State names minimum investments for casinos, railroad fined after oil tank car derailment in Albany, guilty plea withdrawn in murder case, kids these days

The state's required investment for a full casino in the Capital Region: at least $182.25 million. The proposed casinos in Albany and East Greenbush would both appear to clear that hurdle based on what's been floated so far (though there's still no announcement about an operator for the Albany casino). There is a wide range of required investment among the state's different regions: from $472.5 million in Dutchess or Orange counties, to as little as $94.5 in some Southern Tier counties depending on the awarding of other licenses. [Biz Review] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [NYS Gaming]

Another casino bit: the heads of Proctors and SPAC have approached potential casino developers in the region about agreeing to limits on the size of entertainment venues at the gambling sites. [TU]

Joe Bruno retrial: two former CEOs for companies that contracted with Bruno for consulting work set up via Jared Abbruzzese testified they weren't sure what work Bruno had done for the $20,000/month payments. And the former attorney for the state Senate majority testified that Bruno had not disclosed his race horse ownership connection with Abbruzzese, or that one of Abbruzzese's company had gotten a state grant. The judge in the case also denied a defense motion for a mistrial over the inclusion of evidence related to Abbruzzese's campaign contributions. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

The Troy City Council approved a process for issuing subpoenas about the recent demolitions on King Street and at the former King Fuels site. There was also some squabbling over whether the council knows -- or doesn't know -- who wants to subpoena. [TU] [Troy Record]

Four tank cars carrying crude oil derailed in the Kenwood Rail Yard near the Port of Albany early Monday morning, according to state Department of Transportation. NYSDOT says the cars remained upright and did not spill oil -- but Canadian Pacific Railroad will be fined $5k for not reporting the incident to NYSDOT within one hour. The company says the incident involved no injuries or public safety issues. [NYSDOT] [TU]


The Rensselaer County Court judge in the retrial of Adrian Thomas -- for whom a new trial was ordered by the state Court of Appeals after a conviction of second-degree murder for the death of his infant son -- closed the courtroom to the media ahead of a pretrial hearing, prompting a protest from the Times Union. [TU]

Clifford Burns -- Niskayuna man accused of killing his estranged wife in Lake Luzerne -- has withdrawn his guilty plea. [TU]

The Albany County DA's office says a retired MB is accused of selling prescriptions for narcotics from his home in uptown Albany. [TU]

Ballston Spa police say a couple has been accused of stealing flowers from a grave on Mother's Day. [Saratogian]

The state pension fund was up 13 percent during the fiscal year that ended in March, according to the state comptroller's office. A potential effect of that rise: local governments' pension contributions could decline. [NYS OSC] [TU]

Aaron Woolf -- a Democratic candidate for the New York 21st Congressional District (currently held by Bill Owens) -- was the producer and director of the Peabody-winning documentary King Corn. He was in Schuylerville Monday as part of small business tour. [Saratogian]

The Schenectady City Council passed a four-month moratorium on new convenience stores. Its members also apparently spent a fair amount of time arguing with each other, including a allegation of "political hack nonsense." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Carmelo Laquidara -- a former part-time Rensselaer city judge, former ADA in Rensselaer and Albany counties, and apparent favorite of Rensselaer County Democrats to replace former DA Richard McNally -- has taken a job as first assistant district attorney in the Rensselaer County DA's office. [TU]

Albany Law School is apparently come to terms on a buyouts with some faculty members. The school has been attempt to adjust to falling enrollment at law schools across the country, and the situation between the administration and the faculty has grown contentious. [TU] [Above the Law 2014 February]

There's a push to unionize adjuncts at the College of Saint Rose. [Daily Gazette]

Nassau's town supervisor on his town's efforts to negotiate a deal with Time Warner Cable to expand high-speed internet availability: "We really have no negotiating leverage or power and the Public Service Commission (PSC) was helpful in looking at the contract, but told us we were basically out of luck with any efforts to require anything." [Troy Record]

In which Marv Cermak recalls a connected maitre d' in Schenectady and the history "more interesting than that stuff they tried to teach us in high school." [TU]

You know those stories in which people lament the state of "kids these days" -- this one is the opposite of that. [Daily Gazette]

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