Tag Archives: JFK

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Monday: Sunny. High 62. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Monday night: A few passing clouds. Low 44. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Restaurant letter-grade and fine system changes forum

State Sen. Jose Peralta, in conjunction with the 82nd Street Partnership, is hosting a forum for restaurateurs and small business owners to learn about proposed changes to the restaurant letter-grade and fine system and the new paid sick leave law. Officials from the city’s Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and Consumer Affairs will detail the proposed changes and respond to questions. Representatives from the Department of Small Business Services will be on hand to talk about small business access to capital and offer help in navigating city agencies. Monday, April 21, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Langston Hughes Library, 100th Street and Northern Boulevard in Corona. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Brand names in NY standardized tests vex parents

“Just Do It” has been a familiar Nike slogan for years, but some parents are wondering what it was doing on some of New York’s Common Core standardized English tests. Read more: Fox New York

Flight from JFK makes emergency landing with cracked windshield

A cracked windshield is blamed for forcing a United Airlines flight from JFK to make an emergency landing Saturday. Read more: ABC New York

Two-thirds of city’s Airbnb rentals are illegal sublets: state

Nearly two-thirds of the city apartments recently listed on Airbnb were being offered in violation of the law, an analysis by state authorities has found. Read more: New York Post

EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Cuomo builds reelection campaign team that includes ad whiz behind Dante de Blasio video

Gov. Cuomo has hired the media firm that made a star last year of young Dante de Blasio and his Afro. Read more: New York Daily News 

Kraft recalls 96K pounds of Oscar Mayer Wieners

Kraft Foods Group, Inc., a Columbia, Mo., establishment is recalling approximately 96,000 pounds of Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners because the products may contain Classic Cheese Dogs in the Classic Wieners’ packages.  Read more: NBC News

New travel plaza opens at JFK


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre 

 

Weary drivers looking for a break can now zip over to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and rest at the city’s only travel plaza.

Airport Plazas, a company that builds rest areas, held a grand opening on Thursday of its $13 million rest spot on the outskirts of JFK on 150th Avenue.

The retail lot has a Sunoco gas station, a Wendy’s, Qdoba Mexican Grill, 7-Eleven, a pizzeria, restrooms, a car wash and a dry cleaner, and Airport Plazas is looking to add a bank. There is also a food court with Wi-Fi and a screen with current flight information.

“JFK did not have a main street,” said George Abi Zeid, president and CEO of Airport Plazas. “This plaza is a main street for JFK. A place where you could stop, meet people, have a fresh cup of coffee… fuel your car, sit and relax, and you could use the facilities and use the restroom, which is one of the cleanest restrooms you’ll ever see in a travel plaza.”

Besides being a rest area, the travel plaza also offers four different fuel selections, including Diesel, E85, natural gas and Tesla Motors’ electric car charges. There are also many many parking spaces available.

The rest area is also expected to bring an economic boost to the neighborhood. The retail area will employ about 90 people, mostly from nearby neighborhoods, and bring an estimated economic impact of $40 to $50 million to the community, Abi Zeid said.

“The Port Authority needs every applause they could get these days,” State Senator Joe Addabbo said. “This is what it’s all about in these tough economic times as we look to go a little forward we look for ways in which we could increase jobs, protect our environment and hopefully again protect our economy.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Thursday: Sunny to partly cloudy. High around 60. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph. Thursday night: Rain showers early becoming a steady light rain overnight. Low 41. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Cirque du Soleil Armaluna

Cirque Du Soleil is back at Citi Field. Emerge yourself in Amaluna, a mysterious island governed by goddesses, guided by the moons cycles, and enchanted by an emotional story of love put to the test.  Tickets go from $45- $145. Runs until May 18 at various times. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Plane diverts to land at JFK, skids onto grass

Nobody was injured after a Delta flight from Atlanta to LaGuardia was diverted to JFK when the pilot reported a possible hydraulics problem. Read more: ABC New York

Chinatown skin infection outbreak spreads in NYC, number of cases doubles

The number of New Yorkers suspected of having a rare skin infection that comes from handling raw seafood, causing skin lesions, pain and swelling to the hands and arms and even difficulty moving fingers, has more than doubled, officials said Wednesday. Read more: NBC New York

Overdose doctor valued money over life: prosecutors

A Queens doctor on trial for manslaughter in the overdose deaths of two patients he prescribed painkillers to, valued money over human life, prosecutors charged Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. Read more: New York Post

Privacy concerns nix New York student-data plan

New York has reversed course to use an Atlanta-based company to store student data for parents and officials to use to track student progress, after the plan triggered privacy concerns and a legal challenge. Read more: NBC New York

Supreme Court strikes down overall limits on campaign contributions

In a decision that could transform American politics, the Supreme Court overturned the decades-old limits on the total amount of money individuals can contribute in every federal election. Read more: New York Daily News

Taxi dispatchers busted for allegedly taking cash bribes at JFK


| editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Sixteen men, including seven Queens residents, have been charged with illegally taking cash bribes in a taxi-dispatching scheme at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), officials announced Wednesday.

The taxi dispatchers, who were employed by the Port Authority of New York  & New Jersey subcontractor Gateway Group One Frontline Services, were busted in an undercover operation following an anonymous tip, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.

They are accused of accepting cash bribes to rig the dispatching system at JFK so taxi drivers could “basically ‘cut the line’ and get ahead,” Brown said.

At the airport, dispatchers regulate the taxis between a central holding location and the terminal pick-up area, according to the district attorney. The average wait time in the holding area is about two to three hours. When a dispatcher gives taxis a fare to nearby locations, such as Queens or Brooklyn, drivers receive a Short Haul, or “shorty,” ticket, which allows them to skip the central holding area and go directly to the terminal to pick-up passengers, Brown said.

The accused men allegedly accepted ten dollar cash payments to allow undercover cab operators to bypass long lines without waiting in the central holding area even though they did not have shorty tickets.

The sixteen accused dispatchers are currently waiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on charges of commercial bribe receiving, official misconduct and receiving unlawful gratuities, each of which is punishable by up to one year in jail, according to the district attorney.

 

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FBI: Laser beam strikes targeting planes increase in NYC airports


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A crime that can temporarily blind airplane pilots and put air passengers at risk is spiking in New York City airports, authorities said.

Laser beam strikes targeting in-bound planes have increased 39 percent in the city, the FBI said. The number of incidents jumped to 99 in 2013 from 71 in 2012.

Authorities believe youngsters on top of residential roofs are aiming the powerful light beams at airplane cockpits as a prank.

“Laser incidents are often viewed as harmless acts. This couldn’t be further from the truth,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos. “A laser pointed at a plane’s cockpit could blind a pilot and down an aircraft.”

At least 35 pilots have been injured by laser strikes since last December, the FBI said.

In one instance, a JetBlue pilot flying into John F. Kennedy International Airport last December was temporarily blinded for more than a week, the bureau said.

The federal agency is offering up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest and is hoping its regional awareness campaign deters the felony, which is punishable by five years in jail.

“It is important that people understand that this is a criminal act with potentially deadly repercussions,” said Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.

The pointers can be easily and legally purchased, authorities said, and the beams can travel further than one mile.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000.

 

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BP Katz commemorates Beatles anniversary


| editorial@queenscourier.com


Borough President Melinda Katz appeared on the “Jim Kerr Rock ‘n Roll Morning Show” on Q104.3 Friday to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first visit to America.

It was 50 years ago today when the flight carrying the “Fab  Four”  to the U.S. arrived at John F.  Kennedy Airport, where they were greeted by thousands of screaming fans and a huge throng of reporters who came to the airport for the Beatles’ first U.S. press conference.

Since that day the borough of Queens has played host to several other major Beatles events, including their August 1964 concerts at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills and their 1965 and 1966 shows at Shea Stadium (with the sold out 1965 show being the first concert ever to be performed in a major sports stadium).

In recent years Sir Paul McCartney has made several trips to Queens for performances at Shea Stadium and Citi Field, and visited the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts in Astoria this fall, where he performed for and took questions from students.

During her radio appearance, the Borough President presented host Jim Kerr with a proclamation that notes all those important Beatles events. and pays tribute to the band for the great joy and excitement it has brought to people throughout the world.

“Beginning with their arrival in the U.S. during the dark days after the assassination John F. Kennedy, The Beatles have had a profound positive impact on our nation and have brightened the lives of countless millions of people,” Katz said. “As Borough President and as a lifelong Queens resident, I am proud that our borough has played such an important role in Beatles history. Thank you to Jim Kerr and everyone at Q104.3 for inviting me to their station to help mark today’s anniversary.”

 

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NYC airports experience most delays during recent extreme weather


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

The latest spell of extreme weather left thousands of delays and cancellations at airports across the country, but New York City area airports were hit particularly hard, according to an analysis by the Global Gateway Alliance (GGA).

From Saturday, Jan. 4 to Tuesday, Jan. 7, John F. Kennedy International (JFK), LaGuardia and Newark airports had the most delays at 5,320 and second most cancellations at 2,155. The most cancellations at the city’s airports occurred on Monday, with 706, and the most delays were on Sunday, with 1,692.

Chicago’s two major airport hubs suffered from the most cancellations at 4,655 and the second most delays at 3,134.

More than 50 percent of all flights were cancelled or delayed during the four-day period at both New York area and Chicago airports, according to GGA.

JetBlue suspended outgoing flights at, JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, and Boston’s Logan airports to catch up with weather-related delays and cancellations Monday. The airline started gradually operating again at 10 a.m. Tuesday, but wasn’t 100 percent operational until about 3 p.m. that day

“The rampant cancellations and delays we saw this week are a wake-up call for leadership to  start focusing on better airports, and they underscore why Governor [Andrew] Cuomo’s announcement  that he is taking responsibility for NYC airport modernization is so timely” said Joe Sitt, Chairman and founder of GGA. “Bad weather that causes serious disruptions in air traffic is going to happen, but it shouldn’t continually wreak havoc. Travelers should expect everyone involved in the industry to create a modern, safe and efficient aviation system, and should hold our leaders accountable for delivering.”

In Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address Wednesday he said LaGuardia is ranked as the worst airport in America.

“That is a disgrace my friends and it is unacceptable and it is going to change,” he said.

The state, he said, would assume management responsibility from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for construction at JFK and LaGuardia airports to modernize them.

The GGA is specifically calling for faster implementation of NextGen, particularly at NYC airports and other hubs; better customer service contingency planning; modernized airport terminals; and remaining focused on safety.

 

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Cuomo talks economic successes, medical marijuana in State of State


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo's Flickr

Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the go-ahead for legalizing medical marijuana, while promoting tax relief measures and touting New York’s economic successes, in his last State of the State address before running for re-election.

“In three years, [we] have reversed decades of decline,” the governor said, referring to the state’s transformation from a $10 billion deficit to the $2 billion surplus during that period.

By spending less, the state can now tax less, Cuomo said, and will do so through a $2 billion package of tax relief proposals.

A renter’s tax credit would offer a refundable personal income tax credit to those who make under $100,000.
Cuomo proposed a reform to the estate tax, which, like the federal government would exempt the first $5.25 million of a person’s estate, instead of estates valued below $1 million, as the state does now.

Additional measures would provide relief on property and business taxes, and help simplify the tax code.

As anticipated, Cuomo called for a program that would research the feasibility of medical marijuana in New York.

He will use existing statutory authority, enacting an old law which established the Antonio G. Olivieri controlled substances therapeutic research program, to launch a pilot medical marijuana research program that allows up to 20 hospitals to provide medical marijuana to patients being treated for serious illnesses.

Focusing specifically on the New York City region, Cuomo said the borough’s airports were in need of care, particularly LaGuardia, which he said was ranked as the worst airport in the country.

Cuomo proposed modernizing LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports, by having the state assume management responsibility from The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

The governor also stressed the importance of education investments in his address, particularly in technology in the classroom and universal, full-day pre-k.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing for universal, full-day pre-k in the city, which would be funded by taxing the rich.

“I think it was very promising that the governor laid it out as a goal for the whole state,” the mayor, who attended the address, said in a press conference afterwards.

When asked if there was a conflict between his proposed tax raises and Cuomo’s tax relief package, de Blasio said that the state and the city each has its “own vision” when it comes to taxes.

Cuomo, despite critics who disagree with him for the need for ethics reform, promised to continue fighting political corruption.

“There has been a string of bad acts on almost a daily basis,” he said, proposing new anti-bribery and corruption laws.

“I believe the more trust we have from the public, the more we can do.”

 

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Tennessee man arrested at JFK Airport for having guns and ammunition


| editorial@queenscourier.com

File image

A 23-year-old Tennessee man was arrested Saturday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport for allegedly traveling with multiple guns and ammunition, authorities said.

Keenan A. Draughon, 23, allegedly wanted to check in two handguns, two rifles and two high-capacity magazines for his flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, according to District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Both guns had their serial numbers defaced, Brown said.

Draughon was stopped at the United Airlines counter at JFK Airport’s Terminal 8 at approximately 7:45 a.m., the district attorney said.

“Firearms illegally possessed in this city pose a serious and deadly threat to public safety,” Brown said. “Before leaving home, passengers should acquaint themselves with the weapon laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting and comply with any and all legal requirements if they choose to travel with a weapon.  Otherwise, they may find themselves being arrested and charged with serious felonies – as is what occurred in this case.”

Draughon – who is from Clarksville, Tennessee – was held pending arraignment Saturday in Queens Criminal Court. His lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment.

He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, the district attorney said. 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms and a chance of rain. High of 81. Winds from the SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Monday night: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms and a chance of rain. Low of 72. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Saturday Night Fever

Come to Astoria Park at 8:30 p.m. for a free screening of the movie “Saturday Night Fever.”  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Package of beauty supplies triggers police, FBI response at JFK

Police and federal agents responded to JFK Airport’s postal facility after two customs agents reported a strange odor coming from a package Sunday, officials said. Read more: NBC New York

Quinn aims to raise the legal dropout age to make sure that a legal adult is making the decision

Kids would be legally barred from dropping out of high school until they turn 18 under a proposal announced Sunday by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Read more: New York Daily News 

New York State cracks down on speeders, other traffic violators

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday announced a weeklong crackdown targeting speeders and aggressive drivers around the state. Read more: CBS New York 

Poll: most New Yorkers embarrassed by Weiner, Spitzer

Even most New Yorkers watching Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer in political races dominated by their sex scandals want to forget about it. Read more: AP

Holder: Some drug offenders shouldn’t face mandatory minimum sentences

Attorney General Eric Holder is directing federal prosecutors to change they way they file charges for some drug crimes, to reduce the number of convictions for offenses that carry inflexible, mandatory minimum sentences. Read more: NBC New York

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast with a chance of rain. High of 81. Breezy. Winds from the NE at 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Thursday night: Overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 66. Winds from the NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Waterfront Concert Series 2013

The band Motor City Revue will perform a tribute to Motown at this outdoor concert on the Astoria Park Lawn at 7:30 p.m. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

City Council approves 10-year limit for Madison Square Garden

The New York City Council voted Wednesday to limit Madison Square Garden’s permit at its current spot above Penn Station to 10 years — a decision cheered by civic organizations campaigning to move the home of the Knicks and Rangers so the busy station can be renovated. Read more: AP

Weiner sends email to supporters in wake of latest sexting scandal

Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner issued the following letter to supporters Wednesday, a day after revelations that he exchanged graphic emails and photos with a young woman after he resigned from Congress in 2011. Read more: CBS New York

Queens, N.Y., hit-and-run driver speeds away with bicyclist on roof, flinging him off

A motorist callously ignored the pleas of a bicyclist he cut down in Queens, N.Y., early Wednesday — speeding for almost two blocks as the victim clung to the roof, police and a witness said. Read more: New York Daily News

Shirtless man breaches JFK security

A man who wasn’t wearing a shirt reportedly slipped past a secured checkpoint at JFK International Airport. Read more: Fox New York

Woman, child from Oregon used in Eliot Spitzer campaign ad without permission

A campaign ad for former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer that acknowledges his 2008 prostitution scandal with the admission, “I failed, big time,” features a woman from Oregon who did not authorize the appearance. Read more: NBC New York

Senate approves deal to reverse spike in student loan rates

The Senate on Wednesday approved a bipartisan deal to reverse a recent spike in interest rates on millions of new federal student loans. Read more: Reuters 

Near collision over Queens points to increased air traffic: pol


| mchan@queenscourier.com


Two planes nearly collided over Queens as one aircraft took off and another was completing a landing, officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a June 13 incident in which a Delta Airlines Boeing 747 regional jet arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 2:40 p.m. came perilously close to a Shuttle America Embraer E170 flight departing from LaGuardia Airport.

The planes were turning away from each other when they lost the required three mile separation between them, the agency said in a statement.

Both landed safely, though according to published reports, the two aircraft were at one point only 200 feet apart vertically and about half a mile horizontally.

The FAA said flight routes approved in December “ensure the required three-mile separation” between JFK arrivals and LaGuardia departures while using a new, precise navigation system.

But State Senator Tony Avella said the close call was a warning sign of public safety hazards to come if the administration continues to increase air traffic over the city.

“This latest incident is indicative of this danger,” the lawmaker said. “Unfortunately, if the FAA continues to pursue this goal, near misses could become more common and lead to truly tragic events.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Overcast with rain in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 55. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Friday night: Clear. Low of 34. Breezy. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY:  First Friday Film Series at the Noguchi Museum

The Noguchi Museum will continue its First Friday Film Series. Episodes are selected to complement the exhibition Hammer, Chisel, Drill: Noguchi’s Studio Practice and will feature the works of various contemporary artists. Visitors can enjoy extended evening hours from 5 to 8 p.m. with free admission, cash bar and special programming.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Man injured when façade collapses at Queens GameStop

A 22-year-old man was taken to Elmhurst hospital after façade collapse at the GameStop he worked at in Queens. Read more: ABC New York

Assault in Forest Park sparks call for more patrols 

Elected officials are pressuring the city to put more parks enforcement officers on patrol after a woman was sexually assaulted in Forest Park last week. Read more: New York Daily News

Major security breach at JFK investigated

TSA workers reportedly let a Kennedy International Airport worker board a flight to Florida without a boarding pass and without being screened. Read more: Fox New York

NYC fast food workers picket, want restaurants to pay $15 per hour

Hundreds of fast food workers and supporters protested outside New York City restaurants Thursday to demand higher wages for their low-paying jobs, including about 60 who chanted “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Minimum wage has got to go!” at a midtown Wendy’s. Read more: CBS New York

Film critic Roger Ebert dies after cancer battle

Roger Ebert could be tough on filmmakers, but unlike many critics, he earned their respect. Read more: AP/ABC New York

Official: Obama proposes cuts to Social Security

President Barack Obama is proposing cuts to Social Security as an attempt to compromise with Republicans on the budget. Read more: AP

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Clear. High of 48. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 20 mph shifting to the SSW in the afternoon.Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 37. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Diverse Visions of Reality Gallery Exhibit

Federico Castelluccio, who played Furio in The Sopranos, co-presents 11 painters who will exhibit two works each during the
Diverse Visions of Reality Gallery Exhibit at the Diego Salazar Art Studios & Gallery in LIC. The show runs from the April 4 (opening reception) through May 4. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Rash of burglaries prompt emergency meeting in Forest Hills

A rash of burglaries in Forest Hills prompted an emergency community meeting on Tuesday to address rising concerns. Read more: New York Daily News

NYC mayoral candidates spar after ballot bribe scandal

One day after prosecutors charged State Sen. Malcolm Smith for allegedly trying to bribe his way into the mayor’s race, some of the candidates who actually are running for the job showed how the scandal could impact the election. Read more: NBC New York

NYPD cop arrested at JFK on robbery, drug charges

An off-duty New York City police officer has been arrested on charges related to armed robbery and narcotics trafficking. Read more: Fox New York

Report: 18 potential human remains found in WTC debris

A total of 18 pieces that might be human remains were found in debris from around the World Trade Center, according to a published report. Read more: CBS New York

Jay Leno to Exit ‘Tonight Show,’ Jimmy Fallon in the wings

It’s the end of an era. Ending weeks of speculation, NBC confirmed today that after 22 years, Jay Leno will step down as the host of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” next spring. Jimmy Fallon, now the star of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” will take over shortly thereafter. Read more: ABC News

North Korea moves missiles, but no sign of imminent attack

North Korea has moved a missile with “considerable range” to its east coast, South Korea’s defense minister said Thursday, but he added that there are no signs that Pyongyang is preparing for a full-scale conflict. Read more: ABC New York/AP

Planes collide on JFK tarmac, no injuries


| tcullen@queenscourier.com


No one was injured this morning after two planes collided on a JFK tarmac this morning.

The Daily News reported an Air India plane hit a parked JetBlue plane around 6:20 a.m. near Terminal 4. About 15o passengers on the Air India flight had to disembark from the plane.

This is an ongoing investigation, a Port Authority spokesperson said.

 

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