Olympic wrestler Jeff Blatnick dies, Cuomo hosts NY "booze summit," Quintessence sold to Albany Med, cabbie sees Jesus in a greenhouse

At New York's first Beer, Wine and Spirits summit yesterday, Andrew Cuomo took suggestions from brewers, distillers and wine makers on how to create a more business friendly climate. Cuomo said he wants to put the promotion of New York's beer, wine and spirits industries in New York"on steroids." Cuomo held a tasting at the executive mansion as part of the "booze summit" and seemed down with a "major blowout" NYS beer, wine and spirits promotional party in NYC. [YNN] [WNYT] [NYT] [Capitol Confidential]

Police in Saratoga have arrested a man for allegedly beating a cab driver near the West Side Recreation Field in the city, and robbing him at gunpoint. [TU] [Saratogian]

A judge sent Jeremiah "Havoc" Hamilton to jail for 40 years to life for killing a childhood friend who was caught in the crossfire while trying to stop a dispute over a dice game in Schenectady. [TU]

Another chapter in the David Soares steroid investigation saga: Lawyers for an Orlando pharmacy that sued to have Soares disclose a letter of admonishment from a judge now say they want the Albany County DA to pay $35,465 in fees stemming from the suit. [TU]

55 year old Olympic wrestling gold medalist, Hodgkin's Disease survivor and Niskayuna native and role model, Jeff Blatnick has died from complications following heart surgery. [WNYT] [YNN] [TU] [Gazette]

Plans are moving ahead to create an Albany land bank for the city's abandoned buildings.[TU]

A collision involving two cars and a crane/excavator on the Congress Street Bridge in Troy has sent one motorist to the hospital. [TU]

Saratoga County's Public Health Committee has voted to sell Maplewood Manor, the county nursing home, in a two step process. [Saratogian] [TU]

Shelter Enterprises has resumed production of foam insulation blocks on a limited basis just over a month after a fire at its Cohoes plant. [YNN]

After refusing to debate Phil Steck last Sunday because of statements in one of his mailers, Republican candidate for the 110th assembly district, Jennifter Whalen did debate Steck last night. Among the topics: education spending, Medicaid and the minimum wage. Another debate is planned for Monday. [News 10]

One place where it's clear George Amedore and Democratic challenger Cecilia Tkaczyk differ: campaign finance reform.[Gazette]

Schenectady police say they uncovered $40,000 in cocaine and more than $5000 in cash and made one arrest in a Wednesday morning raid on Congress Street. [TU]

Troy police say a city teen who was shot on Fourth Street on Tuesday night is not cooperating with their efforts to find the shooter. [TU]

Saying they have new leads, Schenectady police have reopened the case of Lutricia Steel, a mother of four who has been missing since 2008. [WNYT]

Voters in the Shenedehowa school district approved $10.1 million in facility upgrades, including WiFi, asbestos removal, and a $2.2 million plan to turn a wrestling/weight room into a physical fitness center.[TU]

A 15-year-old is facing charges for setting fire to a pair of sandals in the East Greenbush Target on Sunday, causing $600 worth of damage to the store. [TU]

Attorney's for the former Salem man charged with manslaughter in connection with the July 2011 house explosion that killed six people are trying to work out a plea deal. [Post Star]

East Greenbush police arrested an Albany woman on Wednesday for allegedly using a stolen credit card at a Wal-Mart. [TU]

New York is getting a $37 million federal grant to help fund a $75 million "smart grid" upgrade. [WNYT]

County and local governments throughout New York are asking Andrew Cuomo to consider mandate relief, but Cuomo is showing no sign of budging on the issue. [Post Star]

What does Dubuque have over Albany in the competition to attract businesses? Cheap health care, according to NYS Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah. [TU]

NYS Comptroler Tom DiNapoli says obesity is costing the state more than $12 billion a year. [Record]

At least one local patient may have received tainted steroid shots.[News 10]

After decades of trying, Chuck Shumer says he'll be "shocked" if his latest petition to get the Medal of Honor for Albany native and WWI hero Henry Johnson is rejected again.
Schumer announced a national online petition this week to honor Johnson with the medal. [TU] [News 10]

Three years after it reopened, Quintessence Diner has been sold to Albany Med. [TU]

A Scotia woman took home more than $115,000 from a trip to the Saratoga Racino.[Gazette]

Longtime Today Show movie critic Gene Shalit crashed his car into a home in Stockbridge [WNYT]

An Albany cab driver says he saw the image of Jesus in the reflection of a headlight in the old Engel's greenhouse. And he has pictures. [TU]


[Cuomo said he wants to put the promotion of New York's beer, wine and spirits industries in New York "on steroids."]

An odd choice of words, given the history of steroids. Even worse, he missed an opportunity to say, "Let's gin up the promotion of New York's beer, wine and spirits industries."

Quintessence is two (small) blocks away from the current edge of Albany Med. So can we expect to see the other buildings between the two bought and demolished too (including Valentines)?

What do they have planned for that area?!

I'll be really disappointed if they don't pick up and move Quintessence, which I thought was the point of diners from that era. They were assembled and shipped whole. Or is Quintessence older than that?

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