Rise and Shine: July 18, 2019

Good morning, CivMixers. Thursday has arrived, along with some rain showers this morning, expected to taper off in the afternoon, and temperatures forecast in the low 80s.

That’s not too terrible, from a summer heat standpoint, though the humidity is going to be quite high – round 80 percent. You should enjoy 80 degrees while you can, though, because we’ve got some seriously high temperatures headed our way this weekend.

An excessive heat watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for Saturday afternoon through the evening, with heat index values over 100 thanks to temperatures in the mid 90s and humidity in the 70s.

Across the nation, more than 100 local heat records are expected to fall Saturday. Most won’t be record-daily highs but record-high nighttime lows, and that lack of cooling can be dangerous, meteorologists say. The heat wave will be “short and searing,” according to Greg Carbin, forecast branch chief for the weather service’s Weather Prediction Center.

Take precautions. Stay indoors with the air conditioning on, if you can. Check on vulnerable neighbors. Keep pets inside, too, and provide them with plenty of water.

Wear loose, light-colored clothing if you’re going to be outside for prolonged periods of time. Also, wear a hat. And apply sunscreen regularly.

And of course, the golden rule: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Here’s something you might not have though of: First responders say leaving a plastic bottle of water in a hot car and direct sunlight can start a fire in just a few minutes.

For the moment, let’s head to the headlines…

President Trump railed against “the Squad” during a rally in Greenville, NC last night, prompting chants of “send her back” when he mentioned Somali-born Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.

“These left-wing ideologues see our nation as a force for evil,” Trump told a packed arena. To roaring applause, he railed against what he called “hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down.”

At the same rally, Trump skewered the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, claiming former Vice President Joe Biden is “not mentally prepared” to be commander in chief.

New footage has emerged showing President Donald Trump partying with Jeffrey Epstein at his Mar-a-Lago estate in 1992 as the president now attempts to distance himself from the since-convicted sex offender.

Epstein, the wealthy financier and sex offender, is due back in a New York court today. He’s expected to learn from a federal judge whether he will be granted bail or has to remain behind bars as he awaits trial on new sex crimes charges involving underage girls.

The House voted 332-95 to kill the first articles of impeachment brought forward under the new Democratic majority, showing off a deep divide among Democrats on whether to go forward with an effort to unseat Trump.

Homeland Security acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan will testify on Capitol Hill today as Democrats step up oversight of an immigration crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

States are in need of further funding from the federal government to fully secure elections, a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice found, citing six states (not New York) as examples.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, New York’s senior senator, asked the director of the FBI to probe whether data shared on the popular FaceApp software is ending up in the hands of the Russian government or third-party companies with ties to the Kremlin.

Jon Stewart, ex-host of “The Daily Show,” tore into Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee for effectively blocking an extension of the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund.

America’s highest court will soon weigh in on one of Trump’s most divisive policies: his plan to build a wall on the southern border.

The feds wasted no time in getting rid of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, tossing the Mexican druglord into a helicopter to start his journey to the supermax prison in Colorado almost immediately after he was sentenced to life plus 30 years behind bars.

James Troiano, the Monmouth County, New Jersey judge who recommended leniency for a 16-year-old boy accused of rape because the boy was from a “good family,” has resigned from the bench, officials said.

Here’s how they’re dealing with parents who refuse to vaccinate their children against measles in Germany.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo injected himself into the roiling debate over the wrongful police death of Eric Garner by attacking NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for taking five years to bring administrative charges against the cop involved, Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

Cuomo has signed into law a bill that will force operators of the state’s thousands of special purpose summer camps to inform parents that they are essentially unregulated.

The governor is expected today to sign the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which, among other things, sets the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050.

Long overdue recommendations from a special commission tasked with shaping New York’s Census outreach effort may materialize in a few months.

City officials in Albany are asking firms to submit design plans for fixing the leaking Lincoln Park Pool.

Though it’s only July, the Albany Common Council is already preparing for snow emergencies. Council member Jack Flynn has introduced an ordinance that would raise the cost of towing fees to $200.

A day after a commercial casino in Schenectady became the first in the state to begin offering in-person sports betting to its patrons, the Seneca Nation — unlike two other New York tribes with gambling ventures — remained elusive about its own sports plans.

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association is donating $25,000 to help a downtown Saratoga Springs church build a residence for people in need that will include about two dozen beds set aside for recovering track workers.

More than 100 women and their roles in horse racing will be highlighted in a National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame exhibit.

Detectives are investigating how the body of 20-year-old Noah Williams, of Troy, came to be in the Hudson River, city police said. There are no signs of foul play.

Jah-Lah Vanderhorst, who was convicted of manslaughter in 2012 when he was just 16 years old, receiving a sentence of 25 years in prison, is now 24 and seeking youthful offender status, which could give him a shot at freedom and also have his record sealed.

Early this morning, police were engaged in a stand-off in the area of the intersection of Route 20 and Route 7 in Nassau, Rensselaer County.

William Panten, 30, of Latham, was charged in connection with bank robberies in Albany and Watervliet.

An autopsy confirmed the identity of a body found in Berkshire County as Jacqueline Coutinho, who had been reported missing after going for a walk in her sister’s backyard back in May.

Four Saratoga County teens are facing charges in connection with an underage drinking party where one of their classmates was seriously injured. The 17-year-old fell from a balcony during the post-prom party at a rented house on Harrington Hill Road.

To say that Mount Vernon, the third largest city in Westchester County, is in disarray would barely scratch the surface. And at the core of the turmoil is the former and possibly still-current mayor, Richard Thomas, a self-described young disrupter who promised to bring fresh perspective to the government.

Police are searching for an approximately 35-year-old bald eagle named Sam that was stolen from a Long Island wildlife refuge.

If everyone around the globe began to eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, there wouldn’t be enough to go around, according to a new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health.

The organizers of Woodstock’s 50th anniversary festival have lost yet another battle to stage their event, after town officials in Vernon, N.Y., rejected an appeal for permits, leaving the embattled concert without a venue just 30 days before its scheduled opening.

“Beautiful,” the Tony and Grammy Award-winning jukebox musical about the life and songs of Carole King, will close on Oct. 27, 2019, after nearly six years on Broadway.

Camping on Staten Island – yes, one of NYC’s five boroughs – is a thing.

Meanwhile, a state campground in the Adirondacks is included on a list of the most beautiful places to pitch a tent in the country.

This is a photo of the Salton Sea, a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, mostly in California’s Imperial and Coachella valleys. It comes to us courtesy of Joe Bonilla, and illustrates how arid and hot things are going to feel in the Capital Region over the weekend.

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