Massive fire in Cohoes, absentee ballot allegations in Albany, layoffs at GE, so many apartments planned

Massive fire in downtown Cohoes
+ That huge fire on Remsen Street in downtown Cohoes Thursday afternoon and evening destroyed or damaged more 20 buildings. A resident told WNYT that the wind-blown fire looked like "a tornado fire" jumping from building to building. [TU] [WNYT]
+ Officials say no one was seriously injured, but approximately 20 people are thought to have been displaced by the fire. [News10] [Troy Record]
+ Crews totally more than 100 firefighters from fire departments around the Capital Region responded to the fire. [Spectrum]
+ A Cohoes man is accused of causing fire, and has been arraigned on arson and reckless endangerment charges. Authorities allege he was trying to bend metal for a sword in a fire in a barrel in his backyard and the fire got away from him. An assistant police chief called the fire "reckless arson." [Spectrum [WNYT] [TU]
+ Among the buildings affected is the historic Smith's Restaurant, which suffered heavy water damage. [Daily Gazette]

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Rensselaer County DA
Some sort of charges are expected to be unsealed Friday afternoon in the grand jury review of Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove's handling of a fatal shooting by Troy police. [TU]

Albany absentee ballot accusations
The accusations of improper absentee ballot use in Albany have spread to the 10th ward, where a group of residents is asking the Albany County DA's office to investigate. [TU]

Bookkeeper sentenced
The bookkeeper who pled guilty to stealing $800k from an Albany marketing firm was sentenced to 2-6 years in prison. [TU]

Layoffs at GE
"A source" tells the Daily Gazette that the latest round of layoffs at the GE Schenectady campus will include approximately 75 salaried employees. [Daily Gazette]

The Capital Region and the Cuomo admin
Mike Hendricks: "The governor's seeming deliberate neglect has stalled the growth and also jeopardized the future of nanotech, which has been flourishing here for the past two decades." [Biz Review]

Albany ambulance service
The city of Albany has a committee looking at whether the city should start a city-run ambulance service. [TU]

Apartments in Albany
There are more than 1,900 apartment units in the pipeline for the city of Albany, as counted by the Biz Review. [Biz Review]

Hats Off, off
The annual Hats Off festival in downtown Saratoga Springs won't return next year in part because of security concerns. [TU]

The humanities and policing
A new program at SCCC is aimed at using the humanities to help develop empathy criminal justice. [TU]

Rexford Bridge
A before-and-after of the old and new Rexford Bridge. [Daily Gazette]

Market32 Instacart
Price Chopper/Market32 is switching out its "Shops4U" delivery service for Instacart. [Biz Review]

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They should turn Maiden Lane into a stepped pedestrian street, like they have all over Europe. We don't need to reinvent the wheel, they do steep small streets pretty well across the pond, let's look for some precedents... Human scaled lighting is critical too, that goes for the whole city. And we don't need paint on the road, just signage perpendicular to the flow of traffic at the bridge entrance. I also echo the call for basic, ongoing maintenance to our current infrastructure. How about some weed removal in sidewalks, etc?

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