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Morning Headlines | Selected by the WNYC News Hub

Monday, September 24, 2012

Must-read headlines from around the city, curated by the WNYC Newsroom.

HEALTH
Bloomy’s Latest ‘Nanny State’ Crackdown Will Curb Junk Food in Hospitals (NYDN)
Simone Weichselbaum and Tracy Connor report: “Mayor Bloomberg’s Health Department, which has already done Hizzoner’s bidding by banishing sugary and fatty foods in public hospitals, has convinced a number of private health-care facilities to junk the junk, the Daily News has learned.. Nutrition experts say it’s a smart move, considering many hospital patients are suffering from illnesses linked to diets laden with salt, fat and sugar.”

CRIME
Tragedy Meant Big Money for NY Minister (AP)
Brett J. Blackledge and David B. Caruso write about the pastor at a Lower Manhattan church who started receiving millions in charity after the September 11th terrorist attacks: “Donors poured $2.5 million into the minister's charity to help 9/11 victims. More opportunities to raise relief money would come later, with at least another $2.3 million collected for efforts along the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, in the poorest corners of West Virginia and Tennessee, and even in remote African villages. Tens of millions more flowed through his fingers from the sale of church properties. But Keyes, a one-time construction worker, did more than help the needy with the millions donated - he helped himself.”

CRIME
Rape in Hudson River Park Is Latest in a String of Jarring Crimes (NYT)
Joseph Goldstein and Alex Vadukul report that so far this year, rapes recorded citywide have increased by more than 4 percent: “[Police say] that the attacker approached the woman as she sat on a park bench and tried to start a conversation with her shortly after 5 a.m. After an interval, he hit her in the face and tried to strangle her before dragging her into bushes nearby, where he sexually assaulted her, the police said. The police arrested a suspect, Jonathan Stewart, 25, who is a convicted sex offender and who the police said is homeless. His arraignment on rape charges, which was expected to occur on Sunday afternoon, was delayed after he was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, for reasons that were not disclosed.”

POLITICS
Speaker's Male Staffer Defended Boss by Posing Online as 'Female' Supporter (NYP)
Carl Campanile and Reuven Fenton report: “Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has a strong female voice defending him against allegations he improperly funneled hush money to two of Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sex-harassment accusers. The thing is, Silver’s “female’’ supporter is a man — and he’s one of the powerful Democrat’s own staffers. Bill Eggler, 48, a longtime legislative writer for Silver, is behind a Web alter ego, “Sophia Walker,” who lashes out at anyone who dares suggest his boss did anything wrong in orchestrating a secret $103,080 payout to the former Brooklyn Democratic Party leader’s accusers, The Post has learned.”

HEALTH
Are There Any Doctors in the House? Physician Shortage Could Triple in 8 Years (Asbury Park Press)
Bob Jordan reports: “New Jersey is hurting from a shortage of doctors and won’t be able to keep up with the added demand for services that the Affordable Care Act will bring, health experts warn. The problem will be compounded as the state’s population ages and more of the approximately 1.3 million residents without health insurance become eligible through the federal health care law. That’s expected to leave the state 3,000 doctors short of what’s needed by 2020, with severe shortages in many non-primary-care specialties, including neurosurgery and pediatric subspecialties.”

TRANSPORTATION
Botched Response, Lies Found in Port Authority Response to JFK Terror Scare (NYP)
Josh Margolin reports: “In a monumental screw-up, Port Authority security at Kennedy Airport last week allowed a plane suspected of carrying terrorists and explosives to taxi right to the gate — while diverting a second aircraft that had nothing to do with the scare to an isolated area, a Post investigation has revealed. Making matters worse, those allegedly responsible lied to agency officials and tried to cover up their incompetence by blaming the blunder on the Federal Aviation Administration, a source said.”

POLITICS
Speaker Silver’s Male Staffer Defended Boss With Online Posts from ‘Female’ Supporter (NYP)
Carl Campanile and Reuven Fenton report: “Bill Eggler, 48, a longtime legislative writer for Silver, is behind a Web alter ego, ‘Sophia Walker,’ who lashes out at anyone who dares suggest his boss did anything wrong in orchestrating a secret $103,080 payout to the former Brooklyn Democratic Party leader’s accusers, The Post has learned. A friend of Eggler’s innocently let the cat out of the bag by publicly identifying him as blogger Sophia Walker in a recent posting.”

TRANSPORTATION
Help Point High-Tech Intercoms Being Installed on New York City Subways (NYDN)
Pete Donohue reports: ”The Metropolitan Transportation Authority put out some good news Friday — not that riders are likely to cheer. The high-tech intercoms known as Help Point that the authority has been testing on the Lexington Ave. line will be placed in 102 stations by the end of 2014. For the first time, passengers waiting for trains will be able to get basic travel information or summon help in an emergency with the push of a button. Eventually, the MTA will put the devices in all 468 stations.”

MEDIA
Village Voice Owner Splits Up (WSJ)
Keach Hagey reports: ”A group of executives from Village Voice Media Holdings LLC are buying its chain of 13 alternative newspapers, including the Voice, in a deal that separates the iconic titles from the company's controversial online classified company, Backpage.com. The papers, which also include LA Weekly, SF Weekly and Phoenix New Times, will become part of a new, Denver-based publishing company named Voice Media Group that is majority-owned by Scott Tobias, formerly the president and chief operating officer of Village Voice Media.”

CRIME
Fake Gold Hits NYC (NYP)
Michael Gray reports: ”Federal agents are investigating the peddling of bogus gold bars in Midtown.
The Post has learned as many as 10 fake gold bars — made up mostly of relatively worthless tungsten — were sold recently to unsuspecting dealers in Manhattan’s Midtown Diamond District. The price of gold has risen more than 600 percent since January 2000, while the S&P 500 index is down 0.6 percent over the same period. The 10-oz. gold bars are hugely popular with Main Street investors, and it is not known how many of the fake gold bars were sold to dealers — or if any fake bars were purchased by the public.”

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