Selection of Krokoff for Albany police chief confirmed, state says bar was set too low on standardized tests, bank robbery in East Greenbush, new owners for Siro's

The Albany Common Council unanimously confirmed the selection of Steven Krokoff for police chief. The confirmation marks the first time the council has had official input on the selection of a chief. After the vote, Krokoff continued to stress the idea of community policing: "We're going from a team that was 338 [officers] to a team of 95,000 [city residents] as we work together with the people in this city." Krokoff is 40-years-old, making him possibly the youngest police chief in the city's history. [YNN] [WNYT] [Fox23] [TU]

New York State's general fund ended the first quarter of the fiscal year in the red, according to state comptroller Tom DiNapoli. It's only the second time in "modern history" that's happened, DiNapoli's office says. [NYS OSC]

The state Department of Education says the "bar was set too low" on the state tests for English and math that are given to students in grades 3-8. Said education commissioner David Steiner: "The word 'proficient' should tell you something, and right now that is not the case on our state tests." NYSED says it will change the "cut scores" used to classify a student's proficiency, and as a result, more students will end up being classfied as not meeting or partially meeting learning standards. [NYSED] [NYT]

Rick Lazio on the huge gap between his campaign fund total and that of Andrew Cuomo: "It's an election, not an auction." [State of Politics]

The suspension of 35-year veteran Schenectady police lieutenant Edwin Marcinkowski is reportedly related to a case involving former cop John Lewis. Schenectady swore in seven new police officers yesterday. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WTEN]

East Greenbush police say a man robbed the TD Bank branch on Troy Road (Route 4) yesterday afternoon with a note threatening violence (map). They were searching for the suspect with a helicopter and dogs. The was caught on surveillance video wearing sunglasses and a hat. [WNYT] [Troy Record] [Fox23] [WTEN]

The Schenectady County sheriff's office say it made 15 arrests and confiscated a whole bunch of drugs during the Camp Bisco festival. [CBS6]

A Schenectady man is being held in Arkansas on charges that he allegedly went to Nebraska to pick up a teen girl he met online and planned to take her somewhere else. The man reportedly turned himself in after an amber alert was issued for the teen. [WNYT] [KTHV Little Rock] [CBSNews] [Lincoln Journal Star]

There's a push a for state ban on indoor tanning for people under 18 years of age. [AP/Post-Star]

Price Chopper says it will be expanding its Latham store. [TU]

Colonie has a stray cat problem, apparently. [TU]

Siro's Restaurant has a new ownership group that includes a bunch of celebrities, including two of the actors from the HBO show Entourage. [Saratogian] [TU]

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Bruce Fence Company came through for me in a big way last spring. Another local fence company gave me a price and a date and then faded away. (Perhaps a bigger job came along, but have the decency to call.) Needless, to say this failure to keep the date as promised created frustration with the neighbor on the other side of the fence. From my first telephone contact with Bruce to my first visit in their office and then through to completion of the job, every interaction was friendly and professional. The entire transaction went like clockwork.

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