Confession casts doubt on convictions in Albany murder, blood test results arriving in Hoosick Falls, worries about Lansingburgh, new lawn at SPAC

Confession casts doubt on convictions in Albany murder
The confession from a man in prison in Ohio to a 1997 murder of an Albany college student -- a crime for which two other men were convicted -- has, in the words of the Times Union's Brendan Lyons, "stirred the ashes of an era when the Albany police regularly built homicide cases in which their key evidence were the signed confessions obtained from suspects after lengthy interrogations." [TU+]

Hoosick Falls
Residents of Hoosick Falls have started to receive the results of tests for levels of PFOA in their blood -- and the average level there is 11 times higher than typical. And some people have gotten results indicating levels much higher than the village average. The test indicate exposure to the chemical, but not he likelihood of health effects -- and people say they're unsure about what to do next. [TU] [WNYT] [AP/Troy Record] [News10]

Child hurt in hit-and-run
State Police say they're investigating a hit-and-run in Wilton in which a 9-year-old boy on a bike suffered severe head injuries. Neighbors described the gruesome scene after the SUV alleged to have been involved left the area. [NYSP] [WNYT]

Schenectady mayor incident
Looking at how a special district attorney could work in the investigation of the incident in which Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy is said to have confront two women last month. One of the women, Sarah Dingley, was again speaking about her side of the story, this time to the Times Union. (She also talked with the Daily Gazette last week.) [TU+ x2] [Daily Gazette]

NY Assembly 112
Democrat Michael Godlewski is officially into the pool for the 112th state Assembly district, the seat currently held by Jim Tedisco (who's running for the state Senate seat to be vacated by Hugh Farley). The field also includes Republican Mary Beth Walsh. And Republican Jim Fischer announced Sunday that's he's in, too. [Daily Gazette x2] [Fischer press release]

Nicholaus Building
Two construction companies are fighting over what did -- or did not -- happen in the series of events that included the demolition of the Olender Building and apparent destabilization of the neighboring Nicholaus Building in downtown Schenectady. [Daily Gazette]

Albany parking tickets
Albany city treasurer Darius Shahinfar wants to add a collections agency fee on to overdue parking tickets. [TU]

Saratoga Springs City Hall
The planned renovations of Saratoga Springs City Hall to accommodate a state-mandate court addition will cost $3 million. [Saratogian]

Troy City Hall
The Troy City Council has formed a committee to identify the options for a home for city hall. (The city currently leases space in the Hedley Park Place office building.) [Troy Record]

Lansingburgh
Uncle Sam parade organizer Vito Ciccarelli on the trajectory of Troy's Lansingburgh neighborhood: "I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel." (This year's parade was recently canceled.) [TU+]

Medical marijuana
Vireo Health -- one of the medical marijuana companies licensed to operate in New York -- is under investigation after an allegation from a former employee that it transported product between Minnesota, where it also operates, and New York. (Rules require all operations to happen within a state.) [TU]

SPAC
SPAC officials are hoping the new sod installed last fall will hold up better this summer than previous lawns. [Daily Gazette]

Freihofer's Run
The winner of the Freihofer's Run for Women in Albany this past weekend was Brianne Nelson of Colorado, with a time of 15:45 for the 5k. [FRFW press release]

Comments

I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who don't pay parking tickets, especially when a trip to City Hall will at least get the surcharge dropped if not the entire ticket. But they're already regressive (in a pretty insidious way: poorer residents are less likely to have off-street parking; they are generally busier with multiple part time jobs and/or children or other dependents, making it easier to miss a no parking window; because they can't afford more reliable cars, they're more likely to get an unavoidable ticket simply because the car won't start or breaks down unexpectedly, etc.), and tacking on even more charges doesn't seem like it will help people who are already living paycheck to paycheck. That $100 might be two weeks of food budget, or a month's worth of medications.

-B, looks like those poor people can park legally and pay the fines if they don't. No sympathy here.

I agree with -B. The new fees are just going to make a lousy system even worse. On my last trip to city hall to negotiate parking tickets, it was a really horrifying experience. As I was sitting with the DA explaining away my tickets, the other DA present was forcefully grilling a woman who was already confused about what time and location traffic court was being held because she could neither speak nor read english. She was also there with her small child. She was in tears because she just did not understand what the ticket was for (a family member parking in a handicap space along Washington Ave), and, was not offered a translator until the end of the session. She was being coerced into signing a plea, and was being asked to come back at a later date with someone to help because she didn't have $400 cash to pay the fine. I tried to intervene and was shouted down by the attorney. It was heartbreaking to see a city representative extorting that much money from a young mother who was clearly very sorry and did not understand what she did "wrong". Not all tickets issued by the city are easily dropped, and guilt is open to interpretation.

Easy solution: park legally in the first place. I really hope this extra fee goes through.

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