Caroline's officially out, unemployment rate projected to climb, group calls public health students' confession "tainted," geese block traffic

Caroline Kennedy released a statement early this morning announcing the she has dropped out of the contention for Hillary Clinton's (now former) Senate seat for "personal reasons". Kennedy withdrawal from the process seemed a little haphazard -- and media reports about her intentions were all mixed up last night. [NYT] [AP/TU] [NYDN] [AOA]

With Kennedy out of the race, the attention is turning primarily to Andrew Cuomo and Kirsten Gillibrand. News crews were reportedly seen setting up outside Gillibrand's house in DC last night. [Politico]

An economics consultancy is projecting that unemployment in the Capital Region will hit 7.2 percent this year. [Biz Review]

According to APD dispatch records, the detective accused of driving drunk through south Albany into Bethlehem two weeks ago was observed along the way by an off-duty Schenectady cop. But police never caught up to the detective's truck until after he arrived home. And by the time they got there, officials from the police officers' union were already there. [TU]

Physicians for Human Rights says the confessions used to convict UAlbany public health student Kamiar Alaei and his brother in Iran are "tainted and unreliable." The group also says it believe the brothers were "subjected to different forms of coercion." [PHR] [TU]

Despite the slowing economy, the Watervliet Arsenal says its manufacturing business is doing well. [Troy Record]

Police say two young women used a gun to stick up a woman in Troy yesterday for $12 and a pack of cigarettes. One of the alleged muggers was arrested. [Troy Record] [TU]

Both commercial and passenger traffic on the Thruway were down over the first eleven months of 2008 compared to the same period the year before. But revenue was up because of increases in tolls. [TU]

A "social club" on North Allen St in Albany that has a history of holding illegal poker games was shut down for the second time in a year. [TU]

Jerry Jennings is scheduled to deliver Albany's state of the city address tonight. [CBS6]

There have so far been no reports of illness from salmonella-tainted peanut butter in the Capital Region. Hannaford says it's pulled all recalled items from its shelves. And Stewart's says it's checked with its suppliers about the peanut butter in its ice creams. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

Saratoga Springs' commissioner of accounts says the city could theoretically be getting $1.1 million more revenue if condos were taxed the same way as regular houses. He's been pushing for the state to change the tax rules for condos. [Saratogian]

The Saratoga Downtowner Motel, located on a prime piece of property at Broadway and Division, is up for sale. [Daily Gazette]

The City of Troy got $800,000 from the feds to hire more firefighters. [Troy Record]

A woman who grew up in Albany was on American Idol last night. She got picked to advance to Hollywood. [Fox23]

A gaggle of geese held up traffic in downtown Troy yesterday afternoon. (The picture with that story is great.) [Troy Record]

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