Activists call for ban on oil trains in Albany, cab driver robbed at gunpoint outside Crossgates, 90 water main breaks in Latham this year

In his State of the Judiciary address, New York's top judge, Jonathan Lippman, called the grand jury system "a relic of another time," and, in light of the case of Eric Garner and other deadly police encounters, called for judges to oversee the grand jury process in cases involving deadly and near-deadly incidents involving police and civilians.[NYT][TU]

Activists are asking the Albany Common Council to pass a resolution calling on the state Department of Environmental conservation to ban oil trains in the city following crashes and explosions in other locations around the country and Canada. [TU]

The Cuomo administration is proposing an increase in New York's oil spill fund. [WNYT]

In his State of the County address on Tuesday, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy called for more reforms in the transport of oil through Albany and said the county has been operating with a balanced budget for the last three years. McCoy also announced plans to provide primary medical care for the public out of a vacant space in the county nursing home and announced a new opioid addiction program coming to the county. [TWCN][TU][Record]

Police say a cab driver was held up at gunpoint outside Crossgates Mall by two men he drove to the mall on Tuesday night. Guilderland police arrested a 16 year old in connection with the attempted robbery. Another suspect is still on the loose. [TU][WNYT][News 10]

An Albany man arrested on drug charges last summer, has accused city detectives of stealing more than $3,000 during a warrantless search of his apartment in which they seized a large amount of crack and marijuana but apparently failed to file drug charges or photograph or fully document evidence. [TU][TWCN]

An audit of the Troy Police Department shows that hundreds of items including cash, drugs, firearms and at least one vehicle that should be in police possession are unaccounted for or lacking the proper documentation. [WNYT]

Schenectady police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred on Monday night on Paige Street. The incident has neighbors calling for change in the crime riddled neighborhood. [TWCN][News 10]

The dispute that led to stabbings in a private dorm across from Schenectady County Community College apparently began over food. [TU]

A 20-year-old Galway man is accused of beating his parents with an aluminum baseball bat, breaking their arms and causing head injuries. [TU]

Eric Schneiderman and NYC's Corporation Counsel are planning a $180 million lawsuit against UPS for allegedly delivering 700,000 cartons of illegal cigarettes in New York. [TU]

A State Office of Information Technology Services employee was indicted Monday for allegedly selling bootleg cellphone cases and other knockoff merchandise in a side business, while taking in $38,000 in unearned pay from the state. [TU][WNYT]

Latham's water department has been dispatched to deal with 90 different water main breaks since January 1. [News 10]

Spending on highways and bridges is up in New York. [TU]

Construction set to start Monday on the Northway bridges over Albany-Shaker Road will close exit 4 ramps during non-peak hours. [TWCN]

Albany will compete with four other upstate cities for $20 million for energy projects.[TU]

According to a report in the Daily Gazette, some Schenectady officials, including a City Councilman, are behind on their taxes. [Gazette]

Chuck Schumer is pushing for tariffs on cheaper imported paper in the US. [TWCN]

A Washington County man has applied for one of five state licenses to operate a medical marijuana facility. [News 10]

Halfmoon doesn't have its own zip code, something Chuck Schumer wants to change.[TU]

Snow in the Capital Region may be protecting Lyme infected ticks in something called subnivean space. [TU]

A Saint Rose professor spent his winter break helping Ebola victims in Sierra Leone and is working to establish a local nonprofit to assist Sierra Leone in the fight against the disease.[TU]

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They should turn Maiden Lane into a stepped pedestrian street, like they have all over Europe. We don't need to reinvent the wheel, they do steep small streets pretty well across the pond, let's look for some precedents... Human scaled lighting is critical too, that goes for the whole city. And we don't need paint on the road, just signage perpendicular to the flow of traffic at the bridge entrance. I also echo the call for basic, ongoing maintenance to our current infrastructure. How about some weed removal in sidewalks, etc?

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