Cousin charged with murder in death of Kenneth White, Schenectady mayor projects property tax reduction because of casino, plans for new amenities at Thacher State Park

On Friday Tiffany VanAlstyne -- the 19-year-old cousin of Kenneth White -- was charged with second-degree murder for the death of the 5-year-old boy. Authorities allege she strangled the boy, carried him down the road, and in the words of Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, threw his body over a guardrail "like a piece of trash." The situation surrounding White's death was originally reported as a kidnapping, but Apple says investigators responding to the case started getting indications the pieces didn't fit that story -- and a police dog found White's body about 40 yards from the home where he was staying. That home has been shut for code violations and two other small children have been placed in foster care, according to authorities. Brenda VanAlstyne -- mother of Tiffany, aunt of Kenneth -- tells News10 that they're fixing the code violations and referred to the boy's death as an "accident." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

Rotterdam police say they're investigating the death of a 20-month-old boy in September as a homicide after autopsy results indicate the child died of asphyxiation. RPD say the boy's mother and her partner are not cooperating with police. [TWCN] [TU]

Schenectady police say a pedestrian died after being struck by a vehicle on Albany Street near Fairview Ave Saturday evening (map). It's the fourth incident in the Capital Region in the last month in which a pedestrian has died after a crash with a vehicle. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy says he's anticipating a 10 percent reduction in property taxes as a result of tax revenue from the planned casino. [Daily Gazette]

Chris Churchill: Will Schenectady neighborhoods outside the downtown benefit from the casino and other recent development? [TU]

Ellis Hospital and Saratoga Hospital are among a group of more than 700 hospitals nationwide hit by the feds with a 1 percent decreases in Medicare payments because the hospitals' rates of hospital-acquired conditions (such as infections) were higher than goals set by the feds. [TU]

A group of about 30 people held a "die in" at the Crossgates food court Saturday as part of the Black Lives Matter campaign. [Daily Gazette]

Forecast for Troy city government: ongoing fiscal drama. [TU]

There are more than $2 million in unpaid taxes on the Steuben Club, Kenmore, and former Times Union buildings in downtown Albany, according to county records. [TU]

The parents of a 21-year-old UAlbany student who died on campus this year after an apparent drug overdose have filed the initial paperwork for a lawsuit in an attempt to prompt the university to answer a series of questions they have about what happened. [TU]

Highest amount spent by a local campaign during the recent state legislative elections: more than $500k by the campaign for Carrie Woerner for the 113th state Assembly seat. [TU]

Moody's has downgraded the College of Saint Rose's credit rating to a level indicating "moderate credit risk and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics," with a negative outlook (ratings definitions). The college says it has clear plans for its financial future. [Moody's] [TU]

Agricultural businesses are the eyeing the opportunity to become one of the state's designated grow operations for medical marijuana. [TU]

Tech Valley High School's founding principal is leaving for a job in Maine. [Troy Record]

The state is moving forward with the plans for a ropes course, mountain bike course, and rock climbing at Thacher State Park. [Saratogian] Earlier: A master plan for Thacher State Park

Wordplay lead (lede) of the day: "Call it a case of deer-ja vu." [TU]

A Washington County man is ranked 15th in the world in a memory event, and recently memorized a 150-digit random number as part of a competition in China. [TU]

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