Sunday, January 27, 2013

Inside tale of Ray Lewis' parking-lot brawl homicide case

When Baltimore Raven linebacker Ray Lewis takes the field at next Sunday’s Super Bowl — his last game ever — much will be made of his storied career. Lewis, now 37, had his breakout season four years after being drafted by the Ravens in 1996: Leading tackler in the NFL, he led the Ravens to victory in Super Bowl XXXV and was named the game’s MVP.


Just one year before, Lewis had been arrested and tried in connection with a double homicide in Atlanta. It’s perhaps the most dramatic bookend that a professional athlete — a legend, at that — could have to his career: His first Super Bowl, played in the shadow of two slayings, made Ray Lewis a superstar. He now leaves his second Super Bowl an iconic all-American hero, beloved by small children and major corporations alike.

As much as the NFL loves a redemption narrative, the story of Ray Lewis is one that you probably won’t be hearing anything about next Sunday night. Lewis himself has made it clear that he will never address it again: “Really,” he told a reporter this month. “Really. Why would I talk about that?”

On the evening of Jan. 30, 2000, Ray Lewis was looking to party. He had flown to Atlanta to watch Super Bowl XXXIV and booked himself into the luxury Georgian hotel. He’d also brought along his personal driver, Duane Fassett, to chauffeur a stretch Lincoln Navigator: 37 feet long, 14 seats, $3,000 a day.

On this night, Lewis turned himself out: white-and-black suit, full-length black mink coat and what would later be described as “enough rock to break the bank.” A few nights earlier, he had met a gorgeous woman named Jessica Robertson at a party thrown by Magic Johnson, and it was she — not Lewis’ pregnant fiancée — who was his date for the evening.

What Lewis and his crew were doing before they arrived at around 1 a.m. at the Cobalt Club, in Atlanta’s party-centric Buckhead district, remains unclear. The Cobalt had a blue neon glow and a V.V.I.P room. Baseball star David Justice had been there earlier, as had Tony Gonzalez, then of the Kansas City Chiefs, but Lewis held court on the first floor, near the door, so everyone would notice.
With him were Joseph Sweeting, a strip-club promoter who’d been friends with Lewis since college, and Reginald Oakley, who’d recently worked his way into Lewis’ circle through friends of friends.

They were getting to know each other better, though; the day before, the three men had gone shopping at a Sports Authority store, where Sweeting and Oakley bought folding knives.

“Smooth” was how Lewis would later describe his mood at Cobalt; he’d had four Rémy Martin cognacs while luxuriating in the attention of half-dressed women and an ever-expanding entourage.

He was 24 years old and had a four-year contract worth $26 million. He had just dropped more than $100,000 shopping, and the necklace he was wearing — a gold door-stopper studded with diamonds — was one of his recent acquisitions.

At around 3:30 in the morning, Lewis and his crew of about 10 headed outside, where Oakley began to get aggressive with two other clubgoers — themselves part of a group of about 10. Oakley kept at it and got whacked on the side of the head with a champagne bottle. Then, Lewis would later testify, “all hell broke loose at that point. Everybody was throwing fists. Everybody was punching.”

Everyone, that is, except Ray Lewis, who testified that while all this was going on, he calmly rested against his limo, watching as his friend Sweeting was dragged and assaulted by two huge men.

“I don’t fight,” Lewis testified. “Period.”

Lewis wasn’t so calm, though, when two young men collapsed in the street, covered in blood. Lewis yelled at Robertson and his crew to get in the limo, and they scrambled and sped away as guns were fired at their tires. Minutes later, when the car came to a stop in a parking lot, Lewis took control of the situation.

“Everybody just shut the f--k up!” he yelled. “This ain’t going to come back on nobody but me.”

Meanwhile, those two young men lay dying in street: Richard Lollar, 24, and Jacinth Baker, 21. Both had records — Lollar for possession of marijuana, while Baker was wanted for violating probation on gun possession — and had recently moved to Atlanta from Akron, Ohio. Baker wanted to be an artist; Lollar, whose fiancée was pregnant, was a barber.

“These guys were slaughtered,” said Cindy Lollar-Owens, Richard’s aunt. “Like someone was getting a kick out of it.”

Lollar suffered five stab wounds: two to the heart, one to the chest and two to the abdomen. Baker, too, was stabbed directly in the heart and in the liver. Both died before they made it to the hospital. Baker’s face was beaten so badly that, he had a closed casket at his wake. Both men were buried in Akron, 24 miles from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

After racing from the scene, Lewis’ limo didn’t return to his hotel, the Georgian, but instead to the Holiday Inn Express where Sweeting was staying. Lewis then took a cab back to the Georgian.

It didn’t take long for police to find the limo, shot through with bullet holes, blood in the interior. It sat just a mile from the crime scene, and when cops walked into the lobby, they found Lewis’ driver, Fassett, trembling and chain-smoking.

Fassett told the police he’d seen Sweeting, Oakley and Lewis all fighting and provided details that only an eyewitness could know. He said he’d heard Oakley boast, “I stabbed mine,” and Sweeting reply, “I stabbed mine, too.” When police got to Lewis’ room, they found blood there, too — but not Lewis, who had fled to his fiancée’s family home.

When cops arrived to question Lewis, he was, they felt, not helpful. It took less than a day to obtain an arrest warrant, and when police came to take Lewis in, he cried.
He cried some more in jail.

“I wept,” Lewis wrote on ESPNmag.com that December. “I wept when my 5-year-old son asked me why Daddy was always on TV wearing chains. I wept myself to sleep some nights on that nasty bed in that nasty cell.” It took 15 days for his lawyer to get him out.

Sweeting and Oakley were advised to turn themselves in, which they did.

While Ravens owner Art Modell called around for defense attorneys, cops were learning more about Lewis’ activities that night.

For example, his cellphone was unusually active right after Baker and Lollar were killed. Several eyewitnesses saw people exiting that limo with a laundry bag, which they threw in a Dumpster. Cops would never find the clothes Lewis wore that night, not even the mink. Nor would they find the photo taken of Lewis’ entourage that night, which Robertson had already burned.

A few hours after the murders, at about 6 a.m., Lewis had called Robertson and asked her to go to the Georgian and pack up everything he’d left behind. A jailhouse informant, meanwhile, told cops that Lewis was using one of his sisters to relay messages to Sweeting, telling him not to worry, that Lewis would never betray him.

Lewis himself felt he had little to worry about. The Ravens were standing firmly behind him. Lewis’ own private investigators beat the cops to just about every witness in the limo; they all got lawyers.

His driver, Fassett, became increasingly unsure of what went down that night.

The trial began on May 15, 2000, and quickly fell apart. The state’s star witness, Fassett, recanted much of what he had told police. He swore he’d never seen Lewis strike anyone.

By the trial’s second week, Lewis wasn’t even attempting to appear respectful. He sat at the defense table and scrawled his autograph over and over. Finally, on June 4, Lewis’ attorney and the prosecution cut a deal. Lewis would testify against Sweeting and Oakley in exchange for one year’s probation on obstruction of justice. Lewis testified he saw Oakley fighting in the melee and that Sweeting had told Lewis he’d been punching with the same hand that cupped a knife.

Here, too, the prosecution miscalculated. On June 13, 2000, the jury acquitted both men on charges of murder and assault. They spent just five hours deliberating.

Ray Lewis’ career never took a hit, even as he spent years alternately playing victim — “Jesus Christ couldn’t please everybody . . . that’s my attitude” — and remaining defiant. “The real truth is, this was never about those two kids that were dead in the street,” he said in 2001. “It’s about Ray Lewis. Don’t be mad at me because I was on center stage.”

The victims’ families saw it differently, bringing civil suits against Lewis. He settled them out of court, with confidentiality agreements attached to both.

“The family didn’t get no money,” Priscilla Lollar, Richard’s mother, told The Post. Priscilla says Richard’s fiancée, who gave birth to his daughter one month after the slayings, received $4 million from Lewis — far more than the $1 million estimated. Lollar didn’t have the energy to fight herself; she was too grief-stricken, she says, to even attend his funeral.

“I didn’t even acknowledge my son was gone until last year,” she says. “I was numb.”

As far as Lewis is concerned, she believes he bears guilt for what happened that night but that “the answer to why — you’ll never get that. Because nothing is going to stop his career.”

She’s right.

Lewis will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in five years and is considered a lock. It’s widely rumored that ESPN wants to hire him as a color commentator, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said he wants to hire Lewis as a special adviser, citing him as a “tremendous voice of reason.”

And all these years later, Ray Lewis holds no regrets about what happened that night in Atlanta. “If I had to go through all of that over again . . . I wouldn’t change a thing,” he said recently. “Couldn’t. The end result is who I am now.”

Kelly supports assault-weapons ban but says handguns are the main problem in NYC

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says handguns are the main problem on New York City streets when it comes to gun violence.


In an interview Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation," Kelly said he supported an assault weapon ban, but that in New York City, "the problem is the handgun."

He said 60 percent of murders in the city are done by handguns.

Kelly was in support of universal background checks. He said about 6 million weapons were sold last year without one.

Kelly also spoke about technology the NYPD is looking into that would be able to read a certain kind of energy emitted by people to detect the presence of a weapon.

More than 230 die in smoke, stampede in Brazil nightclub fire

BRASILIA, Brazil — Flames raced through a crowded nightclub in southern Brazil early Sunday, killing more than 230 people as panicked partygoers gasped for breath in the smoke-filled air while stampeding toward a single exit partially blocked by those already dead. It appeared to be the world's deadliest nightclub fire in more than a decade.


Witnesses said a flare or firework lit by band members may have started the blaze.

Television images showed smoke pouring out of the Kiss nightclub as shirtless young men who had attended a university party joined firefighters using axes and sledgehammers to pound at windows and walls to free those trapped inside.

Guido Pedroso Melo, commander of the city's fire department, told the O Globo newspaper that firefighters had a hard time getting inside the club because "there was a barrier of bodies blocking the entrance."

Teenagers sprinted from the scene desperately seeking help. Others carried injured and burned friends away in their arms.

"There was so much smoke and fire, it was complete panic, and it took a long time for people to get out, there were so many dead," survivor Luana Santos Silva told the Globo TV network.

The fire spread so fast inside the packed club that firefighters and ambulances could do little to stop it, Silva said.

Another survivor, Michele Pereira, told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that she was near the stage when members of the band lit flares that started the conflagration.

"The band that was onstage began to use flares and, suddenly, they stopped the show and pointed them upward," she said. "At that point, the ceiling caught fire. It was really weak, but in a matter of seconds it spread."

Police Maj. Cleberson Braida Bastianello said by telephone that officials counted 232 bodies that had been brought for identification to a gymnasium in Santa Maria, a major university city with about 250,000 residents at the southern tip of Brazil, near the borders with Argentina and Uruguay.

An earlier count put the number of dead at 245. Another 117 people were being treated at hospitals, he said.

Brazil President Dilma Roussef arrived to visit the injured after cutting short her trip to a Latin American-European summit in Chile.

"It is a tragedy for all of us," Roussef said.

Most of the dead apparently suffocated, according to Dr. Paulo Afonso Beltrame, a professor at the medical school of the Federal University of Santa Maria who went to the city's Caridade Hospital to help victims.

Beltrame said he was told the club had been filled far beyond its capacity during a party for students at the university's agronomy department.

Survivors, police and firefighters gave the same account of a band member setting the ceiling's soundproofing ablaze, he said.

"Large amounts of toxic smoke quickly filled the room, and I would say that at least 90 percent of the victims died of asphyxiation," Beltrame told The Associated Press by telephone.

"The toxic smoke made people lose their sense of direction so they were unable to find their way to the exit. At least 50 bodies were found inside a bathroom. Apparently they confused the bathroom door with the exit door."

In the hospital, the doctor "saw desperate friends and relatives walking and running down the corridors looking for information," he said, calling it "one of the saddest scenes I have ever witnessed."

Rodrigo Moura, identified by the newspaper Diario de Santa Maria as a security guard at the club, said it was at its maximum capacity of between 1,000 and 2,000, and partygoers were pushing and shoving to escape.

The event featured a group called Gurizada Fandangueira, which plays a driving mixture of local Brazilian country music styles. It was not immediately clear if the band members were among the victims.

Santa Maria Mayor Cezar Schirmer declared a 30-day mourning period, and Tarso Genro, the governor of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, said that all possible action was being taken.

"Sad Sunday" Genro tweeted. He planned to be in the city later in the day.

The blaze was the deadliest in Brazil since at least 1961, when a fire that swept through a circus killed 503 people in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro.

Sunday's fire also appeared to be the worst at a nightclub since December 2000, when a welding accident reportedly set off a fire at a club in Luoyang, China, killing 309.

In 2004, at least 194 people died in a fire at an overcrowded nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Seven members of a band were sentenced to prison for starting the flames.

Several years later, in December 2009, a blaze at the Lame Horse nightclub in Perm, Russia, killed 152 people after an indoor fireworks display ignited a plastic ceiling decorated with branches.

Similar circumstances led to a 2003 nightclub fire that killed 100 people in the United States.

Pyrotechnics used as a stage prop by the 1980s rock band Great White set ablaze cheap soundproofing foam on the walls and ceiling of a Rhode Island music venue.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Developing Story

The Braves are to acquire OF Justin Upton, 3B Chris Johnson from D-backs for P Randall Delgado, 4 others: source

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Subway suicide horror


A homeless man was killed when he ran head-first into the side of a northbound 2 train yesterday as it barreled into the Times Square station during the morning rush hour, police said.
Witness Antonio Garcia, who was standing on the uptown platform at around 10 a.m., said he saw the suicidal man wait for the first car of the Broadway express to pass him before he threw himself head first into the side of the train.
“He didn’t want to jump in front of the train. He didn’t want the guy to stop,” Garcia said.
Police said the man had no ID and appeared to be in his 30s or 40s.

Napoli, Red Sox anticipate healthy 2013


BOSTON -- The hip condition that delayed Mike Napoli's signing with the Red Sox for over 50 days is called avascular necrosis. The truth is, Napoli didn't even know anything was wrong until the Red Sox spotted the condition during a physical in December.
All along, he has felt no symptoms in his hips and has gone about a completely normal offseason.
When the Red Sox open their season on April 1 at Yankee Stadium, Napoli vows that he will be in the lineup.
After agreeing to terms with the Red Sox on a three-year, $39 million deal on Dec. 3, Napoli finally signed a contract on Tuesday, a deal that pays him a guaranteed $5 million over one season, but can max out at $13 million if he reaches his incentive clauses.
"Obviously it was a pretty tough offseason but I think we got it figured out," Napoli said. "I went through a physical and we saw some things in my hip that we had to talk about and move forward in a different direction. I think we figured that out and we're moving in the right direction. I feel like we got that behind us and we're ready to go."
According to WebMD.com, "Avascular necrosis (AVN), also called osteonecrosis, aseptic necrosis or ischemic bone necrosis, is a condition that occurs when there is loss of blood to the bone. Because bone is living tissue that requires blood, an interruption to the blood supply causes bone to die. If not stopped, this process eventually causes the bone to collapse."
In other words, Napoli's condition could eventually become an issue during his playing career. But neither side expects it will prevent the right-handed slugger from having a productive 2013 season.
"As of now, I don't have any symptoms from it," Napoli said. "I'm on medication to help me get through it. I haven't had any symptoms from it. I played with it last year, and there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to be there Opening Day and be a starter Opening Day."
"This was caught at a very early stage," said Brian Griper, Napoli's agent. "Like Mike said, he hasn't had any symptoms from this whatsoever. The first time we were made aware of it was on the physical with the Boston Red Sox. At some point, like Mike said earlier, he played with it. No symptoms whatsoever.
"Obviously he finished the year healthy, productive and, as he is right now, working out four days a week, getting ready for Spring Training, getting ready at API, hitting, throwing, getting ready for all the things for camp."
In 2013, the Red Sox expect Napoli to be a big hitter in the middle of their lineup, lending support behind Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz.
"Well, we don't have a lot of concern about 2013," said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. "When it comes to health, none of us can be 100 percent in our predictions. These are human beings, and when any player is on the field, injuries can happen. We want to stay away from predictions, but there's no reason Mike Napoli won't be our primary first baseman in 2013. That's what we're counting on. There's no reason that won't happen starting Opening Day.
"I think it's very important to note that, although this condition is less common in baseball players than some other issues, from all the information that's been gathered, particularly by Brian and Mike, this has been caught very early. We're a long ways from Bo Jackson, and Bo Jackson's circumstance was entirely different, from what we understand. From all the information we have, there's a very good prognosis and no reason to think Mike won't be a huge part of our 2013 team."
It was a long time coming for Cherington and the Red Sox, who first targeted Napoli when the Angels placed him on waivers in August 2010. On that occasion, the Angels pulled Napoli back and the sides couldn't work out a deal by the deadline.
"I think, as everyone knows, Mike was a primary target of ours from the outset of the offseason. Mike is a hitter who has always done a lot of things that we value," Cherington said. "He sees pitches, he gets on base, hits for power, he's got a great swing for Fenway Park, a great history of performance at Fenway Park. He's also known as a terrific teammate. He's an accountable, tough player.
"And at the same time, as everyone knows, we had a desire to add offense, particularly at first base, from the outset of the offseason and we're very happy to bring Mike on board and expect him to be our primary first baseman in 2013."
Just don't look for Napoli to do any catching, barring an emergency situation. Once the hip condition presented itself, Cherington spoke with Napoli and let him know that in the best interest of everyone, it would be best if Napoli sticks to first base in 2013.
"Obviously, we know he can catch," Cherington said. "He's done that a lot in the past. He's been good at it and we would trust him back there. For a couple reasons we're focusing right now on first base. No. 1, because that's obviously our primary team need. That's where the biggest opening is. And No. 2, we do feel like it makes sense in the short term to allow Mike to focus on that position to take a bit of a load, or a bit of stress, off the body, off the lower body in particular."
The Red Sox are already deep at the catching position, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, David Ross and Ryan Lavarnway vying for playing time.
Napoli is a powerful pull hitter who is a strong fit for Fenway Park, where he has a .307 average with nine homers, 20 RBIs and a 1.138 on-base plus slugging percentage in 75 career at-bats, including the postseason.
"I can't really put my finger on it. I've enjoyed the atmosphere [at Fenway]," Napoli said. "The fans are in the game. They know when to cheer. They really know the game of baseball. I guess it's just a fun place for me to play. Obviously, I like hitting there. Short porch to left field. I don't know. I just feel real comfortable hitting there. I like the background. I can't really put my finger on it, but it just felt good playing there."
To make room for Napoli on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox designated right-hander Chris Carpenter for assignment.
The 31-year-old Napoli hit .227 with 24 homers and 56 RBIs for the Rangers in 2012, making his first All-Star team. The Red Sox hope Napoli can get back to the level he was at in 2011, his first year with Texas, when he hit .320 with 30 homers, 75 RBIs and a 1.046 OPS.
Napoli has played 727 games in the Majors, hitting .259 with 146 homers, 380 RBIs and an .863 OPS.
Carpenter, 27, opened last season on the disabled list after undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow. Before joining the Red Sox in September, he posted a combined 2.08 ERA in 21 appearances between the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, Greenville, Portland and Pawtucket. With Pawtucket alone, Carpenter pitched to a 1.15 ERA with four saves in four chances in 16 games. He finished the season making eight relief appearances for Boston, and earned his one win, the first of his Major League career, on Sept. 14 at Toronto.
When the contract negotiations between Napoli and the Red Sox hit the snag over the hip condition, both sides remained confident that a deal would eventually be reached.
"The best fit for me, I think, was in Boston," Napoli said. "I had a great two years in Texas. I enjoyed my time here. But I think the fit with Boston, they stuck with me through the offseason, through this whole thing, I think it was just a good fit for me and the role I would have with the team."

Unholy monster Weberman gets 103 years


The Brooklyn teen sadistically abused by her Hasidic counselor from the time she was 12 smiled through her tears yesterday — as the perverted monster was sentenced to 103 years behind bars.
Pedophile Nechemya Weberman, 54, showed no emotion when he heard the judge pronounce his virtual life sentence for repeatedly molesting the girl for more than three years in his locked counseling office.
But his victim, now 18, showed how glad she was, smiling outside court minutes after tearfully recounting to the judge how the Williamsburg counselor had abused her.
“I clearly remember how I would look in the mirror and see a person I didn’t recognize. I saw a girl who didn’t want to live in her own skin,” the brave victim said, weeping, before Weberman’s sentencing in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
“[I saw] a sad girl who wished so badly she could have lived a normal teenage life but instead was stuck being victimized by a 50-year-old man who forced her to perform sickening acts for his sick sense of pleasure again and again.”
After the unlicensed Weberman was convicted last year, the victim told The Post how he got off by burning her stomach with a lighter.
“I would cover up the burn marks inflicted on the body he used to serve his sadistic pleasures,” she told the judge yesterday, speaking for about five minutes in the silent courtroom.
“Every time I would look at it, I would get flashbacks and feel my body burning all over again. I would cry until my tears ran dry.”
A jury last month found the bearded child molester guilty on all 59 counts. Weberman, a married father of 10 children and grandfather of 19, had sat in jail since then awaiting sentencing. The maximum sentence he could have received was 117 years.
The victim was abused from 2007 to 2010, when she finally reported the crime.
“Now when I look in the mirror and see my reflection, when I look at my body and see the burns, I can finally look and see past the pain. I can look and see some justice,” the teen said in court.
“I can proudly say that even though I have suffered so much as a young girl, I somehow came out as a strong woman.”
The trial provided a rare glimpse into the insular world of Brooklyn Hasidism and the cloistered Satmar sect.
The girl’s parents were forced by her school to send their daughter to Weberman for counseling after she failed to dress according to Satmar standards of modesty.
Witnesses told a riveted courtroom about Satmar practices such as invoking masked modesty squads to enforce religious law and back up powerful schools that made students attend unlicensed counselors such as Weberman.
His two-week trial tore apart the private sect, pitting Weberman’s fierce loyalists against the victim’s supporters. Even after justice was handed down, members of the community in Williamsburg remained unconvinced.
“He’s really not guilty. She is a sinful girl. When she was 12, she was a bum,” Satmar member Gitty Rosenberg, 49, said yesterday.
The victim watched her abuser receive his punishment from the front row of the courtroom. Her young husband put his arm around her as she dabbed her eyes and nose with a white tissue.
For the first time, she left behind the green rubber stress ball that she had squeezed nervously during days of grueling cross-examination.
“He definitely won’t be able to hurt anyone else,” her husband said after the sentencing.
Weberman’s team of lawyers said they would appeal his case.
The defense team had argued that the victim falsely accused Weberman in retaliation for a bizarre incident in which he and her father secretly filmed her having sex with her boyfriend, a claim barred from trial.

D-backs reach two-year agreement with Pennington


PHOENIX -- The D-backs reached agreement on a two-year $5 million deal with shortstop Cliff Pennington on Tuesday night, a baseball source told MLB.com.
ESPN's Buster Olney was the first to report the deal.
Pennington was asking for $2.8 million in the arbitration process, while the D-backs were offering $1.8 million.
Pennington was acquired from the A's in October in exchange for outfielder Chris Young. The 28-year-old hit .215 in 462 plate appearances last year and has a .669 OPS over parts of five seasons in the big leagues.
The Pennington signing leaves the D-backs with just one remaining arbitration-eligible player, outfielder Gerardo Parra.
Parra has filed at $2.7 million, while the D-backs have offered $2.1 million.
The D-backs have not gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since Damian Miller in 2001.

New technology will allow NYPD to detect concealed weapons


The NYPD will soon be able to detect concealed weapons using a new technology, still in the development stages, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said today.
“The device reads the specific form of natural energy emitted by people and objects known as terahertz,” Kelly said at the Police Foundation’s annual breakfast.
“If something is obstructing the flow of radiation, for example a weapon, the device will highlight that object.”
The NYPD showed an image taken with the device where you can clearly see a concealed weapon in the officer’s pocket. The officer was in plain clothes, wearing a Jets jersey and jeans, the gun hidden under his clothes.
“The technology is going to get there,” Kelly said, adding that he is pleased with the progress made in the last year.
Working with both a vendor and the London Metropolitan Police, the NYPD has been fine-tuning this crime-preventative technology to fit the department’s needs.
“One of our requirements was that the technology must be portable,” Kelly said while showing the device mounted in a truck.
The department will continue to run trials before officially unveiling the high tech devices citywide.

Liriano reportedly broke arm in bathroom fall


The mystery of Francisco Liriano's broken right arm received some unsubstantiated clarification recently with a newspaper in his native Dominican Republic reporting he suffered it in a bathroom fall.
According to elcaribe.com, the newspaper's website, Liriano fell days after the Dec. 21 agreement on his original two-year, $12.75 million contract with the Pirates, fracturing the humerus bone in the upper arm.
Citing a "source close to the player," the report said Liriano's right arm is in a cast. The report included no other details as to where or how exactly the left-handed pitcher had fallen.
The accident forced the sides to revisit terms of the original contract and reopen negotiations, which were finalized on Monday, according to FOXSports.com. The club had no comment, as Liriano still must pass a physical to formalize the agreement.
Speaking to MLB.com earlier this month at the MLB Owners Meetings in Paradise Valley, Ariz., Pirates club chairman Bob Nutting had said, "Liriano remains a player we are interested in. But we'll have to make absolutely sure that there's a 100 percent chance of his recovery and ability to play."
The potential total value of the deal remained the same, but Liriano agreed to a lower 2013 salary and to assume a shared risk.

Feds: 3 charged over 'Gozi' computer virus that infected millions, inlcuding NASA


Federal authorities in New York say they've brought criminal charges against three people in connection with a computer virus that infected more than a million computers worldwide.
The authorities said Wednesday that NASA computers were among those infected by what was labeled the "Gozi Virus."
Authorities say they believe the three people who are charged created and distributed the virus.
It caused millions of dollars in losses by stealing online banking credentials, among other things.
A news conference on the charges was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Motte, Cardinals reach two-year agreement


ST. LOUIS -- Closer Jason Motte has inked a two-year contract with the Cardinals that will buy out his final two seasons of arbitration-eligibility. At the end of the deal, Motte will be a free agent.
The Cardinals announced the agreement on Tuesday afternoon and can now turn their attention to finalizing 2013 contracts with David Freese and Marc Rzepczynski, the club's two arbitration-eligible players who remain unsigned. Arbitration hearings will be held in February for players and clubs who cannot agree to contract terms independently.
Though the financial terms of Motte's deal were not immediately known, the figures exchanged between the Cardinals and Motte last week provide some insight into where both sides were sitting. Motte filed for a $5.5 million salary. The Cardinals countered by submitting a $4.5 million offer.
By signing Motte for more than the requisite one year, the club receives cost certainty and will not have to go through the arbitration process with Motte again next year. Motte, on the other hand, receives financial security regardless of his 2013 performance.
Motte earned $1.95 million in 2012, which was his first full season as the Cardinals' closer. He saved a National League-high 42 games and held opponents to a .191 batting average. He is one of only four Cardinals to ever reach that 40-save plateau.

Clinton: Nobody more committed to security


WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton insisted on Wednesday that the department is moving swiftly and aggressively to strengthen security at US missions worldwide after the deadly Sept. 11 raid on the consulate in Libya.
In probably her last appearance on Capitol Hill as America's top diplomat, Clinton once again took full responsibility for the department's missteps leading up to assault at the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
The usually steely Clinton choked up before the panel recalling the deaths of Americans in Libya.
"I stood by President Obama as Marines carried the flag draped coffins off the plane," Clinton told the Foreign Relations Committee, her voice cracking. "I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers."
Clinton faced pointed criticism from Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn) over security at the Benghazi compound attacked on Sept. 11 when Libyan ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed.
"These officials were screaming out for more security," said Corker, the lead Republican on the committee.
Clinton said she never saw requests for more security.
"I didn't see those requests, they didn't come to me, I didn't approve them," Clinton said.
Her voice rising at another point, she defended UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who was vilified for widely debunked claims five days after the attack that protests precipitated the raid rather than terrorism. She challenged the GOP focus on Rice's comments, which were based on intelligence talking points.
"What difference does it make?" a clearly exasperated Clinton told Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., after he pressed her. She insisted that "people were trying in real time to get to the best information," and that her focus was on looking ahead on how to improve security rather than revisiting the talking points and Rice's television appearance.
Clinton said the department is implementing the 29 recommendations of an independent review board that harshly criticized the department as well as going above and beyond the proposals, with a special focus on high-threat posts.
The review board report faulted "systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department" and four employees were put on administrative leave.
"Nobody is more committed to getting this right," she said. "I am determined to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger, and more secure."
Her testimony focused not only on the attack but the growing threat from extremists in northern Africa, pointing out that Libya was not an isolated incident.
"The Arab revolutions have scrambled power dynamics and shattered security forces across the region," she said. "And instability in Mali has created an expanding safe haven for terrorists who look to extend their influence and plot further attacks of the kind we saw just last week in Algeria."
She said the Obama administration is pressing for a greater understanding of the hostage-taking and rescue effort there that left three Americans dead.
Clinton parried tough questions from Republicans, offering a detailed timeline of events on Sept. 11 and the Obama administration efforts to aid the Americans in Libya while simultaneously dealing with protests in Cairo and other countries.
She took House Republicans to task for recently stripping $1 billion in security aid from the hurricane relief bill and the Senate panel for failing for years to produce an authorization bill.
In something of a valedictory, Clinton noted her robust itinerary in four years and her work, nearly 1 million miles and 112 countries.
"My faith in our country and our future is stronger than ever. Every time that blue and white airplane carrying the words "United States of America" touches down in some far-off capital, I feel again the honor it is to represent the world's indispensable nation. And I am confident that, with your help, we will continue to keep the United States safe, strong, and exceptional."
Clinton is the sole witness at back-to-back hearings before the Senate and House foreign policy panels on the September raid.
Clinton had been scheduled to testify before Congress last month, but an illness, a concussion and a blood clot near her brain forced her to postpone her appearance.
Absent from the hearing was Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the man tapped to succeed Clinton. His swift Senate confirmation is widely expected. Kerry's confirmation hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
Clinton's testimony was focusing on the Libya attack after more than three months of Republican charges that the Obama administration ignored signs of a deteriorating security situation there and cast an act of terrorism as mere protests over an anti-Muslim video in the heat of a presidential election. Washington officials suspect that militants linked to al Qaeda carried out the attack.
"It's been a cover-up from the beginning," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the newest member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Tuesday.
Politics play an outsized role in any appearance by Clinton, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 and is the subject of constant speculation about a possible bid in 2016. The former first lady and New York senator — a polarizing figure dogged by controversy — is about to end her four-year tenure at the State Department with high favorable ratings.
A poll early last month by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found 65 percent of Americans held a favorable impression of Clinton, compared with 29 percent unfavorable.
On the panel at the hearing were two possible 2016 Republican presidential candidates — Florida's Marco Rubio and Kentucky's Rand Paul, also a new member of the committee.
Clinton did little to quiet the presidential chatter earlier this month when she returned to work at the State Department after her illness. On the subject of retirement, she said, "I don't know if that is a word I would use, but certainly stepping off the very fast track for a little while."
With respect to Benghazi, the State Department review singled out the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs, saying there appeared to be a lack of cooperation and confusion over protection at the mission in Benghazi. The report described a security vacuum in Libya after rebel forces toppled the decades-long regime of strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
Asked for the number of State Department employees fired for their handling of Benghazi, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said four people were put on administrative leave. They included Eric Boswell, who resigned from the position of assistant secretary of diplomatic security.
But Nuland declined to say if Boswell and the others still are working for the department in some capacity.




Phillies sign Delmon Young to deal for one year


PHILADELPHIA -- This is Delmon Young's latest fresh start.
Can he take advantage and be the player the Phillies hope he can be?
The Phils announced Tuesday they had signed Young to a one-year, $750,000 contract, which a source said can become worth $3.5 million based on roster and performance bonuses. Philadelphia hopes Young will be the club's everyday right fielder and provide the lineup the balance it sorely needs from the right side of the plate. But a productive season is far from a certainty, and there are risks involved, which the Phillies acknowledge.
That is why Young signed for as little as he did and why he was still available this late in the offseason.
"I've done some things where there is a reason for it," Young acknowledged in the Phils' clubhouse. "If I went out there and was an All-Star six years in a row and healthy and a model citizen, that wouldn't have happened. That's where I'm looking to make a change. I made a change last year after the incident. It made me wake up. I've had a full offseason to get healthy and a full offseason to reflect on life and having good people around me. Being a good person, everything good can still happen."
The incident occurred last April in New York, where police arrested him on a second-degree aggravated harassment charge. Major League Baseball suspended him seven days as a result. Young pleaded guilty on Nov. 7, and the league ordered him to undergo anger management and alcohol counseling. Young also served 10 days of community service.
"You live and you learn," Young said. "I put myself in a bad situation. Nothing good comes out when you're out that late by yourself. I have to put myself in better situations. You think before you go out and do stuff now. You think, 'I have a game and I don't need to be doing any of this stuff.'"
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he did his homework on Young, speaking to numerous people. He insists he has a good feeling about the person he has brought into the Phils' clubhouse.
"I think, more than anything else, the conclusion we came up with is he made a mistake and whatever is written about him in the past doesn't really depict the kind of person he is," Amaro said. "Obviously, we want to have good character guys in our clubhouse, and I think he's going to be one."
If Young stays out of trouble -- he was suspended twice in his Minor League career, once 50 games for flinging a bat at an umpire -- and is a good teammate, he still has to get healthy and prove he can play capably in right field, a position he has not played since 2007. Young had microfracture surgery on his right ankle in November, and the Phillies acknowledged Young might not be 100 percent by Spring Training. If that is the case, they might get less of an opportunity to see how he performs defensively, which is a legitimate concern.
"We had interest in him offensively for a long time, but the defense means something and he'll have to proven he can play defense enough to be able to play every day out there," Amaro said. "I think he's motivated. That's one of the things. Reports are when he was a little bit of a younger player, he was at least an average, probably a plus defender in right field as he was coming through the Minor Leagues in the Tampa organization. He always had a good arm. It's backed off a little bit since he's been doing more DHing. There is some risk here. No question about it, but we think it's a low-risk, high-reward [move], because the guy can hit."
And that is why Young is here: offense. He hit .267 with 27 doubles, 18 home runs, 74 RBIs and 151 games last season for the Tigers. Young also hit .313 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 13 postseason games, including American League Championship Series MVP honors. His best season came in 2010 with the Twins, when he hit .298 with 46 doubles, 21 home runs, 112 RBIs and an .826 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
If Young can approach those numbers, the signing will be a steal.
But Amaro would not proclaim Young the everyday right fielder Tuesday, but if he is healthy and can play competent defense, the sure bet is Young will be there.
And what does that mean for the rest of the outfield?
Ben Revere is the everyday center fielder, with Domonic Brown, Darin Ruf, John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix competing for time in left. Mayberry is a smart bet to make the team because he is the only viable option to back up Revere in center, plus he has no remaining options and he has been productive hitting against left-handed pitchers.
Nix also seems safe because the Phils need a left-handed bat coming off the bench.
That leaves the final outfield spot for Brown or Ruf. Brown has the edge, but if Ruf outperforms Brown in Spring Training, it would not be a stretch to see Brown open the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Brown vs. Ruf should be a good competition in Clearwater, Fla.
Young should be interesting to watch, too. Nobody knows how much he will play because of his recovery from ankle surgery or how he will play once he is out there. And nobody knows if everything will be drama-free, either.
"Get to know me and then make judgments for yourself," Young asked. "I don't want to sell a brand, and it's not the brand. I'd rather you get to know the brand and take what you want from it then. I'm not going to come preach a Tim Tebow speech and say I'm going to do all this stuff and if I don't do it, you guys are right here to criticize me on it. I'll be here all year and you get to see if you like me or not. Hopefully you guys do like me."
Young just completed his community service before he traveled to Philadelphia to pass his physical. He spent time cleaning parks.
"All that is behind me now, it's just about trying to get that red hat into the World Series," Young said.

Lip service: Beyonce faked anthem at Obama inauguration


O say can’t she sing?
Beyoncé’s dazzling rendition of the National Anthem at President Obama’s inauguration was a total fake — with the megastar lip-syncing as the Marine Corps Band merely pretended to play its instruments, sources said yesterday.
The Grammy-award winner’s decision to use a taped version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” stunned the first family, which handpicked her for the occasion.
“Oh, my God! You’re best friends with Michelle and you faked it! I am very upset,” said a source close to the Obamas. “I would like my three minutes back.”
Beyoncé’s performance was a well-choreographed acting job.
She made it appear as if she was belting out the anthem as a crowd of dignitaries and a million other attendees watched in awe from the National Mall. A worldwide television audience was also clueless to the chicanery.
As she mouthed the words, Col. Michael J. Colburn emphatically led the United States Marine Band, whose members acted as if they were blowing on wind instruments and horns and banging on drums throughout the song.
“We received last-minute word that Beyoncé was going to use a prerecorded vocal track,” said Kristin DuBois, a spokeswoman for the USMC band. “Those were the instructions given. We don’t know . . . the reason why.”
A Marine Corps spokesman suggested Beyoncé’s lack of rehearsal time with the band led to the decision to rely on at least a pre-recorded instrumental track.
Marine Capt. Gregory Wolf said there “was no opportunity for Ms. Knowles-Carter to rehearse with the Marine Band before the Inauguration, so it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill-advised for such a high-profile event.”
On Sunday night, Beyoncé posted a picture on her Instagram account that showed her recording the National Anthem with the Marine Corps band. In one shot, she has sheet music for the song.
Back-up tapes are standard procedure for presidential inaugurations as a precaution for technical problems or freezing-cold temperatures — but fellow performers Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor had no trouble singing on the same stage.
“Kelly did sing live!” chirped Clarkson’s rep. Taylor’s spokeswomen said, “He was playing and singing live.”
The disclosure that Beyoncé was faking it stunned Obama-administration insiders and inauguration planners — and set off a flurry of finger-pointing.
“This is a disaster,” said a source close to the organizers. “No one is sure if it was the call of the production people or here.
“In the history of inaugural events, this has never happened, so it’s not a small thing,” the source said. “I’m positive they thought she was going to sing live.”
The White House refused to comment and referred all questions to the Presidential Inauguration Committee. The committee, which handled many of Beyoncé’s logistics, refused to comment and referred questions to Beyoncé’s team.
Her representatives did not respond to repeated questions about the lip-syncing — and whether she plans on doing the same during her performance at the upcoming Super Bowl halftime show.
She’ll be joined on stage in the Superdome by her former Destiny’s Child singers.
Beyoncé yesterday was in New Orleans with her husband, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, preparing for the Super Bowl show on Feb. 3.
Sen. Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat who was the inauguration’s master of ceremonies, refused to answer questions about Beyoncé’s reliance on a recording.
“Senator Schumer promised Beyoncé, but he delivered Milli Vanilli instead,” quipped one Republican congressional aide. “Typical politician — promise one thing and deliver another.”
At Obama’s 2009 inauguration, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman used a pre-recorded performance because of cold weather.
Some Republicans had no problem with the superstar diva’s fake-out.
“She wasn’t paid to be there,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC).
“I thought I heard her singing but I couldn’t see her. I think she sounds good silent and when she’s live.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) shrugged off the news.
“It still sounded good,” he said.
Meanwhile yesterday, Senate Republicans came out swinging at the “liberal agenda” that President Obama announced a day earlier in his inaugural address.
“The era of liberalism is back,” declared Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “I don’t think that’s a great way to start off the second term if your idea here is to achieve bipartisan solutions.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said he would “reject the idea that this was an ‘ism’ speech.”

Sandy's Effects Still Evident at Coney Island Rail Yard


It takes a lot to turn a modern railroad back into a 19th century operation—but, about four feet of salt water, mounds of storm-driven sand, sustained high winds and the absence of electrical controls did just that.
Those are the conditions out at MTA New York City Transit's massive Coney Island Rail Yard after Superstorm Sandy blasted through the City last year. The storm left the track-switching operation at the world's largest rapid transit maintenance and storage facility unable to be controlled remotely. The yard has track capacity for 1,800 subway cars, but all were moved to higher ground in anticipation of a weather event of truly historic proportions.
"It's like the old days of railroading with individual switches had to be hand thrown because the capability of operating from the tower was completely wiped out," said Senior Vice President, Department of Subways Carmen Bianco. "Coney Island Yard is vital to New York City Transit's subway operations. This facility supports a very large car maintenance, inspection and overhaul program, as well as being the largest car storage facility in the system."
Coney Island Yard is a huge and complicated operation generating hundreds of train movements each day. Changing switch positions is necessary on the maintenance side of the house in order send trains in and out of the barn. Switches also guide train movement on outside storage tracks where trains are threaded through a labyrinth of tracks and switches as they approach and leave their lay-up positions for morning and evening rush hour service out on the main line.
Normal operation is a wonder of automation, requiring the tower operator to use the interlocking machine to position switches to move a train to where it needs to be. Depending on where the train is headed, several switching moves will have to be performed to give the train the proper line-up. Not too difficult when the switches are remotely controlled by pressing buttons.
But, how do you accomplish the same task when there is no electricity to the track switches? "Signal Department personnel are sent to the field to crank switches by hand," said Paul Camera, General Superintendent, Electrical, who went on to explain that some moves may require the hand cranking of ten to 15 switches to guide the train to its proper path.
Through the entire move, someone is walking in front of the train, and with no signals, the train operator is also following hand flagging directions as he makes his moves.
The yard sits in a major flood zone vulnerable to the water flowing in from nearby bodies of water, including Coney Island Creek. Areas from the Rockaways to the Battery were swamped with raging floodwaters and the Coney Island section of Brooklyn was also hit hard, especially with the storm surge driven by the full moon. Coinciding with the high tide, the storm washed in water and debris which quickly inundated the tracks, switches, motors and signal equipment.
In Sandy's wake, the yard more closely resembled a lake than a storage area for subway trains. It took several days for the yard to drain and that process was aided by pumping in strategic areas. The removal of water from some of the flooded equipment was done with small hand pumps or vacuums.
Throughout the 75-acre complex, more than 190 individual switches were flooded in the wake of the storm, which also damaged signals and wiring. A combined workforce of in-house personnel and contractors washed salt water and sand from the switches and replaced switch motors where required and that work is ongoing.
In fact, more than two full months after the storm, 50 track switches still cannot be moved remotely and must be hand thrown by workers. The manual operation is labor intensive and complicated.
Of course, like just about everything else in the subway system, necessary jobs must proceed simultaneously. "We don't have the luxury of focusing on one thing at a time," said Wynton Habersham, Chief Electrical Officer. "For the past several weeks, it has been necessary to balance the restoration of the system and the hand switching with our ‘day job' of maintenance and testing of the remaining signals and switches."
Compounding the problem is the scarcity of replacement parts. Many of the switch motors are currently back ordered and won't be delivered until the end of January.
Have we come a long way since the storm? Yes, NYC Transit has made tremendous strides forward in recovering from the most devastating storm to hit the region but as in the Coney Island Rail Yard, the system is still not whole as we move forward with repairs to the Rockaway Line and the South Ferry station.

Mo's greatness celebrated at charity event


Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was the guest of honor as MLB.com analyst Ed Randall hosted a "Fans 4 the Cure" panel discussion on Tuesday night at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in New York City to raise funds for prostate cancer education.
Rivera was joined on the panel by former teammates David Cone and John Flaherty, and Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild. The group reflected on the work ethic and storied career of the all-time saves leader's 18 years in the Majors.
Rivera's ex-batterymate Flaherty recalled facing Rivera as an opponent while with the Tigers in the 1990s.
"I'm on deck at Yankee Stadium and I'm sizing him up -- a nice easy delivery," said Flaherty. "All he's throwing are fastballs in warm-ups, and I'm like, 'Oh, boy. This is where I'm going to make my living, on guys like this.'
"I remember standing in the box -- the first pitch -- and before I can even get ready, the ball was by me. And it was that reality -- like he's making it look like he's not even working and the ball is jumping out of his hand. Three pitches and I was back in the dugout."
The 43-year-old Rivera, who tore his right ACL last May while shagging fly balls during batting practice in Kansas City, is on the comeback trail after appearing in just nine games in 2012.
"When you walk into that [Yankees] clubhouse ... it's different, and it's different because of guys like Mo," said Rothschild, noting the confidence a club gains from having a legendary closer like Rivera.

Charlie Brown voice actor arrested for 'stalking'


Good grief, Charlie Brown!
Authorities in California say the voice actor who portrayed Charlie Brown in not just the many "Peanuts" shows — but also the holiday classic "A Charlie Brown Christmas" — was arrested on charges that include stalking.
US Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Angelica de Cima said Peter Robbins was arrested Sunday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. She told U-T San Diego that a background check yielded a warrant against Robbins from the San Diego County sheriff's department.
A sheriff's spokeswoman said she did not have details about the warrant.
The 56-year-old is set to be arraigned Wednesday on counts of making a threat to cause death or great bodily injury and of stalking. His manager has declined to comment.
Robbins was busted Sunday driving his silver 2006 Mercedes-Benz C230 by a border agent who requested a thorough investigation, the paper reports.
The check led agents to discover Robbins, who famously quipped in the holiday classic "My own dog...gone commercial," was wanted by San Diego cops on a felony warrant.
A 2008 Comic-Con interview reveals that Robbins began voicing "Charlie Brown" at 9 years old.
He has also appeared in "F Troop," "The Munsters" and "Get Smart."
According to the online report, Robbins goes by Peter "Charlie Brown" Robbins on Facebook and enjoys interacting with "Peanuts" fans.
Robbins was also the voice of Charlie Brown for "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."

Restoring South Ferry Station


Electrical Systems Destroyed By Sandy
Walking down a set of rusting stairs, under a crumbling ceiling, along a debris-strewn platform and past a ruined control room, Wynton Habersham finally arrived at the most devastated part of the South Ferry subway station: A room full of electrical equipment, corroding from the effects of almost 15 million gallons of salt water that flooded it during Superstorm Sandy.
“It is completely nonfunctional,” said Habersham, chief electrical officer for MTA New York City Transit's subway system. “Just a simple cleanup won't suffice. We actually have to reconstruct and replace all of this equipment.”
Sandy damaged the New York City subway worse than anything else in its 108-year history, flooding eight tunnels and shutting service for millions of commuters. Recovery efforts began even before the storm was over, and extraordinary work by New York City Transit brought lines back into service rapidly.
Yet while the subway seems back to normal for most of the 5.6 million daily riders, the damage behind the scenes remains extensive – nowhere more so than in the South Ferry electrical room.
Habersham opened the door of an electronics cabinet and pointed to rust stains on a row of programmable logic controllers, which handled signals and switches from South Ferry to the Rector Street station on the 1 train. All of them were ruined.
“This is like taking your computer and just dipping it in salt water,” he said, demonstrating how a bank of switches had failed. “These should snap up and down really easily. The contacts inside are a total loss.”
In front of him stretched banks of wires and electrical contacts that once held hundreds of relays – critical electric components that deliver signal information, control switches and keep trains properly spaced from each other.
Soon after South Ferry was pumped out and drained, crews removed hundreds of relays and tried cleaning them by hand to return them to service – a task that turned out to be futile, as seen by heavy corrosion marks visible on the banks of relays.
“Once you’ve been exposed to that level of salt water, it comes right back,” Habersham said.
Throughout the subway system, metal components that had been inundated by seawater began to corrode and never stopped. Even parts that still function will have a diminished lifespan.
“We reached out to the manufacturers and said, ‘Look, can we salvage this?’ ” Habersham said. “They told us, ‘No, just throw it away. There’s nothing you can do.’ ”
The South Ferry station, built with $545 million in post-9/11 recovery funds, opened in 2009 as a state-of-the-art marvel. It could handle 24 trains an hour on two parallel tracks – a vast improvement over the old station, which could accommodate only half of a 10-car train on a severely curved platform – and was excavated out of bedrock below the existing tangle of Lower Manhattan infrastructure.
Then came Sandy. Though MTA crews tried to barricade the station entrances and ventilation grates before the storm, chest-high water poured down the stairs and filled the station 80 feet deep, from track level to the mezzanine. The rebuilding effort will take an estimated $600 million and as long as three years, and engineers are studying whether some of the vital electrical infrastructure can be moved to higher ground to guard against future flooding.
Not everything can be moved, however: Habersham stepped out of the signal room into the north end of the station, where switches connect the station’s two tracks to each other so trains can enter and leave from either side of the center platform. The switch motors, full of electrical components, were destroyed – and new ones cost $35,000 each.
“In all likelihood,” Habersham said, “this whole machine comes out, and a new one comes in.”


Bringing Back Service

While the South Ferry terminal is being restored, the southern terminal for  service is Rector Street, about four blocks north. A temporary signal system was installed that allows trains to use the track area known as the Old South Ferry Loop after leaving Rector Street to turn around so that trains can travel back uptown. 
Trains are running on regular schedules, but customers going to Lower Manhattan should allow for extra travel time.
Customers who rely on the Staten Island Ferry for travel to and from Lower Manhattan can also use the   subway at the Bowling Green Station, located about a quarter of a mile from the South Ferry Terminal building. The Wall Street Station is also just under a half mile from South Ferry Terminal.  
In addition, the M5 Limited, M15SBS 15 and M20 bus routes are also available.