While You Were Out: Oct. 8, 2019

Well, CivMixers, it has been a trying technological time on this end of the computer screen. Hopefully, we’ve got all the bugs worked out, (or rather, our server does), and we are back up and running for good this time.

I’ve got to cut out early due to the holiday. For those who are observing, I hope you have an easy fast.

Here are a few headlines to consider while your day is winding down – or up, depending on your schedule….

A 17-year-old male from the Bronx died this week after contracting an illness believed to be related to vaping, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The teen died at Montefiore Hospital, and state health officials are investigating details of the case.

It is New York’s first vaping-related death since a rash of lung illnesses connected to vaping swept the nation in recent months, Cuomo said.

“The federal government should act,” Cuomo said. “The President had talked about taking action. I don’t know how many people have to die before he takes action, but the state is already taking aggressive action. We moved to ban flavored e-vaping, et cetera. It’s now pending in the courts.”

The U.S. Supreme Court grappled today with whether and how far to get in front of Congress in determining whether a 55-year-old civil rights law covers discrimination on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Turkey’s vice president said that his country would “not react to threats,” as it prepared to mount a military offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters in Syria, a day after President Donald Trump warned that he would destroy Turkey’s economy if the offensive did not meet with his approval.

U.S. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said he would like to invite Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, to discuss what he learned during his controversial investigation into Ukraine, former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump is “obstructing Congress from getting the facts” it needs in the impeachment inquiry after his administration blocked a US diplomat from testifying before three committees.

The main state television broadcaster in China announced it would not broadcast two NBA preseason games scheduled for this week in Shanghai and Shenzhen, as the firestorm over a team executive’s Twitter post supportive of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong continued to escalate.

Former tech executive Andrew Yang became the eighth candidate to qualify for the fifth Democratic presidential debate after a poll released showed him with 3 percent support nationally.

The Trump campaign has credited Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo for creating a smoother path for his reelection.

A federal judge in Albany has issued an order that will temporarily pause Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola’s effort to block a state law allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.

State lawmakers want to increase the ability of the public to gain access to immunization data, requiring all schools in the state to report specific information on their students’ immunization rate against disease that require vaccinations.

The top Democratic leaders in the state Senate and Assembly were honored in Environmental Advocates’s annual scorecard, giving both Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Carl Heastie the Legislator of the Year award.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hauled in an astonishing $1.43 million for her first re-election campaign, but will face multiple Republican challengers who are having no trouble raising their own cash, figures obtained by The NY Post show.

Mario Help, 75, a Warren County man, is one of the first gun owners in the state to surrender his firearm under the state’s new Red Flag law after he sent threatening letters to public officials.

Thomas Lagan, one of two lawyers who took part in a nearly $9 million scheme that victimized the elderly, was sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison, the state attorney general’s office announced.

NYC announced yet another crackdown on Battery Park ticket scammers — a day after actor Alec Baldwin publicly complained that he and his family were hustled into buying a bogus tour of the Statue of Liberty.

WMHT’s Matt Ryan announced his next move: He’s heading over to join state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s press operation.

Former Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco has written a memoir, “Never Say Never: Adventures in NY Politics.”

If you didn’t get your STAR credit yet…you’re not alone.

Today marks five years since a family of four was brutally murdered in Guilderland, and the case remains unsolved.

A dispute over home conversions in suburban Rockland County threatens to upend Manhattan’s luxury condominium market.

A Saratoga Springs woman who pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a fatal 2015 hit-and-run crash in Halfmoon was sentenced to one year in jail, bringing an end to what had been a lengthy criminal case.

A new waiting area at CDTA’s third busiest stop is now open. The new Crossgates stop, near the entrance to Burlington Coat Factory, is closer to the entrance to Crossgates Mall than the stop it replaces.

State Police said they hope the public can help them find the killer of Dawn Andrea Svocak, a 20-year-old SUNY-Plattsburgh student whose remains were found by farmers in 1984.

Crain’s: “Reporters shouldn’t have to sue to get information that the public has a right to know.” (Amen).

Brook trout have been discovered in a high-elevation Adirondack Mountain lake for the first time since the lake was declared fishless due to acid rain 32 years ago.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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