While You Were Out: Aug. 19, 2019

Good afternoon, CivMixers. Thanks for standing by while we got some technical difficulties ironed out. Everything is now working as it should – a well-oiled machine.

It’s very warm outside, and the heat advisory remains in effect through 8 p.m. We may have hit a record.

Otherwise, though, the skies look to be fairly clear – for now, at least; and the further south you get, especially in the New York City area, it might be a different story – and the humidity should come down by tomorrow.

In the news…

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said he removed the acting director of the federal Bureau of Prisons from his job in the wake of Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide in a federal jail in Manhattan earlier this month where he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Epstein’s will has been filed in the US Virgin Islands, and it shows that he signed it Aug. 8 — two days before he hanged himself in his Manhattan jail cell, according to court papers exclusively obtained by The NY Post.

Planned Parenthood will withdraw from Title X, the federal family planning program, rather than comply with a new Trump administration rule that restricts what health providers can say about abortion, the organization said.

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who faced disciplinary charges over the 2014 death of Eric Garner, has been terminated from his job, Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced.

“This is not an easy decision, I’ve been thinking about this since the day I was sworn in as police commissioner,” O’Neill said.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democratic contender, called Pantaleo’s firing “the right decision,” adding: “But we are still a very long way from achieving justice for Eric Garner’s family and countless others who have lost loved ones to police violence. We must fundamentally transform our criminal justice system at every level.”

Almost immediately after the decision was announced, Pantaleo’s attorney said he would be filing an article 78 to appeal the firing.

…If successful, Pantaleo would get reinstated to the NYPD and be awarded damages for lost wages.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is using the suicide of his World War II veteran dad to attract donor dollars for his struggling 2020 campaign.

This summer, New York is on pace for its highest annual tally of tourists — nearly 67 million, according to the latest estimate from NYC & Company, the city’s tourism marketing agency.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is poised to sign a bill banning floating billboards in the Hudson River.

Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse will plead guilty to federal criminal charge tomorrow in Binghamton, and may need to resign from public office if he is sentenced before the end of the year, when his term expires.

Public school districts across the state face sex abuse claims under Child Victims Act.

Cuomo recently announced $15 million in funding is available to establish pre-kindergarten programs for three or four-year-old students across New York.

The steeple of the Thompson Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Auburn, which has historical ties to Harriet Tubman, caught on fire during a storm yesterday. No injuries were reported.

An out-of-control car crashed into a Saratoga Springs hot dog stand, sending the driver and four people in and around the food truck to the hospital this morning, police said.

One person was killed and a Washington County sheriff deputy was injured in a two-car crash this morning in Argyle, State Police said.

An undocumented Chinese restaurant worker who currently lives in Brooklyn but was previously a cook at an Albany restaurant, Ichiban, from 2008 to 2015, claims 1) he’s owed money by his former employer, and 2) that he was wrongly detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement while giving a deposition in a lawsuit.

Today was the first day of practice for athletics at Johnstown High School. The athletic department has been fundraising all summer after budget cuts left little money to sports, and they still have a ways to go.

A former Gloversville man stole more than $95,000 from the chiropractic clinic where he was once employed, State Police said.

Eathan Chassee and five friends are taking turns rowing their two boats from Mechanicville, 150 miles down river to New York City. They plan to row six hours on and six hours off, using the tide to help with their journey.

The College of Saint Rose announced that Lori Anctil, a Rotterdam native who has worked at Siena College since 2007, has been hired as its next athletic director.

RIP Al Jackson, one of the original members of the New York Mets, pitching in their inaugural season in 1962, who died today at the age of 83.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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