While You Were Out: Nov. 15, 2019

Got cut out early this Friday afternoon to make a train, CivMixers. I’ll leave you with these headlines to chew on for now…

Roger J. Stone Jr., a former aide and longtime friend of Trump, was found guilty today of obstructing a congressional investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election in what prosecutors said was an effort to protect the president.

Stone is the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of Mueller’s probe. His sentencing was set for Feb. 6 and he could face up to 20 years in prison. The jury deliberated for two days.

Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo was kicked out of the Stone trial today after he turned his back on jurors as they exited the courtroom. Caputo, a longtime friend, has attended the trial every day, sitting with the Stone family.

Even as Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, was testifying during Day 2 of the impeachment hearings about the president’s “very intimidating” Tweets and his “smear campaign against me,” he was hurling new insults at her on Twitter.

“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go?” Trump wrote, assailing her on Twitter to his 66 million followers and adding that “It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.:”

The White House released the transcript of Trump’s first call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky — in which he congratulated him “on a fantastic election.”

There is no mention of Trump’s determination to have Ukraine’s government investigate his political rivals — one subject of a July phone call that has become the focus of an impeachment inquiry in Congress. But a White House readout of the call in April provides a different account.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren vowed to pass major health care legislation in her first 100 days as president, unveiling a new, detailed plan to significantly expand public health insurance coverage as a first step, and promising to pass a “Medicare for all” system that would cover all Americans by the end of her third year in office.

As health experts continue to warn of the dangers of vaping, Apple is taking note. The company said it has removed 181 vaping-related apps from its mobile app store globally to discourage its use.

Americans stepped up their shopping last month, spending more online and buying more cars, evidence that consumers can still drive the economy’s growth. Still, the details of the report were weaker than expected, economists said.

Ahead of a potential campaign announcement, former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman, is beginning a $100 million digital campaign designed to attack and define Trump in the top battleground states seen as likely to decide the 2020 election.

Prince Andrew is speaking out for the first time about his former ties to disgraced money manager Jeffrey Epstein in a “no holds barred interview” set to air this weekend.

A proposed 2.5 percent increase in water and sewer rates in Albany will be the topic of discussion at a public hearing. The Albany Water Board will host the public hearing from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at 10 N. Enterprise Drive in Albany.

Brooklyn Democratic Assemblyman Joe Lentol today announced a measure that would create integrated mental health community clinics in the state. The facilities would focus on issues like eating disorders, substance abuse and suicide prevention as well as other behavioral issues.

Approximately $1 million in stolen wages, damages and penalties will be paid back to nearly 350 backstretch workers, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

National Grid does not believe its ongoing dispute with New York over its refusal to hook up new natural gas customers will result in its downstate utilities being replaced, the company’s chief executive said.

NYSUT has named Alithia Rodriguez-Rolon its director of legislation, a role that will have her supervising and managing NYSUT’s team of representatives for the Legislature, analyze legislation and shape formal legislative positions for the group.

After a third community input meeting, the East Greenbush Central School District has decided start times for schools in the district will not change for the 2020-21 school year. Officials with the school will continue to study the impacts of the change.

Zaquan Rucker, 30, of Albany, who sped off last night after sheriff’s deputies tried to pull him over died after slamming into an office building while being pursued, according to the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office.

The University at Albany unveiled a new eSports Arena for their competitive video gaming team.

As skiing and snowboard season opens today the state touted new technology that will relieve congestion getting to the top of the mountain.

The NYC Council voted to obligate below-market housing developments that receive $1 million or more in city assistance pay prevailing wage to the staff members who maintain the structures and tend to tenant needs.

Flying in and out of New York City is more expensive for travelers than at any other city in the nation, according to a new study that looked at costs for everything from domestic air fare to a cup of airport coffee.

Taylor Swift said she may not perform at the American Music Awards and may have to put other projects including a forthcoming Netflix documentary on hold because the men who own her old recordings won’t allow her to play her songs.

The state departments of Transportation and Environmental Conservation has released a draft unit management plan amendment for the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor.

If you’re single and looking for love, don’t move to Yonkers.

How did I not know about this? Road trip!

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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