What’s Happening In Brooklyn: COVID-19 Cases, Neighbors Saving Cats, Crime & Elections

Kensington on a cold, cloudy day. (Photo: Zainab Iqbal/Bklyner)

BROOKLYN – Coronavirus cases are rising again! There are 520 new reported COVID-19 cases across the city on a seven-day average. Today, 59 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized.  1.9% of all tested, tested positive citywide, we’ll try to update on Brooklyn cluster tomorrow. Please continue to get tested and continue wearing a face-covering!

Schools in red and orange zones have closed for two weeks. Sixteen schools in the yellow zones have closed as well, though elected officials and parents are demanding them to re-open. Harold “Heshy” Tischler, the man who incited violence against a journalist in Boro Park, was arrested last night. He was charged with unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, inciting to riot, menacing in the third degree, and harassment in the second degree and was released without bail. His next court date is 4/27/21.

Maya Wiley officially announced her run for NYC mayor! She also held her first mayoral event since announcing that run and we wrote all about it here. “What we have to do right now since COVID is real is put public health first,” Wiley said. “We must be engaging with community leaders, including faith leaders, to partner in ensuring that they are part of the solution. Every single community should know that it’s going to be treated the same.”

There’s some hospital news! In mid-March, a $700 million state plan to restructure three central Brooklyn hospitals was put on hold to ensure the institutions could accommodate the soaring number of coronavirus patients showing up at their doors. Now, the plan to consolidate services and eliminate over 200 beds from Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center while merging it with Interfaith Medical Center and Brookdale Hospital is again moving forward. But this time, a group of hospital staff, community members, and advocates is pushing back, we reported last week. 

We know how much you love our Openings and Closings list, so here’s another one. This week we have lots of hellos, including a new beachfront rooftop, coffee shops, vegan, and several expansions. Sadly, we also say goodbye to a Dyker Heights institution as well as a Park Slope favorite. As always, let us know if we’ve missed anything, and stay safe. You can find the last edition of this series here. And speaking of food, we spoke to chef Eric See about Ursula, which brings breakfast burritos and New Mexican fare to Crown Heights. “As I look out every day, there’s a very diverse crowd that comes in here, and that’s really exciting to me that everybody feels welcome here,” he told us.

It’s almost Halloween! The Sean Casey Animal Rescue (SCAR) in Windsor Terrace is who Brooklyn’s residents call about injured cats, stray dogs, or missing turtles. And every fall, Brooklyn shows up for them by supporting SCAR’s annual Halloween fundraiser. In years past, there was a Halloween block party to go with the event, but this year things are different due to COVID-19, and the “Fang-tastic” Halloween Raffle is being held online, which is exciting! And speaking of animals, we have a feel-good cat story for you. In the midst of chaos and politics, neighbors got together to save a sick cat from dying on a Ditmas Park street last week! The cat’s name is Benji and he’s doing much better and recovering at the home of the lady who saved him.

We have today’s crime blotter for you. There are lots of crimes happening across the borough, which include burglaries, assaults, and man yanking off a nine-year-old girl’s $800 necklace off of her. And just a few days ago, a Bed Stuy man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his girlfriend’s slaying that occurred in 2005. A woman in her 60s was found unconscious and unresponsive lying on a bench out on Brighton Beach. She was declared dead at the hospital. Cops suspect no criminality though.

Remember the whole absentee ballots mess? Well, calls are growing for the city to take action against the upstate firm that sent flawed absentee ballots to voters across Brooklyn, THE CITY reported. “One elected official wants the company fired, while a second is demanding that the city Board of Elections — which awarded Phoenix Graphics a $4.6 million no-bid contract — retrieve the money paid to the vendor. Others just want New Yorkers to know their votes will count come November 3.”

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Zainab Iqbal

Zainab is a staff reporter at Bklyner who sometimes writes poetry in her free time || zainab@bklyner.com

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