While You Were Out: June 26, 2019

Two (work) days until the weekend, CivMix crew. Here are some headlines you might have missed while you were otherwise occupied today – either in the office or enjoying yourself in the great outdoors, or perhaps a bit of both.

For all you political junkies out there, remember that the first debate between about half of the 2020 Democratic field is taking place tonight. It’s being hosted by NBC at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts tonight (and also tomorrow, for the second half of the eligible candidates) from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The U.S. Senate approved $4.6 billion in emergency humanitarian aid for the southwestern border, rejecting House legislation approved yesterday that sought to rein in President Trump’s immigration crackdown by setting significant rules on how the money could be spent at squalid detention facilities.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the Senate bill even before the vote was taken, setting up a clash over immigration policy just days before Congress leaves Washington for a weeklong July 4 recess – unless a compromise can be reached.

This heartbreaking photo of a drowned migrant father and his toddler daughter taken just after they tried unsuccessfully to cross the U.S.-Mexico border has gone viral and sparked global outrage as lawmakers spar over immigration policy and funding in D.C.

Trump said he hated to see the heart-wrenching photo of the dead Central American man and his young daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande while trying to reach the U.S., but then quickly blamed Democrats for the tragedy.

Trump lashed out at the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, dredging up false accusations about the conduct of investigators after House Democrats announced that Mueller would testify publicly next month.

Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, was spit on by a waitress while having dinner in Chicago on Tuesday night, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said. She was immediately handcuffed and detained y the Secret Service and the Chicago police, but was released after the president’s son declined to press charges.

A smoldering cigarette or an electrical malfunction could be what sparked the massive Notre Dame Cathedral fire, Paris prosecutors said.

The FBI raid on a Wilton business owned by two of the Spa City’s most recognized philanthropists – twin brothers Ronald and Vincent Riggi – has some wondering what the future holds for its owners and their charitable donations.

Can they still call it “Woodstock” if it isn’t even remotely close to the original site? Well, it looks like they’re going to try. The 2019 Woodstock festival is getting closer to securing a new site in Central New York, according to multiple reports.

The Poughkeepsie Journal says Woodstock 50 organizers have submitted a mass gathering permit application to stage the three-day 50th anniversary festival at Vernon Downs, home to a casino, hotel and harness horse racing track 40 miles east of Syracuse.

Though the deal isn’t final, not everyone around Vernon is thrilled with the idea of an influx of some 65,000 people descending on their otherwise quiet community.

Efforts to boost passenger train speeds across upstate New York are facing another delay after the completion date for the project’s final environmental impact study was pushed back.

The Republican candidate for Queens district attorney, who is expected to take on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-backed left-wing Democrat Tiffany Cabán in November, (assuming her primary lead over Melinda Katz holds), admitted that he hasn’t raised any money and may not even go through with the campaign.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo took Ocasio-Cortez to task for making an inappropriate comparison to the Holocaust by calling detention facilities at the southern border “concentration camps,” calling it a “a wholly inappropriate comparison” before departing on a solidarity trip to Israel.

Two weeks after Niskayuna resident Caryn Luna shared her story with the Times Union about facing a bill for thousands of dollars for a broken service line pipe, she’s been flooded with support — and now relief.

The Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office held its annual meeting with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement this morning, where two differing viewpoints were on display.

State lawmakers are hoping to nudge state regulators into creating overdue energy efficiency standards.

There’s still no word on when absentee ballots will be counted in the Democratic primary for Cohoes mayor. Bill Keeler is the unofficial winner. He’s up 103 votes over the current mayor, Shawn Morse, who is facing federal charges, but hasn’t yet conceded the race.

Albany police are investigating a number of tire slashings in the Pine Hills neighborhood.

RIP Beth Chapman, who along with her husband, Duane “Dog” Chapman, appeared for years on the iconic show, “Dog the Bounty Hunter.” She died at the age of 51 after a battle with throat cancer.

Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt and Alison Krauss are all coming to SPAC on the same day. The 86-year-old Nelson is leading the Outlaw Music Festival on a tour across the country, including a stop at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Sept. 7.

Graney’s Stout, a bar in Albany’s warehouse district that was temporarily closed on May 1 by the State Liquor Authority, will be forced to stay shuttered for another 40 days and pay a $30,000 fine, among other conditions of having its liquor license reinstated.

The president of Siena College announced he will step down next year. Brother F. Edward Coughlin has led the small liberal arts college since August 2014, first on an interim basis, then through a formal appointment as its 11th president.

American Idol top 3 finisher Madison VanDenburg was named Albany County Executive’s Citizen of the Month.

Welcome back, Nippertown!

Photo credit: Fred Coffey.

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