NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – From homeless families victimized into unlivable housing, to businesses and homeowners held hostage by a utility’s political standoff, it’s been an extraordinary year for people living in the Tri-State Area. Take a look back on the year that was on CBS New York.


Jan. 18:
It’s Official: L Train Shutdown Called Off
After months of preparing for the worst while the Canarsie Tunnel’s two tubes connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan were slated to shut down for 15 months of repairs, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a last-minute proposal to change how crews would fix the damage done by Superstorm Sandy.

Jan. 31:
Forgotten Families Begins: Homeless Family Says City-Sponsored Temporary Housing Has No Heat, Lights, Or Running Water
They moved out of their New York City shelter, but say the New Jersey home they were placed in is so bad they’re better off in the streets. Their story turned out to be far from unique, leading to the special series Forgotten Families and lawsuits shot back and forth across the Hudson River over the Special One-Time Assistance Program, or SOTA.


Feb. 12:
Notorious Drug Lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Convicted In Trafficking Trial
Guzman was convicted of running an industrial-scale smuggling operation after a three-month trial packed with Hollywood-style tales of grisly killings, political payoffs, cocaine hidden in jalapeno cans, jewel-encrusted guns and a naked escape with his mistress through a tunnel.

Feb. 14:
Amazon Pulls Out Of HQ2 Deal With New York City
After months of promises, deals and controversy, a planned new headquarters creating 25,000 jobs in Long Island City ended aburptly. The deal was also expected to provide $30 billion in tax revenue after nearly $3 billion in promised tax breaks to one of world’s richest, most powerful companies.


March 15:
Highly-Anticipated Hudson Yards Development Officially Opens To The Public
Hudson Yards is the most expensive private real estate project in U.S. history, featuring more than 100 stores, restaurants and luxury condos. It’s the city’s largest development since Rockefeller Center.

(credit: CDC via Getty Images)

March 27:
Measles State Of Emergency Bans Unvaccinated Children From Public Spaces In Rockland County
A state of emergency was declared in Rockland County as officials attempted to contain a measles outbreak. A ban went into effect overnight prohibiting unvaccinated children from public spaces.

March 31:
New York State Budget: Congestion Pricing Coming To Manhattan
The New York state budget deal passed congestion pricing, with state lawmakers hoping it would decrease traffic in New York City. Under the new system, motorists entering Midtown Manhattan below 60th Street will be charged a toll, which is anticipated to raise more than $1 billion a year for the city’s ailing public transit system.


April 19:
Special Needs Drum Corps Makes History By Competing At World Championships
A special needs drum corps from Long Island has been invited to perform and compete and the world championships in Williamsport, Penn. The group FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps is made up entirely of individuals with different abilities.

April 24:
NYC Says Considerable Changes Are Coming To 14th Street During L Train Construction
Huge changes were made to 14th Street in October after plans initially surfaced in April. The busy crosstown route now closes to through traffic and becomes a busway from early morning until late evening.


May 8:
‘Gut Wrenching’: Family Of 6, Including 4 Children, Killed In Harlem Apartment Blaze
A family of six, including four children, lost their lives in a fire in Harlem. The tragedy may have been caused by missing batteries in a smoke detector. NYCHA says the building’s smoke detectors were last inspected in January, and found to be working properly.

Jennifer Dulos (Credit: New Canaan Police Department/Facebook)

May 29:
Conn. State Police Search For Jennifer Dulos, Missing Mother Of 5 From New Canaan
Jennifer Dulos, 50, was reported missing in late May. She was last seen on May 24. Her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, were charged with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution in connection with her disappearance. Fotis and Jennifer Dulos were in the middle of a divorce and custody battle before she went missing.


June 10:
Helicopter Crash-Lands On Top Of Building In Midtown, 1 Dead
A helicopter flying in restricted air space through rain and fog crashed on top of a building in Midtown, killing pilot Tim McCormack. McCormack was the only person on board at the time. More than 100 emergency responders rushed to the 54-story building on Seventh Avenue between 51st and 52nd streets.

June 12:
Criminals Turning NYC Into Wild West, 7 People Struck By Stray Bullets As June Shootings Spike
Between June and July, there were at least 14 incidents across the city where innocent bystanders were hit by stray bullets; many of the cases involved children. In June alone, seven people were struck by stray bullets in six different incidents in the city.

June 14:
5 Defendants Found Guilty On All Counts In ‘Justice For Junior’ Trial
Five people were found guilty in the mistaken identity murder of the teenager known as Junior. The five Trinitarios gang members were found guilty of brutally stabbing Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz outside a Bronx bodega on June 20, 2018.


(Credit: CBS2)

July 1:
NYC Cyclist Deaths: Mayor Bill De Blasio ‘Taking Action’ After 14th Person Killed This Year
More than two dozen cyclists died on city streets in 2019, compared to 10 in all of 2018. Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the NYPD to crack down on dangerous drivers over the summer after the surge in cyclist deaths.

July 13:
NYC Blackout: Electricity Restored Hours After Outage Hits Midtown, Times Square, Other Sections Of Manhattan
About 73,000 Con Edison customers lost power when a massive outage struck Manhattan. Electricity was fully restored throughout the city after just under five hours.

July 22:
Social Media Videos Show NYPD Officers Being Doused With Water, Hit With Buckets
There was outrage in response to videos showing NYPD officers in uniform being doused with water and pelted with empty buckets. The officers were responding to calls when they were drenched by rowdy residents. The officers stayed calm and walked away.

July 26:
Father On Suicide Watch, Charged With Manslaughter After 2 Infants Found Dead, Left In Hot Car All Day
Two infant children died in the Bronx after being left in a parked car for an entire day. Juan Rodriguez drove to work and left his 1-year-old children, Phoenix and Luna, strapped in their car seats inside the vehicle. When he returned eight hours later, the twins were dead. Rodriguez is charged with manslaughter, although he says it was an accident.


Aug. 9:
National Grid Gas Nightmare: CBS2 Demanding Answers As Long Islanders Stuck Without New Hookups While Utility Seeks Pipeline Extension
A six-month-long moratorium on gas service left thousands of National Grid customers with no way to heat their buildings or run their businesses. CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer demanded answers and in November, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement with the utility to immediately end the moratorium.

Jeffrey Epstein (credit: CBS)

Aug. 10:
Jeffrey Epstein Dies By Apparent Suicide In Jail
Jeffrey Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell from an apparent suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Epstein arrived at the correctional center in July after being indicted for sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy.

Aug. 19:
Eric Garner Case: NYPD Fires Officer Daniel Pantaleo, 5 Years After Confrontation
Officer Daniel Panteleo, accused of using a banned chokehold during the arrest of Eric Garner in 2014, was fired from NYPD police force, a decision made by New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill. The medical examiner had testified at the departmental trial that the chokehold is what set off Garner’s asthma attack and a fatal heart attack.


September 17:
Multiple Injuries After Car Plows Into Lobby Of New Rochelle’s Trump Plaza
At least two people have been injured after a car plowed into the lobby of New Rochelle’s Trump Plaza. The black Mercedes left a trail of destruction and broken glass in the front of the building on Huguenot Street before coming to a stop inside the plaza’s main entrance.


October 1:
MUST WATCH: Woman Appears To Taunt Lion After Climbing Into Exhibit At Bronx Zoo
Shocking video posted to Instagram showed a woman, later identified as Myah Autry, inside the Bronx Zoo’s lion enclosure fence, waving at the giant cat. She later surrendered to authorities and was charged with criminal trespass.


Nov. 1:
NJ Woman Stephanie Parze Disappears, Never Found
Police and family members in New Jersey mounted a desperate search for 25-year-old Stephanie Parze who went missing on Oct. 30 around 10 p.m.

November 6
Mayor De Blasio Defends Giving Freed Prison Inmates Gifts For Appearing In Court As ‘A Smart Policy’
Officials defend a new incentive program to give accused criminals being released from jail under the city’s new cashless bail policy things like New York Mets tickets and gift cards for showing up to court. About 900 accused criminals are expected to be released, and the city will be rewarding them with Mets tickets, movie passes, and store gift cards for making their scheduled court appearances.


A Jersey City police officer reacts at the scene of a shooting that left multiple people dead on December 10, 2019 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Getty Images)

December 10
Jersey City Shooting Leaves 6 Dead Including Police Detective, 2 Suspects, 3 Civilians
It began at roughly 12:30 p.m. at the Bay View cemetery at Garfield Avenue in Jersey City. The suspects were spotted at the cemetery in a stolen rental van. Det. Joseph Seals, who was part of the unit responsible for removing guns from the street, was reportedly attempting to interdict weapons in the van when he approached two suspects, and they opened fire. They fled to a kosher grocery store at Bayview Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard after an intense, hours-long shootout with police. Three people at the store were killed, and both suspects were found dead.

December 17
16-Year-Old Confesses To Staging Kidnapping That Prompted Amber Alert
A 16-year-old girl who was apparently kidnapped right in front of her mother staged the whole thing, sources told CBS2. The apparent kidnapping in the Bronx was staged by Karol Sanchez, who allegedly confessed to it after being reunited with her family Tuesday.

December 17
Woman Killed When Debris Falls Onto Sidewalk In Times Square
Erica Tishman, 60, was walking by the corner of 49th Street and Seventh Avenue when she was fatally struck by falling debris while commuters looked on in horror. It turns out the Department of Buildings warned the building owners about the risk that an accident like this could happen. In a report filed back in April, the DOB recorded numerous violations at 729 Seventh Ave., including “failure to maintain exterior building facade,” noting “damaged terra cotta at areas above [the] 15th floor in several locations, which poses a falling hazard for pedestrians.”

December 10
Yankees Reach Deal To Sign Star Pitcher Gerrit Cole To Record-Setting $324 Million Contract
The New York Yankees landed the biggest prize on the free agent market, ace pitcher Gerrit Cole. The deal is reportedly worth $324 million over nine years — which would set records for both total money and average annual value ($36 million per season) ever given to a pitcher in baseball history.

December 28
At Least 5 Hurt In Rockland County Synagogue Attack
At least five people were stabbed in an attack at a synagogue in New York’s Rockland County amid a Chanukah celebration. A man with a machete entered Rabbi Rottenburg’s synagogue on Forshay Road in Monsey and wounded several people just before 10 p.m. The suspect, 37-year-old Grafton Thomas, was taken into custody two hours later in the Harlem section of New York City.


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