HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here is a look at the top 10 most-viewed stories on http://HyattsvilleLife.com from 2015. We’ll have our editor’s top 10 picks later in the week.
1.EXCLUSIVE: Legal troubles continue for property owners named in Jack Johnson indictment
BY REBECCA BENNETT — Local business owners Amrik and Ravinder Melhi received another setback this month when the Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners revoked the liquor license of an Adelphi restaurant, The Golden Bull, which they allegedly control. Last August, the board ordered their business, Tick Tock Liquors in Langley Park, to stop selling alcohol.
2. Two bodies found in West Hyattsville home
BY CAROLINE SELLE — On the evening of June 24, Hyattsville police (HCPD) and the city’s volunteer fire department (HVFD) responded to a call at a home on the 3500 block of Madison St. in West Hyattsville. Inside the house, officials found two dead bodies.
“A family member was concerned, hadn’t heard from his mom or dad in about a week. He came over to check on their welfare and couldn’t get in,” said HCPD Lt. Chris Purvis. After trying the front and back doors, the son called for assistance. Police and firefighters responded, and once on scene, the fire department was able to gain entry.
3. HVFD responds to mass casualty accident in Chillum
BY REBECCA BENNETT — Updated at 11:02 p.m. Four people are reported to be dead, including one a child, after a crash in the 2600 block of Chillum Road near 21st Place a few blocks away from Queens Chapel Road. The incident occurred at approximately 5 p.m.
Authorities called it a mass casualty incident. According to Prince George’s County Fire & Rescue (PGFD), eight adults and four children were transported to area hospitals with a range of life-threatening to non-life-threatening injuries. Four adults and four children are still listed in critical condition. READ MORE
4. Longtime St. Jerome Pastor Leaving Hyattsville
BY CHRIS MCMANES — A teary-eyed Rev. James M. Stack announced May 19 that he is leaving as pastor of St. Jerome Catholic Church. His announcement, at the end of a Parish Council meeting, left some members in stunned silence.
“I’ve enjoyed immensely the great opportunity to serve the good people of St. Jerome’s,” Stack said. “It’s been a great ride.”
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, has assigned Stack to St. Anthony’s in North Beach, effective July 1. He will replace Rev. David P. Russell, who is retiring. READ MORE
5. Tow truck thief crashes, destroys Art Works greenhouse
BY REBECCA BENNETT — A thief stole a tow truck from a repair shop just outside the City of Hyattsville, according to the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD), and then crashed into the greenhouse of the former Marché Florist, which is the future home of the arts non-profit Art Works.
While responding to a call in the 4800 block of Rhode Island Avenue for an assault in progress at approximately 2:55 p.m., police said they saw the truck had crashed into the side of the building. The thief fled the scene of the crash, according to HCPD, and was apprehended on the alternate Route 1 bridge. The two incidents were related, police said. READ MORE
6. Elderly resident crashes car into Target
BY REBECCA BENNETT — According to the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD), an 85-year-old woman was the driver who crashed into the front doors of Target at the Mall at Prince Georges on Wednesday, Sept. 16. The incident happened at approximately 2:46 p.m., police said.
The University Park resident, according to HCPD, became disoriented and applied the accelerator when she attempted to apply the brake.
“She drove over a steal barrier, through the glass doors and into the area near the Pizza Hut Express,” HCPD Spokesperson Lt. Chris Purvis said in a statement. READ MORE
7. Is Hyattsville the next Hollywood? Behind the scenes of a local film
BY JACKITA D. BASS — With controversial films such as the Interview and Selma in the news, the short film All is Calm has its controversial bases in Hyattsville. All is Calm was filmed in the Arts District in five hours on a cold Sunday night in December. A Christmas card of sorts, the seven-minute film has themes straight out of the nation’s headlines—racial profiling and police and community relations but the underlying message is that there is good in all of us.
Francis Abbey, a DeMatha Catholic High School and University of Maryland graduate, wrote the script in less than seven hours and filmed the short story in even less time. Usually producing short romantic comedies as holiday “cards” for his fans, Abbey said he was moved by recent events like the civil unrest in Ferguson and the picture of an Oregon police officer receiving an embrace from a 12-year-old boy carrying a free hug sign. Abbey said he wanted to show that good people far outweigh the bad people and share a plea for calm. READ MORE
8. Pyramid Atlantic relocating to Hyattsville Arcade Building
BY ANDREW MARDER — Pyramid Atlantic, an arts center located in Silver Spring, will be moving to Hyattsville. On May 4, the Hyattsville City Council unanimously approved its 25-year lease on the Arcade Building, located at 4318 Gallatin Street.
According to city documents, Hyattsville agreed to provide $200,000 for structural improvements to the Arcade and Pyramid Atlantic agreed to repay that sum with interest over the course of its lease, at which point it will have the option to purchase the building from the city. Pyramid Atlantic has until Nov. 2016 to build-out and occupy the Arcade. Once the initial renovations are complete, the center has agreed to assume all maintenance costs for the lease’s duration. The city will review any permanent changes Pyramid makes, according to Community Development Director and Assistant City Administrator Jim Chandler. READ MORE
9. New Hyattsville Middle School principal selected
BY CAROLINE SELLE — Thornton Boone is the new acting principal for Hyattsville Middle School and is expected to be confirmed as principal for the new school year. A veteran of the Prince George’s County School System, Boone graduated from the county’s schools and has been an educator for 19 years.
In a July 20 letter to the community, Boone wrote, “My vision is to provide the leadership that will facilitate a positive school environment to provide rigorous instruction to meet the needs of each student.” READ MORE
10. College Park will be home to Franklin’s Grill and Oyster Bar
BY MARK GOODSON — Mike Franklin, the owner of Hyattsville landmark Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store, is opening a new fine-dining restaurant in College Park.
The new Franklin’s Grill and Oyster Bar will feature local seafood and steaks, an in-house bakery, live oyster bar, top-shelf mixed-drink menu, 24 wines by the glass and as many beers on tap. Situated at the base of a $120 million hotel development, the restaurant will be flanked by a Red Door Spa, Bagels ‘n Grinds, and Potomac Pizza: all part of a vision to rejuvenate the University of Maryland’s immediate vicinity.