Monday, May 20, 2013

Highbridge News: Grand Jury Indicts Drug Gang

Highbridge News: Grand Jury Indicts Drug Gang: BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 20- District Attorney Robert T. Johnson announced that a grand jury has indicted 37 alleged drug dealers from rival c...

Grand Jury Indicts Drug Gang

BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 20- District Attorney Robert T. Johnson announced that a grand jury has indicted 37 alleged drug dealers from rival crews in the Highbridge section of the Bronx following an 11-month long investigation.
The grand jury returned a 124-count indictment charging the defendants with conspiracy to sell narcotics, criminal sale and possession of narcotics, attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal sale and possession of marijuana, and possession of ammunition. According to the indictment, the alleged conspiracy occurred between May 10, 2008 and May 10, 2013.
It is alleged that the defendants, belonged to either the ‘Woodycrime’ crew or ‘165th and Nelson’ crew, and “acted-in-concert” in engaging in more than 100 drug transactions of varying quantities, with undercover detectives during the course of the investigation.
The overwhelming majority of the illegal drug sales occurred on a one block stretch of 165th Street between Woodcrest and Nelson Avenues, where all of the defendants resided.
Luis “Lou” Pacheco, 21, was charged in connection with two separate shootings. In one incident, which occurred on November 9, 2011, Pacheco allegedly shot Nicholas Barbour in the back with a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. Barbour was struck when Pacheco allegedly fired several shots at a moving minivan on West 165th Street and Woodycrest Avenue. The gunfire is believed to be tied to an unknown issue arising from an attempt to purchase marijuana. 
Pacheco was indicted for attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the first and second degrees, and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. He is facing a maximum sentence of up to 25 years imprisonment if convicted of the most serious offense, attempted murder. The other shooting for which Pacheco was indicted occurred on January 16, 2011 when he allegedly fired in the direction of a crowd of people striking Marvin Fortuna in the hand. That shooting occurred on East 161st Street and Gerard Avenue during an altercation outside a coffee shop. Pacheco was charged with assault in the third degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, and Reckless Endangerment in the first degree. The most serious offense, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree is punishable by a maximum sentence of up to fifteen years imprisonment if convicted.
Pacheco, an alleged principal player in the ‘Woodycrime’ crew, was arraigned before Acting State Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett and was ordered held without bail. Another alleged leader of the ‘Woodcrime’ crew Christian Caban, 27, was also remanded while bail for a third alleged principal player, Marvin Gamoneda, 27, was set at $350,000 bond or $250,000 cash.
Of the 37 defendants named in the indictment, 25 have been taken into custody. More arrests are expected and additional charges are expected to be filed in this continuing investigation as a result of the seizure of illegal weapons and narcotics when investigators executed arrest and search warrants pursuant to this indictment. The most serious conspiracy charge against the defendants, conspiracy in the third degree, is punishable by a maximum sentence of up to seven years imprisonment if convicted. The most serious drug charge, criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, is punishable by a maximum sentence of up to nine years imprisonment on each count, if convicted, depending on their prior criminal records.
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
District Attorney Johnson acknowledged the following for their efforts in building this case: the NYPD Bronx Narcotics Division’s Operation Good Neighbor; the 44th Precinct Detective Squad; and the 44th Precinct Anti-Crime Patrol Unit.
Assistant District Attorney Terry Gensler, of the Gangs / Major Case Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Edward Talty, Chief of the Gangs / Major Case Bureau.

Highbridge News: Ellen Barkin Joins Bronx Walk of Fame

Highbridge News: Ellen Barkin Joins Bronx Walk of Fame: Ellen Barkin Joins Bronx Walk of Fame By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 20- Although the rain on Sunday afternoon postponed the b...

Ellen Barkin Joins Bronx Walk of Fame

Ellen Barkin Joins Bronx Walk of Fame
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 20- Although the rain on Sunday afternoon postponed the baseball game between the Yankees and Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, it did not dampen enthusiasm nor cancel the festivities several blocks east on the Grand Concourse, where the annual Bronx Walk of Fame ceremony was held. Three new Bronx idols were honored by having their names added to street signs posted along the Grand Concourse in the 161st Street area.
Each of the three follows other notable sons and daughters of the Bronx whose lives and careers added prestige to the borough. Miguel Angel Amadeo, a distinguished Latino musician and composer, is the senior of the three at 79 years of age. Amadeo was born in Puerto Rico, but has lived in the Bronx since 1948.
His record shop plus, Casa Amadeo, located at 786 Prospect Avenue, is a historical landmark. Originally opened by Victoria Hernandez, sister of the legendary Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernandez, the store was the first record shop owned by a Puerto Rican in New York.
Amadeo was the composer of many musical numbers during his lengthy musical career. To the audience at the ceremony, he said, “What brought me here today was “Give it to Me When I’m Alive” by El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico. He sang the popular tune and was joined by many in the audience.
The composer spoke happily of the future, “I’m 79 years old and I don’t intend to retire. I’ve been in the music business 61 years. I hope in the future I will be doing what I’m doing now.”
Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. also introduced one of his predecessors, Robert Abrams. The long-time and respected public official was the Bronx BP from 1970-9. Prior to holding the borough-wide office, Abrams represented a Bronx district in the New York State Assembly from 1966-9.
After his decade as Bronx BP, Abrams was elected to the statewide office of New York State Attorney General in 1979. He retained that office until retiring in 1993. Governor David Patterson named the Justice Building in Albany in honor of Abrams in 2009. After his retirement from elective office, he joined the law firm of Strook, Strook and Lavan.
The only female and the youngest of the trio is famed actress Ellen Barkin. She was born to a working class couple in the mid-1950’s. Aware of her future career early in life, Barkin graduated from the High School of Performing Arts. She majored in history and drama at Hunter College. She went the rounds of auditions after attending Actor’s Studio.
Her acting ability was recognized on stage and screen. She earned a Tony Award for her first Broadway appearance, “The Normal Heart” in 2011. She was a nominee and award winner for motion pictures and TV shows on numerous occasions.
Diaz introduced her as a world famous ambassador for the Bronx, “What’s special for me is when you look at her Twitter page [followed by nearly 150,000] it says Bronx girl. Everywhere she goes in the world she has Bronx on her lips.”
Speaking in the Bronx Supreme Court, where the introductory section of the ceremony was held, the experienced actress drew a big laugh when she said, “The last time I was in this building was when I bailed my grandmother out after she was arrested for running an illegal poker game.” She closed with heart-felt words regarding her place of birth, “I will be a Bronx girl until the day I die.”
Everyone then went outside in the rain to watch the three honorees unveil their street signs. All three appeared excited, extremely happy and in very good humor to be recognized in the Bronx.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Another Yankee Down?

More Yankee Injuries? Andy Pettitte, Chris Stewart

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 17- It took 3 hours and 26 minutes for the Yankees to lose the rubber game of the three-game series with Seattle. Although the Thursday night loss was disappointing, the Yanks are still in first place in the American League East. The biggest worry for Yankees executives and fans is the seriousness of the physical condition of Andy Pettitte and Chris Stewart.

The Yankees veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte seems snake-bit when pitching against the Seattle Mariners. Seattle is the only American League franchise that has a winning record over Pettitte. The Mariners have handed him 13 losses in the 25 games he has pitched against them. He has 5-10 in his last 15 decisions.

On Thursday night, Pettitte failed to record his 250th win in the majors as he was removed from the contest after pitching only 4.2 innings. At the start of the fifth, the starting pitcher told manager Joe Girardi he had a little spasm, but wanted to remain in the game once two were out. Girardi recalled, “When I saw the drop in velocity, I had some concern. To me, his trap had a knot in it.” The manager does not know if the lefty will miss a turn or even be out of action longer.

Pettitte gave up two runs, four hits, three walks, and threw a wild pitch during his time on the mound. He left with the Yankees trailing, 2-1.

Interestingly, Seattle’s starter, Hector Noesi, threw the same number of pitches as Pettitte, 79, but he was not involved in the decision as he left the game after only 4.1 innings.

The Yankees scored their first tally in the second with two out. Curtis Granderson beat out an infield hit in only his third career start as designated hitter. He advanced to second on an error by the first baseman on the same play and crossed the plate after a double by David Adams. Adams, who began his in the majors on the previous night, recorded his first extra-base hit and first run batted in.

The Mariners scored an insurance run in the sixth, which proved to be needed, when outfielder Michael Morse led off the inning with his 10th four bagger. The home run was the hot hitting outfielder’s 9th hit in his previous 14 at bats.

The Yanks cut the deficit to a single run in the seventh as they pushed one run over the plate on an infield single by Robinson Cano.

Seattle closer Tom Wilhelmsen recorded his 11th save of the season in 11 save opportunities by holding the Yankees to an infield single in the ninth.

Catcher Chris Stewart was replaced by Austin Romine in the eighth. Girardi said Stewart complained of pain in his left groin. After the game, the manager said, “Let’s see what the MRI says.” When asked if he would bring up another catcher from the minors, he responded, “We’ll just have to see.”

The Yankees will begin a three game series with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night. Hiroki Kuroda (5-2) will start for New York against Mark Buerhle (1-2) for Toronto.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Highbridge News: Yanks Edge Astros, 5-4

Highbridge News: Yanks Edge Astros, 5-4: By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, May 2- Astute base running by Lyle Overbay in the sixth inning led to a 5-4 victory by the Yankees o...

Yanks Edge Astros, 5-4

By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, May 2- Astute base running by Lyle Overbay in the sixth inning led to a 5-4 victory by the Yankees on Wednesday night. The win gave the Yankees the three-game series win over the new American League entry, the Houston Astros. The victory was the sixth for the New Yorkers in their last seven contests.
Both starting pitchers, David Phelps of the Yanks and Eric Bedard gave up four earned runs in their relatively brief stints on the mound. Neither pitcher was involved in the decision.
The Astros were held scoreless in eight of the nine frames. They erupted for four tallies in the fourth inning. Four hits and two hit batsmen accounted for Houston’s run output.
The Yanks scored their runs in four separate installments. Ichiro Suzuki led off the first with a triple. He scored the first run of the contest after Jayson Nix singled to left.
In the second, three bases on balls followed by a sacrifice fly by catcher Chris Stewart scored the second Yankees run.
Two four baggers by the Yankees in the third gave New York a 4-0 advantage. Robinson Cano led off the inning with a solo homer to right. The long ball was his 185th, tying him with Paul O’Neill for 17th place on the Yankees. The run batted in was his 733rd as a Yankee, giving him 20th place in the history of the club.
With two out in the same inning, Ben Francisco’s home run was his first homer and first run batted in as a Yankee. Manager Joe Girardi said, “A walk and a home run. I hope that sets him off.”
The deciding run of the game came in the bottom of the sixth. With one out and men on first and second, Ichiro hit an infield ground ball. Although it resulted in a double play, Eduardo Nunez scored thanks to wise base running by Lyle Overbay. His intelligence in delaying the rundown allowed the winning run to score.
After the contest concluded, Girardi commented on Overbay’s performance, “It takes a heads-up player, very smart. I give Lyle a lot of credit.”
Yankee relievers Boone Logan, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera pitched 3.1 scoreless innings. Rivera earned his 11th save of the season in 11 opportunities. His raised his MLB career mark to 619 saves.
Infielder Chris Nelson was acquired by the Yanks from Colorado in exchange for cash or a player to be named later.
On Friday, Oakland will come to the Bronx for a three game weekend series. CC Sabathia (4-2) will start for the Yanks on Friday versus A.J.Griffin (2-2) for Oakland.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Highbridge News: Yuke Down

Highbridge News: Yuke Down: Yankees put Youkilis on disabled list and beat Astros By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, May 1- Earlier in the day, Kevin Youkilis becam...

Yuke Down

Yankees put Youkilis on disabled list and beat Astros
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, May 1- Earlier in the day, Kevin Youkilis became the latest casualty to be placed on a never ending New York Yankees disabled list. The injury toll grows, but the wins keep coming, the latest Tuesday night in the Bronx as New York defeated the Houston Astros 7-4.
Youkilis, signed to a one-year contract, filling a void at third base for the disabled Alex Rodriguez, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a lumbar spine strain. He has been experiencing lower back pain the past week and sat out the weekend four-game Yankees series sweep over Toronto.
After banging out 17-hits against Yankees pitching in their opening series game win Monday night at Yankee Stadium, Houston had opportunities against starter Hiroki Kuroda (4-1). But, the young Astros struck out 12-times and left numerous runners on base.
Despite struggling early, Kuroda won his team-high fourth game of the season. The slider and off speed pitch were on target after throwing 67 pitches and putting a runner on in the first three innings, recording shutout ball for seven innings and eight of the strikeouts.
“You have to be pretty good to stick around to make it through those first three innings and then be good enough to give your team seven innings,” said manager Joe Girardi about his starter  
The Yankees, after a 1-4 start, finished the month of April, 16-10. Girardi is more than pleased, especially with the veteran players that have stepped up to the plate.
“The offense has been spread around,” commented Girardi. “I am pleased the way these guys have been playing. They have done a very good job for us. It hasn’t always been pretty but our guys have come up with clutch hits when we needed them,”
One in particular is Travis Hafner. He stepped up big again in the cleanup spot, 3-for-4, and has driven in at least one run in eight of the Yankees’ nine series this season. Hafner drove in the final run in a three-run eighth.
Girardi said about Hafner, “You just see that his approach is good. He’s been great in that four-hole for us. With all the people we have out, he’s done a really good job in our lineup.”
And Lyle Overbay, getting the regular start at first, got the lone Yankees home run of the game. His fourth opened the eighth inning scoring.  David Robertson and Shawn Kelley came out of the pen and Houston combined to score four runs in the last two innings. The big blow was a two run homer from Chris Carter off Robertson in the eighth.
The sparse crowd remaining from the 34,301, chanted “We want Mo,” and Mariano Rivera got the final out and recorded his 10th save in as many chances.   
The Astros, a young team in their inaugural year in the American League, and with the lowest payroll in the game, saw starter and loser Philip Humber (0-6) allow four runs in six innings. He entered the game having given up 18 hits and 15 runs over his last two starts.
“I’m a little bit frustrated but it’s a part of the game,” said Humber who was removed after trailing 4-0, giving up nine hits and walking two.     
However, with the exception of injuries there is no reason for Girardi and his Yankees to be frustrated. They ended April better than expected, second to the Boston Red Sox in the American League East, and hope to begin the month of May taking another series with a win over the Astros Wednesday evening.
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