Catholic diocese closing many churches, Timmons' mother says they will appeal, Troy cracking down on ticket scofflaws, jewelry store gets liquor license, Circuit City closeout mobbed

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has announced that will close 17 churches in the Capital Region (33 in total across the 14 county diocese). Six churches in Troy are closing, three in both Schenectady and Cohoes will close and two in Albany are being merged with other churches. Of the consolidation, bishop Howard Hubbard said, "I feel in the depths of my heart a deep sadness." (Complete list from the diocese.) [Troy Record] [TU] [TU] [RCDA]

The mother of Jermayne Timmons, the teen convicted last week of firing the shot that killed Kathina Thomas, says her son was "railroaded." Timmons' attorney says they plan to file an appeal. [TU]

An APD detective accused of driving into a parked car will not automatically lose his license for a year after refusing to take a breathalyzer test (as the law requires) -- because the cops who arrested him didn't follow protocol. Attorneys who specialize in DWI cases say it does not look like they screwed it up on purpose, though. [TU]

There were 42 collisions between aircraft and birds reported at ALB last year -- despite escalating efforts to keep birds off the runways. [TU]

FEMA will be paying out some aid to local counties for the December ice storm after all. The agency had earlier said the level of damage here didn't reach the necessary threshold. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Hartford neighbors of the I-90 gunman say they never saw any indication he would do something like that. There some indication now the gunman was on the run after a robbery. [TU]

New rules from the federal EPA could crack down on the levels of mercury emitted by three cement plants in the Capital Region. The state's second largest emitter of mercury is the Lafarge cement plant in Ravena. [TU]

Police in Troy are cleaning up on overtime -- one sergeant almost doubled his pay last year because of the extra time. The additional pay of many city employees pushed mayor Harry Tutunjian way down the list of the top paid city workers -- his $95k only ranked 45th last year. [Troy Record] [TU]

AMD says it's cutting 9 percent of its workforce -- but the company says the cuts should not affect plans for the new chip fab in Luther Forest. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The City of Troy says it's cracking down on parking ticket scofflaws and the boot has already made multiple appearances. The city says there are more than $760k in outstanding parking tickets. [TU]

A state court has affirmed the right of horse dentists to practice without a license. [Saratogian]

A jewelry store in Colonie has gotten a liquor license from the state -- apparently the first such store to do so. The store's owners says they want to help customers be more "relaxed." [TU] [WNYT]

The Circuit City in Crossgates Commons was mobbed this weekend as the chain started its liquidation sale. The store was offering discounts of 10 to 30 percent. And it seems the crowds caused some people to get a little snippy in the parking lot. [TU] [CapNews9] [Kristi G]

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