Moreland Commission delivers report on corruption, APD changing strip search policy, hate crime charge withdrawn, the Infamous Frozen Turkey Chase of 1987

The Andrew Cuomo-created Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption delivered its preliminary report on corruption Monday evening, urging changes: "The commission's preliminary observation is that both the general state of our political system, and the way business is transacted within it, cry out urgently for reform." Among the recommendations: a public system for matching small political campaign contributions, though that idea was opposed by some of the commission's members. [State of Politics] [NYT] [TU]

Federal investigators said the Metro North train that crashed in the Bronx Sunday was traveling 82 mph into a curve rated for 30 mph. "Law enforcement sources" tells the New York Daily News that the train's conductor didn't remember how the train had picked up such speed, and described the conductor as "consciously asleep." Experts say proposed safety technology for trains could have slowed the train before the curve. [NYT] [NYDN] [TU/AP]

Schenectady County DA Robert Carney says the man held on previous charges following the fatal car-to-car shooting near Mont Pleasant Middle School in Schenectady last month has been charged with second-degree murder in the case. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Traci Briskin -- convicted of manslaughter and driving while ability impaired for running a stop sign in Charlton last year, causing a crash that fatally injured a man -- has been sentenced to 2.5-7.5 years in prison. [Saratogian] [TU]

The Saratoga Springs school board voted to accept to a recommendation from a hearing officer that a middle school math teacher be fired over an accusation he made sexual advances toward a student. The teacher was a acquitted on a charge related to the alleged incident earlier this year, and he said Monday that the student's story was "riddled with inconsistencies." [TU] [Saratogian]


The Supreme Court of the United States chose not to hear an appeal in which Amazon and Overstock were challenging a New York State law that required the companies to collect sales tax in the state. [NYT]

More than 90,000 people have signed up for health coverage through New York State's health exchange so far, almost half of them for Medicaid. [TU]

Albany police chief Steven Krokoff says the department is updating its strip search policy to make it stricter about when and where the searches can be conducted. [TU]

Troy police chief John Tedesco has asked the city council to investigate the department's internal affairs unit. It's the latest turn in an ongoing drama between Tedesco and the city administration, which inserted a commissioner above him in the city hierarchy. [TU]

The Rensselaer County legislature approved a 2014 county budget that includes a 1.74 percent tax increase. It also includes raises for the county exec and county clerk, a move that prompted protests from Democrats in the Republican-controlled body. [Troy Record] [TU]

Among the opponents of a proposed Albany County law banning styrofoam containers from chain restaurants: a Glens Falls-based company that makes foam products, and a Hannaford rep, who said not being allowed to use the containers would pose a food safety problem. [News10] [WNYT]

The Saratoga County DA's office say the hate crime charge against two men allegedly involved in a fight this past weekend in downtown Saratoga Springs has been withdrawn. The two men are accused of using a racial slur while punching and kicking a person -- but the DA's office says the slur alone is not enough to be charged with a hate crime. And DA Jim Murphy says authorities don't know if the incident was racially motivated. [Saratoga County DA] [TU] [YNN]

Schenectady police say a man reported being shot in the face with a BB while outside his home near the Vale Cemetery. [Daily Gazette]

Bethlehem police say a Manhattan man was arrested at a Connecticut casino for allegedly using a counterfeit credit card with identities stolen during an alleged credit card skimming scam at a restaurant in Glenmont earlier this year. [TU] [WNYT]

The son of the Saratoga County administrator was sentenced to five years probation and drug court after pleading guilty to charges related to vandalism during a party -- the second incident in which he faced charges for such behavior. [TU]

Part of NYRA's 2014 budget: higher admission prices at the Saratoga Race Course. [TU]

The state is switching vendors for the administration of the vehicle inspection program, which is prompting garages to buy to new computer equipment -- and in some cases maybe, delays. [TU]

An education event in Averill Park aimed to highlight a reported increase in heroin use in the area. [WNYT]

Plans for a proposed residence for homeless people dealing with alcoholism in Troy's Little Italy neighborhood are off after a funding deadline passed and control of the site reverted to the original owner. [Troy Record]

For a local company that provides the tech infrastructure for many big online shopping sites, "Cyber Monday" was one of its biggest days of the year. [YNN]

Marv Cermak remembers the Infamous Frozen Turkey Chase of 1987. [TU]


"The Metro-North train engineer involved in Sunday’s deadly crash may have been zoned-out at the switch." [NYDN]

I understand people's desire to learn what caused this train tragedy, and editors' and publishers' desire to sell newspapers.

But is it necessary for "sources" to gossip on the causes without a shred of documentation? And, is it necessary for the Daily News to contribute to such gossip, especially with unnamed sources?

Sheesh. Enough already with this premature speculation. Give the National Transportation Safety Board a chance to complete its investigation.

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