Pile up on Northway, guilty plea in fatal hit-and-run, dispute over what's a new tax, fatal Albany fire ruled not suspicious

A Saturday night wreck on the Northway near Wilton involved as many as 40 vehicles and shut down the Northway. Fifteen people were taken to the hospital, though apparently there were no major injuries. A snow squall appears to have been part of what caused the crash. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [News10] [Post-Star] [TU]

Ian Eckardt-Rigberg -- accused of a hit-and-run that killed a pedestrian in Arbor Hill in 2011 -- has taken a plea deal that includes 3.5-10 years in prison. [TU] [Fox23]

Joey Paul -- accused of fatally shooting her boyfriend in a Schuylerville apartment last summer -- has pleaded not guilty. Said her attorney: "She didn't shoot this guy on purpose." Paul is accused of firing a single shot from an AK-47. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A recent rash of crime in Lansingburgh has prompted wariness from longtime residents, community involvement, and the occasional Facebook fight. [Troy Record]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

The Cuomo admin's assertion that its proposed budget includes no new taxes is being disputed. [TU]

New York State is in line to lose more than a $1 billion a year in federal money as the Cuomo administration is going back and forth with the federal government over the state's long record of exploiting Medicaid's funding formula for people with development disabilities. [TU]

The org that runs Schenectady's Head Start program has to reapply for its federal grant because a bus driver left a child on a bus last year. [Daily Gazette]

A state comptroller's audit concludes that Empire BlueCross BlueShield -- which administers the hospitalization portion of the Empire Plan -- has ended up paying hospitals huge mark-ups on certain items because its contract didn't have reimbursement limits.

The Times Union reports that a state comptroller's report "that has not been made public" alleges that a Brooklyn Assemblyman falsified state travel form in order to collect $67,000 in improper reimbursements. [TU]

A Latham man has been accused of stealing the car of the person who stopped on the Northway to help him Saturday night. [Saratogian]

The shooter in what was described as a gang-related retaliation fatal hit in the Albany South End in November 2011 has taken plea deal that includes 15 years in prison. [TU]

The man shot in the Daily Gazette lobby in October 2011 after he went at police officers with a knife has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. [Daily Gazette]

A father-son duo from Albany have been sentenced to two years in prison and millions in restitution for their role in a mortgage scam. [TU]

Albany's fire chief on the fatal Arcadia Ave fire: "We looked at the path of the fire, the pattern of the fire. There is nothing to determine that it is suspicious." [TU]

A house fire in Albany's Buckingham Pond neighborhood rekindled after the fire department left Saturday night (map). The house was demolished. [News10] [TU]

Renssealer County's two highest-paid employees last year were psychiatrists who work for the county's mental health department. [TU]

A job fair at Albany NanoTech drew more than 800 people. The capacity crowd turnout has the org planning another job fair. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Twenty people were laid off at Sematech in a move the chip consortium says is a "restructuring." [TU]

Organizer's for Jack's Place -- a Ronald McDonald House-type residence for the parents of kids at Sunnyview -- say they've finally found a house (the search has included a bit of drama after residents of the GE Realty Plot opposed the first choice site). [TU]

The Beech-Nut signs are gone from Canajoharie. [Daily Gazette]

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The City should take a more proactive approach based on neighborhood consensus. A prescriptive design guideline with great clarity could save lots of graves for aspiring developers and other stakeholders. The City has to be clear upfront on conditions to be met such as overall allowed building volume, easy river connection, parking, pedestrian oriented ground floor usage and etc. It not seems reasonable to expect commercial developers to build something on their own initiative to both maximize ROI and please all city residents.

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