While You Were Out: Sept. 6, 2019

Well, CivMixers, the big moment you’ve all been waiting for has arrived! Yes, Friday is almost over, and the weekend is here. But that’s not what I mean.

The state DMV today announced the winner of the license plate contest….and it’s NOT – as was widely speculated – the one the features the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

Instead, option No. 5, which has Niagara Falls on one side and the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline on the other – was the fan favorite. Almost 50 percent of those who participated in the vote selected No. 5, so it was the clear winner.

This does not settle the fight over the Cuomo administration’s proposed fee for replacing your plates, though the governor said this today:

“We don’t want anyone to have to replace a plate if the plate is in fine condition…We have to find a way to inspect a license plate to determine whether or not it has to be replaced.”

In other news…

U.S. employers added a modest 130,000 jobs in August, a sign that hiring has slowed but remains durable in the face of global economic weakness and President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.

The Treasury Department and IRS issued proposed rules to reduce donor disclosure requirements for certain tax-exempt groups after a federal judge set aside guidance the agencies had previously released on the topic because it hadn’t gone through a notice and comment period.

At the end of the month, the National Flood Insurance Program’s authorization will expire if Congress doesn’t act. Lawmakers are hoping to extend it and make reforms– especially as hurricane season continues.

Minnesota health officials confirmed the first vaping-related death in the state, bringing the total number of such deaths nationwide to four.

Newly released data shows that attendance at SoulCycle classes has continued to drop a month after the exercise chain wandered into a political firestorm.

Convicted former drug company CEO Martin Shkreli sued the son of one of his investors in a dispute over losses from one of his failed hedge funds.

Cuomo made the case today for consolidating New York’s legislative and presidential primaries next year, saying it “makes no sense” to hold separate contests.

The governor also vowed that New York will continue its fight against the Constitution Pipeline after federal regulators ruled last week the state waived its right to deny the project a key water permit.

State Attorney General Letitia James confirmed her office will lead an investigation of Facebook over antitrust concerns that dovetails with a separate investigation of Google’s business practices.

According to court documents, a judge denied a preliminary injunction to stop construction at the Schodack site. The motion was filed by the Birchwood Association, a group of homeowners who live next door to the project.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said he’s considering abolishing tests for 4 year-olds to get into the city’s gifted and talented program, then was criticized for the position by a caller who said she’d leave the city if the exams were cut.

Cuomo had a little fun at de Blasio’s expense today, pretending that his phone connection went awry during a WAMC interview when asked if the mayor should pull the plug on his flagging 2020 presidential bid.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in New York last week arrested six alleged illegal immigrants suspected of committing human rights violations, officials said.

At least four Bloomberg-era NYC Council members are mulling a comeback in 2021. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, former Councilman Domenic Recchia, former state Sen. Tony Avella and former Councilman James Gennaro are all actively considering a run for their old seats or are rumored to be doing so.

Opponents of a new law ending the state’s religious exemption for school vaccine requirements are now hoping to find relief from New York’s top court after an appeals court denied a request for a repeal of the measure.

A civil rights lawsuit filed against the city of Troy and a patrol sergeant who fatally shot an unarmed DWI suspect in 2016 was put on course for trial when a federal magistrate declined to dismiss the case and ruled that a jury should resolve the “material questions of fact” about what really happened that night.

State Police this week seized a number of firearms from a home in Stephentown at the orders of a judge in one of the Capital Region’s first Red Flag Law cases.

Plans for the Colorado-based Vail Resorts to purchase Hunter Mountain in the Catskills, Mount Snow in Vermont and other ski centers have run into a legal snowbank, or at least a pothole. A stockholder in Peak Resorts, the holding company that owns Hunter and Mount Snow, is suing to try and halt the sale.

The sudden shutdown of a locally based payroll company, MyPayrollHR in Clifton Park, has left businesses in the Capital Region and across the country outraged and scrambling to pay their employees.

The Hollywood film studio behind “The Hunger Games” and “John Wick” movies, Lionsgate, will make its Westchester debut next year, becoming the lead tenant and a partial owner of a $100 million film studio slated for construction in Yonkers.

Firefighters who arrived early or spent more time at the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 attacks seem to have a modestly higher risk of developing heart problems than those who came later or stayed less, doctors reported.

The attorneys for Nauman Hussain, the operator of the limousine in the fatal Schoharie crash, have filed a request to dismiss the charges against him.

State Police said an Elba man is in the St Lawrence County jail for allegedly sexually abusing several victims at a Boy Scout camp in Northern New York.

Ayla Ferrone is leaving WTEN. Her last day was today, Sept. 6, and she has not disclosed where she’s headed, though she says she’s staying in the news business.

The 20th Waterford Tugboat Roundup is this weekend. The inaugural event docked on September 11, 1999 and with flooding in 2011, it wasn’t held, but it’s back.

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, who became the old mill city’s youngest mayor when he was elected in 2015 at age 23, was arrested (again), this time on charges he conspired to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from companies seeking to operate marijuana businesses.

White Claw Seltzer, which is an industry leader in the hard seltzer space, says there’s a nationwide shortage of the popular drink.

Photo credit: George Fazio.



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