Tag Archives: NYC

Mets’ Owners Prepare For Trial About Their Madoff Connections


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Mets’ Owners Prepare For Trial About Their Madoff Connections

As the New York Mets prepare for another baseball season, lawyers for the team’s owners are prepping for something that can hardly be called a game. A nine-person jury will soon be charged with deciding whether the owners and their affiliates owe up to another $303 million to the trustee overseeing Bernard Madoff’s former firm. The trustee claims Fred Wilpon and others intentionally ignored red flags about Madoff’s scheme, a claim lawyers for the team’s owners reject. Read More: NY1

 

Grieving kin hurt in funeral smashup

A limousine carrying mourners during a funeral procession in Queens plowed into a bodega after getting cut off by a minivan yesterday — injuring 16 people, including the deceased’s daughter and granddaughter. The motorcade was headed to Pinelawn Cemetery on Long Island around 11:30 a.m. to bury 94-year-old Delores Godfrey when the minivan clipped the back of a Ford Expedition and struck the limo on Guy R. Brewer Boulevard. Read More: New York Post

Queens Lawmakers Push For “Synthetic Marijuana” Ban

City Councilman Ruben Wills and other southeast Queens elected officials are pushing for a ban on a type of incense that they say kids smoke and call “synthetic marijuana.” Read More: NY1

 

 

Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, wants to change name

Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown plans to change her name to lose her link to her father, Bobby Brown, TMZ reported. The 19 year old, who will inherit her late mom’s entire estate while her dad will receive nothing, told friends she will become “Kristina Houston.” Read More: New York Post

 

Staten Island woman dies after getting trapped in clothing drop box

A Staten Island woman who climbed into a clothing drop box suffocated and died inside after the box’s metal door closed on her head and trapped her yesterday, cops said. Melissa Mazzeo, 51, crawled into the large metal box in Sunnyside at about noon — in an apparent attempt to steal the donated clothing. Mazzeo was caught in the box’s opening when the door swung shut on her head as she tried to climb out, cops said. Read More: New York Post

Jamaica money pit

Another day, another taxpayer boondoggle in Jamaica. Two years after it opened as an “incubator” for small businesses, the $2.5 million Jamaica Export Centre — built with mostly taxpayer cash — is virtually deserted. The dusty reception desk, which was supposed to serve up to eight businesses, is unoccupied. Downstairs, a meeting room is empty, and a sign out front says it is available for baby showers and birthday parties. Read More: New York Post

House-squatter thugs held in kidnapping, rape of Long Island teen


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

House-squatter thugs held in kidnapping, rape of Long Island teen

A gang of sick squatters kidnapped, raped and pimped out a terrified 15-year-old Long Island runaway in a Queens house where they were illegally living, law-enforcement officials said yesterday. And in a bizarre twist, after the owner complained that people were living there illegally, cops went to the Ozone Park house the day before the girl was taken there against her will. Read More: New York Post

Multiple Armed Robberies Connected To “Snub-Nose” Bandit

The New York City Police Department and FBI are stepping up their search for an armed robber who has become increasingly violent. Investigators say the suspect, dubbed the “Snub-Nose Bandit” for his weapon of choice, is connected to at least six incidents in Brooklyn and Queens dating back to September. He mostly targets banks, but in his first robbery he held up a Dunkin Donuts in Greenpoint, firing one round into a tray of donuts as he demanded cash from the register. Read More: NY1

 

DA putting the screws to ‘brothel boss’ Anna Gristina

They pressed her over and over, pushed a list of 10 Big Apple power players at her — and demanded she spill the beans on the roster of real-estate moguls and investment bankers. “Some I knew, some I didn’t,” accused Upper East Side brothel boss Anna Gristina told The Post yesterday about an hours-long grilling she received from Manhattan prosecutors. But they kept pressing, bringing in more and more investigators to intimidate her. Read More: New York Post

FDNY minority  retort – Hit with a $128M ‘bias’ bill

The city could get socked with a bill of up to $128 million to compensate minority applicants who were rejected because of discriminatory hiring practices, a federal judge said yesterday. Judge Nicholas Garaufis first set the compensation pool at $65 million three weeks ago but revised the figure to factor in the “total gross amount of lost wages” for applicants who took the FDNY exam in 1999 or 2002 but were not hired. Read More: New York Post

Flushing Teacher Removed From Classroom Following Alleged Assault On Student


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Flushing Teacher Removed From Classroom Following Alleged Assault On Student

A Queens teacher is under arrest and accused of abusing a six-year-old girl. Grace Peterson-Hagendorf, 59, is charged with assault following an incident at P.S. 22 in Flushing. According to sources, she is accused of twisting the student’s neck causing pain and swelling. The Department of Education says Hagendorf is a retired teacher who works as a substitute. She has been removed from the classroom pending the outcome of the case. Read More: NY1

 

Simmons’ $5M salary, ‘antics’ led to WNBC ditching her: sources

There were 5 million reasons to oust Sue Simmons — and they were all in her paycheck. WNBC/Channel 4 refused to renew the nightly news anchor’s contract because she makes a whopping $5 million annual salary — which her bosses feel is absurdly overinflated — and she’s lost interest in her job, top network sources told The Post. “It is a lot of money, and many people have been under the impression that Sue had been phoning it in for a while,” a station source revealed. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Church creeper’ Joseph Azzurro has 40 busts to name

Queens’ Holy Child Jesus Church is open to everyone — except Joseph Azzurro, who seems to think 10 Commandments is one too many. The 56-year-old Bronx ex-con is what cops call a “church creeper” — he’s been arrested 40 times and done three prison stretches in his unholy career for swiping cash from the poor box in Catholic churches. Read More: Daily News

 

Cashman ‘blackmailer’ not a ‘Fatal Attraction’-like stalker: lawyer

The busty Brit who dragged Yankee general manager Brian Cashman into a sex-and-shakedown scandal isn’t the “Fatal Attraction”-like stalker Manhattan prosecutors have made her out to be, her new lawyer said yesterday. “Go back to Glenn Close in that movie where she’s boiling the kid’s pet, the rabbit, and she goes off the deep end,” defense lawyer Rory Bellantoni said. “There are no allegations of that here.” Read More: New York Post

 

Ex-Port Authority union chief throws a fit when sentenced to 21 months in prison

The 400-pound ex-Port Authority union boss convicted of ripping off his members to feed a hooker craving threw a big, fat tantrum after a judge sentenced him to 21 months in prison. “You suck!” Daniel Hughes bellowed Wednesday at prosecutors and PA investigators in Brooklyn Federal Court. “You piece of s—!” The disgraced labor boss blubbered about his family when U.S. marshals approached to take him into custody. Read More: Daily News

Bronx Teen In Alleged Police Beating Has Assault Charges Dropped


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Bronx Teen In Alleged Police Beating Has Assault Charges Dropped

Assault charges were dropped Wednesday against a Bronx man who says cell phone video shows he was the one being roughed up by city police officers during an arrest last month. Jateik Reed, 19, went before a judge at the Bronx County criminal courthouse. He’s still charged with robbery and will be back in court on April 27. Back in January, a cellphone video captured Reed’s arrest. The officers involved have been stripped of their badges pending the outcome of an internal investigation. Read More: NY1

 

Cops arrest demonstrators in front of Gov. Cuomo’s Midtown office

Cops arrested 14 protesters today for occupying the entryway of Gov. Cuomo’s Midtown office, authorities said. The demonstrators stormed the office building on Third Avenue and 40th Street at 12 p.m. allegedly to fight the governor’s proposed $20 million budget cut for the homeless. When they refused to exit the building the police intervened and placed 11 men and 3 women under arrest, officials said. Read More: New York Post

Apple reveals faster, sharper iPad; available for pre-order starting today

Apple unveiled the new iPad today at an event in San Francisco, saying the latest version will take the tablet to a “whole new level.” Apple CEO Tim Cook said of the new tablet: “We are taking it to a whole new level and are redefining the category that Apple created with the original iPad.” After discussing the success of Apple’s tablet device, Cook revealed the latest model, simply called “the new iPad,” which will go on sale in stores March 16. Pre-orders start today. The new iPad, available in black and white, will start at $499 for the 16 GB model, with 32 GB and 64 GB models going for $100 and $200 more. Read More: New York Post

 

Colts release Manning; Jets will pursue

Peyton Manning is no longer a member of the Indianapolis Colts. The team announced Wednesday it has released the four-time NFL MVP, meaning the quarterback will become a free agent likely pursued by the Jets, among others. “We’re here to announce the conclusion of Peyton’s playing career with the Colts,” owner Jim Irsay said at a news conference attended by Manning. “We’re here very much as well to honor all of the incredible memories and incredible things that Peyton has done.” Read More: New York Post

Boyfriend of Brooklyn woman fatally shot before order of protection hearing a ‘person of interest’

A young Brooklyn woman was fatally shot today right before she was due to obtain a new restraining order against a stalker boyfriend—who is now being sought by authorities as a person of interest in the murder, The Post has learned. Sources today said Bernsley Barthelemy — previously arrested several times for stalking the victim — is being sought for questioning in the early morning murder of Kazan Raoul, 24. Raoul was shot in the face and arm in the basement of a Brownsville home on Strauss Street this morning, police said. Read More: New York Post

Brooklyn teacher’s aide indicted on sexual exploitation, child pornography charges

A federal grand jury has indicted a teacher’s aide at a Brooklyn grade school for allegedly taking videos of himself molesting a child and distributing child pornography over the Internet. Taleek Brooks, who worked at PS 243, was charged by Brooklyn federal prosecutors with several counts of sexual exploitation of a child and possessing child pornography. Read More: New York Post

Four more US soldiers face court martial over alleged hazing death of New York GI


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Four more US soldiers face court martial over alleged hazing death of New York GI

Four more US soldiers are facing a possible court martial over the alleged hazing death in Afghanistan of a 19-year-old fellow serviceman of Chinese descent. The recommendation from military investigators follows a preliminary hearing at Kandahar Air Field on Monday. Seven of the eight servicemen — originally charged on multiple counts, including involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide linked to Pvt. Danny Chen’s death — could now end up in the military court. Investigators are still examining the case of the eighth soldier. Read More: New York Post

Liu-nacy! Embattled comp advises pols on money

Beleaguered city Comptroller John Liu’s campaign treasurer is facing fraud charges and his entire political fund-raising operation is ensnared in a federal probe — but, without a hint of irony, the Queens pol advised City Hall yesterday on how to manage its finances. For 45 minutes, Liu testified and answered City Council questions about Mayor Bloomberg’s 2013 budget proposal, agreeing with the proposed sale of 2,000 taxi medallions to raise $1 billion. Like Bloomberg, he also opposed holding off on pension contributions to temporarily fill budget gaps, calling it “kicking the can down the road.” Read More: New York Post

Person Of Interest Sought In Death Of Chelsea Man

Police are looking to question a person of interest in connection with the death of a man in Chelsea over the weekend. Authorities released pictures, above, of the man they’re looking for in connection with the death of 57-year-old John Laubach. At this point police are not calling the man a suspect. Laubach was found dead in his apartment Friday night. Sources say his hands, feet, and mouth were bound with duct tape, and there was a towel over his face. The apartment had also been ransacked. Read More: NY1

 

In Reversal, Albany Now Supports Women’s Choice Of Birth Control

Albany is ordering health insurers not to deny women their choice of contraceptives – or face the loss of state contracts. The state issued the warning after some women on Medicaid were told to use a cheaper, generic brand instead of their regular method. It was part of a state cost-cutting measure put in place back in October. According to the rule, if the generic version failed then patients could go back to their preferred form of birth control. Read More: NY1

 

High-end madam busted for running upper East Side brothel is a suburban mom with four children

A high-end madam who boasted she used cops as security and made millions by peddling flesh — including underage girls — to rich and powerful clients has been busted after a five-year probe, prosecutors said. The Manhattan district attorney’s office indicted petite, blond, green-eyed Anna Gristina, 44, in a corruption investigation that amassed 50 to 100 hours of audio and video recordings, some showing prostitutes doing the deed, according to court records. Read More: Daily News

Teens charged in Queens vid-kill slapped with more charges


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Teens charged in Queens vid-kill slapped with more charges

Two Queens teens were arrested for gunning down an 18-year-old after the shooting was caught on camera, and each has since been hit with separate charges of attempted murder, cops said yesterday. Sean Barnhill, 19, and Alexander Burgess, 16, allegedly shot and wounded Daryl Adams, 18, then chased him down and fired the deadly round after he collapsed to the ground at 12:30 a.m. Friday, cops said. Read More: New York Post

 

Citi Field’s run $lows to a walk

Citi Field revenues have dropped more than 30 percent since the Mets’ ballpark opened in 2009, and premium ticket sales are down by nearly 50 percent, according to financial records. Overall attendance declined 26 percent, to 2.3 million, and during that time, revenues for concessions and parking slipped. The financial records reveal that concessions revenue has dropped 28 percent since 2009, to $10.9 million in 2011, and parking was down 37 percent, to $7 million. Read More: New York Post

 

Man heads to Queens club with pals, dies en route

A 21-year-old man mysteriously died while partying with pals in Queens, police said. The victim, whose name was withheld pending family notification, and two friends were at a family birthday party on Myrtle and Cypress avenues when they left around 12:40 a.m. today, cops said. They piled into a Lincoln Aviator to go to the Flamingo Night Club on Roosevelt Avenue near 86th Street in Jackson Heights, cops added. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens driver killed, 3 others injured after car rear ends box truck

A Queens man was killed early this morning when he rear-ended a commercial truck in Springfield Gardens. The driver, identified as Joseph Brown, 29, was traveling southbound with three other people in his Nissan sedan car when it collided with a white box truck at 4:06 a.m., on Rockaway Blvd. between Brookville Blvd. and Guy R. Brewer Blvd., police said. Brown, of Queens, was declared dead at Jamaica Hospital. Read More: New York Post

 

State Lawmakers Want Added Price Protections At The Pump

As fuel prices across the country continue to rise, two state lawmakers want consumers to be protected from price spikes at the gas pump. State Senator Eric Adams and State Assemblyman David Weprin introduced a bill this week that would require all gas stations to post signs with contact information for the State Consumer Protection Board. That way, if a consumer suspects price gouging they know who to call immediately. Read More: NY1

 

Whitney had secret affair with Jermaine Jackson, and Michael disapproved: report

Jermaine Jackson had a torrid affair with Whitney Houston and carried a torch for her until the day she died, according to a report published yesterday. The attraction had been instant between the pair after the married Jermaine was brought in to produce Houston and perform duets with her in the early 1980s, and they soon began a secret, yearlong fling, The Sun newspaper in London said. Read More: New York Post

Gun-toting teen busted after fatally shooting man in Queens


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Gun-toting teen busted after fatally shooting man in Queens

A gun-toting punk was busted moments after fatally blasting a man in the chest in Queens today, police said. Police officers raced to the scene after hearing gunfire break out at 12:30 a.m. in Jamaica, police said. They found the armed 19-year-old suspect standing over the wounded victim, who was lying motionless in front of 107-11 159 Street. Read More: New York Post

 

Bronx ADA fired from her job pleads guilty to DUI, gets no jail time

The Bronx prosecutor who was allegedly driving drunk and later lost her job in the DA’s office accepted a deal in the case this morning and pleaded guilty to DUI, saying she is “deeply sorry” for her actions. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Troiano, who was fired Jan. 13, pleaded guilty in Bronx Supreme Court and will get no jail time. Read More: New York Post

Man Pulled From East Harlem Trench Collapse

The New York City Fire Department says one person has been pulled from the ground following a trench collapse in East Harlem this morning. It happened around 11:30 a.m. near a commercial building under construction located at 122nd Street near Park Avenue. The man’s condition was not immediately known. NY1 has a crew at the scene and will have more information as it becomes available. Read More: NY1

NYC man faces sentencing in homegrown terror case

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for a New York City-born man convicted last year of traveling to the Middle East to avenge abuse of Muslims. Betim Kaziu is due back in federal court in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon for sentencing. A jury found Kaziu guilty of conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization. He also was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and other charges. Read More: New York Post

Banker charged with cabby stabbing put on leave

Morgan Stanley is putting Manhattan investment banker W. Bryan Jennings, who was charged with stabbing a cab driver over a late-night fare, on a leave of absence, The Post has learned. Jennings is co-head of North American fixed-income capital markets at the New York investment bank. Sources said the bank is waiting to see how the matter is resolved before reinstating Jennings. Read More: New York Post

Liu fund raiser’s ‘cruel’ fate


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Liu fund raiser’s ‘cruel’ fate

A day after she was slapped with federal fraud charges for alleged illegal fund-raising on behalf of John Liu’s mayoral campaign, Jia “Jenny” Hou described New York as a “cruel city” and questioned who can be trusted. In a missive on her Chinese social-networking page, Hou, 25, told friends that she’s OK — despite facing a maximum of 60 years behind bars if convicted on a slew of charges. Read More: New York Post

One teen, two others shot on Jamaica Avenue

One teenager and two 20-year-olds were shot on Jamaica Avenue in what was according to witnesses, likely gang-related activity. The shootings took place outside a Jamaica Avenue Wendy’s this afternoon at approximately 3 p.m. Two victims were shot in the leg, with one taking a bullet to the arm. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Governor’s Proposed Convention Center May Fall Flat, Skeptics Say

Some key stakeholders are sounding off as the debate heats up over Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to build the country’s largest convention center in Queens. Since the governor announced the plan in his State of the State Address in early January that he wanted to build a massive convention center at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens and dismantle the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan there has been a lot of skepticism about the proposal. Key players and policy shapers are divided. At a breakfast forum hosted by Crain’s New York Business Thursday, concerns were raised about the true cost of the center, its proposed location, and whether it would be successful. Read More: NY1

 

 

 

Rezone plan for Richmond Hill and Woodhaven get thumbs down from some merchants 

A city plan to rezone parts of Richmond Hill and Woodhaven is getting a thumbs down from some local business leaders who say it’s too restrictive. “The new census data is showing the community has increased so why are we talking about down-zoning,” said Vishnu Mahadeo, president of the Richmond Hill Economic Development Corp. “I have signed petitions from people who oppose this. They did not know this would happen when they bought their property.” Read More: Daily News

 

 

Upstate widow accused of violating law with ‘slave’ maid
A wealthy upstate widow allegedly turned her multimillion-dollar mansion into a “forced labor” camp where her helpless immigrant maid worked 17-hour days for years while sleeping in a closet. Annie George, whose real-estate mogul husband, Mathai, died in a 2009 plane crash, allegedly made the woman cook meals, clean the 30,000-square-foot estate and care for the family’s six children, according to a federal criminal complaint. Read More: New York Post

Elevator Company Fires Five On Duty During Fatal Midtown Accident


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Elevator Company Fires Five On Duty During Fatal Midtown Accident

An elevator service company says it fired five mechanics who were on duty during a deadly accident that killed an advertising executive in Midtown. Transel Elevator announced the firings just two days after a city report said a mechanic had overridden an important safety system before the December accident. Suzanne Hart, 41, was crushed to death when the elevator jumped up as she stepped in. Read More: NY1

 

Obama Back In Town For Re-Election Fundraiser

President Barack Obama is headed to town this afternoon for a fundraising sweep. As usual, his visit will likely mean traffic tie-ups in Manhattan. The president is scheduled to arrive at John F. Kennedy Airport at 4 p.m. following a day trip to New Hampshire. He’s set to attend an event at a private residence around 5 p.m. After that he will head to the Flatiron District for a fundraising dinner at ABC Kitchen, followed by another event at a private residence. Read More: NY1

 

 

Teen collared in Far Rockaway, Queens, shooting had 2 prior busts

Christopher Chinloy, 17, a 5-foot-6, 150-pound nobody till he felt like somebody as an alleged gun-packing member of the Crips, has been arrested three times since last September with loaded handguns. Amazing. On Feb. 22, a little past midnight, Chinloy was busted for opening fire with a .40-caliber Glock on a group of people outside a grocery store on Beach Channel Drive, hitting one 14-year-old in the buttocks, police say. Read More: Daily News

Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart dead at 43

Conservative media publisher and activist Andrew Breitbart, who was behind investigations that led to the resignations of former Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York and former U.S. Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, has died in Los Angeles. He was 43. Breitbart’s website, bigjournalism.com, announced Thursday he died of natural causes in Los Angeles. His death was confirmed by breitbart.com editor-in-chief Joel Pollak, who said he was at the hospital, and by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Read More: New York Post

 

Yankees owner counting on young pitchers to lower payroll

Hal Steinbrenner believes the additions of Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda improved the Yankees from a year ago. And the Yankees boss guaranteed the 2014 payroll will be at $189 million because the financial benefits in the collective bargaining agreement are hard to ignore. To get there, Steinbrenner said it’s up to the young arms in the organization to develop into dependable major league winners so big money doesn’t have to be spent on free agents. Read More: New York Post

Liu hints he might abandon run for mayor in light of scandal


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Liu hints he might abandon run for mayor in light of scandal

Beleaguered city Comptroller John Liu hinted last night he might abandon a run for mayor following the arrest of his campaign treasurer in the mushrooming straw-donor fund-raising scandal. “All options are on the table. We’re moving forward,” Liu said in a vague response to questions about his future before hosting a Black History Month event at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. Read More: New York Post
 

Sex attack on elderly Fresh Meadows woman

A 67-year-old Queens woman was sexually assaulted in her home after she invited in a man who had asked for a glass of water, cops said. She encountered the pervert Monday in her building in Fresh Meadows at 2 p.m. When she invited him in, he pulled a knife and forced her to perform a sex act. Police said he is black, between 45 and 65 years old, 5-foot-9 and weighs 160 pounds. He wore black-rimmed glasses. Read More: New York Post

Yeshiva tutor admits molesting girls, 8

A yeshiva student trusted by parents to tutor their children pleaded guilty yesterday to sexually molesting two fourth-graders. Hillel Selznick, 25, of Flushing, told Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter he inappropriately touched the two 8-year-old girls over the course of a year during private tutoring lessons inside the victims’ homes. Read More: New York Post

Fanning racial fires

A tutorial workshop for the upcoming FDNY entrance exam turned raucous last night when the organization that represents black firefighters — which was hosting the Queens event — turned away whites who wanted to attend. “This is absurd,” fumed Rob, a 21-year-old who was one of about 60 whites refused entry by the Vulcan Society at MS 72 in Jamaica and whose angry reaction drew 30 NYPD cops and school safety officers. Read More: New York Post

TSA Introduces Expedited Security Screening Lane At JFK

Getting through security at John F. Kennedy Airport is a little easier for some passengers as the Transportation Security Administration launched Wednesday its Pre-Check Program at Terminal 8. Low-risk passengers can volunteer information about themselves before flying to get expedited screening at checkpoints. Under the program, passengers may be allowed to keep their shoes, belts and other items on while passing through security. “I’m not a frequent flyer though, but it is annoying. I understand you need it, but if you can avoid it why not?” said one air traveler. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Film Festival Gives Credit To Local Talent

Jackson Heights resident Richard Uhlig, who wrote and directed the film “Can’t Dance” is ready to show it off. “‘Can’t Dance’ is about a lonely widower who plays with his toy trains all day and his dead wife’s ghost comes back, and she coaches him on how to talk to the neighbor lady, so he can get a life again,” said Uhlig. Uhlig’s film is one of more than 125 in the Queens World Film Festival, which opens Thursday night and runs through Sunday. He says having his film in the festival is a great opportunity and that he shot it in his apartment in just two and a half days. Read More: 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

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

Grandmother, four young children killed in house fire


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Grandmother, four young children killed in house fire

Four children aged between two and 12 were killed along with their grandmother Thursday morning in a fiery blaze at a New Jersey home, according to reports out today. The fire broke out at a large house on Clinton Avenue in South Plainfield just before 3.30 a.m. Relatives told 1010 WINS that seven children, their mother and their grandmother were in the house at the time of the fire. The mother, two of her sons, aged eight and 15, and her baby daughter managed to escape the blaze. The teen boy reportedly managed to grab his baby sister and save her from the fire. Read More: New York Post

‘Seinfeld’ actor Daniel von Bargen critical after shooting himself in apparent suicide attempt

“Seinfeld” actor Daniel von Bargen was in critical condition Wednesday after shooting himself in the head in an apparent failed suicide attempt. Paramedics went to the 61-year-old actor’s Cincinnati, Ohio, apartment Monday after he called 911, saying, “I’ve shot myself in the head … and I need help,” TMZ.com reports. “I was supposed to go to the hospital and I didn’t want to,” he is heard saying on the 911 tape, explaining he is diabetic. “They were supposed to amputate at least a few toes.” Read More: Daily News

 

Sacha Baron Cohen may not be barred from Oscars ceremony, but ‘The Dictator’ costume is

Sacha Baron Cohen may not be banned from the Oscars after all. The comic actor, who is in trouble with the Academy over rumors that he may show up on the red carpet as the title character from his upcoming movie “The Dictator,” may be allowed to attend the star-studded awards ceremony if he promises to show up only as himself, an Academy spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. Read More: Daily News

Two US troops killed by Afghan soldier amid Koran protests

Afghan president Hamid Karzai’s appeal for calm failed to quell nationwide protests over the burning of copies of the Koran earlier this week at a US military base, as anti-American demonstrations spread to new cities Thursday and for the first time led to American casualties. Hours after the Taliban issued a public appeal Thursday for Afghans to attack foreign-military bases in retaliation over the Koran burning, an Afghan soldier opened fire at a US base in eastern Afghanistan, killing two coalition soldiers, according to Afghan and US officials. Read More: New York Post
Knives and headless doll found in locker owned by Madonna’s LA stalker

Knives, a headless doll and videos of young kids were among the creepy possessions found in a California storage locker that once belonged to Madonna’s stalker Robert Dewey Hoskins, KCAL-TV reported. Hoskins, 54, who was convicted of stalking the pop star in 1996 and recently tried to escape the psychiatric hospital he is currently being held in, kept his possessions in a storage facility in Long Beach until he missed his rent payments and his belongings were sold. Read More: New York Post
Cops nab gang member who fired gun into crowd, wounded teen

Plainclothes cops collared a teenaged gang member who wounded a 14-year-old boy after firing shots into a crowd of people in Queens early this morning, authorities said today. Christopher Chinloy, 17, was spotted by the cops firing a gun in front of a Rockaway Beach grocery store just after midnight, police said. The veteran cops, Sergeant Craig Bier and Officer Donnell Myers, were on their way back to their command in the Queens gang unit when they heard the gun fire on Beach Channel Drive, cops said. Read More: New York Post

Mom Throws Baby Out Window to Escape Suspicious Fire in Jamaica


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Mom Throws Baby Out Window to Escape Suspicious Fire in Jamaica

A desperate mother threw her baby out the second-floor window of a Queens home that was engulfed by a suspicious blaze early Thursday, fire authorities and witnesses said. The child, who couldn’t have been more than 2 or 3 years old, landed safely in the arms of civilians who gathered on the sidewalk next to the flaming building, said Dan Delargy, one of the first FDNY responders with Ladder 155. Delargy said the baby came flying out the window as he was walking in the front door of the Jamaica home. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but officials are considering it suspicious. Captain Anthony Varriale said the blaze appears to be intentionally set. Read More: NBC News

 

Feds Arrest Fugitive “Folk Nation” Gang Leader

Federal authorities on Wednesday announced the arrest of a fugitive leader of a violent Brooklyn and Queens street gang. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn says Devon Rodney is in custody and is awaiting arraignment. He and eight other accused members of the “Folk Nation” gang were indicted last month for murder and racketeering. One of the men is still on the loose and the rest have already been arraigned. Authorities believe the crew is behind four murders, three attempted murders, and a string of assaults and robberies. Read More: NY1

 

Ray Kelly ‘threat’ man makes bail

A Brooklyn man busted for allegedly making threatening comments online about Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was freed on $10,000 bail yesterday and ordered to stay away from the top cop. Richard Strauss, 49, had railed against Kelly in the comments section of Gothamist.com, where, using the handle Ladder157, he called the commissioner “an enemy of the people.” “A well-placed round of 7.62 ammo to his thick skull would work quite well to eliminate the threat he poses. All New Yorkers should aim their sights (both figuratively and literally) on this piece of excrement,” the comment read. Read More: New York Post

Racino ‘scam’

Two Aqueduct racino employees were charged yesterday with giving phony “high roller” comp cards to gamblers in exchange for a cut of their winnings. Moises Jones, 29, of The Bronx, and Rolanda Roberts, 33, of Brooklyn, allegedly earned several thousand dollars by distributing nearly 200 fake cards. Read More: New York Post

Bronx woman arrested for stabbing a 3-month-old girl during a wild argument with the baby’s mother

A Bronx woman has been arrested for stabbing a 3-month-old baby in the head amid an argument with the child’s mother, prosecutors said. “I hope that f—ing baby dies!” Candie Hailey-Means, 28, shouted as she plunged a blade into little Hazel Haliburton’s head, court papers show. The toddler suffered a fractured skull, a black eye and other injuries during the attack on Friday. She remains hospitalized at Lincoln Medical Center, but doctors expect she will survive, sources told the Daily News Wednesday. Read More: Daily News