Witnesses testify to cocaine use in Lake George boat crash trial, deliberations underway in bus attack trial, wreck claims life of 18-year-old Coeymans man, state delays Albany budget report again

Lake George boat crash trial
Jurors in the Alexander West trial on Tuesday heard from two women who testified they snorted cocaine on with West in the hours before the fatal boat crash that killed an 8-year-old girl, but it was left unclear how much cocaine West consumed or exactly how much he had to drink before the crash.[TU][Gazette]

UAlbany bus incident trial
Deliberations are underway in the UAlbany bus attack trial. In closing arguments the defense claims his clients, the women who claimed they were attacked, were acting in self defense, and asked the jury to remember the questions of racial bias in the case, while prosecutors say the video in the case shows it is not a question of racial bias, but truth.[Gazette][TU]

18-year-old killed in Albany County wreck
An 18-year-old man Coeymans man was killed and his passenger injured after their car crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a Freightliner tractor on River Road in Bethlehem. [Gazette][TU]

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State delays Albany budget report
New York State's budget office has requested another month to release a report expected to lay out three years of model city of Albany budgets without state spin-up payments. [TU]

Hoosick Falls fires law firm
Among the details to come out in newly-unredacted invoices from the law firm that had negotiated proposed PFOA settlements for the village of Hoosick Falls -- and was fired this week by the village: the firm billed tens of thousands of dollars for services that included public relations advice and acting as the gatekeeper for numerous Freedom of Information Law requests filed by news organizations.action. [TU]

Shen land sale
The Shenendehowa School District has written the town of Clifton Park to say they are ready to discuss the sale of 32 acres of undeveloped land to the town.[Gazette]

Shooting in Hague
Police are searching a wooded area in Warren County after a the owner of a general store in Hague was shot in an armed robbery. [WNYT]

State Senate votes for limits on leadership
The NYS Senate has voted to approve eight year term limits on legislative leadership positions. [WNYT]

Tobacco bill
The State Senate advanced two tobacco and nicotine bills on Tuesday -- one tackling e-cigarettes and the other raising the purchase age of tobacco products from 18 to 21. [Spectrum]

National Grid rates
National Grid might soon file for new electric and gas rates that could take affect as soon as next spring. [TU]

Former RensCo ADA saved by vest
A one time Rensselaer County ADA turned Seattle police officer was saved this week by a bullet-proof vest during a shootout in a convenience store. [TU]

Former River Rat forward dies
Former River Rat forward Sasha Lakovick has died at age 45 from an inoperable brain cancer. [TU]

Troopers help deliver baby on Northway
State Troopers helped deliver a baby on the side of the Thruway earlier this week. [WNYT]

40 years of jazz
The New York State legislature celebrated 40 years of the annual Saratoga Jazz Festival. [Saratogian]

From repeating 4th grade to the National Inventors Hall of Fame
A Glendale medical engineer who will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame told Paul Grondahl that being held back in 4th grade "was the best thing my teacher could have done for me."[TU+]

Stuff going on today

Circus 1903

A touring show called Circus 1903 will be at Proctors. Blurbage:
In a world premiere event, the producers of the world's biggest magic show, The Illusionists, have teamed up with the award-winning puppeteers from War Horse, to present a thrilling turn-of-the-century circus spectacular. CIRCUS 1903 -The Golden Age of Circus has all the thrill and daredevil entertainment one would expect from the circus, with an exciting new twist.
Sensational puppetry puts Elephants back in the ring as never seen before by introducing the largest ever performing African elephant and her baby, along with a huge cast of the most unique, amazing and dangerous circus acts from all four corners of the world, from strong men to contortionists, acrobats to musicians, knife throwers, high wire and much more!

Note: The show does not include live elephants. Wednesday 7:30 pm -- $20 and up


International Space Station
Wednesday: EMPAC's theater will be showing the first 4k video stream from the International Space Station. "The EMPAC Theater and Concert Hall recently got upgraded with two of the highest-quality video projectors currently available, the Christie Mirage 304K. Capable of projecting 3D and 4K (four times the resolution of HD) with a 30,000-lumen output, these projectors are some of the few capable of properly presenting the NASA stream." Wednesday 1:30 pm -- free

Facing the Truth: Lessons from Post-Apartheid South Africa
Wednesday: The Albany Pro Musica-organized series of Reconciliation and Peace will be at the Albany Institute for a discussion the the history and significance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. "A panel discussion following the talk, moderated by Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard and including Dr. Bosman, Barbara Smith, the City of Albany's Special Community Project Coordinator and Dr. Stephen Stohler, Assistant Professor, University at Albany Department of Political Science, will examine how the lessons, language and theories of reconciliation can be valuable tools to help established democracies (e.g., Canada, Australia, USA, etc.) deal with their own historical legacies of injustice." Wednesday 6 pm -- free admission

Music

Brian Wilson at The Palace
Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary tour. 8 pm -- $39.75 and up

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Recent Comments

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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