Tag Archives: NY1

Liu “Stunned” By Fraud Charges Against His Campaign Treasurer


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Arrest Made In Connection With Queens Synagogue Burglary

Police say tips from the public led them to an arrest in the burglary of a Queens synagogue. Efram Sanders, 28, was arrested Tuesday and was facing burglary, grand larceny and stolen-property charges in connection with the break-in at Congregation Degel Israel in Kew Gardens Hills. More than a dozen items were taken, including silver torah crowns and breastplates, worth thousands of dollars in all. Police say they were able to recover all stolen items except for two silver pointers. Read More: NY1

 

NYPD cop impersonators may have used high-quality masks to pull off check-cashing heist

Three cop impersonators wanted for stealing $200,000 from a Queens check-cashing business may have worn masks that were Hollywood quality, the Daily News has learned. Investigators began to suspect the trio that pulled off the Valentine’s Day caper had worn masks that were far from the average costume-shop props after they got a tip, the sources said. One of the false faces even looked like pro wrestler Bill Goldberg. Read More: Daily News

Liu “Stunned” By Fraud Charges Against His Campaign Treasurer

In a serious blow to City Comptroller John Liu’s 2013 campaign effort, authorities on Tuesday announced the arrest of one of his top campaign aides on fraud charges, and the comptroller said he was shocked by the allegations. The U.S. Attorney’s office says Jenny Hou, 25, seen above right, was taken into custody in connection to what authorities call a scheme to use straw donors to get over the limit campaign contributions to Liu. Read More: NY1

 

Mayor Stands By Released Teacher Rankings As Charter School Data Is Published

Mayor Michael Bloomberg again defended the release of teacher data reports Tuesday as the Department of Education released the same information for charter schools and District 75. Charter school teachers make up a majority of the 334 reports. Their participation was optional but District 75, which serves children with special needs, had to take part for two of the three school years represented. A DOE spokesperson says the reports for the charter and District 75 schools are not comparable to those for city schools. Read More: NY1

 

Hero cop: ‘I don’t know how he didn’t hit me from that range’

The partner of the NYPD cop saved by his gun belt said the stunning sequence was like the scene in “Pulp Fiction” where a gunman opens fire on the main characters at point-blank range and misses with every shot. “We were only a couple feet away. I don’t know how he didn’t hit me from that range,” Thomas Dunne told The Post of alleged shooter Luis Martinez. Dunne’s partner, Thomas Richards, 36, was saved when a round hit the extra clip in his pocket. Read More: New York Post

Elevator guy still on job

The lift mechanic whose botched job resulted in a young ad executive getting crushed to death was still allowed to tinker with the city’s elevators yesterday. Michael Hill arrived at his home in Glen Gardner, NJ, after a long day on the job — wearing a navy blue New York Elevator Operators uniform and covered in grease. Hill was working on the city’s elevators just one day after investigators on Monday released a scathing report, accusing him of overriding the critical elevator safety system that led to Y&R ad exec Suzanne Hart’s gruesome death on Dec. 14. Read More: New York Post

Grades spur parents’ revolt


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Grades spur parents’ revolt

Armed for the first time with data that rates the effectiveness of more than 12,000 math and reading teachers, parents yesterday said they’ll now take action to steer their kids clear of bad apples. At PS 89 in The Bronx — which had the highest number of teachers who were rated poorly in 2010 — several parents returning to school yesterday after last week’s mid-winter recess said they plan to pull their kids out. Forty-three percent of the Bronxdale school’s teachers were rated below average or worse, while just 7 percent were above average or better, according to the city’s numbers. Read More: New York Post

Thieves out ‘4’ iPhones

It wasn’t just techie nerds who were eagerly awaiting the iPhone 4’s release — sneaky cellphone subway thieves were just as anxious to snag the gadget, NYPD officials said yesterday. The June 2010 release of the iPhone sparked an underground cellphone-swiping frenzy that still hasn’t stopped, said NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Joseph Fox. Cellphone “thefts accelerated in July 2010 coinciding with the release of the pretty popular iPhone 4,” he said at the MTA’s transit committee meeting. In 2011, 47 percent of all property stolen underground involved electronics — up from 39 percent in 2010 and 35 percent in 2009. Read More: New York Post

Two confirmed dead, three injured in Ohio school shooting

An Ohio teen described as an “outcast” was due to appear in court Tuesday after allegedly killing two of his classmates and injuring three others in a fatal shooting at a suburban Cleveland high school. The first victim of the shooting at Chardon High School was Daniel Parmertor, 16, who died Monday at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. A second victim, named as 17-year-old Russell King, was pronounced brain dead at 12:42 a.m. at the same hospital, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuesday. Read More: New York Post

Family Fights To Prevent Deportation Of Jackson Heights Father

Mohammad Anwarul Islam’s family in Jackson Heights, Queens is fighting to keep the husband and father in the country, while he awaits deportation to Bangladesh in a New Jersey jail. His family says Islam immigrated legally but was not granted political asylum. Read More: NY1

NYPD officer saved as bullet pouch stops shot: police


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

NYPD officer saved as bullet pouch stops shot: police

Another NYPD officer narrowly escaped a bullet today after a firefight erupted in lower Manhattan, police said. Officers Thomas Richards and Thomas Dunne had just gotten out of their police van at 1:44 a.m. on Columbia Street in lower Manhattan when they were approached by Luis Martinez, police said. Martinez, 25, began firing at the officers – one shot hit Richards’ bullet pouch, narrowly missing his stomach “by an inch” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said this morning. Read More: New York Post

 

Cop’s slaying could cripple cig-smuggling case This criminal case could go up in smoke. A top state tax investigator allegedly slain by her former-cop husband in Queens last year was the arresting officer in a tobacco case that may be in jeopardy as a result of her death, The Post has learned. Tracey Young, 42, was a well-respected undercover cop specializing in busting tobacco smugglers when she was shot 10 times, allegedly by hulking hubby Clarence Cash, 49, in their Briarwood apartment Dec. 10. Cash was said to have been upset over money woes and Young’s threats to leave him. Read More: New York Post

 

‘The Artist’ nabs Best Picture Oscar; Streep honored for ‘Iron Lady’ Moviegoers were at a loss for words last night as Oscar thumbed his nose at the year’s most popular films and gave the top honor to “The Artist,’’ a silent black-and-white film beloved by cinema snobs. It was the first black-and-white silent movie to win Best Picture since 1929, when “Wings,’’ a film about World War I fighter pilots, won the big prize a few months before the stock market crashed. Read More: New York Post

 

One hour and $260 can get you phony green card, soc. security and license It’s a passport to trouble — and it can be bought for just $260 on the streets of Jackson Heights, Queens. In just one hour, The Post was able to buy a phony green card, Social Security card and New York state driver’s license from a stranger on a corner — all of which could serve as a gateway to obtain legitimate IDs. The cards are frighteningly real — convincing enough to fool creditors, potential employers and security at buildings and even the airport. Read More: New York Post

 

Mets’ Uniforms To Feature Memorial Patch For Gary Carter

The New York Mets will wear a special patch on their uniforms this season to honor the life and legacy of the late catcher Gary Carter. The team’s fan page on Facebook features a photo of the patch, with a home plate design, Carter’s number 8 and his nickname, “The Kid.” Carter died on February 16 after a long battle with brain cancer at the age of 57. Read More: NY1

 

State Orders Peninsula Hospital To Stop Taking Patients


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

State Orders Peninsula Hospital To Stop Taking Patients

Laboratory problems are forcing changes at Peninsula Hospital in Queens. The State Department of Health has ordered the hospital to stop admitting patients and performing surgeries, and plan to transfer its current patients elsewhere. The order comes after Peninsula’s lab permit was suspended for 30 days after an inspection found, “problems that failed to meet the accepted standards of care.” The hospital says it is complying with the state’s orders and is developing a plan to fix the problems as soon as possible. Read More: NY1

 

Man accused of running over girlfriend extradited to NJ, set to be arraigned on murder charges

The deranged New Jersey man accused of running over his girlfriend three times and leaving her to die on a busy street was extradited this morning to New Jersey, where he will be arraigned on murder charges, authorities said. Charles J. Ann, 26, of Fort Lee, allegedly fled the scene Monday evening, but was tracked down at a friend’s house in Flushing, Queens, with a stack of cash and his passport. Authorities believe that he was going to flee to South Korea. Read More: New York Post

Four Sought In Valentine’s Day Home Invasion

Police are searching for four men behind a frightening home invasion in Manhattan last week where two of the robbers climbed through an apartment window. Investigators say it happened around 4 a.m. on February 14 inside an apartment located at 601 West 185th Street near Saint Nicholas Avenue. Authorities say two of the men got in through the window. The other two came through the front door. Read More: NY1

 

‘Subway pusher’ found guilty of assault, not attempted murder

A man accused of pushing a fashion exec onto the subway tracks was found not guilty today by a Manhattan jury of attempted murder, but guilty of first degree assault. That’s not much a break for Jose Rojas, 26, because both charges carry the same penalty, meaning he’ll still be facing between 5 and 25 years behind bars when he’s sentenced on March 16. Rojas had insisted that he did not cause a tall, blonde woman, Ute Linhart, to hit the train intentionally. Read More: New York Post

 

Ex-Mets star Dykstra granted permission to attend Carter’s funeral

Former Mets star Lenny Dykstra will be permitted to attend the funeral of his former teammate Gary Carter. Dykstra, who is under house arrest in Los Angeles on allegations of bankruptcy fraud and embezzlement, filed papers with a judge earlier this week in an attempt to attend Carter’s funeral today, according to TMZ.com. The judge signed off on Dykstra’s request, allowing him to attend Carter’s funeral in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Dykstra and Carter were teammates on the Mets from 1985-89, and both played pivotal roles on the 1986 World Series-winning ball club. Read More: New York Post

DOE Releases Evaluations For Thousands Of Public School Teachers

Parents will soon know if their children’s teachers have been earning passing grades, as the city’s Department of Education released today the performance scores of tens of thousands of teachers later today. A judge ordered the department to do so, despite resistance from the teachers’ union. The teacher data reports were compiled for three years, beginning with the 2007-2008 school year. News organizations, including NY1, plan to publish the reports with the teachers’ names on the Internet this afternoon. 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

New video shows Bronx boy, 8, just before shooting


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

New video shows Bronx boy, 8, just before shooting

An 8-year-old boy was checking out a rack of potato chips inside a Bronx bodega just before taking a bullet in his shoulder, a shocking surveillance video shows. The stunned tyke in a gray track suit, who sources identified as Armando Bigo, can be seen gripping his left shoulder immediately after being shot inside Papa Yali’s Deli in Soundview. Sources said two other people inside the bodega may have been the intended targets of a bike-riding gunman who fired into the small Randall Avenue storefront around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. The boy was taken to Jacobi Medical Center with a non life-threatening gunshot wound. Read More: New York Post

Long Island woman one of two Western journalists killed in Syria shelling

Two Western journalists were killed Wednesday in the flashpoint city of Homs after Syrian security forces shelled the building where they were staying. UK foreign secretary William Hague confirmed that the journalists were Marie Colvin from Long Island, a veteran war correspondent for The (London) Sunday Times, and French freelance photographer Remi Ochlik. Read More: New York Post

 

Whitney had drug cocktail

Whitney Houston had a deadly mixture of Valium, Xanax and alcohol in her system when her life was cut short at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the eve of the Grammys, according to a report yesterday. Although the coroner is awaiting final toxicology results to determine which one of the three played the largest role in her death, the preliminary results almost certainly rule out that Houston drowned, although she was found partially submerged in a bathtub. Read More: New York Post

 

Man, 81, pushed to tracks in iPhone theft

An 81-year-old man was shoved onto the tracks at a Brooklyn elevated subway station after he chased a teen who stole his iPhone, authorities said yesterday. The victim was waiting for a J train at the Lorimer Street station in Williamsburg at about 11:45 a.m. Friday when a young punk grabbed his smartphone and took off, cops said. When the man started running after him, his accomplice shoved him onto the tracks, cops said. The victim was pulled from the roadbed and was in stable condition at Woodhull Hospital. Read More: New York Post

Providing Yankees peace of mind is part of Rivera’s legend

If this were just about replacing a closer — even a legendary closer — then the Yankees would have a difficult, yet plausible, job ahead. But if this really is Mariano Rivera’s last season, then the Yankees are on the clock toward something much more difficult: Replacing a feeling. It is not that Rivera avoided all failure. Heck, he blew Game 7 of the World Series. But, even when that ended the 2001 season, no one with the Yankees fretted for one second how that would impact 2002. Rivera would not be cowed and the internal clubhouse confidence in him would not waver. Ever. Read More: New York Post
 

Cardinal Dolan Makes Ash Wednesday Rounds

Cardinal Timothy Dolan hit the ground running this morning, for the start of the Lenten season. Just back from Rome, Dolan arrived at St. Francis of Assisi Church this morning where he handed out food to the homeless. A crowd of well-wishers was on hand to greet him as he started his busy day and to congratulate him on his elevation to the College of Cardinals. Dolan thanked everyone for their support and also addressed the importance of today. Read More: NY1

 

Police: Bicyclist Fired Shot That Hit Boy Inside Bronx Deli

An eight-year-old boy is recovering after being shot in the arm at a Bronx deli on Tuesday. Police say the child was inside Papa Yala’s Deli on Randall Avenue in Soundview when shots were fired from a man riding on a bicycle just before 8 p.m. Investigators say a bullet grazed the boy on his left shoulder. He was taken to Jacobi Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition. Residents said they were concerned for their children. Read More: NY1

 

Bronx Substitute Teacher Charged With Forcibly Touching Student

A city school employee was under arrest Tuesday, as one of the Chukwuma Duru, 27, a substitute teacher at Bronx Career and College Prep High School in Morrisania, was charged with forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. The Department of Education says the incident happened at the school on February 9 and involved a student there. Education officials also say the alleged incident does not appear sexual, but Duru has been removed from the school. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Rape Suspect Caught On Surveillance Video

Police are on the hunt for a man who they say tried to rape a woman in Queens this past weekend. Officials say the man, who was seen on surveillance video, grabbed a 25-year-old woman from behind Sunday night around 10:30 p.m. in Ridgewood. They say he then pushed her to the ground and tried to rape her, but snatched her purse and ran off when the woman began screaming for help. Read More: NY1

Chunk of Queensboro Bridge falls on Mercedes


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Chunk of Queensboro Bridge falls on Mercedes

A New Jersey man was driving to Queens Tuesday evening when he got an unexpected surprise — a piece of the Queensboro Bridge crashed through his Mercedes Benz. Andrew Campbell, 40, of Bergenfield, was heading to an indoor soccer game in Jackson Heights when he said a large screw and a piece of metal shattered the windshield of his white luxury car about 7 p.m. on the bridge’s lower level. Read More: New York Post

Playmate strips NY of $1.2M

Busty former Playboy Playmate Stephanie Adams was awarded $1.2 million yesterday after a Manhattan civil jury ruled she was the victim of excessive force by the NYPD. “I waited six years for this,” an emotional Adams said after the jury gave her $350,000 more than her lawyer had asked for from the 2006 run-in with cops, which was sparked when a cabby told cops the first openly lesbian Playmate threatened to shoot him — even though she sat in the back of his cab in a skimpy, skintight outfit that could barely conceal a cigarette lighter. Read More: New York Post

 

Mets strike out Kosher-dog vendor

Religious Jews attending Mets games at Citi Field on the Sabbath will have to stick to peanuts and Cracker Jacks. A judge yesterday ruled against a vendor who made a federal case out of the team’s order that it not peddle kosher hot dogs on Friday nights and Saturdays. Internal memos showed that team officials felt that Sabbath hot-dog sales did not cut the mustard under Jewish law and feared offending observant Jews. Read More: New York Post

New Agreement Could Bring 440-Seat Public School To Woodside

According to officials, a new 440-seat public school is coming to a lot at 57th Street and 39th Avenue in Woodside, Queens, and it will ideally provide some relief to the overcrowded PS 11. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Woman Claims Mold Drove Her From Home

A Queens woman says she’s struggling to find a new place to live after her apartment was recently overtaken by mold. Patrina Smith says she first noticed the problem in her bathroom last year. She asked her landlord to fix it, and a contractor came to clean it up but the mold came back just days later. Now, after months of back and forth, the mold has spread throughout her home. Smith says it’s taking a toll on her health. Read More: NY1

Ex-Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels pleads guilty to theft, ordered to pay $50K


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Ex-Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels pleads guilty to theft, ordered to pay $50K

Sticky-fingered ex-Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels dodged prison today by admitting he lined his pockets after swiping and selling millions of dollars worth of signed team hats, jerseys and other souvenirs. Samuels, 52, who was banned for life from CitiField and the Mets’ spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla, was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to repay about $50,000 in back taxes and restitution to the team and Queens DA’s office. Read More: New York Post

 

Cops arrest man in horrific New Jersey hit-and-run murder

A 26-year-old New Jersey man was arrested today for allegedly murdering his girlfriend by repeatedly running over her with his car in Fort Lee, NJ, yesterday after she attempted to break up with him, authorities said. Charles J. Ann, of Fort Lee, was busted in Queens, where he fled, authorities said. He’s being held in Queens Criminal Court on $3 million cash bail for allegedly killing Aena Hong, 25, also of Fort Lee. He was charged with first-degree murder. Read More: New York Post

 

Assemblywoman Grace Meng roasts Boston Market over racial remarks 

Assemblywoman Grace Meng said employees of a Boston Market in Flushing repeatedly referred to her as “la china” during a January visit to the chain restaurant. “Whether they were trying to be racist or not — it’s not appopriate,” said Meng (D-Flushing). “I was the only customer in there.” Meng, who has a basic knowledge of Spanish, confronted the workers after paying for her dinner, but they only shrugged. Read More: Daily News

Strauss-Kahn detained by French police over prostitution ring

French police detained former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn for questioning Tuesday over allegations he took part in orgies in Paris and Washington with prostitutes paid for by businessmen. The 62-year-old former Socialist senior lawmaker, who until last year was seen as the front-runner to replace Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France, had been summoned as a witness but prosecutors said he is now a suspect. Read More: New York Post

 

Eagle Academy to move into Allen Christian School

The city is giving a successful all-boys school with strong political ties its own building in southeast Queens, while moving a less-connected high school out of its own space and into a building occupied by a middle school. The Department of Education plans to sign a lease to put the Eagle Academy for Young Men into the Allen Christian School, in Jamaica, within the next few weeks, an agency official said. Read More: Daily News

Rihanna and Chris Brown record two suggestive songs together

Ill-fated exes Rihanna and Chris Brown are back together — a least in the studio. Three years after a lovers’ quarrel turned physical, leaving Rihanna in the hospital and Brown pleading guilty to assault charges, the former couple has teamed up for two new remixes. While Rihanna lends her voice to Brown’s “Turn Up the Music,” the Barbadian pop star invited Brown to sing on her explicit track, “Birthday Cake.” The lyrics of both songs appear to imply that the two might have rekindled their romance. Read More: New York Post

 

Anonymous hackers could disrupt US power grid, official warns

The director of the National Security Agency warned that the hacking group Anonymous could have the ability within the next year or two to bring about a limited power outage in the US through a cyber attack. Gen. Keith Alexander, the agency’s director, provided his assessment in meetings at the White House and in other private sessions, according to people familiar with the gatherings. While he has not publicly expressed his concerns about the potential for Anonymous to disrupt power supplies, he has warned publicly about an emerging ability by cyber attackers to disable or even damage computer networks. Read More: New York Post

 

Famous masterpiece ‘The Scream’ to fetch $80M at New York auction

A version of Edvard Munch’s famous masterpiece “The Scream” is expected to fetch more than $80 million at a New York auction, Sotheby’s announced Tuesday. The work, which is one of four versions of the composition and the only one still in private hands, dates from 1895 and is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and customer of the artist. “The haunting composition stands as the visual embodiment of modern anxiety and existential dread, referenced by everyone from Andy Warhol to The Simpsons,” the auctioneer said in a statement. Read More: New York Post

 

Trial starts for owner of E. Side’s killer crane

Long decades of ethnic violence, genocide and religious repression in their native Kosovo could not crush the family of Ramadan Kurtaj. Instead, it took the freakish horror of one moment — a massive tower crane plummeting out of the Manhattan sky. “How? How can this happen in the United States?” Kurtaj’s heartbroken father, Uka, said yesterday, red-faced and sobbing on the eve of trial for the millionaire crane magnate charged with manslaughter in the East 91st Street crane collapse of 2008. Read More: New York Post

Knife terror aboard N train


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Knife terror aboard N train

A crazed subway panhandler pulled a knife and threatened a straphanger on a crowded train yesterday before being subdued by a good Samaritan and held until cops arrived, authorities and witnesses said. The 35-year-old woman boarded the Manhattan-bound N train at around 6:40 p.m. at Queensboro Plaza and began asking for money. Another woman, 52, began mocking her, unleashing the vagrant’s anger. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Witness-tamper’ hit vs. Espada

The feds claim former New York Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. coached a woman to lie before a federal grand jury investigating corruption allegations against him, The Post has learned. Although witness tampering is a crime, Brooklyn federal prosecutors are not charging Espada with new counts stemming from the incident — but they want the jury in his upcoming corruption trial to hear about the alleged misconduct. Read More: New York Post

 

Soaring Gas Prices Fuel Concerns Among City Drivers

Drivers in the city and across the nation are being hit with record high prices at the pump. Gas prices are the highest ever for this time of year and experts say they will only continue to rise. The national average for a gallon of regular hit $3.57 cents, up more than a quarter since January 1. Prices in New York are even higher. The current average in the city is $3.96, up 15 percent from a year ago. Read More: NY1

 

Dolan’s mother meets Pope Benedict

Capping a whirlwind nine-day trip with a final visit to the Vatican, Timothy Cardinal Dolan introduced his 84-year-old mom to Pope Benedict XVI yesterday — then jokingly asked the pontiff if he could make her “the first lady of the College of Cardinals.” Amid cheers and applause, Dolan walked his mom, Shirley, up to the stage to greet his boss during a papal audience before an enthusiastic crowd inside the Paul VI Hall. “Holy Father, here is my mom!” Dolan said he told the pope. Read More: New York Post

 

Rivera’s early arrival could signal end of Yankees career

The chair was occupied, and — in its own way — that was perhaps the first clue it would not be for much longer. When the clubhouse door opened to the media early yesterday morning, there was Mariano Rivera sitting at his locker. On the surface, so what? But there are Mo Rules in spring, and one is that he will not report on time. No one around the Yankees cares. He is Mariano Rivera, and his history is he shows up in great shape, pinpointing pitches and needing six to eight innings in all to be ready for Opening Day. Read More: New York Post

JetBlue sign ordeal

JetBlue wants to light up the New York skyline with its iconic blue logo — but it must first clear layers of city red tape before taking off. The airline, which will move its corporate headquarters to Long Island City next month, plans to erect a 40-foot lighted sign on the rooftop of its new building at 27-01 Queens Plaza North. “When complete, it will be easily seen from the east side of Manhattan across the river,” JetBlue said. But JetBlue’s proposal must be reviewed and approved by two community boards, the borough president, the City Planning Commission, the City Council and mayor. Read More: New York Post

Boy Scouts ordered to release secret sex abuse files


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Boy Scouts ordered to release secret sex abuse files

A judge overseeing a lawsuit brought by the family of a California boy molested by his troop leader in 2007 has ordered the Boy Scouts of America to hand over confidential files detailing allegations of sexual abuse by Scout leaders around the nation. The Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge said last month that the Irving, Texas-based organization must turn over the last 20 years’ worth of records by Feb. 24, with victims’ names removed, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. The files will not be made public. Read More: Daily News
Sadistic ‘shooter’ husband

The young pregnant wife shot by her jilted, estranged husband outside a Brooklyn school said yesterday that she was recovering from the ambush. “I’m feeling a little better today,” victim Daisy Torres, 26, told The Post. Torres split from hubby Juan Torres Collazo, 62, months before the dismissal-time attack at PS 384 in Bushwick, but the scorned man wouldn’t let it go. “We’ve been together for eight months,” said Torres’ new beau, Hector Reyes, “and he kept harassing her and harassing her. Read More: New York Post

 

Lin fairy tale getting ‘real’ interesting for Knicks

We can stop dealing in the abstract, cease the comparisons to Joe Hardy and Roy Hobbs and Jimmy Chitwood. This isn’t fantasy. This isn’t a Hollywood script. We can shelve the superlatives and move on to two emerging truths: Jeremy Lin is real. And because of that, the Knicks are for real. Read More: New York Post

Monaco royal hurt, fomer  club owner charged in celebs’ NYC bar brawl

A vicious fight involving vodka and supermodels at a Meatpacking District nightclub sparked a royal beatdown that landed Monaco’s Prince Pierre Casiraghi in the hospital, The Post has learned. The attack on the 24-year-old son of Princess Caroline and grandson of Grace Kelly came during a late-night confrontation between the prince and his playboy pals and former Manhattan club owner Adam Hock at trendy Double Seven on Saturday, witnesses and law-enforcement sources said. Read More: New York Post

Jeremy Lin headline slur was ‘honest mistake,’ fired ESPN editor Anthony Federico claims

The ESPN editor fired Sunday for using “chink in the armor” in a headline about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin said the racial slur never crossed his mind – and he was devastated when he realized his mistake. “This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,” Anthony Federico told the Daily News. “I’m so sorry that I offended people. I’m so sorry if I offended Jeremy.” Read More: Daily News

ESPN fallout over crack about Lin


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

ESPN fallout over crack about Lin

ESPN yesterday called an offensive foul on two employees for using a racist term in a headline and story about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin. A headline writer, whose name was not released, was fired, while anchor Max Bretos was benched for 30 days. The out-of-bounds phrase — “chink in the armor” — referred to Chinese-American Lin’s struggles Friday in the Knicks’ first loss since he made a splash. It appeared as a headline on ESPN’s mobile site Saturday. Read More: New York Post

 

NYC’s Allen Christian School is closing

The well-regarded Allen Christian School is closing after nearly 30 years because of financial difficulties. The announcement was made Tuesday by the Rev. Floyd Flake, who said the decision brought him “great sadness.” The politically influential Queens pastor and former congressman founded the school with his wife, the Rev. Elaine Flake. Public Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said his four children have “fond memories of attending Allen Christian.” Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Knicks talking title after Lin leads them to win over Mavericks

After Jeremy Lin’s nationally televised theatrics were over, after the point guard’s international stardom had reached yet another level, after Jason Kidd said Lin indeed looks like Steve Nash in Phoenix, Tyson Chandler soaked it all in and declared what may have become obvious by now: Lin’s Knicks are a genuine contender for a championship this season. Chandler should know best, having helped the Mavericks to a title eight months ago. Chandler faced Dallas during the Knicks’ 104-97 victory in yesterday’s thrilling Garden matinee, and said he feels his new club is championship-caliber with Lin’s fairy tale, J.R. Smith’s arrival and Carmelo Anthony’s grand return to Linsanity scheduled tonight against the Nets. Read More: New York Post

 

Spit hits fan in teach spat

A veteran Queens math teacher was yanked from the classroom yesterday after a cellphone video posted online showed an apparent confrontation with a student. Department of Education officials said they are investigating 19-year veteran David Pecoraro, a vocal union leader at Beach Channel HS in Far Rockaway, on allegations of corporal punishment. An 80-second video posted on YouTube last week captures the alleged incident but doesn’t provide a clear answer on what the teacher did. Read More: New York Post

Whitney Houston’s dress, ‘Bodyguard’ earrings up for auction

A black velvet dress that belonged to Whitney Houston and a pair of earrings she wore in “The Bodyguard” will be sold to the highest bidder next month. Celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien said Sunday the pieces and other Houston items became available after the singer’s unexpected death on Feb. 11 and will be included among a long-planned sale of Hollywood memorabilia such as Charlie Chaplin’s cane, Clark Gable’s jacket from “Gone With the Wind” and Charlton Heston’s staff from “The Ten Commandments.” Read More: New York Post

 

Transit Officers Catch Alleged Subway Pickpocket In The Act

Two transit offers were on the right train at the right time on Saturday and ended up catching an alleged pickpocket in action. Police say the officers were patrolling a Queens-bound E train early Saturday morning in Manhattan, when 50-year old Manuel Alduey got on an adjoining car at West 4th Street and sat next to a sleeping passenger. Investigators say the officers saw Alduey take the sleeping victim’s wallet and iPhone before getting off at West 23rd Street. The officers followed and arrested Alduey. Alduey is being charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Read More: NY1

 

Memorial Service For Mets’ Gary Carter To Be Held In Florida

A private memorial service will be held this Friday in Florida for former New York Mets catcher Gary Carter. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be made to the Gary Carter Foundation. Carter, known as “The Kid,” died on Thursday at age 57 after a battle with brain cancer. The Hall of Fame catcher was traded to New York from Montreal in 1985 and spent five seasons in Queens. Carter was a major element of the Mets’ 1986 World Series championship team. Read More: NY1

 

Quinn puts pressure on MSG and Time Warner Cable


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Graphic by Jay Lane

Quinn puts pressure on MSG and Time Warner Cable

Linsanity has spread to city government. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn fired off letters yesterday to the two top executives of Time Warner Cable and Madison Square Garden, warning they’ll face a public grilling if Knick and Ranger games aren’t restored to more than 2 million blacked-out cable subscribers. “It has been reported that discussions between the two sides have recently taken place for the first time in nearly two months,” Quinn wrote MSG Chairman James Dolan and Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt. Read More: New York Post

Al Sharpton’s SUV impounded at La Guardia Airport

The Rev. Al Sharpton tried to move heaven and earth yesterday to keep his SUV from being towed at La Guardia Airport — but no amount of preaching could stop Port Authority cops from impounding the vehicle. An officer rolled up on the 2008 Lincoln Navigator at around 2 p.m. outside the Delta and US Airways terminal as the MSNBC host’s driver waited to pick him up in a clearly marked “no standing” zone, said PA Police spokesman Al Della Fave. Read More: New York Post

 

Former Met Gary Carter succumbs to brain cancer

Forever known as “the Kid,” former Mets catcher Gary Carter died at 4:10 p.m. on February 16 after battling brain cancer. He was 57. A key cog on the Mets’ 1986 championship team, the man best known for his leadership and clutch hitting was diagnosed with the disease after doctors discovered inoperable tumors on his brain in May 2011. After an MRI revealed new tumors in January 2012, his condition worsened. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Mets Fans Mourn Former Catcher Gary Carter

Gary Carter’s hit with two outs in the 10th inning of game six of the 1986 World Series started the comeback against the Red Sox, which led to the ball rolling through Bill Buckner’s legs. The rest is history. “The Mets would not have won the world series in 1986 were it not for Gary Carter,” said WFAN host Ed Randall. “He was a hero to so many people,” said one New Yorker. Read More: NY1

 

Whitney Houston was on downward spiral in months leading to death: report

Whitney Houston’s downward spiral began months before she was found lifeless in a hotel bathtub, a new report says. Sources told Star magazine that the pop icon had spent the last three months of her life boozing, using cocaine, taking pills and partying. “The last three months of Whitney’s life were truly tragic,” one source told the tabloid, which published the report on Radar Online Friday. Another source reportedly said that Houston got “buck wild” at the Playhouse nightclub in Hollywood on Jan. 2. Read More: Daily News
Bone marrow donors sought for 6-year-old son of New York City firefighter, stricken with leukemia

He helped protect the city and now a retired Brooklyn firefighter hopes the city will turn out Saturday to help his dying 6-year-old son. Kevin Flood, a retired firefighter from Engine 210 in Fort Greene, was part of the search and rescue mission at Ground Zero after 9/11 that sickened so many of his colleagues. He is in fine health. But his son, Colin, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia the night before Christmas. Read More: Daily News

Fundraiser For Comptroller Liu Indicted On Federal Wire Fraud Charges


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Fundraiser For Comptroller Liu Indicted On Federal Wire Fraud Charges

City Comptroller John Liu was dealt a major blow on Wednesday as a fundraiser for his campaign, Xing Wu Pan, was indicted on federal wire fraud charges just one day before the comptroller’s first major public policy speech. Pan, also known as Oliver Pan, was arrested in November for allegedly funneled $16,000 to Liu’s likely campaign for mayor in 2013. The U.S. attorney says Pan tried to circumvent the legal contribution limit to Liu by arranging for several people to divide up a large contribution and claim the donation was their own. Read More: NY1

 

Officials Release Recording Of 911 Call Made By Suspect In Subway Bombing Plot

A 911 call made by a man accused in a subway bombing plot has been released. Adis Medunjanin was speeding along the Whitestone Expressway when he made the call in January 2010. At the time, he was under surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which had just served him with a search warrant. In the recording, Medunjanin can be heard saying, “We love death,” and “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.” Read More: NY1

 

Whitney’s family thinks ex is reaching out to daughter due to fortune: report

Bobby Brown is trying to leech onto Whitney Houston’s fortune, the late singer’s mom and other family members believe, according to a new report. Brown is attempting to get close to his daughter Bobbi Kristina, who is sole heir to his ex-wife’s estimated $20 million fortune, in a bid to get his hands on the cash, family sources told TMZ. Her mother Cissy Houston is trying to stop Brown from getting close to the 18 year old because she fears the rapper is broke and just wants to line his own pockets, according to a source. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens Teacher Had Class Contact Inmate Who Previously Faced Child Porn Charges

Officials at the Department of Education say they are looking to fire a Queens teacher who had her fifth-grade students send Christmas cards to a prison inmate who was previously been charged with possessing child pornography. The city’s special commissioner of investigation, Richard Condon, says Melissa Dean, 31, had her class in P.S. 143 at Corona, Queens send cards to John Coccarelli, who appears to have had a relationship with her. The teacher did not ask permission from parents or the school and officials say many of the cards had the children’s names and addresses on them. Read More: NY1

 

Style icon in front-row death

Beloved club and fashion maven Zelda Kaplan died after collapsing in the front row at Fashion Week yesterday at age 95. Kaplan, New York’s oldest and most beloved night owl and the woman who could famously “out-party even Paris Hilton,” collapsed at the Joanna Mastroianni show at The Studio at Lincoln Center. Witnesses said the socialite “slumped forward” as the second model came out on the runway, and she was carried out and given CPR by paramedics. An ambulance rushed her to the hospital, but she couldn’t be revived. Read More: New York Post

Queens  granny kin sue in blizzard death

The family of a Queens grandmother who died of a heart attack during the December 2010 blizzard is suing the city for failing to clear the streets, which they say delayed emergency responders. Faith Radvin and Robin Martucci claim in a suit filed yesterday that a day after the storm, their mother, Gail Radvin, 73, had a fatal heart attack. Read More: New York Post

Fourth NYPD suicide this month


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Fourth NYPD suicide

A cop killed himself yesterday on his way home after finishing his shift in Queens — becoming the fourth NYPD officer to die by his own hand in less than a month, sources told The Post. Matthew Schindler, 39, a 14-year veteran and married father of three kids, pulled his car over at about 4:30 p.m. on the eastbound side of the Long Island Expressway near Exit 40 in Jericho and shot himself under the chin, the sources said. Minutes earlier, Schindler, a highway-safety officer, texted his sergeant to tell him he would not be seeing him anymore. Read More: New York Post

 

160G JFK gem ‘heist’

A Long Island psychotherapist who got stopped at a boarding gate at JFK Airport because of the size of her carry-on tried to cajole workers into letting her pass — by telling them she had thousands of dollars in exquisite jewelry in the luggage that she didn’t want to let out of her sight. “I told the gate attendant, ‘Listen to me, I have more than $100,000 worth of jewelry here,’ ’’ said Rita Lamberg, 69, who also plays in poker tournaments part-time. Lamberg yesterday admitted to The Post that it may not have been the smartest thing to say. Read More: New York Post

Tragic Whitney back in New Jersey

Carried in a golden hearse, the body of pop queen Whitney Houston arrived in her hometown of Newark, NJ, last night, as preparations began for a massive Friday funeral that only an arena could hold. A private plane carrying Houston’s casket from LA — where she died in a hotel room Saturday — landed at Teterboro Airport at around 10:30 p.m. The casket was placed in a gold-colored hearse and escorted by three police cars to the Whigham Funeral Home, which handled the services for Houston’s dad, John, in 2003. Read More: New York Post

 

LIRR May Return To Elmhurst

For commuters in Elmhurst who may be fed up with their transit options, there’s some good news: the LIRR may once again be making a stop in their neighborhood. Read More: NY1

 

Dolan vows to challenge Obama’s birth control plan compromise

The top Catholic bishop in the US has vowed legislative and court challenges to President Obama’s compromise on exempting religiously affiliated employers from paying directly for birth control for their workers. Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, who heads the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in an interview Tuesday that while Obama’s about-face Friday initially sparked glimmers of hope in the church, it ended up being a “hill of beans.” Dolan, who is in Rome to be made a cardinal Saturday, said he trusted Obama wasn’t declaring war on religion and intended to make good on his pledge to work with religious groups to fine-tune the provisions of the insurance mandate. Read More: New York Post

Whitney Houston funeral to be held in Newark: report


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Whitney Houston funeral to be held in Newark: report

A funeral is to be held for Whitney Houston in her hometown of Newark later this week, according to a new report. The pop superstar was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel room over the weekend and her body is to be flown across the country as early as Monday night, sources told WNBC. Read More: New York Post

 

To free or not to free ‘killer’

Just two weeks after settling the Greg Kelly rape accusation, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. is facing a new and potentially thornier dilemma: Should he free a mann convicted of killing a former cop? That’s what members of his inner circle are debating as a “Dateline” segment airs tonight that makes the case that a Bronx man serving 25 to life is innocent of charges he shot a retired NYPD officer in 1998. Read More: New York Post

Whitney Houston died of mix of alcohol & prescription drugs, family is told

A fatal cocktail of prescription drugs and booze killed Whitney Houston before she became submerged in a bathtub, the singer’s relatives reportedly were told. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office does not believe the “I Will Always Love You” star drowned, contrary to earlier reports suggesting she slumped beneath the water in a drug-induced stupor, TMZ.com reported Monday. Read More: Daily News

 

New Jersey Senate OKs gay marriage bill in milestone vote despite Gov. Chris Christie vow to veto  

New Jersey lawmakers gave their blessing to legalizing gay marriage for the first time Monday as the state Senate passed a bill that would allow nuptials for same-sex couples, despite Gov. Chris Christie’s insistence that he will veto such legislation. The Senate’s 24-16 vote sends the bill to the Assembly, which is expected to pass it on Thursday. Monday’s vote contrasts with the only other gay-marriage vote taken in the Legislature. In January 2010, gay marriage supporters thought they had built a narrow majority in the Senate, but senators began to defect, and the measure was defeated 20-14. Read More: Daily News

 

Cyclist is killed by hit-&-run driver on S.I.

A 29-YEAR-OLD cyclist died on Staten Island on Sunday night after he was hit by a driver who sped away from the scene, cops said. Ron Tillman of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, was riding against traffic on Howard Ave., near Wagner College in Grymes Hill when he was hit by a dark-colored SUV about 9:15 p.m., cops and witnesses said. The motorist then drove away, police said. A woman who lives nearby raced to the injured man and called 911. Read More: Daily News

Cancer-causing toxins found on uniform of Officer Alonzo Harris, who survived being buried at WTC

Cancer-causing toxins have been found on the uniform worn by a cop who survived being buried in World Trade Center debris on 9/11. “It’s a reality check for all of us,” Officer Alonzo Harris, the owner of the uniform, said on Sunday. Police union officials hope the discovery will prompt the NYPD to release the list of cops who worked at Ground Zero to scientists trying to determine the cancer rate among first responders. Harris had reported for work at a traffic control post near the World Trade Center when the first tower fell on Sept. 11. Read More: Daily News