NYSUT files suit over tax cap, Cuomo budget amendments expected today, Albany child dies in NYC accident, proposed state ban on pub crawls

The New York State United Teachers Union filed a legal challenge yesterday to the state's 2% property tax cap law, arguing the cap is unconstitutional and has a dire effect on educational opportunities for poor and minority students. [NYT] [TU]

A number of Capital Region legislators called on Andrew Cuomo yesterday to increase education aid. [Capital Confidential]

Cuomo defended the property cap, saying "the answer can't always be putting your hand in the pocket of the taxpayer of the state of New York." [YNN]

Andrew Cuomo's last minute amendments to his proposed budget will be formally released later today, but among them will be a plan to reduce fees on hunting and fishing licenses and streamline the number of categories of hunting and fishing licenses from 17 to 7, language that would let state officials impose a teacher evaluation system in New York City and a requirement that gas stations near highways have power generators. No word on whether spin-up payment to Albany for the ESP PILOT, which was left out of the original budget, will be included in the amendments. [TU] [NYT][Capitol Confidential]

A 67-year-old Clifton Park man was assaulted by a stranger with a metal pipe on his doorstep on Sunday. [WNYT]

Schenectady police are warning residents to watch out for a man they say impersonated a Water Department employee to get into a home on California Avenue.[WNYT]

Glenmont firefighters pulled a man from a burning home on Wednesday and took him to Albany Med. [TU]

The federal government asserts New York has been "overbilling" for care of people with developmental disabilities and wants to institute changes that will leave a $500 million hole in New York's budget -- which could lead to further state budget cuts. [NYT]

After hearing about the plight of a Columbia County man, Chuck Shumer will co-sponsor legislation to stop Medicare from denying payments to people hospitalized for "observation." [TU]

Attorneys for the estate of Paul Merges -- the cyclist killed in a hit and run in Albany in November involving an allegedly drunk driver fleeing sheriff's deputy -- has filed a notice of claim against Albany County suggesting negligence may have contributed to his death. [TU]

The city of Troy is in the beginning stages of developing a master plan for the city's future. [Record]

Developer and former movie producer Sandy Horowitz -- who bought up a number of old buildings in downtown Troy in the early part of the last decade, but has since filed for bankruptcy -- has been getting rid of the buildings and is now trying to relinquish owership of Cannon Place. [Record]

An Albany developer has submitted plans for what would be one of the largest buildings in Wilton - a 180,000 foot structure with 270 feet of retail space on the first floor and 114 apartments. [Saratogian]

The Watervliet Arsenal now has a $5.9 million contract to provid the Afghanistan National Army with nearly 900 60mm mortar systems.[Record]

A 1-year-old girl from Albany died in New York City this week after she rolled off a bed and was wedged next to a hot radiator at her grandmother's Manhattan apartment.[WNYT]

Following numerous accidents, including one last week where a tanker truck exploded after the driver lost control and slid down an embankment, Rensselaer County legislators are calling for a safety review of Route 7.[WNYT]

The highest-paid Schenectady city employee in 2012 was police spokesman Mark McCracken, who more than doubled his $81,671 salary with overtime. [TU]

Police are still looking for answers in the death of Niskayuna attorney Michael Wallender. [WNYT]

Rensselaer County police agencies participated in active shooter training on Wednesday at Columbia High School.[WNYT]

Saratoga Springs police are looking for a teen in connection with a suspicious fire at Jefferson Terrace apartments this week.[WNYT]

Food stamp demand is at a record high in Saratoga County, with applications nearly doubling in the last ten years. [Saratogian]

Buddha Tea House, a Pear Street nightclub, has allegedly been operating without a cabaret license.[TU]

The Saratoga North Creek Railway is now hauling freight. [Saratogian]

Lake George appears to be winning the battle agains Eurasion milfoil.[Gazette]

A New York City assemblyman hs proposed a ban on pub crawls.[YNN]

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... the Helderberg neighborhood is fabulous for Trick or Treating, maybe too much so. We always see families coming from other parts of Albany by the van load - being dropped off at one end and working their way to the other. Lots of houses in friendly neighborhoods = a packed and good time. It is also rumored that a few adults dress up and roam the streets handing out adult beverages to other adults. Again, just a rumor...

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