State budget officially late, Gibson to challenge Murphy, Troy schools hoping for funding Hail Mary, investigation into drive-thru stick-ups

The state budget is now officially late. David Paterson released a video statement about the budget yesterday in which he said:

"I cannot overstate the magnitude of the fiscal problems confronting this State. So I will continue to stand up for the taxpayers even if it means that our budget is late, because a responsible budget is more important than what time it is actually passed."

The legislature isn't due back in session until next week. [NYT] [PatersonTube] [YNN]

The state worker unions say the Paterson's administration's leak/threat of "massive" layoffs is attempt to distract people from the administration's "incompetence and inability to address the budget situation." And they say they won't open their contracts for re-negotiation. [Fox23] [TU]

The state budget extension in place doesn't include funding for construction projects such as the Exit 6 SPUI, which contractors say is hitting them as just about the worst possible time of the year.

The state attorney general's office announced that 14 employees of a nursing home in Troy have been charged with neglect and falsifying documents. The AG's office says the investigation of the charges includes hidden camera surveillance. The nursing home was temporarily barred from receiving money from Medicaid and Medicare last year after allegations of neglect. [NYS AG] [TU]

Police in the Buffalo suburb where David Park was shot say it appears the Albany teacher entered the wrong house through an unlocked door. The attorney for the man who shot Park says his client fired from the second floor, after repeated warnings, when Park appeared at the bottom of the stairs. [Buffalo News] [TU]

Chris Gibson will be the Republican candidate to challenge Scott Murphy in the NY 20 Congressional District. In a press release, he said his endorsement by county chairman is "proof that a message of reducing taxes, curbing government spending, eliminating onerous regulations and reducing health-care costs resonates with the citizens of the 20th District." At a press conference yesterday, he said "This campaign represents a chance to renew our republic and enact policies to make us feel safe." Republicans at the appearance invoked the name of Jerry Solomon -- but made no mention of John Sweeney. [email press release] [TU] [Daily Gazette $]

School 2, the elementary school in Troy's North Central neighborhood, is headed for closure -- if a district "Hail Mary pass" can't find funding. The district's tax levy would increase more than 11 percent if it doesn't close one of its elementary schools. [YNN] [Troy Record] [TU]

The Schenectady school district's proposed budget includes a 7.5 percent increase in the tax levy. [TU]

The Albany school board has voted to not close two of the district's elementary schools. The district will use the $3 million in funding expected to come along with students from New Covenant to keep the schools open. [WNYT] [Fox23]

Thursday's Troy city council meeting will be streamed live on Ustream. [Troy Record]

Police say it appears the same masked woman might have held up both a McDonald's and Dunkin Donuts drive-thru Wednesday night. [TU]

Two raccoons and a fox in Rensselaer County have tested positive for rabies. [Troy Record]

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Washington Avenue definitely needs more than one lane in each direction, but that doesn't mean it can't be redesigned. They can reduce the size of the lanes, add a median, and add a protected bike lane where the shoulder of the road now lies. I agree, however, that the entire Harriman loop would have to be redesigned and that includes those over-passes, so this would be an extremely expensive undertaking if they want to do it right. But there could be significant development on the land that is now wasted by asphalt that could offset that cost and bulk up the tax base for the city.

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