State makes big addition to Adirondack preserve, mother hugs driver sent to prison for her daughter's death, police investigating beating in South Troy

The state has bought 69,000 acres of land in the Adirondacks, which it says is the biggest land addition to the Adirondack State Forest Preserve in more than a century. The land formerly belonged to Finch Pruyn paper company and the Nature Conservancy. It will be open to the public for the first time in 150 years. Much of the land is in Essex and Hamilton counties (map) (map), but the deal also includes a few tracts of land in Saratoga County. [Cuomo admin] [Post-Star] [Daily Gazette]

Brian Vecchio -- the 18 year old who pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide for the crash that killed Noelle Johnsen this past January in Saratoga County -- was sentenced to 1 and 1/3-to-four years in prison. Said Johnsen's mother at the sentencing to Vecchio: "I cannot honestly say that I forgive you right now at this very moment, but I will not hold a grudge, Brian." She then hugged him, explaining to the media: "Because if it was my son, I would want him to be safe. And I just felt like a mother and I just wanted to protect him ... told him to keep his chin up and I'd be here for him if he needed to talk to me and that I know that he was sorry and I was sorry." [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

Schenectady police say a man was shot Sunday afternoon on a street in Hamilton Hill (map). SPD is looking for a suspect and examining surveillance camera video. [YNN] [Fox23] [News10]

Almost a year after a woman lost control of her SUV and plowed into a Vorheesville church, killing three people, the Albany County DA's office has yet to announce whether it will pursue charges or not. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

Troy police say a man was badly beaten early Saturday morning in South Troy (map). TPD says the initial investigation turned up limited information in part because those questioned spoke little or no English. TPD says it appears many of those involved are "most likely" illegal immigrants. [Troy Record] [Troy Record] [WNYT]

A 16-year-old girl from Rensselaer has been arrested for allegedly stabbing a woman in Albany in May (map). [TU]

Saratoga Springs police say a man was arrested for allegedly stealing money out of a street musician's case on Broadway early Saturday morning. [Saratogian]

Saratoga Springs police say there's been a recent rash of car break-ins. [Saratogian]

The huge fire in Columbia County last week has prompted Rensselaer County legislators to ask for testing to be done on crops, livestock, and water in southern Rensselaer and northern Columbia counties. (There was another fire there on Saturday -- it was quickly put out.) [Troy Record] [YNN]

Said a member of the Sikh temple in East Greenbush after the shootings near Milwaukee: "Just because this happened in Wisconsin, I'm not saying it can not happen here ... But that is not going to stop us from coming here and worshipping on a weekly basis." [WNYT]

An attorney for Yassin Aref -- one of the two men snagged in an FBI sting in Albany involving a made up plot to buy a missile -- alleges that the feds targeted Aref because they had mistaken him for an Al Qaeda operative who would later be killed in 2010. There was a rally in support of Aref and Mohammed Hossain Saturday in Albany's Townsend Park. [TU] [WNYT]

Bob Reilly lodged a complaint with the state Athletics Commission over the upcoming "Cage Wars" event at the Washington Ave Armory (it's an amateur MMA event). [TU]

Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill that potentially could open distribution options for small beer brewers in the state. [TU]

A private nonprofit group is trying to push the Saratoga Horse Park idea ahead. [Daily Gazette]

An Albany-based business headed up by Richard Liebich -- whose philanthropic org have recently run into trouble (in one case dooming the Ordway Research Institute) -- is being sued by former employees alleging they weren't paid all they were owed.

The owner who's been trying to get a approval to demolish a historic Saratoga Springs house has filed documents indicating saving the house would cost millions -- yet it'd only be worth about $800k (map). [Daily Gazette]

A historic fire house in Schenectady is slated to be re-purposed as a home energy contractor training facility (street view). [TU]

A program aimed at reducing Troy's apparently "booming" feral cat population has gotten a $5,000 grant. [TU]

The National Weather Service is investigating a possible tornado touch down in the Southern Tier on Sunday. [YNN]

A Rotterdam teen wants to be a ventriloquist -- and apparently he's already pretty good. [Daily Gazette]

Comments

Map of ADK land purchase:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/102098349/Overall-Map-Large-Format-1

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