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Jan 29, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Boy, 5, who was shot in Bronx back in hospital with infection


He made a miraculous recovery once — now his family is counting on him to do it again.


Jaheem Hunter — an inspiring Bronx boy who endured months of grueling surgeries and rehab after being hit in the head with a stray bullet on his fifth birthday — is back in the hospital after spending a few precious weeks home with his family.


The new complication reversed much of the progress that allowed him to return to his sister’s Yonkers home two weeks before Christmas after six months in the hospital and rehab.


“It’s a step back,” his sister and guardian Aja Holmes told the Daily News. “He did not want to go back (to the hospital). I felt so bad for him.”

Boy, 5, rushed to hospital after recovering from Bronx shooting


During his first go-round in the hospital and rehab, surgeons performed a tracheotomy and two cranioplasties on Jaheem — one to remove part of his skull and the other to fuse it back in.


But an unexpected infection has forced doctors to remove the plate and he once again has to wear a helmet to protect the soft spot in his skull.


“He woke up and he just started crying and touching his head, trying to tell me his head was hurt,” Holmes said of little Jaheem after the latest surgery.


The tough tyke was stepping out of his father’s Morrisania apartment on June 5 when a gunman with a long criminal record opened fire at a rival over a drug deal.

Bronx boy shot in head honored by Knicks, gets free cruise


A slug pierced Jaheem’s skull. He was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia for lifesaving care. The boy was later transferred to Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Westchester County, where he slowly learned to talk, walk and write again.


Doctors discharged him in December, allowing him to spend the holidays with his family — and several special guests. A trifecta of Knicks visited to drop off presents and play a game of hoops with him.


But on the morning of Dec. 30, Holmes found him lying on the floor speaking incoherently.


“He was drooling, bumping into things,” said Holmes, who now splits her time between visiting Jaheem, caring for her own 5-year-old son and working a full-time job.

Boy, 5, shot in Bronx thrilled to celebrate Christmas with family


Doctors were concerned Jaheem suffered a stroke. But a CAT scan revealed he had fluid in his head and his white blood cell count had spiked, indicating an infection. Jaheem’s medical team was hopeful they could wait out the infection and avoid another surgery, but his head began to swell.


“The fluid that was in his head burst out of his head and onto the pillow,” Holmes said. I was trying to explain to him that he had a boo-boo on his head and they needed to check it out.”


He will be at Blythedale for the next two months as doctors make sure his infection clears.


He’ll eventually have to endure another surgery — in which doctors will likely replace the missing part of his skull with titanium mesh. As he continues to grow, the mesh will have to be continually replaced.

Boy, 5, takes first steps three months after being shot in Bronx


But Jaheem’s fighting spirit has inspired people to come to his aid.


Long Island philanthropist Sandra Atlas Bass reached out to Holmes last week to make a donation. Bass made one request when she spoke to Holmes — that the family use the money to buy Jaheem a present he really wants.


“To see a little boy suffer like that, it just went to my heart,” Bass said.


Holmes said she stays awake at night thinking of Jaheem’s future. “He’s bounced right on back,” she said. “But is he going to continue to be strong enough?”

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Jan 28, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx teacher snags Music Educator Award at Grammys


Bronx music teacher Melissa Salguero didn’t have to go far to enjoy the Grammys, and her ,000 award for making tunes at school.


The P.S. 48 Joseph R. Drake Elementary School teacher in Hunts Point snagged the 2018 Music Educator Award and joined a sea of celebs at Madison Square Garden Sunday night.


Late night host and Grammys emcee James Corden gave Salguero a shoutout for making “a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music” before introducing comic Dave Chappelle.


“Thank you for everything you do for the next generation,” Corden told Salguero. “Really, really incredible.”

Janelle Monáe gives stirring Time’s Up speech at Grammys


Salguero went up against music educators in Tennessee, California, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Colorado and Washington. She was a semifinalist for the award in 2017.


She has taught at P.S. 48 since 2010 and before that, Salguero told the Daily News in 2015 that the school lacked a music program.


The big win will land her a ,000 award from the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum with matching grants.

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new york public schools

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Jan 28, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Man, 30, found unconscious on Bronx street dies at hospital


A 30-year-old man died after he was found bloodied and unconscious on a Bronx street early Sunday, officials said.


Cops responding to a 911 call discovered the victim lying next to a dumpster on 143rd St. near Brook Ave. in Mott Haven about 4:15 a.m. He had suffered visible body and head trauma and was bleeding from the left side of his head as well as internally, authorities said.


Medics rushed him to Lincoln Hospital, where he died. His name was not immediately released.


Cops were searching for surveillance video that might reveal how he was hurt. There were no witnesses to the apparent assault, according to police.


The city Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy.

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Jan 28, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: CARIBBEAT: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land


Fueled by faith and brotherhood, a group of Caribbean-American pastors and congregation members recently traveled to Israel — making personal connections and strengthening ties with their Christian beliefs.


In stark contrast to the controversy surrounding America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, politics played no part on this mission to the Holy Land.


From Jan. 8 through 16, the group visited Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, the Garden of Gethsemane and other holy Christian sites, and historic places “where Jesus walked” by bus.


Pastor Gilford Monrose of the Mt. Zion Church of God (7th Day) lead the mission along with Senior Pastor Mullery Jean-Pierre of the Bereca Baptist Church; Senior Pastor Charles Galbreath of the Clarendon Road Church and Pastor Clifton McDowell of the Church of God of East New York.


The group of more than 200 persons — ranging from teenagers to senior citizens — paid their way on the trip.


Pastor Monrose — a U.S. Virgin Island-born religious leader who is active in the East Flatbush, Brooklyn, community helped organize this month’s mission to Israel after visiting the Middle East nation with other Caribbean religious leaders last year on a Jewish Community Relations Council of New York-sponsored trip.


Lawsuit for Haiti immigrants


Long in the fight for the rights of African-Americans, the NAACP has taken up the cause of Haitian immigrants affected by the decision to rescind the Temporary Protective Status.


Last week, the civil rights organization filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security charging that action discriminates against immigrants of color, in violation of the Fifth Amendment.


Veteran artists’ show


“The Art Life: Otto Neals and Emmett Wigglesworth,” an exhibition featuring two masterful African-American artists, starts on Feb. 10 at the FiveMyles gallery, 558 St. Johns Place in Brooklyn, with an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Wigglesworth — a muralist, painter, sculptor, poet and political activist — and Neals — a sculptor of bronze and marble who also paints with oil and pastels — have been active in the American art scene for 60 years. The exhibition runs through March 11.


For information on the shows, visit www.fivemyles.org.

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Jan 28, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: NYCHA tenant whose daughter was lead-poisoned wins $57M verdict


Public housing tenant Tiesha Jones was heartbroken after learning 4-year-old daughter Dakota — life-long resident of a lead-tainted NYCHA apartment — registered an alarmingly dangerous level of lead in her blood.


On Friday, she received a measure of retribution: A Bronx jury handed down a million verdict against the Housing Authority for its failure to inspect her apartment for lead paint as required.


“I was overjoyed. I was crying nonstop,” said Jones, 38, ripping NYCHA officials as “liars” for insisting despite the evidence that her apartment was lead-free.


“The tenants don’t have any hope here. It’s like we’re an afterthought. They’re ruining our quality of life. They’re ruining our hopes and dreams.”


The huge verdict comes as the Housing Authority and Mayor de Blasio struggle to address revelations that the authority had for years neglected to perform thousands of required lead paint checks in its aging apartments.


Even worse, NYCHA then falsely claimed the work had been performed.


Jones moved into the apartment in the Fort Independence development in the Bronx in 1999. By 2010, she was living there with her six children.


Blood-lead tests of daughter Dakota Taylor initially came back as negative. But in January 2010, the little girl registered a level of 45 micrograms per deciliter of lead in her blood. The acceptable level is 5.


Lead in children is believed to cause developmental delays. Dakota was given an individual education plan (IEP) and put in special education classes in the city public schools.


“The damage had already been done,” Jones said. “She didn’t have a chance to go to regular school … She got held over in special ed in second grade.”


She says she felt “betrayed. I was mortified. They sent me letters every year stating that there’s no lead in the apartment. Here I was thinking I was safe, taking care of my children.”


Jones says she always had to bring up the high blood-lead results with school officials to explain her daughter’s disability because they never asked.


Records show two prior inspections of the apartment in 2006 and 2008 were marked as “completed” but with no notation in the inspection record reporting that it was checked for lead.


After Dakota’s lead level was detected, city Department of Health inspectors with an X-ray device showed up and began testing.


At the time, the little girl was splitting her days between her apartment, a babysitter’s apartment also within Fort Independence, and her grandmother’s apartment that was not in a NYCHA development.


DOH tested all three and found lead paint in both of the Fort Independence units, but not in the grandmother’s place.


As they often do, NYCHA performed its own lab tests and insisted there was no lead present in Jones’ apartment. With the conflicting results, an administrative judge ordered them to abate the apartment anyway.


The vendor who did the job in February 2010 had no record of EPA certification as required, records show. The Daily News revealed last month that NYCHA had for years relied on untrained, uncertified workers to perform inspections and cleanup of lead-tainted apartments.


Jones sued and NYCHA — citing its lab test with its negative lead finding — moved to dismiss the suit. Ultimately an appeals court ruled the issue of conflicting test results was something a jury should decide, so the case went forward.


The trial began in mid-January and on Friday the jury took one hour to reach a verdict, whacking NYCHA with a huge million penalty.


Jones got a bachelor’s degree and is now working toward a law degree. She also became a tenant leader at Fort Independence, and when she moved to NYCHA’s Bailey Houses a few blocks away, she became a leader there.


She notes that her apartment never received the annual lead paint inspections as required.


“They are supposed to be done annually. That was not done,” she said. “Imagine how many other residents have gone through this.”


Jones’ attorney, Thomas Giuffra of the law firm Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin, called the verdict “totally a message” to the NYCHA leadership.


“They’ve known since 1960 there shouldn’t be lead in these apartments,” he said. “Shouldn’t they have taken care of it by now?”


On Friday, NYCHA spokeswoman Jasmine Blake said the authority is in talks with Jones’ lawyers about a settlement.


“NYCHA is clearly disappointed with the jury’s verdict but looks forward to the final settlement of this matter upon terms agreed to by the plaintiffs,” NYCHA spokeswoman Jasmine Blake said.

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Jan 27, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx parents left 5-year-old alone in feces-stained apartment


The flies and the neighbors were still buzzing Saturday after a 5-year-old boy was abandoned all night by his parents inside their vermin-riddled Bronx apartment.


Mom Charlotte Lewis, 49, and dad Wilfred Lewis, 59, were awaiting court appearances after their arrests for leaving the child home alone — except for the cockroaches, rats and flies.


“A couple of times they would leave the door open and I always told my boyfriend, ‘Oh, that house is kind of disgusting,’” said Deanna Strom, 27, one day after a FedEx deliveryman discovered the lonely boy.


The Kingsbridge Ave. apartment, in addition to the living critters, featured feces splattered across the walls when cops arrived on the scene Friday afternoon.

FedEx worker finds boy alone in rat- and feces-filled Bronx home


A stench of decay wafted from the apartment Saturday, when a squadron of flies remained visible through a hole left in the front door where the knob was missing.


“I couldn’t imagine that at all,” Strom said about the vile conditions inside the home. “It was pretty disturbing. Never in my life … I couldn’t imagine personally living in those conditions.”


On top of the repugnant state of the residence, there was no food inside the refrigerator, authorities said.


The parents — who celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary last year — were both charged with failing to exercise control of a minor. The dad was additionally accused of child endangerment.


The boy told police that he hadn’t seen his parents since Thursday night, cops said. But Strom said the child did not appear rattled by the lack of attention.


“He was really calm,” she said. “Which to me was a little different, because I feel like with something like that, if the kid isn’t crying it’s something he’s used to.


“It’s a daily routine for him.”


Authorities found his mother at Montefiore Hospital where, according to sources, she worked as a nurse. Sources say the boy’s father works for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


The couple has three other kids — a 12-year-old girl, a 13-year-old girl, and a 15-year-old boy — although none were at home when police arrived.


All four kids were taken to Montefiore Hospital for any possibly medical needs, and are currently with the Administration for Children’s Services, cops said.

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Jan 27, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Shotgun-toting thief in Bronx bank robbery held on $10G bail

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Jan 27, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx man wrongfully convicted for 1997 murder set for release


A black Bronx man’s 1997 murder conviction will be vacated Monday and he’ll be released from prison after prosecutors uncovered evidence that the victim, with his dying words, hinted that his killer was Hispanic.


Larry McKee, 47, has spent 20 years in prison for the second-degree murder of Theodore Vance. He is serving a sentence of 24 years to life.


According to testimony, McKee got in a brawl with Vance on Feb. 19, 1996, on W. 176th St. Vance clocked him with a retractable metal wand several times. McKee then ran across the street from his rival and opened fire.


He shot twice, missing Vance. But his third shot mortally wounded the 29-year-old man.

Gotti mobster fails to get conviction tossed by smearing judge


That account now doesn’t hold up, Bronx prosecutors say. Following a six-month investigation, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark’s office found grand jury evidence not shared with McKee’s defense that Vance, bleeding to death, told a witness he saw “a Spanish guy.”


That critical piece of evidence corroborates witness testimony that the gunman was Hispanic.


The failure to disclose the dying declaration warrants vacating McKee’s conviction, prosecutors say.


“It’s huge, when you have nothing else from the guy who is about to die. You have no other testimony saying it was a Spanish guy,” McKee’s attorney, Michael Talassazan said.

Brooklyn man who had ’93 murder conviction overturned walks free


“It’s sworn testimony. And the main fact is they should have disclosed it. They didn’t play fair. …They did not give Larry the chance at a fair trial.”


McKee is expected to be presented before Justice Robert Torres Monday at 2:30 p.m.


The signed order requests McKee be brought from Adirondack Correctional Facility to Bronx Supreme Court “so that he may be released from custody.” It notes that Clark’s office “is joining motion to vacate his conviction and consenting to his release.”


“Once again, our Conviction Integrity Unit has corrected a wrong from the past. We will never stop in our quest to ensure fairness and integrity in the criminal justice system,” Clark said.

Lawmaker tries to raise cash in light of Silver’s overturned case


“The evidence raised a question as to whether the shooter had been correctly identified because McKee is black, and it should have been turned over to the defense,” her office added in a release.


Papers obtained by the Daily News indicate that Talassazan found an additional witness who also said a Hispanic man shot at Vance during the fight with McKee.


“This guy attacked him with an extended baton,” Talassazan said. “Larry was fighting the guy. Next thing you know someone comes out of the woodwork and starts shooting.”


McKee always maintained his innocence and made at least two unsuccessful appeals. But if he knows the identity of the shooter, he isn’t saying.

Sheldon Silver’s seven overturned convictions, explained


“He’s not a snitch,” Talassazan said. “That’s kind of the code of the street in that area. It’s noble in a way, yes. It’s also messed up that he took a hit for somebody like that.”


Talassazan said McKee still couldn’t believe he was about to be a free man. It won’t be real until he actually leaves the courthouse.


“Honestly man, all I want to do is walk. Walk by myself. I just want to walk,” Talassazan recalled him saying.


“It’s a really powerful thing to say,” the attorney added. 

Don’t blame the judges for overturning Sheldon Silver conviction

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new york murders

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Jan 27, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: FedEx worker finds boy alone in rat- and feces-filled Bronx home


A FedEx worker found a 5-year-old boy left alone inside a squalid Bronx apartment Friday, police said.


The deliveryman was dropping off a package at the Kingsbridge Ave. apartment when he made the discovery at 11:30 a.m., cops said.


The boy was by himself in the cockroach-, rat- and fly-infested apartment with feces splattered on the walls, police said.


On top of the repulsive conditions, there was no food in the fridge, authorities said.


The FedEx worker immediately flagged down two police officers who found the tot’s parents hours later.


Charlotte Lewis, 49, and Wilfred Lewis, 59, are charged with failing to exercise control of a minor, police said.


The boy’s father is also charged with child endangerment.


The boy told police that he hadn’t seen his parents since Thursday night, cops said.


Authorities found his mother at Montefiore Hospital where, according to sources, she was working as a nurse.


The family’s three other children — a 12-year-old girl, a 13-year-old girl and a boy, 15 — were not home either, police said.


All four kids were taken to Montefiore Hospital to be treated and are currently with the Administration for Children’s Services, cops said.


Sources say the boy’s father works for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


The MTA was not immediately available for comment.

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Jan 26, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: NYC woman found dead with pants down may have overdosed


The woman who was found sprawled on a Brooklyn sidewalk with her pants pulled down may have died of a drug overdose, police sources said Friday.


Taina Lacend, 23, was discovered on Olean St. near E. 24th St. in Midwood about 6:30 a.m. Thursday.


Her clothes were in disarray and blood was coming from her mouth and nose, cops said. Her purse was nearby.


An autopsy was conducted Friday, but the results were pending, a spokeswoman for the city Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Woman’s body found with pants pulled down on Brooklyn sidewalk


Meanwhile, investigators are building a timeline of the hours leading up to her death in the hopes of determining where she was and who she was with.


Detectives are probing the possibility that Lacend died of a drug overdose and was dumped in Midwood, police sources said.


A man who lives in the neighborhood made the gruesome find on his way to work. His wife called 911 and told a dispatcher she believed the woman was assaulted.


Lacend spent most of her teen years in and out of foster care, according to her foster mother Regina Mackins.


Her mother, and possibly a sister, are in the shelter system, said Mackins, who was still reeling from news of Lacend’s death.


“She’s still a big kid, even though she’s in her 20s,” Mackins said from her East New York home, where Lacend lived for nearly three years. “I can’t believe it…it was on the TV yesterday and I thought ‘Oh, Lord.’


“I was like ‘I hope it’s not her, I hope it’s not her’,” she remembered.


While Mackins never saw Lacend do drugs, she thought it was likely the young woman overdosed.


“Taina was really bubbly. She never disrespected me, she was the sweetest thing to me,” the foster mo. “But she liked the street. She liked to hang out with trouble.” 

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midwood

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Jan 26, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx woman found dead with pants down on sidewalk identified


Police have identified the young woman found sprawled out on a Brooklyn sidewalk with her pants pulled down and her blouse pushed up — but investigators still have no idea how she died, officials said.


Taina Lacend, 23, of the Bronx, was found dead on Olean St. near E. 24th St. in Midwood about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, cops said.


Her clothes were disturbed and she had blood coming from her mouth and nose, but there were no obvious signs of trauma on her body, cops said.


Cops found Lacend’s purse a short distance away from her corpse on Thursday, but did not immediately release her name until her family could be notified, police sources said.

Woman’s body found with pants pulled down on Brooklyn sidewalk


A man who lives in the neighborhood made the gruesome find on his way to work. His wife called 911 and told a dispatcher she believed the woman was assaulted.


An autopsy was scheduled for Friday to determine how she died.


In the meantime, investigators are building a timeline for the hours leading up to the discovery of her body, in the hopes of determining where she was and identifying who she was with.

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midwood

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Jan 26, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Mom and 14-year-old son arrested in Bronx man’s murder, robbery


Cops on Friday cuffed a woman and her 14-year-old son for the fatal stabbing of a Bronx man during a December robbery, police said.


Shamika Mosley, 34, and her teenage son were arrested late Thursday for the murder of Calixto Palacios, a 61-year-old Fordham Heights resident found dead on the floor of his second-floor apartment on Morris Ave. near Burnside Ave. the morning of December 11, according to authorities.


The morning of the murder, a concerned neighbor said a woman in a gray sweater — whom police later identified as Mosley — answered Palacios’ door and told her, “He’s not here,” when she asked where Palacios was, sources said.


After the suspicious encounter, the neighbor called police who found his door unlocked and Palacios dead on the floor with seven stab wounds, cops said.


Mosley, however, was gone.


Police charged Mosley and her child with murder and robbery, authorities said. Mosley, of Morris Heights, was arrested in March of 2016 for trespassing and possession of crack cocaine.

Tags:
new york murders
new york robberies
fordham heights
morris heights
drug busts

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