Man apparently died in Schenectady fire while trying to alert neighbors, Troy ballot fraud trial nearing end, Niskayuna school district facing possible teacher layoffs, snag over new Lark Tavern sign

Schenectady fire officials and neighbors say the man found dead in the large apartment fire in the Central State neighborhood this week was an elderly man who was alerting neighbors about the fire. Schenectady Fire Chief Michael DellaRocco says they found the man's body near the door a second floor neighbor, whom he apparently had alerted. Said city public safety commissioner Wayne Bennett of the man: "You have to give him a tremendous amount of credit he could have just ran out the door and his concern was for his neighbors." [Daily Gazette] [YNN] [WTEN]

The attorney for Annie George, the Rexford woman who allegedly had kept a woman in service at the Llenroc mansion without pay or a proper visa, says his client denies the allegations -- and that "several allegations in the complaint are gross mis-statements." The Department of Homeland Security complaint alleges the woman, who's from India, worked for George's family from 2005 until May 2011, when she was removed from the house. [Daily Gazette] [CBS6] [TU]

Halfmoon supervisor Melinda Wormuth has resigned from the Saratoga County board of supervisor's public works committee following a Times Union report raising questions about two properties that she recently sold to a developer. Board of Supervisors chair Thomas Wood said he doesn't think Wormuth has done anything wrong and praised her integrity. Wormuth called the TU's original story a "smear campaign." [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

On the last day of testimony in the Troy ballot fraud trial, a State Police DNA expert testified that the adhesive trip of three absentee ballot envelopes had DNA that matched Ed McDonough. Neither McDonough nor Michael LoPorto ended up testifying in their defense -- though LoPorto apparently had to think about it until the last moment. [Troy Record] [WNYT]

Matthew Slocum's girlfriend testified yesterday that she saw Slocum shoot his stepbrother and set fire to their home. [Post-Star]

There's reportedly a deal developing to replace the state's redistricting system with a new system that's apparently also complicated and possibly prone to stalemates. [TU]

Among the many questions not answered during Andrew Cuomo's online chat with citizens last September: "What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?" (Also: a lot of questions about fracking.) [NYT]

Cohoes mayor John McDonald is the latest mayor to push legislators to support pension reform. [Troy Record]

Saratoga County DA James Murphy office alleges Brian Vecchio -- the driver in the Providence crash that killed his passenger, Ballston Spa teen Noelle Johnsen, in January -- was going 98 miles per hour before the accident based on data from his vehicle's "black box." Murpshy says the posted speed limit on the road is 45 miles per hour. Vecchio pleaded not guilty,/a> to charges that included second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. [TU] [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

Rotterdam police are offering a $2,500 reward for info about the person who held up a CVS pharmacy counter for prescription drugs last month. The reward is from a pharma company that donated the money through a collaborative effort to fight pharmacy crime. [Fox23] [TU]

The Albany County Sheriff's office says it's arrested five people for alleged welfare fraud. [ACSO Scribd]

The city of Schenectady's cash reserve is now almost empty after paying Schenectady County $1 million to make up for delinquent taxes. [Daily Gazette]

The Niskayuna school district is facing possible teacher layoffs in an effort to close its budget gap. [TU]

The state Department of Transportation says work will start back up on the Dunn Memorial Bridge next week. [TU]

The plan to add two more roundabouts in Malta is being reconsidered after roundabout complaints from the public. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

A city of Albany official says the new neon sign on the new Lark Tavern was constructed without the proper permitting process -- but it was the city that made the mistake. [TU]

Comments

"The plan to add two more roundabouts in Malta is being reconsidered after roundabout complaints from the public. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]"

I wonder if having 13 roundabouts makes Malta the roundabout capital of the United States? Or even just New York state?

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I'd be in favor of a "Tree Fee" via special assessment on all properties - including all the tax exempt - in the City, which would give the department the funds they need to adequately care for our street trees. A dollar amount per foot of street frontage would make it fair. It also would not have to be much as it would include much more property than our regular property taxes here. And yes, I am a homeowner who pays the high taxes here. But an extra $40 a year is not going to break me, and would provide immense benefit to the city at large. ...

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