Local Street Takes Late Reverend’s Name

Daisy Staggers, widow of the late Rev. James B. Staggers, with the new street sign. (Photo by F.G. Pinto) By FAUSTO GIOVANNY PINTO[Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the latest issue of the Tremont Tribune, which is on the streets now] On the Anniversary of Martin Luther King JR’s Birthday, a packed congregation came together to honor another great Reverend, the late James B. Staggers, with a street renaming ceremony. “Rev. James B. Staggers Place” was unveiled by Council Member Joel Rivera and Rev. Staggers’ wife on East 181st Street between Vyse Avenue and Bryant Avenue in front of New Tabernacle Baptist Church. The choir led by Staggers’ daughter started the ceremony by bringing down the house and everyone to their feet.Fellow reverends, family and friends, and Council Members including Helen Foster and Joel Rivera then spoke on his many achievements, calling him a loving and caring man.“I am so proud and happy to see honor restored to my late husband,” said a choked up Daisy Staggers. “He would do anything he could for anyone that needed his help.”Staggers (December 11, 1925 – September 18, 2008) served as pastor of New Tabernacle Baptist Church for 38 years.

Bronx Crime Watch: D.A. Busts 22 Alleged Drug Dealers at River Park Towers

Last week, a grand jury indicted 22 alleged drug dealers from River Park Towers, a complex of high-rise apartment buildings at Richmond Plaza, on the Major Deegan Expressway in Morris Heights. The defendants are charged with multiple counts of selling and possessing cocaine, heroin and marijuana, according to press release from the Bronx District Attorney’s Office sent out last week.The arrests were the result of an undercover investigation launched last June in response to an increase in shootings and other violent incidents at the Towers. The 22 people being charged, who range in age from 23-years-old to 51-years-old, sold drugs to undercover detectives more than 120 times. The deals primarily took place in a public courtyard shared by several of the apartment buildings, which investigators described as a “drug bazaar.”[Editor’s Note:] Just a reminder to our readers that the Bronx News Network is in the middle of our annual fundraising appeal. If you value quality local journalism, please consider donating so we can continue to bring you news and features, like our daily news roundup or our borough events calendar.

Bronx Events: Blizzard Response Hearing

(File photo by Lenny Shutterman)Finally, an official outlet for all of your snow rage! The City Council is holding a series of hearings in every borough this month to get public feedback on the city’s response to the big post-Christmas blizzard. The Bronx hearing will be held tonight at 6 p.m. at Hostos Community College, Savoy Building D, at 120 East 149th Street. Similar hearings held already in the other boroughs have been tense and emotional, as speakers told stories of unplowed streets trapping ambulances and other emergency vehicles. Check out this and other Bronx events in our community calendar, below.Editor’s note: What did we miss?

Bronx News Roundup, Jan. 24

An NYPD officer accidentally shot the elderly father of a suspected drug dealer during a raid on his home in Soundview early Saturday morning. The injured man, 76-year-old Jose Colon, was shot in the stomach after Detrective Andrew McCormack mistakenly fired his gun; he’s in stable condition and expected to survive. His son, Alberto Colon, is in police custody for drug possession.The Times takes a look at the family of McCormack, the officer in the incident, whose police officer father was killed in the line of duty during a standoff with a mentally disturbed man in Pelham Bay back in 1983. A 16-year-old Bronx girl who was shot in the head last year during a gang shootout on her way to school says she feels a connection to Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering from a similar injury. Today, Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference at City Hall with dozens of gun violence victims to push for background checks for gun purchases.The Arizona shooting has also sparked a local response, as Borough President Diaz and Bronx residents who’ve witnessed gun violence firsthand say that weapon laws need to be stricter.