Second day of testimony in Vega trial, feds issue lower limit for PFOA exposure, job count said to be off, trail safety upgrades for Plotter Kill

Trial in the death of Vanessa Milligan
During testimony Thursday in the trial of Gabriel Vega, firefighters talked about finding the body of Vanessa Milligan in the fire at her Lansingburgh apartment. A state fire investigator said that a trained dog detected accelerant in the bedroom where Milligan was found. There was also testimony Thursday from a neighbor who reported seeing a man staring at the fire, looking like he was ready to run, and a driver who said she almost ran over a man -- later identified as Vega -- on Fifth Ave. [TU] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TWCN]

PFOA
The federal Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday a lifetime drinking water health advisory of 70 parts per trillion for PFOA -- the early advisory has been 100 parts per trillion -- and the water supplies of both Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh are over that limit. Petersburgh's town supervisor says more people will now qualify for home water filtration systems as a result of the new limit. [TU] [News10]

Also Thursday, the state Department of Environmental Conservation declared the Taconics Plastics facility in Petersburgh a Superfund site. [NYS DEC]

Schenectady basement burial murder case
During a pre-trial hearing Thursday, a corrections officer testified that while booking Harold Michael Ortiz for his arrest on charges that he killed one person and left another buried under debris in a Union Street basement last fall, Ortiz told the officer "they haven't found them all yet," and in apparent reference to his earlier prison time for attempted murder, "I told them not to let me out." [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

Fatal Thruway crash
State Police say they're investigating a crash on I-90 eastbound near Exit 24 early Friday morning in which two people, both in the same vehicle, died. [NYSP]

SCCC president
SCCC president Steady Moono apologized for his recent arrest for DWAI at the college's commencement ceremony: "...I apologize to you, graduates. For you, this has served as a distraction to your accomplishments. And that saddens me more than any personal punishment." [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Saratoga Springs panhandling
Businesses owners in downtown Saratoga Springs who say there's been a rash of aggressive panhandling in the city will be posting locked dropboxes for people to contribute money to homeless charities, rather than giving it to people on the street. Advocates for the homeless have said the aggressive panhandlers are from out of town -- the executive director of Shelters of Saratoga told News10 Thursday he knows of woman from Schenectady making about $1,600 a month panhandling in Saratoga Springs. [WNYT] [News10]

Counting jobs
The latest state jobs report has the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area down 800 private sector jobs in April compared to the same month last year. But the state labor analyst who covers this area says he suspects the sample from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has been undercounting jobs here, specifically in the professional, scientific and technical services category and the leisure and hospitality industry. [NYS DOL] [TU] [Biz Review]

Plotter Kill
The Plotter Kill Preserve in Schenectady is line to get $600,000 of trail improvements aimed at making viewing the preserves waterfalls safer to view. The money is coming from the state and will go toward wider paths, observation platforms, and signage. The upgrades were prompted in part by a teen's death while hiking there last year. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

Workforce Team Challenge
More than 8,200 people participated in the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge race in Albany Thursday evening.

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Recent Comments

Whenever I drive into the Warehouse District, things get eerily quiet. If I get out of my car, I can't see anyone else around, and I get the sense that Nipper is watching me... sometimes I feel like I can just barely see his tail wagging out of the corner of my eye. That's crazy, right? I always get an urge to pick up a tree branch and throw it... but there aren't any trees. When I feel the first playful bite on the back of my leg, that's when it's time to get back in the car and drive. #nipperisalive

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