Siena headed to the NCAA tournament, Colonie soldier's death ruled a suicide, rabbi sentenced to 60 days in jail, man accused of trying to sink state-owned boat

The Siena men's basketball team is heading to the NCAA tournament after beating Fairfield 72-65 in overtime in the MAAC tournament final. The Saints trailed by 11 at halftime -- but as coach Fran McCaffery said after the game: "We were phenomenally resilient in the second half." [ESPN] [TU]

A former Schenectady school district carpenter and co-worker of Steven Raucci testified yesterday that Raucci told him "I can get even with you and your family anytime I want" after an argument in 1995. The carpenter also testified that he saw Raucci in a school office with an explosive device in 2008. (The carpenter's testimony was for background --it wasn't related to any specific charge against Raucci.) A former elementary school principal testified that he complained, with seemingly no effect, to school district leaders about Raucci ordering a janitor to distribute flyers before school board elections. [WNYT] [Daily Gazette $] [Fox23] [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

Colleen Murphy, the mother of Amy Seyboth Tirador, says military investigators have officially concluded that the Colonie soldier's death in Iraq was a suicide. She says the family has hired its own attorney and investigator to pursue the case. Of the case, Murphy says "someone is covering something up." [Fox23] [CapNews9] [TU]

Albany Med is getting $10 million in federal and state stimulus money to increase its research capacity. The money will be spent on new lab space and 20 new employees. It's the biggest grant in the medical college's history. [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Fox23]

Albany county exec Mike Breslin warned yesterday that the county is facing a projected budget gap of $35 million next year -- which could involve a 50 percent property tax increase. [WNYT] [TU]

The idea of higher taxes and fees came up repeatedly in discussions yesterday about how to close Saratoga Springs' $2.2 million budget gap. [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

The Saratoga County sheriff's department says a man robbed a Schuylerville bank yesterday with a note. they say the man was wearing sunglasses and a bandage on his nose. [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

The Loudonville rabbi who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment for having inappropriate physical contact with two boys was sentenced to 60 days in jail. The judge told the man he head "utterly failed to accept responsibility for your actions." [CapNews9] [Fox23] [TU]

State police say a former state employee tried to sink a state-owned historic boat docked on the Erie Canal in Waterford. The police say the alleged sinker had worked on the boat. [TU] [Fox23]

Colonie police say it appears that the two men involved in the fatal car crash in Colonie Saturday were racing. [TU]

Albany County DA David Soares says the "OffenderWatch" system for tracking and notifying neighbors about sex offenders will be expanded county-wide. It already includes the City of Albany. [WTEN] [Troy Record]

GE says the Hudson River PCB dredging project has to be re-designed if it's to be completed on time. [Post-Star]

Interviews of the eight candidates for Albany police chief start this week. [CapNews9]

Of the proposed soda tax, David Paterson said yesterday: "We're trying to take dangerous substances out of the hands of children." It sounds like the measure will have a tough time in the legislature. [CapNews9] [WTEN]

Richard Ravitch says he briefed Andrew Cuomo on the budget last week. [AP/WNYT]

By one survey, the jobs outlook in the Capital Region is relatively good (compared to the rest of nation). It would seem that "relative" is the key word, though. [TU] [Daily Gazette $]

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I had the pleasure of experiencing protected bike lanes in Montreal recently. It really made for a fast, efficient way to move both bike & car traffic. As a biker, it was easy to see how to navigate a busy road, and it was nice to have a bit of buffer/safety from traffic (or just knowing that the possibility of a car swerving in to you was incredibly low because of these features). As a driver, it was nice to see all of the bikes in one area, so that you don't have the errant biker who decides to blow through most of the traffic signals the wrong way down a street.

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