Local reps split on debt ceiling vote, shovel that sidewalk or else, new body scanners coming to airport, Troy ballot fraud case could involve feds

The House passed legislation that would raise the federal debt ceiling, 269-161. Chris Gibson voted "yes," Paul Tonko voted "no". Gibson said he voted in favor of it even though he thinks the the deal doesn't do enough to curb the deficit, and Tonko said cuts place too much of a burden on the middle class. People on the street in the Capital Region were irked that politicians seemed to be playing games with the situation. [NYT] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

The First Niagara purchase of HSBC's upstate locations will more than double the Buffalo-based bank's market share and will also most likely lead to some job cuts as the branches are consolidated. But the purchase means that the majority of the 1,900 jobs upstate now held by HSBC employees will be spared, which they would not have if the branches had simply closed down. [TU] [YNN]

The Albany Common Council passed an ordinance that will allow for fines of up to $300 for property owners who don't shovel snow from sidewalks. [TU]

The new body scanners coming to the Albany International Airport are meant to show less and preserve some of a traveler's privacy. A TSA official at ALB said people actually prefer the scans to full-body pat downs. [YNN] [TU]

Because an investigation into ballot fraud in the city of Troy includes the year 2008, when the last presidential election took place, federal prosecutors could become involved in the case. [TU]

The challenger for the post of Colonie Town Supervior said farming the town's landfill out to a private corporation is a bad idea. [Troy Record]

The father of a five-year-old boy, who was charged on Monday with endangering the welfare of a child after the boy was found wandering the streets of Rensselaer a week ago, told authorities that he laid down for a nap with his son and woke up to find the boy gone. Gordon Porter, 26, of Schenectady, didn't show up at the police station looking for his son until six hours after the boy was brought to the station and officers commenced a search for his guardian. [TU] [WNYT]

A witness to a crash that left a Cairo-Durham High School student dead said he saw the car she was riding in turn directly into the path of an oncoming SUV. Erika Cook, 17, was killed in the crash, while the driver of the car was flown to Albany Medical Center Hospital with head and arm injuries and the driver of the SUV was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. [YNN] [TU]

A disabled veteran activist is hoping to open the nation's first assisted-living facility for vets in the old Draper High School in Rotterdam. The 112-room apartment complex would have shuttles to get vets back and forth between home and the Stratton Veteran Administration Hospital in Albany. [TU]

Many municipalities across the Capital Region will be participating in events today as part of the National Night Out campaign to combat crime. A list of local events can be found here. [YNN]

Rock band Kings of Leon has cancelled the rest of their U.S. tour, including a show scheduled for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center this month, because singer Caleb Followill is suffering from vocal issues and exhaustion. The dates will not be rescheduled and all tickets will be refunded. [YNN] [TU]

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