State Senate still stuck, Novello to do community service at Albany clinic, political spat over playground, Miss New York crowned, angry penguin in Waterford

The state Senate is still stuck. The two caucuses repeated their parallel in-and-out sessions over the weekend. David Paterson, who's suing the Senate over the quickie sessions, met with the Democratic caucus over the weekend -- though there aren't any details about whether they decided to hug it out or to continue hating each other. Yet another "extraordinary" session is planned for today. The two sides appear no closer to working out a power-sharing deal. [CapNews9] [Daily Politics] [AP/TU]

One of the background issues to the Senate mess is the 2010 redistricting. Demographers say population shifts are pointing toward a sizable Democratic majority -- though that depends on how districts are drawn. [NYT]

The state comptroller's office has cancelled $3 million in state funding for Pedro Espada's Bronx health care company. The comptroller says Espada, the disputed Senate pro tem, neglected to report that his org owed back taxes. [TU]

Even though New York State pays some of the lowest unemployment benefits in the nation, the state's unemployment insurance fund will be $2 billion short by the end of the year. [TU]

Albany County will be furloughing employees one day per month over the next six months. County exec Mike Breslin says the plan will save $1.4 million (the county faces a $20.5 million budget gap). Breslin says he'll be taking part in the furlough. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Saratoga County DA says underage drinking in in the county is on the rise -- and he opposes the expansion of the liquor license at SPAC. [Daily Gazette]

Former state health commissioner Antonia Novello will be serving her community service sentence at a clinic in Albany's West Hill neighborhood. The clinic's director says Novello will get a "dose or reality" at the clinic. [TU] [WNYT]

The Schenectady Free Clinic is broke and may have to close next month, its founder says. [Daily Gazette]

Five food delivery people have been attacked in Albany over the last four months. [TU]

Watervilet doesn't meter water usage for residential users -- but the city is thinking about installing water meters over the next few years. [Troy Record]

A Saratoga Springs man says his car was the victim of a politically-motivated snow plow hit. [Saratogian]

The renovation of a popular playground in Clifton Park has become a political squabble. Just so you know: Democrats are pro-castle and the Republicans are in favor of castle reform. [TU]

The Capital Region's only commercial winery is located in Altamont -- and the operation expects to have its first batch of wine for sale later this summer. [Daily Gazette]

The new Miss New York is Alyse Zwick, who was also Miss Westchester. [TU]

The best new name for a local pub: The Angry Penguin. [Troy Record]


Crimes against food delivery workers have been a problem for many years. My father ran a pizza place for 30+ years and now my husband runs it. It's a constant concern. About 10-15 years ago one of my dad's drivers was attacked and they attempted to cut his throat. What the heck?! Seriously...what's the point in that??

Regarding the underage drinking: why on earth would a rape victim's blood sample be required or even requested?

Sarah, a blood sample is a typical part of a "rape kit" (SOEC). Standard procedure, generally to test for STDs.

@Sarah Collecting a blood sample is standard procedure when completing a rape kit. The blood is tested for STDs, alcohol and the presence of date rape drugs.

I would love to be a fly on the wall when Antonia Novello works at that clinic.

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