Special prosecutor appointed for Troy absentee ballot case, Breslin reportedly calls Espada a crook, healthcare workers protest flu shot requirement, brown bats threatened by fungus

A special prosecutor has been appointed to look into the allegations of absentee ballot fraud in Troy. The city housing authority has also locked down the office an employee accused of participating in the alleged scheme, which would have benefited Democrats. Democratic city councilman Clem Campana said yesterday he's "done nothing wrong." And the Rensselaer County Democratic chairman struck back at Republican Bob Mirch, who brought the alleged to scheme light, saying, "Mirch wrote the book on absentee ballot corruption." [Troy Record] [TU] [CapNews9] [WTEN]

Neil Breslin reportedly told a church crowd in Bethlehem this past weekend that Pedro Espada is a "crook" who "should be in jail." He also apparently told the crowd that Espada doesn't actually live in his Bronx district. Breslin has been talking recently about organizing a reform group in the state Senate because he's "embarrassed" by what's gone on in the chamber. [PolitickerNY] [Jay Gallagher] [Daily Politics]

De Von Callicutt, the 19-year-old accused of firing that shot that killed UAlbany student Richard Bailey, showed up in court yesterday without a lawyer. That's the second time his arraignment has been delayed for that reason. Callicutt is already in state prison for a different crime. [TU] [WTEN] [CapNews9]

Schenectady police have arrested a man for last September's Albany St. murder. [TU]

Personal information for 300,000 state and local employees could be at risk because of a security breach at Express Scripts, the company that manages pharmacy benefits for the Empire Plan. Hackers apparently stole the information last year and have been trying to extort the company. Letters notifying people of the breach went out to some local state workers during the past two weeks. [TU] [CNET] [Fox23] [CBS6]

Saratoga Springs' school superintendent says the district may reconsider its ban on elementary and middle school students biking or walking to school. [TU]

Healthcare workers are planning a rally today at the state Capitol to protest state regulations requiring them to get flu shots. The healthcare workers say the "get jabbed or get fired" requirement violates their personal freedom. [CBS6] [Newsday]

The proposed budget that Schenectady mayor Brian Stratton pulled back right before its introduction reportedly included a tax increase as big as 22 percent. [Marv Cermak]

The federal Department of Labor has tagged an Averill Park hardware and lumber company with more than $60k in fines for child labor law violations. The business is accused of allowing 15-year-olds to unload trucks and operate log splitters. The business' owner says,"There's no sweat shop being run here that's for sure." [CapNew9] [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23]

Ed Cox -- a son-in-law of Richard Nixon and the next head of Republican state party -- says Rudy Giuliani should challenge Kirsten Gillibrand for Senate instead of running for governor. [NYT]

The man accused of using a puppy to try to lure children into his car at the Polish festival in Colonie this past weekend was reportedly detained by parishioners who worked to together to block the man from leaving. [Troy Record] [Fox23] [TU]

Troy police say an off-duty cop tackled a man who was allegedly threatening people with an ax. [Troy Record]

The City of Saratoga Springs has settled with one of its female police officers for $5000 after she charged her human rights had been violated. [Saratogian]

Scotia residents are organizing a petition to keep their post office off the consolidation list. [Daily Gazette $]

The company aiming to build a flywheel energy storage facility in Rensselaer County is also apparently considering building a similar plant in Schenectady County. [TU]

Some downtown Albany shops say their business is being hurt by the Other Guys filming. [WNYT]

Brown bats in New York State are a candidate for the endangered species list because of white nose syndrome. [Daily Gazette $] [AOA]

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