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Riders get slapped with fare hikes — while these guys ride the gravy train.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s top earner last year raked in a budget-busting $344,147 in overtime — on top of his $117,499 salary, according to data released Tuesday by the Empire Center fiscal-watchdog group.

While delays on the Long Island Rail Road hit a 19-year high in 2018, chief measurement operator Thomas Caputo brought home a fat $461,646 paycheck — more than anyone else at the agency, and $164,027 more than he earned the year before.

MTA OFFICIALS SAY NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY RIDERS ARE PARTLY TO BLAME FOR DELAYS

And yet the MTA couldn’t even explain how many hours Caputo worked last year, or what his overtime rate was.

“Looking into Caputo,” spokesman Shams Tarek told The Post Tuesday afternoon — then failed to respond to multiple follow-up queries.

After five hours, all he could explain is what a chief measurement operator does — claiming Caputo is “one of only a few people” who can operate an “advanced track-geometry car,” which examines the rails for defects.

Tarek said Caputo retired this month after 30 years on the job — and his hefty final pay year could give a boost to his pension.

The news comes right after the LIRR on Sunday hit riders with fare hikes of up to $15 on monthly tickets and $5.75 on weeklies. Customers say the ­humongous worker paychecks are a slap in the face.

“This is outrageous,” said Dini Morbillo, 56, a physician who spends $275 a month on her LIRR pass and gasped when she heard what Caputo took home.

“He is making more than me — who the hell is Thomas Caputo? Why isn’t there transparency?”

Overtime payments surged to more than $1.3 billion across the entire MTA last year, up from $1.2 billion the year before, according to Empire Center data.

Of that, the LIRR shelled out $224.6 million for overtime, up nearly $50 million from the previous year’s $175.4 million.

And yet that same year, the commuter rail line’s on-time performance dropped to its worst levels in nearly two decades.

Nine of the top 10 overtime earners in the MTA in 2018 worked for the LIRR.

They include surfacing foreman Dallas Bazemore III, who made $279,289 in overtime.

Track worker Marco Pazmino earned a regular salary of just under $55,000, but fattened his pay with another $256,177 in OT.

Meanwhile, New York City Transit chief Andy Byford — the man charged with fixing the Big Apple’s dilapidated subway system — was only the 21st highest earner in the MTA last year, taking home $313,468.

Even LIRR workers were outraged at what some of their colleagues are raking in.

“This guy is making almost $500,000?! Wow. I don’t even knowwh at a chief measurement operator is; all I know is I want in that,” said one customer-service worker, who wouldn’t give his name. “I’m in the wrong department.”

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Tarek justified the megasized paychecks by saying the agency has been working on major upgrades recently, and claiming it is often cheaper to pay an existing employee overtime than to hire another person for the same work.

Caputo couldn’t be reached for comment.

This report was originally published by The New York Post.

Source: Fox News National

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials on Tuesday said their officers intercepted 177 fake sports rings that would’ve had a multimillion-dollar price tag had they been authentic.

CBP officers working at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York discovered the fake memorabilia while examining incoming cargo from China on March 11, the agency said in a news release.

BORDER PATROL SPOTS DRONE TRYING TO HELP MIGRANTS ILLEGALLY ENTER AMERICA

If the seized rings had been real, they would’ve had “an estimated manufacturer suggested retail price of $11.7 million,” officials said.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Tuesday said their officers intercepted 177 fake sports rings that would’ve had a multimillion-dollar price tag had they been authentic.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Tuesday said their officers intercepted 177 fake sports rings that would’ve had a multimillion-dollar price tag had they been authentic. (Customs and Border Protection)

“The seized rings were infringing on the Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) trademarks,” according to the agency.

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Troy Miller, the director of CBP’s New York field office, praised the seizure and the agency’s officers’ work.

“Every day CBP Officers protect the American public and its economy,” Miller said. “This most recent interception of counterfeit sports rings demonstrates the ongoing vigilance and commitment to the mission by our CBP Officers and Import Specialists.”

Source: Fox News National

She’s a medical journalist and former publicist with no political background, but Bronx native Ruth Papazian, 61, sees it as her duty – however much a long shot – to swipe the seat of 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the 2020 congressional elections.

“It became clear that if I didn’t step up to fight for our district, we’d end up with yet another passive Republican candidate who didn’t bother to campaign,” Papazian told Fox News. “And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t lived in the district since early childhood. Those of us who stuck it out, and actually live here, care about our future, and need representation.”

Ocasio-Cortez used her deceased father’s Bronx condo on her voter registration since 2012, but has since denied reports that she doesn’t live in the Manhattan borough.

Meanwhile, Papazian – the daughter of Egyptian immigrants who currently lives with her widowed mother – has accused the headline-making freshman representative of never responding to concerned people in the district “who have serious questions about her unrealistic and unworkable policies,” and claims that she “has a mostly unstaffed office in Queens, and when constituents call her office in DC to ask for help, they get phone recordings with full message boxes.”

WHAT CHINESE SPIES WANT FROM AMERICANS

But for this Bronx Republican, it is the incumbent’s economic policies that are the driving force behind her own political aspirations.

“It has been galling listening to Ocasio-Cortez push really hackneyed big government ideas that have failed around the world. These include her Green New Deal and Medicare for all,” Papazian said. “This district is home to first and second-generation immigrants. It is a middle-class district, because our families came here, worked hard, bought houses, and flourished. Many of us come from families that escaped socialism. No one wants it here.”

And as Papazian fears, some U.S. businesses also view the Ocasio-Cortez-led socialist economic plug as a possibility rather than a delusional fantasy.

Independent retailer Metals.com last month surveyed more than 100,000 of its members across the country to gather insights on the attitudes and behaviors of U.S. retirees aged 60 and over, with some 91.5 percent labeling the Democrat party “as more socialist” since the 2018 election.

“As Democrats control the House, they are becoming openly bold about socialist programs – like Medicare for All, confiscatory tax rates for top earners and a Green New Deal, their hard-left turn is no longer a matter for discernment,” said Metals Vice President Deric Scott.

A Gallup poll last year found that more Democrats – some 57 percent – now have a more “positive” view of the word socialism than they did ten years ago amid the financial collapse.

Papazian insists there is nothing optimistic about what her area’s representative is promoting.

“Ocasio-Cortez seems to have zero understanding of how our economy works to create the relative wealth and comfort people have made for themselves and their families. The Whitestone Bridge connects the East Bronx and Northwest Queens portions of the district. Her policies are literally a threat to our way of life,” Papazian said. “Montefiore Hospital is the biggest employer in the Bronx part, and her Medicare for All plans would bankrupt them. Tens of thousands of well-paid healthcare workers would be out of work.”

BERNIE SANDERS GRILLED ON SOCIALISM BY HARVARD STUDENT WHOSE FAMILY FLED SOVIET RUSSIA

She also argued that Jet Blue and the airports are the biggest employers in the Queens part of the Ocasio-Cortez district and that her Green New Deal, “which would get rid of air travel, would make tens of thousands of well-paid avionics workers jobless.”

Papazian said that she has established an “exploratory committee” to begin crafting her running plans, and will file her official papers with the Federal Election Commission in the next few months. She also noted that the issues she intends to run on are centered on “pro-growth tax policies for economic diversity, affordable private health insurance, border control as a national security issue, less government intrusion and regulation, strong defense and fewer wars” and the local matter of fixing the “crumbling roads and subway system” rather than bolstering the cost for vehicles heading into Manhattan as part of the Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo-backed push for a 2021 “congestion tax.”

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And while she is a rookie when it comes to an office run, Papazian is no newcomer when it comes to stymying political correctness and niceties. On her Facebook page, Papazian takes almost daily aim at Ocasio-Cortez – whom she refers to as the “Bronx Bolshevik” – illuminating her policies with both dismay and derision, lambasting the young Democrat for everything from failing to respond to her constituency and adequately staff her office, to her “reality show” struggles to set up IKEA furniture while the people in her district are left languishing amid real-life struggles, to suggesting she move to the ravaged socialist nation of Venezuela.

“Seeing her in action, my shock turned to indignation at this takeover of an office that exists to meet our needs,” Papazian added.

A spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but her representatives have previously stated that they “welcome” competition and Democratic values.

Source: Fox News Politics

Two NYPD officers were reportedly suspended for allegedly not taking “appropriate action” during a gruesome ax attack that left one woman dead and another seriously injured.

The officers, neither of whom were identified, allegedly waited too long before going into the Brooklyn apartment where the hacking took place, NBC New York reported Tuesday. The cops didn’t immediately take action because the scene was outside their jurisdiction, the New York Post reported, citing a claim under NYPD review.

EX-BOYFRIEND OF VICTIM ARRESTED IN AX ATTACK THAT LEFT ONE WOMAN DEAD AND ANOTHER FIGHTING FOR HER LIFE

Jerry Brown, 34, was charged with murder and attempted murder after allegedly chopping his girlfriend Angela Valle, and her pregnant friend Samantha Rivera, with an ax Saturday.

Jerry Brown, 34, has been charged with murder and attempted murder after allegedly chopping his girlfriend, Angela Valle (right), and her pregnant friend Savannah Rivera, with an ax at an apartment building in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday (Facebook)

Jerry Brown, 34, has been charged with murder and attempted murder after allegedly chopping his girlfriend, Angela Valle (right), and her pregnant friend Savannah Rivera, with an ax at an apartment building in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday (Facebook)

Police found Rivera partially decapitated with her fingers severed at the grisly scene. Valle called an Uber to take her to the hospital after the attack left gashes on her head, chest, arms, stomach and throat, according to the New York Post. The Uber driver then called 911, and Valle, 21, informed medics before losing consciousness that her boyfriend was the attacker.

Brown is said to suffer from mental health issues and told PIX 11 News before being arrested that he is schizophrenic, bipolar and paranoid. He said he was trying to get medication from a hospital, and that he did not remember the attack. When he learned that his girlfriend was fighting for her life, he began to cry while speaking to reporters over the phone.

Brown allegedly purchased the ax at a Florama Hardware store about two weeks ago, employees said. They added that he asked 39-year-old worker Udi Amrussi if he could sharpen the ax for him, but the man refused.

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Police found the ax covered in blood and tossed in a trash compactor at the Bushwick Houses, where the attack took place.

Fox News’ Anna Hopkins contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

A New York City baby sitter was arrested after she stabbed the mother of a child she was hired to care for when the duo got into an argument over pay, reports said.

Miriam Paloma ended up in handcuffs on Monday after she plunged a knife into the 27-year-old mother’s body and slashed her once inside at a Bronx apartment, the New York Post reported.

“I don’t work for free!” Paloma allegedly yelled during the altercation with the mother.

‘THANK GOD FOR THE MIRACLE:’ MAN WHO SURVIVED 47-STORY FALL FROM NYC SKYSCRAPER RECOUNTS STORY

The woman told CBS New York that her two children, a 4-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy, were in the apartment when Paloma attacked her. She said took shelter after the stabbing by barricading her and her children in a bedroom.

“I didn’t know what to do,” the woman who was stabbed told the news station. “I told her to put the knife down, she wouldn’t put the knife down.”

“Previously she had told me that the agency owed her money, and about two hours later she just came out of nowhere and attacked me with a knife,” she added. “She stabbed me in my back twice, there was blood all over my apartment and children were running back and forth.”

‘FAKE SOCIALITE’ WHO ALLEGEDLY SWINDLED VICTIMS OUT OF $275G REFUSES TO TAKE STAND

The woman said she met Paloma through a private agency while looking for a caretaker for her children, who has special needs.

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Paloma was arrested shortly after the incident and charged with assault, acting in a manner injurious to a child, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.

Source: Fox News National

The onetime darling of the Big Apple social scene — dubbed the “scammer socialite,” who’s been accused of posing as a wealthy heiress to infiltrate New York City’s upper echelon — told a judge Monday she will not testify in her grand larceny and theft of services trial in state court in Manhattan.

New York prosecutors have rested their case against the Russian-born Anna Sorokin, who is accused of passing herself off as a German heiress and swindling friends, banks and hotels. Prosecutors said Sorokin, who assumed the alias Anna Delvey, bilked individuals and businesses out of $275,000 while living a jet-setting lifestyle she couldn’t afford.

They said she also peddled bogus bank statements in a quest for a $22 million loan.

Sorokin’s lawyer said she never intended to commit a crime and planned to pay back the money.

Her decision not to testify came after several weeks of testimony in a case that has drawn international attention.

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“Do you understand you have a right to testify?” asked Justice Diane Kiesel, The New York Post reported.

“Yes, I do,” she replied with a smile.

Closing arguments are expected Tuesday, and jurors will begin deliberating the same day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click for more from The New York Post.

Source: Fox News National

If the Big Apple is to become the Green Apple, it will have to ban the steel and glass towers that form its signature skyline, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio, speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” said that city’s most iconic structures – the tall skyscrapers seen from miles away – are the “biggest source of emissions” in New York City. The drastic change, and a switch to only renewable energy within five years, are necessary for Gotham to embrace the Green New Deal, de Blasio said.

“We are putting clear, strong mandates” to lower emissions, he said, warning property owners will face massive fines unless buildings are retrofitted.

OCASIO-CORTEZ IMPERSONATOR, 8, TAKES ON GREEN NEW DEAL, SOCIALISM IN ADORABLE TWITTER VIDEO

“The first of any major city on the Earth to say to building owners, ‘you’ve got to clean up your act, you’ve got to retrofit, you’ve got to save energy,’” he said. “If you don’t do it by 2030 there will be serious fines, as high as $1 million or more for the biggest buildings.”

He continued: “We’re going to ban the classic glass and steel skyscrapers, which are incredibly inefficient. If someone wants to build one of those things they can take a whole lot of steps to make it energy efficient, but we’re not going to allow what we used to see in the past.

De Blasio said private building owners will be required to slash their emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

In the same conversation that he was touting renewable energy and reducing emissions, de Blasio also defended his use of a gas-guzzling SUV for his daily 11-mile trips from Gracie Mansion to his Brooklyn gym.

“Let’s make clear, this is just a part of my life,” he said. “I come from that neighborhood in Brooklyn. That’s my home. I go there on a regular basis to stay connected to where I come from and not be in a bubble that I think for a lot of politicians is a huge problem.”

The Green New Deal, championed by fellow New Yorker, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Washington, is a radical measure that called for a massive overhaul of the nation’s economy and energy use to cut emissions.

The deal calls for the U.S. to shift away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal and replace them with renewable sources such as wind and solar power. It also calls for the virtual elimination of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming by 2030.

It is estimated to cost up to $93 trillion, or $600,000 per household, according to studies.

Republicans have railed against the proposal, saying it would devastate the economy and trigger massive tax increases. A test vote on the proposal recently failed in the Senate with no senator voting to begin debate on the legislation.

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Later Monday – which is also Earth Day – de Blasio held a press conference to introduce further his $14 billion plan, called “OneNYC 2050: Building a Strong and Fair City.”

He called it a new comprehensive plan to “prepare our city for the future.”

“Every day we wait is a day our planet gets closer to the point of no-return. New York City’s Green New Deal meets that reality head on,” he said. “We are confronting the same interests that created the climate crisis and deepened inequality. There’s no time to waste. We’re taking action now, before it’s too late.”

Under his Green New Deal, de Blasio said the city is committing to carbon neutrality by 2050 and 100 percent clean electricity, including hydropower.

Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

An aspiring actress was pulled to her death by a subway train at the Union Square station in Manhattan over the weekend, the second dragging death of a rider on a platform this year.

The 21-year-old woman, identified by her family as Helen McDonald-Phalon, was on the downtown 6 train platform around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday when she came into contact with a train, according to an official with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

She got caught between the train car and the platform and was pulled under the train, the official said. She died at the subway station.

The platform wasn’t crowded, and the MTA is investigating what happened, the official said.

Ms. McDonald-Phalon moved to New York City from South Carolina to become an actress, according to her mother, Ann McDonald-Phalon. She worked at ThinkGeek in Manhattan and recently moved to Brooklyn, her mother said.

“She was an amazing, beautiful light, and I’m devastated,” Ms. McDonald-Phalon told The Wall Street Journal.

In February, a 39-year-old man was killed after he was dragged by a subway train into a tunnel at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, officials said. Initial reports said his bag got caught on a moving train and dragged him under, but an MTA official said Sunday the bag wasn’t the cause of him getting caught on the train.

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The man was dragged into a staircase and then into a tunnel, where he struck an electrical power control box, according to an New York Police Department official at the time. He was declared dead at the scene.

Click for more from The Wall Street Journal

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surging national profile has inspired a trio of Republican opponents from her home district — along with a multimillionaire mystery donor who could help close the gap in her foes’ long-shot race against her.

Just three months after taking office, the Democratic socialist congresswoman’s challengers include an Egyptian American journalist, who has already tossed her hat in the ring, and an NYPD cop-turned-high-school-civics teacher and conservative talk-radio producer, both of whom are seriously exploring a run against her.

And the fledgling challengers could get help from a wealthy New Yorker committed to backing an Ocasio-Cortez opponent, a GOP big said.

AOC IMPERSONATOR, 8, TAKES ON GREEN NEW DEAL, SOCIALISM IN VIRAL VIDEO

“There’s definitely national energy and money on this race,” Bronx Republican Chairman Mike Rendino told The Post, adding that he has been in touch with a mega-bucks donor hell-bent on getting AOC tossed.

Rendino wouldn’t divulge the donor’s name but said the individual is “worth over $200 million, plus [has] connections to raise money in Manhattan.”

Tom Doherty, a former Pataki deputy, said a Republican challenger to AOC would be able to “raise real national money.

“We need to put individuals forward and make the incumbent work for re-election,” Doherty said.

Click to read more from the New York Post.

Source: Fox News Politics

Police have arrested the ex-boyfriend of one of the victims of a brutal ax attack on Saturday that left one woman dead and another fighting for her life.

Jerry Brown, 34, has been charged with murder and attempted murder after allegedly chopping his girlfriend, Angela Valle, and her pregnant friend Savannah Rivera, with an ax at an apartment building in Brooklyn, New York.

Police found Rivera, who also has a three-year-old son, partially decapitated with her fingers severed at the grisly scene early Saturday morning. Valle, 21, called an Uber to take her to the hospital after the attack left her with gashes to her head, chest, arms, stomach, and throat, the New York Post reports. The Uber driver then called 911, and Valle, 21, informed medics before losing consciousness that her boyfriend was the attacker and that her four-year-old daughter Aliana was in the room next to the scene of the crime.

The girl was found asleep and unharmed. She is now with family as they wait with Valle at the Elmhurst Hospital Center and hope that she pulls through from the vicious attack.

TEEN, 3 FRIENDS CHARGED IN BEATING, STABBING DEATH OF GRANDFATHER, 71, FOR $30G KEPT IN SAFE, POLICE SAY

Brown is said to suffer from mental health issues and told Pix 11 before being arrested that he is schizophrenic, bipolar, and paranoid. He said he was trying to get medication from a hospital, and that he did not remember the attack. When he learned that his girlfriend was fighting for her life, he began to cry while speaking to reporters over the phone.

Police found the ax covered in blood and tossed in a trash compactor at the Bushwick Houses, where the attack took place

Police found the ax covered in blood and tossed in a trash compactor at the Bushwick Houses, where the attack took place (Google Earth)

Brown allegedly purchased the ax at a Florama Hardware store about two weeks ago, employees said. They added that he asked 39-year-old worker Udi Amrussi if he could sharpen the ax for him, but the man refused.

Police found the ax covered in blood and tossed in a trash compactor at the Bushwick Houses, where the attack took place.

PENNSYLVANIA MAN, 76, CHARGED WITH KILLING WIFE WHO VANISHED IN 1981

Valle has previously gushed about Brown on Facebook, where the alleged attacker goes by the name “Grim Creepa.” Six weeks ago, she posted a photo of Brown and referred to him as “Mr. 187,” believed to be street slang identifying Brown as a murderer.

“I love you Daddy,” she wrote in the caption.

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“I love u my queen,” he responded.

Source: Fox News National


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