Flags at half staff for Trooper Cunniff, alleged Toys for Tots theft a misunderstanding, CDTA on track for highest ridership since 1980s

Flags around New York State will be flown at half staff today in honor or State Police trooper David Cunniff, who died earlier this week when was hit by a tractor trailer on the Thruway near Amsterdam during a traffic stop. Services for Cunniff will be held on Thursday and Friday at his church in Watervliet. The investigation into the crash continues and no charges have been filed yet. [TU][TWCN][WNYT]

A feasibility study emphasizing the commercial benefit of moving and scaling back the proposed Albany Convention Center is apparently what changed Andrew Cuomo's mind about the project. [TU]

Rensselaer County clerk Frank Merola is among the first to publicly object to a proposal to provide drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, saying he will not issue the licenses in the county. [Capitol Confidential]

Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen will hold an emergency meeting this week to work on a "Code Blue" plan to shelter homeless people during the winter. [News 10]

It turns out the Toys for Tots collection box outside the Glenville Walmart was not stolen on Tuesday night, as originally reported. The box belonged to another charity and the woman who picked it up had permission to remove it. [TU][WNYT]

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According to a report from the state comptroller's office, nearly a quarter of the $7 billion spent on compensation and perks by 344 public authorities in New York State goes to employees making $100,000 or more. [Capitol Confidential]

A judge will hear arguments today in a lawsuit filed by NYSUT that argues the state's two-percent property tax cap is unconstitutional and undemocratic.[TU]

CDTA's board of directors has voted to advance the proposed Western-Washington bus rapid transit line to the next step in the planning/funding process. The transit org is hoping to have the line running in 2017. CDTA says bus ridership in its system this year is on track to be its busiest year since the 1980s.[Gazette] [CDTA] [TU]

The city of Schenectady has reached an agreement with Schenectady County over millions in unpaid property taxes: The city will make the county whole on unpaid taxes for 2012 and 2013, but afterward the county will be paid only when property owners pay their taxes. [Gazette]

The Saratoga Springs city council voted to allow public safety commissioner Chris Mathiesen to pursue a plan to sell a parking lot on Broadway and buy a 14-acre parcel of land for a new fire/EMS station on Route 9P. [Saratogian]

The Glenville town board approved a law that will make town supervisor a full-time job -- if opponents don't rally enough signatures for referendum on the issue. [Gazette]

The city of Albany officially rolled out the NIXLE text message/email alert system on Wednesday. The system has actually been in use in Albany ffor about a year. [WNYT] [AOA]

Dean Fuleihan, an executive who led strategic partnerships at the Nano College, is leaving to become New York City's new budget director. [TU]

The US Senate passed a bill co-sponsored by Chuck Schumer that will save thousands of fire hydrants from being scrapped -- the bill started in the House, co-authored by Paul Tonko, and has already passed the chamber. [Capitol Confidential]

An Albany man who is facing charges related to a 2012 murder will spend 13 years in jail on an unrelated weapons possession charge. [WNYT]

Troy police are looking for the man who robbed a liquor store on Second Avenue at gunpoint on Wednesday night. [TU]

Fire destroyed the Dunning Street Dunkin' Donuts in Malta overnight. [News 10]

St. Peter's Health Partners is seeking to create a medical campus in Clifton Park and expand its urgent care facility there. [Saratogian]

The Global Foundries Malta foundation handed out $164,000 in grants to 38 community groups on Wednesday.[Gazette]

Saratoga's Caffe Lena, the oldest continuously running coffee house in the United States, has received a $20,000 grant from the Alfred Z. Solomon Foundation to help with its $1.5 million renovation project. [Saratogian]

About Eddy the Poet, the 91-year-old Saratoga Springs author of a 170-word story in which every word begins with the letter M.[Saratogian]

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