While You Were Out: Aug. 22, 2019

We’re well over the hump now, CivMixers, with Thursday almost in the rear window and Friday in our sites.

Let’s get right to the headlines, shall we?

The National Weather Service confirms that two tornados touched down during the storm Wednesday – one in Johnstown, the other in Saratoga Springs.

Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has joined Fox News as a contributor, the network announced – the latest sign of the revolving door relationship between Fox and the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump reportedly has scrapped an effort to cut some $4 billion in foreign aid that lawmakers had already approved.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders released a $16.3 trillion blueprint to fight climate change, the latest and most expensive proposal from the field of Democratic presidential candidates aimed at reining in planet-warming greenhouse gases.

John Hickenlooper, the former Colorado governor who ended his presidential campaign last week, announced that he would run for a U.S. Senate seat in his home state, instantly making him one of the Democrats’ best hopes in their quest to retake the chamber next year.

More than half a dozen environmental groups this week filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for its purported attempt to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

Patrick Byrne resigned as chief executive of the online retailer Overstock.com, saying he had no choice but to quit because of the attention stirred up by his public disclosure of a relationship with a woman accused of being a Russian agent.

Novelist Salman Rushdie, poet Nikki Giovanni, actor Tony Shaloub and rapper Rakim – widely considered one of the most germinal and influential MCs in the history of hip-hop – will join a host of authors and artists freshly announced in for the New York State Writers Institute’s fall season.

The iconic Brooklyn pizza joint Di Faro reopened today after owners of the legendary, 54-year-old eatery said they worked out a payment plan to settle an unpaid $167,000 tax bill that led the state to shutter the business earlier this week.

Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola is opposing an effort by the state to delay or change the jurisdiction of his federal lawsuit challenging a controversial new law that would enable undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.

Standardized English and math test scores in grades 3-8 inched up this past school year while a slightly higher percentage of students took the exams, the state Education Department said.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took aim at the Electoral College the week, calling it a “scam” and suggesting it disenfranchises people of color. (Republicans immediately ripped her for this).

A Fulton County judge sentenced Daniel Nellis to 40 years to life in state prison, saying he coldly shot 21-year-old Michaela MacVilla in the head, dumped her body “like a piece of garbage” and went for a cup of coffee.

The state Health Department has reportedly revoked the medical license of a physician who conducted human brain-activity experiments and other unsanctioned research on people associated with the NXIVM corporation.

State regulators will soon be empowered to suspend the board members and executive staff of local authorities that fail to comply with reporting requirements.

A 7-year-old is dead after a crash in Columbia County.

Heavy storms cancelled the Washington County Fair but the grounds only sustained minor damage, according to fair officials. The fair re-opened today after being rained out yesterday.

A man was crushed to death in an elevator this morning at a Manhattan apartment building that had been recently fined for unsafe elevator conditions, the authorities said.

Ji Ung Lee, a professor of nanoscale engineering at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, has been awarded $6.25 million in federal funding from the Naval Research Laboratory to fabricate advanced electronic devices for more functionalities to future computer chips.

A report released by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office found farms generated $5.7 billion in revenue in New York in 2017.

Felony sex offenders will be blocked from having a child placed in their custody by courts, based on a law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Repulican state Sen. Jim Tedisco and Democratic Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara have called upon the state DMV to rescind plans to charge all motorists a $25 fee for being required to turn in their old license plates for new ones.

An explosion at a company off West Campbell Road in Rotterdam left one person with minor injuries and sent a hazardous materials team into the plant, police said.

The economic development arm of SUNY Polytechnic Institute finally honored a deal struck four years ago to pay $1 million to the capital city for the college’s expanding tax-exempt footprint.

Niskayuna Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra Jr. last week staked out a strong position against immediately replacing or repairing the high school track while district officials work out the details of a broader capital project slated for voter approval in December 2020.

The Australian airline Qantas is preparing for what could become the world’s longest direct commercial flights — around 19 hours nonstop to Sydney from New York and London — with three test runs to monitor the effects of so-called ultra-long-haul journeys on the body.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will return to Albany for its annual bombastic holiday show on Dec. 19, reprising its “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” program at the Times Union Center with new staging and effects.

Saratoga WarHorse recently celebrated more than $250,000 in generous donations from supporters at its 7th annual Blue Spangled Gala.

Well, this is depressing.

Photo credit: Danielle Sanzone.

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