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Black resigns as chancellor

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has appointed Dennis M. Walcott to the position of school chancellor following the resignation of Cathleen Black, according to a release.

Walcott, has served as Deputy Mayor since the beginning of the Bloomberg Administration in 2002 and has been the mayor’s point person for all educational and youth policy issues.

Walcott has worked as a member of the New York City Board of Education, a kindergarten teacher, and as an adjunct professor of social work at CUNY’s York College.

He is a lifelong resident of Queens and a graduate of Francis Lewis High School. He is also a graduate of Fordham University.

“With my children and my grandson, my family now represents four generations of New York City public school children, and I am determined to ensure that we deliver what our parents expect and deserve – a higher quality education.” Walcott said.

Upon approval from the New York State Board of Elections, Walcott will step down as Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development.

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Name unveiled for celebrity cobra

59,535 votes later, the Bronx Zoo’s now-famous Egyptian cobra has a name – Mia.

The New York Daily News and the Bronx Zoo partnered together and asked New Yorkers to give a proper name to city’s celebrity reptile resident.

More than 34,000 participated and Mia was decided from the five final choices. Names that weren’t up to scale were Subria, Amaunet, Cleopatra and Agnes.

The Bronx Zoo’s Reptile House will re-open to the public on Saturday, April 9. (Bronx Zoo)

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Ice rink proposals sought

Proposals for a new ice skating rink in Van Cortlandt Park must be in by May 16, according to city officials.

The Parks and Recreation Department is asking for a request for proposals for a seasonal rink to be constructed inside the park. The city is proposing to turn the unused tennis courts into ice for the winter months. (NY1)

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Fatal shooting at rec center

Police are searching for the suspect who shot a man inside the West Bronx Rec Center Monday afternoon.

The shooting occurred just after 3 p.m. in Highbridge and left Derick Cochran, 37 with a bullet in his neck. Cochran was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

No information yet on what prompted the shooting. (NY1)

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Father and son plead not guilty

Pedro G. Espada joined his father, former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. in Brooklyn Federal Court Tuesday where the two plead not guilty to a new indictment of tax evasion.

The duo is charged with filing faulty tax returns and falsely reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenses from Espada Jr.’s company. The pair is also charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and embezzling more than $500,000 from the company to pay for Broadway tickets among other frivolities.

Espada Jr.’s company, Community Expansion Development Company, is a janitorial firm servicing health-care clinics in the Bronx.

The trial is scheduled for Sept. 12 in federal court. (NYDailyNews)

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Director returns after 30 years

The New York African Film Festival rolls into town today, bringing with it Director Charlie Ahearn, who is returning to the borough for the first time in 30 years.

Ahearn’s 1983 film “Wild Style” discussed the Bronx’s then-underground hip-hip scene, DJs and graffiti taggers. His next film, which will air at the festival, held through Thursday at the Walter Reade Theater, will bring the director back to the Bronx’s streets — specifically 183rd st. and Jerome Ave.

The new short, “Bongo Barbershop,” a film about a man from Tanzania that is searching for hip-hop. (NYDailyNews)

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School falls victim to custodian scheme

Harry S. Truman High School in Co-Op City had been doling out payments to custodians who did not work in the building, according to the special schools investigator.

The head custodian was writing out checks to five employees who produced work for him in other buildings, and oftentimes these workers were not even inside the high school. One custodian was paid for more than 3,000 hours, even thought he was not in the high school during those times.

The scheme cheated the Department of Education out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to reports.

All custodians involved will be fired. (NY1)

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Pit Bulls saved from fire need homes

Several pit bulls that were pulled from a burning apartment building on Grand Concourse three weeks ago are still facing a road to recovery.

Three out of 14 dogs had to be euthanized after their rescue. One dog was returned to his owner while six others – a mother and four puppies – were given up for adoption. Another dog is in a foster home.

But three dogs are still recovering at a Manhattan shelter, where two have developed kennel cough and another is displaying signs of “behavioral issues.” If the three are not adopted, they could be euthanized. (New York Times)

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