Funding for solar energy center prompts talk of sunny future, bill would require answer about organ donation, onion as state vegetable?

UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is getting a $57.5 million grant from the feds to set up a solar energy research consortium (this is the grant Chuck Schumer had been in town pushing for this week). UAlbany and the University of Central Florida are partnering with Sematech, the semi-conductor research org now based on Albany Nanotech, on a consortium for research into materials for generating solar energy. The consortium has already lined up $400 million in other funding. [Chuck Schumer] [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany Police Department says officer Josiah Jones was suspended after an investigation determined he had allegedly acted inappropriately during a traffic stop (there was no further explanation). [TU]

The state DMV has suspended the driver's license of Albany police spokesman James Miller for one year because he refused a blood alcohol test during his arrest (Miller pleaded guilty to DWAI last week). Miller can apply for a license that would allow him to drive for work. The APD says Miller will be suspended without pay until mid-April, at which point he'll be able to start collecting salary again. [YNN] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Andrew Cuomo's newest stick for waving at the legislature: the threat that he'll institute ethics investigations if it doesn't make progress on ethics reform. [TU]

There's proposed state legislation that would require people renewing their driver's license to answer whether or not they'd like to be an organ donor. [TU]

A Bethlehem man was convicted of felony assault for throwing a plastic beer mug at a woman at Wolff's after the USA-Ghana World Cup game last year. The trial included a subplot in which the man's attorney -- Terry Kindlon -- wore his Purple Heart during closing arguments. [TU] [TU]

A state Senator from Brooklyn is pushing for legislation that would require human services caseworkers to take mobile phone pics of child clients that would be tagged with time and geo data in order to make sure caseworkers are actually checking in. [TU]

Rensselaer County exec Kathy Jimino has proposed legislation that would restrict protests at military funerals in the county. (Saratoga County officials said earlier this week that they are also discussing the idea.) [Troy Record]

The City of Saratoga Springs has reached contracts with unionized workers in the department of public works and city hall. The contracts include two percent raises the next two years, and offers employees one choice of health plan -- a provision that's expected to save the city money. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The proposed merger of the Scotia and Glenville police department is off. Many residents at a village meeting last night about the idea were against it. [Daily Gazette] [Fox23]

In Saratoga, the woman rescued from an apartment fire by a neighbor this past weekend has died. Firefighters say a candle started the fire. In Schenectady, the woman rescued from a house fire last week, has died. Fire officials say the fire that killed the grandmother of 23 started with the building's boiler. [Saratogian] [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The mother of two people charged with being involved with the Maple Avenue murder in Schenectady last year has pleaded guilty to hindering the prosecution. [Daily Gazette]

Police say a man charged with DWI led them on a chase from Albany all the way to Schoharie County last night. [CBS6]

Rotterdam police say the Walmart there was cleared yesterday after a bomb threat was called in -- they say no bomb was found. [Fox23] [CBS6]

The Warren County sheriff's office says a man was arrested in Queensbury for allegedly using the wi-fi from a nearby hotel to pull up porn so he could masturbate in his car. [TU]

Says the owner of Speck Boutique in Saratoga, who's closing her Broadway storefront: "It's not like it used to be when you could sell enough during track season to make it through the long winters." [Saratogian]

A state Senator from Orange County is pushing for the the state vegetable to be the onion. [TU]

Comments

I wonder what the cop did to act inappropriately at the traffic stop. All I can think of of is "meow" from Super Troopers.

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