Tag Archives: train

Train that hit truck in Maspeth was speeding: investigators

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Anthony Giudice

The locomotive that crashed into a tractor-trailer at a Maspeth intersection on July 8 was traveling above the speed limit, and the man behind the switch could face disciplinary action, authorities reported.

The early-morning accident at the six-track railroad crossing on Maspeth Avenue near Rust Street caused the truck to burst into flames. The driver managed to escape with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Sources familiar with the investigation told The Courier on Tuesday that the train was moving at a minimum of 20 mph; the railroad speed limit for the area is 15 mph. Reportedly, the engineer operating the train is now facing disciplinary action.

Video of the accident obtained by The Courier shows the railroad crossing gates on Maspeth Avenue activated only at the moment of impact. A source familiar with the situation said the train’s faster speed may have delayed the gate’s activation.

But a union official, in a WABC-TV report on Tuesday, claimed one part of the gate “never comes down normally.”

New York and Atlantic Railway (NYA) President Paul Victor disagreed with notions that the gate malfunctioned, but conceded the Maspeth Avenue crossing’s design is flawed and requires improvement. The NYA reportedly asked the state Transportation Department to evaluate the signal system and the crossing’s logistics.

“Given the accident and the understanding that there have been other incidents there, it certainly makes logical sense to do an engineering evaluation of that crossing,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s a heavily trafficked route with lots of trucks and commercial traffic that goes back and forth. It’s a very unusual crossing.”

The crossing is part of the Long Island Rail Road’s Montauk branch extension, which is leased exclusively to NYA west of Jamaica for its freight rail operations. Wednesday’s accident raised concerns among local residents regarding the safety at other at-grade railroad crossings along the line, such as the one on 88th Street in Glendale.

According to Community Board 5 Chairperson Vincent Arcuri, the rail switches activating the crossing gates at 88th Street are dependent upon train speed. When passenger trains operated on the Montauk branch west of Jamaica, the switches were located 300 feet away from the crossing because the trains moved at 40 mph.

With the line exclusively used for freight rail and all trains limited to 15 mph, the switches were relocated to within 10 to 20 feet of the crossing, he noted. Freight train operators were also instructed to slow down when coming to a crossing, then send a crew member out to check that the crossing gates were activated before proceeding.

This change, Arcuri said, makes drivers and pedestrians at the 88th Street crossing especially “nervous,” as they can see the train very close to the crossing well before the gates are activated.

“The LIRR decided when they stopped the two passenger train runs to abandon the passenger line and turn it over [to NYA] as a freight line so they didn’t have to upgrade the signal system,” he added. The board has requested that the LIRR move the signal switch further back at 88th Street and other local at-grade crossings for safety’s sake.

Arcuri, however, claimed the freight signal system in place on the Montauk line is similar to that used on the Bushwick branch of the LIRR — which links up to the Montauk line — and other freight rail systems across the U.S. for generations.


Video shows fiery Maspeth train-truck collision and apparently slow crossing gate

| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

Video courtesy of Filco Carting Corp.

Updated July 10, 4:45 p.m.


Footage from a garbage truck’s dashboard camera depicts Wednesday’s fiery collision between a train and tractor-trailer in Maspeth early that morning — as well as an apparently slow railroad crossing gate.

The video was shot from a Filco Carting rig traveling westbound on Maspeth Avenue approaching Rust Street, stopping before the four-track crossing on the Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) Montauk branch where the accident occurred at about 12:37 a.m.

As shown in the video, the tractor-trailer heading eastbound on Maspeth Avenue was passing over the tracks when a New York and Atlantic Railway (NYA) locomotive heading southbound  —with horns blaring  — smashed into the trailer.

The gates, however, were up when the train hit the truck, which was dragged a distance and burst into flames. The red lights on the gates activated a split-second before impact, and the video shows the crossing gate lowering as the train and truck pass out of the picture.

Officers from the 104th Precinct and EMS units responded to the accident; the driver escaped with non-life-threatening injuries.

According to WABC-TV, Filco Carting installed dash cams on all of its rigs as a safety measure.

An LIRR spokesperson said on Thursday that the NYA is responsible for the condition and maintenance of the railroad crossing gate; the NYA leases the Montauk branch west of Jamaica from the LIRR for its freight operations.

However, a source with the NYA said the issue is “complicated.” The NYA is the main operator of the crossing gate, but both entities are jointly responsible for the gate’s maintenance.

Congresswoman Grace Meng said that while she is “thankful that nobody was killed, we must get answers as to why this happened.”

“The video showing the freight train crashing into a tractor-trailer is extremely scary — and it’s very disturbing that the gate at the railroad crossing failed to come down in time,” Meng said in a statement issued Friday afternoon. “I have been in touch with all stakeholders pertaining to this accident, and I am being kept up-to-date on the investigation. … The crossing gate cannot be allowed to fail again. The safety of train personnel, motorists and area residents must not be compromised.”


Two struck and killed by LIRR train near Hollis station

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikipedia Commons/DanTD

A man and a woman in their 20s were fatally hit by a Long Island Rail Road train early Thursday morning just feet from the Hollis stop, an MTA spokeswoman said.

The victims, both 29, were trespassing along the tracks about 150 feet west of the station about 2:45 a.m. when a Penn Station-bound Ronkonkoma train struck the pair, according to a preliminary investigation. They were both pronounced at the scene.

There were about 100 to 200 passengers aboard at the time of the incident, the spokeswoman said. The train was close enough to the station that they were able to exit safely and transfer to another train.

There were delays on the Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma and Hempstead branches due to the investigation until about 8 a.m. Westbound service for the Queens Village and Hollis stops was also suspended.

The investigation is ongoing.


Driver injured after train strikes truck in Maspeth

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo by Robert Stridiron

The driver of a tractor-trailer was hospitalized after his rig was struck by a train at a Maspeth railroad crossing early Wednesday morning, according to police.

Police said the accident occurred just before 1 a.m. in the area of Maspeth Avenue and Rust Street.

Reportedly, the New York and Atlantic Railway engine was traveling eastbound when it hit the truck that was on the four-track crossing on Maspeth Avenue. The impact caused the truck to burst into flames.

Officers from the 104th Precinct along with EMS and Fire Department units responded to the scene. The truck driver was taken to a local hospital and was listed in stable condition; no other injuries were reported.

An investigation is ongoing.


Douglaston native killed in Amtrak derailment

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

A 47-year-old real estate executive, formerly from Douglaston, has been identified as one of the eight victims of Tuesday night’s Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia.

Laura Finamore, a senior account director at Cushman & Wakefield, grew up in Douglaston and graduated from Benjamin Cardozo High School and George Washington University. She was living in Manhattan immediately prior to her death.

Finamore joined Cushman & Wakefield in 2008 and according to her family was known among her peers as “someone who would go above and beyond for her clients, to always exceed their expectations.”

“Laura’s smile could light up a room and her infectious laughter will be remembered by many for years to come. She was always there when you needed her — with a hug, encouraging words or a pat on the back,” her family said in a statement.

Finamore is survived by her parents Cynthia and Richard, three brothers, Michael, Paul and Peter, sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces.

“Laura was an incredibly loving and giving person, touching many people each and every day through her generous spirit, thoughtfulness and compassion for others,” her family said. “She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.”

Funeral services for Finamore will be at Fairchild Sons Inc. in Manhasset, New York. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in her name.

The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed Wednesday that Amtrak train 188 was traveling at more than 100 mph, double the speed, as it was entering a sharp curve before derailing. Before entering the curve, the speed limit is reportedly 70 mph.

In addition to the eight people who died in the accident, more than 200 people were injured, including the conductor and engineer.

Another one of the victims was 20-year-old Justin Zemser, a naval midshipman, who was on leave and heading home to visit his family in Rockaway.

An investigation is still ongoing to determine the cause of the derailment.


Train fatally strikes man at Flushing LIRR station

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the 109 precinct via Twitter

Updated Thursday, Feb. 12, 11:27 a.m.


A person was struck and killed by an LIRR train at the Flushing–Main Street station on Wednesday, temporarily suspending service on the Port Washington branch during the evening rush, MTA officials said.

The 38-year-old victim, who was from Mahopac in Putnam County, was on the tracks and holding onto the platform, but apparently made no effort to move when the train came toward him, a witness said, according to an MTA spokeswoman.

Service was suspended on the entire branch from about 4:40 p.m. until just after 6 p.m. Delays and cancellations continued as the line operated on a single track for the next hour.


7 train suspended following ice on third rail

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Updated 4:36 p.m.

Icy conditions were causing headaches for more than just drivers in Queens on Monday.

Service was suspended on the No. 7 train in both directions beginning that morning after ice built up on the third rail and a train lost power, according to an MTA spokeswoman.

The stalled train, which got stuck near Queensboro Plaza about 9:30 a.m., had to be pulled back into the station by another train after riders were stuck for about two hours. Four more trains that were stopped between stations had to head back to the 61st-Woodside stop.

“Would love to take an alternate train but I’m stuck on the train for an hour now in between stops,” Dmytro Fedkowskyj said, expressing his frustration through The Courier’s Facebook page.

Before the train stalled an umbrella was dropped on the third rail at 52nd Street 30 minutes earlier and caught fire.

Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito said at a storm update Monday afternoon that the dropped umbrella led to suspensions. Because trains were not running, ice built up on the rails.

But an MTA spokeswoman could not confirm that the incidents were related and said after the umbrella fell on the tracks local service was rerouted to the express tracks, but returned to normal by 9:40 a.m.

There is no word yet on when service will be restored, but according to the MTA, the rails must be de-iced before trains can run again.

There is currently shuttle train service between Flushing-Main St and 74 St-Broadway in both directions.

The MTA is providing shuttle buses between Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av and 74 St-Broadway in both directions, and the Long Island Rail Road is cross honoring at the following stations: Flushing, Mets-Willets Point, Woodside, Hunters Point and Penn Station

The line of commuters waiting for buses in Flushing was three blocks long, according to the 109th Precinct, which tweeted photos of the riders waiting in the freezing rain.

As an alternate the MTA is also advising riders to use E, F, R , N and Q train service or Q60 and/or Q32 bus service.

For service updates, visit www.mta.info,




Man seriously injured after jumping in front of LIRR train in Woodside: MTA  

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

Updated 2:00 p.m.

A 39-year-old man was seriously hurt Tuesday morning when he jumped in front of a train at the Long Island Rail Road Woodside station, the MTA said.

The man, a Sunnyside resident, was hit at about 10:30 a.m. after leaping from the platform into the path of a Ronkonkoma-bound train, according to the transit agency.

He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital with severe head and leg injuries.

Eastbound service from Penn Station, with the exception of the Port Washington branch, was suspended for about an hour because of the incident, the MTA said.


What to do if there is an LIRR strike

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Subways, shuttle buses, and even ferries– the MTA is pulling out all the stops to supplement LIRR service in case 5,400 workers strike starting on July 20.

As contract negotiations with unions continue to fall apart and the impending LIRR strike draws closer each day, the MTA released its contingency plan Friday to address the 300,000 riders that would be stranded daily with the loss of the train service.

Most of the MTA’s plans focus on Long Island customers, but there are resources and tips for riders from Queens and other boroughs.

There will be 4,000 free, secured parking spots at Citi Field and an additional 3,000 spots at Aqueduct Racetrack, where drivers can drop their cars and then take the No. 7 or A trains to work. Through social media and digital platforms, such as Twitter and a LIRR mobile app, agency officials plan to update riders on how many spots are available in the lots and traffic conditions.

The transportation agency also hired 350 school buses, which lack air condition, to shuttle riders from stations in Long Island to the No. 7 train near Citi Field, the A train in Howard Beach, and also the M and R train station on Woodhaven Boulevard. The buses will run from Long Island into Queens between 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. and return to Long Island from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

There will also be ferry rides that can carry 1,000 passengers per day from Glen Cove to 34th Street in Manhattan on 40 minute rides. But the MTA warns that parking near to the ferry is very limited.

The MTA is encouraging riders to telecommute if they can work from home. According to officials, about 18,000 workers already plan to do so.

Through its free lots and shuttle buses, the transportation agency estimates it can handle about 15,000 passengers daily, more than double the 7,000 passengers daily from the 1994 LIRR strike contingency plan.

“When the LIRR unions went on strike in 1994, Long Islanders had very limited options. There were no park-and-ride lots, no ferries, no real-time monitoring, no telecommuting,” said MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast. “Today, the MTA has a far stronger, more robust, multifaceted plan. Working with the state and elected officials from across Long Island and the city of New York, we are providing more shuttle buses, thousands of parking spots near subway stations, a ferry service, real-time traffic management and real-time parking monitoring.”

The MTA doesn’t yet know how much per day the contingency plan will cost, and officials said they hope not to have to use it.

For more details on the plan, click here.



Woman struck by Queens-bound No. 7 train at Grand Central

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Dschwen

A woman fell into the path of a No. 7 train at Grand Central Station Thursday night after she passed out, police said.

The 32-year-old was waiting for the subway about 9:30 p.m. when she was hit by a Queens-bound train, according to the NYPD.

She was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition, police said.

No. 7 train service had to be suspended between Grand Central and Hunters Point Avenue because of the accident.



Co-workers mourn Queens nurse who died in Metro-North derailment

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Kisook Ahn dedicated her life to helping others. It was one of the last things she did before she lost her own life.

The 35-year-old Woodside resident had just finished the night shift as a registered nurse the morning of December 1 when the Metro-North train she was riding in derailed in the Bronx, killing her and three others.

“She always had a big, bright smile on her face, even after working 12 hours,” said Linda Mosiello, administrator at the Sunshine Children’s Home and Rehab Center where Ahn was employed.

“She loved to make the kids smile no matter how sick they were,” Mosiello continued.

Ahn started working at the Ossining, N.Y. nursing facility in 2010, where she provided care for medically complex children, according to Mosiello.

She left the job briefly to finish classes at Lehman College where she was pursuing her masters in nursing as a nurse practitioner, said Mosiello, but had been working at Sunshine full-time since 2012.

Ahn came to the U.S. from Korea late in 2008 through a program for nurses, in conjunction with Perfect Choice Staffing.

According to Mosiello, Ahn has no relatives in the U.S.

Sheldon Meikle, Perfect Choice Staffing’s international director, said the Korean Consulate and the MTA are working together to help with funeral arrangements and to bring her family members to the U.S.

The staff is also helping the family come to the U.S. and is in the process of putting together a fund, said Mosiello. If anyone would like to contribute, they can contact Sunshine through its website, www.sunshinechildrenshome.org.

Ahn was remembered in a private service at Sunshine on Monday, December 2.

“I think it comforted the staff to come together and mourn [Ahn],” said Mosiello. “She was a very warm, loving woman. She was a great team player.”

In addition to the four killed, of the approximately 150 people aboard, 71 people were injured when the seven-car train, coming from Poughkeepsie and heading to Grand Central Terminal, jumped the tracks near the Spuyten Duyvil station around 7:20 a.m., according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and MTA.

At a press briefing on December 2, the NTSB said the locomotive was traveling at approximately 82 mph as it entered a 30 mph curve, according to preliminary information from the train’s event recorders.



Queens resident killed in Metro-North train derailment

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Updated Monday, December 2, 4:36 p.m.

A Queens woman was one of four people who died Sunday morning when a Metro-North passenger train derailed in the Bronx.

A seven-car train, coming from Poughkeepsie and heading to Grand Central Terminal, jumped the tracks near the Spuyten Duyvil station around 7:20 a.m., according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and MTA.

Based on preliminary information from the train’s event recorders, at a press briefing Monday the NTSB, said the locomotive was traveling at approximately 82 mph as it entered a 30 mph curve.

Speed was a contributing factor in the crash, but the NTSB said it did not know at this time if the accident was due to human or equipment error

The NTSB also said it was not aware of any prior issues with the brakes.

Of the approximately 150 people aboard, 45 were treated on the scene or at the hospital and released, 26 remain hospitalized, and two women and two men were killed, said the MTA Police Department.

They have identified the deceased as Kisook Ahn, 35, of Queens; Donna L. Smith, 54, of Newburgh, N.Y.; James G. Lovell, 58, of Cold Spring, N.Y.; and James M. Ferrari, 59, of Montrose, N.Y.

A Woodside resident, Kisook arrived in the U.S. from Korea a year ago and was a nurse, according to the New York Daily News.

Kisook worked at Brooklyn’s Kings County Hospital from July 2011 to December 2012 as an agency nurse in its Pediatric unit, according to a spokesperson for the hospital.

“The Kings County Hospital Center family is very saddened by this tragic loss and we extend our condolences to the family,” said the spokesperson.



Politicians, locals want trash barged

| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

Locals and elected officials trashed a recently approved plan that will increase waste-filled train traffic, saying residents need refuge from the refuse.

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) approved a plan on June 11 that increases the amount of sanitation districts’ garbage that passes through the Review Avenue waste transfer station and ends up on trains that travel through Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth.

Currently, 958 tons of residential waste is delivered to the site, Waste Management spokesperson George McGrath said. The new plan will add an additional 200 tons from districts in Queens. The increase would not take place until after the facility is renovated, which has no timetable, he said.

For years, residents have complained about the noise and odor from the trains.

“You have people who can’t open their windows. You have people that I know of that have moved,” said Anthony Pedalino, who lives just down the street from the Middle Village tracks. “It’s just become a nightmare.”

Pedalino documents the daily disturbances recording the times the trains pass behind his house, with the times often occurring before 6 a.m.

Instead of alleviating the issues, homeowners are worried their troubles will only increase.

The DEC said the Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) analysis found the project’s impact would not be considered significant under the criteria in the State Environmental Quality Review regulation.

“I think any amount of increased noise or odor pollution is too much to withstand for these residents,” State Senator Joe Addabbo said. “These residents don’t need more rails bothering them on a daily basis.”

The DSNY could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Area officials — including State Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Mike Miller and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley — gathered with residents outside the waste transfer station to urge the DEC to reconsider the plan and instead barge the garbage.

Currently, the garbage travels from the Long Island City facility north to Selkirk, NY, crosses the Hudson River and travels back south through New Jersey to Waste Management’s landfill in West Virginia.

“Now I don’t think that makes much sense when you consider this facility is sitting on the Newtown Creek, a waterway,” said Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association.

Holden and the elected officials want the trash barged to a New Jersey port, either Port Elizabeth or Port Newark, both of which have stops along the CSX rail line that carries the trash.

“All we’re saying is we know the issue, we have to get rid of our waste. Well, we’re saying rationally, go with the barge, it’s right here; enough with the rail,” Addabbo said.

Any legislation to change the route would have to be federal because of the interstate travel.

While barging was considered, McGrath said, the narrowness of Newtown Creek at that point creates logistical problems.

“There is no place to store barges in that area, so you have to move them in and out several times a day,” McGrath said. “That in turn probably involves lifting the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge several times a day.”

“Our focus is working with customers in moving waste as efficiently as possible. In this location we believe rail is the way to go.”

Headlines From Around the Web

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

NYPD officers save man from oncoming train after he faints on subway tracks

A Manhattan man felt the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day when a trio of NYPD’s finest saved him from an on-coming train after he fainted onto the tracks at Grand Central Station, police said. Surrounded by dozens of straphangers awaiting the next train, William Soto, 46, fell onto the southbound 6 tracks around 10:15 a.m. Saturday, police said. A good Samaritan who saw Soto collapse ran up the station stairs to summon help. Read More: Daily News


Police Identify Suspect In Fatal Staten Island Stabbing

Police have zeroed in on a suspect in connection with a deadly stabbing outside a Staten Island restaurant over the weekend. Sources say investigators have identified the man as Redinel Dervishaj, 35. Authorities say he has a prior record of violent crime. Antonio Lacertosa, 27, was stabbed in the torso early Saturday morning outside the Espana Restaurant in Annadale. Investigators say he was celebrating his engagement to his high school sweetheart at the restaurant. Read More: NY1


Workers Prep City Ballfields For Opening Day

As New Yorkers mark the first day of spring, the city’s Parks Department is busy prepping its fields for the upcoming little league season. Before the plates are laid out in city parks, crews are making sure the diamonds, bleachers, fences and fields are all in good shape. Parks workers in Queens are preparing 174 fields for the upcoming season. Much of their work includes inspecting fields and fence lines, painting benches, removing leafs and leveling the dirt on the infield. Read More: NY1


Peyton, Broncos agree to five-year, $96 million deal

Peyton Manning agreed to a five-year, $96 million deal Tuesday with the Denver Broncos, the NFL Network reported. The four-time MVP will be introduced as the team’s new starting quarterback at a 3:00pm ET press conference. The sides are reportedly still finalizing the details of the contract, but the soon-to-be 36-year-old is likely to make an annual salary of about $19 million. Read More: New York Post


Ex-Marine busted at Empire State Building with gun makes plea deal, gets no jail

The ex-Marine busted for trying to check his Indiana-registered gun at the Empire State Building got a no-jail, misdemeanor deal today. “I definitely did not know it was illegal to bring a gun into New York City,” Ryan Jerome, 29, of West Bend, said after pleading guilty in Manhattan Criminal Court. Read More: New York Post


Researchers mount new mission to solve Amelia Earhart mystery

Scientists on Tuesday announced a new phase in the search to resolve the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, saying fresh evidence from a remote Pacific island may hold clues to the fate of the renowned U.S. pilot who vanished in 1937 while attempting to circle the globe. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined scientists and aviation archaeologists to unveil the expedition, which will set out from Honolulu in July to probe underwater areas around the Phoenix Islands in Kiribati where they believe Earhart may have crashed 75 years ago. Read More: New York Post


Reading, writing & Rikers! City Education Department staffers arrested 14 times in 2012

A disturbing number of city teachers has moved from the schoolhouse to the courthouse this year. City Education Department staffers have been arrested at least 14 times in 2012, alarming parents and leading to changes in policy. The bevy of teachers, substitutes and aides has been busted this year for crimes ranging from sex abuse and assault to stealing subway art and keying a car. And the year is just three months old. Read More: Daily News

Woman murdered in Queens

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Woman murdered in Queens

A 33-year-old woman was found murdered last night in a Queens apartment building, police said. The victim, whose identity was withheld, was slashed across the throat and found at 8:30 p.m. by her in-laws in a second-floor apartment at 26-80 30th St. in Astoria. It was unclear how long she had been dead. The medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy. Detectives are looking to speak with the woman’s husband, cops said. Read More: New York Post


East Side ‘rape’ bust

A maintenance worker has been busted for allegedly raping a woman after breaking into her Manhattan apartment while she slept. Alberto Delgado, 37, of Queens, was arrested Tuesday on rape charges for allegedly assaulting the 24-year-old woman in her apartment on East 30th Street near Third Avenue, police sources said. The attack occurred in the early-morning hours on Dec. 16 after the victim attended a party at another apartment in the building, the sources said. Read More: New York Post

CUNY Law shielding bad grads from bar

Anxious CUNY Law School administrators are urging struggling students not to take this summer’s bar exam in an apparent bid to boost the school’s sagging pass rates, irate students charged. The administrators even offered a handful of students a grant in the fall that’s normally reserved for those taking the July exam if they would agree to postpone sitting for the test until February 2013. Students say an associate dean has pulled at least six classmates in for a one-on-one sales pitch advocating for the delay — even though the February exam is reputedly more difficult. Read More: New York Post

Where to watch the Super Bowl in Queens

It won’t be just Giants and Patriots fans hitting the bars to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5 — more than 110 million people watched last year’s game.  Bars and restaurants throughout Queens feature food and drink specials for Giants fans and anyone else that wants to take in the Super Bowl 42 rematch.  Here are a few places to watch the games in Queens… Read More: Queens Courier


Mike $laps Komen

Mayor Bloomberg rode to the rescue of Planned Parenthood yesterday, pledging up to $250,000 for the organization after the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer foundation yanked funding for screenings. “Politics have no place in health care,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Breast-cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care,” he said. “We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way,” he added. But Bloomberg refused to say whether he would cut his own ties with Komen. Read More: New York Post


Service disruptions on 7-line could put damper on Flushing Lunar New Year parade 

Queens’ massive Year of the Dragon celebration may be hindered by MTA subway disruptions, several elected officials and business owners fear. Saturday’s Flushing Lunar New Year Parade — one of the city’s largest celebrations — coincides with the ongoing 7-train rehabilitation that cuts service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza. The lack of a direct link from Manhattan to Flushing could stifle the flow of attendees, which usually tops more than 100,000 people, said parade organizer Peter Tu. Read More: Daily News


Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona gears up for Black History Month

Louis Armstrong was already an international jazz icon when he stepped out of a taxi in front of a Corona house in 1942 that his fourth wife, Lucille, had just picked out. After growing up in poverty in New Orleans, owning even a modest home in a middle-class Queens neighborhood was almost inconceivable. “He couldn’t believe he owned this house,” said Al Pomerantz, a volunteer at Satchmo’s Corona home that is now the Louis Armstrong House Museum. “It wasn’t until Lucille actually answered the door that he let [the cabbie\] drive away.” Read More: Daily News

Daytime Burglaries Rattle Queens Community

Some Indian New Yorkers think their Queens community is being targeted by thieves. “I turned the lock, and I was like, ‘wait a second, I locked the door when we left that morning,’” said Lea Balgobin, a burglary victim. She did, but someone had broken into her home after she left with her husband Rohan to run errands. The burglar only took cash and gold. “Every piece of jewelry we had, they took,” said Rohan Balgobin. Those items were worth over $50,000 according to the police report . The Balgobins say it’s common for Indians from Asia and the West Indies to keep large amounts of jewelry in their homes because people often give gold as gifts and the jewelry is passed for generations. Read More: NY1