Cuomo says staffed-but-empty facility is symbol of state's problems, alleged hydroponic pot operation busted in Albany, retail stores opening on Thanksgiving this year

After touring the empty -- but still staffed -- state Tryon Residential Center for boys in Johnstown yesterday, Andrew Cuomo called the facility a symbol of the state's problems. "We're paying 30 staff people to babysit an empty building," he said. The facility is still staffed because of a state law that requires a one year closure notice for such facilities -- a law that Cuomo says needs to be changed. [TU] [YNN] [NYDN] [NY Post]

Cuomo on next year's state budget, projected to have a $9-$10 billion gap: "All the choices will be hard choices next year." [YNN]

A federal draft report obtained by the Times Union concludes that workers for the contractor at the Knolls Atomic Power lab that was allegedly responsible for the radioactive spill into the Mohawk felt pressured to ignore safety issues in order to get their work done faster. Federal officials say the contractor could be fired. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Chuck Schumer on getting federal approval for the deal that would open the way for a proposed casino in Sullivan County: "I will use what clout I have in Washington to make them say yes." [TU]

Colonie police say they've made an arrest in the case of a torched police car from two years ago. They say they got a tip about the 19-year-old they arrested in the beginning, but it took all this time to collect enough evidence. [TU] [WTEN]

Albany police say they found dozens of marijuana plants growing hydroponically in an apartment on South Main Ave (map). They say they had responded to burglary early Friday morning in which two suspects attacked residents of another apartment in the building, asking "where the money was." The suspects reportedly ran off after tripping an alarm on a closet that held two safes. The APD says it went to check on the safety of the people in the upstairs apartment and that's when they allegedly found the pot plants. One of the upstairs residents said the downstairs burglary had nothing to do with them. [WNYT] [TU] [CBS6] [WTEN] [Fox23]

The Albany County sheriff's office says it busted a guy at the Albany bus station for allegedly carrying a pound of cocaine. They say it's worth $50k. [TU] [CBS6]

Ayerious Benson, the Troy teen accused of killing a man at the Corliss Park Apartments in April, has turned down a plea deal. [Troy Record]

Said Albany County DA David Soares to retailers about counterfeit bills this holiday season: "You're going to be hit and you're going to be hit hard." Apparently most of the fakes circulated here are not high quality. [TU] [WTEN]

Libraries in Rensselaer County say they don't know how they're going to deal with the proposed elimination of aid from the county. [Troy Record]

Local municipalities says a recent federal rule change requiring all-caps street signs to be replaced with mixed-case signs will cost tens of thousands of dollars for each municipality. [TU]

NYSERDA and National Grid have opened a compressed natural gas filling station in Albany that will serve NG's fleet and be open to public. [YNN]

Chipotle says it's planning to open a location in Niskayuna on Balltown Road. [TU]

A handful of chain retail stores are planning to open on Thanksgiving. [TU]

Said pastor Charlie Muller to 300 people his church gave turkeys to: "I told everyone to invite someone over this Thanksgiving." [WNYT]

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