Pushed toward crime by poverty, Giffords attends gun show in Saratoga, Schenectady tries to stem violence and disrespect at school, pull over -- deliver baby

Today is Columbus Day.

The director of the anti-gun program SNUG on what pushes many people toward selling drugs, carrying a gun, and crime: "It's a string of things that occur, whether it's throughout the span of a month, weeks, where you feel like you're in a desperate state and you do something that's illogical or reckless ... It's not drug-related. It's poverty-related." [TU]

Personnel files for Gary Mercure -- the Catholic priest from the Albany area currently serving 25 years in prison in Massachusetts for raping two boys he took across state lines -- outlines a history of abuse of boys stretching back to the 1970s. [TU]

Albany city court judge Tom Keefe -- who has a reputation for acting in ways for a typical judge -- is under investigation by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Times Union reports. [TU]

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords -- who was seriously injured in a shooting in 2011 -- visited the the Saratoga Springs Arms Fair Sunday. Giffords was there with state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, and her appearance was to highlight an agreement gun show operators made with the AG's office mandating background checks on everyone who buys a gun at a show. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

Sematech -- the chip fab research consortium that moved its headquarters from Austin to the NanoCollege Albany complex five years ago -- has agreed to a new 5-year, $350 million contract with the NanoCollege. And more nano news: the Times Union reports the Cuomo admin is looking to build a nanotech research and manufacturing center -- headed by the NanoCollege, like the one just announced in Utica -- in the Syracuse area. [TU] [TU]

A part of the tech business scene still largely missing in this area: venture capital and "angel" investors. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

The state education commissioner canceled an upcoming appearance in the Shen school district about the Common Core after a similar meeting in Poughkeepsie included shouting and booing. [Daily Gazette]

An attorney representing 150 people refused driver's licenses because they were tabbed as "persistently dangerous drivers" is suing the state, arguing the Cuomo administration's establishment of the rules circumvented the legislature. [Daily Gazette]

A state judge has blocked a New York State parks ban on outdoor smoking in some areas. [YNN]

Halfmoon supervisor Mindy Wormuth -- facing an FBI investigation and calls for her resignation -- has taken a 30-day medical leave of absence. [TU]

Two aides at an East Greenbush nursing home are facing felony charges for separate incidents involving patient care. [TU]

After a recent eruption of violence and chaos at Schenectady's Mont Pleasant Middle School, the schools superintendent says his goal is for the 18 students suspended "to never return to this school." Several girls were part of the group suspended after they had allegedly participated in organized after-school fights. [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school districts says students will be disciplined for a slur chanted during a football game with Amsterdam. [Daily Gazette]

A Saratogian analysis concludes the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority's legal expenses outpace those of other housing authorities in the area. [Saratogian]

Ass Backwards -- the movie that filmed around the Capital Region in 2010 -- is now out, and some local vendors say they still haven't been paid. [TU]

Tolls on the Mass Pike through Western Massacusetts return this week. [AP/News10]

The crowd for the Troy Chowderfest this past weekend was estimated to be more than 20,000. [Troy Record]

Mr. Squigglesworth is a top-10 mini horse. [Daily Gazette]

By your fourth kid, really, what's the big deal -- even if they're born on the Northway. [TU]

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