Attorney says Mosley arrived at crime scene after victims were killed, county redistricting prompts allegations of hoodwinking and bamboozling, man pleads guilty to crushing puppy with couch

The attorney for Michael Mosley, the Averill Park man on trial for the 2002 murders of Arica Lynn Schneider and Samuel Holley in Troy, argued yesterday that Mosley didn't kill them -- but rather found them dead upon arriving at their apartment, briefly touched the phone (prosecutors say Mosley's DNA was found at the scene), and then exited the apartment. The prosecutor described a grisly scene in the apartment -- "like a horror movie," in the words of a police officer. [TU] [CBS6] [Troy Record]

Albany school district officials are irked about the "Albany School Taxes Are Too Damn High" mailer that was recently sent out to homes in the district. The district says the mailer's claim of a 20 percent tax increase over the last two years is incorrect. The mailer was sent via a company that's worked with the org that backs the Brighter Choice charter schools -- but both Brighter Choice and the org denied involvement. [WTEN] [WNYT] [TU]

Andrew Cuomo's "People First" campaign starts today in Syracuse -- Cuomo will be campaigning around the state in support of ethics reform, a property tax cap, and same-sex marriage. [Cuomo admin]

A federal appeals court has ruled that the state can collect taxes on cigarettes sold on Native American reservations. The Seneca Nation president vowed to continue fighting the tax collection, and the issue may end up at the Supreme Court of the United States. The new state budget included $130 million in expected revenue from taxing cigarettes sold on nation land. [TU] [Buffalo News] [YNN]

The proposed redistricting for the Albany County legislature increases the number of minority-majority districts from three to four. There was much criticism of the overall plan at a public meeting last night, including allegations of hoodwinking and bamboozling. [TU] [WTEN]

Saratoga County is considering a policy that would ask smokers to not stand near the entryways to county buildings. [Post-Star]

The Saratoga County DA's office says a Corinth man accused of killing a Yorkie puppy has taken a pleaded guilty. The DA's office says the man "violently shoved a large couch against the dog which was hiding behind it, causing the dog to be crushed." [Saratoga County DA]

Odd story of the day: a Niskayuna woman was arrested for allegedly stealing a set of keys while at the Gold's Gym on Balltown Road. The woman is a freelance writer who wrote an article for the Times Union earlier this year about gyms -- the checklist for which included a recommendation to bring a lock for your locker. (Another recent article by the woman: "Get to know your colon.") [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

It's spring and vandals are in bloom: in Bethlehem, in Troy, and (as previously mentioned) in Schenectady. [Fox23] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

At long last: Saratoga's Congress Park is getting public bathrooms. [Post-Star]

Books for Troops, a program founded by a Ballston Spa woman, has shipped 28,000 books to troops during the last year. [Saratogian]

Matteo A. Casola, the founder of SCCC's culinary program, has passed away. He was 87. [Daily Gazette]

Says an 87-year-old Colonie man who's been playing in bands pretty much all his adult life: "Life doesn't end after the high school band." [TU]

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