State's highest court overturns Troy murder conviction, Albany plowing through snow removal budget, fire truck catches fire

The state's highest court has overturned the 2009 murder conviction of Adrian Thomas for the death of his 4-month-old son in Troy. The decision, written by chief judge Jonathan Lippman, concludes that Troy police used "a set of highly coercive deceptions" during their interrogation of Thomas to prompt him to talk and incriminate himself. Acting Rensselaer County DA Arthur Glass says his office is planning a retrial. [AP/Troy Record] [NYS Court of Appeals] [TU]

Among the new slate of cases selected by the Troy ethics commission: two cases related to the Kokopellis situation -- one of which arose because of an allegation made on Facebook. [TU] [Troy Record]

The city of Albany of Albany has already spent almost 70 percent of its snow removal budget for 2014. [TU]

Albany County sheriff Craig Apple says the Affordable Care Act could save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars on healthcare for county inmates. [TWCN]

Moody's has downgraded Halfmoon's bond rating and issued a negative outlook, citing a five-year decline in reserves accompanied by operating deficits. (The rating, Aa3, is still toward the upper end of the spectrum.) Town supervisor Kevin Tollisen has been urging department leaders to "ONLY spend where absolutely and critically necessary." [Moody's] [TU]

Schenectady's general services commissioner says only about 15 percent of city households sort out their recyclables, and the percentage has been trending downward for decades. [TU]

Schenectady's land bank has made its first sale, a house in Hamilton Hill. [Daily Gazette]

A Schenectady fire truck caught on fire Thursday. [Daily Gazette]

The roof of a vacant carriage house in downtown Troy collapsed Thursday, apparently under the weight of heavy snow. Troy's city engineer says he expects more collapses because of the heavy snow and the age of much of the city's building stock. [Troy Record] [WNYT]

Some people in Troy say the city didn't give enough notice that cars would be towed for snow removal. [WNYT]

The New York National Guard is investigating whether some of its members were involved a photo posted to Instagram in which soldiers are shown goofing around a flag-draped casket. [TU]

Hudson Valley state Senator Greg Ball has fired a staffer for apparently plagiarizing the published work of others for the justification memo on legislation. [TU] [TU]

Carmine's Restaurant in downtown Albany was closed Thursday by the state for back taxes. [TU Table Hopping]

The Saratoga Springs school district has a position called "assistant superintendent of 21st century teaching and learning," which apparently includes rowing and not herding cats. [Saratogian]

Said a local graduate student, summing up the reactions of many others in the local Ukrainian community as they watch the turmoil in their home country: "It seems like a very bad nightmare." [TU]


Some Upstate history c/o the Atlantic in a recent article about Fraternities:

"In 1825, at Union College, in upstate New York (hardly a garden of earthly delights in the best of circumstances, but surely a gulag experience for those stuck at Union; imagine studying Thessalonians in the ass-cracking cold of a Schenectady February), a small group of young men came up with a creative act of rebellion against the fun-busters who had them down: the formation of a secret club, which they grandly named the Kappa Alpha Society. "

Any author who describes our upstate winter cold as "ass-cracking" is nothing more than a wimp, I tell you. A wimp. There are times when our cold is "butt-breaking." But you need to go farther north to Canada to experience ass-cracking cold.

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