20 DECEMBER 30, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Maspeth High School, located at 54-40 74th St. Screenshot via Google Maps
Queens’ top stories from July 2021
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
As 2021 comes to an end, QNS has compiled a
list of the biggest stories, events and people of
Queens that grabbed our attention this year.
Here’s a look back at the top stories for the month
QUEENS NIGHT MARKET REOPENS
TO THE PUBLIC
The Queens Night Market at Flushing Meadows
Corona Park opened in July with free and open entry
to the public.
In June, the open-air market returned for its sixth
season at reduced capacity for its fi rst three weekends
and required that patrons purchase tickets in
advance or at the door. The event pledged 20% of net
ticket proceeds to initiatives promoting racial equity
and to COVID-19 relief and recovery eff orts. In three
weeks, the pledge yielded nearly $10,000.
On its opening night, Queens Borough President
Donovan Richards issued a proclamation declaring
June 19 “Queens Night Market Day.” Over the fi rst
fi ve seasons, the market welcomed over 1 million
visitors, helped launch over 300 new businesses
in New York and represented over 90 countries
through its diverse vendors and their food.
MASPETH HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
INVESTIGATED FOR GRADE FRAUD
The city’s Department of Education (DOE) in
July removed Maspeth High School’s principal aft er
substantiating claims of his involvement in a grade
Principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir was accused
of changing incomplete grades to passing
grades and awarding undeserved credits to students.
Following the DOE’s investigation, Mutakabbir was
served with disciplinary charges and removed from
payroll while the department pursued his termination
pursuant to state law.
Councilman Robert Holden, who had brought the
scandal to light two years ago, criticized the DOE for
moving slowly on investigations.
“It has taken far too long, because neither the
administration nor the DOE was in any hurry to
investigate. I brought this disgrace to the attention
of the chancellor and mayor directly and there was
no action taken,” Holden said.
TWO TEENS ARRESTED FOR
BEATING MAN IN MIDDLE VILLAGE:
Two teenage boys were arrested on gang assault
charges for violently beating a 44-year-old man at
Juniper Valley Park in July.
The 14-year-old and 15-year-old were charged aft er
their parents brought them to the 104th Precinct station
While the man was out walking his dog, he saw a
group of kids lighting fi reworks and confronted the
group over the noise, which led to a violent beating.
According to police, the man was able to get away and
only had cuts and bruises.
Following the incident, Councilman Robert
Holden had demanded immediate action from the
NYPD and Parks Department.
CONSTRUCTION OF NEW UBS ARENA
IN ELMONT IS IN ITS FINAL STRETCH
The newly constructed $1.1 billion UBS Arena,
located at Belmont Park in Elmont, was nearing
completion in July in time for the Islanders’ 2021-
2022 NHL season.
The 19,000-seat, state-of-the-art venue, developed
in partnership with Oak View Group (OVG), the
New York Islanders and Sterling Project Development
(SPD), is also a world-class home for the more
than 150 concerts and festivals the arena plans to
host every year.
The arena’s design is inspired by iconic New York
landmarks, including Central Park, Ebbets Field,
Grand Central Terminal, Park Avenue Armory and
the Prospect Park Boathouse. There are two outdoor
terraces open to all guests, eight bars with a full view
of the action on the ice, and more restrooms per person
than any area in Metro New York.
COPS ARREST SUSPECT FOR
BRAZEN KIDNAPPING ATTEMPT IN
A quick-thinking mom rescued her 5-year-old son
from an attempted kidnapping in Richmond Hill
when a driver jumped out of the car and sprinted
toward the sidewalk, where he grabbed the boy and
threw him into the car.
The young boy’s mother, with the help of her two
children, pulled the boy through the open front passenger
Police had identifi ed the suspect as 24-year-old
James McGonagle who was arrested and charged
with attempted kidnapping, reckless endangerment
and acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17.
YEAR IN REVIEW