Budget drama in Troy, charges against Schenectady cops dismissed, Smith's leadership of Senate off to weird start, NYRA forecasts finish in the money

Troy mayor Harry Tutunjian has vetoed the 2009 budget passed by the city council. He says the council unlawfully shifted money into a contingency fund at the last moment. The council president says the shift was made to provide "oversight" of the contingency money. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany County legislature approved its 2009 budget, which includes a four percent tax increase. [TU]

A Schenectady County Court judge dismissed official misconduct charges against three Schenectady police officers yesterday. The trio had been charged with not turning on their patrol car's video camera and failing to fill out the proper paperwork following a DWI stop last December in which the suspect accused the officers of using excessive force. The officers have been on paid leave since then. [Daily Gazette]

A grand jury found that two Albany police officers were justified in firing their guns during a chase in September. Police say the suspect in the case pointed a gun at them. [TU]

Malcolm Smith -- the presumptive next head of the state Senate -- held two somewhat bizarre press conference yesterday in which he managed to not say a whole lot about the reported deals that will give control of the chamber's leadership to the Democrats. During the first press conference, Smith actually tapped on his watch after four minutes and left. [TU] [CapCon]

One thing that did come out of those press conferences: Neil Breslin will become chairman of the state Senate's insurance committee. [Biz Review]

A survey by a staffing firm reports that Capital Region employers aren't looking to add -- or subtract -- to much from their workforces in the near future. One place that is looking to hire: the state unemployment call center.. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

NYRA's forecasting that it could turn a profit next year. The racing org lost more than $30 million last year (figures for this year aren't in, yet) -- but it's hoping its new franchise agreement with the state will help it turn the corner. [Saratogian]

The developer that's renovating the Center City building in downtown Schenectady wants to add a $10 million addition to the building. [Daily Gazette]

The Sage Colleges says it will be increasing the amount of financial aid it awards. [TU]

The Shenendehowa school district is using its website to answer questions from the community -- and squash rumors. [TU]

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This is potentially good news for St. Josephs. I walk around it 2 or 3 times a week and the last few years the deterioration has seemed to accelerate. She will be looking right at it everyday from her front windows.

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