Aug 02, 2020
No Political Barbs at Scaled Back Fancy Farm Annual Picnic
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The spicy speeches at Fancy Farm were canceled this year, but some politicians had the annual kickoff of Kentucky’s political season on their minds.
Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams released a Fancy Farm-style roast on social media that mostly poked fun at himself. The Republican said last year he was down 13 points after the primary to his Democratic opponent, former Miss America Heather French Henry.
“And then I came to Fancy Farm for the most important speech of my campaign,” Adams said. “I delivered, and in my next poll I was only down 15 points.”
Adams ended up winning the November race.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath had stops Saturday in Lexington and Louisville, where she met with racial justice advocates. She told a reporter she didn't realize the canceled speeches would have been this weekend.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a scaling back of this year’s 140th picnic in far western Kentucky.
This year’s event would have hosted a showdown between McGrath and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is running for a seventh term.
McConnell called the annual picnic “one of Kentucky’s greatest traditions” in a statement Saturday. He said a political action committee, the Bluegrass Committee, gave a $5,000 donation this year to St. Jerome Catholic Church, which hosts the picnic and fundraiser.
The political speaking beneath the shaded pavilion at St. Jerome’s has become a rite of passage for statewide candidates and is the traditional start of the fall campaign season. Candidates stand before shouting and taunting partisans from the other side to make their case.
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Following More Shootings, Brooklyn Borough President Adams Calls For Tri-State Gun Task Force
And now CBS2 has learned that the total so far this year has surpassed the number of shootings in all of last year, and we still have five months to go.
Reporter Hazel Sanchez spoke to New Yorkers who are desperate for solutions to end the gun violence.
On Sunday afternoon, police collected ballistic evidence from a drive-by shooting on Longfellow Avenue in the South Bronx. A 27-year-old man was shot in the thigh.
A few hours earlier in the Weeksville section of Brooklyn a bullet grazed the head of a 16-year-old boy.
While both survived, the escalation of gun violence across New York City is unsettling for many like David Harden, who calls the South Bronx home.
“It’s very disturbing,” Harden said. “If somebody crosses them wrong — let’s say you bumped them by accident — they’re gonna shoot you. Because they can.”
MORE: Tracking Shootings In New York City
When asked if she feels safe on the streets, fellow South Bronx resident Kyeshia Bridges said, “No. That’s why I stay in the house.”
The number of shootings in the five boroughs this year to date has now surpassed the total number of shootings in all of 2019, Sanchez reported.
Last year, there were 776 total shootings with 922 victims. Over the weekend, the 2020 total surpassed that, with at least 942 victims, including innocent children like 17-year-old Bronx basketball star Brandon Hendricks, who was killed by a stray bullet in June, and 1-year-old Davell Gardner, who was shot dead in his stroller last month.
Many are struggling to make sense of the shooting spike.
“Maybe it’s a part of the pandemic. Maybe it’s a part of homelessness. Maybe it’s a part of the aggravation. Jobless, frustration and anger,” one New Yorker said.
MORE: 21-Year-Old Bronx Man Killed In Late Night Shooting, Police Searching For Gunman
There were more than 37 shootings in the city over the July 4th weekend, including one on Sheffield Avenue in Brooklyn, where a 21-year-old man was shot. The gunman seen in newly released surveillance video is still at large.PROTESTS AND POLICE REFORMS
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Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain, said many factors have led to the increase in gun violence, including the dismantling of the NYPD’s Anti-Crime Unit, the strained relationship with police and the community, and an issue with the number of handguns on the street.
He said he’d like to see the creation of a tri-state gun task force.
“We need to do more at our bus terminals, to do spot checks of the bags that are coming in. We need to do more, even at some of our bridges. People are bringing guns in,” Adams said.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez agrees, and said the community and police need to come together to hold the shooters accountable.
“We know that there are people in the community who know who’s committing the violence,” Gonzalez said.
“When a bullet leaves the barrel of a gun it does not discriminate, if it hits a police officer in a blue uniform or an everyday young person in blue jeans,” Adams added. “We need to come together. We need each other to make sure this city is safe.”
Police are still looking for the gunman in both of Sunday’s shootings. The victims are expected to make full recoveries.