UAlbany bus incident trial focuses on the word "ratchet," remembering Sol Greenberg, AG says local architect wasn't actually an architect, a decade of the Veggie Mobile

UAlbany bus incident trial
+ A main topic of questioning and witness testimony at the trial Thursday: whether anyone heard racial slurs used on the bus, and what their understanding of the connotations of the term "ratchet" were. [TU] [Spectrum]
+ Among the witnesses called was a UAlbany police detective, who was asked by Aasha Burwell's attorney whether it was his job to "track down any aspect of the case to see if there was a racial component" and responded: "I don't know if it was my job. My job was to find the truth of what happened." [WNYT]

Lake George boat crash trial
Cara Mia Canale, a passenger in Alexander West's boat, testified for the prosecution Thursday that she witnessed West drinking and taking drugs throughout the day of the crash -- and that she had also taken drugs. And of the crash itself: "We hit something extremely hard...I remember kind of going airborne almost and coming down in the water." West's attorney challenged Canale on cross examination, asking her if she was on drugs at the moment -- Canale said no -- and questioning why she had changed her initial story from the day. [TU] [News10] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [Spectrum]

Sol Greenberg
Remember Sol Greenberg, the longtime Albany County DA who died this week at age 95. [TU]

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50 years to life
Wilfredo Diaz, convicted of raping a woman in Saratoga Springs last summer, was sentenced to 50 years to life. Said the woman in court: "I'm a survivor. Don't think for one single second that you destroyed my life, even though you violated me in the worst possible way a person can be violated ... You didn't win here, I did." [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

NYS AG: Architect wasn't an architect
The state Attorney General's office announced indictments in Albany, Rensselaer, and Saratoga counties Paul J. Newman, who the AG's office says had posed as a license architect and worked on a handful of projects -- but wasn't actually an architect. (The AG's office called its investigation of Newman "Operation Vandelay Industries", an obvious nod to Seinfeld.) [TU] [Daily Gazette] [NYS OAG]

Tonko public meeting
A major topic at Democrat Paul Tonko's public meeting Thursday at Skidmore: Republicans. Tonko warned the federal government is again facing a possible shutdown. [Daily Gazette] [NYSNYS/Saratogian]

Ethics chair questions ethics changes
The chair of the Milton ethics board is questioning why the town moved to change its ethics code without consulting the ethics board. [TU]

Troy budget
Moody's has upgrade its outlook on Troy's bond rating from "negative" to "stable," citing recent changes in the management of the city budget. [Troy Record]

Troubled convenience store spot in Schenectady
Schenectady's Planning Commission approved a plan for new pizza shop and convenience store at the site of the former Chubby's in Mont Pleasant, even as the city's IDA is moving to take the property via eminent domain for a new library. (Officials have said the spot has long been a problem, with numerous police calls.) [Daily Gazette]

Second private dorm-style building near UAlbany
The private dorm-style apartment building planned for Washington Ave near Albany -- the second along that stretch -- is closer to moving ahead after the sale of two acres there. [Biz Review]

Veggie Mobile
The Veggie Mobile celebrated its 10-year anniversary. [Troy Record]

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