Neighborhood Notes: Become Civically Engaged

Become Civically Engaged Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. encourages New Yorkers to become more civically engaged as part of the “Hour New York Challenge.” Those interested take a pledge to dedicate at least one hour each month throughout 2018. Activities include attending community board meetings, volunteering with a nonprofit, and generally being a more informed and active citizen to improve neighborhoods. For more information, call (718) 590-3543. Catholic Schools Open Houses Bronx Catholic elementary schools are holding “Touring Tuesdays” open houses: Jan. 30, Feb. 13, March 13 and April 24 from 9 to 11 a.m. or by appointment. Local


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Bedford Park Man Charged in Times Square Cop Assault

A Bedford Park man has been charged with attempted murder after video captured him attempting to run over an NYPD officer in Manhattan’s Times Square. Arfhy Santos, 20, of Valentine Avenue faces attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment charges after police say he intentionally rammed his 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-63 onto a police officer who spotted the car he was in driving in a reckless manner. The incident happened at the 43rd Street and Eighth Avenue on Jan. 13 at around 11:40 p.m. Video captures the officer jump onto the hood of the car to try and stop it, only to


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Latest Edition of the Norwood News is Out!

Dear Fellow Readers, The latest edition of the Norwood News, covering the northwest section of the Bronx, is out with plenty of community news you can use. There are 16 pages filled with a lot of useful information intended to make your aware of where you live. We begin, of course, with page one. In one of the more hotly controversial stories of the year (we’re only the second edition of 2018) teachers and staffers of JHS/MS 80 came in the defense of its principal, Emmanuel Polanco. The five-year principal and the school are under investigation for covering up a fight


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Inquiring Photographer: Problem Schools in the Bronx

In light of news over JHS 80’s performance, this week we asked readers their thoughts on the performance of local public schools in their neighborhoods. I think the schools are great except for MS 80, which was known as a very difficult school back in the ‘80s when I attended. So I would love to see that improve–and that was in the papers a couple of days ago. My daughter goes to Bronx Dance Academy in Woodlawn; she loves the school, she loves the principal, Ms. Lopez. It’s excellent and I see it every day with my child. Rashida Reed-Gordon


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Crime Drops in the 52nd Pct., But Now Embroiled in Scandal

The 52nd Precinct saw a double-digit drop in crime in 2017, following a citywide decrease in crime for a fourth consecutive year. But an investigation into how the number of gun arrests increased is under way. The Five-Two covers Norwood, Bedford Park, Fordham, Kingsbridge Heights and University Heights. Preliminary crime statistics publicly available show the precinct filed 1,789 crimes under the seven major crime categories tracked by the NYPD in 2017, as opposed to 2,096 in 2016. The seven major crimes include murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny, and grand larceny auto. The numbers translate to a 14.65


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Suspect in Norwood Rape Arrested and Charged

Police have arrested a registered sex offender accused of raping a 64-year-old woman after following her across Norwood. Ugan Smith (below), 40, was arrested on Jan. 11, a day after police say he stalked the victim, following her to her apartment in the area of East Gun Hill Road and DeKalb Avenue at around 6:45 p.m. Smith, who lives in transitional housing managed by the Bronx Psychiatric Center, followed her all the way to her apartment, pushed her in it, and brutally raped her before saying, “I have a gun, and I am going to kill you and have sex


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Former Staffer Accuses Jeff Klein of Forcibly Kissing Her

Bronx State Senator Jeff Klein, leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, has blasted accusations that he forcibly kissed a former employee at a bar in Albany in 2015. The former staffer, Erica Vladimer, told the Huffington Post that the incident happened on April 1, 2015 at an Albany bar. Klein and his staffers were celebrating the passage of the New York State budget, according to the report. Vladimer and Klein then exited the bar to smoke a cigarette. “All of a sudden there was a hand on the back of my head and he shoved his tongue down my throat,” Vladimer said


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SEE VIDEO: Bronx Rape Suspect on the Loose in Norwood

    Police are searching for a rape suspect who followed a 64-year-old woman into her apartment and raped her. The suspect, described as a black man standing at over six feet with a medium complexion and mustache, stalked the victim, following her to her apartment in the area of East Gun Hill Road and DeKalb Avenue in Norwood on Jan. 8 at around 6:30 p.m. He then stormed the apartment, leading her inside and raped her, according to police. The suspect got away but was captured on video. This ranks as the first reported rape that happened with the


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Teachers Stand by JHS 80 Principal Following Reports

Despite a New York Post expose detailing a history of problems at JHS 80, teachers came in defense of its principal, embroiled in controversy. The New York City Department of Education is now reportedly investigating the school, a pledge already made by the New York City Council. But teachers, five of whom declined to give names to the Norwood News, spoke highly of principal Emmanuel Polanco and his ability to turn the school around. Dayana Nunez, a 14-year veteran of the school, praised Polanco’s administrative performance and the the school’s performance. “They tell a little truth and expand it with a bunch


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