While You Were Out: Feb. 3, 2020

While we’re waiting for the results of the Iowa caucuses to come in, which, given the process, could take a while, here are some non-Iowa headlines you might have missed today.

Closing arguments today President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial were aimed more toward history than to sway the outcome, one final chance to influence public opinion and set the record ahead of his expected acquittal in the Republican-led U.S. Senate.

The death toll from the new coronavirus has exceeded that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in mainland China. But the number of people who have recovered nationwide has also risen in recent days, suggesting that the new virus’s fatality rate is relatively low.

People desperate for treatment started descending on a new hospital that was mostly built in just 10 days to help cope with the outbreak of the new coronavirus in the central city of Wuhan today.

New York City health officials announced over the weekend that three patients might have the new coronavirus. Further testing is needed to know for sure, but for now, with isolated cases cropping up around the country, local health authorities are taking the possibility seriously.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug to treat life-threatening peanut allergies in children.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced her endorsement of former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the Democratic presidential primary.

Cohoes City Court Judge Thomas Marcelle issued an order challenging the constitutionality of the state’s bail-reform statutes, setting up the first legal battle over a measure that removed judges’ discretion to require a defendant to post cash bail.

Arena football might be making a return to the Times Union Center, the arena’s general manager said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today signed legislation to improve limousine safety as lawmakers responded to two deadly crashes that exposed systemic breakdowns in the industry.

Local sales tax collections increased 4.7 percent in 2019, according to a report released by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office. That’s slower than the 5.3 percent growth in 2018, but it was still among the stronger sales tax receipts of the last decade.

State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris was flanked by supportive lawmakers and two furry advocates today after the senator’s anti-puppy mill legislation was approved by the Senate’s Domestic Animal Welfare Committee.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said “a lot” of Democrats in his 100-plus member conference will likely oppose disgraced ex-state Sen. Hirman Monserrate’s membership if he is elected to the chamber.

A Child Victims Act lawsuit filed in the state Supreme Court in Schenectady late last month alleges that four boys attending a Niskayuna middle school sexually abused one of their classmates during a school trip in the late 1970s.

Immigrants and advocates from Make the Road New York will hold a rally in Albany at the Capitol tomorrow to push for a range of measures that would further aid the undocumented community and are being sought by progressives.

A former actress who accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her in a Midtown Manhattan hotel seven years ago was questioned by his lawyers today about her relationship with the famous Hollywood producer, which continued long afterward.

A Moreau man was charged with multiple felonies after State Police said he broke in to a person’s home and hid a recording device in a bedroom.

The Saratoga Springs marketing firm Fingerpaint has added a new office and 60 employees in its acquisition of 1798, a firm based in La Jolla, California.

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, 69, announced that he has advanced lung cancer.

Some parents found the Super Bowl 2020 halftime show featuring Latina divas Jennifer Lopez and Shakira inappropriate for kids and are sharing their dismay on social media.

Love her or hate her, you’ve got to give J-Lo props, people, she’s 50, and she looks amazing. 50! And Shakira is no slouch, either, at 43.

Next year, you’ll be able to see the original Broadway cast of “Hamilton” perform the musical smash from the comfort of a movie theater. The Walt Disney Company said it will distribute a four-year-old live capture of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s show in the United States and Canada on Oct. 15, 2021.

RIP Miriam “Mimi” Scott, a dynamic entertainment personality in the Capital Region for many years and a co-founder of Park Playhouse, who died Sunday in Darien, Conn., after a long struggle with dementia, her family said. She was 79.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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