NWS looking at whether tornado ripped through area, Cuomo calls to "double down" on upstate investment, author criticizes casinos

The National Weather Service says a survey team is looking at whether the powerful storm that blew through parts of Schenectady and Albany counties Thursday afternoon was a tornado. Much of the damage was along a path in Duanesburg that cut across Route 20, Route 7, and I-88. The storm destroyed one house and damaged other buildings, though no one was reported hurt. [NWS] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10]

The main topics mentioned during Barack Obama's 15-minute speech at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown Thursday: jobs and tourism (including long waits at airport security lines). The President's visit also prompted a protests against hydrofracking. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

In his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination for governor, Andrew Cuomo said, "We're going to double down on our investment in upstate NY." Thursday night Republican candidate Rob Astorino was in western New York criticizing the "Buffalo Billion" plan. [TU] [State of Politics]

Former Connecticut Congressman Bob Steele -- author of The Curse: Big-Time Gambling's Seduction of a Small New England Town -- at a "No Casinos" meeting in Albany Thursday: "All the casinos do is suck money out of your town, your city." He also questioned whether a local casino would draw people from other regions. [TU] [TWCN]

John Halacy -- who's been in the news since he evaded a rape charge last November because of a paperwork issue in Rensselaer County -- pleaded guilty to a second-degree rape charge Thursday in Rensselaer County Court. Said acting Rensselaer County DA Arthur Glass of the charges that have accumulated with Halacy over the past year: "Obviously, Mr. Halacy is a lousy criminal." [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TWCN]

An attorney for David Cassidy says his client would like to plead guilty to his Rensselaer County DWI charge by mail. [TU]

The state has reached a $1.5 million settlement with the driver of the taxi that was hit by a State Police car that ran a red light during a chase in Albany at Washington Ave and North Allen Street in 2011. [TU]

A firearms instructor for the Albany Police Department has reported to the Bethlehem Police Department that he may have lost a loaded handgun at an outdoor gun range. [TU]

One of the many sagas of Troy has apparently reached a conclusion: a state Supreme Court judge has ordered Judge Development to pay the city more than $350k for breach of contract involving the leasing of the former Verizon building for city hall. [Troy Record]

The city of Albany commissioner of Development and Planning's impending exit for a job with Columbia Development has highlighted the city doesn't currently have a "revolving door" ethics policy. [TU]

Clifton Park and Ballston have started buying water from the Saratoga County Water Authority again after the system addressed an issue with chlorination byproducts. [Daily Gazette]

The city of Schenectady's pull-box fire alarms need to be re-wired to work with the county dispatch system -- though rarely used, the city's keeping them around as a backup measure. [Daily Gazette]

Which Sheldon Silver? [NYT]

Paul Grondahl on "the long goodbye of TV reporter Judy Sanders." [TU]

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