The shelf-stocking kingpin, "rapidly" improving schools, Saratoga surplus, old-school pumps can't count high enough

Wiretap transcripts are painting a more detailed picture of the guy police say was behind the drug operation that allegedly involved the former Schenectady police chief's wife and step-son. Kerry "Slim" Kirkem is described as a part-time supermarket stocker, concerned parent, and philosopher. Among his pearls of wisdom on why you should fear no one: "Because you do (expletive) on earth, then you die." [TU]

The state Department of Education released report cards for schools across the state. Many of the districts in area suburbs were on the "high performing district" list. The Brighter Choice charter school in Albany also made that list. Eight schools in Schenectady and Albany were described as "rapidly improving," which apparently means "better, but not there yet." Or as the superintendent of Albany schools put it to the TU, "We're not just improving, we're rapidly improving." [Daily Gazette] [TU]

In what's being described as a bit of a surprise, Saratoga Springs had an almost $4 million surplus last year. [Daily Gazette]

The woman who fell through a man hole on the Union College campus five years ago had her pain and suffering award cut down two-thirds by a state appellate court. Unless she appeals, the woman will now receive $450,000 on top of the $3.36 million previously awarded to her for future medical expenses. [Daily Gazette]

An old-school gas station in Troy has pumps that can't sell gas for more than $3.99 a gallon, which has become a bit of a problem lately as premium prices have shot above $4. [Troy Record]

The Gazette has a picture of Kirsten Gillibrand's new son. [Daily Gazette]

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