It’s Tuesday again, CivMixer, and I think you all know that means it is Taaaaraaaval Baaan Tuesday.*
Also, a lot is going on in the Capital District lately. I could probably fill all five things and beyond with local and state news alone.
For example: UAlbany has added four more confirmed cases of COVID, causing Albany County Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen to announce an investigation into the source of the outbreak. Since Friday, Albany County has had 87 new cases reported, and out of those, 60 can be traced back to college students.
Also, across the Hudson River, Troy Police continue to search for the murderer of 11-year-old Ayshawn Davis, as the community mourns the loss of a young life snuffed out too soon by ever-increasing violence on our local streets.
And, the Eastern New York Region Red Cross is putting out a call to action to try and get over 100 volunteers to assist in recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast, as it is about to get hit by its second major storm in less than a month. If you are interested, you can find out more information here.
And now, onto the official 5 Things…
1) In a joint press conference held in Louisville, Kentucky earlier today, the family of Breonna Taylor, their lawyers, and the Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced that they have settledthe wrongful death suit brought by Taylor’s family.
This past March 13th, Taylor, 26, was killed by police while in her bed after a series of questionable charges led to gunfire being exchanged by Taylor’s boyfriend and the Louisville Metro Police. The settlement reached today was in the civil suit that Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, drove to completion. The deal included $12 million in damages and the city’s agreement to establish multiple programs to reform police procedures.
Palmer and her lawyers, Lonita Baker and Benjamin Crump, all agree that this was a significant step forward toward rebuilding a criminal justice system that is more fair and equitable. They are also continuing to push for criminal charges to be levied against the officers involved.
On that night in March, LMP officers in the Narcotics Division were executing a controversial “no-knock” warrant. The police came in at a time when they thought Taylor would be there alone but was there with her boyfriend. He owned a firearm, and when he misjudged the situation and thought that someone was breaking into the place armed, he opened fire.
The police returned shots, and Taylor ended up paying the ultimate price. She was what many describe as a friendly, caring, considerate person working as an EMT in her community.
The three officers involved have thus far faced no legal repercussions concerning the death of this young woman. The officer who fired 10 rounds into her apartment during the incident was eventually fired in the latter part of June. Brett Hankinson was found to have wantonly and blindly discharged his weapon that night and was terminated for it.
Breonna Taylor was murdered 12 days before George Floyd suffocated while having an officer’s knee pressing his throat into the ground for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Her death did not cause sweeping protests until Floyd broke the back of many young BIPOC and their allies. Now her name is chanted in the streets during the ongoing protests for reforms to justice and fundamental civil rights for all.
Though advocacy groups agree that the civil case is a step forward, they have claimed not to stop fighting until Taylor’s killers are brought to justice. During the press conference today, her mother agreed with this sentiment, asking that until justice has been served for Breonna Taylor, we all continue to say her name.
2) Hurricane Sally manages to stay in our top five headlines of today. As she leisurely makes her way closer to the U.S. Gulf Coast, weather experts are warning that her slow pace and makeup could lead to historic flooding in the area where it finally makes landfall.
Right now, Sally is predicted to hit somewhere near the Mississippi-Alabama boundary as a Category 1 hurricane. The slow pace of the storm makes the tracking of the center and, therefore, its forecasted path that much harder.
The winds associated with a Cat 1 are expected to top out at a sustained wind of 80 MPH, and she should hit later today or early tomorrow. According to meteorologist Phil Klotzbach at Colorado State University, the biggest problem with Sally will be its ability to pour down rain, not the winds.
As of this morning, the hurricane warnings stretched from just east of Bay St. Louis, MS, and Navarre, FL. The rainfall predictions go up to 20 inches in areas along the coast, with a chance of some isolated areas getting up to 30 inches. Experts say Sally could also spawn other severe weather, such as tornadoes.
Sally is expected to move northward at a crawling pace once she comes ashore but should bypass southeaster LA. She could continue to cause minor to moderate flooding in rivers, as well as flash floods throughout the entire week.
President Donald Trump has issued emergency declarations for LA, MS, and AL yesterday, advising residents to stay alert and follow the instructions of local and state officials.
3) Guess what, CivMixers?!? Iiiiiit’s Taaaaraaval ban Tuesday.* Six states and a territory were taken off of the NYS mandatory traveler quarantine today, and one territory was added on. So…six places are gone, bringing the total number of places on the ban list to 30.
The states removed from the list are California, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, and Ohio. The territory removed from the list was the Northern Mariana Islands. Puerto Rico was added to the list.
Travelers coming into or returning home to NYS from these six states (and one territory) will not have to observe the 14-day, self-imposed quarantine as of right now. The travel 14-day quarantine started throughout the state back in June, hoping to squelch anyone coming to New York from a state or territory where the virus has a test positivity rating or ten people per 100,000 or an overall rating of at least 10 percent, based on rolling seven-day averages.
It applies both to out of state residents coming into the state or residents returning home from a visit to an area on the list. The list has exemptions in place for anyone in a restricted location for less than 24 hours or essential workers.
The complete list of states and territories are Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
4) A routine traffic stop by the State Police this past Sunday led to two men being taken into custody for having a loaded Bersa .380 pistol in their car.
After being pulled over for a vehicle and traffic violation, troopers found probable cause that made them search the vehicle. They found the pistol and took 24-year-old Juwon E. Brown of Albany and 22-year-old James Jackson, Jr. of Troy into custody, charging them with the Class C Felony of Criminal possession of a Weapon in the 2nd degree (which is a loaded firearm somewhere other that person’s business or home.
Both were remanded to the Albany County Jail in place of cash bail. Brown’s bail was set at $25,000, and Jackson’s was $5,000. Both men are ordered to appear on Sept. 15, 2020, at 9 a.m. before the court of the City of Albany.
5) There will be a free rabies clinic today at the 4-H Training Center located on Middleline Road in Ballston Spa. The times are from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., but the hours are broken up to keep animals that may not like each other apart.
Anyone needing to bring in cats or ferrets can be seen from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., and dogs from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM. All vaccines will come with a one year certificate but can be extended to three years with proof of previous vaccination.
All animals must be appropriately restrained, with the first group in cages or carriers and dogs leashed. Everyone will need to wear a mask and observe proper social distancing.
The event is being hosted by the Saratoga County Animal Shelter, and though free, donations are welcome.
Stay steady, stay strong, stay safe.
*Credit to Amy Marlette 😉
Photo credit: George Fazio.