Officials allege Albany markets part of multi-million dollar scheme, Savage stepping down, man jumps from bridge after chase, more residential development for downtown Albany

Officials say four Albany markets were involved in schemes in which they would give people cash for credits on food stamp debit cards -- for a total of more than $6 million fraudulent in transactions. It's alleged that two markets -- Frank and Giovanni's (La Marqueta) and Franze's Market -- both took in more than $2 million through the scheme. Albany County DA David Soares says officials were tipped off by transactions that were, on average, $100 higher than a typical transaction. [Daily Gazette] [Fox23] [TU] [YNN]

Schenectady County legislature chairwoman Susan Savage has announced that she's leaving office to take a job with the Cuomo administration in the Department of Taxation and Finance. The salary in her new job: $106,000. The county legislature's vice chair, Judy Dagostino, will become the new chair. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [TU] [YNN]

As the two major state employee unions prepare to negotiate with the Cuomo admin on new contracts, a Times Union story asks: Would older union members rather see younger ones laid off than take a freeze which they believe could hurt their retirement? Andrew Cuomo said the pay freeze included in the contract reached with a different union this week "recognizes the economic realities that we're in." CSEA and PEF are reportedly working behind the scenes to get the membership of that union to reject the contract. [TU] [State of Politics] [NY Post]

An audit returned to the Troy Housing Authority reports the agency had $3.8 million in operating losses in 2008 and 2009 because of a lack of budgeting. [Troy Record]

Former UN weapons inspector -- and Delmar resident -- Scott Ritter was convicted on six counts in Pennsylvania yesterday related to an online underage sex sting. [AP/Troy Record]

Ayerious Benson, the Troy teen on trial for allegedly killing Tunham Tate, on why he ran to get a gun after Tate allegedly choked him: "I was scared. I was fearful. I didn't know what to do." Asked the ADA: "If you were scared, why didn't you just run away?" [Troy Record] [TU]

Law enforcement officials said a man allegedly running after being caught in a drug sting at the Rensselaer County airport jumped off the Congress Street Bridge into the Hudson. He was arrested after swimming to shore. [TU] [Troy Record] [CBS6]

The Schenectady school board approved a budget that includes no increase in the tax levy -- and the elimination of about 45 positions. [YNN] [TU]

The Stillwater schools superintendent says the tax increase there is being blunted by money from the GlobalFoundries PILOT. [Daily Gazette]

Schenectady city officials have ordered back tax payments on a property not be accepted so the city can sell the property to a developer. [Daily Gazette]

Another residential development has been proposed for downtown Albany. [TU]

The state is planning to put the Schenectady Armory up for auction. [Daily Gazette]

Troy Flag Day parade is short on funds because the even lost its state member item money this year. [TU]

A student teacher from Northern Ireland who's at Doane Stewart through an exchange program: "We've tried some interesting foods too. Like corn dogs and mac and cheese." [Troy Record]


The interior of 60 State st. is absolutely gorgeous -- amazingly high cielings with beautiful detailing. Would love to see something positive done with that place.

I remember when the Bush Administration brought out charges against Ritter, accusing him of soliciting sex with minors, while he was making the case against the Iraq War in 2002-2003. I remember local media explicitly defending him and sponsoring events with Ritter as the speaker. I would be interested to see how much further this story goes, and if our media can police itself.

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At the risk of sounding hokey, I'm thankful for all the gifts Albany has given to me. When I moved here in 1988, I knew no one who lived here. Less than 30 years later, I have the most remarkable network of friends, associates and peers who have supported each of my endeavors be they educational, artistic, personal or business related. I met and married the father of my sons here, have had the opportunity to own my own house and business and can say with confidence that not a single day goes by when I don't feel a Smalbany connection with someone I encounter as I run, walk or drive around my neighborhood. I love you, Albany!

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