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May 31, 2014
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BRONX NEWS: Suspect nabbed in fatal stabbing of Bronx woman, 19


Cops have cuffed a fugitive accused of stabbing a 19-year-old Bronx woman to death, authorities said Friday.


Michael Tsiakaros, 20, also of the Bronx, was nabbed in Oradell, N.J., on May 8 and extradited to New York. He is charged with manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon.


Tsiakaros is accused of stabbing Jasmine Canton to death outside her building on Creston Ave. near E. 193rd St. on April 21. He allegedly plunged a knife into the young woman’s chest during the 9:30 a.m. spat outside her apartment building, officials said. Canton — who lives in a basement apartment in the building — was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where she died.


Tsiakaros, who was caught on video racing away from the scene, fled the Bronx, but was quickly identified as Canton’s killer, officials said.


He was ordered held on 0,000 bail at his arraignment late Friday night.

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May 30, 2014
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BRONX NEWS: Teen sentenced to 44 years for Bronx park shootings


A teenager was sentenced to 44 years to life in prison on Thursday for gunning down two people in a Bronx park.


Yenfri Ramirez was just 16 when he killed Edwin Liz and Allan Matos near Devoe Park in April of 2011.


The slain pair were part of a group that had gotten into a scuffle with Ramirez’s brother.


Sources said someone summoned Ramirez for help. He exchanged words with the victims, and then pulled out a .38-caliber handgun, sources said.


Ramirez fired off three shots as the men tried to flee, hitting Liz, 17, in the back of the neck and Matos, 22, in the back.


The third shot hit Efren Estrada, 39, in the leg. He survived.


Ramirez was arrested the next day, and was convicted earlier this month after a five-week trial.


Justice Barbara Newman sentenced Ramirez, 19, to consecutive terms of 23 years to life for Liz’s murder, and 21 years for manslaughter for Matos’ death.

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May 29, 2014
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BRONX NEWS: Body of nude man found in Hudson River


Cops have recovered the body of the unhinged man who brought an urn and some roses to a Bronx park, stripped naked and jumped into the Hudson River on Saturday, officials said.


The remains of the unidentified jumper, described as a black or Hispanic man in his 30s, surfaced near Roberto Clemente State Park in the South Bronx — near where he took his fatal plunge — about 8:30 a.m. Thursday.


An autopsy has been scheduled.


On Saturday morning, visitors to Roberto Clemente State Park saw the man place an urn and some roses on a low, flat-topped statue.


He then peeled off his clothes and draped them over the urn before scaling a 5-foot fence and jumping into the Hudson.


“I would have tried to stop him, but he was determined,” witness Cristina Burgos, 30, told the Daily News.


Burgos and others dashed to the water’s edge and saw the victim shake uncontrollably before sinking.


The man left behind a cellphone with no contact information, a green button-down shirt, a tie, a sleeveless yellow sweatshirt, a red duffel bag, and a baseball cap and glove.


No identification was found among his possessions, police sources said.


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May 29, 2014
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BRONX NEWS: EXCLUSIVE: $20M effort to boost job skills in Bronx, high-employment areas


ALBANY — State officials are launching a new million effort to boost the skills of job seekers in the Bronx and a handful of other high-unemployment areas, the Daily News has learned.


The five-year program will be funded with a grant from JPMorgan Chase and calls for the creation of an “unemployment strike force” of government and nonprofit agencies that will offer intensive training to the unemployed.


Cuomo administration officials said the goal is to provide the jobless with new skills that will help them get hired by local employers.


“With the support of million, this strike force will go a long way toward connecting hardworking New Yorkers with job opportunities in their communities,” Gov. Cuomo said.


Cuomo administration officials plan to unveil the initiative Thursday at Hostos Community College.


Initially, the program will be limited to the Bronx — which has the state’s highest unemployment rates.


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May 28, 2014
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BRONX NEWS: Scuttle the rotten FreshDirect deal and start fresh in the South Bronx


Mayor de Blasio recently reiterated his campaign promise that his administration would not be offering tax breaks and subsidies to mercenary Machiavellian companies that threaten to leave our city.


How will the mayor’s pledge apply to the Bloomberg-era proposal to relocate online grocer and trucking company FreshDirect to the South Bronx?


I am hoping it will lead to a reassessment of this project’s ability to benefit the borough and its residents.


Our community has been opposed to the 0 million in public subsidies to relocate FreshDirect since it was announced as a done deal before any public hearings in 2012.


How could we respond otherwise to such an insult to our community, historically and disproportionately burdened by polluting industries?


Since the controversial proposal was announced more than two years ago, we have contested it with a boycott, a lawsuit and with public demonstrations that included the arrest of nine residents in an act of civil disobedience.


Since then, the footprint of the original scheme has changed, the financing has morphed and the public furor at this absurd giveaway has grown.


We need our mayor and other leaders, including Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., to act on their pledges and promises and start anew.


Not so long ago, FreshDirect obtained millions in subsidies to open in its current location in Queens.


Should we reward businesses that have taken public support and then threatened to break the agreement unless they get more pork? According to their own analysis, FreshDirect has the room to expand where they are.


During one of the hearings on the proposal, the city’s Industrial Development Agency shared excerpts of FreshDirect’s financial statements, which revealed a loss of million in 2010.


Is this the kind of company we want public monies invested in? Other financial machinations, including a million loan from JPMorgan, are still shrouded in mystery.


Last winter, FreshDirect lost access to millions it was banking on receiving in a proposed grant and loan package of our tax monies, thanks to the principled opposition of local Rep. José Serrano.


The main investor in FreshDirect is Peter Ackerman, who was the former right hand man to disgraced Wall Street fraudster Michael Milken. Ackerman, through his various endeavors, manages billions of dollars. Does he need our money?


We also would like to see the return of Diaz — we want to see the leader who was once known as an outspoken and vocal critic of projects such as this one.


Before Diaz emerged as a reluctant booster for the project, when Bloomberg was lurking, he was actually against the deal.


He identified FreshDirect as an egregious example of what is wrong with businesses that seek to feed at the public trough.


“When billionaire developers beg for taxpayer handouts to make their projects work, they must do better by the people they hire,” Diaz said in his testimony favoring Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, a 2012 law that required companies that receive generous public subsidies to pay employees a living wage.


“We can no longer tolerate developers picking the pockets of the taxpayer in order to create poverty wage jobs,” Diaz added. Fresh Direct was considered exempt from the requirement, but the company could yet be forced to comply.


Instead of relying on a 20-year-old environmental study and offering more than 0 million in cash and tax breaks and free land to a business that has access to investors with billions of dollars, the city should reconsider the input of the residents who will be impacted by any waterfront plan.


New Yorkers are missing out on much needed tax revenues and amenities from the lucrative real estate that is the Harlem River Rail Yards, the southernmost portion of our borough. Scuttle the rotten FreshDirect deal and start fresh in the South Bronx, with consideration for our health, environment and economy.


Harry Bubbins is the director of Friends of Brook Park, an environmental education organization based in Mott Haven and Port Morris, and member of the South Bronx Unite.

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May 27, 2014
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx teen charged in slap death: Man called me ‘immigrant’


The Bronx teen whose hard slap proved fatal to an Italian tourist during an argument outside a bodega last week told cops the man called him an “immigrant” and was trying to score drugs, court papers show.


Brownie Lopez, 19, was arraigned Monday for misdemeanor assault in relation to the open-handed slap that felled Oliver D’Orio, causing him to hit his head on the sidewalk. D’Orio, 37, later died at a Bronx hospital.


“He called me an immigrant and asked me for drugs,” Lopez told cops after he surrendered on Sunday, according to a criminal complaint unsealed at his arraignment.


“I gave him a punch because he had something in his hands,” he added. “I was scared and felt pressured and I hit him.”


D’Orio, who was visiting his girlfriend in the city, was holding a banana. Before his fatal encounter with Lopez, he was pestering people inside of the Guerrero Deli on Washington Ave. in Belmont, police said. He appeared to be intoxicated.


A surveillance video showed him square off with Lopez outside of the deli. At one point D’Orio walked away, then ripped off his shirt and came back at Lopez, apparently in an effort to challenge him.


Lopez was ordered held in lieu of ,000 bail. He can be sentenced to as much as one year in jail if convicted.


A spokesman for Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said more serious charges were not filed against Lopez because the surveillance video makes clear that “intent to kill just wan’t there.”


oyaniv@nydailynews.com

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May 26, 2014
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx gunman run down, killed by ex’s new beau


A gun-toting Bronx man was run down and killed early Sunday by a minivan driven by his ex-gal pal’s boyfriend, cops said.


The drama unfolded in Morris Heights about 3:30 a.m. when 25-year-old Jonathan Mejia jumped into a Honda Odyssey on Andrews Ave. near 176th St.


He drove for about a block with his girlfriend before plowing into Edward Jenkins, 43, on University Ave., cops said.


The driver then sped off.


Gunfire was reported in the vicinity and investigators found a 9-mm. Beretta next to Jenkins’ body, but it wasn’t clear if he fired at the couple, cops said.


Jenkins, who lived nearby on Macombs Road, was taken to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital but couldn’t be saved. The woman, 30, had previously been romantically involved with Jenkins, cops said.


Mejia, of Washington Heights, was charged with murder, leaving the scene of an accident and driving while impaired. He told cops he had been drinking, a police source said, and that’s why he didn’t stop after hitting Jenkins.


The gold minivan was found a few blocks away at the intersection of Grand and W. Tremont Aves., cops said.


The passenger side of its hood was crumpled and its windshield was shattered.


Gabe Herrera, 32, lives near the scene and heard the commotion.


“I didn’t hear any shots, but I heard the car crash,” he said. “It just sounded like a crunch, a bump, like one car hit another. But it was somebody getting killed by a car.”


With Oren Yaniv


tmoore@nydailynews.com

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May 26, 2014
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx woman arrested in $115,000 benefits scam


A Bronx woman was charged with illegally obtaining more than 5,000 in public benefits by failing to report her husband’s income, authorities said.


Investigators found that from January 2006 to April 2012, Lizette Cuadrado submitted false benefit applications to the New York City Human Resources Administration.


In the submissions, Cuadrado, 47, failed to disclose that she lived with her spouse, who was earning an income.


She obtained ,563 from Medicaid, ,057 in Temporary Assistance cash benefits, and ,818 in federal food aid, officials said.


She was arrested Friday and charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors. If convicted, she could face up to 15 years in prison.


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May 25, 2014
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BRONX NEWS: Man surrenders in bodega death

Suspect in death outside Guerrero Bodega in the Bronx.


Suspect in death outside Guerrero Bodega in the Bronx.

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Suspect in death outside Guerrero Bodega in the Bronx.


Suspect in death outside Guerrero Bodega in the Bronx.

Enlarge

Suspect in death outside Guerrero Bodega in the Bronx.


Suspect in death outside Guerrero Bodega in the Bronx.

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According to police, this person was seen hitting a man early Friday outside a bodega in the Bronx. The assault led to the victim’s falling and hitting his head, which killed him, cops say.



A 20-year-old Bronx man turned himself in to police Sunday afternoon in connection with the death of a tourist from Switzerland, cops said.


The surrender caps a bizarre series of events that began early Friday morning when Oliver D’Orio, 37, who was visiting his girlfriend in the city, started pestering bodega customers in the Belmont section to buy him a beer.


A man fed up with his antics hit D’Orio with an open hand outside the Guerrero Deli on Washington Ave. — sending the Italian man falling backwards to the sidewalk.


He struck his head, was knocked unconscious and later died.


Police reviewed surveillance tape and put out a photograph of suspect with an unkempt Afro and tattoos of stars on his arms.


That suspect, whose name is being withheld, walked into the 48th precincthouse around 5:30 p.m. Sunday and turned himself into cops, police said.


D’Orio had been in the city for 10 days and planned to return to his home in Switzerland next Thursday.

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May 25, 2014
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx gunman run down by ex’s new beau


A 43-year-old gunman was struck and killed after shooting at a minivan driven by his romantic rival in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx Sunday morning, a source said.


The dramatic scene unfolded around 3:30 a.m. at University Ave. and 176th St., cops said.


The gunman saw his former flame, who is in her 30s, in the Honda Odyssey minivan with her 25-year-old beau and began firing his weapon, the source said.


The driver took off but encountered the gunman again as he crossed University Ave. between W. 175th and W. 176th St., cops said.


The minivan plowed into the gun-toting pedestrian, leaving him with serious head injuries, cops said. He was taken to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, but couldn’t be saved.


The driver was taken into custody for questioning and possible charges. A police source said he was being tested for alcohol. The woman was not injured.


tmoore@nydailynews.com


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May 24, 2014
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BRONX NEWS: Man jumps into Hudson River carrying roses and an urn: witnesses


An unhinged man carrying an urn and roses stripped naked Saturday at a Bronx park and jumped into the Hudson River, witnesses told police.


Divers searched the river off Roberto Clemente State Park for the unidentified victim after his 10:20 a.m. leap, but hours later they had yet to recover their victim.


Witness Cristina Burgos, a student at Lehman College, saw the man peel off his clothes and drape them over the urn before scaling a five-foot fence to jump into the murky river.


“I would have tried to stop him — but he was determined,” said Burgos.


He jumped while clutching a single flower and left a note behind, according to a police source and witnesses.


Burgos, 30, and other witnesses dashed to the water’s edge, where they saw the victim begin to shake uncontrollably before sinking.


“We ran to him, screaming for him to get out,” Burgos said.


The victim left behind on shore a heap of clothing including a green button-down shirt, tie, and sleeveless yellow sweatshirt, along with a red duffel bag.


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May 24, 2014
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BRONX NEWS: Komodo dragons to be exhibited at the Bronx Zoo


The Bronx Zoo’s newest exhibit opens this weekend, and the stars are three Komodo dragons, the world’s largest species of lizards. There are two males and one female at the zoo, and the two seen above seem to be getting along quite well. Fewer than 2,500 Komodo dragons are estimated to remain in the world, and this is the first time they’ve been exhibited at the Bronx Zoo since the 1950s.


On a mobile device? Click here to watch the video.

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