastic crowd inside the Paul VI Hall. “Holy Father, here is my mom!” Dolan said he told the pope. Read More: New York Post

 

Rivera’s early arrival could signal end of Yankees career

The chair was occupied, and — in its own way — that was perhaps the first clue it would not be for much longer. When the clubhouse door opened to the media early yesterday morning, there was Mariano Rivera sitting at his locker. On the surface, so what? But there are Mo Rules in spring, and one is that he will not report on time. No one around the Yankees cares. He is Mariano Rivera, and his history is he shows up in great shape, pinpointing pitches and needing six to eight innings in all to be ready for Opening Day. Read More: New York Post

JetBlue sign ordeal

JetBlue wants to light up the New York skyline with its iconic blue logo — but it must first clear layers of city red tape before taking off. The airline, which will move its corporate headquarters to Long Island City next month, plans to erect a 40-foot lighted sign on the rooftop of its new building at 27-01 Queens Plaza North. “When complete, it will be easily seen from the east side of Manhattan across the river,” JetBlue said. But JetBlue’s proposal must be reviewed and approved by two community boards, the borough president, the City Planning Commission, the City Council and mayor. Read More: New York Post