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.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA: + Eric asked about the experiences families have had with Albany schools -- and... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

It's Memorial Day weekend. Time to fire up the barbecue grill and kick off the unofficial start of summer by doing fun stuff. This week... (more)

A few bits about that big, new mural going up on the side of the Quackenbush Garage in Albany

Maybe you've noticed the new mural going up on the south face of the Quackenbush Garage in downtown Albany. Here's what's up with that, along... (more)

A restaurant for regular group meetings?

Anne emails: I am a member of a service group that meets 2 evenings a month, during the week. We are looking for a restaurant/food... (more)

New York State city and town populations 2016

The Capital Region has some of the state's fastest growing towns in terms of population percentage change. That's one of the bits from new population... (more)

Recent Comments

I've found that anecdotes from neighbors, friends, or internet "strangers" can only take you so far. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you get out there and visit these schools during the school year, during the school day to get a feel for things. In the last few months, my wife and I have made a series of visits to our local elementary, middle + high-school. During those visits, we had the chance to talk to multiple teachers and see the kids "in action". It was very VERY telling in a lot of ways - both good and bad.

A few bits about that big, new mural going up on the side of the Quackenbush Garage in Albany

...has 5 comments, most recently from Jamie

Fields Sculpture Park at Omi 2017

...has 3 comments, most recently from Jamie

A restaurant for regular group meetings?

...has 6 comments, most recently from Jamie

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 3 comments, most recently from JK

Where to get an Apple laptop fixed?

...has 8 comments, most recently from Greg