Tag Archives: jamaica

12-year-old boy charged after accidentally shooting sister at Jamaica home: cops


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic image

Updated 3:45 p.m.

Police have charged a 12-year-old boy with criminal possession of a weapon after he accidentally shot his sister at their Jamaica home early Friday morning.

The boy told cops he was playing with a .22-caliber revolver inside his 164th Street residence about 2:30 a.m., when it went off, striking his 14-year-old sibling in the stomach, the NYPD said. She was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition.

He also told authorities he found the gun, but police did not say where he discovered it.

The case has been referred to Family Court, according to the NYPD.

 

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Police release video of suspects in Queens rooftop break-ins


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Cops have released a video in connection to the burglaries of multiple Queens businesses.

The footage shows the suspects cashing in lottery tickets inside a Brooklyn bodega at 296 New Lots Ave on Feb. 27, according to police.

The suspects are wanted in connection to seven thefts that took place between Dec. 14 and Feb. 20 in the WoodhavenJamaicaSouth Richmond HillOzone Park and South Ozone Park sections of the borough, the NYPD said.

In each of the burglaries, one or more suspects break in through the roof or air conditioning vent and steal cash, according to police.  Lotto tickets and calling cards were also taken during some of the thefts.

Last month, police released a video from the latest burglary, which took place about 11 p.m. on Feb. 20 at the Pioneer Supermarket at 90-01 Jamaica Ave. in Woodhaven. A thousand dollars in cash and approximately $600 worth of phone cards went missing from the supermarket after the suspect broke in through the roof, cops said.

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

 

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Arrest made in butt injection death of Queens woman


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook

A New Jersey woman who allegedly gave a Queens woman an illegal butt lift has been arrested in connection to her death, according to police and published reports.

Tamira Mobley, 28, of Wood-Ridge, N.J., is accused of injecting a silicone-like substance into the buttocks of Tamara Blaine, a 22-year-old Jamaica resident, while the two were inside of the Liberty Inn Hotel in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District on July 8, cops said.

Mobley was allegedly performing an illegal butt lift procedure on Blaine when she was killed, reports said.

Authorities found Blaine inside the room with seizure-like symptoms, according to police. She was taken to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead. At the time, the medical examiner determined the death to be suspicious, cops said.

After noticing puncture wounds on her buttocks during an autopsy, the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide in October, according to published reports.

Mobley has been charged with assault and second-degree manslaughter, police said.

 

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Man shot near Jamaica home


| editorial@queenscourier.com


Updated 4:35 p.m.

A 48-year-old man is dead after he was shot less than a block from his Jamaica home Tuesday, according to police.

Officers, responding to a 9-1-1 call, found the victim, Mohamed Hamwi, unconscious and unresponsive at the corner of 173rd Street and 105th Avenue just after midnight, cops said.

Suffering from a gunshot wound to his torso and one to his head, Hamwi was taken to Queens Hospital Center where was pronounced dead, the NYPD said.

Hamwi, who worked at a Wall Street firm, was found with his credit cards and a wallet containing $200, ABC New York reported.

There are no arrests at this time and investigation is ongoing.

 

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$225M residential and retail tower coming to Downtown Jamaica


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

File photo

Follow me @liamlaguerre


A new mixed-use, residential and commercial $225 million building with hundreds of units is planned for Downtown Jamaica near the AirTrain, officials said.

Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC), which owns the 93-01 Sutphin Blvd. site, recently announced the project and that BRP Companies, a New York-based developer, will build the tower.

On completion, the tower will have 400 residential units and at least 80,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, according to the GJDC.

The project will anchor the western end of Downtown Jamaica’s transit hub, where the AirTrain, 10 branches of the Long Island Rail Road, two subway lines and dozens of bus routes converge.

Officials are praising the project as another step in the growth of the area.

“This is an exciting day for Jamaica, and an exciting day for the entire city of New York,” said Congressmember Gregory Meeks. “This project further validates Downtown Jamaica as a prime location for private investment in transit-oriented development.”

 

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Jamaica woman to run up 72 flights in historic World Trade Center climb


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Silverstein Properties

Alexis Mitchell is getting her rear in gear to climb 72 flights of stairs in the name of cancer research.

The Jamaica resident joined the team “Higher Ground” to raise money for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation by making the historic trek up the new 4 World Trade Center building in Lower Manhattan.

“I think the enthusiasm will be high,” said Mitchell, 49. “It’s a good way to do something positive in an area that’s been so plagued.”

On September 11, Mitchell watched the Twin Towers go down from her office window at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She hopes the race up the new World Trade Center building will promote a feeling of redemption throughout the tragedy-stricken area.

More than 400 people will take part in the dash upstairs on April 3. About $72,000 for cancer research has been raised so far.

“You figure every bit helps,” Mitchell said. “I try to help and raise money for different charities, and cancer is a sensitive subject for me.”

Mitchell’s mother has multiple myeloma and she also has friends who have lost parents to the disease.

The race will additionally be the first view inside of the 2.3-million square-foot building for most. The office space, which will rise to the sixth-highest building in New York City, isn’t anticipating tenants until 2015.

 

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Mayoral administration removes Success Academy Jamaica proposal


| mhayes@queenscourier.com


One thousand children need to find somewhere else to go to school come September.

These students had applied to Success Academy Jamaica, a new charter school that had been slated to open this fall, but now Mayor Bill de Blasio has axed the plan.

Before former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s term ended, he approved the co-location of Success Academy Jamaica with August Martin High School. The charter school would hold 200 kindergarten and first grade students and ultimately grow to a 500-student school, kindergarten through fourth grade.

But on Feb. 27, de Blasio withdrew this proposal, along with eight others citywide. Three Success Academy schools were canceled entirely. Success Academy founder Eva Moskowitz led a rally Tuesday in Albany, flanked by thousands of students, teachers and charter school supporters, opposing de Blasio’s decision.

“The previous administration handed over these proposals, and we have had to review all of them under inflexible deadlines,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “As enrollment deadlines approach, we considered the thousands of families that could be affected. Under the circumstances we inherited, [we] believe this is the best approach.”

The Department of Education (DOE) said it does “not believe new elementary schools should be opened on high school campuses.”

“Overall, we have heard concerns from high school communities, as well as elementary level ones, about this practice. We believe high school campuses should serve high school students,” DOE officials said.

Without the school, local youth can attend nearby schools P.S. 233, P.S. 45 and P.S. 354.

“More than 1,000 families have applied so far for a seat at Success Academy Jamaica,” said Kerry Lyon, a spokesperson for the charter school. “We will continue fighting to open this school and give those parents the high quality education they are demanding for their kids.”

 

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Cops searching for suspect in string of Ozone Park burglaries


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A suspect is wanted in a series of Queens burglaries over this winter, police said.

The man is accused of eight break-ins and one attempted burglary in Ozone Park as well as one theft in Jamaica between Jan. 6 and Feb. 10, according to the NYPD.

The suspect, possibly working with another man, enters the locations through rear doors or windows, then takes the victims’ personal property, police said.

Cops have released a photo of the suspect from the attempted burglary on Jan. 6. The theft occurred between about 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at 106-14 78th St.

The other incidents happened at the following dates, times and locations:

  • Jan. 6, between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., at 105-30 80th St.
  • Jan.9, between 2:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m., at 78-10 Pitkin Ave.
  • Jan. 10, at approximately 5:30 p.m., at 107-18 118th St.
  • Jan. 11, between 3 p.m. and 7:40 p.m., at 107-74 77th St.
  • Jan. 15 , at approximately 12:20 p.m., at 106-34 76th St.
  • Jan. 28, between 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., at 84-30 109th Ave.
  • Jan. 28, between 1:00 p.m. and 3:20 p.m. at 106-11 78th St.
  • Jan. 30, at approximately 11:50 a.m., at 107-18 77th St.
  • Feb. 10, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., at 105-17 77th St.

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

 

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DOE withdraws co-location plans


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ File Photo

From the 49 co-location proposals released last year for schools all around the city, the Department of Education (DOE) has announced it will be withdrawing nine and revising one.

Two plans that have now been withdrawn included opening a K-4 Success Academy charter school in August Martin High School in Jamaica and bringing a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school to Long Island City High School. The rest of the plans involve schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

“The previous administration handed over these proposals – and we have had to review all of them under inflexible deadlines. While the circumstances for each proposal are unique, we identified clear criteria and we followed it,” Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said. “We were deliberate in our decisions and, under the circumstance we inherited, believe is the best approach.”

In reviewing the proposals, the DOE identified four “core values” that will be used to evaluate co-locations: new elementary schools should not be opened on high school campuses; the new schools must have the resources needed to provide services the students deserve; depending on capital work to make space for the co-location; and seats must not be reduced in District 75, serving special needs students.

The agency also took into consideration deadlines and the impact some of the proposals would have on thousands of families.

“If there is one thing school communities should know, it’s this: we’re going to do things differently,” Fariña said. “Today, we are turning the page on the approach of the past. We are going to listen and be responsive like never before, and that will be reflected in everything we do.”

The Career and Technical Education high school proposed for LIC High School is now planned to be moved to Murry Bergtraum High School in Manhattan.

“This is a win for all of us in the community, but most of all for the students who only want the resources they deserve to receive a proper education,” State Senator Michael Gianaris said about LIC High School.

The DOE plans to host a meeting for each school community of the proposals that will be implemented. The meeting will help discuss next steps and also allow the DOE to engage with parents and school officials.

Councilmember Mark Weprin said that he is disappointed to learn that the DOE still plans on pursuing its plan to co-locate another school at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village. However, he said he has heard that the DOE will work with the local community to make sure the programs at the school meet the community’s needs.


THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan 

“We want to make Martin Van Buren a destination high school once again,” Weprin said.

 

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Jamaica high school student vying for culinary arts scholarship


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Hipolito Torres

A love for cooking resonated with Hipolito Torres at a young age, he said. Now, at 18, he’s prepping to participate in a culinary arts competition to win a college scholarship.

Torres, a senior at August Martin High School in Jamaica, is heading to New Rochelle for the America’s Best High School Chef (ABHSC) competition, to vie for a full academic scholarship to Monroe College’s world-class culinary arts program.

“I feel very confident,” he said.

Torres, who has taken food preparation classes for about four years now, is one of 50 high school seniors from around the country chosen to show off their culinary skills Saturday at Monroe’s Culinary Arts Center.

Passion plays a key role in the teen’s cooking. Through time and firsthand kitchen experience, Torres said his love for food and its preparation continually grew. He said he likes “strong flavors” and has gravitated toward using earthy, rustic ingredients.

Monroe’s School of Hospitality and Management and the Culinary Arts, in its sixth year, will host the competition for students interested in pursuing a college degree in culinary arts.

“We are delighted to be hosting this competition,” said Frank Constantino, dean of the school of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts. “It provides many seniors interested in the culinary field the opportunity to showcase their skills and vie for a prestigious scholarship that will enable them to further cultivate their talent.”

At ABHSC, Torres will first be judged on his knife skills. He will be challenged with different cutting styles and will be judged on his precision. Next, the “salad basket challenge” will task Torres with making a high-end salad with select ingredients. Finally, the competition will be complete after a “mystery basket challenge,” which Torres said will require him to make a chicken dish.

“We have a lot of fun during the competition, and look forward to welcoming the new contestants,” Constantino said.

Torres’ plan of attack is slow and steady.

“I feel like I just need to pace myself and make sure I know what I’m doing and be confident in my food and skills,” he said.

The teen cook has bright hopes for the future. He aims to win the Monroe College scholarship, and then stay in New York and remain in the restaurant field. Ultimately, he plans to open his own city eatery.

“I want to try to gain as much experience as I can, both in skills and all around as a person in the industry,” said Torres.

 

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Southeast Queens schools to receive yearly $2.5M grant


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Richards

Eleven southeast Queens schools are the recipients of an annual technology grant in the name of a civil rights legend.

Councilmember Donovan Richards created the Nelson Mandela Technology Grant through which he will be contributing $2.5 million yearly to his district’s schools to “help fill any financial gaps to ensure our youth have access to the best resources available.”

“I have always believed it is essential our youth have access to the best technology available,” Richards said. “We can no longer focus on competing locally and must prepare future generations to compete on an international level.”

A minimum $50,000 will go to each of Richards’ 11 district schools, including P.S. 123 in Jamaica, P.S. 156 in Laurelton and Excelsior Preparatory High School in Springfield Gardens.

Richards presented the donation at the M.S. 355 and M.S. 356 Springfield Gardens campus Monday. He said he’s proud to provide the funds and could give more than $50,000 where needed.

Springfield Gardens’ I.S. 231 will receive $500,000 this fiscal year to upgrade its playground, and Richards said he is additionally allocating funds for schools still recovering from Sandy.

“As long as I am councilman, I will do my best to provide for our youth wherever there are gaps,” he said.

Richards is following in the footsteps of his predecessor, now State Senator James Sanders, who contributed about $2 million for 10 years to fulfill the district’s schools’ technology needs.

 

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Police searching for suspect in series of Queens rooftop break-ins


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A suspect has been burglarizing multiple Queens businesses over the last two months by breaking in through the roof or air conditioning vent, the NYPD said.

The thefts all took place between Dec. 14 and Feb. 20 in the Woodhaven, JamaicaSouth Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and South Ozone Park sections of the borough.

In each of the seven burglaries, the suspect stole cash, ranging from $100 to $5,000. The suspect also swiped lotto tickets and calling cards during some of the thefts.

Police have released a video from the latest incident.

The burglary took place about 11 p.m. Thursday at the Pioneer Supermarket at 90-01 Jamaica Ave. in Woodhaven, according to the NYPD.

A thousand dollars in cash and approximately $600 worth of phone cards went missing from the supermarket after the suspect broke in through the roof, police said.

Last week cops also released a photo of the suspect, who was allegedly caught burglarizing businesses in South Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park on Jan. 31 and Feb. 5 by cutting a hole in their roofs.

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

 

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Queens laundromat theft tied to nine Brooklyn burglaries


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

396-14 BRS CW Pattern #5 from Incident #8

Three suspects are wanted in a two-borough burglary spree targeting laundromats, cops said.

The latest burglary took place about 3:10 a.m. Tuesday at Megawash Laundry on Merrick Boulevard near Anderson Road in Jamaica, according to police

The suspects are also connected to nine burglaries in Brooklyn between Jan. 19 and Feb. 22, the NYPD said. Those thefts included seven additional laundromats as well as two restaurants.

During each incident, the three suspects, all wearing masks and gloves, with one armed with a gun, enter the business and take money from the register as well as any customers, cops said.

There were no reported injuries during any of the burglaries.

Police describe the suspects as black males.

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

 

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Man struck, killed trying to cross Van Wyck Expressway


| mhayes@queenscourier.com


A man was struck and killed by an oncoming van early Sunday morning as he was attempting to cross the Van Wyck Expressway, police said.

About 2 a.m., cops responded to a call about the man running through traffic in between expressway exits 4 and 5 in Jamaica. Upon arrival, police found the male, estimated to be in his 20s, unconscious and unresponsive with trauma to the body, according to the NYPD. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cops discovered the man was struck by a 2010 Ford van going northbound, driven by a 45-year-old male. The pedestrian was attempting to cross the expressway from east to west and was hit by the van. The vehicle remained on the scene, according to police.

There are no arrests, and the investigation is ongoing, police said.



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Church keeps the faith, vows to rebuild after fire


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Parishioners of the Deliverance Tabernacle Church know that despite a fire tearing through their sacred space, greater things are still to come.

“We are devastated that our place of worship has been destroyed, but the cross still stands,” said Donniese Barrow, a church board member. “With all of this damage, the cross did not fall.”

A two-alarm blaze broke out Monday morning about 3 a.m. in the Jamaica church’s basement. Although a cause has yet to be determined, a church official and technician heard it was electrical.

It took the FDNY about an hour to put out the flames, and despite conflicting reports, firefighters had no problems with frozen fire hydrants.

“Reports said [there were problems] but we confirmed the hydrants [were functioning],” said an FDNY spokesperson.

Four firefighters sustained minor injuries and were taken to Jamaica Hospital.

The building was significantly damaged on the inside, but less than a day after the fire, neighboring churches had opened their doors to the 150-person congregation, Barrow said.

“Other churches have reached out to offer space and to try and accommodate us until we find something,” she said. “People have been really supportive.”

Barrow said officials plan to rebuild the space, and despite losing everything, their faith is still alive.

“We know something greater is coming from this,” she said. “It’s going to be a long process. But we are strong and our faith is stronger.”

 

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