Judge says Raucci took pleasure in victims' suffering and fear, progress on budget?, police say man posed as state trooper, school closed because of prank

In sentencing Steven Raucci to 23 years to life, judge Polly Hoye told Raucci the evidence against him was "voluminous and convincing and, at times, even overwhelming." And she said, "You took pleasure in [your victim's] suffering and fear." She also said: "I hope you spend up enough time incarcerated to understand the destructive path your life has taken." Raucci's attorney read statement written by his client which said of the sentence: "As far as I'm concerned, this is a death sentence for something I did not do." Schenectady County DA Bob Carney said it's unlikely Raucci will get parole after 23 years. [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Fox23] [YNN] [CBS6]

David Paterson's inclusion of $775 million in health care cuts in the last budget extender appears to have maybe prompted some overall action on the delayed budget. Paterson, Sheldon Silver and John Sampson had what the governor described as a "very productive conversation" yesterday. And while he apparently plans to include more cuts in the next budget extender, Paterson reportedly won't include cuts to school aid. But, wait: Pedro Espada and Ruben Diaz are making noises about not voting for the next extension (which, if the Senate Republicans also vote no, would shut down the state government). [TU] [Daily Politics] [NYT City Room] [AP/Troy Record]

The investigation into David Johnson, the Paterson aide accused of domestic violence, is slow going. [NYT]

The family of the man who died in the St. Patrick's Day hit-and-run in Saratoga has filed papers to reserve its right to sue the city on the allegation that it did not provide adequate police protection in the area that night. [TU]

The Schenectady County legislature approved a measure that allows judges to order domestic violence offenders to wear GPS units during probation. The county is the first in the state to put up money for such a program. [Daily Gazette $] [Fox23]

Jerry Jennings on the status of the Albany police chief search: "There's no delay, I'm just being very deliberate in what I do and I also have other things going on in this job- like trying to get the state leg to understand it's important to pass some leg for the city..." [CapNews9]

The Fort Orange Club wants Historic Albany to put up money for losses it says it's incurring from not being allowed to knock down those buildings along Washington Ave. [TU]

State Police say a Clifton Park man posed as a state trooper and a stopped a motorist -- twice -- on the Northway last month. They say the driver got suspicious on the second stop and the man took off. [TU] [Saratogian] [CBS6]

Berne-Knox-Westerlo's secondary school is off today because of a prank involving motor oil at the school. [WTEN] [CBS6]

Many of the teens who allegedly trashed an expensive house in North Greenbush are taking plea deals. Eight of the teens charged with felonies will get their charges reduced to misdemeanors and they'll have to pay $5000 restitution. [Troy Record] [TU]

Kirsten Gillibrand is proposing federal legislation that would that include billions of dollars of funding for education. [Post-Star] [TU]

Albany NanoTech's plans to expand across Washington Ave Extension include more than 50 percent square footage than the current facility and a bridge over the road. [TU]

Albany police say there was a string of car break-ins last weekend in West Hill and the West End. [Fox23]

Watervliet has an underground hydroelectric plant. In Guilderland. [TU]

The New York Business Development Corp. filed documents recently indicating that owners of Mrs. London's and Max London's in Saratoga have defaulted on a business loan. [Daily Gazette $]

With the possibility of more development ahead, Wilton is trying to figure out what sort of town it wants to be. [Post-Star]

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If you've never checked out a Friends meeting (Quakers), I recommend giving it a go. I'm Jewish, but have been sporadically attending Friends meetings for several years. We sit in silence. There's no pastor. The idea is that G-d is within all of us, and if someone's truly and deeply compelled to speak, they share their message. Sometimes it's a full hour of silence and then at the end of the meeting we share joys and sorrows and community updates and you realize that the people sitting silently beside you are some of the most engaged, empathetic, and fair-minded activists around.

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