Stories from Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, City Line and JFK Airport

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Linda Miranti decorated most of her house for Christmas already but now she does not know if she will be able to have her family over for the holidays, or if she will even be there herself, because of a strong stench that has filled her home and wafts through the air around 88th and 89th streets in Howard Beach.

Starting around Nov. 10, Miranti’s home, especially her garage and the front of her house, has had a strong odor of what she thinks is methane.


Attorney General Tish James announced on Nov. 23 that she is leading a tri-state coalition in calling for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to tighten controls on air pollution from heavy-duty trucks because of nitrogen oxide emissions.

When NOx combines in the atmosphere with other volatile organic compounds in the presence of heat and sunlight, smog is formed, according to EPA data from James’ office. As climate change leads to warmer temperatures, smog formation will worsen and disproportionately affect the health of the most vulnerable, children, the elderly and those with cardiovascular disease and respiratory illnesses like asthma and Covid-19, she said. Read more

Student journalists at the prestigious Townsend Harris High School helped expose teacher and baseball coach Joseph Canzoneri, who allegedly engaged in “numerous inappropriate acts,” involving having sexual intercourse with a former student who had just graduated.

They also revealed that he remained at the school following the report and came into contact with students during that time. Read more

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Elected officials are working with the city Human Resources Administration and HeartShare, a nonprofit, to aid residents in need of help with their heating bills.

“My office is working with nonprofit HeartShare and NYC HRA to offer assistance to eligible residents who need help to pay their home heating bills and prevent utility shut-offs under the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP),” state Sen. Leroy Comrie said (D-St. Albans) via email. “A person may qualify if they are elderly, disabled or receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Temporary Assistance Benefits or Supplemental Security Income; and can provide valid Social Security numbers for each member of their household.” Read more

Bishop Robert Brennan on Tuesday was installed as the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn at a Mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States of America, officiated the Installation Mass. Brennan, who led the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, since 2019, was named by Pope Francis to succeed Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio back in September. Read more

The state Attorney General’s Office has secured $5.1 million against Park Avenue Stem Cell Clinic, an assumed name for Image Plastic Surgery LLC in Manhattan, for deceptive practices that scammed patients out of thousands through false advertising.

Attorney General Tish James also ordered the defendants to end their practices, which charged consumers $4,000 per procedure and up to $20,000 for multiple procedures using the patients’ stem cells to treat lupus, Parkinson’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease from 2015 to June 2019. Read more

A bill submitted by outgoing City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) would require residential landlords with more than 10 units to provide free internet; and would require the city to subsidize some landlords’ conversions.

Kallos’ bill was referred to the Committee on Housing and Buildings on Oct. 7. It would require all new housing to be constructed with internet access, and all existing housing to receive broadband internet within three years. Read more

Monday, November 29, 2021
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Gov. Hochul and city officials have decided not to wait for the Omicron variant of Covid-19 to be detected in New York State.

On Friday, Nov. 26, Hochul, under her emergency powers, signed a declaration to allow the Department of Heath to limit nonessential and nonurgent procedures for hospitals of systems where the availability of inpatient beds falls below 10 percent of capacity “or as determined by the Department of health based on regional and heath care utilization factors.” Read more

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Two days after the 2021 general election, Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) pointed out that communities heavily populated by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders voted in favor of Republican candidates.

“Our party better start giving more of a s**t about #aapi voters and communities. No other community turned out at a faster pace than AAPIs in 2020,” Meng wrote in a Nov. 4 tweet. Read more

A Brooklyn man was sentenced to 33 years in prison for aggravated manslaughter and robbery following a 2019 incident that resulted in the death of NYPD 102nd Precinct Detective Brian Simonsen, District Attorney Melinda Katz’s Office announced last Wednesday.

On Feb. 12, 2019, Christopher Ransom, 30, and a co-defendant attempted to rob the AT&T store on the corner of 120th Street and Atlantic Avenue. Ransom ordered the two employees inside a room and demanded they surrender cash and merchandise, according to court records. Read more

President Biden’s $1.7 trillion Build Back Better package passed the House of Representatives on Nov. 19, and if it manages to secure enough votes in the Senate the Empire State could secure hundreds of billions in childhood education and climate programs and up to $70,000 in relief on state and local taxes.

The breakdown for some of Biden’s initiatives includes $400 billion for children and families, $555 billion for climate and a lift in the SALT deductions cap from $10,000 to $80,000. Read more

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A recently retired New York City police officer has been charged with scamming nearly a dozen people who sought to rent his basement apartment in Ozone Park.

Burbran Pierre, 42, was arrested in Minnesota and extradited to New York, according to a statement from the Office of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. He has been charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and two counts of first-degree scheme to defraud. Read more

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A probationary New York City police officer from Queens has been charged with allegedly selling steroids to an undercover cop on two occasions this fall.

Maurice Lemelin, 33, on the force for nearly two years, worked out of the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn. He was charged last week with fifth- and seventh-degree possession of a controlled substance and two counts of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, according to a press release issued by the Office of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. Read more