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Jury undecided on corruption count of North Bronx Councilman — The New York Times

The trial of a New York City Councilman reached a pause on Friday when the jury could not reach a verdict on the first of 12 counts involving political corruption, as The New York Times reports.

Larry B. Seabrook, who represents neighborhoods including Williamsbridge, Wakefield and Olinville, told the press he felt optimistic after the impasse. Each count adds up to the accusation that the politician accepted $1,00,000 through illegal means and used nonprofit charities he held control over to distribute most of that money to friends and family.

The first count involves a possibly illegal payment made to Seabrook by a Bronx businessman who he helped obtain a boiler contract for the recently created Yankee Stadium. In response to a letter from the jury asking for advice, the judge recommended it move on to the other charges.

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Former Bronx Borough President to pay $10,000 fine — NY Daily News

A Bronx politician who got all the way to the White House may have to go all the way to bank to pay off a fine from the city. As the New York Daily News reported, New York City fined former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion $10,000 after receiving free work from an architect who he aided during his tenure in the borough.

The architect, Hugo Subotovsky, worked on the porch of Carrion’s City Island home four years ago, though they made no written agreement. Carrion did approve five of the architects public projects before the job and one afterwards, though said he was unaware that Subotovsky was involved in the project following his porch work. The worker only received his pay two years after the job, when the Daily News broke first broke the story.

Carrion became a urban czar under the Obama administration but returned to the Bronx since then. He claimed he did not mean to break the law after the Conflicts of Interest Board charged him with violating city rules. “I did not intend to gain any benefit or avoid my obligations,” he said in a statement. Carrion agreed to pay the fine.

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Bronx resident confesses to murder of Italian college student, attempts suicide before cops arrest him — NY Daily News

The Bronx resident kept his confession in his pocket as the police stormed his building. He tried to end his life by stabbing himself multiple times, but the cops arrested him and got hold of his note.

The Daily News reported that man, 41-year-old Bakary Camara, admitted to murdering an Italian woman who studied at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Rita Morelli, 36, came to New York City to pursue her passion for the arts before her death on Nov. 23, according to her family.

Camara still awaited a murder charge from the police on Thursday. “He says that there was an evil spell that was cast on him,” said NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelley.

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Norwood Cop faces stat-fixing charges, lawyer fires back with revenge claim — NY Daily News

Police believe a cop from the 52nd Precinct in Norwood undervalued a stolen piece of technology, according to the New York Daily News. They charged Officer Damian McIntosh with providing a false listing for the value of a snatched iPad by hundreds of dollars.

The Quality Assurance Division of the New York City Police Department looked through the crime records of the 52nd division in search of stat-fixing. There they found an iPad listed at $325, well below at least the $499 it should have been valued at, according to police.

McIntosh’s lawyer asserted that this charge arose from the anger of fellow officers at his old precinct in Brooklyn. The officer complained to supervisors at the 62nd precinct about his fellow cops performing illegal frisks on Mexican immigrants, lawyer Eric Sanders said. “They already know about him making allegations,” the lawyer said. “He’s already a rat — why not go after him?”

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Graffiti Crew and Fiat settle copyright complaint — New York Post

Those hoping for a dramatic battle between a corporation and a Bronx art collective will have to wait, according to the New York Post. Just two days after The New York Times reported on a copyright infringement incident between car company Fiat and South Bronx graffiti group TATS Cru, the two parties already settled. “We are pleased to announce that the parties have reached an amicable resolution to this matter” said Fiat spokeswoman Dianna Gutierrez.  “Details of this agreement are confidential.”

Fiat used an image of TATS Cru graffiti in a recent commercial featuring Jennifer Lopez driving through the Bronx, though later reports showed she was not actually there.

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Jennifer Lopez commerical draws ire of South Bronx graffiti group — The New York Times

J-Lo cannot catch a break. Media outlets already reported about Jennifer Lopez’s Fiat car commercial that shows her driving through the Bronx without her actually being there. Now, a graffiti collective from the South Bronx, TATS Cru, demanded payment for copyright trouble from Fiat–the owners of Chrysler–and their ad agency. The car company’s commercial featured the graffiti group’s work without gaining their permission. “That’s enough,” TATS Cru member Wilfredo Filiciano said. “This has happened to us in the past, and it’s not cool. We had to do something about it.”

Though The New York Times could not get in touch with the defense lawyer, Chrysler spokesman Gualberto Ranieri said the car company is investigating the incident. According to Ranieri, the company has a policy that mandates getting the rights to use copyrighted images.


CORRECTION: The article originally stated that Chrysler owned Fiat. It is, in fact, the other way around. I regret the error.

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Power outage kills woman at Pelham Gardens nursing home — New York Daily News

A woman relying on a ventilator died in the Pelham Gardens nursing home meant to keep patients like her alive. The Daily News reported that during a power outage in the area on Sunday, an emergency generator failed to activate at the Eastchester Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, according to officials. The ventilator that kept the woman alive recieved no power. Officials did not release the name of the deceased.

4,000 Bronxites lost power at about 1:35 a.m., according to Con Ed officials cited in the article.  Ari Donowitz, an official at the nursing home, said that an investigation on the failed generator is ongoing.


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Family and neighbors remember life of slain Eastchester teen

Graboski Wine Bottle Kino

During a candlelight vigil on Oct. 1, Nico Browne, 19, poured a bottle of wine in the basketball court where his brother played basketball. Kino Browne, 17, died after an early morning stabbing just one day before in Eastchester, according to police. (STEVEN GRABOSKI/The Bronx Ink)

When newspapers report on homicides, some readers merely see a name and the cause of death. They move on to the next story, continue with their lives and forget the death in minutes.

The family of a recent homicide victim could not do the same.

Cops said that at 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 30, they responded to a 911 call reporting a stabbing near Bivona Street. Outside the Boston Secor public housing complex, they found Kino Browne, 17, with one wound to his torso. Browne was declared dead on arrival at Montefiore Hospital, police said.

During the ongoing investigation of the homicide, police said they arrested Wakefield resident Pedro Suazo, 22. They charged him with murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Despite efforts, Suazo’s family and lawyer could not be reached for comment.

It was in many ways a routine arrest — except to the people who knew and loved Kino Browne. “People need to know that this was not gang related,” said Eric Simmons Jr. of Mount Veron, Browne’s 31-year-old uncle. “He stayed to books, stayed to family, and anyone who knew him would tell you the same thing.”

Neighbors said that his death resulted from a feud outside of a party in Browne’s building. The victim and his alleged assailant fought each other until Browne’s attacker grabbed a knife and struck a fatal blow, they said.

Afterwards, people who knew Browne  created a memorial outside of his building’s entrance. They placed candles, nearly empty bottles and stuffed animals by photos of the teenager taped to a glass window and a marble wall. The paper some participants set up for messages to Browne filled up quickly. By the afternoon of Oct. 1, the day after the crime, mourners wrote “R.I.P” with markers not just on the leaflets but across the walls of the lobby, the glass windows of the entrance and their steel frames.

Laticia Browne, the victim’s mother, stood with family members by the memorial on the Saturday afternoon after the stabbing. She said that her son made the varsity football team at Herbert H. Lehman High School in the Bronx this year and played for their junior varsity basketball and swim teams in the past. She added that he had an artistic side—he enjoyed drawing, and planned to go to Fordham University to study architecture and fashion design.

Some mourners remembered Kino Browne as a jokester who regularly poked fun at people’s appearances. “If he saw me, he would call me, ‘hey big head, where are you going?’” said Tamara Bell, a 19-year-old neighbor.

“If your outfit wasn’t looking too good, he’d flame you,” said Boston Secor resident Michael Sanchez, 18. According to Sanchez, he and Browne met in middle school and used to shoot hoops in the basketball court behind their building. “He was like the best left-handed basketball player in the Bronx,” he said.

Minutes after 7 p.m. on Saturday, more than a hundred mourners gathered outside of the entrance to Browne’s building. Some passed candles to each other to begin a vigil. Soon after, with his mother leading the group, they silently walked around the courtyard with their lit candles. They traveled to the sidewalk and then finally to the basketball court behind the building. The family stayed in the center to give messages of thanks and to caution young people against violence.

Simmons Jr. led the surrounding crowd in a prayer. “In Jesus name may we all pray that we get to see something beyond,” he said to the crowd. “Because this man was denied the greatest facets of life. Amen.” Those gathered replied with an amen and sobs.

Nico Browne, the 19-year-old brother of the victim, took a bottle of wine and poured it in the center of the court. He and Simmons Jr. struggled to place a lit candle inside the emptied container. It fell in and extinguished soon after. The family and the mourners left, leaving the bottle in the court where Kino Browne once played.

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Crime, North Central Bronx0 Comments

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