Not-guilty plea in fatal Thruway crash case, negotiations continue on $15 min wage, Troy parking ticket amnesty planned

Charges in 2014 fatal Thruway crash
Tyler Pascuzzi -- accused of speeding on the Thruway between exits 24 and 25 while drunk and causing a crash that killed two people and injured another in 2014 -- pleaded not guilty to a group of charges that includes aggravated vehicular homicide and second-degree manslaughter. The mother of one of the people who died in the crash was in court with a large photo of her daughter and yelled at Pascuzzi to look at the photo. Pascuzzi's attorney said the case would "very, very hotly contested" and they intend for Pascuzzi to be acquitted. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TU] [TWCN]

Adam Rupeka arrest
In a video posted to YouTube Monday, Adama Rupeka said he's "on the run for my life." Troy police say Rupeka and Jennifer Ogburn of Hudson were arrested over the weekend for an alleged incident of sexual abuse involving a 15 year old. A post indicated Rupeka and Ogburn may have gone to Canada. (Rupeka has made headlines in the recent past for the incident in which he flipped off a Saratoga Springs police officer and was then pepper sprayed, resulting in the officer's resignation and a settlement; and also for allegedly crashing a drone onto the Capitol.) [YouTube] [News10] [TU]

$15 minimum wage
As the state budget deadline approaches, negotiations at the Capitol continue over the proposed $15 minimum wage, which has been wrapped into the budget. Current points of friction: how long it would take to phase in the increase, and which regions of the state where the phase would be slower. [TWCN] [TU]

Gunfire in downtown Schenectady
The incident involving shots fired in downtown Schenectady over the weekend has prompted some conversation about the relative safety of the area. [Daily Gazette]

Mohawk Harbor street names
The Schenectady City Council approved the street names for Mohawk Harbor -- including "Rush Street," which had been a point of controversy. [Daily Gazette]

Troy parking ticket amnesty
Troy is planning a parking ticket amnesty program that would discount outstanding parking tickets by 40 percent. [TU]

Troy water and sewer funds
The Troy City Council is moving to make it harder for money to be taken out of the city's water and sewer funds to pay for other expenses. More than $30 million has been transferred out of the funds during the last two decades. [TWCN] [Troy Record]

Fight over Albany apartment complex taxes
The largest increase in assessed value on a taxable property during Albany's latest reassessment: the Alexander at Patroon Creek, up 59 percent -- the complex owner and the city were already fighting over the property assessment before the reassessment. [TU+]

Albany police cars
Albany's police cars are getting a new look. [TU+]

High Rock parking garage
Some projections for the controversial parking garage proposal at the High Rock lot in downtown Saratoga Springs forecast the project would have annual losses. [Daily Gazette]

Aiding refugees
A look at an Albany school district program to help immigrant and refugee kids succeed in school. [TU+]

Friction at RPI over student-run union
A group of RPI students is planning a rally this week to protest what it alleges is a takeover of the student-run Rensselaer Union by the administration. [Troy Record]

Designated driver for hire
A service in Saratoga Springs is offering to come pick up people -- and their cars -- if they've been drinking and decide they shouldn't drive home. [WNYT]

Another Junior's
BMT -- the local restaurant group that owns The Point, Cafe Madison, and Ama Cocina -- is planning a second location of its uptown Albany neighborhood restaurant Junior's at a spot in North Greenbush. [TU]

Stuff going today

The Lion King
Tuesday-Sunday: A touring production of The Lion King continues its month-long run at Proctors. It is, of course, the hugely-popular musical based on the Disney movie. Tuesday-Sunday various times -- $20 and up

The Blue-Sky Boys
Tuesday-Sunday: This is the last week for Capital Rep's production of The Blue-Sky Boys, about "the maverick engineers who stopped at nothing to get a man to the moon and back," continues this week. Tuesday-Sunday various times -- $20 and up

Hidden history tour: Rensselaer County Courthouse
Tuesday: The Rensselaer County Historical Society has organized a tour of the Rensselaer County Courthouse. "County Clerk Frank Merola will guide us through the maps, records and other collections that are housed in the Rensselaer County Courthouse." Tuesday 4:30 pm -- $15 (registration required)

Hockey
Tuesday: The Albany Devils are at the TU Center to face Hartford. Tuesday 7 pm -- $16 and up

Comments

The sad thing about the Rupeka character is that those in the know, know that he's a scumbag. The downside is that there are going to be people who believe everything he says.

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I ride every day to work, and also after work for exercise. I love the concept of being a person who happens to ride a bike. There's a level of bike riding, with the high performance gear and sleek clothing, that makes riding seem like its not for everyone. I try to avoid markers like that, and always wear regular clothing/shoes/backpack with dumpy-looking bike. One concession is bike gloves.

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