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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, November 1

November 1, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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SUBWAY PUNCHER ARRESTED: Police have arrested a Brooklyn man who attacked an elderly commuter on a southbound #1 train in an Upper West Side station who asked him to lower the volume of his radio. Reginald Matthews, 31, of Bergen St. has been charged with assault on a victim 65 or older.

Last Thursday afternoon, Matthews punched his 78-year-old victim, who had asked him to lower the sounds of music on his speakers.

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

FATAL SHOOTING IN CROWN HEIGHTS: Early Tuesday morning, November 1, police responding to a 911 call in the vicinity of Crown Street and Rogers Avenue, near the Medgar Evers campus, in the 71 Precinct found a 26-year-old male with a gunshot wound to the head. The man was rushed to NYC Health & Hospitals/Kings County, where he was pronounced deceased.

No arrests have yet been made and the investigation remains ongoing, with the victim’s identity being withheld, pending proper family notification.

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DOUBLE HOMICIDE IN RESTAURANT SHOOTING: A shooting that took place inside Miguel’s West Indian Restaurant last Thursday, October 27 in the 73rd Precinct has now been ruled a double homicide. One victim, a 46-year-old man later identified as Eyon Johnson of Sterling Place died at Brookdale Hospital. The second victim, whom the NYPD has identified as Damien White, died on Sunday, October 30, police reported on Tuesday.

The incident is still under investigation as of press time, and no arrests have been made.

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ELDERLY WOMAN’S ATTACKER HELD WITHOUT BAIL: A Crown Heights man has been charged with sexual abuse, burglary as a sexually motivated felony, assault, strangulation, and other charges for allegedly violently attacking an 81-year-old woman in her apartment, also in Crown Heights, causing her several injuries.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez identified the defendant as Thomas Johnson, 50, who was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser on a 16-count indictment.

The defendant is being held without bail and was ordered to return to court on December 1.

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SURGE IN DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS: Drug overdose fatalities surged during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York state, with opioid-related overdose deaths increasing by 68 percent to nearly 5,000 individuals from 2019 to 2021, according to an analysis released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The surge is largely due to a sharp increase in deaths from opioids related to illicit fentanyl and similar synthetic opioids.

In fact, overdose deaths statewide — from opioids and all drugs during 2021 surpassed the previous 2017 peak by more than 1,700 fatalities.    

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DEVELOPERS OF FORMER KEY FOOD SITE OBTAIN LOAN FOR MIXED-USE COMPLEX: In the latest chapter of the re-purposing of the former Key Food at 120 5th Ave. in Park Slope, leading real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield served as the sole advisor to Senlac Ridge Partners and The William Macklowe Company in procuring a $142,900,000 in construction financing for a mixed-use development project. Senlac Ridge and Macklowe, which acquired the site in 2020, will construct two mixed-use buildings containing 180 residential units, 25 percent of which will be affordable, 67,000 square feet of retail space, a parking garage and a fitness center.

Lidl Supermarket, a German retailer, and CVS Pharmacy recently signed long-term leases for approximately 35,000 square feet of the retail space with the developer.

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DINAPOLI: IMPROVEMENT NEEDED ON EMERGENCY PLANNING: New York City must become better prepared for another catastrophic event, according to an audit that State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released today. His audit of the New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) found weak oversight and poor management of hazard mitigation efforts, operational continuity plans and evacuation plans.

This audit is the first of four that DiNapoli has engaged with a focus on resiliency planning in New York City.

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REPORT EXAMINES RISE IN PANDEMIC-RELATED OVERDOSE DEATHS: State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli will hold a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss his report on the rise of drug overdose deaths during the pandemic. Joining him will be elected officials, advocates, and Dr. Jeff Reynolds, president and CEO of Family and Children’s Association.

The report will be released Tuesday morning in tandem with the conference, for which live streaming will be available via Comptroller DiNapoli’s Facebook page.

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TWO GRANTS FOR BOLSTERING COMMUNITY HEALTH: Brooklyn Communities Collaborative (BCC) – a non-profit focused on strengthening health and wealth in Brooklyn has been awarded two grants totaling $400,000 from the Altman Foundation, an organization that supports programs and institutions that enrich the quality of life in the city, and The New York Community Trust, the community foundation for New York City that is dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City and its suburbs. Over the next two years, both grants will be applied toward supporting Maimonides Medical Center and One Brooklyn Health to reach their commitment to 10 percent minority and women-owned business enterprises; enroll 90 individuals in training programs for high-need roles including property management and patient care technicians to meet the borough’s workforce needs of Brooklyn.

The grants will also benefit residents who are otherwise ineligible for Medicaid by coordinating health and social services for 1,500 high-risk residents.

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HEATING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM BEGINS NOVEMBER 1: Starting today, November 1, New Yorkers needing help in paying their heating bills can begin applying for home heating assistance announced Governor Kathy Hochul. The Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as HEAP, can provide up to $976 this winter to help low- and middle-income households and senior citizens keep their homes warm and help defray high energy costs, depending on their income, household size, how they heat their home, and if the household contains a vulnerable member.

The federally-funded Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, oversees this program, in which eligible households can receive one regular benefit per season and could also be eligible for an emergency benefit if they are in danger of running out of heating fuel or having their utility service shut off. Applications for emergency benefits will be accepted beginning January 3, 2023.

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SUNSET PARK GETS NEW PLANET FITNESS CLUB: Supreme Fitness Group, LLC, one of the largest Planet Fitness franchises, tomorrow will mark the grand opening of its Sunset Park location, billing the new site a “judgement free” club.

Sunset Park City Council Member Alexa Avilés will make brief remarks, and Center for Family Life in Sunset Park will be on hand to accept a donation, presented to the organization in celebration of the club’s grand opening.

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BAY RIDGE CELEBRATES SCANDINAVIAN TRADITIONS: Members of the Scandinavian community in Bay Ridge, and Brooklynites nostalgic for the traditions of this northern Europe region can look forward to this coming Saturday’s Scandinavian Høstfest (Autumn Festival). The Scandinavian East Coast Museum is sponsoring this event, held from 1-4 p.m. on November 5, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church at Ovington and 4th avenues in Bay Ridge.

The Høstfest will feature a Lapskaus Auction (Penny Social), games with Crazy Carlsen, and a myriad of Scandinavian autumn traditions. Cost is $20 for adults, $10. For more admission prices and to make a reservation, email [email protected]

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TWO GUNSHOT VICTIMS’ BODIES DISCOVERED IN CROWN HEIGHTS: Police are investigating the cause of death 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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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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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 McDonald’s 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 4th Ave., and 5121 5th Ave., 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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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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YOUTH AMBASSADOR TRAINING FOCUSES ON UNDERSTANDING POLICE OPERATIONS: A new program that teaches students about New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) gang database, police encounters and youth organizing has been launched, thanks to a partnership with the Legal Aid Society and Red Hook Initiative. The 12-week training curriculum, which began in September, as part of the comprehensive programming for Red Hook youth attending high school (ages 14 – 21), focuses on the rights that New Yorkers have to protect themselves from illegal police searches, gang raid tactics and other acts of misconduct.

Upon completion of the training in December, participants will become youth ambassadors who will continue to facilitate Know Your Rights workshops around these critical topics.

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BUSHWICK FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS: The Bushwick Film Festival, which resumes today, November 1, has a new partnership with Williamsburg Cinemas where all festival films will screen. The festival, which runs through Monday, November 7, will feature over 100 independent films from Brooklyn and around the world (www.bushwickfilmfestival.com).

Over the last 15 years, the Bushwick Film Festival has screened the works of nearly 1,000 independent filmmakers from Brooklyn and more than 50 countries, growing into one of the most anticipated cinematic events in Brooklyn.


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