While You Were Out: Jan. 29, 2020

I’m playing catch-up after being a little out of the loop today. Join me, won’t you?

U.S. Senators questioned the impeachment managers and President Trump’s lawyers. Among the surprising arguments made today: The president’s lawyer Alan Dershowitz argued that any action to aid re-election could be considered in the nation’s interest and therefore cannot be impeachable.

Britain’s departure from the European Union was backed by European lawmakers today, after a debate that mixed warm words of love with hard-headed warnings to the country not to seek too many concessions during upcoming trade talks on a future relationship.

The New York State Department of Health is investigating 10 possible cases of the coronavirus, but they won’t say where. As of last night, 10 people around the state have already been tested. Seven people have been cleared, including two who were tested in Broome County.

Mainland China now has more cases of coronavirus than it had of SARS, a respiratory infection that spread across China in 2002 and 2003 and killed 774 people in 17 countries. During the SARS outbreak, China had 5,327 cases and 349 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Even though there are only five cases of Wuhan coronavirus in the United States, the mask hoarding has begun, and public health experts are worried.

After a series of conversations, organizers this week canceled a Lunar New York event — scheduled to take place this weekend in Flushing, Queens — amid mounting anxiety over the coronavirus.

There should be an entity to oversee the work and conduct of prosecutors, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this morning in a radio interview – less than 24 hours after a state judge ruled a prosecutorial conduct commission was unconstitutional.

…but it remains unclear whether lawmakers will push back against the court decision that struck down a law that would allow for the creation of a special panel to evaluate complaints of misconduct against the state’s prosecutors.

Cuomo said the best way to get marijuana legalized for adult recreational use is to do it in the budget, and if that doesn’t happen “it’s not going to get done.”

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins told reporters the Legislature will “learn from what other states have done and make sure we have a very, very good law.” But other states – like Colorado – have provided cautionary tales, as far as lawmakers have been concerned.

State Senate Republicans announced plans to hold roundtable discussions on the state’s new cash bail law, a sign GOP lawmakers will continue to highlight the issue through the state budget season at the Capitol.

The state Assembly approved a package of bills meant to help people with disabilities. The measures came with a bipartisan flourish, with both Speaker Carl Heastie and Minority Leader Will Barclay supporting the legislation.

The New York Racing Association announced that race caller Larry Collmus will not return in 2020. He will be replaced by long-time NYRA employee John Imbriale, who has worked with the company for 41 years.

A Capital Region health insurer announced this month that it’s partnering with nonprofit drugmaker Civica Rx on a new venture designed to bring down the rising cost of generic medicines.

Supporters were in Albany today to ask state lawmakers to pass a bill that would lower the legal blood alcohol content threshold from .08 percent to .05 percent.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan will give her state of the city address at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the Common Council chambers at City Hall.

The Empire State Winter Games begin tomorrow and one of the two torch relays made its way through the Capital Region this morning.

A Gloversville man is accused of threatening employees at a Fultonville business with gunfire, Montgomery County Sheriff Jeffery Smith said.

Construction workers, it seems, are everywhere in downtown Troy and neighboring Green Island as a resurgence in city living gathers speed.

Brush aside the Old Bay seasoning and trade it in for some hot sauce. That’s right, McCormick is taking the iconic flavor to the next level with a limited edition hot sauce.

The Buffalo News has been sold to Lee Enterprises, after being with Berkshire Hathaway since 1977.

NYC’s teachers union has been actively fighting the expansion of charter schools, which have certain advantages over traditional public schools.

Walmart has reportedly revealed plans to remove over half of its employees at an e-commerce office in New York City.

A burglar bashed his way into Billy Joel’s Long Island abode and vandalized a dozen of his beloved motorcycles, police sources said.

In light our of recent very personal post about tattoos, maybe you’re feeling inspired? Check this out.

There’s a coyote in Central Park.

The state Capitol’s Escher-like quality never ceases to amaze me…I took this photo the other day.

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