Good morning and a happy Thursday to all. We’re almost at the weekend.

Happening today:

At 10 a.m., Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will join Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon to tour Empire Recycling, 64 N. Genesee Street, Utica.

Also at 10 a.m., Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will announce downtown revitalization funding, The Historic Belknapp, 106 Main St., Penn Yan.

At 10:30 a.m., the Public Service Commission will meet, 3 Empire State Plaza, 19th Floor, Albany.

At 10:45 a.m., Heastie will ride along the Utica bike trail, Mohawk Street Marcy Trail Entrance, 5 Scharbach Drive, Marcy.

At 11:15 a.m., Heastie will visit Esche’s Aqua Vino Restaurant, 16 Harbor Lock Road, Utica.

At 12:15 p.m., Suffolk County officials will be conducting active shooter drills. SCPD Special Patrol Bureau, 2175 Smithtown Ave., Ronkonkoma.

At 1 p.m., Hochul will announce downtown revitalization funding, Elks Lodge Auditorium, 223 Front St., Oswego.

At 1:30 p.m., Heastie will be joining Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara to tour construction site of future Boys & Girls Club, 104 Education Drive, Schenectady.

At 2:15 p.m., Heastie will visit Mont Pleasant Library, 1036 Crane Street, Schenectady.

At 7 p.m., Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver remarks, Gracie Mansion, 88th St. and East End Ave., New York City.


Melinda Katz is officially the Democratic nominee for Queens District attorney after Tiffany Caban formally conceded the race, ending more than six weeks of suspense, court battles and manual recount drama that exposed a wide division in the local Democratic Party.

The holdup over returning pre-audit power to the state comptroller’s office has frustrated some lawmakers, particularly in the state Senate, which wants the reforms done now.

In response to the recent mass shootings, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on the Democratic presidential candidates to endorse a pledge to make America safer from gun violence and hate.

Lobbying regulators for the last year have pressured Kat Sullivan, a supporter of the Child Victims Act, to register to lobby after she paid for billboards and a plane to fly a banner in support of the measure. But now Sullivan has an ally in the Legislature.

Some medical cannabis businesses are now pushing New York regulators to allow for a smokable version after lawmakers failed to agree a broader legalization bill earlier this year.

New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission on Wednesday extended for one year a cap on ride-hailing app vehicles, such as Uber and Lyft, and approved news rules on how long drivers can cruise in parts of Manhattan without a passenger.

The MTA’s deficit could be far worse than predicted, as watchdogs note the authority is assuming hundreds of millions of dollars in savings that won’t happen under current worker contracts and not taking into consideration the potential of an economic downturn.

Comptroller Scott Stringer warned New York City’s rainy day fund could be in danger as the budget surplus has plunged by $355 million.

As President Trump visited the latest two cities victim to mass shootings, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made a stop in Rochester. Though his visit was not made to talk gun safety, he says loopholes in background check laws are making it easier for certain people, who should not own a gun, to get their hands on one.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Wednesday night, debating guns, taxes and “meatless Mondays.”

A complaint filed at the Federal Election Commission says Mayor de Blasio’s presidential campaign broke campaign finance rules and concocted a “shell game.”

As former Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito launches a congressional bid, the candidates for the district from the south Bronx are telling the Manhattan resident to stay home.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers tried to raid a Brooklyn homeless shelter, but did not have a warrant.

The Trump administration plans to roll back an Obama-era regulation which included sexual identity in the definition of sex discrimination — a move opposed by officials in New York.

A planned $1.3 billion project that would bring the New York Islanders back to Nassau County faces a critical vote today.

Latino residents on Long Island are worried a copycat shooter, spurred by the El Paso mass shooting on Saturday, could target them.

Officials at a rally on Wednesday said National Grid’s natural gas moratorium has stalled development on Long Island.

Members of the New York state Senate Investigations Committee expressed in a 143-page report they found numerous shortcomings by state and local governments during a six-month code enforcement investigation.

Aside from the dull hum of a lawn mower and the soft buzz of cicadas, the Syracuse University campus is quiet. It’s a little too quiet for the nation’s number one party school.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie took a tour of Mechanicville on Wednesday, part of his annual travels around the state during the summertime.

There was a preview of the New York State Fair butter sculpture on Wednesday. Not the design, but who’s designing it.

Even before new state justice reforms hit the books next year, fewer people are going to jail in Monroe County.

Republican former Rep. John Sweeney is battling cancer.

A judge has denied disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s petition to let him travel to Europe.

Sail Buffalo could be forced to move from its current location, which is owned by the Coast Guard. Sen. Schumer wants it to stay put.

For the past 28 years, fans from across the globe have been celebrating Lucille Ball’s birthday at the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown. The four-day event kicked off Wednesday.

In national news:

The United Nations is warning that climate change is posing a threat to the world’s food supply.

President Trump traveled to the grieving communities of Dayton and El Paso, but continued to stoke divisions along the way.

Both former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Cory Booker blasted the president in speeches, saying he is fostering hatred in the U.S.

The billionaire founder of SoulCycle is under fire for hosting a fundraiser for President Trump.

The National Rifle Association is warning Republicans to not support strengthened background checks for gun purchases after President Trump expressed an openness to the idea.

A donor to the NRA has filed a lawsuit over the expenses incurred by the gun group’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre.

ICE agents arrested nearly 700 people in a massive series of raids at Mississippi work sites.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign has released policy proposals meant to appeal to voters between Joe Biden and the more liberal challengers like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

From the editorial pages:

The Times Union blasted the Joint Commission on Public Ethics’s pursuit of a lobbying case against an advocate of the Child Victims Act.

The Daily News writes President Trump can’t be trusted to follow through with pledges to push for gun control.

The New York Post agreed with its rival tabloid.

Newsday says there needs to be more sunlight over contracting in Hempstead.

From the sports pages:

The Yankee juggernaut continues against the sad-sack Orioles as the Bronx Bombers won 14-2.

The New York Mets (!) are now a half game out of securing a postseason berth.

Kevin Durant revealed he had always planned to sign with the Nets over the Knicks, citing the Brooklyn squad’s effort to put winning pieces together.