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September 2021 News Briefs

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Posted on: September 9, 2021

Suspect arrested in shooting outside Busboys and Poets

Hyattsville police have arrested 25-year-old Isaac David Olugbeng Akinduro, of Anne Arundel County, in connection with a July 15 shooting near Busboys and Poets on Baltimore Avenue. Surveillance video of the incident shows a man getting out of a white SUV and firing a rifle. The presumed targets of the shooting have not come forward, according to the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD). While no one reported injuries, multiple businesses and two homes were struck by bullets.

 

The arrest resulted from a joint investigation between the HCPD, Prince George’s County Police Department, Anne Arundel County Police Department, and the FBI Cross Border Task Force, which investigates gang- and drug-related activity across the Maryland and D.C. border.

 

According to the HCPD press release, Akinduro is currently being held in Anne Arundel County on unrelated charges. The Maryland Judiciary CaseSearch website shows multiple charges in the Annapolis District Court, including both drug- and firearms-related charges. 

 

The HCPD say Akinduro is suspected of driving the getaway car and will face at least one additional charge. 

 

“This investigation has been all about amazing collaborative work with multiple law

enforcement partners and some sharp detectives recognizing similarities between this case

and others in the area,” said HCPD Acting Police Chief Scott Dunklee.

 

The other two suspects have not been located or identified, as of press time.

 

Proposed new school boundaries affect Hyattsville

 

After the Comprehensive School Boundary Initiative is completed, some Hyattsville children could find themselves attending a different school as soon as next school year.

 

WXY Studio, an urban design, planning and architectural consulting firm, is leading a team of consultants to redraw school boundaries and balance enrollment between neighborhood schools.

 

In the past seven years, enrollment in Prince George’s County Public Schools has risen by 11,000 students, and is expected to gain another 7,000 by 2024. Moreover, families have moved around within the county, which has led to a scenario where some schools, particularly those farther south in the county, have extra space, while others are crowded.

 

The team proposed three draft scenarios for how to redraw the school boundaries, each with a different focus. The first scenario attempts to address uneven utilization of schools, while minimizing changes to boundaries. The second attempts to reduce reliance on temporary classrooms, at the cost of more students being assigned to a different school than previously. The third scenario maximizes the numbers of students in newer and higher quality facilities by closing the schools in the worst condition and reassigning those students to different and newer schools, as well as reducing temporary classroom use.

 

Each of these scenarios would result in at least some Hyattsville students being assigned to a new school. 

 

The process of redrawing boundaries began in the fall of 2020 and should conclude by February 2022. Currently, the team is soliciting input from the public in order to amend the proposed boundaries and come up with one final scenario, which will be presented to county school system CEO Monica Goldson, who will then present it to the board of education. The new boundaries could then start being phased in at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.

 

To see the details of draft boundary scenarios and to submit comments, go to pgcps.org/boundary.

 

Hyattsville Life & Times wins multiple National Newspaper Association awards 

 

The 2021 National Newspaper Association (NNA) Better Newspaper Contest recognized the Hyattsville Life & Times (HL&T) and the College Park Here & Now (CPH&N) with a total of six awards. 

 

The NNA’s Better Newspaper Contest recognizes the best in community journalism. Streetcar Suburbs Publishing, a local nonprofit, publishes both newspapers. 

 

The HL&T won second place for General Excellence in the division of non-daily newspapers with circulations between 6,000 and 9,999. This second-place showing made the HL&T one of 13 community newspapers (out of 2,300 in the NNA) to place first or second in the General Excellence category in any division this year.  

 

Be proud, Hyattsville! Dozens of volunteer writers contributed stories or photos to the editions that earned this award.

 

The HL&T also took second place, across all divisions, for Best Localized National Story for Brandon Fastman’s October 2020 story “Mail woes hit Hyattsville.” According to one judge, “This story did a good job of showing the effects of the declining service by the USPS on local readers, and explaining what could be the cause of it.” 

 

In its first year of existence (and only a partial one at that), the CPH&N received four awards. Intern photographer Julia Nikhinson nabbed half of them, including a first for Best Feature Photo and a second for Best Pandemic Photo in the non-daily divisions. Columnist Lila Stiff’s piece, “No better time to start a garden,” received second for Best Serious Column in a non-daily division. And Managing Editor Mark Goodson placed third for Civic: Community Service Award across all divisions for his article, “University in third year of police training partnership.”

 

This year, there were 1,409 entries in the contest. A total of 509 awards were won by 83 member newspapers in 33 states. This year’s winners will be recognized during NNA’s 135th Convention and Trade Show on Oct. 2 in Jacksonville, Fla. 

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