Hello, CivMixers. We’re almost over the hump and headed into the weekend. Nice to have a short week to ease back into the swing of things.

I’m a little crunched for time myself, and need to catch a train. So let’s cut to the chase and get right to the news of the day.

BUT, before we do…there’s still time to run out and celebrate National Cheese Pizza Day, for the record.

Also, BTW, tonight fans of football and betting will get their first chance to legally bet on the NFL in New York at the Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady.

In the headlines…

Hurricane Dorian raked the Carolina coast with howling, window-rattling winds and sideways rain today, spinning off tornadoes and knocking out power to more than 200,000 homes and businesses as it pushed northward toward the dangerously exposed Outer Banks.

Federal prosecutors recommended a 10-month prison sentence followed by 3 years of supervised release for a man whose relatives reported concerns about his behavior and far-right extremist rhetoric after last year’s Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.

The architect of the Trump administration’s delayed Mideast peace plan, Jason Greenblatt, is leaving the White House in the face of widespread skepticism about the viability of the as-yet unseen proposal and questions about whether the vision for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will ever be released.

Facebook is looking to play matchmaker. More than a year after first announcing plans to do so, the social media giant is launching its dating service called – what else? – “Dating.”

Michigan State University will pay a record $4.5 million fine for failing to protect students from sexual abuse following a sweeping investigation into the university’s response to allegations against a former team doctor and convicted sex criminal, Larry Nassar.

Veteran TV news anchor Dan Rather is speaking at UAlbany tomorrow.

Attorneys for Nauman Hussein, the operator of the stretch limousine that crashed in Schoharie last year, killing 20 people, were expected to ask a judge to dismiss manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges filed against him last spring.

Acting state Education Commissioner Beth Berlin visited two local schools this morning for the first day of classes.

The New York Department of Health announced new findings in its investigation into the vaping-associated pulmonary (lung-related) illnesses that have been reported across the state.

Schenectady Democratic Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara announced that he received more information from the attorney general’s office on the St. Clare’s pension investigation.

Democratic Manhattan state Sen. Brad Hoylman introduced legislation making mental or behavioral health issues a valid reason for an excused absence from school.

Second Amendment Advocacy Group 2AWNY announced a legal review hotline for those who had their guns confiscated under New York’s Red Flag law.

First, NXIVM leader Keith Raniere lost his criminal case to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn. Now he could lose one of his attorneys to them.

Hundreds of people headed to Proctors today to honor the only female mayor of Schenectady: Karen Johnson.

Two Democratic state lawmakers introduced a bill meant to boost diversity in the Gifted and Talented Program in New York City schools.

Cuts to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital program could lead to billions of dollars in lost funding for New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned in a statement.

A Long Island county that includes the Hamptons is within its rights to visit the homes of sex offenders to verify addresses, a federal appeals court ruled.

A coalition of immigrant organizations and individuals has filed a motion to intervene as a defendant in a lawsuit challenging New York’s new Green Light Law.

A Hempstead town official was arrested for allegedly stealing from a Republican committee to pay his mortgage and for luxuries like a winery trip and high-end candies.

A committee accused NYC Councilman Andy King of more shady behavior ahead of a hearing on his alleged ethics violations.

Bronx elected officials and advocates this week remembered the Rev. Wendell Foster — the first black city elected official in the Bronx and a figure in the civil rights movement — as a mentor and pioneer who paved the way for the black community to ascend into politics.

Prosecutors in the felony insider trading case against WNY Republican Rep. Chris Collins this week raised the possibility of pushing back his Feb. 3 trial — so long as his son Cameron, as well as alleged co-conspirator Stephen Zarsky, still go to trial on that date.

A proposed distribution center with 1,000 jobs in Clay would have more floor space than any other warehouse in the world except for one. Is it for Amazon?

There’s a distinct human cost in Amazon’s fast, free shipping.

Troy Kitchen, a food hall and restaurant incubator that opened three and a half years ago in Troy, this fall will debut its first sibling location, in downtown Albany. Fittingly, it will be called Albany Kitchen.

Steuben Street Market, one of the few retail food stores in downtown Albany since it opened in January 2016 at 58 N. Pearl St., reopened today at its new location, next door at 54 N. Pearl.

Albany International Airport is holding a two hour class next month that will help people who have a fear of flying to feel more comfortable riding in airplanes for travel. As much as 6 percent of the population is afraid of flying.

Huh. This seems awfully familiar.

Photo credit: George Fazio.