State comptroller: NYRA on very shaky financial ground, Albany police chief pick stresses engagement, could Sarah Palin be coming to Saratoga?

NYRA is in financial jeopardy for next year because of a lack of revenue and continued mismanagement, according to an audit released by state comptroller Tom DiNapoli. He says the horse racing org, which runs Saratoga, will need revenue from the still-not-completed Aqueduct racino deal to stay afloat. Only one firm remains in the bidding process for that contract. And AEG -- the group that won, then lost, the contract in a previous bidding process -- has filed a lawsuit that could stall the process the again. In NYRA's response to the audit, it notes that it's managed to cut costs 2.2 percent over the last two years. [NYS OSC] [Saratogian] [TU] [NYS OSC]

Albany police chief pick Steven Krokoff stressed community involvement during last night's hearing before the common council's public safety committee. He said there's a "reassurance gap" in the city -- that is, a gap between what crime stats report and citizens' perceived levels of crime. Said Krokoff of his aim to create greater engagement between police and neighborhoods: "We have to tailor our community policing services towards the neighborhood... not the neighborhood towards the community policing." [YNN] [TU] [Fox23]

Brian Stratton on Schenectady city worker layoffs: "[They're] probably going to be necessary." [Daily Gazette]

One of David Paterson's thousands of recent budget bill vetoes could result in the Albany school district distributing as much as $7 million more to charter schools than originally budgeted. [TU]

Bakeries in Albany County are continuing to push for an exemption from the county's ban on using trans-fats. [TU]

David Paterson said yesterday that he didn't know about the $297 no-bid contract awarded to the health plan that employs his wife until he read about in the NY Post. A spokesman for the state insurance department says the plan won the contract because it was the only group to meet federal requirements for the deal. [State of Politics] [NY Post] [Fox23]

An autopsy performed on the Saratoga woman who died after a tree fell on her while camping reports the woman died from massive internal injuries, according to the Warren County Sheriff's Department. A woman who says she was also camping in the same area near the Hudson told the TU that other trees had been collapsing that weekend. [Saratogian] [TU]

The Schenectady city council is lining up a resolution to oppose the halfway house proposed for Hamilton Hill. [Daily Gazette]

An Albany County legislator is pushing for a law aimed at stopping online bullying and harassment. (From 2008: Woman says legislator stalked her | From 2009: Colonie judge dismisses stalking case against Scavo) [Fox23] [TU] [TU]

Troy police say two German shepherds have new homes after they were allegedly left without food or water by their evicted former owner (map). [Troy Record]

A 350-foot bridge section was scheduled to leave the Port of Coeymans today and float down the Hudson to New York City where it will be installed. Apparently, the Port of Coeymans is bustling these days. [WNYT] [YNN] [TU]

A one car crash shut down Rt 20 near Rt 155 in Guilderland last night. [CBS6]

Rensselaer County has opened a "Hall of Heroes" dedicated to the 15 people from the county who have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. [Troy Record]

One the invite list for this year's Whitney Gala in Saratoga: Sarah and Todd Palin. [TU CapCon]

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