Flushing school designated as Blue Ribbon School

The United States Department of Education has officially designated PS 244 in Flushing – known as The Active Learning Elementary School – as a Blue Ribbon School. The school was awarded the designation this morning by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

“Naming P.S. 244 as a Blue Ribbon School is great news,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng. “This is a tremendous achievement and it further illustrates the great work of the entire school team. I’m extremely proud of P.S. 244’s Principal Robert Groff and all of the school’s students, teachers and staff. Congratulations to each and every one of them on achieving this great national honor!”

The Blue Ribbon Program honors schools whose students either achieve very high learning standards or make notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.

“Thank you to the Secretary of Education for recognizing P.S. 244 as a Blue Ribbon School,” said Principal Robert Groff. “This clearly illustrates the hard work of our staff and families each day. We have been able to build a community of learners for both students and adults alike that makes TALES a truly special place. We hope to continue the success we have had since opening in 2008 and look forward to excelling in the future.”

On Nov. 9 and 10, representatives from every school designated as a Blue Ribbon School, will be honored in a ceremony in Washington D.C.

Photo courtesy NYC Department of Education

Couple arrested for peddling DVDs in LI Diner

Wikimedia Commons/Yann de la Marne
Wikimedia Commons/Yann de la Marne

A Flushing couple was recently arrested for operating a counterfeit DVD ring out of their apartment and selling the illegal copies around Nassau County in Long Island.

Authorities were first tipped off in April after a diner owner reported that Xing Ming Wang and Xiao Yu Zheng, both 48, would come to the diner each Thursday to peddle the DVDs. Working alongside an investigator from the Motion Picture Association of America, the District Attorney’s office found the DVDs to be counterfeit.

In subsequent months, investigators purchased a number of DVDs from the couple.
“The defendants are alleged to have run a sophisticated pirating operation out of their Queens home and went store to store selling DVDs in East Meadow,” Madeline Singas, Acting Nassau County District Attorney, said in a statement. “Counterfeiting is a crime and will not be tolerated in Nassau County.”

Upon arrest, the couple were charged with Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording in the 1st degree, Scheme to Defraud in the 1st Degree, Trademark Counterfeiting in the 2nd degree and Trademark Counterfeiting in the 3rd degree.

Flushing teens to be recognized for summer of service

This coming Saturday, Sept. 26, teens at Korea Taekwondo will be recognized for their their service projects, which they completed over the summer. The projects include fundraising for the Powerhouse School Program (a free Saturday Program for NYC Children ages 4-14 years old), picking up trash at Flushing Meadow Corona Park, and beautifying the Promise International Ministries property at the College Point Corporate Park.

“My mom and dad would probably yell at me if I just spent the whole summer watching tv and texting with my friends,”said Cion Kang, a 1st dan black belt. “And this is more fun anyway because I get to be with my friends and help people at the same time.”

KOREA  Taekwondo will have Grand Opening House Day on Saturday Sept. 26 from 3-6 p.m., hosted by the Flushing Chamber of Commerce. On that day, Flushing Chamber will give award to the team and elective officials will have mini Taekwondo lesson. For more information, visit http://ktkd.nyc/.

NYPD program in 109 Pct. wins Best of NY award


During the 2015 New York Digital Government Summit in Albany, a NYPD pilot program that began in the 109th Precinct received a “Best of New York” award from the Center for Digital Government.

The program was honored with the trophy for “Most Innovative Use of Social Media/Citizen Engagement.” The Precinct worked along with IdeaScale, a crowdsourcing platform, to crowdsource the quality-of-life agenda in the community. Through the platform, residents can bring up issues facing their community, which is then ranked based upon the amount of user contribution, comments and votes.

The program has helped the NYPD identify issues that would have otherwise been unknown. In turn, the precinct has been able to provide sufficient solutions.

“Social breaks down the barriers. The New York Police Department has had many, many issues over the past several years. We’re keenly aware of them,” said Zachary Tumin, NYPD deputy commissioner, Strategic Initiatives, to Warc.com. “Our job here is to help build trust and restore confidence in police and policing.”

The NYPD also won the award for “Best Application Serving the Public.” Through their Emergency Service Unity Mobile Computer Assisted Dispatch, first responders can receive emergency information in real-time, saving time and lives for those in need.

Fire in Flushing closes part of Northern Boulevard

Fire in Flushing closes part of Northern Boulevard

Police are advising residents to avoid Northern Boulevard between 150th street and 154th Street due to a commercial fire.

The fire looks to be at H&Y Marketplace (Han Yang Mart) according to a photo supplied by police.

The FDNY was on the scene within the last hour to get the incident under control, but part of Northern Boulevard was closed, due to the fire.

Politicians condemn Jeb Bush ‘anchor babies’ comment

Flickr/ Gage Skidmore
Flickr/ Gage Skidmore

Queens elected officials called for an apology from Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush on Friday, following his comment last week that “anchor babies,” a term he’d invoked and been chastised for in recent weeks while discussing immigration reform, was “frankly more related to Asian people.”

The term has been utilized by Bush, as well as GOP presidential rival Donald Trump in recent weeks, to refer to children born in the United States to non-American parents, solely as a means of attaining American citizenship.

At Flushing Town Hall on Friday, community leaders in the Asian-American community condemned Trump and Bush’s remarks, calling the term offensive and cautioning that it would only propel anti-immigrant and racist sentiment.

“Jeb Bush’s comment is only the latest in a string of knee-jerk invectives by presidential candidates intent on pandering to radicals hell-bent on eviscerating immigrant communities across the country,” said Councilman Peter Koo. “We are calling on all presidential candidates to immediately end this anti-immigrant one-upmanship.

“Instead of further marginalizing communities, our presidential candidates should be campaigning on ways they can bring our country together,” he added.

Read the full story at the Queens Examiner.

Stars make appearances at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day

Natalia La Rose

Before the tennis stars got to duke it out on the courts this week, the U.S. Open held its annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. While the day centers around the idea of promoting youth tennis and encouraging children to develop healthy habits through fun activities, the event concluded with a star-studded concert for fans of all ages.

Former performers include Rihanna, Backstreet Boys, Jason Derulo, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato among others. Similarly, this year’s lineup also consisted of young up-and-comers such as Bea Miller, who rose to fame on ‘The X Factor’ with Simon Cowell, and Jacob Whitestone, who was named an “Artist to Watch” by MTV in August. American Authors, the Brooklyn based band behind the hit song ‘Best Day of My Life,’ brought their optimistic alternative rock to the stage while the hip hop duo Kalin and Myles returned for the second consecutive year.

To read the full story and see more photos, check out the Queens Ledger.

ATM skimming devices found in Flushing

According to the 109th Precinct, ATM skimming devices were discovered in 11988564_851560394961565_4982767807897835161_n-624x624-1automated teller machines and gas stations in and around the Flushing area.

One was found inside a Flushing Duane Reade at 136-02 Roosevelt Ave. Two more skimmers were found attached to gas pumps at the gas stations located in Whitestone at 17-55 Francis Lewis Blvd. and at 29-16 Francis Lewis Blvd.

Police told a local newspaper that the devices were discovered by employees of Duane Reade and gas station, respectively, who then immediately called NYPD to investigate.
If you may have used your credit or debit card on these ATMs or gas pimps since Aug 1, police advise to call your credit card or bank companies and inform them of the cards which may have information in the open.