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Top of the Hour Newscast With Madeleine Thompson

For Columbia Radio News in New York, I’m Madeleine Thompson.

Early this morning, firefighter Michael Davidson was killed while responding to a five-alarm fire in Harlem. It broke out on the set of an Edward Norton movie that was being filmed in a former pub. Davidson was a 15-year veteran of the fire department, and became the 1,150th firefighter to die in the line of duty.

The City Council has proposed its biggest budget increase in at least a decade. The Council wants an extra $17 million to hire more staff members, bringing the total budget to $81 million. The money, and the new employees, are seen as a bid to increase the Council’s influence to rival Mayor Bill de Blasio. Newly-elected speaker Corey Johnson confirmed it’s a move to take the Council’s power back.

The deadline for the state budget is also approaching, but Governor Andrew Cuomo is threatening to hold it up over funding for housing repairs in New York City. The federal budget signed this morning only allocates about $200 million to the New York City Housing Authority, when it needs more like $18 billion. On the Brian Lehrer Show today, Cuomo compared the state of public housing to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

CUOMO 1: They’re living with no heat. They’re living with mold. We don’t have four years for them to change a boiler.

The governor made a point of blaming the federal government and Mayor de Blasio for falling down on the job.  

Census Bureau data show that New York City broke a record in 2017. You now have 8.6 million neighbors — a 5 percent population increase since 2010. The Bronx emerged as the fastest-growing county in the state, but Brooklyn took in the most new residents overall.

A new Broadway musical is bringing some of the cold, icy weather to the stage… not necessarily in a good way. “Frozen” the musical opened last night to mixed reviews despite the smash-hit movie it’s based on. In a review for the New York Times, Jesse Green called it dull and dopey, though sometimes rousing. It remains to be seen whether the kids in the audience will care.

Right now it’s 48 degrees and cloudy in Central Park, with a chance of showers.

Madeleine Thompson, Columbia Radio News.

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