Pataki to take on Gillibrand?, Albany council pursuing ghost ticket scandal, Troy could be among first for stimulus money, cable bills going up, crustacean capers hot right now

George PatakiThe head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee has reportedly approached George Pataki about running against Kirsten Gillibrand in 2010. [AP/Troy Record]

State Democrats "familiar" with the situation say David Paterson is considering the return of Charles O'Byrne, who was his top advisor until O'Byrne resigned over tax problems. Paterson is reportedly frustrated by accusations that his administration is coming apart. [NYT] [NYP]

The Albany Common Council has scheduled sworn testimony in March from police department and union officials about the ghost ticket scandal. Officers called to testify will have to be paid three hours of overtime if the hearing doesn't occur during their regular shift. [TU]

The Schenectady police officer accused of being serially absent from patrol has been suspended without pay for a month. The officer topped the department's pay list last year after racking up enormous amounts of overtime. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

One of the Albany River Rats says "guys were flying around like ping-pong balls" as the team bus rolled over on the Mass Pike during its crash early Thursday morning. Four players and one of the team's broadcasters were hospitalized overnight. A spokesman for Yankee Trails, the company that owned the bus, says the driver at the wheel yesterday is an "exceptional" operator. Mass state police are investigating the cause of the crash -- ice appears to be the leading candidate. The Rats' game scheduled for tonight has been postponed. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Troy Record]

Troy's Congress-Ferry Street reconstruction could be one of the first projects in the state to get funded by federal stimulus money -- all $6.42 million of it. Also, it looks like it will cost about $500k for the city to renovate the old Verizon Building into a new (possibly temporary) city hall. [TU] [Troy Record]

Schenectady mayor Brian Stratton will meet President Obama in DC today during a meeting between the Obama Administration and the US Conference of Mayors. [CapNews9]

An Albany County office employee is suing officials in the county sheriff's department. The employee says she was punished after complaining about being harassed by an undersheriff. [TU]

Newkirk Products -- a local company that makes info brochures for 401k plans -- says it's laying off 30 employees. It also says its highest-earning employees -- including the firm's founders -- are taking a pay cut. [TU]

With no leads surfacing in the Richard Bailey murder, the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association is pushing for more police patrols in the neighborhood. [CapNews9]

The latest crime craze in the Capital Region: seafood theft. Police say the latest crustacean caper came when a Watervliet man tried to make off with almost $100 of meat, crab legs and lobster tails from a Central Ave Price Chopper. [TU] [Troy Record]

Time Warner Cable rates are going up between four and six percent this month. [TU]


photo: Christopher Peterson

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