"Fiscal cliff" avoided, Schenectady police probe suspicious death of ex-nun, Jack Mac's final gavel, New Year's chase in Saratoga leaves Rensselaer County man in jail, chilly start to 2013 for "polar bears"

Congress voted late last night to head off the "fiscal cliff". Chris Gibson and Paul Tonko voted for the measure. [WNYT] [Capitol Confidential]

The House of Representatives did not, however, elect to vote on a bill that would have provided $60.4 billion in federal aid for Hurricane Sandy victims, a decision that angered representatives from storm ravaged areas. Without a vote by the end of session tomorrow, the measure will have to be reintroduced and voted on by both houses in the next session, delaying the aid. [NYT] [TU]

Schenectady police are investigating the suspicious death of an 82-year-old former nun whose body was found in her home. Her car had been stolen and was discovered in a church parking lot. [TU] [WNYT]

A Johnsonville man is facing a string of charges including felony DWI, felony reckless endangerment, and unlawful fleeing a police officer after police say he led them on a high-speed chase in Saratoga Springs early New Year's morning, damaging six vehicles and sending two people to the hospital. [TU] [WNYT] [SSPD Press Release]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

New state and local officials were sworn in this weekend and the state legislature bid farewell to longtime public servants, including Jack McEneny.[WNYT] [TU]

Among the new government officials sworn in this week, 43rd district state Senator
Kathy Marchione
, who replaces Roy McDonald. Marchione's former Saratoga County clerk position is now vacant and there is no word on when, or if, Andrew Cuomo will name her replacement. [Record] [Gazette]

Albany police say a city man was taken to Albany Med with non-life threatening wounds after an early morning shooting on the 50 block of Sherman Street on Tuesday.[TU]

A Schuylerville man allegedly stabbed his 27-year-old stepson in an argument over the family dog. [Saratogian]

Police in Hudson Falls have located as many as 30,000 stolen pieces of jewelry and other valuables, and they're now trying to locate their rightful owners. [Saratogian]

No injuries have occurred but a series of random shootings in Washington County has residents in Salem and Jackson nervous. [News 10]

The state Court of Appeals -- the state's highest court -- will hear arguments on whether Steven Raucci should be allowed to receive his $5,800 a month state pension.[TU]

Standard & Poor's has raised Watervliet's bond rating for the third consecutive year. [Troy Record]

State Police say a man driving a car carrying a 3- and 6-year old passengers on the Thruway reported that a coughing fit caused him to flip the vehicle, sending it down a 15-foot embankment. [TU]

A state Supreme Court judge has rejected a lawsuit by Citizens for St. Patrick's that sought to halt the $1 million sale of the former church [WNYT] [TU]

The Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner will present a resolution to the City Council asking it to urge exhibitors at the upcoming gun show not to bring semi-automatic weapons and guns like those used in Newtown to the show. More than 1,000 Saratoga Springs residents have signed a petition to cancel the gun show altogether. [Saratogian] [TU]

RPI President Shirley Jackson has resigned from her post as chair of the Capital Region Economic Development Council. [Saratogian]

Two upstate scholars argue the treaty signing between the Europeans and the Iroquois nations, the 400th anniversary of which is being celebrated this year, never actually occurred. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo and first ladyfriend Sandra Lee welcomed 400 New Yorkers at the Governor's Mansion on Tuesday. [YNN]

More than 200 hunters in the Capital Region were charged with over 550 violations during deer season. [Gazette]

A three-year-old therapy dog from Ballston Lake has been spending time in Newtown, Connecticut, helping people recover from the after effects of the school shooting. [Fox 23]

Hundreds of people started the new year off by plunging into 40-degree water in Lake George. [YNN]

The Capital Region's first baby of 2013 was born at Bellevue hospital on her father's birthday. [Saratogian]

In Greenwich, old Christmas trees never die, they just go to the goats. [Gazette]

SSPD Press Release

At 1:04 A. M. on 01/01/2013, a Saratoga Springs police officer observed a vehicle traveling west on on Lake Ave and then make a left hand turn from the right hand lane onto Broadway. As the vehicle traveled south on Broadway, the officer also noticed that the trunk of the vehicle was open. When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle on Ballston Avenue, the operator - later identified as Aaron Elliot, age 25 of Johnsonville, NY - accelerated and drove through the Pizza Hut and McDonald's parking lots in an attempt to flee.

Elliot's vehicle exited the parking lots onto South Broadway without stopping and narrowly missing two pedestrians. Elliot continued his effort to evade police and then struck a vehicle that was pulling in to the Pizza Hut parking lot. After striking that vehicle, Elliot reentered South Broadway and then traveled north on Circular Street. Elliot failed to stop at a stop sign at Whitney Place as well as traffic lights at the intersections of Circular/Union Ave, Circular/Spring Street and Circular/Caroline Street. As it was clear that Elliot was showing no regard for other vehicles and pedestrians on the roadway, pursuing officers slowed their pursuit.

Elliot approached the intersection of Lake Ave and Circular Street where there were two moving vehicles in front of him (traveling in the same direction) and a marked police vehicle approaching from the opposite direction. Elliot did not slow down and struck the first vehicle with enough force to cause that vehicle to strike the vehicle in front of it. Elliot then slammed in to the driver's side front of the approaching police vehicle. All of the vehicles came to rest on Circular Street just short of the intersection with Lake Ave. Responding officers immediately began assisting those that were in the vehicles and EMS was dispatched to the scene. One victim was transported to Saratoga Hospital with minor injuries. Another driver as well as the Officer Patrick O'Leary that was hit by Elliot were treated at the scene. Elliot was taken in to custody at the scene. In all, six (6) vehicles were damaged, a few of which were totaled.

Elliott has been charged numerous criminal and vehicle and traffic charges including, first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony; driving while intoxicated - a felony - for having a prior DWI offense within the past 10 years; reckless driving, and unlawful fleeing a police officer. There are also numerous other lesser vehicle and traffic related charges.

Elliot was arraigned this morning and remanded to the Saratoga County Jail in lieu of $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

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