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The NYPD is releasing few details on the arrest of two juveniles on Tuesday for the mob attack of an off-duty firefighter on July 23 outside of Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village. And as the investigation continues, a handful of residents among the throngs in the park on Monday morning told the Chronicle they feel the park remains safe, even at night.

Police said only that one suspect is 14 and the other 15, in a press release issued at 1:41 p.m. Tuesday. Both have been charged with gang assault. No other details of the arrests were available.

A city fireman has been indicted on a slew of charges for killing a man in a Jackson Heights car crash last year, allegedly while driving drunk.

John DaSilva, 31, of Staten Island is charged with nine counts including aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, manslaughter in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, assault and misdemeanor aggravated driving while intoxicated. He was arraigned July 21 and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Read more

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On most days in Corona Plaza under the 7 train subway line, Manuel Mayancela sells baseball hats and visors, $15 each or two for $25. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Mayancela worked for two different restaurants but when they closed, he started selling hats in the Corona market, which he lives blocks away from, to support himself and his young daughter. “A lot of people here,” he said of the busy plaza.

Though he does not have a street vending permit, Mayancela says he has not gotten into any trouble with police or city agencies for setting up his tables and tents and selling the hats, which he gets from Brooklyn or Chinatown. This work is temporary, though. Read more

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The New York Blood Center and Assemblymember Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) are teaming up for the lawmaker’s 9th Annual Summer Blood Drive on Aug. 5 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center. Donations will be collected in the old American Eagle Outfitters storefront.

Donations are by appointment only. To sign up, visit the Blood Center’s website at Read more

Thursday, July 29, 2021
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Gov. Cuomo said Thursday that Janno Lieber will serve as acting board chair and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, effective July 31, while legislation to appoint outgoing New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg’s nomination as the chair awaits approval from the state Senate.

Legislation already passed by the Assembly would split the role of MTA board chair and CEO. The dual roles have been filled for the past four years by Patrick Foye, who will leave the MTA July 30 and become the interim president and CEO of the Empire State Development Corp. Read more

The NYPD’s 104th Precinct on Monday remembered one of its own, Officer Charles Reynolds, who was killed in the line of duty on July 26, 1923 along with Officer Frank Romanella of what is now the 17th Precinct in Manhattan when they came to the aid of a woman who was screaming for help from a taxi while they were on the Queensboro Bridge.

According to the website Officer Down Memorial Page, Reynolds and Romanella placed the men in the taxi under arrest and ordered the driver to proceed to the 81st Precinct station house in Manhattan while they rode on the outside of the car. Near the intersection of 64th Street and Second Avenue, one of the men pulled a gun and fatally shot both officers. Read more

Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Thursday, July 22, 2021
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A report released last Friday showed that drug overdose deaths in Queens County surged during the pandemic, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, surpassing the national rise in fatalities.

“In 2020, there were 391 overdose deaths, a 45.5 percent increase over 2019, when there were 268 overdose deaths. There is no question that the pandemic, which fueled a national drug abuse crisis, also hit us hard here in our borough,” Katz said in a press release. Read more

When the city was in the depths of the Covid-19-induced economic crisis, outdoor dining, which was not legal much less tried in many parts of the city, proved a lifeline.

It also proved to be popular. Now the city wants to make its Open Restaurants program permanent where possible, eventually replacing existing sidewalk cafe regulations with a comprehensive plan that includes sidewalk and street dining. Read more

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Police have made an arrest in the July 18 hit-and-run incident that left a 4-year-old boy in critical condition at Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, LI, after he was struck by a two-wheeled motorized vehicle in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Argenis Rivas, 29, of Parsons Boulevard in Queens, allegedly struck the child while riding what the Office of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said was a motorized scooter at a high rate of speed in a crowded parking lot near the Meadow Lake boat rental facility. He allegedly fled the scene. Read more

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The Municipal Labor Committee, an umbrella group representing city unions, voted last Wednesday to shift the health benefits of about 250,000 retirees to a new plan under Medicare Advantage, a program in which private companies contract with the federal government to offer the public health benefits.

“The city’s commitment to our retirees is unwavering, and our new plan increases both quality and benefits for retirees while also lowering costs for the city and its taxpayers,” said Mayor de Blasio in a press release he sent out over the vote. Read more

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The city’s Department of Transportation will solicit input from Queens residents for the next NYC Streets Plan, its next five-year transportation master plan, in Zoom meetings on July 22 and 23.

The workshop for what the agency called Middle Queens, covering residents represented by Community Boards 5, 6 and 9, will take place today, July 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. Read more


Kathy Nocera has been a parishioner at Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in Forest Hills for more than 40 years. Like many of her friends and neighbors, she was devastated last weekend to learn that statues of the Blessed Mother and St. Therese, the Little Flower, had been destroyed by a vandal.

“Some of my wedding pictures were taken in front of the Blessed Mother statue,” Nocera told the Chronicle. “I heard about it from a neighbor. But on Sunday, when I went to Mass, I had to look for myself ... It was very difficult to see.” Read more

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Police recently released new surveillance video of a subject wanted in connection with an alleged hate crime in which a 55-year-old Asian woman found herself the target of harassment.

The victim was walking her dog next to the Chase Bank along Queens Plaza South in Long Island City around noon May 22, when she was approached by an unknown individual who sprayed her with a bottle of water and allegedly called her an anti-Asian slur, according to the NYPD. Read more

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected to delay planned fare increases for bus and subway rides until at least 2022.

Bloomberg News and the New York Daily News both quoted Larry Schwartz, finance committee chairman for the MTA, as saying on Monday that the time is not right with the city’s economy still reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic and mass transit ridership in the city still far below pre-Covid levels. Read more

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EMS Lt. Edith Torres, who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and died of 9/11-related illness in 2017, and Luke Gasparre, a combat veteran of World War II and longtime New York Mets usher, were honored with street co-namings in Astoria last weekend.

Torres was honored at 34th Avenue and 21st Street and Gasparre at 25th Avenue and 43rd Street. He died in 2020. Read more

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Rise and Resist, a civil liberties activist group, held a “Beds, Not Body Bags” rally July 10 at the northeast corner of Rufus King Park in Jamaica to raise awareness about the lack of hospital beds in Queens.

The park was no random choice, as it lies across from the site of the former Mary Immaculate Hospital, which is now a luxury apartment complex called Parkhill City at 152-11 89 Ave. Read more

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The NYPD is investigating the death of a 29-year-old Brooklyn man after he was run over while apparently lying down in a crosswalk last Sunday.

Police at the 104th Precinct said it was unknown why Jose Flores-Sanchez of Green Avenue was lying on his back in the crosswalk at the intersection of Menahan Street and Cypress Avenue at 2:37 a.m. Read more

Tuesday, July 20, 2021