Troy police investigating toddler's death, plan to expand state Senate, outgoing director says morale is very low at State Museum, a cup of coffee goes a long way

Troy police say a toddler was found dead in an apartment at Griswold Heights Saturday evening (map). A TPD captain says a man who was apparently taking care of the child left the apartment and there was "a several hour gap between the presence of the caretaker and the discovery of the deceased." Police say they're not sure what happened to the child and are waiting on a toxicology reports. The caretaker was questioned and released, though the TPD captain says "Charges likely will be addressed in the future." [Troy Record] [YNN] [Troy Record] [WTEN] [CBS6] [TU]

Occupy Albany was back with more than 200 people in Academy Park Saturday for a rally (or maybe it was 100 people). MoveOn.org was also part of the rally. Said one protester: "I work nine to five, I am a single mother, I work to support two young daughters, I pay taxes, I go to PTA, I am not the stereotype that has been cast about occupiers, that we don't have jobs... " [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [Fox23]

The task force in charge of drawing new legislative districts for the state has floated a plan to add a 63rd state Senate seat. [State of Politics]

Complaints about handling of a bed bug program were just the beginning of the criticism of the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority director, who's now facing allegations of nepotism and a too-high salary. [TU]

A Ballston Spa teen died in a wreck Saturday after the truck she was riding in hit a utility pole and flipped while trying to pass another vehicle. The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office says the winding stretch of road is "very dangerous" and marked as no passing. [TU] [Saratogian]

A family has filed a civil suit against an off-duty Schenectady police officer for allegedly using excessive force against their teen son while responding to an alleged theft from a Niskayuna Hannaford. [Daily Gazette]

Rensselaer police say two people were charged with animal cruelty after 24 cats were found in a feces-filled apartment -- without food or water. [TU]

Albany police say a group threw bottles, garbage cans, and plants at patrol cars responding to a call about an "unruly" group in West Hill Saturday night (map). The APD says one object was thrown through the rear window of one of the police cars. [APD press release, posted below]

The now-retired head of the State Museum says budget cuts and frustration with bureaucratic oversight have driven morale very low and are prompting many researchers to leave. [TU]

The Town of Ballston is considering a temporary moratorium on the construction of pole-mounted solar arrays after a family's solar installation drew the attention -- and ire -- of neighbors. (There was a similar story in Clifton Park last year.) [Daily Gazette]

Private pre-schools in the area are apparently struggling to find students as families cut back on expenses. [Daily Gazette]

A building owned by the city of Troy is being sold to a man who plans to open a high-end custom auto shop. [Troy Record]

A gluten-free bakery is expanding in Scotia. [Daily Gazette]

The stolen Meals on Wheels van has turned up. [WNYT]

Saratoga Springs native Pia Carusone, who's the chief of staff for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, on the anniversary of Giffords' shooting: "Regarding the shooter, I don't think she [Gabby Giffords] spends a lot of time thinking about him. You can't change the past, you have the future to look ahead to and that's been her attitude, and she sets an example for all of us." [Fox23]

A cup of coffee 24 years ago has led to the donation of thousands of dollars worth of art to the West Sand Lake EMS. [TU]

A Clifton Park 5th grader can tell you who was president in any year -- and he dressed up as Alfred E. Smith for Halloween. [Troy Record]
____

APD: cars damaged
Two Albany police cars where damaged by a large group that threw glass bottles and other objects at the cars when officers responded to disperse a unruly group on Quail Street last night.
Officers were called to the area between First and Second Streets last night at 11:30 p.m. The initial call was for a large group of teens that were throwing bottles, garbage cans and porch plants into the street. When officers arrived they exited their cars and started to move the group out of the area on foot. While they were doing that someone from the group threw a weight bench clamp through the rear window of one of the police cars.
Approximately 10 minutes later as officers were monitoring the group a unknown person threw a glass bottle at another police car hitting the right side of the hood. As officers exited their cars another bottle was hurled at them but did not strike anyone. The group then ran in several different directions as officers approached them.
One individual who was stopped by officers was arrested for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th Degree. Davon Saunders, 20, of 351 Myrtle Avenue was found with a Shirken knife in his back pocket. A Shirken knife is a star like shape with three blades on it that lock in. They are illegal to possess in New York State.
No other arrests connected to the incident have been made at this time.

Comments

Re: morale problem at the State Museum.

Museum researcher Roland Kays was featured a dozen times on AOL in the last 3 years for his acclaimed research on NYS mammals and for his hugely popular public program "Cooking the Tree of Life." His resignation is a big loss to the Museum, but a bigger loss to New York citizens, especially those in the Capital Region.

The State Education Department and the Board of Regents need to stop the "brain drain" at the State Museum and the Cultural Education Center (which includes the State Library & Archives).

Going to go out on a limb and say you meant 24 cats, rather than 24 cars in the animal cruelty story, even though I haven't clicked through.

Can you let us know the name and address of the gluten free bakery in Scotia? I'm not about to subscribe to the Gazette just to find that out.

"Rensselaer police say two people were charged with animal cruelty after 24 cars were found in a feces-filled apartment -- without food or water. [TU]"

That's one hell of a huge apartment if you can stuff 24 malnourished cars into it...

@Ellen, mirdreams, others: Yep, it was cats. Thank you for catching that. #blamegreg

@chrisck, you are absolutely right. It's a shame that conditions and staff morale at the State Museum have been allowed to deteriorate for so long.

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