While You Were Out: July 17, 2019

Holy thunderstorms! The weather people weren’t kidding when they said there was the possibility of strong winds and heavy rains.

There’s a flash flood watch until 11 p.m. for portions of northwestern Connecticut, Western Massachusetts, and New York, including the following areas:

Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Ulster, Montgomery, Schoharie, Southern Saratoga counties.

This is a serious, and potentially dangerous, situation that is occurring as a result of the remnants of tropical storm Barry. Rainfall of one to two inches an hours is possible, streams and other waterways may overflow, and pools of water may develop on roadways.

Monitor the local forecasts, and take precautions as necessary.

Also, be prepared for what’s coming our way: The first of what will likely be many heat alerts has been issued for Upstate New York for the weekend.

In the news today…

A federal judge in Manhattan disclosed that prosecutors have concluded their investigation into campaign finance violations involving President Trump and ordered that they publicly release some of their files, a new twist in a case that had threatened to upend the Trump presidency.

The 30-year criminal career of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known to the world as El Chapo, reached its final chapter as a federal judge in New York City sentenced him to life in prison.

A defiant Guzman took a parting shot at a judge in federal court in Brooklyn, accusing him of making a mockery of the U.S. justice system in refusing to order a new trial based on allegations of juror misconduct.

Reportedly, Guzman is destined to live out his days at the country’s only supermax prison in Colorado, and he’ll never get to see his beauty-queen wife again.

New Jersey and New York, along with Connecticut, sued the Trump administration, challenging Internal Revenue Service rules that outlaw certain workarounds to the cap on state and local tax deductions.

The House prepared to easily derail a maverick Democrat’s drive to impeach Trump for his recent racial insults against lawmakers of color – an effort that party leaders consider a premature exercise that needlessly forces vulnerable swing-district lawmakers to cast a perilous and divisive vote.

Two Republican U.S. senators – Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky – are gumming up the works on a bipartisan bill that would provide for 9/11 victims and their families, infuriating first responders who worked at Ground Zero.

The roster of 20 Democratic presidential candidates who have qualified for the July 30 and 31 two-night debate looks a lot like last month’s, with one exception. California Rep. Eric Swalwell ended his campaign, and will be replaced on stage by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

The World Health Organization says the deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo is now an international health emergency after the virus spread this week to a city of 2 million people.

Prosecutors have dropped a case accusing actor Kevin Spacey of groping a young man at a Massachusetts resort island bar in 2016.

U.S. overdose deaths last year likely fell for the first time in nearly three decades, preliminary statistics suggest.

The suit argues the IRS is making a “radical break with historical precedent” and seeks an injunction. Not only is the IRS rule arbitrary and outside of the agency’s statutory authority, the lawsuit alleges, it is also a violation of the federal Administrative Procedures Act.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation giving farm workers collective bargaining rights, overtime pay and other labor protections afforded in non-farm industries.

The governor apparently shoots hoops at the executive mansion after work to relax.

Cuomo announced a two-year $4.6 million project to rehabilitate six Capital Region bridges.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he campaigned in Iowa instead of being in the city after Trump announced mass ICE raids on illegal immigrants because he didn’t believe the administration would carry through on the threat.

Albany Med nurses delivered a 10-day notice to hospital management of their intent to picket on July 31. They’re in the midst of their first-ever contract negotiations as members of the NYS Nurses Association, and say they are picketing to raise concern about short staffing that has led to worsening patient care.

Cuomo chose a Manhattan office building – instead of a farm upstate or on Long Island – as the setting for his signing of the law, which critics say ignores the realities of how farms operate in the different seasons and that more farms will be forced to close.

Demands for a full environmental assessment on a New Scotland Avenue mixed use project is the latest pursuit for those opposing dense development proposals in Albany.

Part of Delaware Avenue in Albany was shut down for a time this morning after a car smashed into the front porch of a house.

Five members of leadership for the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee announced they are stepping down from their positions and resigning from the Committee.

New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy in a statement blasted the effort by some Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives to push an impeachment resolution of President Donald Trump.

The Troy Police Union and the city have reached a tentative contract agreement.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is set to become the next chairwoman of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee — a party organization that works to elect Democratic lawmakers to state legislatures in the country.

Binghamton Mayor Rich David met this week with Trump in the Oval Office amid talk of a potential congressional campaign in NY-22 against freshman Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi.

Investigators believe that Brandon Andrew Clark was enraged and killed Utica teen Bianca Devins because she kissed someone else, according to the Oneida County District Attorney.

Detectives are investigating how an unidentified man’s body came to be in the Hudson River, city police said.

Syracuse football senior Moe Neal is on the watch list for an award given to the nation’s top running back.

Photo credit: Joe Bonilla.

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