Senate drama twists again, small plane crashes into Mohawk, firefighters pull unconcisous girl from fire, Whole Foods reportedly scouting area

The state Senate drama took another twist over the weekend when Hiram Monserrate -- one of the Democratic switchers -- said he's returning to caucus with the Democrats. Apparently one of Monserrate's demands for returning to the Dems' caucus was that Malcolm Smith had to go as majority leader. Brooklyn senator John Sampson is reportedly going to take over as head of the Democratic caucus -- but Smith might stay on as leader-in-name-only so the Democrats can pursue their case arguing that the Republican takeover was illegal. [NYDN] [NYDN] [NYP] [TU]

If Monserrate really does switch back, it would leave the Senate split 31-31 -- and that could mean epic gridlock. Dean Skelos and Pedro Espada -- the (new, former?) Senate leaders -- would stay in charge of the body. Typically in a 31-31 split the lieutenant governor would cast the deciding vote -- but New York is currently without a lt governor. Republicans are apparently arguing that Espada -- who's the Senate pro tem -- should get two votes. That's not going over well with the Democrats. [Buffalo News] [NYDN]

By the way: Espada still hasn't settled his numerous campaign disclosure violations, as he promised to do. [TU]

Two people are dead and another missing after a small plane crashed into the Mohawk shortly after take-off from the Mohawk Valley Airport in Glenville yesterday afternoon. Witnesses say it appears the plane didn't get enough speed to take off. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Troy pizza shop worker who thwarted a robbery last month was shot four times Saturday in another hit on the shop -- he's expected to live. Police say the man confronted the shooter(s) in front of the store because he thought something was up. The shop is a Domino's -- the company is offering a $5000 reward for info. [TU] [Troy Record] [CapNews9]

Schenectady firefighters pulled an unconscious girl out of "a pretty nasty" house fire on Saturday. The girl's mother was not home at the time -- she's been charged with child endangerment. Officials say the fire is suspicious. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The FBI turned over an auction house in Schenectady Friday afternoon while pursuing a tip that anthrax might be present there -- they didn't find any, though. The auction house's owner says he's not sure exactly what led the feds to his business. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The state comptroller's office has found more irregularities in the City of Rensselaer's books. [TU]

NYSUT -- the powerful teachers' union -- has endorsed Kirsten Gillibrand for next year's Senate race. It seems the early endorsement is part of a campaign to head off a Democratic primary. [TU] [Daily Politics]

UAlbany has gotten to the OK to start offering an undergrad degree in nanoscale science. [TU]

Local grad schools say enrollment is up, possibly because of the economy. And local private elementary schools says applications are down, possibly because of the economy. [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

Police say they've busted a crack cocaine ring in Saratoga. Eleven people have been arrested. They say the cocaine was coming up from NYC and being cooked locally. [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

Ballston Spa says it doesn't have enough water capacity to approve new large developments outside its village. [Saratogian]

A softball team that includes members of the Schenectady police force has reportedly been banned from the Schenectady County Adult Softball Field because of alleged drunk driving, vandalism and threats against league organizers. The SPD says none of its cops were involved in the incidents that led to the ban. [CBS6] [SPD]

A Clifton Park soccer league has banned a player after he was charged with assault for slugging another player after a game last week, allegedly breaking the guy's jaw. [Daily Gazette]

The Shen student accused of posting district employees' personal info online last month is in trouble again. This time he's being accused of making it hard for teachers to file grades. [TU]

Six Flags has filed for bankruptcy in a bid to reorganize its debt. The company says the filing won't affect anything at the Great Escape. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A Colonie official says Whole Foods has been scouting locations in the town. The upscale supermarket had apparently been considering the First Prize Center site, but that didn't work out. [TU]


Another joyful news day. And just when I thought the situation at the state couldn't get any weirder...well let's just say that I have been forced to re-evaluate the true definition of weirdness.

No more water in Ballston Spa? You mean we need to build more capacity to handle the growth?! Whoa!

Whole Foods is boring. Wake me up when something more interesting comes to town.

When my fiance and I got our engagement photos done around ESP we wandered over to take some in front of the capitol. He's been so incensed with the whole debacle that he request we include him giving the finger to the building in the portfolio. Whenever we get the proofs, I'm posting a link.

As for the pizza guy, no one needs to be a hero. I'm glad he's alright but he should've just called the police. Safety first, buddy.

I've found the cure for the NYS Senate's pain:

I'm excited about Whole Foods. Not because I like them (have you seen their prices??) but they may help entice Trader Joe's to make their move!!

I'd like to see Trader Joe's build a gigantic colony on an asteroid somewhere, blanketing the landscape with their processed food and cheap wine. It could be called "Planet Trader Joe's" and we could ship all of these irritating Trader Joe's advocates up there, where they can live blissfully among aisles of frozen pasta dinner bags and Kashi cereal ripoffs -- and finally stop posting comments on every blog entry that mentions any kind of grocery store, finally, forever.

I'd like to see Trader Joe's build a gigantic colony on an asteroid somewhere, blanketing the landscape with cheap wine. It could be called "Planet Trader Joe's" and we could all live blissfully among aisles of frozen pasta dinner bags and Kashi cereal ripoffs -- all the while posting comments on every blog entry that mentions any kind of grocery store.

Finally, forever, just us, our cheap wine, and blog comments. Forever.

daley/B- Awesome! Let's work on that! These Trader Joe's fans are really starting to irritate me too. With all the time they dedicate to begging the company to locate here, they could easily drive to the nearest one a few times a year.

I hope Whole Foods stays the hell away from here. At the very least I hope the Honest Weight Co-op finishes building it's new location before Whole Foods attempts to move in. At least then they won't be as likely to be driven out by the "nicer" store.

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