Rise and Shine: Aug. 23, 2019

Friday is here, CivMixers, and along with it comes a stretch of dry weather, which will be a nice change from all the storms we’ve been seeing of late.

Temperatures should hover just shy of 80 degrees today, according to The Weather Channel, with sun in the morning giving way to clouds in the afternoon. Humidity is still in the 60 percent range, which isn’t as high as it has been, so that’s nice, too.

The excitement is building for the 150th running of the Travers Stakes tomorrow.

In the headlines…

Trump predicted that former White House press secretary Sean Spicer will “do great” on the next season of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” but not everyone is on board with the idea.

A group of attorneys general from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., joined executives from 12 phone companies to announce a sweeping effort to combat the scourge of illegal robocalls dialing up millions of U.S. customers every year.

Previously undisclosed documents reveal a sweeping effort by top officials and lawyers to oust the longtime head of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre. Not only has he remained, but he continues to influence the president.

As dozens of fires – many intentionally set – scorched large swaths of the Amazon, the Brazilian government struggled to contain growing global outrage over its environmental policies, which have paved the way for runaway deforestation of the world’s largest rain forest.

The El Paso Walmart where 22 people were gunned down earlier this month is set to reopen after a renovation that will include the installation of a memorial for the victims, company officials said.

Authorities say more than two dozen people have been injured in a light rail train derailment in Northern California.

In a ruling that kicks at the foundation of how America chooses presidents, a federal appeals court this week said members of the Electoral College, who cast the actual votes for president, may choose whomever they please regardless of a state’s popular vote.

Trump presented 91-year-old basketball legend Bob Cousy with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, praising the Boston Celtics star as “one of the all-time greats in the history of sports.”

Federal investigators in New York have reportedly issued grand jury subpoenas to a number of corrections officers at the jail where Jeffrey Epstein was being held before his suicide earlier this month.

From fiery protests outside detention centers in Texas, New Jersey and Rhode Island to a sit-in that blockaded an Amazon store in New York, a fledgling coalition of liberal Jewish groups is increasingly making itself heard as it fights the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

A state appellate court turned down the request of a murdered cop’s widow to reconsider parole for Herman Bell, who was convicted of killing her husband and another NYPD officer nearly 50 years ago.

For many members of the NYPD, the decision to fire Daniel Pantaleo, the officer whose chokehold led to Eric Garner’s death, signaled a shift in the rules of engagement. They now feel like no one has their backs, and the brass does not support aggressive enforcement of low-level offenses.

In the coming weeks, customers who order a meal via DoorDash, the nation’s biggest food-delivery app, will get something extra: a promise that when they tip, the money will go straight to the worker, rather than into DoorDash’s pocket. Workers are also getting a boost in their minimum base pay.

Districts across the Capital Region mostly made gains on annual state math and English tests last school year, though some districts lost ground in at least one subject, according to results released yesterday.

New York City is now inching closer to the modest milestone of half its students demonstrating proficiency in math and English, but racial achievement gaps remain a problem.

Results from the most recent state testing show the Rochester City School District is still underperforming when it comes to math and English language arts, or ELA, though test scores are up from last year.

Several fire departments are on the scene of a multiple dwelling fire on Myrtle Avenue in Albany this morning.

Carrying signs and chanting “Justice for Edson” and “Prosecute Killer Cops,” about 60 people demonstrated outside the Polish American Club in Troy last night as the City Council met inside.

A group of dissident RPI graduates is suing the school’s alumni association, contending they’ve violated their own bylaws when it comes to electing board members. That also means they are in violation of state law that governs not-for-profit organizations.

A report of a pipe bomb shut down the upper level of the George Washington Bridge in both directions for about two hours last night before police determined it was not a threat, authorities said.

New York’s “red flag” law goes into effect tomorrow, making the Empire State the 17th to put the gun-control measure in place.

Two more alleged victims came forward yesterday with decades-old accusations against the Diocese of Brooklyn that they suffered sexual abuse by clergy and other church employees when they were children.

After years of failed attempts to sue Yeshiva University, 38 former students who say they were sexually abused by three rabbis and other school staff decades ago can now seek justice under the Child Victims Act.

A report released by Vermont’s Roman Catholic Church found there were “credible and substantiated” allegations of the sexual abuse of minors against 40 priests in the state since 1950.

The United States Tennis Association cheated NYC out of more than $300,000 in rent by under-reporting its revenues by at least $31 million, according to a blistering report by the City Comptroller released as the organization holds its famed US Open event.

Tiny bits of plastic in drinking water pose a low health risk to people — for now, concluded a report from the World Health Organization, which called for a reduction in plastic pollution to limit the future dangers of such “microplastics.”

Two people are being treated for rabies in Stephentown after one was bitten by a rabid cat on a farm and the other person was exposed to the animal, Rensselaer County officials said.

It appears a Sonic restaurant is not moving into the Town Plaza in Clifton Park as it had planned. “For rent” signs are now on display in the windows of space that Sonic was slated to occupy and the property is listed on DCG’s website as available.

People gathered at the Calvary Cemetery in Glenmont to honor the life of Kenneth White, the 5-year-old who was killed by his cousin and left in a snow bank in 2014, on what would have been his 10th birthday.

The trial for a 2017 quadruple homicide case in Troy has been postponed after the defendant requested a change in defense attorneys, according to Rensselaer County Court records.

In August 1619, the first enslaved Africans came to the shores of North America. Now, 400 years later, the National Park Service is remembering the occasion at locations across the country, including Kinderhook.

Republican state Sen. Jim Tedisco has started an online petition to oppose the Cuomo administration’s new license plate fee.

The town of Glenville faces revenue constraints and uncertainty as preparation of the 2020 town budget starts, Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said.

A railroad bridge in Glenville has had another run-in with a truck, and officials are renewing calls for something to be done to prevent further collisions.

Part of the Aurora Games message can be found in an “Athletes Bill of Rights,” a 10-part agreement between the participants and the organizers, which gives “all athletes…the freedom of expression and opinion,” countering the stance of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

A traveling memorial wall to honor those who lost lives during the Vietnam War, which stands six feet tall and spans 300 feet, is on exhibit on Main Street in Catskill through Sunday.

Several birds have died after a fire at the Berkshire Bird Paradise in Petersburg.

After a May raid caused the Stout bar in Albany to lose its liquor license, ownership has changed hands and it has reopened as Molly O’Bryans.

Capital Roots’ longstanding “produce aisle on wheels” has undergone an $85,000 upgrade. The new Veggie Mobile that hit the streets this week keeps its colorful look and sports a new entrance ramp, updated solar array, and biodiesel heater.

Firefighters have recovered a body from the basement of a Rochester house that exploded.

CB’s Craft Brewers, one of the oldest and most prolific craft beer makers in upstate, is closing Sept. 1. Owners Mike and Luanne Alcorn, who have operated the brewery in Honeoye Falls, south of Rochester, since 1997, are retiring and selling the business to someone else.

More than 77,242 people showed up to the New York State Fair yesterday, making it the second-best attended first Thursday of the fair ever.

Thanks to NASA, there is now a “Rolling Stones Rock” on Mars, and it’s giving Mick and the boys some serious satisfaction.

After years of vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, Barack and Michelle Obama may finally be ready to purchase a home on the affluent island off the coast of Massachusetts. The former president and first lady are reportedly in escrow on a $14.8 million property in Edgartown.

Red Bull is paying out a settlement to disgruntled customers who believed the popular energy drink would – as its advertising suggests – give them wings.

Just before the clock struck midnight, Taylor Swift released “Lover,” her seventh album and first for Universal Music Group/Republic Records after more than a decade on the Nashville-based label Big Machine.

This again.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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