Tag Archives: harlem

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

 

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

6 months for yeshiva perv

A yeshiva student admitted yesterday to inappropriately touching two 8-year-old girls to whom he was giving private religious instruction. Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter sentenced Hillel Selznicek, 25, to six months in prison, calling him a “wolf in sheep’s clothing’’ who “betrayed their trust in the most disgusting way.’’

Read More: New York Post

 

Weiner a jerk before crotchgate, craved media attention: book

Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner was behaving like a jerk long before the world got a glimpse of his crotch. A new book offering an inside look at the US House of Representatives depicts Weiner as a desperately ambitious loudmouth who berated his staff and would do or say anything for TV airtime. Weiner “would enter his office in the Rayburn Building screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Why the f–k am I not on MSNBC?!’” journalist Robert Draper wrote in “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives.” Read More: New York Post

 

Rapper guilty in ’93 slay

Former Bad Boy rapper G. Dep was convicted yesterday of a decades-old murder — a cold-case East Harlem shooting that was solved only when he walked into a station house two years ago and turned himself in, to square himself with God. The 37-year-old father of three now faces the mandatory minimum sentence for murder — 15 years. “I told him to not regret his decision and that God won’t abandon him,” said his lawyer, Anthony Ricco. “Trevell Coleman is a very courageous person,” he added, using the rapper’s given name. Read More: New York Post


Delta Flight With Blown Tire Able To Land Safely At JFK

John F. Kennedy International Airport had a nerve-wracking scene Wednesday as a Delta flight from Paris with a blown tire tried to land. A Delta spokesman says Flight 185 to New York blew the tire while taking off from Charles de Gaulle Airport in France. The crew was not sure if the tire was blown when the plane was airborne. The spokesman said air traffic controllers with binoculars were able to see the deflated tire during a fly-by before the landing at JFK. Tire debris was also found on the runway. Read More: NY1

 

NYPD’s Transit Patrol Dogs Now Train In Long Island City

The NYPD’s Transit K9 Unit has moved to Long Island City, Queens from Downtown Brooklyn, and MTA officials say part of the reason is so the new facility can be in the center of the city’s mass transit system. Read More: NY1

 

Sudan diplomat’s wife is shot, wounded by stray bullet in Queens

The wife of a Sudanese diplomat was struck by a stray bullet in Queens while she was with two of her young children, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday. The tots miraculously escaped injury. The violence unfolded as Mawahad Elbahi, 31, was carrying her year-old son and her 3-year-old daughter at her side on 31st Drive in Astoria Tuesday afternoon. They were waiting for her 5-year-old son to be dropped off by his school bus when bullets started to fly. Read More: Daily News

 

Queens kindergarten waiting lists up at zoned schools

The number of incoming Queens kindergartners who were wait-listed to get into their zoned public schools rose this year, according to city data. About 950 of the borough’s prospective kindergartners were on waiting lists. The longest in the borough was at Public School 307 in Corona where 109 were on the list — making it the city’s third-largest wait. The number of new Queens kindergartners waiting for seats is up roughly 7% over last year. Read More: Daily News

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

NYPD Officer Critically Wounded By East Harlem Suspect

A city police officer is in critical condition this afternoon after being stabbed in the head by an alleged emotionally disturbed man in East Harlem, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly confirmed this afternoon. It happened around 10:30 a.m near the corner of 107th Street and Third Avenue. Commissioner Kelly says Officer Eder Loor, who is assigned to the 23rd Precinct, was responding to a 911 call made by the mother of the suspect – identified as Terrance Hale – over concerns he needed to be taken to the hospital. Kelly says when Officer Loor and his partner went to meet Hale’s mother inside their building, Hale emerged from the elevator in the lobby. Read More: NY1

 

 

New Yorkers Rush To Meet Tax Deadline Today

After two extra days, the deadline for New Yorkers to file their tax return or request an extension has arrived. While most people have already filed, those who have not have until midnight to get their returns postmarked. Taxpayers got a reprieve from the traditional April 15 deadline, because it fell on a Sunday. Then the deadline was pushed back an extra day because of a local holiday in Washington. Some procrastinators got an early start at the main post office in Midtown this morning. “It’s the excitement of waiting for the last day. No, cause you have to send in money so no need to pay it in advance. Pay it the last possible day,” said one New Yorker. Read More: NY1

 

WTC hero dies in 3-alarm B’klyn blazeB’klyn blaze strikes down 9/11 vet
An FDNY lieutenant hailed for his courage on 9/11 died yesterday battling a stubborn blaze in a sprawling commercial building in Brooklyn. The fallen Bravest, father of two Rich Nappi, 47, was overcome by the heat and collapsed while fighting the three-alarm fire at 930 Flushing Ave. in Bushwick at around 3:30 p.m., officials said. His comrades ripped off his heavy gear in a desperate bid to save him from the apparent heart attack. “Lieutenant Nappi overheated, suffered exhaustion and collapsed. He was rushed here to Woodhull Hospital, but despite the best efforts of medical personnel, he eventually died,” a grim-faced Mayor Bloomberg said. Read More: New York Post

Three injured after taxi slams into East Side hotel

Three people suffered minor injuries when a taxi collided with a truck on the East Side of Manhattan early Tuesday morning, according to police. The impact at Lexington and E 48th St. sent the cab into the Radisson Hotel. The drivers of the taxi and the tractor trailer are blaming each other for running a red light, according to a Fox 5 News report from the scene. No one was seriously injured. Read More: New York Post

Richard Hovan, ex-teacher at pricey Riverdale Country School in Bronx, indicted for bedding student

An Ivy League math whiz who taught at a prestigious Bronx prep school was busted for bedding one of his female students, authorities said. Ex-Riverdale Country School instructor Richard Hovan, 30, was indicted Monday in Manhattan Criminal Court on two felony counts of criminal sex act and endangering the welfare of a child. Read More: Daily News

Housing markets in Queens and the Bronx heat up as economy stabilizes

Queens and the Bronx are making a comeback. Home sales rose in the double digits in both boroughs during the first quarter of the year, as competitive prices and low interest rates brought buyers back to the table, according to a report from the Real Estate Board of New York. “These are areas with a lot of middle-income housing where low interest rates really make a difference,” REBNY senior vice president Mike Slattery said. Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

‘Disabled’ FDNYer with $95K pension now a NASCAR rescuer

Cliff Stabner, a 55-year-old city firefighter who retired in 2003 with a three-quarter disability pension of $95,000 annually, has surfaced as a member of the fire rescue team responding to crashes at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.The Post has obtained photos of Stabner wearing an orange jumpsuit and a helmet and standing next to a rescue vehicle at Dover’s “Monster Mile’’ track. Stabner also is a fire captain in his quaint new hometown of Lewes, Del. Read More: New York Post

Police release photos of subway ‘slayer’

The hunt continues for a man who scuffled with a college student on a Brooklyn subway platform moments before he was crushed to death by a train pulling into the station. Joshua Basin was killed Friday night after he and a drunken passenger got off a train at the Bedford Avenue station and engaged in a fight that carried them both to the train tracks below. Cops and witnesses described the man as a 30-something with a thin build, light complexion, and dirty blond hair with pock marks on the right side of his face. Read More: New York Post

VIDEO: Cops wound ex-con in Harlem shootout

A rookie cop yesterday wounded a man during a shootout on a Harlem street, authorities said. When two officers approached a group standing in front of the Drew Hamilton Houses at about 6:30 p.m., Franklyn Nunez bolted up Frederick Douglass Boulevard, police said, The cop gave chase, and Nunez allegedly spun around and fired twice. No one was struck and the officer returned fire. Read More: New York Post

Man dead in early-morning Bronx shooting

A man was shot and killed in The Bronx early today, police said. The shooting happened at about 2:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of Morrison Avenue, near Westchester Avenue in the 43rd Precinct. Police say a 29-year-old man was shot in the chest and buttocks. Emergency crews rushed the man to Jacobi Hospital, but it was too late. Read More: New York Post

Manhattan Churchgoers Wear Hoodies In Solidarity With Slain Florida Teen

Worshippers at the Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village wore hooded sweatshirts on Sunday in memory of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teenager who wore a similar garment when he was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer last month. George Zimmerman, 28, says he shot the 17-year-old boy in self-defense and was not charged by police in Sanford, Fla. Martin, however, turned out to be unarmed and carrying a bag of Skittles candies. Red More: NY1

 

 

Man Allegedly Robs Livery Cab Driver At Knifepoint

Police were searching Sunday for a man they say robbed a livery cab driver at knifepoint last week in Manhattan. Authorities say the 26-year-old driver brought the robber from Queens to an address on East 36th street in Murray Hill last Tuesday night. They say the knife-wielding suspect then forced the driver out of the car and stole his money before running off. The driver was not injured. Read More: NY1

 

 

Terror on the tracks: More passengers struck by trains 

Straphangers were hit by subway trains a terrifying 147 times in 2011 — a sharp leap from the year before when 128 passengers were struck, MTA data reviewed by the Daily News shows. The deadly statistic — a 15% jump — means that every 2.5 days a rider is struck by a train, according to a report on customer safety that will be discussed at the MTA’s Transit Committee on Monday. Read More: Daily News

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Fianceé of accused ‘rape’ cop stands by her man during testimony

She knows what he’s charged with — and she still loves him. The petite and pretty brunette fianceé of accused ‘rape’ cop Michael Pena tried to humanize the alleged fiend in testimony at his predatory sex attack trial today — insisting he’s the kind of guy who enjoys family movies, cute cat videos and adorable nicknames. Read More: New York Post

Ex-senator John Edwards denies report he patronized hooker linked to accused Soccer Mom Madam Anna Gristina 

Former Sen. John Edwards is denying a report that he used the services of a call girl employed by accused Soccer Mom Madam Anna Gristina while he was running for President. The woman told investigators that Edwards paid her for sex during a 2007 visit to New York to raise money for his failed White House bid, DNAinfo reported Thursday. Read More: Daily News

 

One construction worker dead, 2 others injured in Harlem building collapse

A worker was crushed to death this morning and two others were injured after a building collapsed in Harlem, authorities said. The construction workers were demolishing the one-story building at 604-606 West 131 Street near Broadway at 7:51 a.m. when the accident occurred, police said. The building, which is owned by Columbia University, is part of a plan on the part of the Ivy League school to expand across a section of upper Manhattan. Read More: New York Post

 

72-year-old man charged with killing neighbor in Brooklyn

Police arrested a 72-year-old Brooklyn man and charged him with killing his neighbor in East Flatbush last night. Cops say Ronald Black shot and killed Cornell Heslop, 43, in the basement of the East 93rd Street home where the two men rented separate rooms, around 10:15 p.m., last night. Heslop was hit in the chest and pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital. Black walked into the 67th precinct around 12:30 a.m. to claim he had been the victim of a robbery, sources said. Read More: New York Post

 

Appeals Court Upholds City’s Plan To Expand Taxi Service

A federal appeals court has given the city a green light to roll ahead with it’s taxi reform plan despite objections from advocates for the disabled. They’re upset 2,000 new taxi medallions are about to be given out to a fleet that is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Taxi and Limousine Commission was ordered to produce a detailed plan on how to remedy the problem. Read More: NY1

 

Rev. Sharpton To Lead Rally In Florida Over Teen’s Shooting

The Reverend Al Sharpton is scheduled to lead a rally in Sanford, Florida today calling for an arrest in the killing of an unarmed teen. He’s traveling with former Governor David Paterson. After the rally, Sharpton will head to Alabama, where his mother passed away this morning. Hundreds gathered yesterday for a rally in Union Square in memory of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Martin was shot and killed in an Orlando suburb last month by a neighborhood watch captain. George Zimmerman says he shot the teen in self defense after a confrontation. Read More: NY1

 

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Mets Owners Sell Team Shares Following $162M Settlement With Madoff Victims’ Trustee

Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz last week sold 12 minority stakes in the troubled franchise worth $240 million, using the proceeds to pay off Major League Baseball and reduce the team’s crippling debt, The Post has learned. With the moves, the team now has breathing room with its lenders and — combined with yesterday’s Picard settlement — appears to have saved the franchise. Read More: NY1

 

Mets owners could actually make money in Madoff settlement

It’s the biggest win for the Mets since 1986 — but a huge letdown for the fans. The team’s stingy owners will remain at the helm after striking a sweetheart settlement with the lawyer tasked with recouping billions from Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme — and the deal actually casts them as victims of the fraud. The deal heads off a risky jury trial, where a loss could have cost owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz up to $383 million and control of the franchise. Read More: New York Post

 

Rangers edge Devils, clinch playoff spot in East

Brandon Dubinsky scored shortly after a fight-filled opening faceoff, and the Rangers became the first Eastern Conference team to earn a playoff spot by beating the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Monday night. Three fights broke out at the outset and that seemed to jump-start the Rangers, who had lost two straight and five of seven as their once commanding lead in the East dwindled to almost nothing. Read More: New York Post

 

Trayvon Martin shooting: Feds to investigate killing of unarmed black teen by Florida neighborhood watch captain

The growing national attention – and outcry – over the case of an unarmed black teen in Florida who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch captain has culminated with the federal government’s announcement that it will launch an investigation. The announcement late Monday by the Justice Department followed a day of protests calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman, 28, who claims he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last month in self-defense during a confrontation in a gated community. Read More: Daily News

 

Cops nab burglary suspect — but hunt for ‘Vaseline Bandit’ continues

Police who were already hunting for a burglar who has brazenly pulled off 14 apartment break-ins in Upper Manhattan — using Vaseline to block door peepholes — captured another apartment thief re-handed, casually watching TV, in the middle of a heist tonight. But law enforcement sources said the 20-something perp is not the so-called Vaseline Bandit, who is in his 50s. Read More: New York Post

 

Government may make it easier for airlines to allow passengers to use personal electronic devices during takeoffs and landings

The government is taking a tentative step toward making it easier for airlines to allow passengers to use personal electronic devices such as tablets, e-readers and music players during takeoffs and landings. The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is “exploring ways to bring together all of the key stakeholders involved” – including airlines, aircraft manufacturers, consumer electronics makers, and flight attendant unions – to discuss whether there are practical ways to test devices to see if they are safe for passengers to use during critical phases of flight. Read More: Daily News

 

Peyton Manning finalizing contract with Broncos

All that’s needed is Peyton Manning’s autograph. After being pursued by teams around the NFL, the QB with four MVP awards is headed to the land of John Elway and Tim Tebow, agreeing to a contract with Denver that could make the Broncos an instant Super Bowl contender. It could also send one of the NFL’s most intriguing young players packing. So much for Tebowmania. Manning called Elway on Monday morning and told the Broncos executive that he had chosen Denver over the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers in the wildest free-agent chase of the offseason. Read More: Yahoo Sports

 

3 wounded in Harlem shooting

A gunman shot three men across from a Harlem playground this afternoon, police said. The unknown assailant blasted his victims in front of a deli across from the St. Nicholas Playground on West 129th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue about 2:30 p.m., cops said. A 30-year-old man was wounded in the left hand and leg, a 25-year-old was shot in the left leg, and a 23-year-old was wounded in the butt, authorities said. Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD Ups Security In Wake Of Jewish School Shooting In France

The NYPD yesterday deployed hundreds of cops to synagogues and Jewish neighborhoods citywide after a gunman fatally shot three kids and a rabbi at a Jewish school in France. “Obviously, we’re concerned about what happened in Toulouse,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said of the shooting. Read More: NY1

 

Jail guard shot

An off-duty Rikers correction officer was shot by her boyfriend last night outside a Queens diner, police sources said. The woman was hit in the stomach near the USA Diner on Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton at 10:50 p.m., cops said. The shooter fled. It wasn’t immediately clear what sparked the fight. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Gangster’ sought in groom slay

They picked the wrong guy to push around. The Staten Island restaurant worker reportedly thrown to the ground by groom-to-be Anthony Lacertosa and his boozing buddies was purported Albanian gangster Redinel Dervishaj, who then allegedly killed Lacertosa with a butcher knife. Investigators believe Dervishaj, 35, has since fled the city, a law-enforcement source said. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Mad Men’ star Jon Hamm sticks to his guns in calling Kim Kardashian an ‘idiot’

Square-jawed “Mad Men” actor Jon Hamm is sick of your stupid shtick. Channeling his straight-shooting character Don Draper,  Hamm put Kim Kardashian in her place Monday, dissing the curvaceous celebutard yet again. NBC “Today” show host Matt Lauer asked the AMC retro-series actor to clarify the earlier comments he made to Elle UK about Kardashian being a famous-for-being-famous “idiot,” which the reality starlet called “careless.” Read More: Daily News

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens man indicted for New Year’s Day fire-bomb spree

A Queens man has been indicted on state and federal charges for a fire-bombing spree that targeted an Islamic mosque, a Hindu temple, a convenience store and three homes over several hours on New Year’s Day, authorities announced today. Accused fire-bug, Ray Lazier Lengend, also known as Suraj Poonai, already was in jail after being arrested within days for all but one of those incidents, which spanned Queens and Long Island. Read More: New York Post

 

Federal Judges Approve State’s New Congressional Districts

A three-judge panel in Brooklyn federal court has approved a map for New York’s new congressional districts that was proposed by a federal magistrate earlier this month. Due to population changes around the country, New York is set to lose two members of Congress this year, going from 29 seats in the House of Representatives to 27. The map drawn by federal magistrate Roanne Mann keeps most of the current districts, but one change is a new Queens district that is almost 40 percent Asian-American. Read More: NY1

 

Peyton near deal with Broncos

Peyton Manning wants to play for the Denver Broncos in Act II of his outstanding career. A person briefed on negotiations said the NFL’s only four-time MVP called Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams and told him that he had picked the Broncos. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter. Read More: New York Post

 

Shopping cart victim says she wishes boys who hurt her ‘well’

A Manhattan charity worker who was nearly killed by a shopping cart pushed over a garage railing by teenage punks in October spoke publicly for the first time today — expressing compassion for the pranksters who dropped the cart on her head. Marion Hedges, during a walk outside her Upper East Side apartment, said she hasn’t received an apology from the evil-doers. Read More: New York Post

 

12 injured in Brooklyn bus accident

Twelve people were injured in a bus accident in Brooklyn today, fire officials said. The collision occurred shortly after 10 a.m. after a car blew through a red light on Avenue J and rammed into a B11 bus, said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz. At least three of the dozen people injured were passengers on the bus, Ortiz said. The victims were taken to Lutheran Medical Center and Kings County Hospital. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Shakedown’ rabbi loses appeal

A Manhattan appeals court today upheld the conviction of a crooked Brooklyn rabbi for trying to shake down billionaire Steve Cohen’s hedge fund with phony allegations of inside trading. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Rabbi Milton Balkany’s claim that jurors should have been allowed to consider if he was entrapped, saying “Balkany failed to present any evidence that the government ‘induced’ him to commit the crimes charged.” Read More: New York Post

 

Tennessee woman gets no-jail deal after trying to check gun at 9/11 Memorial

A registered nurse and fourth-year med student got a no-jail, misdemeanor deal today for the Tennessee-registered gun she tried to check at the 9/11 Memorial in December. Manhattan prosecutors this morning dropped the felony gun possession charges Meredith Graves had originally been slammed with — charges carrying a mandatory minimum of 3 1/2 years prison. Read More: New York Post

This Morning’s Top Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens woman shot to death on her porch

A mother of two was gunned down in a hail of bullets outside her Queens home early yesterday after a vengeful woman she bumped into in a nearby nightclub called in a hit squad, law-enforcement sources said. Sandra Bajnath, 39, was with her husband, Anthony Tika, 38, and their friend Sean Seepaul, 26, at Food Hut Restaurant and Bar when Bajnath accidentally bumped into the unidentified woman at around 3:30 a.m., the sources said. Read More: New York Post

 

Shocking video reveals hero teen’s brave stand to stop pals’ attack

He’s a teenage hero in one of the city’s most horrific pranks-gone-bad. In chilling video obtained exclusively by The Post, 14-year-old Achilles Baskin of Harlem is seen frantically trying to stop two twisted pals from pushing a shopping cart off a third-floor parking garage onto Manhattan mom Marion Hedges below — an act of bravery that he says still haunts him today. Read More & Watch the Video: New York Post

 

Police hunting Occupy Wall Street cop-kill tweeter

The NYPD is investigating an apparent Occupy Wall Street protester who made threats on Twitter Saturday about killing cops. “We won’t make a difference if we don’t kill a cop or 2,” someone with the Twitter handle Smackema1 posted at about 11:40 p.m. to Ustream, which showed footage of the Zuccotti Park protests in Manhattan. Read More: New York Post

 

Lively Queens House Party Ends With Collapsed Floor

Neighbors yesterday said they weren’t shocked when the third floor of a Queens home suddenly gave way and turned into a giant slide — sending as many as 100 teens attending a 13-year-old’s birthday party tumbling down. Miraculously, no one died, and only one person was seriously hurt — the older sister of the birthday boy. She’s expected to be OK. Read More: New York Post

 

Rep. Bob Turner blames Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and President Obama for high gasoline prices

Rep. Bob Turner opened his primary fight for the New York Republican Senate nomination with a familiar target — President Obama. The Republican hopeful perched in front of a Manhattan gas station Sunday and blasted Obama for blocking the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and for the price of gas in the city, which now tops $4 a gallon. Read More: Daily News

 

Liu chooses & biz ‘abuses’

Comptroller John Liu has awarded $6 million in contracts to manage city pension funds to a firm under investigation by New York federal and state prosecutors over claims it ripped off millions from public-employee pension systems around the world, The Post has learned.Boston-based State Street Corp. has faced litigation from state governments in Washington and California, as well as the United Kingdom, dating back to 2009 — each alleging the company fraudulently overbilled their retirement funds during so-called “foreign exchange” trades. Read More: New York Post

 

Police Investigate Fatal Stabbing Of Engaged Staten Island Man

Authorities are investigating after a Staten Island man was stabbed to death on Saturday just hours after his engagement party. Antonio Lacertosa, 27, of Staten Island was stabbed in the torso early Saturday morning, outside the Espana Restaurant in Annadale. The engagement party was held at another location before the group headed to Espana. Read More: NY1

 

Teacher Jonathan Polayes has avoided being fired despite years of accusations of misconduct

He’s been repeatedly accused of groping girls and making lewd comments about their breasts, thighs and bottoms — but the city just can’t get rid of this Teflon teacher. Jonathan Polayes, 60, a 22-year veteran of city schools, was one of the eight staffers singled out Thursday following Chancellor Dennis Walcott’s review of all misconduct cases since 2000. Read More: Daily News

 

Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and NY Knicks seem to be buying into interim coach Mike Woodson’s plan

The Knicks already have won three straight convincing games since Mike Woodson was promoted to replace Mike D’Antoni after D’Antoni resigned last Wednesday. Now, it’s time to see if they can take advantage of a key five-game segment and really start making a move up the Eastern Conference ladder. Read More: Daily News

Gun-toting teen busted after fatally shooting man in Queens


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Gun-toting teen busted after fatally shooting man in Queens

A gun-toting punk was busted moments after fatally blasting a man in the chest in Queens today, police said. Police officers raced to the scene after hearing gunfire break out at 12:30 a.m. in Jamaica, police said. They found the armed 19-year-old suspect standing over the wounded victim, who was lying motionless in front of 107-11 159 Street. Read More: New York Post

 

Bronx ADA fired from her job pleads guilty to DUI, gets no jail time

The Bronx prosecutor who was allegedly driving drunk and later lost her job in the DA’s office accepted a deal in the case this morning and pleaded guilty to DUI, saying she is “deeply sorry” for her actions. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Troiano, who was fired Jan. 13, pleaded guilty in Bronx Supreme Court and will get no jail time. Read More: New York Post

Man Pulled From East Harlem Trench Collapse

The New York City Fire Department says one person has been pulled from the ground following a trench collapse in East Harlem this morning. It happened around 11:30 a.m. near a commercial building under construction located at 122nd Street near Park Avenue. The man’s condition was not immediately known. NY1 has a crew at the scene and will have more information as it becomes available. Read More: NY1

NYC man faces sentencing in homegrown terror case

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for a New York City-born man convicted last year of traveling to the Middle East to avenge abuse of Muslims. Betim Kaziu is due back in federal court in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon for sentencing. A jury found Kaziu guilty of conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization. He also was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and other charges. Read More: New York Post

Banker charged with cabby stabbing put on leave

Morgan Stanley is putting Manhattan investment banker W. Bryan Jennings, who was charged with stabbing a cab driver over a late-night fare, on a leave of absence, The Post has learned. Jennings is co-head of North American fixed-income capital markets at the New York investment bank. Sources said the bank is waiting to see how the matter is resolved before reinstating Jennings. Read More: New York Post

Shot cop slays gun fiend


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane
Shot cop slays gun fiend

An NYPD detective was shot in the arm during a wild gun battle in a Harlem subway station yesterday — but he was amazingly able to return fire and kill the suspect, officials said. Career criminal Michael McBride and Queens Detective Kevin Herlihy exchanged 19 shots during the 4:20 p.m. violence — sending terrified straphangers running for cover in the crowded station at St. Nicholas Avenue and West 145th Street. McBride, 52 — who was wanted for shooting his ex-girlfriend’s daughter in the head Monday — died at the scene with a bullet to the chest. Read More: New York Post

Husband back in Queens after wife-slay bust

A Queens man accused of stabbing and beating his wife to death with a baseball bat before fleeing to Connecticut was hauled back yesterday to face a murder rap. Jordan Hawes, 32, killed Tara Hawes — a special-education teacher in Williamsburg — in their Astoria home earlier this month and then tried to pawn a wedding band, authorities charged. Cops said he tried to cover up the crime by sending texts to relatives from the victim’s phone saying she wasn’t going to work because of a family emergency. Hawes was found sleeping in his wife’s Jeep on Feb. 4 in a Fairfield parking lot. He surrendered to Connecticut cops, telling them, “I did something wrong,” sources told The Post. Read More: New York Post

 

Man gets 24 years in prison for killing ex-girlfriend in Queens
A jealous ex-boyfriend who “stole” a vibrant young woman from a loving Queens family was sentenced today to 24 years in prison for the horrendous murder. Segundo Penafiel, 28, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this month, was sentenced to 24 years in prison by Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter for repeatedly stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Ebony Garcia, as her 3-year-old daughter, Chloe, stood nearby. “You stole Ebony from us! You should rot in hell you bastard!” Garcia’s heartbroken mother, Julie Perez, shouted at the killer as tears flowed down her face. Read More: New York Post

 

Never a doubt guard’s legend would grow with game-winner

Around the arena, inevitability ruled the moment. Among 20,092 people inside Air Canada Centre, all of them on their feet. Among the Toronto Raptors, who could sense they were being set up as patsies. Among the Knicks, of course, who have come to believe that there is nothing their point guard can’t do. And, yes: Watching Jeremy Lin, you could see it in him, too. “My teammates trust me with the ball at the end of the game,” Lin would say. Trust him? It takes everything they’ve got not to stand up and applaud him at the end of these games now. Read More: New York Post

 

Governor Cuomo gets high approval rating in Quinnipiac poll; voters support casinos in New York

Gov. Cuomo got some strong pre-Valentine’s Day love from New Yorkers, while casinos and a mammoth gambling-convention center at Aqueduct Racetrack received a peck on the cheek, according to a new poll. The Quinnipiac University survey released today also found President Obama with 50 percent approval and re-election ratings in the Empire State, while U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dipped below the magic mark. But despite the love for Cuomo, voters by 58-42 said they were dissatisfied with the way things are going in New York. Read More: New York Post
Whitney Houston’s Newark funeral to be invitation-only

Fans wishing to pay their last respects to pop icon Whitney Houston will have to be on the VIP list. Attendance at Houston’s Saturday afternoon sendoff is by invitation only after Houston’s mom, Cissy, insisted the ceremony be held in her home church in Newark instead of the nearby Prudential Center. Instead of mourners being accommodated at the 19,000-seat arena, friends and family will have to squeeze into one of New Hope Baptist Church’s 1,500 spots. Read More: New York Post

Police officer shot in Harlem


| brennison@queenscourier.com

An NYPD officer was shot in Harlem just before 4:30 p.m. today, police said.

The officer was shot in the left arm during a chase with a perp that left the suspect dead.

The perp, a black male in his 50s, was shot in the chest and declared dead on the scene, according to police.

The shooting occurred at West 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue.  The officer, who reports say was part of the Queens violent felony squad, was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

Luxe penthouse up in smoke


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Luxe penthouse up in smoke

A raging fire destroyed a luxurious, multimillion-dollar penthouse on the Upper East Side last night, authorities said. The blaze started at 7:50 p.m. at 2 East End Ave., quickly engulfing the three-floor penthouse in flames. It took firefighters more than an hour to get the inferno under control, the FDNY said. The triplex penthouse was taken off the market about six months ago after being listed for $14.95 million. The 6,700 square-foot condo has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a grand staircase. Read More: New York Post

 

Manning capable of Giant step

Eli Manning delivered a Super Bowl championship four years ago when no one thought he could, and today it is time for him to put his stamp on a special delivery postmarked New York, N.Y. Manning and the Giants were Road Warriors who rode that Big, Blue magic carpet from Tampa to Dallas to Green Bay to Glendale, Ariz., and Super Bowl XLII, and all the while old Giants Stadium sat dark and silent. It is time for Manning to show New York, show Giants fans inside MetLife Stadium, how an elite quarterback gets things done in the playoffs. Read More: New York Post

 

Beyonce gave birth last night: reports

Beyoncé has reportedly become Bey-MOM-cé. The superstar singer gave birth to a baby girl last night, according to her hometown paper the Houston Chronicle. The tot was delivered by c-section and hubby Jay-Z is telling pals her name is Ivy Blue Carter, E! Online reported. Both mom and daughter were doing fine. The Upper East Side medical center had been prepping a luxurious suite for her — and had just finished a major renovation of a dozen rooms and a nursing station for the pop queen and Jay-Z’s arrival, sources said. Read More: New York Post

 

Pizza race-slur outrage

When Harlem resident Minhee Cho, 24, ordered a small pizza from a Papa John’s restaurant, she was shocked to find that a staffer ID’d her as “lady chinky eyes” on her receipt. “I don’t think a giant corporation should write those things on a receipt,” Cho told The Post last night. “That’s poor management. It was surprising to see that on paper; if they had said it in person, it would have been worse.” Cho posted the receipt with the racial slur on her Twitter account yesterday, where it was viewed more than 100,000 times in less than four hours. Read More: New York Post

 

New York City school employee faked her child’s death to get extra vacation

A city school employee scammed a week off for a Costa Rica vacation by staging the mother of all hoaxes — convincing her bosses she couldn’t work because her daughter had died. Joan Barnett, a parent coordinator at the Manhattan High School of Hospitality Management, was so determined to make the spring break jaunt that she: Had one of her daughters call the school to say that her sister had suffered a heart attack in Costa Rica. Had another daughter call the school later that day to say that the sister had died and that about a dozen relatives, including Barnett, were traveling to the country for a funeral. Faxed a forged death certificate of her daughter “Xinia Daley Herman” to school as proof of the death. The document is required if a city school employee asks for bereavement days. Thanks to the scam, Barnett, 58, was able to spend 21/2 weeks in March 2010 — including her school-sanctioned spring break — in the tropical paradise, city investigators said. But the fun in the sun didn’t last long. Read More: Daily News

 

Eighteen people busted in alleged $1.9M auto loan scheme in Queens


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Eighteen people busted in alleged $1.9M auto loan scheme in Queens

Eighteen people were indicted today for their alleged roles in two auto loan fraud schemes that resulted in nearly $2 million in losses, authorities said. Sixteen people have been arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on charges that include grand larceny and possession of stolen property, while two others remain at-large. Twelve of the accused scammers allegedly purchased luxury cars, such as Cadillac Escalades, BMWs and Porsches, between July 2008 and March 2010, officials said. Read More: New York Post

Help for Home Owners

The city is aiming to restore the homeownership hopes of Queens residents hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. Deputy Mayor Robert Steel and New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew Wambua joined Queens elected officials, as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the New York Mortgage Coalition on November 15 to announce the commencement of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) Buyer Assistance Program. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Stabbings Take Place Near Manhattan School

Sources say two teenagers were wounded during an attempted robbery of a jacket near P.S. 153 in Hamilton Heights in Manhattan this afternoon. NY1 has learned one was wounded in the stomach and the other was wounded in the hand. Both were taken to the hospital. Police are looking for two suspects, one male and one female. Read More: NY1

Man Who Funded Terror Plotter To Be Sentenced Today

The man who admitted to illegally transferring money to fund the attempted Times Square bombing is being sentenced in federal court today. Mohammad Younis plead guilty in August to giving Faisal Shahzad $7,000 from Pakistan through an illegal money transfer business. Weeks after Younis gave him the money, Shahzad tried to explode a car bomb in the middle of Times Square last year. Shahzad was caught fleeing the country, later pleaded guilty and is now serving life in prison. Younis faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Read More: NY1

Bronx Man Charged With Murder Of East Harlem College Student

Police have made an arrest in connection with the death of a Manhattan woman. Bakary Camara, a 41-year-old Bronx resident was charged with the murder of 36-year-old Rita Morelli. The Italian college student’s body was found last Wednesday in an apartment on East 120th Street in East Harlem with cuts to her neck. Morelli left her hometown in Italy five years ago to pursue a career in design. Read More: NY1

Baby in trash in upper Manhattan was killed; young mom charged with “self-abortion” 

The young mother of a dead female fetus found in the trash in upper Manhattan has been charged with self-abortion, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Thursday. Yaribely Almonte, 20, wrapped the fetus in plastic and dumped the girl in a bin outside her building on W. 191st. St., near Wadsworth Ave. A man sorting recyclables discovered the child’s lifeless body Tuesday, and Almonte was charged Wednesday night. Under state law, a woman can be charged with self-abortion if the fetus is older than 24 weeks. Read More: Daily News

Twenty Charged With Alleged Trafficking Of Eastern European Women


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Twenty Charged With Alleged Trafficking Of Eastern European Women

Immigration and law enforcement officials have arrested and charged 20 people, including five Queens residents and three Brooklyn residents, in connection with a human trafficking operation that allegedly brought women from Russia and Eastern Europe and forced them to dance in various strip clubs in the city. Read More: NY1

 

Buyer Assistance Program marries first-time homeowners and foreclosed houses
A new city program is offering sweetheart deals to persuade wannabe homeowners to move into parts of Queens ravaged by foreclosure. Homebuyers can earn up to $80,000 in forgiveable loans through the initiative aimed at areas like South Jamaica, Woodhaven and the Rockaways. The program, run with federal funds, hopes to fulfill home-buying dreams and prevent abandoned houses from being vandalized and becoming havens for squatters. Read More: Daily News

 

Food carts may get letter grades

One Queens politician is aiming to make choosing the right food cart as easy as “A, B, C.” Senator Jose Peralta, who represents Jackson Heights, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst and Woodside, recently introduced a bill that would require local health departments across the state to evaluate and assign a letter grade to mobile food carts. The legislation, which is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks, would invoke a similar rating system to the one performed on restaurants. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Man pleads guilty to Brooklyn charges in 28-hour rampage

The man charged with a Brooklyn-to-Manhattan murder spree that started with the slaying of his mother’s boyfriend and ended with a brutal stabbing aboard a subway train pleaded guilty today to four murder counts and other charges. Maksim Gelman, 24, had originally pleaded not guilty to the four counts and a raft of other charges in the 13-count indictment. Gelman’s lawyer Edward Friedman said his client wished to plead guilty in Brooklyn this time. Read More: New York Post

 

Police suspect murder victims found on Long Island’s Gilgo Beach were murdered by single serial killer


Days before the first anniversary of the discovery of bodies on Gilgo Beach, police said Tuesday that they believe one serial killer is responsible. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said there was enough evidence to link the dumping of the remains of 10 people to one killer. Read More: Daily News

 

Young teen pepper-sprays classmates at Harlem high school

A 14-year-old Harlem student blasted her classmates with pepper spray Tuesday, sending eight students to the hospital with minor injuries. Education officials are investigating the incident, which occurred in an Academy for Social Action classroom around 2:30 p.m. Eight students who inhaled the noxious chemicals were rushed from the W. 129th St. school to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. Read More: Daily News

 

Deaf woman abducted in Brookyln ‘for sex’

A deaf woman who stormed out on her boyfriend after a fight was snatched off a Williamsburg street by two thugs who tried to pimp her out — and beat her when she refused, police sources said yesterday. The 28-year-old upstate woman told cops she was walking back to her grandmother’s apartment at about 2 a.m. Monday when a man yanked her into his car and told her to “work” for him. Read More: New York Post