No indictment for police officer in fatal Troy shooting, Albany trash fee debated, Troy Bombers closed as ownership changes

No indictment for police officer in Thaddeus Faison case
A Rensselaer County grand jury declined to hand up an indictment against Troy police officer Joshua Comitale for fatally shooting Thaddeus Faison during an exchange of gunfire that left both Comitale and officer Chad Klein with serious injuries. Authorities say Faison fired first, hitting Klein in the shoulder while he was sitting in his police vehicle. Said Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove: "My heart does go out to the family of Mr. Faison because they lost somebody as well. It's not their fault that they lost a loved one, but the culpability in this case lays at the feet of Mr. Faison. He fired first. He could have ended this when instructed to do so and he did not." Troy police say an internal affairs investigation of the incident is continuing. From a Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration statement: "We don't know exactly what occurred that night. We do know that the District Attorney and Police Chief collaborated to prematurely present a narrative of what they believed happened to the public well before any investigation had begun." [News10] [TWCN] [TU] [Troy Record]

Trial connected to 2013 fatal Hulett Street fire
The trial of Edward Leon is set to start in federal court Monday -- he's accused of lying to a grand jury about his whereabouts the night the 2013 Schenectady arson that killed a father and three children. Neither Leon or anyone else is currently charged with setting the fire. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Heroin
Chronicling the toll heroin has taken on young adults in and around Averill Park. [TU]

Common Core
The Common Core and related testing continued to be the subject of intense criticism from parents and teachers at a public hearing Friday night in Colonie held by the Cuomo admin's Common Core Task Force. State Ed commissioner MaryEllen Elia was there as part of her role on the task force. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Christina Ryba
"Numerous sources familiar with the situation" described to the Times Union situation surrounding the apparent firing of Christina Ryba -- the presumed winner of a state Supreme Court judgeship this past Election Day -- from her job with a state appellate court over alleged "ethical missteps" problems involving her campaign. (Another way to read this story is as a primer on the oddities of the non-campaign campaigns that candidates for judgeships run.) [TU+]

Lead
Lead poisoning continues to be problem for kids in neighborhoods with older housing stock, like in many parts of the Capital Region. [TU+]

PEF
A look at the ongoing drama within PEF, which represents more than 50,000 state employees. [TU+]

Upstate jobs
An econ professor on the Cuomo admin's effort to add and maintain jobs across upstate New York: "the story is kind of one step forward, one step back." [NYT]

Albany trash fee
Albany city leaders are debating mayor Kathy Sheehan's proposed trash collection fee for small multiple-unit residences -- and one idea is to extend a fee to every residence in the city. [TU+]

Stolen out from under them
Multiple catalytic converters were stolen from vehicles in a park-and-ride lot in North Greenbush last week. (The pollution control devices contain small amounts of platinum.) [TU]

Troy Bombers
The owners of the Troy Bombers have closed the franchised restaurant. Matt Baumgartner says he and his partners have been in talks to take over the location -- the closure happened sooner than expected -- and will do so once permits are approved. [Troy Record] [TU]

Stuff going on today

Music: Melissa Ferrick at Caffe Lena
Folk rock singer/songwriter. 7 pm - $25

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My grandmother has Alzheimers and sometimes comes to stay with us in Troy. Last week the absolutely highlight of her day was seeing the hundreds of crows that came streaming by the window at our apartment. I watched her go from completely unresponsive to engaged... stringing questions together and returning to her old joyful self for the half hour she watched those birds was enough to endear crows to me forever.

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