While You Were Out: Aug. 26, 2019

So, it was indeed a beautiful Monday, CivMixers. I hope you managed to enjoy some piece of it in the great outdoors, even if that means taking a few extra steps and deep breaths en route for your afternoon coffee or while walking to the car.

It was a busy day, from a news perspective. Let’s take a look…

President Trump shifted tone on his trade war with China yet again today, expressing confidence that the two sides can reach a deal and calling President Xi Jinping a “great leader” three days after branding him an “enemy.”

Trump is sparing no detail in touting the features that would make the Doral golf resort the ideal place for the next G-7 Summit – close to the airport, plenty of hotel rooms, separate buildings for every delegation. There’s just one detail he left out: He owns the place.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, explains why the president’s idea to buy Greenland is not crazy, as some have suggested, but actually smart from strategic, economic and diplomatic standpoints.

A judge in Oklahoma ruled against Johnson & Johnson, the deep-pocketed corporate giant, and ordered it to pay the state $572 million in the first trial of an opioid manufacturer for the destruction wrought by prescription painkillers.

Harvey Weinstein’s sex-crimes trial, scheduled to start in two weeks, will instead be delayed until January, as the fallen movie mogul returned to court in New York today to plead not guilty at another arraignment on a new grand jury indictment in the case.

The judge in Weinstein’s sexual assault case will allow three additional accusers to testify as “prior bad acts” witnesses against him, according to court documents filed by prosecutors.

The actress Annabella Sciorra will testify against disgraced Hollywood mogul at his trial in January on rape and other sex-crime charges, Manhattan prosecutors said.

Nine years before any police investigation, sisters Maria and Annie Farmer reported the troubling behavior of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and his companion, Ghislaine Maxwell. No one would act.

The extension of the Second Avenue subway needs $2 billion in federal funding, and Trump caused a stir over the weekend by signaling he’s open to helping pay for the project.

The in-house lobbyist for the Greater New York Hospital Association, David Rich, made more than 200 political contributions totaling over $900,000 since 2014 – more than any other person in a similar position, raising questions about the association’s lobbying methods as a new Democratic majority in the Capitol weighs the future of health care in New York.

A bill strengthening a weapon to fight financial fraud by strengthening the Martin Act, restoring the statute of limitations for investigating and prosecuting fraud from three years to six, was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

A state Supreme Court judge has upheld New York’s recent repeal of an exemption that allowed parents to opt out of vaccinating their school-age children if they held genuine and sincere religious beliefs against vaccines.

Russell Sage has a long history of promoting women’s empowerment and education in Albany and Troy. But come next year, both campuses will be fully co-ed.

The Rev. Richard A. Severson, a former Hoosick Falls police officer, Boy Scout leader and mayor who later became a priest, is accused of molesting a boy for a period of about three years in the 1980s, according to a civil complaint.

In a letter issued over the weekend, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger said he shared the public’s “sorrow and anger” in the wake of the new wave of sexual abuse claims filed against priests and others earlier this month.

The Rensselaer City School District has announced that its 2019 varsity high school football season is canceled, due to a lack of participation.

A magician dressed as Pennywise the clown from the Stephen King horror flick “It” strolled through a Manhattan L train Friday, clutching the chilling character’s red balloon and uttering his famous line, “We all float down here.”

Cuomo’s re-election campaign in October will hold a fundraiser at a preview performance of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, with tickets ranging from $250 to $15,000.

The bench that was the focal point of a viral video that showed a confrontation between a man and the manager of a local Jos. A. Bank store is gone.

Concerns continue to swirl around the Dunn Landfill’s proximity to the Rensselaer Central Schools. With the start of the new school year, officials are updating residents about the city’s relationship with the landfill operator.

Cuomo recently announced a new mutual aid Emergency Management Inter-State Compact between New York and Connecticut.

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the Northeast, from Washington to Boston, can expect colder-than-normal temperatures with above-average winter precipitation.

The state DOT wants to hire 65 permanent and temporary maintenance workers in the Capital Region to assist in snow and ice removal this winter.

An investigation by the state attorney general’s office revealed that dollar store chains were selling expired products.

U.S. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 86, who recently completed ompleted radiation therapy for a cancerous tumor on her pancreas, has accepted an honorary degree from the University at Buffalo.

The Saratoga Springs Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who may be connected to several burglaries that occurred at businesses on Broadway on the night of Aug. 11.

RIP Isabel Toledo, the Cuban American fashion designer with an avant-garde flair who created former First Lady Michelle Obama‘s standout lemongrass-colored sheath dress and matching overcoat for her husband’s 2009 inauguration. She died at the age of 59 from breast cancer.

The second span of the Kosciuszko Bridge in NYC will finally open to traffic this week, state officials announced.

A pre-merger study was released in July to explore options for the Fort Edward school district. The next step: Community input.

Brown’s Beach is back open on Saratoga Lake. It was closed by the town of Stillwater over the weekend, because of damage caused during last week’s storms and waterfowl.

On the first of three senior citizens days, the New York State Fair closed the parking lot designed for handicap access and directed fair-goers instead to the distant Orange lot.

…speaking of parking problems at the fair.

Albany gas prices have fallen 0.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.68 per gallon, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 546 stations.

The Waterford Tugboat Roundup will be celebrating its 20th anniversary at its upcoming festival next month.

Eddie Murphy will be returning to a place that helped launch his career – “Saturday Night Live.” The comedian will be the host of the sketch comedy show on Dec. 21, marking the former cast member’s first hosting appearance since 1984.

Uh-oh.

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