State budget vote drawn out, more exploding manhole covers, APD training exercise criticized, UAlbany women's basketball team almost pull upset in NCAA tournament

Though the state Senate started passing budget bills Sunday, it looks like the budget won't be finished until the end of the week. The state Senate was in session Sunday, and is scheduled to do so again today -- and members were also irked that the Assembly has pushed its votes to a session scheduled for Thursday. (The deadline to get the budget done is April 1.) [AP/Troy Record] [State of Politics] [TU]

The budget will include a minimum fine for texting while driving -- $50. [TU]

Dean Skelos says the budget will include an "indefinite" suspension of the enforcement of the NY SAFE Act provision banning gun magazines with more than seven rounds. Also: In which a "Cuomo administration source" starts trying to deflect blame for problems with the NY SAFE Act onto someone else. [State of Politics] [NY Post]

Many "temporary" taxes and fees in New York State are apparently temporary in name only. [TU]

Friday afternoon a jury convicted James Wells of fatally shooting Eddie Stanley at a Schenectady party in 2011. He faces 25-years to life. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Another underground fire in downtown Albany caused a manhole covers to fly Saturday morning, one of them damaging the Olde English Pub. Said Jerry Jennings: "We have to find out what's going on underneath these streets and what's causing this, what's happening here." [TU] [YNN]

Alain Kaloyeros says the recently announced deal between Israel and the NanoCollege will result in 1,000 new jobs for the area. [TU]

The rebuilding effort in Prattsville -- maybe the hardest hit place in the state during Irene -- has prompted accusations of cronyism. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

Albany police chief Steven Krokoff said "in retrospect, it was insensitive" to conduct a training exercise that included simulated gunfire and injuries at a vacant portion of the Ida Yarbrough homes this past Thursday (full statement below). Some residents of the complex say they didn't know what was happening and were upset. Bernie Bryan, president of the Albany chapter of the NAACP: "The folks in this neighborhood might not have the financial means, but are entitled to the same respect ... Whoever made the decision to do this was asleep at the switch." Bryan also alleged police were "sending a message" with the training. [APD] [YNN] [TU] [News10]

Albany police say a woman reported being assaulted Wednesday evening on Hudson Ave near Washington Park -- the woman said a man came up from behind her, knocked her down, hit her, and told her not to scream. The woman was able to get away. APD says it's investigating and asking people with info to call the detective division: 462-8039. [APD]

Albany police say a driver hit an 11-year-old girl Friday after the driver allegedly disregarded a school bus stop sign. [YNN]

Albany police say a 17 year old was arrested for allegedly firing a BB a gun and unintentionally hitting an 11 year old in the eye, causing the girl loss of sight. [APD]

The Albany County Sheriff's Office says a mother and teen son have been arrested after the son allegedly hit and choked his girlfriend while riding home from the St. Patrick's Day parade -- while the mother drove the car (and allegedly earlier gave the girl alcohol). [News10]

The charges against Rensselaer police officer Mark Fusco for the crash in East Greenbush last week that killed the passenger in his car now include aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter and aggravated DWI. The Rensselaer County DA says Fusco won't be arraigned until he's released from a hospital mental health unit. [WNYT] [TU]

The Albany school district is considering staff reductions, larger small class sizes, and the elimination of some classes and sports as a way to close a $7 million budget gap. [TU]

Jack McEneny has endorsed Kathy Sheehan for mayor of Albany. [TU]

Prompted by the investigation into alleged improper access of medical records access, a Rensselaer County jail nursing supervisor has resigned -- though her attorney says she didn't engage in misconduct. [TU]

A rally for six-day-a-week mail service at the USPS processing facility in Colonie Saturday drew elected officials, including Chris Gibson and Paul Tonko. (The postal service has said it's planning to cut back to five-day-a-week letter delivery.) [TU] [Troy Record]

The well-connected construction firm BBL has pulled out as construction manager of the proposed Albany convention center project. [TU]

WXXA has laid off as many as 20 people and all newscasts will now be produced from WTEN. (The stations recently entered a joint operating agreement.) [TU]

A large -- and long-planned -- luxury apartment development in Cohoes is set to begin construction next year. [Troy Record]

The Bayou Cafe in Albany is changing its name and menu -- but keeping live music. [TU]

Felthousen's Florists in Niskayuna is now 100 years old and on its fourth generation of family ownership. [Daily Gazette]

At the Knights of Columbus in Saratoga Springs Sunday afternoon: "the who's who of polka followers." [Daily Gazette]

It appears the first new tenant of the redeveloped Latham Circle Mall will be Dick's Sporting Goods. [TU]

The UAlbany women's basketball team lost to North Carolina 59-54 in the first round of the NCAA tournament, after leading by five at haltime. [TU]


APD: APD Training Exercise

A recent Albany Police Department training exercise has upset some Albany residents
On March 21, 2013 the Albany Police Department engaged in a training exercise in the Ida Yarborough townhomes. The training was held in a section of the complex that was believed to be unoccupied and scheduled for imminent demolition.
The training consisted of hostage rescue scenarios involving simulated ammunition and injuries. Although Police Officers went door to door in the evenings prior to the training to notify residents, it appears that some residents did not receive proper notification.
In an effort to save lives in a crisis situation, the Albany Police Department attempts to create the most realistic training scenarios based on current best practices. Similar training has taken place in various unoccupied facilities across the city and region.
Chief Krokoff said, "In light of the ever-increasing threats to communities across the nation, I have directed our department to provide the most up-to-date training in a manner that is as realistic as possible. I certainly did not mean to offend the very people that we are training to protect. In retrospect, it was insensitive to conduct this type of training in the vicinity of occupied residences. We will review how we conduct our neighborhood-based training in the future and include the community in evaluating its appropriateness."

APD: Assault

Albany police are investigating an assault that occurred Wednesday evening on Hudson Avenue.
On March 21, 2013 at approximately 6:45 p.m., a 20 year old female entered the Center Station to report an assault that occurred the day before.
The victim stated that on Wednesday March 20, 2013, at approximately 7:00 p.m., she was walking on the 400 block of Hudson Avenue when a male approached her from behind. She states that the male grabbed her around the neck and knocked her to the ground. She states the suspect then struck her in the face with his hand and told her not to scream. The victim was able to get away and the suspect fled the scene.
The victim sustained minor abrasion to her knee and contusions to her neck area. She was not hospitalized.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 25 years of age, 5'8" 155 lbs. He was last seen wearing a dark green hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.
The investigation is still ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Albany Police Detective Division at (518) 462-8039.

APD: BB gun

Albany police arrested a 17 year old city resident for assaulting an 11 year old girl with a BB gun.
On Saturday March 16, 2013 at approximately 10:41 p.m., hospital staff from Albany Medical Center notified police that an 11 year old female had entered the emergency room with an eye injury as a result of being shot with a BB gun. She told officers that while outside of her home on the 100 block of North Allen Street she was shot in her left eye.
Investigators learned that Jordan Marbley, 17, of Albany, was shooting BB guns in the rear yard of the residence with a group of his friends when he unintentionally shot the victim in her eye. It appears the victim, who lives on the second floor of the residence and was not associated with the group, was unintentionally shot as she walked out of the house.
She sustained serious injuries to her left eye, including loss of sight.
Marbley was charged with Reckless Assault 2nd.
He was arraigned in the Albany City Criminal Court and remanded to the Albany County Jail.


Jerry doesn't know what's happening ON the streets, so its no surprise that he hasn't a clue about what's happening beneath them.

Congrats to the UAlbany women on a well played contest! They played like champions - made me proud.

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