Gary McCarthy will be new Schenectady mayor, challenger criticizes DA for "cookie-cutter justice," emergency hotline for new mothers only staffed on regular working hours

A court has rejected a plea for another recount, making Gary McCarthy the official mayor-elect in Schenectady. [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [YNN]

The woman who was struck and killed while walking on the ramp to the Northway Monday morning had been arrested a few hours earlier by Colonie police for allegedly being high in her car and possessing marijuana and was trying to walk back to Clifton Park. [YNN] [TU]

An appeals court ruled that a Shenendahowa bus driver who was fired two years ago after testing positive for marijuana should be given her job back because the district has no policy for firing employees for having drugs in their systems. [Daily Gazette]

The Rensselaer County Legislature unanimously voted against the 2012 budget, but it is just a symbolic measure. [Troy Record] [TU]

In his official announcement that he's running for Albany County DA, Lee Kindlon criticized incumbent David Soares for "inflexible cookie-cutter justice." [TU]

More than 700 state employees will be moving from offices at Stuyvesant Plaza to Smith Building, as part of the state's ongoing effort to consolidate its office space. [TU]

A state agency hotline for women who want to abandon newborn babies is only staffed during regular state working hours. [TU]

Industries for the Blind of New York State say the state should begin enforcing a rule that asks agencies to make a preference for buying products produced by the blind and visually-impaired, so that more people with those disabilities can get jobs. [TU]

The man who has a slew of driving suspensions on his record and allegedly struck and killed a college student walking in Schenectady last week was ordered held without bail. [Daily Gazette]

A man who was arrested in the Crossgates Mall parking lot with more than $4,500 worth of fake $100 bills stuffed into his car in January has pleaded guilty and faces seven years in jail. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The hot spot for new home building in the Capital Region: Colonie. [TU]

Many Saratoga County residents are upset by a plan to cut funding to the county's historical society, the Brookside Museum. [TU]

The band Chicago sang a capella Christmas songs yesterday evening as State Street in Albany was rededicated. [Fox23] [TU]

For 2012, SPAC officials plan to launch a series of in-depth information bursts about small portions of the season program to keep patrons interested. Meanwhile, William Dake of Stewart's will step down as chairman of the SPAC board at the end of this year. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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I've found that anecdotes from neighbors, friends, or internet "strangers" can only take you so far. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you get out there and visit these schools during the school year, during the school day to get a feel for things. In the last few months, my wife and I have made a series of visits to our local elementary, middle + high-school. During those visits, we had the chance to talk to multiple teachers and see the kids "in action". It was very VERY telling in a lot of ways - both good and bad.

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