New York Desk

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The New York Sun


Heat Death Toll Increases

The total number of people who died from the recent heat wavehas risen to 24, with two more deaths being attributed to last week’s weather Mayor Bloomberg had declared a citywide emergency.The latest deaths to be certified as heat stroke were two men, 45 and 72, both from Queens, a spokeswoman for the chief medical examiner, Ellen Borakove, said yesterday. Meanwhile, Ms. Borakove said her office had begun compiling a report with the health department at the mayor’s request to investigate trends that could be used to prevent heat-related deaths in the future. A spokesman for the mayor said there’s no “due date”because the report will take a comprehensive look into deaths including those that might occur in the weeks following the actual dates of the heat wave.

— Special to the Sun

New FDNY Requirements To Encourage Minority Applicants

New York City’s Fire Department launched a campaign to increase the number of new minority firefighters yesterday and announced changes to eligibility requirements. Applicants will now need 15 college credits, rather than the 30 previously required, six months of work experience, or military service with an honorable discharge to join the ranks of the FDNY. The city’s Fire Commissioner, Nicholas Scoppetta, said the goal of the new recruitment campaign, which will include television, radio, and print advertisements, is “to have a workforce that mirrors the citizens that we serve.” “In the past five years we’ve tripled the number of newly-hired minorities,” he said. “It’s a good start, but obviously we have more to do.” The U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the FDNY’s hiring practices last year after the Vulcan Society, a group that represents black firefighters, filed a complaint. Mayor Bloomberg said he hopes opening the entry test to more people will help the city attract more minorities. The city is accepting applications for the exam, which is give once every four years, until October 13.

— Staff Reporter of the Sun

Senior Outreach Center To Open in Chinatown

In the heart of Chinatown, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York will open today a community center on Mott Street that aims to help several thousand senior citizens living in the neighborhood remain in the community they have called home for years. With a $144,000 grant from the New York State Office for the Aging, the center will provide information on recreational activities, cultural events, local hospitals, entitlements, charities, and other community services. The nursing service will provide health care information to Chinatown residents and help supplement the program’s total cost of $300,000.

— Special to the Sun


Body Pulled From Rockaway Waters

The body of an unidentified man turned up in the waters of Jamaica Bay in Queens yesterday, police said. According to police, Parks Department employees patrolling the beach area near Ocean Promenade and Beach 72nd Street in Rockaway found the man – believed to be in his 60s – around 8:30 a.m. Police said emergency responders pronounced the man dead at the scene. The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death, police said.

— Special to the Sun


Drug Lord Turns Himself In to Authorities

After eluding federal agents for 10 years, an accused member of a decades-old cocaine distribution ring in Bedford-Stuyvesant turned himself in. Chaka Raysor was arraigned yesterday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. He is being held without bail on a 1996 indictment charging him with participating in one murder as part of a narcotics distribution conspiracy. Federal prosecutors said in court that Mr. Raysor has been featured on America’s Most Wanted more than 10 times since he has been a fugitive. A woman named Maxine, who identified herself as Mr. Raysor’s mother, declined to comment on the charges against her son. Mr. Raysor’s younger brother, Umeme Raysor, was sentenced to life in prison on the same indictment.

— Staff Reporter of the Sun


Man Crushed to Death Under Car

CAMDEN — A man working on his parents’ car was found dead, apparently crushed beneath the vehicle. William Magnant, 20, had the vehicle up on two ramps in a garage Sunday, and was working below the front end of the vehicle when the incident happened, Sergeant Robert Nelson of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office said. His mother, Laverna Magnant, found her son trapped beneath the running vehicle at about 6:30 p.m. The car appeared to have rolled off of the ramps, police said. It was unknown Monday whether the emergency brake was activated, or how long Mr. Magnant was trapped before his mother found him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation was pending an autopsy.

—Associated Press

Fumes To Blame For Couple’s Death

JERICHO — An octogenarian husband and wife found dead in their home were poisoned by a colorless, odorless gas that spewed from their car, police said yesterday. Morton Licht, 85, and Muriel Licht, 83, were killed by carbon monoxide from a car that was accidentally left running in the adjoining garage, Nassau County police said in a statement, citing preliminary autopsy results. The Lichts, married almost 60 years, were found Saturday in their Bounty Lane home after a concerned neighbor called 911. They had been dead for days. The gas that killed them, CO, is created when gasoline, oil, wood or propane is burned. It causes about 300 deaths a year nationwide.

— Associated Press

Man Tries To Change Guilty Plea

ROCHESTER — A Salvation Army volunteer who stabbed and sexually assaulted a female employee during a nearly six-hour standoff tried to withdraw his guilty plea before he was sentenced yesterday. Raymond Guzman, who pleaded guilty last month to firstdegree criminal sexual act in exchange for 25 years in prison, asked Monroe County Court Judge John Schwartz to reconsider his plea. “I want to take my plea back … I never did any of those things,” Mr. Guzman said, holding up a newspaper clipping about his guilty plea. Mr. Schwartz declined, saying the 45-year-old was willing and aware when he pleaded guilty to the December 2005 attack. Mr. Guzman, who threatened he had a gun and bomb, held the woman at knifepoint in a storeroom after she had given him a bowl of cereal, police said. She was sexually assaulted and stabbed in the hand and buttocks.

— Associated Press

Man Accused of Fraud Arrested in India

BUFFALO — A contractor who allegedly fled the country to avoid a 30-count indictment charging him in a $1.1 million fraud scheme has been arrested in India, federal authorities said yesterday. Bhavesh Kamdar, 39, was taken into custody at his home in Rajkot, Gujarat Province on an Interpol arrest warrant, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Buffalo said. Kamdar was indicted in June 2004 on mail fraud and money laundering charges for allegedly duping the state into reimbursing him more than $1 million for a $59,000 expense. Kamdar’s Niagara Falls company was paid nearly $12 million to remove underground fuel tanks at state police stations, prisons and other state facilities. The United States will request extradition of Kamdar, said Anthony Bruce, an assistant U.S. attorney. Authorities began investigating Kamdar in January 2002, according to court documents.

– Associated Press


Accused Kidnapper Escapes From Hospital

TRENTON, N.J. — A Guatemalan landscaper charged with kidnapping his former boss’s wife was being sought by authorities after escaping from a state psychiatric hospital early yesterday by breaking through a window. The state Department of Human Services is investigating how Edgar Rene del Cid-Perez, 34, managed to break out of the intensive treatment unit of Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, where he was discovered missing at about 5 a.m., spokeswoman Ellen Lovejoy said. Human Services police, along with state and county authorities, were using dogs and helicopters to look for Mr. del Cid-Perez, who remained at large Monday afternoon. Douglas Kimmelman, president and chairman of Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, announced a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the capture of Mr. del Cid-Perez.

— Associated Press

Missing Baby Found in Norwich

MONTVILLE, Conn.— Police canceled a statewide Amber Alert yesterday after they located a missing 10-month-old boy in Norwich. State police said the boy, Raheem Morris, and his mother, Amanda Judd, were reported missing from Montville at about 3 p.m., possibly because they were abducted. The baby was found safe in Norwich at about 4:20 p.m., authorities said. State police would not say exactly where the baby was found or whether his mother was with him. They also would not say whether they were still looking for Raheem’s father, Akeem Morris, who was believed to be with them. Authorities said they were conducting a criminal investigation. No other details were available.

— Associated Press

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