Aqueduct racino final deal close?, county legislator calls for anit-smoking ad to be yanked, developer surveying interest in downtown apartments

There appears to be support in the state Senate the Genting's Aqueduct's racino bid -- that doesn't necessarily mean the deal is close to being finished. Money from the deal will be used to prop up NYRA, which runs Saratoga. [Saratogian] [NYDN]

Both attendance and the amount bet are down at the The Track over the first two weeks of this season compared to the same period last year, according to NYRA. [Saratogian]

The TU reports that at least 12 state legislators have hand gun permits. There's been a debate lately over whether the state's hand gun permit database should publicly available in whole. [TU]

State senator Diane Savino and Assemblyman Matt Titone called state senator Ruben Diaz "a media whore" yesterday while waving a wig and a high heeled shoe at him. Really. There's video. [State of Politics]

The Troy school district has fired a district official whose doctorate was revoked after it was alleged he plagiarized parts of his dissertation. [TU] [Journal News]

The chairman of the Rensselaer County legislature is upset about the anti-smoking ads being run by the state health department that depict a child crying because he's been left by his mother. Martin Reid says the ads should be taken off the air. The producer of the ad has said the kid really was crying. [Troy Record] [WTEN] [Today Show/YouTube]

Schenectady is recycling less of its garbage now than it was in the early 1990s. Schenectady is thinking about moving to "single stream" recycling, which appears to be working in places such as Watervliet. [TU] [Troy Record]

House minority leader John Boehner is coming to Saratoga to help raise money for Chris Gibson. [TU]

The Troy Police Department is trying to instill community policing skills in its new hires. [TU]

The head of Colonie's EMS, who alleged last year that town supervisor Paula Mahan was trying to drive him out, has been suspended over allegations involving the bidding process for a CPR device. [TU]

Cobleskill's town supervisor, allegedly caught on tape using the N word, says he won't resign (the village mayor, who also allegedly use the word, has resigned). Discussion at the town board meeting then touched on how many people have ever used the word. [CBS6] [Fox23]

A Teamsters local has donated $10,000 to the Albany Boys and Girls Club. The org says it needs to raise $100,000 to stay open. The club is also inline to get $30,000 in supplies from the grant won by Charlie Muller. [TU] [YNN] [Fox23]

Day attendance at Saratoga Spa State Park is up 45 percent compared to last year, says the state parks office. [Post-Star]

State police say they're looking for a suspect who robbed a convenience store on Route 9 in Schodack at knifepoint while wearing a t-shirt over his head with holes cut out for his eyes. [Troy Record]

A developer has been surveying demand for apartments in downtown Albany. Apartments in the second phase of the Harmony Mills loft conversion in Cohoes could be ready as soon as the end of this year. [TU] [Troy Record]

You can flock your neighbors in Saratoga County for $25. [Saratogian]

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I grew up in the Utica area and moved out here in 1998. It really is funny how different the cultures are less than 100 miles away. It's more laid back in the Utica/Syracuse area, and the culture is much more "country" whereas Albany and a lot of the are around it is much more fast paced and has more of a NYC influence. Both are nice places to live, but definitely different vibes.

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