Bronx Weekend News Roundup, Monday, May 9

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Welcome back to the program, ladies and gentleman of the Bronx and beyond. How was everyone's weekend? Really, that good? Fantastic. Let's move on to our weekend news roundup on a day that will ignite the start of Bronx Week. Technically, Bronx Week starts Thursday, May 12, but Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is doing an “official kick off of Bronx Week” announcement today (right about now) in the rotunda of the Bronx County Building.

Diaz will talk about some of the upcoming events and make a couple of announcements. For one, he will say that – in honor of the 40th anniversary of Bronx Week and to just generally let Manhattan and the world know: The Bronx Is In The House! – the Empire State Building will be alighted (for a time) with the colors of the Bronx flag (orange, white and blue). Also, he will officially announce the Bronx Week Walk of Fame honorees, who were already outed in Kappstatter's column last week. If you can't make the announcement or don't feel like clicking on the link to Kappy, the honorees are: actor/playwright Chazz Palminteri (“A Bronx Tale,” also fantastic in “The Usual Suspects”), “Fame” star Irene Cara, actress Joy Bryant (star of TV series “Parenthood”) and Charles Latibeaudiere, a co-producer of TMZ's gossip news cable show.

Weather: This week is expected be lovely (at least until Friday), starting today, with temperatures rising into the 70s and plenty of sunshine.

Story of the Day: The Bronx's Next Breakout Star?
Meet Maxine Ashley, the Bronx-raised YouTube sensation who is now being paid for her singing skills. For the past two years, perched in front of a webcam in her Soundview home, Ashley has been belting out renditions of pop hits, attracting thousands of hits and Twitter followers, as well the attention of producer Pharrell Williams. Ashley signed with Williams' label in January and is working on her first album. In the meantime, she was recently featured on Alex Gaudino's new dance track, “I'm in Love (I Wanna Do It).” And, for the time being, you can still see her, and her signature pink-streaked hair, in any number of her YouTube performances. We liked this one of her singing Justin Bieber's “Baby”:

Quick Hits:
It's like baby, baby, baby, whoooooo … oops, sorry. On to the hits.

Also in Kappy's column, a suggestion to end the NYPD ticket-fixing scandal without destroying the careers of dozens of Bronx cops: amnesty. And a stern warning to never do it again.

A 4-foot-8 Bronx woman is suing the city for discrimination after she was fired from her job with the Parks Department, allegedly for being too short.

The Museum of Bronx History has a new Civil War exhibit showing the Bronx's links to the war effort on its 150th anniversary.

A teaching aide at IS 98 in Melrose was arrested for allegedly threatening a student with a knife and saying he would hurt the student's family if he didn't deal drugs for the instructor.

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