While You Were Out: Oct. 21, 2019

What started off as a very foggy, gray and dreary Monday morning has morphed into a lovely late fall afternoon. So things are looking up from were I sit, CivMixers. I hope you can say the same.

In the news today…

President Donald Trump slammed Hillary Clinton for asserting that Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard was a Russian asset.

Trump will not appear in a Weather Channel climate change special airing next month that features Democrats and Republicans looking to challenge the president in 2020.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel gave up on his latest attempt to form a government, clearing the way for Benny Gantz, the former army chief who narrowly defeated him in last month’s election, to try to become the country’s next leader.

The FBI has determined that recent American tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic in May were not caused by poisoned alcohol, backing up local authorities’ assertion that the deaths were from natural causes.

The three major drug distributors and an opioid manufacturer reached a $260 million settlement with two Ohio counties to avoid the landmark first federal opioid trial that was set to begin in Cleveland, OH today.

Facebook said it had found and taken down four state-backed disinformation campaigns, the latest of dozens the company has identified and removed this year. Three of the campaigns originated in Iran, and one in Russia, with state-backed actors disguised as genuine users.

Two state lawmakers are proposing a requirement that any cable company operating in New York offer a local news channel with “news, weather and public affairs programming,” according to a draft of the bill. If passed, this measure would be the first of its kind in the nation.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and NY-19 Rep. Antonio Delgado, both Democrats, have joined forces to propose a $50 billion federal grant program to promote development in rural areas.

Pioneer Bank and a large insurance company have both filed lawsuits against MyPayrollHR and its CEO, Michael Mann, as part of a mounting legal avalanche against the now-shuttered Clifton Park company.

A 17-year-old city resident was charged with making a terroristic threat after allegedly posting on social media on Sunday that there would be a shooting at Albany High School.

A bill signed by Cuomo will exempt women who are breastfeeding for up to two years from serving on a jury to allow them more time to care for their infants.

New York City is agreeing to halt the transfer of its inmates to an upstate lockup through 2021 after detainees accused jail workers of torture and sexual assault.

The state Department of Health’s move last week to shut down the Wilton motel owned by the family that is at the center of the Schoharie limo crash had been in the works since the summer, an agency spokeswoman said.

The good-government group Reinvent Albany urged the commission determining the specifics of the state’s public financing system to lower contribution limits for political candidates.

Efforts in New York to aid small businesses, prevent lead poisoning, prepare for the Census count and keep children safe at camps have been hampered by delayed appointments from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers.

After an outcry from artists, composers, listeners and staffers, WNYC-FM announced it has reversed its plans to cancel “New Sounds,” the influential, eclectic new music program that has expanded the city’s tastes for 37 years.

Deed theft, or stealing the title to a house, has become a worrisome crime in Brooklyn, targeting rapidly gentrifying communities of color.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man they say sexually assaulted multiple people at Adirondack Community College.

Middle school students at the Shenendehowa Central School District can now hold items millions of years old in their own hands, thanks to a large donation of fossils to be used in science classes.

New York will begin offering free coaching and nicotine replacement therapy to e-cigarette users who are looking to stop vaping.

According to the latest Composite Index of the cost of living in the Capital Region, housing and health care are cheaper, but you’ll pay more for groceries.

One person was killed and another was seriously injured when a wall collapsed at a construction site on the Lower East Side this morning.

NYPD cops will have to stop referring to dangerously unhinged people as “EDPs” — short for “emotionally disturbed persons” — as part of a $37 million program to deal with serious mental-health emergencies.

The first recreational marijuana dispensary in Lee, Massachusetts, has made its initial Community Impact Fee payment to the town.

An Amish father who says childhood vaccines run counter to his family’s religious beliefs is suing to overturn New York’s ban on religious exemptions that let unvaccinated children attend school.

New York’s ban on the use of elephants in entertainment acts went into effect this past weekend.

Prince Andrew is being haunted by his close ties with Jeffrey Epstein, with an explosive documentary airing in the UK tonight — including claims the pair had an orgy with nine young girls on the pedophile’s private island.

Australia’s Qantas has completed the first non-stop commercial flight from New York to Sydney, which was used to run a series of tests to assess the effects of ultra long-haul flights on crew fatigue and passenger jetleg.

A Halloween front lawn tribute to the Beatles from a family in Guilderland has gone viral.

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