Cuomo says state can't employ workers "who literally have no function," syndrome continues to devastate bat populations, alleged theft of pricy cat reportedly the result of valium

Today is Veteran's Day.

In a video message scheduled to play around the state today, Andrew Cuomo reiterated many of his familiar talking points (clean up government, no higher taxes) and said he would "lift the veil of secrecy that is now around Albany." [embedded above]

After touring a prison yesterday, Cuomo said: "I understand the economic consequences of losing state jobs. The answer can't be we are going to employ state workers who literally have no function." The state's prison population is declining and Cuomo is expected to push for the closing of some facilities. [AP/WSJ] [NYT]

The uncertain balance of the state Senate is casting doubt (well, even more) on the outcome of David Paterson's proposed special session to close the current year budget gap. [TU]

With David Paterson on his way out and shifting majorities at the federal and state level, some African-American Democrats in the state are lamenting what they see as a loss of influence. [NYT]

As absentee ballots were county in the Assembly race between incumbent Bob Reilly and challenger Jennifer Whalen, it appears that Reilly will hold on for the win. [WNYT]

Yesterday during the trial of Bruce Vroman, the man who allegedly threw him into a bonfire in East Greenbush, Derek George testified that Vroman said before the alleged incident: "I'm a crazy redneck. We do crazy s..." [Troy Record]

Records and interviews suggest that Marci Webber -- the Nassau woman accused of killing her four-year-old daughter in Illinois -- suffers from mental illness. [TU]

Preliminary crime data from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, areas outside of NYC saw an increase in major crimes of about one percent during the first half of this year. [NYS DCJS] [Daily Gazette]

The Paterson administration is proposing a plan in which the state would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Officials say the state could also benefit economically from the transition. [NYT] [TU]

The DEC reported this week that "White Nose Syndrome" is continuing to devastate bat populations in the state. DEC's acting commissioner called the results of the recent study "disturbing." [NYS DEC] [TU]

The developer looking to transform the former Ellsworth Ice Cream building in Saratoga Springs wants to build condos and retail space. [Saratogian]

The woman who allegedly stole a $1000 Siamese cat from a pet store in Queensbury reportedly told the store owner says she didn't realize what she was doing because she was on valium -- and has returned the cat. [WNYT]

One of the GE Realty Plot houses in Schenectady is up for auction Friday. [TU]

Marylou Whitney's husband has gotten a new rose variety named for her. [Saratogian]

New pines have been planted along the Avenue of the Pines in Spa State Park. [Post-Star]

Says a close friend of Watervliet veteran David Fisher, who died in Iraq in 2004: "Not a day goes by that I don't think about David." Items from Fisher are part of the "Citizen Soldier" exhibit now on display at the State Museum. [TU] [Troy Record]

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