While You Were Out: Aug. 27, 2019

I hope your Tuesday has been terrific, CivMixers. Before we get to anything else, we have a bit of a public service announcement:

If you happen to be a Cohoes resident, and are a registered Democrat, you still have a few hours (polls close at 9 p.m.) to get out and cast your vote in the re-do of the Common Council election forced by a mistake during June’s primary.

That “registered Democrat” part is VERY important, because, as some people forgot the last time around, New York has closed primaries and you must be a member of a party in order to cast a ballot in its intra-party contests.

Democrats Adam Biggs and Kathleen Donovan, who were tied at 286 votes each in June, are seeking the party’s line for the city’s Fifth Ward in the November election.

In other news…

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign made an extraordinarily emotional appeal for his candidacy and his health care proposal through a new ad that highlights his struggles with grief and family loss.

The maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, and its owners, the Sackler family, are offering to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits against the company for $10 billion to $12 billion.

Attorneys for Deutsche Bank told a federal panel of judges this afternoon that the company has in its possession copies of the tax returns of at least one member of President Donald Trump’s family, but did not publicly state whose financial documents they were.

The $572 million judgement against Johnson & Johnson in Oklahoma could have a wide-ranging impact on claims made in other states, including by local governments New York, against manufacturers and distributors of opioids.

The Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill, who has become a symbol of criminal justice reform and an outspoken advocate, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge stemming from a 2007 arrest, ending a legal saga that has sent him to prison multiple times during more than a decade of probation and appeals.

Puerto Rico declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Dorian, which is growing as it moves across the Caribbean, could be upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane when it nears the island still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

A judge says actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, can continue using a law firm that recently represented the University of Southern California.

Dozens of Jeffrey Epstein accusers packed a Manhattan courtroom today to share tales of how the multimillionaire pedophile allegedly molested them years ago.

One woman was an aspiring violinist from Texas. Another was a struggling model from overseas. One woman invoked her own daughters in her remarks. Another said she had stayed single for years because of her experience.

A quartet of top Democratic senators – including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York – wrote to Trump to voice “strong opposition” to his plan to invite Vladimir Putin to next year’s G-7 summit in the US unless the Russian strongman cleans up his act.

Former President Jimmy Carter, 94, reportedly plans to start building homes again for Habitat for Humanity — months after he underwent successful hip surgery.

Industrial development agencies will now be required to livestream their meetings in real time and provide video recordings of public events and meetings, according to a law signed today by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Speaking to reporters today, Cuomo said he would back a higher minimum wage for inmates, who currently earn between 10 cents and $1.14 per hour for their work.

At a time of declining union membership nationwide, New York’s second-largest public sector union – PEF – recently made a striking move and intentionally dropped 100 dues-paying members from its ranks.

Computer chip giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. pushed back at GlobalFoundries to rebuke accusations that it has been stealing chip technology from GlobalFoundries that is used in devices made by Apple, Google, Cisco and others.

The Empire Center for Public Policy yesterday notched a victory in state court after a judge found the names of retired New York City police officers who receive pensions are public records that must be released.

For the second straight year, the Finger Lakes has been named the best wine region in the United States in a national poll conducted by USA Today and its travel site, 10Best.com.

Federal regulators say New York needs to do more to ensure nursing homes are protecting residents after an audit revealed numerous deficiencies in areas related to the safety of residents and emergency preparedness.

Sixty-five state lawmakers have earned perfect scores on the New York League of Conservation Voters’ annual scorecard assessing action on key environmental issues facing the state.

The company that administers the SAT college admissions test is replacing the so-called adversity score with a tool that will no longer reduce an applicant’s background to a single number – an idea the College Board’s chief executive now says was a mistake.

A list of the safest cities and towns in New York is out, showing Saratoga Springs as the safest place in the Capital Region.

A Middle Grove man was arrested for allegedly crashing his vehicle into a place of business on Sunday evening on Lake Desolation Road, Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office said.

NXIVM defector India Oxenberg’s terrifying experience in Keith Raniere’s secret “master/slave” club is headed to the small screen next month — and the trailer doesn’t scrimp on cringe-worthy images.

A federal judge in New Jersey delivered Raniere an unwelcome birthday gift today when he ordered the group to cough up more than $1 million it owes to an investigative firm previously hired to fend off a civil lawsuit brought in New Jersey.

WNY Republican Rep. Chris Collins’ top lawyer is continuing to bank on a constitutional clause as the linchpin of the lawmaker’s defense against criminal insider trading charges, even after prosecutors narrowed the scope of the case earlier this month in hopes of skirting any constitutional concerns.

NYC Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Corey Johnson said he opposes cutting the gifted and talented programs from the city’s public school system after a diversity panel recommended the move in a new report.

The Lansingburgh Board of Education has selected a Hudson school district principal – Dr. Antonio Abitabile – as its new superintendent.

The 9 Miles East Farm in Schuylerville, which has been a vegetable farm for 15 years and also offers prepared meals for home-delivery customers and pizza delivery, is developing plans for a 40-seat restaurant and production kitchen at 64 Excelsior Ave. in Saratoga Springs.

The website for the LongHorn Steakhouse chain now includes a page for a long-planned location on Wolf Road in Colonie. An opening of Oct. 22 is listed, though that could change.

Hudson Valley Community College opened a brand new $14.5 million training facility called the Gene Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills.

The four candidates competing in this fall’s Pittsfield, Massachusetts mayoral election debated for the first time last night.

There is a new online map designed to help people better navigate the New York canal system and hundreds of nearby places of interest, visitor centers, boat rentals and paddling access sites.

If you haven’t been to the State Fair yet, now is the time to do it.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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