Legislature cuts $1 billion, many in Rensselaer didn't have flood insurance, rider dies at The Track, Troy official's ability to spell questioned, adults argue over basketball hoop, OMG! Brian Stratton loves texting

The state legislature has agreed to cut about $1 billion from the state budget over the next two years, including a little more than $400 million from this year's budget. That falls short of David Paterson's $600 million goal. The cuts include $50 million in member items (that would be pork). [TU]

Paterson will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention next week in Denver. [NYT]

FEMA maps indicate that most of the City of Rensselaer is in a flood zone, but only six of the 60 homes and business affected by the recent flooding have flood insurance. One resident says no one told them they were in a flood zone. [WNYT]

An exercise rider at The Track died yesterday after being thrown from a horse Monday. [Saratogian]

Local colleges and universities are facing a housing crunch. Students are being forced to live in lounges and tripled up in rooms intended for doubles. [TU]

The Half Moon Town Board has approved a zoning change that would allow the construction a proposed hospital there. Residents say a hospital/emergency department is needed because the area is too far from emergency departments in Albany and Saratoga. [Daily Gazette]

The Troy city council will vote tonight on the plan to lease the Verizon Building as a replacement city hall -- and it seems like city officials are squeezing to get all their squabbling in. Bill Dunne, one of the councilman, says he's concerned the plan is too rushed. Bob Mirch, the city's commissioner of public works, says Dunne is being "obstructionist." To which Dunne responded in the Troy Record: "Mirch is an idiot... I'm not even sure Bob could spell feasibility." [Troy Record]

If you'd like to see even more adults argue like children, it's your lucky day. Watch as three grown adults yell at each other over a basketball hoop in Troy. [WNYT]

The old gas station at the corner of Circular and South Broadway in Saratoga could be turned into a pocket park. Demolition started on the site this week. [Saratogian]

Schenectady mayor Brian Stratton is all about texting now. [Daily Gazette]

Saratoga cops recently got a new police horse. King Tut joins the department's other horse, Jupiter, on the beat. [TU]

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