Paterson to appoint Gillibrand to Clinton's seat, unemployment rate jumps, state employee accused of loan sharking, woman profits from lucky mistake

An aide to David Paterson has confirmed that the governor will appoint Kirsten Gillibrand to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. Paterson's office has been contacting local elected leaders to assemble them for a press conference this afternoon. And Gillibrand returned to the Capital Region last night. [AP] [TU] [CBS6]

Names are already surfacing of people looking to take over Gillibrand's seat in the House. Sandy Treadwell says he'll run again. State senator Betty Little is apparently interested, as are Jim Tedisco and John Faso. Former Saratoga Springs mayor Val Keehn and current city public safety commissioner Ron Kim also say they're interested. [CapNews9] [NCPR] [TU] [Saratogian]

The Capital Region's unemployment rate in December hit 5.9 percent, that's up almost two points from the same period a year ago. It's now at its highest point since 1991. An analyst with the state Labor Department says the region's unemployment rate could surpass 7 percent by the end of this year. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Albany County Sheriff's Department busted a handful of prostitution operations around the area yesterday. Four of the people arrested were 19-years-old or younger. One of the operations was based in Colonie right near the Crossings park -- cue the "we never thought it would happen here" soundbite from the neighbors. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Fox23]

Twelve thousand people in in Clifton Park are being told to boil their water for the next two days after a water main break. A water authority official says a 12-inch pipe developed a 17-foot crack -- the pipe was about 40 years old. [TU] [Saratogian]

A state employee has resigned after allegations that he was conducting a loan shark business via his state email account. State investigators say the man sometimes would take drugs or sexual favors as payment on loans. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A Troy police sargent -- who was also the city's fourth highest-paid employee last year -- was arraigned yesterday on charges of reckless endangerment and harassment after an alleged fight with his girlfriend. [Troy Record]

Jerry Jennings floated a handful of new proposals during his State of the City speech last night -- apparently to the surprise of common council members. [TU]

James Campbell, the Albany County sheriff, says he's running for re-election. Campbell was first elected in 1989. [TU]

The Capital District Transportation Committee's planning committee is proposing $519 million worth of local infrastructure projects that could be funded by federal stimulus money. A member of the committee says they should probably only expect about 1/5 of that. [Daily Gazette]

A study conducted by the Capital District Transportation Committee recommends five new traffic circles on Rt 146 (Northway Exit 9) in Clifton Park. [Daily Gazette]

Paul Volcker, former Fed chairman and current advisor to President Obama, will be the commencement speaker at Union College this year. [Daily Gazette]

Two local women each recently won a million dollars playing scratch-off lottery tickets. One of them was sold the wrong ticket by mistake. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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I've found that anecdotes from neighbors, friends, or internet "strangers" can only take you so far. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you get out there and visit these schools during the school year, during the school day to get a feel for things. In the last few months, my wife and I have made a series of visits to our local elementary, middle + high-school. During those visits, we had the chance to talk to multiple teachers and see the kids "in action". It was very VERY telling in a lot of ways - both good and bad.

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