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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bronx News Roundup, Thursday, May 12

And we're back with our regularly scheduled programming here on the first day of Bronx Week. Here's video from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.'s Monday kick-off press conference, which featured several announcements, the biggest being that, on Saturday night, the Empire State Building will be lit with the Bronx flag colors to let everyone know, "something special is going on the Bronx," Diaz aid.

Weather: Should be just about perfect today -- sunny, high of around 72, slight breeze from the east. Repeat expected for tomorrow.

Story of the Day: Belmont Fire Revives Nightmare of Black Sunday

Six years ago, firefighter Eugene Stolowski jumped from the fourth story of a burning East Tremont apartment building. Stolowski survived, albeit with major, life-altering injuries, but two of his Bravest colleagues did not. The incident came to be known as Black Sunday. The fire Stolowski jumped to escape was born in an illegally subdivided apartment room with limited access to a fire escape. It's why Stolowski was incredulous to see the practice of illegally subdividing apartments recently causing more tragedy in the Bronx. An April 25 fire in Belmont, just two miles from the location of the Black Sunday blaze, took three lives -- that of two parents and their 12-year-old son. "Six years after our fire and this is still happening," Stolowski told the Daily News. His partner, Jeffrey Cool, who also survived the Black Sunday fire, said penalties needed to be stiffer or this deadly practice would continue.

Quick Hits:
2-year-old Andrew Powell remains in critical condition after falling from the fourth story window of his family's Morris Heights apartment on Tuesday. The family had apparently removed the window guard to install an air conditioner and then removed the air conditioner over the winter. The Daily News story features a photo of another 2-year-old, Gianna Almonte, who died after choking on a cashew at her grandparents home two blocks away on E. 177th Street, just an hour before Andrew's fall.

Yet again, City Island firefighters and residents are rallying to save their firehouse from closure.

A new photography exhibit, called "Dia," featuring three Puerto Rican photographers from the Bronx -- David Gonzalez, Joe Conzo and Francisco Reyes -- opens at DUMBO arts center in Brooklyn today. The show's aim is to document the Puerto Rican experience in New York. Gonzalez, a Times journalist, said two other featured photographers, Perla de Leon and Ricky Flores, have Boogie Down connections as well.

Edison Matos, who owns an auto-glass repair shop on E. Tremont Avenue, was the one who finally corralled the Bronx Zoo's missing peahen.

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the city's new $65 million homeless intake center in the Bronx was held yesterday.

A Bronx assistant DA who is facing drunk driving charges may have gotten out of a previous DWI jam when a colleague made a phone call to police on her behalf.

Gay marriage and health advocates say Bronx State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.'s anti-gay marriage protest planned for Sunday (at the same time as the New York AIDS Walk in Central Park) will only increase homophobia. A counter protest is being organized.

A job fair at St. Francis of Asisi Church here in the Bronx offered some hope and assistance to job-seekers in the Bronx, which has the state's highest unemployment rate at 12 percent.

27 Bronx cats need homes or face euthanasia after their 80-year-old caretaker moved from her Co-op City townhouse.


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