Metro Briefing, The New York Times, February 9, 2006

The New York Times
February 9, 2006


QUEENS: HOTEL LOCKS OUT EVACUEE The owners of a Radisson Hotel in Jamaica briefly locked out a Katrina evacuee yesterday, prompting lawyers for the Legal Aid Society to seek a court order reinstating the man, John Buttitta. A Housing Court judge granted the order, said Judith Goldiner, a Legal Aid lawyer. Mr. Buttitta, who could not be reached for comment, is among dozens of evacuees living at hotels in New York City who have been denied housing extensions by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to a representative of the evacuees. On Tuesday, the agency stopped issuing housing subsidies for thousands of evacuees across the country. Marc Leffman, the chief executive of the company that owns the Radisson, said yesterday that the hotel managers had locked out Mr. Buttitta because he refused to seek a FEMA extension. Mr. Leffman added that the hotel let Mr. Buttitta back into his room before the court order was received.NICHOLAS CONFESSORE (NYT)

QUEENS: FUEL CELL TO POWER NEW SUBWAY SHOP The New York Power Authority and New York City Transit said yesterday that they would equip a subway maintenance shop under construction in Corona with a 200-kilowatt fuel cell, capable of powering maintenance and cleaning equipment and saving the equivalent of 2,800 barrels of oil a year that would otherwise be used to generate electricity. The new shop, serving the No. 7 subway line, is next to the Casey Stengel Bus Depot. Brian Warner, a spokesman for the Power Authority, said the authority would install the fuel cell by summer at a cost of $2 million, and would be reimbursed by New York City Transit.THOMAS J. LUECK (NYT)

QUEENS: DRIVER CHARGED IN FATAL CRASH A 17-year-old boy was killed and a 23-year-old man was critically injured when their Nissan sedan hit a light pole on North Conduit Avenue near Sutter Avenue in City Line about 1 a.m. yesterday, the police said. The driver of the car, Ramchand Hansraj, 35, fled the scene of the accident and was later charged with vehicular manslaughter, assault and driving while intoxicated, according to the authorities. The names of the victims had not been released last night. The 23-year-old was in critical condition at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. The police said that with the help of a computer, Mr. Hansraj was found at an address in Brooklyn. He had been arrested on Jan. 29 for driving with a suspended license, they said.JENNIFER 8. LEE (NYT)

MANHATTAN: NEW RECTOR FOR ST. PATRICK'S The Rev. Robert T. Ritchie, a pastor from the Bronx, was appointed rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral yesterday. The appointment by Cardinal Edward M. Egan is to take effect next week, filling a post that has been empty since August, when the former rector, Msgr. Eugene V. Clark, 79, resigned amid accusations that he was having an affair with his longtime personal secretary. Monsignor Clark was not suspended, but voluntarily agreed not to say Mass or celebrate the sacraments in public. Father Ritchie, 60, has been the pastor of Our Lady of Angels Church, in a heavily Hispanic parish, since 2002. He also was the regional vicar of the Northwest Bronx. Before going to the Bronx, he was the pastor of St. Catherine of Genoa in Manhattan.MICHAEL LUO (NYT)

MOUNT VERNON: NOT-GUILTY PLEA IN KILLING A 30-year-old Mount Vernon man accused of murder in what was believed to be a revenge killing in October pleaded not guilty yesterday in Westchester County Court. The man, Shamei Brown, was arraigned on charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder for the shooting death of Raymond Harris, 25, in New Rochelle on Halloween night. A second man, who was shot in the face, survived. The authorities say that Mr. Brown was seeking revenge for the killing of his brother, Dacheau, two weeks earlier, but that he shot at the wrong people. The man who has been charged with killing the brother, Rodney Alston, 18, was arrested in Georgia on Tuesday, said Janet DiFiore, the Westchester County district attorney. Mr. Brown's lawyer, Murray Richman, did not immediately respond to a telephone call seeking comment.ANAHAD O'CONNOR (NYT)

BRONX: TWO CHARGED WITH ENDANGERING CHILD A woman and her companion were arrested yesterday because they had sought no medical attention after the woman's 2-year-old daughter fell into a bathtub of hot water on Sunday and was burned, the police said. Workers for the city's Administration for Children's Services contacted the police at 1 a.m. for assistance at 2030 Cross Bronx Expressway, according to the police. The girl, who had burns on her back, arm and leg, was taken to a hospital, where she was reported in stable condition. The mother, Yolanda Rodriguez, 31, and Francis Viera, 45, were charged with endangering the welfare of a child, the police said. Sheila Stainback, a spokeswoman for children's services, said that the agency had received a complaint about Ms. Rodriguez earlier in the day.COLIN MOYNIHAN (NYT)

CLINTON SAYS REPUBLICANS PLAY ON FEAR Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton accused Republicans yesterday of "playing the fear card" of terrorism to win elections, and said that Democrats cannot keep quiet if they want to win in November. Speaking before a gathering of auto workers, Senator Clinton, who is up for re-election this year and is considered a potential presidential candidate for 2008, said that Republicans had won the past two elections on the issue of national security and that "they're doing it to us again." She said that Democrats should not be afraid to question President Bush's handling of the Iraq war. A White House spokesman, Ken Lisaius, responded that "the political season is certainly starting early for some."(AP)

WHITE PLAINS: ACCOUNTANT ADMITS FRAUD A man who worked as an accountant and financial adviser pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing more than $750,000 from eight clients, the Westchester County district attorney, Janet DiFiore, left, announced yesterday. The accountant, Alan Russo, pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny and scheme to defraud, Ms. DiFiore said in a statement. Mr. Russo, who worked in Mamaroneck and Harrison, promised to invest his clients' money but put it into his own bank account, Ms. DiFiore said. Mr. Russo, who is already serving a five-year prison sentence, is scheduled to be sentenced next month. He faces 1½ to 4½ years in prison, prosecutors said.(NYT)

BRONX: BODY IN SUITCASE IS IDENTIFIED A body discovered in a suitcase on Sunday morning has been identified as that of Mario Hidalgo, 28, of 230 Seaman Avenue in the Inwood section of Manhattan, the police said. The suitcase was found in front of 69 West 225th Street in Kingsbridge. The police said Mr. Hildago had been stabbed several times. Relatives came forward to identify the body after seeing a sketch released by the police.JENNIFER 8. LEE (NYT)


TOTOWA: A CALL FROM MURDER VICTIM'S FAMILY The family of Geetha Angara, 43, a senior chemist who was murdered a year ago at the local water treatment plant, has called on Gov. Jon S. Corzine, Attorney General Zulima V. Farber and United States Attorney Christopher J. Christie to jump-start the stalled investigation into her death. About 150 people gathered outside the plant yesterday to mark the anniversary of her killing. The family's lawyer said that he was inviting the governor and other officials to a meeting about how the state could help the investigation, and that he had contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation for help. Local and county police said that they had exhausted their leads but had narrowed their investigation to three workers at the plant.TINA KELLEY (NYT)

Compiled by John Sullivan


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