Top state aide says closure of Saratoga is "definite possibility" because of NYC OTB mess, arrest in Dove Street rape, Jimmer doesn't disappoint in homecoming

State horse racing industry officials were scrambling yesterday in reaction to the closure of the NYC OTB. Top Paterson admin aide -- NYC OTB chairman -- Larry Schwartz said the closure of the Saratoga Race Course is a "definite possibility" because of the OTB failure. NYC OTB represented almost half of the amount bet in the state on horses -- and contributed about half of NYRA's purse money. Hugh Farley said state Senate Republicans are working on a bill that will "take care of the OTB in New York City, the OTBs in upstate and it will take care of NYRA." Of course, Farley also said this week he would have "probably voted for" the NYC OTB bill that failed in the state Senate, but he didn't cast a vote because he was late. [TU] [TU CapCon] [NYT] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [State of Politics]

Albany police say they've arrested a convicted sex offender for last week's Dove Street rape. They say DNA evidence on file connected Keith Dare to the crime. Dare was convicted of raping a woman in 1989 and served a full 21 year sentence -- he was released this past June. [TU] [YNN] [Fox23] [WNYT]

Richard Bailey murder trial: the two alleged accomplices to De Von Callicut testified yesterday about their recollection of the events the night Bailey was murdered. Callicut's attorney suggested that one of the alleged accomplices was actually the shooter. Another prosecution witness, who said Callicut showed up at his house the night of the murder and admitted to firing a shot, offered inconsistent testimony. [TU] [WNYT] [TU]

Andrew Cuomo's office -- that is, the state attorney general's office -- announced that uber state lobbyist Patricia Lynch Associates will pay a $500k fine as part of a settlement in the state comptroller pay-for-play case. Lynch herself will also be prohibited from lobbying the comptroller's office for five years. [TU] [NYT]

Among the witnesses who testified yesterday before the grand jury in the case of alleged voter fraud in Troy was a Working Families Party official who was allegedly told by councilman Michael LoPorto after a meeting: "I never gave you those ballots." LoPorto had allegedly given the party official 30 absentee ballots on election day. [TU] [Troy Record]

The City of Schenectady's top attorney has been getting paid for the past six months, even though he's out on leave and another attorney has been hired to fill in for him. [TU]

Schenectady and Rotterdam are negotiating a new sewer service contract after Schenectady threatened to "plug all sewer lines" into Rotterdam. [Daily Gazette]

Schenectady reportedly has an "ugly" sewer line break so complicated that it needs outside help to fix it (map). [Daily Gazette]

The Capital City Rescue Mission was jammed with people last night looking for refuge from the cold. [WTEN]

Albany police say a man was stabbed in North Albany Wednesday evening (map). [WTEN]

The first phase of the Congress-Ferry Street reconstruction in Troy is complete. [Troy Record]

Federal stimulus money is being used to rehab buildings at Henry Johnson and Clinton in Albany. [Fox23]

Revenue is up at the Saratoga racino compared to last year. [Post-Star]

The Duanesburg highway superintendent allegedly overshot his department's budget almost by 100 percent. [Daily Gazette]

After the Shen school district decided the musical 13 was unsuitable for its middle schoolers, the district had settled on a production of High School Musical. [Daily Gazette]

Jimmer Fredette finished with 26 points and 5 assists in his homecoming as BYU topped Vermont at the packed Glens Falls Civic Center last night. [Post-Star]

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I know some people get excited when they hear that some chain from outside the area is coming to the Capital Region, but I'm not one of them. Local businesses mean local dollars; the money stays here rather than going to a corporate headquarters far, far away. If Price Chopper is sold to an outside company - especially a company that answers to its stockholders more than its customers - that could have a huge impact.

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