There's a state budget deal, Dinosaur accused of wage violations, job opening: Quidditch coach, new format for Morning Blend

Hello. We're trying something new with Morning Blend because the old format was starting to feel really stale. This new take still includes links to news stories (though there will be fewer of them) while mixing in other sorts of bits: quotes, facts, events. The new format is a work in progress and is likely to change.

Feedback? Please leave it in the comments, or email editors |at| alloveralbany |dot| com.

Just in time for the deadline, there's a state budget deal, or at least, the outline of one. What's in: a $1.6 billion increase (6 percent) in education aid, a plan for a new teacher evaluation system, increased disclosure requirements for state legislators, and the $1.5 billion in competitive upstate development grants. Among what's not included: an increase in the minimum wage. [TU] [Cuomo admin] [Capital] [State of Politics] [NYDN]

A former Union College student has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging police brutality during his arrest last year amid the rowdy celebration of the school's hockey national title. The suit alleges police grabbed Broderick Shea "by the head and hair and violently smashed his face into the concrete pavement." [TU] [Daily Gazette 2014-04-14] [Daily Gazette]

A class action lawsuit alleges the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que chain has systematically underpaid tipped employees. The founder of the chain tells the Syracuse Post-Standard the allegation is "complete BS." [TU] [Syracuse Post-Standard]

A Rensselaer man is accused of stabbing his father and biting a finger off his mother at their home on Friday. [TU]

A Schenectady woman has been charged with assault after she allegedly attacked the current girlfriend of her former boyfriend (and father of her child) outside the Rotterdam Walmart -- with the child there. After the fight was broken up, Rotterdam police say the woman then hit the current girlfriend with her car. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A look at how fire investigators go about trying to determine the cause of a fire. [Daily Gazette]

A Saratoga Springs man has been arrested for allegedly sending postcards to neighbors that pose as official communication telling them to address code issues -- again. [Daily Gazette]

Skidmore is hiring a coach for its Quidditch team -- yes, like in Harry Potter -- because of mounting injuries for the club sport team. [Daily Gazette]

Quote

Michael Schnayerson -- author of The Contender, the new unauthorized biography of Andrew Cuomo -- to the Times Union on Cuomo's future:

[H]e's a guy of enormous promise, and if he could let his demons go, if he could be a more trusting person -- trusting of the process, trusting of his fellow man -- if he could be less paranoid, if he could have sort of a bigger heart and not have his default mode be vindictiveness, I think he could be a really great presidential prospect, and maybe even win.

More Schnayerson, from an op/ed in the New York Daily News, with advice for the governor: "Stop punishing everyone who disagrees with you. Not even Machiavelli did that. Stop assuming the worst in everyone."

Fact

As we watched yet more snow slow drift by the window this morning...

The latest measurable snowfall on record in Albany was 2.2 inches on May 18, 2002. The latest trace snowfall was May 28, 1902. (In this case "on record" is since 1884-1885.) [NWS Albany]

The Track

Summer might actually happen, eventually: Season passes for the Saratoga Race Course go on sale today.

Stuff going on today (Monday, March 30, 2015)

Food trucks
There's a meeting at Albany City Hall Monday at 5 pm to get input on the city's food truck program.

NCAA hoops
The regional final for the Albany bracket of the NCAA women's basketball tournament is at the TU Center. Tournament-favorite UConn will face #7 seed Dayton. Monday 7 pm - $35 / $20 student and seniors

Hunting for food
"Vegan-turned-hunter" Tovar Cerulli will be at Skidmore for a talk about his work studying food, hunting, and conservation. He's the author of The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian's Hunt for Sustenance. Monday 7 pm - free

Music: Delta Spirit at The Hollow
Indie rock. 9 pm - $18

Music: Parker Millsap at Helsinki Hudson
Blues. 8 pm - $10

Music: The Steel Wheels show at Caffe Lena is sold out.

Comments

I like the new format. A lot more one-stop-shopping than previous (combining "What's happening", the news, other bits).

I like the feel the new format seems to be heading in. It seems to be edging more toward a daily "front page" - perhaps the first web-page you visit each day to get a general feel for what's going on before heading off to your other regular spots.

Your Fact about the weather got me thinking it might be nice to get the scoop on today/tonight/tomorrow's weather (like you do in The Week Ahead). You could spin it with a blurb for bike-commuters ("watch for rain"), walkers ("bring an umbrella just in case") and drivers ("construction starts today on bridge @ I-90, allow a little extra time"). Maybe this works, maybe it doesn't. But if it were here, then I'd be less likely to go and open up weather.com and more likely to go directly to your site rather than wait for an update to show up on my blog-roll.

To carry Sean's idea, a static link for the current day's blend might be nice, so a bookmark will always bring you to today.

I like the new format!

Is this the death of "The week ahead"?

I like the new format, too! Especially that the news items remain at the top. The quotes and facts sections are great. To piggy-back on JustJoe's comment, it would still be nice to have the "Week Ahead" posts, as they seem to encourage commenters to add events that were not covered.

I like it. But I miss the week ahead too. Even if it's a track back to something posted in a separate post.

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