Albany County has state's second lowest unemployment rate, body found in Hudson River, federal judge approves Albany County political map, 45 years of Earth Day

Earth Day
Today is Earth Day. The first Earth Day was celebrated 45 years ago. That's also the day the first Earth Day legislation was signed in New York State, creating the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation -- one of the first government agencies specifically formed for the purpose of overseeing all environmental concerns through one organization.


Federal judge approves Albany County political map
A federal judge gave his approval on Tuesday to the new district map for the Albany County Legislature, effectively ending a four year voting rights lawsuit stemming from the 2011 map, which was alleged to have violated the Voting Rights Act by diluting the power of African-American voters.[TU]

Forensic scientists face termination
Fifteen forensic scientists with the State Police have been suspended without pay and issued termination notices following a six-month internal investigation that revealed unauthorized information sharing on training exams for a new computer-based form of DNA analysis.[TU]

Unemployment drops in Albany
Albany County had the second lowest unemployment rate in the state during March. (NYS Department of Labor press release.) [WNYT]

Body pulled from the Hudson
Police removed the body of a man in his 40s from the Hudson River on Tuesday in Glenmont near a River Road Dock. [WNYT]

Bicyclist hit on Central Ave.
A bicyclist was taken to the hospital after being hit by a car at Central Avenue near Wolf Road on Tuesday night. [WNYT][TU]

Schenectady vandalism spree
Police believe a bb gun was used to vandalize dozens of cars in Schenectady overnight. [TU]

Herman Robinson Trial awaits verdict
Closing arguments wrapped up on Tuesday in the rape and murder case of Herman Robinson in Schenectady. [News 10]

Republicans supporting Skelos
Republicans in the state Senate are standing by Dean Skelos. Skelos was laying low Tuesday on his first day back in Albany since a New York Times article revealed that the Senate Republican majority leader and his son Adam are being looked at by federal prosecutors. [WNYC][TU]

Landfill experts and the Normans Kill
Experts from the Albany landfill on Rapp Road helped unblock the Normans Kill. [TU]

Proposed busking law amended
Saratoga Springs officials have pulled a $20 licensing fee from a proposed new busker law. [TU]

Common Core
Round two of Common Core testing is underway for those who didn't opt out. State education officials may have some say over whether schools lose funding due to the large number of students boycotting the test. [Capital NY]

Lessons from Cuomo's Cuba visit
Andrew Cuomo met with Cuba's First Vice President Miguel Dìaz-Canel
on his trade mission to Cuba this week. Among the things that became clear to Cuomo's trade delegation: "even if Congress repeals the act barring trade with Cuba, change for the Caribbean nation is a long way off." [Capital NY][NYT]

More support for Glenville farmer
A crowd of supporters turned out in Glenville to support West Wind Acres farm owner Josh Rockwood who is facing animal neglect charges. Rockwood's case has been adjourned a second time. [Gazette]

Failed bidder wants casino process reopened
A law firm representing one of the failed applicants for a casino license in New York is requesting that the bidding process for four upstate casinos be re-opened. [TU]

Fighting animal cruelty
State Police and the NYS Humane Association have teamed up to fight animal abuse.[Saratogian]

Home for abused cat
A cat that survived being shot with an arrow through its neck has found a home. [News 10]

State park funding
$72 million has been approved for improving state parks, including Grafton, Spa State Park, Moreau and Olana Historical Site.[WNYT]

Pulitzer winner from UAlbany
A Pulitzer-winning playwright who got his start at UAlbany.[TU]

Happening today

Broad Old River
Wednesday: There's a screening of Broad Old River, a documentary about the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, at Proctors. The screening will be followed by a Q&A and a concert by the Sloop Singers. Wednesday 7 pm - $18 ahead / $20 at the door

EMPAC from the inside
If you ever wondered what goes on at EMPAC, this talk might shed some light:

In this presentation, EMPAC's Senior research engineer Eric Ameres will pull back the curtain on technological work performed in collaboration with artists, scientists, and the EMPAC production teams. Through a series of vignettes, anecdotes, interviews, and some "show and tell," he'll explore the ever-expanding repertoire of technology and give insight into where experimental media and the performing arts can meet in production and research, providing a rare glimpse behind the scenes from what the audience typically gets to experience.

7 pm - free

Basic Organic Gardening | Capital Roots
An introductory course to provide new gardeners with fundamental gardening information needed for a successful growing season. We will discuss key points related to basic organic garden practices including practical tips on soil building, weed suppression, and maintaining a healthy, productive plot. Wednesday at 5:30 pm, East Greenbush Garden, East Greenbush - $5

Backyard Poultry Basics | Cornell Cooperative Extension, Saratoga County
Are you thinking about getting chickens? Raising a small flock can be a rewarding experience, as well as a way to provide meat and eggs for your family. Please join us for an informative night with guest speaker Richard Kennedy from Cargill Nutrition. Learn about breed selection and caring for chickens in small flocks. Topics will cover A-Z of small-scale poultry farming. Bring lots of questions! Call Ellie to register at 518-885-8995. Wednesday 7 pm, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County, 50 West High Street, Ballston Spa - $5

They Might Be Giants at Upstate Concert
John and John return. Maybe they'll play The Egg song. 7 pm - $20

Paul Anka at Proctors POSTPONED
A long and storied career. (But we'll always remember him for his appearance on The Simpons). 7:30 pm - $25 and up

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