Morning Buzz | Nearly Killed, but Fighting to Recover

Wednesday will be partly cloudy and a bit warmer than Tuesday, with highs in the upper 30s.

Emilie Gossiaux, 21, lay in a bed in the surgical intensive-care unit at Bellevue Hospital Center. She could not see. She could not hear. Beyond asking for water, she spoke very little. Her boyfriend, Alan Lundgard, 21, took her left palm in his.

Ms. Gossiaux was riding her bicycle in Brooklyn on the morning of Oct. 8 when an 18-wheel truck making a right turn struck her. Once she arrived at Bellevue, her heart stopped for about one minute. She had suffered a traumatic brain injury, a stroke and multiple fractures in her head, pelvis and leg.

Ms. Gossiaux’s mother said that on the second day, a nurse told her that her daughter was gone and asked about organ donations.

Mr. Lundgard had spent every night at the hospital. Nobody had told him what the nurse said that second night. Nobody had the heart to.

Ms. Gossiaux’s recovery is a miracle. She was blinded in the accident, and because of lifelong problems with her hearing, nobody in the hospital was able to communicate with her until Mr. Lundgard spelled out “I love you” by tracing letters on her palm. Now she is speaking freely and has begun rehabilitation, and there is a very small chance that she will recover her sight. [NYT]

Government & Politics

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Tuesday that he would ask New York State to turn over control of prisons and services for juvenile offenders to local governments, in a move that he said would end the failed and costly practice of shipping troubled young people from New York City to upstate centers far from their families. [NYT] He added that he planned to pursue changes to state law that would allow the rapid closing of large detention centers that are mostly empty but fully staffed. (Also see The Daily News.)

New York will lose 2 of its 29 seats in the House, while New Jersey will lose 1 of its 13 seats, because of population shifts reported by the Census Bureau on Tuesday. [NYT] (Also see The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post.)

A state oversight board on Tuesday moved closer to seizing control of Nassau County’s finances, saying the county had failed to close a $350 million budget deficit despite months of warnings. [NYT]

The Post reports that Gov. David A. Paterson’s campaign fund is nearly depleted. Mr. Paterson was expected to use money from the fund to pay legal fees and a $62,125 ethics fine for accepting 2009 World Series tickets free of charge. That idea drew the ire of good government groups.


State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said on Tuesday that his office had rejected a new $118 million contract between New York City Transit and a Virginia engineering company whose huge information technology project for the city is now at the center of what the authorities say was an $80 million corruption scheme. [NYT] Mr. DiNapoli said that even though the role of the company, Science Applications International Corporation, known as SAIC, in the scandal involving the payroll system project, called CityTime, was unclear, there were too many unanswered questions for such a large contract to go forward.

The Post reports that crime on the subways is up 5 percent this year, in the first increase since 2004, while The Daily News reports that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s big projects like the Second Avenue Subway line and the Long Island Rail Road extension are nearly $2 billion over budget.

Crime & Public Safety

Pat Quagliariello, an off-duty Brooklyn firefighter, was speeding in his sport utility vehicle and sending a text message from his cellphone when he struck and killed a Guatemalan immigrant in October, an indictment unsealed on Tuesday charged. [NYT]

A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced Saverio F. Todaro, an ailing former safety inspector, to more than five years in prison for faking hundreds of asbestos and lead test reports, saying that his crimes were monumental and had put New York City’s residents at risk. [NYT]


The School Construction Authority is taking advantage of the downturn in the real estate market to buy up space and start new building projects for use as much-needed new educational centers in New York. [NYT]

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to begin inspecting school buildings in New York City next month for contamination with the toxic chemicals known as PCBs. The decision follows an exchange of letters between the federal agency and city officials that show the two sides disagreeing over the urgency of addressing the problem. [NYT]

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