Tag Archives: Murder

Shot cop slays gun fiend


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane
Shot cop slays gun fiend

An NYPD detective was shot in the arm during a wild gun battle in a Harlem subway station yesterday — but he was amazingly able to return fire and kill the suspect, officials said. Career criminal Michael McBride and Queens Detective Kevin Herlihy exchanged 19 shots during the 4:20 p.m. violence — sending terrified straphangers running for cover in the crowded station at St. Nicholas Avenue and West 145th Street. McBride, 52 — who was wanted for shooting his ex-girlfriend’s daughter in the head Monday — died at the scene with a bullet to the chest. Read More: New York Post

Husband back in Queens after wife-slay bust

A Queens man accused of stabbing and beating his wife to death with a baseball bat before fleeing to Connecticut was hauled back yesterday to face a murder rap. Jordan Hawes, 32, killed Tara Hawes — a special-education teacher in Williamsburg — in their Astoria home earlier this month and then tried to pawn a wedding band, authorities charged. Cops said he tried to cover up the crime by sending texts to relatives from the victim’s phone saying she wasn’t going to work because of a family emergency. Hawes was found sleeping in his wife’s Jeep on Feb. 4 in a Fairfield parking lot. He surrendered to Connecticut cops, telling them, “I did something wrong,” sources told The Post. Read More: New York Post

 

Man gets 24 years in prison for killing ex-girlfriend in Queens
A jealous ex-boyfriend who “stole” a vibrant young woman from a loving Queens family was sentenced today to 24 years in prison for the horrendous murder. Segundo Penafiel, 28, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this month, was sentenced to 24 years in prison by Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter for repeatedly stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Ebony Garcia, as her 3-year-old daughter, Chloe, stood nearby. “You stole Ebony from us! You should rot in hell you bastard!” Garcia’s heartbroken mother, Julie Perez, shouted at the killer as tears flowed down her face. Read More: New York Post

 

Never a doubt guard’s legend would grow with game-winner

Around the arena, inevitability ruled the moment. Among 20,092 people inside Air Canada Centre, all of them on their feet. Among the Toronto Raptors, who could sense they were being set up as patsies. Among the Knicks, of course, who have come to believe that there is nothing their point guard can’t do. And, yes: Watching Jeremy Lin, you could see it in him, too. “My teammates trust me with the ball at the end of the game,” Lin would say. Trust him? It takes everything they’ve got not to stand up and applaud him at the end of these games now. Read More: New York Post

 

Governor Cuomo gets high approval rating in Quinnipiac poll; voters support casinos in New York

Gov. Cuomo got some strong pre-Valentine’s Day love from New Yorkers, while casinos and a mammoth gambling-convention center at Aqueduct Racetrack received a peck on the cheek, according to a new poll. The Quinnipiac University survey released today also found President Obama with 50 percent approval and re-election ratings in the Empire State, while U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dipped below the magic mark. But despite the love for Cuomo, voters by 58-42 said they were dissatisfied with the way things are going in New York. Read More: New York Post
Whitney Houston’s Newark funeral to be invitation-only

Fans wishing to pay their last respects to pop icon Whitney Houston will have to be on the VIP list. Attendance at Houston’s Saturday afternoon sendoff is by invitation only after Houston’s mom, Cissy, insisted the ceremony be held in her home church in Newark instead of the nearby Prudential Center. Instead of mourners being accommodated at the 19,000-seat arena, friends and family will have to squeeze into one of New Hope Baptist Church’s 1,500 spots. Read More: New York Post

Giants ticker tape set to fly downtown


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Giants ticker tape set to fly downtown

Rabid Big Blue fans will flood the Canyon of Heroes today to watch Eli Manning and the Super Bowl champion Giants march up Broadway — and a lucky 500 will get to attend an exclusive City Hall ceremony afterward. Officials doled out 250 pairs of tickets after holding an online lottery for New York residents. More than 50,000 people had entered. The winners were notified at 2 p.m. and had six hours to rush to Midtown to claim their prize. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens Man In Custody Following Wife’s Death

A Queens man whose wife was found dead last week is now in police custody. Sources tell NY1 Jordan Hawes, 32, was picked up by police in Connecticut for driving a stolen car. Sources say he is being held in a psychiatric ward in a Connecticut hospital and has not yet been charged with any crime. His wife, Tara Hawes, 33, was found dead in the couple’s Astoria apartment Thursday night. Investigators say she died of blunt force trauma to the head. Read More: NY1

 

 Former EMS Chief Passes Away After Battling Brain Tumor

The city Fire Department is mourning a longtime Emergency Medical Services chief. John McFarland passed away Monday from complications related to a brain tumor. McFarland began as an EMT in 1983 and served in many positions, including chief of the academy and Queens Borough commander. The father of five is remembered as an advocate for patients who embraced technological advances in the field. Read More: NY1

 

Cemetery workers plunge into open grave

They wound up 6 feet under — and lived to tell about it. Four workers at a Queens cemetery plunged yesterday into a deep grave — on top of a freshly laid casket — leaving one of them injured. Raimundo Rodriguez, 49, had been working in a crew of four on the Harper family plot at the Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village when the freak accident occurred, workers said. The men had been removing the apparatus used to lower caskets into the ground at around 12:50 p.m. when suddenly, all of them “vanished.” Read More: New York Post

 

Dopey rob victim busted

Always tidy up before calling the cops — it’s a lesson that Michael Cokley learned the hard way. Late last year, he called 911 to report a gunpoint home-invasion robbery. As he described the ordeal to them at his Far Rockaway, Queens, apartment, cops smelled the distinctive aroma of marijuana and saw heroin out in the open, police say. After getting a search warrant, the cops allegedly discovered 34 grams of heroin, 91 glassine envelopes, four marijuana grinders and an electronic scale. Read More: New York Post

Bettor days for Aqueduct

Horse betting is up at Aqueduct following the opening of the new racino next door. The total handle on races is up 6.6 last month, compared with January 2011, according to figures compiled by the New York Racing Association. That includes bets made off premises. Wagering increased to $117,842,942 last month from $110,556,714 the prior period — or an increase of more than $7 million. Most of that increase was from off-track betting. The total on-track handle was up 1 percent — to $23,428,941 last month compared to $23,190,785 in the prior period. “We’re pleased with the increase in handle on and off the track,” said NYRA spokesman Dan Silver. Read More: New York Post

3 men murdered this weekend in Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Three men were shot down within 12 hours of each other this weekend in Queens during separate incidents, according to police.

The violence started Saturday evening when police responded to a 9-1-1 call of a male shot in East Elmhurst.  George Portillo, 31, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital with a gunshot wound to the stomach where he was pronounced dead.

The second incident occurred early Sunday morning in Jamaica.  Police responded to 123rd Road at approximately 1:15 a.m. to find Cody Kahn, 20, with a gunshot wound to the chest.  EMS pronounced him dead at the scene.

The third deadly assault occurred at approximately 5:45 a.m. in Queens Village.  Police found two men shot at the corner of 209th Place and 111th Road — a 28-year-old behind the wheel of a car and a 31-year-old slumped on the sidewalk.  Both had gunshot wounds to the chest and were taken to Jamaica Hospital.  The 28-year-old was pronounced dead, while the other victim is in stable condition, according to police.

No arrests have been made in the cases and the investigations are ongoing.

Giants upset Patriots again for fourth Super Bowl title


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Giants upset Patriots again for fourth Super Bowl title

At the end, Tom Coughlin did not need to push and prod his Giants, did not need to preach “All In” any longer, did not need to insist and demand and plea for his players to please, please, just “Finish.” All he needed to do was watch the confetti fall after his quarterback, Eli Manning, did it again and Justin Tuck and his defense did it again, did it to the Patriots, to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady again, incredibly, impossibly and, in some strange way, naturally. “This is the finish line for this year, yes it is!’’ Coughlin exclaimed. Photos, Videos, and More @ New York Post

 

3 slain in 12 hours

Three people were murdered in separate incidents during a 12-hour spate of violence in Queens over the weekend, police said. The bloodshed first erupted at around 5:45 p.m. Saturday, when career criminal George Portillo, 31, got in a fight with an unknown gunman on 95th Street and 31st Avenue in East Corona. Portillo was shot in the chest and died at Elmhurst Hospital. Police said his rap sheet included arrests for rape, assault, DWI and drugs. Another slaying occurred at 1:16 a.m. yesterday in South Jamaica, when 20-year-old Cody Kahn was fatally shot in the chest. Cops did not know what sparked the killing. Read More: New York Post

 

Seizure horror at Howard Beach school show

An elementary-school talent show turned tragic in Queens after a parent suffering a violent seizure accidently punched a man who was trying to help him — and the good Samaritan later died, cops said. Students had been performing at Ave Maria Catholic School in Howard Beach Thursday evening when strobe lights fired and a man was stricken by a seizure, a witness told The Post. The man, who later identified himself to The Post only as Mario, “was biting his tongue, foaming from the mouth,” the witness said. A grandparent, identified as Paul Trinchese, 61, of Howard Beach, tried to help Mario, who has a history of seizures, the witness said. Read More: New York Post

 

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman traps alleged stalker Louise Neathway with volley of text messages

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman helped net his accused stalker with a final blistering volley of text messages that lured her out of her Tribeca apartment and into the hands of waiting investigators. The crafty Cashman and authorities set the trap for Louise Neathway in the hours before she was arrested on Feb. 1. “What will it take to make this go away, I can’t believe you’ve done this,” Cashman, 44, wrote in a text sent to his alleged mistress at 4:25 p.m. under the direction of cops. “We have to talk,” Neathway, 36, replied, “where is up to you.” Read More: Daily News

 

Dream come true for slain cop’s girls

Two of slain hero cop Peter Figoski’s daughters lived it up and rubbed elbows with A-listers during the trip of a lifetime yesterday as the Giants’ guests of honor at Super Bowl XLVI. Corrine, 14, and Caroline, 16, made the journey with mom Paulette courtesy of Giants co-owner Steven Tisch and movie honcho Harvey Weinstein. The girls, huge fans of Big Blue, would watch games with their dad before he was killed in December. Read More: New York Post
Watch this year’s Super Bowl ads – and read expert reviews

Sunday’s spots included a Clint Eastwood pitch for Detroit, Volkswagen revisiting its successful ‘Star Wars’ theme, a car duel between Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno, and a look at Ferris Bueller, a quarter-century after Matthew Broderick popularized the character on the silver screen. Companies paid an average of $3.5 million for a 30-second spot for this year’s Super Bowl. Some of those commercials were worth the cost. Others … not so much. Read More: New York Post

Woman murdered in Queens


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Woman murdered in Queens

A 33-year-old woman was found murdered last night in a Queens apartment building, police said. The victim, whose identity was withheld, was slashed across the throat and found at 8:30 p.m. by her in-laws in a second-floor apartment at 26-80 30th St. in Astoria. It was unclear how long she had been dead. The medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy. Detectives are looking to speak with the woman’s husband, cops said. Read More: New York Post

 

East Side ‘rape’ bust

A maintenance worker has been busted for allegedly raping a woman after breaking into her Manhattan apartment while she slept. Alberto Delgado, 37, of Queens, was arrested Tuesday on rape charges for allegedly assaulting the 24-year-old woman in her apartment on East 30th Street near Third Avenue, police sources said. The attack occurred in the early-morning hours on Dec. 16 after the victim attended a party at another apartment in the building, the sources said. Read More: New York Post

CUNY Law shielding bad grads from bar

Anxious CUNY Law School administrators are urging struggling students not to take this summer’s bar exam in an apparent bid to boost the school’s sagging pass rates, irate students charged. The administrators even offered a handful of students a grant in the fall that’s normally reserved for those taking the July exam if they would agree to postpone sitting for the test until February 2013. Students say an associate dean has pulled at least six classmates in for a one-on-one sales pitch advocating for the delay — even though the February exam is reputedly more difficult. Read More: New York Post

Where to watch the Super Bowl in Queens

It won’t be just Giants and Patriots fans hitting the bars to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5 — more than 110 million people watched last year’s game.  Bars and restaurants throughout Queens feature food and drink specials for Giants fans and anyone else that wants to take in the Super Bowl 42 rematch.  Here are a few places to watch the games in Queens… Read More: Queens Courier

 

Mike $laps Komen

Mayor Bloomberg rode to the rescue of Planned Parenthood yesterday, pledging up to $250,000 for the organization after the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer foundation yanked funding for screenings. “Politics have no place in health care,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Breast-cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care,” he said. “We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way,” he added. But Bloomberg refused to say whether he would cut his own ties with Komen. Read More: New York Post

 

Service disruptions on 7-line could put damper on Flushing Lunar New Year parade 

Queens’ massive Year of the Dragon celebration may be hindered by MTA subway disruptions, several elected officials and business owners fear. Saturday’s Flushing Lunar New Year Parade — one of the city’s largest celebrations — coincides with the ongoing 7-train rehabilitation that cuts service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza. The lack of a direct link from Manhattan to Flushing could stifle the flow of attendees, which usually tops more than 100,000 people, said parade organizer Peter Tu. Read More: Daily News

 

Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona gears up for Black History Month

Louis Armstrong was already an international jazz icon when he stepped out of a taxi in front of a Corona house in 1942 that his fourth wife, Lucille, had just picked out. After growing up in poverty in New Orleans, owning even a modest home in a middle-class Queens neighborhood was almost inconceivable. “He couldn’t believe he owned this house,” said Al Pomerantz, a volunteer at Satchmo’s Corona home that is now the Louis Armstrong House Museum. “It wasn’t until Lucille actually answered the door that he let [the cabbie\] drive away.” Read More: Daily News

Daytime Burglaries Rattle Queens Community

Some Indian New Yorkers think their Queens community is being targeted by thieves. “I turned the lock, and I was like, ‘wait a second, I locked the door when we left that morning,’” said Lea Balgobin, a burglary victim. She did, but someone had broken into her home after she left with her husband Rohan to run errands. The burglar only took cash and gold. “Every piece of jewelry we had, they took,” said Rohan Balgobin. Those items were worth over $50,000 according to the police report . The Balgobins say it’s common for Indians from Asia and the West Indies to keep large amounts of jewelry in their homes because people often give gold as gifts and the jewelry is passed for generations. Read More: NY1

Queens fire kills grandmother as helpless kin look on


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens fire kills grandmother as helpless kin look on

A fast-moving house fire killed a Queens grandmother early today as her family managed to escape the blaze in South Jamaica. “The family was screaming for their grandmother,” said neighbor Lola Reid. “She never came out of the house.” Elaine Spencer, 69, died at the scene, officials said. “She was a sweet woman. Everyone on this block loved her,” said Jessica Banks, 25, a relative of the victim. Rickey Anderson was walking home on 120th Avenue near Sutphin Boulevard at around midnight when he saw flames shooting from the two-family home. Read More: New York Post

 

Catwoman is caged

The catwoman has been declawed. A Queens woman who robbed an Astor Place boutique while wearing a cat mask was ordered caged for 10 years — and she went out hissing all the way. “I am not the catwoman!” Shana Spalding shouted after being sentenced yesterday in Manhattan Supreme Court. “No! No! No!” The 29-year-old Queens crook cried out for her mom and raged at court officers and photographers as she was led out in handcuffs. The death-metal singer known as “Purgatory” was convicted in December of armed stick-ups at Arche Shoes on Astor Place and Cotélac, a SoHo sportswear shop . Read More: New York Post

Brooklyn Man Charged With Murdering Brother In Queens Home

A Brooklyn man is accused of attacking two members of his own family, killing one of them. Sources say Gideon Forde, 33, is charged with murdering his 29-year-old brother, Clinton, inside a home on 148th Street in Queens. Police responded to the scene at around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. Sources say the victim’s wife was yelling from an upstairs window while downstairs, Forde was holding his younger brother at knifepoint. Forde also allegedly slashed his 1-year-old niece in the neck. Clinton Forde died at the hospital. The young girl was rushed to the hospital in stable condition. Read More: NY1

 

Con Ed crew foils robbery

A routine gas inspection turned into a harrowing chase as four Con Edison employees rushed to the aid of the victim of a violent purse snatching in Bayside on the night of January 25. The Con Edison crew — John Kane, John McDonnell, Michael Santeramo and Anthony Farmighetti — were working on a gas line just off Northern Boulevard when they heard the screams of a young woman on 201st Street and 42nd Avenue. When they rushed to the scene, they saw the victim on the ground, bleeding from the mouth. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Queens Mormon holy war

They’re throwing the book at Mormons. Queens civic leaders are mounting a campaign to block the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from building a new house of worship in Flushing to serve a growing Mormon congregation. The planned two-story structure, proposed for 145-15 33rd Ave., would include an underground parking garage and a steeple. It would replace a cramped church about a dozen blocks away. The church acquired the three lots in 2008, with eyes on building a new facility. But since then, the city has approved stricter zoning that bars larger structures in the residential area. Read More: New York Post

 

Giants hoping for repeat performance vs. Patriots

Eli Manning wakes up Sunday morning and it’s the Super Bowl, against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Tom Coughlin wakes up Sunday morning and it’s the Super Bowl, against Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Brady wakes up Sunday morning and starts worrying about Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. Today is Groundhog Day. For the Giants, Sunday is Super Groundhog Day. “I wasn’t a part of that ’07 team,” Steve Weatherford said, “but just watching those guys and seeing them just crush people through the playoffs and get in, and nobody gave ’em a chance to win once you get into the Super Bowl, which is the only game that really matters, and they pulled it out when it mattered most so I mean. . . Read More: New York Post

 

Posada Announces Retirement, Says He Will “Forever Be A Yankee”


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Posada Announces Retirement, Says He Will “Forever Be A Yankee”

New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada officially announced his retirement from the game today at Yankee Stadium. During an at-times tearful press conference, the 40-year-old catcher said he is leaving the game after 17 seasons, all with the team that drafted him. He said the decision was completely his, and that he made his choice shortly after last season. “I was able to live my dream, to play baseball for the best sports franchise in the world, the New York Yankees,” said Posada. Read More: NY1

 

Family of slain designer Sylvie Cachay wants ‘every penny’ Nick Brooks has

The family of slain swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay is going after “every penny” that may come the way of her accused killer – the son of creepy “You Light Up My Life” tunesmith Joseph Brooks. “We will take all steps to find any penny that he has, and every royalty that he has,” Susan Karten, a civil lawyer for the Cachay family, said after a brief appearance by Nicholas Brooks in Manhattan Criminal Court. The 25-year-old Manhattan man is charged with killing his stunning 33-year-old girlfriend inside a tub at the sleek Soho House in December 2010 – then going to a party. Read More: New York Post

 

Online video captures moment cops shoot, kill man outside Carl’s Jr. in California [Warning: Graphic Video Inside]

Graphic video posted online captured the shocking moment cops shot and killed a man outside a fast food joint in California Monday morning. Police were called to the Carl’s Jr. in Monterey Park around 9:30 a.m. after receiving a report that the unidentified man was breaking windows at the restaurant, according to KTLA 5 News. When he emerged from the fast food place, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release they ordered him to drop what they described as a three-foot metal bar. Read More & See the Video: Daily News

 

Bloomberg Calls For “Sensible” Pension Reforms At Albany Hearing

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in Albany today testifying on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget and Reform plan. In his prepared remarks before the State Senate Finance Committee and the State Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee, the mayor gave his support to several points of the plan, including pension and teacher evaluation reforms. The governor’s $132.5 billion budget calls for the creation of a new Tier VI pension, which would offer new hires a 401k-type, market-based retirement plan. However, they would also have the choice of taking a reduced benefit pension plan that raises the retirement age from 62 to 65. Read More: NY1

 

Veteran NYPD detective admits robbing cigarette smugglers

A crooked, second-generation cop pleaded guilty this morning to brazenly ripping off cigarette smugglers while wearing his NYPD “raid” jacket and armed with his service weapon. Shame-faced Kyron Collins, 39, then capped off his court appearance by running away from a photographer and leaving his lawyer in the dust. Collins, a 16-year police veteran who most recently was a detective in the 52nd Precinct, was busted last year in a 10-month string of robberies of bootleg cigarette dealers in Manhattan and The Bronx. Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD officer pleads guilty to false arrest

A NYPD officer admitted today that he falsified charges to arrest a black Staten Island man after the two exchanged angry words during a street encounter while he was on plainclothes patrol. Michael Daragjati, an eight-year veteran, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to misusing his authority as a police officer to intentionally violate the man’s civil rights. As part of a plea agreement with Brooklyn federal prosecutors, the 32-year-old officer will resign from the NYPD after his sentencing and never seek another job in law enforcement, his attorney told Judge William Kuntz II. Read More: New York Post

Queens Man Indicted On Charges From December Shootings


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens Man Indicted On Charges From December Shootings

A Queens man was indicted Wednesday on charges he killed two people and injured a third in a shooting rampage last month. Damel Burton, 34, seen above, has been indicted on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree attempted murder. The Queens district attorney said Burton shot to death 18-year old Keith Murrell, apparently in retaliation for a fight. He then boarded a Q111 bus and allegedly opened fire again, killing Marvin Gilkes and wounding another man. Read More: NY1

Man charged in NY Fed Reserve software theft

U.S. prosecutors arrested a Chinese computer programmer on charges he stole software code valued at nearly $10 million from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Bo Zhang, 32, of Queens, worked as a contract programmer at the bank. He was accused of illegally copying software to an external hard drive, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. district court in Manhattan. Authorities said the software, owned by the U.S. Treasury Department, cost about $9.5 million to develop. A New York Fed spokesman said in a statement that the bank immediately investigated the suspected breach when it was uncovered and promptly referred the matter to authorities. Read More: MSNBC

Queens aims for Apple core 

Queens might be on the verge of getting a bite of the Apple. A real estate developer is in preliminary talks with Apple about opening one of the brand’s iconic stores on bustling Austin St. in Forest Hills. Heskel Group Chairman Yeheskel Elias said if a deal is reached, the sleek store could open in as little as a year. It would be only the second Apple location in the city outside Manhattan. A Staten Island store opened in 2005. “I will do anything I can to bring Apple in,” Elias said. “Queens has to have an Apple store.” Apple spokeswoman Michaela Wilkinson said the company has “made no announcements” on new stores outside Manhattan. But Elias said a broker for Apple reached out to him several months ago to discuss potential store locations in Forest Hills. Read More: Daily News

Brooklyn and Queens see home prices tumble in 4Q

It wasn’t such a merry end to 2011 for Brooklyn and Queens homeowners. Fourth-quarter prices fell in both boroughs and sales activity slumped in Queens, as worries over the economy had buyers hitting the pause button. “The market in Queens and Brooklyn is stable, but fragile,” said Michael Guerra, managing director of Brooklyn for Prudential Douglas Elliman. The median price of a Brooklyn home dropped 4.3% from last year to $454,383. The number of transactions increased 6.1% to 1,558. Read More: Daily News

Mark Wahlberg apologizes for ‘insensitive’ 9/11 remarks

Box-office badass Mark Wahlberg created the perfect storm of controversy yesterday, saying in a new interview that “it wouldn’t have went down like it did” if he had been on one of the airplanes hijacked on 9/11. But the Tinseltown tough guy quickly backed down, using a second take to “deeply apologize to the families of the victims” for his “insensitive” remarks, which read as if they came straight out of a lousy action-movie screenplay. Read More: New York Post

JFK, La Guardia and Newark terminals among worst in world

Three area airport terminals were cited as among the worst in the world yesterday — with Kennedy’s Terminal 3 earning the dubious distinction as the most miserable layover location on the planet. The former Pan Am terminal — which now houses Delta Air Lines — took home the dubious dishonor for its “endless immigration lines,” crummy food and shopping options, and dank environment, according to the travel Web site Frommer’s.  Read More: New York Post

President Obama In Manhattan Today For Fundraisers

As his re-election campaign ramps into full gear, President Barack Obama is heading to the city today for a series of fundraisers. He’s expected to arrive at John F. Kennedy airport around 4 p.m. As usual, his visit will mean street closures and frozen zones whenever his motorcade is on the move. The president’s first stop will be a fundraiser at Daniel restaurant on the Upper East Side, followed by an event at Spike Lee’s home then a visit to the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Read More: NY1

Man Behind Two-Borough Stabbing, Carjacking Spree Awaits Sentencing


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man Behind Two-Borough Stabbing, Carjacking Spree Awaits Sentencing

A man who admitted to killing four people and wounding two others in a 28-hour rampage is scheduled to be sentenced today. Maksim Gelman faces up to 100 years in prison when he’s sentenced in Brooklyn. He pleaded guilty to murder, assault and attempted murder in the February 2011 crime spree which began in Brooklyn and ended on a Manhattan subway 28 hours later. Read More: NY1

 

Protest Over Anti-Piracy Legislation Spans Web

Some of the most popular sites on the web are taking part in a 24-hour blackout in protest of legislation currently making its way through Congress. Hundreds of technicians, Internet activists and website users are expected to show up in Midtown today to rally in front of the offices of Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. The politicians support the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, which advocates say will impede free speech. Both Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down their sites at midnight to protest the acts. Google put a black banner over its logo but is still functional. Read More: NY1

 

Ex-Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. slapped with new corruption charges

Former New York state Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. has been hit with yet another round of charges in the growing corruption case against him. Brooklyn federal prosecutors today unveiled two new charges of making false statements against the former legislator – including one allegation that Espada intentionally under-reported his salary when submitting government forms related to his medical business, Soundview Health Center,. The feds say Espada knowingly lied to the US Health and Human Services Administration by filing forms that listed his annual salary as $185,063 – when it was really $246,750, according to an indictment handed up by a Brooklyn federal grand jury. Read More: New York Post

 

Graffiti cop sentenced to three years probation

A former NYPD patrolman convicted of plastering his nickname on a highway overpass was given a pep talk by a Queens judge today before he was sentenced to three years probation. “Its time for you to put your family in front of those friends you talk to,” said acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Salvatore Modica about the text messages introduced in Steven Weinberg’s bench trial that he sent to his graffiti buddies about his tagging activities. Weinberg, 44 of Flushing, was convicted of fourth-degree criminal mischief and making graffiti last month for plastering his former tag, “NEO,” on a Clearview Expressway overpass. Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD, Manhattan DA, take down East Harlem PCP drug sales network; angel dust back in vogue

COPS HAVE started rounding up more than two dozen pushers charged with selling the dangerous retro drug angel dust in East Harlem, law enforcement sources revealed Wednesday. The targets of an 18-month investigation around 117th St. and Madison Ave., are two brothers who headed up the “extremely active drug sale business,” the sources told The News. The men, whose names are expected to be released later Wednesday, will be charged under the 2009 “drug kingpin” statute for moving millions of dollars worth of PCP, along with cocaine and heroin, the sources said. Read More: New York Post

 

5th Columbia drug kid guilty

A student accused of selling LSD at Columbia University pleaded guilty yesterday to attempted drug possession, resolving the last case in a takedown of an on-campus drug ring. Adam Klein was the last of five students to plead guilty in the case, which authorities called the biggest in recent memory against drug dealing at a city college. The case spurred a discussion of student drug use and questions of privilege and punishment from the New York Post’s editorial page to Time magazine’s Web site. Klein, 21, is expected to get five years’ probation at sentencing, which is scheduled for Feb. 28. Read More: New York Post

 

Man Hospitalized Following Jamaica Hotel Fire


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man Hospitalized Following Jamaica Hotel Fire

The Conduit Motor Inn on 138th Avenue in Jamaica, Queens caught fire Monday night, and an injured man found inside one of the hotel rooms was taken to Jamaica Hospital with burns throughout his body. Read More: NY1

 

Maksim Gelman to get extra 25 years for Manhattan portion of killing spree

A Manhattan judge today promised to tack on an additional 25 years to the certain life sentence that Maksim “Butcher of Brighton Beach” Gelman faces in Brooklyn when sentenced tomorrow for admittedly slaughtering four people back in February. Gelman had pleaded guilty last month to the Brooklyn end of his blood-drenched, 28-hour spree, admitting he’d stabbed his mother’s boyfriend to death, stolen that victim’s car and fatally mowed down a pedestrian, then stabbed to death the object of his affections, beautiful Yelena Bulchenko, and her mother. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens Rapper Joins Growing Chorus For Awareness About Redistricting

A Queens rapper is adding his music and his voice to the growing chorus against a hot-button political issue. Himanshu Suri of the hip-hop group Das Racist performed Monday night at a fundraiser in Richmond Hill to help out SEVA, a community organization that is raising awareness about the potential consequences of gerrymandering, the redrawing of local political districts to benefit incumbents. Read More: NY1

 

Man dead, another arrested in LI police shootout

A man is dead and another in custody after following a shootout last night with a Nassau County cop, police said today. The body of the dead suspect was found inside the Valley Stream home following a botched home invasion attempt, Nassau County police homicide chief Det. Lt. John Azatta said. The events unfolded when at least two men attempted a home invasion at about 9:15 a.m., police said.  The homeowner drove up and noticed a man in the bushes with a gun. That’s when he tried honking his horn to scare him off, police said.  When that didn’t work, the man called his brother and told him, “There is a problem here,” according to Azatta. Read More: New York Post

 

Mother of Rikers inmate killed in ’08 fight club lashes out at guards

The mom of a Rikers inmate who was killed in connection to a sick fight club run by guards, lashed out today two disgraced officers and the wrist-slapping deal they cut.  Charnel Robinson, 38, lamented how she’ll never again see her 18-year-old son Christopher Robinson, who was beaten to death in October, 2008 by fellow inmates for refusing to participate in the jailhouse blood sport. “I’m not happy. It’s not a win for me. My son is gone,” Robinson said in Bronx Supreme Court, during the sentencing of two guilty corrections officers.  “At the end of the day, these people are still able to see their families. My only child is a sight I’ll never see again,” Robinson said. Read More: New York Post

 

Bronx boy shot through door lives in terror

An 11-year-old Bronx boy who was shot when a bullet ripped through his family’s front door lives in fear of being attacked again. “I don’t like answering doors anymore and I don’t want to go back there,” a traumatized Ryan Aguirre told The Post from a new apartment where he’s staying.  The sixth-grade honors student escaped serious injury when he was shot in the right hip late on the night of Jan. 5. “I was just playing a game and the doorbell rang, so I got up to answer it,” Ryan said. “When I was walking toward the door, I said, ‘Who?’ and they just started shooting. Read More: New York Post

 

Five more bodies found on Italian shipwreck Costa Concordia

The death toll from the crippled Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia rose to 11 after five more bodies were pulled from the shipwreck on Tuesday. The lifeless bodies of four men and one woman, estimated to be in their 50s and 60s, were found below the water line at the ship’s front, rescue officials said.  They were all still wearing lifejackets. Twenty four others, a mix of tourists and crew members, are still believed trapped inside. The latest find comes after Italian marine divers armed with explosives blasted their way into the capsized wreck and began navigating its jumbled, murky interior. Conditions inside the half-sunk Costa Concordia were disastrous, and the frogmen were fighting their way through piles of floating debris in the ships labyrinth of cabins, restaurants, bars, casinos and theaters, rescue officials said. Read More: Daily News

 

Occupy Wall Street in ‘winter hibernation’ as donations dwindle and weather gets icy

Occupy Wall Street has gone into “winter hibernation” as donations have dwindled and the weather has gotten colder. “We’re not broke,” Pete Dutro, a member of the OWS finance committee, said Tuesday. “But donations have not been as plentiful as they were last fall.” Asked about reports that the group had just $170,000 left in its bank account, Dutro chuckled. “There are other accounts,” he said. “In fact I just deposited $100,000 we set aside for bail.” Dutro confirmed an account in the Wall Street Journal that OWS’s main government body voted over the weekend to freeze all new spending. Read More: Daily News

 

 

Italian captain ignored orders to return to ship: audio recordings

The captain of a grounded Italian cruise ship can be heard in a recording making excuses as a coast guard official repeatedly ordered him to “get on board now,” according to a transcript of the conversation released today. In a telephone conversation, the Italian coast guard official berates the captain, who is on a lifeboat and repeatedly says he doesn’t want to return to the ship even as passengers are still being evacuated. Read More & Hear Audio: New York Post

 

Beyoncé says Blue Ivy Carter ‘just like any other kid’ in first interview since giving birth

Beyoncé shares that “words can’t be found” to describe holding her daughter Blue Ivy Carter for the first time. In her first interview since giving birth, the “Countdown” songstress also reveals that she believes her daughter will be “just like any other kid” and that husband Jay-Z will indeed change his daughter’s diapers.  “Nothing can describe the feeling,” Beyoncé tells Star magazine of nurses first handing her Blue Ivy Carter to hold. “You have the instant connection once you know your child is growing inside you, but when you hold it for the first time, the words can’t be found.” Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD developing new device to detect guns carried by criminals

The NYPD is developing a new device that can detect whether a perp is carrying heat without frisking him, Commissioner Ray Kelly announced today. The large mechanism uses infrared rays to scan a “form of radiation emitted from the body” of someone who is concealing a gun on the streets of the Big Apple, Kelly said at the Police Foundation’s State of the NYPD breakfast. Since the infrared rays cannot pass through metal, the device provides officers with a digital outline of exactly where the firearm has been tucked away on the subject’s body, Kelly said. Read More: New York Post

Prosecutors and defense disclose plea talks in Jose Pimentel bomb plot case


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Prosecutors and defense disclose plea talks in Jose Pimentel bomb plot case

Prosecutors and defense lawyers say they’re in plea negotiations in a rare state-level terror case against a New York City man. He’s charged with building a homemade bomb to try to attack soldiers, police and other government targets. The Manhattan district attorney’s office disclosed the plea talks during a court date Monday in Jose Pimentel’s case. Defense lawyer Lori Cohen says prosecutors haven’t made any firm offer yet. Pimentel didn’t have to appear for the brief session. He’s due back in court March 1. The 27-year-old is being held without bail on charges including weapons possession and conspiracy as terror crimes. Read More: New York Post

 

Man killed in Bx. shooting previously injured in August shootout

A gun-toting thug fatally shot a man in the Bronx yesterday, police said. The victim, Ricky Rodriguez-Recio, 20, was believed to be the intended target of a shooting in August that left a 2-year-old critically injured, sources said. The victim was outside of his home on East 181st Street in Bronx Park South at 6:17 p.m. when an unknown gunman opened fire striking him in the chest and hitting another man in the hand, cops said. Rodriguez-Recio was previously shot in the lower back on August 29 when Luis More, 23, opened fire at him, striking two children playing outside. Read More: New York Post

 

Report: Aqueduct Racino Pulled In $90M During Year’s Final Stretch

The money is reportedly flowing at the new Aqueduct racetrack casino in Queens. The Daily News says the racino brought in close to $90 million in revenue in November and December — more than five other gambling operations in New York made all last year. Only locations in Yonkers, Saratoga, and the Finger Lakes took in more money in 2011, but those are open year-round. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver pinned Aqueduct’s success on the number of video slots, table games, and its proximity to the city. Read More: NY1

 

Trial on tap in Giants Stadium escalator accident

Opening arguments are under way in a trial brought by eight people who were injured when a Giants Stadium escalator malfunctioned four years. The trial started Monday in state Superior Court in Hackensack in a lawsuit brought against the company that maintained the escalator and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operated Giants Stadium. The escalator malfunctioned as fans were leaving a New York Giants game against the New England Patriots on Dec. 29, 2007. An attorney for the plaintiffs says one person lost a leg and another has had more than a dozen operations on his foot. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Blue Ivy Carter an instant Twitter sensation: Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby garners celebrity attention

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s baby was trending on Twitter at birth. The social media site was aflutter Sunday with celebrity pals and relatives of the hip-hop royal couple posting messages of 140 characters or less. “The most beautiful girl in the world,” Beyoncé’s sis, Solange Knowles, tweeted of her newborn niece, Blue Ivy Carter. Within hours of entering the world at Lenox Hill Hospital on the upper East Side Saturday night, the infant boasting the lineage of the R&B princess and the rap impresario caused a stir in the Twittersphere. Read More: Daily News

 

No Pants Subway Ride hits New York City for 11th year 

It’s like commuting, but without the pants. Straphangers throughout New York City nonchalantly stripped to their underwear from the waist down Sunday afternoon as part of a global practical joke coordinated by prankster outfit Improv Everywhere. To participate in the 11th annual No Pants Subway Ride, the only requirements were people had to be “willing to take pants off on subway” and “able to keep a straight face about it,” organizers said in a post on their website. Read More: Daily News

 

Trial begins in murder of Laura Garza, young Brooklyn woman who went missing from a Manhattan nightclub  

A murder trial is getting under way for a registered sex offender accused of murdering an aspiring dancer from Texas whose body was found in Pennsylvania more than a year after she went missing in New York. Jury selection is set to begin Monday in Orange County Court in the murder trial of Michael Mele of Wallkill. The victim, Laura Garza, met Mele at a Manhattan nightclub in December 2008 and disappeared afterward. Her body was found in April 2010 near Scranton, Pa. Garza had moved to Brooklyn from McAllen, Texas, five months before her disappearance. Read More: Daily News

 

Long Island police investigate swastika drawn on garage door in Sea Cliff

Long Island cops are hunting the vandals who drew a swastika on a garage door in Sea Cliff. Nassau County police say the 63-year-old resident of the home discovered the Nazi symbol over the weekend. Police say it was drawn in black marker sometime between between 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. The incident is being investigated as aggravated harassment. Police say a school, park and three homes were the targets of similar vandalism in Sea Cliff between Dec. 27 and Dec. 30. Read More: Daily News

 

Police Release Photo Of Suspected Bronx Subway Groper

Police in the Bronx are looking for a man they say groped a woman on the subway. The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. on the evening of December 14 at the East Kingsbridge Road and Grand Concourse station on the D line. Police say a 25-year-old woman was walking up the stairs when a man approached from behind, lifted her dress and touched her backside. Read More: NY1

 

Teen arrested in Bronx boy’s shooting


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Teen arrested in Bronx boy’s shooting

A teen was arrested for the shooting of an 11-year-old Bronx boy, police said. Kijana Jenkins, 17, was arrested today and is awaiting arraignment, authorities said. Jenkins and an unidentified cohort fired the shots in the closed door of the Creston Avenue apartment around 11 p.m. Thursday, cops said. The gunfire struck Ryan Aguirre, 11, in the stomach. He was rushed to Jacobi Hospital, where he’s listed in stable condition. “I heard his father screaming, ‘You shot him,’ ” one of the family’s neighbors said. Ryan went to the door because his father was asleep on the couch, neighbors said. Read More: New York Post

 

Jorge Posada, Yankees catcher, set to retire, will make formal announcement in coming weeks 

Former Yankee catcher Jorge Posada, a key cog in four World Series winning teams, has decided to retire, according to two baseball sources with knowledge of his plans. The 40-year-old Posada, who .235 with 14 homers and 44 RBI last season as he transitioned to a role as a designated hitter and bench player for the Yanks, will make a formal announcement of his plans in the next few weeks, according to one of the sources. The news of Posada’s retirement was first reported by WFAN. Read More: Daily News

 

Community Members To Donate Services For Brooklyn Girl Found Dead In Mother’s Arms

The sadness was palpable in Bedford-Stuyvesant Friday night as residents visited a makeshift memorial to pay their respects to the little 2-year-old girl found dying in her mother’s arms. “My heart goes out to the family because I’m a mother also. It’s hard, very hard,” said one resident. “May her soul rest in peace,” said another. The news also stunned some business owners and community leaders. “I lost a young one earlier and to hear this—you know, there are so many people out there who want children, and to hear of a young child being lost, it just breaks your heart, and you want to do as much as you can for the family, whatever the story is,” said Andrew Sorrentino. Read More: NY1

 

Public Advocate Calls For Ban On Food Stamp Fingerprinting

Governor Andrew Cuomo isn’t the only elected official opposed to fingerprinting food stamp recipients. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is joining a list of opponents who want the practice banned. De Blasio calls fingerprinting the less fortunate “inhumane.” He said if Mayor Michael Bloomberg does his research, he’ll see the policy doesn’t work. Read More: NY1

 

Dual debates a chance to throw Romney off stride

Republican rivals for the presidential nomination have a chance to knock front-runner Mitt Romney, who has a commanding lead in New Hampshire polls, off his perch in back-to-back weekend debates that could help define the contest. In a race largely driven by 13 previous sparring matches, Romney has emerged mostly unscathed by the six or seven opponents who have flanked his debate position on center stage. That could change with Saturday night’s debate or the one scheduled Sunday morning, as rivals Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum seek to stop Romney’s march to the GOP nomination. In particular, Gingrich is looking to keep his candidacy afloat while Santorum hopes to capitalize on his neck-and-neck performance against Romney in Iowa’s caucuses. Read More: New York Post

Figoski’s ‘murderer’ says he never set out to ‘kill a cop’


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Figoski’s ‘murderer’ says he never set out to ‘kill a cop’

The thug accused of gunning down Officer Peter Figoski last month during a botched Brooklyn robbery told detectives after his arrest he was “sorry” and never set out to “kill a cop.” “I’m sorry for what I did,” Lamont Pride blurted out as the detectives drove him to Central Booking, according to court papers made public at a brief hearing in Brooklyn Supreme Court yesterday. “I didn’t mean for this to happen,” Pride whined. Read More: New York Post

NYC employee arrested for allegedly selling drugs in front of residential building in Queens

A New York City employee has been arrested on drug charges. Police say 47-year-old Donald Gibbs was arrested for allegedly selling drugs in front of a residential building in Queens Wednesday evening. Police say Gibbs was employed as a NYPD school safety agent. He was charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer. Read More: New York Post

Mega Convention Center Planned for Queens

There were two major points in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech that everyone saw coming, both of which have a lot to do with Queens. During his speech on Wednesday, January 4, the governor formally introduced the idea of legalizing full table gaming in New York State, which would mean big news for Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park. He also revealed his plan to initiate the building of the country’s largest convention center on that ground, the former site of the Aqueduct Racino. Read More: Queens Courier

Life for pregnant-gal slay

A Queens man convicted of murdering his pregnant girlfriend was tossed into prison for 25 years to life yesterday. Derrick Redd, 39, of Far Rockaway, was found guilty of stabbing Naisha Delain about 30 times, killing her and their unborn son on the baby’s due date. Before Redd was sentenced by Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis, he slammed the judge for denying his lawyer’s motion to throw out the jury’s verdict. Delain’s mom, Towanda Wimms, and other family members left the court praising the judge with applause. Read More: New York Post

Judge rips man who set up ex-girlfriend as ‘diabolical” & sends him to jail for 32 years

A Queens judge sentenced a cunning private eye to 32 years in prison Wednesday, calling him a “diabolical conniver and sinister manipulator” who framed his ex-girlfriend for robbery after she accused him of rape. Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter tore into Jerry Ramrattan for trying to bolster his plea for mercy by bragging about the help he had given law enforcement agencies as a confidential informant. Read More: Daily News

Overview of Cuomo’s 2012 State of the State Address

 

In his second State of the State speech since taking office, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he plans to straighten out the state’s fiscal problems while expanding job growth and strengthening education. In front of hundreds of lawmakers, policy leaders and other New Yorkers, the governor delivered his vision for 2012 – a vision that seeks to spin stagnation into governmental action. Read More & Watch the Video: Queens Courier

State Liquor Authority postpones decision for controversial Long Island City strip club

Supporters and opponents of a proposed Long Island City strip club have two more weeks to make their case before the State Liquor Authority. Commissioners from the authority heard more than an hour of testimony Wednesday but delayed a decision until a January 18 meeting so they can pore through reports and other documents submitted by the Gypsy Rose’s operators, known as 21 Group Inc. Elected officials and community leaders have fought bitterly over the last few years to stop the club from opening at the 21st Street location, just at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge. Read More: Daily News

Alleged Queens firebomber wanted to massacre Muslims in mosque, prosecutors say

The unhinged Queens pyromaniac who unleashed a scary New Year’s Day firebombing spree had planned to take out “as many Muslims and Arabs as possible” by lobbing Molotov cocktails at worshipers inside a mosque, prosecutors said. Ray Lazier Lengend, 40, allegedly told cops he had planned to inflict “as much damage as possible” by hurling all five of his firebombs from the balcony of Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center onto the crowd below.
The hateful bomb-hurler, who is under psychiatric observation at Bellevue Hospital center, flat-out told detectives he did not like Muslims or Arabs, prosecutors said. “This is a message to anyone who does this in the future,” said Imam Maan Al-Sahlani, leader of Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center, where Lengend planned to inflict major casualties. “It’s a good message that justice will come for you, the police will come for you.” Read More: Daily News

Weiner mistress claims he wanted to have a threesome with a man


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Weiner mistress claims he wanted to have a threesome with a man

Anthony Weiner wanted to do more than share his crotch shots with women online, his former X-rated chat buddy claims. Traci Nobles, who came forward as one of the New York politician’s sexting partners earlier this year, told Radaronline.com that he wanted to have a threesome — with her and another man. She claimed that he detailed his desires in an explicit chat earlier this year. “I’m not really talking about other chicks … How about with another guy,” he allegedly said, according to the blonde bombshell. “Are you turned on by other guys?” Nobles claims she asked. “Well it depends on the guy, but generally yes,” Weiner allegedly replied. Read More: Daily News

Family still waiting to bury Brooklyn woman burned to death in brutal elevator attack

The body of the Prospect Heights woman burned to death in her apartment building elevator is still awaiting final burial. The family of Deloris Gillespie said that because she was so badly burned in the shocking December 17 attack authorities have not yet officially identified her — leaving her family unable to get a death certificate or proceed with a funeral. Read More: New York Post

Death on tracks

A man was fatally struck last night by a subway train in Washington Heights — and cops are investigating whether he went onto the tracks to relieve himself, police sources said. The victim, whose name wasn’t released, was struck at around 9:20 p.m. at the 191st Street station on the No. 1 line. Read More: New York Post

Knife-wielding thug attacks woman, ransacks Tribeca law firm: cops

A knife-wielding thief barged into a lower Manhattan law firm, shattered the jaw of a female employee, tied her up with a phone charger and ransacked the place, police sources said today. The mayhem started at 3:20 p.m. Monday, when the unidentified man was caught on video strolling into an office tower and talking to a doorman on Broadway near Walker Street. Read More: New York Post

NTSB cites ice in report on NJ crash that killed exec, family

Federal investigators have released a preliminary report on last week’s plane crash in New Jersey that killed five people. The preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report released late Monday draws no conclusions on what caused the December 20 crash. A final report could take a year or more to complete. The single-engine turboprop crashed about 15 minutes after takeoff from Teterboro Airport and was headed to Georgia. The report describes how pilot Jeffrey Buckalew radioed to air traffic controllers that he was experiencing icing and requested to climb to a higher altitude. The plane peaked at 17,900 feet before descending. Read More: New York Post

Husband faces civil suit in death of rich UBS wealth manager Shele Danishefsky Covlin

The Manhattan public administrator has gone where the cops and the DA have not: publicly accusing ex-stock trader Rod Covlin of killing his rich, beautiful wife two years ago. Shele Danishefsky Covlin, 47, a UBS wealth manager, was found dead in her upper West Side bathtub on New Year’s Eve 2009. Her scalp was cut and the death was ruled an accidental fall. Her Orthodox Jewish family refused an autopsy, and she was buried almost immediately, following religious tradition. Read More: Daily News

Court win for kin of World Trade Center cop

A hero cop injured at the Twin Towers on 9/11 died from World Trade Center-related cancer, a state appeals court ruled yesterday. The Appellate Division ruling means Frank Macri’s widow is entitled to accidental-line-of-duty death benefits — and, in fact, he will be listed as having died in the line of duty, said the family’s lawyers, Michael Murray and Christopher McGrath. “I’m at a loss for words,” his widow, Nilda Macri, told The Post. “Frank really deserves this honor. This would’ve meant a lot to him, to know he’s still remembered . . . He was a special, special guy.” Read More: New York Post

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to green Queens locomotives

Two fuel-efficient locomotives will roll through Queens in 2013 with technology designed to reduce pollution and lower costs for local businesses that use freight trains to move goods. With a $2 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, two conventional locomotives will be overhauled to use low-emissions diesel technology, the city Economic Development Corp. announced last week. Read More: Daily News

Ex-‘Saturday Night Live’ writer Joe Bodolai found dead after hotel room suicide

Former “Saturday Night Live” writer Joseph Bodolai has committed suicide in a Hollywood hotel room, the Los Angeles coroner’s office said Tuesday. Coroner’s office spokesman Craig Harvey said room service staff found the body of the 63-year-old Bodolai at 1:30 p.m. Monday in a room at Hollywood’s Re-Tan Hotel. He checked into the hotel December 19. Harvey said Bodolai drank a mixture of Gatorade and antifreeze. The death, first reported by celebrity website TMZ, has been ruled a suicide. Read More: Daily News

Winning $206M Mega Millions jackpot ticket sold at Long Island grocery store

One Long Island lottery player received a belated holiday gift Tuesday, but it was worth the wait: a $206 million jackpot. The winner nailed the five numbers picked in Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing — 23, 32, 33, 39 and 43 — along with the “Mega Ball” of 8, the lottery said on its website. The winner has not yet come forward, said Christy Calicchia, director of communications for New York Lottery. Three other New Yorkers picked the first five numbers — but not the Mega Ball — and won $250,000 each. The lone jackpot-winning ticket was sold at a King Kullen supermarket in Middle Island. Read More: Daily News

Motorist dies of apparent suicide while driving on the Throgs Neck Bridge


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Motorist dies of apparent suicide while driving on the Throgs Neck Bridge

A 36-year-old man killed himself with a shot to the head while driving on the Throgs Neck Bridge on Monday night, police said. The man was heading northbound from Queens toward the Bronx in a 1999 Chevy Silverado when he took his own life just before he arrived at the tollbooth, cops said. After the driver pulled the trigger at 7:11 p.m., police said, the man’s silver pickup truck slammed into another car and then careened into a tollbooth entrance. Read More: Daily News

‘Junk-justice radar’ on high alert in Queens district attorney’s office conviction of Tejpal Singh

This is last week and two court officers lead convicted murderer Tejpal Singh into the Queens courtroom of the Honorable Michael B. Aloise, a courtroom jammed with Sikh men in turbans. They uncuff him at the defense table. Aloise oddly stands through loud arguments from high-powered defense attorney Stephen G. Murphy, who charges that in Singh’s case, the Queens district attorney’s office has convicted yet another in a parade of innocent people. Read More: Daily News

Sex suspect takes plunge

A depraved sicko nearly plunged to his death from a fourth-floor window after sexually attacking a young woman in her Queens apartment building, police sources said yesterday. Gustavo Avila, 20, was listed in critical condition at Elmhurst Hospital following Wednesday’s incident on 83rd Street in Jackson Heights, sources said. Read More: New York Post

Long Island man arrested in killing of young mom and her 2-year-old son

A Long Island man has been arrested for killing his one-time love interest and her 2-year-old son, whose little body was found in a freezer, police said. Jerry Lewis, 24, repeatedly stabbed Shakeela Planter, 21, on the morning of December 18 inside the North Bay Shore apartment they had been sharing, police said. Lewis did not spare Planter’s son, Jaiden Planter, police said. He beat the toddler, stuffed his body into a plastic bag and stashed him in his mother’s freezer, police said. Read More: Daily News

Miracle survivors

A Queens family of six driving upstate for the holidays “miraculously” survived a frightening accident that sent their SUV tumbling off the highway and launched the youngest of the clan out of the car. Although his entire family was hospitalized after the early-morning wreck yesterday near the town of Bethlehem, 42-year-old dad Eli Rowe sounded grateful that things didn’t turn out worse. He said their 2010 Mercedes veered off the rain-soaked New York Thruway and flipped over multiple times as they were headed from Flushing to Lake George for a family getaway. Read More: New York Post

Shoppers take it all back

With Christmas finally over, throngs of sale-crazy shoppers flocked to stores across New York yesterday in hopes of correcting Kris Kringle’s little mistakes and ringing in 2012 with huge savings. “It’s crazy how chaotic it is,” said Alex, a 27-year-old college student who was exchanging a $230 sweater for a $200 button-down shirt at Saks Fifth Avenue. He declined to give his last name in an apparent bid to spare the gift giver’s feelings. The Saks sale — in which many posh items at the high-end store were slashed up to 70 percent — led to “lots of pushing and shoving,” said one witness. Read More: New York Post

‘Double-dater’ teacher

Gerard Cassidy, a physical-education instructor at a Queens middle school, was caught in a love triangle and fired for having an “inappropriate relationship” with an ex-student — while dating her mom, The Post has learned. Cassidy, 44, who taught at MS 137 America’s School of Heroes in Ozone Park, lost a fight for his $83,600-a-year job even though the 16-year-old student recanted her claim that she had sex with the teacher, according to city Department of Education documents and court records. The age of consent in New York is 17. Cassidy denied any wrongdoing. Read More: New York Post

Comptroller: Last Year’s Christmas Blizzard Cost City About $2M In Settlements

The city is still paying the price for its sluggish response to the major blizzard from exactly one year ago, in the form of liability claims. The City Comptroller’s office says it has paid out nearly $2 million in liability claims so far, and there may be more to come. The biggest settlement so far was $150,000 for a man who fell in an icy parking lot that was not shoveled properly by the city. Another $100,000 thousand went to a Brooklyn cemetery where headstones were damaged by a falling fence after snow had been dumped against it. Read More: NY1

Felonies Sharply Increase This Year In The Rockaways

Even as police report that crime rates remain mostly flat around the city, statistics show felonies have spiked in parts of the Rockaways section of Queens. Burglaries in the 100th precinct, covering Broad Channel, Breezy Point and Belle Harbor, are up 144 percent this year. Felony assaults have jumped 66 percent, robberies are up 31 percent and grand larcenies 26 percent over last year. Residents in Belle Harbor who spoke with NY1 said they are aware of the increased crime in the area, but generally still feel safe. Read More: NY1

Elmhurst Fire Sends Two To The Hospital

Investigators say two people were hurt when a fire broke out inside the Martinique Plaza residential complex in Elmhurst on Sunday morning. The two victims were taken to Elmhurst Hospital, and two others with minor injuries were evaluated at the scene. The fire started on the second floor of the building, but firefighters put it out before it spread to other floors. Read More: NY1

Radio’s Lynn Samuels dies at 69

Lynn Samuels, longtime doyenne of New York’s talk-radio airwaves, died of a heart attack over the weekend. She was 69. An unabashed liberal, Samuels mixed searing political commentary with humor, sarcasm and at times profane observations about living in the Big Apple, attracting a loyal following over more than three decades on the air. Broadcast on SiriusXM satellite radio from her Woodside apartment, her distinctive voice — raspy with elongated vowels — instantly established her as a native New Yorker. Read More: New York Post