Rise and Shine: Jan. 10, 2020

Good Friday morning, everyone!

It’s National Cut Your Energy Costs Day, which is meant to encourage consumers to explore their options and keep up with scheduled maintenance.

It’s also National Bittersweet Chocolate Day – a day that is sure to cause more divisions that agreement. I personally am a dark and bitter sort of gal, but i know a lot of people with a milk chocolate preference, and even a few white chocolate diehards. (BTW, no less an authority than Bon Appetit magazine says white chocolate is NOT actually chocolate, because it lacks chocolate solids…just saying).

And last, but hardly least, it’s Save the Eagles Day. Now, the bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list in 2007, but pesticides, overdevelopment, pollution, poaching and other dangers continue to threaten this population of majestic birds. History: Save the Eagles Day originated in the Village of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, in 2015 as an effort to save a pair of nesting bald eagles.

The wind was HOWLING last night and early this morning. But it’s not nearly as cold out – about 30 degrees as I write this. We’re headed into the 40s today and then soaring toward the 60s(!!!) over the weekend, according to The Weather Channel. Unfortunately, it’s going to rain, starting tonight and then on and off through Sunday morning.

Happy birthday today to rocker Rod Stewart, who’s 75 years young. He shares his day with another venerable rocker, Pat Benatar (67), retired boxer and grillmaster George Forman (71), and the first Indian American FCC Chair Ajit Pai (47).

Frank Sinatra Jr. was born on this day in 1944. He died in 2016 at the age of 72 after suffering cardiac arrest while on tour in Florida. He was the son of “Old Blue Eyes” and the target of a botched kidnapping in 1963.

In the headlines…

Reigniting a debate over who has the power to declare war, the Democratic-controlled House approved a resolution asserting that President Donald Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she will “soon” transmit the articles of impeachment against Trump, signaling a potential thaw in the standoff with Senate Republicans as she warned against rushing to an acquittal without a fair trial.

…Though the speaker offered no specific timetable for her decision, lawmakers and aides said the House could move toward a vote next week before lawmakers decamp for a weeklong recess.

Trump’s first campaign rally of 2020 in Toledo, OH jumped from humor to storytelling to direct name-calling and attacks of his Democratic opponents.

American and allied officials said that they had intelligence that missiles fired by Iranian military forces were responsible for the downing of a Ukrainian jetliner and the deaths of all aboard this week in Iran, most likely by accident.

Video footage of the area around Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell on a day he survived an apparent suicide attempt “no longer exists,” federal prosecutors told a judge.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, (AKA Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) felt forced to disclose their plans of independence prematurely – and without the Queen’s blessing – after they learned that the Sun, a tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, got wind of the internal discussions about their status and was preparing a story.

The real issue: Harry’s fury over press coverage, which has become more visceral as his feelings for his wife and child grew. He said it openly: He blamed the media for his mother’s death.

Boeing employees mocked federal rules, talked about deceiving regulators and joked about potential flaws in the 737 Max as it was being developed, according to over a hundred pages of internal messages delivered yesterday to congressional investigators.

Assemblyman Brian Kolb, the former GOP minority leader, pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge during a hearing in Victor Town Court. He said his comments at the scene about his wife and how “women drive” were taken out of context and that he was “trying to make light” of the situation.

More than a year after 20 people died in a limousine crash in Schoharie, state legislators say they have reached agreement on a package of 10 bills to improve limo safety.

State Senate Republicans introduced an amendment to roll back the bail reform law, and Minority Leader John Flanagan criticized Cuomo for not talking about the issue during Wednesday’s State of the State address.

As a result of bail reform, 18 inmates have been freed so far in Albany County. There have been 24 released in Rensselaer County, and 10 in Saratoga County.

State Senate Democrats passed a package of bills that would expand voting rights, including one that mandates automatic voter registration, which was tabled last legislative session.

A New York judge has rebuffed Trump’s bid to throw out a lawsuit filed against him by the writer E. Jean Carroll, who accuses him of hurting her career and reputation in denying her claim that he raped her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.

Harvey Weinstein’s request that the judge presiding over his rape trial in Manhattan step aside was rejected, ending an early salvo in the film producer’s attempts to mount an aggressive defense and cast doubt on the high-profile proceedings.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office offered few details on what he meant when he referred to the state absorbing the rising costs of Medicaid from local governments during his State of the State address.

Cuomo wants to raise the eligibility threshold for the state’s Excelsior Scholarship, extending the free-tuition program to households earning up to $150,000 annually.

Anyone wondering what Cuomo’s 2020 agenda looks like — really looks like — need gaze no further than a commemorative poster that the governor unveiled at a private reception on Wednesday night after his annual State of the State address, which aimed to outline the same ideas. Minus the sea monsters.

A crypto virus that attacked the Albany County Airport Authority’s computer management provider during the Christmas holiday period infected the authority’s servers as well, encrypting files and demanding a ransom payment. The authority’s insurance carrier authorized a payment that was “under six figures.”

The Troy City Council stuck to party lines last night when it came to fighting over the political patronage appointments of city marshals that was driven by a marshal’s campaign work for the Republicans and a social media posting she made from an eviction.

Three Schenectady County department heads who retired in 2019 after several decades left with huge payouts that swelled their take home pay last year.

A Stillwater woman was arrested after authorities say she tried to smuggle medication that treats opioid withdrawal into Saratoga County Jail.

The U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division stationed in Fort Drum does not expect any additional deployments to the Middle East in spite of the recent tensions with Iran.

Three University at Albany basketball players are 10,000 miles from their homeland, but they can feel the ferociousness of the bushfires that have devastated Australia recently.

The Coeyman’s Town Board voted unanimously to cut $280,000 in funding for its police department to help balance the budget.

…A new agreement between Coeymans and the Albany County Sheriff’s Department will increase the number of patrol cars on the road in the town each day.

East Greenbush police are reminding people to lock their cars after multiple reports of car break-ins.

Megyn Kelly kept her distance from “Bombshell,” which presents her as a key figure in exposing sexual harassment at Fox News, until yesterday when she posted an online video that shows her watching the film with other women who said they were similarly treated by former network chairman Roger Ailes, who died in 2017.

RIP Mamie Lang Kirkland, who died last month at her home in Buffalo, of which she was the oldest resident at the time of her death at 111 years old. She was the mother of nine, the matriarch of another 158, a longtime saleswoman for Avon Products, whose life helped inspire the creation, in 2018, of the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, in Montgomery, Ala.

RIP Frederick W. Richmond, a New York philanthropist and civic leader who helped save Carnegie Hall from demolition but whose tenure in Congress — and public life — ended abruptly in 1982 when he pleaded guilty to corruption charges. He died on Dec. 28 at a nursing home in Manhattan at the age of 96.

A bill introduced in Vermont would make owning a cellphone illegal in the state for anyone under the age of 21.

Photo credit: George Fazio.



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