Man charged with arson for fatal Schenectady fire, man shot and killed by police in Schenectady, an 11-year-old's birthday wish

A Saratoga Springs man has been charged with arson for the Hulett Street fire that killed four people in Schenectady Thursday. SPD says additional charges are possible pending autopsies. The fire killed a father and three children -- a fourth child who was pulled from the fire was in critical condition at a Westchester County burn unit Thursday afternoon. Investigators from the SFD, SPD, and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms were working the case Thursday. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Schenectady police say a sergeant shot and killed a man Thursday while responding to a call involving an alleged fight between two men at an apartment complex on Balltown Road (map). SPD says the man had already stabbed the other man when officers arrived, and was fired upon when he again lunged at the other man with a knife and then lunged toward the sergeant. [TU] [News10] [Daily Gazette]

The Court of Appeals -- the state's highest court -- has ordered a new trial for Christopher Oathout, convicted of murdering an elderly man in Albany in 2006, ruling that his trial attorney "showed an unfamiliarity with or disregard for basic criminal procedural and evidentiary law." That attorney -- John Aretakis -- has since been suspended from practicing for an unrelated situation. In a fax to the Gazette on Thursday, Aretakis accused police and prosecutors of framing Oathout. [NYS Court of Appeals] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A state appellate court has ruled that local governments can ban hydrofracking within its borders. Specifically, the court ruled that a state oil and gas mining law doesn't "pre-empt, either expressly or impliedly, a municipality's power to enact a local zoning ordinance banning all activities related to the exploration for, and the production or storage of, natural gas and petroleum within its borders." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A state appellate court has ruled that victims of Steven Raucci can't garnish Raucci's public employee pension, which is currently being paid to his wife. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

State Police say a small pontoon plane crashed nose first into the Hudson near Germantown Thursday afternoon. NYSP says it's presumed the pilot is dead. The plane as yet to be recovered. [TU] [WNYT] [YNN]

Ellen Biben -- the executive director of JCOPE, the state ethics commission -- is resigning. [TU]

They said, they said: the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation says a Saratoga County committee moved to drop the org after 35 years because the org rejecting placing a member of the county board of supervisors on the SEDC board -- which the org says "could imperil confidential talks with prospective businesses." County supervisors say they were pushing for more accountability of how the non-profit uses public money. The chairman of the county's economic development committee also said the committee was unhappy the number of non-GlobalFoundries jobs generated by SEDC since 2008. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

The drama from Wednesday's foot chase through downtown Troy continued in the courtroom on Thursday. [Troy Record]

Evidence in a case against a Schenectady man accused of driving drunk at 140 mph on the Northway in November before a crash that injured three people: mobile phone video of the speedometer, and GPS data from the phone. The Saratoga County DA's office say the man has been convicted of vehicular assault and sentenced to 1.5-3 years in prison. [Saratoga County DA]

Unclear in the Saratoga Springs alleged machete case assault case: whether a machete was actually involved. [Saratogian]

Lead of the day: "At 74, Henry F. Crobok might seem past the age for an allegedly random truck rampage and gun bust in Cohoes." [TU]

Troy politics: city councilman Mark McGrath on why he was voting against approving a the recommended settlement with a man who was injured when his golf cart rolled at the Frear Park Golf Course: "He was either drunk and stupid or just stupid and I'm not going to give a man $15,000 for that." [Troy Record]

Thursday was the official groundbreaking for the Capital South Campus Center, a $5 million education center in Albany's South End. [TU]

The city of Troy says it's gotten four proposals for redeveloping a South Troy waterfront site once slated for a river research center. [Troy Record]

The birthday wish by 11-year-old NaSeaph Williams from Saratoga, who has a rare terminal illness: for people to bring food to donate to a food bank. [TU]

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