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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens woman killed in overnight fire

A Queens blaze killed a woman this morning, and seriously injured her cousin, authorities said. Firefighters discovered the unconscious body of Joanne Brown, 63, as they extinguished the flames in her Auburndale home on 189th Street, near 45th Avenue. EMS pronounced her dead at the scene. The fire began about 4:40 a.m., and was under control less than an hour later, according to an FDNY spokesperson. Read More: New York Post

Prober uses Facebook to nail perv, goldbrick NY teachers

Facebook is giving more Big Apple teachers a black eye. As the city Department of Education prepares to release it’s first-ever social-media policy, Schools Investigator Richard Condon has tallied a rapid growth in complaints about improper Facebook usage by city school employees — 120 in the past 18 months. Some teachers got in trouble for posting dumb jokes tinged with sex or violence. Others were busted after their own or students’ Facebook comments tipped officials to wrongdoing. Read More: New York Post

Sleepy driver kills 2: cops

A Long Island man on prescription drugs fell asleep behind the wheel and drove his 2011 Honda Ridgeline into a tree early yesterday, killing his 19-year-old girlfriend and a 17-year-old passenger, cops said. Thomas Smith, 20, of Ridge, and Jacqueline Salvador had just moved in together last week and were returning from Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. Also in the car were her brother, Johnny Salvador, 17, Ryan Baumgartner, 17, and an unidentified girl, 16. Read More: New York Post

Queens Child’s Fundraiser Raises Awareness Of Rare GI Disorders

A Queens fourth grader with a rare gastrointestinal problem held a Saturday fundraiser in Woodside to raise money and awareness. KeVaughn Plunkett, who is allergic to almost all foods and has to use a food pump to survive, held his fourth Annual Art Show event at Saint Mary’s Church in Woodside. Proceeds went to the American Partnership For Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED). For more information, visit apfed.org. Read More: NY1

 

 

Schumer Demands Harsher Penalties For Pharmacy Robberies

In the wake of several robberies of pharmacies in the area, Senator Charles Schumer is urging Congress to pass a bill calling for tougher penalties. The Safe Doses Act, which is already waiting for a Senate vote, would increase punishments for robbing drug stores and give police more tools to crack down on illegal prescription drug rings. Just last week, two man held up an East Harlem pharmacy looking for pain medication. Read More: NY1

 

 

 

New York Marks Centennial Of Titanic Sinking

Exactly 100 years since an iceberg sank the RMS Titanic, New York City is holding events today to mark the centennial of the famed shipwreck that killed more than 1,500 people. The Titanic sank early in the morning of April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg late the previous night. A tour in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx is letting visitors pay respects at the gravesites of several Titanic passengers. Also, the Noble Maritime Collection at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island is opening a Titanic-related art exhibit. Read More: NY1

Greg Kelly rape probe unlikely to linger, says sex-crime expert Linda Fairstein


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Greg Kelly rape probe unlikely to linger, says sex-crime expert Linda Fairstein

The DA’s probe into whether TV anchor host Greg Kelly date-raped a woman last year is expected to wrap up quickly. “It could be over this week — no later than next week,” said one source. “They don’t want this thing to linger at all. It’s the police commissioner’s son: they are going to do everything they can to bring this to an end.” The politically sensitive case is in the hands of Martha Bashford, the widely respected boss of the Manhattan DA’s sex-crime unit. Linda Fairstein, who previously held the job, called Bashford the “best sex-crimes prosecutor in the country.” Fairstein, who is skeptical of the woman’s claims, said “based on my own experience, I don’t think it will take a very long time” to establish whether a crime was committed. Read More: Daily News

 

‘Dora’ is a Queens kid

Dora the Explorer is now a born-and-bred New Yorker from Queens. One of the city’s highest-paid child models, Fatima Ptacek, 11, has been tapped to provide the new bubbly voice of Dora Marquez, the adventurous, bilingual 8-year-old who is the main character of the international cartoon sensation. Ptacek — the daughter of a retired NYPD detective and a former accountant — said she scored the gig just by being her outgoing self. “I don’t do a special voice for Dora,” said Ptacek, whose Norwegian-American dad is from Queens and whose mom was born in Ecuador. Read More: New York Post

 

Pedestrian Hit On Van Wyck Expressway

A man was struck trying to cross the Van Wyck Expressway early Sunday. Fire officials say the 29-year-old man was hit around 12:40 a.m. on the expressway near Hillside Avenue. They say he was having trouble breathing and was taken to Jamaica Hospital, which he was listed in critical condition on Wednesday afternoon. Police say the car remained on the scene and no criminality was suspected. Read More: NY1

 

Parents and teachers demand ouster of principal they say runs St. Albans school like a ‘dictatorship’

Dozens of teachers and parents at a St. Albans elementary school are on the war path against the principal who they say runs the institution like a “dictatorship.” They maintain that Public School 118 went from an “A” school on its city progress report to a “C” under Principal Cynthia Ofori-Feaster’s 2 1/2-year tenure. They also claim she routinely yells at teachers in front of students and parents. About 50 employees and parents rallied on Friday in front of the school to call for her removal. Read More: Daily News

 

State Senator Wants To Ban Eating In The Subway System

Eating in the subway could soon come with a hefty price tag if one lawmaker gets his way. Manhattan State Senator Bill Perkins has proposed a bill that would slap straphangers with a $250 fine if they are caught eating on a subway train or platform or in a station. The legislation comes in response to the results of a survey, which found the biggest contributor to the subway rat problem is people eating food. Some riders who spoke with NY1 on Sunday said there is got to be a better way to fix the problem. “I think it’s a horrible idea, it’s very unnecessary. I think that people use the trains to commute every day. As New Yorkers, we multi-task all the time. It’s needed to get from A to B,” said a straphanger. Read More: NY1

 

Muslim Leader Still Cold On Kelly As Queens Community Center Opens

Pictures showing Police Commissioner Ray Kelly with Muslim leaders are proudly displayed at the Queens Muslim American Society Community Center. However, its president, Ahmed Jamil, is calling for the commissioner’s resignation because of his participation in the controversial film “The Third Jihad,” a documentary about radical Muslims. “Not every Muslim has violence. Absolutely this is nonsense. Nonsense. Not acceptable,” said Jamil. Kelly was interviewed for the film in 2007. When complaints were raised about its content, Kelly’s spokesperson initially said producers used old news clips of the commissioner. That turned out not to be true. Read More: NY1

 

Officials Investigate Queens Elevator Accident

It’s unclear how far the debris fell, but fire officials at the scene said it caused the elevator to collapse. Damage could clearly be seen on the elevator’s roof, and chunks of debris were scattered on the floor. No one was in the elevator when the incident occurred at the Cadillac Building on 83rd Avenue in Kew Gardens, but residents were shaken. The debris came crashing down nearly a week after one tenant, Shaun Broughton, got stuck inside the elevator for 45 minutes. Read More: NY1