Wall Street trouble could lead to state shortfall, Schenectady to buy back guns, UAlbany student held in Iran, express train to NYC could be arriving soon

David Paterson issued another warning that the state will be facing a significant financial shortfall this year because of the slowing economy. Problems in the financial sector, and thus Wall Street, are expected to take a big bite out of state revenues. [TU]

Schenectady will use state money to fund a gun buyback program that will also offer reward money for tips leading the seizure of illegal guns. The buyback program will give people $100 for every illegal gun turned in. [Daily Gazette]

NYRA is still in bankruptcy and it sounds like it won't be emerging any time soon. The org was just granted its sixth temporary racing extension by the state. [Daily Gazette]

A UAlbany public health student and his brother -- both doctors -- have been detained in Iran. The brothers had been working on HIV/AIDS prevention programs in their home country. [TU]

An express train from the Rensselaer station to New York City could begin service this fall. [TU]

The rewards for info leading to the arrest of the people involved in two brutal cat killings in Troy are growing -- they're now at $4,500 and $2,000. [Troy Record]

According to a state report, second home buyers and "suburban gentrification" are pushing up home prices in Saratoga, Washington, Warren and Greene counties. The report also says the biggest real estate issue facing Troy, Schenectady and Albany are the cities' abandoned buildings. [TU]

An energy expert has told the City of Schenectady that it should dump its Crown Victoria police cruisers for more fuel-efficient cars. The Crown Vics currently in use get just 8 miles per gallon. [Daily Gazette]

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While I understand why they're saying there isn't enough demand, I also am positive I would use cabs more if they were even slightly more affordable and reliable. I have zero interest in using the taxis in Albany, and would rather alter my plans (if possible) than use their service. I feel like the cab companies are saying this is a demand issue, when really it's just a "I dislike you so much, I'd rather find ANY alternative to avoiding you" issue.

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