Home »

A month ago, two New York prisoners escaped from a maximum security prisons causing a 22-day long manhunt that made national headlines.  The prisoners, Richard Matt and David Sweat, reportedly used heavy power tools to cut through prison walls and pipes and eventually making their way to the outside by climbing through a manhole.  The two men were eventually found, with police shooting and killing Matt and leaving Sweat injured.  Clinton Correctional Facility is one of the largest and most highly guarded prisons in New York, leading to a number of questions on how the escape was possible.

The escape has launched a major investigation into prison workers who allegedly helped the inmates. Some prison officials have been charged with helping the prisoners smuggle in and hide the power tools that made the escape possible.  The overall security of the prison is being scrutinized as well.  Officials investigating the prison break are wondering how prison workers did not notice the preparations for the escape by the inmates, apparently having been weeks long.  The inmates also had holes in their cell walls for days prior to the escape, raising questions as prison workers are required to inspect the inmates’ cells on a daily basis.

The escape is one of the most organized and planned escapes in recent history has caused $300,000 in damages to the prison.  The investigation into how the inmates were able to break free from the prison is ongoing.

Houston has the advantage of size over other major cities in the US. It is no wonder that the Space City is rivaling the Big Apple in terms of the performing arts. The Theater District in Houston sprawls over 17 blocks downtown and has nearly 13,000 seats. There are four venues were the many performing arts organizations, including nine world-renowned ones, light up the stage. Here are two of them.

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

The Hobby Center is in the center of the Theater District, and has an entrance and large lobby festooned with commissioned artwork. From there you can gain access to two theaters with excellent acoustics, perfect for musical performances. The second level houses the Arista Restaurant and the parking lot, so it is very convenient to have dinner and a show. Among the performances held there are the classics such as Cats and West Side Story. However, the shows are always changing so it would be best to check out the website for the schedule and pricing.

Jones Hall

Jones Hall is another popular venue in the Theater District. Built in 1966, it is the base of the Houston Symphony and the Society for the Performing Arts, and hosts approximately 250 performances in any given year, to which 400,000 people attend. Among the people who have held the stage at this splendid venue are John Denver, Sting, David Copperfield, Tony Bennett, and Faye Dunaway. Check out their website for the schedules.

You can also check out Wortham Theater Center and Alley Theatre while you are at it. These are the other two of the four major venues in Houston’s Theater District.

As confirmed by the New York Police Department, rescuers were recently able to retrieve two bodies from the rubble left by a massive East Village building explosion.

Authorities have yet to confirm the identities of both victims, although relatives have come forward to identify Nicholas Figueroa as one of the bodies retrieved from the explosion scene. Figueroa was among the two victims reported missing since the explosion last week. Also missing was Moises Lucon, who is believed to have been working in a restaurant inside the building at the time of the accident.

Both The Huffington Post and Reuters report that twenty-two individuals were injured in the explosion, which officials suspect was caused by a gas leak. In particular, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the blast could have been caused by someone illegally tapping into the building’s gas line. Aside from the affected building, two other near-by apartment buildings collapsed in the blast. Several other near-by establishments and homes were evacuated.

While rescue workers continue to search the area, authorities believe that it is unlikely anyone still buried in the rubble could have survived the explosion. Still, rescuers continue their effort to clear up the scene and search for other victims that have yet to be accounted for.

Our thoughts go out to all of those affected by this horrible tragedy.

 

The Internet has been all agog about the declared intention of an 18-year-old New Yorker to marry her biological father, to whom she had lost her virginity two years previously. New York is notoriously liberal on many issues, and has even legalized the marriage between a half-uncle and niece, whose shared sanguinity is estimated at 1/8. But a marriage between a father and daughter is stretching a point a bit much.

Incest is frowned upon not only because of social taboos but because offspring of closely-related individuals tend to have health or other genetically-associated problems.

Laws on incest in the U.S. vary from state to state. In New York, cousins are allowed to marry, for example. However, a marriage between a father and daughter is not legal anywhere in the US, and in many states sexual relations between persons of first-degree sanguinity (father-daughter, mother-son, between siblings) is a criminal offense with sanctions ranging from one year to lifetime imprisonment. In New York, sexual relations between a father and daughter is a Class E felony, which is punishable for up to 4 years in prison.

But the barely-adult woman pointed out that an incestuous relationship between two adults is legal in New Jersey (it is), which is why they moved there. They still can’t get married legally, but she stated in the interview with New York Magazine that “I don’t believe you need a piece of paper to prove that you want to be with the person you love.” They intend to have children. The couple maintains their anonymity for obvious reasons.

Prince William and Princess Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, attended the 600th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign charity event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the anniversary of Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, which they had both attended and where they had originally met. They were the guests of honor at the December 9, 2014 event and helped raise £2.2 million for their alma mater, not a huge stretch considering it was a £1,600-£6,400-a-plate dinner.

It was a celebrity-studded event, including comedian Seth Meyers, child-star-turned-fashionista Mary-Kate Olsen and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. The couple lauded the university as a place for “first-class” education.

Aside from the gala, the royal couple also paid a visit to the 9/11 memorial and Prince William was taken on a tour of the Empire State Building by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. They also stopped by the Creativity is GREAT reception and met other celebrities including Sir Patrick Stewart, creative director Jenna Lyons, “The Good Wife” actress Archie Panjabi, Harvey Weinstein, and Georgina Chapman.

They managed to cram in a Mets basketball game where they schmoozed with singer-actress Beyonce Knowles and rapper husband Jay-Z.

Altogether, the royal couple stayed three days in The Big Apple.

A breath of hope is sweeping across New York City as Condé Nast, the mass media publishing division of Advance Publications, announces that it has contracted a significant area of the 104-story skyscraper that was built in the space formerly occupied by the World Trade Center. Aptly named One World Trade Center, the building is the tallest one in the Western Hemisphere, and houses the National September 11 Memorial Museum.

Condé Nast moved in about 175 of its employees on November 1, the first wave of the more than 2,300 employees that will eventually occupy 1,100 million square feet of real estate. The announcement symbolized the recovery of the city from the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center was targeted for terrorist attacks, resulting in the deaths of about 2,800 people, most of whom were in the building at the time of the attack, or who succumbed in the aftermath including firefighters and law enforcement officers.

It is hoped that the initiative shown by the publishing company will inspire others to do the same and revitalize the area. Because of the associations with the site, many had believed that the community would never recover. Hopefully, Condé Nast will be only the first of many to step on the road to healing.

Post Image

New York's Central ParkMany strange and unexplained things happen in New York City, and this is no exception. A 3-foot-tall black bear cub was found under a bush in Central Park by two women walking their dog. Black bears are native to the state and their population is growing, but none are known to live in the middle of New York City.

It was highly unlikely that the bear cub on its own had wandered into the city from the wild, and there were no reports of a missing black bear cub from any of the city’s zoos. Bears are not allowed to be kept as pets in the city, so if it was privately-owned it was brought in illegally.

Police and investigators are at a loss to explain the presence of the animal, and as of now, the cause of death is undetermined. When it was discovered, its head was resting on a bicycle.

Some suspect that the cub was a victim of animal cruelty and dumped in the park to avoid prosecution. The bicycle is being dusted for prints in an attempt to find the owner and perhaps an answer to the mystery of the black bear cub in Central Park. The remains were sent to the Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany for a necropsy.

Several rulings with significant impact have recently been made with regard to how maritime injury lawsuits are handled in court. One of these deals with the question of punitive damages, and when they may be awarded in maritime injury lawsuits.

Punitive damages are not always awarded in standard personal injury cases because they are not meant to compensate the victim; rather, they are designed to punish the defendant, hence “punitive.” It is appropriate in some cases but not in others, depending on the nature of the defendant’s behavior that led to the civil action in the first place. In most cases, punitive damages are levied against defendants that willfully and recklessly acted without regard for others i.e. speeding through a busy intersection.

A seaman who has sustained a work-related injury due to the negligence of the employer is entitled to sue for the usual economic and non-economic damages typical in standard personal injury cases, but it was only recently that the Supreme Court deemed that punitive damages may also be appropriate in some maritime injury cases, specifically claims for the willful nonpayment or inadequate provision of maintenance and cure benefits. Maritime employers are required by law to pay maintenance and cure benefits to employees who acquire work-related injury or illness regardless of fault. Failure to do so according to the law renders them liable for a maintenance and cure lawsuit, which may include punitive damages.

However, the issue is less clear cut for cases involving a claim of negligence or unseaworthiness. Different judges have interpreted the law in inconsistent ways therefore making conflicting decisions regarding punitive damages. As pointed out on the website of maritime law firm Ritter & Associates, no two cases are exactly the same, and this is definitely applicable when it comes to awarding punitive damages in maritime injury cases.

If you have incurred a serious work-related injury or illness, make sure that you consult with an experienced maritime lawyer. You will have a better chance of getting what is rightfully yours.

Post Image

hospital bedCelebrity and outspoken host of television show Fashion Police Joan Rivers is currently a patient at Mount Sinai Hospital, and her condition is said to be critical but stable. She was rushed there from at Yorkville Endoscopy on E. 93rd Street in New York City after she stopped breathing in the middle of a procedure for her vocal chords.

The news was first spread by TMZ and was quickly followed up. The latest news quotes an unidentified family source that there is some concern about the outcome, and any decisions will have to be made when daughter Melissa Rivers arrives, who was then on her way to the hospital. Joan Rivers was reported to be unconscious but the hospital has not yet released any official information as to her condition.

Joan Rivers, born Joan Alexandra Molinsky, turned 81 last June but showed no signs of slowing down. She hosts several shows, including one in YouTube called In Bed with Joan. Famed for her outrageous comments and no-holds-barred criticisms, she has sometimes been criticized for stepping over the line when dealing with sensitive topics. Nevertheless, she has been a notable success in many fields, including her incursions into publishing. Her twelfth book, Diary of a Mad Diva, was released just this year.

Post Tagged with ,
Post Image

ebolaA man who came into a New York hospital with suspicious symptoms was screened for a deadly virus, but was unlikely to have it. Two earlier patients in other hospitals have also been screened and were negative for the disease.

In the latest case, the man, whose identity was not revealed, had flown into the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York from West Africa and was detained for a minor transgression. While waiting, he started complaining of fever and a headache and was brought to the emergency room of Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was put in isolation to see if he developed more definite symptoms of an Ebola virus infection. Results are not yet in but doctors believe that he does not carry the virus.

A recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in various parts of West Africa that claimed more than 800 lives and counting has sparked worldwide concern, and airports are especially keeping a sharp eye out for anyone coming from the affected areas who may be symptomatic. The infection manifests within 21 days of contact, and is only considered contagious when symptoms appear.

Two other patients who had recently been in West Africa and who were admitted to NYU Langone Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital Center for fever were observed for 24 hours but were released when it was apparent they had not been infected.

Post Tagged with ,