Demolition at Jay Street fire site, 22 indicted in alleged drug ring, Troy avoids state financial oversight, NCAA tournament day for UAlbany

Demolition started Thursday at the Jay Street fire site. The demolition company says the process will take several days, with the hope it will allow investigators to examine the buildings floor by floor. Schenectady's fire chief says they think, but can't be absolutely certain, that they've now accounted for everyone thought to be missing after the fire. He also says they're hoping to get the site stabilized so nearby businesses can reopen. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TWCN] [News10]

The state attorney general's office announced Thursday the unsealing of indictments charging 22 people allegedly connected to a distribution ring for cocaine and heroin in the Capital Region. Albany police say the investigation into the alleged ring was set off by the stabbing death of the Takim Smith in Troy in 2013 and the violent back and forth in Troy and Albany that followed. [NYS OAG] [TWCN]

An attorney for the family of Daniel Satre says the autopsy in the case concluded the Ballston Spa man died of a heart problem connected to "excited delirium syndrome." Said Terrance Kindlon to the Times Union: "The question one must ask is would Daniel have had it if he didn't have a bunch of people shooting Tasers at him." [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Both of UAlbany's basketball teams play in the NCAA tournament today. The #13 seed women's team takes on #4 seed Duke at noon on ESPN2. And the #14 seed men's team faces #3 seed Oklahoma at 7:27 pm on truTV. [ESPN x2]

The good-government group Citizen Union says the proposed state budget includes $2.6 billion in funds for which the purpose is hard to tell. [TU]

It looks like the state will defer another $1 billion in pension payments, a practiced that's been criticized by budget watchdogs. [Capital]

Environmental Advocates of New York is pushing for reform of the state's Brownfields Cleanup Program, arguing the program spends too much development and not enough on cleanup. [Daily Gazette]

How Andrew Cuomo's team tried (unsuccessfully) to head off an unauthorized biography of the governor. [WSJ]

Troy mayor Lou Rosamilia reported the 2014 city budget managed to wrap up with about about $200k in the black, which heads off state control of city finances. [Troy Record] [TU]

The town of Colonie and motel owner Alex Patel have reached a deal in which Patel will demolish the the Blu-Bell and Skylane motels and avoid $750k in fines. Colonie supervisor called the deal "a positive outcome for everyone." [TU] [TWCN]

Albany County exec Dan McCoy has vetoed an attempt by the county legislature to retroactively grant health insurance to a retired employee who had missed a cutoff by a few months. [TU]

A few Albany school board members voiced concerns about raising taxes without being able to show the district was making educational gains. [TU]

Palatine supervisor, and farmer, Sara Niccoli after touring the West Wind Acres farm, where authorities have alleged animals were not being properly cared for: "... the fact that some of these animals are being taken away for something that happens on all of our farms every day is really terrifying for us." [Daily Gazette]

East Greenbush police are looking for a suspect in the robbery of the TD Bank on Route 4 (map) Thursday afternoon. [TU]

The Schenectady school district says one of the principals at Schenectady High School is out of work after being injured while breaking up a fight there this week. [Daily Gazette]

There was a fire in the building on Madison Ave in Albany that houses the Downtube bike shop. [News10]

SUNY Poly is apparently looking at adding student housing of some sort near the Fuller Road campus. [TU]

Farther afield: Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim's responded to the NCAA's sanctions against his program for the first time publicly at length on Thursday. (Here's the transcript and video.) [Post-Standard x2] [TWCN]

The model for the planned statue of Albert Pawling, Troy's first mayor, was unveiled. [Troy Record]

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Recent Comments

Washington Avenue definitely needs more than one lane in each direction, but that doesn't mean it can't be redesigned. They can reduce the size of the lanes, add a median, and add a protected bike lane where the shoulder of the road now lies. I agree, however, that the entire Harriman loop would have to be redesigned and that includes those over-passes, so this would be an extremely expensive undertaking if they want to do it right. But there could be significant development on the land that is now wasted by asphalt that could offset that cost and bulk up the tax base for the city.

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