House explosion in Schenectady, old infrastructure blamed for water main breaks, 35 years of Bob's Diner

A vacant house in Schenectady's Hamilton Hill neighborhood blew up Sunday afternoon (map), apparently because of a gas leak. The home was thought to be vacant, but neighbor sightings of people going in and out of the house prompted a K-9 unit search of the debris -- no one was found. Neighbors say they had smelled gas in the days before the explosion -- and some have told media outlets they called National Grid to report the smell, but the utility says there are no records of calls about the property. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [News10] [TU] [WNYT]

Paul Nicholson II, the man who pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter as part of a plea deal for driving drunk and hitting and killing a pedestrian on Ballston Ave in Saratoga Springs last summer, has been sentenced to 3-9 years in prison. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Rotterdam's supervisor says the age of the town's water mains is to blame for the string of breaks this summer, including one that flooded streets on Saturday. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

At the start of next year it will be illegal for landfills in the state to accept CRTs (the old tube displays for TVs and computers) -- and electronics recyclers say they're being crushed by the number of CRTs people are trying to pitch. [TU]

Albany city residents affected by last week's flash flooding can call the United Way's 211 hotline to connect with assistance. Two volunteer groups made up of veterans were helping people with cleanup this past weekend. [TU x2]

The Troy police officer suspended this past March after he was allegedly found driving a vehicle that included a person buying heroin in Columbia County has resigned from the police department. And in separate situations, two other TPD officers have been suspended. [TU] [Troy Record]

More on the backstory of the woman who killed herself and her two daughters in an apparent suicide in East Greenbush in July. [TU]

A Ballston Spa man say he and another passerby pulled a man from a burning car in Clifton Park Friday. He said the driver was on fire when they pulled the man from the vehicle. [TU] [News10]

An Albany resident was recently awarded a Purple Heart for being injured while serving in Afghanistan. [TWCN]

Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the state legislature are traveling to Israel as a show of support to the country. [NYT]

Yet another article detailing how local municipal mergers and/or dissolution are harder than they might seem. [TU]

Bob's Diner -- open 24 hours a day in Watervliet -- is celebrating its 35th anniversary this week. [TU]

The 150th reunion for a family rooted in Stillwater drew 150 people this past weekend. [Daily Gazette]

A Gilded Age Adirondack "camp" that once belonged to J.P. Morgan is up for sale for $3.25 million. [TU]

Photos form the annual Cardboard Boat Race on Saturday in Schuylerville. [Saratogian]

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