Alleged intoxication key issue in case against Drue, new Schenectady police chief, neighborhood concerns over Albany redistricting

What appears to be the key issue in the prosecution's case against Dennis Drue, accused of causing the December Northway crash that killed two Shen students and seriously injured two other teens: Was his ability to drive impaired by alcohol and/or pot -- and if so, to what extent? Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy and State Police have declined to release Drue's test results, but Murphy said at a press conference Monday they indicated the presence of alcohol and pot: "That was actively affecting his brain and that was actively affecting his ability to drive that motor vehicle." The prosecution's case is complicated in part because Drue's samples were taken some time after the crash, and it will have to use experts to try to establish what his levels might have been at the time of the crash. Said Drue's attorney, Steven Coffey: "They can charge him with anything they wanted. I have no reason to believe there were crimes committed, based on the info I have." Drue pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. Coffey also questioned whether Drue can get a fair trial in Saratoga County because of all the attention. [NYSP] [YNN] [Fox23] [WNYT] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Brian Kilcullen -- a 19-year veteran of the Schenectady Police Department -- is Schenectady's new police chief. Kilcullen lives in Milton, but says he'll be staying with his parents in Schenectady on work nights -- he says he doesn't want to move his family so his daughter can stay in her current school. From his backstory: Kilcullen once turned his wife into police for using drugs. [YNN] [TU] [News10] [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette 2010]

Central question in arguments related to whether invalidated ballots in the state Senate 46th election should be counted: what is a "qualified" voter. It looks like 53 ballots case early by Ulster County poll workers could be counted. (George Amedore currently leads Cecelia Tkaczyk by 37 votes.) [Daily Gazette] [TU]

State comptroller Tom DiNapoli says New York is approaching its debt limit: "This comes at a challenging time when our state needs to rebuild and repair critical infrastructure and has growing capital needs." [NYS OSC]

Schenectady County DA Robert Carney says a suspect in the killing of former nun Mary Greco is in custody, but wouldn't release much more than that. The man is being held on an unrelated parole violation. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

State Police say it appears a man shot himself during a standoff with police Monday at a home in Hoosick. NYSP say robotic surveillance equipment was used to locate the man in the home. He's in grave condition. The standoff blocked traffic near the Rensselaer/Washington county line and a helicopter circle overhead. [NYSP] [TU]

Schenectady police are investigating the death of a man found in a snow bank Monday afternoon in Hamilton Hill (map. [Daily Gazette]

An administrator has been sacked at the Loudonville nursing home where police say a maintenance worker -- who is a convicted sex offender -- sexually abused a resident. [TU]

Albany police say the gun tossed away during a foot chase early Sunday in the South End was reported stolen inn 2011 -- in Miami, Florida. [APD]

Albany County exec Dan McCoy is pushing a charter review commission to consider term limits for the county exec office and reducing size of the county legislature. [TU]

Jeff Klein -- leader of the state Senate's Independent Democratic Conference, and the key player in the chamber's ruling coalition -- has never lived more than three blocks away from his childhood home. [TU]

FEMA has floated a plan to build dams along the Mohawk River that could better alleviate flooding. [TU]

Environmental groups are pushing for a boat inspection program aimed at keeping invasive species from further invading Lake George. [TU]

Tension in public comments about proposed redistricting in Albany: protecting the shape of the city's neighborhoods. [TU]

Colonie's website is back up. Sort of. [TU]

The hot item at a Saratoga store that sells organic furniture: beds. [Saratogian]

How Andrew Cuomo buys a car. [Daily Freeman]
____

APD: Handgun Arrest

Albany police arrested a 33 year old Franklin Street resident this weekend possessing a loaded handgun on South Pearl Street.
On January 6, 2013 at approximately 12:30 a.m., officers observed a large group blocking the sidewalk in front of the Port Tavern, 427 South Pearl Street. As officers approached the group in order to clear the sidewalk, Willie Morris, of 142 Franklin Street, fled on foot despite being told to stop by officers. He led officers on a short foot pursuit and threw a loaded .22 caliber handgun into a yard before being placed into custody.
The recovered handgun was reported stolen on September 16, 2011 by the Miami Dade Police Department.
He was charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd, Criminal Possession of Weapon 3rd and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th.
He was also charged with Obstructing Vehicle and Pedestrian Traffic under the City of Albany General City Ordinances.
He was arraigned Sunday morning in the Albany City Criminal Court and remanded to the Albany County Jail.
On March 9, 1999 at approximately 1:45 p.m., Morris was arrested for possessing a loaded .45 caliber handgun while on the 300 hundred block of Sheridan Avenue. He was convicted on October 13, 1999 of Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd and sentenced to nine years in state prison.

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