Sizing up the new state budget, feds continuing NXIVM investigation, not lamenting the Amazon bid loss, coming out when you're a pro wrestler

State budget
+ The governor and legislative leaders reached a deal on the $168 billion million state budget early Saturday morning via the New York-typical closed-door process. [TU]
+ The budget includes a $995 million increase in school funding. [Politico NY]
+ Also in the budget: $12 million of the $12.5 million in funding the city of Albany had been seeking for its budget. Kathy Sheehan is continuing to push for the $12.5 million to be made permanent. [News10] [WNYT]
+ An overview of a bunch of items tucked into the budget, including provisions for menstrual supplies in schools and baby changing stations in renovated buildings. [TU]
+ Folded into the budget process: new rules related to sexual harassment in the workplace -- but critics say they don't go far enough. [NYT] [Politico NY]
+ Also passed concurrently with the budget: stricter gun control rules for domestic violence situations. [TU]
+ One of the frames for this budget was an effort on the part of the Cuomo admin to circumvent some of the aspects of the federal tax overhaul that caps state and local tax deductions. Experts say it's unclear the workarounds will work. [NYT x2]
+ Among the issues not addressed during the budget rush: the Child Victims Act. [TU]


Great Flats 525 x 80.jpg

Troy quadruple homicide
A pair of gloves, DNA tests, and the question over whether the men accused in the Troy quadruple homicide will be tried jointly or separately. [Daily Gazette]

Ted Mero
A Coeymans police investigator told a nationally-syndicated crime television show that he believes Ted Mero -- convicted of killing Megan Cunningham and Shelby Countermine -- could be responsible for more deaths. [TU]

"Three people with knowledge of the matter" tell the Times Union that multiple people involved with NXIVM have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury, and the criminal investigation related to the org is continuing to crank up. [TU]

Albany city department overtime
Kathy Sheehan said the city departments will have to take a hard look at overtime this year as the city tries to close a budget gap. [TU]

Amazon bid
Chris Churchill on the Capital Region's Amazon bid: "N]obody should regret that we didn't land Amazon, which is fast becoming the technological cousin of the industrial monopolies busted by Teddy Roosevelt." [TU] Earlier: Amazon Town

518 HBCU
An Albany mom started a tour for local students to visit historically black colleges and universities. [Spectrum]

A pro wrestler (who happens to be gay)
Talking with Michael Parrow Jr., pro wrestler originally from Troy, about coming out as gay. [TU]

Crounse House
The fate of the 185-year-old Crounse House in Guilderland is up for consideration this week. [TU]

Dan Bazile
Dan Bazile is leaving WNYT for Spectrum News. [WNYT]

Judy Patrick
Talking with Judy Patrick about her long career in local news -- she recently stepped down as editor of the Daily Gazette. [Daily Gazette]

Stuff going on today

Southern Haunt
Monday: The UAlbany Performing Arts Center has a reading of the new play Southern Haunt. "Written by resident playwright Kathryn Walat, this spooky-sexy Southern gothic play set in Savannah is presented as a work-in-progress staged reading by professional actors which will be followed by a Q&A with the playwright and director." Monday 7:30 pm -- free

Charles Frazier
Monday: Charles Frazier -- who won the National Book Award for Cold Mountain -- will be at the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs to talk about his new book, Varina. "Her marriage prospects limited, teenage Varina Howell agrees to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects the secure life of a Mississippi landowner. Davis instead pursues a career in politics and is eventually appointed president of the Confederacy, placing Varina at the white-hot center of one of the darkest moments in American history--culpable regardless of her intentions." Monday 6 pm -- $5 (tickets required and available online)

The American Obsession with Apocalypse
Monday: Betsy Hartmann, professor emerita of development studies at Hampshire College, will be at Skidmore for a talk titled "The American Obsession with Apocalypse: Puritan Legacies, Nuclear War and the Dangers of Doomsday Environmentalism." Monday 6 pm, Davis Auditorium -- free

Dyngus Day
Dyngus Day is a traditional day-after-Easter celebration in many Eastern European cultures, as well as cities here in the United States (such as Buffalo) with large populations of people who hail from those cultures. A few local celebrations Monday:

+ The Albany Polish Community Center on Washington Ave Extension has its annual festival with kids activities, music, and traditional Polish food. Monday noon-6 pm -- $5 admission

+ The Hill at Muza in Troy has its annual celebration, with live music, Eastern European beer, and Polish food. Monday noon-10 pm -- $3 cover

Albany Craft Beer Week
Monday-Saturday: It's Albany Craft Beer Week, with events each night at venues around the area. The cap to the week is the Albany Craft Beer Festival at the Washington Ave Armory on Saturday.

Music: L.A. Salami at Caffe Lena
"UK-based storyteller, poet, philosopher and singer-songwriter known for creating magnetic post-modern blues." With: Cat Clyde. 7 pm -- $18

Music: Between The Buried and Me + The Dear Hunter at Upstate Concert Hall
Metal. With: Leprous. 7 pm -- $25 ahead / $28 day of


I am not a Sheehan fan. However, if she gets that $12 M made permanent she'll become a historically-important mayor.

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