Tag Archives: Manhattan

Few Queens restaurants take part in NYC Restaurant Week


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Water’s Edge Restaurant

NYC Restaurant Week, a biannual promotion where restaurants offer special three-course prefixed menus, runs until August 10. Though it’s a citywide event, out of over 300 restaurants participating, only three are not in Manhattan. Two are in Brooklyn, and one, Water’s Edge Restaurant, is in Long Island City.

Since 2004, Queens has held a similar promotion, Discover Queens Restaurant Week, that takes place in early fall. “Restaurants are probably just happy with [our restaurant week] and that’s enough,” said Robert Mackay, director of public relations, marketing and tourism for the Queens Economic Development Corporation.

NYC Restaurant Week feels more Manhattan centric, he added, and people are unlikely to travel from Manhattan to eat in Queens.

Mackay also feels it’s set to Manhattan prices. Discover Queens Restaurant Week’s suggested fixed price is $25 for lunch or dinner. NYC Restaurant Week’s required fixed prices are $24.07 for lunch and $35 for dinner. During Queens Restaurant Week, participants can also offer their own special promotions.

Another price difference between the two is the fee restaurants must pay to take part. This fee is the main reason that Testaccio, an Italian restaurant in Long Island City, no longer participates in NYC Restaurant Week, said manager David Green. Testaccio took part during both the winter and summer citywide Restaurant Weeks in 2010 and 2011.

“I didn’t see the return at all,” said Green. According to him, Testaccio paid $2,500 each time it participated in NYC Restaurant Week. Testaccio didn’t have enough customers during the promotion, or enough first-time customers that came back to justify the fee.

In 2010 Testaccio also started participating in Queens Restaurant Week. It plans on continuing to take part in it, said Green. He’s comfortable with its fee, and feels that the advertising for Queens Restaurant Week, which the fee helps pay for, is a better value than the advertising his restaurant receives during the citywide promotion.

NYC Restaurant Week targets all the city’s boroughs and its visitors, and with adverting, reaches a wide net of people across the city, said Kelly Curtin, senior vice president of membership and destination services for NYC & Company, which manages the promotion. “We would love to have more restaurants in the other boroughs participate,“ she said.

When NYC Restaurant Week started in 1992, lunch was $19.92. In 2002, dinner was added and cost $30.02. The current prices have stayed the same since 2006.

Water’s Edge Restaurant, the only restaurant in Queens that participates in NYC Restaurant Week, is happy with those prices. “It’s a nice promotion. It definitely gives the restaurant revenue,” said general manager Abhi Mukherjee.

During the promotion, the average amount spent per person decreases but revenue increases because of customer volume, said Mukherjee. About 125 to 150 more people come to the restaurant, many of which are from Manhattan. “It’s a tool for building your clientele,” he said.

Water’s Edge doesn’t take part in Queens Restaurant Week because it could lose revenue by charging only $25 for a three-course dinner.

Headlines from around the web


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Police investigate deadly Queens car accident

At least one person is dead after a car accident in Queens that took place early Saturday morning. Police said a 24-year-old man, identified by the New York City Sanitation Department as 24-year-old Dominick Bunch, got into a fender-bender with his Toyota at Crescent Street and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. NY1

 

Man falls to death while working on cargo ship

A man has died after he fell while doing repair work on top of an elevator on a cargo ship in Staten Island Saturday morning. According to police, the man was working on top of an elevator on a cargo ship at the New York Container Terminal when he slipped and fell. NY1

 

Cuomo, lawmakers, agree on cyberbullying bill

Students in New York will learn the potentially deadly hazards of cyberbullying and school officials will be mandated to respond to the earliest reports of it, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders, who agreed Saturday to a bill on the subject. The bill defines cyberbullying as harassment, insults, taunting and threats through social media. The bill won’t, however, include a criminal charge that a senator had insisted last week is essential to curbing the rising harassment blamed on a string of teen suicides. NYPost

 

Elderly Bronx woman found bludgeoned to death on apartment floor

An elderly Bronx woman was found bludgeoned to death on the floor of her apartment this morning, fresh groceries strewn across the floor around her unconscious body and the front door unlocked, cops said. Evelyn Shapiro, 88, was discovered by a relative and pronounced dead on the scene by first responders who arrived at the apartment at 9:55 a.m. Saturday morning, police said.NYPost 

 

Cops close in on Drake in bar brawl

Drake was set to take the stage at Jones Beach Saturday night under suspicion he instigated a bottle-throwing club brawl with rival rapper Chris Brown.But he didn’t appear worried Friday night, dining with an entourage of 12 at the lower East Side restaurant, Sons of Essex. “They were really laid back and chill, having a good time,” said a source who saw Drake and his posse at the Essex St. eatery.NYDailyNews 

Stabbed police officer’s 4-year-old waits as he heals in hospital


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

The-Afternoon-Roundup21

Stabbed police officer’s 4-year-old waits as he heals in hospital

A 4-year-old girl has desperately waited to see her hero cop father since he was stabbed in the brain by a mental patient, a relative told the Daily News Saturday.

“I wanna see my dad,” the little girl has been telling her family as her father, Police Officer Eder Loor, makes a painful recovery from the knife wound that nearly left him dead.

Read More: New York Daily News

 

Maryland brothers accused of beating black teenager on neighborhood watch patrol to go on trial amid Trayvon Martin case

Two brothers accused of beating a black teenager while patrolling an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood are set to go on trial Monday in a case with similarities to the Trayvon Martin shooting.

The brothers, who are white and Jewish, have claimed self-defense, saying the teen was holding a nail-studded board. Local civil rights activists hope the Martin case will draw more attention to what they believe was racial profiling by neighborhood watch vigilantes.

Read More: New York Daily News

 

‘Several other Secret Service agents’ will be leaving the agency in the ‘very near future,’ Rep. Peter King says

More Secret Service agents will take the fall in the Colombia sexcapades scandal, but the agency’s chief is secure at this point, a top Congressman said Sunday.

Congressman Peter King, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said additional agents will join the six who have already been forced out.

Read More: New York Daily News

 

Cardinal Dolan baptizes daughter of shot cop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Cardinal Dolan on Sunday baptised the infant daughter of Kevin Brennan, the NYPD cop who recovered from being shot point blank in the head.

“Our gratitude to God was on steroids today,” the Cardinal exulted.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and his wife also attended Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to see Maeve Brennan baptised.

Read More: New York Daily News

 

Schumer Wants Student Loan Rates To Stay Put

Senator Charles Schumer is pushing legislation to block interest rate hikes on student loans nationwide.

The bill would delay a July 1 interest rate increase on federally subsidized Stafford Loans.

Passage of the legislation would extend the current rate of 3.4 percent for another year, which Congress lowered back in 2007.

Read More: NY1

 

Etan mystery: Playroom eyed as hell cellar

They are looking for evidence of death in a SoHo basement that once bustled with life.

Photos emerged yesterday that show beaming kids in the basement of 127 Prince St., where FBI investigators have been searching for evidence in the disappearance 33 years ago of Etan Patz.

The cellar that police now believe may hold the answers to the city’s most heart-wrenching mystery was a space transformed by industrious parents from a commercial cellar to a bright playground.

Read More: New York Post

 

Up to 10 injured after Jaguar crashes into other cars, overturns on sidewalk in Manhattan

Up to 10 injured after Jaguar crashes into other cars, overturns on sidewalk in Manhattan
A three-car accident on 42nd Street near Bryant Park injured as many as 10 people Saturday — including at least three pedestrians on the sidewalk, authorities said.

The horrific crash sent people who were out enjoying the nice weather fleeing for their lives as one of the vehicles, a black Jaguar, flew up onto the sidewalk before it overturned, witnesses said.

Read More: New York Post

 

Bee Gees star Robin Gibb has colorectal cancer, still in intensive care: doctor

LONDON — Bee Gees star Robin Gibb has colorectal cancer and remains in intensive care after waking from a coma, his doctor said Sunday.

Dr. Andrew Thillainayagam said Gibb was being treated for advanced colorectal cancer and had caught pneumonia as he was weakened from grueling doses of chemotherapy and two operations.

Read More: New York Post

 

Obama ‘apoplectic’ over GSA spending scandal, senior adviser says

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is “apoplectic” over reports of lavish spending at the General Services Administration, senior adviser David Axelrod said Sunday.

The GSA is under congressional investigation for spending more than $820,000 on a Las Vegas-area conference — a revelation that has led to other allegations about the agency’s practice of improperly billing taxpayers for meals, trips and other expenses.

Read more: New York Post

 

Little girl left on bus; driver charged


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo by Anthony DelMundo

Police parked a private bus driver in prison after she left her vehicle unattended — with a toddler still aboard.

Officers from the 110th Precinct responded to Christie Avenue and 99th Street in Corona at 9 a.m. on April 12 after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a Con Edison worker who spotted a child in the driver’s seat of a parked bus. Upon arrival at the scene, cops discovered two-year-old Samantha Bustamante abandoned inside the unattended private vehicle, which is operated by Anita Bus Company.

The police proceeded to break a window and remove the toddler, who they believe was left alone for roughly 15 minutes. Bustamante was taken back to the 110th Precinct, where she was reunited with her mother. EMS also responded to the precinct to evaluate the girl and determined she was in good physical condition.

“I was scared – terrified,” said mom Sandra Ramos, 24. “I started crying on the phone, but the police were telling me she was fine. I was terrified for my baby.”

Bustamante was picked up from her Elmhurst home at 7:20 a.m. by the Anita Bus and was supposed to be dropped off at Kathy’s Day Care, located at 97-30 57th Avenue in Corona, at roughly 8:30 a.m. with four other children. However, police say the driver, 62-year-old Ana Garcia, missed the girl while checking the vehicle after the other children departed.

Garcia was arrested by police after she returned to the bus and has been charged with failure to exercise control of a minor. She is also legally forbidden from coming near Bustamante. The NYPD says the Corona resident went home after parking the bus.

Attempts to contact Garcia were unsuccessful as of press time, and Anita Bus’ phone was not accepting incoming calls. Ramos says she paid for Anita Bus through Kathy’s Day Care, but a representative from the center would not comment as to whether they referred the bus service.

When Ramos received a call from the day care center informing her that her daughter had not been dropped off, she immediately called Garcia’s cell phone, but found police on the other end of the line. She initially suspected she was the victim of a practical joke, but her calm quickly turned to panic when the cops’ description matched Bustamante.

The frantic mother was then picked up from her job in Manhattan and brought to the station by police, where she found her daughter playing with officers and serving them coffee.

“When I first saw her, I started crying and I hugged my mom so my daughter wouldn’t see me. I didn’t want her to see the fear I had,” Ramos recollected. “She seemed so unaware – so brave in the situation. I guess she didn’t comprehend what happened so I didn’t want her to see me crying. I hugged my baby as hard as I could.”

Garcia’s son apologized to Ramos at the 110th Precinct, but she still has not been given an explanation for the mishap. She says she provides the bus company with a car seat for her daughter, and she is upset the child was unstrapped and able to walk to the driver’s seat.

“She was not in her car seat. She was walking around and that’s how they saw her,” Ramos said. “She was unbuckled and roaming around in the bus. It just shows their carelessness. Even if she was asleep or not tied in they are also supposed to check the bus. It’s frustrating.”

Despite the fear she initially felt for her daughter’s safety, Ramos is now happy just to have Bustamante safe and sound and is thankful a “good person” spotted her in the bus.
“What if it was someone else who passed by, someone not as good as the 9-1-1 caller – then they could have broken that window and taken my baby. I don’t even want to think about that. I want to think about having her,” Ramos said. “This is like a second chance for my daughter, and I’m just glad that I have her. I’m upset at the situation, but I’m happy with the result because I have my daughter safe.”

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| 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

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| 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

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Bust in 1980 Queens slay

An NYPD detective cracked a really cold case this week when fingerprints from an inmate were linked to the death of a Queens man in a home-invasion burglary 32 years ago. Ernest Mattison, 49, formerly of Flushing, was charged with murder in the Sept. 10, 1980, strangulation of Cecil Schiff, 73. Schiff, who fled Poland to escape the Holocaust, was found dead in his Franklin Avenue home, sitting in a chair and bleeding from the head. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Justice for Trayvon’

The parents of a Florida teen shot dead by a neighborhood watch captain vowed at a Union Square rally last night to seek justice for their son. “Trayvon Martin did matter . . . We are not going to stop until we get justice for Trayvon,” the teen’s father, Tracy Martin, told a crowd of 1,200. He described his 17-year-old son as “your typical teenager . . . Trayvon was not, and I repeat, was not a bad person.” He lashed out at George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old aspiring law officer who claims he killed Trayvon in self defense while patrolling his gated community. Read More: New York Post

 

Commissioner Kelly sees parents of slain teen

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly yesterday met for the first time with the parents of an unarmed teenage drug suspect who was fatally shot by a cop in the family’s Bronx apartment, The Post has learned. Franclot Graham, Constance Malcolm and their attorneys huddled with Kelly at One Police Plaza for about an hour, and then exited without comment. The sitdown came about seven weeks after their 18-year-old son, Ramarley Graham, was killed on Feb. 2 by Officer Richard Haste, who was assigned to a Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit. Read More: New York Post

 

No rest for this defense as Mike Woodson’s resurgent NY Knicks impress Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers missed their first 14 shots, mainly because they had a hard time spotting the basket through the purposeful torsos and hands. These new Knicks frightened Doug Collins on Wednesday night with their sheer dynamism on defense, which is something he saw only from his own team earlier in the season. The Knicks trap now at halfcourt. They front the ball. They block shots and force turnovers. Read More: Daily News

 

Doctors-in-training stage mutiny at Peninsula Hospital 

Peninsula Hospital’s doctors-in-training are staging a mutiny as the troubled hospital’s vital signs continue to look grim following a state-mandated shutdown of its lab, the Daily News has learned. A coalition of furious medical residents are pushing their governing body, the American Osteopathic Association, to revoke Peninsula’s credentials as a teaching facility before the court-appointed overseer gives them all the axe, sources said Tuesday. Read More: Daily News

Man Charged With Molesting Girl In Manhattan Donut Shop

A man accused of touching an 11-year-old girl inside a Manhattan donut shop is now under arrest. Kerry Abrams, 54, is facing sex abuse charges. Surveillance video caught Abrams after the alleged incident on March 7 at the Dunkin Donuts on First Avenue at 21st Street. Read More: NY1

Panel For Educational Policy Approves 19 School Co-Locations

When it comes to sharing school buildings, and the space squeeze that often results, it is common for parents and teachers to be angry. But Wednesday night at a meeting in Chelsea, Manhattan, some parents were so upset they began to cry. Parents from P.S. 53 in East New York, Brooklyn begged the the Panel for Educational Policy not to vote to move their school to a new building. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Bank Robber Attacks Five Banks In Two Months

Authorities were searching Wednesday for a robber in Queens accused of stealing cash from three out of five banks he has attacked since last month. In the most recent incident last Thursday, police say the man in the above surveillance photo walked into a Chase Bank at 66-02 Grand Avenue in Maspeth and handed a note to the teller demanding cash. He took off with an undisclosed amount of money. Read More: NY1

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Jets get Tebow from Broncos for two late draft picks

The Post has confirmed the Jets will send a fourth-round and sixth-round pick to Denver in exchange for the quarterback and a seventh-round pick. The move comes a day after the Broncos signed Peyton Manning to a five-year deal, making Tebow expendable in Denver. And it comes over a week after the Jets signed starting quarterback Mark Sanchez to a three-year contract extension, and signed Drew Stanton to backup Sanchez. Read More: New York Post

 

Two bandits hold up Brooklyn bodega at gunpoint

Two bandits held up a Brooklyn grocery store during a terrifying gunpoint robbery this morning. The crooks stormed into Monumental Grocery store on Flatbush Avenue at 8:30 a.m. shocking a group of customers stuck inside, according to the owner Erasmos Perez, 55, who spoke to an employee manning the register when the mayhem unfolded. Read More: New York Post

 

Republican Holds Lead In Brooklyn State Senate Race

A special election for a State Senate seat in Brooklyn remains too close to call. Democratic City Councilman Lew Fidler and Republican lawyer David Storobin are vying for the seat in the 27th State Senate District. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Storobin leads by 120 votes. Nearly 2,100 absentee ballots were issued and have yet to be counted. The seat used to be held by Carl Kruger, who resigned in December after pleading guilty to corruption charges in connection with a bribery scheme. Read More: NY1

 

Occupy Wall Street protesters rush back in when Union Square Park reopens in morning

Occupy Wall Street protesters reclaimed a space in Union Square at dawn Wednesday, minutes after police reopened the park to the public for the day. Cops erected temporary barriers around the plaza near the south entrance to the park at nightfall, pushing the demonstrators out of the area to prevent them setting up camp. Read More: Daily News

 

Student busted for assaulting dean at Brooklyn high school

A student was arrested after assaulting a faculty member at a Brooklyn high school this morning, school officials said. The 17-year-old boy got into a heated dispute with Edmund Ludde, the dean at William H. Maxwell High School, as he was getting scanned at the school’s security checkpoint at 9:20 a.m., officials said. Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD and FBI tussle over turf, with consequences for terror cases as police expand role: report 

In the fall of 2010, the FBI and New York Police Department were working together on a terrorism investigation on Long Island. The cyber case had been open for more than a year at the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn. So, the Justice Department was surprised when, without notice, the NYPD went to federal prosecutors in Manhattan and asked them to approve a search warrant in the case. Read More: Daily News

 

The Situation realized alcohol intake out of control while filming ‘Jersey Shore’: report

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino hit rock bottom while filming the most recent season of reality hit “Jersey Shore,” reports say. With Sorrentino reported to have checked into rehab, sources tell TMZ that the hard-partying star’s substance abuse issues were progressively “getting worse” throughout the filming of season five of the series, which recently aired on MTV. Read More: New York Post

Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

NYPD officers save man from oncoming train after he faints on subway tracks

A Manhattan man felt the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day when a trio of NYPD’s finest saved him from an on-coming train after he fainted onto the tracks at Grand Central Station, police said. Surrounded by dozens of straphangers awaiting the next train, William Soto, 46, fell onto the southbound 6 tracks around 10:15 a.m. Saturday, police said. A good Samaritan who saw Soto collapse ran up the station stairs to summon help. Read More: Daily News

 

Police Identify Suspect In Fatal Staten Island Stabbing

Police have zeroed in on a suspect in connection with a deadly stabbing outside a Staten Island restaurant over the weekend. Sources say investigators have identified the man as Redinel Dervishaj, 35. Authorities say he has a prior record of violent crime. Antonio Lacertosa, 27, was stabbed in the torso early Saturday morning outside the Espana Restaurant in Annadale. Investigators say he was celebrating his engagement to his high school sweetheart at the restaurant. Read More: NY1

 

Workers Prep City Ballfields For Opening Day

As New Yorkers mark the first day of spring, the city’s Parks Department is busy prepping its fields for the upcoming little league season. Before the plates are laid out in city parks, crews are making sure the diamonds, bleachers, fences and fields are all in good shape. Parks workers in Queens are preparing 174 fields for the upcoming season. Much of their work includes inspecting fields and fence lines, painting benches, removing leafs and leveling the dirt on the infield. Read More: NY1

 

Peyton, Broncos agree to five-year, $96 million deal

Peyton Manning agreed to a five-year, $96 million deal Tuesday with the Denver Broncos, the NFL Network reported. The four-time MVP will be introduced as the team’s new starting quarterback at a 3:00pm ET press conference. The sides are reportedly still finalizing the details of the contract, but the soon-to-be 36-year-old is likely to make an annual salary of about $19 million. Read More: New York Post

 

Ex-Marine busted at Empire State Building with gun makes plea deal, gets no jail

The ex-Marine busted for trying to check his Indiana-registered gun at the Empire State Building got a no-jail, misdemeanor deal today. “I definitely did not know it was illegal to bring a gun into New York City,” Ryan Jerome, 29, of West Bend, said after pleading guilty in Manhattan Criminal Court. Read More: New York Post

 

Researchers mount new mission to solve Amelia Earhart mystery

Scientists on Tuesday announced a new phase in the search to resolve the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, saying fresh evidence from a remote Pacific island may hold clues to the fate of the renowned U.S. pilot who vanished in 1937 while attempting to circle the globe. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined scientists and aviation archaeologists to unveil the expedition, which will set out from Honolulu in July to probe underwater areas around the Phoenix Islands in Kiribati where they believe Earhart may have crashed 75 years ago. Read More: New York Post

 

Reading, writing & Rikers! City Education Department staffers arrested 14 times in 2012

A disturbing number of city teachers has moved from the schoolhouse to the courthouse this year. City Education Department staffers have been arrested at least 14 times in 2012, alarming parents and leading to changes in policy. The bevy of teachers, substitutes and aides has been busted this year for crimes ranging from sex abuse and assault to stealing subway art and keying a car. And the year is just three months old. Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

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

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

 

Mets owners could actually make money in Madoff settlement

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

 

Rangers edge Devils, clinch playoff spot in East

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Peyton Manning finalizing contract with Broncos

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

 

3 wounded in Harlem shooting

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

 

NYPD Ups Security In Wake Of Jewish School Shooting In France

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

 

Jail guard shot

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

 

‘Gangster’ sought in groom slay

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

 

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

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

Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

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

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

 

Federal Judges Approve State’s New Congressional Districts

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

 

Peyton near deal with Broncos

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

 

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

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

 

12 injured in Brooklyn bus accident

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

 

‘Shakedown’ rabbi loses appeal

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

 

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

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

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Actor George Clooney and father arrested at Sudanese embassy in Washington

Actor George Clooney was arrested along with his father and several members of Congress outside the Sudanese Embassy Friday as they protested the country’s blockade of food and aid. Clooney, who most recently starred in “The Descendants,” and his fellow protesters were warned three times not to cross a police line outside the building on Washington’s Embassy Row. Read More: New York Post

 

Trial Resumes For Off-Duty Officer Charged In Inwood Rape

Testimony resumes today in the trial of an off-duty police officer accused of raping a Manhattan teacher. Opening remarks began yesterday in the trial of Michael Pena, 27. He’s pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and sexual assault. Prosecutors say Pena asked the 25-year-old woman for directions in Inwood in the early morning hours of August 19. They say he then threatened her with his service weapon, forced her into a courtyard and raped her. Read More: NY1

 

Yankees sign Pettitte to contract

The Yankees on Friday re-signed Andy Pettitte to a minor-league contract with the likelihood he will return to pitch in the majors. The deal is for one-year, $2.5 million. Pettitte, who attended spring training as a special instructor, got the itch to return and the sides agreed on Thursday night. Read More: New York Post

Dharun Ravi guilty of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, other counts in Rutgers spying case

An ex-Rutgers student was convicted Friday of bias intimidation and 14 other charges for using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate’s dorm-room trysts with another man. Dharun Ravi, 20, sat stoically as the jury returned its damning verdict in a case that caused a national furor when the outed roommate jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge. Read More: Daily News

Man stabbed in the eye with fork in Chelsea diner; suspect arrested

A man was stabbed in the eye with a fork during an argument at a Chelsea diner early Friday, police said. The suspect was arrested at the scene, the Good Stuff Diner on West 14th St., where a man was killed in a dispute over a debt in 2010. Friday’s violence happened just before 5 a.m. Read More: Daily News

Cuomo Signs New Pension Deal Into Law

Governor Andrew Cuomo put his executive pen to paper today on a new state pension reform deal. Cuomo signed the legislation surrounded by mayors and county executives from around the state. The deal for pension reform was reached in marathon sessions of the legislature late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. It creates a new Tier VI in the state pension plan, requires new hires to contribute more to their plans, and raises the retirement age from 62 to 63. Read More: NY1

Queens Teaching Aide Charged With Sexual Abuse Of Six Female Students


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens Teaching Aide Charged With Sexual Abuse Of Six Female Students

A full-time paraprofessional working in an art class at P.S. 52 in Springfield Gardens, Queens has been arrested and charged with sexual conduct with six female students. Brett Picou, 30, who worked as a teacher’s aide and a substitute at P.S. 52 since 2008, was awaiting arraignment Thursday on seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse, seven counts of forcible touching, one count of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and six counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Read More: NY1

 

11 people, including 3 kids, escape from house fires in Queens and Manhattan

Eleven people, including three children, escaped two separate blazes in Queens and downtown Manhattan early Thursday — and one may have been the result of a firebomb. The first fire ignited in a Rockaway Blvd. apartment in South Jamaica just before 3 a.m., and the flames trapped the residents inside their homes. Witnesses later told fire investigators that a Molotov cocktail was tossed near the apartment, setting the home ablaze, sources said. Six people on the second floor suffered minor injuries along with three firefighters who were taken to Jamaica Hospital Center for evaluation, officials said. Read More: Daily News

 

Disgraced former Governor returning to national politics with fund-raiser

The Love Gov is climbing back into bed — with lawmakers. For the first time since a tawdry hooker scandal trashed his political career, Eliot Spitzer is holding a fund-raiser for a politician looking to make a national splash. The former governor is hosting the event at his Fifth Avenue home for Washington state gubernatorial hopeful Jay Inslee on March 5. Inslee, currently a Democrat in the House of Representatives, shares many of Spitzer’s left-leaning political stances. Insiders believe Spitzer’s soiree shows he’s trying to become a political mover and shaker once again — this time as a national kingmaker. Read More: New York Post

 

Not-so-Finest moment as cop caught napping on F train

A hero cop has been disciplined for catching Z’s on the F rain while armed and in uniform. Officer Matthew Sobota, 43, was caught snoozing on the subway by a straphanger, who snapped photos with his cell phone camera and emailed them to NYPD brass. “I thought maybe a teenager could take (Sobota’s) gun and sell it or use it. I felt like it was a potentially unsafe thing,” said Martin Bisi, 51, of Brooklyn, who took the photos of the sleepy cop on Feb. 16. Read More: Daily News

 

Knicks lose to Heat; Lin plays poorly

Jeremy Lin finally met his match last night, and it was ugly. In by far his worst performance during this 12-game surreal surge, Lin fell apart under the South Beach spotlight and the Knicks caved with him in a disappointing 102-88 loss to the mighty Heat last night at rabid AmericanAirlines Arena. “He can’t be Peter Pan every night,’’ Mike D’Antoni said. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and point guard Mario Chalmers made sure Linsanity calmed down as the Heat (27-7) won their eighth straight game by 12 or more points — one short of an NBA record. Read More: New York Post
19K taxi drivers accused of ripping off passengers won’t face charges

It was one of the biggest scandals in the taxi industry’s history, but nearly 90 percent of the 21,819 cabbies accused of ripping off passengers with inflated fares will get off scot-free, The Post has learned. In a stunning move, the Taxi & Limousine Commission is giving a free ride to 19,515 yellow-cab drivers caught setting their meters to the higher, out-of-town rate while traveling around the city. Overall, officials estimated that unwary passengers were fleeced for $1.1 million between 2008 and 2010. Of that, $238,854 in overcharges was attributed to the cabbies who will escape penalties. Read More: New York Post

Jimmy Fallon sings ode to Knicks guard Jeremy Lin on Late Night

Jeremy Lin’s game has spoken so loudly that comic Jimmy Fallon performed a Pearl Jam parody to honor the Knicks point guard. With a scraggly wig on his head, Fallon sang a tribute to the Harvard grad to the tune of the band’s 1992 hit “Jeremy.” “At home, shooting free throws and three point shots, waiting for a job/name not yet a pun/Carmelo injury,” he croons. “Came out of nowhere like an Asian Tebow.” Read More: Daily News

 

5 injured in Long Island house fire

Authorities on Long Island are investigating an early morning house fire in which five people were injured. Nassau County arson bomb squad detectives say the fire broke out at the Levittown house on Prentice Lane at 12:30 a.m. today. The four occupants — a 46-year-old woman and three 11-year-old children — managed to get out of the house quickly. They suffered smoke inhalation and were transported to a hospital for treatment. Read More: New York Post

Joseph Naso, suspected serial killer, kept rape diary: authorities


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Joseph Naso, suspected serial killer, kept rape diary: authorities

A suspected serial killer who may be New York’s infamous “Double Initial” murderer kept a gruesome rape diary and posed photos of dead prostitutes, California authorities said Wednesday. A lead investigator revealed the damaging diary during a preliminary hearing for 78-year-old Joseph Naso — the Reno, Nevada, man charged with killing four northern California prostitutes with matching first and last initials in the 1970s and 1990s. “Girl in north Buffalo woods. She was real pretty. Had to knock her out first,” read one alleged entry in Naso’s journal. The diary — found in his house during a probation search tied to a larceny conviction — is filled with similar twisted entries and references to rape, Nevada Department of Public Safety Det. Richard Brown said. Read More: Daily News

 

Tea Party big Mark Meckler pleads guilty, gets fined $250 in gun at LaGuardia case

A Tea Party hotshot copped a plea Thursday to accusations he tried to carry a pistol and ammunition onto a flight at LaGuardia Airport last month. In an agreement with prosecutors, Mark Meckler, 49, was fined $250 after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct. His Glock 27 handgun will be destroyed. Meckler, the high-profile founder of the Tea Party Patriots, declined to comment after a brief appearance in Queens Supreme Court. He smiled before he and his lawyer jumped into a waiting car. Read More: Daily News

 

Parks Department worker busted for hanging doll from noose at agency’s Bronx office

A Parks Department worker has been busted for hanging a baby doll from a noose at the agency’s Bronx headquarters, police said Thursday. Fariz Ahmemulic, 28, was charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime. The suspect asked for a lawyer and did not say anything else to detectives. The Daily News reported last week that the city worker who found the noose claimed supervisors tried to cover up the Dec. 20 hate crime before police got involved. Read More: Daily News

 

Bloomberg vows to nix under-performing teachers in bombshell state of city speech

Mayor Bloomberg is laying down the gauntlet on the city’s under-performing teachers – promising to get rid of many of them in a bombshell announcement sure to cause a stir with their union. In his 11th annual State of the City Speech in the Bronx today, hizzoner is announcing that he could boot up to half the teachers in dozens of struggling schools whose federal grant funding was pulled earlier this month because of a fight with the United Federation of Teachers over evaluations. Bloomberg said he is going to circumvent the UFT and reapply for the $58 million in lost federal funds for these schools. Read More: New York Post

 

Week off may be curse for Packers, not blessing

Even the Packers admit Dunta Robinson had a point last Sunday. Robinson, the Falcons veteran cornerback, stood in the Atlanta locker room after a 24-2 NFC Wild Card loss to the Giants and predicted the Giants would have a decided edge against rested Green Bay this weekend because of one word: momentum. The Packers did not dispute that yesterday, mainly because they rode a similar wave of energy all the way to a victory in the Super Bowl last season. Read More: New York Post

 

Seven arrested in NY for $1M ID theft ring

A sophisticated ring of fraudsters rang up more than $1 million in crooked charges at major retailers including Home Depot, Sears and Kmart, authorities charged today. The long-running scam allegedly involved using the stolen identities of more than 180 New Yorkers with charge accounts at the stores to purchase pricey goods and gift cards. The merchandise was then returned for store credit, some of which was sold — along with the gift cards — for about 60 percent of face value. A complaint filed in Manhattan federal court identifies Phillip Smith, 54, of The Bronx, as the ringleader and mastermind of the scheme. Read More: New York Post

 

Kin lambastes evil killer of 4

Justice was delayed briefly for a Brooklyn man who killed four people in a drug-fueled rampage, but he still got an earful from the brother of one of his victims yesterday. Maksim Gelman had already killed three people when he mowed down Steve Tannenbaum, 60, in a stolen car last February. Gelman pleaded guilty to four counts of murder and a host of other charges, but his sentencing was delayed for a week after his lawyer sought to have him examined by a neuro-psychologist. But Tannenbaum’s brother Mitch, who traveled from out of state, was allowed by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent DelGiudice to make his victim-impact statement so he would not have to return for the rescheduled Jan. 18 sentencing. Read More: New York Post

 

Velvet Underground sues Warhol Foundation in fight over who has rights to artist’s iconic banana design 

The legendary Velvet Underground, in a complaint filed by founders Lou Reed and John Cale, sued the Andy Warhol Foundation for illegally licensing the iconic banana cover from their 1967 debut album. The influential New York rockers, in taking a walk on the legal wild side, claimed the Foundation was wrongly peddling the banana image for use with Apple’s iPhone and iPad. “The banana design became a symbol, truly an icon, of the Velvet Underground,” charged the suit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court. Read More: Daily News

Cabdriver busted in ‘rape’


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Cabdriver busted in ‘rape’

Cops arrested a cabby yesterday for allegedly raping a young passenger in his taxi at knifepoint after she left a Williamsburg bar. Gurmeet Singh, 40, picked up the 26-year-old woman on May 6, and she asked to be taken to her Manhattan building, cops said. After the intoxicated woman fell asleep, Singh, pulled over, bound the victim’s hands with a scarf and began raping her, cops said. Singh, who lives in Jamaica, then took the woman’s cellphone and cash and pushed her out of the cab, cops said. Read More: New York Post

Quid pro quo at Big A convention site

A biggest-in-the-nation convention center would mean a bigger racino at Aqueduct. Governor Cuomo said yesterday the Genting Group will seek more gaming machines at the racino it runs at Aqueduct Racetrack as the Malaysian-based gaming giant pours $4 billion into what would be the country’s largest convention center there. A bigger racino would mean renegotiating the state’s cut from video-lottery-machine revenues, Cuomo said on Albany’s Talk 1300 AM radio. A source said that would mean more money for the state from expanded operations but a smaller percentage of the take, although Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto said it’s too early to say, with discussions ongoing. Read More: New York Post

DOE Announces Two More Charter Schools Will Close

Brooklyn’s Williamsburg Charter High School is out-of-control. But it’s not the students — it’s the leadership, which has spent millions on consultants and real estate and refused to follow ethics rules. Since charter schools are independently run, there’s not much the Department of Education can do, except close them down. Officials say that is what they plan to do at the end of the school year. Williamsburg Charter High will be just the third city charter school to have its charter revoked in the middle of a five-year-term, but it won’t be the only charter to close this June. Read More: New York Post

For Comptroller’s Allies, a Day Without an Award Is a Rarity

In New York City, most city officials, a couple times a month, honor community organizations with special suitable-for-framing commendations, praising them for “distinguished leadership” or “dedicated service.”  Then there is John C. Liu. Since his election to the city comptroller position in 2009, Mr. Liu has showered people and groups with official commendations, handing out more than 760 — with nearly one-quarter of the recipients connected to his political campaign, according to an analysis conducted by The New York Times. Read More: New York Times

Wrist slap for elder con

A Queens social worker who posed as a relative to steal $220,000 from an 85-year-old man in her care got off with just five years’ probation yesterday. Jennifer Robinson, 37, of Cambria Heights, had faced up to 15 years in prison. But Queens Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho took it easy on Robinson. In 2009, she listed herself as a niece of the late Walter Witko, a dementia patient, to steal his assets, proseuctors said. Read More: New York Post

NJ Assembly’s GOP leader dies at Statehouse

As the long and busy final day of New Jersey’s legislative session was coming to a close, most lawmakers were preparing to head home for a few hours of sleep before the new session got under way. But in a matter of moments, everything changed. The Assembly and state Senate members, along with their aides and other staffers, stood stunned as they learned that Assembly Republican leader Alex DeCroce had collapsed and died around 11 p.m. Monday in a men’s room at the Statehouse. They had been working with the 75-year-old lawmaker all evening as the Legislature wrapped up its session with a flurry of last-minute bills, and one of his final acts as the GOP leader was to accuse Democrats of casting votes for an absent member. Read More: New York Post

Drunk in Staten Island train mishap made WTC movie

The drunken passenger pulled from the Staten Island Railway tracks by a good Samaritan — who was critically injured himself during the rescue — is an independent filmmaker who made the first movie about the 9/11 attacks, sources said yesterday. Jonathan M. Parisen, 40, of East Orange, NJ, wrote, produced and directed “Stairwell: Trapped in the World Trade Center” in 2002, and more recently was working on a flick called “Terrobot” about a giant robot that attacks New York City. Parisen was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal trespass for going on the tracks to retrieve his shoes at around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, authorities said yesterday. Read More: New York Post

New Jay-Z tune a real ‘pop’ track

It’s a hip-hop homage to his favorite new girl. First-time pop Jay-Z yesterday released a touching new tune for baby daughter Blue Ivy Carter that features her newborn cries — and also reveals the heartbreak he and songstress wife Beyoncé suffered over a previous miscarriage. Read More: New York Post and Listen Below

Glory – Jay-Z feat. Blue Ivy Carter by Warhol2011