Former clerk says absentee ballot application were collected "so we could win the line," boy allegedly sprayed with bleach, Caffe Lena planning renovations

Former Troy city housing authority clerk and Democratic party operative Anthony DeFiglio testified yesterday in the ballot fraud case that he helped former city clerk William McInerney collect absentee ballot applications at a city housing complex -- and that they never intended to give the residents their ballots. When accused by the special prosecutor why they were collecting the applications, DeFiglio testified, "So we could win the line, win the election." [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU]

The former heads of the the Sheriffs Employees Association of Rensselaer County apparently spent tens of thousands of dollars of the union's money at restaurants and a strip club, according to bank documents obtained by the Times Union. A group of union members alleged last year that the union's leaders were involved in misconduct, including having "looted or wasted the corporate assets." [TU] [Troy Record 2011 November]

Saratoga and Schenectady counties saw job growth last year thanks to the tech and advanced manufacturing industries. [TU]

Albany police are investigating an incident in which a girl allegedly sprayed a teen boy's face with bleach last week outside the Arbor Hill branch of the Albany Public Library. The girl allegedly had bullied the boy inside the library before they were kicked out. Police say the boy was temporarily blinded in one eye, but is expected to recover. [TU] [WNYT] [YNN]

A $26 billion settlement between the states and a group of the nation's biggest banks on re-financing under water home mortgages reportedly will move ahead after the attorneys general for New York and California decided to sign on. [NYT]

The city of Schenectady is having trouble filling its city engineer position, reportedly because it's having trouble finding a qualified candidate who's willing to live in the city. [TU]

Schenectady High School's attendance rate has increased from below 75 percent three years ago to 90 percent this school year. [Daily Gazette]

The DEC has levied a regional record fine against a scrap recycling business in Cohoes. [Daily Gazette]

The Saratoga Springs city council is focusing on redevelopment for South Broadway, "by far the worst off" if the city's gateways. [Saratogian]

A Rennselaer County man has been accused of having 100 hard drives containing child pornography. And a legal AK-47. [WTEN]

Waterford police say they arrested a father and son for allegedly stealing a street sign for scrap. [Troy Record]

Long-time Rensselaer County public defender Jerome Frost has retired. [Troy Record]

The missing Petersburg woman for whom authorities had been searching this week turned up back in town yesterday after a car dropped her off at the town hall. [WTEN] [TU]

While addressing the Legionella problem at the Best Western across from UAlbany, crews reportedly found bed bugs. [Fox23]

Niskayuna parents are upset about a proposed plan to privatize the operation of the district's school buses. [Daily Gazette]

A house is being moved in Colonie so it can become part of facility for training fire fighters. [YNN]

The group that manages Caffe Lena is planning renovations to its building that would "stabilize it and make it safe." [Daily Gazette]

RPI vice president Eddie Ade Knowles played drums one some of the earliest hip hop albums -- and a sample of which was recently used in a Kanye West song. [TU]


Unrelated: Netflix recommended I check out the documentary tv series "prison wives" since I like documentaries. On a whim I clicked on the very first episode. It takes place locally, in Troy. There are cameo appearances by Corey Ellis, Troy police detectives, the rensselaer train station and the honest weight food co-op, and a ton more of recognizable street shots. Pretty surreal.

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They should turn Maiden Lane into a stepped pedestrian street, like they have all over Europe. We don't need to reinvent the wheel, they do steep small streets pretty well across the pond, let's look for some precedents... Human scaled lighting is critical too, that goes for the whole city. And we don't need paint on the road, just signage perpendicular to the flow of traffic at the bridge entrance. I also echo the call for basic, ongoing maintenance to our current infrastructure. How about some weed removal in sidewalks, etc?

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