Daily News from New York, New York on February 5, 2004 · 16
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Daily News from New York, New York · 16

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 5, 2004
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ri Convicted in plot to till his wife 'i : I .1 " f ' i 1 ! - -vr x --t PHOTOS BY RICHARD CORKERY DAILY NEWS I CNN's Paula Zahn meets Tweety Bird at yester day's opening of Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. !3 The $1.7 billion complex has 80 floors of office, residential and retail space. M Among th mall's 50 shops are a J.W. Cooper store of Bal Harbour, Fla., which markets $4,000 alligator boots and $20,000 gold belt buckles Maid with diamonds." The opulent Mandarin Oriental hotel $595 a night and featuring plasma TVs in rooms. SI Lavish new eateries will include Rande Gerber's Stone Rose and Per Se, which has an average dinner check of $250. a A concert hall. Jazz at Lincoln Center, d Time Warner's 850,000-square-foot world headquarters. S A $42.5 million duplex on the 76th floor, owned by David Martinez, 46-year-old financier. i 1 - - f F """ - f v" Bryant Gumbel and wife Hilary, and (right) Cindy Crawford with husband Rande Gerber, show their delight at the gala opening. fr fe ' it' JWalP-" " ' rT.pa!ftaaalWWS 1 By PHYLLIS FURMAN, USA L. COLANGELO and LEO STANDORA DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS New York's rich, famous and glamorous rubbed elbows with Scooby Doo, Sylvester and Tweety Bird last night at the gala opening of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. With the exception of the company's cartoon characters, guests dressed in shimmering evening gowns, elegant tuxedos and jewelry to die for. The twin 80-story towers, delayed by a fire, neighborhood opposition and other setbacks, are seen by many as the gateway to a revitalized upper West Side. Among those on hand for the official opening were legendary CBS producer Don Hewitt, who Glitz & glamour all the way as Time Warner HQ opens declared, "I've never seen so many people in one place in my life not even at the World Series." Time Warner Chairman Dick Parsons called the event "a reaffirmation of New York as the media capital of the world." Mayor Bloomberg stopped by and was escorted onto a makeshift stage by comic Jon Stewart and CNN anchor Paula Zahn. Hizzoner drew laughter, saying, "Let me tell you, if Janet Jackson comes up here, I'm out-ta here." He then vowed there would be "more openings like this because the best is yet to come" in a stronger and healthier New York. With champagne glasses in hand, the guests glided through the four-story retail atrium of the glass, steel and stone structure in a giddy, almost New Year's Eve mood. Some tasted offerings from celebrity chefs such as Thomas, Keller, Gray Kunz, Charlie Trotter and Jean Georges Vongerich-ten. Others strolled through the new headquarters of CNN and some of the many upscale stores, restaurants and bars. A few danced to a live band. Rival 'Viacom boss Mel Kar-mazin chimed in with some good-natured ribbing, saying, "I'd never spend money like this. It would drive the shareholders crazy." Among the many other notables were powerbroker Vernon Jordan, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, real estate powerhouse Preston Tisch and author Salman Rushdie, who had a young woman in a backless, black mini-dress on his arm. The only folks who didn't have a good time were motorists caught in traffic backed up due to the limos, and dozens of union workers across the street protesting the loss of jobs at CNN. By SCOTT SHIFREL DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER A jury needed only five hours of deliberation yesterday to convict a Queens man of murder for arranging to have his young wife killed. Billy Cooper was found guilty in the death of Kimberly John, 22, who had kicked him out of their Hollis apartment just 10 days after their courthouse wedding. Prosecutors saidCdoper partied at an Astoria stript club after the slaying. -'MS J? "This means he's' -of I the streets. He can never huxtj anybody else's child again," said John's mother, Hazel John, who bowed her head and, quietly sobbed as the verdict wasjjead. "Billy Cooper - sentenced my daughter to die," said Jonii's father, Cecil John, still furious at Cooper's contentiort.j.that the murder was a drug dea gone bad. "My daughter did "not deserve to die. She was' a;i sweet girl. . . . She was never involved in drugs." ... Cooper, who turns 31 today, was charged along with the alleged i triggerman, Lenwood (Smoke) Evans, in the March 14, 2001, murder. Evans is expected to go on trial later this month. Cop-bite suspect to face blue line Off-duty cops are expected to jam a Queens courtroom today when a man who beat charges of shooting a police pfficer is arraigned for another alleged attack on a cop. Hi ni 'tl William Hodges, 32t is, set to be formally charged witri biting Officer Benedict Vitale'Sjleg in Jamaica Hospital's emergency room in July. The incident came just months after Queens Supreme Court JusticeTLaura Blackburne released ., him on charges he shot then-rookie cop David Gonzalez in 1999k $ I "He should be in ja f now for the attempted murder; of a police officer," said Police Commissioner Raymond" AKelly. "I was perplexed bygfBlack-burne's decision." : 8fW The judge determined Hodges' right to a speedy trial had been violated, a ruling Queens District Attorney Richard Brown is appealing. Weeks before his release, the Daily News reported that Blackburne and Hodges' mother were in the same Jamaica, Queens, branch of the NAACP. Kelly's outrage at Hodges' release was echoed by police union officials. "If this thug Hodges was in jail as he clearly should be, he wouldn't have had the chance to assault another cop," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynchf Michele McPhee ....j.-.r-i.iMii- vli-.r, Jm,iJi.u it ji. iw-i uiV X'TiMi.. . tttit rtt ttt Htlttftlt

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