First H1N1 shots on the way, more concern about mercury near LaFarge, man accused of trying to force snot burger, Troy library district approved, reward increased for dog shooting info

Upstate New York will be getting 100,000 doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine next week. More doses will apparently be on the way later this year. [AP/TU] [Saratogian]

Several hundred healthcare workers were at the Capitol yesterday protesting state regulations requiring them to get a flu shot. They said they're worried about having to serve as "guinea pigs" for the new flu shot against their will. Richard Daines, the state's health commissioner, says the H1N1 vaccine has been prepared the same way as the regular seasonal flu vaccine -- and healthcare worker vaccination is a matter of patient safety. [Troy Record] [CapNews9] [Fox23] [CBS6]

State wildlife pathologist Ward Stone reported yesterday that tests he performed on soil samples from the neighborhoods near the LaFarge cement plant in Ravena indicate elevated levels of mercury. Stone says much of the mercury is from the plant. (Previous studies have reported that the plant is one of the state's biggest emitters of mercury. Erin Brockovich was recently in Ravena on behalf of a law firm to talk with residents about mercury pollution.) Stone did not conduct the study as part of his job with the state -- and the DEC says it will review the results. [CapNews9] [Fox23] [TU] [WNYT] [TU]

Crews working on the Delaware Ave reconstruction project turned up what appears to be five coffins from the 19th century. Archaeologists will be checking out the site today. Jack McEneny says the coffins are probably left over from an old cemetery that was moved in 1910. [Fox23] [CapNews9] [TU]

Schenectady police say a man has been charged with child endangerment after an incident in which he allegedly tried to make his girlfriend's daughter eat a hamburger with his snot on it. [TU]

A report from state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recommends that SUNY raise tuition for out-of-state students. SUNY out-of-state tuition is almost 40 percent less than the national average, according to the comptroller's report. New SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher has said that one of her goals is increasing out-of-state enrollment. [Buffalo News] [NYS OSC] [AP/TU]

Troy voters approved the creation of a new library district in a special election yesterday. The district will levy taxes of $3.53 per $1,000 of assessed value to help fund the city's libraries. [TU] [Troy Record]

Residents of south central Troy say they're worried about a recent string of crimes. [Troy Record]

The Albany school district is cutting seven teacher jobs because enrollment is down -- probably because more students in the city are going to charter schools. [TU]

The reward for information about the recent shooting of two dogs in Berne has been increased to $3000. [Fox23] [TU]

A new private high school is being planned for Schenectady. [Daily Gazette $]

The Knicks opened their training camp at Skidmore yesterday. The practices are turning out to be quite the lesson for local basketball coaches. [CapNews9] [Post-Star]

Carol Johnston -- one of New York's first woman state police troopers -- died last week. [TU]

The widow of longtime local Congressman Sam Stratton -- and mother of Schenectady mayor Brian Stratton -- has died. She was 88. Said Brian Stratton of his mom: "My father never would have been able to do what he did politically or achieve the things he did as a congressman were it not for my mom." [Daily Gazette $] [TU]


The coffin story is really intriguing. Two years ago the state museum had an exhibit about the former Albany Alms House on New Scotland Ave (near S. Lake) The building site was eventually redeveloped into the Armory, and Sage College. When the digging began for new AMC labs in 2002, workers were shocked to unearth over 1,000 coffins - some stacked three deep! The graveyard was not only unamarked, but was never relocated when the home closed in 1926. The link above is from the museum press release on the exhibit.

They're heeeere....

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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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