While You Were Out: July 18, 2019

Hang onto your hats, CivMixers, we’re over the hump and headed into the weekend…and here comes the heat.

Racing at the Saratoga Race Course has been preemptively canceled for Saturday in anticipation of excessive heat during the day.

The National Weather Service now has posted an excessive heat warning from noon until 8 p.m. Saturday. Heat index values are expected to hit 105 tomorrow due to temperatures in the low 90s and dew points in the low 70s, and up to 110 on Saturday.

In non-weather news…

President Trump disavowed the “send her back” chant that broke out at his re-election rally Wednesday night when he railed against a Somali-born congresswoman, as Republicans in Congress rushed to distance themselves and their party from the ugly refrain.

Eleven House members from New York – including Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler – were among the 95 lawmakers who bucked Speaker Nancy Pelosi and voted in support of impeaching Trump.

The House voted to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, delivering a long-sought victory to liberals and putting the Democratic Party’s official imprimatur on the so-called Fight for $15, which many Democratic 2020 candidates have embraced.

A U.S. warship destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after it threatened the ship, according to the president. The incident marked a new escalation of tensions between the countries less than one month after Iran downed an American drone and Trump came close to retaliating with a military strike.

The president took part in phone calls with his then-personal lawyer Michael Cohen as the attorney and other aides scrambled to arrange hush payments to a woman in 2016 to buy her silence about an alleged sexual relationship with Trump, according to court papers made public today.

The sweeping emissions reduction and renewable energy measure Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law today is the most ambitious legal mandate for cutting greenhouse gases in the nation, requiring an 85 percent reduction from 1990 levels over the next three decades and a carbon-free electric system by 2040.

New York State, which last month passed an ambitious law to reduce the emissions that cause climate change, has reached an agreement for the country’s largest offshore wind farm projects, which will built off the coast of Long Island and start operation within the next five years.

New campaign disclosure filings have been trickling in the past couple of days and a simple headline is emerging: It’s really, really good being in the state Senate majority.

A judge denied bail for jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the “heart of this decision.”

New York City taxpayers are shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for the NYPD security details that accompany Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, nearly every weekend as they campaign in his quest for the White House. South Bend taxpayers have no such burden.

Firefighter Richard Driscoll is the 200th FDNY member to die of World Trade Center illness.

Applied Underwriters, a workers’ compensation insurer, was fined $3 million by the state Department of Financial Services for bundling side agreements with its products that forced small businesses to pay more than under similar workers’ compensation plans.

A 3-year-old boy was shot in the arm today with a stray bullet fired during a shootout outside a home in the city’s South End, Police Chief Eric Hawkins said.

Hawkins said the child was sleeping inside a daycare center, when a stray bullet pierced the wall and hit him. At least eight small children were also in the daycare center at the time, and any one of them could have been hit.

Spectrum News reporter Evan Sery is leaving the Capital Region but not the cable news channel. He’s moving to Raleigh, North Carolina., to join the cable channel’s news team there.

Troy’s new multi-vendor River Street Market held a grand opening.

The Baseball Hall of Fame will host this weekend’s inductions of retired Yankees pitchers Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina as well as the late Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay and Seattle Mariners slugger Edgar Martinez. And autograph seekers have set up shop at the Albany Airport in hopes of catching the players on their way through.

he New York State Association of Counties announced it has formed a task force to assess changes state officials have made to criminal justice laws.

The ranks of women farmers in the Capital Region increased by 24 percent between 2012 and 2017, outpacing the state’s growth rate (17 percent) for this demographic and on pace with that for the nation (27 percent).

Details are still lacking on a conceptual agreement reached this spring to restore some of state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s procurement oversight.

Bethlehem native and YouTube sensation James Charles has been named one of TIME magazine’s 25 most influential people on the internet.

Why is this a thing all of a sudden? First ice cream, now iced tea.

Brandon Andrew Clark, who has been charged with killing 17-year-old Bianca Devins, is out of the hospital and has been transferred to the Oneida County jail, according to Utica police.

A downed tree that damaged a power pole at Schenectady’s Central Park interrupted some activities there today – including the pool, officials said. The tree fell on wires behind the Central Park administration building, causing a transformer pole to crack.

Cryptozoologists rejoice as this Sunday, Port Henry will play host to an event dedicated to Lake Champlain’s famous cryptid, “Champ.”

At 2 p.m. Saturday, a single-elimination Madden NFL esports tournament will get underway at Rivers Casino & Resort, preceded by a meet-and-greet event with sportscaster Larry Ridley, and former New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens All-Pro linebacker Bart Scott.

Global brewing giant Heineken USA will pay a $1.25 million fine to the New York State Liquor Authority for violating state laws prohibiting gifts to retailers that carry their beer.

Photo credit: Joe Boilla.

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