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    This past week, I attended the opening ceremony for the Harriet Tubman Auburn Mural Commemoration. It was a lovely event attended by the organizers of the mural, the Harriet Tubman Boosters, and the artist commissioned to do the piece, Arthur Hutchinson. The mural is located at 66 Genesee St…

    New Yorkers who commit crimes could have their records automatically sealed if they stay out of trouble for a certain number of years after they have finished serving their sentences. The “clean slate” legislation approved by state lawmakers Friday would automatically seal most misdemeanor convictions three years after a person has served prison time or parole and eight years for most felony convictions. Liberal lawmakers who support the bill say a criminal record often means difficulty obtaining secure work and housing. Some Republican lawmakers warn the legislation would take away accountability for those who have committed crimes.

    The Democratic Party of Oregon says it will send a half-million dollars to the U.S. Marshals Service to conform with a request from the U.S. Department of Justice. The party had received the campaign donation from a former executive at the disgraced cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Oregon elections officials had already fined the Democratic Party of Oregon $15,000 for wrongly reporting the source of the campaign donation last year. Oregon Senate Republicans had demanded that state Democrats send back the $500,000 campaign donation. The party received the funds last fall from Nishad Singh. The former executive pled guilty in February to federal criminal fraud charges, including one count of conspiracy to violate federal campaign finance laws.

    The hazardous haze from wildfires in Canada’s northeast has eased there and throughout much of northeastern United States, but Canadian officials warn it could be a marathon fire season and are welcoming the help of firefighters arriving from other countries. A contingent of 100 French firefighters landed in Canada and were en route to the fire region Friday. Hundreds more are expected to arrive from the U.S., Portugal an Spain in the coming days, and there should be about 1,200 people fighting fires in Quebec by Monday. The  wildfire smoke that affected millions of people in Canada and parts of the U.S. East Coast has mostly dissipated, U.S. and Canadian officials said.


    New York City has filed suit against dozens of counties over their refusal to take in new migrants, the latest escalation in an ongoing battle between the city and local leaders across the state. The suit was filed in state court on Wednesday. It accuses at least 31 counties across New York of seeking to “wall off their borders” to asylum seekers through “xenophobic” orders that violate state and federal law. It comes as the city faces a spate of lawsuits over its attempts to bus migrants to other cities in order to relieve pressure on the shelter system.

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