Big fire in downtown Schenectady, Rosamilia leans on legal opinion to justify not unfreezing pipes, woman accused of keeping mother's dead body in house -- for 14 months

There was a large fire overnight in downtown Schenectady on Jay Street near City Hall (map). The fire was visible above rooftops. Officials say several people were taken to hospitals with injuries -- one person is said to have jumped -- and another person is currently unaccounted for. More than 25 people were getting help from the Red Cross. [Daily Gazette] [Instagram pinupjordan] [@PhotogChris10] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN]

Also overnight: A large fire at the Bethlehem Industrial Park in warehouse that, depending on the report, was either for a construction company and/or one that makes wooden crates. Officials say there were no injuries. [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

Troy mayor Lou Rosamilia responded to calls for the city to unfreeze city-owned water pipes in Lansingburgh by citing an opinion by a city attorney that it's "not the city's legal obligation to pay for water lines to be thawed out." Rosamilia: "I'm a very compassionate person. When it comes to situations where people are in need of something, my tendency is to reach out and help them ... But as I said before, if I did that based on the legal response I've gotten, I would actually be stepping outside my authority." Members of the city council continued to criticize the mayor's stance -- councilman Ken Zalewski: "I feel like I'm in the twilight zone here. I can't even believe this is a debate we're having whether to thaw some pipes or not. It's obscene." And city council president Rodney Wiltshire: "It's horrible." The water is running again for one of the families after a plumber came to help -- at his mother's request. [Troy Record] [News10] [WNYT x2] [TU] [WNYT]

Farther afield: A Gloversville woman is accused of keeping her mother's decaying body in her home for 14 months in order to continue collecting Social Security benefits. Prosecutors say the 93-year-old woman's body was badly decomposed and her daughter had "learned to live around" it. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN]

The Albany area hit a record high for private sector jobs in January, according to the state Department of Labor. [TU]

The president of United University Professions called the state's teacher certification exams "invalid and deeply flawed." [TU]

The Cuomo admin's budget cuts the state website that aggregates discipline and malpractice info on doctors. [TU]

The Albany school board has set a May vote for a $2.5 million plan to upgrade Albany High School's athletic field. [TU]

The city of Albany has renamed a portion of South Pearl Street in honor of Qazir Sutherland, the seven year old died after being hit by a car while crossing the street in 2013. [TU]

A key person in whether Columbia Development will get a $1 million grant for the Vista (Not-Yet) Tech Campus in Slingerlands: county comptroller Mike Conners, who's been a vocal critic of previous relationship between the county and Columbia. [TU]

A group of Skidmore students is working to raise awareness about sexual assault -- on and off campus. (See also this recent post on Skidmore Unofficial about the topic.) [TU] [Skidmore Unofficial]

There's a proposal to merge the Albany-Colonie and Schenectady chambers of commerce. [Daily Gazette]

"Let Schenectady County surprise you." [Daily Gazette]

The cold winter is pushing back maple syrup season. [TWCN]


I had all the warm fuzzies about the plumber helping with the frozen pipe story, then I read the comments - this situation just gets more and more depressing.

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