What’s News, Breaking: Tuesday, January 9, 2023

Gun Rights

SITE FOR NEW BAY RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL APPROVED BY CITY COUNCIL

BAY RIDGE — IN ITS FINAL SESSION OF 2023, THE CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A LAND USE APPLICATION by the School Construction Authority for a new, 676-seat high school facility on two lots at 437-443 Ovington Ave. in Bay Ridge. The facility in Justin Brannan’s District 43 would also include a D75 special education school. The lots are on the site of the now-shuttered St. Nicholas Home for the Aged. The school would alleviate some of the pressure at Ft. Hamilton High School, which is so overcrowded (with more than 4,500 students) that the school day starts at 7:20 a.m. and spreads over 10 periods, according to Inside Schools.

In May 2023, Community Board 10 voted down the application, citing traffic issues, overcrowding in the area and concerns that a new high school would not primarily serve local students. The vote was advisory only, however, the Brooklyn Eagle reported.

Ovington St. School
Photo: Helen Klein/Brooklyn Eagle

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DRIVER IN FATAL COLLISION CHARGED AS UNLICENSED; ALL OCCUPANTS OF OTHER VEHICLE FLEE SCENE

BUSHWICK — ONE MAN IS DEAD AND TWO OTHERS WERE CRITICALLY INJURED IN AN EARLY-MORNING COLLISION IN BUSHWICK on Monday. The crash, which happened around 12:48 a.m. near the intersection of Irving Ave. and Stockholm St., within the 83rd Precinct in Bushwick, involved the drivers of a Kia Sportage SUV and a Toyota Yaris. According to the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad’s preliminary report, the Kia collided with the Toyota, which caused a chain reaction as the Toyota struck three parked, unoccupied vehicles. An unidentified rear passenger from the Toyota taken to NYC Health +  Hospitals/Elmhurst was pronounced deceased; his identity has been withheld pending family notification. Two other male passengers were taken to the same hospital in critical condition. The Toyota’s driver, 26-year-old Jorge Sanchezde Lozada Haiek, was treated at Elmhurst Hospital, taken into custody and faces a charge of Aggravated Unlicensed Operator.

The Kia’s driver and passengers left the scene, fleeing on foot. As of press time they are still at large.

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SUBMIT COMMENTS ABOUT PARK AVE./BQE PEDESTRIAN IMPROVEMENTS TO CB2

FORT GREENE — NYC DOT IS PLANNING A PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT on Park Avenue between Ryerson and Classon streets under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. CB2 invites residents to review the presentation and submit comments or questions to the District Office for review by the DOT/DDC team by Friday, Jan. 12, at 10 a.m. The project will eliminate the existing crossover underneath the BQE at Park Avenue and Grand Avenue to create a new throughway for traffic traveling westbound on Park Avenue to access Grand Avenue northbound.

DOT says the realignment will improve vehicular and pedestrian safety by slowing traffic and creating a large open public space underneath the BQE. DOT does not anticipate providing amenities to this space, however.

BQE Park Ave 1
Rendering courtesy of NYCDOT
BQE Park Ave 2
Rendering courtesy of NYCDOT

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MTA SUSPENDS Q TRAIN LINE FOR TRACK REPLACEMENT

ATLANTIC AVE. HUB — THE MTA IS ALERTING Q TRAIN RIDERS THAT MUCH OF THIS SUBWAY ROUTE WILL BE SUSPENDED FOR TRACK REPLACEMENT WORK on weekends during January, including Jan. 13-15, 20-22 and 27-29 (Jan. 15 is a federal holiday), from 12:45 a.m. Saturdays to 5 a.m. Mondays. Brooklyn Community Board 2 announces there will be no Q service between the Prospect Park station and 96 Street in Manhattan during these times. N trains replace the Q between Atlantic/Barclays and 96 Street Manhattan, while a fare-free shuttle bus will make stops between Prospect Park and Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center. The Q train will operate between Stillwell Avenue and Prospect Park station (which will be the last Manhattan-bound stop).

Commuters needing direct through service to Downtown Brooklyn or into Manhattan during these times are advised to take the D, F or N trains.

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TWO BROOKLYN HEIGHTS SMOKE SHOPS HIT BY SAME ROBBERS WITHIN MINUTES

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — TWO SMOKE SHOPS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER FROM EACH OTHER IN BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — one on Atlantic Avenue and one on Clinton Street — were hit by robbers on Sunday, Dec. 17, police said. At roughly 9:29 p.m. two suspects entered the Clinton Convenience and Smoke Shop at 200 Clinton St. The pair displayed a firearm and attempted to rob the cash register, but were unsuccessful and fled. Three minutes later, at 9:32 p.m., the same individuals entered the High Class Convenience Store at 99 Atlantic Avenue. They again displayed a firearm and succeeded in forcibly removing currency and merchandise before fleeing. No one was hurt.

The first suspect was described as male, 6’0″, with a dark complexion and medium build, last seen wearing a black jacket, blue face mask and white sneakers. The second individual was described as male,  5’9″, with a dark complexion and medium build, last seen wearing a black jacket, black Nike face mask and blue pants. If you have information please call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or visit Crime Stoppers online.

Image of Brooklyn Heights smoke shop robber.
Photo: NYPD

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REP. MALLIOTAKIS CALLS FOR ARRESTS OF PROTESTERS WHO SHUT DOWN BRIDGES

BAY RIDGE — FOLLOWING MONDAY MORNING’S PRO-PALESTINIAN RALLY, IN WHICH PROTESTERS SHUT DOWN THREE EAST RIVER CROSSINGS AND THE HOLLAND TUNNEL DURING THE HEIGHT OF RUSH HOUR, CONGRESSMEMBER Nicole Malliotakis (R-11) urged the mayor and NYPD to arrest those involved. She pointed out, “Not only is this a critical security concern in the event of an emergency, but it’s illegal to impede vehicular and pedestrian traffic under city law. This protest tactic is one that we’ve seen ceasefire activists use across the country since November. Instead of placating to these individuals who may disrupt traffic for hours, the mayor should order the NYPD to immediately begin making arrests to hold these obstructionists accountable for disorderly conduct.”

According to guidelines from the American Civil Liberties Union on First Amendment rights for protesters and rallygoers, “certain types of events require permits,” including “events that require blocking traffic or street closure,” although bridges are not specifically mentioned. However, the ACLU also points out that the “First Amendment prohibits such an advance notice requirement from being used to prevent rallies or demonstrations that are rapid responses to unforeseeable and recent events.”

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MAN SHOT IN LOBBY OF FARRAGUT HOUSES NEAR BROOKLYN NAVY YARD

DOWNTOWN/NAVY HILL — A 35-YEAR-MAN WAS FOUND SHOT TO DEATH IN THE LOBBY of 234 Sands St. in the Farragut Houses, directly across the street from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, at roughly 10 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7. Police who responded to a 911 call found Richard Reed, who lived in a different Farragut building, with multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. EMS transported Reed to New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced deceased.

There are no arrests at this time, and the investigation remains ongoing, according to police.

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JUDGE HANDS BROOKLYN MAN 25-YEARS-TO-LIFE SENTENCE FOR MURDER IN CROWDED DELI

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A BROOKLYN MAN WHO OPENED FIRE INSIDE A CROWDED EAST NEW YORK DELI was sentenced on Monday, Jan. 8, to 25-years-to-life in prison for an execution-style murder, Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. The defendant, Marcus Worrell, of East New York, had already been convicted, during a jury trial, of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the June 5, 2020, fatal shooting of Evon Hillman, 28, at the 620 Livonia Ave. deli. Worrell shot both Hillman and another man who sustained massive internal injuries. Evidence showed that Worrell then left the deli and robbed another man of his motorbike at gunpoint. The NYPD arrested him two months later.

Hillman left behind a fiancée and unborn son who was born two months after Hillman’s murder.

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ASSEMBLYMEMBER SIMON HOSTS NEW YEAR’S OPEN HOUSE

CARROLL GARDENS/BOERUM HILL — BROOKLYN ASSEMBLYMEMBER JO ANNE SIMON INVITES THE COMMUNITY TO AN OPEN HOUSE TO WELCOME THE NEW YEAR. The Open House, taking place this coming Thursday, Jan. 11, from 4-6 p.m., will be a chance for constituents to meet neighbors, bring good spirits and raise any community questions or concerns. The district office is located at 341 Smith St., between President and Carroll Streets, in Carroll Gardens. An RSVP is requested.

The Open House has a social service component as well: Assemblymember Simon’s district office is collecting new socks and underwear and new or gently used hats and scarves for neighbors in need.

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BK, WB BRIDGES SHUT DOWN OVER PALESTINE PROTEST

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — TRAFFIC WAS TEMPORARILY BLOCKED ON MONDAY morning on the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges, as well as in the Holland tunnel, by small groups of pro-Palestine protesters congregating in the roadways, reports ABC News. The protests began around 10 a.m., shortly after rush hour; police reportedly quickly moved to make arrests for blocking traffic, with car travel resuming before 11 a.m. on the Brooklyn Bridge.

A much larger pro-Palestine march shut down the Brooklyn Bridge in October of last year when an estimated 9,000 marchers crossed over into Manhattan, garnering both applause and anger from other pedestrians.

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ATTORNEY GENERAL REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH A DEFENDANT IN NRA CASE 

STATEWIDE — ON THE EVE OF TRIAL, A SETTLEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED WITH ONE OF THE FIVE DEFENDANTS IN THE ONGOING National Rifle Association case that is scheduled to go to trial on Monday, Jan. 8, NY Attorney General Letitia James announced on Saturday, Jan. 6. Joshua Powell, the NRA’s executive director of operations and chief of staff, one of five defendants in Attorney General James’ case against the National Rifle Association has reached a $100,000 agreement with her office, in which he admits to their claims of wrongdoing in the lawsuit. Wayne LaPierre, who recently resigned as the NRA’s executive vice president, was, as of press time, still scheduled to go on trial on Monday.

The courts have repeatedly rejected NRA’s efforts to challenge Attorney General James’ suit, with the NY State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division in Manhattan rejecting the latest attempt just after the New Year.

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BIDEN GIVES SHOUT-OUT TO SCHUMER & JEFFRIES FOR TENTATIVE DEAL TO AVERT SHUTDOWN

WASHINGTON, D.C. — PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN ON SUNDAY APPLAUDED BROOKLYNITES Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries, Leaders of the Senate and House, for their work in crafting a bipartisan funding framework that moves the country “one step closer to preventing a needless government shutdown and protecting important national priorities.” The plan, still incomplete, rejects deep cuts and is free of extreme policies, Biden said in a statement.

Republican extremists called the bill a “total failure,” presenting headaches to House Leader Johnson, CNN reports, and a shutdown is still possible. The framework includes $6.1 billion in new clawbacks of pandemic aid, $20.2 billion in IRS funding rescissions, and the deletion of billions in emergency funds, according to Rollcall.

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