State workers to get step increases, Troy school district considering cutting sports, law would require fryer oil disclosure, warm weather could be bad for apples

It appears that state workers will still be getting their "step" increases in salary (the incremental raises that come along with working a certain amount of time in a pay grade). The Paterson administration announced last week that it's withholding the four percent annual raise for all state workers that's part of the union contract. [TU]

Schenectady mayor Brian Stratton announced yesterday that the city has officially fired suspended cop John Lewis. Stratton said that Lewis is "exactly the opposite of what the people of Schenectady expect and deserve in their police officers." Lewis was one of a handful of cops the city's been trying to fire. The city estimates it's spent $1 million dealing troubled officers. [TU] [WTEN] [Daily Gazette $] [Fox23]

The woman police say was attacked while walking home Saturday in Saratoga Springs credited her self defense training for helping her fight off her attacker. Officials say the man arrested for the attack is in the country illegally and he's already been deported to Mexico twice. [Saratogian] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette $]

After a meeting with the Albany police chief search committee yesterday, Jerry Jennings said he hopes to have a final selection by the end of May. One of the search committee members says the panel didn't rank the four finalists so as not to "tie the hands" of the Common Council (which gets to sign off on the mayor's choice) or the new chief. [YNN] [TU]

The Troy school district says it's now considering cutting extracurriculars -- including sports -- instead of closing its elementary school in North Central. [Troy Record] [CBS6]

Carl Paladino was criticized by both Democrats and Republicans yesterday for racist and sexist emails that he forwarded. He told the Buffalo News that he "shouldn't have sent [the emails], no question about it." Said Paladino during a press conference: "I'm not a racist, and I say that even in some of the e-mails that they hacked from my computer." And one of Paladino's campaign staffers alleged that Andrew Cuomo's campaign was responsible for the leak. [NYT] [WNY Media] [Buffalo News] [State of Politics] [State of Politics]

Kirsten Gillibrand is proposing legislation that would provide $1 billion in loans and grants for new grocery stores in "food deserts." [AP/Troy Record]

SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher is expected to release plan today that will aim the system's focus on "the economic revitalization of the State of New York and a better quality of life for all its citizens." [NYT]

Census officials say parts of the Capital Region haven't received census forms yet. [TU]

The Albany County legislature has approved a measure that would require restaurants to disclose what kind of oil is being used to fry foods. The measure's sponsor says it's aimed to protect people with peanut and other food allergies. [TU] [WNYT]

The Albany city treasurer told the Common Council yesterday that the city will end up paying for Pine Bush restoration -- whether it expands the landfill or not. [TU]

State police say two men robbed a bank on Hoosick Road in Brunswick yesterday (map). Police said the alleged robbers were arrested about 15 minutes later when they stopped at a Stewart's to buy soda and cigarettes. [YNN] [Troy Record] [TU]

Police say a 79-year-old man hit a building with his car yesterday, then drove around a stopped school bus and hit a car head-on. Police say the man has been charged with DWI. [CBS6] [TU] [YNN]

Apple farmers say the warm weather has prompted the trees to get ahead of schedule -- and that could be a problem if there's frost. [TU] [Troy Record]

Liz Bishop won the Valley Cats' bobblehead tournament. [Valley Cats]

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