Loss of public sector jobs holds back local economy, youth club director accused of rape, problems for a winter carnival during the non-winter, sir -- is that a cattle prod?

The Capital Region's job market has been slow to bounce back from the recession in large part because of a loss of public sector jobs, according to a state comptroller report out this week. [TU]

State inspector general Ellen Biben has been picked to head the state's new Joint Commission on Public Ethics. Her selection came during a closed-door meeting and was only officially confirmed publicly two days later after it was reported by the New York Times. Biben has close ties to Andrew Cuomo and her selection has prompted questions about the independence of the new panel. A Cuomo spokesman argued Biben is "the most successful public integrity prosecutor in modern political history." [TU] [NYT] [YNN] [State of Politics] [AP/Troy Record]

A couple of voters witnesses in the Troy ballot fraud trial testified they never saw the absentee ballots that were allagedly intended for them. [Troy Record]

There were six cases of Legionnaire's disease connected to the Best Western hotel near UAlbany, according to the state Department of Health (map). DOH says there were higher than normal levels of the bacteria that cause the disease in the hotel's water system. The hotel says it's fully cooperating with DOH. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WTEN]

The director of Boys and Girls Club in Schenectady was arrested for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl. Police say the alleged crime happened years ago and was not isolated. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The case of a missing three-month-old baby in Schenectady has been complicated by an assertion by the woman who authorities say is the mother that she's not the mother. [Daily Gazette]

Troy mayor Lou Rosamilia emphasized cooperation in his first State of the City address. He also announced that "school resource officers" from the TPD would be returning to city schools full time again. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Troy city council's finance committee approved the city's settlement with the Sanctuary for Independent Media. [Troy Record]

Part of the Saratoga Springs Fire Department's takeover of the primary EMS role in the city: higher fees. The SSPD takes starts the service today. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

For the second time in three months, SCCC president Quintin Bullock is a finalist for another job. [Daily Gazette]

A public housing resident in North Albany says her unit is a "death trap" because of mold. [WNYT]

The organizers of this weekend's Lake George winter carnival have brought in snow machines because of the lack of snow and ice. Longtime residents of the village say they can't remember a winter so un-wintery. [YNN] [TU]

There's a plan to start rehabbing one of the burned out rowhouses on Madison Place in Albany (map). [TU]

The Saratoga Diner on South Broadway has closed. [TU]

A passenger booked a flight from Baltimore to Albany was apprehended by the TSA at BWI because he allegedly had a cattle prod in his carry-on. [WNYT]

Unexpected source of revenue for the town of Queensbury: cremations. [Post-Star]

Comments

And in regional news from the "You Just Can't Make This Up Department" in Vermont:

"A prison inmate who makes stationery and license plates pulled a fast one on state police by adding the image of a pig to the state decal on their cruisers." (TU)

I kinda like the revised state emblem. It very Vermont-like.

http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Inmate-adds-pig-image-to-Vt-police-cruiser-decals-2984962.php#ixzz1lKmUNVb3

@Bob - that's clever.

The City of Troy should not use taxpayers money to bail out a garbage man Bob of Florida, formerly of Troy, NY!

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