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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Wednesday, April 26, 2022

April 27, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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CONVICTED ON WITNESS RETALIATION CHARGES: A federal jury in Brooklyn has returned a guilty verdict against Tawanna Hilliard, the mother of a 5-9 Brims gang member, on charges of witness retaliation, conspiracy to commit witness retaliation, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. At the time of her crimes, Hilliard was a paralegal working in the Civil Division of another United States Attorney’s Office.

Hilliard’s co-defendant and son, Tyquan Hilliard pleaded guilty in November 2020 to witness tampering conspiracy related to the same scheme and was sentenced to 63 months’ imprisonment.

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CONVICTED FOR DEALING NARCOTICS AND CAUSING DEATHS: United States District Judge Brian M. Cogan in Brooklyn federal court has sentenced Angelina Barini was sentenced by to 30 years’ imprisonment for distributing narcotics and causing the deaths of multiple victims. Barini pleaded guilty last August to two counts of distributing narcotics that caused the deaths of a person; one count of distributing fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine; and one count of conspiring to distribute gamma-butyrolactone.

As detailed in court filings and statements at court proceedings, between July and August of 2019, Barini provided narcotics —often containing lethal doses of fentanyl —to her victims to incapacitate and rob them of their belongings, while sometimes conducting business as a sex worker.

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HATE CRIMES DEFENDANT ARRESTED IN MUGGING: A man who had threatened a synagogue in Prospect Heights in 2018 found himself arrested last week after trying to mug someone on an A train near the Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station. According to Jewish Week, James Polite, 29, a troubled former City Hall intern and Brandeis University graduate, had been convicted in a 2018 antisemitic vandalism spree in Brooklyn, including at the Union Temple of Brooklyn.

At that time, he was taken into custody at the scene of an intentionally-set fire in a Williamsburg synagogue, and freed before his conviction last October of burglary as a hate crime.

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FINDING FRESH WAYS TO CUT MTA FARE EVASION: A new blue-ribbon panel is missioned with developing fresh approaches to reducing fare evasion across the entire MTA system of subways, buses, commuter rails, bridges and tunnels, MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber announced yesterday. Members of the “Fareness” panel will focus on innovative approaches to encourage fare payment through education, equity, and enforcement, and will examine how technological, design, and personnel solutions can help limit fare evasion.

At least two of the panelists have Brooklyn bonds: Kate Slavin, executive vice president of the Regional Plan Association, started her career in Brooklyn as an urban park ranger for the NYC Dept. of Parks and later worked at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden; Matthew Fishbein is a former Executive Assistant District Attorney, Kings County and former First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of New York.

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The Rev. Dr. Paul Smith
Brooklyn Eagle File Photo

PAUL SMITH HEADLINES UNIVERSITY’S SPEAKER SERIES: The Rev. Dr. Paul R. Smith, who for 20 years was senior minister at First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, yesterday headlined the Father Joseph N. Green Speakers Series at Saint Augustine’s University, an Episcopal school in Raleigh, North Carolina. Hailed as an educator, author, and diversity role model, Dr. Paul Smith served as senior pastor of the historic Brooklyn church, now celebrating its bicentennial, from 1986-2006, has made diversity and inclusiveness hallmarks of his life’s work.

During his time at First Presbyterian Church, Dr. Smith also conducted racial sensitivity training for the New York Police Dept. (including the local, 84th Precinct, and the US government.

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GodSquad/the 67th Precinct Clergy Council’s new Interim President, Pastor Edward-Richard Hinds.
Photo credit: Courtesy of GodSquad/67th Precinct Clergy Council

PASTOR HINDS NAMED INTERIM PRESIDENT OF GODSQUAD: Pastor Edward-Richard Hinds has been appointed as Interim President of the GodSquad/67th Precinct Clergy Council, Inc., and began serving in this capacity last month. He succeeds founding president, Pastor Gil Monrose, who is now Faith Advisor and Executive Director, Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships in the office of the Mayor of New York City. Over the past 12 years, The GodSquad has served the neighborhoods of East Flatbush and the wider community as a credible faith-based organization in NYC, creating, implementing, and advocating for gun violence reduction initiatives.

Rev. Hinds is Youth Pastor at The Rugby Deliverance Tabernacle and is a trained counselor, mentor, speaker, community advocate and leader.

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MATCHING YOUTH WITH BROOKLYN ORGANIZATIONS: Community Board 14 sponsors its 15th Annual CB14 Youth Conference, to introduce teens to job and mentorship opportunities. The conference, taking place this afternoon at Prospect Park’s LeFrak Center, has welcomed more than 500 youth aged 14-21 from all over Brooklyn, and over 50 community-based organizations, city agencies, and businesses to recruit curious and ambitious young people for employment, educational, volunteer, internship, and social program opportunities.

 Past participants have included The Brooklyn Museum, Trailblazers Camps, Girls Who Code, Jobs Corps Scholars, THEO, FDNY, NYPD, Brooklyn Public Library and the Kings Theatre.

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NEW PROGRAM AIMS TO MEET NY EMPLOYERS’ NEEDS: Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the creation of the New York State Office of Strategic Workforce Development, which will be charged with improving the State’s workforce development programs and practices to better align with the needs and priorities of today’s employers. The Governor first proposed the new office in her State of the State address earlier this year and committed funding that was approved in the FY2023 budget.

To launch this effort, New York State – in partnership with the Business Council of New York State – has developed a comprehensive online survey (https://www.research.net/r/BusinessWorkforce2022)  to solicit vital feedback from businesses on the skills required for workers to be successful in today’s complex economy.

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SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM: The National Association of University Women, Inc. (NAUW) announces this year’s Brooklyn Branch College Scholarship for college-bound high school seniors residing in Brooklyn. Applicants must be graduating seniors with a GPA of at least 3.0 (B average) and be starting a four-year baccalaureate program this fall, and apply no later than May 16 via

Over the years, the NAUW has awarded more than $100,000 in donations and scholarships, which normally range from $500 to $1000.


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