Two large fires in Albany, three people shot, Cuomo with large lead in Siena poll, concerns about sprawl in Saratoga County

Large fires in Albany
+ Two large fires in Albany Sunday morning -- one on Sheridan Ave in Sheridan Hollow, the other on Quail Street in Pine Hills -- burned several buildings and collectively displaced more than 60 people. One person was injured in the Quail Street fire. [News10] [Spectrum] [CBS6]
+ Kathy Sheehan said there wasn't a time in recent memory when two large fires of this type had burned at the same time -- the AFD got assistance from Troy, Watervliet, and the Watervliet Arsenal. [TU]
+ In both fires residents are credited with alerting their neighbors about the fire and helping to get people out. [News10]
+ Officials say multiple buildings will need to be demolished because of the fires. [Spectrum]

Three people shot in Albany
Albany police say three people were shot outside Club Phoenix on Central Ave early Saturday morning, and APD says it's arrested a man for the shooting. An APD spokesman says one man had been targeted in the shooting -- he was in critical condition -- and the two other people shot were bystanders. [APD x2] [CBS6]

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Gubernatorial election
A new Siena poll out Monday morning has Andrew Cuomo leading Marc Molinaro 50-28. [SRI]

111th state Assembly District
A profile of the two candidates for the 111th state Assembly District (parts of Schenectady, Albany, and Montgomery counties): Incumbent Democrat Angelo Santabarbara and Republican challenger Brian McGarry. [Daily Gazette]

Women running for office
There are at least 105 women running for New York State legislative office during this election cycle. [TU]

I Love NY interstate signs
New York State and the feds have apparently worked out a last-minute deal over those "I Love NY" roadside interstate signs that had been in dispute and were on the verge of costing the state $14 million in federal assistance. [D&C]

New Wadsworth Center
A look at the economic development potential of the state's new $750 million Wadsworth Center labs (wherever they might end up). [TU]

UAlbany student diversity
A national review of public colleges and universities concluded that UAlbany is one of the most racially diverse SUNY campuses and that more than 70 percent of its black students graduate on time. (The review found that overall SUNY relatively well compared to other systems on minority student equity, but there's plenty of room to improve.) [TU]

Shawn Morse
"Multiple people familiar with the investigation" tell Brendan Lyons the FBI investigation of Cohoes mayor Shawn Morse is focused on use of political campaign accounts.

Second chances with the Schenectady County Sheriff
A look at how the Schenectady County Sheriff's Office has ended up hiring multiple people who left other agencies after having disciplinary or other problems. [TU]

Colonie town court and public info
Rob Gavin details a recent frustrating effort to get public info from the Colonie town court, including an episode in which a clerk told him it "would be up to you" to determine which parts of a file were public. [TU]

Rensselaer trash plant
A few more details about the proposed trash plant near the Hudson River in Rensselaer. [TU]

The n-word
A Schenectady High School teacher is urging the school board to address what calls a "deterioration of decorum and respectful behavior," including the use of the n-word by students. [Daily Gazette]

Schenectady teachers are planning a college fair this spring to highlight historically black colleges and universities. [Daily Gazette]

Controversial in-fill plan on Albany's Elm Street
Chris Churchill on the plan to build three 3-unit townhome-style apartment buildings on vacant lots on Albany's Elm Street to house formerly homeless people and the pushback from residents and elected officials: "This fight isn't about the buildings. It's about the people who would rebuild their lives within them." [TU]

Saratoga County development concerns
A big look at the concerns of residents and elected officials in Saratoga County about the continuing suburban (and upscale) development in the county. [TU]

GE CEO out
GE has sacked CEO John Flannery -- who's been in the job only about a year -- as the company continues to struggle. (GE, of course, employs many people in Schenectady and Niskayuna, and many retirees here hold its stock.) [NYT]

Great pumpkins
Photos from the Saratoga Giant Pumpkinfest -- this year's winner was 1,825 pounds. [Saratogian] [TU]

Stuff going on this week

Check out a list of things to do around the Capital Region during this week.

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I just learned about the Woman's Club of Albany yesterday, during the Holiday House tour. It's a really large space that is chock full of character, and they rent it out for parties of the type Maureen is interested in.

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