Looking at crime numbers around the Capital Region, continued chatter about creepy clowns, toward a regional taxi system

Crime numbers
+ A look at 2015 crime numbers for Capital Region municipalities out this week from the FBI. [Daily Gazette]
+ Troy had a 22-percent increase in the number of reported violence crimes between 2014 and 2015. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

Creepy clowns
+ From the Daily Gazette: "Strange clown sightings abound in Capital Region" [Daily Gazette]
+ And from The Saratogian: "A local law enforcement press release on suspicious clown sightings in the southern part of Saratoga County has the area's professional clowns asking the public to take a step back." [Saratogian]

SUNY Poly allegations
Bits continues related to the state and federal allegations involving SUNY Poly continued to spill out this week:
+ A look at the situation surrounding the prominent architecture firm EYP and its tenancy at, and dealings with, SUNY Poly. [TU+]
+ Rensselaer mayor Dan Dwyer says Todd Howe tried to hit the city up for a $4k-per-month lobbying fee when discussions started about SUNY Poly developing a piece of land on riverfront. [TU+]

Cuomo stays after train crash
Andrew Cuomo canceled his trip to Israel for the funeral of Shimon Peres because of the NJ Transit crash in Hoboken. The train originated in Rockland County, and Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie talked about regional collaboration at a joint press conference. [TU] [NYT] [Politico NY]

Drama in drug trafficking case
An alleged heroin trafficker from the Bronx who's currently on trial in Albany -- and said to be connected to the Mexican drug lord El Chapo -- is also now accused of trying get inmates at the Albany County jail to kill two people who testified against him. His case has also included some unusually tough talk from the judge. [TU] [TU+]

Sentencing in Rotterdam bank robbery
The man who was at the center of the Rotterdam bank robbery plot that included a phoned-in threat about a school in attempt to distract law enforcement was sentenced to 16 months to four years. [Daily Gazette]

Guilty for plea for former Rensselaer County Legislature chair
Martin Reid, the former chair of the Rensselaer County Legislature, pleaded guilty this week to taking $15k in unemployment benefits to which he was not entitled. The deal involves three days in jail and a $5k fine. [Troy Record] [TU]

Taxis
A look at some of the work CDTA is doing as moves toward some sort of (potential) regional taxi system. [TU+]

Albany judges
On Thursday Kathy Sheehan appointed Joshua Farrell to fill the city court judge vacancy created by the exit of Thomas Keefe. Farrell is also in line to win a different city court judge seat in November (he won the Democratic primary). So there could be as many as two open judge seats next year (because William Carter is line to win a county court judgeship) -- Sheehan's says she's appointed a panel to recommend appointees. [TWCN] [TU]

Local politics
+ Albany Common Council member Jack Flynn came out ahead of Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin in the vote for chair of the Albany County Democratic Committee. (One of the storylines here is that McLaughlin is expected to run for mayor next year.) [TU]
+ Rensselaer County Democratic chair Tom Wade has chosen to not run again for the position after 12 years. [TU]

Albany County economic development
Albany County exec Dan McCoy wants to appoint his former campaign spokesman to a county economic development job budgeted at $120k a year. [TU]

Shooting range
The Albany County Sheriff's Office is planning to build a shooting range (somewhere) in Coeymans. [TU]

Pickleball
Emma Willard now has dedicated pickleball courts -- said to be a first for a school in this area. [News10]

Comments

Oh for god's sake, enough with the clowns already, people. In a world where everyone over the age of 8 has a smartphone at the ready, wouldn't we have seen a picture or video evidence at this point? It's a completely fabricated phenomena, courtesy of bored kids and hysterical soccer moms with social media accounts and too much time on their hands. I can't believe so many media outlets are wasting their time with this nonsense.

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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.

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