More testimony in hearing over custody of Kenneth White's sisters, state budget crunch time, an exit through fire, stolen wheel chair prompts many donations

On the second day of testimony in the Albany County Family Court case over whether Brenda VanAlstyne should be allowed to have custody of Kenneth White's two sisters the foster mother of the girls said one of them told her she had been hit by Tiffany VanAlstyne multiple times. The defense has argued that there's no evidence there was abuse by Brenda VanAlstyne. A judge is scheduled to rule on the case in April. [TU] [News10] [Daily Gazette]

There have been high levels of hunkering, behind closed dooring, and hashing out at the state Capitol as leaders negotiate the details of the state budget. If the budget is to be on time, and follow the typical rules of procedure, the budget bills will have to be ready by the end of Saturday to make the Tuesday deadline for a vote. [TWCN] [TU]

Education continued to be a big topic at the Capitol as the budget process headed into crunch time -- on Thursday there was another rally inside the Capitol to oppose education initiatives floated by the Cuomo admin. Also: "growing number of New York parents," according to the Times Union, are pushing for the state to stop student testing on the Common Core curriculum. [News10] [TU]

Albany County leaders have indicated the county won't appeal the federal court decision regarding redistricting and minority voting rights. [TU]

Skidmore has extended the suspension of a student accused of raping another student by two years, the accuser and her attorney reported Thursday. The accused hasn't been charged with a crime, but an administrative board found him guilty of violating the college's code of conduct. Reina Kiefer said the college should have expelled the student. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

The family of the man shot by State Police following a chase in which he's accused of threatening police with a sword have filed a notice of claim (the first step in a lawsuit) that argues the police knew the man had mental health issues and that they should have better protocols for handling mental health cases. [TU]

One of the people who escaped the Jay Street fire described to the Daily Gazette how he ran through fire, barefoot, to exit the building. [Daily Gazette]

State Police say a Colonie woman working as a home health aide is accused of stealing $88k from a client in Clifton Park. [NYSP]

State Police say a Schodack woman "poured an unknown substance into her husbands' drink without his knowledge in an attempt to make him sick" on six occasions. The arrest report indicates the couple is divorcing. [NYSP] [WNYT]

The state Court of Appeals has suspended the Green Island town justice accused of choking his wife. [TU]

Cohoes mayor George Primeau announced he won't be running for re-election because of health reasons. [Troy Record] [TU]

Conifer Park Inc. has withdrawn an application to move a substance abuse clinic that would offer methadone treatment to a Fourth Street building in downtown Troy (map). Downtown business owners had opposed the plan. [Troy Record] [TU]

The latest company to announce it will be setting up at the in-construction ZEN building at the CNSE campus: M+W, an arm of the large engineering and construction group. It will be moving some of its operations from the Watervliet Arsenal. [Biz Review] [TU]

The Albany teen whose wheelchair was stolen from her family's driveway now has a new chair (apparently the theft will end being covered by insurance), and there have been so many donations that three other wheelchairs will be donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Albany. [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

State legislators have been told to return the Lou Gehrig bobbleheads they received from the ALS Association -- because they might be an ethics violation. [NYDN]

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