Jury starts deliberations in Bruno trial, lack of oversight allegedly "enabled" ESP man cave, Saratoga budget includes paid parking, post office off consolidation list, bar's TV is huuuuge

Joe Bruno Trial: The prosecution and defense delivered their summations yesterday -- which cast Bruno as a schoolyard bully and Uncle Joe, respectively. The jury will begin deliberating today. The TU's James Odato has put together a helpful breakdown of the case's main points and the arguments on each side. [TU] [NYT] [Troy Record] [TU]

There was little or no apparent progress on a state budget gap fix at the Capitol yesterday, as both the Assembly and Senate quickly gaveled in and out for the special session. The biggest road block appears to still be the Senate's refusal to make cuts to education and health care funding. That's led to talk that the Assembly and David Paterson would work out their own two-way deal. [TU] [CapNews9] [NYDN] [NYO]

An audit by the state comptroller concludes that the Schenectady school district paid Steven Raucci $50,000 in overtime -- with no confirmation that he actually worked those hours. Said a district attorney of the audit: "The Comptroller can't realistically expect that every supervisor will actually physically be with an employee when they're performing overtime." [NYS OSC] [TU] [Fox23]

The state inspector general alleges that "a lack of supervisory control" at the ESP "enabled" the creation of the infamous Man Cave. The Office of General Services said it would "take action" against any supervisor who was "derelict in his or her duties and/or contributed to the misconduct." The IG report also alleges that one of the cavers, a cleaning crew chief, discriminated against African-American workers -- his attorney says the claims are false. [NYS IG] [Troy Record] [CapNews9] [TU]

The Saratoga Springs city budget that includes a 7.8 percent tax increase and paid parking downtown will take effect despite a council vote against it last night. [Saratogian]

The Scotia post office is now off the USPS consolidation list. Three others escaped the ax in September. That leaves three on the list -- Albany's Pine Hills and Patroon and Delaware Ave locations. [TU]

The Albany County DA and an addiction treatment center say there's been a spike in heroin usage locally. Apparently cocaine has gotten more expensive and people are substituting the cheaper heroin. Another possible contributing factor: increased availability of prescription opiates. [Troy Record] [TU] [Fox23]

A state Supreme Court judge ruled against the Fort Orange Club's demand to knock down two 19th century buildings in Albany -- but the situation is still far from resolved. [TU]

It looks like the Schenectady housing market is benefiting from the first-time home buyer tax credit and low prices. [TU]

Troy sent out almost 10,000 notices of unpaid parking tickets -- worth $1.3 million in fines -- to state residents on Friday. [TU]

It looks like Kirsten Gillibrand is trying to up her gun control cred. [Daily Politics]

The body of UAlbany's mascot costume has been found, "gooey and filthy." The costume reportedly was stolen from the SEFCU Arena's laundry room a month ago. [TU] [ASP]

A Schenectady restaurant's bar now has a huuuuge TV, thanks to Billy Fuccillo. [Marv Cermak]


Who wants to put money on how long it will take for the snatchers of the mascot costume to put the incriminating evidence on Facebook? I put $5 on three more days.

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