After Metro-North Derailment That Killed Four, Federal Transportation Board Begins Investigation

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Image via Cuomo Director of Communications Melissa DeRosa
Governor Andrew Cuomo addresses reporters Sunday evening.
At 7:20 on Sunday morning, a southbound Metro-North train heading from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx, killing four people and injuring 63, 11 of them critically. On Sunday night, the dead were identified by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police; they are Donna L. Smith, 54, of Newburgh, New York, James G. Lovell, 58, of Cold Spring, James M. Ferrari, 59, of Montrose, and Ahn Kisook, 35, of Queens.

It's still not clear what caused the derailment, although an anonymous "senior city official" told the New York Times that a train operator pulled from the wreckage told first responders that the brakes had failed, something that hasn't been publicly confirmed. The incident happened near where a northbound train hauling garbage derailed in July. In a press conference last night, Governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledge the previous accident, but said, "We have no reason to believe those two things are related."

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Ten-Year-Old's Fingertip Severed on Broken Public Housing Playground Slide, Says Complaint

Categories: Bronx, Lawsuits

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Google Maps
Mill Brook Houses
The 10-year-old girl had played at the Mill Brook Houses' playground before. Her friend lived at the South Bronx development and she sometimes came over to hang out during the summer.

The girl was there on the afternoon of July 10. She went down a slide and when she reached the bottom her hand was covered in blood. A protruding piece of metal had sliced off the tip of her right ring finger, according to a complaint filed Friday in Bronx Supreme Court.

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Barrington Williams Died From Asthma Attack After Police Chase, Medical Examiner Says

Categories: Bronx, NYPD

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Wikimedia Commons
On September 17, 25-year-old Barrington Williams died after running from the police. Following more than a months of testing, the city's medical examiner has ruled the cause of death as natural, the office told the Village Voice on Tuesday.

Williams succumbed to "acute and chronic bronchial asthma," said Grace Brugess, a spokesperson for the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. He had a severe asthma attack.

The chase began around 2:30 p.m., when NYPD officers suspected that Williams was selling MetroCard swipes at the East 161st Street B/D train subway station in the Bronx. Officers walked toward him and he took off, according to the police account.

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Children Are Confusing Hawks for Fly Balls at Bronx Ballpark

Categories: Birds, Bronx

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Photo Credit: wolfpix via Compfight cc
Does this look like a sphere to you?
The New York Post seems to think that the problem at Clemente Ballfield in Crotona Park in the Bronx is the hawks nesting atop floodlights. To be sure, the birds are scaring little-leaguers when they swoop down to the field during plays.

But here's the really alarming piece of this story: "'They're always there. Sometimes they confuse the kids,' she added, explaining that the birds are often the mistaken [sic] for balls."

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Two Recent Police Academy Grads Shoot and Kill a 14-Year-Old in the Bronx

Categories: Bronx, Guns

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Photo Credit: dkshots via Compfight cc
Early Sunday morning two police officers, both of whom completed their training just last month, shot and killed a 14-year-old boy in south Bronx. The killing is a direct result of the Operation Impact, Commissioner Ray Kelly's policy of deploying the department's greenest members to the most crime-ridden parts of the city.

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New York Botanical Garden's Orchid Show: Beauty in the Bronx

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Though snow continues to fall across the city, spring has finally arrived at the Bronx's New York Botanical Garden, where the conservatory's annual Orchid Show is in full bloom. To celebrate, we rode the train uptown, took off our jackets, and spoke with Marc Hachadourian, the manager of the Nolan glasshouse and the garden's orchid curator.

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Fight Turns Bloody at Bronx Playground

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On July 22nd, paramedics arrived at the Half-Nelson Playground in the Morris Heights neighborhood of the Bronx at around 9pm, only to find a young 22-year-old man named Tashawn Murray covered in blood and sprawled out across the basketball court. Murray was rushed to a nearby hospital and declared dead soon after. 

The death was the result of a simple argument over a game of basketball gone terribly wrong and Murray had to pay the price, police told reporters that night. His assailants came back after harsh words were exchanged but, this time, they brought back packed guns and a vengeance to kill. The shooters of Murray have yet to be found.

The violence at Half-Nelson Playground unfortunately continued yesterday night. The scenario was eerily similar to that of a month ago: a basketball tournament and barbeque was being held at the outside community hub. But, at around 10pm, a fight broke out that led to the stabbing of four separate people, three of which were women. 

Once again, the Bronx playground turned bloody.

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South Bronxites Sue FreshDirect, City For Ducking Asthma Risk Study

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When the city Industrial Development Agency voted back in February to give FreshDirect $128 million in tax breaks and other goodies to move their shipping headquarters from Queens to the Bronx, local residents who were peeved at the prospect of a fleet of produce-laden trucks idling all night -- in a borough that isn't even currently until last month wasn't even served by FreshDirect -- vowed to keep up the fight. And fight they are, as this afternoon New York Lawyers for the Public Interest will file a lawsuit against the IDA on behalf of South Bronx residents, charging that the agency skimped on the environmental review required by state law.

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Judge Pauses Bloomberg's "Livery Cab" Plan, Outer Boroughs Must Suffer

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This picture was definitely not taken in Brooklyn. Because cabs do not exist there.

Contrary to popular belief, there are people that live outside of Manhattan. The hustle and bustle of New York City is not limited to one island; actually, almost 80 percent of New Yorkers live in the outer boroughs (probably because they cannot afford its real estate horrors). 

And, if taxi cabs follow the people who use them, that should mean that 80 percent of those yellow autos should be leaving Manhattan, right? Wrong.

A Supreme Court justice ruled against Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to expand street-hail service to Northern Manhattan and the rest of the metropolis, issuing what is called a plaintiff request to temporarily enjoin the proposal. In other words, without a final ruling issued yet, Bloomberg's ambitions have been put on hold for the time being.

However, the temporary restraining order from the Court precludes a part of the "livery cab" plan that would auction off 2,000 of those lucky cab medallions, worth millions of dollars in city revenues. The only thing being restrained now is the fleet's new additions in the form of Boro Taxi permits. The outer borough-ers will just have to wait.

However, the Court did not make this temporary decision solely on its tangible proposals; the ruling came to question how Bloomberg went about getting the plan passed in the first place. Looks like he didn't exactly play by the legislative rules.


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Adam Clayton Powell IV Endorses Charlie Rangel: 'We've Always Been Friends...Even When I Ran Against Him'

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Sam Levin
Adam Clayton Powell IV and Charlie Rangel on 125th Street today.
It's just politics!

That's how Adam Clayton Powell IV brushed aside questions today about why he is endorsing longtime Congressman Charlie Rangel for re-election -- after running against him (and thus frequently and harshly criticizing him) in a crowded race two years ago.

In one of the most watched local congressional races, Rangel, the incumbent who has held his Harlem seat for 40 years, is facing tough opposition in the primary as he fights to be re-elected to Congress to represent a newly-drawn district that now includes parts of the Bronx and has a larger Latino population.

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