Name a Roach After Your Valentine

Name a Roach After Your Valentine

Photo by Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

BRONX- Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and there is only one gift that will last forever. The Bronx Zoo has brought back the Name-a-Roach program – a light-hearted way to make sure your loved one knows your feelings will last a lifetime.

The zoo is again offering the opportunity to name its giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches for Valentine’s Day 2018. Each gift comes with a colorful certificate emailed to your loved one announcing that a cockroach has been named in his or her honor.

For a $15 donation, your loved one, or unloved one, will receive the certificate to cherish for years to come, featuring the name chosen for your Valentine’s Day roach. To make an extra impression, send “the works” for a $75 donation which includes a printed certificate, the all new “Roach Broach” pin, crazy roach sox, and a box of delicious artisan chocolates. Various combinations of the roachy merchandise are also available for $50. All orders can be placed at

“The Bronx Zoo’s Name-A-Roach promotion is a light-hearted, fun way to reach out to someone on Valentine’s Day to let them know that you are thinking about them,” said John F. Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “Roses wither, chocolates melt but roaches are forever. Nothing lasts longer than a roach, so it could be sent as a symbolic gesture about how long your love will last or exactly the opposite.  Some might say that love is like a roach – elusive, resilient, and sometimes very scary.”

The original Name-a-Roach launched in 2011, and thousands of hopeless romantics from around the world have named Madagascar hissing cockroaches at WCS’s Bronx Zoo after their favorite loved one, “ex,” or mother-in-law. Previous names chosen have been inspired by politics, music, movies, and more. The possibilities are limitless.

The name-a-roach program is all in good fun and will help WCS further its mission to save wildlife and wild places in New York and around the world.

The zoo has plenty of roaches to name with thousands of the super-sized bugs on exhibit in Madagascar!—an award-winning habitat for lemurs, crocodiles, and many other species from the African island nation.

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are the world’s largest roach species reaching nearly four-inches long.  The namesake hissing noise is emitted as a defense mechanism.  Like nearly every roach species, Madagascar hissing cockroaches are not considered pests and rarely enter homes.

BROADCAST MEDIA NOTE: Requests for samples certificates for on-air use can be sent to

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, 5:30 p.m. weekends from April to October; 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m November to March. Adult general admission is $22.95, children (3-12 years old) $14.95, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $20.95. Parking is $16 for cars and $20 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit or call 718-367-1010.

WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.

BX News: Zombie House Goes Up in Flames

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BX News: Daycare Center Bankrupted for Home Shopping?

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Daycare Center Bankrupted for Home Shopping?

Daycare Center Bankrupted for Home Shopping? 

DA Charges Board Members who Used Non-Profit as Own ATM 

BRONX- Two former board members of a Bronx non-profit were charged with using the daycare’s bank account as their own personal ATM, buying clothes and more. 

District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters announced that two Bronx women who held board member positions at now-shuttered East Tremont Head Start Alumni Day Care Center have been charged with Grand Larceny and related crimes for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the non-profit for their personal use.

District Attorney Clark said, “The defendants betrayed the trust of the organization they had long been board members of, together allegedly stealing nearly $130,000. Their reckless actions contributed to the closing of this daycare, resulting in children and workers who had to be placed in other facilities. We will not tolerate rip-offs of government funds.” 

Department of Investigation Commissioner Peters said, “These defendants used this City-funded nonprofit like their personal ATM, pocketing tens of thousands of dollars, in some cases, to pay for shopping at Macy’s and QVC, rent, and even a funeral. As the board chair and treasurer of this nonprofit, these defendants exploited their insider access and disregarded their duty to help the low-income children that East Tremont Head Start was supposed to serve. DOI was pleased to partner with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office to stop the criminal conduct uncovered in this investigation.”

District Attorney Clark said defendants, Paulette New, 63, of Southern Blvd., and Angela Grindley, 56, of Morgan Ave., were indicted on third-degree Grand Larceny and third-degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. New was additionally indicted on second-degree Grand Larceny and second-degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. Both defendants were arraigned before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett. They were released and are due back in court on January 30, 2018. If convicted of the top charge, New faces a maximum of five to 15 years in prison and Grindley faces a maximum of two-and-a-third years to seven years in prison.

According to the investigation, from April 2011 to April 2015, New, who was the chairperson of the board of the East Tremont Head Start Alumni Day Care Center, improperly used approximately $100,000 of the Center’s funds. The defendant allegedly frequently withdrew money from the Center’s account from ATM machines and made several transfers to her bank account, using much of the money to purchase personal items from televised home shopping sites QVC and HSN. She also allegedly used the Center’s fund to pay for her sister’s funeral.

According to the investigation, starting in 2013, Grindley, who was on the board as the daycare’s treasurer, allegedly received more than $29,000 from the nonprofit.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Miriam Bell-Blair, Director of the Immigrant Affairs Unit, under the supervision of William Zelenka, Chief of the Economic Crimes Bureau and under the overall supervision of Stuart Levy, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division and Jean T. Walsh, Chief of the Investigations Division.

District Attorney Clark thanked her Office’s Senior Detective Investigator John Wall and Senior Rackets Investigator Marco Conelli and former Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Altman for their assistance in the case.

The investigation was conducted with DOI’s Office of Inspector General for City-funded not-for-profits, including Senior Investigative Auditor Nicole Clyne and First Deputy Inspector General/Chief Forensic Auditor Ivette Morales, under the supervision of Inspector General Andrew Sein and under the overall supervision of Deputy Commissioner/Chief of Investigations Susan Lambiase and First Deputy Commissioner Lesley Brovner.

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Zombie House Goes Up in Flames

Zombie House Goes Up in Flames

Abandoned Home Goes Up in Flames on Decatur Avenue

By David Greene

An abandoned home that has been an eyesore along Decatur Avenue for several years, burned for more than an hour and was all but gutted in Norwood.

According to FDNY spokesman and firefighter Ken Reilly, the fire broke out in the basement of 3132 Decatur Avenue, at just after 4 a.m. on Wednesday, December 27. The fire quickly spread to the first and second floors.

Firefighters were somehow able to protect the Huang Lee Laundromat next door.

Reilly stated, "Our units responded to a 3-story unoccupied multiple dwelling with a working fire in the basement. At its height, the fire was an all-hands," which Reilly stated consisted of 60 members and 12 units.

Members were able to bring the fire under control at 5:18 a.m., Reilly added, "There were no reported injuries and the cause is still under investigation."

Despite having been boarded up for several years, one source stated, "I had heard that people had been going in there, but I haven't seen anyone recently."

The source said of the home today, "It's definitely still there, but you can see it's burned out on the inside."

A second house fire in October severely damaged another home and injured an occupant as well as a firefighter and paramedic. That fire also remains under investigation.

The U.S. Fire Administration, which comes under the umbrella of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, issued a report on January 3, stating that each year there are roughly 23,800 fires in vacant residential building's that on average, cause 75 deaths, 200 injuries and $785 million in lost property.

The report noted, "If people use the vacant building as a home or shelter, the unknown condition of the building and the unknown number of people in the building can put firefighters' lives in danger.”

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