Rise and Shine: July 8, 2019

Good morning, CivMixers. It’s back to the grind for most of us after a long holiday weekend.

It’s tough to return to work after four days of sun and fun, especially when we’re continuing to experience some peak summer weather, with temperatures predicted to be in the mid-80s and no rain in the forecast, according to The Weather Channel.

Sigh.

Anyway, there’s noting to do but face the music, square your shoulders and jump right into it. Here’s the latest headlines from this morning and the weekend…

President Trump blasted his former favorite TV station, Fox News, on Twitter last night, saying the news giant “is now loading up with Democrats” and “even using Fake unsourced New York Times as a ‘source’ of information.”

Trump and his top immigration officials contested reports that migrant children were being held in horrific conditions in federal detention facilities, as the administration argued that the government was enforcing oversight standards even as it struggled to house and care for an influx of migrants.

The Justice Department has decided to shake things up for the 2020 census, appointing a new team of Civil Division lawyers to handle all census-related cases, including Trump’s push to have a citizenship question added to next year’s survey.

ICE officials have mined state driver’s license databases using facial recognition technology, analyzing millions of motorists’ photos without their knowledge – something Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed concern about during the debate over providing undocumented New Yorkers with licenses. (The legislation passed, and he signed it anyway).

The US Women’s National Team will be honored with a ticker tape parade after its World Cup soccer win over the Netherlands 2-0 yesterday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in a tweet.

The parade down the Canyon of Heroes will take place Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., according to the mayor, who told the team: “You have inspired the entire country — and New York City knows how to celebrate champions.”

After the big win – the team’s fourth World Cup victory – Megan Rapinoe called for the conversation on equal pay to move forward. The crowd responded with deafening chants of “equal pay.”

By opening the scoring with a penalty awarded after a video review, Rapinoe claimed a sixth goal and – thanks to her assists – finished as the top scorer of the most-watched FIFA women’s tournament.

South Glens Falls High School’s Erin Fish, a sports journalist, scored a gig as the U.S. team reporter for FIFA and traveled to France for a month to create digital content for the organization’s blog, social media and television. (Also, she celebrated hr 25th birthday in Paris).

The U.S. team’s success has inspired many young soccer players locally.

Jeffrey E. Epstein, a billionaire New York financier long accused of molesting dozens of girls, was arrested on Saturday and charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors, an extraordinary turn of events in a long and sordid criminal case.

Epstein is expected to appear in Federal District Court in Manhattan today to face charges that include sex trafficking of minors, involving multiple underage girls, between 2002 and 2005.

Federal prosecutors are expected to unseal the new charges accusing Epstein of running a sex-trafficking operation that lured dozens of underage girls, some as young as 14, to his Upper East Side home in Manhattan.

The case could shed new light not only on the allegations, which span years and countries, but also on the extent to which officials who have been linked to Epstein — including, most notably, Trump and his labor secretary, Alexander Acosta — knew about or downplayed them.

Two and a half years into his term, Trump is solidifying his standing as the most germ-conscious man to ever lead the free world. His aversion shows up in meetings at the White House, on the campaign trail and at 30,000 feet.

A conservative Detroit priest renowned for his orchestral Masses and traditional Latin services has been removed from public ministry after the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit reviewed what it described as a “credible allegation” that he had abused a child decades ago.

Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder has rejoined the majority, bringing all of the Senate’s registered Democrats into one conference for the first time since 2013. The Democrats now control 40 seats – two short of a supermajority. But primaries could be in the offing.

Speaking of primary challenges, there’s a number shaping up in the House, too, and several New York Democrats are in the progressives’ crosshairs.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the social media influence of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her progressive colleagues for voting against an emergency aid package for the southern border.

Evidence and depositions reveal the extent to which state officials knew danger was quite literally hanging over the Indian Ladder Trail. On July 2, Albany schoolteacher Nancy Ladd-Butz was struck by loose rocks, leaving her paralyzed from the chest down. The state is paying $9 million to settle her lawsuit.

The Albany County Legislature will vote today on a proposed ban on flavored tobacco.

Advocates of the ban say its intent is to curb use among minors, after a Surgeon Generals report showed E-cigarette sales have increased by 78 percent among high school aged children. It would also cover menthol cigarettes.

…The Daily Gazette’s editorial page is urging lawmakers to vote “no” on the ban, though it admits the sentiment behind the measure is “noble,” it notes: “Prohibition didn’t work the first time; it won’t work this time, either.”

Venerable track-season hotspot Siro’s Restaurant in Saratoga Springs was sold last week by its owners since 2010 and will be run by a partner who was or is involved with Pig n’ Whistle on Broadway and the former Mingle on the Avenue, both in Saratoga Springs.

Troy City Council President Carmella Mantello wants all fees for the South Troy Pool and the Troy Boys and Girls Club to be waived for city residents, as it has been three years since city pools have opened.

A 52-year-old Albany man has been arrested in connection with a death of a 29-year-old Albany woman Friday. Paul Barbritano was arrested and charged with one count of manslaughter after police found the woman, Nicole Jennings, dead inside the bedroom of a home on Brevator Street.

A Delmar family is grieving after their toddler died unexpectedly last week after getting sick during a family vacation in Lake George, and the community is rallying to support them.

The public turned out in droves for a 5K fun run yesterday that honored Paul Luther, a local police officer killed in the line of duty more than 40 years ago. The 3rd annual memorial run at Tallmadge Park, which funds an annual scholarship fund at Mechanicville High School for two graduating seniors who seek careers in criminal justice, drew 26 runners.

Some political county party chairs are also paid consultants, presenting a potential conflict of interest as they vet and select candidates.

Scores of people headed to Central Park in Schenectady yesterday for the opening installment of a long-running summertime concert series.

As Saratoga Race Course prepares for Thursday’s opening day of the 2019 meet, NYRA is moving forward with a new CEO and president, David O’Rourke, who replaced Chris Kay in March. Find out more about O’Rourke here.

Trainer Chad Brown registered his fourth consecutive Belmont Park spring/summer individual meet title in runaway fashion with 38 wins, while Jose Lezcano captured his first New York riding title with 44 victories as the 48-day meet concluded yesterday.

Baxter, a four-and-a-half year old bloodhound who works for the Albany County Sheriff’s K-9 unit, helped find a Cohoes woman who went missing Saturday night.

Actor Cameron Boyce, best known for his role as the teenage son of Cruella de Vil in the Disney Channel franchise “Descendants,” died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 20. His family said the cause of death was “a seizure that was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated.”

Advance tickets for the NYS Fair go on sale today for $6 each. The fair opens on Wednesday, Aug. 21 and runs through Sept. 2. Daily admission is generally $10 per person, though the cost is just $1 on opening day.

A couple from New York is suing a fertility clinic after a woman gave birth to other couples’ babies because of an IVF mixup, according to a federal lawsuit filed in US District Court.

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