Woman critically injured when Tesla driver crashes into Queens garage
A woman was critically injured in a Queens crash Monday after the driver of the car she was in lost control and slammed into a garage, police said.
The 71-year-old driver was trying to park the Tesla near the corner of 192nd St. and 46th Ave. in Auburndale when he instead accelerated around 6:25 p.m., cops and sources said.
The vehicle sideswiped a parked car before taking out a stop sign and mounting a sidewalk, police sources added.
Once it was over the curb, the car broke through a fence and hit a detached garage.
The driver suffered minor injuries, but his 42-year-old passenger was critically injured.
She was rushed to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, where she was being treated later Monday night.
There were no other cars involved in the crash.
Schenectady County passes tax exemption for volunteer first responders
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Schenectady County Legislature passed a local law to allow volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers to receive a property tax credit.
Now, any firefighter or ambulance worker with more than two years of service can receive a 10 percent credit on their property taxes. Officials said this is a way to show appreciation to first responders.
Eligible volunteers can apply for a tax credit by March 1, 2024 to be eligible for the exemption in January 2025.
A Trump indictment would be unprecedented in US history. What we know so far
(AP) – The decision whether to indict former President Donald Trump over hush-money payments made on his behalf during his 2016 presidential campaign lies in the hands of a Manhattan grand jury that has been hearing evidence in secret for weeks.
An indictment of Trump, who is seeking the White House again in 2024, would be an unprecedented moment in American history, the first criminal case against a former U.S. president.
Law enforcement officials are bracing for protests and the possibility of violence after Trump called on his supporters to protest ahead of a possible indictment.
An indictment could also test a Republican Party already divided over whether to support Trump next year, in part due to his efforts to undermine his 2020 election loss.
Trump denies any wrongdoing and has slammed the Manhattan district attorney’s office probe as politically motivated.
Here’s a look at the hush-money probe, grand jury process and possible ramifications for his presidential campaign:
WHAT’S THE PROBE ABOUT?
The grand jury has been probing Trump’s involvement in a $130,000 payment made in 2016 to the porn actor Stormy Daniels to keep her from going public about a sexual encounter she said she had with him years earlier. Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, through a shell company before being reimbursed by Trump, whose company, the Trump Organization, logged the reimbursements as legal expenses.
Earlier in 2016, Cohen also arranged for former Playboy model Karen McDougal to be paid $150,000 by the publisher of the supermarket tabloid The National Enquirer, which then squelched her story in a journalistically dubious practice known as “catch-and-kill.”
Trump denies having sex with either woman.
Trump’s company “grossed up” Cohen’s reimbursement for the Daniels payment to defray tax payments, according to federal prosecutors who filed criminal charges against the lawyer in connection with the payments in 2018. In all, Cohen got $360,000 plus a $60,000 bonus, for a total of $420,000.
Cohen pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance law in connection with the payments. Federal prosecutors say the payments amounted to illegal, unreported assistance to Trump’s campaign. But they declined to file charges against Trump himself.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s team appears to be looking at whether Trump or anyone committed crimes in New York state in arranging the payments, or in the way they accounted for them internally at the Trump Organization.
BUT CAN A FORMER PRESIDENT BE INDICTED?
In a word, yes. Longstanding Justice Department policy prohibits the federal indictment of a sitting president, but Trump, two years out of office, no longer enjoys that legal shield. And the New York case is not a federal probe anyway.
WHAT IS THIS GRAND JURY?
A grand jury is made up of people drawn from the community, similar to a trial jury. But unlike juries that hear trials, grand juries don’t decide whether someone is guilty or innocent. They only decide whether there is sufficient evidence for someone to be charged. Grand juries exist in the federal court system and in many states.
Proceedings are closed to the public, including the media. There is no judge present nor anyone representing the accused.
Prosecutors call and question witnesses, and grand jurors can also ask questions. In New York, the person who could be indicted may ask for a certain witness, though it’s up to grand jurors.
New York grand juries have 23 people. At least 16 must be present to hear evidence or deliberate. Twelve have to agree there is enough evidence in order to issue an indictment. The grand jury may also find there is not enough evidence of a crime or direct the prosecutor to file lesser charges.
Centuries-old rules have kept grand juries under wraps to protect the reputations of people who end up not being charged, to encourage reluctant witnesses to testify, to prevent those about to be indicted from fleeing and to guard against outside pressure.
Grand juries have long been criticized as little more than rubber stamps for prosecutors. Former New York Judge Sol Wachtler famously said that prosecutors could convince a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.” Defenders of the process say it is a crucial safeguard against politically motivated prosecutions.
WHO HAS TESTIFIED IN THIS CASE?
One of the final witnesses being called was Robert Costello, who was once a legal adviser to Cohen, the government’s key witness in the investigation.
The men have since had a falling out, and Costello has indicated that he has information he believes would undercut the credibility of Cohen and contradict his current incriminating statements about Trump.
Costello contacted a lawyer for Trump saying he had information that could be exculpatory for Trump, according to a person familiar with the matter who insisted on anonymity to discuss secret legal proceedings. The lawyer brought it to the attention of the district attorney’s office, which last week subpoenaed Costello’s law firm for records and invited him to testify.
He was at the building where the jurors were meeting on Monday, invited by prosecutors, ensuring the grand jury had an opportunity to consider testimony or evidence that could weaken the case for indicting.
Trump was also been invited to testify, but his lawyer has said the former president has no plans to participate.
WHAT ABOUT THE POLITICAL RAMIFICATIONS?
Trump says charges would actually help him in the 2024 presidential contest. Longtime ally Lindsey Graham, senator from South Carolina, said Saturday that District Attorney Bragg “has done more to help Donald Trump get elected.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, considering joining the Republican field, criticizes the Trump investigation as politically motivated, “fundamentally wrong.” But he also threw one of his first jabs at the former president in a quip likely to intensify their rivalry. DeSantis said he personally doesn’t “know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some kind of alleged affair.”
Comments by other potential rivals, eager to convince voters it is time to move on from the former president but also contending with the fact that he remains the most popular figure in the party:
— During a Saturday visit to Iowa, former Vice President Mike Pence called the idea of indicting a former president “deeply troubling.”
— Asa Hutchinson, the former Arkansas governor mulling his own 2024 bid, said he didn’t expect Trump to withdraw from the race after an indictment, though that would be the “right” thing to do.
— Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a declared candidate who also served as Trump’s U.N. ambassador, said Monday on Fox News that Bragg’s case was an attempt at scoring “political points,” adding, “You never want to condone any sort of prosecution that’s being politicized.”
“At the end of the day, not one single person’s opinion of him will be any different after indictment than it was before,” veteran GOP operative Terry Sullivan said in an interview. “All of his perceived negatives are already baked into his name ID with voters.”
WHAT ABOUT OTHER TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS?
The New York probe is among many legal woes Trump is facing.
The Justice Department is investigating his retention of top secret government documents at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, after leaving the White House, as well as possible efforts to obstruct that probe. Federal investigators are also still probing the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and efforts to overturn the election Trump falsely claimed was stolen.
Portions of a report from a special grand jury in Georgia that investigated whether Trump and his allies illegally interfered in the 2020 election in Georgia shows jurors believed “one or more witnesses” committed perjury and urged local prosecutors to bring charges. The former president never testified, but the report didn’t foreclose the possibility of other charges.
WHAT’S NEXT IN NEW YORK?
It’s unclear. Trump declared in a social media post over the weekend that he expects to be taken into custody on Tuesday and urged supporters to protest his possible arrest. However, there has been no public announcement of any time frame for the grand jury’s secret work. A Trump spokesperson said there has been no notification from Bragg’s office.
Law enforcement officials have been making security preparations for the possibility of an indictment in coming days or weeks — or a court appearance by the president himself.
WILL TRUMP BE HANDCUFFED?
Anna Cominsky, a New York Law School professor and former criminal defense lawyer, said that her best guess is that Trump’s lawyers will work out a deal with the prosecutor’s office to avoid the spectacle of an indictment with handcuffs and a perp walk.
“There is a great likelihood that he will self-surrender, which means you won’t see a 5 a.m. knock on Mar-a-Lago’s door, officers swarming his house and arresting him and bringing him out in handcuffs,” she said. “He would appear at the prosecutor’s office voluntarily and then be processed, fingerprinted and his picture taken. ”
Cominsky is less sure that Trump would want to avoid a public appearance for his arraignment, which would come within two days of an indictment. At that time a judge lists the charges and asks if the defendant pleads guilty or not guilt.
“He doesn’t shy away from the chaos, so he may want to use this to his advantage,” she said.
Bills sign two more free agents: What to know about the former AFC East rivals
The Buffalo Bills continued to chip away at their needs Monday, and they did it by poaching two players from AFC East rivals.
Monday afternoon they signed wide receiver Trent Sherfield who spent the 2022 season with the rival Miami Dolphins. And Monday night, they signed running back Damien Harris who has been with the New England Patriots since entering the NFL as a third-round pick in 2019.
Harris is certainly a nice get for the Bills, if for no other reason than he can no longer hurt them. He has played four games against the Bills and in three of those, he topped 100 yards rushing and totaled five touchdowns.
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It was Harris who broke a 64-yard touchdown run that keyed the Patriots’ 14-10 victory over the Bills in the 2021 wind game at Highmark Stadium. For his career he has rushed for 2,094 yards and caught 40 passes for 281 yards with 20 total touchdowns.
Numerically, he’s had a less significant career that Devin Singletary who was selected by Buffalo 13 spots before the Patriots took Harris in the draft. Singletary rushed for 3,151 yards, caught 145 passes for 971 yards and scored 20 touchdowns. The main reason for the disparity is that Singletary has played 23 more games than the oft-injured Harris.
But Harris is considered to be a tough between the tackles runner which was not Singletary’s strong suit.
Sherfield joins Deonte Harty as the newest members in the receiver room, and while Harty may be viewed as the replacement for the released Isaiah McKenzie, Sherfield could be the new Jake Kumerow, only with more ability to impact the offense.
Kumerow, who has been a valued member of Buffalo’s special teams, is an unrestricted free agent who the Bills have not re-signed, and Sherfield has been a productive special teams player in his first five NFL seasons.
“I kind of had to make my way, sneaking through the back door of this league, being a special teams player and those type of different things,” he said Monday with a tinge of pride.
“My role, at the end of the day, my plan is being a weapon on offense, being a guy that can be depended on to make plays and situations for the offense and just being able to be readily and excessively available to be needed potentially on special teams.”
As a receiver, Sherfield is an interesting addition because not only does he bring needed size to Buffalo’s wide receiver room at 6-foot-1 and 219 pounds, he also has impressive speed. The Vanderbilt product went undrafted in 2018, but his 4.45 clocking in the 40-yard dash at his pro day caught the eye of some scouts, and the Cardinals ultimately signed him.
As a rookie he caught 19 passes for 210 yards and began to make a name for himself as a solid special teamer. His playing time on offense dipped in 2019, and then took a nose dive in 2020 when he was almost exclusively a special teams player.
Sherfield signed with the 49ers in 2021, then joined the Dolphins in 2022 after Miami hired former San Francisco offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel to be its head coach. Given his familiarity with McDaniel’s system, Sherfield earned a more prominent role on offense as he caught 30 passes for 417 yards and two TDs.
“My goal has always been to prove myself as a receiver in this league and no job is too small for me,” he said. “But I think that being a guy that can make plays for this offense and kind of carryover what I did last year in Miami, kind of took another step forward as far as being a receiver and being the guy who can be used on offense.”
Indeed, Sherfield said the one thing that changed once he got to Miami was the trust McDaniel showed to use him.
“I think I took the biggest step last season, honestly, really just getting the opportunity,” Sherfield said. “I think that’s something that I’ve been kind of searching for my whole career. Now it’s more about going into those finite details of what can I do to increase my game and take it to another level.”
One of his TDs last year came on a dynamic 75-yard catch and run on the first play of the Dolphins Dec. 4 game against the 49ers which showed some of Sherfield’s breakaway speed.
With Miami, one thing he did well was make plays on contested balls as he came down with the reception on 62.5% of those situations, by far his career best figure.
Another aspect to his game, which Sean McDermott always places importance on, is downfield blocking, not only in the run game but for other receivers who have caught passes. Pro Football Focus has rated him very high as a run blocker and pass blocker.
“I think that’s just the willingness,” Sherfield said. “That’s all it is – just wanting to do it, and it’s something that I know that I’m good at, something I take pride in. When you say that to a receiver, they’ll probably shy away from it. But it’s like, for me, it’s a job, right? And if that’s my job, I’m going to be the best at it.”
Last year in three games against Buffalo he caught only one pass for five yards despite playing 107 offensive snaps. In the Week 3 Miami victory, Sherfield handed the Bills a safety when he got in the way of a Thomas Morstead punt from the end zone.
He was in protection and Morstead kicked the ball right into Sherfield’s rear end and it bounced out of the end zone pulling the Bills withing 21-19 early in the fourth quarter.
“I think that playing the Bills three times last year I could just see and just feel the chemistry of the team on the sideline and that’s something that we always knew that we had to get ready for when we were in Miami,” Sherfield said. “We knew it was always gonna be a tough game.
“This is the best opportunity for me and my family. So, I made the decision to come here because based off of those facts, based off of the way that offense plays, and special teams and everything like that. And talking to former players that played here, all the great things that they were telling me about, telling me that, hey, this is the place where you belong and so I just couldn’t ignore that.”
Sal Maiorana can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana.To subscribe to Sal’s newsletter, Bills Blast, which will come out every Friday during the offseason, please follow this link:https://profile.democratandchronicle.com/newsletters/bills-blast
WATCH: Mets break in new scoreboard by playing Mario Kart
The Mets are scheduled to host the Miami Marlins on April 6th for their home opener. As Justin Verlander presumably takes the mound for New York, Citi Field will look different compared to 2022.
Among the changes that happened under team owner Steve Cohen’s watch is a much bigger scoreboard. We caught several glimpses of it throughout the offseason. But now that the regular season is about to start, it’s done and ready for action.
But how can we be sure it works properly? They could run through a bunch of test graphics and mimic a few innings of Mets baseball. Or, they could just play Mario Kart and get the best of both worlds.
Thankfully, they chose the latter option:
Fired up the scoreboard for the first time. Did we do this right? 🎮 pic.twitter.com/BOqWY6HQAu
— New York Mets (@Mets) March 20, 2023
Cohen mentioned that at times last year, he had to squint to see what was on the Mets’ old jumbotron. It looks like he won’t have that problem in 2023 and moving forward.
As the finishing touches were put on this project, the richest owner in baseball had some fun on Twitter:
I wanted a bigger scoreboard. It looks like I got what I wanted
— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) March 6, 2023
The Mets’ owner isn’t nearly as active on Twitter as he was when he first took control of the organization in November 2020. But it’s a “work smarter, not harder” kind of situation. When Cohen logs onto the ol’ Bird app, he makes it worth his while.
It would’ve been great to see Edwin Diaz enter to “Narco” on this ginormous scoreboard, but we’ll have to wait a while for that. I’m sure they’ve got some other cool stuff planned, though.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.