Rise and Shine: Sept. 6, 2019

HELLLLLLLLLO Friday! Boy, am I glad to see you. And a good Friday morning to you, CivMix crew!

It will be cloudy, a bit on the humid side and in the mid-70s today, according to The Weather Channel. There’s a slight chance of a rain shower later in the day. The weekend is looking pretty good, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures hovering in the low-to-mid 70s.

I’ll take it.

Headlines…

Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly is pushing to upend the presidential primary calendar, making New York jump close to the head of the line by having voters head to the polls in February instead of late April.

The post-Hurricane Dorian damage in the Bahamas is significant.

After its deadly rampage across the Bahamas and brush of Florida, Dorian pounded the Carolinas as its center closed in on Cape Fear, N.C., sowing fear and worry from the elegant streets of downtown Charleston to the jigsaw puzzle that is North Carolina’s barrier islands.

All New York City beaches will be closed to swimming and surfing today and Saturday due to the impact of Dorian, NYC Parks officials said.

President Donald Trump’s relentless justifications of his erroneous warnings that Dorian was threatening Alabama on Sunday, which created days of ridicule and skepticism, are just the latest example of his lifelong reluctance to admit an error, no matter how innocuous.

Robert Mugabe, the first prime minister and later president of independent Zimbabwe, who traded the mantle of liberator for the armor of a tyrant and presided over the decline of one of Africa’s most prosperous lands, died at the age of 95.

A jury in Oakland, Calif., acquitted one man and could not reach a decision on a second man’s role in a 2016 warehouse blaze that killed 36 people, one of the deadliest structural fires in recent American history.

The crew of a scuba diving boat that sank off the coast of Southern California made several attempts to rescue the 34 people who were trapped below decks by fire, but intense flames drove them back and all perished, federal authorities said.

Families at Fort Campbell, the sprawling Army base along the Kentucky-Tennessee border, discovered that they would not get the new middle school they were expecting so that President Trump could build his border wall.

Health officials in New York State said that they are investigating a possible cause of a recent surge in severe vaping-related illnesses: a compound called vitamin E acetate.

…the same officials are urging people to consider not using vape products as they continue to investigate the cause of a severe respiratory illness affecting hundreds of vape users nationwide.

Alexis Marquez, a woman who sued the state last year for ignoring her complaints of workplace sexual harassment, was told she never actually worked for the state – though her tax forms and pay stubs said otherwise – and so therefore could not hold it liable.

A crime ring based in Ghana swindled online victims with promises of romance and gold, officials said. A New Jersey man was arrested.

As kids head back to school, districts are trying to stop students from vaping, which has become a big problem across the state.

Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), a national group that lobbied in Albany against the push to legalize adult use of marijuana, is seeking to keep its funding sources confidential, contending its donors could be harassed and their livelihoods adversely affected if they are publicly identified.

The governor has not yet signed a bill that passed the Legislature this session and would allow buprenorphine to be used as a treatment for opioid addiction without prior approval from an insurance company.

Cuomo called on the MTA to impose lifetime bans on serial subway sex offenders while praising the NYPD for busting a recidivist robber and pervert.

Early termination fees on car contracts when a customer dies before the contract ends will be blocked in New York after a measure was signed into law by Cuomo.

NYPIRG’s review of fundraising in the 2018 state legislative races reached the same conclusion as the anti-corruption commission assembled in the 1980s by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo: the winners get the bulk of their money from wealthy New Yorkers, big businesses and politically connected interests.

The state Attorney General’s Office is backing efforts to remove the trustees of the troubled St. Clare’s Hospital pension fund, which has reduced or eliminated benefits to more than 1,100 former employees of the defunct Schenectady hospital.

Bethlehem Police say road closures in Selkirk could remain in effect through this morning as crews work to restore several power outages in the area.

After discussing a secret memo written by a law enforcement expert, two Troy City Council members said they’re taking a different view of an internal affairs investigation that questioned the actions of a sergeant who fatally shot a DWI suspect.

Protesters interrupted last night’s Troy City Council meeting demanding justice for Edson Thevenin, the man killed by a police officer three years ago.

New York City is suing T-Mobile for what it calls “abusive sales tactics” at Metro by T-Mobile stores, the wireless carrier’s prepaid phone brand.

Brooklyn’s borough president, Eric Adams, unveiled a new rat-trapping device – a bucket that would lure the rodents and send them plunging to their deaths in a mysterious vinegary concoction.

Several convenience stores in Rensselaer County lost their ability to accept EBT cards as the result of a joint federal, state, county and local investigation into fraud.

A former mail room worker at The Daily Gazette pleaded guilty in connection with the 2016 arson at the newspaper’s offices that caused more than $1.1 million in damages.

The federal judge presiding over ex-Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s lawsuit against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — for blocking him from her Twitter account — wants lawyers in the case to duke it out in a “mini trial” later this month.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes to inject new life into his sputtering 2020 presidential bid with a new “robot tax” he says can save American jobs.

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., waxed poetic about the Big Apple as he joined The NY Post for a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge and a slice at Grimaldi’s — which, (unlike de Blasio, famously), he ate with his hands.

Jonathan Lippman, the former chief state judge who chaired the independent commission that helped convince de Blasio to push for the closure of the scandal-scarred Rikers Island jail complex, got booed while trying to defend the plan to the NYC Council.

The Rome Alliance for Education and its programs are growing, bringing more help to students in the Rome City schools and possibly beyond, someday.

The contentious fight for the city of Saratoga Springs’ next Commissioner of Finance could have grown more entangled if Republican Robert Barile was successful in launching his own campaign for the position. But he didn’t get that far.

The head of Buffalo’s Roman Catholic Diocese is resisting calls to resign after his former secretary secretly recorded him discussing a priest’s alleged sexual harassment of a seminarian and fretting about his own future.

This series is worth a read.

Former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, now a real estate investor, has launched a Change.org petition asking the state Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit on the 198 raised back to 55 mph – at least temporarily.

A dispute over whether a mile-long section of road should be open to snowmobilers and hunters or closed as part of a new surrounding wilderness area in the Adirondacks was argued before the state Court of Appeals yesterday.

The Albany City Council approved a measure to create a reward system for people who turn in the drivers of dirt bikes. The city is ready to give out cash rewards of up to $25,000 for tips that lead to convictions.

A library in Schenectady will get a special dedication today. The former central branch will officially become the honorable Karen B. Johnson Schenectady County Public Library.

One of Schenectady’s landmark retailers, Cappiello Foods, remains closed seven months after the death of its proprietor, with no word from surviving family members on when or if it will reopen.

A former longtime top aide in the Queens District Attorney’s Office was entitled to receive a maximum pension of $319,494, according to a new report from the Empire Center for Public Policy.

Gambling has become as much a part of pro football as blitzes and holdouts, and the NFL finally seems to be acknowledging that aspect of its game.

The first game of the 100th season of the National Football League took place last night. For the first time in history, people could place legal bets on the game in New York at Rivers Casino in Schenectady, which was packed.

Congrats to the TU’s veteran sportswriter Tim Wilkin, who will be honored next month with the Walter Haight Award for career excellence in writing on thoroughbred racing by the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters.

Tennis star Serena Williams easily defeated Elina Svitolina in a semifinal and will seek her record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title on Saturday against Bianca Andreescu.

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has a book deal. St. Martin’s Press announced her memoir will come out in Fall 2020.

Here are some helpful tips from Oprah’s “sleep doctor,” because of course she has one of those.

The Dallas Opera has canceled a 2020 Placido Domingo event due to harassment and groping allegations against the opera superstar.

Do not read this if you are a fan of the fabled Loch Ness monster.

THIS IS GREAT!

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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