While You Were Out: Aug. 6, 2019

It’s getting stormy out there as Tuesday comes to an end, CivMixers. Take an umbrella if you’re heading out the door anytime soon. A flood advisory has been issued for Albany County due to impending heavy rain.

Headlines…

Ohio’s Republican governor bucked his party to call for expanded gun laws and some Democrats in Texas told President Donald Trump to stay away as both states reeled from a pair of shootings that killed 31 people.

The owner of a Capital Region tactical training center says his phones are ringing off the hook after last weekend’s mass shootings.

Here’s the backstory on a controversial New York Times headline for a front page story on the president’s official reaction to the shootings.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of several high-profile names who criticized The New York Times over its print edition’s front-page headline, accusing the paper of “cowardice” for not addressing the prevalence of white supremacy in the country.

With the gun debate intensifying after the shootings, the NRA’s problems deepened last night as the New York attorney general’s office issued a subpoena seeking documents from more than 90 current and former members of the organization’s board.

RIP Toni Morrison, the 1993 Nobel laureate in literature, whose acclaimed, best-selling work explored black identity in America and in particular the experience of black women, who died yesterday of pneumonia in the Bronx at the age of 88.

The first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Morrison was the author of 11 novels as well as children’s books and essay collections. She wrote wrote “Beloved” and “Song of Solomon” among other acclaimed works.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that bans the sale, manufacturing and transportation of knives that are undetectable to a metal detector. Possessing one of the knives could lead to a misdemeanor charge and up to a year in jail.

Cuomo also signed into law a bill that would create a statewide program meant to crackdown on scofflaws who pass stopped school buses.

Deputy state Senate Majority Leader Mike Gianaris was a guest on actress Alyssa Milano’s podcast.

Cuomo recently announced $206 million will be devoted to freight-related projects across the state.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said he was “surprised” that Cuomo criticized the behavior of police officers in the recent water-dousing incidents.

Federal prosecutors have narrowed the criminal charges against WNY Republican Rep. Chris Collins.

A coordinator for the city’s Community Police Review Board is accused of resisting arrest after Albany police say they stopped him for traffic violations last night.

Police have a surveillance video that shows a man opening fire on a Central Avenue building in Albany that houses the Department of Motor Vehicles and Planned Parenthood, but are refusing to share copies with the public.

Two New York political parties – the Independence Party and the Upstate Jobs Party – have filed litigation to strike down a law requiring the merging of smaller parties onto single ballot lines, allegedly undercutting their influence in state politics.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is finally above 1 percent in the polls — as a candidate who voters said gave the worst performance in the recent Democratic presidential debate, according to a new Quinnipiac survey.

De Blasio is headed to campaign at the Iowa State Fair this coming weekend.

Police are looking into the disappearance of $13,500 in field trip money at Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School in Albany.

A majority of the newly retired members of the Yonkers Police Department are eligible to receive annual pensions in excess of $100,000, well above the state average, according to new data released today.

Farmington, New Hampshire police were presented with a rare call this morning — a moose was stuck in an in-ground swimming pool.

The Food Bank Association of New York’s name has transitioned to Feeding New York, and the man heading it is Dan Egan, a former school board leader who has also run for Albany County executive.

In a year when the still-under-repair South Troy pool has yet to open for the summer season, city officials insist swimmers will still get a chance to dip in, even if that means opening the pool after the usual closing date.

Sister Monica Murphy, a nun who was beloved for her work as a guidance counselor and as the director of a camp in the Adirondacks, died in a car crash yesterday evening, the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese announced.

A Colonie man is facing weapons charges after an apartment maintenance worker spotted marijuana and a gun in his apartment, police said. Police described a gun found as an assault rifle.

Former Nassau County Executive Tom Gulotta, of North Merrick, died this past Sunday at the age of 75. Gulotta, a Republican, served as the county executive from 1987 to 2001.

Jerry Meigs, 29, died at the scene of a Greene County fire.

A recent study ranked the easiest places in New York to sell a home, and several Capital Region cities – including Troy, Watervliet and Schenectady – are at the top of the list.

NPR National Security Correspondent David Welna wrote in note to colleagues that he was laid off today without warning, effective Sept. 6. He has worked for NPR since 1982.

Iconic clothier Barneys New York is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the latest retailer to buckle as shoppers move online.

Photo credit: Silvia Lilly.

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