House will vote on part of Sandy relief package Friday, Schenectady ex-nun's death ruled homicide, Spa city council wants semi-automatic weapons banned from gun show, random acts of coffee

Following outcry from Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and politicians on both sides of the aisle who were furious about the delayed vote for $60 billion in aid for Hurricane Sandy recovery until the next session of Congress, the House will vote on part of the funding this week. After meeting with members of the New York and New Jersey Congressional delegations House Speaker John Boehner agreed to call a vote for $9 billion for emergency flood insurance on Friday and another on Jan. 15 for a remaining $51 billion in the package, but that will have to be passed by the Senate again, a task Chuck Shumer says was a challenge the first time it was passed. [NYT] [TU] [YNN]

The death of a retired Schenectady nun has now been ruled a homicide. [WNYT]

The Saratoga Springs City Council passed a resolution urging the organizers of the upcoming gun show at the City Center not to sell or display assault weapons or ammunition similar to those used in the Newtown shooting. Some city residents have collected more than 1,200 signatures in an effort to get the show canceled.[TU] [Saratogian]

Andrew Cuomo says the annual New York State Arms Collectors Association gun show planned later this month for the Empire State Plaza should be allowed to go on as scheduled. [TU]

Police in Hudson Falls held a news conference Wednesday to ask for help in locating the owners of as many as 30,000 items discovered at the home of a two-time felon charged with burglary. Police arrested John W. Suddard II after he allegedly burglarized a home and attempted to pawn stolen items at Olde Saratoga Coin on Central Avenue in Colonie. [Saratogian] [TU]

Police are looking into a Facebook page that claims to have been created by Jaliek Rainwalker. [YNN]

A convicted rapist has been jailed again for allegedly sexually abusing an elderly woman at the Loudonville Home for Adults, where he was a maintenance worker. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo's Education Reform Commission is recommending a number of changes in education in the state, including expansion of early learning, teacher performance rewards, and creating better connections from high school to college and careers. [TU]

Albany firefighters rescued a pair of hikers from the shore of the Normans Kill on Wednesday. Firefighters were protected from the icy waters by new insulated wet suits. [TU] [News 10]

The Troy teenager accused of killing her father after the two argued over a credit card was denied bail on Wednesday. [Record]

The state Court of Appeals will hear arguments today on whether Steven Raucci is entitled to his pension, and whether a former bus driver from the Shenendahowa school district who tested positive for marijuana should be re-instated with back pay. [Gazette]

Two women are facing robbery charges after police say they walked out of the Rotterdam Walmart with a 42-inch television. [TU]

Albany police are searching for a man and woman who escaped after allegedly trying to steal cash from Sutters Mill & Mining Company on Western Avenue. [TU]

A 51-year-old Watervliet man is being held after he allegedly fired a .22 caliber rifle at a home and broke into a bedroom window on New Year's Day.[WNYT]

A State Police officer has been charged with driving a snowmobile while drunk, after the vehicle ended up in a snow filled ditch. [Record]

A Schenectady native, now working for the U.S. Attorney's office, is breaking new legal ground in prosecuting modern-day pirates, war criminals, bank executives, and Internet thieves from across the globe. [Gazette]

Bald eagle sightings in Moreau. [Gazette]

The Newtown shooting has been inspiring random acts of kindness all over the country - and random acts of coffee in Stewart's stores. [Saratogian]

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I had the pleasure of experiencing protected bike lanes in Montreal recently. It really made for a fast, efficient way to move both bike & car traffic. As a biker, it was easy to see how to navigate a busy road, and it was nice to have a bit of buffer/safety from traffic (or just knowing that the possibility of a car swerving in to you was incredibly low because of these features). As a driver, it was nice to see all of the bikes in one area, so that you don't have the errant biker who decides to blow through most of the traffic signals the wrong way down a street.

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