The bi-state agency selected LaGuardia Gateway Partners, a team comprised of Swedish construction firm Skanska, Vantage Airport Group and various financial firms. The group was selected over the other project finalist, which includes a team comprised of Tutor Perini Corp., Goldman Sachs Group, TAV Construction and other firms.
The Global Gateway Alliance, which supports improvements to the local airports, applauded the selection of the partnership, and called for the Port Authority to act quickly so the team can start the project to replace the more than five-decade-old building, known as Terminal B.
“A new terminal is the linchpin in finally changing LaGuardia’s reputation from ‘third world’ to world class,” the organization said in a statement. “But the project has already faced delays, so we urge the Port and the winning consortium to finalize the agreement quickly and get redevelopment underway so travelers don’t have to wait one day longer than necessary for a first-class experience at LaGuardia.”
The Port Authority was supposed to pick the group that would build and manage the terminal last year, but that selection was delayed because Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched a design contest for the terminal. The Port Authority hasn’t selected a winning design despite having announced the group that will build the terminal.
An advisory panel overseeing the redesign contest recommended that the new terminal include a central “great hall” to serve as the airport’s entry, a 100- to 200-room hotel in the airport, people-movers between terminals, and docking for a future AirTrain, which Cuomo announced earlier this year.
The “fight of the century” is a already being used to describe the upcoming boxing match between welterweights Floyd Mayweather and Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao on Saturday, May 2. The two men, both considered among the finest fighters of their generation, have never faced each other in the ring.
With millions of people around the world anticipating the fight, sports bars and restaurants all around Queens are hosting events for local fans.
This neighborhood sports bar with multiple screens over the bar is charging $25 per person to get in on Saturday. Classic finger foods are available to purchase, including favorites such as jalapeno poppers and mozzarella sticks made with panko breadcrumbs.
Katch is the perfect place for those looking to watch the fight in a more relaxed atmosphere, with the staff looking to maintain an intimate feel. General manager Tino Tsutras tells The Courier that the brewery is not likely to be filled with people swarming the aisles on foot.
“We don’t want a crazy night,” said Tsutras. Katch will be charging a $25 cover until it’s filled to capacity, but in order to guarantee entry for the night, interested parties can make a table reservation. Reservations must spend a minimum of $100 per person, and can have up to four people.
Ladies can take advantage of the discount they will be able to receive at Rocky McBride’s for the May 2 fight. The cover charge of $40 for females includes access to a three-hour open bar from 9 p.m. to midnight, but men are required to pay $60 for the same event at the sports bar. Everything on the drink menu is included in the open bar except shots, drinks on the rocks and specialty drinks.
There are two levels of viewing parties at Beer Belly’s, but both promise to be a raucous good time. The cover charge at the main level downstairs is $25 in advance and $30 at the door, and offers $4 shots of fireball cinnamon whiskey all night long. The VIP upper level will cost $75, and comes with a 4 1/2 hour open bar and buffet from 8.30 p.m.
A $30 entrance fee will allow you to watch the fight and dine in at the Cajun-style restaurant, which was named after a street in New Orleans. The sporting event will be projected onto screens visible from each table, and guests will be able to sample the cuisine of executive chef Frank Lynch, whose specialties include BBQ braised short ribs and shrimp over cheesy grits.
The national sports-bar chain is a mainstay for big events, so to avoid the expected crowds attendees should arrive earlier than the 9 p.m. seating time. The venue is only accepting cash payments for the $20 entry fee.
A $40 cover charge at the door will get boxing fans two free beers at Cobblestone’s. The extensive menu has options ranging from fish and chips to baby back ribs and sandwiches, but regulars swear by the chicken wings.
8-08 Queens Plaza South, Long Island City
Fight night at the 900-square-foot lounge has a general admission price of $25, but dinner and VIP packages are also available, with some including premium bottles of champagne for a party of eight people. DJ Three-Sixty and DJ Eric will be providing tunes for the Champagne Saturdays, an after-party at the rooftop venue on top of the Ravel Hotel which offers incredible views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline.
The family-owned establishment, which has been in Maspeth since 1933, is charging a $25 cover fee to watch the fight in its casual dining steakhouse on Saturday. The American-style cuisine includes an appetizer menu with extensive seafood options, and entrees of burgers, steaks, and bone-in roasted garlic chicken.
Police are seeking three men in the burglaries of more than a dozen businesses around the city, including 12 in Queens, where as much as $10,500 in cash was taken during one theft, authorities said.
According to police, the suspects typically break into the businesses by clipping the lock on their front entrance roll gates.
The series of burglaries and several attempted thefts include at least 17 locations across Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, dating from January to April of this year:
On Jan. 22, at about 4:52 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Good Market, located at 61-05 39th Ave. in Woodside, and removed 25 cartons of Marlboro cigarettes, $300 in cash and a safe containing $4,000.
Between 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7, and 10 a.m. on Feb. 8, the suspect(s) entered Cigar Hookah Inc., located at 65 West 14th St. in Manhattan, and removed $6,526 in cash.
On Feb. 15, 2015, between 4:11 and 4:30 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Ping’s Restaurant, located at 83-02 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, by clipping the lock for the side door roll-down gate but fled without taking anything.
On March 1, at about 2:30 a.m. the suspect(s) entered Homecrest Pharmacy, located at 1826 Gravesneck Rd. in Brooklyn, and removed $100 in cash.
On March 1, at about 4:17 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Taran Grocery, located at 43-10 45th Ave. in Sunnyside, and removed $1,000 in cash.
On March 2, at about 2:30 a.m., the suspect(s) entered the Deep Trading Corporation, located at 29-10A 30th Ave. in Astoria, and removed $10,574 in cash from the safe.
On March 5, between 4:50 and 5:10 a.m., the suspect(s) entered a Saba Deli located at 232 Underhill Ave. in Brooklyn, and removed $80 in cash.
On March 5, at about 5:40 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Kingston Pharmacy, located at 1106 Saint Johns Pl. in Brooklyn, and removed a safe containing $6,000 in cash.
Between 5 a.m. on March 9 and 10 a.m. on March 10, the suspect(s) entered Sharp Rite, located at 1682 East 13 St. in Brooklyn, and removed an empty safe which was later recovered in the vicinity of the location.
Between 2 and 8:30 a.m. on March 10, the suspect(s) entered Lake Pavilion, located at 60-15 Main St. in Flushing, through the rear basement door, and removed $600 in cash and multiple checks.
On March 13, at about 5:50 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Franny Lew Wine and Liquor, located at 198-29 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows, by prying open the front door but fled without any goods.
Between 11:45 p.m. on March 13 and 11 a.m. on March 14, the suspect(s) entered New Great Wall, located at 69-13 Woodside Ave. in Woodside, and removed $100 in cash.
Between 1 and 8 a.m. on March 14, the suspect(s) entered a restaurant, located at 192-20 Northern Blvd. in Flushing, by breaking the front door but fled without any goods.
Between 5:05 and 5:20 a.m. on March 14, the suspect(s) entered Sushi Fusion and Grill, located at 105-43 64th Rd. in Forest Hills, and removed $520 in cash.
Between 5:05 and 5:20 a.m. on March 14, the suspect(s) entered Super Glatt Kosher Mini Market, located at 105-45 64th Rd. in Forest Hills, and removed $250 in cash.
On March 17, at about 3:30 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Elmhurst Pharmacy, located at 81-06 Baxter Ave. in Elmhurst, by prying opening the front door and removed $100 in cash.
On April 1, at about 2:50 a.m., the suspect(s) entered N&K Jmart, located at 79-23 Northern Blvd. in East Elmhurst and removed $5,500 in cash.
Authorities have released a photo of one the suspects from the March 13 burglary at the New Great Wall restaurant located at 69-13 Woodside Ave. in Woodside.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.
A pair of NYPD detectives spent around two hours Monday talking a suicidal woman off the edge of the Kosciuszko Bridge, according to police.
That morning, police arrived about 11:30 a.m. to find the 45-year-old Brooklyn resident on top of a pipe on the outside of the bridge, which connects Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with Queens.
Two detectives—Meghan Kinsella, a 14-year veteran who works as a domestic violence officer, and Steven Stefanakos, a 24-year veteran who has spent 20 of those years with the Emergency Service Unit—moved into action to try to talk the woman out of taking her life.
At first, according to police, the woman wasn’t responsive to either of the detectives as they took turns engaging her in conversation.
“I tried to convince her that no matter what, we would be with her every step of the way,” Kinsella said. “He would talk and I would talk. I didn’t even realize I was there for two hours. I was completely focused on her.”
When Stefanakos, who is an instructor with the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit and teaches officers how to interact with emotionally disturbed people in crisis, mentioned the possibility of the woman having a family or children, she grabbed back onto the wire, authorities said.
“I told her, ‘I don’t know what is going on and what is happening with you, but give us [a] chance to talk to you,’” he said.
Kinsella also told the woman, who is a mother of one, that she was strong enough to get through the situation, and the detectives were finally able to convince her to come off the edge of the bridge.
As video footage of the rescue released by police shows, officers were able to pull the woman to safety, and EMS took her to Elmhurst Hospital for treatment.
“It’s a huge relief. It actually is euphoric because you made a difference in somebody’s life, right there and then,” Stefanakos said.
“I’m a mom so I just wanted to get her home safe with her family,” Kinsella added.
Federal agents arrested two Jamaica women Thursday for plotting to carry out a terrorist attack on American soil, officials said.
Noelle Velentzas, 28, of Inwood Avenue and Asia Siddiqui (the latter also known as Najma Samaa and Murdiyyah), 31, of 84th Road, who were former roommates, were taken into custody Thursday morning as a result of an investigation dating back to May 2013. They are U.S. citizens and, up until recently, shared an apartment at an unspecified Queens location.
According to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Velentzas and Siddiqui allegedly shared “violent jihadist beliefs,” openly sympathized with known terrorists, made contact with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and expressed a desire to launch an attack of their own in the U.S.
They reportedly educated themselves on bomb-making and visited local stores to purchase or research materials typically used to construct explosive devices.
Upon her arrest, Siddiqui had in her possession numerous propane tanks and instructions for converting them into explosive devices, federal sources said. Those instructions were reportedly downloaded from an online jihadist publication.
Their plot was foiled, however, through the efforts of an undercover federal agent, who obtained information from them through numerous meetings and conversations over the last two years.
“We are committed to doing everything in our ability to detect, disrupt and deter attacks by homegrown violent extremists,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement. “As alleged, the defendants in this case carefully studied how to construct an explosive device to launch an attack on the homeland. We remain firm in our resolve to hold accountable anyone who would seek to terrorize the American people, whether by traveling abroad to commit attacks overseas or by plotting here at home.”
Law enforcement sources said Siddiqui’s alleged terrorism ties date back to 2006, when she became close with Samir Khan, who later became a prominent figure in AQAP. Khan left the U.S. for Yemen following his relationship with Siddiqui and wrote propaganda magazines and bomb-making manuals for terrorists.
In September 2011, Siddiqui allegedly sent a sympathetic letter to Mohammad Mohamud, who was in federal prison for plotting to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, in 2010, authorities said.
Federal authorities intercepted the letter, which had the return address listed as “Najma Samaa” from 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd. in Jamaica — the actual address of York College, from where Siddiqui graduated.
Velentzas, in meeting with the undercover operative in 2013, praised the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and praised its mastermind, Osama bin Laden, as her hero. To illustrate that point, she showed the agent her cellphone, which had as its background image a picture of bin Laden carrying an AK-47 machine gun.
Following the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 — in which two terrorists converted pressure cookers into deadly explosive devices — Velentzas reportedly became obsessed with using pressure cookers as weapons.
FBI agents interviewed Siddiqui at LaGuardia Airport in July 2014, during which she denied having any connection to terrorists. After being allowed to leave, she reportedly told the undercover agent that she believed the agency was onto her and that she must delete incriminating “stuff” from her email accounts.
Between August 2014 and this February, Velentzas and Siddiqui allegedly continued talking about previous terrorist attacks —such as the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, in which a fertilizer bomb in a truck was used to destroy the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building — and researching bomb-making skills. They visited a local Home Depot and other stores and browsed through or purchased items known to be bomb-making components.
According to federal agents, in discussing specific, high-profile targets Velentzas mentioned in December 2014 potentially striking a police funeral, considering that the funeral that month for Detective Rafael Ramos in Glendale drew 25,000 mourners.
Velentzas and Siddiqui, who were ordered held without bail during their arraignment Thursday afternoon, were charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against persons or property in the U.S. and face life in prison if convicted.