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NEW YORK (AP) - An explosion has leveled two New York City apartment buildings, killing two people and injuring 17 others.
 
The New York Police Department says two females died in the East Harlem blast. No other information is available.
 
A utility company says a resident in a nearby building reported smelling gas shortly before the explosion Wednesday morning.
 
Con Edison spokesman Bob McGee says a resident from a building adjacent to the two that collapsed reported that he smelled gas inside his apartment, but thought the odor could be coming from outside.
 
He would not speculate on whether a gas leak caused the explosion.
Published in National News

NEW YORK (AP) — At least a dozen good Samaritans in New York City have risked their own safety to save a stranger this year.

Personal trainer Dennis Codrington is one of them. He jumped down onto the subway tracks to save an unconscious man as the train barreled down in February. He says he was just doing what was right.

But psychologists say it takes a certain set of character traits to make someone leap down onto subway tracks, including altruism, courage, knowing the right thing and being reflexive about it, as well as the ability to inhibit fear that stops most people from getting involved.

Codrington doesn't know what happened to the man he saved, but he hopes he survived and is healthy.

Published in National News
Thursday, 05 December 2013 03:29

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lights up

   NEW YORK (AP) — With a flick of the switch, a 76-foot Norway Spruce officially became the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree after it was illuminated for the first time this holiday season in a ceremony that's been held since 1933.

   Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned on the lights just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, setting off a dazzling 45,000 multi-colored LED lights and a 9 ½ foot wide Swarovski star that topped the 12 ton tree.

   Adam Connery, 41, and his wife Kristy Connery, 37, from Tyngsborough, Mass., watched the ceremony on their first vacation to New York City.

   "It's gorgeous, it's enormous," said Kristy Connery of the massive tree towering above the hundreds of thousands of people who gathered to watch the ceremony. "Christmas is my favorite time of the year."

   The holiday event in midtown Manhattan also was watched by millions on television. The tree will be on display until Jan. 7, after which it'll be milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.

   Artists such as Mary J. Blige, the Goo Goo Dolls, Jewel, Mariah Carey and Leona Lewis performed.

   Lamar Lakins, 37, a housekeeper from Queens, brought his wife, mother, 10 year old daughter Shanel, and newborn son to watch the performances and see the tree lighting.

   He and Shanel danced together in the plaza during a performance of "Jingle Bells."

   "I just love this," he said of the gathering. "It's just people out enjoying themselves. I'm definitely a fan of the holiday season."

   The approximately 75 year old tree made the 70 mile trip to New York City on a tractor-trailer from its home in Shelton, Conn., last month.

   Danbury, Conn., resident Mary Hynes, 60, declared the show to be "outstanding."

   "The excitement of the crowd, the brilliance of the lights. It was great," she said.

   "Today Show" personalities Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales co-hosted "Christmas in Rockefeller Center," which aired on NBC.

   They dedicated the broadcast to James Lovell, 58, a married father of four and a sound and lighting expert who worked on the tree. Lovell was one of four people killed when a Metro-North commuter train derailed in the Bronx on Sunday. He was on his way to work on the tree when the accident occurred.

Published in National News
Monday, 02 December 2013 05:51

Probe seeks cause of fatal NYC train crash

   NEW YORK (AP) — Metro-North officials say the locomotive of the commuter train that derailed in New York City, killing four people, has been righted.

   Spokesman Aaron Donovan says cranes re-railed the engine at 4:20 a.m. Monday.

   Two cranes are in place to lift the rest of the derailed cars pending approval from the National Transportation and Safety Board.

   Donovan says about 150 people were on board when the train derailed Sunday morning while rounding a riverside curve in the Bronx. More than 60 were injured.

   Donovan says all passengers have been accounted for.

   The accident occurred on the Hudson line, which carries 26,000 weekday riders. Federal authorities are embarking on an exhaustive investigation into what caused the derailment.

Published in National News
Sunday, 08 September 2013 09:26

9/11 responders far from NYC seek compensation

NEW YORK (AP) — They weren't exposed to anywhere near the same level of ash, grit and fumes.

But some emergency workers who responded to the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania countryside on 9/11 are signing up for the same compensation and health care benefits being offered to New Yorkers who got sick after toiling in the dust of the World Trade Center.

Federal officials say at least 91 people from the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania sites have applied for payment from a multibillion-dollar fund for people with an illness related to the attacks.

There's little medical evidence that those responders were exposed to unusual environmental hazards or are getting sick in large numbers, but officials are urging some responders to enroll as a precaution.

More than 24,000 applied for compensation for ground zero work.

Published in National News

NEW YORK (AP) - Three people participating in a New York City protest against Walmart have been taken into police custody.

About 20 employees, former employees and supporters gathered Thursday outside a Manhattan building where a member of the company's board of directors has an office. They delivered a petition calling for improved working conditions and reinstatement of workers they say were fired for engaging in labor activities.

Police say one man and two women were charged with disorderly conduct for blocking the entrance to the building and trespassing.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is based in Bentonville, Ark. It calls the New York protest "a show" put on by union activists from other states. It says in a statement the "vast majority" of its workers don't share the opinions of the protesters.

Published in National News

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City officials say they're about to take the first step in appealing a federal judge's ruling imposing reforms on the police department's stop-and-frisk strategy.

The city's top lawyer, Michael Cardozo, says in a statement a notice of appeal will be filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Judge Shira Scheindlin issued the decision Monday. She said the New York Police Department was making the street stops based on race and called for an independent monitor to make sure police follow measures restricting the program.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called the ruling unfair and warns it will damage the NYPD's successes in fighting violent crime.

Published in National News

   NEW YORK (AP) - Anthony Weiner is pressing ahead with his bid for mayor despite growing calls for him to drop out of the race over a new sexting scandal.

   Weiner has been a favorite in the polls since he launched his political comeback attempt in late May. But he was greeted with boos as he took the stage at a public housing meeting Wednesday evening. By the end of his remarks, however, the crowd was cheering loudly.

   Afterward, Weiner said he had expected that revelations would emerge by the end of the campaign, adding "some of them have." But he says his campaign is too important to abandon over "embarrassing personal things" becoming public.

   The latest scandal erupted Tuesday after the gossip website The Dirty posted X-rated messages and a crotch shot it said Weiner exchanged with a woman last year while using the online alias "Carlos Danger."

   The first poll since the latest scandal broke is scheduled to be released Thursday afternoon.

 

Published in National News

   NEW YORK (AP) — One World Trade Center already is New York's tallest building.

   And when the last pieces of its spire rise to the roof — weather permitting — the 104-floor skyscraper that replaces the fallen twin towers will be just feet from becoming the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

   The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says the spire pieces plus a steel beacon will then be lifted at a later date from the rooftop to cap the building at 1,776 feet.

   Installation of the 800-ton, 408-foot spire began in December, after 18 pieces were shipped from Canada and New Jersey.

   The spire will serve as a world-class broadcast antenna.

   With the beacon at its peak to ward off aircraft, the spire will provide public transmission services for television and radio broadcast channels that were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, along with the trade center towers.

   Overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the high-rise is scheduled to open for business in 2014.

   The tower is at the northwest corner of the site, which is well on its way to reconstruction with the 72-story 4 World Trade Center and other buildings.

   Monday's celebration of the reconstructed trade center comes days after a grisly reminder of the terror attack that took nearly 3,000 lives: the discovery of a rusted piece of airplane landing gear wedged between a nearby mosque and an apartment building — believed to be from one of the hijacked planes that ravaged lower Manhattan.

   As officials prepared to erect the spire, the office of the city's chief medical examiner was working in the hidden alley where debris may still contain human remains.

   The new tower's crowning spire is a joint venture between the ADF Group Inc. engineering firm in Terrebonne, Quebec, and New York-based DCM Erectors Inc., a steel contractor.

   The world's tallest building, topping 2,700 feet, is in Dubai.

Published in National News
NEW YORK -- AP -- There may be another billionaire interested in New York City's top job.

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of the popular social media service Twitter and the mobile payments startup Square, reportedly says he wants to be mayor of New York one day. Dorsey is from St. Louis. In an interview aired Sunday on "60 Minutes," CBS' Lara Logan said Dorsey is serious about moving to the Big Apple someday and running for mayor. Dorsey tells Logan that what he loves about New York is the electricity he feels when he's in the city.

In Forbes latest ranking of the 400 wealthiest Americans, a list which requires $1.2 billion in net worth for entry, newcomer Dorsey was listed at No. 392. Current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is listed at No. 10 with an estimated net worth of $25 billion.
Published in Local News
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