State Police on fatal shooting: troopers believed man had weapon but no gun found, opposition organizing against Saratoga casino, I-87 project declared complete

State Police say the man shot and killed by troopers in Rensselaer County Sunday evening in Berlin State Forest -- 38-year-old Steven J. Bell -- had disregarded commands to stop and show and his hands, and then "made threatening statements and motioned as if he was bringing a weapon up." And that's when troopers fired on Bell. But police say no weapon was found at the scene. Some members of the law enforcement group looking for Bell had been wearing night vision goggles, but a NYSP captain says the troopers who fired were not, and whether they had flashlights trained on Bell at the time is under investigation. NYSP says troopers and other law enforcement agencies were looking for Bell after a 911 call reporting a domestic incident in which the man was said to have discharged his rifle. Police say there had been multiple calls in the past about domestic disputes. "Sources" tell YNN that earlier on Sunday there had been an argument between Bell, his wife, and his girlfriend. [NYSP] [TU] [WNYT] [Troy Record] [YNN]

A group that included parents and students gathered outside the State Education Building Monday to protest the Common Core standards and the frequency of testing. The protest highlighted the unusual ideological mix of opposition against the standards that includes both conservatives and progressives. [News10] [YNN] [TU]

One example of some of the frustrations with the current situation in education: The state teacher of the year for 2012 -- who's a second grade teacher in the Schenectady school district -- says she fell short of the highest ranking on her state teacher evaluation, and she says getting that highest ranking would have, in part, required "an incredible feat of magic" on a student's test. [Syracuse Post-Standard]

The federal government is phasing out subsidies for flood insurance, which could affect thousands of properties in the greater Capital Region (example from that linked article: the insurance for a home in Waterford will jump from $2,100 a year to $9,700). [TU]

A Rensselaer man who had been facing charges that he allegedly raped two teens was released from jail and will not face trial for the charges because of a paperwork mistake by the Rensselaer County DA's office. [TU]


About 250 people (or more than 130) turned out in Saratoga Springs Monday evening for a meeting about opposing the siting of a full casino in the city. [YNN] [Daily Gazette]

The Albany Common Council approved a budget that doesn't include an increase in homeowners' taxes, but draws almost $10 million from the city fund balance. [TU]

The state comptroller's office is something less than thrilled that the city of Troy passed a new budget without taking into account recommendations from the comptroller's office. [TU]

Rotterdam's uncertain paramedic service situation -- it recently shifted at least temporarily from the non-profit Rotterdam Emergency Services paramedic service to a for-profit company -- was set to be the topic of a community meeting Monday night, but the town deputy supervisor scheduled to speak apparently decided not to attend after hearing about the large crowd that would be there. About 150 people turned out. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [WNYT]

Parents of Matt Hardy and Bailey Wind are pushing for Dennis Drue to the get the maximum 15-year sentence for his guilty plea on charges related to the Northway crash that killed Deanna Rivers and Chris Stewart. [TU]

The parents of the Schalmont High School student who recently committed suicide -- and who was, by some accounts, bullied -- pressed the case for discussing the bullying question openly at a public forum in Rotterdam: "The two vulnerable people are right here and we're ready to discuss this right now." [News10] [Daily Gazette]

Schenectady police say a man was arrested for allegedly firing a gun at a house multiple times Monday night. [YNN]

As part of a plea deal on his ninth lifetime drunken driving charge, a Schenectady man will be required to wear an alcohol-sensing anklet. [Daily Gazette]

Cohoes police say three teens have been arrested for allegedly vandalizing about 50 cars with spray paint on Van Schaick Island this past Thursday night. [Troy Record]

Officials in Colonie warned parents of two recent incidents in which it appears teens were taken to a hospital for treatment after they took cough medicine in an attempt to get high. [News10]

The Troy IDA voted to grant $761k in tax breaks to a mixed-use redevelopment on First and State streets downtown (map). [TU]

Skidmore is joining a statewide initiative aimed at training people how to start and run energy efficiency and clean energy businesses. [Saratogian]

The Cuomo administration has declared the $100 million project to widen I-87 between exits 23 and 24 complete. [Cuomo admin]


One more thing that may be of interest:
weather permitting, we should be able to see another space launch tonight. More details:

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