Troy budget fight down to the wire, guilty plea in $3 million theft from company at Port of Albany, Rezone Albany and the Palais, another Clark House project in Troy

Crunch time for Troy budget
It appears Troy mayor Patrick Madden and the four members of the City Council's Republican majority steering committee are still far apart on an agreement about the size of the tax increase in the city budget ahead of Tuesday evening's scheduled vote. Madden says if the city doesn't override the tax cap, it's facing the layoff of 90 positions and elimination of certain services. Council president Carmella Mantello called Madden's current proposal of a 23 percent tax increase "unfair and unjust." And Madden said the council leadership has "demonstrated an unwillingness to accept the reality of costs associated with municipal operations and services." [Troy Record] [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

Rocks shooting
Albany police have identified the man fatally shot during a party at Rocks in the early monring of Thanksgiving 26-year-old Wendell Hill of Troy. APD also says it's identified a person it believes to be the shooter, but will not release name during the investigation. An APD spokesman says police think the victim and shooter knew each other and it was an isolated incident at a private party, though the motive is still unclear. Monday evening there was a Cure Violence rally outside the club. [APD press release] [TWCN] [WNYT] [News10] [WNYT]

$3 million theft
Federal prosecutors say an Athens woman who worked for Cargill at Port of the Albany pled guilty to stealing $3.1 million from the company over 10 years -- and causing the company at least $25 million in losses. She faces up to 20 years in prison and has agreed to pay restituion of at least $3.5 million. [US DOJ] [TU]

Code Blue questions
A look at the some of the questions surrounding the current state of Andrew Cuomo's order last January that required providing shelter for the homeless when temperatures fall below 32 degress -- specifically, where the funding is coming from for the expanded services. [TU+]

Signatures and vetoes
Among the many bills recently signed or vetoed by Andrew Cuomo: a veto of the hotel tax sought by Clifton Park. [TU] [Biz Review]

Caroline Street fire
The Saratoga Springs Fire Department says an extension cord in a Mio Posto storage area caused the Caroline Street fire that damaged multiple buildings. [Saratogian]

Reverse 911
Reverse 911 service is set to become active later this week in Saratoga County. [Daily Gazette]

Momentive strike
Saratoga County has spent more than $180,000 in sheriff's deputies overtime pay for the Momentive strike -- the county administrator says the company has talked about reimbursing the county. [Saratogian]

Community schools
A new report points to Troy's School 2 has an example of the community school model that showing signs of progress in helping students in poverty. [TU]

Albany County political drama
The latest turn in the ongoing internal drama involving Democratic Party leaders in Albany County: A state Supreme Court judge has issued a temporary restraining order on the selection of new county elections commissioner. [TU]

Mechanicville apartment project
The city of Mechanicville has pulled its support for state tax credits for the long-planned apartment complex on the Hudson River in Mechanicville. Some officials had opposed the plan after it morphed into an affordable housing project. [Biz Review] [TU+]

Rezone and the Palais
Chris Churchill argues the case against changing the closing times for establishments such as the Palais Royale in the Lark/Hudson/Park neighborhood as part of Rezone Albany. [TU+]

Another Vic Christopher/Heather Lavine project
Clark House Hospitality has bought the former Bradley's Tavern on Fourth Street in Troy. [TU]

Stuff going on today

Garth Risk Hallberg
Tuesday: Novelist Garth Risk Hallberg will be at UAlbany as part of the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series. He'll be reading from, and talking about, his bestselling debut novel, City on Fire. Tuesday 8 pm, downtown campus, Page Hall -- free

Camelot
Tuesday-Sunday: Capital Rep opens its production of Camelot. (It was in previews this past weekend.) Blurbage:

The four-time Tony® Award-winning musical, with one of the richest scores of the Broadway song book, tells the story of the legendary King Arthur, who rules his kingdom with new ideals, bringing peace to a troubled land. This lusty, romantic tale is sure to inspire audiences with a celebrated score that includes the classics "If Ever I Would Leave You," "The Simple Joys of Maidenhood," "How to Handle a Woman" and the title song, "Camelot."

It runs through December 24. Tuesday-Wednesday -- $25 and up

Music: WGNA Jingle Jam at Lucky Strike
Brett Young, Runaway June, and Ryan Follese. 8 pm -- $10

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My grandmother has Alzheimers and sometimes comes to stay with us in Troy. Last week the absolutely highlight of her day was seeing the hundreds of crows that came streaming by the window at our apartment. I watched her go from completely unresponsive to engaged... stringing questions together and returning to her old joyful self for the half hour she watched those birds was enough to endear crows to me forever.

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