8 The Courier sun • april 4, 2013 for breaking news visit www.couriersun.com Arrest in Forest Park attempted rape BOOK RETURNS HELP FOR LIBRARIES WRECKED BY SANDY BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA email@example.com A nonprofit is helping Queens Library get back on its feet by putting books back on its shelves. The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is giving a $250,000 grant to the Queens Library Foundation to replace more than 140,000 books and other library materials that were damaged by Sandy. “Our public libraries provide essential resources to New York City residents,” said Megan Sheekey, president of the Mayor’s Fund. “We are grateful to the Queens Library System for its dedication to keeping its doors open in impacted neighborhoods and serving community members.” Library branches in communities such as Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways were particularly damaged from flooding and are still trying to get back up on their feet. The Broad Channel Library reopened in early March. During Sandy, two feet of water inundated the building, ruining 16,000 books and ultimately costing $940,000 in damage. Other branches have yet to reopen. During repairs, temporary facilities are serving the area. “The Rockaways and Broad Channel lean on their community libraries for computer and broadband access, education, schoolwork support, job skills training, consumer health resources and their daily information needs. We are so grateful that the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City will help Queens Library restock the empty shelves and provide the critical information that will help the community rebuild,” said Thomas W. Galante, president and CEO of Queens Library. Officials say a total of $2.2 million in books, DVDs and magazines must be replaced, including picture books and homework help materials for children, large print books, books in Russian, Spanish and other languages, materials for job-seekers who want to learn more about employment trends and build their skills, and so much more. In addition, to the Mayor’s Fund grant, $1 million in additional grants have already been raised for replacement costs. BY TERENCE M. CULLEN firstname.lastname@example.org Four days after a female jogger was attacked in Forest Park, police arrested Richard Kassebaum, 42, in connection with the assault. Kassebaum, of Howard Beach, was charged with attempted predatory sexual assault, attempted rape and sex abuse on Tuesday, April 2. The victim, 23, was running on the horse trail of the park bordering Union Turnpike around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 29 when police say the suspect came out of the woods, tasered her and pulled her into the brush, where he attempted to rape her. She was able to break free, police said, and later taken to the hospital for head and neck injuries. Police presence was beefed up in the park to look for the suspect. Over the years, bodies have been found in Forest Park and it’s notorious for housing homeless people. But one man, who asked to remain anonymous, said he walks in the park almost daily and this was the first time he heard someone was hit with a stun gun. Normally, he said, people will exercise late at night, but concern of people being mugged or attacked was relatively low. “I think the park is pretty safe,” he said as he power-walked near the Bandshell on Monday, April 1. Gloria Fitzgerald, who came from Brooklyn to walk her dog in the park, hadn’t heard about the attack, but said she was shocked. “I’ve always felt safe here,” said Fitzgerald. — With Additional Reporting by Melissa Chan OZONE PARK PROJECT TO OFFER RELIEF BY TERENCE M. CULLEN email@example.com A multimillion dollar project will rebuild some of Ozone Park’s crumbling infrastructure. Councilmember Eric Ulrich announced the $45 million plan at the Ozone Park Civic Association’s March meeting. The three-year project, starting in March 2014, would focus on new and upgraded sewage systems, street signs and traffic lights, according to Ulrich’s office. Final designs are expected to be completed this June, with a contract to develop the project planned for this December. It would affect Albert Road from Cross Bay Boulevard to North Conduit Avenue and 150th Road from 95th Street to Centerville Street, according to the Daily News. Ozone Civic President Howard Kamph said the project has been more than 30 years in the making and hopes it won’t be put off any more. “It’s a project in need very badly,” he said. “I just hope they’re not delaying any longer than they’ve been delaying.” Because of flooding and other problems, Kamph said potholes are normally fixed quickly but will wash out after only a few weeks. In the past the city would “just patch up the hole. Just come three weeks later and the potholes are open again,” he said. “The people of Ozone Park have been waiting for this project for 30 years and I’m thrilled that their patience will finally pay off,” Ulrich said. “This project will do so much to make Centerville a better place to live and positively affect property values in the process.” Sketch Courtesy NYPD Police released this sketch of the suspect, who they later apprehended.
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