Democrats strike deal for control of state Senate, Schumer touting Gillibrand, longtime Saratoga sheriff gets challenger, wrong way driver causes four accidents, students organize for french fries

Note: the TU's site wasn't loading this morning.

Democrats in the state Senate have worked out a deal with the "Gang of Three" senators who were threatening to side with Republicans in the upcoming leadership vote. As part of the deal, Malcolm Smith will become head of the state Senate (president pro tem), but Pedro Espada will become majority leader (no, it usually doesn't get split like that). Also apparently part of the deal: the chamber won't bring up a vote on gay marriage, which one of the Gang of Three opposes. [NYT] [NYDN] [NYP]

Chuck Schumer is reportedly encouraging David Paterson to pick Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton. [NYP]

The solider from Rensselaer County accused of killing two superiors in Iraq was found not guilty by a military jury yesterday at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. The judge had to clear the courtroom after the verdict prompted yelling from the victims' families. [AP/Daily Gazette]

Police say bystanders flocked to the aid of the family hit by a pickup truck on State Street in Schenectady Wednesday. An SPD spokesperson says the accident scene was one of the worst he's ever seen, with little kids "lying in the street screaming for their mother." [Daily Gazette]

Michael DiGioacchino, a Schenectady County corrections officer who lives in Saratoga County, has announced he's running for Saratoga County sheriff in 2009. The current sheriff, James Bowen, has held that office since 1972. DiGioacchino says his plans for the county include tightening things up a the county jail, which he says he's heard is "a cakewalk or a country club." [Saratogian]

Police say a woman drove the wrong way on I-90 between Exits 2 and 3 early this morning, causing four separate accidents. They alcohol was involved. [CBS6]

Police say a man scammed an escort out of thousands of dollars -- and, um, services -- by posing as an investigator with the Albany County sheriff's office. Police say the man has been involved in a string of scams, dating back to a 1993 scheme in which he convinced people he was a member of the US Bobsled Team. [Daily Gazette]

The much-criticized plan for a roundabout on Erie Boulevard in Schenectady is going back to the drawing board -- and may come back without a roundabout. [Daily Gazette]

Consumer confidence in New York is up slightly, according to a Siena poll. [SRI]

UAlbany will be awarding Richard Bailey's degree to his parents at the winter commencement this weekend. [Daily Gazette]

The Schenectady municipal housing authority is hoping to save a bunch of money -- and cut down on a lot of pollution -- by replacing 6000 lights with CFLs. [Daily Gazette]

French fries are back on the menu at South Colonie elementary schools after one of the students, a fourth grader, organized a petition calling for their return. [TU]

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