Rise and Shine: Oct. 3, 2019

Good morning, CivMixers. It’s Thursday. It’s going to rain – a few showers early that turn into something steady by the afternoon. Highs will only be in the low 50s. Welcome to fall in upstate New York.

It’s National Mean Girls Day AND also National Boyfriend Day. There’s something deep to be said about that juxtaposition, I’m sure. But I’ll just let that sit there for you to contemplate.

Also, it’s National Poetry Day, so if you’re feeling creative perhaps put pen to paper and crank out a few rhymes (or non-rhymes, since there’s no rule about that).

Singer Gwen Stefani turns 50 today. Hollaback at her on Twitter, maybe?

In the headlines…

House Democrats moved to compel the White House to cooperate in their impeachment inquiry, announcing plans to issue a subpoena by tomorrow if it did not comply with requests for documents related to President Trump’s efforts to press Ukraine to investigate a leading political rival, and any attempt to conceal his actions.

Trump angrily called Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, “a lowlife,” and said he “should resign from office in disgrace, and frankly they should look at him for treason.”

Trump told NY Post columnist Michael Goodwin that he’s “energized” by his current battle with the House Democrats. “I love it, I love it,” he said, later adding: “The whistleblower was totally inaccurate about the call, and it’s all second and third hand. It’s a fraud, a hoax, it’s a witch hunt.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik, a North Country Republican, called for Schiff to step down as the Intelligence Committee chairman after reports he got an early account of a whistleblower’s allegations against Trump that are the center of the impeachment inquiry.

One of the last Democratic holdouts against impeachment, Staten Island Rep. Max Rose, came out in favor of the inquiry last night.

“I intend to fully support this impeachment inquiry and follow the facts,” Rose told constituents at a local town hall meeting.

Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said some of the documents in a packet the State Department inspector general handed to Congress just hours earlier had come from him – the latest twist in the ongoing turmoil over Trump’s call with the leader of Ukraine in July.

U.S. Justice Department lawyers urged a federal judge not to rush to judgment in deciding whether an accounting firm should be allowed to turn over Trump’s tax returns to state prosecutors. More here.

The Trump administration is planning to enable immigration officers to begin collecting DNA samples from undocumented immigrants who are being detained, officials said.

Trump’s re-election prospects remain unchanged amid the launch of a House impeachment inquiry, according to a new Monmouth University survey.

Melinda Gates has pledged to donate $1 billion to promote gender equality in the United States.

Leading Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is recovering after doctors found a blockage in one artery and inserted two stents, and has cancelled his campaign events until further notice.

Lung damage in those using e-cigarettes might be caused by chemicals in the vape liquid, according to a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Boris Johnson’s new Brexit proposals will get their first airing in Parliament today, with the prime minister optimistic he can get a deal past the House of Commons – so long as the European Union shifts its red lines.

New York yesterday became the first state to offer whistleblowers an anonymous electronic platform to submit tips about government misconduct.

The Cuomo administration quietly authorized an across-the-board increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates for the first time since 2008 after the Greater New York Hospital Association wrote two checks totaling more than $1 million to the state Democratic Party as the governor was fighting a primary battle with actress Cynthia Nixon.

Following the NTSB report on the Schoharie limo crash last year, state lawmakers said there are too many loopholes in the current laws and expressed disappointment that numerous safety bills addressed in the report didn’t pass this past session.

Rep. Paul Tonko was among the first to react to the release of the NTSB’s report, and called the lack of access to seatbelts in limos that it revealed “a very troublesome notion.”

Fire crews battled an early morning fire at a three-story building on 6th Avenue in Troy.

The Troy Firefighters Union is speaking out about concerns over the number of firefighters on shift at two of the fire stations in the city

The Phi Gamma Delta’s Tau Nu chapter was suspended for violating Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s alcohol policy; its downtown fraternity house is vacant and has been sealed.

A committee of Rensselaer County Legislators voted down a resolution to designate the Unity House in Troy as an early voting location for the upcoming election.

Melissa Grega of Troy will be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune airing Monday. Grega is a hairdresser who is married with two children. She says she enjoys golfing, traveling, being on the lake and spending time with her grandson.

The de Blasio administration plans to beef up security at the crime-ridden Bronx public housing complex where hero cop Brian Mulkeen was killed by friendly fire during a violent struggle with an ex-con, officials said.

NYC officials are taking their most ambitious stand yet against cars: Beginning today, passenger cars, including taxis and Ubers, will be all but banned from 14th Street, a major crosstown route for 21,000 vehicles a day that links the East and West sides.

Mayor Bill de Blasio will use about $16 million in private funding from an education organization backed by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, and from Robin Hood, a philanthropic powerhouse favored by Wall Street executives, to help open a host of new and restructured public schools in New York City.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says new state figures show the number of new HIV diagnoses has dropped to a new low since the peak of the epidemic.

As expected, the NYPD beefed up security at last night’s New York City premiere of the new “Joker” movie at Lincoln Center amid heightened fears of violence surrounding the flick. Costumes — even face paint — were banned.

The median sale price of a Manhattan home dipped below $1 million during the past three months amid the imposition of new taxes on high-end properties, according to a market analysis released yesterday.

Happy the elephant will stay at the Bronx Zoo – for now.

Albany Assemblywoman Pat Fahy says she is concerned school districts did not have enough time to ensure their students have received the required vaccinations after the state ended religious exemptions.

RIP Barry E. Snyder Sr., longtime leader of the Seneca Nation, who died after a brief illness at the age of 79.

Seven people were killed; nine others — including a firefighter and an airport employee on the ground — were treated for injuries, when a vintage B-17G bomber crashed at Bradley International Airport near Hartford.

Schenectady police are seeing an increase in thefts from parked cars throughout the city.

A recent protest at the Whitney that drummed out a vice chairman exposed the symbiotic, but potentially problematic, relationship that museums have with some trustees.

A top weather forecasting official, who oversaw the government’s prediction centers that track ocean, hurricane and even space conditions, has died in rough seas on North Carolina’s Outer Banks where he was swimming alone.

Thousands of food safety violations were discovered in the last three years in America’s nursing homes, where fragile residents can least tolerate such lapses.

Take a look inside “Soul Train Utica” – an annual four-hour charter train ride that calls itself, in the absence of other takers, the hippest trip in Utica.

Customers who use Spectrum for cable television and Internet will see the prices for those packages go up this month.

Students at SUNY Oneonta were asked to shelter in place due to an active shooter threat that law enforcement officials said turned out to be unfounded.

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the twin birth rate in the U.S. is on the decline.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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