Concerns about parking for consolidated state office space, "layaway angels" make local visit, primary care doctors harder to hire, snowy owl spotted

As the state consolidates office space and moves as many as 3,000 employees to downtown Albany, where are they all going to park? (And/or is it an opportunity for public transit and car sharing?) Related: more state office space and agency shuffling. [TU] [State of Politics]

The city of Albany has said that Occupy Albany needs to be out of Academy Park by Thursday -- but it doesn't appear the occupiers have plans to leave. Says Bradley Russell (he of the "Freedom Fort"): "Short of them physically removing us, I'm pretty sure everyone has intentions of remaining right in this spot." [TU] [Fox23]

Albany police say two men were shot on South Pearl Street early Sunday in what appear to be related shootings (map). The first shooting apparently happened inside the Simply Fish and Jazz restaurant -- and the second on the street down the block. There have been 49 people killed or wounded by gunfire in Albany this year. [APD press release, pasted below] [YNN] [WNYT]

"Layaway angels" have visited local KMart locations, paying off almost $2000 in merchandise. The manager of the Colonie store says the people paying off the layaway totals wanted to be anonymous. There have been similar stories all over the nation. [Fox23] [CBS6] [Google News]

It appears state Senate Democratic conference leader John Sampson has some sort of business relationship (or something) with his pick for the new ethics org. [TU]

Following a situation involving HVCC, Rensselaer County exec Kathy Jimino wants ethics laws changed so that political party leaders would not be allowed to serve on the board of trustees of state colleges. [TU]

The Milton town highway superintendent arrested last week for allegedly being involved in a drug trafficking ring won't necessarily have to take leave from his job. [TU]

RPI's faculty approved a new constitution and will once again have a faculty senate -- the body was suspended by the admin four years ago after it almost passed a no-confidence vote against Shirley Jackson. [TU]

State Police and Bethlehem police deployed helicopters and dogs Friday evening in the effort find a man accused of threatening a residence with a gun and knife. [TU] [WTEN]

State Police say they pulled a man over on I-787 last week who had 100 pounds of pot in a suitcase. [TU]

A downstate man has pleaded guilty to breaking into a Guilderland home in October and stealing a dog. [TU]

A white powder from a roll of pennies prompted a hazmat team response and the closure of a Dunkin Donuts on Hoosick Street in Brunswick Sunday. [TU]

John Paolino, the city of Schenectady who helped architect the city's recovery from the brink of bankruptcy, is retiring. [Daily Gazette]

A large primary care practice in the Capital Region says it's becoming increasingly hard to hire new primary care doctors. [TU]

About 78 percent of kids in the Schenectady school district are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. [Daily Gazette]

Farmers in Saratoga County have donated hay to farmers in Schoharie County who had hay crops wiped out by Irene flooding. [Daily Gazette]

People in Rotterdam say they've spotted a rare snowy owl. [Fox23]

____

APD: Shootings on South Pearl Street

Albany police are investigating two shootings early this morning on South Pearl Street that appear to be connected to a party inside the Simply Fish and Jazz restaurant.

The first shooting occurred inside the restaurant/bar at approximately 2:20 a.m. Raquad Graham, 20, was shot once in the abdomen by an unknown male. Graham ran out of the restaurant after he was shot and flagged down a motorist who drove him to Albany Medical Center. He underwent surgery this morning and is currently in stable condition. He sustained several internal injuries as a result of being shot.

The second shooting occurred in front of 181 South Pearl Street as officers were investigating the first shooting. Tashiron Gaddy, 20, had just left Simply Fish and Jazz and was walking south on South Pearl Street when an unknown suspect fired several shots at him, striking him once in the stomach. Gaddy was treated at the scene and taken to Albany Medical Center for treatment. His injuries are not life threatening.

The suspect fled the scene on foot. A K-9 track was conducted and ended in the area of Herkimer Street.

No motive to the shootings has been determined yet.

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