Cuomo orders creation of healthcare exchange, Price Chopper wants to build new store in Watervliet, pot case involved buried treasure, Honest Weight looking to move forward on location

Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order to create a healthcare exchange for the state. The exchange is part of the health care reform package pushed by the Obama administration. Republicans in the legislature had blocked legislation that would have created the exchange. [Cuomo admin] [TU] [NYT]

Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy says an investigation by his office into the sale of two properties by Halfmoon supervisor Mindy Wormuth and her husband to a developer were made at market value. Murphy acknowledged to the Times Union that his office has potential conflicts of interest in the case. [Saratogian] [TU]

"Sources" say Schenectady police chief Mark Chaires is planning to retire this summer. [TU]

The developer looking to knock down the former St. Patrick's church in Watervliet has confirmed that Price Chopper would like to build a new supermarket on the site. The new store would be almost double the size of the current Chopper in the city. [Troy Record] [TU]

As part of a plea deal, a Wilton man involved in a large interstate marijuana operation (the one that also involved Missy "The Missle" Giove) revealed that $2 million in gold bars was buried in an empty lot in Queensbury. The seizures in the case -- which also included $2.5 million in cash -- could net Warren County $750k. [Post-Star][WNYT]

A grease fire at the South Mall Towers in downtown Albany prompted about a hundred residents to evacuate the building Thursday afternoon (photos). Three people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries. [TU] [WNYT] [Albany Proper] [YNN]

Albany police say they've arrested a 19-year-old man for fatal shooting in the South End last summer (map). [APD press release, below]

When it comes to deciding who has primary oversight of the scandal-plagued Saratoga Springs Housing Authority,/a>, the feds just said "Not it." [Saratogian]

The Albany Housing Authority is planning to knock down 129 units at the Ida Yarbrough Homes in Arbor Hill and eventually replace them with 80 new units (map). [TU]

The Honest Weight Food Co-op is scheduled to take the revised plan for its new store to the the city of Albany's planning board next week. [TU]

The number of home foreclosures in the region was up during the past quarter compared to both the quarter before it, and the same one last year. [Daily Gazette]

OSHA has ordered CSX Transportation Inc. to pay $186,000+ to former Selkirk railyard worker who says he was fired after raising a safety issue about a near miss of two trains. [TU]

An Albany Roman Catholic Diocese internal review board has concluded there are "reasonable grounds to believe" allegations of sexual abuse by a now-deceased janitor at a parish school in Albany in the 1970s. [TU]

Cohoes police are investigating how a naked toddler end up wandering around a park without an adult late Wednesday afternoon. CPD says the girl was about a quarter mile from her home. [Fox23] [WTEN]

The city of Schenectady says it's saving $30k per month by directly managing its wastewater treatment plant. [Daily Gazette]

A grant from a pharmaceutical company is helping to fund a trolley in Albany to shuttle kids around to after-school programs. [Troy Record] [TU]

After a handful of local Republican committees chose not to endorse him for re-election, Roy McDonald got the endorsement of the Saratoga Springs Republican committee by a wide margin. [Saratogian]

Mike Bloomberg sometimes flies his helicopter to Albany. [NYT]

At Lake George High School Thursday for her annual fundraiser, Rachael Ray said her appreciation for the Adirondacks (where she grew up) has been growing as she gets older. [Saratogian]


APD: Homicide Arrest
Albany detectives arrested a 19 year old Broad Street man for a homicide that occurred last July at Third Ave and Broad Street in the City of Albany.
Maleek Johnson, of 94 Broad Street, was arrested yesterday just before 4:00 p.m. while in front of 24 Second Avenue by Albany Police detectives and members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force on a sealed indictment on an unrelated matter.
Johnson is alleged to have shot 28 year old Ishmael Dowling of Albany around 4:00 a.m. on July 23, 2011. Dowling, who was driving near the intersection of Third Avenue and Broad Street, sustained a gunshot wound to his back and subsequently crashed his vehicle into the front of 144 Broad Street. Dowling was found deceased when officers arrived.
Johnson became a suspect in the homicide after a thorough investigation by detectives.
He was charged with Murder 2nd and Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd.
He was arraigned this afternoon in City Criminal Court and remanded to the Albany County Jail.

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At the risk of sounding hokey, I'm thankful for all the gifts Albany has given to me. When I moved here in 1988, I knew no one who lived here. Less than 30 years later, I have the most remarkable network of friends, associates and peers who have supported each of my endeavors be they educational, artistic, personal or business related. I met and married the father of my sons here, have had the opportunity to own my own house and business and can say with confidence that not a single day goes by when I don't feel a Smalbany connection with someone I encounter as I run, walk or drive around my neighborhood. I love you, Albany!

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