While You Were Out: Nov. 22, 2019

I’m about to sign off for the weekend, CivMixers. But here’s a few headlines for you to chew on before I go…

In a 53-minute phone interview with “Fox & Friends,” President Trump lashed out at the impeachment process and said a key witness — who swore under oath to be truthful — made up his testimony.

“What whistleblower?” the president said. “I don’t think there is. I consider it to be a fake whistleblower, because what he wrote didn’t correspond to what I said in any way, shape or form.”

Trump says he does not expect to be impeached, claiming Democrats have “absolutely nothing” incriminating, despite days of public testimony by witnesses who said the president withheld aid from Ukraine to press the country to investigate his political rivals.

The president said he supports pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. But he stopped short of saying he would sign legislation requiring sanctions against China for any crackdown on the Hong Kong protesters.

Former Vice President Joe Biden shut down a reporter for asking what he called a “classless” question about his son Hunter allegedly fathering a child with a woman in Arkansas.

Disgraced Prince Andrew has been kicked out of his offices at Buckingham Palace, just days after announcing he was formally stepping away from official duties after a “car crash” of an interview defending his friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the Times of London reported.

U.S. health officials today told people to avoid romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California, because of another food poisoning outbreak.

Bumble Bee Foods has filed for bankruptcy.

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was re-sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison, the same penalty as before, for sexually abusing children.

Added expenses for the state’s health care program for the poor has contributed to a $6.1 billion budget gap, according to a mid-year update released today by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget office.

Powerful U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer threw a brushback pitch at Cuomo and his close ally — state Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs — for pushing new rules that could kill off the Working Families Party.

The city of Albany has spent more than double the $750,000 budgeted this year for demolishing and stabilizing buildings, with the actual number of demolitions close to last year’s amount.

Republican former Rep. Claudia Tenney has been endorsed by the Oswego County GOP committee as she seeks to regain her seat in the House from Democrat Rep. Anthony Brindisi, who won last year.

Towns and Erie and Nassau counties should be able to rest easy as they work out their budgets for next year. It appears the state Division of Budget and the counties have worked out a way to deliver Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) related payments promised by the state.

Police Chief Eric Hawkins blames a disparity in the number of low-level marijuana arrests made among the city’s blacks and Hispanics on his department’s focus on quality-of-life issues and emergency calls in the neighbors most ravaged by crime.

The Warren County Sheriff-elect, Jim LaFarr is caught in the middle of a controversy surrounding potential nepotism.

The Hudson location of Cosmic Cinemas, the dinner-and-movie-house hybrid that once promised to renovate and re-open Albany’s historic Madison Theatre, shut its doors this week, and will re-open under the same management that took over the historic, 90-year-old Madison Avenue theater.

The Bethlehem Town Board has agreed to take the next two months to have a bigger discussion about the future of the pool after residents complained about the replacement of the 45-year-old diving pool with a slide.

Equinox CEO John Henley will retire next month, ending his 18-month tenure at the human-services agency. Virginia “Ginger” Golden, who most recently was CEO at St. Peter’s and Albany Memorial Hospitals, will take the Equinox helm on Dec. 2.

The man accused of shooting 17-year-old Johni Dunia in Cohoes in November of last year has been found guilty and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

The Open Space Institute has acquired properties in Ulster County next to a Catskills forest.

Year-over-year sales tax figures released by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli show growth throughout the Greater Capital Region for the third quarter, with two exceptions — Gloversville and Schoharie County.

Four months after Kevin Rush’s departure, 99.5 The River has found a replacement. The station — which bills its musical offerings as the 1980s, the 1990s and today — has named Jason Howard as Tracy Villaume’s cohost on “The River Morning Show.” The show airs weekdays from 5:30 to 10 a.m.

Author Salman Rushdie will return to Albany for a reading and conversation at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the state University at Albany.

Citi Bike is bringing back its electric pedal-assist rides in NYC this winter after pulling them from service across the Big Apple in April due to brake issues.

Preparations are underway for the annual Equinox Thanksgiving dinner, now in its 50th year serving or delivering meals to the area’s needy.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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