Tag Archives: snow

Alleged Queens gang members indicted on charges of conspiring to commit murder, robbery


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens district attorney's office

Thirty-one reputed southeast Queens gang members have been indicted on charges of conspiring to murder two people and conspiring to commit robberies in order to bail out an alleged teenage gang leader, officials said.

The men, who range in age from 15 to 22, are alleged to be members of three street gangs knows as SNOW, Loyalty Over Everything and Young Bosses, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Under the first indictment, 17 of the alleged members are being charged for conspiring to kill two supposed members of a rival gang in retaliation for the fatal shooting of a SNOW gang member, Brown said.

In the second indictment, 16 people were charged with conspiring to commit robberies, after alleged leader of the SNOW gang leader, 17-year-old Daquan Monroe, allegedly ordered them to do so in order to raise money to bail him out of Rikers Island, officials said.

“These indictments are another example of police and prosecutors working together to eliminate gang violence that too often plagues our neighborhood and strikes at the heart of a unified and criminally active group of young people who threaten the lives and safety of innocent bystanders,” Brown said.

On Tuesday, 20 of the men in custody were arraigned in the Queens Supreme Court and 11 of the other alleged members are currently being sought.

Out of the 17 charged on the first indictment, 16 are being charged with conspiracy and face up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted. The remaining defendant is a juvenile and faces up to ten years in prison if convicted.

In the conspiracy to commit robberies, if convicted, two men face up to 25 years in prison, four men face up to seven years and the remaining 10 face up to four years.

“The arrest and indictments of these SNOW gang members and their affiliates send a clear message that the New York City Police Department, along with our partners from the Queens District Attorney’s Office, will continue to rid our communities of gang activity and gun violence,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Monday: A good deal of sunshine. High near 35. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: A few passing clouds, otherwise generally clear. Low 28. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: York College Celebrates 75 Years of Blue Note Records

On Monday at 6 p.m., the York College Cultural Diversity Center and the Male Initiative Program will host “The Blue Note Sound: Celebrating 75 Years of Blue Note Records.” The celebration will pay tribute to Blue Note Records’ contribution to jazz. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Spring nor’easter to dump more snow on tri-state

The tri-state is expected to get more snow this week as a nor’easter delivers a glancing blow Tuesday night, forecasters say, but the area should be spared from the worst of the wintry spring storm. Read more: NBC New York

3 people shot at Queensbridge housing projects in Long Island City; cops searching for shooter

Two men and a woman were shot in a Queens housing project Sunday. Read more: New York Daily News

De Blasio on charter school students: ‘we need them to succeed’

Just weeks after moving to prevent their expansion, Mayor Bill de Blasio has offered an olive branch to the charter school movement. Read more: CBS New York

NYPD to train cabbies in new sergeant-taxi driver partnership

NYPD sergeants will be training city cabdrivers on how to protect themselves against violent passengers and farebeaters, as well as teach them methods for handling high-stress situations that could lead to road rage and accidents. Read more: New York Post

Giuliani: de Blasio taking city ‘in the wrong direction’

Rudy Giuliani sounded off on Mayor de Blasio Sunday, saying his successor is moving the city “in the wrong direction.” Read more: New York Post

More snow on the way for Sunday


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Updated 5:00 p.m.

 

Ol’ man winter isn’t done just yet.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast snow from 2 to 4 inches, starting from this evening and continuing through Monday as temperatures drop to the 20s.

The NWS warned that the snow will bring hazardous travel due to reduced visibility and slippery roads, “especially during the Monday morning commute.”

The Department of Transportation suspended alternate side parking for Monday to help with snow removal. However, parking meters remain in effect.

In preparation for inclement weather, the city’s Department of Sanitation has issued a “snow alert,” starting at 11 a.m. The agency said its plows and spreaders will be ready.

To track the progress of DSNY clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

 

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Cops help elderly Flushing couple dig car out of ice and snow


| mchan@queenscourier.com

PHOTO COURTESY NYPD

The last big snowfall to bury the city uncovered the best in two local cops.

Police Officers Adrienne Galvani and Cory Smith of the 109th Precinct took a brief detour from their anti-crime patrol, shortly after the Feb. 13 snowstorm, to help an elderly Flushing couple dig their buried car out of a thick sheet of ice.

“We pictured our grandparents in that situation,” Galvani said. “As soon as we saw them, we knew we had to stop and help them.”

Arnold Lederer, 98, and his wife Theresa, 86, had set aside the full day to dig out their 1997 Oldsmobile Intrigue in order to pick up an important prescription at their local pharmacy.

“There was a big pile of snow behind it and a big pile in front,” Theresa said. “It was quite deep and it was already icy. We were planning to take little breathers every few minutes.”

The officers took the shovels from their hands and told them to keep warm inside.

For 35 minutes, they chipped away at the ice, even breaking an ice pick in the process, said the longtime Queens couple who lives on Willets Point Blvd.

With Galvani steering the wheel and Smith pushing from behind, the pair even loosened the car out of its street parking spot and checked up with the Lederers the next day.

“It was the right thing to do,” said Galvani, who has been with the precinct for nearly 11 years. “They would have never gotten that car out.”

The Lederers are still in shock over the act of kindness.

“We were absolutely overwhelmed by their generosity and the time that they spent,” Theresa said. “They wouldn’t even accept a cup of coffee.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Light snow this morning giving way to partly cloudy conditions this afternoon. High near 30. Winds WNW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 50%. Snow accumulations less than one inch. Wednesday night: Clear skies. Low around 15. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Mid-Winter Taste for City Harvest

This food tasting event at  Resorts World Casino showcases over 30 food purveyors, and all proceeds will benefit City Harvest. Entry at 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NY Assembly passes Dream Act providing tuition aid

New York’s Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that would open state tuition assistance programs to students in the country illegally, and now the measure moves to an uncertain future in the Senate. Read more: AP

NYC Council follows mayor’s Lead, steps away from St. Patrick’s Parade

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said the council won’t have an official presence at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade because of rules that prevent gay and lesbian groups from identifying themselves while marching. Read more: CBS New York/AP

New Yorkers favor letting cities boost local minimum wage

A new statewide poll shows a large majority of New Yorkers support giving municipalities authority to raise the minimum wage locally, something Gov. Cuomo opposes. Read more: New York Post

NY Assembly contracts for $210K outside counsel on sexual harassment policy

The state Assembly has entered into two contracts worth $210,000 for an outside counsel to handle sexual harassment policy development and investigations after a high-profile scandal. Read more: NBC New York

Snow likely every day for the next 3 days, then again on the weekend

Snow is likely to fall every day for the next three days as arctic air settles over the tri-state region, where it will stick around through the weekend. Read more: NBC New York

 

NYC business owner offers to dig out your car for free


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

This season’s snow has left New Yorkers with plenty of winter woes, but one local businessman wants to help ease one.

Bill Lerner, owner of garage firm iPark, is offering to dig motorists parked within a five block radius of any of his 125 parking garages out of the snow for free.

If a driver’s car is stuck, call 917-209-2105 and someone will be dispatched to help.

“We just want to be a good neighbor to everybody in the community,” Lerner said. “I think we all need to help each other out.”

Following one of the recent storms, Lerner was walking around Manhattan, where he lives, and noticed all the cars locked in the “frozen tundra” of ice and snow.

Lerner then realized he had hundreds of men at his disposable who could lend a hand.

During the morning and evening commutes, from 7 to 10 a.m., and 4 to 7 p.m., his garage workers are busy. But in between those hours they have time to grab a shovel and start digging, he thought.

Shoveling out a car is strenuous work, he said, but many of his employees are young and physically fit.

In Queens, there are five iPark garages in Rego Park and Forest Hills, located at 105-25 Gerard Pl., 110-45 Queens Blvd., 98-10 64th St., 98-33 63rd Dr. and 62-60 99th St..

There are also garages throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. For their locations, click here.

It’s best to call between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Lerner said, when his men are likely to be available.

The offer is good “until the snow melts.”

He hopes next year’s winter will not be as bad as this one. But, Lerner said if it is, he is “going to pitch in and help the community” again.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Fog and drizzle early…then rain. High 51. Winds SSE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Friday night: Cloudy with light rain early…then becoming partly cloudy. Low 33. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Council on the Arts presents “A Night with Dancers”

Queens Council on the Arts’ 3rd Space is proud to present an evening with Queens-based dancers and choreographers Monica Hogan, Hazel Lever and Selma Treviño who will be performing works-in-progress. Artists and the culturally curious are invited to participate in an evening of movement and discussion, to help workshop works in progress and gain unique insight into the artistic process. Dancers are especially encouraged to join us for a unique networking and community building opportunity. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

De Blasio caravan seen speeding, running stop signs: report

A vehicle carrying Mayor Bill de Blasio was allegedly caught speeding and breaking other traffic laws just two days after he unveiled his plan to prevent reckless driving. Read more: The Queens Courier

NY regulators approve Con Edison rate freeze

New York utility regulators have approved freezes on electricity, natural gas and steam delivery rates for Con Edison customers. Read more: NBC New York

NY lawmaker: Parents should take parenting classes

New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz Jr. introduced a bill that would require parents of elementary school children to attend a minimum of four parent support classes. If parents don’t go, 6th graders won’t move onto 7th grade. Read more: Fox New York

After brief we warmup, winter to tighten grip with return of polar vortex

A brief warmup to the 50s over the next few days will be followed by another return of the polar vortex to the tri-state area and a chance of snow next week. Read more: NBC New York

CDC: More young people getting the flu than in any other age group

Flu season started early and strong this year, and on Thursday a new report revealed it’s hitting a different group of people especially hard. Read more: CBS New York

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Cloudy with rain and snow this morning becoming foggy with light rain for the afternoon. High near 40. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Snow accumulations less than one inch. Tuesday night: A few passing clouds. Low 29. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: NYC Compost Project hosted by Queens Botanical Garden: I Heart Worms for Families

Did you know that worms have five pairs of hearts? This unique hands-on workshop introduces kids (ages 5 and up, accompanied by an adult) to the life of indoor composting (red wiggler) worms! Make heart-shaped compost cookies for your plants; be prepared to get your hands dirty! Registration required—compost@queensbotanical.org. Starts at 3 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

New York vows to remove registered sex offenders from housing near schools

The State of New York has vowed to fix a troubling issue. Convicted pedophiles have been housed near city schools in violation of a state law. Read more: CBS New York

Trash, ice line New York City streets as snow falls

New York City has suspended alternate-side parking through the weekend due to solid ice and uncollected trash that line the streets, all while nuisance snow falls across the region Tuesday. Read more: ABC New York

New York City teachers union president proclaims back pay is ‘a big issue’

The head of New York City’s teachers union made it clear Monday for the first time that he was pushing the city for back pay for his nearly 100,000 members. Read more: New York Daily News 

Passengers trapped on tarmac after fuel truck hits police cruiser at LaGuardia

Hundreds of passengers were reportedly trapped on the tarmac at LaGuardia Airport on Monday night. Read more: CBS New York

Bratton was kept in dark the night de Blasio’s buddy was sprung

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was kept in the dark when Mayor de Blasio made a late-night call to an NYPD honcho on behalf of a political ally who’d been busted, sources told The Post. Read more: New York Post

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Sunny. High 31. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: Cloudy with light snow developing after midnight. Low 23 with temps rising to near freezing. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Engineering Week Kickoff at New York Hall of Science

Opening day features activities and tables run by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Each day covers different engineering concepts- from nano to mechanical, accompanied by activities and challenges to put those ideas into practice. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NY State suspends driver’s license of 7,850 tax deadbeats

Gov. Cuomo is taking the car keys away from tax deadbeats. Read more: New York Post

Even more snow headed to tri-state Tuesday

Yet another winter storm is set to push over the tri-state Tuesday and could add 2 to 3 more inches to what is already the third-snowiest February ever recorded in New York City, forecasters say. Read more: NBC New York

Abortion rate plummets in New York City

Fewer New York City women are having abortions now than at any time since the procedure became legal in the state in 1970. Read more: New York Post

Straphangers cast blame on MTA for sleeping workers

MTA, we have a problem. Read more: CBS New York

Cuomo announces college degree programs for NY Prisoners

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing to provide college classes in New York prisons, saying a college degree will reduce the likelihood an inmate will return to a life of crime when released. Read more: NBC New York

NYC recovers from another storm; more snow in forecast


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Victor G. Mimoni

Updated 6:50 p.m.

The borough was once again buried in almost a foot of snow after the sixth storm of the season struck the city Thursday, and even more flakes could fall this weekend.

Snowfall totals around Queens varied, but Bayside reported as much as 11.8 inches, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

For the second day in a row, residents faced a less-than-perfect morning commute with a hazardous travel advisory still in effect through Friday morning.

The MTA said service should be close to normal on subways, buses and Long Island Rail Road for the evening commute.

The situation for commuters Friday was much better than yesterday morning when heavy snow coated the roads.

Despite those dangerous conditions the city’s public schools were open Thursday.

Parents, students, teachers and even famed weatherman Al Roker blasted Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to keep the schools open.

De Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, however, defended the move.

“Based on our knowledge, we were convinced kids could get to schools this morning,” de Blasio said Thursday. “So many families depend on their schools as a place for their kids to be during the day.”

The total attendance at city schools was only 44.65 percent yesterday, according to a preliminary report from the Department of Education (DOE) released Thursday afternoon.

Public schools were again open Friday and all field trips, after-school programs and PSAL activities are operating normally, the DOE said.

“We understand that weather conditions may be challenging for families. As always, parents should exercise their own judgment with regard to their children. Safety is a top priority for the Department, and we make these decisions only after careful consideration. We want to thank parents, students, and educators for your cooperation during this very difficult winter,” Fariña said.

Alternate side parking regulations, and garbage and recycling pick-up are suspended through Saturday.

The Department of Sanitation will likely be spending the weekend clearing snow off the streets.

The city agency has issued a “snow alert” starting at 8 a.m. Saturday.

About 2 to 4 inches of snow could fall during the day tomorrow, starting in the early morning, according to NWS.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Partly cloudy. High around 40. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph. Friday Night: Partly cloudy early followed by cloudy skies overnight. Low 28F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Twelfth Night

Aquila Theatre’s superb cast presents Shakespeare’s timeless comedy with never-before-seen innovation, theatricality and modernity. Feb. 14- Feb 16 at Queens Theatre. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Winter storm wallops tri-state with double punch of snow

A nor’easter swirled over the tri-state and delivered a double punch of snow over a 30-hour period that topped 14 inches in parts of the area by the time it moved out Friday morning. Read more: NBC New York

Mayor de Blasio defends calling police following political supporter’s arrest

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is on the defense following a call he placed to the New York Police Department to inquire about the arrest of one of his political supporters. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Comcast buys Time Warner Cable for $45 billion

Comcast said Thursday it had agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion in a deal that would combine the two biggest cable companies in the United States. Read more: CNN

American Dental Association: Brush with fluoride toothpaste before age 2

New guidelines from the American Dental Association say children should begin using toothpaste with fluoride as soon as they get their first tooth. Read more: CBS New York

Student’s Facebook page mocks NYC schools chief, goes viral

A Facebook page blasting schools Chancellor Carmen Farina’s call to send kids to class in a raging Nor’easter went viral Thursday – and made the 15-year-old Staten Island student who launched it an instant hero with peers, teachers and parents. Read more: New York Post

Decision to keep NYC public schools open despite snow creates more controversy


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Updated 4:30 p.m. 

Parents of public school students are telling city officials, they failed.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced Wednesday night that the Department of Education will keep all public schools open Thursday, despite the forecast of 8 to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow.

The total attendance at city schools was only 44.65 percent, according to a preliminary report from the DOE released Thursday afternoon.

Although, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the snow came down “heavier and faster” than what was predicted by the National Weather Service, he said the right decision was made.

“Based on our knowledge, we were convinced kids could get to schools this morning,” de Blasio said. “So many families depend on their schools as a place for their kids to be during the day.”

Schools have been canceled only a total of 11 times since 1978, according to de Blasio.

“It’s a rarity and it’s something we do not do lightly,” he said.

Both the mayor and schools chancellor said they want to open up communication so parents understand the thinking that goes into making the decision to keep schools open.

“It’s our obligation to run a school system,” he said. “Given what we knew, we knew our children could get to school safely.”

Yet, even as Fariña said it had turned into a “beautiful day” after the morning snow, parents were outraged with the idea that their children’s lives were put in danger.

“I decided to not send my kids to school because it is too dangerous out there. The roads, at least by me are bad, buses are getting stuck and I don’t want to risk it,” said Michelle Rojas, mother of two from Flushing. “[City officials] are not thinking. They can make the days up.”

Sara Alvarez, mother of three, said she learned her lesson from the last snowstorm and did not want to go through the “chaos” once again.

“One day less of class doesn’t matter, what’s most important is the security of our children,” she said. “The last snowstorm was chaos and can you imagine when it comes to dismissal? It’ll be a whole other chaos.”

One local school bus operator, who wished to remain anonymous, said that although all her “dedicated” workers made it in and every bus went out on its route to pick up students, she is still concerned about the conditions on the road.

“I am livid. This is a very dangerous storm,” she said. “I am very concerned about school buses driving in this condition. I will not be happy until all the buses come back today.”

Fariña said students and staff would have excused lateness during such snow emergencies, but absences would still not be excused.

“I understand the desire to keep schools open. The only thing that trumps that is safety,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers. “Having students, parents and staff traveling in these conditions was unwarranted. It was a mistake to open schools today.”

Field trips, after-school programs and PSAL activities, however, are all cancelled today.

 

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PHOTOS: Feb. 13 winter storm


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Victor G. Mimoni

A snowstorm that first hit overnight created a messy commute Thursday morning as New Yorkers dealt with more ugly winter weather.

Here’s a look, through photos, of conditions in Queens.

If you want The Queens Courier to include your snow photos in our gallery, let us know by tweeting them to@queenscourier or by posting them on our Facebook page.

 

Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomes city to 2014 winter storm number six


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

Updated 9:15 p.m.

A state of emergency has been declared as the Nor’Easter storm targets the five boroughs.

“Welcome to winter storm number six of the last six weeks,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

De Blasio said the snow has come down “heavier and faster than the weather service had predicted last night.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Thursday morning “so that we can continue to effectively respond to the storm and aid communities in need.”

Cuomo said the state is adequately prepared with salt supplies, and said snow is expected to fall throughout the day at two to three inches per hour.

Ten to 14 inches are expected by tonight, de Blasio said, but could be affected by a mix of freezing rain and sleet.

The mayor continued to urge drivers to stay off the road, and said mass transit is the best option.

For the Friday morning rush hour, the MTA expects to run normal subway service, but some express service may run local because of track conditions, the transit agency said. Buses should run at 80 percent capacity.

The Long Island Rail Road plans to operate at 90 percent of its normal weekday schedule, and is canceling 14 morning rush hour trains.

The Department of Sanitation pre-treated roads and began salting roadways at 3 a.m. Thursday morning. “Extra efforts” were made to address tertiary roads as well, de Blasio said.

To track plowing progress, click here.

Alternate side parking regulations and garbage and recycling pick-up is suspended through Saturday. De Blasio said trash pick-up won’t be “in earnest” until Tuesday.

To check the city’s progress or sign up for regular alerts, click here.

With additional reporting by Cristabelle Tumola

 

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NYC public schools will be open Thursday


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File Photo

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña has announced the Department of Education will keep all public schools open Thursday, as the Big Apple expects another round of snow.

All school field trips will be canceled Fariña said Wednesday night. Families with busing questions are asked to call 718-392-8855.

As always, parents should exercise their own judgment with regard to their children, the schools chancellor said in a statement. “Safety is a top priority for the department.”

Public schools have only closed once on Jan. 3, during the year’s first major snowstorm. They were kept open during the Jan. 22 storm which left the city with almost a foot of snow. Schools were also kept opened during a Feb. 5 storm that brought icy conditions.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasted 8 to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow through Friday morning. A Winter Storm Warning will be in effect from midnight tonight until 6 a.m. Friday.

Wednesday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed state agencies to prepare for the impending Nor’easter winter storm.

Snow will develop around 3 a.m., and continue throughout the day before tapering off about 24 hours later. During the day, with temperatures hovering around the mid-30s, there will be a mixture of snow, sleet and rain, according to the NWS.

 

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