Category: News (page 1 of 44)

All the news you need to have to inform opinions and create action, both interesting and informative.

Detectives seek man wanted for violent robbery in Mott Avenue subway station

Detectives from the 101 Precinct and Transit District 23 are looking for this man, who is wanted in connection with a violent robbery inside the Far Rockaway/Mott Avenue A-Train Station.

Detectives from the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway and Transit District 23 are looking for a man wanted in connection with a robbery at the Far Rockaway Mott Avenue A Line station on Saturday, March 18.

Police say that on Saturday, March 18, at approximately 7:50 a.m., and unidentified man approached the 44 year-old male victim from behind while onboard a northbound “A” train stopped in the Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue train station. 

The individual proceeded to push the victim into a pole and forcibly remove $2,000 in cash from his back pocket and fled.

The robber is described as a black man, approximately 5’7″ tall and weighing approximately 140 pounds.

Anybody with information on the wanted man is urged to contact the 101 Precinct Squad in Far Rockaway or Transit District 23 in Rockaway Park. 


Cashless tolling coming to Rockaway bridges April 30

Cashless tolls, such as this one on the New Jersey Turnpike, will soon be coming to the two Rockaway bridges.

Joyce Mulvane, a spokesperson from the TBTA, speaks at the recent Community Board 14 meeting.

Forget the long lines leading to the tolls on the Veteran’s Memorial Cross Bay Bridge and the Gil Hodges-Marine Parkway Bridge. Forget those pesky toll barriers that sometimes just do not go up. Forget using tokens, paying cash to get to the other side.

Beginning on April 30 – just five weeks away — both bridges will be moving to cashless tolling.

Officials from the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority came to Community Board 14 on Wednesday night to talk about the program and answer questions from board members and the public.

“No stopping, no gate, no cash lane, no change for EZ-Pass holders, said Joyce Mulvane of the TBTA. “This is going to make for more efficient travel for everybody.

Anybody who has motored outside the metropolitan area recently has probably seen the new readers in action. On the New Jersey Turnpike, for example, motorist do not have to slow down as they pass under the new readers – which are now being installed on the Rockaway bridges.

One reminder from Muluane.

“The EZ-Pass devices have to be mounted on the front window of the automobile,” she said. “No more waving the pass in your hand as you move towards the toll plaza.”

EZ-Pass holders will see no change in the way they pay their tolls, she said, nor will there be any change to the resident toll program that allows Rockaway and Broad Channel residents to get full rebate for their tolls on the Cross Bay Bridge.

Those who do not have EZ-Pass will be billed as soon as their bill reaches $25 or every 30 days, whichever comes first. Motorists without the pass will be able to pay on line, through the mail, or at EZ-Pass walk-in centers. They can even pay in advance and allow the tolls to be drawn from their account. This is allowed by license plate readers that then use motor vehicle department records to provide for a billing address.


Opposition to new charter school at Beach Channel campus grows, but to no avail

A large crowd attended the Community  Board 14 meeting on Wednesday night, many of them to speak in opposition to co-locating a new charter school at the Beach Channel Educational Campus.

Jennie Soler-McIntosh, the vice president for community engagement for New Visions, made a presentation to CB 14 on Wednesday night, but many members of the board and speakers were in opposition to the new school.

Kahlil Anderson, a graduate for the Charter View school at the BCEC was in opposition to the new school, pointing out that amenities such as the gym, cafeteria and library were already over-utilized by  the six schools already at the campus.

The Department of Education says that there is plenty of room inside of the Beach Channel Educational Campus for a seventh school, arguing that the total enrollment for all six schools presently in the building is 1625 students and that, before it was discredited and closed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, it held 2,791 students, a difference of more than 1,000 students. The city’s own website says that the school is only utilizing 58 percent of its capacity. City education officials say that District 27 and Rockaway need more high school seats. According to education officials, the city will need several thousands of new high school seats over the next years.

The seventh school, Humanities IV, would open its doors to ninth grade students this coming September, was voted into co-location status on Wednesday night by the city’s educational council. It will begin in September with 125 ninth grade students, with the plan off adding a like-sized ninth grade class every year as the older students move towards graduation – a total of 500 students over four years.

Many locals, however, dispute that the raw numbers provided by the education department tell the whole story and they want the co-location stopped. Those opposed to the plan range from Assemblywoman Stacy Pheffer Amato to recent graduates to parent association officials to students attending the other six schools in the building – especially those at the highly-successful Channel View School for Research, a grade 6-12 school.

Kahlil Anderson, a recent graduate of Channel View and a Community Board 14 member, was one of those who voiced his opposition to the co-location plan at Wednesday night’s meeting.

“The school is so overcrowded now that some kids eat lunch at 10 a.m. What will it be like when 400 or 500 more kids are placed in the building,” he asked. The cafeteria is already over utilized as are the gym and the library. There are a lot of questions that have to be answered, particularly the question of how seven schools are going to share scarce amenities.”

Board Chair Delores Orr said that the board had asked the education council to hold off from its vote until the local community board could weigh in, but the plea was apparently ignored by the citywide board.

“Why not simply expand Channel View,” Orr asked. “Why throw another wrench in to a difficult situation with six separate entities and six managers.”

Jennie Soler-McIntosh, the vice president for community engagement for New Visions Public School was present at the meeting and made a presentation detailing the glories of the New Visions program.

She also admitted that there are “challenges” for co-location buildings with several schools.

“Co-location works if all the principals come together in a collaborative way,” she said. “It’s all a leadership issue. We spoke with all the other principals [in the campus] about the understanding that it takes to work with others. It’s all about collaboration and all of the principals meet regularly to work out the details of how all the amenities in the building will be shared.”

Soler-McIntosh said that there were already 150 applicants for the first 125 slots and that a lottery would be held to see who gets a seat.

At first, she said that most of the applicants were from schools already functioning at the Beach Channel Campus, but walked that statement back when Orr challenged her. She added that approximately 55 students from Rockaway presently attend a sister charter school in South Jamaica, proving the need for more high school seats on the peninsula.

“You say you bring new seats, but then what sense does it make to take most of your students out of already-existing seats in the same building,” she asked.

After a few moments, the charter representative walked back her statement, saying that she “misspoke” and that most of the applicants come from District 27, which includes a large portion of the mainland, and not specifically from Rockaway.

Those opposed to the program pointed out that there are already three high school programs at the Beach Channel campus and another across the street at Scholars’ Academy. There are another three more high school programs at the Far Rockaway Educational Campus on Bay 25 Street in Bayswater.

When Soler-McIntosh was asked how her program would be different than any of the other high school programs already on the peninsula and on the mainland, she was at a loss for words, except that her school has a “community service” and a “hands-on” components. She pointed out that her other schools have a 91 percent graduation rate. The graduation rate at Channel View is 95 percent and at Scholars’, 99 percent.

Four with minor injuries as a result of SFP high-rise fire

Fire apparatus clogged Shore Front Parkway between Beach 102 and 105 Streets for more than an hour as firefighters worked to put out a stubborn fire on the fourth floor of 102-00 SFP on Wednesday afternoon.

Neighbor Joanne Smith posted this photo to her Facebook page. Photo shows the heavy fire and dense smoke.

Four people were slightly injured with two being transported to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital for treatment as a result of a fire inside a fourth floor apartment at 102-00 Shore Front Parkway on Wednesday afternoon.

Fire officials say that the first call came in at 3:51 p.m. for a smoky fire in the 12-story high-rise building.

At 4:16 p.m., fire officials declared it an “all-hands fire,” which brought 78 firefighters and 20 pieces of fire apparatus, which clogged the busy road for more than an hour.

The fire was declared under control at 5 p.m.

Two firefighters were transported to SJEH for smoke inhalation. Two civilians were treated at the scene for minor injuries and released,

Fire officials say that fire marshals are investigating, but that the fire was not of suspicious origin.

Broad Channel mom charged after sending young son to school with heroin

Leah Pagano, who lives on West 12 Road in Broad Channel sent her 6-year-old son to school with a box of heroin in his backpack.

A teacher’s aide at PS 209 in Whitestone, Queens, was shown the drugs by the young boy and the school contacted police at the 109 Precinct.

A Board Channel parent has been charged with possession of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a child after her 6-year-old son was found inside a Whitestone public school with cocaine and other drug material in his backpack.

According to court documents provided to by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, Grace Molina, a teacher’s aide at Public School 209 in Whitestone was shown a box by the Broad Channel mom’s son, 6. Inside the box, which the young student had in his backpack, was numerous glassine envelopes, pills and straws, often used for snorting cocaine.

Leah Pagano, 36, of West 12 Road in Broad Channel, the young boy’s mother, was contacted by police and admitted that the drugs were hers.

Detective Julio Hernandez of the 109 Precinct Detective Squad said in his deposition that Pagano said, “I am the only one who prepares my son’s school bag and lunch. I use heroin, but I do not shoot it. I only snort it. I could not find my box with the heroin inside. I was not sure if it was in [my son’s] school bag and went back to sleep. I can believe that I did this.”

Pagano was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court, charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, endangering the welfare of a child and knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years of age.

Pagano is due back in court on April 25 to answer to the charges.

Cops looking for Wavecrest shooter

Detectives from the 101 Precinct Squad are looking for this man, who allegedly shot and robbed a 50-year-old victim in Wavecrest on Saturday night.

Detectives from the 100 Precinct in Far Rockaway are looking for a man wanted for questioning in connection to an assault and shooting on Saturday night in Wavecrest.

Police say that on March 11, at approximately 9:30 p.m., an unidentified male approached a 50-year-old male victim in the vicinity of Brookhaven Avenue and Beach 25 Street.

The unidentified perp shot the victim in his left leg and fled the location on foot. The victim was removed to St. John’s Hospital in stable condition to be treated for his injuries.

The shooter is described as an adult male Black, 20-30 years old, approximately 5’5″, 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a T-shirt with the number twelve on the back, a black knit watch cap, a dark hooded sweatshirt, a blue parka with dark pants and dark shoes.


Ulrich says he is “close to making decision” on mayoral run

Eric Ulrich, right with candidate Paul Massey at a recent Republican forum, said that he would soon decide if he would run for mayor.

Rockaway’s west end city councilman, Eric Ulrich, told a forum at Columbia University on Thursday night that he is “very close to making a decision,” on whether or not he will run for mayor in the coming November election.

Ulrich was the only one of four contenders to appear at the Republicans’ mayoral primary forum that has yet to announce his candidacy.

In his opening statement, Ulrich claimed that he was weighing a run because Mayor Bill de Blasio, a liberal Democrat, does not appear to be interested in the job. The councilman, who is eligible for another four-year term representing Rockaways and parts of the mainland, has raised just short of $52,000 in a committee for undeclared office, according to city records.

“It’s the million dollar question, right?” Ulrich admitted to the press after the forum ended. “I haven’t made a decision yet. I’m very close to making a decision and I should have an announcement soon, but I’m still considering a run for mayor because I’m concerned about the future of the city and because I do believe that Bill de Blasio can be beaten.”

The forum also included real estate executive Paul Massey, former Jets defensive lineman-turned-minister Reverend Michael Faulkner and disability rights advocate Darren Aquino.

All four attacked de Blasio plenty and answered questions about their stances ranging from President Donald Trump’s policies, from immigration, to transportation, to policing to homelessness. But they refrained from attacking one another.

Ulrich emphasized his support for the controversial stop-and-frisk tactic and blasted de Blasio’s handling of the city’s mushrooming homeless population, and even called for the firing of his homelessness czar Steve Banks, according to the Observer newspaper.

But the moderate Republican lawmaker also lashed out at his own party’s president, a man he pointedly refused to endorse last year. Ulrich blasted Trump’s executive orders barring entry to people from Muslim-majority countries, comparing it to the historic discrimination Catholic and Jewish immigrants once experienced.

“I’m appalled, quite frankly,” Ulrich said.

Ulrich seemed to imply to reporters that he was waiting for the outcome of the de Blasio investigations now being conducted by several state and federal law enforcement agencies.

“I think there are things that are in my control and there are things that are out of my control,” Ulrich continued. “If the mayor’s indicted by the U.S. attorney, that’s out of my control. If that happens, I think you’ll see a bunch of people jump in the race—Democrats and Republicans.”

But he said he has control over fundraising and communications and “testing the waters”: traveling around the city to have conversations with different communities.

“Those are things that I’m gonna be taking into account and the feedback that I receive from some of the faith leaders and the opinion leaders and the business leaders in the city,” he said. “There are some people who think I should run and want me to run and there are people who are telling me not to run.”

Child care worker faces charges after leaving 5-year-old alone at building

Five-year-old Essiah Love Miller was allegedly left alone in front of her building in Far Rockaway. The girl, hungry and afraid, went into a supermarket and asked for food. Workers brought her to the police. Her day care worker is facing charges in connection with the case.

When the clerks at the Brothers Supermarket at 1327 Central Avenue in Far Rockaway saw the young girl walk into the store at about 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, they looked around for a parent or guardian, but there was none.

A day later, the 5-year-old girl has been reunited with her guardian and the day care worker who was supposed to bring her home was awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court.

The young girl, later identified by police as Essiah Love Miller, walked up to the counter and asked for food, telling the clerk that she was hungry.

The clerks fed the girl and rushed her to the nearby NYPD 100 Precinct stationhouse.

The 3 foot, 45 pound girl, who was dressed in black jeans and sneakers with pink shoelaces, and a pink shirt, could not tell the cops where she lived, only that her name was “Esha.”

Cops put out a call for anyone reporting a missing child and a few minutes later, police say, the young girl’s aunt, her guardian, came into the precinct to report a missing little girl. They were quickly reunited.

Police arrested Trimeka Crum , 35, of 23-21 Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, a day care worker who was supposed to walk Essiah to her home and deliver her to her aunt, but instead allegedly left her on the stoop in front of her building.

On Thursday night, Crum awaited her arraignment in night court. Police say she will be charged with acting in a manner injurious to a minor, but court sources say the charges have not yet been determined.

Cops looking for three Arverne robbers

Detectives from the 101 Precinct Squad are looking for the three individuals pictured above. They are wanted for an Arverne robbery on Sunday evening.

Detectives from the 101 Precinct Squad are looking for three unidentified men caught in  surveillance photos, wanted for questioning in connection with a robbery that occurred on Sunday evening.

 According to police sources, on Sunday, February 19, at 9:55 p.m., a 21-year-old male was inside of 54-22 Beach Channel Drive when he was approached by three black males.

The three individuals removed an undetermined amount of cash and his two Android cellphones. They then fled the location on foot to parts unknown. There were no injuries reported as a result of this incident.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Vital Rockaway access road set for 2019 makeover

The Nassau Expressway, also known as Route 878, a vital access road for the eastern end of the Rockaway peninsula is due for a makeover, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who made the announcement in Lawrence on Sunday.

Members of the Five Towns Jewish community and local politicians heard the governor announce that the road updates would be completed nearly a decade earlier than first anticipated.

New York state officials say reconstruction of a portion of a Five Towns road that serves both as an outlet from the Far Rockaway and Bayswater communities and as a vital evacuation route that’s susceptible to flooding will be completed ahead of schedule.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday at a community center in Lawrence that the project to raise the Nassau Expressway – Route 878 – that connects to Seagirt Boulevard, will be completed by the end of 2019. The original timeline called for completion by 2025.

Cuomo, speaking at a Lawrence community center, said that the $130 million infrastructure improvement could help 400,000 residents use the expressway as an evacuation route during extreme storms. Cuomo also highlighted the potential for an economic surge in Long Island provided by the revamped highway.

The Nassau Expressway connects Nassau County to Queens and also links communities to John F. Kennedy International Airport. The section scheduled to be improved, from Burnside Avenue to Rockaway Turnpike, carries 56,000 vehicles each day, experts say.

Design drafts on the expressway will begin in May. Construction is planned to start by January of 2019.

“The Nassau Expressway serves as a vital lifeline for millions of New Yorkers – and we must ensure this roadway is prepared to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws our way,” Cuomo said. “By starting work on this project in 2019, we will complete the work six years ahead of schedule, strengthening the resiliency and protection of this major artery and enhancing the safety and security of our state’s residents, visitors and travelers for years to come. These major upgrades will support the continued growth of our economy and keep all of Long Island moving forward.”

The Nassau Expressway is a critical transportation route that connects southwest Nassau County to Queens and serves as a direct link to JFK. Additionally, it is designated as an evacuation route by both Nassau County and New York City. Sections of the Expressway are subject to severe flooding during extreme weather events, requiring it to be shut down, creating a bottleneck in the evacuation route.   Building upon Complete Streets legislation signed in 2011, this project will include new pedestrian signals and a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists; new drainage systems to eliminate recurring flooding; and new traffic signals and turning lanes. These improvements will transform the current roadway, enhancing access to the numerous retail and industrial businesses along this central corridor. The addition of new and improved lanes and signals will significantly reduce congestion and improve roadway and pedestrian safety for the tens of thousands of motorists who use this road each day. The funding for this project was included as part of the Department of Transportation’s new $21.1 billion capital plan, the largest transportation plan ever approved in NYSDOT history.   “Safety is our top priority, and this work will help ensure the safety of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers in the event of a severe weather emergency,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll. “In addition to improving safety, this project will also create more than 1,100 jobs and ensure better access to local businesses which is great news for the community.”

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks said, “My constituents and visitors depend on Nassau Expressway to get them to their destinations on a daily basis. The highway is also a critical route during emergencies and should meet the highest standards of safety and reliability. I commend Governor Cuomo for his commitment to rebuilding New York’s infrastructure and enhancing its resiliency. I look forward to working alongside him to see this project completed, as well as enhance safety and spur tourism along this corridor.”

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