Joe Bruno's daughter under scrutiny, Thruway toll hike kicks in, local t-shirt biz hopes to help kids in Africa, ice fishing heats up,

The TU reports that Susan Bruno -- Joe Bruno's daughter -- has come under scrutiny as part of the long-running federal investigation into her father. At issue: whether Susan Bruno was given a high-paying job at the SUNY Research Foundation, but not really required to do much. Also: her spelling skills apparently need some work. [TU]

Filings at the Albany office of federal bankruptcy court were up more than 20 percent in 2008 over the year before. [TU]

Gun sellers at a show in Saratoga Springs say business is way up this year. They cite concerns among gun owners that the Obama Administration will push for stiffer gun control laws. [Saratogian] [CapNews9]

A five percent increase in Thruway tolls took effect on Sunday. [Fox23]

The weekend in shootings: two men were shot in Schenectady, apparently in separate incidents. And a man was shot early Sunday morning in Troy. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

A new law in Saratoga Springs fines property owners whose burglar alarms issue multiple false alarms to emergency responders in a year. [Daily Gazette]

Two guys from Schenectady have started a t-shirt business aimed at helping kids in Uganda get the clothing they need to attend school. [Daily Gazette]

Local fisherpeople say the ice is finally thick enough for ice fishing to start this season. [Saratogian]

Top local Scrabble players are obsessive and, apparently, only capable of communicating via Scrabble tiles. [TU]

Longtime Albany common councilman Phil DiPace -- he served 32 years -- seems to have not gotten his fill of council work. He's currently the president of his retirement home's residents council. [TU]

Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons is honoring teacher Thomas Maguire at a mass today. The math teacher passed away recently after teaching at the school for 42 years. Maguire was known for his dedication to teaching -- a former student says he once puked during class, wiped his mouth and then continued writing on the chalkboard. [ND-BG] [Daily Gazette]


I taught at ND-BG for four years alongside Tom, from 2004-2008. While I didn't witness the vomiting incident, knowing Tom as I did, it has to be true.

He was the teacher that yelled at students, got mad at the drop of the hat, and could be worked up to be red in the face. He had more energy in that tiny five-foot frame than most professional athletes. His loud gravely voice could be heard over a hundred screaming high-schoolers.

Both he and his students loved every minute of it. Tom was a showman, in every possible way. His acting was superb, and he put on an entertaining and heartfelt show every minute of every day for 42 years in the classroom.

Despite the act, Tom loved every one of his students. He worked with them into the evening hours, making sure their integrations by parts were precise while having laughing fun the whole time. He would do anything for a student, even if it meant that the student needed to endure a scowl from Tom.

Tom was the calculus teacher while I was the physics teacher, and we often traded light-hearted barbs at each other through students. Knowing it would irritate him, I once sent students trickling out of one of my tests late headed to his class with passes written on paper towels; the towels got longer and longer until the last student carried one that was ten feet long. I could hear the yelling from my room 100 feet away. It was wonderful.

His devotion to theater and the arts was unsurpassed, even choreographing musicals at ND-BG into his seventh decade. A regular at Proctors and frequent visitor to New York City, Tom saved every program of every show he ever saw.

Break a leg in Act Two, Tom. You've touched many lives and you'll be missed by us all.

Definitely check out the t-shirts! Not only is the company's mission terrific, the design is really lovely. Even my brother in Michigan who hates everything just put in an order for one.

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