Monday, 6 April 2020

Judge slams Tekashi69 pal who partied after release from jail due to coronavirus

Kintea “Kooda B” McKenzie in an undated image.
Kintea “Kooda B” McKenzie in an undated image.

He partied during the coronavirus pandemic — and it will cost him at sentencing.
A judge slammed a friend of Tekashi69 for partying “in close proximity to others" after being released from jail due to the outbreak — and wrote he was considering a sentence above recommended guidelines.
Kintea “Kooda B” McKenzie persuaded Judge Paul Engelmayer to release him from the Metropolitan Correctional Center on March 30 because his asthma put him at heightened risk of coronavirus. But once McKenzie got out, it was time to celebrate. A video posted to social media showed McKenzie, 22, partying in his Brooklyn apartment.
“The Court views McKenzie’s actions, as shown on the video, as affording an illuminating window into his character,” Engelmayer wrote.

“At least one of the young men at the party appears to be smoking a marijuana cigarette and others are drinking alcohol. The word ‘Blood’ is audible, although the context leaves unclear whether it was intended as a reference to the gang, the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, with which McKenzie associated. The video does not reflect any effort by any attendee to achieve social distancing. To the contrary, the young men, including McKenzie, are packed closely together throughout. They are captured in various forms of physical contact, celebration and embrace,” Engelmayer wrote about the video, which was flagged for the court by an NYPD officer.
Engelmayer will sentence McKenzie on June 24 for taking money from Tekashi, who had ordered revenge on rival rapper Chief Keef. McKenzie then arranged for a shot to be fired at Chief Keef while he stood outside a Times Square hotel on June 2, 2018. Under the terms of McKenzie’s guilty plea, he had hoped for a sentence between roughly four and five years. Engelmayer, in his scathing decision, wrote that he was considering a sentence higher than that.

Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, a.k.a. Daniel Hernandez, appears in State Supreme Court in New York in this file photo.
Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, a.k.a. Daniel Hernandez, appears in State Supreme Court in New York in this file photo.(Alec Tabak/for New York Daily News)
The partying revealed that McKenzie “misled the Court by feigning genuine concern about contracting COVID-19,” Engelmayer wrote.
McKenzie also “exposed his family and friends to the risk of contracting COVID-19 from him, to the extent that he might already have contracted it at the MCC; and mocked the efforts of other high-risk inmates in the MCC and elsewhere who — without ulterior motives — are today desperately seeking release from jail to reduce their risk of contracting this virulent disease that has killed thousands," according to the judge.

Tekashi named one of his songs, “KOODA,” after McKenzie.
McKenzie and Tekashi were busted along with other members of the Nine Trey Bloods in a gang takedown in 2018 and 2019. Tekashi flipped on his fellow gang members, forcing many to plead guilty before going to trial. Last week Engelmayer ended the rainbow-haired rapper’s two-year sentence early because he also suffers from asthma.
Tekashi, who became famous through his social media hijinks, has kept a low profile online.

‘Jaws’ actress Lee Fierro dies from coronavirus at 91

Actress Lee Fierro as Mrs. Kintner in 1975’s “Jaws.”
Actress Lee Fierro as Mrs. Kintner in 1975’s “Jaws.”(Universal Pictures)

Actress Lee Fierro, who played a memorable Mrs. Kintner in the Steven Spielberg horror classic “Jaws,” died Sunday from complications of coronavirus.
She was 91.
Fierro, a longtime resident of Martha’s Vineyard, nailed a key scene in the 1975 shark attack movie when she famously lifted her black veil and slapped Chief Martin Brody across the face.
“You knew there was a shark out there. You knew it was dangerous, but you let people go swimming anyway. You knew all those things,” her character, Mrs. Kintner, said. “My boy is dead. I wanted you to know that.”
Kevin Ryan, artistic director for Island Theatre Workshop, confirmed her death to the Martha’s Vineyard Times. He said Fierro had moved to an assisted living facility in Ohio before she contracted the deadly virus.
During her four decades on Martha’s Vineyard, she taught and mentored more than 1,000 children in theater, he said.
“The one word I would think of when I think of Lee is dedication. I’ve watched her as a performer, director and business woman and then we became friends. She was my teacher and mentor,” Ryan told the newspaper.
“I would still call Lee for artistic discussion and commentary,” he said. “She was fiercely dedicated to the mission of teaching. She, no matter what it was, would stay at it and get the job done.”
Fierro also starred in several roles at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse in Vineyard Haven over the years, the group’s artistic director, MJ Munafo, said
"I loved her, and she was an inspiration to me,” Munafo told the Martha’s Vineyard Times. "She was a huge presence on the Island theater community. She worked with hundreds of young people who just adored her.”

Panic-buying for coronavirus affects diabetes patients: They can’t find rubbing alcohol

For those with diabetes or other chronic medical conditions use an alcohol swab or a rubbing-alcohol-soaked cotton ball to disinfect their skin before they inject insulin.
For those with diabetes or other chronic medical conditions use an alcohol swab or a rubbing-alcohol-soaked cotton ball to disinfect their skin before they inject insulin.(© Tawee Utthiyoung |

While the masses hunt for toilet paper, Caroline Gregory and other people with diabetes are on a different mission: scouring stores for the rubbing alcohol or alcohol swabs needed to manage their disease.
Gregory stopped in Carlie C's, Dollar General and Harris Teeter in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in pursuit of this vital component of her medical routine.
"We're all supposed to be staying at home, and I'm out going to 10 different stores," said Gregory, 33, whose diabetes could heighten her risk for COVID-19 complications. "That's also not safe."
Rubbing alcohol and alcohol swabs or wipes are the latest products swept up by the nation's demand for anything and everything seen as a disinfectant against the novel coronavirus – by hospitals and average consumers alike.

Panic-buying spree threatens medical routines

Andy Lerman, vice president of operations for Hydrox Laboratories, a manufacturer based outside Chicago, said the majority of the low-profit-margin medical product his company makes is headed to hospitals, which are going through it faster than they have in the past. He has seen distributors order more than five times the amount they typically do.
"Hospitals are wiping down everything all the time – with every type of virucide that they have at their disposal," he said. "I'm making it as fast as I can, but I have more orders than I have capacity to manufacture."
Isopropyl alcohol – a primary ingredient in some types of rubbing alcohol – has been touted as a cleaner that neutralizes the coronavirus on everything from kitchen countertops to phones. After the depletion of supplies of hand sanitizer, also seen as a defense against COVID-19, demand exploded to make homemade versions. The Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization list isopropyl alcohol as a critical ingredient in their recommended recipes.
For those with diabetes or other chronic medical conditions, the general public's resulting panic-buying spree has threatened their medical routines, such as when patients use an alcohol swab or a rubbing-alcohol-soaked cotton ball to disinfect their skin before they inject insulin.
Alternatives such as witch hazel may not have the same antiviral properties, and the proof of most brands of vodka isn't high enough to be effective. Other compounds, such as hydrogen peroxide and liquid iodine, can be unwieldy for diabetes patients to manage while changing insulin pump sites on the go, Gregory said.

‘A cesspool of infection waiting to happen’

Despite the inability to obtain their usual products, people with diabetes need to maintain their blood sugar levels, said Kelly Mueller, vice president of community impact at the American Diabetes Association. She encouraged patients to wash their hands and pump sites carefully and let them air-dry.
In the midst of the coronavirus panic, the problem is compounded by a dearth of antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer to replace the disinfecting swabs or rubbing alcohol needed to keep prick sites clean, said Alison Dvorchik. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her 17-year-old son, Matthew, who has Type 1 diabetes.
"I'm worried for the entire Type 1 diabetic community," she said. "That's a cesspool of infection waiting to happen."
Any potential infection is a strain on an overburdened health care system, Dvorchik said. She's trying to ward off that fate for Matthew with a stash of 100 alcohol wipes from a friend – they use about three a day with Matthew's insulin pump.

A tsunami of demand

The madness began about three weeks ago, according to New Jersey-based AvaCare Medical CEO Steven Zeldes, who runs one of the nation's larger online medical supply companies.
Overnight, his site was swamped with "thousands and thousands" of orders around the country for rubbing alcohol and rubbing alcohol swabs – medical supply items that had not been a primary focus for the company.
At first, he suspected some sort of pricing mishap. Then he realized rubbing alcohol was a primary ingredient in making homemade hand sanitizer.
The tsunami of orders cleared out the warehouses of AvaCare Medical's distributors in less than two days. Zeldes said the company was out of stock so fast that it received thousands of orders before being able to take down the listings.
"Our company was always a medical supply company for seniors or nursing homes or hospitals," Zeldes said. "Now we're a company for every single citizen of America."
Cathi Carothers, an operations assistant at Lab Alley, a chemical supplier in Austin, Texas, said her company saw a similar explosion of interest in alcohol products from fire departments and post offices as well as Tesla, the Department of Homeland Security and Johns Hopkins University.
"No one could have anticipated this much demand in a month," Carothers said.
When Lab Alley called Dow and ExxonMobil – two of the largest raw-component manufacturers of isopropyl alcohol in the USA – to procure more, she said, the companies told Lab Alley they prioritize hospitals.
Dow confirmed to Kaiser Health News it worked with the FDA and state officials to maximize production of all its high-demand products. ExxonMobil directed Kaiser Health News to a news release stating it worked with hard-hit New York and Louisiana to send isopropyl alcohol from its Baton Rouge Chemical Plant, which it said is "home to the world's largest" isopropyl alcohol production site.
Medline, a major supplier in Chicago, and New Jersey-based Becton, Dickinson, a health care product manufacturer and supplier, felt the crush of demand. Medline spokesperson Stacy Rubenstein cited a 100% increase in March this year over last. Accordingly, both companies said they have ramped up production and enforced fair distribution measures.

‘I think people are just panicking’

Down the supply chain, Gregory, the Fayetteville woman with diabetes, said she lost it in line at Walgreens when she saw a sign saying the store limited customers to four bottles, which is more than she would go through in a year. (She uses it several times weekly to disinfect the sites of her insulin pump and every 10 days for her glucose monitor.)
"How much hand sanitizer are you making?" Gregory asked. "You certainly don't need to be cleaning your kitchen with it – it's not necessary. I think people are just panicking."
Many forms of rubbing alcohol were sold out on Walgreens online site as of Sunday. Target and Rite Aid also sold out of some rubbing alcohol and related products online.
Finally, Gregory was able to snag one of the last orders for 100 wipes available through Healthcare Supply Pros, an online medical supply company. It should last her for about five months. She fears for older, poorer people with diabetes who may not have internet access or the money to do the same.

Similar listings show the product is sold out.

"Don't hoard something that you don't really need," said Dvorchik, the mother of the teenager with diabetes. "Because the people who really need it can't get it."

Masters moves to November, BMW Championship at Olympia Fields is pushed back a week and British Open is canceled in a reworked 2020 golf schedule

The British Open will not be played this year for the first time since 1945, golf officials announced Monday as they tried to reconfigure a major championship schedule that would end with the Masters being played two weeks before Thanksgiving.
Still to be determined is when — or even if — golf can resume depending on the spread of COVID-19 that has shut down sports worldwide.
Confirming a report from last week, the R&A announced that the British Open, scheduled for July 16-19 at Royal St. George’s in England, will be pushed back until July 15-18, 2021, leaving the 150th Open for St. Andrews in 2022.
“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing the Open this year, but it is not going to be possible,” R&A chief Martin Slumbers said.

The Masters, which was supposed to start Thursday, was rescheduled for Nov. 12-15. That would follow the PGA Championship on Aug. 6-9 at Harding Park in San Francisco and the U.S. Open on Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
The new PGA Championship dates push back the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoff events by one week, meaning new dates — Aug. 27-30 — for the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields.
The Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., would be played the week after the PGA, followed by the FedEx Cup run of the Northern Trust outside Boston, the BMW and the Tour Championship in Atlanta, which would end on Labor Day.
The Ryder Cup remains scheduled for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Golf’s major organizations have been trying to piece together a puzzle for the last three weeks, and each agreed to announce its schedule at the same time in a show of collaboration. Still missing is the starting line.
“We hope the anticipation of staging the Masters Tournament in the fall brings a moment of joy to the Augusta community and all those who love the sport,” Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said. “We want to emphasize that our future plans are incumbent upon favorable counsel and direction from health officials.”
Ridley said every player who had received an invitation to play in the Masters in April will stay on the list, with more details to be sorted out later. He also said the Augusta National Women’s Amateur was canceled, and every player can keep her spot for next year provided she doesn’t turn pro.
Winged Foot just north of New York City is about 5 miles from a hot spot for the new coronavirus. Construction for the U.S. Open stopped two weeks ago as the USGA tried to determine its best course. For now, it’s to stay in New York with a September date.
The U.S. Senior Open at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island and the U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Brooklawn Country Club in Connecticut have been canceled.

Man found dead on Upper East Side street

The body was discovered at Park Ave. and E. 77th St. about 6:05 a.m.
The body was discovered at Park Ave. and E. 77th St. about 6:05 a.m.(Dreamstime)

A man was found dead on an Upper East Side street Monday morning.
The body was discovered at Park Ave. and E. 77th St. about 6:05 a.m.
Investigators were trying to determine how he died, including whether he may have had coronavirus.
An autopsy will determine how he died.

Driver dies in wrong way crash on Brooklyn-Queens Expressway

The driver, alone in a 2005 Honda Accord, tried to get onto the BQE by using the 39W exit at Queens Blvd. about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, cops said.
The driver, alone in a 2005 Honda Accord, tried to get onto the BQE by using the 39W exit at Queens Blvd. about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, cops said.(ChristopherBernard/Getty Images)

A 42-year-old man died after he drove the wrong way up an exit ramp onto the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and crashed into an oncoming car, police said Monday.
The driver, alone in a 2005 Honda Accord, tried to get onto the BQE by using the 39W exit at Queens Blvd. about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, cops said.
He slammed into a 2015 BMW 328i sedan that was exiting the ramp and died at the scene. His name was not immediately released.
The 33-year-old BMW driver driver suffered a leg injury and was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition, officials said. His 30-year-old front seat passenger hurt a rib and was also stable at Elmhurst.

ALLAN WERNICK: As coronavirus closes USCIS offices, all but emergency requests being handling for now

USCIS is closed for all but emergency requests until May 4 or longer.
USCIS is closed for all but emergency requests until May 4 or longer.

Q. My wife got a two-year conditional green card and in October 2019 we filed form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions from Residence. I understand that because of coronavirus, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is closed. Will that delay a decision on the petition?
Name withheld, Creech Air Force Base, Nev.
A. Not all I-751 petitioners are interviewed. The agency schedules interviews when the petitioner didn’t submit strong evidence that the marriage is bona fide or “real” or at random. Maybe USCIS will approve the petition without an interview.
USCIS is closed for all but emergency requests until May 4 or longer. Presently the agency takes up to two years to issue a decision on I-751 petitions. It is unclear if the coronavirus will further delay petitions and applications.

Q. My husband and I file tax returns as married filing separately. Will that make it harder to get my green card? Will USCIS think we are a “green card” marriage if we file that way? I’m pregnant — won’t that be enough to show ours is a real marriage?
A. Assuming the two returns show the same address, you and your husband may file separate tax returns without impacting your right to get a green card. Given that it takes more than a year for USCIS to interview marriage green card applicants, you will have given birth by then. That’s certainly good evidence that the marriage is bona fide or “real.”
A married couple may lawfully file separate returns as married filing separately. Sometimes a couple pays less in taxes that way. A problem arises only if one spouse files as head of household to save money. Married individuals may file as head of household only if they are living apart.