Poll: Cuomo's high approval rating takes a small hit after NY SAFE, Assembly passes hydrofracking ban, Senate votes to legalizes MMA, Llenroc widow takes stand

A New Wall Street Journal/NBC NY/Marist poll still puts Andrew Cuomo's approval rating at 56%, but it's dropped a bit, especially upstate, in large part because of his support for the NY SAFE law. [WSJ]

The suspect who allegedly threatened a Skidmore College student earlier this week, resulting in a lockdown on the campus on Tuesday night, was arrested in Atlantic City. Forty-nine-year-old Lance Leonard is charged with coercion, accused of texting a female student and her father threatening to harm the student and himself. The Saratoga County DA's office says Leonard was in a relationship with the student, who was trying to break up with him. Leonard has a history of sex offenses in Nevada and Massachusetts.[TU][YNN][Saratogian] [WNYT]

According to testimony from an assistant director for the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, Valsamma Mathai -- the Indian woman allegedly forced to work seven days a week by Annie George at the Llenroc Mansion --was cheated by George out of nearly $300,000 over five-and-a-half-years. But George estified in U.S. District Court on Wednesday that her late husband was abusive and made all of the decisions in the home and said she treated Mathai like family and that she was free to leave at any time. [TU][Saratogian]

The state Assembly has passed a two-year ban on hydrofracking. [YNN]

The Senate has approved a bill that would legalize professional MMA bouts, but the bill still has to get through the Assembly, where it has stalled before. If approved, tickets to the event would come with an 8.5% tax and broadcast rights would come with a 3% tax. [WNYT][YNN][TU]

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State troopers shot and killed a man in North Hudson after he allegedly led them on a chase through the Adirondacks, ran into the woods, and tried to grab one of their guns. One of the troopers involved was treated for injuries at a local hospital.
[TU][YNN]

The Gansevoort woman accused of hiring strippers for her teenage son's birthday party at a South Glens Falls bowling alley pleaded not guilty today to charges of endangering the welfare of a child.[YNN]

The FBI is searching for two bank robbers it says are responsible for eight bank robberies in New York and Massachusetts, including one in Guilderland and one in Niskayuna. [YNN]

The Albany Housing Authority is dealing with a bedbug problem at some of its properties.[TU]

The former Red Cross employee who allegedly stalked and harrassed a Ravena Coeymans Selkirk student after getting personal information from a donor card at a high school blood drive is now facing additional charges of endangering the welfare of a child. [WNYT]

Police are warning parents about two people in a white vehicle that stopped along Shaker Junior High School and offered a student a ride home. [News10]

Police in Mechanicville are looking for a man who robbed the Precious Metals Recycling Center at gunpoint .[YNN]

An ice fisherman was rescued from Saratoga Lake on Wednesday after the truck he took onto the lake broke through the ice and went into the water. [WNYT]

The recently fired former chief of corrections for Rensselaer County is planning to sue over her termination. [Record]

Facial recognition technology used by the DMV has resulted in more than 2,000 arrests for identity fraud. [WNYT]

Clifton Park is looking for ways to create a more pedestrian-friendly town center.[News 10]

A water main break resulted in a loss of pressure and a boil water order in Glenville on Wednesday.[TU]

The not-for-profit Commission on Economic Opportunity has decided not to purchase the former St. Peter's Church in Troy.[Record]

The Animal Protective Foundation, based in Scotia, will build a new facility with a 2,000-square-foot surgical center, thanks to a $450,000 grant from the ASPCA.[YNN]

The city of Saratoga Springs is planing to replace a home on Worth Street with parking for the adjacent Rec Center. [Saratogian]

Caffe Lena, the oldest continuously operating coffeehouse in the U.S. is planning a $1.5 millin renovation -- the first renovation in its 53 year history.[Saratogian]

The New York State Military Museum has acquired a mural, painted in the 1930s, depicting Benedict Arnold as a hero of Saratoga.[Gazette]

Three members of UAlbany's men's basketball team are recruits from Australia.[TU]

A Guilderland High School sophmore turned a middle school science project into a children's book about the Karner Blue Butterfly. [Gazette]

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I know some people get excited when they hear that some chain from outside the area is coming to the Capital Region, but I'm not one of them. Local businesses mean local dollars; the money stays here rather than going to a corporate headquarters far, far away. If Price Chopper is sold to an outside company - especially a company that answers to its stockholders more than its customers - that could have a huge impact.

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