Suspended student says he'll keep wearing rosary, Jennings for Lt Gov?, Troy considering more parking meters, Saratoga girl to dance with NYC Ballet

Raymond Hosier, the Schenectady middle school student who was suspended for wearing a rosary at school, says he will return to school from suspension on Monday -- wearing the rosary. His mother says the issue has become one of freedom of religion and speech and "I will take this as far as it needs to go." The school district says students are allowed to wear beads or rosaries if they're hidden underneath clothing. But public display of beads is forbidden because of their possible use as a gang sign. A school official says gang members often try to say their beads are a religious display. Hosier's mother says the rosary honors the boy's brother and uncle, who have both passed away. [CBS6] [WNYT] [WTEN] [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [Fox23]

WTEN reports "Word is that Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings is under consideration as [Andrew] Cuomo's running mate for lieutenant governor." Jennings' office says it's not commenting on the rumor. [WTEN] [CBS6]

Jack McEneny says he'll quit the Assembly if Thacher Park it still closed after the state budget is passed. [TU]

The state Inspector General alleges that a former Department of Taxation and Finance employee was selling cocaine and marijuana to co-workers at the Harriman State Office Campus. The IG's report says the transactions were often coordinated over office email using code words such as "cheese" and "crackers." The DTF declined comment about the situation. The Department of Labor says it's "actively and aggressively pursuing disciplinary action" against one of the employees who's alleged to have bought the drugs. [NYS IG] [CBS6] [TU]

State comptroller Tom DiNapoli says the financial condition of the state's regional OTB operations has "substantially deteriorated over the last five years" and "the current business model just doesn't work." His office reports that the net amount bet at Capital OTB is down 10 percent over the last five years, operating revenue is down 12 percent and the payouts to local governments are down 34 percent. [NYS OSC] [NYS OSC]

Schenectady fire officials say the huge warehouse fire this week was intentionally set. The building was being foreclosed on and not insured by either its owner or bank. [TU] [Daily Gazette $]

Schenectady police detective Sherri Barnes was found guilty on two misdemeanor charges related to prescription drugs. She retired earlier this week. [TU][WNYT]

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has fined Norlite, which is in Cohoes, $90,000 for violating pollution rules. The plant uses hazardous waste to fire its kilns. Pollution records from 2009 indicated pollution at the plant had exceed federal limits on multiple occasions. [NYS DEC] [Troy Record] [TU]

The state legislature seems less than impressed with David Paterson's reformulated soda tax, which would exempt diet soda and bottled water from sales tax. Paterson says he'll keep pushing it, though. [NYDN] [YNN]

Andrew Cuomo is reportedly working behind the scenes to line up Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice as the Democratic nominee for state attorney general. [NYT]

The Democratic majority on the Troy city council appears to be leaning toward choosing the old Proctors Theater as the next city hall. [Troy Record]

A Troy city spokesman says the city is looking at installing another group of parking meters. [TU] Earlier on AOA: Meters parked in Troy

Albany police say the busted a group of prostitutes on Central Ave after getting a tip via postcard. [YNN] [CBS6]

A guy in Guilderland is opening -- yes, opening -- a new video store. [WNYT]

A Saratoga Springs girl will be dancing with the New York City Ballet this summer. [WTEN]

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