While You Were Out: Aug. 2, 2019

Welcome to the weekend, CivMixers!

It looks like it’s going to be a good one, with the exception of some potential thunderstorms here and there. But don’t let that dissuade you from getting out to enjoy all our region (and beyond) has to offer.

OR, if you plan to just take it easy and hang around the house, that’s OK, too.

Let’s get to the news of the day, shall we?

With Puerto Ricans on edge over their uncertain political future, the island’s House of Representatives voted to confirm a new secretary of state today, backing Ricardo A. Rosselló’s chosen successor just an hour before the ousted governor was to leave office.

President Trump abruptly dropped his plan to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican, as the nation’s top intelligence official, following bipartisan questions about his qualifications and concern over whether he had exaggerated his résumé.

Kiron Skinner, the State Department’s director of policy planning and the highest-ranking African-American woman in the department, has been forced out of her job, according to administration officials.

More than half of House Democrats support launching an impeachment inquiry, according to a tally by The Associated Press — a strong signal of ongoing liberal frustration with Trump but a milestone that seems unlikely to move House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

An administrative judge recommended firing Daniel Pantaleo, the New York City police officer accused of using a chokehold in the 2014 death of an unarmed black man, Eric Garner, whose dying pleas of “I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry against alleged police brutality.

The final decision on Pantaleo’s fate rests with NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill. His decision is expected in the coming week or two, per the policy guiding civil service disciplinary decisions.

The Garner family called on O’Neill to dismiss the officer immediately.

A federal judge in Brooklyn ordered R. Kelly to be held in custody, citing “the strong possibility of witness tampering” in the singer’s upcoming trial on accusations that he led a long-running criminal scheme to recruit women and girls to have sex with him.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will make his first visit to Saratoga Race Course this weekend – he same day as the running of the Whitney Stakes, the thoroughbred race named for the Whitney family.

Marylou Whitney was inducted posthumously into National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame today.

A bill that would require large group insurers to cover mammograms for women between the ages of 35 and 39 was signed into law by the governor.

Cuomo has decided to support the state Department of Transportation’s recommendation of a community grid to replace the aging Interstate 81 viaduct in downtown Syracuse.

Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera announced he’ll introduce a bill requiring some sort of rear seat technology in every car in New York City.acknowledged the real action needed is for Congress to pass the Hot Car Act, which would require automakers to make the safety measure standard.

A man who stabbed three people, nearly killing one when he sliced his jugular vein, will serve 40 years in prison for the attack last year in downtown Saratoga Springs, prosecutors said.

New Yorkers hunting, trapping and fishing with a suspended sporting license could soon face tougher penalties if caught.

More than 4,000 undocumented college students have applied for financial aid for the next academic year since New York’s Jose Peralta DREAM Act application went live on July 3, but outreach efforts have been hampered by red tape and technical issues, advocates say.

Vermont officials say bottled water tainted by a class of potentially toxic PFAS chemicals has been sold in the state, as well as others in New England.

Lowe’s is planning to cut thousands of maintenance and assembly jobs from its workforce. The home improvement retailer plans to outsource those jobs to third-party companies.

The 19-year-old son of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan was beaten and robbed by two men as he delivered pizzas in a quiet residential neighborhood off New Scotland Avenue late Wednesday night.

The Greater Capital Region Building Trades will rally at 10 a.m. Monday at the site of a hotel and apartment complex being built by Syracuse-based Pioneer Companies at Quackenbush Square, 705 Broadway, in downtown Albany.

A former sheriff’s department attorney who dropped out of a recent judge’s race has been picked to defend a man who wants to take back his guilty plea in a quadruple homicide in Troy.

There will not be a referendum on the ballot pertaining to state governorship of the Rochester City School District. The decision comes a day after the matter was argued in court.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is hosting a drive-in consignment day at the museum on Aug. 4 (Sunday) to promote the upcoming third annual Saratoga Auto Auction taking place next month.

Another victim of climate change: The vegan ice cream industry.

Rapper A$AP Rocky and two other American suspects were temporarily freed from a Swedish jail and planning to head back to the U.S. today as judges mull a verdict in the assault case against them.

RIP Richard M. Rosenbaum, an ebullient Republican state chairman of New York who helped deliver to Nelson A. Rockefeller the job he avowed he never wanted, the vice presidency of the United States, who died on Sunday in Rochester at the age of 88.

Photo credit: Silvia Lilly.

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