Rise and Shine: Aug. 6, 2019

It’s Tuesday, and it’s time to Rise and Shine. A minimalist sort of morning.

Expect partly cloudy skies today with highs in the mid-80s and showers or thunderstorms in the afternoon. Kinda gray and humid.

It’s National Night Out – an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie and aims, in part, to curb violence. Seems like this couldn’t come at a more appropriate time.

A wide variety of National Night Out events are being held tonight in various Capital Region communities.

In the news…

After two mass shootings rocked the nation over the weekend, Democrats cited President Trump’s caustic rhetoric on immigration as a contributing cause of the tragedies, which combined killed 29 people.

Trump denounced white supremacy, and citing the threat of “racist hate,” he summoned the nation to address what he called a link between the recent carnage and violent video games, mental illness and internet bigotry. He did not endorse broad gun control.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Republicans are prepared “to work in a bipartisan, bicameral way to address the recent mass murders which have shaken our nation,” but his statement made no mention of any timeline to do so – and it didn’t mention the word “guns.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out McConnell after a photo surfaced on social media, showing a group of young men “groping and choking” a cardboard cutout of the freshman New York Democratic congresswoman — while wearing shirts that say, “Team Mitch.”

The FBI is warning of the potential for copycat attacks by domestic extremists after the two mass shootings that rocked the country over the weekend – including one that appeared to be motivated by animus toward Hispanics and immigrants.

A Republican state lawmaker from Ohio blamed the violence on “homosexual marriage, “drag queen advocates” and more in a bizarre Facebook post.

Rep. Candice Keller made the remarks in a private post that is no longer available, in which she said that “liberals start the blame game” after every mass shooting. Calls for her resignation are growing.

Hundreds of people held vigil outside the National Rifle Association’s headquarters in Virginia for the dozens slain in the mass shootings.

A growing number of researchers say there is no evidence of a link between video games and real-world violence — and yet some groups (including the NRA) continue to foster that perception.

Schools around the country have been setting up teams to assess threats posed by students who display signs of violence like the former student who compiled a “hit list” years ago in high school and went on to kill nine people in Ohio.

The president still owes the city of El Paso more than $470,000 for transportation and security services for a campaign rally on Feb. 11 this year. Tacked on to that are late fees, which bring the bill to more than $500,000. (He’s planning to be there again tomorrow).

The shootings led to a heavy increase in sales for bulletproof backpacks as the start of school nears for most of America’s children.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo touted New York’s SAFE Act in interviews after the shootings. He didn’t mention that six years years after passage of the landmark bill, a key plank remains unimplemented: the state’s plan to build a database to track ammunition purchases in real time.

By a 51-39 percent margin, New Yorkers say Cuomo has made the state a better place to live during his nine years as governor, a new Siena poll finds. Yet, his favorability rating, negative 43-50 percent (down from 52-42 percent in June), matches his lowest-ever favorability rating, and his job performance rating 34-64 percent, hit its lowest level ever.

Trump signed an executive order imposing new economic sanctions on the government of Venezuela, escalating his campaign to remove President Nicolás Maduro from office.

Asian stocks followed Wall Street lower today after China let its currency sink and halted purchases of U.S. farm goods, fueling fears Beijing’s trade war with Trump will harm the global economy.

Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein lost an effort to get a federal appeals court to quickly decide whether sex trafficking claims can legally be brought against him.

Cuomo’s clemency program is leaving prisoners and their attorneys so frustrated at what they call slow progress that some law firms are reluctant to tackle new cases.

The state doesn’t think anyone needs to slow down while they’re coming down the long hill on Route 30 in Schoharie that ends in a stop sign at Route 30A, a few dozen feet from the shallow ravine where 20 people died in October’s horrific limousine crash.

Developers will no longer be able to add an extra story to their construction projects should they choose to install stormwater management systems on roofs while Albany focuses on other incentives, like affordable housing.

A group that advocates for a change in the city of Saratoga Springs’ charter has gathered enough signatures for a referendum on a new civic blueprint to be placed on the ballot in November 2020.

Local energy provider NYSEG wants to increase its electric and gas rates. The price hike is under review by the New York State Public Service Commission.

Harley Kelly, 19, limped into Rensselaerville town court on crutches last night to be arraigned for her role in the crash that killed her friend two months ago. Officials say Kelly was driving drunk when she slammed into a pile of rocks.

The Greater Johnstown School District is losing its superintendent. Dr. Patricia Kilburn has been named district superintendent at Oneida Herkimer Madison BOCES, and will leave her current post at the end of September.

The NYPD’s beekeeping unit removed a swarm of some 25,000 bees from the Staten Island Ferry terminal, and got stung – just once – in the process.

As New York’s Child Victims Act is poised to take effect on Aug. 14, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Vermont is putting together a report on priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children, which should be released at the end of the month.

Fifty years ago this week, Charles Manson orchestrated the slaughter of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other people over two successive nights in Los Angeles.

Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul underwent surgery over the weekend to remove part of his lung, which was damaged during an assault at his home in 2017.

The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga – an annual two-day event where prospective buyers a given a chance to buy one of the hundreds of yearlings up for auction – got underway last night.

A 10th horse died at the Saratoga race track this past weekend.

A rare rabbit is missing from Vale Urban Farm in Schenectady and staff fear the animal has been stolen — again.

The Albany Empire is gearing up to host ArenaBowl 32 at the Times Union Center this coming Sunday.

The state will be auctioning off old vehicles and equipment in Waterford today.

A popular local deli in Schenectady is temporarily closed following an electrical fire early yesterday The fire happened at Gershon’s Deli at around 9:30 a.m. It caused minor damage, but forced the deli’s closure until the issues could be fixed, owner Toni Nelson said.

A second woman in four months has sued Union College over an alleged rape and what she argues was the college’s mishandling of an investigation into her claims and its inability to protect her from sexual harassment on campus.

Some of the comedy world’s biggest stars — including Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Kevin Smith, Nicole Byer and Trevor Noah — will headline this year’s New York Comedy Festival.

Using electric fans during heatwaves with hot and dry conditions can be dangerous, say scientists who warn that residents in some parts of the U.S. are among those at risk.

A beach? In Manhattan? Yes! Well, sorta. I mean, it’s not for swimming.

Comedian Lucille Ball was born today in 1911 in Jamestown, New York, to Henry Durrell Ball and his wife Desiree.

It’s National Immunization Awareness Month, which is observed every August.

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