Tag Archives: roundup

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Today’s Forecast

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 82. South wind 6 to 11 mph. Friday night: Scattered showers, mainly after 2am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 65. South wind 7 to 9 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent.

Event of the Day: A Tribute to Lena Horne and Nina Simone

Seven-time MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Winner, Natalie Douglas in a tribute to singing legends Lena Horne and Nina Simone at York College Performing Arts Center. To reserve free tickets please call (212) 575 7660 or email CPAS@hainyc.org. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens Primary Election Coverage

Sanders defeats indicted incumbent Huntley in State Senate primary

Six-time incumbent Stavisky claims victory over Messer in primary

Kim takes 40th District race by less than 200 votes

Messer refuses to give up fight

Nily Rozic bests Jerry Iannece in 25th District race

Ulrich wins primary, set to face Addabbo in November

Incumbent Miller defeats newcomer in 38th District

Drifter nabbed in rape of 73-year-old woman in Central Park has disturbing criminal history

A deviant drifter with a terrifying rap sheet that includes two sex attacks on elderly women was charged Thursday with the rape of a 73-year-old bird watcher in Central Park. Three rookie cops caught Appalachian ex-con David Albert Mitchell, 42, strolling down an upper West Side street, and the victim later picked him out of a lineup. Read more: Daily News

Investigators look into whether mole helped Libyan terrorists

Investigators are probing whether a mole helped Libyan terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate — where no Marines were on guard. The raiders met with such little resistance that, after seizing control of the one-story villa in a mere 15 minutes, they unleashed a second assault on a nearby safe house, officials in the U.S. and Libya said Thursday. Read more: Daily News

Man who ran on field during Santana’s no-hitter fined $5K, gets 100 hours of community service

A die-hard New York Mets fan who ran onto Citi Field during Johan Santana’s no hitter celebration pleaded guilty to day and will have to pay up for his overzealous behavior.Rafael Diaz, 32, was ordered by a Queens judge to hand over $4,000 in civil penalties to the Mets, $1,000 to the city, perform 100 hours of community service and must not visit Citi Field for one year. Read more: NY Post

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 80. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon.  Thursday night: Patchy fog after 4am. Otherwise, mostly clear, with a low around 64. South wind 5 to 7 mph becoming calm after midnight.

JFK workers busted in mini liquor theft ring

Eighteen former and current JFK workers were arrested in connection with the theft of more than 100,000 mini liquor bottles at the airport over the last five months, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday. They airport employees also stole duty-free items, such as cigarette cartons, perfume and larger bottles of booze. Read more: Queens Courier

U.S. warships headed to Libyan coast as Obama says ‘justice will be done’

The ruthless attack that killed four American diplomats in Libya appears to be a carefully-planned terror strike rather than an uprising of a mob angry over a film that lampooned the Prophet Muhammed. President Obama vowed on Wednesday to bring those responsible to justice – and moved swiftly to hunt down the killers. Read more: Daily News

Police: Elderly woman sexually attacked in Central Park

It was a vicious and shocking attack in the middle of the day, in Central Park. Police say a woman in her 70s, out bird watching, was sexually assaulted, beaten and robbed. Police say they want to speak with a suspect, whom they have a surveillance photo of, about the attack. Read more: NY1

Another protest turns violent outside U.S. Embassy in Cairo

Riot police fired warning shots and tear gas Thursday outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to keep hundreds of protesters away from the building’s perimeter, witnesses said. Six police officers suffered minor injuries during the clashes, said Alla Mahmoud, a spokesman for the Egyptian Interior Ministry. Read more: CNN

PCBs leak in second NYC school

NY1 has learned there has been a second incident of the toxic compound leaking out of a light, this time in Queens. NY1 has learned that on Monday, liquid containing toxic compounds known as PCBs dripped out of a light ballast at IS 204 in Queens during the school day. Read more: NY1

Cops pack Queens courtroom to watch alleged cop shooter John Thomas’ arraignment

Police officers packed a Queens courtroom this morning to watch the arraignment of an accused trigger-happy cop shooter. John F. Thomas was remanded by a Queens judge for shooting Sgt. Craig Bier four times in the legs and in a separate incident where he shot Troy Cox 17 times in the buttocks and legs. Read more: NY Post

Flushing Town Hall exhibit explores 150 years of history

One hundred and fifty years ago, a time capsule filled with newspapers of the day, business cards from local merchants and a history of the once-agricultural community was buried in a cornerstone of Flushing Town Hall. Now, the contents of the capsule are on display in the exhibit “Celebrating Historic Flushing Town Hall 150th Anniversary. Read more: Daily News

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 93. Southwest wind 8 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. West wind 8 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Doctor Zhivago at the Museum of the Moving Image

Take in the 1965 classic at the Museum of the Moving Image.  Based on Boris Pasternak’s novel, this tale of a love triangle set against the Bolshevik Revolution is an astonishing feat, as emotionally involving as it is visually spectacular. Highlights include Freddie Young’s Oscar-winning cinematography and Maurice Jarre’s iconic score.

Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Stavisky and Messer face off in 16th Senate District debate

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and opponent John Messer agreed job creation was a priority in the 16th State Senate District as the two stated their platforms and fielded questions at a Wednesday, August 29 forum before hundreds of residents in the district. Despite agreeing on general issues such as employment, energy and bilingual signage, the six-time incumbent and Senate hopeful found themselves on opposite sides on gay marriage and charter schools. Read more: Queens Courier

Huntley probe widens

The criminal probe into indicted state Sen. Shirley Huntley has expanded to include every earmark she secured for nonprofits that employed her campaign staffers, Senate aides and family members, The Post has learned. Huntley, a Democrat, is facing up to 12 years in prison for allegedly covering up the misuse of $30,000 in “member item” funds by her niece and an aide to the bogus Parent Workshop charity. Read more: NY Post

Romney vows to deliver country from economic travails

Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday by making a direct appeal to Americans who were captivated by President Obama’s hopeful promises of change, pledging that he could deliver what the president did not and move the country from its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Read more: NY Times

Women employed by lawmaker describe sexually hostile office

Five women who worked for Vito J. Lopez, the assemblyman at the center of a broadening sexual harassment scandal, described in interviews an atmosphere of sexual pressure and crude language in his office, with frequent unwanted advances by him and others, requests for provocative dress, personal questions about their boyfriends and fears of reprisals if they complained. Read more: NY Times

New program at sprawling public housing complex offers farm fresh foods for $10 a bag

Farm fresh produce is a scarce commodity in the Queensbridge Houses, where diabetes rates are high and junk food is cheap and plentiful. A new program — which kicks off next week — is offering residents a bag full of fruits and vegetables for just $10 a week. Read more: Daily News

Hip-hop manager Chris Lighty dead after shooting himself outside his Bronx apartment

Hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty died Thursday morning after he shot himself after an argument with his estranged wife at his Bronx apartment, sources told the Daily News. Lighty, 44 — a longtime manager of 50 Cent, Diddy, Ja Rule and Mariah Carey — stepped outside his South Riverdale apartment about 11:30 a.m., after a spat with his wife, Veronica, police sources said. Read more: Daily News

MTA kicking more trash cans at subway stations

Starting Sunday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is removing more trash cans from subway station platforms. The agency is expanding a pilot program that is aimed at reducing the rodent population in the subway system. The MTA says it has more trash than it can collect at subway stations. Read more: NY1

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 86. Northwest wind 8 to 10 mph. Thursday night: Clear, with a low around 72. West wind around 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: After School Special-Laughing Devil Comedy Club 

Join Jesse Jones as he brings his rowdy comic buddies to this weekly show. After School Special is a show designed to make every week a very special episode. Each Thursday at 8:00 p.m. you will be treated to a mix of alternative comics, mainstream comedians, story tellers and special guests as they hilariously give insight into the life as a stand-up.

Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens man arrested for synagogue crime spree

A man who stole valuable Torah relics from a Kew Gardens Hills synagogue earlier this month was arrested Tuesday and also charged with stealing religious items from two other synagogues in Queens this summer, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced today. Read more: Queens Courier

State rejects charter school application for kids of illegal Chinese immigrants

The state has shot down an application to create a year-round, bilingual charter school in Flushing aimed at the children of illegal Chinese immigrants. Lotus King Weiss, the lead applicant of the Whole Elephant Charter School, posted articles on the elementary school’s website about her being attacked in the U.S. due to her controversial Falun Dafa beliefs. Read more: Daily News

Queens judge sues city after alleged transit cop assault

Stung by the refusal of the Queens district attorney to prosecute the cops he says assaulted him, a state Supreme Court judge today took the first steps to sue the city. Queens Supreme Court Justice Thomas Raffaele walked into the Kew Gardens courthouse on his day off to file the notice of claim against the city, expressing his intention to file a lawsuit for the “untruths” and “slander” he claims was reported by a pair of transit cops to undercut criminal charges. Read more: NY Post

Ryan calls for a U.S. turnaround, led by Romney

Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, whose budget plans have come to define conservative opposition to President Obama’s governing philosophy, accepted the Republican vice-presidential nomination on Wednesday as his party embraced the gamble that the small-government principles he represents have more political payoff than peril. Read more: NY Times

Isaac causing big problems, but proving to be far weaker than Katrina

Hurricane Isaac sidestepped New Orleans on Wednesday, sending the worst of its howling wind and heavy rain into a cluster of rural fishing villages that had few defenses against the slow-moving storm that could bring days of unending rain. Read more: CBS

Mourners say goodbye to man killed outside Empire State Building

Funeral services were held Wednesday for the man shot and killed near the Empire State Building last week. Mourners gathered for a solemn service at Our Lady of Sorrows in White Plains to honor fashion executive Steven Ercolino. Read more: CBS

74-year-old gunman tries to shoot his estranged wife in Staten Island bowling alley

A Staten Island bowling alley was turned into a shooting range Wednesday when a 74-year-old man opened fire on his estranged wife. Armando Tritto squeezed off at least three errant shots at Maureen Tritto, 47, as she was preparing to open the snack bar at Rab’s Country Lanes in Dongan Hills, cops said. Read more: Daily News

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Today’s Forecast:

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 90. North wind around 7 mph becoming east in the afternoon. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 73. Southeast wind 5 to 7 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Dunningham Triangle Visioning Day

Stop by Dunningham Triangle to share your design ideas with the NYC Parks Department and the 82nd Street Partnership. What do you like about Dunningham Triangle and how can it be made better? Tell them your ideas!

Click here for more info or submit an event of your own

Former Queens Little League coach pleads guilty to sexually abusing minors

A former Little League coach of the year pleaded guilty to sexually abusing players on his team. David Hartshorn, a former coach at the Rochdale Village Little League, was arrested and charged in February with having sexual contact with three boys, ages 13 and 14, at his Rochdale Village home between July 2009 and January 2011. He was also accused of showing child pornography to minors and filming two teens engaged in sex acts. Read more: Queens Courier

Armstrong Drops Fight Against Doping Charges

After more than a decade of outrunning accusations that he had doped during his celebrated cycling career, Lance Armstrong, one of the most well-known and accomplished athletes in history, finally surrendered on Thursday, etching a dark mark on his legacy by ending his fight against charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Read more: NY Times

Mayor Offers Ideas for Why Homeless Numbers Are Up

Asked about a sharp rise in the number of homeless people in New York City’s shelter system, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg suggested Thursday that people were staying in shelters longer in part because the shelters were “much more pleasurable” than they used to be, making people less eager to leave. Read more: NY Times

Strippers look to GOP to ‘make it rain’

Many clubs have taken out ads inviting GOP delegates “to party like a liberal” in a city where the “poles are open all night.” City officials say the convention, expected to draw more than 50,000 visitors, could be Tampa’s biggest party ever. Imagine all those rainmakers. Read more: CNN

Olympic gold medalist Douglas throws out first pitch at Mets game

History-making 16-year-old gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas was on TV with Jay Leno and David Letterman. Sat and chatted with Oprah Winfrey. Met First Lady Michelle Obama. And yesterday she threw out the first pitch at the Mets game. Read more: NY Post

Incumbent Queens Senator’s endorsements are called into question as contentious primary nears

An endorsement controversy has emerged in a contentious Queens primary. The Daily News has learned that a clergy member and several unions that were touted on campaign material as favoring District 10 incumbent state Sen. Shirley Huntley are actually remaining neutral for the Sept. 13 vote. Read more: Daily News

Queens weekend roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The Afternoon Roundup

‘Bom’ scare at JFK Airport

If only spotting a real bomb were this easy. Hundreds of passengers yesterday were evacuated from JFK Airport’s Terminal 4 at 1:43 a.m. after one of them spotted a suspicious package with the words “Bom to USA” scrawled on it. Read more: NY Post

Van Bramer set to wed longtime partner

On a warm November night last year in Puerto Rico, Dan Hendrick slipped a silver ring from his pocket, descended on one knee and proposed to long-time partner Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. Thoughts of marriage had lingered in Hendrick’s mind for some time, but busy schedules always intervened. They talked about it on and off, delaying concrete plans until it was lawful for them to marry in New York. Read more: Queens Courier

NYPD detective suspended after cops find man tied up and being held for ransom in officer’s garage

An NYPD detective was suspended without pay after cops found a man bound and being held for ransom in the garage of the officer’s Queens home, law enforcement sources said Saturday. Investigators from the NYPD’s major case squad went to the Springfield Gardens home of veteran cop Ondre Johnson, 45, about 3 p.m. Friday — after they were tipped off that a man was being held for $75,000 ransom, the sources said.Read more: Daily News

Jets practice report: Crowd heckles Tebow

Tebowmania did not amount to much at the first Jets training camp practice open to the public. A rain-soaked crowd of a few thousand was not filled with Tebow fans. It even featured a few hecklers who gave Tebow a hard time about his passing. He exited the field shirtless, which is sure to cause a stir. Read more: NY Post

Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival marks nation’s 50 years of independence with food, music and fun

The spicy scent of jerk seasoning wafted through the Caribbean crowds at the 2nd annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival in southeast Queens. Read more: Daily News

 

Weekend Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The-Afternoon-Roundup17

3 men killed in barrage of bullets in Queens

Three men died in blizzard of bullets early Saturday when a nightclub dispute over a girl spilled into the Queens streets, police and friends of the victims said. A fourth man was wounded around 5 a.m. when an unknown gunman fired 63 shots in from an AK-47 into a double-parked Jeep Grand Cherokee outside 185-4 144th Ave., police said. Read more: Daily News

Two girls groped in Flushing branch of Queens Library

Police were searching Friday for a man wanted for allegedly groping two girls at a Queens Library branch last month. Authorities said the suspect touched a six-year-old and a nine-year-old inappropriately at the downtown Flushing branch on Main Street on June 23. Read More: NY1

Frozen meat and poultry recalled over listeria concern

Buona Vita Inc. is recalling various frozen, ready-to-eat meat and poultry products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, federal officials announced. The problem was discovered through microbiological testing by FSIS and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). There have not been any reports of illnesses due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider. Read More: ABC

Report: Knicks intend to match Jeremy Lin’s offer from Houston

They say everything is bigger in Texas. We’ll soon find out concerning Jeremy Lin’s contract. The restricted free-agent point guard and the Houston Rockets have agreed to terms on a four-year offer, according to multiple reports. Read More: CBS

Talks between Con Ed, union continue as heat wave bakes city

As the temperature rises, so does the risk of power outages, a fact that is magnified with Con Edison workers locked out as contract talks continue. Temperatures are forecasted to reach 100 degrees on Saturday, and with 8,500 workers locked out, the task of maintaining the system — which can be strained in the heat — falls to 5,000 management personnel. Read More: Queens Courier

Liu “Stunned” By Fraud Charges Against His Campaign Treasurer


| jlane@queenscourier.com


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

Knife terror aboard N train


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Knife terror aboard N train

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

 

‘Witness-tamper’ hit vs. Espada

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

 

Soaring Gas Prices Fuel Concerns Among City Drivers

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

 

Dolan’s mother meets Pope Benedict

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

 

Rivera’s early arrival could signal end of Yankees career

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

JetBlue sign ordeal

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

Gunman nails cop van, 7 officers escape


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Gunman nails cop van, 7 officers escape

A maniac opened fire on a marked NYPD van outside a gritty Bronx housing project just moments after the cops picked up two officers from foot patrol, The Post has learned. Seven cops in the van, including a sergeant, described the terrifying hail of gunfire as “pings” bouncing off the roof and sides of the van. Amazingly, none of the officers was struck. “They could have been killed,” said a law-enforcement source. “They’re lucky to be alive. It’s a cowardly act.” The bullets started flying at 3:35 a.m. on New Year’s Day outside the Millbrook Houses on East 137th Street in Mott Haven, law-enforcement sources said. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Man stabs 2, then tries to kill self in love-triangle attack in Bronx

A love triangle turned bloody in the Bronx Wednesday when a man stabbed a woman and her male companion and then turned the knife on himself, sources said. The 29-year-old attacker descended on the pair as they walked on Commonwealth Ave. near the Parkchester section about 9 a.m., sources said. After stabbing the man and woman, the assailant tried to kill himself with the knife, sources said. All three were taken to Jacobi Hospital, where the two men were in critical condition and the woman was in stable condition. Read More: Daily News

Mom visits funeral home, site of wake for kids and parents who died in Christmas day inferno

A grief-stricken Madonna Badger walked out of a Manhattan funeral home this morning where a private wake for her three daughters and parents who died in a tragic Christmas Day fire at her Connecticut home is set to be held. Two men accompanied the high-powered fashion advertising exec as she walked out of the Frank E. Campbell funeral home on the Upper East Side. Read More: New York Post

 


Bachmann suspends presidential campaign, Perry tweets he’s staying in race

Michele Bachmann announced Wednesday she was suspending her presidential campaign while Texas Gov. Rick Perry confirms he’s still running. Bachmann made the announcement following her poor showing in Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses, where she finished in sixth place with only five percent of the vote. Surrounded by family members, including her husband and parents, the Minnesota congresswoman told a press conference, “I will not be continuing” in the race but also vowed to “continue to fight to defeat the president’s agenda of socialism. Read More: New York Post

 

Mom amid the ruins

The live embers that sparked the Christmas Day inferno that killed three little girls were taken out of the fireplace because the children feared they’d injure Santa Claus, investigators revealed yesterday — hours after their grief-stricken mom made a somber return to the tragic scene. High-powered fashion advertising exec Madonna Badger — her face and head wrapped in a long scarf — returned for the first time Monday to the ruins of her $1.7 million Stamford, Conn., home to go through the few belongings not consumed in the blaze that killed her daughters, 10-year-old Lily and 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah. Read More: New York Post

 

Bullied teen’s suicide

A Staten Island teen who killed herself by stepping in front of a bus had been tormented for years by bullies and had just been dumped by her boyfriend, relatives said yesterday. Depressed and at the end of her emotional rope, Amanda Cummings, 15, went through with a suicide she had been threatening for years. The kids who made her life miserable were so vicious that they kept up the bullying via Facebook posts as she lay dying. An EMT who saw Amanda take her final step found a suicide note in her clothing that mentioned the boyfriend, saying she couldn’t go on without him. Read More: New York Post
Torre resigns from MLB to pursue Dodgers ownership

Former Yankees manager Joe Torre resigned Wednesday from his executive position within Major League Baseball in order to become part of a group that is looking to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers. Torre has served as MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations since February after retiring as manager of the Dodgers in 2010. In his role with MLB, Torre served as Selig’s primary liaison with all 30 teams, dealing with all baseball and on-field matters, the press release stated. “Joe has been an invaluable resource for me and all of us at Major League Baseball this year and has splendidly communicated with our on-field personnel, general managers and the umpires,” MLB Commissioner Bud Selig wrote. Read More: New York Post

 

Man who ‘killed’ wife took control of life-insurance payout for kids


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man who ‘killed’ wife took control of life-insurance payout for kids

The man being sued for allegedly murdering his Upper West Side wife surreptitiously took control of the $1.6 million life-insurance-policy payout she’d left behind for their two kids, The Post has learned. Rod Covlin, 39, filed papers in Westchester County Surrogate’s Court in April seeking to be named guardian of the cashed-in Aetna policy that Shele Danishefsky Covlin, a money manager, had left for Anna and Myles. “I am Anna’s father,” an affidavit reads. “I have her best interests at heart, and I am in the best position to determine her current and future needs.” Read More: New York Post

Man posed as a cop during sexual assault

The New York Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the individuals wanted in connection with a sexual assault and robbery. On Sunday, November 20 at approximately 10:30 p.m., one female victim was posting flyers when she was approached on the street by a burgundy-colored van or SUV with four individuals inside. One suspect — described as a Hispanic male — displayed a business card with a police logo, then told the victim it was illegal to post flyers and asked for her identification, according to police. Read More: Queens Courier

End of an era: Flushing’s Palace Diner closing

The faithful frequenters of Flushing’s Palace Diner will have to find a new haunt once the local landmark serves its last meal after more than three decades in the neighborhood. The diner, which sits along the Long Island Expressway on the corner of Main Street and Horace Harding Expressway and has been a neighborhood mainstay for 35 years, will close its doors for good on Friday, December 30. “Friday is going to be another very emotional day,” said owner George Mantzikos. Read More: Queens Courier

Office Cleaners Rally In Midtown As Strike Threat Remains

Contract negotiations will continue Thursday to try to prevent a strike of more than 20,000 office cleaners in the city, but rallying service employees in Midtown and their supporters pledged on Wednesday to strike if an agreement is not reached by the time the old contract expires. The Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, which represents building management, and Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ failed to resolve their differences over wages and benefits in the Sheraton Hotel on Wednesday. Read More: NY1

New State Law To Ban Minors From Local Hookah Bars

Steinway Street between 25th and 28th Avenue in Astoria is Queens’ so-called “Hookah Strip,” where people go to smoke “shisha,” or flavored tobacco, through a water pipe known as hookah. The industry is not well-regulated and the businesses are exempt from the state’s ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, so the owners often create their own rules when it comes to minors. Many places do not allow them inside, but some do. That is about to change under a new state law banning minors from these mostly Middle Eastern establishments that have become popular with other Americans. Read More: NY1

Western Queens parents group: we’ve got two overcrowded schools that need additions built  

A western Queens parents group plans to push the city to build additions at two overcrowded elementary schools where the the lack of space is so severe that students are studying in hallways or in a leaky modular unit. Community Education Council District 30 will present its concerns about Public School 11, in Woodside, and PS 2, in Jackson Heights, to the city on January 6 in its annual recommendations to the School Construction Authority. Read More: Daily News

Astoria realtor to shave off his signature mustache to raise money for autism support group

A respected Queens community leader is attempting to turn the mustache he’s sported for the last 35 years into some cold hard cash for an autism organization. Astoria realtor Paul Halvatzis, 52, of Flushing, is to have his beloved whiskers shaved off on Friday at the Redken Saloon Salon in Astoria in an attempt to raise $35,000 for Quality Services for the Autism Community. The group provides support services to autistic individuals and their families in New York City and Long Island. Read More: Daily News

Counterfeit Cash Smuggler at JFK

A Colombian woman was busted at JFK with nearly $300,000 of counterfeit U.S. currency in her luggage, federal officials said yesterday. Karol Andrea Chilito Solarte, 29, who flew here from Medellin, was arrested on December 15 after Customs and Border Protection officers spotted an unusual thickness at the bottom of her suitcase, a spokesman for the agency said. The oddly shaped suitcase sparked the suspicions of Customs officers — and a closer examination uncovered 46 packages of phony $100 bills totaling almost $300,000, the spokesman said. Read More: New York Post

Thugs out for Blue blood


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Thugs out for Blue blood

Two sharp-eyed Brooklyn cops yesterday thwarted a drug-and-cash heist by nine heavily armed robbers dead-set on blowing away any cops who showed up — just as in the drug-related home invasion that killed Officer Peter Figoski, The Post has learned. The robbery crew was targeting a heroin dealer in East New York — the same neighborhood that Figoski spent his career protecting. A thief shot him after robbing a pot dealer Dec. 12. “They had the heavy firepower in case the cops were called,” said a law-enforcement source. Read More: New York Post

 

Bodega worker slain

Masked thieves followed a Bronx bodega worker home and shot him dead — within earshot of his son — in what cops believe was a botched robbery attempt. Investigators said Anselmo Porras, 51, left his store at 2840 Briggs Ave. just before midnight Tuesday, and was shadowed by three would-be robbers. As Porras opened the door to his apartment on Marion Avenue in Bedford Park, a short distance from his store, one of the men pulled a gun and tried to force his way inside. Porras, who had 12 children, struggled and ran into the apartment, screaming to his son inside, according to law-enforcement sources. Read More: New York Post

 

Burned body in Pennsylvania identified as Brooklyn business owner

A 30-year-old Brooklyn cafe owner who mysteriously vanished on Halloween was identified by authorities yesterday as the man found shot to death and burned in the woods of eastern Pennsylvania on Nov. 1, the following morning. Joshua Rubin — whose body was only recently identified through DNA and dental tests — opened the Whisk Bakery Cafe on Newkirk Avenue a month before disappearing. A day or two after his body was found near Allentown, his credit card was used at the Woodbury Commons retail outlets in Orange County, NY, sources told The Post. Read More: New York Post

 

Wave of bombings across Iraqi capital kills 69

A wave of 16 bombings ripped across Baghdad Thursday, killing at least 69 people in the worst violence in Iraq for months. The apparently coordinated attacks struck days after the last American forces left the country and in the midst of a major government crisis between Shiite and Sunni politicians that has sent sectarian tensions soaring. The bombings may be linked more to the U.S. withdrawal than the political crisis, but all together, the developments heighten fears of a new round of Shiite-Sunni sectarian bloodshed like the one a few years back that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war. Read More: New York Post

 

Teacher’s exposure lesson

Former Bronx teacher Melissa Petro, who was forced to give up her teaching job after revealing she worked as a hooker and stripper, will pose for Penthouse’s February issue for a story charmingly titled, “Unrepentant Whore.” The ex-educator, who now makes a living writing about her sexy past, has mixed feelings about the pictures, in which she appears partly nude. The shoot, at New York S&M dungeon Pandora’s Box, involved Petro posing in the clichéd role of a sexy teacher. In a column for xoJane.com, she writes that the photographer’s “vision, as he explained it that day, was for the ‘hooker’ teacher to reclaim her power — to take the butt of the joke and turn it around. When the shoot was over, amidst my signing of releases galore — including a creepy moment when they made me take a picture holding up my ID — I felt a momentary panic. Read More: New York Post

Man shot in Queens while sitting in car, then drives it into house in Jamaica


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man shot in Queens while sitting in car, then drives it into house in Jamaica 

A 50-year-old man was shot while he was sitting in his car Monday and then drove it into a Queens house three blocks away, cops said. The man, whose name was not released, was in the driver’s seat of a Nissan Altima at 172nd St. and Hillside Ave. when he was blasted in the groin around 5:40 p.m., police and fire officials said. He then started driving and slammed the sedan into a house on a residential Jamaica street at the corner of 171st St. and 89th Ave. Read More: Daily News

 

Arrest made in attempted shooting of officers

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced the arrest of Antonio Olmeda, age 53 of  Manhattan, in the attempted shooting of two New York City police officers on December 2nd in Jackson Heights, Queens. “Our officers miraculously escaped injury when their assailant fired at extremely close range, narrowly missing them,” Commissioner Kelly said. “Olmeda’s arrest was bittersweet in that it came this morning as the family of Police Officer Peter Figoski prepared for his funeral.” Read More: Queens Courier

 

Suspect cleared amid cop’s lie

A Queens man was acquitted of gun charges yesterday — after prosecutors admitted they withheld evidence involving phony police testimony. Prosecutors told jurors that Deon Davis, 21, placed a loaded weapon on the ground in front of a cop, then escaped by squeezing through a fence, only to be nabbed a few blocks away. They didn’t say arresting Officer Ronald Martiny had admitted to the prosecution that his description of the alleged escape wasn’t true, that there was no fence. Not only did prosecutors fail to mention the “mistake” to the defense, but when Martiny took the stand, he repeated the lie. Read More: New York Post
Trash Can Tickets In Queens

A Queens man is very upset after trying to put his trash out for collection and ending up with a ticket. He, and others, are getting snared in an enforcement of a law that few people even know exists. The scrooge award goes to the New York City Sanitation Department for the $100 tickets. Read More: Fox News

Smart Move: Cornell University coming to Roosevelt Island

Just days after the upstate Ivy League school received a $350 million gift from an anonymous donor, Cornell University was selected as the winning bid to bring an applied science school to the city. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Cornell University President David Skorton and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology President Peretz Lavie announced a partnership on Monday, December 19 to build a two-million-square-foot applied science and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island as part of the Applied Sciences NYC initiative. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Francisco Signs Amazin’ $12 Million Deal

Pitching reliever Frank Francisco has signed a $12 million, two-year deal to play with the New York Mets. Francisco played 54 games with the Toronto Blue Jays last season with 17 saves on the mound. The 32-year-old right-hander has 368 strikeouts in his seven year career with Toronto and Texas. Read More: NY1

Queens Community Board Renews Push For High Line-Style Park

An effort is now under way to bring a park similar to Manhattan’s High Line to a stretch of the old Rockaway Beach Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. Read More: NY1

Queens judge’s landmark decision in Howard Beach case still reverberates today

Critics said this Queens judge was setting the Constitution back 200 years. One lawyer wondered if an infamous Nazi war criminal was on trial whether Jews would be allowed to sit in judgment. “If you were Adolf Eichmann, would you want a Jew on the jury?” lawyer Ronald Rubinstein observed. Little did they know that Justice Thomas Demakos — by insuring black participation on the Howard Beach jury — had a clear view of the future. Read More: Daily News

War in Iraq officially over


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

War in Iraq officially over

After nearly nine years, 4,500 American dead, 32,000 wounded and more than $800 billion, U.S. officials formally shut down the war in Iraq — a conflict that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said was worth the price in blood and money, as it set Iraq on a path to democracy. Panetta stepped off his military plane in Baghdad Thursday as the leader of America’s war in Iraq, but will leave as one of many top U.S. and global officials who hope to work with the struggling nation as it tries to find its new place in the Middle East and the broader world. Read More: Daily News

Figoski helped Brooklyn teen turn life around

Slain cop Peter Figoski had four daughters of his own and could not stand to see a young woman about their age take the wrong path. That woman, now 21, credits him with turning her life around. Velina Chaunce met Figoski when her mother, in desperation, called the 75th Precinct in gritty East New York to report her then-teenage daughter was acting out. Read More: New York Post

Scandals taking poll toll on Liu

Embattled city Comptroller John Liu is turning into a real Liu-ser with voters. A poll out today shows that Liu’s popularity has plummeted — following a torrent of negative publicity centering on a federal probe of his fund-raising operations and other shenanigans. Only 38 percent of voters now approve of the job Liu is doing, with 35 percent disapproving, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. His approval rating is down drastically from a Quinnipiac poll in May, when 57 percent approved of his job performance and 14 percent disapproved. Read More: New York Post

Uniting to help Woodside fire victims

The Woodside community has united to extinguish the needs of the 24 people whose lives were recently devastated by a fatal fire. Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer joined Pastor Daniel Gilland, representatives from the American Red Cross and members of the families displaced by the two-alarm blaze — which spawned in and destroyed the two-story house located at 40-38 61st Street before spreading and causing severe damage to two neighboring homes — to announce a benefit drive organized in support of the victims. Read More: Queens Courier

On Queens Block, Losing a Link to Louis Armstrong

Selma Heraldo lived the entirety of her 88 years in a white, two-story house on 107th Street in Corona, Queens, and her life may have been very different had she not gained new next-door neighbors in 1943 — Louis Armstrong and his wife, Lucille. Heraldo quickly became known as Louis Armstrong’s next-door neighbor, a good friend to the jazz great. After Armstrong died in 1971 and Lucille Armstrong died in 1983, and their house was transformed into the Louis Armstrong House Museum, Heraldo became the main local living link to the couple. But now that link is gone. Heraldo died on December 2 in her house, where she had lived alone for many years. Read More: New York Times

New York Community Trust grant helps find jobs for Far Rockaway residents

At least 60 Far Rockaway residents will land jobs throughout the city in 2012 thanks to a new grant aimed at giving a boost to the isolated neighborhood in southeast Queens. The New York Community Trust awarded a $40,000 grant this month to Ocean Bay Community Development Corp., a local group that partners with public housing residents in Far Rockaway with job initiatives. Read More: Daily News

Jet ‘drug’ rage

The cowardly thug busted for sucker-punching Jet fan James Mohr outside MetLife Stadium Sunday is a drug-dealing ex-con with a lengthy rap sheet, public records show. Merle Lee, 35, of Newton, NJ, was charged with aggravated assault for the attack outside the New Jersey Meadowlands stadium after the Jets’ 37-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday. The brute allegedly sucker-punched Mohr, 23, after the Queens schoolteacher objected to a woman screaming, “F–k New York!” and, “You all deserved what happened on 9/11!” Read More: New York Post

Malcolm X’s daughter locked up after she fails to pay Queens woman she swindled 

Malcolm X’s youngest daughter has been jailed for failing to make good on a promise to pay back the $55,000 she swindled from an elderly Queens woman. A Queens judge ordered Malikah Shabazz held Tuesday night after probation officials said she’d failed to make any of the monthly $1,229 restitution payments she agreed to as part of a plea deal. Shabazz ignored a judge’s order requiring her to live in New York while she serves out a five-year probation, court officials say. They say she’s apparently been living in St. Albans, Vt., above a bar that she’s looking to buy. She had $800 in her pocket when she was busted for the probation violation, a court official said. Read More: Daily News

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 10/12/2011 : Comptroller John C. Liu’s suspicious donations


| jlane@queenscourier.com

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Queens’ Morning Roundup – 10/12/2011

 

Suspicious donations for New York City comptroller John C. Liu

The New York Times reports that city comptroller, John C. Liu’s campaign donators seem to be nonexistent. Liu, who boasted about receiving $1 million dollars in financing in donations, seemed to be shocked when informed that a majority of the donations came from people or businesses that didn’t exist, and some that did exist said they never donated money. Liu promises that an investigation will occur to find out what happend. Read More: New York Times

 

Long Island man gets 35 years to life for Elmhurst nightclub stabbing

John Lundi, 26, of West Babylon was sentenced yesterday to 35 years to life for stabbing a man to death outside of the Krystal Club in 2008. The victim Christopher Cotto was stabbed and beaten for standing up to Lundi, following an inappropriate comment made towards the victims girlfriend. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Police searching for attempted rape suspect

The police released a sketch of a suspect who assaulted a woman Sunday in Springfield Gardens. The victim was pushed to the ground, punched in the face, and attempted to rape her until a neighbor chased the suspect away. See the sketch and read more: CBS News

 

MTA (Moronic Transportation Activity)

A youtube video has been released of a daredevil who “surfed” a Jamaica bound J train, by hanging onto the outside of the door. It is astounding what lengths people will go to for attention. There are enough delays on the subway already, without this type of nonsense. Watch the video:  Youtube  Read the story: Daily News

 

 

Barbara Sheehan’s lawyers plan appeal

The chapter of the Barbara Sheehan murder trial is complete, but the story’s conclusion has yet to be written. Sheehan although found not guilty of the murder of her husband was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, which may land her in jail. The defense team for Sheehan vows to appeal the charge and clear her name fully. Read More: Queens Courier