4 The Queens Courier • august 1, 2013 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com BELLEROSE RESIDENTS ON NO MOSQUITO SPRAYING: THIS BITES BY MELISA CHAN email@example.com If You’re Ready to Buy a Home,We are Ready to Help. The State of New York M ortgage Agency offers: Up to $15,000 Down Payment Assistance 1-800-382-HOME(4663) for Housing www.sonyma.org Bellerose residents say they live in a forgotten land when it comes to the city’s efforts to eliminate mosquitoes. “You can’t go outside. You can’t make it from your car to your front door,” said Maria Donza. The bloodsuckers are keeping residents on house arrest and even alert indoors, said Donza, who said she sits with a bottle of bug spray at home. The city has not sprayed the area since before 2011. Pesticide was scheduled for Bellerose in August 2011, but the order was eventually canceled, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DOHMH) website. The department recently targeted neighborhoods north of Bellerose, spraying parts of Bayside, Douglaston, Douglaston Manor, Glen Oaks, Little Neck and Oakland Gardens on July 25 and early the next day. “Everywhere else in Queens has been mostly getting sprayed,” said resident AJ Sonnick. “I don’t understand why Bellerose has been forgotten.” The 20 year old said he was bitten four times in the 20 minutes he was in his backyard the other day. “This is a beautiful neighborhood. It’s a great neighborhood to live,” Sonnick said. “It’s a shame that we just can’t sit outside.” A DOHMH spokesperson said Bellerose has not been sprayed because no West Nile Virus activity has been detected there. The virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause encephalitis and meningitis. Insects carrying the potentially fatal virus were recently found in Auburndale, College Point, Holliswood, Middle Village, Pomonok and the areas north of Bellerose sprayed last week. The pesticide is taken as a last resort in areas where there is a high risk of West Nile Virus transmission, the department said. Catch basins in Bellerose have been treated with larvicide twice this season. “Though there may be an increase in floodwater mosquitoes citywide, these mosquitoes do not transmit West Nile Virus,” the DOHMH spokesperson said. However, State Senator Tony Avella said the city should take measures before Bellerose makes the infected list. “Every year, we have deaths from West Nile Virus. Every year, it resurfaces,” he said. “So why don’t we do a much more proactive spraying to reduce that population rather than wait until it explodes on us?” Mosquitoes “don’t know what a boundary is on a map” and can fly into new nearby territories, the legislator added. The city urged residents to call 3-1-1 to report standing water, which can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Bellerose resident AJ Sonnick shows how mosquitoes have bitten up his ankle. THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan Alleged perv teacher reconsidering plea BY MELISA CHAN firstname.lastname@example.org The former Queens middle school teacher who pleaded guilty to statutory rape charges may withdraw his plea, his lawyer said. Daniel Reilly, 36, a married father, admitted in May to having sex multiple times at his Forest Hills home with a 14-year-old girl he used to teach, authorities said. The former sixth grade English teacher at I.S. 237 was expected to be sentenced this June to six months in jail and 10 years’ probation, according to District Attorney Richard Brown. As part of the plea bargain meant to spare the victim from testifying, Reilly would have to give up his teaching license, register on the state’s sex offender registry and take a sex offender reform program, authorities said. But because that punishment could entail restrictions against Reilly raising his infant daughter, his legal team said he is now reconsidering his options. “We’re contemplating the best course of action to enable his daughter to have a father in her life and to allow him to assist with raising her,” said Reilly’s attorney, Eric Franz. SMITH, HALLORAN, TABONE IN COURT Lawyers want some charges dismissed State Senator Malcolm Smith, Councilmember Dan Halloran and former Republican leaders appeared in court late last week to continue fighting federal charges. They all pleaded not guilty in April. Lawyers for the defendants are reportedly fighting to get some of the charges dismissed. They could not be reached for comment in time for press. Officials said Smith, a Democrat, bribed county GOP bosses to let him run for mayor as a Republican. Halloran is accused of setting up meetings between Smith and county leaders and negotiating payoffs. He allegedly pocketed nearly $21,000 in cash and offered up councilmember item cash in exchange for bribes, officials said. Vincent Tabone, ex-vice chair of the Queens County Republican Party, and Joseph Savino, former chair of the Bronx County GOP, allegedly took at least $40,000 in cash bribes as part of the conspiracy, authorities said.
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