Priest convicted of rape, SUNY chancellor calls for tuition increases, hoping to catch the wave of Jimmermania

Gary Mercure, a Catholic priest from the Albany Diocese, was found guilty of raping two boys in Berkshire County in the 1980s. Mercure was also accused of abusing the boys in Warren County, but the statute of limitations had run out in New York -- so prosecutors referred the case to Berkshire County, where Mercure was accused of rape during trips to Western Massachusetts. Mercure spent time at a handful of parishes around the Capital Region. The diocese removed him from service in 2008. [TU] [Troy Record] [Berkshire Eagle/Post-Star] [CBS6] [YNN]

Robert Schunk, the Albany police officer accused of domestic violence, was found not guilty on all count against him in Albany County court. He still faces charges in Saratoga County. [TU] [WNYT]

During her recent parole hearing, Marybeth Tinning -- the Schenectady woman convicted of killing one of her children, and suspected of killing seven others -- said she was "a very damaged and just a messed up person." Of her time in prison, she said: "I have tried to become a better person while I was here, trying to be able to stand on my own and ask for help when I need it, others when they need it." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher yesterday called for modest and predictable tuition increases for the system. She told legislators: ""What we're trying to do is level out the expectation for the cost of college so that people can be painful so they aren't a freshman at one point price and at the sophomore year they have a huge hike in tuition..." [NYT] [YNN]

The owner of a car that was allegedly wrecked after a Rensselaer police cruiser crashed into it says the department told him the officer had fallen asleep at the wheel. [WTEN]

There's chatter that Albany County exec Mike Breslin could be joining the Cuomo administration. [TU Local Politics]

A government watchdog group say Chris Gibson, and other Congressional reps who sleep in their office, should be paying taxes on the fair market value of their office stays. [Daily Gazette]

David Paterson on his post-gubernatorial life: "I wake up in the morning and I don't have to to wonder what went wrong that is going to get blamed on me." [NYDN]

The amount bet in-state for New York horse racing was basically flat in 2010 compared to the year before. The amount bet at the Capital District OTB was down about six percent last year. [Saratogian] [TU]

Albany's planning board has rejected an application by a Mormon congregation to demolish the former St. Teresa middle school on New Scotland Ave in order to build a new church. [TU]

State police say an Albany man was pulled over in Bethlehem last night with $50k worth of cocaine. [CBS6]

Facing a budget crunch, the North Colonie school district is considering closing the Maplewood elementary school, the roots of which go back to before 1897. [TU]

Warren County is hoping to ride the wave of Jimmermania. [Post-Star]

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