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Brooklyn woman spends year trying to prove she’s alive after being declared dead

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marzena pogorzelska

For a woman in Brooklyn, the good news is that she’s alive. The bad news is that she’s been locked in a year-long battle to prove she’s not dead.

Over the weekend, Marzena Pogorzelska celebrated a most unusual anniversary – one year since the day she ‘died’.

“And after a whole entire year, they still cannot put me back to life,” she said.

It was hard enough to believe when we first met Marzena earlier this year.

She had been cut off from health insurance, her credit frozen, all because of an error by the Social Security Administration, linking her Social Security number to someone who actually had died.

It’s been quite a story to tell.

“People look at me like I’m not all there, or they look at me like wow, this is like a Lifetime movie,” she said.

When Eyewitness News first reported on Marzena, the federal government apologized and issued a letter for her to show creditors, saying she had been wrongly shown as deceased.

But still, every month she gets letters from one of her banks: “Please accept our condolences for the loss of Marzena Pogorzelska”, freezing her accounts all over again.

Her name evidently made it onto a national registry of dead people, meant to prevent identity theft by locking their Social Security numbers. And it works.

“It’s crazy, sometimes I wake up in the morning and say oh God, here’s another day,” said Marzena.

She says the stress of it all almost killed her for real. She suffered a heart attack over the summer and now her insurance won’t cover the $45,000 hospital bill because, you guessed it, on paper she was already dead.

And now with the close of another year, it’s almost time for this small business owner to file her tax return, which of course poses more questions.

“Even my accountant does not know what the IRS will ask for in this situation, because last year we filed for 2017 so I was only dead for two months,” she said. “Now I’m dead for the whole year so we don’t know.”

Death and taxes are about the only constants in her very real life.

We reached out to the agency that keeps track of the registry of people who died. But we didn’t get a response – because of the holiday.

Source: https://abc7ny.com/society/woman-declared-dead-spends-year-trying-to-prove-shes-alive-/4677393/

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9-year-old genius to graduate university

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Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne

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Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Source nydailynews.com/

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