Budget passed in Senate -- Assembly up next, woman and child struck by car on Hoosick St., Twin Bridges construction to resume

The Senate passed budget bills in the early hours of the morning. The
budget includes
a three-stage minimum wage hike, a renewal of higher tax rates for millionaires, cuts in funding for people with developmental disabilities, and a $350 rebate check for many families with kids. Up next: voting in the Assembly, where members are hoping to pass it on time, for a third year in a row. [YNN] [TU][NYT]

Sheldon Silver says the budget also includes $27.74 million for the first statewide electronic handgun permit database. [WNYT]

The former CFO of Brighter Choice Foundation pleaded guilty this week to grand larceny for stealing more than $200,000 from the foundation. [Albany County DA press release]

The man who shot and killed Richard Bailey has lost his final appeal on his 2010 conviction for first-degree murder, attempted robbery, and gun possession. [TU]

Weekend construction on the Twin Bridges is scheduled to resume on April 5 in the southbound lanes and is expected to end before Memorial Day. [TU]

A mother and child were struck by a car as they crossed Hoosick Street in Troy Wednesday morning. [Record]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

Schenectady County prosecutors say the man on trial for the hit-and-run death of a 19-year-old Schenectady woman was high on crack and driving recklessly without a license when he hit the woman as she crossed Erie Blvd In November. [TU]

Police say a Wilton man was drunk when he backed up his car over a woman after leaving a Caroline Street bar in Saratoga in January, then drove away, leaving her lying on the ground. Shortly after that he crashed his car into a tree. [Saratogian][WNYT]

Charges were dismissed against a Hoosick Falls firefighter stopped for driving erratically last summer with flashing blue lights going on his personal vehicle, after he was accompanied to his court appearance by a friend -- Rensselaer County Sheriff Jack Mahar.[TU]

A teenage girl who was shot in Troy last May testified on Tuesday that she saw Daquan Jones on a nearby porch just before the shooting and that Jones later phoned her to apologize for what he called "an accident." [TU]

Following a chase from Colonie to Niskayuna, police have arrested two men wanted on grand larceny for stealing merchandise from Taft furniture store by allegedly purchasing it with fradulent credit cards. [News 10]

Albany police arrested a 45-year-old city man for allegedly stealing a purse from a woman near Madison Avenue and Partridge Street early Sunday morning. [APD Press Release]

A section of Lark Street was shut down last night after an SUV rolled over near the intersection of Elk Street. [YNN]

Two men are charged with possession of counterfeit bills this week after allegedly using the bills to buy drugs in Malta. [Saratogian]

Residents of the Ida Yarbrough Apartments rallied yesterday to protest the recent police training exercise that occurred their without warning last weekend. [WNYT]

Retiring Albany Common Councilman Dominick Calsolaro has endorsed newcomer Dorcey Applyrs for his job. [TU]

The owner of the Washington Avenue Armory is planning to re-file a lawsuit seeking to block a city ban on large dance parties at the venue, after a judge dismissed his first attempt on Tuesday. [TU]

A 20-year-old Troy gang member was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday for possession of handguns, possibly for use in a confrontation with another gang at Griswold Heights.[TU]

IRS employees held a rally on Tuesday at the Leo O'Brien Federal Building in Albanyto protest furloughs prompted by the sequester. [TU]

Kathy Marchione is listening. [Record]

With plans abandoned for a $15 million Hudson River research center for conservation along the Troy waterfront -- touted at one time by Joe Bruno and David Paterson -- the city is considering a $150,000 industrial site for the property.[TU]

Suspects have been identified in connection with a string of suspicious fires in vacant buildings in Pittstown and Schaghticoke since 2008.[TU]

A 22-year-old RPI student has been reported missing.[Saratogian]

Schenectady's Mont Pleasant Middle School went into lock down on Tuesday when student began fighting with staff members and one began to suffered chest pains. [TU]

The White Couch evangelical church formerly located in the old Jillian's nightclub on North Pearl Street, has found a temporary home in the recently closed Grace and Holy Innocence church on Clinton Avenue, while leaders reevaluate a $1.6 million plan to buy the Jillian's building and create a school of ministry, coffee shop, and other community amenities. [TU]

Schenectady mayor Gary Mc Carthy and city operations director William Winkler attended a special screening of The Place Beyond the Pines in Manhattan on Tuesday. The film opens in limited release on Friday and will be screening locally starting April 12. [TU]

State bond offerings now include warnings that climate change may affect New York's finances. [NYT]

New York has an official State Soil. In fact, it may have two. [NYT]

Making harmony out of discord, one piano at a time. [TU]

A sign of spring: The food trucks return to the Capitol.[TU]

Saratoga's grand dame, Marylou Whitney, was on hand Tuesday to help announce plans for the upcoming 150th anniversary of racing in the Spa City.[Saratogian]

Saratoga Springs patrol officers will soon have office space in the city's elementary schools, where they can do paperwork, provide security and connect with students. [YNN]

Siena senior forward O.D. Anosike is headed to Paris to compete with 15 athletes from across the United States as a member of the u22 Elite National Team. [News 10]

(APD Press Release- Purse snatcher)
Albany police arrested a 45 year old city resident for forcibly stealing a purse from a woman on Madison Avenue.
On March 24, 2013 at approximately 2:30 a.m., officers responded to the 800 block of Madison Avenue for a report of a robbery. When officers arrived, the victim stated that a man had approached her while she was walking in the area of Madison Avenue and Partridge Street. She told officers that the man then grabbed her arms and forcibly pulled her purse off of her shoulder.
The victim was not injured during the incident.
Hector, Cuevas, 45, of Albany, was arrested last night following an investigation by detectives .
Cuevas was charged with Robbery 3rd, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th, and Forgery 1st.
He was arraigned in the Albany City Criminal Court and remanded to the Albany County Jail.
(Albany County DA Press Release)

LBANY, NY - District Attorney P. David Soares announced that RONALD RACELA, 49, of Albany, pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, before the Honorable Thomas Breslin in Albany County Court this morning.

Between September 15, 2011 and December 12, 2012, RACELA stole $202,837.45 from the Brighter Choice Foundation while employed as the Chief Financial Officer by making false payroll entries in the Brighter Choice Foundation financial records. RACELA paid himself $202,837.45 in payroll which he was not entitled.

The Defendant was on Felony Probation at the time of his arrest stemming from a previous conviction of (1) Count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony on January 24, 2011.

RACELA faces 5 to 10 years in State Prison, in addition to a concurrent sentence for violating the conditions of his parole when sentenced on May 17, 2013. RACELA also will be ordered to pay restitution to the Brighter Choice Foundation in the amount of $202,837.45.

"The amount of money Mr. Racela stole for his own personal use pales in comparison to the damage he has done to the thousands of children enrolled in the numerous schools the Brighter Choice Foundation oversees by robbing them of the resources needed for them to receive a quality education. I want to thank ADA Clark for holding this defendant accountable and ensuring every dollar of restitution is returned back to the Brighter Choice Foundation," commented DA Soares.

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