Man charged with attempted kidnapping in Flushing

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A 32-year-old Long Island man has been charged with attempted kidnapping and other crimes, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

According to the DA, the defendant, identified as Pete Haughton, allegedly dragged a 7-year-old girl from her bed and out the front door of her Flushing home in a “brazen abduction attempt.”

The girl was luckily saved when family members heard her cries for helped and stopped the suspect.

“If not for her loved ones hearing her screams and acting to save her, this could have had a truly tragic outcome,” Katz said. “The defendant was quickly apprehended and the girl is safe with her family.”

Haughton was charged with burglary, attempted kidnapping, assault and endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

Kim, Meng win primary contests against challengers

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After a combative primary race got personal, including charges of cyberbullying, an avalanche of insults and burner accounts on Twitter, Assemblyman Ron Kim cruised to victory against challenger Steven Lee.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Kim received 2,112 votes, representing nearly 70 percent of the vote. Lee, an NYPD sergeant running to the right of Kim, only got 923 votes, or 30 percent.

Though tens of thousands of absentee ballots still have to be counted before the results are official, Kim has a commanding lead, and is likely to emerge victorious in the race.

Another Flushing incumbent, Congresswoman Grace Meng, also won her primary contest against two challengers.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Meng received 15,181 votes, good for 61 percent.

Challenger Melquiades Gagarin, a progressive activist, won 5,261 votes, or 21 percent. Sandra Choi, another first-time candidate, received 4,318 votes, or 17 percent.

Though the district leans heavily Democratic, Meng will still face Republican nominee Thomas Zmich in the general election in November.

In the race for Queens borough president, Councilman Donovan Richards is leading all candidates with 41,915 votes, or 37.2 percent, with 96 percent of precincts reporting.

Trailing Donovan is former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who has 31,781 votes, or 28 percent.

Councilman Costa Constantinides is coming in third, with 17,164 votes, or 15 percent. Closely behind him is Anthony Miranda, with 14.7 percent, and Dao Yin, with 4.5 percent.

Though Richards is ahead by a decent margin, this is a race that will be decided after absentee ballots are counted.

BBA’s Day at the Races has been postponed

Ed Probst, president of the BBA, speaking at a meeting last year.

Ed Probst, president of the BBA, speaking at a meeting last year.

The Bayside Business Association has announced that its annual Day at the Races, originally scheduled for June 25, has been postponed this year due to COVID-19.

“We are working to find a creative, virtual alternative that we can participate in,” the BBA said in a message to members.

BBA will share more information as it becomes available. We will share any updates as well.

Major curb restorations coming to Bayside Hills

Assemblywoman Rozic speaks at a press conference in Bayside Hills in 2014.

Assemblywoman Rozic speaks at a press conference in Bayside Hills in 2014.

Major improvements to the curbs of Bayside Hills.

Last week, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic announced that the city has begun curb restoration and construction work.

The northeast Queens assemblywoman allocated $500,000 in state funding to the Department of Transportation for the project, which will bring the streets to a state of good repair.

“Our streets in Bayside Hills have gone far too long without infrastructure upgrades,” Rozic says. “With the announcement, our families in Bayside Hills will finally receive the street infrastructure that will raise home values, improve neighborhood safety and beautify its blocks.”

The curbs will be rebuilt along with new sidewalks. The renovation is expected to be completed soon.

Construction is taking place along:

  • 208th Street between 53rd Avenue and 56th Avenue
  • 210th Street between 50th Avenue and 53rd Avenue
  • 213th Street between 56th Avenue and Horace Harding Expressway

“Our neighborhood has been in critical need of these curb restorations,” said Michael Feiner, president of the Bayside Hills Civic Association, “and I look forward to the DDC’s completion.”

COVID-19 testing site launched at Windsor Park Library

Screen shot via Google Maps

Screen shot via Google Maps

Earlier this week, the de Blasio administration announced the launch of new testing sites across the five boroughs.

The city is planning to expand its mobile testing apparatus to reach 10 trucks by July, bringing the total number of testing sites to over 200.

In Queens, the NYC Health + Hospitals testing site is at the Windsor Park Library, located at 79-50 Bell Boulevard.

Testing is available free of charge. Visit nyc.gov/covidtest to find the site closest to you.

Whitestone two-way streets to be converted to one-way next week

The Department of Transportation will implement one-way conversions at 17th Avenue, 17th Road, and 157th Street in Whitestone next week.

The impacted streets surround JHS 194 and Saint Luke’s School, where traffic flow and safety has been a cause of concern for the surrounding community. Here is the schedule and locations:

• 17th Avenue between 150th Street and Francis Lewis Boulevard will be converted from two-way to one-way eastbound on June 23.

• 157th Street between 16th and 17th roads will be converted from two-way to one-way southbound on June 23.

• 17th Road between 150th and 157th streets will be converted from two-way to one-way westbound on June 24.

Councilman Paul Vallone heard from community members who expressed traffic and safety concerns at the locations. He subsequently asked for a traffic study from the DOT, which then approved one-way conversions at the site to enhance safety and mobility. Community Board 7 also supported and approved the new street configurations.

“The safety of our children always comes first, and these traffic flow changes will serve to improve pick-up and drop-off conditions for our students, parents, and teachers,” said Vallone. “These traffic changes are a win for the Whitestone community members who have long requested improved street safety at this location.”

Parking will be preserved on both sides of the impacted streets. Community members parked in the area will be asked to turn their vehicles to face the new direction of traffic. For questions, residents may contact the Queens Borough Commissioner’s Office at (212) 839-2510.

“The safety of our students is our highest priority, so this street conversion to a one way is welcome news for our school community who has advocated for this change since 2016,” said Jennifer Miller, principal of JHS 194.

New coronavirus testing site operational in Flushing

For the last week, Flushing residents have had another COVID-19 testing site close to home.

On June 6th, New York City opened a coronavirus testing site at Leavitt Field. The site is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The testing is set up under a tent in the field’s parking lot.

 

“I am pleased that more constituents will have access to coronavirus tests as more testing sites become available in my congressional district,” said Congresswoman Meng.

“Queens has been the epicenter of this pandemic, and as I’ve been saying, more testing is vital to combatting the outbreak. I thank the City for launching this new testing location, and I will continue fighting for needed COVID-19 resources for our communities.”