Rensselaer flood damage adds up, Dare gets five years in prison, unemployment rate up, horse escapes from The Track, big year for mushrooms, Larkfest grows

The mayor of Rensselaer says the city suffered more than $20 million in damages during the flooding on Monday. He says the city doesn't have the money to cover the damages and it's looking for help from the state and federal governments. [TU]

One-time Albany community leader Aaron Dare was sentenced to more than five years in prison yesterday for his involvement in a string of fraudulent real estate deals. [TU]

The Capital Region's unemployment rate hit 5 percent in July, that's up from 4.1 percent over the same period last year. The area has had a net loss of 1,000 jobs over that period. [TU] [Biz Review]

The Governor's state police security detail will now be allowed to stop supervision of the Gov only after getting a signed order from him. The new rule was prompted by Eliot Spitzer's verbal dismissal of his security detail during his rendezvous with a prostitute in DC. [NYP]

A horse got loose at The Track this week and escaped through the front gate and crossed over Union Ave. Apparently guards at the gate were slow to close it, which has led to calls for more training and better staffing. [TU]

This summer's above-average rainfall has been a mixed bag for farmers. Hay has been harder to harvest, which could lead to higher milk prices, and tomatoes have been slower to ripen. But apples don't seem to mind the wet weather and it's is looking like a great year for pumpkins. [Saratogian]

One other bumper crop from all the rain: mushrooms. An expert says rare types of mushrooms not seen here in years are popping up around the region. You shouldn't eat them, though -- many of them are poisonous. [Daily Gazette]

It turns out the grave stone used as a patio stone in a Schenectady woman's backyard wasn't marking an actual grave. Or, at least, it wasn't anymore. It appears the stone's body (so to speak) had been moved before the house was built. [Daily Gazette]

The blocked-off area for this year's Larkfest will include Townsend Park on Washington Ave for the first time (map). Larkfest is September 20. [TU]

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I ride every day to work, and also after work for exercise. I love the concept of being a person who happens to ride a bike. There's a level of bike riding, with the high performance gear and sleek clothing, that makes riding seem like its not for everyone. I try to avoid markers like that, and always wear regular clothing/shoes/backpack with dumpy-looking bike. One concession is bike gloves.

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