While You Were Out: July 31, 2019

The traditional work day might be headed for a close, but the news cycle never sleeps, CivMixers, especially not when it comes to political news.

All the political insiders’ eyes will be on Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan at 8 p.m. tonight when the first night of the second round Democratic presidential primary debates is scheduled to kick off.

CNN is sponsoring the event, and the highlight will be watching the two progressive heavyweights – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren – duke it out, albeit politely (it seems at the outset, though who knows where things will go when the cameras start rolling).

Any clash between the two contenders would be big news and a surprise to many political observers — but short of that, watch for whether Sanders works to sharpen his arguments against former Vice President Joe Biden even though the former vice president won’t be present. (He takes the stage tomorrow, along with the two New Yorkers in the mix: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand).

Meanwhile, here’s what the president was up to.

Also, Trump is claiming a groundswell of African American support in response to his comments denigrating Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings and the congressman’s majority-black Baltimore district, despite polling showing consistently negative numbers.

Trump will not be eligible for California’s primary ballot unless he releases his tax returns, under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, which is certain to draw legal challenges.

The former head of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles says the families of seven motorcyclists who died in a New Hampshire crash deserved to have someone held accountable for lapses at the agency.

American rapper A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty to assault as his trial in Sweden opened today, a month after a street fight that landed him in jail and became a topic of U.S.-Swedish diplomacy. Trump sent the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs to Stockholm to monitor the court proceedings.

New York has banned the manufacture, sale or possession of 3D-printed guns and other types of undetectable firearms under a measure signed into law by the state’s Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo.

New York political candidates will soon be able to use their campaign funds for child care expenses that arise on the campaign trail and in office under another bill signed into law by Cuomo today.

Billions of opioid pain pills flooded New York during a seven-year stretch that ignited the historic drug-addiction epidemic, new records show.

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her office will begin an immediate investigation into the data breach at Capital One, which is believed to have exposed the personal information of 100 million customers.

More storms hit the Capital Region and Hudson Valley today, resulting in more people without power. And the storms may not be over yet, so be on the lookout.

National Grid was coping with heavy power demand today as temperatures climbed into the 90s before cooler weather arrived overnight, and urged people to conserve their energy usage.

Con Edison confirmed that a faulty connection led to that massive blackout in Manhattan earlier this month. The company’s preliminary investigation found that the relay protection system failed at a substation on 65th Street.

The fate of salary increases for 2020 and 2021, which were in limbo following an ambiguous court ruling in June, was at least temporarily resolved last week when state Supreme Court Justice Christina Ryba clarified that her decision tossed out future raises.

The release of two convicted killers in the last two years has spurred WNY Republican Sen. Pat Gallivan to call for an investigation of the state Board of Parole.

The Oneida Indians will start allowing sports betting at their upstate New York casino this week. The tribe and Caesars Entertainment plan a grand opening event on Thursday at their Turning Stone casino in Verona.

The state has ordered Lake George to replace its wastewater treatment plant to the tune of $24 million – big lift for a small village.

St. Mary’s Healthcare is planning a $1.5 million expansion of its hospital pharmacy in Amsterdam. It recently submitted a request to the state Department of Health for a certificate of need that would allow the project to proceed at its 427 Guy Park Ave. facility.

Declaring “I’m innocent” in response to the pending federal case against him, Republican WNY Rep. Chris Collins said he’s still seriously considering running for re-election.

Jill Ellis, the English-born coach who helped restore the U.S. to its position as the pre-eminent force in women’s soccer, is stepping down as coach of the women’s national team, less than a month after leading the Americans to their second straight Women’s World Cup title.

The 15th annual Hudson Crossing Park’s Cardboard Boat Races will take place next week.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center will welcome back The Philadelphia Orchestra to its summer home for the first week of performances on July 31- Aug. 3.

Comedian Pete Davidson has cancelled two planned shows in Syracuse due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

Photo credit: Renee Fahey. This image first appeared on the Facebook page, “Looking Good, Albany!”

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