Report: NYRA knowingly withheld money from bettors, program allegedly placed kid in cardboard box, frost concern for fruit crop, Cuomo makes history all the time

The "unintentional oversight" that resulted in NYRA withholding $8.6 million that it owed bettors actually was intentional, alleges a report by the state's Racing and Wagering Board obtained by the New York Times -- and state budget director Bob Megna says report calls into question "the 'character and general fitness' of NYRA executives." [TU 2011-12-22] [NYT]

The BOCES system is intended to save school districts money by by sharing resources -- but an audit by the state comptroller's office concludes it actually ends up costing more. BOCES supporters say the audit's methodology for making comparisons between district and BOCES-provided services was flawed. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Around the state, 49 of 671 school districts are trying to override the new tax cap. [AP/Saratogian]

Though police are often called to Schenectady High School, few of the calls are for alleged crimes. [Daily Gazette]

A special needs program in Troy is being criticized for allegedly putting a 5-year-old in a cardboard "comfort box." [Troy Record]

The new "Price Chopper Limited" store -- a first of its kind small store format for the company -- has opened in downtown Saratoga Springs. [Saratogian]

Troy police say a man was found stabbed multiple times in Lansingburgh last night (map). [TU]

Mitt Romney's campaign manager is a 1993 graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. [Saratogian]

Troy mayor Lou Rosamilia says he expects there be a decision on the new city hall site in early May. It appears the current building -- 1776 Sixth Ave -- and Hedley Park Place are the finalists. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany County Democratic Committee has voted to back Albany Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin for the state Assembly seat being vacated by Ron Canestrari. [WNYT]

As demand for free pre-K increases, per child state funding is declining. [Saratogian]

Low natural gas prices have prompted many people in the region to switch their home heating system to natural gas. [TU]

Rotterdam is the latest municipality to institute a secondhand goods sale law -- in this case a 10-day waiting period before re-sale. [Daily Gazette]

GE's battery plant in Schenectady has gotten its first publicly announced major contract. [Daily Gazette]

Fruit farmers in the region brought in helicopters over the weekend in an effort to keep frost off their crops. There's speculation this year's apple crop could be small. [TU] [Fox23]

Emergency responders had to carry an injured man a half mile out of a ravine in Berne early Sunday morning. [TU]

People in Alplaus are still irked the the USPS shut down the post office there. The post office was a hub of the community. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A developer wants to mine the top of "Battle Hill" in Washington County -- the site of a Revolutionary War battle that set up the key Battle of Saratoga (map). State officials say there's no archaeological evidence there was fighting at the site of the proposed mine, contrary to what federal maps indicate. [TU] [Post-Star]

The three aircraft from the Intrepid headed for the air museum in Glenville were moved up the canal past Waterford this weekend. [Daily Gazette]

Overnight programming on UAlbany radio station WCDB is in question after students were allegedly caught smoking pot during a show. The station says it had "permanently removed the individual from the station" before the school found out about the incident. [TU] [@WCDB]

The Divinyl Revolution record shop in Saratoga Springs is closing. [Saratogian]

A West Sand Lake man is apparently a world renowned lute maker. [Troy Record]

Andrew Cuomo often makes history. Just ask him. [NYT]


While the "Comfort Box" is a horrible punishment, especially for children, I do with that it could be incorporated into adult life.

Rick Roll someone, go to the "Comfort Box". Overreact to something inconsequential, time for the "Comfort Box".

Everybody knows you buy a child a fancy present, they just want to play with the box. That said, when did we become barbarians?

"As demand for free pre-K increases, per child state funding is declining."

What a misleading, pointless headline. As more people want something for free, the pool of money they all have to share stays the same size, and that's a tragedy?

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