18 THE QUEENS COURIER • MAY 26, 2016 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.qns.com FLUSHING MEADOWS PARK GETS $40M FOR UPGRADES BY ANGELA MATUA email@example.com/@AngelaMatua The largest park in Queens has just been awarded a portion of the $40 million the Parks Department will pump into the city’s green spaces. Flushing Meadows Corona Park was chosen by city residents as one of eight parks to receive improvements as part of the Parks Without Borders program. According to the Parks Department website, the program is aimed at “making parks more open, welcoming and beautiful by focusing on improving entrances, edges and park-adjacent spaces.” The city agency will conduct community outreach to determine exactly what the park needs and will determine how much money is needed for Flushing Meadows Corona Park after the scoping process, said Meghan Lalor, spokesperson for the Parks Department. A main component of the project will include a new and improved Henry Hudson entrance. “At the Henry Hudson Entrance to the largest park in Queens, there’s little to indicate that this is a park at all,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. “Here, we will enliven and green the design to make it more inviting and more evident that this entrance leads to one of the greatest parks in the city.” An additional $10 million will be applied to 53 projects citywide, which are already in progress, Lalor said. The improvements to these eight parks will be completed by 2020. In addition, at least 61 other projects in parks throughout the city will include a similar design philosophy. Jury indicts couple from Flushing for having child slaves BY BRIANNA ELLIS firstname.lastname@example.org/@briinformed A Flushing couple that allegedly exploited two young children for fi nancial gain was indicted on charges of labor traffi cking and exploitation this week. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced that a grand jury slapped Sook Yeong Park, 49, and Jeong Taek Lee, 53, both of 196th Street in Flushing, with a slew of allegations on Tuesday, May 24. The couple was charged with stealing a sum of over $100,000 that belonged to the biological parents of two Korean children, who were adopted by the exploiters in 2010. The parents sent money from January 2009 to January 2016 to sponsor their children’s care and education, but the couple allegedly kept the money and abused the victims laboriously, sexually and physically. “The allegations in this case are extremely disturbing and even more upsetting considering the young ages of the alleged victims,” Brown said in a statement. According to the Queens District Attorney’s offi ce, the extensive 61-count indictment includes charges of second-degree grand larceny, labor traffi cking, endangering the welfare of a child, second- and third-degree assault, forcible touching, petit larceny and fi rst-degree criminal contempt. The brother and sister, aged 8 and 11 at the time, were allegedly forced to follow the couple’s strict orders for six years while enduring sexual and physical abuse. The female victim worked numerous outside jobs from April 2013 until January 2016 — at grocery stores, a nail salon, a restaurant and as a babysitter — but had to surrender her pay to the exploitative duo. She was also mandated to do housework for about 10 hours almost each day after school and gave Park back and foot massages plus manicures and pedicures. The male victim allegedly began working at a grocery store in August 2015 for at least one day a month and handed over his earnings to the greedy couple. The two children were supposedly informed that they had to work to pay their expenses since their parents weren’t sending any money from Korea. Park allegedly supervised and controlled all communication between the victims and their parents; she allegedly put the children on a speaker phone and dictated their conversation. Park and Lee were arrested in January when the children reported the physical abuse to school offi cials. The investigation was conducted by offi cers of the 111th Precinct in Bayside. Park, who was originally charged in January, was arraigned on the indictment on Tuesday before Queens County Supreme Court Justice Joseph Zayas. Her bail was raised from $10,000 to $250,000, and she was ordered to return to court on August 9. Lee’s arraignment information was not immediately available. If convicted, the defendants each face up to 15 years in prison. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/Modesto del Río Flushing Meadows Corona Park was chosen as one of eight city parks to receive improvements. Photo via Google Maps This Flushing home was an alleged house of horrors for two child laborers held there by a couple.
To see the actual publication please follow the link above