Murphy and Gibson differ on range of topics, new ballots are cramped, National Grid getting heat for expenses,

During a debate last night in Queensbury, Scott Murphy and Chris Gibson differed on the role of the federal government in education, the health care reform law, and the federal stimulus. There were also accusations of the dreaded flip-flopping. The two candidates will be debating again on WMHT Thursday night. [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star] [Saratogian]

Carl Paladino says the format of the gubernatorial debate was "terrible" and is pushing for a one-on-one debate between him and Andrew Cuomo. But Cuomo says he won't debate again. [AP/CBS6] [AP/Post-Star]

Rick Lazio, watched the gubernatorial debate on his computer after the fact. [NYT]

The two challengers to Neil Breslin for the state Senate have criticized the incumbent for going along with the a downstate Democratic establishment that hasn't done enough to reform the state. [TU]

Dan Donovan, the Republican running for state AG, says his Democratic opponent Eric Schneiderman is a "card-carrying member of the Albany cesspool." [NYT]

It sounds like the new optical scan ballots are rather cramped, which is leading to some confusing alignments. [TU] [YNN]

Appearing before a state Senate committee, the president of National Grid's US operations defended defended the utility against allegations it's been incorrectly attributing expenses to the former Niagara Mohawk territory (and thus trying to charge higher rates). National Grid has admitted to $4 million in improper expenses, but a state panel says the number is more like $26 million. [YNN] [TU]

A Troy elementary school teacher who coaches track for a club in Delmar has been charged with sending inappropriate email and trying to engage in sexual contact with a teen member of the club. [Fox23] [TU]

Four people from a Colonie-based company have taken plea deals for their alleged involvement with a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud case. [TU]

Former state Senator Hiram Monserrate has been indicted on charges he used his Queens non-profit as a political "piggy bank." [NYT]

Albany police say a man was arrested for allegedly stabbing and hitting a woman with a hammer. [Fox23]

An Albany man has taken a plea deal for shooting at an APD detective last year. [TU]

The Berlin school district says it's addressing a lead contamination problem at its elementary school -- but the problem is persisting and some parents say they're ready to pull their kids from the school. [WNYT] [Troy Record] [Fox23]

Ballston Spa voters approved spending almost $50 million for new and improved school buildings. [Saratogian]

Two vacant buildings collapsed in Albany's Arbor Hill neighborhood this week (map). The neighbors said good riddance. [Troy Record] [TU]

The saga of RPI and the Troy Fire Department continues -- the school is now petitioning a court to allow it to use grass pavers that were deemed to not meet fire code. [Troy Record] [TU]

The new solid waste plant in the works for South Troy will apparently use genetically modified bacteria to produce biofuels. [TU]

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I ride every day to work, and also after work for exercise. I love the concept of being a person who happens to ride a bike. There's a level of bike riding, with the high performance gear and sleek clothing, that makes riding seem like its not for everyone. I try to avoid markers like that, and always wear regular clothing/shoes/backpack with dumpy-looking bike. One concession is bike gloves.

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