Troy police chief says he won't resign, Yepsen calls for more local input on potential casino, King says universal pre-k could cost $1.6 billion, Troy's first mayor gets a statue

Troy police chief John Tedesco says he has no intention of resigning amid calls for him to
step down over the weekend incident at Kokopellis on 4th Street. Troy police commissioner Anthony Magnetto says the current investigation of the situation is not looking into the allegations of police brutality, only the alleged assault on officers, damage done to any city property, and reckless endangerment to people in the area -- but an investigation into possible excessive force is not off the table. Incident reports and 911 calls shared by the TPD with the Times Union indicate there was fighting going at the club before officers arrived. [WNYT][Record] [TU]

The unemployment rate in the Capital Region hit a six-year low in December: 5.4 percent.[TU]

About two hundred people showed up for a Niskayuna school board meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the possibility of shutting down Birchwood Elementary School in an effort to close the district's $2.6 million budget gap. In the end, the board decided to postpone a vote on the closure until next week. [Gazette][News 10][TWCN]

In her state of the city speech on Tuesday, Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen renewed a call for a more moderate-sized casino in the city, that would not take business from existing establishments, and touted the need for transparency in government. [TU][Saratogian]

According to state comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office, state overtime rose 16 percent in 2013 to $611 million. [TU]

Tom DiNapoli acknowledged a "special obligation" on the part of New York State to the city of Albany, one day after Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan announced she would be going to the state's Financial Restructuring Board for $5 million to upgrade the city's IT, part of a plan to close city's $16 million budget gap. [Capitol Confidential]

The Albany Port District Commission has offered Global Partners space to park Bakken crude-filled tanker cars, away from a nearby apartment complex. [TU]

Bankruptcies in the Capital Region have reached a seven year low. [Business Review]

State education commissioner John King told a state legislature panel on Tuesday that this is not the time to roll back the Common core -- something the state Senate education committee has suggested it's prepared to do. [TU]

King also told the joint budget hearing that comprehensive pre-K could cost the state $1.6 billion. [TU]

State Senate Republicans are moving to introduce a measure, similar to one Andrew Cuomo proposed in his executive budget, that would ban the use of electronic benefits cards at ATMs in liquor stores, strip clubs, and casinos. [CNY]

Supporters of professional mixed martial arts are renewing their efforts to legalize the sport in New York State.[WNYT]

A judge's ruling earlier this month may mean complications in the adoption process for married gay couples in New York. [NYT]

Both Paul Tonko and Chris Gibson say they support tax code reforms mentioned by Barack Obama in Tuesday's State of the Union speech. [TWCN]

Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm threatened to throw a NY1 reporter off a balcony at the State of the Union last night for asking him about an investigation into his campaign finances. [TU]

TSA officers at Albany International Airport reported finding an unloaded gun in a carry-on bag at the airport's security checkpoint. [TU]

A fourth man has pleaded guilty in the 2012 robbery that left an Albany man dead.[TU]

A former Trustco bank teller from the Whitehall Road branch in Albany pleaded guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud for stealing $80,000 from the bank. [TU]

State Police took a man into custody in on the Harriman office campus near building 2 on Tuesday afternoon after a search for a man described in reports as being suicidal and believed to be carrying a handgun. [TU]

A 73-year-old Rotterdam barber, in business for 50 years, on his refusal to accept African-American customers, to the Times Union: "I just tell them I don't cut black hair and they leave ... I've never had a problem. I don't want to scare off my white customers. I guess I'm a racist." [TU]

Troy's first mayor, Col. Albert Pawling, will be honored with a seven foot bronze statue on the street that bears his name. [Record][TWCN]

Andrew Cuomo on the passing of Pete Seeger: "Pete used his music o make our society and state a better place."[Capitol Confidential]

Memories of Pete Seeger.[TU]

A Lansingburgh man known as "Mr. Entertainment" will headline the VIP-only tailgate party at this year's Super Bowl. [Record]


I really wish the other half of the 'State overtime' story was put into quotes and headlines about it - the fact that the state workforce has decreased by 10% over the last 7 years, and that only three state agencies are responsible for the overwhelming majority of OT.

Here is a quick recipe to lower unemployment rate:
1. Kick a bunch of people of unemployment benefits
2. People without a job who don't get the benefits are not officially counted towards unemployed
3. Voila! Report reduction in unemployment! Profit!

Speaking of the President's State of the Union speech: Ya' just gotta love Joe Biden:

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