Tag Archives: Queens

NYPD sergeant accused of having sexual relationship with minor


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

rosedale police station4

An off-duty NYPD sergeant was arrested in Queens on Tuesday for having a sexual relationship with a minor, police and reports said.

Vladimir Krull, 37, has been charged with two counts each of rape, criminal sex act and sexual misconduct, as well as forcible touching, sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, according to police.

He is accused of having a relationship with a girl under the age of 17 and who is the daughter
of a woman he knows, according to published reports.

Krull is assigned to the Midtown North Precinct, reports said. He has been suspended without pay.

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Watch Rego Park woman compete in ‘Jeopardy!’ Teachers Tournament semifinals


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

BY JAIME DEJESUS

It’s a daily double for one Queens woman!

Bay Ridge Prep fifth-grade teacher and Rego Park resident Erin McLaughlin was chosen to compete on the hit game show “Jeopardy!” The competition was filmed a month ago, with McLaughlin’s latest episode airing this Monday night on ABC 7 as part of the show’s annual Teachers Tournament.

Though she came in second in her first game of the tournament on Feb. 2, she still advanced to the semifinals by landing one of four wildcard spots — given to the competitors who won the most money aside from the winner.

McLaughlin, who has been an avid fan of the show since she was a child, tried out for the show many times online. She even received auditions in the past.

She then got the call for the third audition. Despite jitters some may have during the audition process, McLaughlin’s experience was a positive one.

“They make it really fun,” she said. “We played a pretend game of ‘Jeopardy!’ and they gave advice on how to behave.”

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Months after the audition, she was about to give up hope and take the online test again, when she was asked to fly to California to make her appearance on the game show.

“I was very surprised I got the call,” McLaughlin said. “Once you’re in the contestant pool, you are only in it for 18 months. After December, I was going to be out of the pool. That was it. I was just going to try again. But I guess the third time was the charm.”

Once her appearance was confirmed, she had six weeks to practice before she flew to the West Coast in December to compete against fellow teachers.

“I spent time studying categories that I didn’t know that much about like opera, presidents, composers,” McLaughlin said. “I took a lot of online quizzes. Other people quizzed me too. I knew a lot about pop culture and literature, so I didn’t prepare for those areas as much.”

When it was finally time to compete, she was ready to for the challenge. “I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. There was no time to be,” she said. “I’ve watched the show since I was a kid so it was so surreal being on the stage. When that famous music started to play, I finally realized that it’s really happening. It was so strange.”

McLaughlin also enjoyed meeting the show’s longtime host, Alex Trebek, whom she described as “nice and personable.” She also liked being amongst her peers.

“Meeting the other contestants was great because we all have the same jobs and we had a lot in common,” McLaughlin said.

She wasn’t the only one excited about competing in the show. Her husband and stepdaughter were in attendance, cheering her on, and her students back home were as well.


“My students are very excited for me,” McLaughlin said. “They interviewed me and also asked me lots of questions about my experience.”

Her school, Bay Ridge Prep, located in southern Brooklyn, is also thrilled for the dedicated teacher and showed it by throwing a party the day her first episode ran.

“They’ve been so great and supportive,” she said.

Although McLaughlin didn’t know what to expect, she realized that playing at home is slightly easier than the real thing. “It was harder than I thought it would be,” she admitted.

“It was lots of fun and I realized whatever the outcome was, it didn’t matter,” McLaughlin said. “I’m just sad I can’t do it again.”

To watch McLaughlin compete in the Teachers Tournament semifinals, tune in on Monday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. on ABC 7. 

-With additional reporting by Cristabelle Tumola

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Man suspected in fourth Queens bank robbery


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A man who police say robbed three Queens banks late last year is suspected of returning to one of those banks to continue his crime spree.

The suspect entered the Astoria Bank at 75-25 Metropolitan Ave. in Middle Village on Wednesday about 11:35 a.m., passed a note and demanded money, police said. The teller handed over the cash and the man fled eastbound on Metropolitan Avenue with about $8,300.

Cops believe the same suspect robbed the same bank, at the same time, on Dec. 30, taking off with $7,400.

The suspect is also wanted in two other bank robberies, including one just down the street.

On Nov. 24, he is accused of robbing a Capital One Bank at 74-11 Metropolitan Ave., near 75th Street in Middle Village, just after 3 p.m. After entering the bank, the suspect passed a demand note and fled on foot with about $750.

He also robbed a Capital One Bank, at 70-01 Forest Ave., near 70th Avenue, in Ridgewood on Dec. 9 about 11:30 a.m., police said. The suspect fled the bank on foot with $2,617.

Police have released a video of the suspect from the Feb. 4 robbery and describe him as black, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and 190 pounds.

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.

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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

View of city from penthouse

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Junction Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway

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Where to watch the Big Game in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Play in Elmhurst and Break Bar and Billiards in Astoria

BY ROSS BELSKY

With New Year’s Eve a distant memory, it’s time for Americans to consider their Super Bowl Sunday plans. With which best friends, in what atmosphere, and with what booze and grub specials are you planning to maximize the winner-take-all extravaganza? Feb. 1 is creeping up on us all, so here are a few locales in Queens we deem nothing short of awesomely appropriate for the game.

Break Bar and Billiards
32-04b Broadway, Astoria • 718-777-5400 • break-ny.com
This self-proclaimed “adult playground” includes foosball and the truly novel vintage arcade. A rotating selection of 18 beers on tap, along with signature comfort food and 10 HD television displays comprise the other attractions. The ambiance is defined by the 7,000-square-foot space’s classic exposed brick.

Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
29-19 24th Ave., Astoria • 718-274-4925 • bohemianhall.com
One of the only beer gardens to survive prohibition, the Bohemian Hall’s Brouczech beer on tap and classic beef goulash would have already made the cult establishment a prime Super Bowl destination. However, $10 Stellas, Hoegaardens and Abita Ambers, $5 Bushmill shots, and appetizer specials for the big game day make it irresistible. As always, no cover charge at this joint. Festivities begin at 4 p.m.

Bourbon Street
40-12 Bell Blvd., Bayside • 718-224-2200 • bourbonstreetny.com
Laissez les bon temps roulez! That’s “Cajun cuisine at its best,” the tried-and-true philosophy of this Bell Boulevard institution. Seafood lovers rejoice: there are hot and cold buffets, including the signature bayou mussels and blackened crab cakes. Those who love unlimited drinks should rejoice even harder with the Super Bowl promotion of all-you-can-drink beer, wine, mixed drinks and soda. Kickoff on the big screens is at 6:25 p.m., and raffles and free giveaways abound. $45 reservation and deposit required.

C.J. Sullivan’s
213-10 41st Ave., Bayside • 718-224-0060
This burger joint’s customary bargain drink specials are the stars of the show on this Sunday, but they are accompanied by a free hot and cold buffet, including chicken francese and sausage and peppers. The five big TVs make the large dining area seem intimate.

Play
77-17 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst • 718-476-2828 • play-ny.com
Billiards, bowling, ping pong, air hockey and a mechanical bull will help the pre-game hours fly by. For the main course, 30 large screens, including six mega screens and one at the end of each lane, will be firmly set on NBC for the showdown. A 72-foot illuminated stainless steel bar is worth noting as well, with imported beers on tap.

Tap House
72-07 Austin St.  Forest Hills • 718-997-0500
This under-the-radar gem in the heart of Austin Street is for the hyper-casual fan who likes to let loose, and loves a huge selection of wings. Featured are 10 HD flat screens and 20 beers on tap, along with notably prompt and pleasant waitresses and bartenders.  The Super Bowl Sunday special is a $50 open bar and buffet. Raffles and other drink specials will be decided before the game, and based on its already reasonable pricing toward younger crowds, you can swing by with a light wallet.

The Garden at Studio Square NYC
35-33 36th St., Astoria • 718-383-1001 • studiosquarebeergarden.com
This may be the closest you’ll feel to actually being at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Feb. 1. The mega sports party haven offers more than 30 screens throughout its 30,000-square-foot complex, which also includes two indoor areas and a cobblestone courtyard. Enjoy open beer from their advanced tap system, wine, sangria and unlimited wings from 4 p.m. until halftime. Tickets are $30-40 depending on how early you reserve them. 21 and over.

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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

DSC_0867

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Vernon Boulevard 

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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

where

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Behind the Starbucks in Howard Beach
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LIC boutique hostel to host first Queens Brewers Night


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of The Local NY

It is time to raise your glass to Queens.

In celebration of the booming borough being recently named the No. 1 travel destination in the United States by travel guidebook company Lonely Planet, Long Island City boutique hostel The Local NY will be hosting the first Queens Brewers Night.

In December, Queens made the top of the list of the company’s Best in the U.S. 2015, selected by Lonely Planet’s authors and ranked by its U.S. editors.

Each of the craft breweries recognized by Lonely Planet — Big Alice, Rockaway, Singlecut and Transmitter — will be serving their latest drinks on Feb. 7 alongside live music.

The Local NY, located at 13-02 44th Ave., was also featured by Lonely Planet.

Local bands Fairways, Hips & Brows and Fuxida will perform, and Queens food vendors will be selling food.

Queens Brewers Night goes from 7 to 10 p.m. and tickets are $20.15. To purchase tickets, click here.

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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

identify

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Northern Boulevard and 48th Street

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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

WHERE

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Evergreen Park in Ridgewood
Evergreen Park

 

 

 

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Queens sports roundup


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Brian Ballweg, for Queens College Athletics

Francis Lewis Girls get knocked off by Bergtraum

Last year, Francis Lewis ended Murry Bergtraum’s reign as PSAL champions with a semifinal victory. On Jan. 5, Lewis fell to 8-2 overall with a 78-64 home loss to Bergtraum. The Lady Patriots were up 11 early on but were outscored 50-25 over the final 20 minutes. Chi La Bady scored 23 points while Sierra Green and Robyn Francis had 14 apiece in a game that saw the Patriots go more than eight minutes without a basket. Coach Stephen Tsai’s team will try to rebound on Jan. 9 against Boys and Girls High School.

Queens College women get win at Madison Square Garden

Jan. 4 marked the 40th anniversary of the first women’s college basketball game played at Madison Square Garden. That game was between Queens College and Immaculata College of Pennsylvania and the schools reprised their meeting. This time, Queens College got the win as sophomore forward Madison Rowland scored 28 points and had 11 rebounds in a 76-60 victory. Queens has won six straight games and is 9-2 following a 92-34 victory over Concordia on Jan. 5. Queens will next host District of Columbia on Jan. 10 in a home game.

St. John’s men looking to rebound from tough start to Big East play

After entering Big East play 11-1 for the first time in 29 years and on a seven-game losing streak, the Red Storm opened conference play with a 78-67 loss at Seton Hall on Dec. 31 and a 73-69 home loss to Butler on Jan. 3. The Red Storm have been without sophomore guard Rysheed Jordan due to “personal reasons,” but he returned Jan. 6 against Villanova. The Red Storm went from No. 15 in the AP Poll to 24th. Following the Villanova game, they will visit Providence on Jan. 14.

Christ the King beats Molloy, gets upset by Xaverian

Christ the King returned from its trip to Delaware and split a pair of league games. On Jan. 2, junior guard Jarred Rivers scored 21 points in a 73-53 home win over Molloy. The Royals then fell to 9-2 with a 51-49 home loss to Xaverian. Rawle Alkins had 21 points, and Marcus Layne’s three-point attempt at the buzzer deflected off the front of the rim. Next up for the Royals is a home game against Cardozo on Jan. 11.

Far Rockaway gets two non-league wins over the break

Far Rockaway improved to 9-1 overall by getting non-league wins over Roosevelt on Dec. 27 and Harborfields on Jan. 4. The game against Harborfields was at Long Island Lutheran and in the Sea Horses’ 48-44 win, senior shooting guard Williams Overo had 23 points and six rebounds. Overo is averaging 21 points in league games and Far Rockaway resumes league play Jan. 9 by visiting Pathways College Prep.

Former Christ the King star transfers from Duke

Sierra Calhoun led Christ the King to a pair of Brooklyn-Queens Catholic High School Athletic Association titles and to two appearances in the state semifinals. After averaging 24 points in her senior year, Calhoun headed to Duke. She averaged 10 points in 13 games for the Blue Devils but on Jan. 4 the school announced Calhoun was transferring to another Division I school.

St. Francis Prep hockey leading CHSHL B Division

The Terriers are 6-1-1 and have 19 points, giving them a four-point lead over Stepinac. St. Francis Prep began the season with four straight wins before a 6-2 loss to Xavier and a 3-3 tie with Stepinac. On Jan. 4, the Terriers had a 5-3 victory over St. Edmund’s Prep at Coney Island.

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Street Talk: What is your New Year’s resolution?


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Martha Wahnon

“I don’t wait once a year to make a resolution. I am constantly trying to better myself. My latest resolution has been to be more of a peacemaker and not give into what causes arguments.”
Martha Wahnon

Jason Zassino

“I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. It is a hokey tradition. I have been trying to quit smoking but it is tough to do.”
Jason Zassino

Genesis Mera

“I want to learn to speak English fluently.”
Genesis Mera

Tanisha Isaacs

“Be a more positive, less bitter person.”
Tanisha Isaacs

Jonathan Milard

“Contact my family more often.”
Jonathan Milard

Victor Prado

“To invest more in people and to preach more the name of Jesus to people.”
Victor Prado

James O'Neil

“I never do New Year’s resolutions. Never have. After two weeks everyone is talking about how they’ve broken theirs.”
James O’Neil

Julie Halkiopoulos

“Be healthy enough so I can help my daughters as much as I can, be involved in their lives. Try to help more stray, abused animals, and elderly people.”
Julie Halkiopoulos

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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

DSC_0062

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Lefferts Boulevard A train station 

Lefferts Blvd A train station

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A year in photos: The Queens Courier looks back at 2014


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 12.35.11 PM

The Queens Courier is taking a look back at the year gone by, from the inauguration of a new mayor to the horrifying derailment of an F train under Queens Boulevard. The year saw more political ups and downs, tragedies and celebrations. Our high school basketball teams were champions and Queens was named the best place to visit in the nation. Looking forward to 2015, we wish our readers a very happy new year.

JANUARY 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio takes the oath of office from former U.S. President Bill Clinton during his inaugural ceremony at City Hall in New York

Photo via NYC Mayor’s Office Flickr

De Blasio gets to work

New York City’s 109th mayor, Bill de Blasio, was sworn in during a ceremony at his Brooklyn home just after midnight on Jan. 1 followed by a formal inauguration on the steps of City Hall later that day. Telling New Yorkers, “Our work begins today,” in his inauguration speech de Blasio pledged to expand the paid sick leave law, require big developers to build affordable housing, stem the tide of hospital closures, reform a broken stop-and-frisk policy, and provide universal, full-day pre-K and after-school programs for middle schoolers.

Hercules

THE COURIER/File photo

Hercules shows his strength

Snowfall in parts of the borough was reportedly as high as 11.5 inches during Hercules, the first major snowstorm of 2014. The weather event was also the first real test of the de Blasio administration, beginning on his second day in office. The rest of the 2014 winter season would not only challenge New Yorkers’ patience, but also that of the new mayor as he faced criticism over school closings and snow removal.

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola/ Handout

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola/ Handout

Avonte search ends tragically

The search for 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo came to a devastating end four months after the autistic teen went missing from his Long Island City school when his remains were found washed up in College Point on Jan. 16. On Jan. 25, hundreds of mourners came out to say goodbye at the Rego Park resident’s funeral where he was remembered as a silent yet always smiling, courageous boy. The medical examiner later ruled the cause and manner of his death as undetermined.

FEBRUARY 

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Biden takes aim at LaGuardia

Vice President Joe Biden, while speaking about infrastructure in Philadelphia on Feb. 5, said LaGuardia Airport was similar to a “third-world country.” The comments immediately went viral and drew some negative reactions, including from Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said it wasn’t Biden’s “finest moment.”

Photo courtesy of Exo Cafe

Photo courtesy of Exo Cafe

Plow damages restaurant 

A Forest Hills restaurant suffered thousands of dollars in damage when a Department of Sanitation plow truck struck a garbage can full of snow, ice and debris, which then hit the eatery, according to police. The Feb. 13 incident at Exo Café on Austin Street was caught on video and the footage quickly spread online. The accident not only damaged the eatery’s winter vestibule and shattered some of its windows, but also injured two customers.
Photo courtesy of Exo Café

THE COURIER/File photo

THE COURIER/File photo

Mayor’s caravan caught speeding

A local TV station said it caught a vehicle carrying Mayor Bill de Blasio breaking multiple traffic laws as it was driving back from a press conference on potholes in Maspeth on Feb. 20. According to CBS New York, which captured the incident on video, de Blasio’s two-vehicle caravan exceeded the speed limit, went through a stop sign and changed lanes without signaling. The incident came on the heels of the mayor’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths.

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

7 train woes

The Long Island City area prepared for another round of No. 7 train suspensions that were slated to start in the end of February and take place on most weekends through the fall. The service disruptions again upset residents and business owners who were fed up with the constant disruptions on the line. Though an impending storm delayed the suspensions and the MTA agreed to help promote Long Island City during the shutdowns, the agency did not agree to a shuttle bus from Vernon Boulevard through the Queens Midtown Tunnel into the city.

MARCH 

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Basketball champs

The Benjamin Cardozo boys basketball team defeated Thomas Jefferson High School to win the PSAL Division AA city championship on March 9. The same day, the Francis Lewis Lady Patriots girls basketball team won its first PSAL Division AA championship. On March 10, the Christ the King boys basketball team won the CHSAA Class AA intersectional championship game, clinching a back-to-back city title.

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Rockwell painting recovered 

A Norman Rockwell painting worth more than a million dollars was recovered months after it disappeared from a Maspeth storage facility, police announced on March 12. The piece, entitled “Sport,” went missing from Grand Avenue’s WelPak Art Moving and Storage on Sept. 13, 2013. Painted in 1939, the work was signed by the artist. It was reportedly recovered in Ohio by a private investigator and no one was charged at the time.

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Kaufman Arts District created

On March 28, Astoria let the world know that is it the place to be for the arts with the announcement of the designation of the Kaufman Arts District, the first of its kind in the borough. It was created in partnership with Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Museum of the Moving Image and the Queens Council on the Arts. Its mission is “to advance and promote the area as a world-class vibrant cultural destination and home for creative industries.”

Photo courtesy of DeAnne Lorde

Photo courtesy of DeAnne Lorde

Cookie Queen

Springfield Gardens seventh-grader Najah Lorde more than doubled her Girl Scout cookie sales from last year to become the top seller in the city with 2,833 boxes. The 12-year-old, who has been selling cookies since she joined the Girl Scouts in second grade, said she is hoping to win next year by selling at least 3,000 boxes.

APRIL 

THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/Photo by Debbie Egan-Chin

THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/Photo by Debbie Egan-Chin

Friends killed in Steinway Creek plunge 

Four East Elmhurst friends lost their lives on April 4 when their Honda Accord rolled over into Steinway Creek in Astoria. Jada Monique Butts, 19, Tiani Martin, 19, Jaleel Feurtado, 20, Darius Fletcher, 21, and Crystal Graely, 19, were in the car coming from a birthday celebration. The driver, 20-year-old Andrew Gramm, managed to escape the car and called for help. After the accident, state Sen. Michael Gianaris called on the Department of Transportation to conduct a review of safety measures on the various roads that lead to the water.

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

 First battle of the beards

Face fuzz from near and far made its way to Astoria on April 8 for the neighborhood’s inaugural Battle of the Beards at The Quays. A total of 23 competitors tricked out their facial hair, from full-grown beards to mustaches. Dan Roberts, one of the founding members of the Long Island Beard & Mustache Society, took home first place.

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

‘Hero’ cop mourned 

A funeral was held on April 14 for Officer Dennis Guerra in his hometown of Far Rockaway after he died from injuries suffered in an arson fire in Coney Island. Guerra and fellow housing officer Rosa Rodriguez were critically injured in a blaze at a Surf Avenue housing development when the elevator doors opened on the 13th floor and the officers were engulfed in smoke. Both officers suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning and the effects of smoke inhalation. Loved ones, city officials, such as Mayor Bill de Blasio, and thousands of NYPD officers were among those who came out to say goodbye to the 38-year-old Bayswater resident.

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Kids’ graduation saved

Nearly 170 graduating fifth-graders at P.S. 117 in Briarwood were in danger of losing caps and gowns, yearbooks and a prom, which are usually sponsored by the school’s PTA, because the Department of Education was investigating $30,000 missing from the accounts of the school’s Parent Teacher Association. While the investigation was ongoing, the organization would not be allowed to fundraise and was barred from all financial dealings. However, on April 28 during a school meeting, Jack Friedman, the executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, and Nick Tomizawa, who represented the Briarwood Latchkey Generation Facebook group made up of Briarwood residents and alums of P.S. 117, announced they would contribute about $7,000 together to help save the school and give the students their graduation.

MAY 

SUBWAY DERAILMENT

Photo courtesy of MTA / Patrick Cashin

F train derails in Woodside

On May 2, six of eight cars of a Manhattan-bound F train, carrying about 1,000 passengers down the express tracks under Broadway at 60th Street in Woodside, derailed when an 8-foot-long section of the 19-foot, 6-inch rail fractured beneath it. Thirty straphangers and two train crew members suffered minor injuries in the crash, which caused an estimated $2 million in damages. In a report released on Dec. 12 by the MTA, investigators determined that it was not a single defect that caused the derailment but instead several defects in the tracks that went unreported and unrepaired for at least a year after they were first discovered by an automated inspection. Disciplinary action is being pursued against three maintenance supervisors and a track inspector for their roles in the derailment — failing to identify, document and correct the defects.

Photo by Bradley Hawks

Photo by Bradley Hawks

Astoria Flea & Food opens

The Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios arrived with a boom at the city’s first-ever backlot market on May 4, with thousands of people in attendance. The market, a partnership between the LIC Flea & Food and Kaufman Astoria Studios, operated from the studios’ outdoor lot, the first of its kind in the city, every Sunday for eight consecutive weeks. Upon arrival at the Astoria Flea entrance at 36th Street and 35th Avenue, visitors were welcomed by a brand-new, 40-foot-high steel gate, designed by David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group. Visitors found new vendors and also old faces from the neighboring LIC Flea & Food.

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

World’s Fair Anniversary Festival

An estimated 60,000 people flocked to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the site of the 1939-40 and 1964-65 World’s Fairs, on May 18 to honor the 75th and 50th anniversaries through a myriad of free activities, exhibitions and food, sponsored by the Queens borough president’s office and the Parks Department. Surrounding the iconic Unisphere, there were inflatable rides for children, international food courtesy of LIC Flea & Food, free tours, exhibitions from Queens educational institutions, memorabilia from past World’s Fairs, fireworks and music from various bands — including Beatles tribute band, the Liverpool Shuffle.

JUNE

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Cardozo HS names first black valedictorian

Shanelle Davis graduated as the first African-American valedictorian of Benjamin Cardozo High School this June and in the fall started her first college semester at Harvard University. The Jamaica resident is the first in her family to earn a higher degree and along with studying hard, she also took part in various clubs and activities.

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Elmhurst against homeless shelter 

Hundreds of protestors gathered on June 17 to protest the city’s initiative to house homeless families in the former Pan American Hotel on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst. Since then community members, leaders and elected officials have spoken against the plan to convert the site into a permanent shelter under a $42 million contract with the city. The shelter is now home to over 700 homeless residents, many of whom are children.

Photo courtesy of Bob Holden

Photo courtesy of Bob Holden

Middle Village boy dies of cancer

After a more than two-year battle against lymphocytic leukemia, 8-year-old Colin Flood, from Middle Village, died on June 22. After a successful bone marrow drive in 2012 and a brief victory over the cancer that same year, Colin experienced a resurgence of the disease in 2013. In March, the U.S. Coast Guard visited Colin in Juniper Valley Park and let him have fun in their helicopter.

JULY 

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

City to fund NYS Pavilion restoration

A total of $5.806 million was included in the city’s capital budget to begin the restoration of the New York State Pavilion, which is a relic of the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. The funds will be used to upgrade its electrical system, rebuild the staircases inside the Pavilion’s three towers and repair the concrete platforms supporting the observation decks at the top of each of the towers.

THE COURIER/File photo

THE COURIER/File photo

LIRR strike avoided

MTA officials and LIRR unions came to a tentative agreement July 17, avoiding a workers’ strike that would have stranded 300,000 commuters daily. LIRR workers will see a 17 percent wage increase over six and a half years with the new agreement. The MTA wanted a 17 percent wage increase over seven years, while the union desired it over six years. The deal settled the impasse between both sides and will allow the MTA to pay for the salary bump while not increasing fares for riders.

File photo

File photo

Eight Queens Library board members cut

Borough President Melinda Katz and Mayor Bill de Blasio removed eight trustees of the Queens Library on July 23. The firings came after a protracted battle over the tenure of library director Tom Galante, who drew fire after a smoking deck was built outside his office in the Central Library in Jamaica as well as revelations that he augmented his $400,000 salary with more than $200,000 in part-time pay from the Elmont, Long Island, school district.

File photo

File photo

Former Councilman Dan Halloran found guilty

Former Queens Councilman Dan Halloran was found guilty on July 29 for his role in a bribery scheme to get Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith on the GOP ticket in last year’s mayoral race. It took just over one hour for the jury to reach its verdict following the eight-week trial, and Halloran was convicted of all five counts against him. Halloran faces up to 55 years in prison and will be sentenced early next year.

AUGUST 

Photo courtesy of United States Tennis Association

Photo courtesy of United States Tennis Association

National Tennis Center expansion phase one complete

The United States Tennis Association announced the completion of the first phase of a five-year, $500 million transformation of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Aug. 11, just weeks ahead of the 2014 US Open. The renovations include new elevated seating around Courts 4, 5 and 6 that create a three-court stadium viewing experience that can hold more than 1,300 fans and features a new televised court.

Rego Park School

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Rego Park special needs school abruptly closes

A Rego Park school for children with special needs closed on Aug. 13 and many of the disabled students of the year-round school have nowhere to go. The Life-Skills School, which served 43 students with mental and secondary emotional challenges ages 9 through 21, was the only school of its kind in Queens.

THE COURIER/File photo

THE COURIER/File photo

Demolition begins at 5Pointz

Demolition began at the building formerly known as the graffiti mecca 5Pointz on Aug. 22 after a long battle between the owner of the property and artists, who wanted to preserve the structure. Owner Jerry Wolkoff plans to build two apartment towers with close to 1,000 rental apartments, 32,000 square feet of outdoor public space and 50,000 square feet of retail space at the site.

File photo

File photo

82nd Street BID executive director resigns 

The 82nd Street Partnership announced Aug. 27 that Executive Director Seth Taylor would resign from his position to serve as the head of the NoHo NY BID. Taylor had been working to tackle quality-of-life issues in the community and was hoping to expand the business improvement district, a plan that was met with backlash from some residents.

SEPTEMBER

THE COURIER/File photos

THE COURIER/File photos

Comrie defeats state Sen. Malcolm Smith in primaries, Avella defeats Liu

Leroy Comrie won the democratic state senate primary election over embattled former state Sen. Malcolm Smith in a landslide victory on Sept. 10. Incumbent state Sen. Tony Avella also defeated challenger John Liu, who was the former city comptroller.

Photo by Kelsey Bennett

Photo by Kelsey Bennett

Movie features 10-year-old Middle Village girl

A star was born in Middle Village. Olivia Panepinto was featured in the film “Once Upon a Time in Queens,” alongside Paul Sorvino, which debuted on Sept. 24 in the East Village. The film tells the story of an ex-mafia captain as he comes to grips with how his former life has changed after spending the last 20 years in federal prison.

the wrong man still 2

Woodside street re-named for man behind Alfred Hitchcock film

The corner of 73rd Street and 41st Avenue in Woodside was co-named after Christopher Emmanuel “Manny” Balestrero as “Manny ‘The Wrong Man’ Balestrero Way,” on Sept. 27. Emmanuel was the influence of the Alfred Hitchcock film “The Wrong Man,” and once lived in the neighborhood.

 OCTOBER 

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

Citi Bike finally coming to Queens

The city’s first bike share program will soon become a reality in Queens. Long Island City and Astoria are part of a list of neighborhoods in the city that will receive Citi Bike docking stations in upcoming years, officials announced on Oct. 28. Long Island City was supposed to be part of the Citi Bike’s initial phase, which debuted last May, but was pushed back after equipment damages from Superstorm Sandy caused a delay.

Photo courtesy of Astoria Trash

Photo courtesy of Astoria Trash

Instagram account focuses on trash problem in Astoria

One Astoria resident is getting a snapshot of what some have called an ongoing problem in the neighborhood. A resident of the neighborhood, who wished to remain anonymous, started an Instagram account after noticing how many pictures of trash she had on her phone from around Astoria. The account, “astoriatrash,” features photos taken by the Astoria resident and also submissions from other residents in what the account starter said was, “a community effort.”

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Popular Middle Village ‘Halloween House’ possessed for 10 years

Every Halloween there are traffic jams with people from around Queens waiting to get a glimpse and take pictures of Patrick Kenniff’s house in Middle Village. Kenniff started decorating his house on 75th Street near 68th Road for Halloween 10 years ago with a simple pumpkin head prop with an orange dress-like body. But ever since, he obsessively continued to add new decorations every year until there are now more than 100 decorations possessing the residence like a zombie parade. Viewing the house has become an annual attraction for families in the neighborhood and around the borough.

 NOVEMBER 

Danny Clinch/Flickr Creative Commons

Danny Clinch/Flickr Creative Commons

Crowdfunding effort to bring Pearl Jam to Forest Hills

This year, November could’ve been renamed Pearl Jam Awareness Month. Since Nov. 5, a devoted group of fans have raised almost $100,000 in crowd funds over two months. The fundraiser is a wildly hopeful dash to convince the ‘90s rock band to play in the Forest Hills Stadium. The members of the famous quintet have made no indication on what they plan to do. The group Pearl Jam Forest Hills will be holding a fundraiser in the New Year at Austin’s Ale House.

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Dairy Queen arrives in Queens

Dairy Queen opened in Corona on Nov. 11, bringing its famous soft-serve treats back to the borough for the first time in decades. Located at 37-39 Junction Blvd., the Dairy Queen is one of four locations in the city, joining DQs in the Bronx, Staten Island and Manhattan, which just debuted in May. As many of our DQ expert readers pointed out, the dessert chain once existed in the borough prior to the 1980s, but the Corona eatery is currently the only location in Queens. The restaurant serves more than just dessert. Its menu features familiar sweets, including Blizzards, and lunch and dinner items, such as burgers, sandwiches and salads.

Rendering courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture

Rendering courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture

City Council passes Astoria Cove

After some tussling over this year’s key phrase — affordable housing — the City Council voted overwhelmingly on Nov. 25 to approve the Astoria Cove mega development, clearing the way for the major land use project. More than 460 units of the 1,723 total apartments throughout the 2.2-million-square-foot project on the Astoria waterfront will be affordable housing. The project, which is anticipated to take more than 10 years to complete in four different phases, will also include about 84,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space, a school and some retail.

DECEMBER 

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Tensions erupt in Jackson Heights

Dozens of protesters gathered in Jackson Heights on Dec. 5 to protest Eric Garner’s death at the hands of police on Staten Island and to draw attention to the plight of undocumented immigrants who also fear police abuse. During that rainy evening, the people announced that the streets belonged to them before ending the protest on 82nd Street and Roosevelt Avenue.

Photo via NYC Mayor's Flickr

Photo via NYC Mayor’s Flickr

103rd Precinct gets first police body cameras

The city chose nine officers from Jamaica’s 103rd Precinct on Dec. 9 to wear body cameras while out on patrol. The move was made by Mayor Bill de Blasio at a time when Staten Island’s grand jury hadn’t yet made its decision not to indict the police officer whole killed Eric Garner during a chokehold. The body cameras were an attempt to improve public relations between authorities and city residents.

Photo courtesy of the Queens Tourism Council

Photo courtesy of the Queens Tourism Council

Queens named top tourist destination

Queens ascended to the top of the list on Dec. 10 of Lonely Planet’s Best in the U.S. 2015, promising to be a huge boon for tourism activity. According to the leading travel guidebook company, Queens is a must-see U.S. destination. With 2015 set to be Queens’ year, the borough is expected to be “discovered,” as one writer wrote in Lonely Planet.

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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”:  82nd Street and Roosevelt Avenue 

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