Towns sue EPA over dredging, stimulus money headed for local schools, comptroller takes up ghost ticket investigation, big hospital merger, home prices down

A handful of municipalities in Saratoga County -- including the county itself -- have sued to stop the EPA's Hudson River dredging project. The governments argue the feds have not adequately guaranteed people in the county will have a safe supply of drinking water during the project, which is scheduled to start in May. State senator Roy McDonald told a meeting last night that the EPA is "taking advantage of us" and said people should tell the feds to "go to hell." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star]

Chuck Schumer says about $50 million in aid for schools is headed to the Capital Region from the federal stimulus bill. The Albany ($6.3 million) and Schenectady ($4.8 million) school districts are getting the biggest chunks of that money. Schumer also says $3 billion is on its way to help New York State cover planned cuts in aid from the state to local schools. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

David Paterson has replaced many of his top advisors. On his new communications director's resume: experience with "strategic and crisis communications work." [NYT] [TU]

The state comptroller has informed the City of Albany that his office will be conducting an audit of the city's "ghost ticket" system. [TU]

St. Peter's, Seton Health (St. Mary's) and Northeast Health (Samaritan and Albany Memorial hospitals) say they're moving toward a merger. The new group would be the Capital Region's largest healthcare provider. [TU]

The Greater Capital Association of Realtors reports that median sales price for homes in the Capital Region was down nine percent in January compared to the same month a year ago. The number of sales was down 24 percent. One outlier: prices in Albany County held steady. [Daily Gazette] [Biz Review] [TU]

State officials say they want to use federal stimulus money for a new statewide high-speed rail corridor. But they're not sure how much money -- if any -- they can get for the project. [Biz Review] (Earlier on AOA: High-speed rail? Maybe not so fast.)

CDTA's board has voted to spend almost $16 million in federal stimulus money on 40 new hybrid buses. CDTA's executive director says spending the money that way "very conservative" as opposed to using it for operating costs. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A man pleaded guilty yesterday to killing his ex-girlfriend and stashing her body in his father's Schenectady basement. [Daily Gazette]

A state Supreme Court judge has issued a temporary restraining order that restricts the start of construction on Saratoga Springs' South Side Recreation Center. A group opposing the project plans to file a suit in March. Mayor Scott Johnson says the restraining order doesn't affect the project's timeline. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

The org behind the renovation of Saratoga Springs' Universal Preservation Hall says the multi-million dollar project is moving along -- and they're hoping to bring more events to the space. [Post-Star]

A retired NYC transit worker is renovating Schenectady's Brandywine Diner and hopes to eventually re-open the restaurant. [Daily Gazette]

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Recent Comments

Washington Avenue definitely needs more than one lane in each direction, but that doesn't mean it can't be redesigned. They can reduce the size of the lanes, add a median, and add a protected bike lane where the shoulder of the road now lies. I agree, however, that the entire Harriman loop would have to be redesigned and that includes those over-passes, so this would be an extremely expensive undertaking if they want to do it right. But there could be significant development on the land that is now wasted by asphalt that could offset that cost and bulk up the tax base for the city.

Cynthia Nixon is running for governor

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787 is sticking around for a long time, but if you want to change it the time to start is now

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