tv Eyewitness News ABC December 15, 2015 5:00pm-6:00pm EST
>> if you heard about it, you want to be safe than sorry. >> reporter: investigators say it came in the form of an e- mail received in new york this morning. what was scribbled by authorities as generic nonspecific and armaturish threat. the fbi traced it to frankfort, germany and quickly concluded it was most sexual a hoax. >> we have an investigation underway. it's an investigation into a hoax. >> reporter: once more, the person making the threat claimed that every school in the city was somehow riding to explode. the new york city school system is the largest public school system in america with 1.1 million students. any last minute decision to close it down would produce chaos and as the mayor suggested panic. >> we came to the conclusion that we must keep the school system open. it is sigh important not to overreact in situations like this. >> city officials seemed almost
the decision to close schools in los angeles that publicized the apparent hoax. >> to disrupt the daily schedules of half a million schoolchildren, their parents, day care, buses based on an anonymous e-mail without consultation, if in fact consultation did not occur with law enforcement authorities, i think it was a significant overreaction, yes. >> reporter: tonight many security experts are praising the decision here in new york to keep the schools open. we will hear from one of those security experts at 6:00 tonight. live in fort greene, brooklyn, n.j. burkett, channel 7 eyewitness news. >> n.j., thank you. the lapd so far says 80% of the schools have been cleared. authorities hope to have the systemwide sweep completed by 7:00 p.m. our time. administrators are defending
their calls to close the schools. >> reporter: well, sade, the latest reports are that this was a hoax and that comes from u.s. representative adam shift from los angeles and a ranking member in the house intelligence committee. school officials say when this e-mail first arrived they didn't want to take any chances because they say that e-mail was very specific and mentioned backpacks and other objects including assault weapons. now, school superintendent said the threat was against multiple schools and that's why he made the decision to close every school and the attacks two weeks ago in san bernardino influenced his decision. it is empty second largest school district and massive undertaking to notify parents and shut down the campuses. it went through servers in frankfort, germany but he believes it originated closer to home. officials defended the decision. >> i would say this to people
it's easy in hindsight to criticize the decision based on results that the designer could never have known. it's also easy to criticize a decision when you have no responsibility for the out come of that decision. i think it's irresponsible based on facts that have yet to be determined to criticize that decision at this point. >> officials say all schools here in the district, 900 campuses will be searched by the end of the day by 7:00 p.m. reporting live from los angeles, carlos grande, channel 7 eyewitness news. back to you. >> thank you. tonight we are waiting on word whether a high school in suffolk county where fumes sickened dozens of students and staff will reopen tomorrow. west babylon was evacuated before noon due to a strong chemical odor. 35 people were taken to the hospital. everyone has been released. police and firefighters are
trying to determine the source of the odor. district officials have canceled all after school and evening activities. well, those winds have been whipping all day. with the strong gusts comes a drop in temperatures. meteorologist lee goldberg is outside the studios. high, lee. >> hi, rob. it has been so warm that 60 and a breeze is chilly. you need the coat but it's mild. look at the numbers today. more record highs. 25 degrees above average. record highs bridgeport, islip, central park, newark, laguardia, j.f.k. we are at 59 degrees. there is the updated temperature under partly cloudy skies. the winds are gusting close to 40 miles per hour over the past few hours more like 25 miles per hour. but still a rather gusty evening until the storm to the north and east over the canadian maritimes moves away. futurecast wind speed gusty in the evening but look how the
and 11:00 hour and by tomorrow morning calmer. also colder tomorrow morning as well. still 30 miles per hour gusts this evening then 35 to 45 by tomorrow morning. we haven't had that in a while. it's a calmer day tomorrow then a soaking rain and the big weekend cool down. that is coming up in weather. we have any information about three arsons outside the police station in forest hills, queens. police have identified a person of interest in the case. they released this surveillance video last week of a suspect. three rubbish fires were set outside the 112th precinct station house and damaged a police cruiser. police don't think the same person is responsible for recent arsons at homes in in the neighborhood. a man in northern new jersey is under arrest accused of sexual misconduct with more than a dozen teens at a church event.
michael pritchard charged with 14 counts. police say the incident took place at the calvary temple, a megachurch facility in wayne. the alleged victims 16 and 17 years old. in connecticut, new court documents confirming the motive of a tampaly stabbing a classmate may have been because she wouldn't go to prom with him. christopher plaskon made april brief court appearance today. the papers were unsealed showing a friend told police he wanted to be more than friends with 16-year-old marion sanchez. he is charged with murdering sanchez in april of 2014. meanwhile a judge denied a defense motion to dismiss the charges against pedro hernandez. hernandez is charged with kidnapping and killing he ton patz in 1979. the prosecution asked for the jury to do a walk through of the so who neighborhood where patz was last seen. the judge refused to allow it. both sides will be back in court tomorrow.
his first trial ended with a hung jury. the jurors in the first trial in the freddie gray case in baltimore told the judge they are deadlocked. the jury is just in the second day of deliberations and the judge told them to keep going. police officer william porter is charged with manslaughter in gray's death. investigators say gray died after his neck was broken riding in a police van handcuffed and shackled with no seat belt. a major shake up in new york city's homeless service programs. mayor de blasio afternoon nounsing the current commissioner of homeless services gilbert taylor is resigning and the entire department will be restructured. this comes amid criticism of the growing homeless problem. the mayor wants to streamline the agencies to reduce the number of people that are homeless. >> we recognize as the homelessness situation persists as a challenge persists that we have to evaluated whether the current structures make sense and what kind of changes we can make to streamline and improve
the work of helps agencies. >> well, the mayor has ordered a comprehensive operational review of the city's homeless programs. well, we are a new hours away from the 5th g.o.p. debate taking place in last vying gas. many -- vegas. among many of the issues, national security. political reporter dave evans is here with what we can expect. dave. >> reporter: this debate is important for a lot of different reasons. voting begins in about six weeks and as you mentioned, the first to be held since terrorism became such a huge issue. also it's the last debate of the year for republicans and this is the time when things might change if anyone at all will overcome donald trump. the stage is set at the theater in las vegas for the last big republican debate of the year. front and center, donald trump who has a commanding league in the -- lead in the national polls. >> we are hearing announcers
saying, well, who will take on trump tonight. who will hit him hardest. and i'm saying yeah, bring them on. who cares. >> reporter: texas senator, tread cruz is ahead of trump in iowa, the first state to vote in 48 days and cruz has momentum. surprisingly cruz is not going after trump yet. >> i don't think the american people are interested in a bunch of candidates bickering like schoolchildren. >> reporter: the other candidate is marco rubio, often seen as a likely fall back if trump fall tears. rubio focuses on democrats. >> last sunday the president spoke to the nation in an effort to calm us and make us feel more comfortable. i swear to you, i wish he hadn't spoken at all. >> reporter: this will be the first debates since the attacks in california and paris and since trump announced his plan to try to ban muslim immigrants. national security is the
>> what you could see,ing the more significant confrontation is between ted cruz and marco rubio. >> tonight's debate is important for governor christie as well. in the last debate his poll numbers were so bad he was in what we call the under card debate, the earlier debate with the minor candidates but his poll numbers climbed in new hampshire. tonight he is on the main stage. his chance to try to shake up the race and get needed tv coverage. see you later on at 11:00. >> it will be interesting. thank you. democratic presidential front-runner hillary clinton in minnesota to discuss her plan to defeat islamic terrorists. the former secretary of state says the nation needs 360- degree strategy to keep the american homeland safe. clinton says part of that plan would aim to shut down islamic state recruitment in the u.s. especially online and stop
stocks on wall street gaining ground. investors are pop mystic ahead of an expected rise in interest rates by the fed. the nasdaq gained 43 points and the s&p 500 climbed 21 points. a teacher who works with students with disabilities arrested in new jersey. what she is accused of doing, that is coming up. >> plus, the search for a dapper bandit in an armored truck heist. how did he know when to strike. >> rent money that you're guaranteed but people are running into trouble getting an apartment.
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the $78,000 he stole. the big question tonight, how did he know this armored truck's schedule? a quiet tuesday morning in the soundview section of the bronx is shattered by gunfire when an armed robber targets this armored truck. >> i heard shots. >> reporter: fast? >> it was fast, one after another then after another. i think it was like going from here, i heard them going that way. >> it was loud, like multiple,ing boom, boom, boom. >> police believe four to five shots were fired between the gunman and the workers. you can see where a bullet went in the back of this vehicle parked in front of the armored truck. it was 10:00 a.m. on the 1400 block of westchester avenue. rapid armor was making a scheduled collection at 3 g money service. the cash did not make it safely from the store to the truck. investigators report a well dressed gunman in a black suit
strike and he made off with $78,000 in cash. in the surveillance video you can see innocent bystanders running for cover. >> i see everybody running for cover, what is going on. >> reporter: now, police believe the gunman ran toward colgate avenue then drove off in a red honda. it's not clear if he was shot. investigators are canvassing nearby hospitals. what is clear is that he took off with $78,000 in hot cash. live in the bronx tonight, lucy yang for channel 7, eyewitness news. >> lucy, thank you. a former subway pitchman jared fogle appealing his prison sentence for child pornography and having sex with under damage prostitutes. fogle's attorney filed a notice
a judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison. a russian space craft docked successfully at the international space station. it launched this morning. they joined three crew members already on board. the mission is to spend six months on the station conducting research and scientific experiments. tonight the force will be with moviegoers in new york city during the highly anticipated premier of "star wars: the force awakens." the worldwide premier was held last night in los angeles. fans young and old catching a glimpse of their favorite "star wars" actors as they walked the red carpet. fans say it was everything they expected and more. "the force awakens" opens thursday night. >> exciting, exciting. >> i had one eye on the giants game and one eye on -- >> split. >> awesome. this weather is awesome. we got the rain out of the way for now. >> exactly.
the thing is while we don't have the real cold we have a lot of changes going forward. we will sprinkle in a chill. outside we go tonight, a cool brisk wind is taking hold. that is an awesome shot. look at the amber colors. fantastic. that is manhattan skyline, east river -- actually the hudson had white caps on it today when i drove by. gusty breezing this evening. we are at 59. relatively speaking we had temperatures in the 60s and record highs it does feel cool. pressure sis on the rise. the high just shy of 70 after midnight. that is good enough for a record high. normal low 32. running 25 degrees above average. continuing to pile on the warm numbers and make our case for the warmest december on record. it will feel like 30s on saturday we we look to the
weekend outlook, especially saturday. clouds will be breaking up, we will drop to the low 50 phs double digit to around 8, 9 miles per hour after 9, 10:00 tonight. 58 yonkers and 57 in norwalk. 45 in monticello. long island, you are in the upper 50s. pair of 5s in bell march and 57 in west orange. wind gusts 20 to 30 miles per hour. high in the park 31 miles per hour. we will have gusts through the first few hours this evening then after midnight they back off, the winds do. sunshine tomorrow morning. mostly sunny skies through early afternoon then low clouds late day. extra cloudiness over the hudson valley. a few sprinkles here diminishing overnight. we turn clear to partly cloudy. we are getting out of the wind field here. as that happens, we will see the winds get lighter and skies should begin to clear. we will watch some showers try to come in during the evening hours. the best bet of the week is
tomorrow because we don't have as much wind as today. temperatures are nice and a fair amount of sunshine. low cloudiness late day t. we turn our attention to this system for thursday. a wave of low pressure develops on this front. what that does it enhances the rainfall. that could mean a slow moving rainfall from late morning to easterly evening. if you look at the futurecast tomorrow afternoon, low clouds after 2:00, 3:00. i would have the umbrella tomorrow evening for drizzle developing. same thing overnight. steadier rains thursday morning. clear and cool. the wind backs off. 52 tomorrow. calmer, cooler. sunny to partly cloudy skies. sunset 4:29. shower or drizzle tomorrow night. at 5:30, will the drizzle start developing tomorrow evening and need the umbrella by 7:00, 8:00? we will see. an inch or more of rainfall thursday? that's a possibility. will the front stall on friday? that plus the weekend chill in the next half hour.
>> you know the sky matched the accuweather attire. >> you don't think that was planned. >> it was always planned. >> thank you, lee. a new record for high school graduation rates. coming up, how the tri-state compares to the rest of the country. >> a warning about public housing in new york city. nycha accused of not being able to prepare another storm like
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it's at 82.3% according to the national center for education statistics. now, in the tri-state area, new jersey is highest, the highest graduation rate at 88.6%. connecticut next at 87%. new york at 77.8%. about one in every five students now leaves high school without a diploma. the nation's largest public housing authority is not prepared to handle emergencies or disasters. that warning from new york city comptroller scott stringer who says the 400,000 people that live in public housing in new york might be at risk. eyewitness news reporter mallory hoff has the story. >> reporter: the housing authority has failed to learn lessons from superstorm sandy and is unprepared for the next major emergency. that's what controller scott stringer says an audit of nycha discovered. >> the storm was terrible. but nycha's response was worse. fast forward to today, i am
nycha is prepared for the next big storm. and the answer, sadly, track tragically and unbeliever -- tragically and unbelievably, no. >> reporter: no emergency contact information for 80% of tenants that use wheelchairs. no emergency plan in place and no one designated to be in charge in an emergency. >> it's scary. >> nycha's response to this audit is truly pathetic. >> reporter: if a disaster happens tomorrow are you pee paired to deal with it? >> yes. we have people in place. we have partnerships in and plans in place. >> reporter: nycha says stringer is cherry picking data and paints an out did it picture. >> we have proven that we are able to respond to things like legionella or hurricane joaquin. >> do you have the contact
information for tenants with disabilities that live in your housing? >> yes. on a monthly basis we do a review. >> reporter: both parties agree they have to be equipped for disas officer and a test of preparedness could come at any time. special education teacher in new jersey arrested. what she is accused of doing to two students in her care. >> guaranteed rent money but there is one problem getting an apartment. the eyewitness news investigators go undercover to look at a housing program and to see why some landlords are not excepting the vouchers. >> a change to how teachers are evacuated in holiday season's just like football season... you got your big games... ...and regular games. get it all at a great price... ...and the holiday season is won. everything in one place.
responding to a school threat. new york city public schools remaining open while public schools in los angeles were closed. the threat was delivered to both cities in an e-mail. sweeps are still underway in l.a. our top story, a special education teacher is under arrest accused of abusing students. those students just 9 years old. >> one of the alleged victims shoved to the ground causing him to hit his head on furniture. it happened in elmwood park. new jersey reporter anthony johnson is at the school where a school board meeting will be held tonight. anthony? >> reporter: sade and rob, the lawyer for the teacher was in court earlier today. we are here at the elementary school and high school where the meeting will be taking place later on this evening to determine that teacher's fate. she is accused of mishandling children who were the most vulnerable.
she has been accused of being aggressive with two young children with disabilities while she was in charge of their care and instruction. the 30-year-old teacher from butler, new jersey works at the 16th avenue elementary school in elmwood park. according to the police report, a 9-year-old called by initials j.l. was pushed down causing him to hit his head on a piece of furniture. that apparently happened in the school at the beginning of this month. >> troubling to hear about that. she is supposed to be trained to deal with special kids. so, you have to be patient. >> i think further backgrounds should be going on that a 30- year-old woman is abusing children. so, i don't know. i think further action should be taken. >> reporter: another 9-year-old child was grabbed sometime back in november by the same teacher. that child was forced to sit down. that student is known as zr in the court documents. the report says the teacher was
forcibly pushing him into a chair. stunned parents say the alleged behavior does not represent the teachers at the school. >> i know all the other teachers in this school and i don't feel any of the children are in danger, not my daughter. >> reporter: she is prohibited from having contact with anyone at the school and will not be allowed back in the classroom. the school board meets this evening and determine whether or not she will be paid by the school system while the investigation into this case continues. that's the latest live from elmwood park, new jersey. anthony johnson, channel 7 eyewitness news. >> thank you. police on long island say a serial sexual predator has been arrested again. 44-year-old edward ramirez is accused of assaulting 5-year- old and 6-year-old sisters delivering furniture to their queens home saturday. he is accused of exposing himself to kids at a store in
glen cove and planning a -- planting a recording device in the rest room of a restaurant in riverhead. an eyewitness news investigation into the city's housing voucher program. homeless people trying to use vouchers to rent an apartment like food stamps. imagine if super markets didn't take food stamps. that's what is happening here. the investigators, jim hoffer going undercover to find out why. jim? >> reporter: the vouchers are the ticket out of the shelter in the homeless family can find a landlord willing to except them. rising rents and a troubled history have made the vouchers a tough sell. some willing to break housing discrimination laws than get involved in the mayor's key program for the homeless. lisa mill house and her daughter are living in this bronx shelter since last august. >> you don't have any apartments available at all? >> reporter: she has been trying to find a home with the
rental voucher that would pay more than $1,500 a month for a two bedroom apartment. >> i called 60 real estates. >> reporter: nothing? >> nothing. >> reporter: we joined lisa as she went from brooker to brooker in brooklyn looking for an apartment. we gave her an undercover camera to capture the true frustration encountered by her and the brokers. >> nobody seems to want this program? >> it's not that. the rents are above it. >> reporter: something lisa kept hearing. at $1,500, the voucher is below the market value of the two bedroom in many neighborhoods. >> how come there aren't more rentals except it. it's $1,500 a month. >> reporter: we went back to talk to the broker why some landlords are rejecting the vouchers. >> as soon as we mention that there is tenants with the programs, they either hang up the phone or refuse to deal with us.
>> reporter: some landlords have gone as far as to say if their apartment ads no vouchers accepted. is that illegal? >> yes, it is. there are 86 investigations that are ongoing by the city human rights to address in. >> reporter: they invisit the program is working having places 5,000 families in apartments in one year. another 5,000 like lisa are still looking. one of the problems is that four years ago landlords had the rug pulled out from under them when mayor bloomberg canceled the voucher program leaving the landlords with nonpaying tenants. this time the city promises the voucher program is here to stay. >> the success that we have with the 5500 families and individuals that have been able to use the vouchers shows the community that the city can be relied upon to pay the funds. >> reporter: the city has a long way to go to convince some
>> there is people in this shelter more than a year. >> reporter: what are you going to do? >> i honestly don't know. >> reporter: and she is still looking. hours ago the head of the homeless services resigned and mayor de blasio called for a complete review of all homeless programs such as the rental vouchers. the number of homeless hovers near a record 60,000. >> a lot of work needs to be done. thank you. education leaders in new york state voted to not use common core test scores to grade teachers for now. the board of regents approved a four year moratorium on using test scores. letter the move is among the recommendations made by a task force assembled by governor cuomo. the push to increase the weight of test scores angered the teacher's union and many parents. 31 american citizens welcomed by the commander in chief today. president obama spoke at a naturalization ceremony in washington this afternoon.
to -- the president using this occasion to speak about immigration and acceptance of all cultures. >> immigration is our origin story. for more than two centuries it has remained at the core of our national character. it's our oldest tradition, who we are. it's part of what makes us exceptional. >> the 31 new u.s. citizens are from 25 different countries. a change in the way toy guns are sold in new york. what dozens of stores have agreed to do. a christmas surprise. a stranger pays off everything on layaway.
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the family of a little boy shot and killed by police in cleveland is askinged justice department to investigate the case. the officer shot tamir rice last december after spotting the boy pointing a gun in a city park. the gun was a toy. rice's family claims the prosecutor in the case is unable to conduct a fair investigation. two officers face potential charges. meanwhile, 30 online retailers agreed to stop selling realistic toy guns in new york state. state attorney general eric schneiderman said the toys violated the laws in the state. the law requires toy guns to be brightly colored or have color striping down the barrel. retailers across the u.s. have been selling the imitation weapons through an amazon.com platform for third party
new video of a path car damaged on 9/11 moved to a permanent display at the new york trolley museum. car 143 was part of a train crushed in the station when the twin towers collapsed. it was stored at hangar 17 for the last 14 years, one of two cars from the train. the other five were destroyed. well, get ready for a dip in temperatures. meteorologist lee goldberg has the accuweather forecast next. >> a local farm is helping recovering addicts get their lives back on track.
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the spirit of the season is alive and well in pennsylvania where some shoppers got a holiday surprise that made a huge difference in their lives. >> when they arrived to pick up their layaway items at a harrisburg walmart, an anonymous stranger paid off the balance. the shoppers said the gesture of kindness helps out a lot. >> i started crying on the phone. i wassing to have to cancel my layaway. >> i couldn't believe it. i still don't. thank you for whoever you are. merry christmas and happy new year. thank you very much. >> isn't that great? >> wonderful. >> in total the secret santa paid $79,000. >> what? >> 79,000 bucks. good morning -- good for you.
16 days until we ring in 2016. the perfect time to unveil the numbers on time's square. they are getting an up-close look at the giant 16. the numbers have 207 l.e.d. bulbs. 16 days away. >> time is flying. >> the years go faster and faster. exciting night. >> i can't see having a really bitter cold new year's eve the way things are going. our long range, looking at christmas week, after the cold weekend we will bounce back and hit 60s. >> you are used to seeing everybody in park cass. >> not now. outside you probably need the coat because you haven't experienced a cold breeze. great looking midtown.
skating rink is open in central park. sweating a bite. 59 degrees. mostly cloudy skies. a west wind gusting to 31 miles per hour. we have patchy cloudiness around. it will be with us the first few hours of the evening. winds back off, clouds break up. down to 45 in new york city t. newtown, connecticut, in the upper 30s after midnight. a winter chill in the area tomorrow morning then we bounce back to 50 degrees. partly to mostly sunny skies through the bulk of the day. low clouds after 3:00. then in the evening clouds could thicken up in a hurry. the futurecast wind speed numbers are sustained. you look at the shades here and that's gusts of maybe near 200 to 25 miles per hour. look how the shades go away and the numbers start to drop and winds are calm to light tomorrow morning, five to 10 miles per hour and 6 to 12 during the day. futurecast looks like this. by tomorrow morning, mid- to upper-30s north and west.
letter morristown around 40. 43 belmar. chilly tomorrow morning. low 50s during the afternoon. cooler than previous days, a lot of sunshine until the mid- to late afternoon when clouds probably show up first in belmar, asbury park and down to toms river. maybe same thing eastern long island then the clouds quickly sweep in. maybe drizzle later tomorrow evening. out later tomorrow evening maybe have the umbrella. you need it thursday for drizzle around. the steadier rain waits until midday. a good soaking during the afternoon hours and probably winds down during the early evening. 52 tomorrow best bet. thursday the rain turns. in terms of rainfall amounts a couple of spots pushing an inch of rain. winding down thursday evening, the front look how the rain is hugging the coast. clouds may cling on friday. behind the front, look at the
feels like 30s on saturday. sun mixing with clouds. on sunday, probably mid-40s, not as harsh and less wind. we bounce back. 52 monday. 58 on tuesday. long range for christmas eve and christmas day would be in the 60s. incredible. the it won't last for long. >> golf on christmas eve. >> grab the clubs from under the tree. >> thank you, lee. breaking news to tell you about. two problems involving the evening commute on the long island railroad. signal problems are causing 30- minute delays on the babylon branch. >> we just learned l.i.r.r. train struck an unauthorized vehicle on the tracks near bethpage. we will keep you posted. turning to other news, what an honor on long island for a high school football player. >> recognized for his work ethic and passion, one of the new york giants came home last night's big win and went to the school to be part of the fun. >> kristin thorne tweeted video
of the surprise. she has the story. >> reporter: it was a moment that roosevelt senior couldn't believe actually happening, meeting giant running back rashad jennings and on top of that winning the heart of a giant award. it's given to a hymn football player in the tri-state that exemplifies hard work, dedication and inspiring character. >> this is a role model that show cases what it looks like as a young man to become something special. >> i am so grateful to say i have the heart of a giant. >> reporter: in november he didn't play in the nassau county all star football game because he had another obligation, volunteering at his church. he has created a student group called future rough riders of america. they are collecting toys for kids with cerebral palsy. >> a program called smiles for coc and we will extend it throughout the year. >> reporter: he has been
bringing back alumni to speak about life after high school and created a mentoring program that brings high school kids in to speak to students at middle and elementary schools. >> many of us struggled in the transition of education, those years you go into a new building, new system with much more freedom and less individual guidance. >> an incredible example for the young people on our team and in the school community itself. >> as an added perk, he will be recognized on the field when the giants play the panthers on sunday at met life stadium. kristin thorne, channel 7 eyewitness news. >> wonderful. >> so cool. >> that's great. >> good for you, kid. the future where addicts turn their lives around is in jeopardy. >> why the farm is on the verge of shutting down. >> i'm liz cho. new at 6:00 another major shack up at new york city hall. for the second time in three months a resignation by an
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an organic farm is home to recovery addiction center. they learn job skills to find work as they leave. >> as lauren glassberg reports it may have to shut down. >> reporter: james smith is a city boy at heart but finding his footing thanks to nature. >> clipping the buds off to replant them. >> horticulture, one of the things the 33-year-old is learning a world away from his home in queens. he is one of 24 men at renewal farm in garrison, new york. the residents are from the five boroughs and they farm and return to the workforce after battling drug addiction, time in prison and time on the streets. >> i'm building a strong foundation so when i do leave i will have the tools that i need to be successful.
>> reporter: what has grown here in the greenhouse or on the tennis court are sold at a farmer's market or given away at a food pantry. a little farming goes a long way. >> in their life they have been through many activities that have been negative. this is totally positive. they are hear working as a group, getting to know what life is like, getting up in the morning, getting to work. they are seeing the fruits of their labors. >> there are plans to expand the farming operation to an acre of land on the other side of this fence in december but by then the funding for the program may have run out. >> this program has been funded by the federal government for the last 20 years and if we don't continue to receive that funding, this program will be closed down. >> reporter: at issue is the federal government's decision to cut funding to supportive housing programs. it takes $400,000 a year to operate renewal farm. they hope to cut its on budget and raise 150,000 through a
crowd funding site to keep it open for six more months. >> we need a christmas miracle. >> reporter: that is helping james build a new life and get back to his 5-year-old son. >> hopefully something will come through. >> tis the season for miracles. three families connected for life by a life-changing gift. >> "eyewitness news at 6:00" starts right now. >> terror threats against the country's two biggest public school systems, new york and los angeles. the two cities on opposite coasts handle the threat in different ways. one stayed open and deemed it not credible, the other shut down.
another shakeup on the de blasio administration. this time the man in charge of homeless services stepped down amid one of the biggest homeless crises in new york history. good evening at 6:00 i'm liz cho. >> i'm bill ritter. the man in charge of homeless services in new york city stepping down three months after his boss resigned frustrated about the way the city is growing homeless population. >> mayor de blasio insisted he is fully involved in trying to solve the homeless issue. tim fleischer is at city hall with the lead story. tim? >> reporter: the mayor making the announcements this afternoon. the first the regular signature nation of the homeless service commissioner and second a reorganization plan the mayor is hoping to put in place to deal with the troubling issue. >> a profound challenge and it will be for years to come. >> reporter: in the next three months mayor de blasio is hoping to review and reorganize the city's response to a changing face of mom less