Tag Archives: whitney houston

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Whitney Houston’s death was ‘complicated by chronic cocaine use and heart disease,’ coroner’s office says

Whitney Houston was a chronic cocaine user who had the drug in her system when she drowned in a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub, confirming that her long battle with drug addiction caused her demise, officials said Thursday. An autopsy report on the superstar singer released by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said she had mixed illegal and prescription drugs before she was found lifeless in the tub. The official cause of death was accidental drowning “and effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use,” the coroner’s office said. Read More: Daily News

Cheating Manhattan corporate lawyer exposed after ‘assault’ on gal pal

A married Manhattan corporate lawyer’s double life came crashing down after he was arrested for smacking his mistress in the face and threatening to kill her, according to court papers. Steven Guynn, who has handled billion-dollar deals involving big-bucks clients around the world, allegedly punched gal pal Jeannette Schaefer after flying into a rage over breakfast last week in the tony New Canaan, Conn., home he shares with his wife. Read More: New York Post

 

Despite differences, devout Tebow and X-rated Ryan share passion for winning

There has never been a pairing of head coach and quarterback like this, not even Weeb Ewbank and Broadway Joe Namath, not even Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw, not even Walt Michaels and Doug Flutie with the USFL Generals. Read More: New York Post

 

Kim Kardashian flour-bombed at LA promo event for perfume line

Kim Kardashian was flour-bombed in Los Angeles on Thursday night as she attended a promotion for her new perfume — with alarmed staff calling in the fire department to investigate. The reality starlet was walking the red carpet at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, promoting the scent True Reflection, when she was showered in a white powder. Read More: New York Post

 

Labor-loving Quinn will pass wage bill

A pro-union bill that would boost salaries for thousands of privately hired workers to minimum rates set by the city is slated to pass the City Council next week as Speaker Christine Quinn courts organized labor for her likely 2013 mayoral bid, The Post has learned. Quinn told her Democratic members in a closed-door meeting this week she plans to move the controversial “prevailing wage” legislation at the council meeting on Wednesday, sources said. Read More: New York Post

Early-morning fire damages Manhattan home; one firefighter injured

Dozens of city firefighters spent the early morning battling a Manhattan house fire. The fire started at about 3 a.m., along West 217th Street in Inwood. Police at the scene said the house was burning blue when they arrived — and it took firefighters nearly two hours to get the fire under control. One firefighter was injured from a fall, and his condition is unknown. But officials at the scene said no one in the house was injured. Read More: New York Post

 

2 bodies found on eastern Long Island, 1 in area where corpse discovered last month

Two bodies have been discovered within 24 hours on eastern Long Island, including a woman’s corpse found dumped in a wooded area where a body turned up last month. Suffolk County cops said they have no evidence linking the victims to the 10 bodies that have been found since December 2010 in Gilgo Beach, a suspected dumping ground of a serial killer. A jogger found a female corpse about 4 p.m. Wednesday in Manorville Hills County Park. Read More: Daily News
Staten Island stabbing suspect to be arraigned today on murder charges

The man suspected of fatally stabbing a Staten Island groom-to-be at his engagement party will be arraigned today on charges of murder and weapons possession, authorities said. Redinel Dervishaj, 35, allegedly plunged a butcher’s knife into the chest of bricklayer Anthony Lacertosa, 27, during an early-morning melee last Saturday in front of the Espana Restaurant. Dervishaj was nabbed Tuesday hiding out at his aunt’s home in Illinois, police said. He waived extradition and was returned to Staten Island yesterday. Read More: New York Post

Queens standoff ends in suicide


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens standoff ends in suicide

A nearly four-hour standoff between an emotionally disturbed Queens man and police ended tragically when the subject was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. Officers arrived at the apartment on 68th Street in Glendale at around 6:40 p.m. after the 31-year-old man’s wife called police to say she received text messages from him threatening to kill himself, cops said. Read More: New York Post

 

Attorney for ‘Madam’ puts own condo up for collateral so she can make bond

The Upper East Side’s alleged hockey-mom madam could be sprung today. Anna Gristina’s lawyer, Peter Gleason, will offer to put his own TriBeCa loft up as collateral to free the mom of four — who is charged with running a multimillion-dollar prostitution ring — on $2 million bond, The Post has learned. The paperwork, to be filed today in Manhattan Criminal Court, must still be approved by Judge Juan Merchan. Read More: New York Post

 

Cancer kid in TV bid

A leukemia-stricken 7-year-old Queens boy and his 6-year-old pal might wind up as reality-TV stars because of their effort to find bone-marrow donors. Luis Danvers, of Jamaica, and Jack Szablewski, of Brick, NJ, met at a bone-marrow drive and found a common goal — to encourage as many people as possible to register as donors. “People need to get swabbed because we want to save Luis’ life,” said Jack, noting his friend has not found a match. The kids were filmed yesterday for a reality pilot being pitched by photographer Tricia Messeroux. Read More: New York Post

 

Gay-threat lawsuit vs. MTA

A former MTA coach cleaner was subjected to frightening homophobic bigotry by his co-workers in Grand Central Terminal — including some who’d sing a song about killing gays, an explosive discrimination lawsuit says. “Kill them f–kers dead,” one of Reginal Jenkins’ cruel colleagues sang to him as others laughed, the suit says. “It was crazy,” Jenkins, 40, told The Post. “I was scared.” Read More: New York Post

 

Whitney Houston’s daughter tells Oprah Winfrey: My mother’s spirit visits me and tells me to ‘keep moving, baby’

Whitney Houston’s only child says her mother’s spirit visits her and encourages her “to keep moving, baby.” In her first interview since her mother died, Bobbi Kristina Brown said her mother was “my everything” and still comforts her. Read More: Daily News

Mets’ Owners Prepare For Trial About Their Madoff Connections


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Mets’ Owners Prepare For Trial About Their Madoff Connections

As the New York Mets prepare for another baseball season, lawyers for the team’s owners are prepping for something that can hardly be called a game. A nine-person jury will soon be charged with deciding whether the owners and their affiliates owe up to another $303 million to the trustee overseeing Bernard Madoff’s former firm. The trustee claims Fred Wilpon and others intentionally ignored red flags about Madoff’s scheme, a claim lawyers for the team’s owners reject. Read More: NY1

 

Grieving kin hurt in funeral smashup

A limousine carrying mourners during a funeral procession in Queens plowed into a bodega after getting cut off by a minivan yesterday — injuring 16 people, including the deceased’s daughter and granddaughter. The motorcade was headed to Pinelawn Cemetery on Long Island around 11:30 a.m. to bury 94-year-old Delores Godfrey when the minivan clipped the back of a Ford Expedition and struck the limo on Guy R. Brewer Boulevard. Read More: New York Post

Queens Lawmakers Push For “Synthetic Marijuana” Ban

City Councilman Ruben Wills and other southeast Queens elected officials are pushing for a ban on a type of incense that they say kids smoke and call “synthetic marijuana.” Read More: NY1

 

 

Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, wants to change name

Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown plans to change her name to lose her link to her father, Bobby Brown, TMZ reported. The 19 year old, who will inherit her late mom’s entire estate while her dad will receive nothing, told friends she will become “Kristina Houston.” Read More: New York Post

 

Staten Island woman dies after getting trapped in clothing drop box

A Staten Island woman who climbed into a clothing drop box suffocated and died inside after the box’s metal door closed on her head and trapped her yesterday, cops said. Melissa Mazzeo, 51, crawled into the large metal box in Sunnyside at about noon — in an apparent attempt to steal the donated clothing. Mazzeo was caught in the box’s opening when the door swung shut on her head as she tried to climb out, cops said. Read More: New York Post

Jamaica money pit

Another day, another taxpayer boondoggle in Jamaica. Two years after it opened as an “incubator” for small businesses, the $2.5 million Jamaica Export Centre — built with mostly taxpayer cash — is virtually deserted. The dusty reception desk, which was supposed to serve up to eight businesses, is unoccupied. Downstairs, a meeting room is empty, and a sign out front says it is available for baby showers and birthday parties. Read More: New York Post

Heejun Han sings Stevie Wonder in American Idol’s top 13


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Michael Becker / FOX

Heejun Han continued on his American Idol journey Wednesday night impressing judges and winning over fans.

Each contestant took on a Whitney Houston or Stevie Wonder tune on the singing competition’s 400th episode, with the Flushing native performing Wonder’s “All In Love Is Fair.”

The judging triumvirate was impressed.

“Fantastic,” said Steven Tyler.  “I love your voice man.  Keep it up.”

“I love you,” Jennifer Lopez told Han.  “I loved you since the first time you sang for me and I still love you now.”

Randy Jackson said that while the performance wasn’t flawless it “was really good.”

Devotees took to the Queens crooner’s Facebook fan page — which has more than 16,000 likes — to extol Han’s performance.

“I had goosebumps listening to that song,” said one fan.

“I love your voice and your humor. Thank you for being you,” added another.

The viewer votes will be revealed tonight at 8 p.m. on Fox 5.  The bottom guy and girl vote getter will be revealed with the judges choosing the Idol hopeful that gets sent home.

Teens charged in Queens vid-kill slapped with more charges


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Teens charged in Queens vid-kill slapped with more charges

Two Queens teens were arrested for gunning down an 18-year-old after the shooting was caught on camera, and each has since been hit with separate charges of attempted murder, cops said yesterday. Sean Barnhill, 19, and Alexander Burgess, 16, allegedly shot and wounded Daryl Adams, 18, then chased him down and fired the deadly round after he collapsed to the ground at 12:30 a.m. Friday, cops said. Read More: New York Post

 

Citi Field’s run $lows to a walk

Citi Field revenues have dropped more than 30 percent since the Mets’ ballpark opened in 2009, and premium ticket sales are down by nearly 50 percent, according to financial records. Overall attendance declined 26 percent, to 2.3 million, and during that time, revenues for concessions and parking slipped. The financial records reveal that concessions revenue has dropped 28 percent since 2009, to $10.9 million in 2011, and parking was down 37 percent, to $7 million. Read More: New York Post

 

Man heads to Queens club with pals, dies en route

A 21-year-old man mysteriously died while partying with pals in Queens, police said. The victim, whose name was withheld pending family notification, and two friends were at a family birthday party on Myrtle and Cypress avenues when they left around 12:40 a.m. today, cops said. They piled into a Lincoln Aviator to go to the Flamingo Night Club on Roosevelt Avenue near 86th Street in Jackson Heights, cops added. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens driver killed, 3 others injured after car rear ends box truck

A Queens man was killed early this morning when he rear-ended a commercial truck in Springfield Gardens. The driver, identified as Joseph Brown, 29, was traveling southbound with three other people in his Nissan sedan car when it collided with a white box truck at 4:06 a.m., on Rockaway Blvd. between Brookville Blvd. and Guy R. Brewer Blvd., police said. Brown, of Queens, was declared dead at Jamaica Hospital. Read More: New York Post

 

State Lawmakers Want Added Price Protections At The Pump

As fuel prices across the country continue to rise, two state lawmakers want consumers to be protected from price spikes at the gas pump. State Senator Eric Adams and State Assemblyman David Weprin introduced a bill this week that would require all gas stations to post signs with contact information for the State Consumer Protection Board. That way, if a consumer suspects price gouging they know who to call immediately. Read More: NY1

 

Whitney had secret affair with Jermaine Jackson, and Michael disapproved: report

Jermaine Jackson had a torrid affair with Whitney Houston and carried a torch for her until the day she died, according to a report published yesterday. The attraction had been instant between the pair after the married Jermaine was brought in to produce Houston and perform duets with her in the early 1980s, and they soon began a secret, yearlong fling, The Sun newspaper in London said. Read More: New York Post

New video shows Bronx boy, 8, just before shooting


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

New video shows Bronx boy, 8, just before shooting

An 8-year-old boy was checking out a rack of potato chips inside a Bronx bodega just before taking a bullet in his shoulder, a shocking surveillance video shows. The stunned tyke in a gray track suit, who sources identified as Armando Bigo, can be seen gripping his left shoulder immediately after being shot inside Papa Yali’s Deli in Soundview. Sources said two other people inside the bodega may have been the intended targets of a bike-riding gunman who fired into the small Randall Avenue storefront around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. The boy was taken to Jacobi Medical Center with a non life-threatening gunshot wound. Read More: New York Post

Long Island woman one of two Western journalists killed in Syria shelling

Two Western journalists were killed Wednesday in the flashpoint city of Homs after Syrian security forces shelled the building where they were staying. UK foreign secretary William Hague confirmed that the journalists were Marie Colvin from Long Island, a veteran war correspondent for The (London) Sunday Times, and French freelance photographer Remi Ochlik. Read More: New York Post

 

Whitney had drug cocktail

Whitney Houston had a deadly mixture of Valium, Xanax and alcohol in her system when her life was cut short at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the eve of the Grammys, according to a report yesterday. Although the coroner is awaiting final toxicology results to determine which one of the three played the largest role in her death, the preliminary results almost certainly rule out that Houston drowned, although she was found partially submerged in a bathtub. Read More: New York Post

 

Man, 81, pushed to tracks in iPhone theft

An 81-year-old man was shoved onto the tracks at a Brooklyn elevated subway station after he chased a teen who stole his iPhone, authorities said yesterday. The victim was waiting for a J train at the Lorimer Street station in Williamsburg at about 11:45 a.m. Friday when a young punk grabbed his smartphone and took off, cops said. When the man started running after him, his accomplice shoved him onto the tracks, cops said. The victim was pulled from the roadbed and was in stable condition at Woodhull Hospital. Read More: New York Post

Providing Yankees peace of mind is part of Rivera’s legend

If this were just about replacing a closer — even a legendary closer — then the Yankees would have a difficult, yet plausible, job ahead. But if this really is Mariano Rivera’s last season, then the Yankees are on the clock toward something much more difficult: Replacing a feeling. It is not that Rivera avoided all failure. Heck, he blew Game 7 of the World Series. But, even when that ended the 2001 season, no one with the Yankees fretted for one second how that would impact 2002. Rivera would not be cowed and the internal clubhouse confidence in him would not waver. Ever. Read More: New York Post
 

Cardinal Dolan Makes Ash Wednesday Rounds

Cardinal Timothy Dolan hit the ground running this morning, for the start of the Lenten season. Just back from Rome, Dolan arrived at St. Francis of Assisi Church this morning where he handed out food to the homeless. A crowd of well-wishers was on hand to greet him as he started his busy day and to congratulate him on his elevation to the College of Cardinals. Dolan thanked everyone for their support and also addressed the importance of today. Read More: NY1

 

Police: Bicyclist Fired Shot That Hit Boy Inside Bronx Deli

An eight-year-old boy is recovering after being shot in the arm at a Bronx deli on Tuesday. Police say the child was inside Papa Yala’s Deli on Randall Avenue in Soundview when shots were fired from a man riding on a bicycle just before 8 p.m. Investigators say a bullet grazed the boy on his left shoulder. He was taken to Jacobi Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition. Residents said they were concerned for their children. Read More: NY1

 

Bronx Substitute Teacher Charged With Forcibly Touching Student

A city school employee was under arrest Tuesday, as one of the Chukwuma Duru, 27, a substitute teacher at Bronx Career and College Prep High School in Morrisania, was charged with forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. The Department of Education says the incident happened at the school on February 9 and involved a student there. Education officials also say the alleged incident does not appear sexual, but Duru has been removed from the school. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Rape Suspect Caught On Surveillance Video

Police are on the hunt for a man who they say tried to rape a woman in Queens this past weekend. Officials say the man, who was seen on surveillance video, grabbed a 25-year-old woman from behind Sunday night around 10:30 p.m. in Ridgewood. They say he then pushed her to the ground and tried to rape her, but snatched her purse and ran off when the woman began screaming for help. Read More: NY1

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

 

Whitney Houston funeral: mourners pay tribute to legendary singer at Newark church


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Whitney Houston funeral: mourners pay tribute to legendary singer at Newark church

The silver casket bearing Whitney Houston glistened Saturday inside her old Newark church, where a star-studded crowd bid farewell to the departed diva with the divine voice.

“What becomes of our broken hearts?” asked her “Bodyguard” co-star Kevin Costner in a moving memorial. “Whitney returns home today to the place where it all began.”

Read More: New York Daily News

 

Timothy Cardinal Dolan receives red hat from Pope Benedict in Vatican City

Timothy Cardinal Dolan says his new red hat from Pope Benedict XVI is a gift for New York.

The city’s newly-elevated Catholic leader was smiling from cheek to cheek Saturday after receiving a gold ring and red silk biretta from the pontiff inside St. Peter’s Basilica inVatican  City.

Read More: New York Daily News
Cocaine found on capsized cruise ship captain’s hair, lawyers for survivors say
A group representing survivors of the capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship say traces of cocaine were found on a sample of the captain’s hair but not within the hair strands or in his urine — which would have indicated he had used the drug.

Italian consumer protection group Codacons said Saturday it has asked prosecutors investigating Captain Francesco Schettino to order another test.

Read More: New York Post

 

DOE To Review 1,000 Cases Against School Staff Following Latest Sex Abuse Charges

The city Department of Education is promising to make major changes in disciplinary policy following a string of arrests of employees for inappropriate acts with children.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott outlined the changes in a letter sent home to parents Friday.

Read More: NY 1

 

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.

Read More: New York Post

 

Liu Fundraiser Pleads Not Guilty To Wire Fraud Charges

Xing Wu Pan, a major fundraiser for City Comptroller John Liu, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges during his arraignment in Downtown Manhattan on Saturday.

Prosecutors say Oliver Pan told an undercover FBI agent he would use straw donors to funnel $16,000 in over-the-limit contributions to the comptroller’s 2013 campaign.

Read More: NY 1

 

Al Sharpton’s SUV impounded at La Guardia Airport

Can I get a witness?

The Rev. Al Sharpton tried to move heaven and earth yesterday to keep his SUV from being towed at La Guardia Airport — but no amount of preaching could stop Port Authority cops from impounding the vehicle.

An officer rolled up on the 2008 Lincoln Navigator at around 2 p.m. outside the Delta and US Airways terminal as the MSNBC host’s driver waited to pick him up in a clearly marked “no standing” zone, said PA Police spokesman Al Della Fave.

Read More: New York Post

 

Racist headline after Jeremy Lin, Knicks lose prompts quick apology from ESPN

ESPN is apologizing for an offensive headline posted after Jeremy Lin and the Knicks fell to the Hornets Friday night, ending a dazzling 7-game win streak.

The headline, “Ch-k in the armor” was up for about 30 minutes before being pulled down, ESPN said in a statement, as the controversy continued to grow in volume on Saturday.

Read More: New York Daily News

Fourth NYPD suicide this month


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Fourth NYPD suicide

A cop killed himself yesterday on his way home after finishing his shift in Queens — becoming the fourth NYPD officer to die by his own hand in less than a month, sources told The Post. Matthew Schindler, 39, a 14-year veteran and married father of three kids, pulled his car over at about 4:30 p.m. on the eastbound side of the Long Island Expressway near Exit 40 in Jericho and shot himself under the chin, the sources said. Minutes earlier, Schindler, a highway-safety officer, texted his sergeant to tell him he would not be seeing him anymore. Read More: New York Post

 

160G JFK gem ‘heist’

A Long Island psychotherapist who got stopped at a boarding gate at JFK Airport because of the size of her carry-on tried to cajole workers into letting her pass — by telling them she had thousands of dollars in exquisite jewelry in the luggage that she didn’t want to let out of her sight. “I told the gate attendant, ‘Listen to me, I have more than $100,000 worth of jewelry here,’ ’’ said Rita Lamberg, 69, who also plays in poker tournaments part-time. Lamberg yesterday admitted to The Post that it may not have been the smartest thing to say. Read More: New York Post

Tragic Whitney back in New Jersey

Carried in a golden hearse, the body of pop queen Whitney Houston arrived in her hometown of Newark, NJ, last night, as preparations began for a massive Friday funeral that only an arena could hold. A private plane carrying Houston’s casket from LA — where she died in a hotel room Saturday — landed at Teterboro Airport at around 10:30 p.m. The casket was placed in a gold-colored hearse and escorted by three police cars to the Whigham Funeral Home, which handled the services for Houston’s dad, John, in 2003. Read More: New York Post

 

LIRR May Return To Elmhurst

For commuters in Elmhurst who may be fed up with their transit options, there’s some good news: the LIRR may once again be making a stop in their neighborhood. Read More: NY1

 

Dolan vows to challenge Obama’s birth control plan compromise

The top Catholic bishop in the US has vowed legislative and court challenges to President Obama’s compromise on exempting religiously affiliated employers from paying directly for birth control for their workers. Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, who heads the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in an interview Tuesday that while Obama’s about-face Friday initially sparked glimmers of hope in the church, it ended up being a “hill of beans.” Dolan, who is in Rome to be made a cardinal Saturday, said he trusted Obama wasn’t declaring war on religion and intended to make good on his pledge to work with religious groups to fine-tune the provisions of the insurance mandate. Read More: New York Post

Whitney Houston funeral to be held in Newark: report


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Whitney Houston funeral to be held in Newark: report

A funeral is to be held for Whitney Houston in her hometown of Newark later this week, according to a new report. The pop superstar was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel room over the weekend and her body is to be flown across the country as early as Monday night, sources told WNBC. Read More: New York Post

 

To free or not to free ‘killer’

Just two weeks after settling the Greg Kelly rape accusation, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. is facing a new and potentially thornier dilemma: Should he free a mann convicted of killing a former cop? That’s what members of his inner circle are debating as a “Dateline” segment airs tonight that makes the case that a Bronx man serving 25 to life is innocent of charges he shot a retired NYPD officer in 1998. Read More: New York Post

Whitney Houston died of mix of alcohol & prescription drugs, family is told

A fatal cocktail of prescription drugs and booze killed Whitney Houston before she became submerged in a bathtub, the singer’s relatives reportedly were told. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office does not believe the “I Will Always Love You” star drowned, contrary to earlier reports suggesting she slumped beneath the water in a drug-induced stupor, TMZ.com reported Monday. Read More: Daily News

 

New Jersey Senate OKs gay marriage bill in milestone vote despite Gov. Chris Christie vow to veto  

New Jersey lawmakers gave their blessing to legalizing gay marriage for the first time Monday as the state Senate passed a bill that would allow nuptials for same-sex couples, despite Gov. Chris Christie’s insistence that he will veto such legislation. The Senate’s 24-16 vote sends the bill to the Assembly, which is expected to pass it on Thursday. Monday’s vote contrasts with the only other gay-marriage vote taken in the Legislature. In January 2010, gay marriage supporters thought they had built a narrow majority in the Senate, but senators began to defect, and the measure was defeated 20-14. Read More: Daily News

 

Cyclist is killed by hit-&-run driver on S.I.

A 29-YEAR-OLD cyclist died on Staten Island on Sunday night after he was hit by a driver who sped away from the scene, cops said. Ron Tillman of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, was riding against traffic on Howard Ave., near Wagner College in Grymes Hill when he was hit by a dark-colored SUV about 9:15 p.m., cops and witnesses said. The motorist then drove away, police said. A woman who lives nearby raced to the injured man and called 911. Read More: Daily News

Cancer-causing toxins found on uniform of Officer Alonzo Harris, who survived being buried at WTC

Cancer-causing toxins have been found on the uniform worn by a cop who survived being buried in World Trade Center debris on 9/11. “It’s a reality check for all of us,” Officer Alonzo Harris, the owner of the uniform, said on Sunday. Police union officials hope the discovery will prompt the NYPD to release the list of cops who worked at Ground Zero to scientists trying to determine the cancer rate among first responders. Harris had reported for work at a traffic control post near the World Trade Center when the first tower fell on Sept. 11. Read More: Daily News

Clues hint at pill-pop Whitney Houston’s drowning; police could release new details today


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Clues hint at pill-pop Whitney Houston’s drowning; police could release new details today

Authorities yesterday were investigating the possibility that troubled singer Whitney Houston took sedatives, fell asleep and drowned in a tub in her Beverly Hills hotel room. Police may release more details about Houston’s death today. The tragic 48-year-old star spent the final hours of her life preparing for an appearance at a pre-Grammy party Saturday evening, and might have popped the pills to take the edge off her anxiety. The prescription drugs Xanax, Lorazepam and Valium were found in her suite, Room 434, at the posh Beverly Hilton, one report said. Read More: New York Post

Livery driver thrown from car, killed in Queens crash

A livery driver died early this morning when he was ejected from his sedan after it crashed in Queens, police said. Darren Green, 41, was operating a 2006 Lincoln Town Car going eastbound on South Conduit Boulevard at around 4 a.m. when he apparently lost control and slammed into a utility pole near Linden Boulevard. Green, the sole occupant of the vehicle, was rushed to Brookdale Hospital, where he later died. Read More: New York Post

 

Rubber roomer retires

The city’s “rubber room” king has been knocked off his throne. Disgraced typing teacher Alan Rosenfeld — who collected a $100,000-a-year salary even though he was banned from the classroom for more than a decade — has finally decided to retire from his cushy gig after telling friends he couldn’t take the heat from a series of Post articles about his situation, sources said yesterday. “He was so upset and angry at the latest round of pictures and articles,” said a source familiar with the case. Read More: New York Post

 

Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown rushed to hospital in wake of mother’s death 

Whitney Houston’s heartbroken daughter was rushed to the hospital twice in the wake of her mother’s death. Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, was hospitalized Sunday after an earlier episode late Saturday. “It was just extreme stress,” said a family friend. “She’s devastated. She and her mom were best friends.” Radaronline reported that the teenager had a few drinks, then was given a sedative by members of her mother’s entourage and passed out. Her father, Bobby Brown, canceled a Sunday concert to fly to Los Angeles to be with her. Read More: Daily News

 

Deadline looms on Feb. 12 for Queens churches that worship in schools

Leaders of Queens churches who use public schools as places of worship say the city’s push to evict them from their current homes on Sunday could force them to lose followers and strain their community ties. “Sunnyside is really our neighborhood,” said the Rev. Jon Storck, a pastor at Grace Fellowship Church, which has held Sunday worship services at Public School 150 since 2006. “It’s our home.” Storck said he could lose more than half his flock if he’s force to move into a different neighborhood because most of them walk to prayer services. And both the community and the school would suffer the loss of a major donor, Storck said. The church has participated in several community programs, including graffiti removal and an initiative to keep alive PS 150’s drama program, which Storck said is one of the last of its kind in the city. Read More: Daily News