Some stories Gothamist has been following lately [additionally, based on a totally unofficial survey of a couple newspapers, it seems about 50% - or more - of the stories are about the convention...we suppose NYC will have to get more interesting post-convention]:
- The jury in the trial of the U.S. vs. Lynne Stewart finally saw videotapes of Stewart and her client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. Stewart is accused of aiding terrorism by being the messenger between Rahman and his followers, violating prison rules. Everyone is interested in the case because it'll be an indication of how juries, judges, lawyers, etc., react in a post-September 11 world. There's a website for Lynne Stewart, and Stewart also has a blog about her trial
- A Queens driver is suing the city for $9 million, after being mistaken for a suspect and arrested on three separate occasions and jailed for a total of 15 days. The kicker is that during the third arrest, Queens resident Otis Williams showed a judge's note that he was not the suspect in question and was still arrested. The NYPD had been looking for Jean Roland St. Surin, another black driver Queens driver in his 60s, who had "recklessly drove his unlicensed livery van at a police officer at a Jamaica intersection" for three days in July 1984. St. Surin was arrested, but then fled to Canada; he was captured only after Williams' third arrest.
- Police can't figure out how a construction worker found in the attic of a church on the Upper West Side died. Allen Ruane, a recent immigrant from Ireland, had been working at Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew on West 86th Street last week, but never returned home. His body was found Monday by another construction crew, and the autopsy could not conclude what caused his death, though some suspect Ruane had an aneurysm.
- Last week, a man crashed a wedding party in a Brooklyn apartment's basement for some free alcohol and ended up stabbing two guests. The guests had confronted the man, who took a broken bottle to stab them. The victims were treated at a hospital, and a neighbor said of the building on Nostrand Avenue, "People are always having receptions and parties inthe basement. There are always problems. It's like a nightclub down there."
- A man killed his friend after they argued over some soup. Johnny Pinedo put Mario Chavez into a headlock Friday night after Chavez wanted some of his soup. According to Newsday, Pinedo and Chavez, who had been playing handball and drinking beer all day before going to the deli, wrestled until Chavez choked to death; plus, the article notes that the soup cost either $2 or $4.