Forest Hills Fires, Air Quality Alert, and Holiday Harassment

Christmas Tree Seller
Christmas Tree Seller via Phil Roeder on Flickr

Today in History

The recent Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs and San Bernardino shooting in California have brought public safety to the top of many people's minds. Sadly, today is the anniversary of the LIRR massacre, which occurred December 7th, 1993. The suspect bought a pistol in California, which he brought to NYC. He opened fire inside a LIRR train, killing six and wounding nineteen. Convicted of six murders, he is still alive, serving a 315 year sentence in an upstate prison.

Latest Forest Hills Fire Believed To Be 7th Linked To Serial Arsonist

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Police believe a serial arsonist struck again early Sunday morning in Queens. A fire broke out at a home that was under construction on 69th Road near the Grand Central Parkway. It was the second time the home has gone up in flames in recent weeks, and it's the seventh suspicious fire in Forest Hills since October, CBS2's Ilana Gold reported.

A fire in Queens on Sunday may be the seventh tied to a serial arsonist operating in the Forest Hills area. Since October, the neighborhood has been assaulted by suspicious fires, all occurring within walking distance of each other. A man on a motorcycle had previously been eyed as a possible suspect, but has been identified and cleared of any involvement.

A Great Big City on Twitter

Today's air quality could reach levels unhealthy to some individuals - ...

Did you feel a little short of breath today? The NY Department of Environmental Conservation issued an Air Quality Advisory today, with the Air Quality Index forecast to rise into the unhealthy range. Airborne fine particulates could cause breathing difficulty for the young, old, or those with compromised respiratory health. Follow @agreatbigcity on Twitter for updates any time poor air quality is in the forecast.

Menorah Vandalized in NYC Park After Hanukkah Celebration

Police say they are investigating the vandalism of a menorah that was found in pieces, half of it missing, in a Manhattan park hours after it was lit during an annual holiday ceremony marking the first night of Hanukkah.

The first night of Hanukkah was marked with at least one vandalism of a public menorah. Displayed in Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side, the menorah was knocked down and destroyed only hours after being lit for the first night of Hanukkah. DNAinfo reports that the menorah was also pushed over before Hanukkah, but did not sustain much damage at that time. Given the nature of the apparent vandalism, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.

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