While You Were Out: June 13, 2019

Well, we live to fight another day, CivMixers. Hang in there, tomorrow’s Friday. Here are some headlines to consider…

Sarah Sanders, who as President Donald Trump’s press secretary became the public face of the White House through some of the administration’s most contentious chapters, is leaving her post.

A contentious bill that would make it more difficult for Californians to avoid mandatory vaccinations for their children made national headlines as two high-profile opponents of the bill, the actress Jessica Biel and the anti-vaccination advocate RFK Jr., visited state lawmakers to lobby against it.

Meanwhile, here in New York, the epicenter of the nation’s measles outbreak, state lawmakers are moving to end religious and other nonmedical exemptions for immunizations, overcoming opposition from vaccine skeptics and advocates for religious freedom.

The Assembly has already passed the vaccine bill; the Senate plans to follow suit later today.

Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat and chair of the chamber’s Health Committee, voted “yes” to get the vaccine bill out of committee, but “no” on the floor.

The body of an adult was found in the charred remains of an apartment building fire in Slingerlands, police and fire officials said.

Troy’s Oakwood Avenue is expected to remain closed for several days as a result of the water main burst, Mayor Patrick Madden said.

Amsterdam is seeking permission from the state to borrow $8.3 million to cover its budget deficit. Legislation introduced this week by local lawmakers would authorize bonding for the city, which would be subject to fiscal reporting requirements overseen by the state comptroller’s office.

The Guilderland school district investigated a screenshot of a racist text from a group chat purportedly involving varsity boys basketball players. Superintendent Marie Wiles could not say which students were involved or what consequences, if any, they faced, but insisted the district is working to ensure all of students “understand and respect the differences among us.”

Joyce Mitchell, the woman who helped the inmates at the center of the infamous 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility escape, has been denied parole for the third time. Her next possible parole date will be in June 2021.

If you are a fan of the local food scene, please consider supporting this GoFundMe effort to help chef and wine expert Paul Parker, who in March was diagnosed with Stage II tongue cancer that has spread to his lymph nodes.

A propane supplier, Kansas-based Ferrellgas Partners, which had trouble making deliveries during the deep cold snap of late 2017-early 2018, will pay compensation to its customers who ran out of home heating fuel.

Several women who are former patients of Arthritis Care P.C. in Troy are speaking out, saying the practice allowed a physician assistant to inappropriately touch them during exams.

MVP Health Care’s president will be its next chief executive officer. The Schenectady-based health insurer announced that Christopher Del Vecchio will succeed CEO Denise Gonick, who announced her resignation last week. The promotion is effective Sept. 1.

Hours after the Democratic-controlled state Assembly approved a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses in New York, the political arm of the Assembly Republicans launched a Facebook ad campaign blasting the measure.

Bring dad to any Stewart’s on Father’s Day, June 16, and everyone can enjoy a single scoop ice cream cone for just 50 cents.

Be on the lookout for a black bear in Schenectady County.

Photo credit: Fred Coffey.

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