Capital Region students protest gun violence, guilty plea in Cohoes Fire, fatal crash on Cohoes-Waterford Bridge, Blenheim-Gilboa to get millions from NYPA

Guilty plea in Cohoes fire
John Gomes pleaded guilty to fourth-degree arson for starting the burn barrel fire that got out of control in November destroying a damaging numerous buildings in Downtown Cohoes. The blaze displaced 20 people and caused at least $4 million in damage. [TU][Spectrum]

Fatal crash on Cohoes Waterford Bridge
Police continue to investigate a fatal car crash that closed down the Cohoes-Waterford Bridget this morning. [News 10]

The Percoco trial and the Cuomo administration
The Percoco trial raised a number of ethics and transparency questions about the Cuomo administration. Andrew Cuomo says the suggestions he knew about Joe Percoco's actions are "political garbage." [TU][Politico]

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Nixon challenge
Chris Churchill on Cynthia Nixon's looming gubernatorial challenge. [TU]

Cole trial
The defense in John Cole's DWI trialcalled a witness on Wednesday who testified that he believes an object struck Cole's vehicle just before it crashed on Sitterly road, paralyzing a passenger. Closing arguments in the trial are expected today. [TU][WNYT]

Albany parking tickets
"This is an issue where the tickets, once issued, can be adjudicated" -- Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan to CBS6 on invalid parking tickets allegedly handed out in the city with a supervisor's knowledge. [CBS6]

Troy off-duty officer assaulted
A Troy man was arrested after he allegedly stopped his car following a verbal altercation with an off-duty police officer early Saturday outside Bootlegger's bar, got out of the vehicle, and punched an off-duty police officer in the face.[Alt]

Albany County Black Caucus
Albany County legislators unanimously voted to establish the county's first Black Caucus to provide a unified voice for the interests of African-Americansin the county.[TU]

Blenheim and Gilboa get millions from NYPA
The New York Power Authority will give the towns of Blenheim and Gilboa $50 million over the next ten years, for hosting the hydroelectric Pumped Storage Project, but Schoharie County leaders are dismayed that the county was left out of the agreement. [Gazette][TU]

Top earners
Nine Albany police officer are among the top wage earners in the city thanks to overtime pay. [TU]

Challenger for Amedore
Kingston Democrat Pat Strong will challenge George Amedore for his Senate seat this fall. [TU]

Student walkouts
Students in Albany and around the Capital Region held walkouts on Wednesday to protest mass shootings and push for stricter gun laws. An online threat at Scotia-Glenville put a damper on a protest at the school after a number of parents pulled their kids out of class early.
Andrew Cuomo protested with students in Zuccotti park.
+In Schuylerville, students were not allowed to walk outside of the building and parents and others who wanted to show support at an event held in the auditorium, were not allowed into the school.[AOA][TU][TU][Gazette]

Mayor Sheehan headed to Puerto Rico
Kathy Sheehan will not attend the Saint Patrick's Day Parade this year, because she and her family will be in Puerto Rico, helping with the hurricane relief effort.[TU]

Variance issues in Troy
A Troy Zoning Board of Appeals vote on the case of a closed church in the Hillside neighborhood, has brought to light a discrepancy: the Zoning Board of appeals has been granting zoning variances to projects by a 3-2 vote for years, but the legal requirement for passage is a 4-1 vote.[TU]

Warrant for city councilman
A judge has issued an arrest warrant for Schenectady city Councilman John Mootooveren, regarding "possible altercation" between at a Schenectady bar. [Gazette]

Feldman addresses legislators
Actor Cory Feldman, who has been vocal about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, was at the Capitol on Wednesday to to pass the legislation that loosens restrictions on when survivors of childhood sex abuse can file charges against alleged abusers.[TU][WNYT]

Joel O'Keefe
"I just want to be able to get along with everybody. All my neighbors, just do the right thing," --Joel O'Keefe, the newly freed former inmate who attempted an escape back in 1993. [WNYT]

Sparkler ban
Schenectady County may try to reinstate its ban on sparklers.[Gazette]

Stuff going on today

Luis Alberto Urrea
Thursday: Author Luis Alberto Urrea will be at Siena for a talk titled "Universal Border: From Tijuana to the World." It's the college's annual Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Lecture on Race and Nonviolent Social Change. Thursday 7 pm, Sarazen Student Union -- free

Joy Bauer
Thursday: Registered dietitian Joy Bauer -- from the Today show -- will be at Sage to talk about how make sense of nutrition news. Thursday 6 pm book signing, 7 pm talk, Schacht Fine Arts Center Theater -- free

A Woman's Guide to Stand-up Comedy
Thursday: Comedian/singer/songwriter Erin Harkes will be at HVCC to talk about making it as a full-time performer. Thursday at noon, Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium -- free

Photo Regional
Thursday: Artist Tim Davis will be at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus to talk about curating the 40th Annual Photo Regional, which opens this week. Thursday 6:30 pm -- free


Music

Tuesday: Judah & The Lion at Upstate Concert Hall
Americana/rock. With: Colony House, Tall Heights. 8 pm -- $22 ahead / $25 day of

Tuesday: The Chieftains at Proctors
Traditional Irish music. 7:30 pm -- $20 and up

Thursday: Miguel at Upstate Concert Hall
R&B star. With: SiR, Nonchalant Savant. 8 pm -- $39.50 ahead / $42.50 day of

Thursday: LĂșnasa with special guest vocalist Natalie Merchant at The Egg
Irish acoustic group. With: Richie & Rosie. 7:30 pm -- $34.50

Thursday: Ace $upreme at The Low Beat
Hip hop. With: Loflash, Var Da Allstar. 8 pm -- $10 ahead / $15 at door

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