Tag Archives: nassau

Sandy-damaged small businesses eligible for expedited, low interest loans


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


As businesses still struggle to rebuild following Sandy, the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) and the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) have created a $10 million small business emergency fund providing immediate financial assistance for those affected by the superstorm, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

“The banking industry understands that the quick recovery of small businesses will be key to the rebuilding of our neighborhoods. We are eager to help in this critical effort so that New York’s small business owners can get back to work, and back to providing goods and services to their communities,” said Michael P. Smith, president and CEO of NYBA.

Businesses in affected areas can apply for up to $25,000 in expedited loans that will be interest and payment-free for the first six months, then will have a one percent interest for the next two years.

But to be eligible for the loans, a business must be in New York City or Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and have experienced direct damage or economic hardship as a result of Sandy.

Also, it must be independently owned, have fewer than 100 employees and have filed 2011 business tax returns.

To apply for a loan, visit www.esd.ny.gov or call 1-855-NYS-SANDY.

Accused cop killer charged with 3 counts of first-degree murder


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Twitter/NBCNewYork

The Queens man allegedly responsible for the murders of a Nassau County police officer and a Brooklyn motorist was indicted by a grand jury for three counts of first-degree murder.

Darrell Fuller, 33, is accused of fatally shooting Officer Arthur Lopez, 29, on the Cross Island Parkway during a traffic stop on October 23. Fuller’s deadly rampage continued when he attempted to carjack Raymond Facey and shot the unarmed Jamaica immigrant in the head, killing him.

The indictment also includes a count of second-degree murder for Facey’s death, two counts of robbery for attempting to steal Facey’s car and one count of criminal possession of a weapon. If found guilty, Fuller could serve a life sentence.

In 2004, Fuller was convicted of attempted murder, according to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, but released in 2009. In 2010, Fuller was arrested for selling crack and served another nine months before being released on parole.

As the investigation continued, more details from the case have emerged. According to the Queens District Attorney, Fuller borrowed the silver 2000 Nissan Altima from Gerald Williams, 27, on the day of the incident. The weapons said to have been used in the attack — a TEC 9 semi-automatic firearm and Ruger 9mm semi-automatic pistol — were in the car when it was returned to Williams. Ballistics tests are currently being run to determine if the weapons were those used to kill either Lopez or Facey.

According to court documents, the car belonged to Williams’ girlfriend Chantel Browne, who allegedly loaned it to her boyfriend. It was not clear how Williams knew Fuller.

Williams was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court where he was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If found guilty, Williams could serve up to 15 years in prison.

Man arrested for videotaping woman in bathroom


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of NCPD

A homeless man originally from Whitestone was arrested after he was allegedly caught filming a woman relieving herself in a supermarket bathroom stall in Manhasset, cops said.

Michael Seghposs, 25, was cuffed for second-degree unlawful surveillance on Sunday, November 11, when a 58-year-old woman said she found the perp videotaping her from an adjacent restroom stall in King Kullen on Northern Boulevard, according to Nassau County police.

Seghposs, detectives said, allegedly held up his phone under the stall divider to peep at and record the female victim at around 5:45 p.m. He attempted to flee on foot after being caught red-handed by the woman, said police, but was apprehended by store employees who held him until authorities arrived.

Seghposs was arraigned on Monday, November 12 at a Hempstead district court.

King Kullen did not immediately comment on the incident.

Meeks secures 8th term in Congress


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Congressmember Gregory Meeks's office

Incumbent Congressmember Gregory Meeks slid smoothly into victory on Tuesday, November 6, defeating challenger Allan Jennings in the 5th Congressional District.

Meeks, who won with 88.6 percent of the vote according to unofficial results, will kick off his eighth term in the House, now representing the newly drawn 5th District, encompassing all of southeast Queens and some of Nassau County.

“I have three most foremost goals,” said the incumbent. “The first is to effectively help [my] constituents resolve whatever federal issues they may have, like problems with medicare, social security, medicaid [and] immigration.”

The Democrat’s other goals relate to job creating legislation, by both supporting and introducing bills that spark employment, and also working locally to develop his district into a “more cohesive and innovative economic engine.”

“With JFK Airport, Resorts World, Belmont Racetrack, Green Acres Mall, hospitals … and a skilled workforce, the 5th CD has assets that could become job creating hubs and corridors of entrepreneurial innovation,” he said.

Meeks came out on top of challenger Jennings, who ran on the Republican line though he is a registered Democrat. Jennings also ran in the Democratic primary, but was defeated by the congressmember. He then re-entered the race on the Republican ticket.

Jennings, a former Councilmember, has repeatedly run unsuccessfully for office since the loss of his council seat in 2005.

Accused cop killer released from Jamaica Hospital


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

Darrell Fuller, the suspect wanted in connection with killing a veteran Nassau County police officer and a civilian yesterday, was transferred from Jamaica Hospital to Nassau County for booking this afternoon.

Under guard of Nassau County Police and NYPD, Fuller appeared sluggish as he walked out of a side entrance of the hospital into a black car. Fuller, who police say shot himself yesterday following the deadly rampage, was in a yellow shirt and wearing a sling. Bloody bandages could be seen as he lazed into the car — a police officer on each side.

The charges Fuller faces in Mineola are unknown at this time.

 

Islanders moving to Brooklyn beginning in 2015


| brennison@queenscourier.com

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Heather J. Chin

Amid rumors of the New York Islanders fleeing the area, the team announced their moving 20 miles west.

Islanders owner Charles Wang, along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Barclays Center majority owner Bruce Ratner and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz announced that the Islanders would be heading to Brooklyn beginning with the 2015-16 season. The lease is for 25 years and the team will remain the New York Islanders.

The Islanders have played at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum since their inception in 1972.

“Not long ago I think its fair to say the idea of a big league sports team coming to Brooklyn was considered little more than a pipe dream. Now, not only does Brooklyn have an NBA team, it also is now about to get an NHL team,” said Bloomberg.

The announcement comes just days after the Nets played their first basketball game in the arena.

Wang said his goal was to remain in Nassau, but “unfortunately we were unable to achieve that dream.”

The Town of Hempstead and the Islanders failed last year to reach an agreement on the Lighthouse Project, which would renovate Nassau Coliseum and develop the area around it. Wang told reporters the team would explore looking for a new home when the lease at Nassau expired in 2015.

“We’ve said this for many years, there comes a point where you need to make a decision because there’s not enough time to build a new arena,” Wang said.

The Islanders consecutively captured four Stanley Cups at the Coliseum from the 1979-1980 to 1982-1983 seasons; but fans and NHL critics in the last few years have called for a new home, or updated one.

“Our goal from the outset was to have the Islanders to play in a local world class facility that possessed the amenities our fans deserve,” said Wang.

The Barclays can currently fit about 14,500 fans for a hockey game though officials said they expect another 1,000 to be added to that number before the Islanders move in. The Nassau Coliseum can hold 16,200 fans.

The 2015 season will serve as a reunion for the Nets and Islanders. When the Islanders broke into the NHL in 1972, they shared Nassau Coliseum for a five year period with the Nets before they left for New Jersey.

Willets Point was rumored in 2010 to be a new destination for the team, and the Wilpon family, owners of the New York Mets, were said to be considering buying the team from Wang, who became a part-owner in 2000. Newsday reported amid the rumors that the potential Wilpon purchase was endorsed by Major League.

Wang was also said around 2009 to entertain the idea of moving the team to Kansas City, which hasn’t had a professional hockey team since 1976.

The move comes in the midst of the second player lockout in less than a decade. The NHL Players Association (NHLPA) and the league failed to come to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by September 15, and pre- and regular-season games were subsequently canceled.

NHLPA officials appealed for talks with league execs today, but Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league would only meet if to work on its proposed 50/50 revenue sharing agreement.

Suspect accused of killing cop, driver in custody at hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wounds


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Twitter/NBCNewYork

Police captured the suspected killer of two people, including a Nassau County police office, after a witness heard gunshots coming from a car in Queens.

After a multi-hour manhunt, Darrell Fuller, 33, was taken into custody by police in Queens and transferred to a local hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wounds.  Fuller was found at 111th Avenue and 173rd Street in Jamaica after a witness dialed 9-1-1 when they heard shots fired from within the car.

Authorities did not disclose Fuller’s condition.

Officer Arthur Lopez was shot and killed on the Cross Island Parkway after pulling over Fuller who had just left the scene of an accident on Northern Boulevard.  After abandoning his damaged car, the gunman allegedly attempted to car-jack a motorist, Raymond Facey, 52, of Jamaica, near Hempstead Avenue, fatally shooting the driver in the process.

Cops from Queens and Nassau County canvassed the area for Fuller who was considered armed and dangerous.

Fuller was convicted in 2004 of attempted murder, said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, but released in 2009.  In 2010, Fuller was arrested for selling crack and served another nine months before being released on parole.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the families of both deceased,” Mangano said.

The investigation in ongoing.

— Additional reporting by Alexa Altman

 

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. High near 73. Southeast wind 10 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible. Friday night: Scattered showers, mainly before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 60. South wind 5 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

EVENT of the DAY: Job Fair

There will be a Halloween themed family sleepover this weekend at the Long Island Aquarium. At the Creatures of the Night Spooktacular, kids will get rare glimpse into the nighttime habits of three new animals in the Creatures of the Night exhibit. You can also dress up in Halloween customes, and enjoy craft time and a screening of “Monster House.” Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Neighbor of Federal Reserve bomb suspect speaks

The day after a Queens man was arrested for allegedly attempting to detonate what he believed to be a real bomb at the New York Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan, a neighbor spoke out, saying he had no idea what was being plotted, just downstairs. Read more: Queens Courier

Tigers sweep Yankees in ALCS to reach World Series

Prince Fielder waved his arms frantically, gleefully calling off his teammates while the crowd at Comerica Park roared. From the moment the big first baseman signed his massive contract in January, an entire city had been waiting for a chance to celebrate like this. After another dazzling effort by Detroit’s starting pitchers and another soaring home run by Miguel Cabrera, Fielder caught the final out to send the Tigers to the World Series — with a sweep of the New York Yankees, no less. Read more: ESPN

Nassau officer killed on LIE while responding to collision

A Nassau County cop who responded to an accident on the Long Island Expressway was killed early today when he was struck by another vehicle passing the scene of the crash, sources said. Officer Joseph P. Olivieri, 43, was struck at 4:43 a.m. on the eastbound roadway near exit 35 in North Hills. Read more: NY Post

Comedic relief: Obama, Romney bring on the jokes at annual dinner

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were within arm’s length for the second time this week, as they shared the stage at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner Thursday and delivered feisty quips at each other’s expense. Read more: CNN

Queens man put on “No-Fly List” stranded in Austria

A 26-year-old Queens man was returning home from a trip to Austria when he was stopped at the airport and told by airline agents that the Department of Homeland Security had prohibited his travel. For over two weeks Samir Suljovic, of Oakland Gardens, has remained stranded in Austria, where he was on vacation visiting friends and family. Read more: NBC New York

Queens judge denies perv’s request to lower jail sentence to spend Christmas with family

A Queens judge slammed a pervert’s request to lower his jail sentence to be with his four children for Christmas. Oross, 45 of East Islip, LI, plead guilty in September to having repeated sexual encounters with a 14-year-old student in a Susan B. Anthony IS 238 classroom and in his car, more than a dozen times in 2009. Read more: NY Post

 

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 68. South wind 6 to 11 mph. Thursday night: Showers likely, mainly after 2am. Increasing clouds, with a low around 59. Southeast wind 8 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

EVENT of the DAY: Screening of “Manos: The Hands of Fate”

Devil Science Theater 3000 is an interactive event where the audience plays drinking games and makes fun of terrible movies while being egged on by professional comedians in the crowd. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens man arrested for Federal Reserve bomb plot

A Queens man was arrested for allegedly attempting to detonate what he believed was a real bomb at the New York Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan this morning, said the FBI. Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, of Jamaica, traveled to the U.S. this January specifically to take part in a terrorist attack, said the agency. Read more: Queens Courier

Game 4 of ALCS between Yanks, Tigers postponed due to threat of rain

For the second straight year, the weather has intruded on a New York Yankees-Detroit Tigers playoff game. And for the second straight year, Yankees ace CC Sabathia is the player most affected by it. Wednesday night’s Game 4 of the AL Championship Series was delayed for about 1 hour, 10 minutes because of anticipated storms in the area, which had not arrived when the game was officially called off but did come later Wednesday night. Read more: ESPN

‘Beyonce’ rooms for affluent new moms at Lenox Hill Hospital are putting newborns at risk: nurses

Affluent new moms are getting a suite deal at Lenox Hill Hospital: Posh $1,700-a-night, full-service “Beyoncé” rooms staffed at the expense of less fortunate city mothers, veteran nurses charge. The executive suites, including the one where the mega-star delivered baby Blue Ivy in January, receive nearly one-on-one nursing care. Two floors above, up to 18 newborns are sometimes tended by a single nurse. Read more: Daily News

Police officer killed in crash on LIE

A deadly crash on the eastbound Long Island Expressway Thursday morning has forced the closure of all eastbound lanes near Exit 34/New Hyde Park Road. A Nassau County Police Officer was killed in the collision at about 4:45 a.m. The officer had gotten out of his patrol car at the scene when he was struck and killed by another vehicle, reports FOX 5 News’ Robert Moses. Read more: NY Post

Long-delayed YMCA at Arverne by the Sea ready to open in 2013

The long-delayed YMCA slated for the Arverne by the Sea housing development in the Rockaways is set to open in the summer of 2013, officials said Wednesday. The 44,000-square-foot facility at Beach 73rd St. and Rockaway Beach Blvd. will house the largest aquatic center of any YMCA in the city, an outdoor multi-purpose sports field and a 6,500-square-foot gymnasium, officials said. Read more: Daily News

Weapons sold at day-care center, feds charge

This day-care center was armed to the teeth. Authorities yesterday smashed a gun-dealing ring operated by members of three violent Brooklyn motorcycle gangs — including a man who allegedly sold high-powered weapons and stored explosives at the Queens home where his wife runs a licensed day-care center. Read more: NY Post

La Gioconda: A gem in Great Neck


| GFEHLING@queenscourier.com

DSC00900w

Great Neck, the economic retail center of northern Nassau County, is the scene of continuously changing establishments. A constant in this maelstrom is La Gioconda, at 21 North Station Plaza, a family-owned and operated fine dining restaurant.

Upon entering the beautifully decorated eatery you are greeted by the family members — Kathy the wife; our waiter was Peter, the son; and the chef is dad Peter.

The feeling was as though we were invited into their home.

Drinks were generous and moderately priced. My Negroni was mixed to perfection, Stoli martinis shaken not stirred. The wine list is extensive with both domestic and imported selections.

La Gioconda offers a $24 prix fixe menu on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. It includes four different soups, 16 entrees (seven pasta, three chicken, four veal and two fish) and best of all, dessert and coffee and tea. It is by far the most inclusive prix fixe menu in Nassau.

Our appetizers included baked clams, spinach salad with raspberry dressing and grilled calamari. The clams, unlike other restaurants, were not stuffed with bread, the salad greens were fresh and the calamari tender.

Presentation is a major part of the enjoyment of any meal, and as entrees we ordered calf’s liver smothered in onions, which was tender and delicious. My favorite dish, veal piccatta, was proffered with just the right taste, texture and number of capers. Grilled pork chops were large and tender. Mussels are a fresh choice with marinara or white wine sauce. The accompanying green and white pasta was cooked to perfection and comes with a choice of sauces. I choose to have it with butter and pepper.

Each dish was both a splendor to behold and a gift to the palate.

Dessert included homemade napoleons and Italian cheese cake, both a culinary delight.

La Gioconda, with seating for 65, is available for private parties every weekend with a $35 menu with unlimited wine.

This is definitely a restaurant to put on your favorites list I intend to return frequently.

 

La Gioconda

21 North Station Plaza

Great Neck

516-466-2004

www.lagiocondarestaurant.com

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 4 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 10:30 p.m.

Catering available

Gluten free available

 

 

FBI busts drug ring operated out of Woodhaven den


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

FBI 004w

Twenty alleged members of a drug trafficking organization, centralized in Woodhaven, have been indicted for conspiracy to distribute heroin.

The ring, called the Perez Organization, FBI officials believe, operated out of a location on 87th Avenue and 78th Street and oversaw distribution networks existing in Nassau and Suffolk counties, as well as a storage facility in Brooklyn, according to the indictment and a detention letter filed by the government.

“The charges and arrests announced today [Tuesday, March 13] have ended the activities of an alleged heroin distribution organization whose members were drawn from a variety of backgrounds but were united by common cause — profiting personally while seriously endangering the lives of so many residents in our communities,” said Loretta Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

According to the FBI, members of the Perez Organization were responsible for dispensing over 20 kilograms of heroin, possessing a street value of around $2.75 million, to drug dealers in Queens and Long Island over the past nine months.

The arrests and indictments of these individuals were the end result of a nine-month-long investigation, called “Operation County Connection,” run by the FBI and Nassau County Police Department (NCPD), along with assistance from the Suffolk County Police Department, the New York City Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service, Eastern District of New York.

Over the course of the investigation, sparked by an increase in heroin use on Long Island, law enforcement officials used wiretaps to document the dealings of the defendants. According to the FBI, more than 5,400 individual doses of heroin, set for distribution, were recovered from affiliates of the Perez Organization. Over $30,000 worth of heroin was recovered by agents throughout four storage facilities in Queens, Brooklyn and Roosevelt, New York.

Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association, applauded the efforts of law enforcement officials responsible for bringing down the organization.

“Well done to the FBI and the NYPD for nabbing these guys,” said Wendell. “Heroin is one of the most destructive drugs out there. It’s pretty low to be peddling heroin. You’re a leech on society.”

While Wendell was not especially troubled by the discovery of a drug ring in his neighborhood, he was stunned to see locals involved in such a scenario.

“It’s not the kind of thing you’d expect from someone in this community,” said Wendell. “You don’t look at your neighbors and think they could be someone who’s part of a drug gang.”

The alleged defendants are Jose Perez, 26; Norberto Rodriguez, 27; Wilfred Castillo, 26; Jose Taveras, 38; Rafael Pichardo, 30; William Baez, 30; Edwin Adames, 33; Leonardo Lopez, 25; Sean Brunette, 22; Anderson Taveras, 22; Kenneth Suarez, 33; Eric Suarez, 28; Dana Sollecito, 23; Tina Catrini, 29; Matthew Catrini, 24; Josephine Javis, 50; Roland Stern, 68; Corey Stern, 37; Kathryn Pappas, 21; and Felix Vargas, 33.

If convicted, each of the defendants potentially faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.