Paterson confirms state worker layoff planning, judge blocks student from being suspended for rosary, pro poker player folds on pot delivery

David Paterson confirmed that his administration is planning state worker layoffs for the start of next year. Paterson won't be governor then, but he said, "...I want this ready to go on January 1st so that the next governor has this option should the next governor choose to use it." The governor also didn't rule out layoffs that could come earlier -- he said he thought the no-layoffs agreement he has with the state employee unions could be broken because the state's increasingly dire fiscal outlook. The state's budget director said the number of layoffs would depend on how many employees take the "25/55" early retirement option. The state worker unions accused Paterson of engaging in "threats and counterproductive rhetoric" and alleged he is "less interested in savings and more interested in getting a pound of flesh from state employees." Paterson said he got the "sinister feeling" that the unions were actually pushing him to layoff workers -- instead of furloughs or salary freezes -- because laid-off workers don't vote in union elections. [AP/Post-Star] [YNN] [NYT City Room] [TU] [CSEA] [PEF] [Daily Politics]

Robert Megna, the state's budget director, says the state was carrying a negative balance of $500 million to start June. [TU]

Raymond Hosier, the Schenectady middle school suspended for openly wearing a rosary after being asked to tuck it inside his clothes, will be back in school today after US District Court Judge Lawrence Kahn issued a temporary restraining order preventing the school district from suspending him. The American Center for Justice and Law said it filed a lawsuit on behalf of Hosier yesterday. The district said Tuesday it hadn't been served, yet. [Fox23] [ACLJ] [ACLJ] [Daily Gazette $]

The TU reports that toxicology tests on Marcos DeJesus Alvarez, the man and killed by an Albany County sheriff's deputy near ALB, indicate the undocumented Mexican immigrant did not have drugs or alcohol in his system. [TU]

The Troy Record reports that the special prosecutor investigating allegations of voter fraud in last fall's Working Families primary in Troy is seeking DNA samples to test against saliva taken from absentee ballot envelopes. [Troy Record]

GlobalFoundries will be getting as much as $15.8 million more in state aid -- and possibly hundreds of millions in tax breaks -- for the planned expansion of its cleanroom facility at the Luther Forest chip fab. [Post-Star]

David Paterson says he's introducing legislation that would require everyone convicted of a penal law crime to submit a DNA sample the state database. [Paterson admin]

A state parole officer from Clifton Park has been charged with raping a parolee in Guilderland. The officer's attorney said the alleged victim has "a documented history of being sexually inappropriate with other parole officers." [Saratogian] [TU]

There's controversy over Albany County exec Mike Breslin's decision to hire former Troy city engineer Walt VanDeLoo as the county's new public works commissioner. [TU]

There will be Republican Party primary to pick a challenger to Chuck Schumer. Former CIA officer Gary Berntsen will face political consultant Jay Townsend. [State of Politics] [Daily Politics]

Harry Wilson will be the Republican Party nominee for state comptroller. [State of Politics]

The Albany County DA's office says a professional poker player from Arizona has pleaded guilty to attempting to deliver 238 pounds of pot to an address in Colonie. [CBS6]

Immediately after the fatal Gratto fire in Cohoes 32 years ago, Troy fire chief Tom Garrett says members of the TFP were dispatched to search the city dump for the clothing worn by Virginia Gratto (now Utigard) on the suspicion they would be contaminated with accelerants. [Troy Record]

The state Court of Appeals yesterday heard arguments in the Times Union's FOIL suit over whether records related to machine gun purchases by Albany police officers are personnel files and thus not FOIL-able. [TU]

An amateur radio operator from Clifton Park is challenging a ticket he got in Troy for talking on his radio while driving because he says the state's driving-while-phoning ban doesn't apply to ham radios. [YNN]

There was yet another fire set at the old Whitehouse Flea Market in Schenectady this past weekend. [Daily Gazette $]

Among the many features of the new Golub Corp headquarters in Schenectady: white noise emitters in the floor that match voice frequencies to cancel ambient office chatter. [Daily Gazette $]

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Is there a volunteer group of any kind that clears sidewalks, crosswalks, and bus stops after storms for people who can't do it themselves or places that don't have anyone to look after it? I'd be interested and willing to pitch in, provided I'm not giving anyone a free ride on their civic duty.

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