Schenectady casino gets formal OK, Cuomo to pardon 10,000 people, about naming things after people

Casinos moving forward
The state Gaming Commission issued licenses for the first batch of three upstate casinos, including the planned Rivers Casino in Schenectady, formally opening the way for construction to begin. The general manage for the Rivers Casino is projecting a possible summer 2017 opening for the facility. And Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy says the city is in line for a "host benefit fee" of roughly $4 million. [NYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Stabbing death of Troy city official
Hundreds of people lined up Monday to pay their respects to Troy city operations director Bill Chamberlain, who was fatally stabbed last week near his home in North Greenbush. And city officials are talking about honoring Chamberlain in some way. City council president Rodney Wiltshire on the 30-year city employee: "The reality is he always had the answers ... He just knew how things were done." [TWCN] [Troy Record] [News10]

The little town of Bethlehem
The town of Bethlehem's decision to not include a "Merry Christmas" sign at its Four Corners holiday display has prompted a response from an Arizona-based religious rights group. [TU+]

10,000 pardons
Andrew Cuomo will be issuing conditional pardons to approximately 10,000 people convicted of non-violent crimes when they were minors. [TU]

SUNY
Despite SUNY buying a building on State Street in Albany for her residence, SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher is still getting a $96k housing allowance. (She also got a raise this year.) [Gannett]

Pilgrim pipeline
The state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Thruway Authority announced they will jointly conduct the environmental review of the proposed Pilgrim pipeline, a project that would carry crude oil from the Port of Albany to a refinery in New Jersey. [TU]

Guilty plea, and potential lawsuits, over Schenectady chase and crash
A Schenectady man pleaded guilty to an assault charge for crashing into a car containing three people during a chase from Schenectady police this past June -- and attorneys for two of the people in the car have filed notices of claim against the city alleging police pursed the chase recklessly. [Daily Gazette]

Guilty plea for Ponzi scheme
A former Guilderland-based financial advisor pleaded guilty to a Ponzi scheme that stole more than $1 million from clients and he now faces at least three years in prison. [TU]

Troy absentee ballot case
The Troy absentee ballot case surfaces again, this time in the form of an $8 million lawsuit filed by former elections commissioner Edward McDonough against the case's special prosecutor, the DA at the time, and others. [TU]

Joe Bruno
A $1 million donation made by Joe Bruno from his campaign fund account to state Senate Republicans has prompted a complaint from state Senate Democrats, who argue the donation violates contribution limits. [TU]

Also: Joe Bruno recently had a room at the Saratoga Springs City Center named after him. [TU]

Naming things after people
Prompted by the Trump State Park story, Chris Churchill touches on the topic of naming things after (sometimes very) flawed people. [TU+]

Memory champ
A Greenwich man recently co-captained the US team at the World Memory Championships in China. [Saratogian]

Stuff going on today

Irving Berlin's White Christmas
A touring production of the stage musical Irving Berlin's White Christmas will be at Proctors. It's an adaptation of the classic film. Two Schenectady natives also star: Kerry Conte and Rachel Rhodes-Devey. Tuesday-Thursday/Saturday-Sunday various times - $20 and up

White Christmas (the film)
The Palace is screening the 1954 film White Christmas, which stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen -- and for which the classic Christmas song is famous. (Thought the song didn't originate in the film.) Tuesday 7 pm - $5 / $3 kids

A Christmas Story, The Musical
This is the last week for Capital Rep's production of A Christmas Story, The Musicial. It's an adaptation of the famous film. (Many of these last few shows are sold out or will be soon.) Tuesday-Thursday/Saturday-Sunday various times - $20 and up

Siena basketball
The Siena men's basketball team takes on St. Bonaventure at the TU Center. Tuesday 7 pm - $8 and up

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