While You Were Out: Jan. 23, 2020

Tomorrow is Friday, and I am looking forward to that. But we’ve got some headlines to get through first, so here’s the first installment:

The authorities drastically expanded a travel lockdown in central China today, essentially penning in 20 million residents to contain a deadly virus that is overwhelming hospitals and fueling fears of a pandemic.

The deadly outbreak has cast a pall over growth prospects for the world’s second largest economy, raising fears about the global outlook if the mysterious coronavirus spreads or worsens.

The coronavirus spreads more easily from person to person than previously thought, according to a WHO official.

The Trump administration is imposing new visa rules aimed at restricting “birth tourism,” in which women travel to the United States to give birth so their children can have U.S. citizenship. The regulations, which take effect tomorrow, address one of President Donald Trump’s main political priorities.

It’s OK for senators to drink milk during the impeachment trial proceedings.

Republicans brought fidget spinners into the Senate chamber to pass the time during long Democratic speeches.

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, threatened to go public with information that would expose corruption by 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Andy Byford, who was brought in to help revive New York City’s ailing subway, resigned as its leader today, ending a tumultuous two-year tenure marked by repeated clashes with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo today said he is “100 percent” willing to make changes to the state’s new cash bail law, but questioned whether adding a “dangerousness” standard would take the law back to the original proposal.

The mayors of Schenectady and Yonkers this week endorsed former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the Democratic primary for president, which came on the heels of his backing by the Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

Advocates rallied at the state Capitol today to call on lawmakers to pass a medical Aid in Dying program here in New York.

Westchester County Sen. Peter Harckham announced he would support marijuana legalization legislation alongside the bill’s sponsor, Manhattan Sen. Liz Krueger, pointing to changes he had sought with the measure, including spending for substance abuse programs as well as increased enforcement of DUI laws.

Albany-based music and entertainment retailer Trans World Entertainment plans to sell its FYE bricks and mortar business to Ancaster, Ontario-based Sunrise Records and Entertainment, the parent firm of United Kingdom-based HMV Records.

SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson delivered her third State of the University System address, saying the system needs to be more inclusive and stressing that the majority of high-paying jobs go to people with college degrees.

In emotional testimony with vivid detail, actress Annabella Sciorra said that Harvey Weinstein barged into her apartment 25 years ago and raped her.

Cameron Collins, the son of Chris Collins, was sentenced to no jail time in the same case that took down his father, the former congressman from Western New York.

Hannaford is the latest grocery store chain to announce it will charge five cents for paper bags when the state’s plastic bag ban takes effect in March.

A Hudson woman was airlifted to Albany Medical Center yesterday with serious but not life-threatening injuries after a crash along Route 9H in Claverack, State Police said.

A veteran area bartender applied for a job at Orchard Tavern West. He didn’t get it. But he did win a judgment against the bar in small-claims court, because the judge agreed that information he provided after an August interview was the equivalent of consulting services deserving compensation.

The state Comptroller’s office released a list of school districts in fiscal stress, several of which are in the Capital District.

The South Colonie Board of Education has chosen a longtime school administrator, David Perry, to lead the district, board leaders announced at the board’s monthly meeting in Colonie this week.

A Florida driver was issued tickets after an I-87 crash that involved a pickup truck and a Warren County patrol car this morning.

Democrat Aaron Gladd will not run again for the state Senate district he sought in 2018, but he might challenge Republican Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin.

Swing-district Republican Rep. John Katko has his reservations with Trump, but the pros Katko identified in continuing Trump’s presidency for a second term are a strong economy, trade agreements, and national security. He says these outweigh the policy platforms of Democrats seeking to run against him.

Fun and safety are the themes of an open house at the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District’s Sacandaga field office on Bunker Hill Road from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday Jan. 25.

The NYC Council approved legislation today that prohibits stores, restaurants and other retail outlets from refusing to accept hard currency.

A New York teen has gotten over 20,000 people to sign a petition to move the Super Bowl to Saturday because having it on a Sunday isn’t practical for football fans.

RIP Jim Lehrer, longtime host of the nightly PBS “NewsHour” whose serious, sober demeanor made him the choice to moderate 11 presidential debates between 1988 and 2012, who died today at the age of 85.

Photo credit: George Fazio.



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