Tag Archives: Jay Lane

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


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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


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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

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

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

Boy Scouts ordered to release secret sex abuse files


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Boy Scouts ordered to release secret sex abuse files

A judge overseeing a lawsuit brought by the family of a California boy molested by his troop leader in 2007 has ordered the Boy Scouts of America to hand over confidential files detailing allegations of sexual abuse by Scout leaders around the nation. The Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge said last month that the Irving, Texas-based organization must turn over the last 20 years’ worth of records by Feb. 24, with victims’ names removed, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. The files will not be made public. Read More: Daily News
Sadistic ‘shooter’ husband

The young pregnant wife shot by her jilted, estranged husband outside a Brooklyn school said yesterday that she was recovering from the ambush. “I’m feeling a little better today,” victim Daisy Torres, 26, told The Post. Torres split from hubby Juan Torres Collazo, 62, months before the dismissal-time attack at PS 384 in Bushwick, but the scorned man wouldn’t let it go. “We’ve been together for eight months,” said Torres’ new beau, Hector Reyes, “and he kept harassing her and harassing her. Read More: New York Post

 

Lin fairy tale getting ‘real’ interesting for Knicks

We can stop dealing in the abstract, cease the comparisons to Joe Hardy and Roy Hobbs and Jimmy Chitwood. This isn’t fantasy. This isn’t a Hollywood script. We can shelve the superlatives and move on to two emerging truths: Jeremy Lin is real. And because of that, the Knicks are for real. Read More: New York Post

Monaco royal hurt, fomer  club owner charged in celebs’ NYC bar brawl

A vicious fight involving vodka and supermodels at a Meatpacking District nightclub sparked a royal beatdown that landed Monaco’s Prince Pierre Casiraghi in the hospital, The Post has learned. The attack on the 24-year-old son of Princess Caroline and grandson of Grace Kelly came during a late-night confrontation between the prince and his playboy pals and former Manhattan club owner Adam Hock at trendy Double Seven on Saturday, witnesses and law-enforcement sources said. Read More: New York Post

Jeremy Lin headline slur was ‘honest mistake,’ fired ESPN editor Anthony Federico claims

The ESPN editor fired Sunday for using “chink in the armor” in a headline about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin said the racial slur never crossed his mind – and he was devastated when he realized his mistake. “This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,” Anthony Federico told the Daily News. “I’m so sorry that I offended people. I’m so sorry if I offended Jeremy.” Read More: Daily News

ESPN fallout over crack about Lin


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Graphic by Jay Lane

ESPN fallout over crack about Lin

ESPN yesterday called an offensive foul on two employees for using a racist term in a headline and story about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin. A headline writer, whose name was not released, was fired, while anchor Max Bretos was benched for 30 days. The out-of-bounds phrase — “chink in the armor” — referred to Chinese-American Lin’s struggles Friday in the Knicks’ first loss since he made a splash. It appeared as a headline on ESPN’s mobile site Saturday. Read More: New York Post

 

NYC’s Allen Christian School is closing

The well-regarded Allen Christian School is closing after nearly 30 years because of financial difficulties. The announcement was made Tuesday by the Rev. Floyd Flake, who said the decision brought him “great sadness.” The politically influential Queens pastor and former congressman founded the school with his wife, the Rev. Elaine Flake. Public Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said his four children have “fond memories of attending Allen Christian.” Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Knicks talking title after Lin leads them to win over Mavericks

After Jeremy Lin’s nationally televised theatrics were over, after the point guard’s international stardom had reached yet another level, after Jason Kidd said Lin indeed looks like Steve Nash in Phoenix, Tyson Chandler soaked it all in and declared what may have become obvious by now: Lin’s Knicks are a genuine contender for a championship this season. Chandler should know best, having helped the Mavericks to a title eight months ago. Chandler faced Dallas during the Knicks’ 104-97 victory in yesterday’s thrilling Garden matinee, and said he feels his new club is championship-caliber with Lin’s fairy tale, J.R. Smith’s arrival and Carmelo Anthony’s grand return to Linsanity scheduled tonight against the Nets. Read More: New York Post

 

Spit hits fan in teach spat

A veteran Queens math teacher was yanked from the classroom yesterday after a cellphone video posted online showed an apparent confrontation with a student. Department of Education officials said they are investigating 19-year veteran David Pecoraro, a vocal union leader at Beach Channel HS in Far Rockaway, on allegations of corporal punishment. An 80-second video posted on YouTube last week captures the alleged incident but doesn’t provide a clear answer on what the teacher did. Read More: New York Post

Whitney Houston’s dress, ‘Bodyguard’ earrings up for auction

A black velvet dress that belonged to Whitney Houston and a pair of earrings she wore in “The Bodyguard” will be sold to the highest bidder next month. Celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien said Sunday the pieces and other Houston items became available after the singer’s unexpected death on Feb. 11 and will be included among a long-planned sale of Hollywood memorabilia such as Charlie Chaplin’s cane, Clark Gable’s jacket from “Gone With the Wind” and Charlton Heston’s staff from “The Ten Commandments.” Read More: New York Post

 

Transit Officers Catch Alleged Subway Pickpocket In The Act

Two transit offers were on the right train at the right time on Saturday and ended up catching an alleged pickpocket in action. Police say the officers were patrolling a Queens-bound E train early Saturday morning in Manhattan, when 50-year old Manuel Alduey got on an adjoining car at West 4th Street and sat next to a sleeping passenger. Investigators say the officers saw Alduey take the sleeping victim’s wallet and iPhone before getting off at West 23rd Street. The officers followed and arrested Alduey. Alduey is being charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Read More: NY1

 

Memorial Service For Mets’ Gary Carter To Be Held In Florida

A private memorial service will be held this Friday in Florida for former New York Mets catcher Gary Carter. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be made to the Gary Carter Foundation. Carter, known as “The Kid,” died on Thursday at age 57 after a battle with brain cancer. The Hall of Fame catcher was traded to New York from Montreal in 1985 and spent five seasons in Queens. Carter was a major element of the Mets’ 1986 World Series championship team. Read More: NY1

 

Fundraiser For Comptroller Liu Indicted On Federal Wire Fraud Charges


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Fundraiser For Comptroller Liu Indicted On Federal Wire Fraud Charges

City Comptroller John Liu was dealt a major blow on Wednesday as a fundraiser for his campaign, Xing Wu Pan, was indicted on federal wire fraud charges just one day before the comptroller’s first major public policy speech. Pan, also known as Oliver Pan, was arrested in November for allegedly funneled $16,000 to Liu’s likely campaign for mayor in 2013. The U.S. attorney says Pan tried to circumvent the legal contribution limit to Liu by arranging for several people to divide up a large contribution and claim the donation was their own. Read More: NY1

 

Officials Release Recording Of 911 Call Made By Suspect In Subway Bombing Plot

A 911 call made by a man accused in a subway bombing plot has been released. Adis Medunjanin was speeding along the Whitestone Expressway when he made the call in January 2010. At the time, he was under surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which had just served him with a search warrant. In the recording, Medunjanin can be heard saying, “We love death,” and “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.” Read More: NY1

 

Whitney’s family thinks ex is reaching out to daughter due to fortune: report

Bobby Brown is trying to leech onto Whitney Houston’s fortune, the late singer’s mom and other family members believe, according to a new report. Brown is attempting to get close to his daughter Bobbi Kristina, who is sole heir to his ex-wife’s estimated $20 million fortune, in a bid to get his hands on the cash, family sources told TMZ. Her mother Cissy Houston is trying to stop Brown from getting close to the 18 year old because she fears the rapper is broke and just wants to line his own pockets, according to a source. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens Teacher Had Class Contact Inmate Who Previously Faced Child Porn Charges

Officials at the Department of Education say they are looking to fire a Queens teacher who had her fifth-grade students send Christmas cards to a prison inmate who was previously been charged with possessing child pornography. The city’s special commissioner of investigation, Richard Condon, says Melissa Dean, 31, had her class in P.S. 143 at Corona, Queens send cards to John Coccarelli, who appears to have had a relationship with her. The teacher did not ask permission from parents or the school and officials say many of the cards had the children’s names and addresses on them. Read More: NY1

 

Style icon in front-row death

Beloved club and fashion maven Zelda Kaplan died after collapsing in the front row at Fashion Week yesterday at age 95. Kaplan, New York’s oldest and most beloved night owl and the woman who could famously “out-party even Paris Hilton,” collapsed at the Joanna Mastroianni show at The Studio at Lincoln Center. Witnesses said the socialite “slumped forward” as the second model came out on the runway, and she was carried out and given CPR by paramedics. An ambulance rushed her to the hospital, but she couldn’t be revived. Read More: New York Post

Queens  granny kin sue in blizzard death

The family of a Queens grandmother who died of a heart attack during the December 2010 blizzard is suing the city for failing to clear the streets, which they say delayed emergency responders. Faith Radvin and Robin Martucci claim in a suit filed yesterday that a day after the storm, their mother, Gail Radvin, 73, had a fatal heart attack. Read More: New York Post

Fourth NYPD suicide this month


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Fourth NYPD suicide

A cop killed himself yesterday on his way home after finishing his shift in Queens — becoming the fourth NYPD officer to die by his own hand in less than a month, sources told The Post. Matthew Schindler, 39, a 14-year veteran and married father of three kids, pulled his car over at about 4:30 p.m. on the eastbound side of the Long Island Expressway near Exit 40 in Jericho and shot himself under the chin, the sources said. Minutes earlier, Schindler, a highway-safety officer, texted his sergeant to tell him he would not be seeing him anymore. Read More: New York Post

 

160G JFK gem ‘heist’

A Long Island psychotherapist who got stopped at a boarding gate at JFK Airport because of the size of her carry-on tried to cajole workers into letting her pass — by telling them she had thousands of dollars in exquisite jewelry in the luggage that she didn’t want to let out of her sight. “I told the gate attendant, ‘Listen to me, I have more than $100,000 worth of jewelry here,’ ’’ said Rita Lamberg, 69, who also plays in poker tournaments part-time. Lamberg yesterday admitted to The Post that it may not have been the smartest thing to say. Read More: New York Post

Tragic Whitney back in New Jersey

Carried in a golden hearse, the body of pop queen Whitney Houston arrived in her hometown of Newark, NJ, last night, as preparations began for a massive Friday funeral that only an arena could hold. A private plane carrying Houston’s casket from LA — where she died in a hotel room Saturday — landed at Teterboro Airport at around 10:30 p.m. The casket was placed in a gold-colored hearse and escorted by three police cars to the Whigham Funeral Home, which handled the services for Houston’s dad, John, in 2003. Read More: New York Post

 

LIRR May Return To Elmhurst

For commuters in Elmhurst who may be fed up with their transit options, there’s some good news: the LIRR may once again be making a stop in their neighborhood. Read More: NY1

 

Dolan vows to challenge Obama’s birth control plan compromise

The top Catholic bishop in the US has vowed legislative and court challenges to President Obama’s compromise on exempting religiously affiliated employers from paying directly for birth control for their workers. Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, who heads the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in an interview Tuesday that while Obama’s about-face Friday initially sparked glimmers of hope in the church, it ended up being a “hill of beans.” Dolan, who is in Rome to be made a cardinal Saturday, said he trusted Obama wasn’t declaring war on religion and intended to make good on his pledge to work with religious groups to fine-tune the provisions of the insurance mandate. Read More: New York Post

Whitney Houston funeral to be held in Newark: report


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Whitney Houston funeral to be held in Newark: report

A funeral is to be held for Whitney Houston in her hometown of Newark later this week, according to a new report. The pop superstar was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel room over the weekend and her body is to be flown across the country as early as Monday night, sources told WNBC. Read More: New York Post

 

To free or not to free ‘killer’

Just two weeks after settling the Greg Kelly rape accusation, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. is facing a new and potentially thornier dilemma: Should he free a mann convicted of killing a former cop? That’s what members of his inner circle are debating as a “Dateline” segment airs tonight that makes the case that a Bronx man serving 25 to life is innocent of charges he shot a retired NYPD officer in 1998. Read More: New York Post

Whitney Houston died of mix of alcohol & prescription drugs, family is told

A fatal cocktail of prescription drugs and booze killed Whitney Houston before she became submerged in a bathtub, the singer’s relatives reportedly were told. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office does not believe the “I Will Always Love You” star drowned, contrary to earlier reports suggesting she slumped beneath the water in a drug-induced stupor, TMZ.com reported Monday. Read More: Daily News

 

New Jersey Senate OKs gay marriage bill in milestone vote despite Gov. Chris Christie vow to veto  

New Jersey lawmakers gave their blessing to legalizing gay marriage for the first time Monday as the state Senate passed a bill that would allow nuptials for same-sex couples, despite Gov. Chris Christie’s insistence that he will veto such legislation. The Senate’s 24-16 vote sends the bill to the Assembly, which is expected to pass it on Thursday. Monday’s vote contrasts with the only other gay-marriage vote taken in the Legislature. In January 2010, gay marriage supporters thought they had built a narrow majority in the Senate, but senators began to defect, and the measure was defeated 20-14. Read More: Daily News

 

Cyclist is killed by hit-&-run driver on S.I.

A 29-YEAR-OLD cyclist died on Staten Island on Sunday night after he was hit by a driver who sped away from the scene, cops said. Ron Tillman of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, was riding against traffic on Howard Ave., near Wagner College in Grymes Hill when he was hit by a dark-colored SUV about 9:15 p.m., cops and witnesses said. The motorist then drove away, police said. A woman who lives nearby raced to the injured man and called 911. Read More: Daily News

Cancer-causing toxins found on uniform of Officer Alonzo Harris, who survived being buried at WTC

Cancer-causing toxins have been found on the uniform worn by a cop who survived being buried in World Trade Center debris on 9/11. “It’s a reality check for all of us,” Officer Alonzo Harris, the owner of the uniform, said on Sunday. Police union officials hope the discovery will prompt the NYPD to release the list of cops who worked at Ground Zero to scientists trying to determine the cancer rate among first responders. Harris had reported for work at a traffic control post near the World Trade Center when the first tower fell on Sept. 11. Read More: Daily News

Clues hint at pill-pop Whitney Houston’s drowning; police could release new details today


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Clues hint at pill-pop Whitney Houston’s drowning; police could release new details today

Authorities yesterday were investigating the possibility that troubled singer Whitney Houston took sedatives, fell asleep and drowned in a tub in her Beverly Hills hotel room. Police may release more details about Houston’s death today. The tragic 48-year-old star spent the final hours of her life preparing for an appearance at a pre-Grammy party Saturday evening, and might have popped the pills to take the edge off her anxiety. The prescription drugs Xanax, Lorazepam and Valium were found in her suite, Room 434, at the posh Beverly Hilton, one report said. Read More: New York Post

Livery driver thrown from car, killed in Queens crash

A livery driver died early this morning when he was ejected from his sedan after it crashed in Queens, police said. Darren Green, 41, was operating a 2006 Lincoln Town Car going eastbound on South Conduit Boulevard at around 4 a.m. when he apparently lost control and slammed into a utility pole near Linden Boulevard. Green, the sole occupant of the vehicle, was rushed to Brookdale Hospital, where he later died. Read More: New York Post

 

Rubber roomer retires

The city’s “rubber room” king has been knocked off his throne. Disgraced typing teacher Alan Rosenfeld — who collected a $100,000-a-year salary even though he was banned from the classroom for more than a decade — has finally decided to retire from his cushy gig after telling friends he couldn’t take the heat from a series of Post articles about his situation, sources said yesterday. “He was so upset and angry at the latest round of pictures and articles,” said a source familiar with the case. Read More: New York Post

 

Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown rushed to hospital in wake of mother’s death 

Whitney Houston’s heartbroken daughter was rushed to the hospital twice in the wake of her mother’s death. Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, was hospitalized Sunday after an earlier episode late Saturday. “It was just extreme stress,” said a family friend. “She’s devastated. She and her mom were best friends.” Radaronline reported that the teenager had a few drinks, then was given a sedative by members of her mother’s entourage and passed out. Her father, Bobby Brown, canceled a Sunday concert to fly to Los Angeles to be with her. Read More: Daily News

 

Deadline looms on Feb. 12 for Queens churches that worship in schools

Leaders of Queens churches who use public schools as places of worship say the city’s push to evict them from their current homes on Sunday could force them to lose followers and strain their community ties. “Sunnyside is really our neighborhood,” said the Rev. Jon Storck, a pastor at Grace Fellowship Church, which has held Sunday worship services at Public School 150 since 2006. “It’s our home.” Storck said he could lose more than half his flock if he’s force to move into a different neighborhood because most of them walk to prayer services. And both the community and the school would suffer the loss of a major donor, Storck said. The church has participated in several community programs, including graffiti removal and an initiative to keep alive PS 150’s drama program, which Storck said is one of the last of its kind in the city. Read More: Daily News

Father Of Confessed Subway Bomb Plotter Awaits Sentencing


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Father Of Confessed Subway Bomb Plotter Awaits Sentencing

The father of confessed terror plotter Najibullah Zazi is set to be sentenced today in Brooklyn federal court. Mohammad Wali Zazi was accused of destroying evidence and lying to cover up his son’s plot to attack New York City’s subways in 2009. He was convicted last year of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The 55-year-old maintains his innocence as he faces up to 40 years in prison. Zazi’s son pleaded guilty to terror charges nearly two years ago. Read More: NY1

 

Knicks’ newest star getting used to ‘Linsanity’

Knicks new point guard sensation Jeremy Lin admitted he was still getting used to the new attention he has been getting and credited media and fans for all the “Lin puns’’ going around the city. “I didn’t know you can turn Lin into so many things,’’ Lin said at today’s morning shootaround in Westchester. “We’ve never done it before. Me and my family were laughing last night. We underestimated how creative everybody can be.’’ Read More: New York Post

 

‘Violent’ Madonna stalker escapes from LA psych hospital

A man convicted of stalking Madonna in 1996 and who has “very violent tendencies” has escaped from a psychiatric hospital, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said. Robert Dewey Hoskins, 54, who once scaled a wall at the star’s Hollywood home and threatened to cut her throat from ear to ear, walked out of hospital last Friday, an LAPD spokesman said. “Hoskins is a very psychotic man when not taking his medication and has very violent tendencies,” the LAPD statement, cited by the Los Angeles Times, said. Read More: New York Post

DA subpoenas Cashman financial records for extort clues

Manhattan prosecutors have subpoenaed Yankee general manger Brian Cashman’s bank records—which sources say include evidence that he coughed up as much as $20,000 to accused extortionist and purported mistress Louise Meanwell as far back as April, The Post has learned. Those alleged payments raise the question of whether Meanwell was shaking Cashman down for nearly 10 months — or whether the big bucks were legitimate gifts as part of an affair, as she claims. Read More: New York Post

 

$1M iBust in Chelsea

Police raided a Chelsea apartment yesterday and discovered an enormous cache of counterfeit Apple products and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones worth almost $1 million retail, cops said. Officers began staking out the building on West 28th Street near Seventh Avenue after an arrest last month when they saw a man leave the building with a fake iPhone that he later tried to sell on a Hell’s Kitchen street corner, cops said. The alleged swindler, Iaron Baskerville, was arrested and charged with possession of a forged instrument and fraudulent accounting. Read More: New York Post

Loony ’toon guilty

A Muslim extremist from Brooklyn pleaded guilty yesterday to making online threats against the creators of “South Park” because the TV show depicted the prophet Mohammed as a bear. Jesse Curtis Morton, 33, and another homegrown radical, Zachary Adam Chesser, 22, created revolutionmuslim.com to spread their messages of hate, officials said. They were outraged over an April 2010 “South Park” episode in which Tom Cruise and other celebrities previously lampooned by the Comedy Central show sue the town — but offer to drop the case if they can meet Mohammed and find out why he had so far been spared their ridicule. Read More: New York Post

 

Video clears man charged with trying to run down cop

A Brooklyn homeowner charged with racing his car toward a cop and making the officer jump out of the way to save his life was himself saved by a surveillance video that shows him calmly parking his car while the cop never budges. John Hockenjos, 55, was charged last Sunday with first-degree reckless endangerment after Officer Diego Palacios swore that the MTA engineer created a “grave risk of death” by driving his sedan “at high rate of speed into a driveway towards” the officer, according to the criminal complaint. Read More: New York Post

 

MTA worker scares off fiend raping woman in Bowery J train tunnel

An MTA worker walking along the tracks near a desolate lower Manhattan subway station scared off a violent sex attacker during a rape, police sources said. “That saved her life,” one of the sources said of the MTA worker’s light that caught the victim’s attention as she was being beaten and raped. The 36-year-old Asian woman saw the light and screamed, causing her attacker to flee. Police say Michael Torres, 29, targeted the 36-year-old Asian woman just after 1 a.m. Wednesday at the J train stop on the Bowery at Delancey St. Read More: Daily News

Queens Parents Outraged Over Daughter’s Gun Spelling Assignment


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens Parents Outraged Over Daughter’s Gun Spelling Assignment

Many parents are concerned about gun violence, so Lawrence Gillman almost hit the ceiling when his 5-year-old pulled out a surprising homework sheet. “I looked at it and I seen the word ‘gun’ on it. The first thing I thought was ‘oh no no no,’ I don’t want you reading it, I don’t want you spelling it. I don’t even want you looking at the picture,” said Gillman. His daughter goes to P.S. 201 in Queens and is learning sounds and letters, but Gillman says teaching words like “gun” and showing a cartoon image of one is out of touch. Read More: NY1

 

House Approves Bill Seeking Construction Of Gas Pipeline Through Brooklyn And Queens

A bill approving the construction of a three-mile gas pipeline through Brooklyn and Queens quietly sailed through the House of Representatives Tuesday night. On the floor, bill sponsor Congressman Michael Grimm talked up the project’s economic benefits. “The Gateway Pipeline project will generate approximately $265 million in construction activity. That’s almost 300 local jobs,” said Grimm. It’s a part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2007 PlaNYC initiative, which he says is about building a stable clean-energy future for the city. Read More: NY1

 

Kelly accuser’s memory of ‘rape’ but not of sex killed her case: sources

She insisted she was raped – she just couldn’t remember actually having sex. Maria Di Toro, the woman who accused Greg Kelly of raping her in a Financial District law office, admitted she had no memory of the alleged attack — making it impossible for investigators to pursue a case against the Fox 5 TV anchor, sources said yesterday. “Not remembering is not tantamount to being raped,” one source said a day after prosecutors announced they’re dropping their probe of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s youngest son. Read More: New York Post

 

Rally to keep Key Food in Flushing

Some Flushing residents have one thing to say to a local landlord: keep our Key Food. At a rally on Wednesday, February 8, they joined elected officials, including Senator Toby Stavisky, Councilmember James Gennaro and Assemblymembers Michael Simanowitz and Rory Lancman, along with Key Food owner David Mandell to protest plans of replacing the supermarket with a CVS pharmacy. Read More: Queens Courier

 

‘Good Day’ co-anchor Greg Kelly to return to Channel 5 Friday morning 

FOX 5 anchorman Greg Kelly will return to “Good Day New York” on Friday – days after being cleared of rape allegations. The decision was made at a 4 p.m. meeting between Kelly and station brass Wednesday, sources told the Daily News. As he left the station, Kelly confirmed his return to work. “I’m very appreciative of all the positive support I’ve received,” he said after walking out the front door. Kelly looked relieved. Read More: Daily News

Greg Kelly Cleared: ‘Mutual lust’ nixes claim by rape accuser


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Greg Kelly Cleared: ‘Mutual lust’ nixes claim by rape accuser

Manhattan prosecutors will not seek rape charges against Greg Kelly, the TV talk-show host and son of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, stemming from a complaint filed by a 29-year-old woman, authorities said last night. The case was over nearly as soon as it started — after it surfaced that his aspiring-model accuser engaged in steamy texting with him after their sexual encounter, suggesting they get together again, sources said. Read More: New York Post
‘Drunken’ driver kills Queens man, 89

A boozed-up driver yesterday fatally struck an 89-year-old Queens man crossing the street just steps from his home, police said. Demitrios Matsoukatidis, 67, was driving east on 21st Avenue near 31st Street in Astoria at 6 p.m. when he smashed into Lizardo Aladana as he was in the crosswalk, authorities said. Aladana, who cops said was crossing against the light, was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital Queens, where he died. Read More: New York Post

FreshDirect leaving Long Island City for the Bronx

After flirting with a move to New Jersey, a Queens produce supplier has accepted a fresh offer – and will most likely relocate to the Bronx. FreshDirect, an online fresh food grocer, will uproot from its operations in Long Island City and leave the borough for larger facilities, according to a joint statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on February 7. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Queens lawmakers and civic leaders rail against proposed legislative districts 

Queens residents and lawmakers packed into a public hearing Tuesday to rail against proposed legislative districts they claim fractures neighborhoods and dilutes their political voice. “You have taken the 24th Assembly District and sliced and diced communities haphazardly along a narrow corridor that stretches across Queens,” Bob Friedrich of the civic group Eastern Queens United told members of the Legislative Task Force for Demographic Research and Reapportionment, which held the hearing at Queens Borough Hall. Read More: Daily News

Assemblyman Lancman Considers Run Against Congressman Turner

Queens State Assemblyman Rory Lancman took the first step to challenge New York City’s newest congressman this fall. Lancman, a Democrat, filed papers Tuesday morning to form an exploratory committee for a congressional campaign to challenge Republican incumbent Bob Turner. Turner won a special election last fall after Anthony Weiner resigned in the wake of a text-messaging scandal. Read More: NY1