Queens Courier Year in Review: The top stories from March 2019

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QNS file photo

City shuts down Bayside bagel shop after finding multiple sanitary violations 

Bayside’s Top Bagels shop at 40-18 Bell Blvd. was forced to close its doors after failing a New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) inspection guideline, scoring a 67 during its February inspection. 

According to the DOHMH, the lower a restaurant scores, the better. Scores fall into three categories: public health hazard, critical violations and general violations. 

Several sanitary violations — public health hazards and critical violations — were cited in the restaurant: Failing to keep the food at the correct temperature, failing to wash raw foods before serving them (i.e salad) and general violations for not properly sanitizing cooking utensils. DOHMH records show that the bagel joint had earned 10 points during an inspection in February 2018, which earned them an A rating. 


Queens ‘Game of Thrones’ fan finds Iron Throne at Fort Totten 

Queens resident Melanie Joaquin sits upon the Throne of the Crypt at Fort Totten (Phota via Twitter/Game of Thrones)

In the lead up to the anticipated final season of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones in April,’ six Iron Thrones were hidden in six locations around the world — including one in Queens — where fans set out in the Quest For The Throne. 

On March 28, 22-year-old Melanie Joaquin found the last of the six thrones at the historic Fort Totten Torpedo Battery. According to Joaquin, she already knew where the Throne of the Crypt was located after seeing a hint posted on the show’s Twitter account. Following the announcement, fans headed down to Fort Totten to check out the throne and posted their pictures on social media. The Quest For The Throne honored the distances traveled by characters in the show, according to HBO. 

Fort Totten Torpedo Battery was selected because of its dark ominous setting, which was reminiscent of the basement of King’s Landing. The five other thrones across the globe included the Throne of the Forest at Puzzlewood in England; Throne of Joy in Castillo Atienza Guadalajara, Spain; Throne of the North in Björkliden, Sweden; Throne of Ice in Babcock Seeps in Canada; and Throne of Valyria in Brazil’s Coliseum Beach.


Jamaica resident wins $5,000 a week forever from Publishers Clearing House

The Prize Patrol surprises Crystal Crawford with a check in the $5,000 a week forever sweepstakes.

Imagine winning $5,000 a week forever, life would be sweet. A Jamaica resident was very lucky when she became the big winner of the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. Crystal Crawford, 47, was surprised by the Publisher’s Clearing House team at her job, E. Sholom Inc. – Early Intervention Child Care, where her reaction was priceless. Overcome with joy, Crawford, a mother of two boys, received a $50,000 check as a starter to deposit in the bank. 

Having won the sweepstakes, Crawford was grateful to have the money for new teeth and to be able to send her son to college. And of course, she went on a much-needed vacation to celebrate her birthday. 


Bayside resident cites quality of life issue and ‘horrific’ odors stemming from neighboring ‘hoarder’

The Bay Club in Bayside

A foul odor from a neighboring apartment in The Bay Club resulted in a resident reporting the issue to the building’s management company. 

According to the woman — who wanted to remain unknown — for the past five years, her neighbor exhibited “hoarding” tendencies, which she believes may have contributed to the odors and a roach problem. Describing the smell as “defecation laying around,” she confronted her neighbor about the stench and claimed that she received a threatening and creepy letter in response. 

Meanwhile, building management, she says, wasn’t handling the issue. However, a few days later, management had taken legal action in the Supreme Court of Queens County, saying “an order was issued and they were able to clean out the apartment and fix anything that was wrong.”


Minor arrested after Bayside’s Benjamin Cardozo High School goes into lockdown

Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside

A social media threat caused Benjamin Cardozo High School to go into a “soft lockdown,” resulting in a male student placed under arrest. 

Officers from the NYPD 111th Precinct had received 911 calls at 2:13 p.m. on March 15 regarding the situation and arrived at the scene in search of the suspect that was possibly armed. Social media reports indicated that the school went on lockdown after a picture of a gun was posted by a student and his friends and that another student was caught with B.B. gun in his bag. 

A DOE representative had confirmed that the NYPD conducted a thorough search and swiftly recovered the B.B. gun. All students and staff were reported safe and the lockdown was lifted. Last December, Cardozo went into a full lockdown after a student slashed another in a stairwell, prompting a large police response. 

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