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A 12-year-old girl was hit by a bus on 7th street and Avenue O within the last hour. She was taken to Maimonides Hospital and is in critical condition, according to ABC Local.

No further information is available yet.

From the office of Councilman Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield is praising officers from the NYPD’s 66th Precinct and volunteer members of Misaskim for their great work in tracking down a stolen vehicle that contained a Sefer Torah belonging to a member of Congregation Agudath Sholom of Flatbush. The Torah, valued at approximately $30,000, was inside a 2007 Toyota Corolla that was stolen Saturday evening while it was parked on 18th Avenue in Borough Park near the synagogue.

On Monday, Misaskim received an anonymous phone tip informing them that the stolen vehicle was abandoned near Avenue I and East 10th Street. The dispatch center relayed the information to Misaskim founder and director, Yanky Meyer, who went to the location to verify that the stolen vehicle was there. He then alerted Inspector Michael Deddo of the 66th Precinct, who sent officers to recover the vehicle and Torah, which was not damaged. In response, Councilman Greenfield is thanking the outstanding officers of the 66th Precinct and the dedicated volunteers for Misaskim for working together to locate the vehicle and return the Torah to its owner.

“Once again, we are reminded how much we benefit from the tremendous working relationship between the NYPD and the outstanding volunteer organizations like Misaskim serving our community. I have no doubts that the immediate response by both the NYPD and by volunteer residents was instrumental in ensuring the recovery of this invaluable Torah before it was destroyed or sold. My thanks to NYPD Inspector Deddo, Misaskim founder Yanky Meyer and the Boro Park Shomrim for their hard work, both in this case and throughout the year,” said Councilman Greenfield.

“Thank G-d for the great working relationship we have with the NYPD and with Councilman Greenfield’s office, so that when something like this happens we all can get the word out fast to the community. I am sure that the person who took the car only abandoned it because they were aware that the public was on the lookout for it. I am very pleased that this came to a happy conclusion and the Torah was returned to its proper owners,” said Misaskim founder and director Yanky Meyer.

Police are still looking for the individual who stole and abandoned the vehicle, so anyone with information is asked to contact the NYPD’s 66th Precinct at (718) 851-5611.

Source: RedMangoFrozenYogurt via Flickr

Our reader and tipster John sent in a little note to let us know that Red Mango, a frozen yogurt joint, is heading our way.

The location will be at 6604 18th Avenue, the former site of Trunzo’s Meat Market. John also let us know that the new Red Mango is going to be located across the street from a new Bank of America.

Many years ago, there came a Starbucks. Now, we’d like to know what you think of the new businesses on 18th Avenue?

click to enlarge

Staten Island’s South Beach Civic Association is planning to host a rally on January 26 to protest the MTA-approved Verrazano Bridge fair hikes.

We know you rarely agree with anything anyone from the other side of the pond has to say, however, in this case, they might be on to something.

The protest takes place at Lily Pond Avenue and Major Avenue, near the entrance to the bridge. Yes, that is the Staten Island side. This means that you would have had to pay the currently exorbitant toll amount in order to cross the bridge so that you may protest against an even higher toll amount. Silly, I know.

However, a Brooklyn-side protest to show our solidarity could work. Hey pols, who’s in?

If you happen to be in Staten Island, or wish to travel there to make your voice heard, the protest starts at 12 p.m. Good luck and keep fighting the good fight.

In 2011, we reported on the tragic murder of mother Daniella Mannino, 34, who was stabbed to death in her bathtub by her then-boyfriend Brian Sohtz. Sohtz, 38, confessed to the stabbing and was forced to confront the 14-year-old daughter of Mannino at his sentencing hearing, according to a report by the New York Daily News.

“I’m paranoid that something like this will happen to me someday,” said Sabrina Mannino to a courtroom packed with heartbroken family members and friends, “I can never forgive someone who did this horrible thing.”

Sabrina also called Sohtz “a total monster and murderer.”

Sohtz’s confession to the murder of Mannino in her Bensonhurst apartment allowed him to strike a plea deal with prosecutors for first-degree manslaughter after he claimed to be suffering from an extreme emotional disturbance. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

State Senator Marty Golden. Photo by Erica Sherman

Last year, State Senator Marty Golden introduced a bill that would stiffen penalties for hit and run and drivers. The bill passed in the Senate but failed to gain traction in the Assembly. Golden and a group of other local politicians have not given up and have reintroduced the bill, according to a press release.

The bill would change the crime of a fatal hit and run from a Class D felony to a Class C felony, which ups the prison time to a maximum of 15 years. It also would eliminate a loophole, which allowed drunk drivers to escape the penalties they deserve:

Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol can actually receive less of a punishment if they flee the scene of an accident.  For example, in the case of a first-time offender, a driver who wrongfully flees the scene of an accident where a personal injury has occurred can only be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of only 1 year in jail.  However, if the driver remains at the scene and is found to be intoxicated or impaired by drugs, he or she can be immediately charged with a Class E felony which carries a maximum penalty of four years of imprisonment. Therefore, the incentive for a drunk or impaired driver to flee the scene of a hit and run accident is greater.

Golden expressed hope that the legislation would improve safety on the roads and save lives:

I thank my colleagues for their support of this legislation which has the potential to decrease the number of incidents where motorists just keep going after hitting a pedestrian.  In my district and throughout the State, families have been destroyed by such a disregard for human life.  I believe that there are instances where, if the driver stopped at the scene and called for help, the victim may have had a chance to survive.  This legislation will make our roads safer and save lives, and this year, this bill should become law.

Source: UIC Digital Collections via Flickr

The wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., resonate year after year. Here are a few quotes from MLK, which continue to inspire people of all nations:

  • “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
  • “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
  • “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
  • “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

Have a happy MLK day, and consider the power of his words in all that you do. If you want to celebrate throughout Brooklyn, click here for some options.

Source: geoconklin2001 via Flickr

The following notice is from the NYC Department of Transportation, courtesy of Sheepshead Bites:

Alternate side parking (street cleaning) regulations will be suspended Monday, January 21 for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. All other regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.

You can download a PDF of the Alternate Side of the Street parking calendar here.

Source: Google Maps

The beloved New Utrecht Library at 1743 86th Street is closing down. Fear not, the doors will only be shut for a month starting today to improve the space and upgrade the technology.

The library will reopen on February 19, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Councilman Vincent Gentile believes that a technology upgrade for public libraries is a needed advancement in the digital age.

“Whether it’s helping adults upgrade work skills and find jobs, fostering reading skills in young people, assisting immigrants with assimilation or providing access to technology for those without a computer or Internet connection at home in this new digital age, New York City’s public libraries are serving more people in more ways than ever before,” he said.

The Brooklyn Public Library has started a campaign throughout all of the boroughs to enhance digital usage of library materials.

The Daily Eagle listed a few of the other local branches that library users can head over to while the New Utrecht branch is closed:

The Dyker Heights Library, 8202 13th Ave.; the Highlawn Library, 1664 West 13th St.; the Mapleton Library, 1702 60th St.; and the Ulmer Park Library, 2602 Bath Ave.

Last year’s finalists. Source: www.nysenate.gov

Senator Marty Golden’s “Senator for a Day” essay contest is kicking off its 11th year. He’s inviting every middle school student enrolled in a 22nd Senate District middle school to participate by writing an essay on what they would do if they were a senator. 

According to Golden’s Facebook page:

The essay must be no more than 250-words and begin with the phrase, “If I Were A State Senator For a Day”. Throughout the essay, students should write about the issues they see facing the community. The winning essays will be judged on content and creativity.

Last year’s winners hailed from schools in Midwood and Bay Ridge. This year, I have a feeling that Bensonhurst will take it home.

“There is great talent in the classrooms of my district, and I invite the students to write an essay and tell me what they would seek to accomplish as a State Senator,” writes Golden. “As our middle school students are being educated in school, they also travel, shop and frequent our parks. They see some of the issues I do, and some different, but through this contest, they can be assured that I will continue to work to improve the quality of life of our neighborhood. I look forward to reading the essays and this contest.”

Contest finalists will be invited to attend a ceremony where they will read their essays to a panel of judges. Then, the winner of the contest will be invited  to spend the day in the in Albany.

Teachers interested in submitting student essays must do so by Monday, March 18. Submissions may be mailed to: Senator Marty Golden c/o Senator For A Day Contest, 7408-5th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11209.

Good luck teachers and students. If you happen to win and visit the State Capital, I’m sure I can help you think of some great legislation to pass while you’re there.