Tag Archives: student

Queens teacher charged with molesting three additional students


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Three more accusations have been levied against a former Queens teacher accused of molesting two boys earlier this year.

Wilbert Cortez, 49, was charged in February with sexually abusing two young boys on multiple occasions at P.S. 174 in Rego Park. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced yesterday that Cortez has been charged with molesting three other male students between 2007 and 2011.

“These are serious accusations in which a school teacher — who should serve as a role model to students — is instead accused of using his position to gain access to children for his own gratification,” Brown said. “Schools should be safe havens where students are protected from harm.”

Cortez was a computer teacher before being removed from the classroom.

A city investigation in 2000 found that Cortez had shown “a pattern of inappropriate conduct” at a school in Brooklyn. The report concluded that the teacher slapped two students on the buttocks on several occasion. A letter of discipline was placed in Cortez’s file — however, six months later he was transferred to P.S. 174.

Cortez was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to the district attorney’s office. He is due in court on June 11.

—Additional reporting by Steve Mosco

Stupendous student scores scholarship


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

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Stellar scholar Sarah Gafur snagged an award from the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing competition – the country’s longest-running and most prestigious academic scholarship program for those who excel in the visual and literary arts.

Gafur, an eighth grader at P.S. 232 in Howard Beach, won a $6,000 scholarship to attend a three-week program at Wellesley College this summer, specialized for gifted students seeking a collegiate experience early in their academic careers. She is one of eight students throughout New York City who was chosen for this educational honor.

Since the program’s start in 1923, over nine million students have received recognition for their artistic achievements, sharing in more than $25 million in scholarships. Many distinguished members of the creative world were recipients of this award including Andy Warhol, Robert Redford, Richard Avedon, Zac Posen, Sylvia Plath and John Lithgow.

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Jets get Tebow from Broncos for two late draft picks

The Post has confirmed the Jets will send a fourth-round and sixth-round pick to Denver in exchange for the quarterback and a seventh-round pick. The move comes a day after the Broncos signed Peyton Manning to a five-year deal, making Tebow expendable in Denver. And it comes over a week after the Jets signed starting quarterback Mark Sanchez to a three-year contract extension, and signed Drew Stanton to backup Sanchez. Read More: New York Post

 

Two bandits hold up Brooklyn bodega at gunpoint

Two bandits held up a Brooklyn grocery store during a terrifying gunpoint robbery this morning. The crooks stormed into Monumental Grocery store on Flatbush Avenue at 8:30 a.m. shocking a group of customers stuck inside, according to the owner Erasmos Perez, 55, who spoke to an employee manning the register when the mayhem unfolded. Read More: New York Post

 

Republican Holds Lead In Brooklyn State Senate Race

A special election for a State Senate seat in Brooklyn remains too close to call. Democratic City Councilman Lew Fidler and Republican lawyer David Storobin are vying for the seat in the 27th State Senate District. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Storobin leads by 120 votes. Nearly 2,100 absentee ballots were issued and have yet to be counted. The seat used to be held by Carl Kruger, who resigned in December after pleading guilty to corruption charges in connection with a bribery scheme. Read More: NY1

 

Occupy Wall Street protesters rush back in when Union Square Park reopens in morning

Occupy Wall Street protesters reclaimed a space in Union Square at dawn Wednesday, minutes after police reopened the park to the public for the day. Cops erected temporary barriers around the plaza near the south entrance to the park at nightfall, pushing the demonstrators out of the area to prevent them setting up camp. Read More: Daily News

 

Student busted for assaulting dean at Brooklyn high school

A student was arrested after assaulting a faculty member at a Brooklyn high school this morning, school officials said. The 17-year-old boy got into a heated dispute with Edmund Ludde, the dean at William H. Maxwell High School, as he was getting scanned at the school’s security checkpoint at 9:20 a.m., officials said. Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD and FBI tussle over turf, with consequences for terror cases as police expand role: report 

In the fall of 2010, the FBI and New York Police Department were working together on a terrorism investigation on Long Island. The cyber case had been open for more than a year at the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn. So, the Justice Department was surprised when, without notice, the NYPD went to federal prosecutors in Manhattan and asked them to approve a search warrant in the case. Read More: Daily News

 

The Situation realized alcohol intake out of control while filming ‘Jersey Shore’: report

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino hit rock bottom while filming the most recent season of reality hit “Jersey Shore,” reports say. With Sorrentino reported to have checked into rehab, sources tell TMZ that the hard-partying star’s substance abuse issues were progressively “getting worse” throughout the filming of season five of the series, which recently aired on MTV. Read More: New York Post

Flushing Teacher Removed From Classroom Following Alleged Assault On Student


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Flushing Teacher Removed From Classroom Following Alleged Assault On Student

A Queens teacher is under arrest and accused of abusing a six-year-old girl. Grace Peterson-Hagendorf, 59, is charged with assault following an incident at P.S. 22 in Flushing. According to sources, she is accused of twisting the student’s neck causing pain and swelling. The Department of Education says Hagendorf is a retired teacher who works as a substitute. She has been removed from the classroom pending the outcome of the case. Read More: NY1

 

Simmons’ $5M salary, ‘antics’ led to WNBC ditching her: sources

There were 5 million reasons to oust Sue Simmons — and they were all in her paycheck. WNBC/Channel 4 refused to renew the nightly news anchor’s contract because she makes a whopping $5 million annual salary — which her bosses feel is absurdly overinflated — and she’s lost interest in her job, top network sources told The Post. “It is a lot of money, and many people have been under the impression that Sue had been phoning it in for a while,” a station source revealed. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Church creeper’ Joseph Azzurro has 40 busts to name

Queens’ Holy Child Jesus Church is open to everyone — except Joseph Azzurro, who seems to think 10 Commandments is one too many. The 56-year-old Bronx ex-con is what cops call a “church creeper” — he’s been arrested 40 times and done three prison stretches in his unholy career for swiping cash from the poor box in Catholic churches. Read More: Daily News

 

Cashman ‘blackmailer’ not a ‘Fatal Attraction’-like stalker: lawyer

The busty Brit who dragged Yankee general manager Brian Cashman into a sex-and-shakedown scandal isn’t the “Fatal Attraction”-like stalker Manhattan prosecutors have made her out to be, her new lawyer said yesterday. “Go back to Glenn Close in that movie where she’s boiling the kid’s pet, the rabbit, and she goes off the deep end,” defense lawyer Rory Bellantoni said. “There are no allegations of that here.” Read More: New York Post

 

Ex-Port Authority union chief throws a fit when sentenced to 21 months in prison

The 400-pound ex-Port Authority union boss convicted of ripping off his members to feed a hooker craving threw a big, fat tantrum after a judge sentenced him to 21 months in prison. “You suck!” Daniel Hughes bellowed Wednesday at prosecutors and PA investigators in Brooklyn Federal Court. “You piece of s—!” The disgraced labor boss blubbered about his family when U.S. marshals approached to take him into custody. Read More: Daily News

ESPN fallout over crack about Lin


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

ESPN fallout over crack about Lin

ESPN yesterday called an offensive foul on two employees for using a racist term in a headline and story about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin. A headline writer, whose name was not released, was fired, while anchor Max Bretos was benched for 30 days. The out-of-bounds phrase — “chink in the armor” — referred to Chinese-American Lin’s struggles Friday in the Knicks’ first loss since he made a splash. It appeared as a headline on ESPN’s mobile site Saturday. Read More: New York Post

 

NYC’s Allen Christian School is closing

The well-regarded Allen Christian School is closing after nearly 30 years because of financial difficulties. The announcement was made Tuesday by the Rev. Floyd Flake, who said the decision brought him “great sadness.” The politically influential Queens pastor and former congressman founded the school with his wife, the Rev. Elaine Flake. Public Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said his four children have “fond memories of attending Allen Christian.” Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Knicks talking title after Lin leads them to win over Mavericks

After Jeremy Lin’s nationally televised theatrics were over, after the point guard’s international stardom had reached yet another level, after Jason Kidd said Lin indeed looks like Steve Nash in Phoenix, Tyson Chandler soaked it all in and declared what may have become obvious by now: Lin’s Knicks are a genuine contender for a championship this season. Chandler should know best, having helped the Mavericks to a title eight months ago. Chandler faced Dallas during the Knicks’ 104-97 victory in yesterday’s thrilling Garden matinee, and said he feels his new club is championship-caliber with Lin’s fairy tale, J.R. Smith’s arrival and Carmelo Anthony’s grand return to Linsanity scheduled tonight against the Nets. Read More: New York Post

 

Spit hits fan in teach spat

A veteran Queens math teacher was yanked from the classroom yesterday after a cellphone video posted online showed an apparent confrontation with a student. Department of Education officials said they are investigating 19-year veteran David Pecoraro, a vocal union leader at Beach Channel HS in Far Rockaway, on allegations of corporal punishment. An 80-second video posted on YouTube last week captures the alleged incident but doesn’t provide a clear answer on what the teacher did. Read More: New York Post

Whitney Houston’s dress, ‘Bodyguard’ earrings up for auction

A black velvet dress that belonged to Whitney Houston and a pair of earrings she wore in “The Bodyguard” will be sold to the highest bidder next month. Celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien said Sunday the pieces and other Houston items became available after the singer’s unexpected death on Feb. 11 and will be included among a long-planned sale of Hollywood memorabilia such as Charlie Chaplin’s cane, Clark Gable’s jacket from “Gone With the Wind” and Charlton Heston’s staff from “The Ten Commandments.” Read More: New York Post

 

Transit Officers Catch Alleged Subway Pickpocket In The Act

Two transit offers were on the right train at the right time on Saturday and ended up catching an alleged pickpocket in action. Police say the officers were patrolling a Queens-bound E train early Saturday morning in Manhattan, when 50-year old Manuel Alduey got on an adjoining car at West 4th Street and sat next to a sleeping passenger. Investigators say the officers saw Alduey take the sleeping victim’s wallet and iPhone before getting off at West 23rd Street. The officers followed and arrested Alduey. Alduey is being charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Read More: NY1

 

Memorial Service For Mets’ Gary Carter To Be Held In Florida

A private memorial service will be held this Friday in Florida for former New York Mets catcher Gary Carter. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be made to the Gary Carter Foundation. Carter, known as “The Kid,” died on Thursday at age 57 after a battle with brain cancer. The Hall of Fame catcher was traded to New York from Montreal in 1985 and spent five seasons in Queens. Carter was a major element of the Mets’ 1986 World Series championship team. Read More: NY1