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Around Brooklyn: U.S. attorney in Brooklyn to coordinate Ukraine probe

February 20, 2020 Editorial Staff

U.S. attorney in Brooklyn to coordinate Ukraine probe

The Justice Department has assigned the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn to coordinate Ukraine-related investigations, according to a memo released to Congress recently. The move potentially gives Attorney General William Barr a way to keep a tighter rein on investigations that could be politically sensitive, Politico reported. Richard Donoghue, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, will “coordinate existing matters” and “assess, investigate and address any other matters relating to Ukraine, including the opening of any new investigations or the expansion of existing ones,” according to the memo.

Midwood resident spins The ‘Wheel of Fortune’

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Naami Wagschal of Midwood, a speech therapist, grew up watching “Wheel of Fortune” and always wanted to compete on the popular game show. On Tuesday, she finally got the chance to spin the giant wheel. She ended up playing alongside her best friend since preschool, Temimah Friedman of Baltimore, during the show’s “Girlfriend Getaways” week, according to the Brooklyn Reporter website. Wagschal and Friedman won $41,000 in cash and several prizes, including a trip to Antigua for each of them.

Chirlane McCray begins Brooklyn-based podcast

New York City first lady Chirlane McCray has launched a Brooklyn-based mental health podcast named “Thrive with Chirlane McCray,” and her first guest was her son Dante de Blasio, according to Gothamist. The new podcast was launched Tuesday on the Brooklyn Free Speech community podcast network, which is run by BRIC, the same nonprofit that sponsors the Celebrate Brooklyn music festival in Prospect Park. The podcast is the latest component of the taxpayer-funded ThriveNY campaign, which provides round-the-clock counseling to New Yorkers in 200 languages, Gothamist reported.

Gage & Tollner set to open next month

Famed Downtown Brooklyn restaurant Gage & Tollner, closed for many years, is set to open its doors next month, according to Brownstoner. The exact date has not been revealed to the public. The restaurant operated from 1892 to 2004 and still has its original electric and gas chandeliers, as well as other fittings. Since it closed in 2004, the space has had several tenants, including TGI Friday’s, an Arby’s and a discount jewelry store. The restoration of Gage & Tollner has been covered extensively in the Eagle.


Staten Island man charged with Brooklyn robberies

A 24-year-old man from Staten Island has been nabbed by cops, who say he knocked down and robbed two senior women in southwest Brooklyn. Manuel Chavez was arrested on Tuesday on Staten Island and charged with robbery and criminal possession of stolen property. The first incident took place on Jan. 24 on Bay Ridge Avenue, when the suspect is alleged to have grabbed a woman’s purse, then shoved her to the ground when she tried to resist, according to the Brooklyn Reporter. Later that day, on Bay 25th Street, another woman was walking home when Chavez allegedly knocked her down while stealing her purse.

Brooklyn-based nonprofit helps the ‘food insecure’

A Brooklyn-based nonprofit, Rethink Food NYC, “rescues” unused, leftover food from restaurants and grocery stores to distribute low- or no-cost meals to people in need, according to The Hill. Since 2016, Rethink Food has collected almost 150,000 pounds of food and served more than 300,000 meals. “A lot of people suffer from food insecurity that are not just people in line at the soup kitchen,” said Matt Jazwiak, the nonprofit’s founder. Jazwiak added that, in his opinion, fast-food restaurants target the food-insecure who don’t have enough money for a good meal or enough time to cook.

Killer was no gentleman

Police are looking for a suspect who stabbed a man to death inside Gentleman’s Quarters Salon, a barbershop at 1916 Church Ave. in Flatbush, according to amNewYork. Police say that on Tuesday, they responded to a 911 call and found the 19-year-old victim inside the barbershop with a wound to his torso. EMS rushed the man, identified as Mamadou Bah, to Kings County Hospital, where he ultimately died of his injuries.

Floral designer moves to Williamsburg

After several years operating out of the Canal Street Market, Fox Fodder Farm, a floral design studio, has opened permanent Brooklyn headquarters in South Williamsburg. Although owner Taylor Patterson had originally been trying to find another space in Manhattan near the Flower District, she was contacted by the broker for Two Trees Management, which owns the Williamsburg building, according to WWD.  “[The company] is really good to small businesses, and they really prioritize bringing in small businesses that add to the quality of life for their residents and create a community feel,” Patterson said. Fox Fodder Farm is named for her family’s farm in Delaware, WWD said.

Cheese is the word at DUMBO restaurant

Barano Restaurant in DUMBO is one of three restaurants that Full Service Restaurant has singled out as a haven for cheese. “Barano,” said the trade publication, “serves mozzarella so fresh it practically moos.” Barano has three styles of mozzarella: a savory, salted version; a smoked mozzarella and a buffalo-milk mozzarella. “Each is hand-pulled to order and served fresh.” The publication also praised “the creamy, ricotta-filled cannoli.”

Penthouse at Eagle Warehouse selling for $2.95M

Mansion Global, a website focusing on luxury real estate, is spotlighting the penthouse in the Eagle Warehouse and Storage Company building at Fulton Ferry, which is on the market for $2.35 million. The 19th century building was once a warehouse belonging to the original Brooklyn Eagle. “There are buyers in the market who are waiting for authentic, true loft space buildings that have history and bricks and beams. There are buyers who are a little bit tired of glass towers,” said listing agent Nick Gavin of Compass. After close to 100 years functioning as a warehouse or offices, the nine-story building was converted to residences in 1980, Mansion Global said.

Scam artist swindles $4.5K from senior woman

A man who posed both as a charity worker and a detective swindled a Brooklyn woman out of close to $4,500, police said yesterday. The 76-year-old woman was heading to a doctor’s appointment when she was approached by a well-dressed man as she waited for a bus in Kensington on Jan. 22, police said. The man asked if she would donate money to a church charity. After she agreed, he accompanied her home, where she handed him $3,300 in cash, police said. He then dropped her off at her doctors’ appointment. Five days later, he and an accomplice, posing as detectives, called the same woman, saying they needed to pick up money from her house as evidence. When one of them came, she handed him about $1,200, the New York Post said.

Frontus allocates $22K for library’s chess workshops

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island-Bay Ridge-Gravesend) has secured $22,000 to support the Brooklyn Public Library’s Fort Hamilton branch’s workshops and to upgrade the children’s area. “These programs not only enrich those who participate, they are a point of pride that strengthens our neighborhoods,” she said. The funds will support art and jewelry classes for older adults, children’s chess workshops and a program that uses music to teach toddlers second languages. 

Grand Street BID hosts its own restaurant week

The Grand Street Business Improvement District on Tuesday kicked off the seventh year of its Grand Street Winter Restaurant Week. Until March 1, New Yorkers have access to three-course dinners costing no more than $35 at participating restaurants in the East Williamsburg neighborhood. Each year, the BID hosts a restaurant week in the summer and in the winter. 

Compiled by Raanan Geberer. 


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