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Queens Chronicle

Eastern/Southeast Queens News

Stories from Jamaica, Springfield Gardens, Hollis, Queens Village, St. Albans, Laurelton, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village, and South Ozone Park

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Jamaica town hall meeting fits the Bill

Mayor de Blasio was the headline attraction last Wednesday night at a town hall meeting at August Martin High School in Jamaica, but young Amaryllis Greene, 9, was the showstopper.Amaryllis, 9, who is a fourth-grader at Ideal Montessori School in Jamaica, questioned the mayor on the subways, the homeless and just why First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker was bypassed for Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea to become the new police commissioner on Dec. 1.

Parents not thrilled with Success MS site
Posted: November 21, 2019

The de Blasio administration lived up to the letter of the law last week, announcing that it has designated space in South Ozone Park that the Success Academy charter school program can use as a Queens middle school beginning next September.

The announcement, made prior to Mayor de Blasio’s town hall meeting in Jamaica on Nov. 13, would appear to end a two-year dispute, allowing more than 200 Success fourth-graders to stay within the charter’s system next year after they graduate in June.

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A changing of the guard in the 113th
Posted: November 21, 2019

“Nothing is forever in the NYPD.”

Deputy Chief Kevin Williams of Patrol Borough Queens South was addressing the monthly meeting of the 113th Precinct’s Community Council on Monday night as the group welcomed Deputy Inspector Brian Bohannon as the new commanding officer.

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‘Quack’ gets a year in butt injection death
Posted: November 21, 2019

A former Rosedale woman will serve up to one year in jail for the death of a Maryland resident whom she injected with silicone in a failed buttocks augmentation procedure back in May 2015.

Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan announced on Nov. 14 that Donna Francis, 39, formerly of Huxley Street, will serve no more than a year under conditions of an extradition agreement reached with the British government. Francis pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the death of Kelly Mayhew, 34, who died as a result of a synthetic silicone embolism. She fled to England the day after.

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Another teen killed in South Jamaica attack
Posted: November 21, 2019

A memorial to 17-year-old Talasia Cuffie on the South Jamaica sidewalk where she was slain on Nov. 15 had taken on an even more somber appearance by Tuesday morning.

Heavy rains long had extinguished the three dozen candles left in the teen’s honor, and had begun to wilt the multicolored bouquet of roses still adorned with a red ribbon.

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JHMC Rainbow Ball
Updated: November 21, 2019 - 1:02 pm

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center celebrated 128 years of service to the community on Nov. 16 at its annual Rainbow Ball, celebrated at the Queens Museum.

As part of the celebration, the hospital recognized and honored first responders from the city’s police, fire and emergency medical services.

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Shooting at cops has consequences
Posted: November 21, 2019

A Flushing resident has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for shooting at two plainclothes cops in 2016, acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan announced Wednesday, Nov. 13.

NYPD Lt. Melody Robinson and Police Officer Rafi Mashriqi stumbled upon Jamel Ethridge, 40, while they were patrolling the Baisley Houses in Jamaica on Oct. 28, 2016 at around 9:30 p.m.

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$10G reward for info in Aamir Griffin death
Posted: November 21, 2019

Authorities now are offering up to $10,000 for information in the fatal shooting of 14-year-old Aamir Griffin on Oct. 26 in South Jamaica.

In a statement issued by the NYPD and tweeted by Chief of Detectives and incoming Commissioner Dermot Shea, Crime Stoppers now is offering up to $2,500 upon the arrest and indictment of the responsible party or parties, and up to $7,500 upon a conviction.

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Four from Queens nab York CUNYAC honors
Posted: November 21, 2019

The CUNY Athletic Conference’s post-season award list for fall sports featured eight student athletes from York College.

Junior Keshawn Ross of Rosedale was one of seven runners named to the Men’s Cross Country Sportsmanship Team by league officials. It is the third time he has been honored by the CUNYAC, being named to the sportsmanship team for indoor track & field in the 2017-18 season and outdoor track for 2019.

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Thanks for helping hands
Posted: November 21, 2019

The Jamaica Business Improvement District honored two people for their contributions to the community at the group’s 40th annual membership meeting on Nov. 7.

At top, Jamaica BID Executive Director Jennifer Furioli gives a certificate of appreciation and a gift bag to Roy Fox, who has served as the caretaker at the Rufus King Manor Museum for 30 years.

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Wanted in robbery attempt
Posted: November 21, 2019

The NYPD is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating this man in connection with an alleged attempted robbery on Oct. 31 at the intersection of 108th Avenue and Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica.

According to police at the 103rd Precinct, the incident took place at about 9:30 a.m. when the man displayed a knife and attempted to take someone’s property.

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Thursday 11/21/2019
Bloomberg apology comes 6 years late
Updated: November 21, 2019 - 12:47 pm

Just a few weeks after teasing intentions to enter the presidential race, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized for his determined enforcement of the stop-and-frisk policy during his time in office.

“I now see that we could and should have acted sooner and acted faster to cut the stops,” Bloomberg said at the Christian Culture Center in East New York, Brooklyn, a predominately black mega church. “I wish we had and I’m sorry that we didn’t, but I can’t change history.”

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War on homelessness rages on in NYC
Updated: November 21, 2019 - 12:48 pm

Mayor de Blasio announced his latest efforts to combat the New York City homelessness crisis on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Outreach NYC will implement training within multiple city agencies across the five boroughs toward the goal of helping homeless New Yorkers transition off the streets and out of the subways toward permanent shelter.

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Casino appoaches $3B mark in taxes
Posted: November 21, 2019

Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park, the largest taxpayer in New York State, is closing on $3 billion paid to Albany since it opened eight years ago.

To mark the occasion, the casino this week initiated a “Good Neighbor Network,” aimed at helping civics and arts groups in Queens raise their public profiles and raise money.

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Mayor signs trash zone bills for 2021
Posted: November 21, 2019

Mayor de Blasio on Wednesday signed three bills aimed at drastically changing the commercial solid waste collection industry.

The new laws will divide the city into 20 zones, each served by up to three carters selected through a competitive bidding process. The idea is to reduce the number and length of garbage truck trips each day; to increase worker and equipment safety; and to encourage more recycling. Unlike residents, businesses do not have their garbage collected by the city’s Department of Sanitation. The transition is expected to begin in 2021.

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Holidays coming to Flushing landmarks
Posted: November 21, 2019

The Queens Historical Society is getting into the holiday spirit the best way it knows how — by organizing the 32nd annual Holly Tour to visit historic landmarks scattered throughout Flushing.

Previously known as the Holiday Historic House Tour but renamed for branding purposes, the Holly Tour will take place on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 1 to 5 p.m and will visit six buildings left from different eras in Queens history.

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Monserrate in Assembly bid
Posted: November 21, 2019

Hiram Monserrate, the former city and state lawmaker who assaulted a girlfriend and went to prison for misusing taxpayer money, is running for state Assembly, according to a report in the New York Post.

Monserrate is looking to unseat longtime Assemblyman Jeff Aubry (D-Corona) and has filed paperwork to launch a primary against him, the paper said.

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Inside the mind of an active shooter
Updated: November 21, 2019 - 12:49 pm

There hasn’t been a random mass shooting in New York City since 2017, when a disgruntled family physician who’d been dismissed two years earlier opened fire inside Bronx Lebanon Hospital.

One doctor was killed and five other nurses and doctors were wounded, along with one patient.

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911 texting service slated for summer
Posted: November 21, 2019

Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) remembers calling 911 to report a stabbing and the difficulty of trying to explain his location.

“Juniper Boulevard North and 77th Street,” he said.

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Sex-assault case ups shelter tension
Updated: November 21, 2019 - 12:50 pm

“Unacceptable” is what Mayor de Blasio is calling the case of a homeless shelter resident arrested last month in the alleged sex abuse of a 3-year-old Woodhaven boy.

Confronted by a member of Community Board 9 at the mayor’s town hall last week in Jamaica, de Blasio heard for the first time about Luis Olivo, the 63-year-old homeless man living at the recently opened 101st Avenue shelter in Ozone Park, charged with assaulting a child in a laundromat last month.

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Being sought
Updated: November 21, 2019 - 1:56 pm

Police have identified the man they believe robbed the McDonald’s on Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach last week.

Detectives at the 106th Precinct released this photo and identified the suspect as Gregory Mirando, who is still at large.

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Help us help them this holiday season
Posted: November 21, 2019

The Queens Chronicle’s 25th Annual Toy Drive — designed to provide both fun things and necessities to youngsters living in area homeless shelters — is now underway.

As always, we’re hoping that you can find it in your heart to contribute new, unwrapped items that will brighten the holidays of children and their families who find themselves in need this season. It’s important that we collect gifts that are appropriate for everyone from infants to preschoolers to school-age children and young adults.

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No more cash for tix on LIRR come March
Posted: November 21, 2019

The Long Island Rail Road will no longer accept cash for tickets bought on trains as part of a pilot program starting in March.

The move will generate $1.1 million in annual savings “at a time where cost reductions are imperative,” MTA spokesperson Meredith Daniels told the Chronicle Monday. Daniels added that the MTA noticed a 40 percent reduction in cash payments in the past year and that those account for 1 percent of transactions.

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Diversity-driven program to Dist. 28
Posted: November 21, 2019

District 28, which includes schools in Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park and Jamaica, is one of the districts that will receive funding as part of a $2 million school diversity grant program to develop their own community-driven school diversity and integration plans.

The School Diversity Advisory Group, consisting of students, educators, parents, advocates and researchers, made dozens of recommendations, with the Department of Education planning to adopt 62 of the 67. The integration plan, which the city announced in June would include District 28, is drawing mixed reactions.

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MetroCard successor is coming to Queens
Posted: November 21, 2019

The system that will replace the MetroCard will be introduced at the Sutphin Boulevard/Archer Avenue subway station next month, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Earlier this year, the contactless One Metro New York system became operational in select Manhattan and Brooklyn subway stations. In an MTA press release on Nov. 12, MTA Chief Revenue Officer Al Putre announced the next phase of the OMNY expansion to more than 40 subway stations will include the first in Queens next month. The system is activated by certain credit and debit cards. The station serves the E, J, and Z lines.

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Utility says it didn’t expect state threat
Updated: November 21, 2019 - 2:18 pm

Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

The clock is running on Gov. Cuomo’s ultimatum to National Grid to end its moratorium on new gas customers by Tuesday or he will start proceedings to yank its license to operate in Queens and Brooklyn and on Long Island.

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New Exit 15 ramp now open on GCP
Posted: November 21, 2019

New York State’s Department of Transportation is reminding drivers that there is a new, permanent change in traffic patterns on the westbound Grand Central Parkway in the heart of Queens.

Motorists wishing to access westbound Union Turnpike and westbound Queens Boulevard now must exit the GCP from a new permanent Exit 15 ramp, which sits approximately 500 feet east of the temporary ramp that had been in use during construction.

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Curtain rises on Lord book
Updated: November 21, 2019 - 12:55 pm

Community theater fixture and Queens Chronicle freelancer Mark Lord on Nov. 17 celebrated the release of his new book, ”The Theater and I” at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City.

The book, inspired by online questions to and conversations with Lord’s Facebook friends, chronicles how live theater first captivated him as a child, and led him to create award-winning student plays as a New York City teacher and to become a writer, director, actor and composer in community theater.

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Police are searching for slashing suspect
Posted: November 21, 2019

A bump on the stairs turned into a slashing last Thursday morning at the Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike subway station, and police ask your help in finding the knife man.

At approximately 7 a.m. a 19-year-old man was walking down the staircase at the station when he inadvertently bumped into an unidentified male. A verbal dispute ensued — then the suspect produced a knife and slashed the victim on the right hand and upper left arm before fleeing in an unknown direction.

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