Good morning and happy Wednesday. The winds and chills of yesterday fade away today. It will be a sunny spring day with early evening high temperatures of 63 degrees. Onward with our news-packed newsletter — no space for a West Side Story today!
West Side restaurateur Besim Kukaj was sentenced this month to 57 months in prison for fraudulently seeking at least $6.14 million and receiving at least $1.5 million from the federal government’s COVID-19 relief loans. Read more…
City officials announced yesterday that a final suspect had been arrested in connection with the homicides of Julio Ramirez and John Umberger, who were drugged, robbed and killed in separate incidents after visits to Hell’s Kitchen gay bars last year. Read more…
What we’ve been reading
* Stories that might be behind a paywall are marked with a 💰
Supreme Court allows NJ out of waterfront mob-busting alliance with NY. (Politico)
There might be a trade-in deal for uncertified lithium-ion bike batteries. (CBS)
Elon is disrupting the MTA’s subway service Twitter alerts. (Bloomberg💰)
A gay couple was attacked in Times Square by four men hurling anti-gay slurs — while a crowd watched and did nothing to help. (Advocate)
There are still gritty remnants of old Times Square around. (Untapped Cities)
On a windy, sunny Tuesday, curious locals and the neighborhood’s ever-present pigeons looked on as Hell’s Kitchen-raised street artist Hektad brought new life to the oft-painted vacant walls of a long-shuttered Starbucks on the corner of W47th Street and 9th Avenue. Read more…
Happy birthday to Stephen Carlile.