Rise and Shine: Dec. 2, 2019

Good morning, CivMixers! I’ve missed you! It’s a whole new month! And we have SNOW.

Boy, do we have snow.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and fulfilling and delicious Thanksgiving holiday weekend that involved a lot of fabulous food and family time and football and leftovers…and whatever else it is that makes your time off worthwhile.

I got a knock-down, drag-out cold for Thanksgiving that is still packing a punch. Hello, winter. Blech.

The weather is pretty much all there is to talk about this morning. We have a winter storm warning in effect through tomorrow – yes, you read that right, TOMORROW – at 7 a.m. We’re in a bit of a precipitation lull at the moment. But rest assured, things are going to start right back up in the afternoon and won’t be tapering off again until around midnight.

There are reports of varying amounts of snow on the ground at the moment in the Capital Region – anywhere between six inches to well over a foot, thus far. Officials are asking people to stay off the roads if at all possible.

Schools across the region have cancelled classes, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave non-essential state workers in the effected area – Albany, Schenectady, Columbia, Greene, Fulton, Montgomery, Washington, Rensselaer, Ulster, Schoharie and Saratoga counties – a snow day, too.

The storm wrecked havoc with post-Thanksgiving travel, with flights and bus trips cancelled and people stranded on snowy roads. (Some smart folks changed their plans and left for home early to beat the snow).

It also cut the governor’s own holiday vacation in Puerto Rico with his three daughters short. He returned to Albany a day earlier than expected on Saturday in anticipation of the bad weather.

The governor also reduced the speed limits on several state-owned roads. (More on that here). And motorists should be aware that the limit on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge has been lowered to 35 mph until further notice.

At Buffalo Niagara International Airport, a Delta Air Lines plane flying in from La Guardia Airport slid off the taxiway because of ice. No injuries were reported.

Singer Britney Spears is celebrating her 37th birthday today – most likely somewhere a heck of a lot warmer and sunnier than here. Actress Lucy Liu is 50, Nelly Furtado is 40, and country singer Jana Kramer is 35.

In non-weather news…

Again claiming the entire impeachment investigation is unfair, the White House told a congressional committee it will not participate in a new hearing this week.

The House Judiciary Committee, headed by New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, had been leading the debate over whether to impeach Trump long before the Ukraine affair. This week, it returns to the center of the maelstrom.

The Democratic majority on the House Intelligence Committee says its impeachment report, compiled after weeks of testimony, is due out today and will speak for itself in laying out what Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., called the evidence of “wrongdoing and misconduct” by the president over his actions toward Ukraine.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans are in the midst of a $1.4 trillion spending negotiation with some lawmakers working through the Thanksgiving recess to strike a deal to fund the government before midnight on Dec. 20, or cause another government shutdown.

Miscalculations, and an unexpected victory by Trump, have put abortion access at its most vulnerable point in decades, and the left on the defensive. Now it is trying to recover.

At least nine members of an Idaho family — including two children — returning from a weekend hunting trip were killed when their single-engine plane crashed in a South Dakota cornfield amid a harsh winter storm, officials and reports said.

A shooting rampage near the famed French Quarter of New Orleans early yesterday left 10 people wounded, revelers from an annual football game scrambling for cover and police in pursuit of at least one “cowardly” gunman.

The mad scramble between Thanksgiving and Christmas has begun – but with six fewer days.

Black Friday shoppers spent $7.4 billion online, the second largest Internet shopping day ever, according to data compiled by Adobe Analytics.

The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association will be before the U.S. Supreme Court today arguing one of the few gun cases to come before the court in nearly a decade.

State Sen. George Amedore will not seek re-election in 2020, the Rotterdam Republican said in a statement released Friday.

The economy is strong, yet New York is facing the greatest operating deficit in its budget since the Great Recession. What gives? The Buffalo News’ Tom Precious explains.

Cuomo in 2017 ordered a statewide review of compliance with his then three-year-old “Enough is Enough” law, which aimed to curb campus sexual assault, but state officials have made slow progress streamlining college policies for handling allegations of harassment and sexual violence.

Some lawmakers are proposing to equip state troopers with body cameras in New York, one of few states where the primary law enforcement agency doesn’t have body or dashboard cameras already.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan showed off her newly rehabbed Ten Broeck Triangle home.

A fire destroyed the mid-station lodge at Whiteface ski center near Lake Placid on Saturday evening. The fire broke out shortly before 9 p.m. and nearly two dozen firefighters from the Wilmington and Upper Jay fire departments responded to the scene.

Though they’re on opposite sides of the aisle today, Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, 37, and GOP impeachment hero Rep. Elise Stefanik, 35, struck up a chummy relationship while undergraduates at Harvard — and have remained friendly since.

SUNY Schenectady County Community College is celebrating 50 years.

Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner has emerged as a top contender for the seat of retiring Democratic WNY Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, though he hasn’t yet officially entered the race.

Furious Queens residents dumped on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio as they blasted the city’s response to a clogged sewer main that flooded more than 80 basements with foul-smelling wastewater a day earlier.

State lawmakers have introduced two bills that would prevent doctors from performing virginity exams. The move comes after rapper T.I. received considerable backlash following an interview in which he said he accompanies his daughter to the gynecologist to “check her hymen” is still intact.

Newly appointed NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea vowed to ensure that cops get the respect they deserve — while asking the officers to double-down on neighborhood policing.

It was a tough year for NYC real estate – especially in Albany with an all-Democrat controlled state government – and industry leaders are scrambling to adjust.

New York Air National Guard Lt. Col. William Carraher of Rexford, an Afghanistan war veteran and a retired state trooper, is the new commander of the 109th Airlift Wing’s 109th Maintenance Group.

Police have made an arrest in connection with the Black Friday shooting that led to panic at Destiny USA in Syracuse. Kyree Truax, 21, is charged with assault, possession of a weapon, and reckless endangerment.

People in Argyle recently voted to repeal a prohibition era law that banned the sale of alcohol in their town. Less than a month after Election Day, Argyle’s first and only taproom is officially open for business.

Malachy McCourt, the 88-year-old actor, writer and one-time gubernatorial candidate, is seething after a six-week stay at an Upper West Side rehab facility allegedly left him needing skin grafts. He is now suing The Riverside Premier Rehabilitation & Healing Center.

RIP Shelley Morrison, whose 64-year acting career included playing the memorable maid Rosario on NBC’s “Will & Grace” from 1999 to 2006. She died in Los Angeles today at the age of 83.

Hello? This was a bad idea from the get-go.

This happened.

This year, for the first time, New York City Ballet’s “Nutcracker” has a black Marie, the young heroine whose life is charged with magic.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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