Bone fragments identified, big gang bust in Albany, state of emergency declared over flu, pizza delivery guy fights off attackers

Saratoga County DA James Murphy announced yesterday that a state forensic expert had concluded the skull fragments found near Greenfield belong to Jennifer Hammond, an 18-year-old from Colorado who disappeared in 2003. The ID was made using dental records, though investigators say they're going to follow up with DNA testing. Hammond was last seen at a Milton trailer park while working for a magazine subscription business. The site where the skull fragments were found is about 20 miles from there. [TU] [CapNews9] [WNYT] [Saratogian]

Federal prosecutors say they busted 24 members of one of Albany's most violent gangs yesterday. The roundup included 14 arrests yesterday morning (10 alleged members are already in jail and another investigators are still looking for another man). Law enforcement officials say the gang, known as the Original Gangsta Killers, has been responsible for a string of shootings, assaults, drug dealing and robberies. A federal prosecutor said gang members bragged about the crimes in videos posted online. [TU] [CapNews9] [Fox23] [WTEN]

David Paterson said yesterday during a state leaders' meeting that this year's budget gap is now $3.2 billion -- that's $200 million more than previously announced. A special session of the legislature is set to address the gap November 10, though it doesn't appear Paterson and the state Senate are on the same page. [NYO] [TU]

A report from state comptroller Tom DiNapoli says the state has diverted billions of dollars away from the trust fund responsible maintaining the state's roads and bridges. DiNapoli says the reduced funding may have contributed to the problems with the Champlain Bridge, which was recently closed after an inspection. "I think outrage and anger is certainly appropriate," he said yesterday about the situation. [NYS OSC] [AP/WYT] [NYO] [Reuters]

David Paterson has declared a state of emergency over the recent rise in H1N1 flu cases. The declaration opens the way for more health care workers to administer flu shots. [AP/TU] [CNN]

State police say the car that crashed head-on into another car in Schodack Wednesday night was stolen and being pursued by police. They say the car didn't have license plates. The crash killed the car's driver and seriously injured the passengers of the on-coming car. [Troy Record] [Fox23] [CapNews9]

The man convicted of firing shots at his sister's kidnappers in Troy has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. [Troy Record]

The two men accused of the stabbing on Broadway in Saratoga in February have pleaded guilty. [CapNews9]

An federal investigation has concluded that pilot error was the cause of the plane crash in the Mohawk River this past summer. The crash killed the plane's three passengers. [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

Albany police say a pizza delivery man fought off two attackers while making a delivery in the Delaware Ave neighborhood (map). The two suspects are still on the loose. [TU] [Fox23]

Harry Tutunjian says the city will look into whether it can use a federal grant to increase staffing for Troy's fire department. [Troy Record]

Comments

> Law enforcement officials say the gang, known as the Original Gangsta Killers

Not to be confused with the Diet Cherry Gangsta Killers, a much less dangerous gang, but equally ridiculous.

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