Morning Headlines | Must-Reads from the WNYC News Hub

Protesters and police clash on the Lower East Side on May 1, 2012.

Police Warrant Squads Were Used to Monitor Wall Street Protesters, Suspects Say (NYT)
Joseph Goldstein reports: “On Monday, the New York Police Department sent its warrant squads after an unusual set of suspects: people who had old warrants for the lowliest of violations, misconduct too minor, usually, to draw the attention of those squads. But those who were questioned by the warrant squads said the officers had an ulterior motive: gathering intelligence on the Occupy Wall Street protests scheduled for May 1, or May Day.”

Nets Brooklyn Parking Plan Hits the Skids (NY Post)
Rich Calder report: “The state has put the brakes on an unconventional parking plan at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn that critics feared would have created neighborhood traffic nightmares. Stack-parking — a time-consuming process that uses hydraulic lifts to stack anywhere from two to four cars atop one another — won’t be used, as previously planned, at a surface parking lot under construction next to the Nets’ new home.”

Manhattan Prosecutor Focus on Pimps Instead of Prostitutes (NYT)
Russ Buettner reports: “The Manhattan district attorney’s office is employing a sex trafficking charge, added to the New York State penal code five years ago, that is helping to redefine how law enforcement agencies approach organized prostitution.”

Dolan and Bishops Urge Albany to Raise Minimum Wage (NYT)
Thomas Kaplan reports: “Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan and New York State’s bishops are calling on the Legislature to increase the minimum wage, adding an influential source of support to a proposal that has divided lawmakers along party lines. In a statement to be released on Thursday, Cardinal Dolan, the archbishop of New York, and the bishops express concern that “it is becoming increasingly difficult for the working poor of our state to make ends meet” and urge a “modest” increase in the minimum wage, now $7.25 an hour.”

City GOP Seeks Republican Candidate For Mayor (WSJ)
Michael Howard Saul reports: “New York City Republican leaders are aggressively courting two men as potential mayoral candidates for 2013: Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis. But neither man has committed, putting the party whose nominee has won the past five mayor elections in the position of casting a wide net for its nomination.”

Ray Kelly Given Deadline for Becoming a Candidate (Capital)
Azi Paybarah reports: “Ray Kelly will have to decide by this fall if he is going to run for mayor, according to the chairmen of New York City's five Republican county organizations, who released a statement this afternoon describing their interest in speaking with the popular police commissioner. In the joint statement, the chairman said a meeting with them "will be a critical step for Kelly or any prospective candidate if he or she is serious about the possibility of running.”

Audit Finds Teachers Regularly Work Less Than Contracts Require (NY Post)
Yoav Gonen reports: “Recess isn’t just for kids. Nearly one in four city public-school teachers whose schedules were audited by the Department of Education last year weren’t teaching the minimum number of classes their contracts require, The Post has learned.”

Queens School Plans to Go Sugar-free (NYDN)
Clare Trapasso reports: “An Astoria school has banned bake sales and swapped out chocolate milk for water in an effort to make the school healthier. The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria is working with a nutritionist to eventually make the all-girls, public middle and high school completely sugar-free. Many of the school’s roughly 500 students have also pledged to eat better.”

Bronx Parents Strapped for School Options in the Neighborhood (NYDN)
Corinne Lestch reports: “    Parents feel they are losing options for children who may be struggling, left back or attending schools slated to close or phase out in the Bronx. They say there aren’t enough resources to go around. Many of them turned out at the lottery about two weeks ago to try to secure a spot, even though the controversial school gives priority to District 12 students who meet an unusual criteria: they must be overage and undercredited, dropouts, foster children, homeless or involved in the criminal justice system.”

Public Plaza Meeting to Beautify Staten Island Draws a Crowd of None (DNAInfo)
Nicholas Rizzi reports: “A meeting to get public input on plans to beautify the island's North Shore drew an unimpressive crowd - the sole attendee was a reporter from DNAinfo New York. The information session on the "NYC Plaza Program," which plans to bring an open space like the newly pedestrianized parts of Times Square to the area, had been organized by the Department of Transportation Wednesday. The meeting, at Borough Hall in St. George, was intended for residents and members of non-profit organizations to ask questions and give feedback on where the space should be established.”

Deal Is Near on Willets Point (WSJ)
Eliot Brown reports: “The Bloomberg administration is nearing a deal with the Related Cos. and a real-estate firm controlled by owners of the New York Mets to build a retail and residential development on a gritty swath of Queens near Citi Field, according to people familiar with the matter. But the tentative deal to develop Willets Point isn't a home run. It would require significant revisions to a signature initiative of the Bloomberg administration: an ambitious $3 billion vision for the area that includes 5,000 apartments, stores and a hotel.”

Urban Bears’ Coming to the Meatpacking District for Celebration (DNAInfo)
Andrea Swalec reports: “Crowds of fuzzy, cuddly bears will flock to Manhattan's West Side this week, but not the kind that live in the woods. Urban Bear NYC will celebrate the subculture of gay men who refer to themselves as ‘bears’ from Thursday through Sunday in the Meatpacking District, Greenwich Village and Chelsea, with a full calendar that includes a street fair, a pub crawl and an all-bear comedy show.”