Assembly passes same-sex marriage bill, GE battery plant coming to Capital Region, NY's top court says no police GPS without warrant, condo slump in Saratoga, the $500 wedding

The state Assembly passed a bill that would allow same-sex marriage. The vote was 89-52 -- that's four more "yes" votes than in 2007. Five members who had voted "no" two year ago voted "yes" this time around. The lobbying focus now shifts to the state Senate, where there's currently no vote scheduled on the bill. The Senate sponsor of the bill said last night the he thinks he has enough votes to pass the measure. [TU] [Daily Politics] [NYT] [Planet Albany]

GE announced that it will build a plant to manufacture special rechargeable batteries somewhere in the Capital Region. The plant will employ 350 people and will cost $100 million -- $15 million of which the state is chipping in. The exact location of the plant has yet to be determined. Saratoga County officials are hoping the plant will land at the Luther Forest tech campus or NYSERDA's Saratoga Technology & Energy Park. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Former state health commissioner Antonia Novello was arraigned yesterday in Albany County Court on 20 count indictment that alleges she took advantage of her staffers while she headed up the health department. She could get as many 12 years in prison. An earlier state inspector general report concluded that Novello had run up almost $50k in staff overtime for things such as driving her to the mall, watering her plants and arranging her furniture. Novello's case is being compared to former state comptroller Alan Hevesi, who resigned after it came out he had been using state employees to chauffeur his wife. Novello's lawyer she's being targeted for political reasons. [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette] [NYP] [NYDN]

New York's top court ruled yesterday in a 4-3 decision that police cannot place a GPS device on a suspect's car without a warrant. The majority decision concluded the such use of GPS violates a person's 4th amendment rights. The ruling reverses the 2007 burglary conviction of a Watervliet man. [NYT] [TU] [Troy Record]

Minority elementary school students made big gains on the most recent state English test -- both across the state and in Albany. [TU]

Police say two UAlbany students were robbed -- and one beaten with a shotgun -- by two men who entered their Ontario St apartment Monday night (map). Police say it looks like the students were specifically targeted. [ASP] [Troy Record]

Supporters of Dr. Kamiar Alaei, the UAlbany public health student being held with his brother in Iran, hope that the recent release of journalist Roxana Saberi will focus attention on the brothers' case. [TU]

Home values are up significantly in Schenectady's long-troubled Hamilton Hill neighborhood -- though some residents aren't sure why. [Daily Gazette]

Only about 33 percent of the condos on the market in Saratoga last year were sold, according to data from a real estate firm. [Post-Star]

A Saratoga Springs couple is planning a $500 wedding as part of competition sponsored by a cable channel. They get $10k if they win. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

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I ride every day to work, and also after work for exercise. I love the concept of being a person who happens to ride a bike. There's a level of bike riding, with the high performance gear and sleek clothing, that makes riding seem like its not for everyone. I try to avoid markers like that, and always wear regular clothing/shoes/backpack with dumpy-looking bike. One concession is bike gloves.

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