Tag Archives: Local News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens couple found dead in apparent murder suicide

A man and woman were shot to death last night in their Queens home in what cops called an apparent murder-suicide — and one of the two children in the house at the time made the horrifying discovery, neighbors said. The victims, whose names were withheld, were found around 11: 30 p.m. in the home on Dillon Street in South Jamaica, cops said. In the house were the couple’s 2-year-old son and his 16-year-old stepsister. The teenager’s 18-year-old sister was out at the time. Read More: New York Post

 

GOP hopeful that Police Commissioner Kelly will run for mayor

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is being courted by a top state Republican to run for mayor next year — and the city’s top cop is open to the idea, sources told The Post. Kelly, who has come under fire for the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk and Muslim-surveillance policies, could use the City Hall post to continue driving down crime and fighting local terrorism “for another four or eight years,’’ said former state GOP Chairman William Powers, who heads the party’s newly created statewide “advisory committee.’’ Read More: New York Post

 

Fearless squirrels invade Queens co-op

They are marauding gangs of troublemakers who set fire to cars, cut electrical wires and cause power outages, evading capture by scaling walls and climbing trees. But while the Queens co-op residents being terrorized by the daredevil vandals say they know exactly who their tormentors are, they insist that they’re helpless in stopping the crime wave — because the suspects are sex-happy squirrels. Read More: New York Post

 

Residents Help Clean Rockaway Beach For The Summer Season

While it’s not summertime yet, the unseasonably warm temperatures this week got dozens of local residents to make sure Rockaway Beach is ready to make a positive first impression this season. Read More: NY1

 

Queens man arrested for breaking into Diddy’s East Hampton mansion, eating his food and wearing rapper’s clothes

A Queens resident’s unwelcome visit to Diddy’s East Hampton mansion on April 1 was no joke. Quamine T. Taylor was arrested at the rapper’s residence after cops say he entered through an unlocked basement door, and treated himself to a nearly day-long feast fit for a music mogul, according to the East Hampton Star. Read More: Daily News

 

Rookie police officer arrested after assaulting fiancee in his Queens home

A rookie NYPD cop was arrested in Queens Saturday for assaulting his fiancée, officials said. Off-duty Officer Alexandru Baiasu, 27, was arrested about 10:50 p.m. at his Rego Park home after attacking his 31-year-old fiancée during an argument, cops said. Baiasu, who was newly assigned to the Police Academy, was charged with assault and harassment, officials said. Read More: Daily News

 

NY Jets’ Tim Tebow attends Yankees-Angels game, sits with Dwyane Wade and gets booed by fans

Tim Tebow made the scene at the Stadium for Sunday night’s 11-5 win over the Angels. The newest Jet, who is due to attend workouts with the team on Monday, sat on the third-base side next to the Angels dugout with a Yankees cap on and, at one point, engaged in an animated conversation with Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. When the Stadium video board showed Tebow, he received equal parts boos and cheers. Read More: Daily News

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens woman killed in overnight fire

A Queens blaze killed a woman this morning, and seriously injured her cousin, authorities said. Firefighters discovered the unconscious body of Joanne Brown, 63, as they extinguished the flames in her Auburndale home on 189th Street, near 45th Avenue. EMS pronounced her dead at the scene. The fire began about 4:40 a.m., and was under control less than an hour later, according to an FDNY spokesperson. Read More: New York Post

Prober uses Facebook to nail perv, goldbrick NY teachers

Facebook is giving more Big Apple teachers a black eye. As the city Department of Education prepares to release it’s first-ever social-media policy, Schools Investigator Richard Condon has tallied a rapid growth in complaints about improper Facebook usage by city school employees — 120 in the past 18 months. Some teachers got in trouble for posting dumb jokes tinged with sex or violence. Others were busted after their own or students’ Facebook comments tipped officials to wrongdoing. Read More: New York Post

Sleepy driver kills 2: cops

A Long Island man on prescription drugs fell asleep behind the wheel and drove his 2011 Honda Ridgeline into a tree early yesterday, killing his 19-year-old girlfriend and a 17-year-old passenger, cops said. Thomas Smith, 20, of Ridge, and Jacqueline Salvador had just moved in together last week and were returning from Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. Also in the car were her brother, Johnny Salvador, 17, Ryan Baumgartner, 17, and an unidentified girl, 16. Read More: New York Post

Queens Child’s Fundraiser Raises Awareness Of Rare GI Disorders

A Queens fourth grader with a rare gastrointestinal problem held a Saturday fundraiser in Woodside to raise money and awareness. KeVaughn Plunkett, who is allergic to almost all foods and has to use a food pump to survive, held his fourth Annual Art Show event at Saint Mary’s Church in Woodside. Proceeds went to the American Partnership For Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED). For more information, visit apfed.org. Read More: NY1

 

 

Schumer Demands Harsher Penalties For Pharmacy Robberies

In the wake of several robberies of pharmacies in the area, Senator Charles Schumer is urging Congress to pass a bill calling for tougher penalties. The Safe Doses Act, which is already waiting for a Senate vote, would increase punishments for robbing drug stores and give police more tools to crack down on illegal prescription drug rings. Just last week, two man held up an East Harlem pharmacy looking for pain medication. Read More: NY1

 

 

 

New York Marks Centennial Of Titanic Sinking

Exactly 100 years since an iceberg sank the RMS Titanic, New York City is holding events today to mark the centennial of the famed shipwreck that killed more than 1,500 people. The Titanic sank early in the morning of April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg late the previous night. A tour in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx is letting visitors pay respects at the gravesites of several Titanic passengers. Also, the Noble Maritime Collection at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island is opening a Titanic-related art exhibit. Read More: NY1

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens Students Spend Whole Vacation With High-Stakes State Test Preps

School’s out this week, but it’s business as usual at P.S. 15 in Springfield Gardens, Queens. Almost all third through fifth grade students have been showing up each morning for class, and the subject is test prep. “I thought it would be important for them to stay on the regular schedule. Especially getting up in the morning, it’s very essential, and still doing the schoolwork, which would maintain the momentum,” said P.S. 15 Principal Antonio K’Tori. Read More: NY1

 

 

Cops warned of ‘Drano bomb’ threat

Cops in the Rockaways have been targeted for an attack with “Drano bombs,” the Daily News has learned. The NYPD issued a citywide alert Tuesday warning officers about “Drano bombs,” also known as “bottle bombs,” that “are exploded by readily mixing available household products in plastic containers.” Police sources said that while the alert went to every precinct, the greatest concern is in the Rockaways. Read More: Daily News

Kuroda faces tough test, worrisome trend in move from NL to AL

Orlando Hernandez, Jon Lieber and Shawn Chacon. You now know the only three starters acquired during general manager Brian Cashman’s tenure who have enjoyed Yankee success without having spent considerable time in the American League beforehand. It is not much of a list and El Duque is the only member who sustained a positive run with the Yankees. Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees’ starter in today’s home opener, is trying to expand that small group. Read More: New York Post

Rangers Win Playoff Opener 4-1 Over Ottawa At MSG

Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves and Brian Boyle got the eventual game-winning goal as the New York Rangers defeated the Ottawa Senators in their playoff opener Thursday night. The 4-2 win sent a happy crowd home from Madison Square Garden. Rangers captain Ryan Callahan opened the scoring for the Blueshirts midway through the first period, only to see the Senators take back the momentum in the second. But Rangers coach John Tortorella called a pivotal timeout, and his team responded with goals by Marian Gaborik, Boyle, and Brad Richards. Read More: NY1

 

 

‘Jamaica Bay Lives!’ documentary highlights problems affecting Queens estuary

Old saris, uncooked rice and flags featuring Hindu deities floating in Jamaica Bay would appear, to many people, as nothing more than litter. But for Indo-Caribbean immigrants, leaving the items on the Rockaway shore was once considered the only way to complete the sacred offering known as a Puja. Enter Kamini Doobay, a 23-year-old clinical researcher, trying to reconcile her religious beliefs with her concern for the environment. In 2009, Doobay began raising awareness of the problem and successfully convinced some of her fellow worshippers to reuse any non-biodegradable items, rather than leave them in the bay. Read More: Daily News

Queens co-ops $crewed: Liu

Queens co-op and condo owners who complained last year of wildly inflated property assessments were right on the mark, city Comptroller John Liu reported yesterday. Liu said his auditors determined that the market value of co-ops citywide went up 12 percent in the tentative 2011-12 property tax rolls — while Queens co-ops were hit with an average 32 percent hike. Liu also said a review of all 859 co-op complexes in Queens turned up 92 that were mistakenly “over-valued” by as much as 25 percent. Read More: New York Post

2-year-old girl forgotten aboard private schoolbus in Queens

A 2-year-old girl was forgotten aboard a private schoolbus after her driver parked the vehicle on a Queens street and went home, police said. The child was rescued after a passing Con-Ed worker spotted her inside the bus on Christie Avenue and 99th Street in Corona and called cops. The driver, Ana Garcia, 62, was arrested at her nearby 99th Street home and charged with failure to exercise control of a minor. Read More: New York Post

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

JetBlue pilot indicted for flight disruption

A JetBlue Airways pilot accused of disrupting a Las Vegas-bound flight when he left the cockpit screaming about religion and terrorists has been indicted. Court documents posted Thursday show Clayton F. Osbon has been indicted on one count of interference of a flight crew. It’s the same charge he’s been held on since short after the March 27 incident. A secretary for Osbon’s attorney, Dean Roper, says he declines to comment. Read More: New York Post

Queens Library to become first in New York to lend preloaded e-readers

The Queens Library is becoming the first library in the New York public library system to lend e-readers. Under the pilot program, 50 Nooks will be available for check out at the library’s Central Library in Jamaica, starting on Thursday. According to the Wall Street Journal, each e-reader will be preloaded with 25 e-books in one of five categories: children’s literature, young adult books, mystery, romance and best sellers. Each device also will be loaded with 50 works of classic literature. Read More: New York Post

Armed Suspect Killed, Three Wounded In Manhattan Pharmacy Shooting

The New York City Police Department says an armed suspect was shot and killed this morning during an attempted robbery at an East Harlem pharmacy. Investigators are looking for at least one other suspect. Police say they got a report around 11 a.m. of a man with a gun inside the pharmacy on the corner of First Avenue and East 119th Street. The Fire Department says three others were hurt. Read More: NY1

 

World Financial Center evacuated after suspicious package found 

A grenade found in the mail at 2 World Financial Center sparked the evacuations of hundreds of workers who were let back in after it was determined to be just a novelty item, police said. The phony grenade that caused the panic was mounted on a plaque with a sign reading “Complaint Dept. Pull Pin,” cops said. The FedEx package was being scanned by workers from Brookfield Properties when they spotted the object through an X-ray image about 11 a.m. Thursday, the sources said. Daily News
Police: Armed Pair Targeting Cell Phone Stores In Brooklyn, Queens

Police are on the hunt for two men wanted for a string of armed robberies at cell phone stores in Brooklyn and Queens. Police say the men held up two stores in Prospect Park South and one in Richmond Hill. In each incident, the suspects showed a gun and made off with cash. The robberies happened March 26 at a Metro PCS store on Church Avenue; March 30 at a Mobile Wireless Champs store on Liberty Avenue in Queens; and at another Metro PCS store on Flatbush Avenue last Wednesday. Read More: NY1

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Late-night win brings relief for Yankees team struggling for clutch hits

This one, like its two immediate predecessors, carried the vibe of, “Well, we better beat the Orioles regularly. They’re terrible!” Yet this victory last night, 6-4 over Baltimore in 10 innings at Camden Yards, felt a little different, too. For a team eternally saddled with (and marketing) great expectations, you could sense some relief. Read More: New York Post

Wife bares hero’s stand

He died trying to be a hero. The wife of a man beaten to death outside his Astoria home in 2008 while trying to protect a neighbor from a crazed drifter yesterday told a Queens jury she begged him not to get involved. “I told him, ‘Please, please, don’t go,’ ” Dora Nowillo said of her husband Nicolas, 65. His alleged attacker, Eric Cherry, 47, faces manslaughter and assault charges. Read More: New York Post

Surfin’ US‘O’

Michelle Obama is flexing her muscle at the Rockaways’ legendary cabana clubs. The Obama administration made promoting the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” health-and-fitness campaign a criteria for winning the concessions contract for two Queens beach clubs in the Gateway National Recreation Area. The National Park Service insisted it wasn’t a case of government overreach. “These are presidential initiatives and we are part of the executive branch. Gee whiz,” said spokesman John Warren. “How can you disagree with . . . getting healthy?” Read More: New York Post

Delta Launches Construction Of New Domestic Hub At LaGuardia

Delta broke ground Wednesday on an expansion of its new domestic hub at LaGuardia Airport.Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand to help usher in the construction project, the largest at the airport in more than 40 years. The expanded terminal will increase service at LaGuardia by 60 percent, adding 100 new flights and 26 new destinations by this summer. flights between the airport and more than 60 cities. The airline is also investing $160 million to modernize Terminals C and D at LaGuardia and build a connector between them. Read More: NY1

 

Mayor Bloomberg is moving to regulate pay of unionized city trade workers, taking the power away from the City Controller

The Bloomberg administration is moving to seize regulatory control over close to 10,000 unionized city trade workers — yanking the power away from embattled City Controller John Liu. Officials from the city Office of Labor Relations on Wednesday contacted the unions representing city workers under some 95 job titles — including electricians, plumbers and steamfitters — to let them know about the impending switch. Since 1894, according to administration officials, the Controller’s office has set the trade workers’ pay levels based on the average earnings of their private sector counterparts. Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Maniac went for cop-killer bullets: police

The crazed gunman who wounded four Brooklyn cops was reaching for another rifle loaded with more powerful, armor-piercing bullets to inflict deadly injuries just before he was stopped, officials said yesterday. “If he would have been able to grab that gun, this would have been a lot more tragic. It would have been in God’s hands,” said a police official familiar with the case. “It’s apparent [the suspect] wanted to shoot it out with cops and go out in a blaze of glory.’’ Read More: New York Post

Cuomo at all-time high in latest poll; Bam and Gillibrand strong

Gov. Cuomo’s job approval has hit an all-time high while President Obama and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are cruising toward re-election in deep blue New York this year, according to a new poll out today. The Siena College survey found New York voters divided over Obamacare and the potential legalization of casino gambling but strongly supportive of expanding the state’s DNA databank and rolling back pension benefits for new public employees. Read More: New York Post

Liu’s legal bills outweigh donations

Embattled city Comptroller John Liu’s campaign treasury “is turning into a legal-defense fund.”

Liu’s campaign has spent more than $100,000 on lawyers and legal fees so far this year — more than he raised in campaign contributions. Liu only raised $82,305 from Jan. 1 through March 25. And the new report shows that Liu spent more than twice what he raised during the period — $162,354.92. The anemic fund-raising and ballooning legal bills come as Liu and his campaign operation face a federal criminal probe of their fund-raising activities. Read More: New York Post

Smoking banned in New York State Parks in New York City

In announcing the ban Monday, state officials said it was done to make state parks consistent with their city-run counterparts, where smoking was outlawed last year. Smoking will also be banned near pools and playgrounds at all other state parks outside of the city, as officials look to create “fresh-air” zones for parkgoers. Read More: Daily News


 

Park Officials Plan To Fix Up Vandalized Far Rockaway Playground By Summer

With the damages totalling more than $100,000, many Far Rockaway residents feared the city would halt construction on the Beach 29th playground, but the Parks Department says it will soon be back on schedule. “The contractor has been there a few times the manufacturer, we located the parts that we need, they’re now on order,” said Queens Park Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “We hope to be back in line and open the playground sometime during the summer.” Read More: NY1

 

 

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly fights the good fight in New York City’s long war against guns

This time it was 3301 Nostrand Ave. in the first moments of Easter Sunday, four Emergency Service Unit cops, cops as good as any Ray Kelly has, coming through the door of Apartment 6-K, all being shot by a “very bad dude” — Kelly’s words — named Nakwon Foxworth. Another bad dude in the City of New York with guns, one gun at least from the shoot-happy South. Read More: Daily News

 


 

Ire at home ‘free’ tenant

Queens landlord Debra Samuels says her only tenant hasn’t paid the $1,590 rent in more than a year — putting her two-family home in jeopardy. “We haven’t received a penny since February 2011 and she’s upstairs chilling, living free.” Samuels said. “I don’t see any resolution to this thing.” The cash crunch has put Samuels and her husband, who run a restaurant together, behind on their mortgage for the two-family Far Rockaway home.  Read More: New York Post

 

Catholic Charities boardmember quits over Cardinal Dolan’s stance on gay rights

Angered by Cardinal Dolan’s stance on gay rights, a member of the junior board of the city’s Catholic Charities revealed Saturday he has resigned. Joseph Amodeo quit after Dolan took umbrage at a letter from a group that works with homeless lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender youths. Read More: Daily News

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

WATCH: Queens ‘vigilante’ busted for beating down fellow tenant

A self-appointed vigilante at a Queens apartment building was arrested after he choked and beat into a concussion a fellow tenant he did not recognize him as a resident, The Post has learned. Yong Hung Wang, 36, of 35-06 Leavett St., in Flushing, mistook victim John Derounian, 37, for a burglar after Derounian returned to their building Wednesday morning to get his front door key and cell phone, which he had left behind. Read and Watch the Video: New York Post

Man charged with murdering girlfriend’s toddler accused in 2nd murder of another ex’s baby

A man charged with murdering his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son last month is now being accused by another girlfriend of killing her infant daughter in 2010. Tyree Wright, 19, was not charged in the 2010 death of 7-month-old Nyla Nickens. The infant’s mother, Nyemah Nickens, now 21, claims she was wrongly charged with killing her own child only after confessing under duress to shaking Nyla. Read More: Daily News

 

Plea deal in Queens deli slay

A Queens man pleaded guilty yesterday to a reduced charge for killing a hardworking deli owner who tried save his brother during a botched robbery. Shawn Forde, 29, admitted he gunned down 54-year-old Juan Torres, owner of the Lucky Grocery & Deli on Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton, in October 2010 as the victim was trying to protect his brother, Felix. Forde had faced 25 years to life for the murder and robbery, but copped a plea to first-degree manslaughter and will be sentenced to 15 years in prison on May 1. Read More: New York Post

Three Rescued From Capsized Tugboat Near Liberty Island

Three people were rescued this morning after a boat capsized just off Liberty Island. The U.S. Coast Guard says the small tugboat overturned and sent three people into the water around 9:45 a.m. All three were rescued by police but officials have not released their conditions. At least one person was taken to a medical facility in New Jersey. The cause of the accident is still unclear. The Coast Guard says a salvage operation will be done commercially once it approves a plan. Read More: NY1

 

Mets call up Nieuwenhuis to replace injured Torres

Kirk Nieuwenhuis has gotten the call to replace injured Andres Torres as the Mets’ center fielder. The team placed Torres on the disabled list Friday, a day after he aggravated his left calf muscle in the Mets’ season opener. Torres originally strained the calf during a March 20 exhibition game. Read More: New York Post

 

Rig Faults Uncovered At Deadly Crane Collapse Site

Days after a deadly crane collapse on Manhattan’s West Side, officials say poor maintenance or improper handling may have led up to the tragedy. Engineers have found defects in the hoisting system of a crane that crashed down Tuesday at the construction site for the 7 line extension. The Buildings Department on Thursday said poor maintenance or improper handling of the rig may have contributed to the deadly accident. Read More: NY1

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

JetBlue’s crazy capt. just before freak-out

In the moments before JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon threw a terrifying tantrum aboard a flight from JFK to Las Vegas last week, he appeared to be the picture of calm, according to a newly released video of the terrifying incident. In the footage, Capt. Osbon can be seen chatting with flight attendants, one of whom is even smiling. The other flight attendant goes on about her business, as Osbon talks and sips water. Moments later, he went berserk, prompting passengers to hold him down while the plane made an emergency landing. Read More: New York Post

Plea deal in Queens deli slay

A Queens man pleaded guilty yesterday to a reduced charge for killing a hardworking deli owner who tried save his brother during a botched robbery. Shawn Forde, 29, admitted he gunned down 54-year-old Juan Torres, owner of the Lucky Grocery & Deli on Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton, in October 2010 as the victim was trying to protect his brother, Felix. Forde had faced 25 years to life for the murder and robbery, but copped a plea to first-degree manslaughter and will be sentenced to 15 years in prison on May 1. Read More: New York Post

Staten Island man arrested in accident that killed woman who died saving grandson

A 40-year-old Staten Island man was arrested early this morning, charged with driving away after running over a grandmother who was returning home from church. Clara Almazo, 57, died while courageously saving her 8-year-old grandson from the speeding vehicle, witnesses and relatives said. At this point, Brian McGurk is charged with leaving the scene of an accident. That accident happened as Almazo and the child were crossing Cary Avenue at Elizabeth Street in the West Brighton section. The black SUV barreled straight toward them at 9:50 p.m. Read More: New York Post

 

 

State Attorney General Seeks To Ban Sex Offenders From Online Gaming

“Online gaming is not just a digital playground. It has the potential to be a 21st century crime scene,” said the attorney general. On Thursday, Schneiderman announced the launch of “Operation: Game Over,” a deal with some of the country’s major gaming companies, like Microsoft and Sony, to block more than 3,500 online accounts of registered sex offenders, to take aim at offenders who may use these games to chat online with kids. “The most popular video games are specifically designed so players must interact,” said Schneiderman. Read More: NY1

 

 

 

Amazin’ Mets Seal 1-0 Victory At Citi Field Opener

The New York Mets opened their season of 162 games with a 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Ace starting pitcher Johan Santana made a successful return after missing last season with a shoulder injury, pitching five scoreless innings and only giving up two hits while striking out five. The Mets scored the only run of the game in the sixth inning on an RBI single by David Wright. Frank Francisco closed it out ending it with a strikeout of Jason Heyward. The Mets have now won on opening day 33 of the last 43 years, but are still looking to rebound from three straight losing seasons. Read More: NY1

 

 

Roosevelt Islanders Discuss Planned Local Tech Center With Cornell Officials

Cornell University has animations to represent its present vision of the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, but officials admitted what they call an open campus will change shape because they want the community’s input. “It’s not just rhetoric. We’re the state’s land grant institution and so it’s critical over the years we are developing this campus we’ve become good neighbors,” said Cornell University President David Skorton. NY1

 

 

Sixteen teachers singled out for pervy conduct get to keep their jobs in New York City schools

Sixteen city teachers have been singled out by education officials for pervy classroom behavior — but they can’t be fired, the Daily News has learned. One instructor allegedly bent a kid over a chair and thrust into him from behind, saying “I’ll show you what is gay.” Another couldn’t stop calling girls in his gym class “sexy.” And yet another is accused of telling a student: “I slept with your mother last night.” Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens elections official under fire for soliciting money from a contractor

The city’s Board of Elections has suspended an employee who is a top official in the Queens Republican Party after being notified that he was caught on tape soliciting a $25,000 “finder’s fee” from a company competing for a $65 million contract in 2009, The Post has learned. Several sources said the Department of Investigation provided information to the board that Stephen Graves, first vice chairman of the Queens GOP and a $66,392-a-year board employee, asked for the money from Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems as it was battling rival Elections Systems & Software of Omaha, Neb., to sell the city its first electronic voting machines. Read More: New York Post

‘Gay hookup’ link in French scholar’s Manhattan hotel room death: sources

Cops found gay-hookup Web sites on the laptop computer of a married French scholar whose naked corpse was found in a posh Midtown hotel room, law-enforcement sources said yesterday. Richard Descoings, 53, director of the prestigious Paris Institute of Political Studies — and a friend of French President Nicolas Sarkozy — was “really into men,” his widow told cops, according to the sources. Read More: New York Post

Brooklyn Man Charged With Murdering, Dismembering Roommate

Police charged a Brooklyn man Wednesday with murdering and dismembering his roommate, a day after a jar of bones was found in his Canarsie apartment. By late Wednesday, Sergey Mamonov, 49, seen above center, was waiting to be arraigned on charges of murdering Aleksandr Zilbergleyt, 55. The bones, which sources say were submerged in bleach, were found inside a refrigerator in the two men’s fourth-floor apartment at 3395 Nostrand Avenue in Sheepshead Bay. Read More: NY1

 

MTA: Crane In Midtown Accident Was Scheduled To Be Inspected This Week

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says a follow-up inspection on the crane involved in the Tuesday’s deadly collapse in Midtown Manhattan had originally been scheduled for Thursday. Transit officials say an inspection in January could not be finished by the Buildings Department, since the crane was in operation at the time. This news came as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn demanded on Wednesday that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, like other state agencies, use city rules for crane use on their projects. Read More: NY1

 

 

Boom not examined when crane at MTA site was OKd for use

A half-baked city inspection, slipshod contracting safeguards and mob corruption were key ingredients in the deadly recipe that led to a hardhat’s death under a falling crane at a subway construction site. Investigators suspect a cable on the aging Manitowoc rig snapped and sent two large pieces tumbling down on Michael Simermeyer at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s No. 7 subway extension job site in Manhattan about 7 p.m. Tuesday. Read More: Daily News

Kerbet Dixon, ex-basketball coach at powerhouse Murry Bergtraum, indicted on child porn charges 

A former coach for a powerhouse Manhattan girls basketball team was locked up Wednesday after Queens prosecutors said they found hundreds of kiddie porn images on his home computers. Kerbet Dixon was held in lieu of a $100,000 bond after Queens prosecutors added the child pornography charges to a 307-count indictment that already included claims Dixon raped three underaged girls in his Queens home. Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

New crane horror: Worker dies in W. Side collapse at subway pit

A construction worker was killed and three of his colleagues were injured last night when a crane collapsed at the No. 7 train subway-extension construction site on the West Side, authorities said. The accident occurred at around 7:20 p.m. at West 34th Street and 11th Avenue when two pieces of the crane — 80- and 40-foot sections — became dislodged and fell into the below-ground site and onto the workers, officials said. Read More: New York Post

French Academic Found Dead In His Midtown Hotel Room

Police were investigating late Tuesday the death of prominent French academic found inside a Midtown hotel room. Richard Descoings, 54, was discovered in his bed at the Michelangelo Hotel on Tuesday afternoon. Investigators say hotel security went to his room after he did not check out. Sources say Descoings was found naked and his computer and phone were thrown from the seventh floor window. They also say police are looking for people who may have come into his room during the overnight hours. Read More: NY1

 

Off-Duty School Safety Agent Awaits Arraignment On Rape, Weapons Charges

An off-duty school safety agent was awaiting arraignment Monday after being arrested on rape charges in Queens. The New York City Police Department says Tommy Johnson, 28, is also charged with criminal weapons possession, menacing and assault. Sources say Johnson raped his ex-girlfriend in Brooklyn over the weekendJohnson currently lives in Ridgewood, Queens, where neighbors say he resides with his mother. Read More: NY1

 

Woman Dies Following Cooking Accident In Jackson Heights Home

A woman died Monday following an apparent cooking accident in her apartment in Jackson Heights, Queens. The New York City Fire Department says they responded to a 911 call Monday morning for a woman in cardiac arrest. Fire officials believe the woman was severely burned when her sleeve caught on fire while cooking. They say she then went into the hallway, where she went into cardiac arrest. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Read More: NY1

 

Key approval is won for Willets Point project

The city has won a key approval for its massive Willets Point redevelopment, dealing a blow to local property owners who hoped to delay or even halt the project. The Federal Highway Administration ruled that ramps proposed for the Van Wyck Expressway would have “no significant impact” on the surrounding area, according to a letter sent to the state Department of Transportation late last month and released Monday by city officials. Read More: Crain’s New York Business

 

NYPD investigating image on Al Qaeda forums as possible threat to New York City

A graphic featuring the New York skyline and posted on terrorism websites blares a chilling message in bold letters: “Al Qaeda coming soon again in New York.” The NYPD and the FBI are scrambling to locate the source of the message and trying to figure out whether it’s a credible threat or a sick taunt. The 3-D images spotted on Al Qaeda Internet forums Monday show the letters scrawled across a city street, as a father and son stroll by in amazement. Read More: Daily News

 

Authorities still looking for motive in Oakland shooting rampage at small Christian college that left seven dead

One wounded woman cowered in the bushes after the gunman opened fire on the campus of a small Christian university. One student hid in a locked classroom as the shooter banged on the door. Another heard the shots and ran to safety. All within an hour Monday, police said, a 43-year-old former student named One L. Goh walked into Oikos University, and began a rampage that left seven people dead and three people wounded, trapped some in the building and forced others to flee for their lives. Read More: Daily News

 

 

‘Rape’ victim dad’s anguish

Don’t let your daughters move to New York City. That’s the heart-wrenching advice of the father of a city schoolteacher who is still devastated after being sexually assaulted at gunpoint by an off-duty cop last summer. “It’s a dangerous city,” said the dad, whose name and location are being withheld to protect the identity of his 25-year-old daughter. “When things like this happen, it just makes you think twice,” the dad told The Post from his small, out-of-state farm. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Handyman Convicted Of Murder Of Manhattan Building Cleaner

A handyman accused of killing a Manhattan building cleaner and hiding her body in an air-conditioning duct was convicted of second-degree murder Monday. After deliberating for two days, jurors also found Joseph Pabon, 27, guilty of first-degree kidnapping. Prosecutors say Pabon smothered 46-year-old Eridania Rodriguez with industrial tape in July 2009. Read More: NY1

 

Boy, 10, shot in Williamsburg

A 10-year-old boy was hit by a stray bullet in Williamsburg late last night, police said. The child was with his father below the elevated subway tracks on Broadway near the Hewes Street station at around 10:55 p.m., when teens down the block began arguing, cops and witnesses said. “Ten or 15 people [were] fighting. I called 911 when I heard the gunshots, two or three shots,” said Baruch Bing, 23, who lives near the shooting scene. Read More: New York Post

Koch endorses Queens House pol

Ed Koch’s legendary clout with Jewish voters is about to be tested again. Hoping to repeat his kingmaker role from a closely watched congressional race six months ago, the outspoken ex-mayor yesterday threw his support behind Assemblyman Rory Lancman in a three-way race for the Democratic Party nomination in Queens’ 6th Congressional District. He called Assemblywoman Grace Meng and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley “first rate” but said he preferred Lancman’s position on Israel. Read More: New York Post

Prosecutors want ‘Millionaire Madam’ lawyers to zip it 

A Manhattan judge is weighing prosecutors’ demand to bar lawyers for accused “Millionaire Madam” Anna Gristina from publicly discussing some of the most sensational evidence in the case. Gristina, a 44-year-old soccer mom who is being held on $2 million bail, was not in court Monday as officials asked for a “protective order” to keep their evidence secret. Read More: Daily News

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

DA: Mother Will Not Be Charged In Son’s Bathtub Drowning

The Brooklyn district attorney’s office on Monday announced it has declined to prosecute the mother of an eleven-month old boy who apparently drowned in the bathtub. A spokesman with the Brooklyn district attorney’s office says while the death of Elijah Pardella was tragic and accidental, it doesn’t rise to a level of criminality. Investigators say officers were called to an apartment located at 148 Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York just after 3 p.m. Sunday and found the 11-month-old unresponsive. Sources say his mother, Angelica Huertas, 24, was giving him and another child a bath. Read More: NY1

 

 Yankees GM calls AL East ‘a toss-up’

A year after naming the Red Sox as the team to beat in the AL East, Yankees GM Brian Cashman called the division a “tossup” this season and added the Rangers should be the team to beat in the American League. “Texas is clearly the favorite in the league,” Cashman said Tuesday before the Yankees played the Mets at Digital Domain Park. “They’ve won it two straight years. But Anaheim and Detroit have made significant improvements. Read More: New York Post

Manhattan Councilman Sets Sights On 2013 Comptroller’s Race

City Councilman Dan Garodnick told supporters Monday he’s running for City Comptroller and plans to take on incumbent John Liu if necessary. In an email to supporters, Garodnick said New Yorkers have to be focused on finding ways to make city government as productive as possible without distractions. In a video message posted online Garodnick said, “We have some very difficult budgetary challenges coming down the pike. New Yorkers need an independent voice that they can trust in the comptroller’s office.” Read More: NY1

 

MTA chief says Bloomberg’s dream of extending No. 7 train to NJ is ‘not going to happen’

The No. 7 train isn’t going to New Jersey anytime soon. Mayor Bloomberg’s dream project of extending the line across the Hudson River isn’t happening anytime soon — if it ever does at all, the head of the MTA said today. The subway extension to New Jersey likely is “not going to happen in our lifetime,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said at a New York Building Congress forum. He added, “It’s not going to happen in anybody’s lifetime.” Bloomberg has long supported a proposal to bring the 7 train to Seacaucus, NJ, a colossal effort that would cost billions to accomplish. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Chase Banking Glitch Causes Double Charges On Accounts

If you’re seeing double charges on your Chase bank account today, the bank says it’s aware of the problem. A Chase representative says some debit transactions in our area are posting twice. The rep says it’s unclear how many people have been affected. A customer service recording is alerting account holders to the problem and says accounts will be updated today. Read More: NY1

 

One dead, two injured in Brooklyn construction collapse

A construction worker was killed today when a home under construction collapsed in Brooklyn, authorities said. Rescuers were called at 11 a.m. to 38 Frank Court in Gerritsen Beach after the building’s second story, roof and walls fell in. A 25-year-old man, who was not identified by police, was pulled from the wreckage and rushed to Lutheran Hospital. He died a short time later from his injuries, police said. Two other workers were treated at the scene for minor injuries, police said. The cause of the collapse remains under investigation. Read More: New York Post

MTA Service Update for Good Friday and Start of Passover on April 6


| jlane@queenscourier.com


The New York City Subway and the Staten Island Railway will operate on a regular weekday schedule throughout Friday, April 6, Good Friday and the start of Passover. However, there will be some adjustments to MTA services as noted below.

 

New York City Buses

 

New York City Transit and MTA Bus Company buses will operate their regular weekday hours of service and travel paths with minor scheduling adjustments on some routes. There will be no Limited-Stop bus service in Staten Island on the S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96 and S98.  There is no Limited-Stop bus service in Queens on the Q6, Q21, Q25 and Q65.

 

Long Island Rail Road

 

The LIRR will operate a regular weekday schedule with nine additional eastbound trains from Penn Station, between 2:08 PM and 3:48 PM, for customers leaving work early in observance of Passover and Good Friday, April 6. There will be three additional trains on the Babylon Branch, three on the Port Jefferson Branch, two on the Port Washington Branch, and one on the Far Rockaway Branch.

 

For details, see the attached press release from the LIRR.

 

Metro-North Railroad

 

Metro-North will operate a regular weekday schedule, even though ridership is expected to be down a third from a normal Friday, so there is plenty of capacity for people who want to leave New York early. There is, however, one service change.

 

There will be an additional early afternoon super express on the Hudson Line, departing Grand Central Terminal at 3:25 PM and stopping only at Beacon, New Hamburg and Poughkeepsie. The 6:12 PM express from New York that is normally due Poughkeepsie at 7:43 PM, will not operate.

 

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

 

All temporary roadway closures will be lifted by 1 PM on Friday April 6, in anticipation of an early rush-hour period.

 

 

SPECIAL TRAFFIC ADVISORY

 

Two Lanes Closed On The Queens To Manhattan Ramp At RFK Bridge Beginning 10 A.M. Thurs., April 5th Through 5 A.M. Fri. April 6th 

 

Two of three lanes on the Queens to Manhattan ramp of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge will be closed to traffic beginning 10 a.m. Thurs., April 5th through 5 a.m. on Fri., April 6th while roadway repairs are completed. One lane will remain open.

 

Motorists are advised that they may experience delays. All work is dependent on good weather.

 

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Graphic by Jay Lane

At least five killed in shooting at California medical school

At least five people were killed Monday in a shooting at a medical school in Oakland, Calif., officials confirmed. Oakland police have detained a possible suspect in the shooting at Oikos University. According to local news station KTVU-TV, two of the five people were shot in the head. The motive for the shooting was not immediately known. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens jury convicts man of murder and robbery stemming from home invasion

A Queens man was convicted today for masterminding for three home invasions — one of which ended in the murder of a cop’s brother. Francis LaCorte, 29, was found guilty on all 13 charges — including second-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy — for his involvement in the execution-style murder of Gerardo Antoniello, 29, on Sept. 9, 2009. “I hope he’s put away for a very long time and he won’t hurt or kill anyone else’s son, brother or uncle,” said NYPD Sgt. Carmine Antoniello, the victim’s older brother. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Off-Duty School Safety Agent Faces Rape, Weapons Charges

An off-duty school safety agent has been arrested on rape charges in Queens. The New York City Police Department says Tommy Johnson, 28, is also charged with criminal weapons possession, menacing and assault. Police say the incident happened early Monday morning and that the victim is an adult. According to sources, the rape took place inside Johnson’s apartment, and he knew the victim. Read More: NY1

 

 

Woody says Jets would consider ‘Hard Knocks’ again

As if the Jets have not gotten enough attention after trading for Tim Tebow last month, Jets owner Woody Johnson left the door open for the team to be featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” this summer. There has been speculation that HBO is interested in having the Jets back on its behind-the-scenes show, especially with Tebow now on board. “I’ve heard that,” Johnson said at the grand opening of the NFL Shop at Draft store in Manhattan on Monday. “We have yet to receive a formal invitation. When we do, we’ll take a look at it.” Read More: New York Post

 

 

Man Arraigned In Staten Island Traffic Stop Assault

A man wanted in connection with the assault of a police officer on Staten Island was arraigned Sunday night after being caught by authorities in North Carolina. Police say Dwayne Smith, 27, is back in New York after being picked up at a shopping mall in Charlotte last week. He’s accused of attacking a police officer after being pulled over on February 3 in West Brighton. Read More: NY1

 

Sweets shop is big ‘hit’

There’s a new iceman working at John Gotti’s old social club in Queens — but he serves up sweet, frosty treats instead of gangland murders. Businessman John Conza last month opened Uncle Louie G’s — part of a chain of Italian ice and ice-cream parlors — in the space where the Teflon Don once held court, the former Bergin Hunt and Fish Club in Ozone Park. The site is where the Mafioso made his bones and blasted his way from obscurity to the front pages. Now, its hits are icy flavors such as Soprano Spumoni, FDNY Cherry and NYPD Blue, instead of contracts on union officials and rival gangsters. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Queens Institute Looks To Crack Autism Code

Behind the walls of a former Catholic school in College Point, Queens, miracles often happen for children who have autism. The New York Child Learning Institute is the only program in New York State that is modeled after Princeton’s renowned Children Development Intervention Program. Read More: NY1

 

JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon out of hospital — and into courtroom

The JetBlue pilot who went on a wild rant about terrorism and religion during a Las Vegas-bound flight was out of the hospital on Monday to make his first court appearance. Federal prosecutors asked that Clayton Osbon be held without bond at the early morning meeting, but the judge isn’t expected to rule on that until Thursday. Osbon, 49, is charged with interfering with a flight crew for his bizarre unraveling on Flight 191 last Tuesday. Read More: Daily News

Geraldo Rivera personally apologizes to parents of Trayvon Martin for ‘hoodie’ comment

Geraldo Rivera personally apologized to  Trayvon Martin’s parents Sunday night for saying that children shouldn’t wear hoodies because “Trayvon’s hoodie killed him as surely as George Zimmerman did.” “Thank you for the apology. Your apology is accepted,” Trayvon’s father Tracy Martin told Rivera on Fox on Sunday night. Tracy Martin said that at the time of the incident it was raining and Trayvon was just covering himself up. Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

City tries to squelch 911 disaster report

The Bloomberg administration is waging an all-out battle to suppress a scathing report aptly called “911 CPR’’ — which has determined that the city’s emergency-dispatch system is on life support, The Post has learned. The document, formally known as the 911 Call Processing Review, charges that despite more than $2 billion shoveled at the problems, response times to emergencies, in which every second counts, have actually slowed. Read More: New York Post

One dead as subway trains hit two men

Two men were hit by subway trains in separate incidents yesterday, leaving one dead, authorities said. A drunken 24-year-old man first stumbled onto the elevated tracks at the Broadway station at 31st Street in Astoria, Queens, at around 5:15 a.m. and was struck by a Manhattan-bound N train, cops said. He was crushed and pronounced dead at the scene. His name was not immediately released pending family notification. Read More: New York Post

Dolan Marks Start Of Holy Week With Palm Sunday Mass

Cardinal Timothy Dolan led the faithful in prayer Sunday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as Christians around the city and world marked Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem when he was greeted by cheering crowds waving palm leaves. It’s believed to have taken place during a time when he was facing increasing opposition from authorities and local spiritual leaders, even as his preachings were gaining him more and more followers. Read More: NY1

 

 

Coney Island Rides Soar As Fun-Filled Season Begins

Summer is still more than two months away, but Coney Island is getting a head start on the season. The neighborhood’s amusement parks officially opened Sunday with the annual blessing of the rides, and the traditional egg-cream christening of the Cyclone. The 85-year-old roller coaster was one of several rides to get a makeover. A small crowd waited for hours to be among the first 100 people to ride the famous attraction and got their thrills for free. Read More: NY1

 

Brooklyn baby drowns in tub

An 11-month-old Brooklyn boy drowned in a bathtub yesterday after his mother left him alone, law-enforcement sources said. Elijah Pardella and his 3-year-old sister were being given a bath inside their East New York apartment, the sources said. When the mom, Angelica Huertas, 24, left the bathroom, she left the drain unplugged. But Elijah sat on the drain and blocked it, according to the sources. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Woman disappears on Chinatown street

The NYPD is search for a 61-year-old woman from Chinatown who disappeared off the street Saturday night. Police say Vicky Vuong Ferrazza was walking along Mott and Grand streets at about 3 p.m. with her niece when she disappeared among the packed crowd. According to published reports, Ferrazza does not speak English and was not carrying identification. Read More: Fox News

 

NY Knicks hold off on Jeremy Lin injury announcement until after NBA playoff ticket deadline passes

The Knicks were eventually going to get around to revealing the troubling results of Jeremy Lin’s MRI but certainly not before last Wednesday. That was a crucial day inside the club’s executive offices at Two Penn Plaza because March 28 represented the deadline for season- ticket holders to purchase all four rounds of the playoffs. Read More: Daily News
 

Drunk teachers arrested after cops find cocaine, dagger in vehicle

A pair of drunken Bronx public schoolteachers were arrested after cops found cocaine and a dagger in their vehicle, police said. Diana Mancusco, 29, and Karen Aguilar, 26, were cuffed after cops spotted them pulling over and switching places on East Fordham Road in Belmont on Friday night. When officers stopped the vehicle, the driver said she had taken the wheel because her friend was wasted, a source said. Read More: Daily News

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Graphic by Jay Lane

Mega Millions jackpot jumps to $640M ahead of drawing

The record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot has risen again today — to a whopping $640 million! During Tuesday night’s drawing, the jackpot was $363 million, but grew several times over the past week as more and more people purchased tickets ahead of tonight’s 11 p.m. drawing, WABC/Channel 7 reported. There has not been a winner since the Jan. 24 drawing. The previous record for the 42-state Mega Millions jackpot was $390 million in 2007, which was split by two winners in New Jersey and Georgia. Read More: New York Post

Breach hits card processor Global Payments; MasterCard, Visa customers affected

Global Payments Inc., which processes credit cards and debit cards for banks and merchants, has been hit by a security breach that has put some 50,000 cardholders at risk, according to people with knowledge of the situation. The full extent of the breach couldn’t be determined, one of the people said. It wasn’t immediately clear if cardholders have been hit by fraudulent transactions. Representatives of Global Payments, based in Atlanta, couldn’t be reached for comment. Read More: New York Post

Lin out for Knicks with sore left knee, could return Tuesday

Knicks interim head coach Mike Woodson made an ominous remark at the Friday morning shootaround when announcing starting point guard Jeremy Lin will miss his third straight game because of a sore left knee. Woodson lumped Lin with Amar’e Stoudemire in not giving any assurance Lin will return anytime soon. Despite Woodson’s remark, Lin is hoping to play on the Knicks’ next road trip, either Tuesday at Indiana or Thursday at Orlando. Read More: New York Post

Construction worker falls off Throgs Neck Bridge

Rescuers are searching for a construction worker who plunged into the waters under the Throgs Neck Bridge, officials said. The worker, employed by Nuco Construction, was on a platform repairing the bridge, when it suddenly tipped over at 8 a.m., authorities said. Workers initially spotted the victim but he later disappeared from view. NYPD, FDNY and Coast Guard divers are at the scene. Read More: New York Post

Police say turnstile-jumper at 14th Street PATH station had loaded gun

Police in New York City say a man arrested for jumping the turnstile at a PATH train station had gun loaded with hollow-point bullets. Port Authority spokesman Al Della Fave says Port Authority officers Matt Vogelman and Pat Carroll were on duty at the 14th Street station around 4:30 a.m. Friday when they saw a man jumping the turnstile. The officers noticed a bulge in the man’s waistband. Police say the man tried to flee but the officers grabbed him. Read More: New York Post

12-year-old Bronx boy says teacher taped him to chair for 20 minutes

A 12-year-old boy says his teacher taped him to a chair for 20 minutes during class at a New York school.

Irel Jones said he was taking a test at the I.S. 339 school in The Bronx last Friday when another student started asking him for answers, and he got out of his seat. The boy said the teacher asked him to sit — then duct-taped him to his chair for 20 minutes as punishment, MyFoxNY.com reported. Read More: New York Post

Super Bowl ring of truth

A Big Blue bench warmer jumped off sides yesterday, prematurely flashing pictures of what he and his Giants teammates may soon be wearing for their Super Bowl XLVI win. Linebacker Clint Sintim, who missed the entire season on injured reserve, risked going on permanent reserve after he tweeted images of the hardware. The ring’s design is supposed to be a secret until a May 16 gala at Tiffany’s.

Sintim, a second-round 2009 pick from Virginia, posted the picture with the caption “sneak preview!” Read More: New York Post

Girl, 5, drowns in Brooklyn

Police are investigating the apparent drowning death of a 5-year-old girl in Brooklyn last night, sources said. Cops found the child unconscious after receiving a 911 call at around 7 p.m. She was pronounced dead soon after arrival at Brookdale Hospital, sources said. The unidentified girl’s 25-year-old baby-sitter was taken in for questioning at the 81st Precinct station house, the sources said. Police were working to determine if the death was due to an accident or a medical issue, or if criminality was involved. Read More: New York Post

Albany Lawmakers Approve Budget Bills On Time

Members of the New York State Senate and Assembly voted today on final budget bills, marking the second year in a row a budget has been delivered to Governor Cuomo’s desk before the April 1 deadline. The spending plan totals $132.6 billion dollars. Speaking to reporters at the capitol, Governor Andrew Cuomo placed great emphasis on the successes in education reform, specifically mentioning the deal on state teacher evaluations, which is part of his budget. Read More: NY1