Cuomo inauguration to be low-key, bar owner found not guilty in organizing Barnes attack, trash truck drivers looking out for crime

The Cuomo administration is planning a low-key inauguration. Andrew Cuomo and Robert Duffy will take their oats of office in private New Year's Eve and there will be a small swearing-in ceremony New Year's Day in a chamber at the Capitol known as "The War Room." Said a "Cuomo ally" about the plans: "They don't do anything without a message tied to it." [NYT] [TU] [NYDN]

The Cuomo administration has made its first agency head appointment: Dr. Nirav R. Shah will be the next state health commissioner. The press release describes Shah as an "expert in use of systems-based methods to improve patient outcomes." [NYU] [AP/CBS6] [State of Politics]

Former Union College president Roger Hull announced yesterday that he's running for mayor of Schenectady. Hull will be running with the support of the newly formed Alliance Party, which bills itself as an effort to end one-party Democratic Party rule in the city. As president of Union, Hull declined to make payments in lieu of taxes to the city because he said the school couldn't have been sure that money would have been spent wisely by the city. Current mayor Brian Stratton released a statement saying, basically, that it's too early to start talking about next year's mayoral race. [Daily Gazette] [YNN] [CBS6] [WTEN] [TU]

A jury found Timothy Rankins, the owner of Envy Lounge, not guilty of organizing the attack on Steve Barnes and a friend at Stuyvesant Plaza in 2008. Both of the men who admitted to carrying out the attack aren't getting jail time because of prosecutorial errors in one case, and in the other case, a deal cut for testimony in the Rankins case. Wrote Barnes on Table Hopping last night: "The most important and disturbing principle of this matter, of course -- whether the attacker was a pro fighter trying to impress friends by taking initiative or had been commissioned to do it -- is that someone judged violent reprisal to be the appropriate response to truthful journalism." Here's the post that apparently prompted the attack. [TU] [WNYT] [Table Hopping]

Paul Tonko voted against the tax cut package that passed the House last night -- Scott Murphy voted for it. [State of Politics]

Chris Gibson has been named to the House Agriculture and Armed Service committees (Scott Murphy and Kirsten Gillibrand also served on those committees). Gibson said he supported the tax cut package. [Troy Record] [Post-Star]

The Troy police officers union has filed suit against the city over alleged unpaid overtime. [Troy Record]

NYRA says it's near a deal that would allow it to stream its races on its own website -- which, the hope is, would help it generate revenue. [Saratogian]

Schenectady police say a man was shot in the leg during a home invasion Thursday afternoon (map). They say the victim reported that two men had forced their way in and then ran off after the shooting. [Daily Gazette] [YNN]

Albany police say a cab driver thwarted an attempted armed robbery by slamming his car into reverse after a gun was stuck in his window (map). [CBS6]

State police say man led them on a high-speed chase along I-90 yesterday in Albany before he crashed and was subdued with pepper spray. [Fox23]

Troy police say a 15-year-old girl reported that a man tried to lure her into his car Wednesday morning in South Troy. [Troy Record]

Albany police say a series of glimpses on surveillance videos helped them break the Richard Bailey murder case. [TU]

County Waste collection workers in Albany and Rensselaer counties will now be on the lookout for crimes as part of a collaboration with local law enforcement. [TU] [YNN]

Watervliet's city council approved a budget with 1.5 percent property tax increase. [Troy Record]

A crossing guard was hit by a car on Delaware Ave Thursday morning outside the Thomas O'Brien Academy for Science and Technology in Albany (map). Some parents say the intersection there is dangerous -- but the APD says the stats don't back up that assertion. [Fox23] [YNN]

The North Colonie school district is considering closing one of its elementary schools in an effort to close a projected budget gap. [Fox23]

Private contractors say BOCES orgs around the state have grown beyond their original purpose and have become unfair competition. [TU]

The state Department of Taxation and Finance says a Troy man was busted for allegedly having 193 cartons of untaxed cigarettes. [NYS DTF]

The Town of Sand Lake and property owners around lakes in the town are in a dispute over whether the public should have access to the lakes. [TU]

J. Spencer Standish has donated $1 million toward the expansion of Albany Med. [TU]


I'm pretty disgusted by the outcome of the Rankin trial. That's all I will say about that...wouldn't want anyone coming after me to break my kneecaps.

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