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Judge Who Oversaw Garner Case Recuses Himself From Proceedings About Grand Jury Transcripts

The judge who was to decide whether to release the Eric Garner grand jury transcripts has removed himself from the proceedings, saying he wanted to avoid the potential appearance of a conflict of interest, the New York Times reports. Judge Stephen K. Rooney's wife is a chair on the board of the Richmond University Medical Center, the hospital whose EMTs first responded to the scene. Judge Rooney also oversaw the Garner grand jury and approved the first brief disclosure shortly after it decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold death. A spokesman for the court system said Rooney's connection to the case hadn't previously been an issue because a judge's involvement with grand juries is limited (they swear jurors in), and the Staten Island District Attorney's first disclosure request was limited in scope. The next hearing regarding the transcripts will likely take place in January, when a new judge has been assigned.

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and the Glass Cliff

Marissa Mayer is in trouble.

An excellent new New York Times Magazine cover story makes the case. Yahoo’s revenues are flat. Its raison d’être is a mystery. Its business plan is a hodgepodge. Its staff is queasy. Its shareholders are worried. And now, activist equity-holders are pushing for a merger with AOL, one that would presumably cost the company hundreds of jobs, potentially including Mayer’s.


Slender Man Stabbing Suspects Ruled Fit to Stand Trial

Both girls suspected of luring a classmate into the woods and stabbing her 19 times in an effort to please the fictional character Slender Man were ruled competent for trial in court today. Morgan Geyser, 12, was found incompetent in August, but a state psychiatrist said she's improved through treatment. Her attorneys were expected to challenge the ruling, but announced that they were dropping their objection.

Weier told the judge "I consider myself incompetent, sir." »

Obama Calls Boston Radio Show, Identifies Himself As Guy ‘Formerly of Somerville’

Outgoing Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick talked with an interesting caller today during the final installment of "Ask the Governor," the monthly radio show that's aired on WGBH Boston for the last eight years. "Hello, sir. Yes, you're on with Gov. Deval Patrick," said host Jim Braude. "Uh, Governor, this is Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville," the caller replied. "I've got a few complaints about service in and around the neighborhood, but I've moved down South since that time ..." 

Patrick ribbed Obama about his inability to pronounce "Massachusetts." »

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Made His First Public Appearance in a Year and a Half

These days Dzhokhar Tsarnaev spends most of his time in near "total isolation" in a Fort Devens prison cell, but on Thursday, the public got its first look at the accused Boston Marathon bomber since he pleaded not guilty to the long list of federal charges against him. Tsarnaev has skipped previous hearings, but prosecutors asked that he attend today, as it was his last opportunity to raise concerns about his legal team before his trial begins. He was sporting a black sweater and slacks, shaggy hair, and a slight beard. Tsarnaev smiled briefly when talking with one of his attorneys, and when asked if he's happy with his defense team, he replied, "very much so."

"Stop killing innocent people. Stop killing innocent boys," shouted Ibragim Todashev's mother-in-law. »

This Will Be the Last Fashion Week at Lincoln Center

It will soon be time to start saying good-bye to Lincoln Center and its street-style peacock-covered steps. The New York Post reports that February's will be the last New York Fashion Week to be held at the space. The group NYC Parks Advocates had claimed that the event took over a local park to set up tents and equipment, and has now reached a settlement with the city. The New York Supreme Court ruling is best summed up as: "Get out of here, fashion people!"

“IMG Fashion Week shall vacate the premises and remove all tents and other Fashion Week equipment from the park," says the ruling, going on to say, "The City and LCPA [Lincoln Center Performing Arts] intend to further expand public access to the Park by not entering into agreements for commercial events [similar to] Fashion Week." As for the new location, it has yet to be announced.

Update: We reached out to IMG for a comment and they responded, “Lincoln Center has been a great home for the past 5 years and we look forward to another world-class season this February. However, as the fashion industry continues to evolve, IMG has been actively looking for a new home for NYFW that gives our designers and partners the best possible environment to share their creative visions. We look forward to sharing more details on our new home soon."

Gothamist Bravely Confronts Men Who Take Up Too Much Space on the Subway

The folks at Gothamist have bravely taken on the scourge of "manspreading," the male practice of sitting on a crowded train with your legs spread wide apart. It's a habit so nefarious the MTA even built a campaign targeted at scolding men who do it. Now Gothamist has taken a camera on the subway and confronted guilty manspreaders about their unthinkable behavior.


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