While You Were Out: July 4, 2019

Hopefully, you’re still out enjoying the July 4th holiday.

Just a quick check in here for all two of you who might be home with some time to kill before you head out for one of the many fireworks displays scheduled to take place around the region, or – so sorry if this is the case – working and in need of a brief break.

In case you’re still on the fence about whether to set off some fireworks yourself, experts say: Please don’t.

Also, Temperatures are expected to remain high throughout tomorrow and the weekend, so officials are urging everyone to hydrate and head inside if you’re too warm outside.

Remember: New York has halted highway and bridge construction projects to make it easier for motorists to get to their destinations during the extended Fourth of July holiday. Most construction-related lane closures will be suspended through Monday morning.

Thousands of people braved scorching, humid weather as they poured into Washington for Fourth of July festivities, celebrating the nation’s birthday among the monuments and memorials to its history.

Multiple protesters were arrested in front of the White House after an American flag was set ablaze in protest to President Trump’s “Salute to America” event.

There were approximately 750 to 800 military personnel taking part in the “Salute to America” celebration. That number does not include the additional 900 hundred members of the DC National Guard that were activated to provide traffic control and security on the streets and in the Metro subway system in Washington.

Trump is about to speak as I type this. You can watch the speech here.

The president plans to highlight the U.S. military establishment and American freedom in his speech.

According to excerpts of his address, Trump will say that “today, we come together as one nation with this very special salute to America. We celebrate our history, our people and the heroes who proudly defend our flag — the brave men and women of the United States military!”

Service chiefs for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps planned to skip the display of military might

Celebrating the 4th is an expensive endeavor, it turns out.

Speaking in Iowa, former Vice President Joe Biden, a top 2020 Democratic contender, criticized the “Salute to America” spectacle, saying the event “misses the point” of the holiday.

The argument between Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris over desegregation busing continues to reverberate in the 2020 Democratic presidential race one week after the first debate.

The strongest earthquake in 20 years shook a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada today, rattling nerves on the July 4th holiday and causing some injuries and damage in a town near the epicenter, followed by a swarm of ongoing aftershocks.

In local and statewide news…

The owner of a local restaurant that was expecting a makeover as part of the Food Network series “Restaurant: Impossible” is upset that the show canceled plans for the episode just a week ahead of time. He says producers cited “production issues” for the cancellation.

Starting next month, property owners registering vacant buildings in Albany must allow city inspectors inside the buildings to assess the deterioration on a regular basis and ensure measures are taken to protect the property from further decay.

Some 3,000 runners started the holiday by hitting the road in Saratoga. It was the Firecracker4 Race – Saratoga’s annual Fourth of July run.

There were citizenship ceremonies in Saratoga and Albany.

The U.S. attorney’s office is recommending a former longtime member of the Halfmoon Planning Board be sentenced to 18 months probation for lying to FBI agents about $85,000 in payments he had received from a prominent developer who regularly had business before the town.

Borough President Melinda Katz’s newfound 20-vote margin over lefty insurgent Tiffany Cabán stunned New York’s political world and ensures a recount of the once-thought-done Democratic primary battle for Queens district attorney.

The borough of Queens claimed the highest rate of racial and ethnic variety of all populous counties in the nation, according to a new study of 2017 census data by the website Axios.

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut won his 12th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, downing 71 franks and buns in 10 minutes to take the annual Fourth of July feeding frenzy in Coney Island.

Three people, including a baby and firefighter, were injured in a fire in South Glens Falls.

Legislation that will further decriminalize marijuana and expunge low-level convictions is expected to result in the sealing of more than 5,000 cases in the Capital Region. Now, the state just has to figure out how to get it done.

Here’s a list of the 50 villages and cities in Upstate New York that have had the most population loss since 2010, ranked. And here, by contrast, are the 30 fastest growing communities.

World Naked Bike Ride Day 2019 is returning to Buffalo, and yes, there really will be partially clothed and totally naked people riding bicycles through the streets of Upstate New York’s largest city.

Albany has been named one of the best places to live families by U.S. News & World Report. The publication ranked the top 25 metro areas for families in 2019. Albany made the list at 17.

Photo credit: Steve Smith.

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