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The Number Of Homeless Children Has Hit A Record High In NYC Schools

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A record 114,659 homeless or temporarily housed children attended New York City public schools during the 2017-2018 school year ― making up roughly 10 percent of the city’s public school students, according to newly released data.

The new figures released on Monday by the organization Advocates For Children of New York shows 66 percent more homeless students within the school district ― the nation’s largest in terms of enrollment ― since the 2010-2011 school year.

In New York state, there were 4,624 more homeless students than in the previous school year. In New York City, there were 3,097 more. In the borough of the Bronx, one district had 10,804 students living in temporary homes.
Students’ temporary homes included homeless and domestic abuse shelters, hotels, unsheltered areas like cars or parks, and the homes of other family members or friends ― a situation called “doubling up.”

“The number of students who are homeless in New York City would fill Yankee Stadium twice,” Kim Sweet, AFC’s executive director, said in a statement.

“While the City works to address the overwhelming problem of homelessness, it must take bold action to ensure that students who are homeless get an excellent education and do not get stuck in a cycle of poverty,” Sweet said.

According to a homelessness report compiled by the city, reasons behind the annual increase in homeless students include poverty, a loss of affordable housing and domestic violence ― longstanding issues the city has actively worked to fix for years, according to city officials.

“Our comprehensive plan to address the citywide challenge of homelessness is built around sheltering homeless New Yorkers closer to support networks, including schools, to preserve stability during challenging times,” Isaac McGinn, director of communications for the city’s Department of Homeless Services, told HuffPost in an email on Monday.

The city says the overall number of families with children staying in Department of Homeless Service shelters has decreased by 2,596 families since 2014. The city’s School Proximity Project, launched in July, has also transferred nearly 200 families to traditional shelters that are within five miles of their youngest school-aged child’s school. Since early 2016, it has also provided yellow bus service to all students in kindergarten through sixth grade who live in DHS shelters.

“We’ve made progress driving down the number of families in shelter, which has given us the flexibility to begin implementing this borough-based approach by offering hundreds of families who faced long commutes to school the opportunity to move closer to their youngest child’s classroom,” McGinn said.

A report compiled by the city comptroller’s office in March, reported on by the New York Times, found that the average homeless student misses more than a month’s worth of classes. It also found that the city’s education department failed to contact a parent to report the absence, as required, approximately 92 percent of the time.

The city has increased the number of social workers from 43 to 70 at elementary schools with the highest rates of students in temporary housing, Richard A. Carranza, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, told HuffPost in a statement on Monday. It is also investing $16 million annually.

“We will continue to expand and deepen our investments, and we will have more policy updates to share in the coming months,” he said.

New York City’s student enrollment dwarfs that of all other school districts in the country, including runners-up Los Angeles and Chicago.

According to The New York Times, which first reported on AFC’s data on Monday, about 5 percent of students in Chicago’s public schools were homeless last year and a little more than 3 percent of Los Angeles’ students were homeless in 2016.

The Times noted that though New York City has allocated millions to assist its homeless population, it hasn’t received much philanthropic funding, despite being a top city for philanthropy.

The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation is reportedly the only organization that has donated more than $1 million to support the city’s homeless students in recent years.

Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/homeless-nyc-students-record-high_us_5bc49865e4b01a01d68cd0e1

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Couple arrested in fatal 2016 attack on Long Island woman

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A former New York City correction officer and his 21-year-old girlfriend have been charged in the fatal beating of the woman’s mother on Long Island.

Nassau County police say 27-year-old Ralph Keppler and 21-year-old Francesca Kiel, both of Lynbrook, were arrested Sunday on murder charges.

Police say the victim, 56-year-old Theresa Kiel, was brutally attacked and struck in the face with a metal barbell at her apartment in Long Beach in December of 2016. She lost and eye and remained in a vegetative state until she died this Saturday.
Prosecutors had alleged the motive to be a business dispute.

Keppler had been charged back in January with attempted murder and assault and was out on bail. His lawyer says he’s innocent.

Information on Francesca Kiel’s lawyer wasn’t immediately available. Both Defendants were scheduled to be arraigned on Monday in First District Court in Hempstead.

Source: http://www.fox5ny.com/news/couple-arrested-in-2016-attack

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Woman Beaten in Subway Station by Man Yelling Racially Charged Words: Family, Police

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A woman was punched and stabbed when she got off the subway in Brooklyn by a man yelling racially charged words, her family and police said.

The victim, 57-year-old Ann Marie Washington, was hospitalized Sunday after having surgery for a collapsed lung due to the stabbing, her family told NBC 4 New York.

Washington, a mother of two, was on her way home from work Friday evening and had just stepped off the subway at the Church Avenue stop in Brooklyn when she was attacked, advocates said.

The man, who was white, punched her in the mouth and stabbed her in the chest while calling her a “black b—-,” advocates said. Washington, who is black, is a native of Trinidad.
The attacker fled on a Q train, police said. The victim said he appeared to be in his early 30s, about 5-feet, 3-inches tall, and wearing grey and black sweatpants and a black hooded sweatshirt.

Police didn’t initially call the attack a hate crime, leading to outrage from neighborhood advocates who held a news conference Sunday.

“If this was a white resident, a new gentrifier to this neighborhood, there would be swarms of cops here,” said Imani Henry of Equality for Flatbush. “But when it is a black person who is attacked by a white racist, there isn’t anything.”
Afterward, the NYPD said its Hate Crimes Taskforce would look into it. Police said they didn’t have all the details at the time the crime was reported.

Washington didn’t realize she had been stabbed until she got home, advocates said. Even then, she thought she had been scratched in the chest until she woke up the next morning, said Kenzia Bernard Nau, a witness and a neighborhood advocate.

Advocates said witnesses shot video and there should be surveillance video of the suspect, but police haven’t released it.
“The fact that the video isn’t out right now, this is completely insane,” Bernard Nau said. “This is going to keep happening.”

Source: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Woman-Beaten-in-Subway-Station-by-Man-Yelling-Racially-Charged-Words-Family-500238922.html

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It’s back: NYC’s rare Mandarin duck makes grand return to Central Park

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The Mandarin duck that has caused crowds of people from around the world to flock to Central Park has made its grand return after a brief disappearance.

The duck, native to Asia, was first spotted in the Central Park Pond at 60th Street and 5th Avenue on Oct. 10. Tourists and New Yorkers alike couldn’t resist the urge to see the bird for themselves and headed to the park in search of the rare bird.

After making appearances at multiple bodies of water in the area, some cried “fowl play” when the bird seemed to suddenly disappear earlier this week.

The NYC Parks Department released the following statement:

“While we are not tracking the Mandarin duck, we’ve noted that he’s appeared healthy and has regularly moved between water bodies in Central Park. We don’t know his exact location at this time. Almost all ducks migrate seasonally. While we’re happy to have had him visit our parks, it’s important to remember that at some point he may leave New York for warmer temperatures.”

As long as the duck doesn’t appear injured or in need of care, rangers will not make an attempt to capture it.

“While it’s exciting to spot such a rare bird in NYC’s backyard, like every other celebrity sighting, New Yorkers should know to give him space and not to disturb him,” Deputy Director of the Urban Park Rangers John McCoy said.

It remains a mystery how exactly the duck ended up in Central Park. There has been some speculation he may have formerly been a pet, but he has since effortlessly been adopted into the park’s urban flock.

By Thursday afternoon, social media was abuzz with the bird’s return to its home base in the park.

Source: https://abc7ny.com/pets-animals/its-back-mandarin-duck-makes-grand-return-to-central-park/4648131/

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