Safety upgrades for crude oil trains proposed, concern about crimes against seniors, blood donations needed

Major freight railroad operators have announced an agreement with the feds to increase some safety measures for trains carrying crude oil. But critics -- among them, Chuck Schumer -- says the measures aren't enough, in part because they don't include addressing problem tanker cars. The Port of Albany has become a major node in the distribution of crude oil from North Dakota to refineries on the East Coast -- which has people worried about potential accidents. [Capital] [TU]

Albany police say a man was found shot in the arm at Delaware Ave and Magnolia Terrace early Friday morning (map). It's the city's fourth shooting in a week. [APD FB] [TU]

The recent death of an elderly man -- allegedly caused by his home health aid -- has spotlighted what local law enforcement officials say is a persistent problem with crimes, especially thefts, against seniors. [TU]

A UAlbany student from Iran and his wife are stuck in a precarious position because their visas are about to expire and they face imprisonment in Iran after the husband's name surfaced in one of the diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks. [TU]

A Times Union analysis concludes that the state has spent $3 billion on lawsuits, legal fees, and settlements over the past decade. [TU]

Albany County exec Dan McCoy says he doesn't support a plan to allow local municipalities around the state to set their own minimum wages. [TU]

The town of Colonie has accused the owner of the now-closed Blu-Bell Motel of hundreds more code violations. The same person also owns the recently-shut Skylane Motel. News10 reports that "four independent sources" tell it that an Albany County inspector who had given the Skylane a passing inspection was suspended in January. [TU] [News10]

The man convicted of robbing a woman at knifepoint in the parking garage at Sheridan and Elk in Albany last November has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. [TU]

The Saratoga County Sheriff's department says two 50somethings were arrested for allegedly running a heroin operation out of a mobile home in Stillwater. [WNYT]

The owner of the dog that died last year after being tied to a State Police car -- and the car then drove off -- says he's decided not to sue. [TU]

The Times Union's Chris Churchill on Lou Rosamilia: "In situation after situation, Rosamilia seems too much like a passive observer and too little like a leader who's shaping the course of events." [TU]

Question tumbled by the Times Union: If millions have been invested at the Port of Coeymans, why is assessment only $2.2 million. [TU]

The Troy IDA gave the OK, or preliminary OK, for tax breaks for a group residential and mixed-use projects around downtown. Also: Wally Altes said he's stepping down from the IDA and the Troy Local Development Corporation because of potential conflicts of interest related to the Monument Square redevelopment. [TU] [Troy Record]

The state is planning a reconstruction of Northway Exit 4, with the ultimate aim of smoothing access to Wolf Road and ALB. [Daily Gazette]

Proposed zoning changes for the Beekman Street Arts District in Saratoga Springs aimed at opening up more commercial options on the strip are meeting resistance from some neighborhood residents. [Saratogian]

Jeffrey Curtis -- the former Schenectady police officer sent to prison for stealing crack from an evidence locker, and who now speaks to groups about addiction: "In my mind, the case is already solved, settled, and no harm, no foul, which is insane if you think about it, but that's what the stress does to you ... I can't rationalize irrational behavior." [TU]

The American Red Cross says the harsh winter weather has kept people from donating blood and there's now an urgent need. [Daily Gazette]


People who commit theft and violence crimes against the elderly are some of the worst scum of the earth. Craigslist at this point should be avoided at all costs - it seems to be nothing but a barrel of bottom feeders.

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... Try parochial schools or any place with a cafetorium (non wood floor large spaces), indoor tennis facilities (years ago the place that is now Afrims put boards around a court and had roller hockey games), community centers, YMCAs, public schools, unrented large retail spaces, watervliet (2nd ave) and albany (hoffman park) have rec centers with large open spaces, the Armory on New Scotland ave used to hold rugby practices in it.

The week ahead

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