Rocks suspect rejects plea bargain, Momentive strike ends after 15 weeks, possible Hoosick Falls air pollution, Spa City gets Code Blue shelter
Rocks suspect rejects plea
Kareem Blacknall, the man accused of the fatal shooting at Rocks night club in Albany last November, has rejected a plea bargain of 18 years to life in prison and will stand trial for murder, attempted murder and other charges. Blacknall's lawyers claim he was at the club but that he is not guilty of the shooting.Lawyers for Blacknall say their client is not safe in jail, claiming there is a bounty on his head inside the facility. [TU][TWCN][TU]
After 105 days, the strike at Momentive has come to an end.
Union members have approved a new contract, but relations remain strained, particularly over the fate of 25 employees who were fired during the strike.
The union is now working to try to reinstate those employees. [TU][Gazette][Saratogian][WNYT]
Hoosick Falls air pollution
Homes in Hoosick Falls are now being monitored for the possible presence of Volatile Organic Compounds in the air. Honeywell officials say they detected the high VOC levels in soil while testing for PFOA. [WNYT][TWCN]
Doctors at fires
Albany County and Albany Medical Center have joined together in an effort to put doctors on the site of all major accidents, fires and other emergencies. [TU]
NYS School budget
Education leaders, including Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, told legislators on Tuesday that Andrew Cuomo's proposal to increase state spending on schools by $961 million in the next year should be doubled. [TU][Gazette]
No parole for Mitchell
Joyce Mitchell, the former Dannemora prison employee who helped Richard Matt and David Sweat escape the facility in 2015, was denied parole this week. [TU]
Code Blue Saratoga
The owners of Fingerpaint Marketing in Saratoga will fund the construction of a permanent Code Blue shelter in the city. [Saratogian]
Ban the box
A new law passed by the Albany County legislature prohibits the county from asking job applicants if they have have a criminal record before making a conditional employment offer. [TU]
Raising the age
The NYS Assembly has approved a measure to raise the age of criminal responsibility in NYS from 16 to 18.
Overtime drops in Troy
The Times Union reports that overtime dropped 7% in Troy last year.
Bull on the loose
An "aggressive and unfriendly" bull is on the loose in Washington County. [TWCN]
Andrew Cuomo blocked an effort to impose a 5-cent fee on plastic bags in NYC, but promised to form a statewide task force to develop a uniform plan for addressing the plastic bag problem. [NYT]
Valentine's Day vigils for peace were held in Saratoga and Colonie on Tuesday. [Gazette]
The Niskayuna H.S. grad who helped immigrants stuck at JFK[TU+]
Antiques from Saratoga's Adelphi Hotel will be auctioned this weekend. [Daily Gazette]
Stuff going on today
Wednesday: The UAlbany men's basketball team takes on the University of Maryland-Baltimore County at SEFCU Arena. Wednesday 7 pm -- $12 and up
Wednesday: Garrison Keillor will be at The Egg for "An Evening with Garrison Keillor," in which he presumably will be talking about Garrison Keillor things. 8 pm -- $64.50 and up
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