FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM OCTOBER 5, 2017 • THE QUEENS COURIER 19
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
firstname.lastname@example.org / @robbpoz
“If anything happens to me, give this
to my mother.”
Th at’s what an Ozone Park woman
allegedly said while providing a neighbor
with her wallet, credit cards and
personal information just before her
ex-lover allegedly came to her home
and killed her last week, prosecutors
announced on Monday.
Jerome Rivers, 52, was arrested on
Saturday, Sept. 30, on charges of murder
and criminal contempt for his
alleged role in the death of Gia Pender,
49, inside her Centreville Street home.
Sources familiar with the investigation
stated that Rivers and Pender may
have been in a romantic relationship.
Queens District Attorney Richard A.
Brown said that Pender had an active
order of protection barring Rivers
from contacting her. Nevertheless,
Rivers allegedly called her numerous
times while being held on Rikers
Island for two months.
Last Th ursday, Sept. 28, prosecutors
said, Rivers contacted Pender
by phone and allegedly asked if he
could stay with her. A short time later,
Pender went to a neighbor and said
that “Jerome is coming over.” She
then handed her personal eff ects to the
neighbor and instructed that they be
given to her mother “if anything happens
According to the criminal complaint,
Rivers allegedly called 911 at
6 a.m. on Sept. 29 and claimed that
he heard awoke to a thump and then
found Pender on the fl oor. He further
claimed that a 911 operator instructed
him to perform CPR, and that he
heard a popping sound while performing
EMS units and offi cers from the
106th Precinct arrived at the home
shortly thereaft er; Pender was pronounced
dead at the scene; an autopsy
conducted by the Chief Medical
Examiner’s offi ce determined that she
died of manual strangulation.
During questioning, Brown said,
Rivers allegedly denied killing Pender,
but further claimed that she had stolen
checks from him, disrespected his
mother and had him imprisoned on
“trumped up” abuse charges.
According to the Queens District
Attorney’s offi ce, Rivers was remanded
without bail and ordered to return
to court on Oct. 30.
“Th is was a senseless killing,” Brown
said in a statement. “Domestic violence
is a plague on our society and
must end. Th e defendant now faces
the prospect of spending the rest of his
life in prison.”
New SBS fare machines installed
in the middle of this sidewalk
BY ANTHONY GIUDICE
Motorists aren’t the only ones anxious
about what the MTA’s plan to bring
Select Bus Service (SBS) to Woodhaven
and Cross Bay boulevards next month
will mean for traffi c on the congested
roadways. One business owner in Ozone
Park fears it may cost her customers in
the long run.
Nancy Composto, who owns and operates
Today’s Home Décor located at 137-
07 Cross Bay Blvd. with her son Joseph,
is concerned that a newly planned bus
stop directly in front of their business
thanks to the new SBS routes will hurt
her business because cars will no longer
be allowed to park near the store.
Today’s Home Décor does not have its
own parking lot and depends on customers
using the few metered spots in front
of the business on Cross Bay Boulevard.
When the new bus stop is implemented,
those spots will be gone, and so may go
“Th e most important thing is that they
are taking away my parking,” Composto
told QNS in a phone interview. “Th ere is
no place to park here normally. So now
customers can’t even wait until the next
day to come because there will still be
no spots for them. We aren’t a foot-traffi
c store. People come in here to shop
for kitchen cabinets, and they need their
Th e MTA’s plan entails transforming the
Q52 and Q53 limited bus routes into SBS
routes by Sunday, Nov. 12. Th ere will also be
new bus stops added — like the one in front
of Composto’s business — and bus stops
taken away further down the routes in the
Rockaways and Broad Channel.
Another hindrance to Composto and
her store are the three MTA fare stations
The owner of Today’s Home Decor on Cross Bay Boulevard fears a new bus stop will prevent customers
from reaching her business.
placed directly in the middle of the sidewalk
in front of Today’s Home Décor.
“Th e second thing is they put these
machines right in the middle of the sidewalk
so now people have to walk around
them,” Composto said. “It doesn’t seem
to me to be a good placement for them.”
Composto said she fi rst heard of the
MTA’s plan back in May and took it upon
herself to reach out to her local elected
offi cials, but the plan moved forward.
“I can’t see it making any traffi c better,”
Composto said of the SBS routes. “I’m
hoping they took into consideration the
Photos by Anthony Giudice/QNS
small businesses in the area that will be
aff ected because of this.”
According to a Department of
Transportation (DOT) spokesperson, the
fare machines are aligned the way they
are because a bus shelter will be installed
at the location at it is to DOT’s standards
that all fare machines and other SBS amenities
are aligned with the back of the
bus shelter. Th e amenities need to meet
the agency’s minimum sidewalk clearance
requirements. Th ey also noted that the
Muni meter and other confl icting sidewalk
elements at the site will be relocated.
Photos by Robert Pozarycki and courtesy of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District
A ‘Wonderful’ day out in Woodhaven
Th ousands enjoyed a day of early fall excitement during the “Wonderful Woodhaven Street Festival” below the elevated
J line on Jamaica Avenue on Sunday, Oct. 1. Hundreds of vendors set up booths along the avenue between 80th Street and
Woodhaven Boulevard. Guests enjoyed all kinds of entertainment including live musical performances and karate demonstrations.
Among those pictured at right is Maria Th omson, executive director of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation
and Woodhaven Business Improvement District, receiving an karate statue from Imperial Dragon Hombu Dojo, a Karate group
in celebration of their 26th year appearance at the festival.