Low local turnout for GOP primary, Jennings won't veto fracking law a second time but won't sign either, police recognize con-man's voice, jilted boyfriend allegedly hires guy to lob explosives at new boyfriend's house

An example of the low local turnout for Tuesday's Republican primary: In one Ward, as of 7PM, nobody had shown up to vote. [TU]

Jerry Jennings isn't planning to veto the Common Council's ban on fracking for a second time, but he says he won't sign it either. Jennings says his objection to the ban is the same as it was in October when he vetoed it -- that the question of fracking should be decided at the state and federal level. [TU]

Senate Democrats are holding a public forum on fracking today.[YNN]

Sheldon Silver has introduced a campaign finance reform bill that would establish a taxpayer funded system for state-level candidates. But he says he doesn't hold out much hope that republicans will embrace the plan. [Capitol Confidential] [State of Politics]

In a story that sounds like it belongs on a one hour TV police drama, a career con artist from Albany was caught in an alleged scam of his landlord when police recognized his voice-- mid scam-- on the phone. [TU]

What not to do when you don't like your ex girlfriends new boyfriend: hire someone to throw explosives at his home. Larry Ahrens of Rotterdam allegedly paid a guy $100 for each time he lobbed an explosive at the home of his ex's new boyfriend. Police arrested Ahrens for hiring Michael D. Chambers to throw the devices, Chambers for throwing them, and Chamber's girlfriend Amy L. Brzoza for driving the getaway car. [YNN] [TU] [Gazette]

Defense attorneys say the Nassau mother who allegedly murdered her four year old daughter and then tried to kill herself while visiting relatives in Illinois is fit to stand trial, but was mentally ill at the time of the incident. [TU]

Robert Hayden is expected to be arranged on murder charges in Rensselaer County Court today for allegedly suffocating a 21 month old boy left in his care in January. [YNN]

The family of two men allegedly sexually abused by a priest as children are suing the Albany diocese. [TU]

At the request of Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, state DEC engineers and some county officials began checking out a former dry cleaning building on Washington Avenue, to determine if it is contaminated by toxic chemicals.
[TU]

Momentive is closing its Albany office and relocating 100 employees to its silicone plant site in Waterford. [Saratogian]

Saratoga's finance commissioner announced that her department has found a $1.5 million surplus. The city now has $6.2 million in an unrestricted fund amassed largely through higher than expected sales tax revenues and lower than anticipated expenditures, and the City Council is deciding how best to use the surprise windfall.[Saratogian] [TU]

A speeding stop on the Thruway in New Baltimore yesterday resulted in the arrest of two Brooklyn men carrying cocaine and heroin. [TU]

The Schuylerville teacher charged with drunk driving in a November incident that injured a Saratoga teen has been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of his case. Robert Thompson plead not guilty to nine felony charges and three misdemeanors in connection with the November crash. [Post Star] [Saratogian]

An Albany man with four previous DWI arrests will serve 1-3 years in State Prison for driving with two teenagers in his car. [TU]

More than 150 drivers were ticked for using hand held devices while driving in the first 12 hours of this week's distracted driving crackdown. [News 10]

Ellis hospital and Albany Med are using ultraviolet C light machines to help kill superbugs. [TU]

Chuck Shumer has proposed an amendment to a bill protecting door to door postal delivery, which would also protect rural post offices from closure. [Record]

A Saratoga springs inventor has created an environmentally friendly boat-coating with the help of a $340-thousand NYSERDA grant. [Gazette] [WNYT]

Albany cut its rain deficit in half in the last three days.[News 10]

More state cars are being auctioned off in Selkirk .[CBS 6]

The air in the Capital Region is getting cleaner, thanks in part to federal pollution control regulations. [TU]

A Methodist pastor from Troy is pushing for United Methodists to fully recognize LGBT people.[TU]

An 18 year old Latham student who was adopted from Haiti six years ago has earned a full college scholarship award fromGates Foundation. [TU]

A second grade teacher from Schenectady was honored at the White House as a finalist for the Teacher of the Year award.[Fox 23]

Comments

Mayor Jennings is correct to pocket veto this however, it is nice to see people in Albany celebrating their "symbolic" victory. In fact, I am perfectly willing to let people have as many of their "symbolic" victories as they want so long as they leave the actual nuts and bolts of legislation to people who are invested in the process on something more than the protest of the week level.

Even as someone who is generally anti-fracking, I don't understand why so much time and political capital was used to pass a symbolic gesture. There are so many more pressing issues (environmental and otherwise) that have been ignored in the past few months while our esteemed council members have argued about something that will have very little affect on the city.

Cases in point: 1. abandoned buildings (like on Wash. Ave) making an aesthetic mess and harming neighbors with contaminated materials; 2. a landfill that is almost full and seeps runoff into the city's streams, which then 3. overburdens the city's aging infrastructure and floods citizens' basements every year

/rant over

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