Timmons gets maximum sentence, Westboro protesters in town, APD fires a cop, national experts to assess Schenectady High suicides, lucky shot was insured

Jermayne Timmons, the teen convicted of firing the shot that killed Kathina Thomas, got the maximum sentence today -- 15 years to life. [TU]

Five members of the Westboro Baptist Church showed up this morning at Albany High School to publicize the church's anti-gay message. A counter protest of 300 people was also there. Rev. Charlie Muller, one of the counter-protesters, told Capital News 9 he was there to make the point that "Jesus never hated -- he loved." [TU] [CapNews9]

The head of the State Insurance Fund resigned yesterday, reportedly after the Times Union told him it was preparing a story about why his compensation ($185,400) was way higher than the level set by law ($120,800). The state inspector general this week announced that the agency is under investigation because of a whistleblower's accusation that the org had become have for political patronage. (Earlier on AOA: The $94,000 secretary.)

State Senate Republicans have proposed an alternative budget to David Paterson's plan. The Republicans' plan leans heavily on using federal stimulus money to cover the budget gap -- and doesn't include many of the tax and fee increases in the Paterson budget. [TU]

David Paterson said yesterday he will in fact take a 10 percent pay cut -- but he won't ask anyone else in state government to do so. Ten percent of Paterson's salary is $17,9000. [AP/CapNews9]

The attorney for Steven Raucci, who's now been charged with crimes in three different counties, says he will argue on Monday that his client should be allowed to go free on bail. Local law enforcement authorities have kept Raucci in jail by charging his serially on counts including arson, criminal mischief and terrorism. The Gazette found out via FOIL this week that Raucci made $129,364 with the Schenectady School District last year. [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

The Albany Police Department announced yesterday that it fired one of its cops. The reason for dismissal wasn't disclosed, but earlier reports included allegations of pot use. [TU]

The state Office of Mental Health has brought in two national experts to assess the situation surrounding the recent spike in suicides at Schenectady High School. A local pediatrician says the suicides are a part of a cluster in which one suicide is triggers the next. [Daily Gazette]

More federal disaster relief money is headed to the Capital Region after FEMA upgraded the classification of the December ice storm to "major disaster." The Obama Administration changed the classification after lobbying by New York reps. [Troy Record] [TU]

The Capital District Transportation Committee has recommended that a renovation of the Schenectady train station and a new a rail line between Schenectady and Albany get funded by the federal stimulus money. [Daily Gazette]

The Troy City Council voted last night to approve the renovation of the old Verizon building so it can be used as a temporary city hall. [Troy Record]

Water and sewer rates are going up in Saratoga Springs. The public works commissioner says the rate hike is necessary because there's been less demand for water and thus less revenue. [Saratogian]

The New York State Museum says it will be returning the 1000-year-old bones of 180 people to the Onondaga Indian Nation in Central New York. [TU]

Remember that guy who won $25k by hitting the half-court shot at the Siena game? His prize was paid out by an insurance policy. The sponsor of the event bought a policy to cover the contest for $3,000. [TU]

The Saratogian may have won the unofficial contest to nickname GlobalFoundries, the new company building the chip fab at Luther Forest. The nickname in a headline today: GloFo. They could probably seal the win by using the phrase "crazy GloFo" in a headline. [Saratogian]


I am so proud of Albany. It is a brave thing to stand in the face of hate and preach love. Way to go protestors.

I was there at the protests this morning, it was great! 7 of them, hundreds of us!! It was all very peaceful and the APD was helpful, especially when allowing people to park on the side of the road at Washington & Fuller and stopping traffic to let us cross the street. All you need is love!!

Way to go everyone. I would have to say mission accomplished. What were they thinking sending half a dozen people here?! Haha, we smoked them. And there was not a single incident of violence. Bravo. Salud. Slainte. Cheers.

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