Police now investigating Rainwalker case as homicide, UAlbany gets grant toward new complex, company accused of price gouging post Irene

State Police say they are now treating the Jaliek Rainwalker case as a homicide investigation instead of a missing person investigation. Police say they've investigated almost 500 leads in the five years since Rainwalker disappeared. Said a State Police investigator: "This is not a cold case, it's a continuing case ... We've never stopped, we will never stop." An attorney for Rainwalker's adoptive parents said he was "dismayed" that investigators are calling the case a homicide without evidence to that effect. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

Steven McComsey -- who pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the propane explosion that killed six people in Salem, but did not admit to wrongdoing -- was sentenced to 1-3 years in prison. Said a sister of one of the people who died, "We didn't even get any closure ... We still wonder, did he do it or is he just accepting this?" [TU] [Post-Star] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

A state appeals court rejected an appeal by De Von Callicut, who was convicted of shooting and killing UAlbany student Richard Bailey in 2008. The presiding judge wrote in the opinion that Callicut committed "a heinous, senseless, murder." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Cuomo administration has approved a $35 million grant for UAlbany intended to help the university build a a $165 million "Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship Complex" on the uptown campus. [TU]

Matt Hardy, one of the teens seriously injured in the Northway crash, on the driver police say caused the crash: "I just definitely want to forgive him. It's the right thing to do I think." [WNYT]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

UAlbany police say a student was assaulted on the uptown campus by two men, apparently not students, one of whom reportedly had a gun. [Fox23] [TU]

The state attorney general's office has filed suit against a Lake George-based tree removal company, accusing the company of a "breathtaking" price gouging scheme after Tropical Storm Irene. The AG's office say the company would quote people a typical price, then hit them with a bill "for some ridiculous amount." A company co-owner called the allegations "absolutely false." [NYS OAG] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Incumbent Republican state Senator Stephen Saland has conceded to Democrat Terry Gipson. Saland was one of the Republican Senators who voted for the Marriage Equality Act, and Andrew Cuomo called his loss "unfortunate." Only one of the four Republicans to vote for the act will be back in the Senate next year -- two lost elections (Saland, Roy McDonald) and another didn't run (James Alesi). [Poughkeepsie Journal] [State of Politics] [NYT]

The ballot counting in the state Senate 46th election is still going on. [TU]

Hugh Farley on a letter writing campaign to get more state funding for the Schenectady school district: "I don't want to say it's a waste of a stamp but ... I'm very aware of the problems ... They should send them to the governor. The governor's going to have to lead the way if anything's going to happen." [Daily Gazette]

The latest turn in the trial of Edward McDonough in the Troy ballot fraud case: a "raucous" exchange between McDonough's attorney and a handwriting expert for the prosecution. The expert testified that it's "highly probable" McDonough's handwriting appears on some of the absentee ballots. [TU] [Troy Record]

Albany County exec Dan McCoy has vetoed the the secondhand dealers law (AKA the pawn shop law), saying it "would place an undue burden on businesses." Again. The bill's sponsor -- Gary Domalewicz -- on the repeat veto: "It's a sad day for all the victims of crimes in Albany County." [Albany County exec] [TU]

Albany County is looking at the possibility -- and ethics -- of holding arraignments by video conference. [TU]

The city of Albany faces a potential landfill revenue shortfall because of the privatization of the deal that privatized the Colonie landfill. [TU]

A state appeals court sided with the city of Albany effort to force landlord Roger Ploof to reduce the number of units at multiple apartment buildings in Park South and Pine Hills. [TU]

A union protest in downtown Troy ended up with police investigating whether someone dumped debris on protestors. [Troy Record]

The Troy Police Department has turned to two African-American ministers to bolster its diversity training. [TU]

Newest name floated by the Times Union as the potential company behind Project Azalea: GlobalFoundries. (This story really just needs a predictions market so people can place their bets.) [TU]

A onetime vision for high speed rail in the state was sold as scrap Thursday. [TU] [YNN]

The national Toys for Tots Foundation says it will be sending toys to the Capital Region to make up for a shortfall int he local program here. [Daily Gazette]

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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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