While You Were Out: Sept. 3, 2019

We’ve had such nice weather in the Capital Region today that it’s hard to fathom the devastation we’re seeing some 1,000 miles to our south being wrought by Dorian. But the storm is really packing quite a deadly punch.

Florida is now starting to be impacted.

Practically parking over the Bahamas for a day and a half, Hurricane Dorian pounded away at the islands in a watery onslaught that devastated thousands of homes, trapped people in attics and crippled hospitals. The extent of the damage is yet unclear.

Dorian’s center finally moved away from Grand Bahama island early this afternoon, but the U.S. National Hurricane Center says the island will continue getting dangerous winds and life-threatening storm surge through the evening.

FEMA now says Dorian is still expected to bring life-threatening storm surges even as it was downgraded to a category 2 hurricane.

In other news…

Walmart says it will discontinue the sale of handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition and also publicly request that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in stores even where state laws allow it.

This profile of 2020 Democratic contender Marianne Williamson, an author, faith leader and spiritual guide, is worth a read.

Across the pond, Parliament was given a green light to mount an effort to stop Britain from leaving the European Union without an agreement, in a high-pressure showdown with only a few weeks time for Parliament to act before the Brexit deadline.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said that she should not have worn blackface in a college skit decades ago, but she does not plan to resign over something that happened so long in the past.

Lawmakers around the country are making a renewed push to ban high-capacity magazines that gunmen have used in many recent massacres, allowing them to inflict mass casualties at a startling rate before police can stop the carnage.

A federal judge has issued a subpoena directing Albany County District Attorney David Soares to provide attorneys for Ellazar Williams with all grand jury minutes, sealed files and other information that prosecutors gathered in their investigation of the 2018 police shooting that left Williams paralyzed.

A massive measles outbreak that spread across parts of Brooklyn since October has ended, New York City health officials announced. This marks the end of the largest measles outbreak New York City has seen in nearly three decades.

A measure that would require youth tackle football programs to provide parents and guardians with information on concussions and sub-concussive blows was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo also signed a series of measures into law that are intended to increase law enforcement agencies’ access to information on gun owners.

Beth Garvey, the general counsel at SUNY since 2018, was appointed special counsel and senior advisor to Cuomo. She is a well-regarded former aide to and counsel to the Senate GOP, and the third former top-level staffer from the Senate Republicans to join his administration.

Cuomo also announced the appointment of Kumiki Gibson to the role of counsel to the governor, succeeding Alphonso David, who left earlier this year to become the president of the Human Rights Campaign.

A bill introduced by the top Republican in the state Senate, John Flanagan, would provide safeguards to state Department of Motor Vehicle workers who do not comply with a new law that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses in New York.

A ruptured water main forced the city to close a block of Howard Street in Albany behind the state Comptroller’s buildings and other downtown office buildings.

The Albany Patroons professional basketball franchise will return for the 2020 season with a new owner, sports chiropractor Dr. Tim Maggs, who is based in Schenectady.

The governor announced the five winners of the Carey Gabay scholarship program, named in honor of his former aide who was shot and killed in New York City in 2015.

The number of students enrolled in New York state public schools is the lowest recorded in 30 years, a new Empire Center for Public Policy study reveals.

Waterford police released the name of the man killed by a train on Saturday morning. The victim was 22-year-old Richard Nelson Jr.

A Troy man bit a city of Schenectady police sergeant on the elbow, causing the sergeant’s skin to break, authorities said.

The NYC Planning Commission approved Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controversial plan to shutter the Rikers Island prison complex and replace it with four smaller borough-based jails — but not before getting an earful from opponents who virtually took over the special meeting.

On Labor Day, a motorist in Brooklyn spotted a man trying to break into his sport-utility vehicle and, instead of calling the police, chased him with the S.U.V. as the man fled on a bicycle, running him over and killing him. The police charged the motorist, Korey Johnson, 41, of Brooklyn, with murder and manslaughter.

The town of Ballston Spa’s Democratic Committee has added town board candidate Peter J. Solberg to its list of endorsed candidates for the November election.

The TU’s Steve Barnes does not approve of the NYC Council’s potential foie gras ban, saying it “panders to the animal-welfare movement and capitalizes on resentment of the rich and those with gourmet tastes while doing nothing meaningful to improve treatment of the vast majority of animals raised for food.”

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute last month issued its 2019 Urban Mobility Report, which quantifies the impact of traffic congestion on 101 metropolitan areas nationwide. The Capital Region ranks somewhere in the middle.

King Brothers Dairy of Schuylerville was named this year’s “Dairying for Tomorrow” winner for the community outreach category, the American Dairy Association North East announced during Dairy Day at the New York State Fair in Syracuse.

Hold on to those AirPods, people – especially when riding the NYC subways.

Margaret Atwood’s “The Testaments,” her highly anticipated sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is among six works shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction.

Mind. Blown.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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