Officials say kid set fatal Schenectady fire, Saratoga woman killed by falling tree, poop scooping a growth industry, fourth grader fights ice cream truck ban

The Schenectady Fire Department says the house fire that killed two people last week on McClellan Street was set by a child, who caught a box of pancake mix on fire and then dropped the box on a bed (map). Authorities say they believe the child set the fire intentionally, but didn't intend to hurt anyone. [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [YNN]

A ">Saratoga Springs woman was killed this weekend when a tree fell on the tent she was sleeping in while camping near the Hudson in the Warren County, according to the county sheriff's office. The woman's boyfriend, who was also in the tent and managed to free himself, reportedly cut the fallen tree with an axe in an effort to save the woman. [WNYT] [Post-Star] [TU]

The state budget is now more than 100 days late. The Senate is still sitting on a revenue bill and David Paterson is threatening special sessions and vetoes if he doesn't get what he wants. Meanwhile, legislators haven't been paid since April, which is putting the squeeze on some members. [WTEN] [TU CapCon] [TU CapCon] [Buffalo News]

The New York Post reports that the Paterson administration awarded a $297 million no-bid contract to the health plan that employs the governor's wife. [NY Post]

As of mid-June, 248 people have been arrested in the first six months under New York's Leandra's Law, which made it an automatic felony if a driver is busted for driving drunk with kids in the car. Just this past weekend, state police say they arrested a man in the Town of Scotland under the law. [NYDN] [Fox23]

Stillwater police say they arrested a mother this weekend for allowing her toddlers to wander the village. They say the woman was arrested for the same thing back in April. Neighbors say they've often seen the kids outside unattended. [Fox23] [CBS6] [Fox23]

The new -- and possibly temporary -- head of New York City OTB, a public authority, is the state's highest paid employee at $125k per month. [TU] [Saratogian]

Many of the non-profit agencies that provide services to people with disabilities in the New York -- using funds from the state -- have highly-paid CEOs (list). [TU] [TU CapCon]

Albany County's budget director: "Our cash situation is really ugly." Members of the Rensselaer County legislature are making noises about being forced to borrow money because of reduced state aid. [TU] [Troy Record]

Albany police chief nominee Steven Krokoff is expected to appear before the common council's public safety committee tonight. [YNN]

Schenectady police say a man was stabbed Saturday afternoon in Hamilton Hill (map). [Fox23] [YNN]

Albany police say a drunk driver plowed into the bus stop at the Washington Ave Armory Friday evening. No one was hurt. [Fox23] [YNN]

Sections of the Thruway in Albany and Guilderland will get noise barriers as part of the Exit 23-24 reconstruction. [TU]

A Schenectady man charged back into an apartment fire Friday to save his four cats. [Daily Gazette]

Both the Knickerbacker and South Troy pools are now open in Troy. [Troy Record]

Marylou Whitney is getting the first star on SPAC's walk of fame.

Early, warm summer: Sweet corn is already showing up at local farm stands. And the apple crop is expected to be ready about two weeks early. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

Growth industry: pooper scooping. From 2008 on AOA: When doodie calls

A Niskayuna fourth grader is pushing for the town to lift its ban on ice cream trucks. [Daily Gazette]

Comments

So who gets SPAC's second star? Joe Bruno or Ranger Danger?

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I've found that anecdotes from neighbors, friends, or internet "strangers" can only take you so far. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you get out there and visit these schools during the school year, during the school day to get a feel for things. In the last few months, my wife and I have made a series of visits to our local elementary, middle + high-school. During those visits, we had the chance to talk to multiple teachers and see the kids "in action". It was very VERY telling in a lot of ways - both good and bad.

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