New York Post
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.
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.”
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.
Source: Fox News National
An Arkansas woman “flew into a rage” and fatally shot her husband inside his man cave after spotting a porn channel on their satellite television bill, according to prosecutors.
Patricia Hill, 69, had asked her dearly beloved to cancel his smut subscription with the Dish Network — after she caught him watching dirty TV shows on multiple occasions — but he apparently refused.
“She told him over and over again to stop, and he said he would but went right back to doing it,” explained Hill’s attorney Bill James in court Monday, according to the Pine Bluff Commercial.
He said the couple was “basically estranged” when the shooting happened last July and that Hill’s husband, Frank Hill, 65, had been spending most of his time in their shed out back.
“He went to his shed, and she went to work,” James said.
After telling him repeatedly to quit watching porn, James claimed that Hill decided to cancel his subscription. When the next bill came, she saw that the channel was back up and running — and her “reality snapped,” the lawyer said.
“She lost her mind,” James alleged in his opening statement. “She didn’t try to hide it. She told the truth (about what happened).”
Hill allegedly confronted her husband inside his man cave and asked him about the porn. She apparently didn’t like what he said and marched inside to fetch her Beretta .22-caliber pistol, according to prosecutors.
Hill walked back out to the shed and allegedly shot her husband two times. She left the gun inside their home — right next to the TV bill.
According to James, Hill viewed pornography as a “personal affront to her and to her god.”
Source: Fox News National
The grief-stricken father of the young Washington DC boy killed in Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday bombings broke his silence on Monday, saying the terrorists who murdered his son have no idea what they took away from the world.
“The terrorists didn’t know who they were killing. But we should know what the world lost, what they took from the world,” grieving father Alex Arrow told ABC News of his 11-year-old son Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa.
“A brilliant mind who — who was going to be a neuroscientist and — he won’t make it to his 12th birthday.”
The fifth-grader was a “very self-driven” world-traveler who’d visited five continents with his mother, Arrow said.
Shafritz de Zoysa had been in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo with his mother on Easter Sunday when a series of suicide bombs were set off in hotels and Christian churches across the South Asian nation, killing him and at least 311 others. His mother survived.
“She devoted her life to him,” Arrow said about the boy’s mother. “She sacrificed all of her time to be with him everywhere. To give him the culture of all of these places.”
The student at the posh Sidwell Friends school in DC, which the Obama daughters attended, was slated to return to the US in July. He was hoping to attend Harvard like both of his parents.
“I don’t know what’s in the mind of a terrorist. I’m sure they don’t know what they took,” Arrow said. “They just blew themselves up, they have no idea. No idea. His story should be told.”
Source: Fox News World
Nearly three dozen men and women filed a federal class-action lawsuit claiming authorities violated their right to privacy by videotaping them in January at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla.
“It is horrific when you think about the scenario,” said Joseph Tacopina, a New York attorney who filed the suit on Monday. “It is akin to going to a bathroom.”
The court papers name the Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, the Jupiter Police Department and the lead detective as defendants. It accuses Jupiter cops of unlawfully obtaining warrants to install the secret cameras.
The 31 John and Jane Does want all the video recordings blocked from public release and destroyed — and are asking for unspecified monetary and punitive damages. None of them were charged with a crime.
Source: Fox News National
A Missouri teacher is accused of hiring a hitman to kill a 10-year-old boy he allegedly molested.
Deonte Taylor, 36, and his boyfriend Michael Johnson, 66, pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in a St. Louis court on Wednesday, KSDK reported.
Taylor was busted in November after his DNA was found to match samples found on his former student.
He’s facing three charges of first-degree statutory sodomy related to the accusation that he took the then-7-year-old boy from class at an elementary school where he worked as a teacher’s assistant in 2015, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Court papers said he took the boy to another room, where the boy performed oral sex on him, KSDK reported.
The boy reported the alleged attack right away, but the investigation lingered after the detective on the case left the department, and charges were not immediately filed.
In the meantime, Taylor got his teaching certificate, and was hired as a teacher by a different school district. He passed a series of background checks despite the open case in his prior district, and was working at a different elementary school when he was arrested, the station reported. That district alerted families about the accusations at Taylor’s former school after he was nabbed.
Investigators said in February, Taylor met a fellow inmate and arranged to have him kill the boy — and his mother — when that inmate was released. The man instead became a confidential informant for the police, the outlet reported.
Meanwhile, Taylor then talked to Johnson, whom he lived with before he was busted, and allegedly convinced Johnson to pay for the hit, the station reported. Court papers say Johnson paid the man.
Taylor and Johnson were charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of attempting to tamper with a victim in a felony prosecution.
Source: Fox News National
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.
“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.
Source: Fox News Politics
U.S. tabloid newspaper the National Enquirer display rack is seen in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
April 18, 2019
(Reuters) – American Media Inc (AMI) is selling its tabloid the National Enquirer for $100 million to James Cohen, chief executive of Hudson News , the Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the agreement.
The National Enquirer had admitted to paying hush money to help U.S. President Donald Trump get elected and been accused of attempting to blackmail Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The weekly tabloid along with two sister publications will be purchased by the head of Hudson News known for its airport newsstands, the report said.
This comes a week after AMI had said it was looking at “strategic options” for the National Enquirer, as well as for the Globe and the National Examiner brands.
The sale is expected to reduce AMI’s debt to $355 million, the Washington Post report said.
Last week, the New York Times reported that owners of the National Enquirer were in talks to sell the tabloid to the California billionaire Ronald Burkle.
According to media reports, Paul Pope, one of the heirs of the National Enquirer founder Generoso Pope Jr, had also been in the list of bidders.
On Tuesday, Pope, according to the New York Post, dropped his bid to buy the supermarket tabloid from American Media.
Over its 92-year history, the National Enquirer has enticed readers in supermarket checkout lines with sensational headlines and photos about celebrities. The tabloid’s website claims it reaches an audience of 5 million.
Earlier in February, Amazon.com Inc CEO Bezos accused the publication of trying to blackmail him with the threat of publishing intimate photos.
The National Enquirer and Hudson News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)
An illegal immigrant from Mexico got pulled over this week in Ohio with a 15-year-old girl — who turned out to be a child sex slave from New Jersey, according to cops.
Juan Carlos Morales-Pedraza, 33, is accused of abducting the teen in Paterson, NJ, and sexually assaulting her. He was on his way to Chicago when a state trooper stopped him Tuesday on the Ohio Turnpike for a failure to move over violation, cops said.
“During the stop, OSHP says the officer noticed a young female riding with an older male,” tweeted the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “Police say it was also confirmed that the man had forced the girl to perform acts on him and that the girl was being taken to Chicago from New Jersey.”
Morales-Pedraza — who is charged with abduction — was driving a 2013 Nissan Sentra when he got pulled over near Toledo, cops said. Both he and the girl were unable to speak English.
It wasn’t until authorities entered the teen’s information into the police database that they discovered she had been listed as missing. State officials told reporters that Morales-Pedraza had been living in the U.S. illegally and was previously deported. He was still being held Tuesday night at the Lucas County Jail.
To read more from The New York Post, click here.
Source: Fox News National
Authorities are preparing to send a rescuer inside the underwater cave east of Nashville in search of highly experienced British diver Josh Bratchley, who was reported missing Wednesday at about 1:17 a.m, said the Jackson County Emergency Management Agency.
According to ABC News, he was part of the elite team of international divers that plunged into a dark, underwater cave network in Thailand to rescue 12 young soccer players and their coach who were trapped there in July 2018.
Recently, he’d traveled to the US with a group from the UK specifically to explore the cave near Tennessee Tech University. The team of five had mapped the cave and identified air pockets prior to the expedition, Jackson County EMA Public Information Officer Derek Woolbright told reporters Wednesday.
Source: Fox News National
Five parents have filed a lawsuit against city officials, claiming New York City’s mandatory measles vaccination order last week was unjustified and in violation of their religious belief, the New York Post reported.
A public health emergency was declared in parts of Brooklyn in response to a measles outbreak, requiring unvaccinated people living in the affected areas to get the vaccine or face fines. Referring to the order’s “recklessly short 48-hour period,” vaccination opponents claimed in the suit the current measles outbreak was not serious enough to warrant the “unjustifiable forced vaccination.”
The lawsuit, filed Monday in the Brooklyn Supreme Court by Orthodox Jewish families, came mere hours before an Orthodox daycare center in Williamsburg was shut down after failing to allow health officials to inspect its medical records. In addition, 23 yeshivas and daycare centers were slapped with citations after they violated orders to keep unvaccinated children away from students, the Daily News reported.
In the court documents, the families argue there was “insufficient evidence of a measles epidemic or dangerous outbreak to justify the respondents’ extraordinary measures, including forced vaccination.”
Speaking on behalf of the families, lawyer Robert Krakow said the parents were well within their rights to make health decisions for their families and blamed officials for issuing the immunization order instead of quarantining those believed to be infected first.
“Rather than using available legal mechanisms such as isolation or quarantine . . . respondents have imposed not only severe criminal and civil penalties for not vaccinating but have stated that persons not vaccinated ‘shall be vaccinated against measles,’ thus introducing the specter of unjustifiable forced vaccination to Williamsburg and the City of New York,” the suit claimed, per The New York Post.
Krakow told the Daily News there were multiple dangers stemming from the city’s order.
“There’s the harm to my clients’ rights — their religious freedom,” he said. “I think it harms the vaccination program because it promotes public distrust.”
Mayor de Blasio said the city, which has seen 284 confirmed measles cases among children in Brooklyn and Queens since last October, was feeling confident about its legal position.
“This is something the law department feels strongly about it, everything’s been done here fully within our legal rights obviously in the midst of a real health challenge,” he said, according to the Daily News.
Source: NewsMax America