Brush fire stops traffic on the Northway, Skelos & son under investigation, opt outs jeopardize Schenectady Common Core participation, Union bells toll for Lincoln

97% chance someone will tell you how beautiful it is today.
40% chance of drinks on a patio.


Brush fire
A tractor trailer that caught fire on Wednesday iignited a brushfire along the Northway during rush hour last night, resulting in huge backups for commuters. The Northway was shut down between exits 10 and 11. [WNYT][TU][Gazette]

Skelos & son
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is now investigating State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam.[NYT]

Colonie hit and run update
Police are examining a vehicle found near the site of Monday nights's deadly hit-and-run in Colonie that they say "has damage with is consistent with being in an auto/pedestrian crash." [TU][TWCN]

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

O.D. Heck lawsuit
New York State will pay $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from the 2011 death of a severely disabled 22 year old resident of the former O. D. Heck Center, who was beaten by employees when he wandered away from the floor mat he was supposed to stay on while they watched TV.[TU]

Common Core
+A new Time Warner/Siena College poll shows 57 percent of upstaters polled support a teacher evaluation system that would allow for teachers rated ineffective to lose their jobs, but but 31 percent of upstate residents polled say student standardized test scores should not be the weightiest part of the evaluations. [TU]

+A graphic that shows the percentage of students that opted out of standardized testing in area school districts. [TU]

+The number of last minute Common Core test opt-outs at two Schenectady schools puts the district in the danger zone for test participation. [Gazette]

Teen indicted for assaulting brother
The Schuylerville teen who allegedly slashed his 10-year-old brother's throatlast month has indicted Wednesday on felony assault charges. [WNYT][TU]

Land bank plans demolitions
The Capital Region Land Bank is seeking quotes for demolition of nine properties in Schenectady and Amsterdam.[TU]

Sidewalks of Glenville
Construction is beginning on a Glenville lighting and sidewalk project that was five years in the making. [Gazette]

Cuomo and Heastie heading for Cuba
Andrew Cuomo and Carl Heastie will be heading to Cuba next week. [Daily News]

Cuomo's return
Andrew Cuomo's tax returns show that his new book, All Things Possible, earned him $376,668 last year and that his total income was $553,371. [TU]

Bells for Lincoln
Bells tolled at Union College on Wednesday in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of president Lincoln

Happening today

Albany Law is hosting a panel discussion: "​New York State's Dairy Industry: Family Farms, Price Supports and the Raw Milk Controversy." Thursday 4:15 pm, Room 200 - free

Jeffrey Tambor
Actor Jeffrey Tambor -- from Arrested Development and Transparent -- will be at EMPAC for a talk titled "Performing Your Life." It's described as "part one-man show, part seminar, part question-and-answer session, and endlessly entertaining ... This down to earth conversation is about using life experiences to advise others to face their fears, attain their goals, and break out of their shell." Tickets for the event are available free to the general public, pending availability, at the EMPAC box office. Be sure to check the Rensselaer Union FB page for updates about availability. Thursday 7:30 pm - see note about ticket availability

Beauty and the Beast
A touring production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast opens a four-day run at Proctors. Thursday-Sunday various times - $20 and up

The Funky Meters
The Funky Meters at The Massry Center
Decades of funk. 7:30 pm - $45 / $20 students

Old Songs
Martin & Eliza Carthy at Old Songs
Folk. (Also at Caffe Lena Wednesday.) 7:30 pm - $25


According to the Times Union, Andrew Cuomo's book had sold only 1,195 copies by December 4th for all of 2014. Sales were dropping off the chart at that point. But say he did sell 2000 total for 2014, that comes to $168 a book. This does not include the $188,333 he received for the book in 2013 before it came out. All Things Possible indeed...

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