While You Were Out: Aug. 15, 2019

Congrats for making it through another Thursday, CivMixers. I hope it was a productive and/or peaceful day, depending on how you were spending it. I also hope no one got stuck in any torrential downpours…So far, I haven’t seen any in my neck of the woods.

Here’s what’s happening in the news…

Israel barred two American Democratic congresswomen who had planned to visit the Israeli-occupied West Bank – Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the first Muslim women elected to Congress – hours after President Trump had urged the country to block them.

Stocks around the world remained stuck in the spin cycle today, as worries about a possible recession collided with hopes that the strongest part of the U.S. economy — shoppers spending at stores and online — can keep going.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper ended his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, releasing a video in which he nodded at the possibility of a future U.S. Senate run.

Preliminary findings from an autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who apparently committed suicide in a Manhattan jail last week while facing sex trafficking charges, show that bones in his neck were broken, a person familiar with the autopsy report said.

The NYPD’s DNA database has grown by nearly 29 percent over the last two years, and now has 82,473 genetic profiles, becoming a potentially potent tool for law enforcement but one that operates with little if any oversight.

More than 290,000 people have signed a Moveon.org petition seeking to rename the Manhattan street in front of Trump Tower as President Barack H. Obama Avenue. (This is highly unlikely to ever actually happen).

During a speech in Manhattan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a new state law to specifically penalize domestic terrorism, a response to recent mass shootings and what the Democratic governor said was inaction on the part of federal officials.

New York City families unhappy with their offers to public middle and high schools will have a new process involving waitlists to get different placements.

Albany County Republicans fear a measure expanding health insurance coverage for retirees with 15 years or more of service with the county could cost taxpayers “millions” because of ambiguity in who it covers.

LG Kathy Hochul is worried that the Buffalo Catholic Diocese, which has had nearly 100 suits filed against it already since the Child Victims Act window opened yesterday morning, could declare bankruptcy and deny victims their ability to have their day in court.

The state Department of Transportation said that roughly year-old signs for the long suburban bridge named in honor of the governor’s father, the late Mario M. Cuomo, are being patched over because the former governor’s middle initial is missing.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged “help is always here” in a departmentwide email to the NYPD amid an epidemic of suicides by officers and just days after ThriveNYC pulled city resources from a training program because it was tied to the group Blue Lives Matter.

The city of Cohoes firefighters union leadership will file a grievance because there won’t be fire department promotions coming off the expiring civil service list tomorrow.

Former WNY Republican Assemblywoman Angela Wozniak admitted to inappropriate conduct with an aide as part of a settlement announced with the state’s ethics watchdog, JCOPE.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says former Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s lawsuit against her for blocking him on Twitter is bogus because the account in question is “personal,” rather than an official government account.

Buffalo-based 43North, the state-funded start-up competition that also provides incubator space to winners year round, is moving its headquarters to the city’s tallest building: Seneca One.

The fatal shooting of 21-year-old Ayanna Hunter in May by two teens she had a months-long beef with was “legally justifiable” because she fired at them first, District Attorney Robert Carney said, detailing the findings of a county grand jury.

An East Greenbush man was sentenced to 15 months to four years in prison after pleading guilty to his third driving while intoxicated charge.

A conference hearing was held today for a former high ranking state worker, accused of child endangerment. John Allen is accused of luring a number of young boys into his home, making them wear diapers until they left. He’s due back in court Sept. 19.

A proposal that unanimously passed both house of the state Legislature would enable early retirees to return to work and earn up to $35,000 a year — an increase of $5,000 from the cap set in 2007 — without any diminution of their pensions.

The State Department of Health is in the process of redesigning its Medicaid program for county jail and state prison inmates.

Repairs were underway on a ruptured gas main in Troy, which around 12:30 p.m. at the intersection of 7th and Ingalls and required the evacuation of several homes as a precaution.

The FCC reached a handful of settlements with media outlets – including ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, AMC’s The Walking Dead, Animal Planet’s Lone Star Law, and Meruelo Radio Holdings – following investigations into whether they misused the emergency alert system tone.

Medical experts are sounding the alarm after 22 people across three states were hospitalized with lung damage and disease tied to vaping. Perhaps most alarming: Most were teenagers and young adults.

The ECHL Adirondack Thunder will return for a third season at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls affiliation with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

Starting today, Woodstock fans began to get back to the garden to mark the 50th anniversary of the generation-defining festival.

Love is love – even if you’re a penguin.

More praise for “Hamilton” at Proctor’s.

Photo credit: George Fazio.



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