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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, October 31, 2022

October 31, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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FORMER BOXER CHARGED FOR MARITIME COCAINE TRAFFICKING: A former heavyweight boxer and Montenegrin national was charged in Brooklyn federal court today for his part in narcotrafficking more than $1 billion worth of cocaine between Columbia and Europe, using commercial containerships, and U.S. and New York ports as connectors.  Goran Gogic, a citizen of Montenegro in Eastern Europe, with one count of conspiracy to violate the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act and three counts of violating the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act. Among the shipments seized was a container of 1,437 kilograms of cocaine that had been secreted aboard the MSC Carlotta at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

Arrested last night as he attempted to board an international flight from Miami International Airport, Gogic was to appear this afternoon in federal court in Miami, with a later arraignment date here in the Eastern District of New York, and a possible sentence  of 10 years to life imprisonment, if convicted.

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DAILY TOP BROOKLYN NEWS
News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

GAS VAPORIZERS NOT IMMINENTLY NEEDED, REPORTS INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT: National Grid’s plan to build fracked gas vaporizers has been dealt a serious blow from an independent consultant’s report, says the advocacy group No North Brooklyn Pipeline Coalition. PA Consulting, which New York State hired last year to conduct an assessment of the vaporizers as part of a rate hike agreement that the Public Service Commission had approved, indicated in its report that there is no need for the proposed vaporizers in the near future, based on an anticipated decrease in demand; and that the estimated cost of the vaporizers has risen from $65 million to nearly $70 million.

No North Brooklyn Pipeline Coalition says that cost would be passed in its entirety onto National Grid’s customers.

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GUNSHOT VICTIMS’ BODIES DISCOVERED IN CROWN HEIGHTS: Police are investigating the cause of deaths of two individuals found with gunshot wounds to their heads, found near Crown St. and Franklin Ave. within the 71st Precinct, not far from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Responding to an early-morning 911 call on Friday, October 28, the NYPD found one 42-year-old male on the ground and a 44-year-old woman in a vehicle at the same location.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death for both deceased individuals, whose names have been withheld pending notification.

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STATE’S FAMILY COURT TO MARK 60 YEARS: The New York State’s Family Court, which has a presence in Downtown Brooklyn, will mark its 60-year anniversary tomorrow with a ceremony in Albany. Hon. Anthony Cannataro, Acting Chief Judge of the NYS Court of Appeals, will preside at the event being held in Albany, where members of New York’s bench and bar, child welfare experts will focus on the impact of changes in the law and society on Family Court cases and operations, and on the expanding concept of family, and racial justice and Family Court.

Family Court hears a range of matters involving children and families–from child neglect and abuse, family violence to child custody and support, guardianship, paternity, and juvenile delinquency

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MAJOR SETTLEMENT ON BEHALF OF MCDONALD’S EMPLOYEES IN BROOKLYN: The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner has reached a settlement with George Michell of Michell McDonald’s Group, a McDonald’s franchisee with a history of violating the City’s workplace laws, to resolve continued violations of the City’s Fair Workweek Law at several McDonalds franchise locations in Brooklyn. These include the restaurants at 1275 Fulton Street, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, 840 Atlantic Avenue in Prospect Heights, 880 Coney Island Avenue, in Kensington, 968 Fourth Ave., and 5121 5thAve., both in Sunset Park, and 1656 Utica Ave. in East Flatbush.

The franchisee will be required to come into compliance with the law, and to pay $1 million in restitution to 511 employees, including $23,500 in restitution to two employees who were terminated in retaliation for exercising their rights under the Fair Workweek Law, and pay $92,338.86 in civil penalties, and allow them to utilize their paid sick leave.

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ILLNESSES REPORTED FROM CAMPYLOBACTER, FOUND IN UNDERCOOKED CHICKEN, TAINTED WATER: Health officials investigating a potential outbreak in Brooklyn of the bacterial infection campylobacter say that about 50 cases have been reported in the borough since the beginning of October. Campylobacter is a gastrointestinal bug that one can get from having eaten raw or undercooked poultry or any food or animal that comes in contact with it. Campylobacter can also come from drinking contaminated water, but its detection from that source is hampered by the fact that the bacteria cannot be detected in sewer water.

According to news reports, a Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) spokesperson declined to detail which neighborhoods have been most affected. As of this morning, the Health Department’s website contains an undated page devoted to this bacteria, but no updates about the inspection’s hot spots.

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AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM BEING BROUGHT TO NYCHA’S HOWARD HOUSES: Residents of the Howard Houses in Brownsville will have the chance to enroll in the Federal Communication Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program during an event this Sunday, that volunteers from the Communications Workers of America and Microsoft will host. CWA and Microsoft have partnered with the NYCHA Howard Houses Tenants Association to spread the word about the event and the opportunity for low-income residents to get online at little to no cost, via the Affordable Connectivity Program, launched in December 2021 to close the digital divide.

Participants at this Halloween-themed event, being organized for NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents, will include elected officials NYC Comptroller Brad Lander, NYS Senator Zellnor Myrie (D-20), Assemblymember Latrice Walker (D-55) and NYC Councilmember Julie Menin (upper Manhattan’s District 5).

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RALLY BRINGS AWARENESS TO THREE BALLOT MEASURES: The New York City Racial Justice Commission (RJC) gathered on the steps of City Hall last week for an educational rally to raise awareness about the three racial justice proposals on the ballot on Election Day aimed at reducing barriers and promoting racial equity. Ballot Question 1 would add a Preamble to the City Charter; Ballot Question 2 would create a mayoral office of racial equity and a new Commission on Racial Equity, and Ballot Question 3 would give voters a choice on whether City government should be required to report a new True Cost of Living measure every year, meant to shift the mindset and conversation from being poverty-focused to emphasize living with dignity.

The keynote speaker was Jennifer Jones Austin, chair of the Racial Justice Commission, CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, an anti-poverty policy and advocacy organization, and daughter of the late social justice preacher Rev. William Augustus Jones Jr., who for more than four decades was senior pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, is pictured giving the guest sermon at her home church, Bethany Baptist.
Brooklyn Eagle file photo by Francesca Norsen Tate

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TRAFFIC: CONCRETE OPERATION CLOSES BLOCK IN FORT GREENE: Brooklyn residents and commuters should be aware also that a block immediately west of Fort Greene Park will be fully closed from today through Friday of Thanksgiving weekend for concrete operation, reports the NYC Department of Transportation. Willoughby St., between Ashland Place and St. Edward St., will be closed off between the hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Commuters needing more detour information can visit https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/wkndtraf.shtml.

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LANE CLOSURES ON EAST RIVER BRIDGES: Certain lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge will also be closed in the coming week as part of the DOT’s rehabilitation project for this span. Single-lane Ramp A will be closed Monday to Friday from 11 p.m. – 5 a.m. Ramp D will be closed Monday to Friday from 11 p.m. – 5 a.m. These closures are to facilitate bridge rehabilitation.

The Manhattan Bridge is also affected as it undergoes structural strengthening: The single-lane Manhattan-bound lower roadway will be closed 24/7 until further notice, the Manhattan-bound north upper roadway will be closed Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to midnight and will be fully closed Tuesday to Saturday from 12:01-5 a.m.; and the single-lane Brooklyn-bound south upper roadway will be closed Tuesday to Saturday from 1-5 a.m.

 

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MAYOR’S NEW PLAN WILL CONVERT SCHOOLS TO ALL-ELECTRIC ENERGY: A $4 billion plan that Mayor Eric Adams announced today will make new school buildings all-electric, and is the nation’s largest project of its kind. Named “Leading the Charge,” the plan includes the completion or the initiation of converting 100 existing schools to all-electric heating by 2030. The plan will end the city’s use of highly polluting No. 4 heating oil in schools — four years ahead of the legal mandate, install upgraded, more efficient LED lights in 800 schools by 2026 and support training and development for the students who will become the next generation of the green workforce.

Mayor Adams launched the initiative, which is under Local Law 97, during a ceremony at P.S 5, Dr. Ronald McNair Elementary School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, which will become the city’s first existing school to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and provide all-electric heating.

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RALLY TO FIGHT PROPOSED SHELTER AT DERELICT SITE: Declaring that a permanent solution is needed for homelessness, and that “No one ever has looked at how the locations for new shelters are selected,” Assemblymember William Colton (D – 47th District) will hold a conference and rally this Sunday at 2 p.m. to continue his fight against the proposed homeless shelter site at 137 Kings Highway that failed a recent inspection. The city Departments of Health and Sanitation found that the proposed site, (near the intersection with Stillwell Avenue between Bensonhurst and Gravesend in Colton’s district), had overgrown weeds, garbage, and rat conditions; and a deteriorating fence.

“We are not fighting against homeless people; we are demanding that the city administration must stop wasting money on developers through a web of third parties, LLCs, and companies that ultimately pass the cost on to taxpayers,” Colton stated.

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MONKEYPOX VACCINE SITES SHIFT TO EXISTING COMMUNITY CARE FACILITIES: The city opened 24,000 MPV vaccination appointments as of Friday, October 28, as it begins to transition away from pop-up, mass vaccination sites to existing community care infrastructure (appointment portal https://vax4nyc.nyc.gov/patient/s/monkeypox ).  The Health Department’s sexual health clinics in Fort Greene, Jamaica, Chelsea and Morrisania will begin offering MPV vaccine on Nov. 14, while NYC Health + Hospitals will begin providing vaccinations to patients at its 11 acute ambulatory clinics and 5 acute PRIDE clinics.

Community partners have dramatically reduced the spread through referrals to care, public health messaging, and other successful interventions, and the city saw a reduction in cases from more than 70 per day in July to around five daily during October.

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BROOKLYN PARTNERSHIP AWARDED $312.4 GRANT FROM AGRICULTURE DEPT.: The Bushwick-based RiseBoro Community Partnership, Inc. has received a federal $312,498 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, awarded through the Farmers Market Promotion Grant Program. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-7th District), who announced the grant award on Friday, October 28, said this funding will help establish a third farmers market location, which will recruit sixteen new local producers to offer heritage agricultural products.

This money will also assist in establishing new collaborations with neighborhood restaurants, markets, and non-farmer RiseBoro Farmers Market producers.

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CYCLIST CLIPS CAR’S MIRROR THEN FEIGNS VICTIMHOOD: Police seek the public’s help in tracking down a cyclist who struck a motorist’s vehicle with his bicycle and then faked his own collapse. The incident, which took place on Thursday, October 27, began when a 70-year-old male noticed a cyclist riding toward oncoming traffic, who then hit the victim’s passenger side mirror with his bicycle around Avenue Y and Knapp St. in Marine Park (61st Precinct). When they stopped, the cyclist punched the driver in the face and then laid on the roadway to make it appear that the vehicle had struck him.

The unidentified individual is shown via surveillance video, seated on the ground with the bicycle, is described as being in his 30’s, 5’8″ tall, 140 lbs., of medium build, with black hair and was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweater, blue sweatpants, gray sneakers, black winter hat and seen riding a blue bicycle. NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS

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PUBLIC HEARING ON RECOMMENDATIONS OF COURT PRACTICES DURING THE  PANDEMIC: As part of a series of public hearings being held around the State to evaluate the technology, practices and policies adopted by the New York State courts in response to Covid-19, the NY Courts’ Commission will convene a hearing, today, Monday, October 31 running from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Commission to Reimagine the Future of NY’s Courts will host a public hearing (to be live-streamed via https://cmi.nycourts.gov/publichearing.html)  in mid-Manhattan to solicit input from stakeholders.

The Commission’s Pandemic Practices Working Group is also conducting a thorough review to make recommendations to the Unified Court System regarding the adoption of practices implemented during the pandemic that will benefit the administration of justice going forward.

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NEW SUNSET PARK LIBRARY BEING BUILT RECEIVED $500K BOOST FROM CITY COUNCIL: The Sunset Park Library, part of the Brooklyn Public Library system, has received $500,00 from City Councilmember Alexa Avilés for the new branch building, which is set to open in 2023. Last week, Councilmember Avilés and Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO, Linda E. Johnson visited the Sunset Park branch to read to the library’s youngest patrons as part of the “La Hora Magica” (Magic Hour), a recurring bilingual story-time program.

The new library will be part of an affordable-housing project being built in Sunset Park, Avilés announced.

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NYC HEALTH COMMISSIONER TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID: Upon learning that he tested positive for COVID, the city’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, will be quarantining himself at home for the Center for Disease Control’s five-day period, from onset of his symptoms continuing to work remotely. Dr. Vasan, who credits his recent booster dose in keeping his symptoms mild, urges all New Yorkers to get their boosters as soon as possible in order to safeguard their enjoyment of the coming holiday season.

Dr. Vasan, in urging the public to take precautions against COVID, did acknowledge that not all New Yorkers have access to the same advantages that he does, in being able to isolate at home with childcare and family support.

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WILLIAMSBURG STORE SELLS SATURDAY’S WINNING MIDDAY TAKE-5 NUMBER: A merchant in Williamsburg sold one top-prize winning ticket in the Saturday midday October 29 TAKE 5 drawing, the New York Lottery announced over the weekend.  The ticket, worth $20,297.00, was purchased at Broadway Mini Market Deli Corp, at 403 Broadway.

The five winning numbers for the TAKE 5 game are drawn from a field of one to 3, with drawings televised twice daily at 2:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., with no jackpot winners in the night drawing. The midday winning numbers were 8, 19, 21, 27 and 30.


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