Morning Blend

A quick scan each morning of headlines from around the region

Albany red light camera ordinance passed, Kaloyeros says IBM-GloFo will lead to more jobs at NanoCollege, artists' lofts proposed for Troy

The Albany Common Council passed the red light camera ordinance 11-4 during Monday night's meeting. We'll have a lot more about the vote a little later today.

Alain Kaloyeros says he expects that GlobalFoundries taking on IBM's chip fab's in the Hudson Valley and Vermont will result in more jobs for both companies in the Albany area. (IBM is one of the research partners at the NanoCollege.) He also touted investment at the NanoCollege as key part of the deal: "The governor is calling it 'mAlbany' -- a combination of Malta and Albany -- because in his mind investments have been made for a high-tech mall at CNSE." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan on the fight over her proposed budget closing the Ladder No. 1 company: "Firefighters are out there telling people that they're not going to be safe, and that's just patently wrong." [TU]

Albany police say the man shot on South Pearl Street in the South End last Thursday morning died over the weekend. APD took a suspect into custody, but no charges have been filed yet. APD says it's investigation continues and it's looking for tips from the public. [APD FB] [TU]

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GloFo taking over IBM chip fab plants, more than 30k tagged by state as too mentally unstable for a gun, neighborhoods that lack access to food stores

GlobalFoundries is taking over IBM's chip fab facilities in the East Fishkill, New York and Essex Junction, Vermont. More than 5,000 IBM employees will become GloFo employees. IBM says it's continuing its research investment at the NanoCollege. [Bloomberg] [TU] [IBM]

About 34,500 people in New York State are tagged as being too mentally unstable to have a firearm as part of a databased compiled by the state under the SAFE Act, according to documents acquired by NYT via FOIL. Andrew Cuomo responded to criticism that the number is too high by stating there are concerns that the number is still too low. [NYT x2]

Schenectady police say a man was shot Friday afternoon in Hamilton Hill. SPD says the incident was caught on a surveillance camera, and are investigating. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [News10]

Albany police are investigating a stabbing in West Hill early Saturday morning. They're also investigating another stabbing in West Hill from Friday afternoon. [APD FB x2]

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Shooting prompts manhunt in the South End, Cuomo addresses state's prep for potential ebola cases, residents rallying to save their Stewart's

A part of South Pearl Street in Albany's South End neighborhood was closed Thursday as police hunted for a suspect in a shooting outside a pharmacy that morning (map). APD says the man shot was in critical condition. Police ended up surrounding a building and using tear gas and a robot to flush out a man who was taken into custody. [TU] [News10] [WNYT] [@Redick_TWCNews] [TWCN]

Commented Andrew Cuomo Thursday during a public briefing of the state's plans for handling potential ebola patients: "The anxiety is higher than the probability right now." Schenectady County officials followed their protocols for dealing with a potential case this week after a woman in a Schenectady reported that she wasn't feeling well and it was determined she had been to west Africa -- there was some confusion about which country she had been in, and after straightening it out officials determined ebola was not a risk in the case. [TWCN] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A televised debate between Chris Gibson and Sean Eldridge for the NY 19th Congressional District included a number of jabs at each other, and touched on topics such as energy and the environment. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Public meeting heats up over Ladder No. 1, AG's office says many Airbnb listings in NYC are illegal, Rembrandt uncovered at The Clark

Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan is standing by the decision in proposed budget to cut Ladder No. 1 from the South End fire station. Residents turned out at a public meeting to protest the move. The meeting was cut short by councilwoman Vivian Kornegay, who said the gathering was too unproductive to go on.[WNYT][News10][TWCN]

Cecilia Tkaczyk and George Amedore squared off in a debate for the 46th state Senate seat on Wednesday in Altamont, at which they discussed jobs, school funding and the NY SAFE Act.[TU]

Chris Gibson and Sean Eldridge will debate Thursday night on WMHT.[TU]

Land banks in Troy and Schenectady have received grants totaling $4 million to help rehab or demolish buildings. [TU][Gazette][WNYT]

Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen wants the state comptroller's office to review water connection fees that were waived by the city's DPW for developers after it was revealed that more than $900k in fees were waived over the last four years. [Gazette]

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Former home health aide sentenced in murder of client, Zoning board of appeals approves East Greenbush Casino plan,Albany Law president to step down, warm morning sets record high, flames extinguish controversial mascot

The East Greenbush Zoning Board of Appeals voted on Tuesday that the proposed casino is allowed under the town's zoning code.[TU]

Former home health aide Sara Moore was sentenced on Tuesday to 25 years to life for killing her 79-year old client. [TWCN][WNYT]

A convicted sex offender has been arrested again for allegedly attempting to rape a woman
who was walking on the Mohawk Hudson bike bath in Menands.
[TWCN][TU]

Kathy Sheehan is standing by her decision to close the Ladder One fire station. [News 10]

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Andrew Cuomo downplayed the Moreland Commission controversy as a "political dispute more than anything."[CNY]

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Investigation continues in Guilderland quadruple homicide, figuring casino site odds, a ton of history missing and presumed stolen

State Police said Monday that forensic work at the scene of the Guilderland quadruple homicide was almost complete. And NYSP said they were working with the US State Department to follow up on some of the potential leads. Officials continue to hold back many details about the case, and unofficial details continue to circulate. "Two separate law enforcement officials" tell News10 that investigators are "working on a theory that illegal gambling may have played a role in the killings." And "officials familiar with the case" tell the Times Union that one of the adults killed "allegedly handled large amounts of off-the-books cash that flowed through undocumented Chinese restaurant workers in a shadowy, underground economy that runs from New York City to the Capital Region and beyond" -- and the Times Union has drawn a line connecting that bit to the wider problem of labor trafficking. [TWCN] [WNYT] [News10] [TU] [TU]

Albany police say they're still looking for tips from the public about the fatal shooting of Jorge Falu-Garcia October 2 in West Hill. [TU]

A lawsuit from a man in state prison for a drug conviction alleges that injuries caused by officers from multiple agencies during an arrest in Albany last year following a chase, and then inadequate jail medical care, resulted in his leg being amputated. [TU]

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Unofficial details spreading about Guilderland quadruple homicide, bear killed in Rotterdam, NYSP: trooper vehicle hit by wrong-way driver

Officially-released details continue to be sparse about the investigation into the Guilderland quadruple homicide. Friday afternoon State Police released the names of the adult victims. Jin Feng Chen, age 39, and his wife, Hai Yan Li, age 38. And the names of the two children were released later in the weekend -- the Guilderland school district called them "kind, gentle and joyful boys." Law enforcement agencies working the case locally have been in contact with the NYC police department -- a "source close to" the investigation says the NYPD contact is with a task force specializing in gangs. The lack of official information has opened the way for the circulation of many unofficial details and speculation, such as the "trusted source" that told WNYT that "hammers and knives were used in the murders." In New York City, Chen's family announced a $5000 reward for information leading to an arrest. [TU] [NYSP] [News10] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10] [WNYT] [WNYT] [TWCN]

Said the mother of two kids who attended school wit the two boys killed in the Guilderland case of the white ribbons she was tying on poles near the scene as a memorial: "I went by earlier and I just saw one bouquet of flowers on the lawn ... I just thought there needed to be more." [Daily Gazette]

Albany police say a man was stabbed just outside the Washington Ave Armory early Sunday morning. APD says it couldn't confirm whether the man had attended the foam party event at the armory that night. [TWCN] [TU]

The state Department of Environmental Conservation says a bear was killed in Rotterdam Saturday when it "exhibited aggressive behavior" after coming down from a tree. The bear had been hit with tranquilizer darts, and fireworks had apparently also been used to get the bear to leave the tree. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Officials ask for info about Guilderland quadruple homicide case, wine store alleges state agency is out for it, apology for mascot backstory

Law enforcement officials are asking the public to share any information that might help the investigation into the Guilderland quadruple homicide. Thursday morning police were stopping traffic on Western Ave to ask drivers if they might have seen something. Officials are continuing to hold back many of the details related to the case. Said Albany County DA David Soares: "We are in the infancy state of the investigation ... We don't know what the motives are. However, at this point we don't believe that the neighbors have much to fear." [TU] [News10] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]

The Cohoes fire chief says his department is investigating the cause of the large fire on Saratoga Street Wednesday night. And Cohoes police are looking for a person in connection with the situation. [Troy Record] [TU]

Among the contentious topics during the NY 20th Congressional District debate between incumbent Paul Tonko (D) and challenger Jim Fischer ( R ): the Affordable Care Act and immigration. Another focus: the economy. [NYSNYS/Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Quadruple homicide in Guilderland home, Cuomo leads Astorino by 20 points in latest Q-poll, Hoffman's take a final train ride at Latham park, arguing personhood for a chimp

Guilderland police have confirmed four homicides at a home on Western Avenue on Wednesday. The victims are believed to be a husband and wife and two children and were killed in the home. Police have been at the crime scene all night but so far no suspects or motive have been released. [TWCN][TU][WNYT]

The couple charged with kidnapping and sexually abusing a pair of Amish sisters in August is now facing additional federal charges involving more child victims. [NYT]

The latest Quinnapiac Poll puts Andrew Cuomo ahead of Rob Astorino, 51-31.

The Schenectady Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year old girl was fined $1,000 and ordered not to have any contact with the girl for five years. Bishop Sharfenberger has removed Michael Taylor from the ministry.[WNYT][Gazette]

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Albany Public Safety Committee green lights red light cameras, Cuomo/Astorino debate planned, Cuomo will be less like Thoreau if re-elected

The Albany Public Safety committee voted Tuesday to send the controversial red light camera bill to the full Common Council for consideration. The full council is expected to take up the measure later this month. [WNYT][TWCN]

A Cohoes man is facing felony arson charges for allegedly starting a fire at the former Remsen street market that caused twelve people to be evacuated from their apartments. Police are investigating whether the man may have been involved with recent fires in Lansingburgh. [TU][News 10][Record]

Half of Andrew Cuomo's more than $44 million in campaign funds came from 331 big money donors. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino are expected to have only one debate before the election.[News10]

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More bits about the Hoffman's Playland to Huck Finn's plan, investigation into Cohoes fire, postal carrier attacked by dogs, 107 years old

Details about the plan to move the Hoffman's Playland rides to a site near Huck Finn's Warehouse in north Albany: The projected is said to ost $1.8 million and Huck Finn's owner is asking for a bundle of grants totaling $650k from the Albany County IDA. Said Huck Finn's owner to the Times Union in an email: "We are trying desperately to save the Playland for the Capital District ... To my knowledge, there are no other options to keep these beloved rides in the area." [Biz Review] [TU]

Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen has called for a "forensic investigation" into water system connection waivers granted to developers in the city. [TU]

Troy officials say the city is investigating a personnel complaint made by councilwoman Anastasia Robertson against police sergeant Thomas Hoffman, head of the PBA. (It was Hoffman who accused Robertson of trying to incite a crowd against two TPD officers during an incident in August -- Robertson produced video indicating that wasn't the case.) [TU] [Troy Record September 5]

Cohoes fire and police officials are treating an early Monday morning fire on Remsen Street as suspicious. Police have released surveillance video hoping for info from the public. [Troy Record] [TWCN]

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Rallies against violence in Albany and Troy, the challenge facing low-income school districts, raising money for the "Banjo Man"

On Sunday there was a rally against violence in nearby West Hill, where a man Jorge Falu-Garcia of Albany was fatally shot last Thursday. Police are still looking for the shooter in the case. Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan, at the rally: "This neighborhood is just as important as any other place in this city and we are working to make sure that the people who live here are safe." [TU] [WNYT] [News10] [TWCN]

At a rally Friday in Troy the family of Vanessa Milligan expressed frustration that six months have passed since her death and there's still not been an arrest in the fatal arson case. Said Rensselaer County first assistant district attorney Carmelo Laquidara to the Record: "[W]e're confident that we're gonna get the right person, it's just gonna take time to do that. Time is winding down, we're getting closer." [TU] [Troy Record]

There are questions -- and accusations, and counter accusations -- in Saratoga Springs over the waiving of water connection fees to some developers, including $810k in fees that were waived for prominent developer Sonny Bonacio. [TU]

According to Capital review: "A federal water study commissioned by the Cuomo administration as it weighed a key decision on fracking was edited and delayed by state officials before it was published." [Capital]

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Fatal shooting in Albany, sale of One Monument Square site approved, should chimps be considered persons under the law?

Albany police say a man has died from injuries after being shot Thursday afternoon in West Hill (map). Witnesses tell TWCN they heard four shots. A search for a suspect led officers to a building on Clinton Ave -- it was surrounded for two hours and then entered, but the suspect was not found. Friday morning police were back in the area responding to a report of a person with a gun, but found neither the person or a gun. [APD FB x2] [TWCN] [News10] [TU]

At the direction of Andrew Cuomo, the SUNY board voted to adopt "a comprehensive system-wide uniform set of practices to combat sexual assaults on SUNY campuses." Cuomo said the set of policies could be turned into state law that could also apply to private colleges. [NYT] [SUNY] [TU]

The Troy City Council unanimously approved the proposed sale of the One Monument Square site to developers for a new mixed-use project. [TU] Earlier: The latest One Monument Square plan evolves

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Budgets proposed for Albany, Troy and Schenectady, Queens assemblyman charged with stealing $80,000, Mike's owner pays up, how much to move Hoffman's to Albany?

It's budget time again in the Capital Region. Albany's proposed budget, presented to the Common Council on Wednesday by Mayor Kathy Sheehan, calls for a 1.4 percent tax increase as well as budget cuts, in an attempt to close a $15 million deficit. Firefighters booed a decision to eliminate Ladder No. 1 in the new budget. Sheehan says she expects $2 million in income from the proposed red light cameras. The proposed Troy budget calls for spending cuts, but a 3.8 percent tax increase. Schenectady's proposed budget calls for a 3 percent tax increase and $1million in additional spending on the city's police department.[TWCN][TU][TU][[Gazette]

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough is facing 23 state and 11 federal charges for allegedly stealing $80,000, by submitting 174 fraudulent per-diem vouchers. [TU][TU]

A retired NYC police officer who was raised in Colonie is suing Colonie police for $15 million , claiming he was illegally tased by police while visiting his parents home in July, when police came to break up a family argument. [TU]

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Sex offender captured following lockdown at Skidmore, Sheehan and McCoy call for slower train speeds, Schenectady hot dog biz may close due to back taxes

A registered sex offender accused of violating his parole was arrested near Skidmore College Wednesday morning following a manhunt that put the college in lockdown. [TU] [TWCN] [Saratogian]

Kathy Sheehan and Dan McCoy sent a letter to the secretary of the federal Department of Transportation, asking him to immediately mandate slower speeds on oil trans passing through local cities. [TU][TWCN]

National Grid announced Tuesday that home heating bills are expected to be about 10 percent lower this winter. [TU]

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Cuomo admin seeking waiver to import marijuana, questions about parking at One Monument Square site, RPI professors developing assistance robot

The Cuomo admin is asking the feds for a waiver that would allow the state to import certain types of marijuana to be used medicinally as treatment for a seizure disorder in children. (Transporing the drug across state lines is considered illegal by the feds.) New York's request to the feds is being backed by Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. [Buffalo News] [TU] [Buffalo News]

State investigators recovered and disbursed $16.4 million from wage theft cases during the first half of 2014, according to the state Department of Labor. [WNYT]

Based on comments from "several people familiar with the matter" and internal documents, the Times Union reports that PEF leaders "shielded a downstate council leader from potential prosecution after she allegedly used a union debit card to make at least $20,000 in questionable purchases." [TU]

UAlbany president Robert Jones says his school and Albany Law are moving toward some sort of affiliation that could include the law school becoming part of UAlbany. [Biz Review]

The anonymous donor who gave $10 million to St. Peter's Health Partners has been revealed as Heinrich Medicus, a 95-year-old retired RPI professor who credits his longevity to wine and chocolate. [TU]

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Questioning numbers from local IDAs, Cuomo visits Afghanistan, tenants caught in landlord-city situation over water bill

A Times Union review of data from local industrial development agencies -- the orgs that hand out many tax breaks to businesses and property developers -- concludes almost a third of projects haven't met their promised levels of job creation (or the reported numbers are somehow flawed). [TU]

Consensus from local law enforcement officials: this area is experiencing a spike in heroin trade and use. A ride-along with the investigation and bust of an alleged heroin distribution operation in Colonie. [TU x2]

The new Albany County land bank has an executive director, $500k to start, and 83 properties. (And Troy also recently got the OK for a land bank.) [TU] [Troy Record]

Andrew Cuomo made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan this past weekend as part of a delegation of US governors. Cuomo said the trip was related to learning about counterterrorism efforts: "I'm doing my job as governor of New York, that's exactly what this is about." [NYT] [TU]

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Man injured in Caroline Street bar incident is now dead, state tax rebate checks going out, Troy starts new comprehensive plan process

Saratoga Springs police say Aaron Huggins -- the man injured in a Caroline Street bar last Friday, allegedly when he was slammed into the ground face first by another bar patron -- has died. Acting Saratoga County DA says her office is waiting on additional investigation before deciding whether to file additional charges against Jeffrey D. Mann Jr of Wilton. Police say it appears the incident was touched off when the two men brushed against each other and there was some sort of brief verbal exchange. Said Saratoga Springs public safety commissioner Chris Mathiesen regarding the incident and the bar scene on Caroline Street: "We need to start addressing what's going on down there." [Saratogian] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The state comptroller's office new list of fiscally stressed municipalities has Mechanicville pegged as being under "significant stress." An audit of Mechanicville by OSC last year concluded the city's financial records were in an "extremely poor state" and the city had adopted "unrealistic budgets." The city's new mayor says his administration is trying to get Mechanicville's fiscal house in order. [NYS OSC x2] [Daily Gazette]

The state has started sending out $350 tax rebate checks to qualifying families with children and will continue to do so over the next few weeks. And, oh, did you hear Election Day is coming up? [TWCN] [TU]

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Cuomo and Christie upgrade security at transportation hubs, Albany teen charged with attempted murder,CDTA seeks funds to upgrade Albany/Troy route, Albany High band to march in Dublin parade

Andrew Cuomo joined with Chris Christie on Wednesday to announce an increase in security at airports, train stations and other transportation hubs in light of recent terrorism and international conflicts. [NYT]

CDTA is seeking federal funds to upgrade bus services between the Port of Albany and Troy to a Bus Plus rapid transit line. [TU]

Halfmoon Democrats are demanding that Town Republicans cut their ties with controversial developer Bruce Tanski and return more than $138 thousand dollars in campaign contributions received from him, including over $126 thousand he contributed to Kathy Marchione's campaign for state senate. [TU]

Cameras are coming to the streets of Albany and Troy, but how effective will they be at reducing crime. [TU]

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FBI Director says Albany corruption is nothing special, Cuomo approval ratings slip to lowest yet,Tkaczyk/Amedore debate gets heated

FBI Director James B. Comey was Albany on Tuesday. Comey praised the relationships between police agencies in the region, said we're safer than we were on 9-11. And according to him, Albany is nothing special in the corruption department: "I don't want to burst Albany's bubble in any way," Comey said, "but there are lots of state capitals in this country where we're doing lots of public corruption work. So it doesn't stand out in my mind."[TWCN][Saratogian][TU]

Andrew Cuomo's job approval rating has slipped to its lowest point since taking office, but he still has a wide lead over challenger Rob Astorino.[WSJ]

Cecilia Tkaczyk and Republican George Amedore had their first debate of 2014 on Tuesday night at Proctors. The debate got heated and personal at times, and touched on local control of casinos, the Moreland commission, women's equality and chocolate or vanilla. [News 10][WNYT][TU]

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Public comments on Capital Region casinos apps, focus on police stun gun policies, red light camera plan robocalled

The state's Gaming Facility Location Board -- AKA, the group that will pick which sites get casinos -- were in Colonie Monday for 12 hours of public comments about the Capital Region casino applications. Apparent trends in the comments: much support for the Howe Caverns proposal and much opposition to the East Greenbush proposal. Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan was one of the few speakers to support the East Greenbush casino (the project has pledged $11 million to Albany's economic development org) -- and her comments prompted boos from the anti-casino group. The day also included dueling accounts from Rush Street employees about how the casino company treats its casino employees (Rush Street is part of the Schenectady application). And there were just a few comments about the Rensselaer proposal. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TU] [TU] [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN]

Following the death of Daniel Satre after being shocked multiple times with a stun gun Saturday in Ballston Spa, a look at law enforcement policies (or the lack thereof) for using the weapons. Acting Saratoga County DA Karen Heggen says her office is waiting for results of a police investigation, including an autopsy, before deciding how to handle the case. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A Times Union review of recent developments points toward the possibility that tar sands oil from Canada could soon be shipped through the Albany area via rail. [TU]

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Man dies after being tasered by police, casino app public comment day, Latham building shut for "really horrible" conditions, Huck Finn's Playland?

Ballston Spa police say a man died Saturday night after being tasered by police. Police say they had responded to a call about a "suspicious and disorderly subject" and found Daniel Satre, who they said was combative with police. Police Satre was warned he was about to be stunned and when he didn't comply, he was tasered. Police said he was unresponsive after being tasered and was later pronounced dead at Saratoga Hospital. Said a neighbor of Satre's behavior: "It was like a switch (flipped) ... Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He was ranting and raving and making no sense at all." [News10] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT]

Today is the public comment event for the Capital Region casino applications. (Live video stream.) [Daily Gazette] [NYS Gaming]

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Saratoga County DA resigns, big tax breaks for Park South redev, investigation into death of man found behind State Museum

Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy resigned from office Thursday (press conference video), after 17 years in the position -- and 27 years working in the DA's office). He's running unopposed for a Saratoga County judgeship this fall, and his resignation allows his first assistant, Karen Heggen, to takeover the office as interim DA. Murphy, a Republican, framed the decision as a choice to support continuity of staffing in the DA's office. If Murphy had stayed in office past this week, Andrew Cuomo (a Democrat, of course) would have been allowed to appoint an interim replacement until a special election in 2015. It also prompts an election this fall and Heggen has been endorsed by the county Republican committee. Another Republican, David Harper, is also considering a run for the office. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [TU] [Saratogian] [Saratoga County DA] [WNYT] [Saratogian]

The Albany IDA approved $32.5 million in tax breaks for the Park South redevelopment project, one of the largest such package of tax breaks on record for the area. Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan said the scale of the project -- $110 million and 268 new residential units -- make the breaks worth the risk. [TU] [Biz Review x2] Earlier: Park South redevelopment plan gets final OK

The Troy City Council finance committee unanimously supported the plan to sell the One Monument Square site developers or $650k for the currently proposed $25 million plan for two mixed-use buildings on the site. (It still requires a final vote of the full council.) [TU] Earlier: The latest One Monument Square plan evolves

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Amsterdam supports Schenectady casino, former SPAC president Chesbrough has died, 677 Broadway sells for $33 mil, Luuuke--I am the giant floating head of your father

Casino opponents and supporters are gearing up for next week's public comment hearings. [TU]

The Amsterdam city council has voted to throw its support behind the plan for a Schenectady casino.[WNYT]

The 38-year-old Schenectady man facing rape and murder charges in the case prosecutors says involved the serial rape of a teen and murdered baby waived his right to a jury trial on Wednesday in favor of a bench trial. [TU]

Nearly 60 people turned out on Wednesday for Take Back Troy's first public meeting in response to the recent spate of violent crime in Lansingburgh. [Record]

Former SPAC president Herb Chesbrough has died at age 67 -- he was a key figure in building the arts venue into what is today. [TU]

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Pioneering former APD chief dies, dashboard cam shows teen tasered after surrender, Astorino's kid to Cuomo: stop cutting up our family photos, Schenectady laser cat yearbook picture settled

Former Albany police detective John Dale, a Korean War veteran and the city's first and only black police chief in Albany history, has died at the age of 80. [TU][WNYT]

An Albany County jury convicted 42 year old Oscar Valcarcel of mmurdering a 27-year-old Albany man while burglarizing his home in December. [TU][WNYT]

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says he wants Sgt. Vincent Igoe fired after video was released showing Igoe tasering a teen who had surrendered and was on his knees following a high speed chase in August. Igoe's attorney says the video vindicates his client. [TWCN][WNYT] [TU]

The newest plan for the mixed use project at the former site of City Hall at Monument Square in Troy is estimated at $25 million and includes more than 80 apartment units, restaurant space and a permanent home for the Troy farmers' market. [TU][Record]

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Home health aide pleads guilty to murder of man she'd been hired to care for, focus on pedestrian safety on Central Ave, restored Proctors marquee unveiled

Sara Moore -- the home health care aide accused of killing the man she'd been hired to care for at home off New Scotland Ave in Albany this past February -- pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Moore had been charged first-degree murder and facing possible life in prison without parole. She's now up for 25 years to life. [Albany County DA] [TU]

The state Department of Transportation announced a range of safety measures aimed at making Central Ave/Route 5 safer for pedestrians from the Albany city line to the Schenectady city line. The DOT is also pushing a campaign to raise awareness among both drivers and pedestrians. Eight pedestrians died on the stretch between 2009 and 2013. [NYSDOT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Question before the Cuomo admin's Wage Board: Should the minimum wage for tipped employees be raised from $5 to $8 per hour? [TU]

The mother of the Rensselaer man arrested last week for jumping the fence at the White House says her son has been suffering from mental illness. She says her son had apparently been turned away for mental health treatment at an out-of-state hospital because of a coverage problem and he had gone to the White House thinking he could take up the issue the president. [TU] [Troy Record]

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Hoffman's Playland closes for final time, report concludes state's "restacking" saved money, over the White House fence with Pikachu

Hoffman's Playland closed for the season for the final time Sunday after more than six decades -- a few hours later than usual. The owners say it looks like they have buyers lined up for the park's rides who intend to keep the equipment in the area. [TU] [Biz Review] [News10] [WNYT]

A Times Union investigation looks at what motivated a shake up of the State Police's governor's protective unit ahead of the start of the Cuomo administration: Was it housecleaning following scandal, or race based? [TU]

The state Department of Health reports there have been more than a dozen confirmed cases of enterovirus EV-D68, a respiratory infection that can seriously affect children. Ten of the children have been treated at Albany Med. DOH says people should take the same prevention steps around children and people with compromised immune systems as they would during influenza season. [NYS DOH] [TU]

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Troy councilwoman responds to accusations made over Lansingburgh incident, 35k E-ZPass users overbilled, push continues for Medal of Honor for Henry Johnson

Troy City Council member Anastasia Robertson said Thursday she had been "slandered and defamed" by comments made by Sgt. Thomas Hoffman, the head of the Troy Police Benevolent Association, at a city council meeting last week. And she asked for an ethics investigation of Hoffman. The PBA head had accused Robertson of inciting a crowd that had gathered around police during an incident in Lansingburgh in August, but a video indicates she had been trying to calm the crowd. [TU] [TWCN] [News10] [WNYT]

A casino employees unions has sent a letter to the state Gaming Commission alleging that managers for Rush Street Gaming -- which is aiming to open casinos in Schenectady and Newburgh -- have been harassing employees the union is trying to organize at the company's other casinos. The company has settled labor charges in the other city, and points to multiple "best workplace" awards for the casinos. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The East Greenbush Zoning Board of Appeals has set a date for a public hearing on the planned development district being sought by the proposed Capital View casino project. [TU]

The Thruway Authority says about 35,000 E-ZPass users were overcharged because of an error at the Harriman toll barrier on I-87. The authority says users will be credited the overcharges. A spokesman declined to state the total amount of the overbilling. [Thruway Authority] [TU]

(there's more)

Capital Region commemorates 9/11, McCoy vetoes law to prevent cigarette sales in stores with pharmacies, post-game on Cuomo victory, the awesome photo that won't be among the senior portraits

Commemorating 9/11 in the Capital Region on the 13th anniversary.[TU]

A look at why Andrew Cuomo did so poorly in the Capital Region primary. Or was it low turnout? [TU][TU]

Tuesday's election brought the lowest voter turnout in nearly a decade - only about 9.3 percent of registered 5.8 million Democrats showed up to vote. [CNY]

Cuomo on the narrower than expected margin of victory: ""Was this an opportunity for the groups that had an ax to grind to come together? Yes, I'm fine with 60 percent."[NYT]

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy vetoed legislation on Tuesday that would have banned the sale of tobacco products in stores with licensed pharmacies, claiming that the law is flawed because it lacks and enforcing agency, and a procedure to collect fines and a licensing law to allow the county to regulate cigarette sales. McCoy has directed the county attorney to instead draw up legislation to band the display of tobacco products in stores with pharmacies.[TU][WNYT][Record]

(there's more)

Cuomo wins primary but loses in Capital Region, Capital Bank to move HQ to Wellington Row, downstate casino pitches, SUNY Polytechnic is official

Andrew Cuomo defeated Zephyr Teachout in Tuesday's Democratic primary. Teachout conceded on Tuesday saying that though she won't be the Democrats choice for Governor, "Democrats of this state have been heard. Cuomo did not do well in the Capital Region, losing to Teachout in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties, which former state Operations Director Howard Glaser blames on disgruntled state employees.[TU][TWCN][TU][TU]

Kathy Hochul beat Tim Wu for the Lt. Governor slot, but Wu got over 40 percent of the vote statewide. Cuomo did not make an appearance on Tuesday night, but issued a statement congratulating Teachout and Wu "on running a spirited campaign, engaging in the democratic process and having the courage to make their voices heard."[TWCN]

Most incumbents in the state Legislature won their primary races. Democratic Conference leader Jeff Klein defeated Oliver Kopell. State Senator Malcolm Smith, who allegedly tried to bribe his way onto the NYC mayoral ballot as a Republican, lost his primary race.[TU][NYT]

From the NYT, county by county election results. [NYT]

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It's primary day, small plane crash kills two people, revised Monument Square plan, $6 million beach

It's primary day. Among the questions for today: How many people will turn out to vote? (Probably not many.) And how well will Democratic challengers Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu fare against Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul? (Don't know where to vote? Check with your county board of election.) [Daily Gazette] [State of Politics]

Capital Region casino presentation recaps: Times Union | Daily Gazette | Biz Review | Troy Record | TWCN | AOA.

A small plane crashed in the Selkirk Rail Yards later Monday afternoon, killing the two people aboard -- a flight instructor and a student. Police say the student was at the controls at the time of the crash. Officials say the plane had taken off from the nearby South Albany Airport and was only in the air a short time. (The airport is adjacent to the rail yard.) The airport's manager says federal investigators have taken over the review of the crash. [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU] [News10] [TU]

Long range projections filed with the state Public Service Commission by National Grid predict that the average residential electric bill will rise 15 percent (inflation adjusted) over the next 15 years, in large part because of rising wholesale electricity prices. [TU]

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Casino app presentations today, shooting in downtown Troy, tomb stone falls on boy, Albany council to take up red light camera bill

Applicants for the state casino licenses will start making their public presentations today at the ESP. The Capital Region presentations are scheduled to start at 1:15 pm. They're open to the public and will be streamed online. [NYS Gaming]

A Capital analysis of state teacher evaluation data concludes that there's a wide gap between wealthy and poor districts when it comes to how many teachers were rated as "highly effective." [Capital]

In some of the Capital Region's largest city police forces minorities are underrepresented relative their percentage in the cities' populations, but leaders say they're trying to increase the number minorities among their ranks. [Troy Record] [TU]

New York State currently allows audio and video coverage of court proceedings only by special permission of a judge, but the state's chief judge is pushing for expanded access. [Daily Gazette]

A profile of an Altamont man's downward spiral into heroin addiction -- and his struggle to climb back. [TU]

(there's more)

Investigation into afternoon shooting in Lansingburgh, Hoffman's Playland owners entertaining offers for rides equipment, 60 years of regulars

Troy police were investigating reports of shots fired in Lansingburgh Thursday afternoon. TPD said it got reports that people saw a man step out of a green SUV and fire into a crowd. News10 says one of its crews heard the shots around 2:30 pm as it interviewed people nearby about the recent violence in Lansingburgh, was able to grab a shot of the SUV as the vehicle left the scene. A state police helicopter assisted in the search. It appears no one was injured in the shooting. [TWCN] [TU] [News10] [Troy Record] [WNYT]

At Thursday's Troy City Council meeting the president of the Troy Police Benevolent Association accused councilwoman Anastasia Robertson of inciting a crowd against two TPD officers during an incident Saturday. Robertson says she has video that contradicts the allegation. Earlier in the meeting Robertson addressed the online comments she made about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri that have since drawn attention, saying she hadn't meant to offend anyone: "I'm an African American, as you're all more than well aware, so my experiences may be different from some other people and that's okay ... all I'm asking is that you respect that I do come from a different experience than you." [TU] [CBS6] [Troy Record]

The city of Saratoga Springs' sale/swap of the Collamer parking lot on Broadway for land to build a new public safety facility has prompted allegations among current and former city politicians that the deal undervalued the lot and the RFP was so narrow as to favor one buyer. [TU]

The owners of Hoffman's Playland have postponed the auction of the amusement park's equipment as they entertain offers from companies that would keep the rides in this area. [Biz Review] [TU]

(there's more)

Search for Schenectady gunman continues, Rensselaer mayor says gaming commission shouldn't consider federal probe in casino decision, Marriott planned for former Alco site, Albany Bishop's chosen pizza

Police continue to search for the suspects in the shooting of a Brooklyn man who was visiting friends in Schenectady over the weekend. [TU]

One of the men charged this week in the murder of a Troy couple in August was a key witness in what was considered a weak Albany murder case. [TU]

The Mayor of Rensselaer says the State Gaming Commission should not consider a federal probe into Och-Ziff Capital Management, the financiers behind the Hard Rock Casino Proposal, when considering the application for the proposed casino.[TU]

(there's more)

Arrests in two Troy homicide cases, man accused of spreading manure on vehicle, Instagramming for Schenectady

Troy police announced arrests in two separate homicide cases from Lansingburgh this summer: Daniel Reuter, who police say is homeless, and Jacob Heimroth, of Troy, have been arraigned on first- and second-degree murder charges in the August 20 deaths of Allen and Maria Lockrow. And Jeffrey Brown of Cohoes has been charged with second-degree murder in the June 30 death of Robert Rivera. [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Schenectady police say a man was fatally shot in the Vale Neighborhood Monday night. As of Tuesday morning SPD hadn't released any info about possible suspects. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The parent company of the financiers behind the Hard Rock casino proposal in Rensselaer is under investigation by the feds. The backing company -- Och-Ziff Capital Management, a mammoth hedge fund -- has been involved with investments related to the regimes of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. [TU] [Bloomberg Businessweek]

With casinos closing in Atlantic City, and new casinos planned in other states, potential operators in New York have focused on facilities of a relatively more modest scale -- and drawing gamblers from their local markets. [AP/Troy Record]

This year's Saratoga Race Course season that ended Monday had the highest attendance since 2009, according to unofficial attendance numbers. Eleven horses died the meet. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Sheehan reaches $11M casino support agreement to with East Greenbush, dogs who killed terrier will be put down, public paid security costs for Cuomo

Mayor Kathy Sheehan has committed to an $11 million deal to support the East Greenbush casino. According to the terms of the agreement Albany would get $11 million over ten years and an effort would be made to try to steer at least 25% of jobs to Albany residents. The deal allows Albany to support other casino proposals, unlike the offer made by the developers of the proposed Hard Rock Casino in Rensselaer, which was an exclusive offer.The proposal has been passed along to the Common Council for review. [Business Review][TU][WNYT][Saratogian]

The public covered the cost for thousands of dollars in security money for the State Police detail that accompanied Andrew Cuomo to Israel. [TU]

The two dogs that leapt out a window in Schenectady, attacking and killing a smaller dog, will be put down and their owner will have to pay $2,000 and do 75 hours of community service after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge.[TWCN] [News 10]

(there's more)

Body recovered from Poestenkill Gorge, private student housing proposed near UAlbany, charges in case of stinky meat

Emergency services crews pulled a man's body from the Poestenkill Gorge in Troy Monday after a search that lasted several hours. The man's girlfriend had gone for help after losing sight of him in the water. Said Troy fire chief Tom Garrett of the gorge: "People don't understand how dangerous it really is." [Troy Record] [TU] [News10]

John Halacy, the Rensselaer man who had escaped a rape charge because of a paperwork problem last year, was sentenced in Rensselaer County Court to four years in prison for second-degree rape. He'll serve the sentence concurrently with the 5 1/2 years from a sentence in Albany County Court for a burglary in Colonie. [TU] [Troy Record]

The boyfriend half of the couple who pleaded guilty to stealing the identities of at least 50 Albany Med patients has been sentenced to 7.5-15 years. The man's girlfriend, who was a nurse at the medical center, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday. [TU x2]

A developer is proposing a for-profit dorm for UAlbany students on Washington Ave near the uptown campus (map) -- and there are plans for more private student housing on Fuller Road. [TU]

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Reward offered for info about deaths of Lansingburgh couple, Rensselaer makes written offer to Albany for casino support, developer accused of using straw donors for campaign cash

Three Troy officials are collectively offering $1,500 for info leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the deaths of Allen and Maria Lockrow in Lansingburgh last week. A brother of Maria Lockrow was critical of Troy police after he says he was questioned by TPD about the case. As of the weekend, Troy police said they had no new developments to report. Prompted by recent events -- and the still unsolved death of Vanessa Milligan -- there was a stop-the-violence rally in Troy on Saturday. [TU] [TU] [Troy Record/Saratogian] [News10]

The city of Rensselaer has delivered a written version of its proposal seeking the city of Albany's exclusive support for the Hard Rock casino project -- but Kathy Sheehan notes there are "so many open questions" about the proposed agreement. [TU]

The state Inspector General has issued a report on the situation in which NYRA overcharged bettors by $7 million in "takeout" fees -- and it concludes there's a lot of blame to go around. [NYS IG] [TU]

The old Wellington Hotel annex was imploded as planned on Saturday -- here's video and a collection of pics. [AOA]

(there's more)

Teachout survives residency challenge, Troy citizens rally against crime,Port of Albany oil spill quickly contained

A couple of hundred people showed up at a Take Back Troy anti-violence rally on Wednesday, following a double homicide in Lansingburgh this week. Meanwhile, police continue to search for the suspects in the recent murder. [TU][Record][TWCN]

A state appeals court upheld a ruling on Tuesday allowing Zephyr Teachout to remain on the Democratic primary ballot. Cuomo backers went to court in an effort to halt Teachout's bid for governor by claiming she was in violation of required residency rules. [TU]

Time Warner Cable News has invited Andrew Cuomo to debate Teachout, but Cuomo's campaign says the governor has no plans to debate Teachout. Meanwhile, Rob Astorino has offered to debate Teachout[CNY] [Record]

Following a heated discussion at a meeting attended a standing room only crowd including many anti-casino advocates, the East Greenbush town board voted 3 to 1 to advance the Capital View Casino & Resort proposal to the Planning Board. [WNYT][TU]

(there's more)

Couple beaten to death in Lansingburgh home, Wellington implosion postponed until Saturday, Q-poll: Cuomo part of ethics problem but still ahead, 999 turns around a traffic circle

Police are looking for two men who broke into a Lansingburgh home and beat a man and woman to death overnight. The suspects are believed to have escaped in the victim's SUV.[TU][Record]

Troy residents are holding a meeting tonight to launch a neighborhood watch to combat the recent outbreak of violence in the city. Troy City Councilman Jim Gordon is personally offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and convictions of the perpetrators of recent shootings in the city.[TU][Record][WNYT]

The implosion of the Wellington building has been postponed until Saturday in an effort to limit disruption downtown. [TU]

Nearly half the voters questioned in a new Quinnapiac poll think Andrew Cuomo is a part of the state's corruption problem, but he maintains a 56 to 28 lead over Republican challenger Rob Astorino in the same poll. [Qinnipiac][TU]

(there's more)

Albany council issues support for Rensselaer casino -- with conditions, armed escorts for some mail carriers in Troy, woman awarded damages for tainted mozzarella stick

At its meeting Monday evening the Albany Common Council passed a resolution generally supportive of a Rensselaer casino -- with some conditions, such as the city getting a written agreement from Rensselaer for a series of $1 million payments. Even as Rensselaer's deadline for an agreement approached Monday evening, mayor Kathy Sheehan said Albany hadn't received a written offer from Rensselaer. [TWCN] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Four USPS mail carriers operating in Lansingburgh and Troy's North Central neighborhood are being accompanied by armed escorts because of concern for their safety, according to the postal service. [TU]

A profile of Preet Bharara -- the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, and self-described dork -- who's been pursuing political corruption cases in New York State and investing the Cuomo administration's role in the Moreland Commission. [NYT]

How nearby businesses and offices are preparing for the Wellington annex implosion. [Biz Review]

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Albany facing deadline from Rensselaer over casino deal, downtown Albany building implosion scheduled, 100 years for Perecca's

Rensselaer mayor Dan Dwyer says the city of Albany is facing a Monday deadline to accept to a proposed agreement that provide Albany with $1 million a year for 10 years from the proposed Hard Rock casino development in Rensselaer. [TU]

Columbia Development's plan to implode the Wellington annex in downtown Albany received the OK from the city and is scheduled for Thursday morning. [TU]

Albany police say they're investigating the events surrounding a police officer crashing a patrol car through a fence in West Hill -- resulting in the car getting stuck between two trees -- Saturday night. The roof of the patrol car had to be cut off to remove the officer. [TU] [WNYT]

Troy's fire chief says a fire in vacant building in Lansingburgh Sunday is suspicious and similar to the suspected arsons in July. There have been no arrests for the July string of fires. [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

(there's more)

TU: sources say Rensselaer casino partners seek $10 million deal for Albany support, Schenectady judge orders dog euthanized, Cuomo expresses "total solidarity" with Israel

"Two people familiar with the proposal" tell the TU that the partners behind the proposed Rensselaer casino are offering Albany $1 million a year for 10 years in exchange for Common Council support of their $280 million riverfront project.[TU]

Tioga and Vernon Downs harness track/racino owner Jeff Gural on his concerns about the possible addition of four new casinos and the health of the industry: "This year has been a turning point. Everywhere you go casinos are down, all over. It's scary. If I was investing in casino stocks I'd really think twice."[Saratogian]

A study that concluded a $12.2 million hotel at the Rensselaer rail station would likely do well has apparently "faded out of sight" since the discussion of Rensselaer as a casino site. [TU]

(there's more)

Cuomo heads to Israel, flood warnings continue though rain prediction scaled back, runaway bulldozer rides Albany rails, where did the Pollock go?

Andrew Cuomo is in Tel Aviv to express support for Israel in the Gaza conflict. Cuomo has declined an invitation to visit Palestinian territories on his visit to the region. The trip is being paid for with funds from his reelection campaign. [WSJ][NYT][Capitol Confidential]

A Schenectady judge has denied Michael Briggs' request to take back his guilty plea in the case of a murdered nun. [TU]

The Capital Region remains under a flash flood watch today, though forecasters have backed off early predictions and are now expecting about an inch or two of rain. [TU]

Train service was interrupted on Tuesday after a bulldozer caught fire at a construction site near 8 Railroad Avenue in Albany, then rode the tracks all the way to the First Prize Center after the operator escaped. [TU][WNYT][News 10]

(there's more)

Albany County legislature passes pharmacy tobacco ban, downtown Albany building could be imploded, Schenectady reviewing policies after house explosion

The Albany County Legislature has passed a bill that would ban stores with pharmacies from selling tobacco products. County exec Dan McCoy's office didn't say whether he intends to sign it, but says there will be a public hearing about the bill. [TU] [News10]

Ryan Place -- the Milton man convicted of kidnapping and tormenting his former girlfriend near Saratoga Lake last summer -- was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Said Rebecca Lefevre in court: "There's a sense of right and wrong and remorse that separates monsters from men. And this is something that Ryan Place inherently seems to lack." Place continued to assert that he did not kidnap Lefevre. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

In a change of course, Columbia Development tells the Biz Review it's considering implosion for the demolition of the old Wellington annex building in downtown Albany. The building is being demo'ed for the Albany convention center project. (And apparently official word on the possible implosion is being closely held.) [Biz Review] [TU]

New York State's policy on which emails employees should retain or delete is 118 pages long -- and open government advocates say in many cases it's probably too quick to order deletion. [Pro Publica]

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House explosion in Schenectady, old infrastructure blamed for water main breaks, 35 years of Bob's Diner

A vacant house in Schenectady's Hamilton Hill neighborhood blew up Sunday afternoon (map), apparently because of a gas leak. The home was thought to be vacant, but neighbor sightings of people going in and out of the house prompted a K-9 unit search of the debris -- no one was found. Neighbors say they had smelled gas in the days before the explosion -- and some have told media outlets they called National Grid to report the smell, but the utility says there are no records of calls about the property. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [News10] [TU] [WNYT]

Paul Nicholson II, the man who pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter as part of a plea deal for driving drunk and hitting and killing a pedestrian on Ballston Ave in Saratoga Springs last summer, has been sentenced to 3-9 years in prison. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Rotterdam's supervisor says the age of the town's water mains is to blame for the string of breaks this summer, including one that flooded streets on Saturday. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

At the start of next year it will be illegal for landfills in the state to accept CRTs (the old tube displays for TVs and computers) -- and electronics recyclers say they're being crushed by the number of CRTs people are trying to pitch. [TU]

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Cleanup continues after Tuesday's storms, missing juror faces contempt charge, NYRA is out of the red -CEO gets $250K bonus, Amsterdam casino could be disqualified, horse sales net 33 million

A pair of Albany police officers saved two women who were trapped on the trunk of a car on Hackett Boulevard by chest high water during the flash flood on Tuesday evening. The city is still cleaning up after what Mayor Kathy Sheehan called a 100 year event in which 3 inches of rain was dumped on the city within 45 minutes. Albany Water Department Commissioner Joe Coffey told WNYT that although the infrastructure is a century old, "When you get a hundred year storm event when you had three inches of rain in 45 minutes, there's no way our system, whether it was five years old or 105 years old could handle that quantity of water."[TWCN][WNYT][Record][TWCN][TU][WNYT]

Chuck Schumer, memorializing the late Major General Harold J. Greene, the former guilder land resident, and RPI grad who was killed this week in Afghanistan: He didn't ask for accolades. He just did his job and protected us.While the nation mourns an officer, a father mourns his son.[TU][Gazette]

A judge has declared a mistrial in a Schenectady murder case after a jury forewoman did not showing up for court on Tuesday. The missing juror was brought into court on Wednesday and is facing contempt charges that could send her to jail if an investigation finds that she willfully disobeyed court orders. [WNYT][Gazette]

NYRA CEO Christopher Kay will get a 3 percent raise and a $250,000 bonus, putting his total compensation at more than $550,000 this year. Kay's plans for NYRA may include closing one of the downstate tracks. NYRA's board announced a surplus at the meeting after overcoming a 13-point-one-million dollar deficit last year. [TU][Gazette][WNYT]

(there's more)

Two star general with ties to Capital Region killed in Afghanistan, Soares to put Backpage Johns on Frontpage website to combat sex trafficking, flash flooding leaves cars submerged, 9 year old Albany chess champ to represent U.S.

A two-star general and Albany native was killed in Afghanistan this week. Major General Harold J. Greene, a graduate of Guilderland High School and RPI,
is the highest-ranked military officer to be killed in combat since Vietnam. Greene died
from gunshot wounds sustained in an attack at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University
. Andrew Cuomo has ordered flags at half staff in honor of Major General Greene.[TU][TWCN][WNYT][TU]

Storms caused flash flooding in Albany on Tuesday downing trees and leaving cars underwater in sections of the city. More than 5,300 people lost power due to the storm
Hundreds of National Grid customers were still without power on Wednesday morning.[TU][AOA][WNYT][News 10]

David Soares announced Frontpage on Tuesday -- a website dedicated to combating sex trafficking in Albany County--where he promised to post a photo of every person convicted of paying for sex in the county. [WNYT][TWCN][TU]

(there's more)

Albany Common Council passes parks smoking ban, bizarre episode involving Albany woman and snake in Long Island, rally for Aref and Hossain

The Albany Common Council has passed an ordinance that would ban smoking in all areas of city parks -- it now heads to mayor Kathy Sheehan for a signature. [News10]

The chairman of Hard Rock International, James Allen, was in Rensselaer Monday to bang the drum for the proposed casino there and announce its name would be the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Rensselaer. Allen said the company would make use of the site's riverfront location with a boardwalk and outdoor restaurant seating. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Because of several large settlements, New York State is looking at a $4.2 billion in unexpected surplus -- and people are lining up with ideas about how to spend it. [TU]

Locals, farther afield: Police in Long Island allege an intoxicated Albany woman crashed her Prius into a fire house in Nassau County, hitting two fire trucks -- and firefighters found a ball python, apparently stolen from a nearby pet store, wrapped around her neck. [Newsday]

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Investigation into plane crash in Saratoga County, lawsuits criticize jail medical services, Albany council to vote on parks smoking ban, biking with Bernie

Federal and local officials are investigating what prompted a small airplane to crash in northern Saratoga County Saturday, killing the two men on board. Officials say the plane had picked up an advertising banner shortly before veering off course and crashing. Said a witness to WNYT: "I seen the plane hit the top of the trees and then nose-dive into the ground." [TU] [TWCN] [Post-Star] [WNYT]

Troy police say a Putnam County 18 year old has been arrested for a fatal stabbing in South Troy this past March. [TU]

Charles Wilkinson -- the 68-year-old Malta man accused of fatally strangling his wife of 46 years in their home in May -- pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder on Friday. [Daily Gazette]

A former Albany County jail inmate has filed a lawsuit alleging the company that provides medical services at the jail put off providing the proper treatment for a knee injury for weeks and the man has now suffered a permanent injury. That same company, Correctional Medical Care, is also the target of a suit in Schenectady County alleging it mishandled the care of a woman suffering from heroin withdrawal -- the woman later died in a hospital. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Police investigate shooting near Albany's Washington Park, Coeymans man pleads not guilty in mother's death, Churchill Downs buys 25% of Racino

A 39-year-old man was injured in an Albany shooting on the 500 block of Madison Avenue near Washington Park and Knox Street just before 10pm on Wednesday.The victim was described as "a great guy, a quiet guy, who didn't have an enemy in the world. "[TU][WNYT]

The COO of the Father Peter Young Foundation was arrested on Wednesday by the Attorney General's office on 15 felony counts, including grand larceny, for allegedly sealing over $1 million in state funds and falsifying time sheets for a former senator who allegedly had a no-show job at the organization. Jacquelyn Gentile pleaded not guilty.[TU] [WNYT]

A Coeymans Hollow man charged with murdering his mother pleaded not guilty to second degree murder charges this morning.[TWCN]

Andrew Cuomo apparently never rescinded the executive order that established the Moreland Commission, and 23 of its members are still deputy attorneys general, but a spokesman for Cuomo's office says the administration believes no official order was required.[TU]

U.S. attorney Preet Bharara sent a letter threatening to investigate the Cuomo administration for possible obstruction of justice or witness tampering in its handling of the Moreland Commission. [NYT]

(there's more)

Sheehan names panel on rail safety, Troy officer charged with tipping off drug suspects, hundreds line up to meet Clinton in Saratoga, billboard ad nets three kidney offers

Kathy Sheehan named a 15- member panel on Tuesday to investigate rail safety in Albany, in response to last week's call from County Executive Dan McCoy to relocate residents from the Ezra Prentice Homes , which border the rail yard. Albany County has also established a hotline for people with crude oil train concerns. [TU][WNYT]

Fans waited for up to five hours to meet Hillary Clinton sign their copies of her book at Northshire Books on Tuesday.[TU][Saratogian]

The NYS Attorney General's office is alleging that a Troy police officer tipped off suspects in a drug ring about pending search warrants, allowing them time to hide evidence. [WNYT]

(there's more)

Cuomo pushes back on Moreland interference accusations, prostitution stings in Saratoga County, just ducky

In Buffalo Monday, Andrew Cuomo pushed back -- he was "feisty and unrepentant", in the NYT's words -- on the accusations that his administration had interfered with the Moreland Commission set up to investigation corruption in state government. Cuomo continued to assert that his involvement didn't extend beyond advising the panel. [NYT] [TU]

Rensselaer authorities say one person was found dead in an apartment fire Tuesday morning. Another person was taken to the hospital with significant injuries. [TWCN] [TU]

Recent stings set up by law enforcement in Saratoga County have resulted in 21 prostitution arrests. The stings were set up via online ads. And officials say they were surprised by the volume of responses. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

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Why it's taken decades to implement safety system for trains, news crew threatened with arrest, landmark status for Yaddo

Oil trains: A Hearst investigation looks at how the railroad industry has blocked/slowed the adoption of a safety system called Positive Train Control for decades. [TU]

A group of families is planning to file suit today in Albany in an attempt to challenge teacher tenure in New York State. Teachers union and other advocacy groups have been gearing up for the fight. [NYDN] [TU]

The town of Colonie is among a few local municipalities that have been reporting police income from private duty jobs as eligible for pension system consideration -- something the state comptroller's office has said should not be done. [TU]

Schenectady's property value are already above the market value of many properties, apparently -- the system appears to be warping further because large property owners have been more likely to successfully grieving their assessments. [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Burned body may be connected to Peace Pagoda fire, Lansingburgh residents raise concerns over violence and fires, Cuomo gives OK for Albany red light cameras

he burned body found in cohoes was determined not to be connected with recent Lansingburgh fires, but they now believe the man may be connected to a recent fire at the Grafton Peace Pagodaa. The investigation has shown that the man recently had a disagreement with the management of the Peace Pagoda
[WNYT][TWCN][Record]

More than 200 people showed up for a community meeting on a recent outbreak of violence in Troy, including suspicious fires and a stabbing in the last week.Among the complaints was a call for a crackdown on the landlords of vacant buildings in the city. [WNYT][News 10][Record]

Victory church is offering a reward for information on the fires and the homicide. [WNYT]

Jury deliberations got underway on Tuesday and will continue today in the Pablo Cruz case. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation allowing red light cameras in certain sections of New York State, including Albany. [TWCN]

Cuomo also signed a law on Tuesday that will officially extend Albany's residential parking system. [TU]

(there's more)

No arrests in suspicious Troy fires, Cuomo continues big lead on Astorino, uproar over coach's firing, another brewery

No arrests have been made in the string of suspicious fires early Monday in Lansingburgh. Troy police have increased patrols in the area, and city officials are asking residents to be vigilant and report anything suspicious. There's a community meeting about the situation Tuesday evening. [TU] [Troy Record] [News10] [WNYT] [TWCN]

Troy police have yet to make an arrest in the fatal stabbing of a teen at a birthday party in Lansinburgh Friday night. A church is offering $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction. [TWCN x2]

Pablo Cruz -- the man accused of drunkenly driving into a cyclist in Albany, killing the man, and leading police on a high-speed chase -- testified Monday: "It wasn't me. I wasn't in that truck on the 24th. They made all this (expletive) up!" Cruz's attorney told the judge his client testified against his advice. [TU] [TWCN]

Continuing nano drama: After NanoCollege allegations of "disgusting politics" and "misinformation" in the media, the city of Albany is apparently now trying to get a financing deal back together with the NanoCollege for the ZEN building -- while the county tries to poach the deal, and the approximately $1.9 million fee that goes along with it. [TU]

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Suspicious string of fires in Troy, "disgusting politics" and "misinformation" alleged after NanoCollege pulls financing request, "net zero" apartments proposed

The Troy Fire Department says a string of six fires in short succession early Monday morning is suspicious. The fires were at multiple locations in Lansingburgh. Said mayor Lou Rosamilia: "I want to ask our residents to be our eyes. I don't want people to be nervous. I want them to be vigilant". [News10] [TWCN] [TU]

Troy police are investigating the fatal stabbing of a 16 year old Friday night in Lansingburgh (map). The stabbing apparently occurred during an altercation at a backyard birthday party. It was Troy's sixth homicide of the year. Said the teen's mother a vigil Sunday: "Everybody is just beefing over nonsense." [Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN] [WNYT]

A resident of the Ezra Prentice Homes on concerns about possible mishaps involving oil tanker cars at the nearby Port of Albany: "If there is an explosion and anything happens to me, I want someone charged with first-degree murder." There have recently been a range of new safety procedures implement for the oil trains, though some have been applied unevenly. [TU x2]

A NanoCollege spokesperson initially cited "disgusting politics" as the reason the org pulled its request for $186 million in bonds for the in-construction ZEN building to be issued via an arm of the city of Albany. (Questions had arisen over why a fee associated with the project had been cut.) The next day the org pointed the finger at "misinformation in the media" about the situation. [TU x2]

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Albany police probe four weekend robberies, VA nurse blows whistle on hospital, groom charged with assault in wedding brawl, Cuomo sitting on $35 million

Albany police are looking into four weekend robberies where groups of three to five people allegedly attacked and stole money from pedestrians. [TU]

Opening arguments in the trial of a Schenectady man charged with hitting a bicyclist and dragging the man along on the back of his truck as he tried to escape the scene, paint a very different picture. Prosecutors say Pablo Cruz was drunk and speeding while the defense in the case blames the victim for being drunk . [ News 10 ] [TU][WNYT]

Andrew Cuomo is sitting on $35 million in campaign funds,while his opponent Rob Astorino has about $2.4 million on hand.

Andrew Cuomo says he's not concerned about Moody's recent downgrade of the gaming industry from stable to negative and the news that Trump Plaza casino will likely be shutting down. [TU]

A nurse at Albany Stratton VA Medical Center is filing a whistle -blower complaint against the hospital after she was disciplined for removing restraints from a patient who been left restrained for hours. [TU]

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Trial begins for driver accused of killing cyclist in Albany, another attempt at cyberbullying law, a city cemetery not in the city

Pablo Cruz, the driver accused of hitting and killing a cyclist in Albany and leading police on a high speed chase, was warned by Albany County judge Andrew Ceresia that he could be removed from court (or gagged) if he acts out during the trial, as he apparently has during earlier hearings. [News10] [TU]

After Albany County's cyber bullying law was struck down by the state Court of Appeals recently, the county legislature is working on a new, narrower version of the law. [TU]

From a Times Union report about an Albany County legislature vote on a procedural step for proposed veterans housing on the site of the former Ann Lee Home: "At one point, an angry veteran -- one of dozens who spoke -- brandished a box of enemas and a can of fiber supplement for lawmakers continuing to oppose the vote." [TU]

A nurse at the VA hospital in Albany alleges she was demoted after unshackling a patient in the psychiatric ward who restrained for hours, a violation of hospital policy. [WNYT]

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State: crude oil train info should be open, more details on Schenectady casino proposal, rotting meat on roadway mystery

The state Division of Homeland Security has decided railroad company reports to the state about the frequency and volume of Bakken crude oil shipments should be made available for public disclosure (the railroads had tried to keep the info protected). [TU]

A Times Union look at how the state makes available -- or doesn't -- reports of abuse at day care centers. [TU]

With the season at the Saratoga Race Course opening later this week, a look at how relatively new NYRA leadership team -- which came to the job with very little horse racing industry experience -- is trying to point the org in the right direction. [Daily Gazette]

A trial involving rape charges in Rensselaer County Court, in which both the accuser and defendant speak the Burmese dialect Karen, was declared a mistrial over translation issues. [Troy Record]

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IBM pouring billions into chip research, Albany councilman says he was confronted by police, details on fatal Crossgates off-ramp crash

IBM says it will spend $3 billion on chip research over the next five years, which is good for the company's operations at the NanoCollege and other sites in the region. [TU]

A spokesman for the state Gaming Commission on the recent Moody's downgrade on the outlook for the casino industry: "Based upon the fact that well over a dozen international entities just applied for four available casino licenses, we are confident in the state of the market in New York." [TU]

Albany Common Councilman Mark Robinson says he was confronted by Albany police officers and told to move along while he was sweeping up in front a building he owns in West Hill the night of the Fourth of July. [TU]

The new Price Chopper built on the site of the former St. Patrick's Church in Watervliet opens today. [Troy Record]

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More storms, flooding & power outages, Saint Rose adjuncts seek to unionize, 200 arrests at Phish weekend

Visiting Smithfield, New York where a tornado killed four people and destroyed a handful of homes earlier this week, Andrew Como called extreme weather events the "new normal " in New York State. [Post-Standard]

More flooded streets and power outages from the latest round of local storms. [TU][TWCN]

Adjunct professors at The College of Saint Rose are planning to file paperwork for a vote on whether to unionize. [TU]

Zephyr Teachout says she has collected 40,000 signatures from voters -- nearly three times the amount needed -- to get her on the ballot to run against Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary for governor. [Record]

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Thousands without power after storms,driver charged with vehicular homicide in Thruway crash, WSJ poll puts Cuomo way ahead of Astorino, Hoffman's ferris wheel may be headed to Troy Riverfront

Storms overnight knocked out power to more than 47,000 National Grid customers throughout upstate New York. [TU]

A Wall Street Journal poll shows Andrew Cuomo with a 35-point lead over Republican candidate Rob Astorino. [WSJ]

Astorino is calling for a "Stop Common Core" ballot line. [Gazette]

Democrat Brian Howard, a retired school superintendent and first time political candidate, has announced plans to run against Kathy Marchione for the 43rd State Senate Seat she narrowly won from Roy McDonald in the 2012 primary. [WNYT]

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Millions spent by casino backers on lobbying, Troy gets money for new seawall, Daisy Baker's not re-opening

ICYMI: The owners of Hoffman's Playland tell the Biz Review they'll be closing the amusement park for good this fall. [Biz Review]

Casino gambling interests have spent more than $11 million on lobbying and campaign donations over the last two years, according to a NYPIRG analysis of lobbying reports filed with the state. And: The board responsible for picking which casino applicants will get licenses got two new members. The head of the state Gaming Commission says the selection process is still on track for announcements of winning applicants this fall. [Capital] [NYPIRG] [Daily Gazette] [NYSNYS/Troy Record]

Andrew Cuomo publicly signed the the Compassionate Care Act on Monday, which makes New York the 23rd state to allow medical marijuana. It will take about 18 months before the limited system will provide the drug to patients. [Capital] [News10]

A Scotia family is buying Morette's in Schenectady and hopes to re-open the restaurant this September. [Daily Gazette]

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State close to moving ahead on medical marijuana, collapse highlights vacant building issue in Albany, life of a dairy princess

Andrew Cuomo is set to sign the medical marijuana bill, which sets up a limited system for growing, distributing, and administering the drug (example: it's not to be smoked). New York's tightly focused system contrasts with some of the more wide open approaches that other states have taken in the past. [Syracuse Post-Standard] [TU]

There was a rally Sunday at the Ezra Prentice Homes in Albany's South End to protest the trains transporting crude oil through the Capital Region. (Ezra Prentice is near the Port of Albany, which is a major node in the distribution network of the oil.) It also marked a year since the huge oil train explosion in Lac Megantic, Quebec. [TU x2]

The building that collapsed on Clinton Ave in Albany (map) Friday had been caught in a foreclosure process that lasted 3-4 years. The family that lives next door said they had complained to the city multiple times about the building, but mayor Kathy Sheehan said the city was limited in what it was allowed to do about the building. [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

In which James Odato figures the odds for the competition to be granted a casino license in the Capital Region (and other regions). [TU]

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High court strikes down Albany County cyberbullying law, Libous pleads not guilty to tax charges, Convention Center Authority closes land purchase deal, Slater returns to Albany

In a 5-2 ruling on Tuesday, the New York State Court of Appeals struck down Albany County's cyberbulling law, overturning the conviction of a Cohoes High School student who created a Facebook page with posts about some of his fellow students -- some claiming the students had multiple sexual partners or were gay. [TU]

Binghamton senator Tom Libous, known as one of the most powerful lawmakers in the Capitol, has pleaded not guilty to federal indictment that claims he made false statements to the FBI in an investigation into how his son Matthew Libous obtained a job with a well connected law firm. [TU][NYT]

Joe Bruno has officially submitted paperwork with the Attorney General's office requesting that the state cover the $2.4 million dollar legal bill from his fraud trial.[Gazette]

The Albany Convention Center Authority has closed on the $4.05 million deal to purchase the land to build the center. [TU]

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Police: Woman killed her two children and herself, casino applications filed, widespread water service outage in Rotterdam

East Greenbush police say a mother killed her two children and herself at a home early Tuesday morning. The woman's brother said he and his brother were awoken by a hissing sound and then realized they had been locked in the room in which they were sleeping -- they then called police. The woman's brother said his sister had recently been released from mental health care -- she had been struggling to deal the suicide of her son. [WNYT] [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

Backers of casino proposals for Amsterdam, Cobleskill, East Greenbush, Rensselaer, and Schenectady filed their casino license applications (by the box-load) with the state Gaming Commission by the Monday deadline. In all, 16 bidders filed applications for 17 casino projects around the state. Among the details to surface were details about the proposed waterfront casino at DeLaet's Landing in Rensselaer. The developer behind the Howe Caverns casino proposal in Cobleskill is a Michigan-based developer, and the operator's board includes Lee Iacocca. In Amsterdam today there's expected to be a parade in support of the proposed casino there -- and anti-casino rally. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The state's highest court ruled 5-2 that local municipalities are within their rights to ban hydrofracking via zoning. More than 80 towns in the state have already banned fracking through zoning, and more than a hundred others have issued moratoriums. [NYS Court of Appeals] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Someone or some organization is trying to buy up houses adjacent to the NanoCollege. [TU]

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Deadline for casino license applications, oil spill at Port of Albany, studying spread of Lyme disease in Adirondacks, stolen and found 13 years later

Today's the deadline for casino license applications -- here's a rundown of the five proposals for the Capital Region. One last(?) odd twist in the process: An outspoken opponent of the Schenectady proposal has sent a letter to the state attorney general arguing that efforts by a coalition of local entertainment venues to reach a deal with casino operators violates anti-trust laws. [Daily Gazette x2]

About 100 gallons of crude oil were spilled from an oil train at the Port of Albany Sunday, according to a port official. The spill is being described as relatively minor, but Albany County officials are upset they weren't notified. [WNYT] [TU]

The president of the Empire State Association of the Deaf, on audism and a lack of services for deaf people: "New York state is one of the worst states as far as deaf services go ... There's no oversight, there's no monitoring, there's no grievance process, there's nothing." [TU]

Troy police are investigating the death of a man in Lansingburgh early Monday (map). The TU is describing it as a "deadly shooting," but TWCN and WNYT both report the reports of gunshots and the death haven't been officially connected. [TU] [TWCN] [WNYT]

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Law suit filed over proposed East Greenbush casino, construction worker death at GlobalFoundries, Colonie center wants to add more parking spaces

The group Save East Greenbush has filed suit in an attempt to block the proposed Capital View Casino & Resort. Among the allegations in the suit: that the town resolution supporting the casino was passed at a meeting that violated the state's Open Meetings Law. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

As the deadline for filing casino license applications approaches, talks are still going on between a coalition of regional entertainment venues and casino backers. [Daily Gazette]

A construction worker at the GlobalFoundries site in Malta died in an "industrial accident" Thursday evening, according to State Police. GlobalFoundries says construction work at the site has been halted after the accident. [NYSP] [TU]

Colonie police say they're waiting on autopsy results before declaring what killed an elderly couple found dead inside their Latham home Thursday -- but it appears they were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning because CO levels in the home were 10x the lethal limit. Police say a car was running in the garage when they arrived and the garage door was too hot to touch. [TU] [TWCN] [TU]

Schenectady police say a man was fatally shot in Mont Pleasant (map) early Friday morning. Neighbors said they heard what sounded like a gunshot and screams. It's Schenectady's first homicide of the year. [News10] [TWCN] [TU]

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IDC ends relationship with Senate Republicans, Chopper to lay off 80 employees, floods cause state of emergency in Mechanicville, Olaf is missing

According to Senator Jeff Klein, the Independent Democratic Conference will rejoin the Democrats in the State Senate, but not until after the November election. The arrangement was brokered by Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Here's more on why this is happening and the importance of the timing of this switch. [TU][TWCN][NYT][CNY]

Citing increasing competition, rising costs and a reduction in Federal aid to low-income people, Price Chopper has announced it will lay off 80 employees in management, field, clerical and support positions .[TU][WNYT]

A state of emergency has been declared in the Saratoga County town of Mechanicville after heavy rains and a broken water main soaked the streets. [TU][TWCN][News 10]

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Stefanik wins GOP primary, Victory Mills teen cleared in death of mother's fiance, Albany bear incident prompts rescue of 6 bears

Elise Stefanik, a former White House staffer, beat businessman Matt Doheny in Tuesday's Republican primary for the NY 21st Congressional District seat. This was Doheny's third run for the seat, and he blasted Karl Rove's national PAC American Crossroads for attack ads they aimed at him during this campaign.[News 10][NYT][TWCN]

A Saratoga County grand jury chose to not indict the 18-year-old Victory Mills man who was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his mother's fiancé. Matthew Brown's attorney said the teen had been protecting his mother from Derik Clark, who was being abusive. The Saratoga County DA's office says Clark attacked Brown after Brown called police, and DA Jim Murphy described the situation as self defense. Said Murphy in a press release: "Domestic violence homicides are often the most complicated and emotionally charged cases. There is never a good outcome. I can only be thankful that the criminal justice system functioned in the way it was designed and I have faith in the work of the grand jury today." Said Brown's attorney, Terry Kindlon, of the decision, "He's not the kind of kid who goes to jail. He goes to church." [WNYT] [TU] [TWCN] [Saratoga County DA] [Saratogian]

Greenwich residents voted 281-203 this week against dissolving their 205-year-old village. The plan to dissolve was originally proposed as a way to reduce property taxes.[WNYT][News 10][TU]

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High school graduation rate up slightly, study points to multiple infection risk from ticks, casino wheel continues to turn, remembering Judy Sanders

The statewide high school graduation rate was up slightly -- to 74.9 percent -- for the class that finished in 2013. In a released statement, the state's education commissioner said "far too many students, even if they graduate from high school, still haven't completed the advanced and rigorous course work to be ready for college or the workplace." [TU] [NYSED]

A study by group of scientists that included researchers from Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in the Hudson Valley highlights another risk related to ticks: a single bite could transmit not just Lyme disease, but multiple infections. [PLoS One] [TU]

Albany police say a 19 year old was shot in Sheridan Hollow (area map) Sunday night and was in critical condition. The anti-gun violence group Cure Violence is planning a rally at North Lake and Second Street Tuesday evening. [APD FB] [News10]

The two people accused of stealing the identities of patients at Albany Med, and then using those identities to apply for credit cards, have pleaded guilty to a group of felony charges, according to the Albany County DA's office. They both face as much as 15 years in prison. This past May the Albany County Sheriff's Office said materials for 50-60 identities were found at the couple's home. [Albany County DA] [TU]

Today is the Republican primary in the 21st Congression District (map), which pits Elise Stefanik against Matt Doheny. (Democrat Bill Owens, the incumbent, is not running for re-election.) [Post-Star]

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Number of homeless children almost doubles, legislature passes Albany parking permit and red light camera bills, if a plane crashes in the forest and no one hears it...

The number of school age children classified as homeless has almost doubled in New York State over the last five years, a trend that has played out in Capital Region as well. [TU]

The state Senate passed bills for an extension of the Albany residential parking permit system and red light camera authorization in the final hours of its session. (The bills had already passed in the Assembly.) [TU]

Casino news:

The state Gaming Commission has turned down the request from backers of the Montgomery County proposal to have the $50 million license fee cut in half in return for higher slot machine revenue tax rates. Backers say the proposal isn't dead, yet. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The Howe Caverns casino proposal is reportedly "moving full steam ahead," though details won't be shared until after the application is submitted. [Daily Gazette]

The groups competing to land the Capital Region casino license are already in talks with a labor union that could represent their employees, a requirement of the application of the process. [TU]

The group behind the East Greenbush casino proposal has reached an agreement with the TU Center and Palace Theatre that would limit an entertainment venue at the casino to 1,000 seats or fewer. [Daily Gazette] Earlier: A look at the size of Capital Region concert venues

Chris Churchill: If East Greenbush town officials think supporting the casino proposal there will lead to their ouster -- why are they supporting it? [TU]

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Late deal on medical marijuana, Hard Rock connected to Rensselaer casino proposal, questions about for-profit biz in non-profit real estate, roundabout for Schenectady

The state legislature was cramming in legislation as it approached the end of its session Thursday night. There were two major deals by state leaders as the legislature's session headed for its end Thursday night: medical marijuana, and an adjustment to the system of teacher evaluations. [NYT] [TU]

The medical marijuana bill includes a wide range of restrictions on how the drug can be sold, prescribed, and administered -- for example: it won't be allowed to be smoked. The state Assembly passed the bill overnight. And state Senate is expected to vote on the bill this morning. [State of Politics] [AP/Troy Record] [WBNG] [State of Politics]

As the state legislature careened to the finish, it was unclear what would happen to the city of Albany's request for an extension of its residential parking permit system and a bill that would open the way for red light cameras in the city. [TU]

Hard Rock International -- the company behind the Hard Rock Cafe and casino chain -- announced that it's involved with the proposed casino at DeLaet's Landing in Rensselaer. But many of the details related to the project won't be released until after its application is submitted to the state Gaming Commission. [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette]

A few of the communities in the running for a casino, including the Amsterdam/Florida proposal, have made an appeals to the state Gaming Commission based on the depressed states of their local economies. [TU]

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Last day of the legislative session, still no agreement on medical marijuana, Rensselear casino plans to be unveiled tonight, NYCLU calls for Spa City police review board, legislature outlaws pet tattoos/piercings

Today is the last official day of the legislative session. Among the items still undecided, the Compassionate Care Act, which would legalize medical marijuana. The latest version of the bill was rejected by Governor Cuomo earlier this week because it still allows for smoking the drug. Medical marijuana advocates rallied in Albany for the passage of the bill. [CNY][WSJ][TWCN]

Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement, Wednesday on a series of bills that are geared toward fighting heroin addiction in New York State. [NYT][WNYT][TWCN]

The Senate has passed the bill to allow Schenectady, Troy, Albany and other small cities around the state to hold night courts, but with an amendment giving authority over where the night courts go in the hands of the Office of Court Administration. [TU]

Plans for a proposed Rensselaer casino at DeLaet's Landing are expected to be unveiled at meeting this evening. [TU]

East Greenbush Casino opponents spoke out at a public meeting on Wednesday claiming the approval process has been secretive and unfair. One East Greenbush Councilwoman, blaming the state for the lack of time to have more than one community meeting on a proposed casino in the town: "Like the army tank in Tiananmen Square, this thing was coming,The predisposition to make it happen and not find out if the community supported it was born at the state level when they rolled out a time line that made it impossible to to a public referendum."[TWCN][TU]

If East Greenbush gets a casino, Mazzone Hospitality has agreed to create a high end dining facility on the property. [WNYT]

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Cuomo rejects medical marijuana bill, red light cameras and downtown Albany residential parking permit stuck in end of session scramble, it's now legal to spend eternity with Fido

Overnight storms caused power outages and downed trees around the region -- including a massive tree that fell on a house and van in Saratoga County. [TWCN]

Andrew Cuomo has rejected the "Compassionate Care Act", intended to legalize medical marijuana in New York. The act was revised by the legislature earlier this week, but Cuomo rejected it because it still doesn't include a ban on smoking the drug or a provision to evaluate the program in five years. But lawmakers still believe a compromise can be reached in time for the bill to pass by the end of session. [WNYT][News10][TWCN]

With only two days left in the legislative session there are a number of items the legislature is trying to plow through, including a deal on a package of bills intended to curb heroin addiction in New York State. [Buffalo News]

The fate of items like Albany's residential parking permit system and red light cameras is also still up in the air. A bill that would mandate teaching CPR in NYS schools has passed in the Senate and Assembly and is now on Andrew Cuomo's desk for approval or veto. [TU][TU]

The Assembly passed a bill that would allow night courts in cities like Schenectady, Troy and Albany, in order to cut costs.[TU]

A Schenectady police officer suspended after road rage allegations in Saratoga Glenville last year has taken a plea deal allowing him to retire with full pension and avoid misdemeanor menacing charges if he stays out of trouble for six months, does community service, surrenders all weapons and agrees to anger management treatment. [TWCN][TU][News 10]

A FOIL request filed by a leader of group opposing the East Greenbush casino netted documents that indicate East Greenbush leaders planned to have just one public meeting on the project to discourage discussion of the "negative side" of a casino. [TU]

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Casino process continues to spin, Andrew Cuomo catching criticism from left and right, swanning around Central Park

capital view east greenbush casino rendering

The rendering released by the East Greenbush casino proposal, the Capital View Casino & Resort.

Casino news:

In Montgomery County the Florida town board voted unanimously Monday night to support the proposed casino project there. The casino would also partly be in the city of Amsterdam -- the economy there is struggling and people are "taxed up the ying-yang," and there appears to be widespread, if cautious, support for the casino proposal. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

+ The proposed East Greenbush casino project now has an official name: Capital View Casino & Resort. And backers released a rendering of the proposed facility, a design said to "reflect the architectural vision of early European settlers, who dreamed of a New Netherland." [Biz Review] [TU]

An addendum to the Albany convention center project: Albany County is expected to borrow as much as $15 million for improvements to the TU Center associated with the project. (The TU Center and Albany Capital Center will be connected by a walkway.) [TU]

The body of the woman missing after her raft overturned in the Kayaderosseras Creek in Milton on Friday was found Monday in Malta, about four miles from she entered the water. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

The man accused of kidnapping his former girlfriend, forcing her to dig a grave in the woods, and threatening to kill her last year near Saratoga Lake has been found guilty on multiple charges. Ryan Place of Milton faces 10-25 years in prison. [Daily Gazette] [Saratoga County DA]

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Arrest made in Troy fatal stabbing, Amsterdam casino proposal to ask for reduced license fee, the scrap metal magnate and his pottery collection

Troy police say they've made an arrest in the fatal stabbing of Amber Lynne Fernald in a North Central apartment early Friday morning. Alexis Torres of Troy has been indicted on charges that include second-degree murder. [Troy Record] [TU]

The driver accused of hitting and killing Jamie Jo McBride as she crossed Ballston Ave in Saratoga Springs in a crosswalk last June has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving. The incident was caught on a video camera from a nearby school bus. The Saratoga County DA's office says it expects Paul E. Nicholson II to be sentenced to 3-9 years in prison. [Saratoga County DA] [Daily Gazette]

Casinos:
+ The team behind the proposal for a casino near Amsterdam will ask the state to cut the casino license fee in half, and request an extension for its application. [TU]
+ A concern about the proposed casino at the former Alco site on the Mohawk River in Schenectady: flooding. [Daily Gazette]

Local state Assembly members Pat Fahy, John McDonald, and Phil Steck have proposed a group of bills related to the transport of crude oil. (As you know, the Port of Albany has become a major node in the rail distribution network for crude oil.) [TU] [TWCN]

One of the takeaways from a Times Union/Siena College poll of upstate residents on education issues: more than 80 percent of respondents said they agreed the implementation of the Common Core has been rushed. The poll also reported 94 percent of respondents were in favor of increasing vocational training. (The crosstabs are worth reading through -- 27 percent of respondents in the poll had children in public school.) [Siena SRI] [TU x2]

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Thomas found not guilty in retrial, East Greenbush board passes casino resolution, Cuomo cites "serious questions" about medical marijuana bill, defenestration alleged

Adrian Thomas was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the 2008 death of his infant son. Thomas had been found guilty in 2009, but a retrial of his case was prompted by a state Court of Appeals decision earlier this year that Troy police had used "a set of highly coercive deceptions" during their interrogation of Thomas to prompt him to talk and incriminate himself. In the new trial the jury did not see video of the police interrogation of Thomas or evidence/testimony from the detectives who questioned him. Said Thomas after the verdict of the interrogation: "It was a heartbreaking moment for a long time ... And at least for five years, I still have a lot of emotions for what they did. There's nothing I could say that could bring back five years ago. I'm ready to move on." [Troy Record] [TU] [News10]

Trinity Copeland -- the Troy teen found guilty of second-degree murder for the shooting death of her father -- was sentenced to 25 years to life, the maximum sentence. Copeland testified that her father told her to kill him and would have killed her if she hadn't -- she said at the sentencing: "I'm so sorry for what I did ... I know what I did was so unforgivable, but I just feel that no one understands what happened." Said judge Andrew Ceresia: "I didn't get any sense at all even here today that she accepts responsibility for what happened." [TU] [Troy Record] [News10]

The East Greenbush town board unanimously voted in favor of a resolution supporting the proposed casino on Thompson Hill Road. The special meeting included an overflow crowd and public comments critical of the proposal. Board members cited the potential tax revenue and economic benefits from the project for their support. [Biz Review] [TU] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

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Schenectady County legislators support casino plan, 25 arrests in Capital Region drug ring investigation, groundbreaking today for Shoppes at Latham Circle

Schenectady County legislators unanimously voted to support the $300 million plan for a casino and resort at Mohawk Harbor after only a 15-minute public commentary period and few comments from the floor. [TU][Gazette][TWCN]

Deliberations get underway today in the Adrian Thomas murder trial. On Tuesday a pediatric neuroradiologist from Stanford Medical Center testified Thomas' 4-month old son died of an aggressive bacterial infection. [WNYT][TWCN]

The father of Vanessa Milligan, the 19-year-old pregnant woman who was found dead on April 3 after a Lansingburgh apartment fire, is planning to hold a press conference today to discuss his frustration with the slow pace of the investigation.[TU]

A 10-month investigation has shut down an alleged Capital Region drug ring in which prosecutors say dealers referred to the drugs they were selling by the names of pop stars like Christina Aguilera and Britney.[WNYT][TU]

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Schenectady City Council passes casino resolution, fatal stabbing in Troy, Saratoga County Airport runway expansion blocked

The Schenectady City Council voted in favor of a resolution supporting the proposed casino at the former Alco site 5-2. The vote was preceded by three hours of public comments about the topic. Supporters cited the potential jobs and tax revenue for the city. One of the council members who voted against the resolution said he didn't think the city had enough info yet. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [Biz Review]

A few more details about the proposed casino near Amsterdam at Exit 27. [TU]

Troy police say a woman is dead and a man injured following a stabbing early Tuesday morning in North Central (map). TPD says the man is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries and it's waiting to talk with him. A neighbor tells News10 they called police after hearing children screaming and running out of the residence. [TU] [TWCN] [Troy Record] [News10]

CSX is asking the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to sign a non-disclosure agreement for federally-required reports the railroad must file related to shipping Bakken crude oil. [TU]

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More details about proposed Schenectady casino, homelessness linked to trauma, highest paid CEOs, the selfie has run its course

The Schenectady City Council is set to vote on its casino resolution Monday night. Details of the proposal are emerging -- the developers/operators say casino would have one full restaurant and no entertainment venue. Some perspective on the potential operator, from other cities where the company runs casinos. And this past Saturday there was anti-casino gathering in the nearby Stockade neighborhood. [TU] [Daily Gazette x3]

A foundation study of homeless families in the some of the largest upstate cities -- including Albany -- concluded that a large majority of homeless mothers had experienced multiple and traumas and half met the criteria for PTSD. [Wilson Foundation] [TU]

Times Union investigation/analysis: Dairy farming can be dangerous work, and oversight by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is limited. Elsewhere: The last dairy farm in Clifton Park. [TU] [Saratogian]

The bicyclist struck during an accident in downtown Troy last week -- whom police had said was dead when he was still alive in the hospital -- has now passed away. [Troy Record]

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Cyclist said to be dead after accident is alive, First Amendment challenge to Albany County cyberbullying law, recalling the experience of D-Day

The cyclist who Troy police said had died in a collision with a vehicle near Federal and King streets downtown Monday night is actually still alive and in the ICU at Albany Med. [Troy Record]

Adrian Thomas retrial: A medical expert appearing for the defense testified that Thomas's infant son had died of a sepsis, a body-wide infection, not a head injury. A medical examiner appearing for the prosecution had testified earlier in the day the infant did have sepsis, but also had a serious brain injury. (The trial was also temporarily held up by a poster attached to a mailbox outside the court.) [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

The state Court of Appeals heard arguments Thursday over the constitutionality of Albany County's cyber-bullying law -- attorneys for a now-former Cohoes High School student who charged (and pleaded guilty) for comments made on a Facebook page argue the law violates the First Amendment. [TU]

Rensselaer mayor Dan Dwyer says David Flaum's recent track record on casino proposals is not a concern. [TWCN]

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Rensselaer council votes to give Flaum casino approval, Sheehan has no regrets about how Albany approached E-23 proposal, more Whole Foods coming to the Capital Region

Less than a day after word spread that that developer David Flaum was pulling out of the E23 casino proposal for the city of Albany, the Rensselaer Common Council voted 6-1 to give Flaum's group the necessary approval to compete for a casino that would go on the DeLaet's Landing site on the Rensselaer waterfront. [TU][TU][News 10]

Kathy Sheehan said Wednesday that she believes the Albany Common Council took the correct approach to the question of the E23 casino proposal.[TU]

More than 700 people gathered at Genet Elementary School Wednesday night for a public hearing on the proposed Casino at East Greenbush. Developers introduced a new traffic plan for the proposed casino.[WNYT]
[TWCN]

A new television ad suggests a casino would reduce taxes for East Greenbush homeowners by 30 percent -- but will it? [TU]

About 30 people turned out in Saratoga Springs Wednesday for a special meeting on the racino expansion project, which turned out to be mostly a debate among council members. [Saratogian]

Andrew Cuomo has announced the first dozen Start-Up NY tax free business sites, none of which are in the Capital Region. [TU]

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TU: E23 casino developer may move plan to Rensselaer, state comptroller's report: city of Albany facing financial challenges, rice cakes and hockey pucks

"Rensselaer County political sources familiar with casino developments in East Greenbush and Rensselaer" tell the Times Union that David Flaum, the developer pushing the proposed E23 casino project in Albany, is "moving toward making" the de Laet's Landing site in Rensselaer his preferred site for a casino. [TU]

A new report from the state comptroller's office detailed some of the financial challenges facing the city of Albany -- among them: 60 percent of its land is not taxable, its landfill is scheduled to close, and a third of its children live in poverty. But the city's financial state did not land it in the comptroller's category of cities under "fiscal stress." In an OSC press release, mayor Kathy Sheehan again stated that city is facing a $10 million deficit in its next budget. [NYS OSC] [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [NYS OSC]

The state Assembly transportation committee unanimously voted to move along a two-year renewal of Albany's residential parking permit system -- the first step in renewing the pilot program that is set to expire in February. (The renewal would also have to pass in the state Senate.) [TU]

A Schenectady man has been arrested in connection with last week's bomb scare in Niskayuna's Mohawk Commons shopping plaza. [WNYT]

Schenectady police are looking for burglars who broke into three separate homes overnight, making off with wallets, purses, money and video games. Residents of the neighborhood say a pedestrian tunnel under I-890 made it easy for burglars to escape their neighborhood, and have been asking the city to seal the tunnel off. [WNYT][TWCN]

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Support lining up for Schenectady casino, car pulled from middle of lake, fatal collision with bicyclist, Palace suing Engelbert Humperdinck

A majority of the Schenectady City Council has apparently decided to back a resolution supporting a casino in the city -- without a formal public hearing on the topic, though there was a presentation by the developer and operator pushing the project. A majority of the crowd at a Schenectady County Legislature hearing on the topic also appeared to be in favor of the casino, according to a Gazette estimate. And in the neighborhoods right near the proposed site? It might depend on which side of the tracks you're on. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Charles L. Wilkinson, 69, has been charged with second-degree murder for the death of his wife, Kathleen Wilkinson, at their Malta home, according to the Saratoga County DA's office, which alleges the woman was strangled to death. Law enforcement officials allege Wilkinson, a former police officer on Long Island, stayed in the house with his wife's body for as long as a day and a half. County sheriff Michael Zurlo said had deputy had stopped at the house for a welfare check on Kathleen Wilkinson after a call from family. [Saratoga County DA] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

An inmate testified Monday during the Adrian Thomas retrial that Thomas told him in jail that he'd caused the death of his infant son by bouncing the boy off a bed. [TU]

A car that had been reported stolen last November was pulled from Iroquois Lake in Schenectady's Central Park -- police aren't sure exactly how it got there, but one theory involves the car being driver out onto the frozen lake and then falling through the ice. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Man accused of killing his wife and staying in house with her body, casino focus turns to Schenectady, where the rock stars fly into

A Malta man is accused of killing his wife -- and then staying in the house with the dead body for several days, according to the Saratoga County DA's office. [TU] [Saratogian]

Schenectady police two men were shot early Saturday, reportedly on State Street in the Vale neighborhood (map). The injuries weren't considered life threatening. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Albany police say an Altamont man was shot Saturday evening in West Hill (map). His injuries were not life threatening, and APD says it's investigating. [APD FB]

Committees for the Schenectady City Council and the Schenectady County legislature will be hearing pitches about the casino proposed for the former Alco site tonight. [Daily Gazette]

Andrew Cuomo secured the Working Families ballot line for governor after a challenge from Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout. The challenge against Cuomo for the spot was seen as pushback by the more liberal side of the Democratic Party, and losing the line could have changed the gubernatorial race by introducing a third candidate -- to Cuomo's left -- with support downstate. (Though Teachout might not be finished leaning against Cuomo.) In return for the party's support, Cuomo has apparently also agreed to help put the state Senate back in control of Democrats. [TU] [Capital] [NYT] [State of Politics]

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Opening arguments in Thomas retrial, new building for state DOT and Thruway Authority, spelling bee rep exits on velvety word

During opening arguments of the Adrian Thomas retrial, the prosecution argued the death of Thomas's infant son was "inflicted trauma" rather than "the result of any type of accident." The defense argued the prosecution has a weak case, and the plan to call Thomas's former cellmate to testify is a sign of "desperate measures." Thursday also include testimony from Thomas's stepdaughter, who yelled an obscenity at Thomas as she ran from the courtroom. [Troy Record] [News10] [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU]

The Cuomo admin has announced a plan to relocate the state Department of Transportation from its Wolf Road offices to a new building that the agency would share with the Thruway Authority. The new facility would be on the site of the current Thruway building near Exit 23 in Albany (map, and the former DOT building on Wolf Road would be sold. The move would also represent a not-quite merger between the DOT and Thruway Authority. [Cuomo admin] [TU]

The featured speaker at a community meeting to oppose a casino in East Greenbush -- Les Bernal of the Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation -- told the crowd that casinos are about draining money out of a community: "You know, there's no new money being created by casinos. It's just a transfer of money from the have-nots to the haves." [Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN]

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Schalmont state tests compromised, Senate proposes 25 anti-heroin bills, possible new witness in Thomas re-trial, Bethlehem votes against Capital Region Casinos

The State Education Department has invalidated sixth grade and eighth grade state tests in the Schalmont School district after the tests were somehow compromised by being shown to students in advance. Officials say they believe the problem was caused by "miscommunication" and that there was no deliberate attempt to compromise the exams.
Students will not have to retake the tests but the incident could affect state aid. [WNYT][TU][News10]

Bethlehem's town board voted against the Exit 23 casino project on Wednesday -- and against a casino located anywhere in the Capital Region, claiming they are concerned with the impact such a project would have on the welfare of the community.[TU]

The jury has been seated and opening statements are expected today in the re-trial of Adrian Thomas, charged with killing his infant son in 2008. Before the trial can start today, the judge must decide whether a new witness -- an inmate who claims Thomas told him he killed the child-- can take part in the trial [News 10][WNYT][TU]

At Troy's third hearing on emergency demolition on King Street, the owner of the 4-6-8-10 King Street building claimed miscommunication on the part of the city was a big problem, saying he wanted to get the city to condemn the building but wasn't able to do so, and that the city engineer didn't return multiple phone calls. But former Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian said the owner -- Donald Boyajian-- had been denied an emergency order to tear the King Street building down, an order Boyajian says he never asked for. [TWCN][TU][WNYT]

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Albany bear still up a tree, Jury selection underway in second Thomas trial, Bruno "coming out party" at anti NY SAFE rally

DEC officials were looking for ways to save the black bear who climbed up a tree on Whitehall Road in Albanyyesterday. Officials have been watching the bear overnight and planned to try to save it if it came down before daylight. If not, they say they might be forced to kill the animal in the interest of public safety. [TU][AOA][TWCN][News 10]

Eleven days after being acquitted by a federal jury, Joe Bruno spoke at an anti NY SAFE Act rally in Brunswick on Tuesday night, advising a crowd of about 300 to stand up and speak for their rights. Bruno called the event his "coming out party," and told the crowd "It's time to push back because our liberties have been eroded over the years. It's wrong in every way."[TU][WNYT][TWCN][Record]

Police say the 64-year-old man who was found dead in the woods near Halfmoon on Monday was trying to get off his ATV with a loaded shotgun when the weapon accidentally went off, killing him. [TU]

Jury selection got underway on Tuesday in the retrial of Adrian Thomas, accused of killing his 4-month-old son six years ago. A high court tossed out Thomas' original sentence because police had lied to him to coerce him into confessing. Jury selection is expected to wrap up and opening arguments are slated to begin today. [TU][WNYT][Record]

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Man accused of his killing his mother, aquarium feasibility study being floated, future of tiny nuclear reactor uncertain, words as colors

Coeymans police say a man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his mother. Police say officers responding to a domestic disturbance call Sunday found 50-year-old Theresa Michelli dead. The attorney for 24-year-old Brendon M. Biers said his client has a self-defense case. [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

Omni Development has started circulating the aquarium feasibility study it commissioned in an effort to generate support among local leaders for the project. [TU]

The National Weather Service has declared that the tornado that hit Duanesburg was an EF3 tornado. (More about the Enhanced Fujita scale for tornadoes.) [Daily Gazette]

The Schenectady school district is reporting dramatic increases in attendance rates this year, perhaps because of expanded free meal programs. [Daily Gazette]

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NWS looking at whether tornado ripped through area, Cuomo calls to "double down" on upstate investment, author criticizes casinos

The National Weather Service says a survey team is looking at whether the powerful storm that blew through parts of Schenectady and Albany counties Thursday afternoon was a tornado. Much of the damage was along a path in Duanesburg that cut across Route 20, Route 7, and I-88. The storm destroyed one house and damaged other buildings, though no one was reported hurt. [NWS] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10]

The main topics mentioned during Barack Obama's 15-minute speech at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown Thursday: jobs and tourism (including long waits at airport security lines). The President's visit also prompted a protests against hydrofracking. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

In his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination for governor, Andrew Cuomo said, "We're going to double down on our investment in upstate NY." Thursday night Republican candidate Rob Astorino was in western New York criticizing the "Buffalo Billion" plan. [TU] [State of Politics]

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Former Buffalo Congresswoman to be Cuomo's running mate, passionate supporters and opponents at East Greenbush casino meeting, Obama in Cooperstown

Former Buffalo Congresswoman Kathy Hochul will be Andrew Cuomo's 2014 running mate.[TU][NYT]

Cuomo is expected to be nominated for re-election later today. [TWCN]

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and state comptroller Tom DiNapoli were nominated by the Democratic party to run for another term. [Daily Politics][WSJ/AP]

Andrew Cuomo named former Governor David Paterson chairman of the state Democratic Party. [TU]

A large and passionate crowd packed East Greenbush Town Hall on Wednesday night , with arguments both for and against a proposed casino in the town. [WNYT][Record]

President Obama is scheduled to visit Cooperstown today.[TWCN]

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School budgets pass but turnout low, Q poll shows Cuomo with substantial lead, choice for Lt. Governor remains a mystery, operator announced for proposed Schenectady casino

All local school budgets were passed on Tuesday, but turnout was low in elections across the state. Here are results in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties. [TU][TWCN][TU][TU][TU][TU]

As the Democratic convention opens, a Quinnapiac poll shows Andrew Cuomo leading Rob Astorino by 29 points. But a Liberal third party candidate could make a big difference. [WNYT][Daily News]

The Mayor of Buffalo does not want to be Lt. Governor of NYS.Who will replace Lt. Governor Robert Duffy on the ticket is a "genuine mystery."[Buffalo News][NYT]

The Troy woman who plead guilty to stealing $480,000 from a charity established to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing will spend up to three years in jail. [TU][Record]

The defense attorney for the 18 year old Victory man who is charged with the murder of his mother's abusive fiancé says it is a clear case of self defense. The case has been handed over to a grand jury[TU] [Saratogian]

Rivers Casino announced on Tuesday that they are behind plans to build a casino in Schenectady as part of the $450 million project at the former ALCO site [WNYT][TWCN][Gazette]

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Casino developments turning up around the region, Bruno seeking legal fee reimbursement, backyard chickens issue pops up

Today is school budget vote day. Don't know where to vote? Check with your school district.

Capital Region casino developments:

+ The backers of "The Casino at East Greenbush" presented plans for the proposed gambling facility at a community meeting Monday night. One of the backers called it "an economic game-changer" for East Greenbush -- it projected to include 1,700 jobs. One resident opposed to the project compared the casino to the tobacco industry. [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT] [TWCN]

+ The casino operator lined up for the E23 project in Albany is apparently Global Gaming Solutions, which is owned by the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma. The company runs 19 other gambling facilities, including a casino in Texas said to be the world's largest. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

+ The Galesi Group appears set to announce today its plans for a casino at the former Alco site in Schenectady, with Rush Street Gaming of Chicago as the potential operator. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

An attorney for the Victory teen charged with second-degree murder after allegedly fatally stabbing his mother's boyfriend at their residence Friday night says the teen had acted in self defense after seeing his mother abused by the boyfriend. Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy says it's likely a grand jury will consider a lesser charge. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

The Washington County Sheriff's Office says the two people killed after apparently being struck by a train in Kingsbury Sunday were an adult and a six year old. The sheriff says the two had been on a train trestle fishing, and based on train video, it appears they didn't realize the train was coming until it was very close. [Post-Star] [TU]

The Albany Common Council approved a resolution asking the state legislature to give it the authority to install red light cameras. (The state legislature still needs to grant permission, and then the issue would go before the Common Council again.) [News10]

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Bruno retrial verdict reaction, fatal stabbing in Victory, Obama to visit Cooperstown, horse killed by arrow, Schenectady fire survivor recovering and adapting

Joe Bruno retrial reaction after Friday's not guilty verdict:
+ Bruno: "It's hard to describe the feeling when the United States of America has been after you, how it weighs on your mind." [Daily Gazette]
+ Many local officials cheered the verdict. [TU]
+ Brendan Lyons: The 2010 SCOTUS ruling on the theft of honest services law was "a central factor" in Bruno's acquittal. [TU]
+ The state could end up paying Bruno's legal fees. [TU]
+ Jimmy Vielkind: "State lawmakers, exhale: Joe Bruno, and the system as you know it, has been acquitted." [Capital]

An 18-year-old high school student in Victory has been charged with second-degree murder after Saratoga County Sheriff's Office says he fatally stabbed his mother's boyfriend Friday night. Police say that Matthew J. Brown had called 911 to report a disagreement between his mother and the boyfriend, and when law enforcement arrived at the residence Derik K. Clark was dead with knife wounds in his neck. [Saratogian] [Post-Star] [TU] [TWCN]

One of the hurdles for the city of Albany as it looks at possibly using red light cameras: a Common Council resolution asking the state legislature to allow the city to use the cameras -- a move that one council member says is being rushed. (If the resolution is passed, the state legislature would still have to OK the city's request, and then the Common Council would have to approve the use of the cameras if city decided it wanted to use them.) [TU]

Troy mayor Lou Rosamilia has vetoed a City Council ordinance to subpoena city officials as part of hearings on the King Street and former King Fuels site demolitions. [Troy Record]

Barack Obama will be visiting Cooperstown Thursday to highlight the tourism business. [Obama admin]

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Joe Bruno retrial now with jury, Albany officials push for red light cameras, review of Saratoga racino expansion, seeking the supermarket good samaritan

Joe Bruno retrial: The case is now with the jury. Said federal prosecutor Elizabeth Coombe during closing arguments: ""You've heard the story of a very powerful man and how he exploited his office for personal gain." Bruno attorney E. Stewart Jones: "They want Senator Bruno's scalp ... That's all they care about, truth be damned." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

The state Republican Party has nominated Rob Astorino as its candidate for governor. Among the many issues Astorino mentioned in his speech after accepting the nomination: term limits for state elected officials. [TU] [State of Politics]

Speaking at UAlbany Thursday, a climate scientist who was part of the recently released National Climate Assessment said the Northeast appears to be facing the prospect of more storms like Sandy, Irene, and Lee. [TU]

Albany officials stressed that safety -- not revenue -- is the motivating force behind the push to get the legislature to approve the option of using red light cameras in the city. Kathy Sheehan: "Implementing red light cameras as a way of generating revenue is a mistake." [TU] [WNYT]

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Closing arguments expected in Bruno trial, Albany Planning Commissioner to depart for Columbia Development, kids injured in bounce house incident in stable condition

Closing arguments are expected today in Joe Bruno's trial. On Wednesday the defense called an accountant who worked for the state Senate from 2003 to 2009, who testified that Bruno was a long-time supporter of racing and was concerned for the financially-strapped NYRA, as well as a lobbyist and attorney who discussed how lobbying works in Albany and said it's not uncommon for consultants not to file written reports.[TU][WNYT]

A badly decomposed body was found near a dam on the Mohawk River in Waterford on Wednesday. [News 10]

Albany city planning and economic development Commissioner Mike Yevoli will be leaving the city to join Columbia Development as a project manager.[TU]

The case for a "road diet" that would include timed red lights on Madison Avenue in Albany.[TU]

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State names minimum investments for casinos, railroad fined after oil tank car derailment in Albany, guilty plea withdrawn in murder case, kids these days

The state's required investment for a full casino in the Capital Region: at least $182.25 million. The proposed casinos in Albany and East Greenbush would both appear to clear that hurdle based on what's been floated so far (though there's still no announcement about an operator for the Albany casino). There is a wide range of required investment among the state's different regions: from $472.5 million in Dutchess or Orange counties, to as little as $94.5 in some Southern Tier counties depending on the awarding of other licenses. [Biz Review] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [NYS Gaming]

Another casino bit: the heads of Proctors and SPAC have approached potential casino developers in the region about agreeing to limits on the size of entertainment venues at the gambling sites. [TU]

Joe Bruno retrial: two former CEOs for companies that contracted with Bruno for consulting work set up via Jared Abbruzzese testified they weren't sure what work Bruno had done for the $20,000/month payments. And the former attorney for the state Senate majority testified that Bruno had not disclosed his race horse ownership connection with Abbruzzese, or that one of Abbruzzese's company had gotten a state grant. The judge in the case also denied a defense motion for a mistrial over the inclusion of evidence related to Abbruzzese's campaign contributions. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

The Troy City Council approved a process for issuing subpoenas about the recent demolitions on King Street and at the former King Fuels site. There was also some squabbling over whether the council knows -- or doesn't know -- who wants to subpoena. [TU] [Troy Record]

Four tank cars carrying crude oil derailed in the Kenwood Rail Yard near the Port of Albany early Monday morning, according to state Department of Transportation. NYSDOT says the cars remained upright and did not spill oil -- but Canadian Pacific Railroad will be fined $5k for not reporting the incident to NYSDOT within one hour. The company says the incident involved no injuries or public safety issues. [NYSDOT] [TU]

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First week of Bruno retrial, bill would allow red light cameras in Albany, sour creaming alleged, Durkin retiring after this horse racing season

Joe Bruno retrial: Pork was the subject on Friday -- and whether the consulting payments made by companies associated with Jared Abbruzzese to Bruno had any connection with two pieces of it. A former Bruno aide testified one grant was disbursed not because of influence, but because a business associate of Abbruzzese had grown "impatient" and had persistently asked for it. The trial continues to this week. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN]

The city of Albany's state legislative reps have introduced a bill that would allow the city to install red light cameras. The bill would allow cameras at 20 intersections. Mayor Kathy Sheehan says the desire to consider the cameras is a public safety issue, not an attempt to generate revenue. [TU x2] [News10]

Albany police say a man was fatally shot Sunday morning in the area of South Pearl Street and Madison Ave (map). APD says its investigating. [APD]

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Abbruzzese on the stand in Bruno retrial, another pedestrian hit on Thruway, Bonacio buys Daisy Baker's building in Troy

Joe Bruno retrial: Jared Abbruzzese -- the Loudonville businessman whose dealings with Bruno are at the center of the trial -- was on the stand Thursday and denied trying to bribe the former state Senator. When Bruno's attorney asked him if the $20,000/month consulting fees paid to Bruno were intended to buy Bruno's influence in state government, Abbruzzese responded "Not a dime! Zero!" Abbruzzese also had trouble explaining what exactly Bruno did for that money, citing the arrangement of one meeting -- with Donald Trump -- over a two-year period with different companies. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN] [Troy Record]

An engineer hired to consult on the demolition work at the King Fuels site in South Troy testified at a city council hearing Thursday that it appeared his recommendations for how a building on the site could be safely demolished were not followed. On Thursday Troy mayor Lou Rosamilia criticized the hearings, calling them "political theater" and a "witch hunt." [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

The city of Albany's reps in the state legislature are pushing for the legislature to renew the city's parking permit system. [TU]

State Police say another pedestrian was hit on I-87 near Albany, this time early Friday morning in the southbound lane south of Exit 23. NYSP say the man was taken to the hospital in critical condition. It's the second accident involving a pedestrian on that general section of the Thruway in a week -- in both cases, police are investigating why the pedestrians were on the interstate. [NYSP] [WNYT] [TU]

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Abbruzzese to take stand in Bruno retrial, Duffy says he won't run for re-election, Albany Med nurse charged with patient identity theft

Citing personal reasons, Lt. Governor Robert Duffy has informed Andrew Cuomo that he will not seek reelection. [Democrat and Chronicle]

Jared Abbruzzese, the businessman at the center of Joe Bruno's retrial, is expected to take the stand today. On Wednesday the court heard from two witnesses -- Abbruzzese's business partner Wayne Barr and Jerry Bilinski, a veterinarian and former trustee for the NYRA Racing and Wagering Board. A prosecutor in the case suggested that Bruno was behind an attempt to get rid of a member of the State Racing and Wagering Board, to make room for one who would support privatizing racetracks, which she argued was in step with the agenda of Jared Abbruzzese.[TWCN][TU][Record]

An Albany Medical Center nurse is charged with stealing the identities of patients and using them to set up fake credit card accounts online, with the help of her boyfriend. [TU][News10]

At a march down Fifth Avenue in Troy on Wednesday, pastor Willie Bacote called on the public to share information regarding the fire that killed 19-year-old expectant mother Vanessa Milligan in April. [WNYT][Record]

An Albany woman who police say had been stopped for speeding in East Greenbush, but drove off, led police from several agencies on a 10 mile chase on Wednesday before she was stopped and arrested in Watervliet. [TU][TWCN]

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Joe Bruno retrial starts, charter school fighting order to close, yet another Troy investigation, a long bike ride

Joe Bruno retrial: During opening arguments the prosecution cast consulting payments Bruno received from Loudonville businessman Jared Abbruzzese a "a quid pro quo bribery scheme" for Bruno's actions or influence in state government. Bruno's attorney called the prosecution's argument "hogwash" and argued it was "picking facts out of midair." (And there are court sketches.) For day two: the first evidence and testimony. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Troy Record] [News10] [TWCN]

The board of the Ark Community Charter School in Troy has decided to file a lawsuit over the state's decision to close school. The SUNY Board of Trustees Charter School Committee cited poor performance in ordering the school closed, but the charter school's board says the decision was "arbitrary." Said the school's board chair: "Our school is way out performing any of the schools that have been re-chartered." Said the mother of one of the school's students: "If Ark were to close, it would be a hole in the city." [TU] [News10] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TWCN]

A Schenectady city firefighter has filed a notice of claim for a potential lawsuit alleging she has been subject to multiple incidents of sexual harassment on the job as well as two death threats. [Daily Gazette]

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Bruno retrial starts today, pedestrian killed on I-87, two bars on Pearl Street pegged as trouble spots, tons of pasta

Joe Bruno's retrial starts today in federal court. This time around, the focus of the prosecution will be on "consulting fees" paid to Bruno by a Loudonville businessman. Bruno was, of course, once one of the most powerful politicians in the state and very influential in the Capital Region. [TWCN] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

State Police say a pedestrian on I-87 in Albany was killed Sunday night after being hit by a tractor trailer. NYSP say an initial investigation indicates the man "was alone in the center of three southbound lanes" when he was struck. That section of I-87 -- southbound, between exits 23 and 24 -- was closed for a time during the response to the incident. [NYSP]

Reports the Times Union: "Whether it's witnesses or grand juries, social media sites are now clearly the chief tools used to expose and threaten witnesses." [TU]

The scene at the Schenectady convenience store to which police have been called more than 1,000 times over the last two years. [Daily Gazette]

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Fatal shooting in Albany, Troy police stepping up presence downtown, focus on future of Saratoga racino, alleged restaurant burglar arrested

Albany police say a man was fatally shot in the South End neighborhood shortly after 6 pm Thursday (map). APD says it's investigating and no arrests had been made. [TU] [News10]

APD says the shooting on Elk Street in West Hill (map) Wednesday afternoon appears to have been a robbery. [News10]

Schenectady police say it appears an argument prompted at least one shot to be fired on a Mont Pleasant street Thursday afternoon (map), but no one was injured. No arrests were made. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Following the shooting of five people early Sunday morning on Fourth Street in downtown Troy, on Thursday mayor Lou Rosamilia announced the Troy Police Department would be increasing its presence in the area this Saturday night, and increased patrols would also be targeted to areas where data indicate there's a crime hotspot. TPD chief John Tedesco says the department believes the Fourth Street shooting was connected to an ongoing feud between groups in Albany and Troy. [TU] [TWCN] [Troy Record]

Troy police say there was a stabbing on River Street in North Central (map) Thursday afternoon. [News10]

Three Capital Region counties are getting state money for anti-gun violence efforts: Albany ($858k), Rensselaer ($594k), and Schenectady ($744k). [TU] [Cuomo admin]

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Troy officials to respond to weekend shooting, mandatory meeting for casino hopefuls yields questions, AHL hockey team may be headed for Glens Falls

More than 100 members of casino development teams and dozens of lobbyists attended Wednesdays mandatory bidder's conferenceheld by the NYS Gaming Commission. But the conference was brief and apparently just a space to ask questions which will be answered on the Gaming Commission website on Friday. [TU][WNYT]

Several CSX train cars carrying crude oil caught fire and derailed in Virginia on Wednesday just hours after Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to President Obama and issued a report on how the shipment of crude oil could be made safer.[TU][AOA]

Still no arrests in a weekend shooting on Fourth Street in Troy that left five people with gunshot wounds. Police and city officials are have announced a press conference for this morning to discuss safety measures and a response to the shooting. [TU][TWCN]

Two Albany men were arrested on attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting a man near Delaware Avenue earlier this month.[TU]

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Former Troy engineer testifies on demolitions, Senate Dems propose six anti-heroin bills, substitute teacher fired for retweeting racial slur, mandatory conference for casino applicants today

Democrats in the State Senate have proposed six bills aimed at combating the growing use of heroin in New York. [TWCN]

Senator Cecelia Tkaczyk says Senate Republicans have killed her bill to ban the shipment of hydrofracking waste from other states from being brought to New York for treatment or disposal, as a favor to the oil and gas industry.[TU][Saratogian/NYSNYS News]

A softball coach and substitute teacher in the Albany school district was fired for retweeting a post that contained a racial slur.[TU][WNYT]

Troy's former engineer Russ Reeves testified under subpoena on Tuesday night at a public hearing organized by the city council on demolitions that took place in the city -- one on King Street next to Bombers while there were patrons in the restaurant and another at the former King Fuel site. He claims both demolitions were uncontrolled, carried out with a disregard for safety and without his approval.
[WNYT][TWCN][News 10]

The State Gaming Facility Location Board is holding a mandatory conference today for casino applicants. The conference will be streamed live on their website. [Saratogian/AP ][Gamingny.gov]

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Municipalities consider casino resolutions, focus on Troy block after shooting, FBI to use Crossgates for drill

The Schenectady city council has tabled a resolution about a potential casino in the city until it sees a formal proposal. The Cobleskill town board has passed a resolution in support of a casino at the proposed site near Howe Caverns. [WNYT][TU] [Daily Gazette]

Surveying the residents of the East Greenbush road on which the proposed casino there would be sited. [TU]

An attorney for the mother and grandfather accused by State Police of withholding food from two five year olds were not abused, but rather were facing some medical issues. [TU]

Question that's surfaced after the shooting in downtown Troy this past weekend: Is that block of Fourth Street a persistent problem area, or has it just had an unfortunate streak? [Troy Record]

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Five hit in downtown Troy shooting, mother and grandfather accused of withholding food from kids, don't take the dead deer

Troy police say five people were shot early Sunday morning on Fourth Street in downtown Troy (map), apparently by one gunman who is still at large. TPD says all five were hit in their legs and injuries don't appear life threatening. TPD say two men who were shot were apparent targets, and the three women shot were bystanders. The shots apparently caused a chaotic scene, with crowds trying to take cover. The shooting was on the same block as the incident involving Kokopellis back in January, and business owners say it's concern over such incidents is hurting their business. [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

Two Albany men face a murder charge for what "people with knowledge of the situation" tell the Times Union was a hit-for-hire that killed a man last October. [TU]

The Albany anti-gun violence program SNUG has changed its name to Cure Violence. [TU]

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More casino details and reaction, mother charged for allegedly leaving baby in car for 3 minutes, PETA wants monument for cows killed in crash

The identities of prospective operators for casinos in Albany and Schenectady are still unclear, even after the filing of the $1 million fees with the state this week. (Reps for the E23 project in Albany said again Thursday night at a community meeting that they have an operator in place and are currently blocked from disclosing the name by a non-disclosure agreement -- but they said the identity would be revealed soon.) And some of the entities that filed the fee don't have specific sites (publicly) associated with them. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Public comments at a community meeting in Albany's 1st ward about the E23 proposal frequently focused on jobs -- and how to hold the project's backers to their promises to make those jobs available to city residents. There are appears to be a wide range of initial reaction to a possible Schenectady casino. And opposition is organizing against the East Greenbush casino proposal. [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Noted: The state Gaming Facility Location Board says a casino located on a docked boat would be allowed. [Saratogian]

The Troy City Council has subpoenaed city engineer Russ Reeves and an engineering staffer to testify at a hearing about recent demolition work in the city. (Reeves recently submitted his resignation, apparently out of concern for how the city was handling engineering issues.) [TU]

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Saratoga racino owners turn attention to East Greenbush for potential full casino, Troy city engineer resigns, Francesca's is closing

The owners of the Saratoga Casino and Raceway (AKA the racino) said Monday they have decided to not pursue a full casino for the Saratoga area -- and instead will focus on trying to build a casino in East Greenbush. The owners tell the Times Union that they've bought land in the town near the FedEx distribution center off Route 4. Saratoga had been looking like a bad bet because the Saratoga Springs city council had voted against a resolution in favor of a casino -- but the East Greenbush board recently passed a resolution generally in favor of a casino, and the town supervisor said the potential revenue is a consideration. The reaction around Saratoga: a little bit of everything. [Saratogian] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Albany Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin on the council's consideration of a resolution supporting the proposed E23 casino project in the city, in light of the East Greenbush news, to the Biz Review: "To know there is definitely a proposal coming out of East Greenbush, to me that should spark some urgency among council members ... We have to shake the dust off our feet and keep moving. We've got to get some answers here." (Speaking of E23 -- Chris Churchill wonders about the trustworthiness of the developer pushing the project.) [Biz Review] [TU]

The city of Schenectady is looking at possible zoning changes necessary if a casino is proposed there. [Daily Gazette]

Troy's city engineer, Russ Reeves, is resigning, a move prompted in part by recent demolition work at the former King Fuels site -- near a gas line -- that wasn't reviewed by his department. The city has also been the subject of recent FBI review of multiple projects, including the emergency demolition of the building next to Bombers. Said Reeves of his decision to leave the city job: "I've got to protect my license." [Troy Record] [TU]

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Does he say that to all the potential casino sites?, shootings in Albany and Schenectady, errant check mark keeps man out of jail, a week of solitude in Scotia

A profile of David Flaum, the developer who's been pushing the E23 casino proposal in Albany -- and, apparently, pursuing a handful of other casino sites around the state. [TU]

In other casino related bits: A partnership between two large gambling companies is reportedly ready to put down $1 million as a placeholder for a potential casino bid in the Capital Region. And the East Greenbush town board voted to support a casino project there -- if one is proposed. [TU x2]

David Paterson papers recently sent to an archive at Columbia University shed light on the process his administration used to pick someone to replace Hillary Clinton in the US Senate -- an appointment that went to Kirsten Gillibrand, in part because of something she said to Paterson following an SNL skit that had made fun of him. [Capital]

Schenectady police say a 60-year-old woman who had been missing for a week told them she had gone to Scotia for "solitude and rest" -- and ended up living outside in an "igloo" of vines and brush near the Mohawk River. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Copeland trial continues, GloFo to make chips for Samsung, alleged expectoration ends in felony charges, parade for Union hockey team

Trinity Copeland trial: The attorney for the Troy teen accused of fatally shooting her father in 2012 tried to push back on the prosecution's assertion that her alleged calm demeanor following the incident is an indication of her guilt. [TU] [Troy Record]

Clifford Burns, the Niskayuna man accused of fatally stabbing his wife at her home in Lake Luzerne on Christmas Eve, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He faces 23 years to life. [Post-Star] [TU]

There is apparently a rift between Albany County's health commissioner and other top county officials over how to go about studying the health and environmental risks posed by the crude oil operations at the Port of Albany. [TU]

GlobalFoundries will be making chips for Samsung -- and possibly the iPhone. [TU]

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Supporters/opponents at E23 casino forum, FBI raids Malta home, $15 an hour "fair wage" proposed, Union hockey victory parade today

Both proponents and opponents of the proposed E23 casino project showed up for a public forum on the project at Giffen Elementary School Wednesday evening. [TU] [News10]

Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen says the city will get to have some say about Saratoga Casino and Raceway's proposed a 134,000 square foot expansion -- but it's unclear to what extent. [TU]

On the first day of the murder trial for Trinity Copeland, her defense attorney argued the teen had no choice but to shoot her father. The prosecution told the jury Copeland talked about TV shows and Ramen noodles on the night of the incident and asked an officer, "Is he dead yet" twice. [WNYT] [Record]

A state Supreme Court justice has rejected a lawsuit that argued the NY SAFE Act shouldn't have gotten the "message of necessity" that allowed the legislature to pass it without the usual three day waiting period. [TU]

A pilot program component of the NY SAFE Act meant to update handgun licenses is on hold. [TU]

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E23 Alliance forms to support Albany Casino, 18 wheeler tips and kills cattle, Schumer pushes to improve Troy seawall, Cuomo's memoir advance higher than his salary

The E23 business alliance, a group of more than 40 business owners who support a proposed Albany Casino, has formed in the city.[Record]

A public hearing on a proposed Schoharie County casino got heated. And personal. [TWCN]

A public hearing on the Albany Capital Center's draft environment impact statement was held on Tuesday -- another step toward construction of the conventions center which is slated to begin in June. [TU]

Fallout from the Takim Smith murder is partially fueling a gang feud between Albany and Troy that resulted in an unusual increase in shootings over the winter.[TU]

A two-level 18-Wheeler hauling about 100 cattle rolled over in Berne on Tuesday morning, killing several of the animals. [TU]

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Momentive files for bankruptcy, severe weather and flooding expected to increase, off-duty officer fires gun to break up dog attack

Momentive Performance Materials has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (the reorganization kind of bankruptcy). Momentive employs about 900 people at a plant in Waterford -- none of those jobs are expected to be cut. The company, which makes silicone and quartz products and had been part of GE, was bought by a private equity firm in 2006. [Troy Record] [TU] [Daily Gazete]

A Rensselaer County Court judge has ruled that the confession from Trinity Copeland -- the Troy teen accused of fatally shooting her father in 2012 -- will not be allowed at trial because police didn't properly warn her of her Miranda rights. [TU] [Troy Record]

Albany Common Councilman Ron Bailey on the promises of jobs for city residents at a possible casino in Albany: "That needs to be locked down ... I've seen so many projects where our people are left standing on the corner watching as people from out of town come in to work. We can no longer stand for that." [TU]

Apparent consensus of experts at an extreme weather conference at UAlbany: flooding is becoming more frequent in the Northeast. [WNYT] [TU]

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Union wins hockey national title, Troy police treating death of pregnant woman as a double homicide, second spike of flu season

The Union men's hockey team won the national title this past weekend with a 7-4 victory over Minnesota. It's the school's first hockey national title. The team returned to a cheering crowd at Messa Rink Sunday afternoon, and Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy says a parade is in the works. [NCAA] [Daily Gazette x2]

After the team's victory Saturday night, Schenectady police say a crowd of about 400-500 people on Union Avenue got out of hand and some people threw beer cans and glass bottles at an officer. Five students ended up getting arrested. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Troy police say the death of Vanessa Milligan, the pregnant woman whose body was found in the Lansingburgh fire April 4, is being investigated as a double homicide. TPD hasn't released details about how or when Milligan died, but "a person familiar with the case" tells the Times Union the woman was murdered and the fire was set in an attempt to cover it up. [Troy Record] [TU]

The E23 casino proposal in Albany includes Capital OTB as some sort of partner -- but the nature of that partnership is unclear, as is the question of whether an OTB can be involved with a casino. [TU]

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Federal prosecutor and Cuomo trading comments over corruption panel, new Albany Catholic bishop ordained, dogs accused of killing chickens, CDTA pay-by-smartphone on the way

US Attorney Preet Bharara, about how the state's Moreland Commission ended: "The sequence of these events gives the appearance that investigations potentially significant to the public interest have been bargained away as part of the negotiated arrangement between legislative and executive leaders." Andrew Cuomo pushing back on Thursday: "I don't believe we needed another bureaucracy for enforcement ... We needed laws changed and that's what Moreland was about." [TU] [State of Politics]

The Troy police department says the FBI has decided not to take action on alleged civil rights violations involving a TPD officer accused of brutality. This week TPD chief John Tedesco detailed some of the ways he says the department is changing how it handles incidents involving the use of force and its review of them. [TU] [Troy Record]

Edward Scharfenberger was ordained as the bishop of the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese Thursday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. He replaces Howard Hubbard, a Troy native, who had been bishop since 1977. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

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Scharfenberger to be ordained bishop today, U.S. attorney criticizes disbanding Moreland, state police crackdown on distracted driving

Edward Scharfenberger will be ordained Bishop of the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese today at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in a ceremony at 2 pm. There will be parking restrictions and traffic delays in the area surrounding the cathedral. Bishop Howard Hubbard says that even though he's stepping down from leading the diocese he will continue to serve as a priest. [TU] [TWCN] [TU]

A US attorney is criticizing Andrew Cuomo's decision to disband the Moreland Commission and is taking possession of all of the panel's case files. [NYT]

New York State health commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah will step down in June to take an executive position with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in California. During his tenure, Shah found himself at the center of the fracking controversy. [TU][Gazette]

The head of the state Gaming Commission said at a public hearing about problem gambling that the commission would be focused on the issue and will "foster a responsible environment for the gaming industry." Said the the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling: "We can't wait for casinos to expand before pumping money into the [anti-addiction] programs." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Sentiment at a Bethlehem public meeting on the proposed E23 casino ran against the project. [TU]

Albany County is suing three furniture stores that allegedly provided unsanitary mattresses to the poor through county programs. Said Albany County executive Dan McCoy: "When you opened them up, it looked likes someone was killed on the mattress."[TWCN][TU]

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Fire destroys Cohoes fish fry, Troy woman rejects plea deal in alleged Boston Marathon fraud, Cuomo rolls out $6 million promotional plan at booze summit

Matt's Fish Fry in Cohoes was destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning. [TU]

A fund has been set up to help the family of the pregnant woman who died in what police are calling a suspicious fire in Lansingburgh last week. [TU][Record]

An anti-bullying rally was held at a Rensselaer playground in support of a developmentally disabled girl who was beaten with a baseball bat by a group of kids under 14 after she told them to stop cursing around young children. [WNYT]

At the second New York State Beer, Wine and Cider summit held on Tuesday at The Egg, Andrew Cuomo announced he would push for legislation to clear the way for more growth in the brewing, distillery and cider industries and rolled out a $6 million marketing plan to help reach consumers. But some local distillers say they'd like to see the state relax some regulations that restrict sales for products that require purchase of out of state ingredients. [TU][Record][TWCN]

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Albany council considers resolution supporting casino, Amedore back in the pool for state Senate, Troy police review committee to see all civilian complaints

A spokesman for the developer hoping to building a casino in Albany says about 10 casino operators have been in contact about possibly running the gambling facility. The Albany Common Council is considering a resolution in support of the project. Monday's council meeting included some public comments concerned about the potential effects of a casino in the city. (Current tentative schedule for the council's consideration of the resolution, including public meetings.) [TU] [TWCN] [WNYT] [Councilwoman Leah Golby FB]

A Troy police captain says investigators are "still knee-deep in the investigation" of the Lansingburgh fire in which a pregnant woman, Vanessa Milligan, was found dead. Also still not clear: how the fire started and how the woman died. [TWCN] [WNYT]

George Amedore is officially into the pool for a rematch with Cecilia Tkaczyk for the state Senate 46th. Amedore, a Republican, lost by 18 votes to Tkaczyk, a Democrat, in the newly-created district during the last election. (district map) [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Wait for answers in fatal Troy fire, big wagers in the casino application process, school districts considering hard budget cuts

Troy officials say the cause of the Lansingburgh fire in which a pregnant woman was found dead Thursday is still under investigation and currently considered suspicious, and officials are waiting on autopsy results. City officials have yet to name the woman, but her family has identified her and there was a memorial service in the neighborhood Saturday. [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU]

A Rensselaer County Court jury found Brendan Hoffman guilty of vehicular manslaughter and DWI for the car crash that killed one of his friends in Stephentown in 2012. [TU]

A walk through of the application process for a license to operate a Capital Region casino, and some of the hopefuls. [Daily Gazette]

How a woman convicted multiple times of financial fraud could end up working for the state's tax department, according to state officials. [TU]

A look at cigarette smuggling -- both big and small -- in the New York State, which is said to have the highest percentage of illegally trafficked cigarettes. [Daily Gazette] [Mackinac Center for Public Policy]

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Troy council rejects Scolite site deal, fatal fire in Lansingburgh, plans for Mohawk Harbor development in Schenectady

The Troy city council voted against the sale agreement with the Valente Companies for the former Scolite site in South Troy. Among the concerns cited: increased truck traffic through the nearby neighborhood and the terms of the agreement. [Troy Record] [TU]

Momentive Performance Materials is apparently headed toward filing for bankruptcy. The company employs about a thousand people in Waterford. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Troy Fire Department says a woman died in a fire in Lansingburgh overnight (map). Officials aren't releasing the woman's identity. Willie Bacote tells the Times Union the woman's family goes to his church and she was soon due to give birth. Investigators from the Office of Fire Prevention and Arson were on the scene. [TU] [WNYT] [TU] [TWCN]

Michael Anderson of Albany -- convicted of the stabbing death of Tonette Thomas in Albany in 2012, along with the stabbing of two other women -- was sentenced to 45 years to life in prison Friday morning. [Albany County DA]

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Anti/pro SAFE Act rallies draw thousands to ESP and Capitol, Cuomo brings baseball bat to "grand slam" budget signing, Capital Region unemployment drops, Lincoln or not?

Thousands of people -- including both anti and pro SAFE Act -- were at the ESP and Capitol Tuesday. Among the speakers at the rally against the gun control law: Donald Trump and Rob Astorino, the Westchester County exec who's running for the Republican nomination for governor.[WNYT][TU][AOA]

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino told the crowd of gun enthusiasts at Tuesday's rally: "Rob Astorino is a good man, but we need someone who is going to get elected." Astorino says he doesn't need endorsements from Paladino or Donald Trump. [TU][State of Politics]

Andrew Cuomo brought a baseball bat with him when he signed the state budget bils Tuesday, and called the document a "grand slam." Astorino said the budget may have been on time, but it didn't address the cause of high property taxes. [WNYT][TU]

A hike in state aid means Troy's city school district can bring its proposed $106.8 million budget under the state tax cap.[TU]

Albany County has submitted an application to the the Empire State Development Corporation to create application for a land bank to combat blight by acquiring properties from the county foreclosure list for development. Albany County exec Dan McCoy says the county is committing $1 million to the bank over the next two years. [TU][WNYT][McCoy admin]

The director of operations for the inspector general's office of the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has been put on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted into allegations of sexual harassment complaints. [TU]

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State budget passes, Gaming Commission releases RFA for casinos, questions ahead of Scolite site vote in Troy

The state legislature passed the package of legislation for the new state budget and it now heads to Andrew Cuomo for his signature. As part of increased education funding, the Albany school district is scheduled to get $8.7 million more, and Schenectady's superintendent says full-day kindergarten is no longer in line to be cut. Among other the local angles: no provision for the proposed new state lab on the Harriman campus, and increased VLT money for Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County, a tax incentive for Broadway-style shows at upstate theaters such as Proctors. [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

The state Gaming Commission has released the request for applications for up to four full casino licenses upstate. The application fee is $1 million and a Capital Region casino would require at least a $50 million licensing fee. The commission's acting director said local support from a range of groups for a casino application will be "essential", along with a resolution of support from the local elected body. So does that mean Saratoga Springs is out? [NYS GC] [Biz Review] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Global Companies, which operates the crude oil transport facility at the Port of Albany that's been the subject of so much attention lately, is facing fines in Oregon after that state's Department of Environmental Quality accused the company overrunning the amount of crude the company was permitted for at a terminal on the West Coast. [TU]

Donald Trump, Carl Palladino, and Rob Astorino are expected at a gun rights rally in West Capitol Park by the State Museum today. [TWCN]

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State budget deal, heroin problem continues to grow, Troy suspect found (again) in Florida, demand for downtown Schenectady residential

There's a deal on the state budget, and the legislature is scheduled to vote on the necessary bills today ahead of tomorrow's deadline. Part of the budget: the Cuomo administration's property tax "freeze" plan. Also: Andrew Cuomo said he will end the Moreland Commission if ethics legislation in the budget passes. Sort of in the budget: public financing of campaigns in the form of a pilot program for the state comptroller's election (to the dismay of good government groups that wanted a broader public financing system). Not part of the budget: the proposed construction of a new public health lab at the Harriman campus that would have consolidated labs currently located around the Albany area. Said a Hofstra professor of the budget to Capital: "This was the perfect election year budget. Everybody won ... and the full bill doesn't come due for years." [TWCN] [AP/Saratogian] [State of Politics] [Capital] [TU] [Capital]

The FBI has been interviewing Troy city officials about development projects in the city, including the emergency demolition on King Street, the Times Union reports. [TU]

The manager of an addiction recovery center in Saratoga County on the rise of heroin addiction in the area: "This is not going away. I don't see it trending down at all. I don't think it's peaked. I think it's going to continue to grow." Faced with a lack of insurance coverage for drug treatment for her heroin-addicted son -- a probably many families face -- a Rensselaer County woman lured him to steal so he would end up in drug court and receive mandated treatment. [Saratogian] [TU]

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Local suspect found in Florida let go because of paperwork problem, mental illness defense leads to not guilty verdict, two bank robberies, annual story goes meta

Troy police say the man wanted for allegedly sexually abusing children -- and taking photos of himself while doing so -- was found in Florida Thursday -- and then let go by police there because of a paperwork problem. [News10] [TU] [Troy Record]

The Gloversville woman on trial for stabbing a Schenectady cab driver was found not guilty due to mental illness. There will now be a hearing to determine whether she should be sent to a mental hospital for treatment. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Four Men in a Room are closing in on a state budget agreement -- or they're not. [TU]

A state inspection sweep of oil tanker cars at local rail yards found a range of minor problems. [TU]

How Quirky ended up in Schenectady. [TU]

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Police chase ends with suspect jumping from Dunn Memorial Bridge, FBI raids home/office of Queens assemblyman, St. Patrick's is gone but lawsuit is still alive, Queensbury ice cream truck driver sorry for aggressive sales tactics

A car chase that began in Troy on Wednesday afternoon ended on the Dunn Memorial Bridge where police arrested three men who ran from the car. One of the suspects jumped off the bridge. A contractor working nearby chased a suspect and held him until police arrived. Police say the car involved, which had Florida plates, matched the description of a vehicle connected to a Tuesday night shooting in Albany. [Record][WNYT][News10][Gazette][TU]

FBI agents raided the local hotel room, office and home of Queens Democrat William Scarborough as part of an investigation into his use of the legislative travel voucher system. Scarborough claims he is innocent
and says the raid may have stemmed from what he calls "a tabloid hit job." [TU][WNYT][CapitalNY]

A look at what some legislators do to squeeze the most out of their per diem pay, , and a proposed $9 million legislative dormitory. [NYT]

Kathy Marchione says the land purchase being investigated by the FBI was legal and says she feels like the FBI and Attorney General are "on a witch hunt."[WNYT]

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Troy police officer suspended amid investigation of off-duty conduct, push for increased education funding in state budget, questions about mass of dead birds, church gives away another gun

A Troy police officer has been suspended without pay for 30 days because of an investigation into off-duty conduct. The TPD wouldn't confirm the reason for the suspension, but "sources with knowledge of the investigation" and "officials briefed on the matter" tell local media outlets the officer had accompanied and his brother and woman to Hudson where the woman was arrested for allegedly buying heroin. Hudson's police chief says the officer was at the wheel of a car when it was pulled over in the city March 10. [TU] [Troy Record] [News10]

As the state budget process heads into crunch time, advocates were at the Capitol Monday pushing for a $1.3 billion increase in funding for school districts. Advocates say the currently proposed budget is short about $500 million in needed funding. [TU] [TWCN]

The company that runs the Knolls Atomic Power Lab says federal budget cuts could result in the shutdown one of the nuclear reactors at the Kesselring site in Milton at which the Navy trains reactor operators. A Navy commander says the cut could mean significant reductions in the number of staff and students at the site. Economic development officials in Saratoga County say the training site has an important, if perhaps not necessarily prominent, role in the local economy because of the jobs there. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [TU]

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has asked Global Companies to answer 29 questions about its crude oil operations in the state (including at the Port of Albany) as the agency reviews the company's permits. [Capital]

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Initial reactions to proposed Albany casino, Troy church gives away AR-15 rifle, advice from centenarian: avoid canned soup

A Times Union survey of every member of the Albany Common Council concludes that council members appear open to considering the idea of the casino proposed for city's southern edge. [TU] [AOA]

A look at the two men behind the Saratoga Casino and Raceway -- the "silent half" says the racino hasn't yet decided whether it will apply for a full casino license. [TU]

The Times Union obtained Schenectady city surveillance camera images that it says show a St. Johnsville man's van headed toward, and then away from, the area near the house where a fire killed a father and three children in May 2013 -- the man had previously told the TU he had driven to the Schenectady that night, and Brendan Lyons reports the man is "under intense scrutiny from police and federal agents." [TU]

Property owners in flood-prone areas throughout the region are bracing for an increase in flood insurance premiums. [Daily Gazette]

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Allegations of "disturbing and disgusting" horse training practices, new Albany casino plan floated, out Wegman-ing Wegmans

The state Gaming Commission says it's investigating allegations of horse abuse by a prominent trainer at the Saratoga Race Course. The allegations surfaced as part of a PETA undercover investigation at Saratoga and Churchill Downs in Kentucky. Among the allegations: horses were given unnecessary drugs and forced to race while in pain, and electrical devices were used to shock horses to run faster. The trainer highlighted the PETA investigation, Steve Asmussen, has trained horses that have won more than $200 million in prize money. Said the equine medical director for the state Office of Veterinary Affairs in a press release: "The behavior depicted in the undercover video and supporting materials is disturbing and disgusting." [NYS Gaming Commission] [PETA] [NYT] [TU]

The latest possible entry into the pool for the Capital Region casino: a $300 million project on land near Thruway Exit 23 in the city of Albany. [TU]

The UAlbany men's basketball team lost to Florida 67-55 in the NCAA tournament -- but the Great Danes put up a good fight in their second consecutive year in the tournament. The TU's Pete Iorizzo: "Probably [UAlbany head coach Will] Brown has been underappreciated too long." [AOA] [TU]

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SUNY board approves Nano College merger with SUNY IT, Rosamilia pushes for Scolite redevelopment, feds keep mum about death ray plans, Albany Academy alum on Shark Tank

SUNY's Board of Trustees unanimously approved the merger between the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY IT in Utica. [TWCN]

The Patroon Island Bridge will get a $146 million upgrade over the next two years, including replacing and repairing decks, substructure and ramps. [TU]

Troy mayor Lou Rosamilia wants the city council to pass an ordinance allowing a developer to move ahead with the $1 million purchase of the former Scolite property on Madison Street along the Hudson so it can begin redevelopment. [TU]

Troy police are asking for the public's help in tracking down a Troy man who allegedly produced child pornography involving at least one victim under age 5. [TWCN][TU]

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Shuffle of potential casino sites, Global Partners says it's adjusting crude oil facility plan, Cuomo bangs drum for consolidation, bitcoin for burgers

The developer who was interested in a possible casino at the First Prize site on the Albany/Colonie border has moved on in favor of considering other local sites. The newest spot in the pool for a casino: Howe Caverns in Schoharie County. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A key part of the redevelopment of the former Alco site in Schenectady, which has also been floated as a potential casino site: remediating solvents in the soil and groundwater there. [Daily Gazette]

Global Partners says it's adjusting its proposal for a facility for heating crude oil at the Port of Albany. The company had proposed constructing a new building for the facility -- but on Monday it pulled its application for the building from the Albany planning board agenda for this week's meeting. [TU] [City of Albany]

North Greenbush police say a man is facing second-degree murder and other charges after he allegedly stabbed his wife multiple times in their home in Wynantskill Monday (map). NGPD says the investigation of what prompted the incident is ongoing and is asking anyone with information to contact the department. [TU] [News10]

Albany police say they're investigating a shooting/an attempted robbery at a store on Lexington Ave (map) Monday. APD says the victim reported that two men entered store, demanded money, and one of the suspects fired a shot that hit the man in the foot. [APD FB]

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Global Partners says moratorium on crude oil facility at Port of Albany is "unlawful," Astorino in Saratoga Springs, regional high school robotics competition

Global Partners sent Albany County exec Dan McCoy a letter calling the recent county moratorium on the expansion of crude oil facilities at the Port of Albany "ill advised, unnecessary, unlawful, and prejudicial to the company" and criticized the county for not consulting the state Department of Environmental Conservation. McCoy replied via statement: "Instead of Global Companies using its resources to cooperate with efforts to prevent catastrophic public health and safety risks, Global unleashes a cadre of lawyers in a transparent maneuver to intimidate and bully the County from safeguarding the public health. We will not be intimidated." The company and the county disagree over whether the county has the legal authority to issue the moratorium. [Troy Record] [Albany County] [TU]

Albany County's laws aren't cataloged in any one place -- and a Times Union review of county legislation concluded many commissions, panels, and initiatives have apparently been left to drift or have been forgotten. [TU]

At a gun show in Saratoga Springs Sunday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said he'd repeal the NY SAFE Act if he's elected. A separate event in Saratoga Springs over the weekend focused on how people could circumvent provisions of the NY SAFE Act that are scheduled to take effect soon. [Saratogian] [TU]

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City of Albany pushes for Harriman PILOT, kindergartner spends day at wrong school, some sort of minor goat miracle

Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan was joined by local state legislators and business leaders Thursday to call for the state to arrange a PILOT with the city for the Harriman State Office Campus. (PILOT = payment in lieu of taxes. The campus is tax exempt because it's owned by the state.) The Cuomo admin said it was too early to consider such payments, and the city should wait until after the financial restructuring board returns its recommendations. Jack McEneny, Albany's former rep in the state Assembly, said getting a payment will be a struggle: "I think what the legislature sees is this enormous subsidy to Albany in the form of state workers' jobs." Also notable from Thursday press conference: Albany Med president Jim Barba was there and said the city's non-profits should look at contributing to the city government in some way, either via payments or in-kind services. [Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

After the announcement of the Albany County moratorium on the expansion of crude oil handling facilities at the Port of Albany, an official with Global Partners -- the company proposing to building the facility for warming crude oil at the port -- tells the Times Union the company's project "does not seek to expand the permitted storage capacity or total volume of petroleum products received at the facility and transported from the facility." (The fact that Global actually said something in the media is sort of notable on its own.) [TU]

The state Court of Appeals -- New York's highest court -- has rejected Steven Raucci's request to have the appeal of his criminal case heard by the court. [Daily Gazette]

A Schenectady kindergartner ended up at the wrong school Wednesday and apparently no one noticed until her mother didn't find her at the bus stop in the afternoon. The school district says when the student arrived at the wrong school, she was asked if she was a new student the school was expecting -- she reportedly said yes, and even signed that name to papers during the day. Said the girl's mother in response: "Ok, so blame her, she duped you, that's one up on her, not on you. That's all I can say, and I'm being cocky about it now because they don't know what I went through." Said a district spokesperson: "We are not placing blame on a 5-year-old. We were pointing out how her response and behavior contributed to the confusion and how she managed to be in the wrong school for the day." Said district superintendent Larry Spring: "While the student did impersonate another student, which didn't raise any red flags, the situation has brought to light some other serious issues that need to be addressed on our end." [WNYT] [TU] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

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Albany County issues moratorium on expansion plans for crude oil at port, Assembly budget doesn't include money for Harriman lab, medical marijuana would cost more in New York

Icy roads are causing delays and closings around the Capital Region. [TU]

Albany County issued a moratorium on the proposed expansion of facilities for heating and transferring crude oil at the Port of the Albany. And county exec Dan McCoy also directed the county health department to "examine, investigate, and report" on the potential health threats posed the proposed Global Companies facilities. Tweeted McCoy: "The moratorium will remain in place until we have all the answers. Right now there are too many questions about possible health risks." The moratorium was cheered by environmental orgs. If the moratorium survives a legal challenge, it could supersede any state permits that Global is seeking to expand its facilities in Albany. [Albany County] [Albany County] [Albany County] [@MCCoyCountyExec] [TU] [NYT]

Sheldon Silver has confirmed that funding for a new public health lab on the Harriman State Office Campus is not in the current Assembly budget.[TU]

Clifton Park's planning board voted against a plan for development that would include a new Price Chopper, retail and restaurant space at the intersection of routes 146 and 46A. The developer is planning to revise the plan and resubmit it to the board.[TU][Saratogian]

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Regents reelected in spite of Common Core controversy, Troy rolls out snow emergency plan in time for spring, Olympic medalist visits Watervliet

New language added to the Assembly's budget would require the state to pay a PILOT for upgrades on the Harriman campus. [TU]

The latest discussion about where to locate a casino in the Capital Region centers on Schenectady, where a developer is planning a $100 million project to transform the former American Locomotive Company site into "an urban-style walkable" development with condos, a supermarket, movie studio, hotel and retail space. [TU]

Three members of the Board of Regents were reelected on Tuesday amid controversy over the Common Core implementation -- a fourth regent decided to retire and was replaced by a Sullivan County lawyer. [TU][WNYT]

Just weeks before the start of spring, the city of Troy has posted its new snow emergency plan. [Record]

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Common Core discontent puts focus on Board of Regents, McCoy pushes for styrofoam ban at all businesses, UAlbany women headed to NCAA tournament

The latest turn in the ongoing drama over the state's implementation of the Common Core standards: today's Board of Regents elections in the state legislature. The elections are getting extra attention because of the current structure of the legislature and discontent over things Common Core related. On Monday the Cuomo admin released draft recommendations on how to improve Common Core implementation. Said Andrew Cuomo in the press release: "The flawed implementation of the Common Core curriculum has resulted in frustration, anxiety, and confusion for children and parents." [TU] [State of Politics] [Cuomo admin]

A Rensselaer County Court jury found Ariel Myers guilty of assault for the shooting of Robert Guynup near the Griswold Heights apartments in 2009. It was the third time Myers had been tried in the case. [Troy Record] [TU]

Herman Robinson -- the Schenectady man accused of serially raping a young woman for years, impregnating her, and then killing the baby shortly after it was born -- pleaded not guilty Monday to a group of charges that included second-degree murder. Robinson faces 25 years to life if convicted. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Law enforcement officials say the credit/debit card skimming case at an Asian buffet in Glenmont appears to be part of series of cases through the Northeast in which an organized crime ring is training people to get jobs in restaurants in order to steal the card info. [TU]

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Long look into GE and PCBs, fatal stabbing in Troy, Schenectady church damaged by fire, surprise find: a bowling alley

From a long Times Union artilce by Brendan Lyons about GE and PCBs, based on documents the paper obtained through FOIL:

[N]ewly uncovered documents reveal that as early as the 1960s -- decades before the government ordered GE to undertake the [Hudson] river dredging that is scheduled to resume this spring -- company officials were warned of the potential serious health threats of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which their engineers described in confidential memos as "hazardous waste."
The documents also indicate that GE flushed far more PCBs into the river than government regulators have estimated, and that nearly a million pounds a year of additional PCBs were carted away by scavenger crews, dumped with an attitude characterized by a GE engineer in 1970 as "out of sight, out of mind."

More materials related to the article. [TU] [TU]

Troy police say a man was fatally stabbed in an apartment in South Troy Sunday morning (map). [Troy Record]

During a 2012 deposition as part of a civil suit, Troy police chief John Tedesco said the TPD's Internal Affairs Bureau hadn't been thoroughly investigating complaints of excessive force going back as a far as a decade. [TU]

The Cuomo admin is pushing for the proposed $600 million state public health lab building on the Harriman office campus to be privately financed, built, and maintained under an arrangement in which the state would pay lease-like fees to the private builder -- yet the building would be totally exempt from city taxes and zoning. [TU]

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Prosecutor: "This is one of the most heinous crimes I've ever seen," Gillibrand's push for reform of military's handling of sexual assault cases hits roadblock, lawsuit over K-cup ingriedents

Schenectady County prosecutors said Thursday that a medical assistance call this past December prompted the unraveling of the case in which a Schenectady man, Herman N. Robinson, is accused of serially raping a girl since 2006 when she was 11 years old, impregnating her, and then killing the baby shortly after it was born. "Individuals who requested anonymity because the investigation isn't over" tell the Times Union that Robinson allegedly left a suicide note in which he said he had buried the body of the baby in a local park (the baby hasn't been found). Schenectady County ADA and special victims bureau chief Tracey Brunecz: "This is one of the most heinous crimes I've ever seen," Brunecz said the young woman's family was "shocked" to hear about the allegations. And she said the woman, now in college, is "a remarkably strong young lady." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN] [WNYT]

The Troy City Council voted in favor of a resolution seeking an outside review of the Kokopellis incident. [Troy Record]

UAlbany's site plans for the Cuomo admin's Start-Up NY program have been approved. (Start-Up NY is the program in which companies locating on site connected to colleges or universities can get a range of incentives, including paying no taxes for 10 years.) [TU]

The state's unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in January, the lowest level since December 2008, the state Department of Labor reported. But the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro was down 1,700 non-farm jobs in January 2014 compared to January 2013. [NYS DOL]

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Astorino running for governor, church raffles gun in effort to gain parishioners, please don't feed the vultures

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, has announced he's running for governor. Astorino made the announcement on Wednesday in a six-minute video in which he charges that Cuomo is the manager of New York's decline. [WNYT][Capitol Confidential]

Troy City Council Public Safety Committee chair Robert Doherty says that under an ordinance created by the committee, city police officers who try to stop people from filming or photographing them would face a fine and jail time. [TU]

What the unanimous vote by the Saratoga Springs City Council opposing expansion of casino gambling in the city actually means for the expansion of casino gambling in the city depends on where you stand. Opponents of a full casino say they are confident the vote shows there is not support for gambling expansion in Saratoga. Casino advocates say they supported the council's vote because it could help reserve judgement on the casino until more details are revealed in a final bid. [Saratogian][TU][NYT]

A Schenectady man is charged with raping a girl over the course of six years, from the time she was 11 years old, fathering a child with her, and then killing the baby. [Gazette]

The Times Union reports that the new suspect in the Schenectady house fire that killed a father and three children has told them he was in the vicinity of the home on the night of the fire. [TU]

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Saratoga Springs council votes no on casino, charter schools and pre-K draw thousands for Lobby Day rallies, Kokopellis owners planning to sue Troy and police, 100 years of Thacher Park

In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the Saratoga Springs City Council opposed casino expansion in the city. Nearly 400 people attended the council meeting, which included a heated 90 minute public comment period. Mayor Joanne Yepsen says there is still room for negotiation on the issue if there is a willingness to address the city's concerns and build partnerships with the community. [TU][TWCN][Saratogian]

State Senator Kathy Marchione, whose district includes Saratoga Springs, won't say whether she believes a proposed host community should have a say in the siting of a casino.[Capitol Confidential]

Tuesday was lobby day at the Capitol, with thousands of supporters of pre-K expansion and charters schools holding huge rallies. Andrew Cuomo spoke at the charter school rally, telling the crowd "You are not alone; we will save charter schools." Meanwhile, at the Washington Avenue Armory, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared at a rally to fund universal pre-K with a tax surcharge on the wealthy. [Record][TU][CNY]

Also on Lobby Day, organizations representing small municipalities, mayors, and school boards expressed concerns about what they say is Andrew Cuomo's "flawed" proposed property tax freeze.[TU]

Legislators, concerned parents, and drug treatment professionals were also at the Capitol on Tuesday, asking for $15 million in additional funding to help fight the growing heron and prescription drug problem. [WNYT]

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Bail set for sheriff's deputy snagged in cocaine sting, a hope to extend the focus on Solomon Northup and Saratoga Springs, even the grouchy people liked him

A federal judge set a $25,000 bond for Charles Fuller, the Saratoga County Sheriff's deputy accused by the feds of aiding the transportation of what he thought was cocaine. The US Attorney on the case said the FBI has audio and video from both trips Fuller is accused of taking. Fuller's attorney said Monday that there were indications the confidential informant used in the FBI sting of Fuller had been pressured to participate and that might result in "significant issues." [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

The planned sentencing of Michael Anderson for the killing of Tonette Thomas in Albany in 2012 turned into a bizarre episode Monday when Anderson tried to reverse his guilty plea and accused his attorney of misconduct. [TU]

Lewis Wood, the Albany man initially rejected by the Albany Fire Department because an investigator had tagged his app for "deceit" because of an undisclosed traffic ticket, was sworn in Monday as an AFD recruit -- becoming one of 13 African-American members of the 243-member fire department. [TU]

Solomon Northup researchers are hoping the Oscar win by 12 Years a Slave will continue to highlight Northup's story and his place in Saratoga Springs history. Said Solomon Northup Day organizer Renee Moore to the Gazette: "I think the awards will bring more attention to the autobiography and more attention to the descendants, and I'm hoping that it increases the attendance by the Saratoga community, and particularly that the African-American community will come out and embrace it as well, because they have a story to tell. There has been more than just Solomon's story here." The day honoring Northup -- July 19 this year -- will now be hosted by Skidmore. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

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Crude oil car derailment in Selkirk, sheriff's deputy nabbed in cocaine sting, roundabout protest in Malta

Thirteen tanker cars carrying crude oil derailed at a rail yard in Selkirk Friday evening -- though both the railroad and state officials say no oil was spilled. The incident continues the focus on shipments of crude oil through the Albany area -- said Albany Common Council member Dorcey Applyrs, who represents the neighborhood near the Port of Albany: "This should be a wake-up call for residents in the Capital District and residents throughout the state of New York. We have had so many incidents in a short period of time, and my question is, 'what is it going to take?'" On Friday the Cuomo admin announced an "inspection blitz" -- "a series of inspections at the Port of Albany and its adjacent rail yard, as well as inspections in Albany and Buffalo along rail tracks and in rail cars." In response, Environmental Advocates of New York said the inspections should be occurring on a regular basis. [TU] [TWCN] [Cuomo admin] [TU]

A Saratoga County Sheriff's deputy was arrested on charges that attempt to aid the distribution of cocaine. Federal prosecutors say Charles E. Fuller of Corinth was snagged in an FBI sting involving a confidential informant and the transportation of more than a kilogram of a substance purported to be cocaine from Albany County to Warren County. Fuller, who is president of the Saratoga County Deputy Sheriff's Police Benevolent Association, has been with the sheriff's department for 24 years. [US DOJ] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan says she'd like to adjust a compensation system in which city employees who retire or resign can cash out unused vacation and sick time -- some cash out more than 1,000 hours in leave when they go, prompting the city to be on the hook for unplanned costs. [TU]

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Land purchase for Albany convention center approved, another bomb threat at Mechanicville High School, cold storage wars

The Albany Convention Center Authority approved the purchase of the bulk of land for the proposed convention center at Eagle Street and Howard Street in downtown Albany. [TU]

With the aim of reducing surprise medical bills, the Cuomo administration is proposing an expansion of out-of-network coverage requirements for emergencies and specialists for all health insurers in the state. [AP/Daily Gazette]

A state attorney general's review of telemarketing operations that collect money for charity concludes that more than 60 percent of the money collected goes to fees rather than the charities. [TU]

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Saratoga in Decline blogger arrested for child porn, , Proctor's Theater building in Troy gets tenant, cold snap freezing sap

John Tighe, the blogger behind Saratoga in Decline, was arrested on child pornography charges Wednesday after an investigation allegedly found evidence of child pornography on his computer. Tighe has been an outspoken critic of NXIVM, and has used his blog to speak out against a number of people in power. His attorney, Lee Kindlon has questioned the manner in which the investigation has progressed and told the Gazette: "Anytime someone wants to speak truth about powerful people and that speaker is then silenced, it has broad implications for how our society functions." [TWCN][TU][Gazette]

The State Financial Restructuring Board has accepted Albany's request to review the city's books. [Capitol Confidential]

One-time Albany Republican mayoral candidate Nathan Lebron is seeking to run for Governor on the Libertarian line.[TU]

Queens state Senator Tony Avella has switched from the Senate Democratic Conference to become the fourth member of the Independent Democratic Conference. [TU]

The Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce is moving into new office space in the Proctor's Theater building in downtown Troy, which has been vacant for decades. [TU]

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Siena Poll reports Cuomo rating drop and desire for a delay in Common Core implementation, Exit 4 bridge work may take up to 7 years, bobsled medalist lands in Albany

The latest Siena Poll reports Andrew Cuomo's rating has dropped six points to 60 percent favorable, and that half of New Yorkers polled want a two year moratorium on Common Core implementation. [WNYT]

New York met the February 22nd deadline for submitting a plan to the federal government to crack down on welfare abuse.[TU]

Plans to replace deteriorating bridges near Northway Exit 4 may take up to five years because the state only has $14 million of the estimated $58 million the project would cost. [TU]

The engine of a empty oil train derailed in Ulster County on Tuesday.[TU]

The SUNY Charter Schools Institute will vote today on whether to close the Ark Community Charter School in Troy based on what it says is a decline in academic performance and a lack of instructional leadership.[TU]

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State looking at Harriman campus for new $600 million lab, it's unclear how many votes are a majority in state Senate, cow-milking robots

"A person briefed on the plan" tells the Times Union that the $600 million plan to consolidate the state's public health laboratory facilities is focused on building a new facility at a site on the Harriman State Office Campus in Albany. A state budget amendment released last week by the Cuomo admin asserts the state's current lab facilities associated with the Wadsworth Center -- which are at a handful of sites around the Capital Region, including at the ESP and the Axelrod Institute on New Scotland Ave in Albany (map) -- are "functionally obsolete and deteriorating." (Question: What does this mean for private development -- and expansion of the city of Albany tax base -- at the Harriman campus?) [TU] [NYS DOB]

The Cuomo admin announced an agreement between IBM and the NanoCollege to "maintain 3,100 high-tech jobs" at sites around the state through the end of 2016 -- though the details of the agreement aren't clear, at least publicly. (IBM is one of the NanoCollege partners in semiconductor research at the NanoCollege campus in Albany.) A rep for an IBM employees union says the agreement "still leaves room for further job cuts, considering the total employee population." [Cuomo admin] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A civil trial began Monday in yet another case of alleged police misconduct in Troy. [TU]

A Saratoga Springs resident says it took six months (and reporter's phone call) for the the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority to respond to his FOIL request -- and then the agency dumped hundreds of unrequested documents on him, charging him almost $400. [Saratogian]

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Safety upgrades for crude oil trains proposed, concern about crimes against seniors, blood donations needed

Major freight railroad operators have announced an agreement with the feds to increase some safety measures for trains carrying crude oil. But critics -- among them, Chuck Schumer -- says the measures aren't enough, in part because they don't include addressing problem tanker cars. The Port of Albany has become a major node in the distribution of crude oil from North Dakota to refineries on the East Coast -- which has people worried about potential accidents. [Capital] [TU]

Albany police say a man was found shot in the arm at Delaware Ave and Magnolia Terrace early Friday morning (map). It's the city's fourth shooting in a week. [APD FB] [TU]

The recent death of an elderly man -- allegedly caused by his home health aid -- has spotlighted what local law enforcement officials say is a persistent problem with crimes, especially thefts, against seniors. [TU]

A UAlbany student from Iran and his wife are stuck in a precarious position because their visas are about to expire and they face imprisonment in Iran after the husband's name surfaced in one of the diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks. [TU]

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State's highest court overturns Troy murder conviction, Albany plowing through snow removal budget, fire truck catches fire

The state's highest court has overturned the 2009 murder conviction of Adrian Thomas for the death of his 4-month-old son in Troy. The decision, written by chief judge Jonathan Lippman, concludes that Troy police used "a set of highly coercive deceptions" during their interrogation of Thomas to prompt him to talk and incriminate himself. Acting Rensselaer County DA Arthur Glass says his office is planning a retrial. [AP/Troy Record] [NYS Court of Appeals] [TU]

Among the new slate of cases selected by the Troy ethics commission: two cases related to the Kokopellis situation -- one of which arose because of an allegation made on Facebook. [TU] [Troy Record]

The city of Albany of Albany has already spent almost 70 percent of its snow removal budget for 2014. [TU]

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SNUG rally in response to weekend shootings, police seek suspect in East Greenbush bank robbery, Doheny says he'll run for Owens' 21st Congressional seat, dead bug collection seeks good home

The SNUG anti-gun violence activist group rallied in Albany's South End on Wednesday night in response to two separate shootings there this weekend--one of which was fatal. [WNYT]

Republican Matt Doheny says he will launch a primary bid against Elise Stefanik, who has received Republican party support for a run to replace Democrat Bill Owens in the 21st Congressional District seat. [TU]

Police are looking for a suspect who robbed the Troy Road branch of the TD Bank in East Greenbush early Wednesday morning. A North Greenbush police officer responding to the incident was involved in a two car crash and had to be pulled from a wrecked squad car. [Record][TU]

According to a resolution drawn up in advance of a cancelled Albany Convention Center Authority meeting last week, the Authority is expected to approve spending up to $4.05 million to purchase four properties that make up most of its construction site off Eagle Street.[TU]

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Another arrest in Kokopellis case, Spa City businesses opposed to casino, Colonie motel closed due to violations, Malta to use eminent domain for more traffic circles

Troy police have arrested another person in connection with the Kokopellis Night Club brawl. 30-year-old Kerif Hassan Burns is facing attempted robbery and obstruction of government administration charges for allegedly trying to pull a night stick from a police officer. But Burns claims he was shooting video of the scene when he was hit with the nightstick before he grabbed it. [TU][WNYT]

A former HVCC student is planning to sue the city of Troy, claiming he was slammed against a truck, punched and tasered by police for jaywalking. [TU]

The Albany County Jail officer charged with promoting gambling for taking bets at the jail as part of an internet gambling ring pleaded guilty on Tuesday and will have to forfeit $25,000. Timothy Robillard will be sentenced on April 15th and is expected to cooperate in an ongoing state and federal case. Robillard is the fifth person to plead guilty in connection with the gambling ring. [TU][WNYT]

Amsterdam's common council voted in favor of putting a casino in the city. [TWCN]

A survey of Saratoga Springs businesses showed that a majority of those surveyed are against putting a full -fledged casino in the city. [WNYT]

OTB is planning to file an ethics complaint against a Rochester developer who wants to build an Indian Casino near Rochester and a commercial casino in the Capital Region, alleging the developer of violated state lobbying laws by engaging in lobbying activities without being registered as a lobbyist.[TU]

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Questions about investigation of Schenectady fire that killed four people, two shootings in Albany, an attempt to crack down on zombie properties, a game of thrones

From a Times Union article by Brendan Lyons about the investigation of the fire in Schenectady last year that killed a father and three children, and the recent release of the man originally accused of arson: "[A] Times Union review of the case, including interviews with witnesses, attorneys, investigators and law enforcement officials, raises questions about whether [Robert] Butler's arrest was the product of a hasty or misguided investigation in which police and federal agents disregarded leads about a second man who may have had a grudge against [the father, David] Terry." [TU]

Albany police say three people were injured -- one fatally -- in two separate shootings early Sunday, in West Hill (map) and the South End (block map). APD says an officer responding to the West Hill shooting found two people, ages 16 and 20, shot -- they were taken to the hospital and listed in stable condition. APD says the report of the South End shooting came in about 1.5 hours later -- officers found a man shot. He as transported to the hospital and pronounced dead. The anti gun violence org SNUG has rallies planned for both locations this week. [APD FB] [TU]

"Department sources" tell the Times Union that the Troy Police Department has given the FBI additional case files as the feds review allegations of police brutality. TPD chief John Tedesco says the city will be reviewing legal cases that include police officers in attempt to see if any patterns emerge. The city is currently facing a handful of potential lawsuits related to alleged police misbehavior. [TU] [TU] [TU]

Albany police say an officer, just recently graduated from the police academy, is credited with helping to save the life of a man by performing CPR last week. The officer, Luke Deer, is a former Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. [APD FB] [TU]

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That was a lot of snow, commission: Albany County charter a "ramshackle mess," Alton Brown's captive audience

The city of Albany has declared a snow emergency starting at 8 pm Friday with even side parking. It flips to odd at 8 pm Saturday.

It snowed. A lot. The National Weather Service in Albany was reporting 17 inches of snow as of 7 am this morning. Snow totals around the region had a wide range, with some totals close to two feet. The NWS forecast includes another 1-3 inches of snow for today, with mid-30s and some strong wind gusts. If you're wondering if (something) has been delayed/snow emergencied/buried, the answer is probably yes. [NWS FB] [NWS]

Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy, a Republican, is set to officially announce that he's running for Saratoga County Court judge. Murphy would not have to step down from the DA's office to run for the seat. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

With Troy police commissioner Anthony Magnetto ending his one-year term today, police chief John Tedesco will once again be in control of the department -- and it sounds like support for naming another commissioner has waned. (The police commissioner position has been an ongoing drama in Troy over the past year.) [TU]

Among the conclusions made by the commission reviewing Albany County's charter: the document is a "poorly organized, difficult-to-read, ramshackle mess." [TU]

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Quinnipiac poll: Cuomo has high approval, big turn out for public hearing on Port of Albany oil boilers, arrested for allegedly skipping out on lunch tab at ESP

The impending storm has caused a number of early closings and cancellations and plane and train service interruptions. Andrew Cuomo is urging people to prepare for the storm and avoid unnecessary travel today. The state has 1,789 plows, and 291,000 tons of salt to use. [TU][WNYT]

A new Quinnipiac poll reports 59 percent of New Yorkers say Andrew Cuomo deserves to be re-elected. The Q poll also reports Cuomo would beat either Donald Trump or Rob Astorino by a very wide margin. [TU]

Several hundred people showed up Wednesday night for a more than three-hour public hearing on the Global Companies request to build boilers for heating crude oil at the Port of Albany. More than 70 people spoke out against the plan, some accusing the state of dropping the ball on regulating the Global Companies operation at the port.[TU][WNYT]

The Cuomo administration obtained a waiver allowing Jerome Hauer, the head of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, to carry a handgun at work -- four days after the Times Union ran a story about Hauer using the laser sighting attachment on his gun as a pointer in a meeting with a Swedish delegation. [TU]

Kathy Sheehan formally submitted Albany's application to the New York State Financial Restructuring Board, part of her administration's effort to close the city's $16 million deficit. [TU]

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Troy police release new Kokopellis video, prospective casino site in Amsterdam gets attention, one of the secrets to being married for 72 years

It's really cold. Still. [NWS]

Troy police released new video of the January 25 incident at Kokopellis night club in Troy. In a press conference on Tuesday, TPD officials played the video and explained their take on officers' actions the night of the incident. [TU][Record]

After a stinging response from Andrew Cuomo earlier this week, the state Board of Regents has approved changes to the implementation of the Common Core, but has backed off a plan to delay controversial teacher evaluations.[WNYT][TU]

The latest spot drawing attention for a potential Capital Region casino: a 51-acre field along the Thruway near Amsterdam in the town of Florida.[TU]

In response to NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio's request that New York City be allowed to set its own minimum wage, Andrew Cuomo said on The Capitol Pressroom on Tuesday that local control of minimum wage could lead to a cannibalistic competition between communities that would not be productive.[NYT][TU]

(there's more)

How exactly does the Cuomo tax break plan work?, the $300k clerical error, speculation about IBM stake at NanoCollege, push for JetBlue at ALB

Among the people apparently not entirely clear on the mechanics of the Cuomo administration's property tax "freeze" and "circuit breaker": the commissioner of the state Department of Taxation and Finance. [TU]

The state Board of Regents plan to "adjust" the implementation of the controversial Common Core standards. Among those not happy about the proposed adjustments: Andrew Cuomo. [TU] [State of Politics]

The city of Troy overpaid the Troy Public Library by more than $300k in tax revenue in what the city calls a clerical error -- and what the library is apparently considering to be at least partially rightful compensation. [WNYT] [TU]

The Roman Catholic Church has picked a priest from Brooklyn -- who's also an attorney -- to head up the Albany diocese. [TU]

A new proposal for an Albany County land bank prompted some heated comments and criticism. [Troy Record] [TU]

(there's more)

Federal charges dropped in fatal Schenectady arson case, push for earlier last call in Saratoga, Spector's closing after almost a century

Federal prosecutors have dropped all charges against Robert A. Butler, the man who had been accused of starting the fire that killed David Terry and three of his children in Schenectady last year. The US Attorney's office says it will continue the investigation of the case. "Those with knowledge of the case" tell the Times Union investigators are now focused on different man who's alleged to have sent a text message threatening to kill Terry. [Daily Gazette] [US DOJ] [TU]

A few more details of the death of Richard Englander, the elderly man Albany police say was killed last: Sara Moore, a home health aide, has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge. Albany police say Moore had tried to cash one of Englander's checks at a local bank, the bank called Englander, and there was an altercation -- the bank called police after hearing the struggle. APD says Englander suffered blunt force trauma to his head and cuts on his head and neck. [TU] [News10] [WNYT]

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has reversed an earlier decision and will now require the company hoping to build a heating facility for transferring shipments of crude oil at the Port of Albany must follow guidelines for informing the nearby neighborhood of its plans. [TU] Earlier: Why Albany is playing a major role in the transportation of oil, and why that concerns some people.

An unreleased report evaluating the state's response to Superstorm Sandy obtained by the Times Union criticizes the Cuomo admin for setting up a state command center in Manhattan, instead of working from the long-established bunker at the Harriman State Office Campus, stretching the state's the emergency management staff. [TU]

One of the owners of the Saratoga Casino and Raceway has taken a look at other potential Capital Region casino sites as part of possible consideration of a Plan B. [Capital New York] Earlier: Capital Region casino site odds

(there's more)

Police investigating death of elderly man, Troy City Council calls for outside investigation of Kokopellis incident, Albany County bans use of e-cigarettes on its property

Albany snow emergency continues with even side parking. It flips to ODD side parking at 8 pm Friday, and ends at 8 pm Saturday.

Albany police say they're investigating the death of a 79-year-old man as a homicide. APD says officers responded to a report of a disturbance Thursday afternoon at a town home on the city's southwestern edge (map) and found the man unresponsive. One suspect is in custody. "Sources" tell WNYT that police had gotten a tip from a bank related to checks belonging to the man. Many details of the situation are still unclear. [APD] [WNYT] [WNYT] [TU]

The Troy City Council is asking the mayor Lou Rosamilia for an outside investigation of the Kokopellis incident. Meanwhile, the State Liquor Authority has been reviewing Kokopellis for potential violations. In his state of the city address Thursday, Rosamilia said in reference to the recent incident at the club: "I believe all people should be treated fairly, equally and with respect. Whenever those liberties are seemingly disregarded, it demands action." [TU] [Troy Record] [Troy Record] [TU]

On Thursday, in a separate case that also includes alleged use of excessive force by a Troy police officer, the opening arguments at trial depicted two very different version of events on a South Troy sidewalk. And in another separate case, a former HVCC student has filed a notice of claim against the city alleging he was assaulted by police officers after being confronted for jaywalking. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany Common Council approved mayor Kathy Sheehan's request to go before the state Financial Restructuring Board in an attempt to get a chunk of state aid -- though there were a few reservations. [TU]

(there's more)

Two more arrests in Kokopellis incident, Troy First Niagara robbed again, Knox man allegedly burns down own home, State Police to start social media "Warrant Wednesday"

Albany snow emergency starts at 8 pm Thursday (February 6) with EVEN side parking. Flips to ODD at 8 pm Friday.

Troy police have made two more arrests in connection with the incident at Kokopellis last week. Two city men were arrested, one for allegedly throwing a garbage can lid through the window of a city police car and another is accused of disorderly conduct. [WNYT][TU]

A breakdown of the cases stemming from the Kokopellis nightclub incident. [TU]

And a look at Willie Bacote, the Troy pastor back in the spotlight as he leads protests related to the Kokopellis situation. [TU]

Police are investigating a robbery at the First Niagara Bank on Third Street in Troy that occurred Wednesday morning. The same First Niagara branch was robbed in December. [TWCN][Record]

A Knox man is in police custody today after allegedly burning down his own home overnight -- and blocking access to fire crews. According to Albany County sheriff Craig Apple, the man told a sheriff's department captain, "I know I'm in a lot of trouble in the morning. I want this house to burn down." [WNYT][TWCN][TU]

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Troy protest and meeting on alleged police brutality, Niskayuna school gets one year reprieve, Tkaczyk proposes bill to give municipalities a say on casinos, it's snowing

It's snowing. Most area schools have a snow day today, and so does the state legislature. ALB is open but there are some cancellations and delays. Andrew Cuomo has closed I-84 from the Pennsylvania to the Connecticut state lines because of the snowstorm.[Weather Channel][TU][News 10][TU]

Several dozen people protested against police brutality Tuesday night ahead a Troy City Council public safety committee hearing about the incident last week at Kokopellis. At the packed gathering there were renewed calls for an external investigation of the night club incident and calls by some to drop the charges against those arrested and suspend officers who used batons, pending further investigation. [TWCN][TU][Record]

The state Senatepassed a bill Tuesday that would ban the use of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards for the purchase of cigarettes, alcohol, lottery tickets and ban recipients from using the cards to get cash at ATMs in bars and strip clubs. (The bill has previously stalled in the state Assembly.) [Capitol Confidential][News 10]

Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver are both calling on the state Education Department to delay the rollout of Common Core standards for at least two years. Andrew Cuomo says it would be premature to consider the change before a panel he recommended to examine Common Core completed its work. [WNYT][NYT]

Cecilia Tkaczyk and state Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) have proposed a bill that would give municipalities the final say over whether a casino can be located in their community. [Saratogian]

The Niskayuna school board tabled a vote on closing Birchwood Elementary School Tuesday, allowing the school to remain open at least one more year.[TWCN]

(there's more)

Hearing in Troy on allegations of police brutality, student reports waking to unknown man in her room, new owners for Peter Pause Restaurant

The Troy City Council's public safety committee is scheduled to hold a hearing this evening on allegations of police brutality in the city, including the Kokopellis incident. The Troy African American Pastoral Alliance is planning a march ahead of the hearing. [TU] [TWCN] [TU]

The two vacant buildings on 5th Ave in downtown Troy (map) damaged in a fire Sunday were demolished Monday. Troy's fire chief says the fire appears to be arson. [News10] [Troy Record]

Michael Anderson -- who was facing charges, including second-degree murder, for the stabbing death of Tonette Thomas in Albany in November 2012 -- has pleaded guilty, and faces up to 45 years in prison, according to the Albany County DA's office. [TU] [Albany County DA]

At a legislative hearing Monday the state health commissioner wouldn't answer questions about when the review of potential health impacts from fracking would be finished. (The Cuomo admin has said its decision on fracking is awaiting the review.) [TU]

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Another redevelopment plan for Monument Square site, family suing for $1 million alleging excessive force in Rotterdam, coffee for bitcoins

The city of Troy is scheduled to announce details this morning on the latest redevelopment plan for the former city hall site on Monument Square. [Troy Record] [TU]

Local school officials, already crunched for funding, say they worry the Cuomo admin's push to fund pre-K will end up pitting pre-K against K-12 for money. [TU]

An environmental advocacy org is arguing the state's Department of Environmental Conservation didn't follow its own policies properly in dealing with requests from a company using the Port of Albany to transfer crude oil shipments. [TU]

Two facts set up side by side by the Times Union: 1) Albany County legislature chair Shawn Morse "spearheaded" legislation that pardoned county employees who had violated the county's residence requirement 2) The day before the legislation's passage, Morse received $11k in political donations from a union that represents county corrections officers -- Morse and the union say the two actions aren't connected. [TU]

UAlbany president Robert Jones said in an email that "it is very premature at this time to be considering" expansion of UAlbany's new football stadium. Jones was responding to a Times Union story reporting that athletic department officials were already looking at expansion. [TU] [TU]

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Forum calls for more school aid, Kokopellis owners criticizing TPD, some Thruway toll plazas could be totally automated

School district officials, teachers, and students criticized the current level of state education funding at a forum at Colonie Central High School Thursday evening that drew hundreds of people. Officials detailed many of the cuts they've had to make because of the elimination of a chunk of their district's funding. The Albany schools superintendent said her district is getting 64 percent of the aid it should be getting under the state's formula for school funding. [TU] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

The owners of Kokopellis are disputing the Troy Police Department's characterization of the situation when officers arrived at the club early Saturday morning: "There was a scuffle in our stairway and our security had already restored order and had the situation under control ... before the police arrived." (TPD has released 911 call transcripts this week indicating there was a large fight at the club when officers were called.) The club owners also accused the TPD of trying to "spin" the story to deflect allegations that officers acted inappropriately. The chair of the Troy city council's public safety committee says a meeting next week will examine a range of topics related to the Kokopellis incident -- from whether the club is hosting events it can't handle to whether the police department needs to change how it responds to complaints. [TU] [News10] [Troy Record]

Colonie officials searched a second Central Ave motel -- the Blu-Bell Motel (streetview) -- for code violations and concluded 80 percent of its rooms are uninhabitable. It's owned by the same person as the recently shutdown Skylane Motel. Colonie has been trying to crack down on what the town considers problem motels along Central Ave in recent years, which has contributed to putting one motel property -- with an owner who wants to renovate -- in a sort of limbo. [TU] [Troy Record] [TU]

State Police say two men were injured at the Harriman State Office Campus Thursday night when a tank of a fire suppression substance exploded. The men suffered chemical burns, and one of them had a broken leg. The Albany Fire Department says the tank being removed was part of an outdated fire control system. [NYSP] [TWCN] [News10]

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Troy PD releases audio & 911 transcript from Kokopellis incident, National Grid to defer hike in electric bills, new supermarket proposed for Clifton Park, Watervliet company helps the USA luge team go faster

The Troy police department has released 911 transcripts and radio transmissionsfrom the incident at Kokopellis on Saturday. The recordings indicate a bartender called and reported people were fighting before police arrived. (The 911 transcripts are posted below.) Also: Troy city council president Rodney Wiltshire posted security video from the club on YouTube -- said Wiltshire to the Times Union of the video: "It raises questions and provides some answers." [WNYT][TWCN][Troy PD]

Andrew Cuomo has directed multiple state agencies to look at ways to strengthen state oversight of oil trains. [TU][TWCN]

Union leaders, workers, and lawmakers rallied on Wednesday against Andrew Cuomo's plans to close disability centers, psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the state. There was a fair amount of name calling at the rally, with the CSEA president Danny Donohue referring to Andrew Cuomo as a moron and a monkey. Assemblyman Jim Tedisco said that Cuomo presides over "a government in darkness, government by fiat, government by coercion - a government where you would see in a state where they have a dictator, a totalitarian state." [TU][News 10][NYSNYS/Saratogian]

National Grid says customers can expect a 20-30 percent increase in electric bills this winter,
but the company has gotten permission from the New York Public Service Commission to defer the increase until later in the year when bills will be lower, to spread payments out for customers. [WNYT]

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Troy police chief says he won't resign, Yepsen calls for more local input on potential casino, King says universal pre-k could cost $1.6 billion, Troy's first mayor gets a statue

Troy police chief John Tedesco says he has no intention of resigning amid calls for him to
step down over the weekend incident at Kokopellis on 4th Street. Troy police commissioner Anthony Magnetto says the current investigation of the situation is not looking into the allegations of police brutality, only the alleged assault on officers, damage done to any city property, and reckless endangerment to people in the area -- but an investigation into possible excessive force is not off the table. Incident reports and 911 calls shared by the TPD with the Times Union indicate there was fighting going at the club before officers arrived. [WNYT][Record] [TU]

The unemployment rate in the Capital Region hit a six-year low in December: 5.4 percent.[TU]

About two hundred people showed up for a Niskayuna school board meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the possibility of shutting down Birchwood Elementary School in an effort to close the district's $2.6 million budget gap. In the end, the board decided to postpone a vote on the closure until next week. [Gazette][News 10][TWCN]

In her state of the city speech on Tuesday, Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen renewed a call for a more moderate-sized casino in the city, that would not take business from existing establishments, and touted the need for transparency in government. [TU][Saratogian]

According to state comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office, state overtime rose 16 percent in 2013 to $611 million. [TU]

Tom DiNapoli acknowledged a "special obligation" on the part of New York State to the city of Albany, one day after Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan announced she would be going to the state's Financial Restructuring Board for $5 million to upgrade the city's IT, part of a plan to close city's $16 million budget gap. [Capitol Confidential]

(there's more)

Reaction to incident at Kokopellis in Troy, Sheehan wants to take Albany before state's restructuring board, informant headed to prison for trying to frame shop owner

Said Troy mayor Lou Rosamilia in response to the incident at Kokopellis this past weekend, in which the TPD says six officers were injured and mobile phone video shows officers hitting a man while he's on the floor: "preliminary evidence indicates that our police department, in an effort to gain control of an out-of-control situation, used necessary force in order to make arrests and protect themselves and others." Said police commissioner Anthony Magnetto of the video of the situation in the club: "I don't see anything where the officers acted inappropriately or used excessive force." Police chief John Tedesco urged calm: "Let us look at all the relevant evidence and we'll go from there." City council president Rodney Wiltshire also called for caution as the facts are investigated, but about the video: "I'm not happy with what I saw ... It's hard for me to watch." At a community meeting in North Central, Willie Bacote, a pastor, called for immediate changes in the TPD, including the resignation of Tedesco. And Alice Green, from the Center for Law and Justice in Albany, talked to the crowd about racial discrimination in policing. [TU] [WNYT] [Troy Record] [TWCN] [Troy Record]

As skepticism/opposition continues to organize toward a plan to build a facility for heating crude oil at the Port of Albany, more than a hundred people attended a community meeting about the project Monday evening in the South End. [TU]

Said Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan to a state legislature committee on her plan for the city go before the state's Financial Restructuring Board in an attempt to get $5 million to update the city's IT systems:
"We have no choice. We have a $16 million deficit ... If we can't make that investment ... we're just going to continue in the spiral that we're in." [TU]

Anthony Collins, the accused of trying to abduct a UAlbany student at knifepoint from bus stop near the university's downtown residence halls last fall, has pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping and faces up to 12 years in prison. Collins had been the subject of a documentary project about his struggles with mental illness. [TU] [Albany County DA] [AOA]

(there's more)

Focus on TPD actions while breaking up nightclub incident, concerns about oil shipments, brawl after Union-RPI hockey game

Troy police say six people were arrested in connection with an incident in which "numerous persons were engaged in arguments and physical confrontations" early Saturday morning at Kokopellis on Fourth Street downtown. TPD says six officers were treated at a hospital for injuries, and the rear window of a police car was broken. TPD also says "officers were subject to kicking, punching, pepper spray and a fire extinguisher being completely emptied via the spraying of the powder content on the officers." Here's a walkthrough of club surveillance video from WNYT. A mobile phone video from inside the club shows officers subduing a man with what appears to be a baton, including after the man is on the floor. A TPD spokesperson described the officer's actions as "pain compliance techniques." The Troy City Council's Public Safety Committee is scheduled to meet with police officials Monday evening to discuss the incident and the events depicted in the video. Said council president Rodney Wiltshire: "We will accept nothing less than a full and complete investigation into this and are prepared to conduct our own investigation into this." TPD says officers were initially called to the scene after the nightclub decided to shut things down because of people smoking pot. [TPD] [WNYT] [YouTube] [WNYT] [TU] [News10] [TU]

SPAC, the Saratoga City Center, and downtown Saratoga Springs business owners say they're concerned a full casino in Saratoga Springs would draw events and traffic away from the city's downtown. [TU]

Here's a closer look at what the Cuomo admin's proposed two-year "property tax freeze" could actually involve, using Schenectady and Colonie as examples. [TU]

Many Capital Region school districts aren't happy with their state funding in the Cuomo admin's proposed budget. [TU]

Local officials -- and residents of Albany's South End -- are expressing concerns about the plan to build a facility for heating crude oil for loading at the Port of the Albany. (The port has become a major node in the distribution network for crude oil from North Dakota.) [Troy Record] [TU]

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Cold pushing heating bills higher, Sheehan says Albany budget gap could larger than expected, century-old gravestones damaged

The cold continues, though the high temp forecasted for Saturday is a tropical 27 degrees. Wholesale prices for natural gas and electricity are both up significantly because of demand. And the long string of "Code Blue" nights is straining resources at the Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany. [NWS] [Troy Record] [TU]

Transportation safety agencies in both the US and Canada are recommending new safety rules for the rail shipment of crude oil, following fiery crashes in both countries during the past year. The Port of Albany has become a major node in the distribution of crude oil from North Dakota to refineries on the East Coast. [AP/TU]

Cecilia Tkaczyk is co-sponsoring a bill in the state Senate that would add an element of local influence to the casino siting process -- it would require the passage of a local law or resolution in support of casino by both the host municipality and county. Tkaczyk said the bill would "ensure that the casinos are good neighbors and sited only in those municipalities that want them" -- "I think it's really important to have that local community buy in." A spokesperson for Andrew Cuomo said the governor's administration opposes the bill, and said it isn't necessary because the siting process will take into account local support. (Question: What is the mechanism for gauging local support or opposition?) [NY Open Senate] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Gannett Albany] Earlier: Focusing on support for a possible Capital Region casino, town by town

Topics from Kathy Sheehan's first state of the city address: the budget gap, which could be bigger than expected; and bringing a customer service approach to city hall. [TU] [TWCN]

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Pleas entered in "death ray" case, push back on Cuomo budget begins, foreclosure proceedings had begun before Villa Valenti fire

Still cold. [NWS]

The two men allegedly involved in a plan to construct a "death ray" X-ray weapon to be used against Muslims were in court on Wednesday. Eric J. Feight of Columbia County pleaded guilty to domestic terrorism-related charges and faces anywhere from time served to 15 years in prison. His co-defendant, Glendon Scott Crawford of Saratoga County, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempting to produce and use a radiological device, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, and distribution of information relating to weapons. [WNYT][TU][Saratogian]

One day after Andrew Cuomo announced that his proposed budget would set aside $608 million for an increase in education aid, the Alliance for Quality Education and a group of Capitol Region state legislators held a press conference asking for $1.9 billion.[TU]

A coalition of progressive groups has announced it will launch a grassroots fight against Cuomo's proposed budget.[WNYT][TU]

Just weeks before the fire that destroyed Villa Valenti Restaurant a Pennsylvania-based mortgage company started foreclosure proceedings against the restaurant over more than $16,000 in back payments. [Record]

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Tax cuts and universal pre-k part of Cuomo's proposed 2014 budget, Rotterdam Square Mall sold, 11-year-old arrested for allegedly assaulting bus driver, it's cold

Yep, it's cold out there. [NWS]

Andrew Cuomo outlined his proposed $142.1 billion 2014-15 state budget on Tuesday. The plan would hold the growth in spending below 2 percent. It also calls for funding for universal pre-k, a $2.2 billion tax cut plan, and an $807 million increase in education spending -- much lower than the $1.3 billion increase recommended by the state board of regents. Also included in the budget: a plan to establish a panel of legislators and education experts to review the Common Core and make some adjustments. [TWCN] [TU] [TU] [News 10] [TWCN]

Rotterdam Square Mall has been sold to an owner who has a history of controversy and legal battles with other malls he owns . Also, because the mall sold for< a href="www.dailygazette.com/news/2014/jan/21/rotterdam-square-sold-85-million/">less than a third of its assessed value, the property could generate less tax revenue than in the past. [TU] [Gazette]

The Saratoga Springs City Council heard more casino arguments at a meeting Tuesday, but the usually vocal SAVE Saratoga anti-casino group announced via press release that it would sit the meeting out this time. [TWCN][Saratogian]

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Cuomo budget presentation today, multiple shootings but locations unclear, Albany Med interested in medical marijuana program

Andrew Cuomo will present his proposed 2014-2015 budget this afternoon. Among the main questions: The next budget was projected to have a gap, so how is the Cuomo admin finding money for the tax cuts it's been touting? [TU]

Friday on the Capitol Pressroom, an Andrew Cuomo riff on what he called a "schism" in the Republican Party included this statement: "Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that's who they are and they're the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are." Republicans -- and Fred Dicker -- jumped on the statement, expressing outrage. The Cuomo admin released a letter Monday in response to the uproar: "The Governor was making the point that he makes often: New York is a politically moderate state and an extremist agenda is not politically viable statewide." [TU CapCon] [NY Post] [TU CapCon]

The $10 billion slated for investment at the GlobalFoundries site in Malta is currently aimed at upgrades to its existing facilities, not a second fab, according to the company. [TU]

The fields that will include the most job growth in the Capital Region, according to state Department of Labor short-term projections: food service, retail, medical. [TU]

The superintendents of the Albany and Schenectady school districts both make more than $180k a year. [TU]

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Two local school districts tagged as facing "significant fiscal stress," plan to reduce sewer overflows into the Hudson, communication mishap resulted in unintended release from jail

In a "fiscal stress" analysis of school districts in the state by the state comptroller's office the the Watervliet school district topped the list of districts facing "significant stress." Said Watervliet's superintendent to the TU: "We're strapped ... The comptroller knows it, the state knows it and now the whole world knows it, but no one will help us do anything about it." Also among the top tier of districts facing "significant financial stress:" Schenectady. Said superintendent Larry Spring to the Daily Gazette: "They only give us 54 percent of the aid we're supposed to get, and then they issue a report saying, 'You're in fiscal stress?' Yes, because you made that happen. I don't see the purpose of the report except to say, 'You're successfully strangling us.'" [NYS OSC] [NYS OSC] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced a $136 million plan involving six Capital Region municipalities in "The Albany Pool" aimed at reducing the amount of sewage that pours in the Hudson River during heaving rains. A key part of the plan: a disinfection system for a pipe called "Big C" near the Port of Albany, which accounts for about half of the "combined sewer overflows." [NYS DEC] [TU] Earlier: Something stinks about the Hudson near Albany

Colonie supervisor Paula Mahan on the possibility of a casino at the First Prize Center: "Personally, I don't think that's the right location for it ... It's right smack in the middle of a neighborhood." [TU]

A federal judge has ruled that the Wandering Dago's lawsuit against the state -- over the food truck being rejected from vending at the Empire State Plaza and Saratoga Race Course because of its name -- can proceed. [TU]

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Shooting on Central Ave in Albany, investigation continues in Villa Valenti fire, Cuomo sitting on $33 million, ice jams continue to cause flooding concern, kittens in prison

Albany police say a man was shot around 5 pm Wednesday outside of the CVS on the 100 block of Central Avenue (map). Later that day activists gathered a few blocks away to try to find solutions for Albany's gun violence problem. [TU] [TWCN]

The Niskayuna man charged with killing his estranged wife at her Lake Luzerne apartment on Christmas Eve pleaded not guilty to a charge of second degree murder on Wednesday. Clifford R. Burns told police he "snapped" over the fear he was going to go to jail over missing two child support payments.[WNYT][TWCN][Post Star]

Andrew Cuomo reported having $33 million in his re-election coffers. According to the New York Public Interest Research Group, that exceeds the total he spent on his 2010 gubernatorial campaign ($28 million). [TU][NYT]

Stewart's Shops is facing a class action lawsuit that argues the company violated wage and hour laws, failed to compensate employees for all hours worked, routinely deprived employees of mandatory meal breaks and failed to effectively record time worked by employees.[Saratogian][TU]

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Fire destroys Villa Valenti, police search for Delmar bank robber, Owens won't seek re-election, more animal abuse charges on Greenfield horse farm, budget woes may cause Alive at Five cutback

Investigators are looking for the cause of a quick-moving fire that destroyed the Villa Valenti restaurant in Wynantskill Tuesday night.[TU]

Police are investigating an armed robbery Tuesday morning at the Citizens Bank in Delmar. [WNYT]

Bill Owens has announced that he will not seek re-election for the 21st Congressional district seat (which includes parts of Saratoga and Washington counties), leaving Democrats concerned that the party's chances of gaining in the House in November may be hurt. [TWCN] [NYT]

The Rensselaer County legislature overwhelmingly passed a referendum to support a casino being built in the city of Rensselaer. [TWCN]

Employees of the Saratoga Casino & Raceway held a press conference on Tuesday to show their support for a full casino in the city. [WNYT]

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Snags (and progress) for the state's implementation of Obamacare, shooting in downtown Troy, Victory Mill residential conversation tax breaks approved

A state Senate hearing with the head of the NY State of Health -- the state's health exchange for the federal Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) -- detailed some of the snags and problems with the program so far, included slow-arriving ID cards and confusion over which doctors are in network. One of the things more or less on track: New York has enrolled a relatively high percentage of young people (getting young people into the pool is forecasted to be a key part of keeping premiums down). [TU] [Capital] [NYT]

A consequence of the recent upswing in natural gas prices: a sharp jump in electricity prices in the state. [TU]

Cecilia Tkaczyk is among the 83 state legislators pushing Andrew Cuomo to for a $1.9 billion increase in state school aid. [TU]

Kathy Marchione is part of a group of state Senators pushing for an overhaul of business regulations in the state. [TU]

State Senator Diane Savino -- who's been an advocate for medical marijuana in the chamber, where previous bills on the subject have been roadblocked -- said new medical marijuana legislation isn't ready yet. Medical marijuana advocates say Andrew Cuomo's plan for a limited trial program at a handful of hospitals doesn't go far enough. [TU] [TWCN]

SaintRose_all-over-albany_generic_525x40.jpg

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Ice jams continue to prompt flooding concerns, free breakfast touted as reason for surge in school attendance, variance sought for pet funeral facility

Ice jams on local waterways continue to prompt concerns about potential flooding as snow melts and more rain is in the forecast. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Mohawk River at Schenectady, with "minor flooding" in the forecast, for today. Communities along the Mohawk have been watching the ice jams and water levels, which -- so far -- haven't caused much trouble. On the other side of the region, an ice jam in Rensselaer County caused some minor flooding. [TU] [NWS] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

In Waterford there's concern that drastically higher flood insurance premiums will price people out of the village. [TU]

Question: Should the number of seats in the Albany County legislature -- one of the biggest and most costly in the state -- be reduced? [TU]

Local school officials and sexual assault prevention educators say networks such as Facebook and Instagram are being frequently used as a tools of harassment, or as Schenectady schools superintendent Larry Spring says of Facebook: it's "a gift from the devil." [Daily Gazette]

What apparently prompted a surge in attendance at Schenectady public schools this year: free breakfast and lunch for everyone. [Daily Gazette]

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Cold weather prompts higher natural gas prices and ice jams, Schdy schools superintendent continues push for large state aid increase, SUNY Upstate doc warns of "stupid stoners"

The recent very cold weather has prompted an upswing in the price of natural gas. And the state power grid set a record for peak winter demand on Tuesday. (Much of New York's electricity comes from natural gas-fired power plants.) [TU] [NYISO] [US EIA]

Large chunks of ice on local waterways from the long, deep freeze + warmer temperatures and rain this weekend = concerns about possible flooding caused by ice jams. Said a Ballston Spa man of the ice jam that caused flooding in his basement this week: "It looked like a big glacier." The Coast Guard has been running an ice breaker up in the Hudson out of the Port of Albany to keep the shipping channel open. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [WNYT]

Many of the proposals in Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address might sound familiar -- because they've been proposed before, by other governors. [TU]

As the Schenectady school district looks another budget gap, superintendent Larry Spring continues to bang the drum for a large shift in state aid for the district: "[Andrew Cuomo] really should be thinking of increasing aid to Schenectady by 20 percent a year for the next three years." [Daily Gazette]

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State of the State topics include education and tax cuts, fracking protests outside SOTS but no mention inside, Clifton Park woman won't be the biggest loser

Among the topics in Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address: universal pre-k, "smart" classrooms, the state of education, ethics reform, government consolidation, and medical marijuana. Here's a quick scan of the speech. [NYT][WNYT][News 10][AOA]

While some were encouraged by the speech, others are skeptical about how the state will pay for some of the governor's initiatives.[Capitol Confidential][Record]

Hydrofracking wasn't mentioned in the State of the State address, but anti-fracking advocates protested outside the Capitol on Wednesday. Among the anti-fracking activists: a Buddhist nun who was the force behind the Grafton Peace Pagoda and led a 50-mile anti-fracking walk from Sharon Springs to the Empire State Plaza in the frigid temperatures.[WNYT][TWCN] [TU]

Saratoga Springs police are investigating the death of a local man found at the Hilton Garden Inn who may have overdosed on heroin.[TU]

A Niskayuna man pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to the Christmas Eve murder of his estranged wife in Lake Luzerne. [TU]

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State of the State today, fracking and gun protests expected at SOS address, shouting and obscenities at Paul sentencing, Saratoga simmers over casinos

It's expected to warm up -- to around 19 degrees -- today. [NWS]

Andrew Cuomo will deliver his fourth State of the State address today. Among the items he's expected to mention: medical marijuana, and a $2.2 billion plan to cut taxes. [TWCN][News10]

Hundreds of anti-fracking activists and opponents of the NY SAFE Act are expected to protest at the State of the State address.[TU]

About 75 protestors gathered in the frigid temperatures outside the Capitol on Tuesday for the annual People's State of the State, an anti-poverty protest, on the day before the governor's State of the State. Income disparity was a big focus of the protest on Tuesday.[TU] [Record]

Vice President Joe Biden joined Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday as the governor outlined a plan to spend $16 billion in federal disaster aid on 1,000 separate projects that will help make New York better prepared for future storms. Here's a quick scan of details and quotes. [NYT][TWCN][AOA]

An obscenity-laden shouting match broke out as sentencing was about to being in the case of Joey Paul, the Stillwater woman who shot her boyfriend to death with his own AK-47 in his Schuylerville apartment in 2012. The shouting began when Paul screamed "Who are you to judge me?" as the victim's mother read an impact statement. Paul was escorted from the courtroom after the shouting match broke out. When she returned, Paul was sentenced to 18 1/2 years on manslaughter charges.[TU][Saratogain][News 10][TWCN]

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It's cold, Cuomo details tax cut plans, questions about oil facility proposal at Port of Albany, sheriff's office joins the 1990s

You might have heard: It's cold. After hitting 50 degrees early Monday, the temperature dropped to 6 degrees overnight. Today's high is projected to be 10 degrees, with wind chill values as a low as -10. Albany city schools were closed because of the cold, and other districts delayed the start of the their school day. [NWS] [NWS] [ACSD FB] [TU]

Andrew Cuomo shared some details on the $2 billion in tax cuts he's proposed, including the elimination of the corporate income tax rate for manufacturing companies upstate. The governor said the state could afford the tax cuts because his administration had controlled spending and there were projected surpluses, though he did not share specific details about how they would be financed. Cuomo also set up the package of cuts -- which include a potential two-year upstate property tax freeze -- as a way to pressure to local governments to "take concrete steps vis-a-vis shared services and consolidation." [Cuomo admin] [NYT] [TU]

Joe Biden is scheduled to be in Albany today for an event with Andrew Cuomo. They'll be in the Red Room at the Capitol to "discuss infrastructure and other investments in the wake of Hurricane Sandy." It's not open to the public, but it will be livestreamed online. [Daily Gazette] [Cuomo admin]

Becky Goodermote -- who pled guilty to multiple charges after she struck Matthew Ratelle, a bicyclist, on Route 22 in Rensselaer County in September 2012, the injuries from which led to the death of the Ratelle -- was sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison. Said Ratelle's father at the sentencing: "You hit Matt so hard he landed 30 yards off the road ... And you left him there like roadkill." Said Goodermote: "I will have to live with this for the rest of my life ... I pray that one day they will find it in their hearts to forgive me." [Troy Record] [TWCN] [TU]

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Cuomo to push forward on limited medical marijuana legalization, Joe Biden to visit Albany, fatal fire on Dove Street in Albany, all that and the wrong person

"State officials" tell the New York Times that Andrew Cuomo will announce during his State of the State address Wednesday that he will open the way for limited use of medical marijuana in the state via an executive action. (Bills to allow medical marijuana haven't been able to make it through the state Senate.) The move will rely at least in part on provisions in a 1980 state law, though the legislature may still have to get involved in some way. Supporters of pot legalization were chuffed by the news, but the floated 20-hospital limit for the program muted some of the excitement. [NYT] [State of Politics] [TU]

Joe Biden will be in Albany Tuesday for an event with Andrew Cuomo, according to a White House press release, though there weren't many details about the visit. "Sources familiar with the event" tell the Times Union the Vice President's visit will touch on the use of federal disaster aid for rebuilding infrastructure. [WH press release] [TU]

A look at how Massachusetts has gone about the casino siting/selection process -- and how New York's process is (or isn't) shaping up. [TU]

Despite efforts to diversify the Albany Fire Department, the ranks of city fire fighters are still overwhelmingly white and male -- among the reasons cited by people inside and outside of the department: criteria used during the screening process and the composition of the civil service exam. [TU]

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This just in: it's snowy and very cold, federal safety warning about crude oil shipments, McLaughlin leaning away from gubernatorial run, dog rescued from the Hudson

It snowed a lot. And it's cold. The storm dropped 10-12 inches of snow around the Capital Region, and overnight temps dipped below zero. The Thruway was closed between Exit 24 and New York City over night because of the snow (it re-opened this morning). [NWS] [NWS] [TU] [Cuomo admin]

Today's forecast: high temperature of 7 degress, low tonight of -11. [NWS]

Many municipalities around the Capital Region have declared snow emergencies, including Albany (starts 8 pm Friday night with even side parking). The city of Troy, which often faces criticism for not having a snow emergency plan, is still working on formulating such a plan, according to a city spokesperson -- and a snow "push back" was planned for the central business district early Friday morning. [City of Albany] [Troy Record] [News10]

Federal regulators have issued a warning that Bakken crude oil -- for which the Port of Albany has become a major node in its shipping network -- "may be more flammable than traditional heavy crude oil." A train carrying the oil crashed in North Dakota this week, sending a fiery plume into the air. [TU] [US PHMSA] [ABC News]

Moreau's town board is supporting a push to site a casino at the Mount McGregor Correctional Facility, slated for closure later this year. The Saratoga racino (er, Saratoga Casino and Raceway) is thought to be the frontrunner if a Capital Region casino is sited in Saratoga County -- but Moreau's supervisor points out that a majority of his town's resident voted to approve full casinos in the state, and a majority of Saratoga Springs voted against it. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Kathy Sheehan is mayor of Albany, Troy police investigate NYE drive-by shooting, teen accused of stealing police car

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Kathy Sheehan became Albany's first new mayor in 20 years on Tuesday.

Cold and snow. [TWCN][AOA]

For the first time in 20 years, Albany has a new mayor. Jerry Jennings walked out of City Hall as mayor for the last time on Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning about 600 people were on hand to witness the inauguration of Kathy Sheehan. The new mayor was sworn in at Kiernan Plaza in downtown Albany, where she told the crowd that she wants to make sure each neighborhood in the city is represented.[TWCN][Record][TU][News 10]

Saratoga's new mayor, Joanne Yepsen, took the oath of office on Wednesday. Yepsen says her first order of business is to open government and transparency in the mayor's office. While Yepsen said she isn't opposed to a casino in Saratoga, she said on Wednesday that a casino with a Vegas-type atmosphere "does not have a place in Saratoga Springs," and said she would oppose a casino event space that would cut into bookings for the City Center in downtown Saratoga Springs. [TWCN][Saratogian]

In Schenectady, Democrats John Mootooveren, Carl Erikson and Marion Porterfield took the oath of office for city council. [TU]

Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan will be sworn in for her new term later today.[TU]

A Queensbury couple is facing animal cruelty charges for allegedly illegally neutering a dog and cat for friends who didn't want to pay for surgery.[Post Star]

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Many local bridges in less than good condition, fatal shooting on Grand Street in Albany, new plan for Troy snow removal

A Times Union analysis of state bridge data concludes that more than a third of the bridges in the Capital Region are rated as being in less than good condition -- but many of them are owned by local governments and money to fix the spans is hard to find. A small union rally in Clifton Park Sunday was intended to draw attention to "the state's crumbling infrastructure." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A Times Union analysis of campaign contributions made by engineering firms to local politicians concludes that many firms donate to the party in the power, apparently in an attempt to maintain consulting contracts with towns -- a situation that has created close ties between some firms and local governments. [TU]

Prompted by the recent death of a homeless woman, apparently from exposure on a cold night, there's now a plan in Saratoga Springs for a "Code Blue" program -- an emergency shelter for homeless people will be opened on very cold nights, with free transportation available. The plan was headed up by mayor-elect Joanne Yepsen and local aid orgs. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

A local emergency department physician on the apparent recent surge in heroin use: "It's dropped in cost, the cost of [prescription] pills have gone up in cost and the access to pills has gone down." [Daily Gazette]

Colonie police say a standoff Friday night on Consaul Road (map) was prompted by a domestic violence call, a report that a man had stabbed a woman, was armed with a gun, and was threatening to kill people. CPD says the man exited the home and pointed a gun at officers and an officer fired at the man, missing. CPD says there was a shot inside the home after that. The woman, who suffered stab wounds to the leg, was able to escape with her father. Police eventually forced the man out of the house with tear gas. Timothy Anatriello Jr., 24, now faces a string of charges. [CPD] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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More than a thousand attend memorial for State Police trooper, another state Assemblyman accused of making sexual comments to staffers, Troy towing snowbound cars

More than a thousand people attended the wake for State Police trooper David Cunniff at his Watervliet church on Thursday. Cunniff died from injuries after he was hit by a tractor trailer on the Thruway during a traffic stop near Amsterdam -- State Police say charges are pending and have told the truck driver, a Canadian, to stay in the country. [Troy Record] [TU]

Said one attendee at the memorial service for Nancy Pitts, the homeless woman who apparently died from exposure last week in Saratoga Springs: "It makes me really sad the way Nancy died ... More than that, it makes me angry." Pitts' death has focused attention on the lack of an emergency homeless shelter in the Saratoga Springs area. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The attorney for Damien Zervos, accused of shooting a mother of four in the back of the head in an Albany apartment in October, said his client will use the insanity defense because of "a preliminary indication" that his client has schizophrenia. [TU]

Said Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy of the 17-year-old Shen student accused of injecting a 15-year-old with heroin: "He's a deeply troubled kid ... There are issues here both criminal and social." The judge in the case said his hope is to get the teen into a rehab program. The 15-year-old has said the alleged injection was not forced. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Flags at half staff for Trooper Cunniff, alleged Toys for Tots theft a misunderstanding, CDTA on track for highest ridership since 1980s

Flags around New York State will be flown at half staff today in honor or State Police trooper David Cunniff, who died earlier this week when was hit by a tractor trailer on the Thruway near Amsterdam during a traffic stop. Services for Cunniff will be held on Thursday and Friday at his church in Watervliet. The investigation into the crash continues and no charges have been filed yet. [TU][TWCN][WNYT]

A feasibility study emphasizing the commercial benefit of moving and scaling back the proposed Albany Convention Center is apparently what changed Andrew Cuomo's mind about the project. [TU]

Rensselaer County clerk Frank Merola is among the first to publicly object to a proposal to provide drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, saying he will not issue the licenses in the county. [Capitol Confidential]

Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen will hold an emergency meeting this week to work on a "Code Blue" plan to shelter homeless people during the winter. [News 10]

It turns out the Toys for Tots collection box outside the Glenville Walmart was not stolen on Tuesday night, as originally reported. The box belonged to another charity and the woman who picked it up had permission to remove it. [TU][WNYT]

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Death puts focus on resources for the homeless in Saratoga County, big turnout for casino meeting, Colonie trying to shut down "disgusting" motel

Police say it appears Nancy Pitts, the homeless woman found dead behind the Saratoga Senior Center last week, died of exposure, though that has not yet been confirmed by autopsy (map). Her death has focused attention the extent of facilities for the homeless in the Saratoga area. Saratoga Springs has a shelter, but it's for temporary drop-ins, there are no emergency shelters in all of Saratoga County. Said an official from Shelters of Saratoga about the situation: "I don't think any of us should settle for the fact that folks are going to die out there." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [TWCN]

Temperatures dipped below zero overnight and forecasted lows for tonight are in the teens. [NWS] [NWS]

In the "top tier" of Andrew Cuomo's agenda for next year: the proposed two-year property tax freeze, jobs, ethics reform. [State of Politics] [TU]

Also from the Cuomo cabinet meeting: the state health commissioner said the review of hydrofracking is still ongoing and, "The process needs to be transparent at the end, not during." Cuomo on the long-delayed review: "I want the right decision ... Not necessarily the fastest decision." [State of Politics] [NYT]

More than a thousand people showed up for a panel about a potential full casino in Saratoga Springs -- a plan with few specific details, apparently. Among the skeptics: Saratoga Springs mayor elect Joanne Yepsen. Among the arguments from those opposing a casino: a majority of voters in Saratoga County voted against the amendment to allow full casinos in the state. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [News10] [News10]

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It snowed, Schenectady officials deliver school funding complaint to the feds, another Uncle Sam beheaded, Albany chess queen headed to international competition

The Albany area got about a foot of snow over the weekend. It was the fourth-highest storm total in the period since 2010. [NWS] [TU]

Schenectady school officials delivered the district's discrimination complaint -- which alleges the state's funding formula shorts districts with many minority students -- to a federal Department of Education office in New York City Friday. Said superintendent Larry Spring: "They told us, 'we're interested in the case, we like that this has not been brought before,' and that they think they had a role to play." [Daily Gazette] [TU]

One member of the state's Board of Regents explains her opposition to the way the Common Core standards are being implemented -- she alleges state education officials are using "false information to create a crisis." [TU]

A homeless person was found dead outside near the Saratoga Senior Center last week. [Saratogian]

Occupancy rates are high in new residential units either being built or converted in Capital Region downtowns. [TU]

There are now at least 35 roundabouts in the Capital Region -- to the joy of traffic engineers, and apparently to the dismay of others. [Daily Gazette]

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Waite sentenced to 25 years-to-life, State Police: Shen student injected another student with heroin, man dies while trying to save horses, package thefts in Colonie

Gary Waite, the Glens Falls man convicted for the murder of his 15-month-old son, was sentenced to 25 years-to-life in prison. [Post-Star] [WNYT]

A Brooklyn man, Rodney Davis, was sentenced to 50 years-to-life in prison for the shooting death of Rashad Robinson outside a bar in Schenectady's Mont Pleasant neighborhood in 2011 (map). Two other people were also injured in the shooting. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Quintril Clark, accused of planning the murder of Sha-kim Miller in Troy in 2012, was found not guilty of second-degree murder. [Troy Record]

The state's highest court has ordered a new trial for Ariel Myers, who was convicted of first-degree assault for the shooting of Robert Gunyup in Troy's Griswold Heights housing complex in 2009. The court ruled that testimony about Myers allegedly having a gun at a different time should not have been allowed in the trial. [NYS Court of Appeals] [TU]

State Police say a 17-year-old Shen student has been arrested for allegedly injecting a 15-year-old student with heroin at Shenedehowa High School on Tuesday. The 17 year old has been charged with felony criminal injection of a narcotic drug and a handful of misdemeanors. [NYSP]

Albany County exec Dan McCoy signed the bill banning the use of polystyrene containers by chain restaurants. The ban takes effect July 1 after a six month transition period. The chain maybe most affected by the ban: Dunkin' Donuts. McCoy says he will "call for all Albany County biz to follow Styrofoam ban within 3 yrs." [@McCoyCountyExec] [Albany County] [WNYT] [TU] [@McCoyCountExec]

Documents from the Federal Railroad Administration obtained by the Daily Gazette detail the events involved with a train derailment in Glenville this past February -- in one letter a railway company official comments that it was "miraculous" that the accident wasn't more serious. [Daily Gazette]

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Bomb threat at GloFo site, midday bank robbery in downtown Troy, huge former Beech-Nut plant sold, a Cracker Jack buffet

Construction at the GlobalFoundries site in Luther Forest was temporarily stopped Monday -- and 3,000 construction employees sent home -- after a note was left at the scene claiming there were bombs at the site. (WNYT reports the note was left "on toilet paper in a portable bathroom stall.") Police say no explosives were found. State Police say a Glenville man -- working at the site as an electrician's apprentice -- was arrested for allegedly writing the note. An investigator said police aren't sure what prompted the threat. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [YNN] [NYSP] [Saratogian]

Said the sister of man who was fatally shot early Monday on First Street in Albany (map), to the Times Union, as she watched a firefighter hose her brother's blood off the pavement: "I don't want to live without my brother. I didn't even get to say goodbye. ... I may never leave this scene." An APD spokesman called the case "a very active and ongoing investigation" and urged the public to call with any information it might have. [APD] [TU] [News10]

Albany fire chief Robert Forezzi is retiring after 39 years with the department, almost eight of those as chief. [TU] [WNYT]

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Continued focus on train safety measures, NYSP: customers restrained alleged robber, Grammy nom for ASO, to school on a unicycle

After the Bronx crash, the feds have ordered Metro North to overhaul its signaling system and to temporarily have two people in the driver's cab during stretches that include speed changes. MTA says its signal network will now warn operators of the sharp bend in the tracks and trains will automatically break brake if they're traveling faster than the speed limit through that stretch. Chuck Schumer and Connecticut US Senator are pushing for the installation of audio and video recorders in trains that would focus on engineers and the tracks. [AP/TU] [NYT] [AP/TU]

State comptroller Tom DiNapoli said his office will be auditing the state Division of Criminal Justice Services' oversight and management of hate crime reporting across the state. The announcement follows concern raised by a Manhattan state Senator that some hate crimes in the state are being missed. [NYS OSC] [TU]

Many newborn blood samples aren't making it from hospitals to the state lab in Albany within the two-day window mandated. [TU]

Schenectady schools superintendent Larry Spring says he will personally travel to New York City this week to deliver the school district's civil rights complaint against the state to federal Department of Education investigators. (The district argues that it's not getting the state funding it deserves, and alleges the state's formula has ended up being discriminatory against districts with large minority populations.) [Daily Gazette]

Updated: Albany police responded to a reports of gunfire in West Hill (block map) overnight and found a man with a gunshot wound. APD says the man later died of his injuries. APD says an investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call the Albany Police Detective Division at 462-8039. [WNYT] [APD press release]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Dennis Drue sentenced, investigation in apparent Albany homicide, resident permits for downtown Troy off-street parking, Siro's for sale

Dennis Drue was sentenced to 5-15 years in prison for his guilty plea to more than 50 counts related to the fatal Northway crash last year that killed Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers. At the sentencing Bailey Wind -- one of the two teens who survived the crash, but were seriously injured -- told Drue repeatedly to look at her while she spoke and called him a "murderer" and said, "You're drenched in their blood forever." Stewart's mother spoke of how many of her son's things still sit where he left them, including his toothbrush: "I hope every time you pick up your toothbrush in your jail cell, you think of my son and my grief ... I hope it inspires you to do bigger and better things with your life, and I hope it gives you perspective to see things from someone else's eyes." In the five years leading up to the crash, Drue had been ticketed 22 times, had his license suspended, and was involved in four accidents, all reported to be his fault -- and prosecutors said he was drunk and had marijuana in his system at the time of the fatal Northway crash. Just before the sentence was announced, Drue apologized for the first time publicly: "I never meant to hurt anybody ... I take full responsibility. I'm so sorry, I really am." Rivers' father expressed disappointment in the length of the sentence: "We feel that someone who takes two lives by committing this type of reckless crime should receive more than five to 15 years in prison." [TU] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [News10] [YNN]

Shanikqua Thomas -- who pleaded guilty to assault for running over six people on Elk Street in Albany in August -- was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Said a woman whose pelvis was broken during the incident: "I try not to think about that day but am constantly reminded because of the physical injury and emotional scars I carry." [News10] [Albany County DA] [TU]

Albany police say they're investigating what appears to be a homicide in an apartment on Western Ave near to the Saint Rose campus (map). APD says officers responding to a call about a broken window Wednesday found a deceased man, apparently from a physical altercation. APD says it's arrested a man in connection with an alleged burglary, but any possible involvement in the death is still under investigation. [APD]

Part of the recent haul in what's reported to be the Capital Region's largest-ever drug seizure: more than 500 pounds of pot and more than 130 pounds of cocaine. [TU]

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Former Albany Common Council candidate arrested in drug bust, Global Foundries announces layoffs, NYRA hikes track admission, Trump for governor. Or not.

According to a Moreland Commission co-chair, the ethics panel did extend its probe to the offices of Andrew Cuomo and Eric Schneiderman, but they didn't find any wrongdoing. [Capital]

The Metro North engineer who was driving the commuter train that derailed last weekend has been suspended without pay. [WNYT]

Dennis Drue is expected to be sentenced today for his role in the Northway crash that killed high school students Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers last year.[TU]

About 30 jobs, mostly support roles, are being eliminated at the Global Foundries Luther Forest computer chip plant.[Gazette][Record]

A former candidate who narrowly lost a primary for Albany Common Council was arrested in a drug bust on Tuesday. Police arrested Sam Coleman in a raid on a Washington Avenue apartment where police say crack was cooking on a stove. [WNYT][TU]

The home of the man who was recently freed from rape charges due to an error in the Rensselaer County District Attorney's Office was raided by police on Thanksgiving Day in connection with a recent burglary. [WNYT][TU]

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Attorneys for Albany imam pin hopes to new policy, Moreland report highlights "payback culture" in Albany, SCCC President leaving for Pennsylvania

Attorneys representing the engineer who was driving the Metro North commuter train that ran off the rails in the Bronx say the man nodded off at the controls just before the wreck and caught himself too late. [AP/TU]

Attorneys for Yassin Aref, the Albany imam convicted in 2006 of laundering money from a terror plot that turned out to be an FBI sting operation, are hoping a recent policy change in US attorney general Eric Holder's office may lead to their client's release. At a rally for Aref on Tuesday, attorneys said the policy would require that previously withheld evidence in the case be released. Supporters of Aref at the rally included Albany Common Council member Dominick Calsolaro, who said: "We have people who were prosecuted based on evidence that the defense never got to see." [TU][YNN][Record][WNYT]

The Moreland Commission report released this week highlights what's described as a "payback culture" in Albany between elected officials and campaign donors, but did not name names about which elected officials or political donors might face prosecution based on evidence uncovered in the panel's investigation.[NYT]

There appears to be a lot of overlap between Andrew Cuomo's recent legislative platform recommendations and the findings of the Moreland Commission. [Capital]

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Moreland Commission delivers report on corruption, APD changing strip search policy, hate crime charge withdrawn, the Infamous Frozen Turkey Chase of 1987

The Andrew Cuomo-created Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption delivered its preliminary report on corruption Monday evening, urging changes: "The commission's preliminary observation is that both the general state of our political system, and the way business is transacted within it, cry out urgently for reform." Among the recommendations: a public system for matching small political campaign contributions, though that idea was opposed by some of the commission's members. [State of Politics] [NYT] [TU]

Federal investigators said the Metro North train that crashed in the Bronx Sunday was traveling 82 mph into a curve rated for 30 mph. "Law enforcement sources" tells the New York Daily News that the train's conductor didn't remember how the train had picked up such speed, and described the conductor as "consciously asleep." Experts say proposed safety technology for trains could have slowed the train before the curve. [NYT] [NYDN] [TU/AP]

Schenectady County DA Robert Carney says the man held on previous charges following the fatal car-to-car shooting near Mont Pleasant Middle School in Schenectady last month has been charged with second-degree murder in the case. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Traci Briskin -- convicted of manslaughter and driving while ability impaired for running a stop sign in Charlton last year, causing a crash that fatally injured a man -- has been sentenced to 2.5-7.5 years in prison. [Saratogian] [TU]

The Saratoga Springs school board voted to accept to a recommendation from a hearing officer that a middle school math teacher be fired over an accusation he made sexual advances toward a student. The teacher was a acquitted on a charge related to the alleged incident earlier this year, and he said Monday that the student's story was "riddled with inconsistencies." [TU] [Saratogian]

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Investigation into fatal Metro North derailment, state tax credits for businesses up sharply, NanoCollege planning chip foundry for Utica, they were first in line

Investigators are looking into why a Metro North train derailed Sunday near the Harlem River in the Bronx, killing four people and injuring many others. Andrew Cuomo said on the Today Show this morning that early indications are that the train's speed appeared to be a factor. Amtrak service from Albany-Rensselaer to NYC was halted for a few hours Sunday, but has since been restored, though at slower speeds near the crash site. Said an Albany woman whose train had passed by the crash site Sunday, to WNYT: "There were a couple of cars really turned on their side ... There was one (that was) feet from the water. It was really bad. It was scary." [NYT] [NYT] [AP/ABC News] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office says a pedestrian who hit and killed by a vehicle on Route 29 in Milton Saturday morning. The sheriff's office said the driver reported briefly losing sight of the road before hitting the pedestrian. The driver has been charged with failure to use designated lane. [News10] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The cost of state tax credits for businesses have been on a sharp upswing over the last handful of few years, rising from $673 million in 2005 to an estimated $1.7 billion in 2003, according to a report prepared for the New York State Tax Reform and Fairness Commission. [TU] [Capital New York]

The county jails for Albany and Rensselaer counties generate millions in revenue each year from boarding prisoners from other counties. [TU]

Bailey Wind on her ongoing recovery -- both physical and emotional -- from the fatal Northway wreck a year ago: "Every day is definitely different. Some days are better than others. I'd say more are better than worse. But when the days are bad, they're really bad. I have a few bad days every week." And Regina Stewart, Chris Stewart's mother: "There are moments that take me off my feet... Then it's literally time to rest -- to let the sadness and anguish happen. And eventually it subsides." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Schumer supports Schenectady demolition and rehab plan, Halfmoon supervisor-elect to replace Wormuth, Ellis nurse charged with recording women in bathroom, weather delays ESP rink opening

Chuck Schumer was in Schenectady on Tuesday to lend his support to a plan to get a $3 million loan to tear down about 80 blighted buildings and rehab others. [YNN][TU][Gazette]

Halfmoon's Town Board unanimously appointed supervisor-elect Kevin Tollisen to fill the remainder of supervisor complete Melinda Wormuth's term. Wormuth resigned earlier last week and is under is under indictment by federal and state authorities.[WNYT][Saratogaian]

On Tuesday's Capitol Pressroom Andrew Cuomo said he's anticipating some form of property or business tax cut in the coming fiscal year that will be paid for by an expected surplus.But the division of budget contends that there will be a 1.7 billion deficit, [TU][Daily News]

An Ellis Hospital nurse has been fired and is facing felony charges for allegedly using a surveillance camera to secretly record women in a hospital bathroom.[YNN][TU]

Residents of the 1600 block of Van Vranken Avenue say a decision to cut mail delivery to the area after a BB gun was shot at a mail carrier on the block last week, is causing a hardship for some in the neighborhood.[Gazette]

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Potential casino sites that are not Saratoga, allegation of excessive force against Troy police, new community owners for Open Door Bookstore

Increasing talk about the potential Capital Region casino not ending up in Saratoga -- maybe instead sites in Rensselaer, Albany, or Schenectady. [TU]

State Police say the Schoharie County home in which an 8 year old's adult teeth were allegedly pulled with a pair of pliers was "in an advanced state of disarray" and "in terrible condition." The girl's legal guardian is facing assault and child endangerment charges. [TU] [WNYT]

A Saratoga Springs man has filed a lawsuit alleging Troy police used excessive force against him -- including tasing him in the head -- during an arrest in 2011. Also: A separate allegation of excessive force against TPD officers has become the latest focus of the ongoing fight between Troy police chief John Tedesco and the city administration. [TU] [Troy Record]

Democrat Cynthia Young has filed paperwork that's the first step in appealing a decision by a state Supreme Court justice to toss two absentee ballots in the Malta supervisor election, giving the win to incumbent Republican Paul Sausville. The judge, a Republican, disqualified the ballots because the voters had written on the back of the ballot in the section for the state constitutional amendments. From a message posted on Young's campaign FB page: "It is a long shot, but the outrage over the disenfranchisement of voters needs to be addressed." [TU] [Saratogian] [Cynthia Young campaign FB]

The US Postal Service has suspended mail service to a section of Van Vranken Ave in Schenectady (block map) after postal officials say a mail carrier was targeted by someone with a BB gun last week (the carrier wasn't hurt). [Daily Gazette]

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Prosecutor resigns after paperwork error in Rensselaer County alleged rape case, new plan eyed for Albany convention center site, that's old news

Rensselaer County DA Richard McNally says the ADA responsible for the paperwork mishap that allowed a man accused of raping two teens to walk without a trial has resigned. McNally told the Record last week that the paperwork error was caused by the ADA's heavy workload and noted his previous requests for funding for two more ADAs had been denied. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany County DA's office says Leonard Spence pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Darzee Reid at Central and King avenues in Albany last April (map). He faces up to 21 years in prison. Reid's death was the first homicide of 2013 in the city. [Albany County DA]

The Troy-Waterford Bridge has re-opened after emergency repairs. The bridge, which carries Route 4 over the Hudson, was closed ahead of rush hour Friday after an inspection found a crack in a beam. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany Convention Center Authority is planning to an issue a request for proposals for a mixed-use development on the land on the south side of downtown Albany originally gathered for the convention center project, which now appears to be headed for a scaled-down version closer to the ESP. [TU]

NYSUT and PEF aren't happy about about a team of analysts in the state education department that are funded by private donations and are, depending on who's doing the describing, either advising or directing the department's education reform efforts. [TU]

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Wormuth resigns, winner in Malta supervisor race after two ballots tossed, Guilderland teens charged under cyberbullying law, lighted tractor parade

Mindy Wormuth has resigned as Halfmoon supervisor, though "a person with knowledge of the matter" tells the Times Union the early exit is not part of a plea agreement for the multiple charges she's facing. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Republican Paul Sausville has won the race for Malta supervisor by one vote after State Supreme Court Justice Robert J. Chauvin, also a Republican, disqualified two absentee ballots cast for Democratic challenger Cynthia Young. Even though the ballots included clear votes for Young, they were tossed because the voters had written on the back of the ballot in the area for state constitution amendments. Said Young: "I feel pretty strongly that those two voters were disenfranchised, I think anybody that has seen the ballots can see quite clearly that that voter intended to vote for me." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian] [WNYT]

GE made it official Thursday: It's shutting down its plant in Fort Edward and moving the operations to Florida. The closure of the plant will result in the loss of about 200 jobs. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

New York's highest court has rejected the "too intoxicated to be charged with murder" defense, upholding the convictions against three people for "depraved indifference murder" in their drunken driving cases. [AP/TU] [NYS Court of Appeals]

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Waite found guilty of murdering son, rape charges dropped on technicality, local trooper dies in training accident, judge to rule on two votes in Malta Supervisor race today

A jury in Queensbury found Gary Waite guiltyof murder for killing his 15-month old son in February.[TU][YNN]

John Halacy, the man charged with the alleged rape of two teenage girls, had felony rape charges against him dropped in Rensselaer County Court on Wednesday, due to a paperwork error by the Rensselaer County District Attorney's office. Halacy was arraigned on charges of attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and pleaded not guilty . The mother of one of the girls involved in the case was at the arraignment and promised "street justice".[Record][WNYT][TU]

A veteran state trooper died on Wednesday after falling 30 feet into a creek during a high angle rescue training in Letchworth State Park in western New York. [TU]

A State Supreme Court Justice is expected to decide this afternoon whether to count two votes on contested ballots that will decide the Malta town supervisor's race. [Saratogian][TU]

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State on track to spend $600 Million in overtime, charges expected to be dropped against alleged rapist today, secretary to three Albany mayors to retire at 89

Andrew Cuomo's office is not pleased with a recent report that shows state workers have logged about $462 million in overtime this year and that the state is on track to spend $600 million in overtime by the end of the year. The State Division of Budget says the report by the State Comptroller's Office has a "shocking lack of content" and points out that the report fails to mention Superstorm Sandy, a Long Island blizzard and flooding in the Mohawk Valley, which would have been responsible for a great deal of the overtime. [YNN][TU][WNYT]

The Rensselaer man who, due to a paperwork error by the DA's office, escaped charges alleging he raped two teenage girls, will appear in court today to officially have charges dropped. Family members of the alleged victims plan to be in court today when John Halacy appears. [TU][Record][News10]

Jury deliberation resumes this afternoon in Glens Falls, in the trial of 30-year-old Gary Waite, charged with murder and manslaughter in the February death of his 15-month-old son. On Tuesday, Waite's attorney called only one witness - Waite's sister, and Waite himself did not take the stand.[TU][WNYT]

The Albany Police officer charged with DWI testified on Tuesday that he suspected he was the victim of a set-up by a police union leader who advised him not to take an alcohol test.[TU]

A State Supreme Court Judge says there will be no recount in the race for an at-large seat on the Troy City Council. [TU]

A State Supreme Court judge will hear arguments over whether 23 disputed paper ballots in Malta should be counted in the race for Malta town supervisor.[TU][WNYT]

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State Police on fatal shooting: troopers believed man had weapon but no gun found, opposition organizing against Saratoga casino, I-87 project declared complete

State Police say the man shot and killed by troopers in Rensselaer County Sunday evening in Berlin State Forest -- 38-year-old Steven J. Bell -- had disregarded commands to stop and show and his hands, and then "made threatening statements and motioned as if he was bringing a weapon up." And that's when troopers fired on Bell. But police say no weapon was found at the scene. Some members of the law enforcement group looking for Bell had been wearing night vision goggles, but a NYSP captain says the troopers who fired were not, and whether they had flashlights trained on Bell at the time is under investigation. NYSP says troopers and other law enforcement agencies were looking for Bell after a 911 call reporting a domestic incident in which the man was said to have discharged his rifle. Police say there had been multiple calls in the past about domestic disputes. "Sources" tell YNN that earlier on Sunday there had been an argument between Bell, his wife, and his girlfriend. [NYSP] [TU] [WNYT] [Troy Record] [YNN]

A group that included parents and students gathered outside the State Education Building Monday to protest the Common Core standards and the frequency of testing. The protest highlighted the unusual ideological mix of opposition against the standards that includes both conservatives and progressives. [News10] [YNN] [TU]

One example of some of the frustrations with the current situation in education: The state teacher of the year for 2012 -- who's a second grade teacher in the Schenectady school district -- says she fell short of the highest ranking on her state teacher evaluation, and she says getting that highest ranking would have, in part, required "an incredible feat of magic" on a student's test. [Syracuse Post-Standard]

The federal government is phasing out subsidies for flood insurance, which could affect thousands of properties in the greater Capital Region (example from that linked article: the insurance for a home in Waterford will jump from $2,100 a year to $9,700). [TU]

A Rensselaer man who had been facing charges that he allegedly raped two teens was released from jail and will not face trial for the charges because of a paperwork mistake by the Rensselaer County DA's office. [TU]

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State Police: man shot and killed by police in Rensselaer County, outlook not good for GE plant in Fort Edward, remembering JFK's visit to the Capital Region

State Police say a suspect was shot and killed in Berlin, in Rensselaer County, by troopers Sunday evening. NYSP says the person was wanted for questioning in a criminal investigation and the shooting happened when the person was confronted by troopers. NYSP says there will be more details today. [NYSP]

Friday night into Saturday in Troy: reports of shots fired and an alleged hit-and-run with 60 mph chase through downtown. [Troy Record] [News10]

"People with knowledge of the situation" tell the Times Union that the apparent deal for the GlobalFoundries chip fab in Malta to serve has a secondary site for making chips for the iPhone and iPad involved, at various points, Al Gore, Andrew Cuomo, and Chuck Schumer. (Also: Schumer still uses a flip phone.) [TU]

It appears the GE plant in Fort Edward is heading for closure after the 60-day negotiating period with the union ended Sunday night. GE announced in September a plan to close the plant and move operations to Florida, eliminating 200 jobs in Fort Edward. The company said the union's concessions plan "falls short of achieving the savings and efficiencies that would be generated by the proposed move." And the union says a request to continue negotiating for another 30 days has been rejected. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10] [WNYT] [Post-Star]

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Police: arrest in connection with fatal Schenectady shooting, veto casts doubt on Schenectady film studio, proposed state ban on youth tackle football

Schenectady police say they've made an arrest in connection with fatal shooting near Mont Pleasant Middle School late Tuesday night. Police say the suspect is being held on unrelated charges while the investigation continues. [TU] [YNN]

Albany police officer Brian Lutz testified in his DWI trial Thursday that when he first awoke in his vehicle on I-787 he thought he was at home in bed and the Menands village police officer talking to him was in his bedroom. (Lutz's attorney has asserted that his client was not drunk not that night, but rather had suffered a seizure from taking pain medicine.) [TU]

The teen convicted of the stabbing that eventually caused the death of then-15-year-old Adeujuan Adams during a bike robbery in Albany has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. [TU]

After an investigation of the circumstances of a Schalmont High School student's suicide -- there were allegations that he had been bullied at school -- Rotterdam police have concluded no behavior rose to a criminal level. [Daily Gazette]

The underground fire in downtown Troy Thursday that blew the cover off a manhole and prompted evacuations was apparently caused by a water main break that resulted in an electrical short. [Troy Record] [TU]

Andrew Cuomo's veto of a bill that would have extended a state film production tax credit to the Capital Region has cast doubt on plans for the proposed TV and film studio facility in Schenectady. [Daily Gazette]

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Man shot near Schenectady middle school dies, mother charged with hiring stripper takes plea deal, stories of bullying at Schenectady school forum

The Albany man found shot near Mont Pleasant Middle School in Schenectady died Wednesday morning at Albany Med. [TU]

Stories of fighting and bullying were recounted at a forum held by the Schenectady City School district on Wednesday. The meeting was set up in an effort to help deal with problem behavior, including bullying and fighting and attacks on students, parents and teachers at Mont Pleasant Middle School. Among the revelations at the meeting - a fight club at Mont Pleasant Middle School is recording fights and posting them on YouTube in an effort to get ad revenue from the site. [News 10][Gazette]

The mother charged with hiring strippers to perform at her teenage son's birthday party at a South Glens Falls bowling alley has accepted a plea deal that will drop charges in exchange for fifty hours of community service and staying out of trouble for six months. [YNN]

On day two of the DWI trial of an Albany police officer, three longtime fellow officers testified that he appeared to be intoxicated on the morning he was discovered behind the wheel of an SUV, parked in a driving lane on 787 and drove away during a police stop. [TU]

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Police investigate overnight shooting near Mont Pleasant Middle School, Albany County bans styrofoam take-out containers from chain restaurants, it's pretty cold

Update: Police say the man has died. | Schenectady police are searching for the person who shot a 24-year-old man near Mont Pleasant Middle School overnight. The victim is in critical condition. Police say the incident began with a two-car accident near the school on Norwood Avenue, and is not connected with the school. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT][News 10]

"I never meant for this to happen. I'm sorry for what I did. I hurt some decent people." Eric Aaron "Boogz" Mallard to Takim Smith's grandmother as he was sentenced in Rensselaer County Court for Smith's murder. Mallard received a 20 year prison sentence for stabbing Smith to death. [TU][Record][WNYT]

The trial of the Albany police officer charged with DWI after he was allegedly found passed out behind the wheel of an SUV parked in a driving lane on 787 got underway yesterday. His attorney says the officer had a seizure induced by pain medication. [News10] [TU]

The Albany County legislature approved a ban on polystyrene (styrofoam) take-out containers for businesses with at least 15 locations. [YNN]

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Anonymous sources: GloFo will make chips for Apple in Malta, APD: arrest made in string of burglaries, Schenectady couple donates tree for the ESP -- again

A "person with knowledge of the deal" tells the Times Union that chips for the iPhone and iPad will be made at GlobalFoundries fab in Malta. A "source with knowledge of the deal" tells News10 the same thing, that GloFo will be manufacturing the chips from designs by Samsung. [TU] [News10]

Officials with Luther Forest Technology Campus and Saratoga County are pushing the town of Malta to change zoning laws for the Luther Forest tech park and open the way for a wider range of development incentives. (Though GlobalFoundries is located at Luther Forest, officials have struggled to draw any other companies there.) [Daily Gazette]

Colonie police say a Troy man has been arrested in connection with the shooting at a club -- Shenanigan's -- on Central Ave early Sunday morning, though CPD says there's no indication he was present for the shooting. CPD alleges the man lied when reporting his SUV stolen after it was allegedly involved in the shooting. CPD says it appears there was an altercation and then shots were fired from the SUV, hitting a club bouncer in the leg (though he probably was not the intended target). [CPD] [News10] [TU] [Troy Record]

The domestic worker at the center of the Llenroc case has filed suit against Annie George, her former employer, alleging she was "subjected to involuntary servitude, forced labor and was grossly underpaid." [Daily Gazette]

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Nelligan sentenced in death of grandson, orgs say demand for assistance for the homeless rising, shooting in Colonie, UAlbany takes Albany Cup again

Today is Veterans Day.

From Friday: Gloria Nelligan -- convicted of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter in the death of her grandson, Sha'hiim -- was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Nelligan's attorney read a letter from his client, which included multiple Bible verses -- "My way of maintaining my household was with God's laws" -- but not remorse. Said judge Karen Drago: "I can't get over what you did to Sha'hiim. It was torture. It was brutal." [Daily Gazette] [News10] [WNYT] [TU]

A NanoCollege VP says the Cuomo admin's Start-Up NY program is "really expanding the CNSE model throughout the state." (Does that mean that Albany loses?) [TU] [TU]

Saratoga has gotten all the regional attention as a possible casino site -- but what about other sites, such as the DeLaet's Landing project in Rensselaer? (And some local business owners in Saratoga are uneasy about the prospect of a full casino.) [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

Federal authorities say the illicit cigarette trade costs New York State hundreds of millions of dollars in uncollected taxes each year. [TU]

Local organizations that provide assistance to the homeless say the number of people needing help has been rising over the last year years -- while funding has been declining. [TU]

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Guilty plea in fatal Schuylerville shooting, ESP food service employees face uncertain job status, focus on "Slap a Butt Friday" and other problems at Schenectady middle school

Joey Paul -- accused of fatally shooting her boyfriend with an assault rifle during an argument in Schuylerville in July 2012 -- pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter Thursday. She faces 18 1/2 years in prison. Said Paul's attorney: "This is not murder. This is a tragedy that was occasioned by drug abuse, domestic abuse and the presence of a fully-loaded AK-47 assault rifle in that house." [Post-Star] [Saratoga County DA] [TU] [WNYT]

Attorneys for Joe Bruno have asked a federal judge to further delay his re-trial to April as the former state Senator recovers from cancer surgery. [TU]

The Troy city council voted to approve funding for the installation of surveillance cameras at nine intersections. [TU]

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Liberty Ridge Farm gay marriage case goes before state judge, teen pleads guilty to negligent fatal shooting of his friend, low voter turnout in Albany

The dispute between a lesbian couple who wanted to be married at Liberty Ridge Farm and the farm's owners -- who turned the couple down, citing a religious belief against same-sex unions -- went before a state Division of Human Rights judge on Wednesday in what turned out to be a tearful day of testimony.[YNN][TU]

Andrew Cuomo praised the passage of the casino proposition on Wednesday at an appearance in Sullivan County, calling it a "game changer" for the Catskills. [YNN]

Now that casino amendment has passed,the process for siting casinos will begin. [Saratogian]

A 14-year-old Fort Edward boy pleaded guilty on Wednesday to criminally negligent homicide in the 2012 shooting of his 13-year-old friend Gary Cota as part of a plea deal that will give him 18 months of probation.[TU][YNN]

A Saratoga Springs man was indicted on Wednesday on four counts of vehicular manslaughter for allegedly hitting and killing a woman with his car while driving drunk back in June. [TU]

The odd case of a court officer in Rensselaer County allegedly falsely imprisoned and illegally forced to turn over handguns she legally owned. [TU]

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Sheehan wins Albany mayoral race, Yepsen wins in Saratoga Springs, SUNY investigating president of SUNY Upstate Medical

Albany has elected its first new mayor in 20 years. Kathy Sheehan handily defeated the rest of the field with 83 percent of the vote. Sheehan is will become one of three female mayors leading some of upstate New York's most populous cities. [TU][YNN][TU]

Paula Mahan (D) easily defeated opponent Todd Drake (R) to win her fourth term as Colonie town supervisor. [WNYT]

Democrat Joanne Yepsen won the Saratoga Spring's mayoral election and promised to "take back City Hall for the people."[Saratogian]

Republican Michael Zurlo won the race to replace longtime Saratoga County Sheriff Jim Bowen. Zurlo will become the county's first new sheriff in forty years. [Saratogian][News 10]

Here's an overview of results from other local elections. [AOA]

New York voters approved the state constitutional amendment ("proposal one") that would allow up to seven full casinos in the state. The amendment passed about 57% to 43%. [NY Times][TU]

Voters around the state defeated a proposal to raise the mandatory retirement age for some state judges to 80, but passed all the other proposals on the ballot on Tuesday. [NYT]

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It's election day, asbestos removal at emergency demo site in Troy, local Medal of Honor recipient to be depicted as part of new USPS stamp sheet

It's election day. While there aren't Congressional or major state-level elections -- for say, the state legislature -- there are a bunch of local elections for positions such as mayor or council member in municipalities all around the area. Also: There are six state ballot questions -- one of which is about whether full casinos should be allowed in the state. (These ballot questions are apparently on the back of ballots, so don't forget to check for them.) Don't know where to vote? Here's how to look that up. You can also check with your county board of election.

An Andrew Cuomo robocall has been urging people to vote in favor of allowing full casinos in the state. [TU]

The man accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend in an Albany apartment last week was arrested earlier this year for allegedly beating the woman's former boyfriend -- including hitting the man with a hammer -- during a confrontation. [TU]

Asbestos removal has started at the demolition site on King Street in Troy (map) near the Green Island Bridge -- the building there were taken down in an emergency demolition ordered by the city fire chief, a decision that's been the subject of much finger pointing and controversy. [Troy Record]

In what appears to be a grassroots effort, a group is pushing for the re-election of the town of Ballston's supervisor -- who's not running. (There's one candidate on the ballot, running unopposed). [Saratogian]

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Schenectady school district preparing federal complaint over state aid, Albany doctor at center of Lyme controversy, rash of car vandalism Halloween night in Albany

Schenectady schools superintendent Larry Spring is seeking parent support before he files a civil rights complaint with the feds arguing the state's school funding formula discriminates against districts with large minority populations. [TU] [SCSD] [Daily Gazette]

Tracey Zetzsche -- who pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in case in which she apparently beat her adult son, who had a disability, to death in a Westerlo apartment in 2012 -- was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday. Zetzsche has said she doesn't remember the incident, a claim supported by psychologists who've examined her. She said at the sentencing: "I do know that my son is gone. And whatever sentence you believe is necessary I'll abide by it ... the worst punishment is that I may have caused my son's death. I have to live my life without my child." [WNYT] [YNN] [TU]

A federal judge has ordered the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany to turn over almost four decades of clergy abuse files to a man who's suing the diocese alleging he was raped by a priest as a child. [TU]

A Times Union analysis of records from related to a discretionary fund at the SUNY Research Foundation concludes SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher has made "extensive" use of outside consultants during her tenure. [TU]

An Albany pediatrician is at the center of what the Times Union calls a "polarizing controversy" -- "whether doctors who treat chronic Lyme are saviors or quacks." [TU]

There's a plan to install disinfection technology on one sewer pipe in Albany -- called "Big C" -- that's responsible for almost half of the raw sewage discharges into the Hudson River during combined sewer overflows (when storm water overwhelms the sewer system). [TU]

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Man charged in Albany shooting death, parents trying to raise awareness against bullying, Red Sox items make stop in Colonie before heading to Baseball Hall of Fame

A Guilderland man -- 32-year-old Damien Zervos -- has been charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Charee Akins-Maddox in an apartment on 100 block of Lark Street (map) overnight Thursday. Zervos has pleaded not guilty. Police say Akins-Maddox was shot in the back of the head with a rifle. Neighbors said they heard yelling before the shooting. APD says Zervos and Akins-Maddox were in a relationship, and four children were in the residence at the time of the shooting. Akins-Maddox's aunt told the media Thursday she had received a call from the woman's daughter overnight: "I think my mommy's dead." [APD FB] [YNN] [WNYT] [News10] [TU]

The Saratoga County DA's office says a Milton man is accused of assaulting and kidnapping his former girlfriend this past July. Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy: "This was his effort to try and re-connect the relationship." Prosecutors say the woman escaped by convincing the man she would resume the relationship. [TU] [Saratogian] [News10]

Fire officials say a 71-year-old man died of injuries sustained in a Rotterdam house fire (photo) Thursday afternoon (map). [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT]

Says one of the parents of the 14-year-old Schalmont student who killed himself recently about the persistent stories -- unconfirmed by the school -- that he had been bullied: "Right now we're in a battle not only advocating for our son but bringing awareness to the school." [Daily Gazette]

The Cuomo admin is pushing for the creation of the "Upstate New York Flood Warning System" for better forecasting, mapping, and modeling of flooding. The proposed system would cover 13,000 square miles and three river watersheds: the Mohawk River, the upper Hudson River, and the Oswego River. The state is trying to get $8.5 million from FEMA to build the system. One of the envisioned benefits of the system: more warning time for people to evacuate. [Cuomo admin] [Daily Gazette]

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Feds: Schenectady school district disciplined some students differently by race, Troy adding private Washington Park to tax roll, TU Center says it's ready for foam party

Updated

Albany police say a 33-year-old woman was killed overnight in her residence on the 100 block of Lark Street (map) overnight after officers responded to a call for a shooting. APD says it has a person in custody and is investigating. [APD] [TU]

Investigators with the federal Department of Education have concluded that African-American and Latino children who misbehave in some Schenectady school district classrooms are treated more harshly than their white counterparts -- the district says it's making a series of changes to address the issue. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A newly released audit from the state comptroller's office concludes the Albany Community Charter School could have saved between $200k and $2.3 million by purchasing its building on Krank Street rather than renting it from the Brighter Choice Foundation, and questioned fees the school has paid to the foundation. [WNYT][TU]

"Two people familiar with the matter" tell the Times Union the FBI has expanded its probe of Halfmoon supervisor Mindy Wormuth. Candidates for Halfmoon supervisor debated on Wednesday night, and though they never mentioned her by name, Wormuth was alluded to in comments about stopping corruption and writing a new chapter.[TU][TU]

Fourteen residents of the Martin Luther King apartment complex in Troy were displaced when fire broke out in a kitchen after a resident forgot to turn off an appliance.[Record]

Officials say the new $8.6 million co-generation plant at the Albany County sewer treatment facility in Menands -- the one that burns sewage to produce heat for power generation -- could save the county $480,000 a year. [TU] [Capital] [Record]

After a tax reassessment, the gated Washington Park in Troy has been placed on the tax rolls, and the city is moving to charge Washington Park Association members.[Record] [TU]

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Capital Region denied state land bank cash, Saratoga row house fire declared arson, Holloway hopes to buy back Stephentown home, Capitol bathroom set free -- again

The Capital Region was one of two regions in the state that did not get any of the more than $12 million in state land bank funding. The region did get $150,000 to help reapply next year for the grants, meant to come up with creative ways to steer foreclosed properties toward redevelopment.[TU][Daily Gazette]

Police say the fire that destroyed several Woodlawn Avenue apartment buildings in Saratoga Springs in August was a case of arson. After a three-month investigation, officials concluded that flammable liquid was used at two points -- 106 and 108 Woodlawn -- and say they have people of interest in the case. [WNYT][Saratogian][News 10]

Fire that damaged the newly-expanded Wilton YMCA has been called "very, very suspicious" by the Greenfield fire chief. [Saratogian]

Schenectady's City Council has come to agreement on a $79 million 2014 budget, which includes a 0.96 percent tax increase. [Daily Gazette]

Marking a year since Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast. [AP/TU]

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Troy police chief at odds with city administration, smoking highlighted as health problem in Schenectady, Holloway house sold

Troy police chief John Tedesco -- who recently notified to the city that he plans to sue over the appointment of a police commissioner, positioned in the city hierarchy above him -- says that all of his duties have been taken over by the commissioner, and alleges the department's police officers' union was behind the creation of the commissioner's job and that it is now running the department. Tedesco: "If you don't like the fire chief or the police chief, then fire them. But they don't have grounds to do that so they effectively dismissed me by failing to allow me to do my job." [TU] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [YNN]

Members of Halfmoon's town board have gone to court in an effort to remove supervisor Mindy Wormuth from office. Wormuth is facing state and federal charges. [WNYT] [TU]

During a public hearing Monday the state Moreland Commission grilled reps from the state Board of Elections about its lack of enforcement. [TU]

Good-government groups are continuing to push against the description of -- and the campaigning for -- the state ballot question that would open the way for full casinos in the state. [TU] [State of Politics]

Now that a citywide health survey has identified top health priorities in Schenectady, work groups will focus on cutting down on health disparities and addressing preventable health conditions. One target issue: the survey concluded that 37 percent of the adults in the city smoke. [News10] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Some frustrations with state's new health exchange, state ed commissioner says some standardized tests will be eliminated, the parrot that barks like a dog

Among the complaints from Capital Region users of the state's new health exchange: the process takes too long, and some functions of the website don't work. New York's exchange was having trouble processing applications Sunday because of a problem with a federal data network. [TU] [TU]

As the "Albany Pool" municipalities face a $130something million project to upgrade sewer systems so raw sewage stops getting dumped into the Hudson, one of the state ballot questions up for a vote next week could affect the accounting of money borrowed for sewer projects. [TU]

Stating that "a variety of pressures at the state and local level may have resulted in more testing than is needed," the state's education commissioner says there some standardized tests will be eliminated. [AP/Daily Gazette]

Troy police chief John Tedesco has informed city officials he plans to sue the city over the creation of the part-time police commissioner position, which oversees the chief. [TU]

Schenectady orgs that provide food assistance are preparing for the upcoming cut to federal SNAP (food stamp) benefits that could mean two or three fewer meals a week for a family. [Daily Gazette]

State and local fire officials are focusing on what they say is an increasing trend of kids playing with fire. [TU]

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Much criticism of Common Core at Albany forum, state food lab looking to problems with dog treats, Bow Tie Cinemas apparently interested in local expansion

Hundreds of people turned out for a forum in Albany about the new Common Core standards with state education commissioner John King. More than 60 people spoke, many of them parents and teachers expressing frustration with the program and standardized testing -- though there were also supporters of the program. King the state is willing to make adjustments, but it will continue to move forward with the program. [YNN] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [News10]

State Police say the driver of a tractor trailer is dead after the trailer jack-knifed on I-87 near Exit 23 in Bethlehem early Friday morning. The Thruway was closed from Exit 22 to Exit 24 before being reopened at 8 am. State Police say an initial investigation indicates the driver had pulled over to the side and the truck started to move while he was outside it. [News10] [NYSP] [TU] [YNN]

Saratoga Springs police say a man was arrested after he allegedly fired a rifle at another man early Thursday morning on Phila Street (map). No one was injured. Police arrested the man after surrounding his residence. [Saratogian] [News10] [TU]

Question: Did lieutenant governor Bob Duffy violate any ethics rules by interviewing for a job heading the Rochester Business Alliance, an economic development org? [TU]

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Four arrested in Troy drive-by shooting, officials say hoarding contributed to fire, communities share flood protection plans one year after Sandy, prize for Ecovative

Troy police say a drive-by shooting on Tuesday has led to four arrests. TPD says one of the suspects reported living at the Lavin Court home that was shot. Police say they found the suspects in a gold sedan that matched the description of a car involved in the shooting and discovered drugs and a fully-loaded semi-automatic handgun in the vehicle. [YNN][TU][Record]

Albany fire officials say hoarding contributed to the fire that destroyed a home on First Street on Tuesday night. AFD says the homeowner was out at the time of the fire but two dogs are still missing. [WNYT][TU]

A year after Hurricane Sandy, Andrew Cuomo took part in a symposium on Wednesday on how communities are recovering from flooding due to storms Sandy, Irene and Lee. Local planners offered progress reports and ideas for protecting their communities from future flood damage as part of Cuomo's New York Rising initiative -- a plan to have communities compete for funding to rebuild from flooding due to Sandy, Irene. and Lee. Four new laws have been designed to help victims recover from Sandy by offering tax breaks to homeowners and assistance to communities. [WNYT][TU][WNYT]

State education commissioner John King will be at Myers Middle School in Albany tonight for a forum on the Common Core Standards.[YNN]

According to the state Department of Health, 37,000 New Yorkers have successfully enrolled in health plans through the state-run online market and another 137,000 have gotten through the application and registration process but have yet to enroll in a plan. [TU]

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Rivenburgh sentenced for Rotterdam murders, Siena poll: New Yorkers blame congressional Republicans for shutdown, federal government spied on Steinmetz during WWI

Brice Rivenburgh was sentenced to 45 years to life on Tuesday, for the murder of his ex-girlfirend and her mother in their Rotterdam home in April, but still offered no answers as to why he committed the crime.[WNYT][YNN][TU]

Albany firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire that destroyed a two story wood frame home on First street Tuesday night. Firefighters say the home, which had to be demolished, could have been saved were it not for an enormous amount of clutter that kept them from gaining entry to the rear of the building, where the fire began. [TU][YNN]

A new Siena poll reports 74 percent of New Yorkers surveyed think the country is headed in the wrong direction, but 55 percent give Barack Obama a favorable rating. 59 percent blame congressional Republicans for causing the recent government shutdown. [TU][Capitol Confidential]

On Tuesday's Capitol Pressroom, a member of the Moreland Commission said Andrew Cuomo is not trying to interfere with the commission's operations, and made claims of systemic corruption in the New York State legislature. [WCNY][Daily News]

A former top counsel to Sheldon Silver, who was later convicted of the rape of a legislative staffer and remains on the sex offender registry, served on a jury in U.S. District Court is served on a federal grand jury that convicted a man from the anti-government sovereign citizen movement of tax crimes.[TU]

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State says its health exchange website is running smoothly, Oprah makes quick visit to Saratoga, a 40-year incumbent, more surveillance cameras for Schenectady, driving the stars

Despite problems at the federal level, New York State's website for its health exchange is now apparently running smoothly after an initial rush and its executive director says 150,000 people have already registered. [NYT] [TU]

"Sources close to the negotiations" tell the Times Union that the state Department of Environmental Conservation and local municipalities along the Hudson River are close to an agreement on plan to address the long running problem of combined sewer overflows -- when storm water causes raw sewage to be dumped into the Hudson. Presumably this is the same plan mentioned in the Business Review last month -- which, at the time, was reported to include a $131 million bond to be taken out by six municipalities, including Albany and Troy (and paid for by higher sewer rates). [TU] [AOA 2011] [Biz Review]

A former orthodontist from Columbia who tried to claim he was a "sovereign citizen" and thus not subject to the laws of the United States was convicted on a host of charges, including tax evasions -- as he watched from a jail cell. [TU]

Oprah was in Saratoga Springs Monday for dinner with two graduates of her academy in South Africa who are now attending Skidmore. The owners of the Crown Grill say Oprah's visit was focused on the young women. [Saratogian] [YNN]

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Unexpected crowd floods downtown Troy, fatal shooting in Albany, NanoCollege finalist for new research center, what it costs to I (heart) NY

An estimated crowd of about 500 people -- said to be UAlbany students -- flooded Fourth Street in downtown Troy Saturday night after an event planned for the Atrium was cancelled and the crowd merged with the crowd for a party a nearby club. A Troy police captain described the scene as "organized chaos" and three blocks were closed for "unmanageable pedestrian activity" -- and a total of 11/10/8 police departments assisted (media outlets are reporting different numbers). TPD says were no injuries, no arrests, and no property damage. [Troy Record] [TU] [YNN] [News10] [WNYT]

Albany police say they're investigating a fatal shooting early Saturday morning -- after reports of shots fired near an intersection on Washington Ave near the downtown UAlbany campus (map), APD says Albany Med notified them a man with life-threatening injuries had been brought in and was pronounced dead. A neighbor tells YNN he heard five shots. APD says the man who died was 26-year-old Edward Maxim of Albany -- the man's aunt is vowing the person responsible will be brought to justice. [APD FB] [YNN] [TU]

Albany will be the first stop (this Thursday) in a series of reformulated forums for state education commissioner John King to talk with the public about the Common Core. The new series will be moderated by state legislators from the districts in which they're located. The < ahref="http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Another-try-on-education-forums-4908580.php">original series was cancelled after King encountered a vocal and critical crowd in Poughkeepsie. [NYSED] [Saratogian] [TU]

Some Albany County legislators tell the Times Union they're concerned about the expansion in scope of the duties for two county investigators originally hired to look into fraud and employee misconduct. [TU]

A coalition of arts/entertainment orgs around the state -- including Proctors, the Palace, and SPAC -- are says it's concerned about the potential effects of full casinos on its venues, and is pushing for restrictions that would include a 1,000 seat limit for entertainment venues at casinos. [Daily Gazette] [Poughkeepsie Journal]

Over the last decade colleges in the Capital Region have collectively spent/plan to spend more than $140 million on athletic facilities. [TU]

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Halfmoon supervisors facing federal and state charges, Schenectady targets "problem bars," the Black Bridge once again open, grow room allegedly found in Albany house, invasion of the 8-inch worms

Halfmoon supervisor Mindy Wormuth turned herself in on federal and state charges Thursday, appearing in both federal and county court. Wormuth faces two federal charges -- prosecutors allege she took $7,500 in cash in "consultant fees" to lobby state legislators in her official capacity in favor of the legalization of professional mixed-martial arts bouts in New York State. She pleaded not guilty. The state charges are related to her alleged admission that she personally cashed checks worth thousands of dollars in campaign contributions without accounting for the money. The charges against Wormuth have prompted a call for her to resign, and accusations of "a bigger systemic issue" in the town. (Wormuth is already on 30-day leave from the supervisor's office, and her term ends this year.) [TU] [YNN] [US DOJ] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10]

Of the seven bars that prompted more than 1,000 police calls over the past two years, Schenectady police have gotten six of them shut down -- and the seventh could be closed soon. [Daily Gazette]

Among the issues discussed at a forum that included three of the candidates for Albany mayor: taxes, the landfill, and keeping graduates from local colleges. [TU]

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Agreement ends federal shutdown, man sentenced for abuse of child in NYS Museum, lawsuit on casino ballot question dismissed

The federal government shutdown ended overnight with a bi-partisan agreement in Congress. Chris Gibson was one of 87 Republicans in the House to vote in favor of the deal. [NYT] [NYT] [Record]

The lawsuit attempting stop a ballot question on casino gambling from going before voters on election day -- it argued that the wording of the ballot question was too positive -- has been dismissed by an acting State Supreme Court justice on the grounds that it was filed too late. [NYT][News 10/AP]

The mentally-challenged man who sexually abused a six year old boy in the New York State Museum rest room will spend four years in prison for the crime. Edward Tubbs Jr. is also facinging a misdemeanor charge of forcible touching of a child in Rensselaer County. [TU][WNYT]

"Two sources familiar with the investigations" tell the Daily Gazette that Halfmoon supervisor Mindy Wormuth is planning to turn herself into law enforcement today as part of the federal investigation involving her. [Daily Gazette]

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Moreland Commission to issue subpoenas, Collins pleads not guilty to attempted abduction, arson suspect is former firefighter

The Moreland Anti-Corruption Commission has decided to issue subpoenas to the employers of state lawmakers in an effort to get them to release the names of clients in their private law firms. The committee will also be investigating Democrats.[WNYT][TU][NYT]

The Guilderland man arrested on arson charges for allegedly burning down a home on Carman Road on September 30 is a former firefighter and served as assistant fire chief in Rensselaer County. [TU[[WNYT]

Anthony Collins pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to kidnapping and weapons charges in connected with the alleged attempted abduction of two women at a bus stop near UAlbany's downtown campus last week.[WNYT]

The three men who led police on a foot chase in the Lark Street area on Monday after their car crashed into a building are facing drug charges and one faces weapons charges for possessing a gravity knife. [TU]

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Upset and accusations of manipulation over state forums about Common Core, crash and dash on Lark Street, local woman wants to be the Biggest Loser

State education commissioner John King said in a statement that the planned public forums about the new Common Core standards, including one in Clifton Park, were cancelled because the first such forum -- last week in Poughkeepsie -- had been "co-opted by special interests" attempting to "manipulate the forum." The Poughkeepsie meeting included, in the Poughkeepsie Journal's description, an "often critical and loud crowd." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Politics on the Hudson] [Poughkeepsie Journal]

A public forum in Saratoga Springs about the possibility of a full casino in the city included many people skeptical of expanding gambling. Statewide opposition to the ballot question that would approve full casino gambling in the state is, in Capital New York's description, "poorly financed [and] loosely organized." [Saratoga Wire] [Daily Gazette] [Capital New York]

Paul Tonko and Chris Gibson on the partial federal shutdown: it never should have happened. Gibson: ""When you take a look at where we're at, this is just wrong. I mean we can do so much better than this." A few more instances of how the shutdown is said to be affecting people in the Capital Region. [YNN] [WNYT] [TU]

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Pushed toward crime by poverty, Giffords attends gun show in Saratoga, Schenectady tries to stem violence and disrespect at school, pull over -- deliver baby

Today is Columbus Day.

The director of the anti-gun program SNUG on what pushes many people toward selling drugs, carrying a gun, and crime: "It's a string of things that occur, whether it's throughout the span of a month, weeks, where you feel like you're in a desperate state and you do something that's illogical or reckless ... It's not drug-related. It's poverty-related." [TU]

Personnel files for Gary Mercure -- the Catholic priest from the Albany area currently serving 25 years in prison in Massachusetts for raping two boys he took across state lines -- outlines a history of abuse of boys stretching back to the 1970s. [TU]

Albany city court judge Tom Keefe -- who has a reputation for acting in ways for a typical judge -- is under investigation by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Times Union reports. [TU]

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords -- who was seriously injured in a shooting in 2011 -- visited the the Saratoga Springs Arms Fair Sunday. Giffords was there with state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, and her appearance was to highlight an agreement gun show operators made with the AG's office mandating background checks on everyone who buys a gun at a show. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

Sematech -- the chip fab research consortium that moved its headquarters from Austin to the NanoCollege Albany complex five years ago -- has agreed to a new 5-year, $350 million contract with the NanoCollege. And more nano news: the Times Union reports the Cuomo admin is looking to build a nanotech research and manufacturing center -- headed by the NanoCollege, like the one just announced in Utica -- in the Syracuse area. [TU] [TU]

A part of the tech business scene still largely missing in this area: venture capital and "angel" investors. [TU]

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"Nano Utica" spreads chip focus beyond Capital Region, wild scene at court hearing, planning commission approves Troy adult boutique

The Cuomo admin announced the creation of "Nano Utica," a public-private computer chip partnership headed up by the SUNY NanoCollege that will include $1.5 billion in private investment and 1,000 jobs. The Utica plan is based on replicating the model at the NanoCollege facility in Albany, with the hope of eventually siting new chip fabs near Utica. The project is reportedly an effort by the Cuomo admin to spread out the concentration of chip research and production from the Capital Region. [Cuomo admin] [TU] [Biz Review]

Said the grandmother of Takim Smith at the first sentencing of the group involved with his murder: "I want them to know that I forgive them. It still hurts and I feel this raw pain, but I forgive them." [TU]

Lawrence Ahrens -- convicted of planning the firebombing of his former girlfriend's new boyfriend's home and vehicle in Rotterdam -- was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He arrived in court wearing a "Snitches Get Stitches" t-shirt. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Schenectady public safety official say the house fire in Vale neighborhood Wednesday was set by a man who was arrested later that day. Officials credited a multi-agency task force for the quick arrest. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Cuomo: Federal default could cost New York $2 billion, Albany not-for-profits considering plan to help pay for services, more weirdness in Holloway house party case

Andrew Cuomo says a federal government default could cause a revenue loss of up to $2 billion for New York State. [Capitol Confidential]

Should Andrew Cuomo have taken a lesson from Mario Cuomo on how to handle the Moreland Commission? [TU]

More than half of the city of Albany's $11.7 billion tax base is exempt from property taxes, but a group of nonprofit organizations are working on a plan to voluntarily pay for some of the vital city services they use. [TU]

The man picked up by police on Tuesday for allegedly attempting to abduct two women in the area of UAlbany's downtown campus pled not guilty to charges of kidnapping, menacing and criminal possession. Meanwhile police have stepped up patrols in the neighborhood. [YNN][WNYT][Fox23]

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Final guilty plea in Takim Smith murder, survey: Capital Region has some of state's wealthiest & poorest school districts, Moreland Commission may disband

Ninteen-year-old Eric Aaron "Boogz" Mallard -- the final defendant in the Takim Smith murder trial -- admitted in Rensselaer County Court on Tuesday that he fatally stabbed Smith while attempting to rob him. [Record][TU]

A new survey reports the Capital Region has some of the wealthiest (Niskayuna, Guilderlsnd, Voorheesville, Bethlehem and Shen) and poorest (Schenectady, Watervliet , Albany, Hudson and Troy) school districts in New York State. [TU]

Can you be too drunk to commit murder? In an effort to reduce their clients' driving-under-the-influence convictions from murder to manslaughter, attorneys for three drivers argued before New York's highest court on Tuesday that their clients were too drunk or drugged to be guilty of murder. [WNYT][TU]

Andrew Cuomo's Moreland Act commission may disband and suggest a constitutional amendment to allow public financing of New York political campaigns.[TU][CNY]

Police have arrested the man who allegedly attempted to abduct two women -- one of them at knifepoint -- near UAlbany's downtown campus on Friday. [WNYT][YNN]

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Alleged meth lab found in Saratoga County, public comments about Park South redevelopment, town concerned about drinking water quality, a life that included exploring Antarctica

State Police say two women were arrested after a search allegedly found a meth lab in a mobile home park in Greenfield. Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy says the alleged operation was a "highly sophisticated" "active cook center" and neighbors were tipped off by fumes. The DA also alleges the women had set up the lab there to move production closer to a network of people or places in the area. A third person was also arrested, and all three are facing child endangerment charges because authorities say a baby and a teen were also at the mobile home. [NYSP] [WNYT] [@JimMurphyIII] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

A packed Albany Common Council meeting including public comments about the proposed changes to the Park South redevelopment plan -- among the criticisms voiced: concerns about an increased number of apartments, a larger parking garage, and increased building height. Officials say the plan's increased density will help support a walkable neighborhood. [daleyplanit Instagram] [YNN] [TU] [News10]

It pays (in campaign contributions) to be in a position to influence state casino legislation, according to a review of campaign finance reports by Common Cause. Among those benefiting: The review concludes Andrew Cuomo has received more more than $350k in contributions from gambling interests. [TU] [AP/Saratogian]

Chris Gibson says he thinks multiple provisions of the NY SAFE Act will be found to be unconstitutional. The Congressman had been scheduled to appear at a standing-room-only NY SAFE Act forum in Brunswick Monday (he had to stay in DC to vote). Among the officials who were there: Rensselaer County sheriff Jack Mahar, "Never in my 38 years of law enforcement, until recently, have we been asked to go after honest, law-abiding, good citizens." [Troy Record] [News10] [WNYT]

Niskayuna police say a 75-year-old pedestrian was killed as she crossed Nott Street Monday afternoon. No tickets were immediately issued to the driver and NPD says it's investigating the incident. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [News10]

UAlbany police say a man with a knife -- and wearing a Christmas sweater -- tried to abduct women at the bus stop on Western Ave near the downtown campus Alumni Quad on Friday (map). [TU]

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Details in apparent Saratoga murder-suicide, Sheehan not a fan of proposed Albany city budget, what was that smell?, season of the skunk

Saratoga Springs police say a man killed his mother and then 12 hours later killed himself in their home (map). SSPD says 47-year-old John Ambrozak fatally stabbed his 75-year-old Patricia Ambrozak and then shot himself with a rifle. Police say it appears the deaths occurred on Monday -- they were found on Friday by an acquaintance. The Ambrozaks ran the Bayshores Tropic Hut on Saratoga Lake. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

As the state approaches the November election and a ballot question about approving full casinos in the state, a few profiles of people in the area who are addicted to gambling -- including a man who banned himself from the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, only later to sneak back in. A think tank -- the Institute for American Values -- has released a report critical of slot machines' effect on problem gambling and skeptical of the revenue gains casino supporters are touting in the state. [TU] [TU]

Many Capital Region municipalities haven't reviewed or updated their ethics rules for public officials since the 1970s, according to an analysis by the Times Union. [TU]

About 65,000 people used the state's new health exchange website to shop for health plan options in the four days since the website launched last Tuesday, according to the state Department of Health. [TU]

All around the Capital Region on Saturday: a mystery odor, which no one seems to have been able to identify. [TU]

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Murder mystery... never mind, Tonko and Gibson on the shutdown, new supercomputer for RPI, mobile home reported stolen, yellow submarine to investigate Lake George

The bones found in East Greebush that sparked speculation of a 75-year-old murder mystery turned out to be... deer bones. [TU]

An "official familiar with the case" tells the AP that the state Moreland Commission -- instituted by Andrew Cuomo with the stated goal of investigating corruption -- has issued subpoenas from Republicans, but no Democrats, so far. [AP/Saratogian]

More Paul Tonko and Chris Gibson on the federal government shutdown:
+ Tonko called the negotiating tactic being employed by House Republicans as "unheard of" and called for a straight up or down vote on a resolution to keep funding the government.
+ Gibson is pushing for a vote on the resolution -- with a repeal of a medical devices tax. [YNN] [TU Cap Con]

SPAC reports it expects to break even in 2013, for the ninth consecutive year. Also announced: the famous Bolshoi Ballet is scheduled to perform at SPAC next summer. (And the New York City Ballet will return for one week.) [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Remains found in East Greenbush may be linked to 75-year-old cold case, Pataki &McCall named to Cuomo commssion, Wormuth won't step down

Human remains discovered in East Greenbush could help police solve a 75-year-old mystery connected to the disappearance of a woman whose husband returned to Nazi Germany shortly after she vanished. The remains were discovered in a basement crawl space during a home remodeling project. A medical examiner is expected to take a look at them today. One of the few leads in the case is an old book report from a ninth grader. [TU][WNYT][YNN][News 10][Record]

George Pataki and former state comptroller Carl McCall -- two of Andrew Cuomo's former political opponents -- have been named by Cuomo to his Tax Relief Commission, tasked with finding ways to reduce property and business taxes in the state. [TU]

Embattled Halfmoon supervisor Melinda Wormuth says she will not step down before the end of her term on December 31, in spite of the ongoing FBI investigation into her business dealings. [TU]

The state Division of the Budget has announced it anticipates $430 million a year in revenues should four new casinos be established in upstate New York. [Capitol Confidential]

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GE plans layoffs in Schenectady, Nelligan found guilty in beating death of grandson, proposed Albany budget holds residential taxes steady

GE says it will lay off as many as 200 salaried workers at its Schenectady operation between now and the end of the year as part of a restructuring effort. The company says it is not cutting hourly manufacturing employees.[TU][Gazette]

A judge found 43-year0old Gloria Nelligan of Schenectady guilty in the beating death of her 8-year-old grandson. Nelligan now faces 25-years to life when she is sentenced next month. [TU][YNN]

Former RPI business coordinator Christine Dickson pleaded guilty to grand larceny on Tuesday, admitting to charging $350,000 in travel and cash advances on a college credit card over six years. [WNYT][Record]

The New York State customer center for New York State of Health -- the state "health exchange" set up as part of the federal Affordable Care Act -- saw heavy activity on first day Tuesday -- with more than 2,500 calls in the first two hours. The rush caused some glitches in the website for the exchange. And this morning the website is encouraging "users who are unable to log in to come back to the site later when these issues will be resolved." [WNYT] [Saratogian]

Employees at military sites throughout the Capital Region have been sent home without pay due to the federal government shutdown. [Saratogian]

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Federal government shutdown, details of alleged beating at Schenectady movie theater, father attempts to shame son on Hoosick Street, moose shot in Colonie

Many parts of the federal government are shutting down as a bill continuing funding of the government is used as a ploy in a fight between the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate over delaying the start of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare . The local and state effects of the shutdown could depend on how long it lasts. One immediate sign: Saratoga National Historical Park will be closed during the shutdown. Recent statements from: Chris Gibson | Paul Tonko. [NYT] [NYT] [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [TU] [Saratogian] [Chris Gibson FB] [Paul Tonko office]

Closing arguments in the trial of Gloria Nelligan were Monday, with the defense framing Nelligan's actions leading up to the death of her grandson as "discipline" and the prosecution calling it "torture". The judge could return a verdict Tuesday. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TU]

The Schenectady County prosecutors allege a man was seriously beaten -- and his daughter also assaulted -- at the Bow Tie Cinemas in Schenectady in June after he told a group to quiet down during a movie. Three teens have been indicted on felony charges and police allege as many as 15 were involved. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Students in Capital Region private schools didn't really do any better on the new state standardized tests than students in public schools. (Database of private school scores.) [TU] [Syracuse Post-Standard]

The father of a 17-year-old made his son stand on Hoosick Street in Troy Monday wearing a sign explaining that the teen had been involved in a theft, smoked pot, and disrespected adults. The father called it "tough love." [News10] [WNYT]

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Gibson one of two Republicans to vote against House bill in federal shutdown showdown, Cuomo vetoes commission for M/C raises, two Harriman campus buildings tagged for demolition

The federal government is heading toward a shutdown as the Senate is likely to reject a House bill that would avoid a shutdown -- but also delay the start of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare/Whatever You Call It. Chris Gibson was one of just two Republicans in the House to vote against the Republican-backed bill on the Saturday. Gibson explained his vote in a statement on Facebook. [NYT] [NYT] [NYT] [Chris Gibson FB]

As with other states around the country, New York's new "health exchange" for health insurance starts Tuesday as part of the health care law. Q&A about it with a state Department of Health spokesman. [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

Joshua McWain -- who pleaded guilty to killing his mother last October in Greenfield and then burying her body in a shed -- was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison. The sentencing include a victim impact statement from McWain's sister, who wrote that McWain had shown her daughter the pit where their mother would later be buried. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [TU]

Two people -- a community activist and the organizer of a community program -- testified in defense of Gloria Nelligan on Friday. Nelligan may testify in her own defense today. Update: She did not. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [@ByStevenCook]

Aside from GlobalFoundries, there's little activity at the Luther Forest Technology campus -- prompting questions from officials about how they can spur development there. [Daily Gazette]

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Guilty verdict and guilty plea in pair of fatal accidents, arrests begin in Stephentown house party case, woman says her dog found rat poison near Washington Park

A Saratoga County jury found a Clifton Park woman guilty of second-degree manslaughter and driving while ability impaired for driving through stop sign in Charlton last year and crashing into another vehicle -- the driver of that vehicle later died from his injuries. Traci L. Briskin faces up to 15 years in prison. Her attorney said she had been looking for her GPS at the time of the crash. Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy in a statement: "You can't drive recklessly while you're impaired, take your eyes off the road, cross the center line and the fog line, run a stop sign, crash into a man and kill him and then say it's just a mistake, as the defendant claims." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian] [Saratoga County DA]

Becky Goodermote, accused of hitting a fatally driving into a bicyclist on Route 22 in Rensselaer County last year, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide. She said she was on a number of prescription drugs at the time. She faces up to seven years in prison. [CBS6] [TU] [YNN]

The Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office says six people have been arrested in connection with the unauthorized party at former NFL player Brian Holloway's house in Stephentown. The sheriff's office says it's identified more than 200 other people who were at the party -- and they're expecting to file charges against 100-200 people. [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Passenger rail service in New York could be disrupted mid-October if Amtrak and the state Department of Transportation can't nail down an agreement on sharing costs by the beginning of the month. [TU]

Said Angela Weller, whose plan to open "an adult boutique" in Troy has raised some eyebrows, to the Record: "The whole point of the business was to open an adult store for women ... Others are directed towards men and can be kind of creepy. Here, there are no creepy guys in trench coats or peep shows." [Troy Record]

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State budget director indicates 2014/15 spending plan will hold steady, Albany man arrested 10 times in two years, planned "adult boutique" upsetting Troy residents, last call gets earlier in Warren County

Omni Development will discuss a feasibility study today on a proposed aquarium in downtown Albany. [YNN]

A letter from the NYS budget director to state commissioners indicates that next year's state budget will be a tight one -- holding to a 2 percent tax increase. The letter asks agency heads to submit flat budget requests for the next spending year. [TU]

The Albany man arrested for allegedly exposing himself to a pair of middle school girls on their way to school on Tuesday is a repeat offender who has been arrested ten times in the last two years. [YNN][WNYT]

Former Albany City Clerk John Marsolais has ended his conservative bid for Common Council President to accept a post as Albany County's next civil service chief.[TU]

State representatives and jail guards rallied at Mount McGregor Correctional Facility to announce a plan to fight the proposed closing of the prison. [TU][WNYT]

New York State apparently never submitted a bid on the multibillion-dollar computer chip fab "Project Azalea" because the Cuomo administration did not believe that the project was real.[TU]

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Movie studio considered for Schenectady, Latham Circle developers get variance for supermarket, Saratoga movie theater to open in October

A $68 million film and television studio with five sounds stages could be built on the grounds of the former ALCO site in downtown Schenectady. [TU]

The Latham Circle Mall (re)developers have gotten a variance that would allow them to bring a grocery store to the site. [TU]

The Capital Region's unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in August, according to the latest report from the state Department of Labor. That's down from 7.5 percent in August 2012, and one of the lowest rates in the state. And total number of people tagged as unemployed in August -- people actively seeking work, but who didn't have a job -- was the lowest August number for the Capital Region in five years. [NYS DOL] [TU]

Troy Police captain John Cooney on recent shootings in the city, to YNN: "Quite often, it's the victim of the shooting or the assault that tells the detective, I have no need to talk to you. I don't want to tell you what happened. I'll take care of it myself. We can't have that form of justice." (Albany's police chief said something similar recently.) The organizer of a community meeting in North Central Tuesday about the recent upswing in crime were disappointed that it drew only 14 people. [YNN] [TU] [Record]

An insurance company is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who stole five antique trophies from the National Museum of Racing earlier this month. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame reopened this week, after being closed for two weeks following the burglary. [TU] [YNN]

A fourth defendant got off without jail time in a gambling case in which Albany County jail officers took wagers at work.[TU]

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Interview with grandmother accused causing grandson's death played in court, Cuomo on Wandering Dago situation, fried appliances in Scotia, forensic odontology

In recorded interview with police played in court Monday, Gloria Nelligan tells a Schenectady police detective that she had hit Sha'hiim Nelligan -- but that her 8-year-old grandson had also been hurting himself and wouldn't stop. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

State budget issue raised by a good-government group: up to $3 billion that's set aside in the budget and distributed in an "effectively opaque" process. [TU]

The Cuomo admin announced new minimum admission requirements for teaching programs at SUNY schools, including a minimum 3.0 GPA and GRE scores. About 25 percent of the state's teachers graduate from SUNY schools. [Cuomo admin] [TU]

Andrew Cuomo on the Wandering Dago situation: "I think if you had a state official that didn't see the name 'Wandering Dago' and a buzzer went off or a flag was raised, then you would say that person was asleep at the switch, right? ... The name is obviously offensive." [TU Cap Con]

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Concern about debt collection company's foreclosures, court denies request to move Drue trial, cleanup/apology event at unauthorized party house draws few teens

The Daily Gazette reports "gloves have come off" in a private debt collector's pursuit of delinquent property tax bills in Schenectady -- in one case it's alleged a man paid the $900 he was told he was owed, and the company foreclosed on his house anyway. [Daily Gazette]

A state appellate court has denied a request from attorneys for Dennis Drue to to move his trial from Saratoga County. Drue is accused of causing the Northway crash that killed two high school students, and seriously injured two others, last December. Said Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy: "Our obligation is to seek justice, and that includes making sure we have an impartial jury." [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

Capital Region law enforcement officials say there's been an upswing in recent years in heroin use, connected in part to the abuse of prescription painkillers. Also getting attention: officials say heroin and painkiller use is up among suburban teens. [TU] [Metroland]

The city of Troy has put out a new request for development proposals for the former city hall site in Monument Square. [TU]

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APD looking for "community mobilization" on guns, arguments in Wandering Dago free speech case, fatal fire -- and then fatal crash -- for family, resistance to soccer complex next to cemetery

Albany police chief Steven Krokoff says the APD knows what's prompted a recent of cluster of shootings in the city, but: "The victim even tells us, 'I know who shot me, but it's an ongoing thing and I'll take care of it myself.' ... And I'm not just looking for more cooperation with police, I'm looking for community mobilization." [TU]

Martin Kimber -- the retired pharmacist who spread mercury around Albany Med on multiple occassions because he was upset about a bill -- was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He's also been ordered to pay $200k in restition (in addition to his still outstanding medical bill). Authorities say they found white supremacist materials at Kimber's home in Ulster County, but at the sentencing he disputed prosecutors' asserations that he was a Nazis sympathizer: "The exotic behavior I displayed ... I was intoxicated and it was done out of frustration." [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

During oral arguments in federal court Thursday for the Wandering Dago's lawsuit against the state alleging its free speech rights were violated after it was prohibited from vending at the Saratoga Race Course and Empire State Plaza, attorneys for NYRA and OGS argued that the race course and plaza are "nonpublic forums" that allow the agencies control some aspects of speech. The food truck's attorney argued the agencies actions were unconstitutional because they hadn't established clear codes of conduct for the spaces. A new detail from Thursday: the Wandering Dago's attorney shared an email that indicates Bennett Liebman -- the Cuomo admin's deputy secretary for gaming and racing -- was the state official who raised the issue of the food truck's name with NYRA officials. [TU] [WNYT] [TU CapCon] [Daily Gazette]

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G.E. to close Hudson Falls plant, Kimber to be sentenced for Albany Med mercury incident,McCoy names new deputy executive

Painting him as a frustrated Nazi sympathizer and potential terrorist, prosecutors are seeking at least 19 years in prison for the man who spread mercury around Albany Medical Center when he became angry over a medical bill. Martin Kimber could face up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced today.[TU][YNN]

Halfmoon Supervisor Melinda Wormuth, the subject of an FBI investigation , did not attend a scheduled town board meeting last night. Deputy Supervisor Walter Polak said the town will "run business as usual every day," should Wormuth resign, as some town board members have requested.[WNYT][TU]

GE has notified employees at its Fort Edward plant that it plans to close its energy management facility and merge with a facility in Clearwater Florida by next September , a move that will affect 196 employees .[TU][Saratogian][YNN]

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Daughters testify against woman charged in death of grandson, recent Troy shootings believed connected, Halfmoon supervisor won't resign over FBI investigation, Auggie's to reopen

The three young daughters of the Schenectady woman who is charged with beating her eight year old grandson, resulting in his death, testified against their mother in court on Tuesday. [YNN]

Troy police believe three recent shootings in the city are related and were committed by two groups of people targeting each other. Detectives were out in full force last night in an effort to find the people responsible for the shootings. [TU][YNN][WNYT]

Members of the Halfmoon Town Board want Supervisor Melinda Wormuth to resign over the ongoing FBI investigation into her business dealings. Wormuth says she won't step down and claims and says the chargesare false and she has not been charged or convicted of any offense.[Saratogian] [TU][YNN]

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Trial of Schenectady grandmother accused of causing her grandsons death, investigation into weekend shootings in Albany, librarian departs after reading contest controversy

On Monday there were opening statements and the first witnesses in the trial of Gloria Nelligan, accused of beating her 8-year-old grandson to death in Schenectady in February. The prosecutor alleged that Nelligan had put Sha'hiim Nelligan through a series of escalating punishments for stealing a pack of gum, the final stage of which involved being tied to a chair and beaten over the course of hours. Nelligan's attorney said her client had hit the boy "four or five times" and never intended to injure or kill him -- and his death was instead caused by a fall in the bathtub. Nelligan's attorney also said the boy had a history of hurting himself. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [YNN] [News10]

A NanoCollege plan to build three chip fabs in the Utica area has prompted concerns from officials in the Hudson Valley that IBM could start to turn its back on its fab in East Fishkill. [TU]

The Albany County Board of Elections is looking into an affidavit ballot cast in last week's Albany 5th Ward Common Council primary by a person who claimed an address that appears to be a vacant building -- a building owned by one of the candidates' brother. [TU]

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Flood recovery flagging, recent rash of shootings, "smash and grab" at museum, low primary turnout in Albany, it's the not-great pumpkin crop

Two years after flooding from Tropical Storm Irene, the Schoharie County recovery is, as the Times Union describes it, "running out of steam." [TU]

Albany police two men walked into Albany Med with injuries following what was apparently a shooting in the South End early Saturday morning (block map). And APD says one person was arrested after officers responded to a report of shots fired in the Ten Broeck Triangle neighborhood Saturday morning (map). Seven people have been shot in Albany since late August, according to police reports. [TU] [TU] [News10]

Ongoing problem for local police departments: pellet guns that look like real guns. [TU]

An upcoming Schenectady murder trial will hinge in part on DNA evidence technology that has never before been used in a New York court -- and which the defense the attorney in the case calls "voodoo." [TU]

"People with knowledge of the matter" tell the Times Union that Halfmoon supervisor Mindy Wormuth and her husband are the subject of an FBI investigation into their business dealings -- their attorney says they've done nothing wrong. [TU]

Saratoga Springs police say five gold and silver trophies were stolen from the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame late Thursday. The museum's director calls the trophies "irreplaceable." SSPD says the trophies were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

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Storms flood roadways, amnesia cited in manslaughter case, climber found dead in Thacher Park, puppy arrives in N. Greenbush from Afghanistan

Thursday's storms dropped more than an inch of rain, and caused flooding that closed several main roads around the Capital Region. [NWS] [WNYT] [TU]

Tracey Zetzsche pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for the death of her adult son in their Westerlo apartment in July 2012. Prosecutors say she repeatedly stabbed her son with a knife and hit him with a hammer. In an unusual turn, he plea was an "Alford plea," in which she only admitted there was enough evidence to convict her -- mental health experts concluded that Zetzsche can't remember the attack because of amnesia. [TU] [Albany County DA] [YNN] [Daily Gazette]

Rory Poulin was sentenced to 5-15 years in prison for killing his partner Margaret Jordan with a shotgun two years ago. Poulin's attorney had argued in the case that the shotgun had gone off accidentally -- and in court Poulin apologized for what he called "the terrible accident." [Troy Record] [TU]

The language of the referendum on this November's ballot for a state constitutional amendment allowing full casino gambling frames the amendment favorably. Blair Horner, now back with NYPIRG and regaining his form: "It has more spin than a roulette wheel." [TU] [NYSNYS/Troy Record]

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Former RPI employee to face embezzlement charges, Woman charged in grandson's death slated for bench trial, absentee ballots will decide Saratoga County Sheriff primary, storms leave thousands without power

The former RPI employee arrested in 2010 for allegedly embezzling more than $350,00 with her college credit card will stand trial after a judge denied her attorney's request to throw out charges because prosecutors took too long to put the case before a grand jury. [TU]

Gloria Nelligan, the Schenectady grandmother charged with beating her 8-year-old grandson to death, will go to trial on Monday, before a judge, but no jury. [Gazette]

The state DOT and law enforcement officials are working to reduce the number of accidents on Central Ave with a combination of safety improvements and an education and enforcement campaign.[TU]

Lightning struck the bell tower of a Ballston church on Wednesday night, causing a fire. [TU]

Thousands of National Grid Customers in Saratoga and Washington county were still without power this morning after storms caused outages last night. [TU]

The Saratoga County sheriff's primary has come down to 547 absentee ballots.[TU]

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Sheehan wins Albany primary, Rivenburgh admits to Rotterdam double murder, St. Patrick's site cleared for construction, summer for a day

Kathy Sheehan easily won Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary in Albany and is now poised to become the city's first female mayor. (Some historical perspective from Paul Grondahl.) [AOA] [TU]

Sheehan ally Darius Shahinfar won the Democratic primary for city treasurer and six Common Council candidates who won or were leading in their races are allied with Sheehan. [TU] [TU]

As of Wednesday morning, the Republican primary for Saratoga County Sheriff was still too close to call, though Michael Zurlo has a tight lead and declared victory on Tuesday. (The winner will be in prime position to succeed current sheriff James Bowen, who's had the job for more than 40 years.) [YNN][TU]

More primary results highlights. [AOA]

Brice Rivenburgh took a plea deal on Tuesday morning, admitting that he killed his girlfriend and her mother in April at their home in Rotterdam. Under the terms of the agreement, he faces a sentence of up to 45 years to life in prison.[TU][YNN][WNYT]

A handful of 9/11 memorial events are taking place today around the Capital Region, but the event may be passing "from the sacred to the historic."[News10] [TU]

The last structure on the former site of St. Patrick's church has been removed to clear the way for a Price Chopper. [TU]

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It's primary day, new tenants for Kiernan Plaza, local protests against Syria military intervention, another apartment conversion proposed for Troy

Today is primary day. Polls are open noon-9 pm. Don't know where to vote? Check with your county board of elections: Albany | Rensselaer | Saratoga | Schenectady.

Because of the overwhelming Democratic enrollment in Albany, the party's mayoral primary winner will almost certainly be elected the next mayor. Easy-scan-and-focus candidate interviews: Corey Ellis | Kathy Sheehan.

A quick overview of highlighted primaries around the region. [TU]

The Cuomo admin announced new tenants for the now-NanoCollege-owned Kiernan Plaza in downtown Albany: the headquarters of the credit union SEFCU and engineering firm CHA, as well as a regional operations center for telecom provider Windstream. The former train station/bank building is now being called the "CNSE Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI)" and described as a "technology hub." All three companies say they'll be creating initiatives to work with the "smart cities" focus. The tenants will move 130 jobs to the location, with the potential for more. [Cuomo admin] [TU] [Troy Record]

Joe Bruno's re-trial is scheduled for December 2.

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Focus on rape in New York prisons, GloFo tax credits expanding, pastor pushes back on Soares criticism, 10,000 dogs to go

From a Times Union report on rape in New York prisons: "It's a situation well-known to state officials for decades, yet New York state has continuously failed to implement policies used in other states to protect female prisoners from being sexually victimized by prison employees, usually correction officers." (Part 2 | Part 3) [TU] [TU] [TU]

The potential total of tax credits for GlobalFoundries, thanks to continued hiring and construction at the Malta fab site, is now $1.76 billion. [Biz Review]

A chip fab company consortium dedicated to increasing the size of the wafers used to manufacturer chips is based at the NanoCollege and has made Albany, the words of the Times Union, "the center of their collective universe." [TU]

Schenectady's fire chief says a man known to show up frequently at fire scenes has been charged with arson for a string of fires in the city dating back to 2010. [TU]

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Gibson: don't strike Syria, Drue attorneys file motion to get case moved from Saratoga County, that's what almost $400k in cash looks like

Chris Gibson: "I would tell you, I am doing the very best I can to convince my colleagues and the administration that striking Syria will not resolve the matter." [NYSNYS/Troy Record]

Attorneys for Dennis Drue -- the driver accused of causing the Northway crash that killed two Shen high school students and seriously injured two other teens -- have filed a motion in state court requesting his trial be moved from Saratoga County, arguing the attention the case has gotten prevents him from getting a fair trial. Says Drue attorney Steve Coffey: "This tragedy absolutely consumed the entire county" and "The underlying passion in this case is sub-volcanic anger." Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy called the motion "without basis." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [Saratogian]

The head of the Albany NAACP -- Bernard Bryan -- criticized Albany County DA David Soares Thursday arguing that the DA "in trying to allay the fears of white suburbanites, has basically turned his back on his own community." Bryan also asserted that the recent handling of a drug case involving a county deputy exec indicates not everyone is treated the same under Soares' watch. Bryan's comments were made at a press conference to discuss a report from The Center for Law and Justice that concludes "much progress has been made" in developing mutual respect between the Albany police under chief Steven Krokoff and the community -- and argues there's more work to do. [TU] [WNYT] [CLJ] [YNN]

A look at the ongoing tension over the Central Ave motels in Colonie, which are used by social service agencies as housing. [TU]

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Troy teen arraigned again in father's death, Albany plans crackdown on visitor parking abuse, photo of the guy who stole Uncle Sam's head

Tonight: a reminder that fall is on the way.[TU]

Albany is looking for ways to crack down on visitor parking permit abuse.[TU]

Albany International Airport is rolling out a pre-check program for frequent fliers that is expected to speed up security check lines. [TU]

The Troy teenager accused of killing her father in a dispute over a credit card was arraigned for a second time on Wednesday. Trinity Copeland pleaded not guilty to murder charges. Original charges against her were dropped due to a procedural error. [WNYT][YNN][Record]

A Fort Edward man is expected to be indicted later today in the death of his three-month-old son. [YNN]

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Family of injured suspect wants investigation, Deputy Albany County Exec arrested on drug charges, Ellis/Sheehan spar at St. Rose, arrest connected to Uncle Rainbow decapitation

The family of a Malta man in a coma after being injured in a police chase in Saratoga, is calling for an outside attorney to investigate what happened. Dozens of people gathered on Tuesday at City Hall to protest what they claim was police brutality in the case. Police allege the man slammed his girlfriend's head into a brick wall before running off, but the girlfriend is is apparently not cooperating with police and is claiming the incident didn't happen the way police say it did. Police Chief Greg Veitch continues to deny officers caused the man's injuries. [WNYT][Saratogian][Gazette][TU]

Albany's Deputy County Executive was suspended on Tuesday without pay following her arrested on drug charges. Christine Quinn allegedly attempted to illegally obtain the prescription medication Ritalin. [YNN][TU]

A proposed aquarium for the city of Albany and the development of Albany's downtown were among the divisive issues in Tuesday's debate between democratic mayoral candidates Corey Ellis and Kathy Sheehan.[YNN]

An Albany Police and Fire dispatcher has been arrested
for allegedly assaulting his estranged wife and his 10-month-old child at the woman's home in Colonie. [WNYT][TU]

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Tonko/Gibson expected to vote no on Syria strike, Trustco robbery suspect extradited from South Carolina, suspect critically injured in Spa City foot chase, attendance/handle down for Saratoga

Paul Tonko is suggesting that he will vote against military strikes against Syria, and Congressman Chris Gibson is a leading opponent of the plan. [Capitol Confidential]

A man who led police on a foot chase after allegedly shoving a woman's head into a brick wall on Caroline Street in Saratoga early Saturday morning, was later discovered unconscious, with serious injuries, outside a Caroline Street Bar. The suspect may have fallen from up to 20 feet of scaffolding after climbing up to elude police. Police unsuccessfully attempted to taze the suspect twice during the chase. Police chief Greg Vietch says an investigation is underway but he does not believe police did anything wrong. [TU][News 10][YNN][Saratogian]

The Canajoharie man picked up in South Carolina last week for allegedly robbing the Slingerlands Trustco last month has been returned to the area and is slated to be arraigned in Bethlehem Town Court today.[TU]

Admissions at Saratoga Racecourse were down 5 percent this season and handle was down less than 1 percent from last year. [Gazette]

Dozens of firefighters worked this morning to combat a house fire that broke out in Guilderland overnight. The mansion, which is vacant and for sale, was once considered for purchase by Evander Holyfield and the Olsen Twins. [YNN][TU]

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Gibson and Tonko oppose military intervention in Syria, Great Escape not interested in Hoffman's Playland, mayoral candidate drops out and endorses his mom

Local Congressmen Chris Gibson and Paul Tonko both say they oppose US military intervention in Syria. Said Gibson, who served in Iraq: "I don't believe military action will help. In fact, based on my experience and my judgment, I believe it will make it worse." And Tonko, on responding to the use of chemical weapons by Syria: "There are ways to punish without going to an air attack and boots on the ground ... I still hope diplomacy can be the call of action." [News10] [WNYT] [WNYT]

NYRA's chairman says the racing org is aiming to get its budget to break even on racing revenue alone -- so it doesn't have to rely on VLT money, which the state could choose to take away. (NYRA would have posted a $10.3 million loss in the last fiscal year if not for money from the video lottery terminals.) [Saratogian]

After a significant fire at its house on South Lake Ave, the executive director of the Albany Damien Center -- which helps people living with HIV/AIDS -- says the center will get its services back and up running soon. [TU]

The president of the Great Escape says the amusement park's parent company is not interested in buying Hoffman's Playland. (Albany County exec Dan McCoy had been working to set up the two parties with each other.) [Biz Review] [Biz Review]

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DiNapoli: Colonie's fiscal health improving, former corrections officer sentenced for role in gambling ring, plane makes emergency landing on Saratoga County field, RPI alum to join International Space Station crew

Tropical storms Irene and Lee hit the region two years ago today, and the rebuilding continues. [YNN]

One of the Albany County Jail officers involved in a high-profile gambling ring that was run, in part, in the jail, will not do any jail time himself. James Cerniglia will have to forfeit $5,000 and will never work for the jail again. Two other defendants in the case -- a well-known bookie and a Clifton Park carpenter -- also avoided jail time. [YNN] [TU]

Only months after he called Colonie one of the most fiscally-distressed municipalities in New York, state comptroller Tom DiNapoli visited the town on Tuesday to praise the steps supervisor Paula Mahan has takento improve its financial status. [TU] [News10]

DiNapoli's office announced on Tuesday that local governments' required payments toward public employee pensions will go down slightly next year -- payments had spiked after the stock market crash in 2008.[TU]

An experienced pilot safely made an emergency landing in Saratoga County field along Middle Grove Road in the town of Greenfield Monday afternoon after his plane suffered what he says was catastrophic engine failure. [YNN] [Saratogian]

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Guynup sentenced for murder of Nikki Hart, philanthropist Carl Touhey has passed away, SSPD: bicyclist drifted into fatal collision, food truck rodeo canceled over insurance concerns

Jason Guynup -- who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for stabbing Nikki Hart, the mother of his two children, in Schodack last December -- was sentenced to 20 years to life. Said Hart's father at the sentencing: "I cry every day. It is a struggle to get through every day. I wake up with the pain, carry it through the day and take it to bed with me each night." Said Hart's sister of her recounting the events of Hart's death at the sentencing: "I wanted him to never have a doubt in his mind or try to say he didn't know what he did. I wanted him to relive it, as I do every day." [Troy Record] [TU] [YNN]

Larry Ahrens, the man accused of organizing a crew to throw explosive devices at the home of his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend in Rotterdam, pleaded guilty to charges that included second-degree arson. He faces 15 years in prison. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Prominent local philanthropist Carl Touhey died Sunday at age 95. Tuohey was the owner of the almost-century-old Orange Motor Co. in Albany, and
he once he even came close to defeating Erastus Corning for Albany mayor. Recipients of Touhey's philanthropy include the College of St. Rose, Albany Med, and WMHT. [Daily Gazette] [Biz Review] [TU] [YNN]

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IG report: problems at state steam plant in Albany, earthquake near Glens Falls, no Sam the Bugler at the Travers, Albany Pro Music founder has passed away

A state Inspector General's report (not yet released?) paints a picture of a lax work environment at the state's Sheridan Avenue Steam Plant in Albany (which provides steam to the ESP) -- including an employee who was allegedly picked up by police after drinking on the job, and a "living room away from home" set up so an employee could watch Dancing With the Stars. [TU]

There was a small earthquake near Glens Falls Sunday morning -- magnitude 2.7. Shaking was felt in parts of Warren, Washington, and Saratoga counties. People in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls reported hearing a noise associated with the quake. [USGS] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Saratoga Springs police say a bicyclist has died after being hit by a tractor trailer on Lake Ave Friday night (map). SSPD says neither speed nor alcohol appear to have been factors in the collision, and as of Saturday no tickets had been issued. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [News10] [WNYT]

Saratoga Springs police say one person died and three others were injured as part of a collision between two motorcycles and an SUV near one of the Broadway entrances to Saratoga Spa State Park Sunday night (map. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

A group of Schenectady landlords have banded together to write a strict, detailed lease that they could all use (example rule: no barbecues) -- a tenants group says it has multiple objections to the lease. [Daily Gazette]

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Barack Obama makes stops in western and central New York, head of Troy Uncle Sam found in Mechanicville, where the bison roam

Barack Obama made stops in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse Thursday. At the stops he focused on the cost of college education and pitched his administration's plan to create a federal rating system for colleges. (Transcript from the president's speech at a Syracuse public high school.) Today the tour is scheduled to move on to Binghamton and Pennsylvania. [Buffalo News] [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle] [Syracuse Post-Standard] [TU] [NYT] [Post-Standard] [Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin]

Five firefighters were injured by falling bricks in a large house fire in Schenectady overnight -- they were treated and released. Fire officials say the apartment home, which housed two families, will be demolished later today. [YNN] [CBS6] [News10]

One firefighter was injured in a scrap metal yard fire in Rensselaer last night. [TU]

City of Schenectady employees have the highest average pay of any local public employees in the Capital Region, according to a report by the Empire Center. The highest-paid local public official in Capital Region: psychiatrist with the Rensselaer County Mental Health Department. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Schenectady school district superintendent Laurence Spring says poverty in his district "is the primary barrier that our kids have." [TU]

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Nano college buys Kiernan Plaza, Obama to talk college access in Western NY, David Cassidy picked up for DWI in Schodack, good year for apples

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering has closed on a $3 million dollar purchase of the Kiernan Plaza -- the former Union Station-- in Albany, avoiding the need for the Albany IDA to take the building through eminent domain. They plan to create a Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center and an incubator for tech companies at the site.[TU][Business Review]

President Obama plans to talk about access to college education on his visits to the University at Buffalo and Binghamton University.[TU]

If you're headed for the State Fair, the presidential motorcade may slow you down.[TU]

This happened: Tom Jones arrested David Cassidy for DWI in Schodack. Said the 70s teen idol to the police officer (not the 70s Scottish crooner) "What's new Pussycat?"Cassidy had a BAC of .10 and was charged with felony DWI [WNYT][TU][Record][YNN]

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July unemployment rate lowest in five years, woman arrested for allegedly driving SUV into crowd, Cohoes home all abuzz

The Capital Region's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in July -- down from 7.9 percent in the same period last year -- according to the state Department of Labor. It's the lowest July level in five years. [NYS DOL] [TU]

An Albany woman was arrested for allegedly running down six people with a truck during the incident on Elk Street Monday evening. Shanikqua Thomas has a history of arrests and outbursts, and told a judge she's been high on crack for two weeks.[YNN] [TU]

Anthony Walker -- convicted of animal abuse, including abusing the "Railroad Puppies" last September -- is being allowed to live in the same house as his mother's dog, in spite of the fact that the terms of his probation ban him from owning a pet for five years.[TU]

A 42 year old Albany man was found dead under the deck of a Provincetown hotel on Tuesday.[TU]

The Local Ocean indoor fish farm was sold back to the property's previous owner for $3.4 million. [TU]

Lawson Lake in Coeymans has been closed to swimmers because of a slime produced by algae. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Malta zoning changes open way for potential second chip fab, Green Island tables proposed pet limit, Albany mayoral candidate can't vote for himself, the ongoing trials of the Uncles Sam

The Malta town board approved zoning changes that clear the way for a potential second GlobalFoundries chip fab at Luther Forest. As part of the deal for the zoning changes, GloFo is helping to fund road projects, a study of a possible Exit 11A off the Northway, and donated $3 million for Stillwater to restore a beach area on Saratoga Lake. GloFo has not yet committed to building the new $14.7 billion fab, and it says it doesn't have a timeline for making the decision. [Daily Gazette] [YNN] [News10] [TU] [WNYT]

Douglas Stewart -- the Clifton Park man shot by State Police after they said he refused to put down a loaded gun outside his home earlier this month -- has been charged with menacing a police officer. He was arraigned in the back of an ambulance. Stewart's attorney to the Daily Gazette: ""We believe the evidence is inconsistent with the theory that is being alleged by the state police right now." [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

New state rule for healthcare workers: get a flu shot or wear a mask during times the flu is deemed "prevalent" in the state. [TU]

Green Island's village board has decided to table the measure that would limit residents to three pets per household. The measure met opposition from the public at a meeting Monday night. Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan argued the rule would be similar to already-existing laws in nearby municipalities. [Troy Record] [News10] [YNN]

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Drue testifies at pre-trial hearing, Green Island considering limit on pets, towns say they'll fight Troy's land claim, developer argues Harriman campus was missed opportunity

In a bit of a surprise, Dennis Drue -- accused of causing the Northway crash that killed two high school students and injured two others -- testified at a pre-trial hearing Friday. Drue said statements attributed to him by police were fabricated. Testified Drue in response to a question from his attorney: "The only thing I stated was that it was an accident." [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [TU]

A lower rate of inflation is prompting a tightening of the state's property tax cap for municipalities. [Daily Gazette]

Green Island is considering limiting residents to three animals per household. Says mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan: "I can't possibly see why anyone would need more than three animals in their home." McNulty-Ryan says the potential law change was prompted by a case in which 10 dogs were found in an apartment. [Troy Record] [YNN] [News10]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Questions about further development at Harriman campus, free lunches for all in Schenectady school district, more Uncle Sam abuse

Current question: What exactly is the state's plan now for (re)development of the Harriman State Office Campus -- and what does it mean for Albany? On Thursday the state officially announced it will be renovating one of the building on the Harriman campus and moving employees to it. Lieutenant governor Bob Duffy on private development at Harriman: "I mean, look at this campus. It's immense and there's a lot of potential that's wide open, but it's probably best to make announcements when deals are finalized and not when they're being discussed or contemplated." [TU] [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [YNN]

Troy fire chief Thomas Garrett faced questions from the city council's public safety committee Thursday night about the emergency demolition of four buildings on King Street last week. One of the topics: asbestos in the buildings and how it was handled. Mayor Lou Rosamilia said the city needs to look at is process for emergency demolition: "That's the outcome of this. This should never happen again. This confusion that was created, we're trying to eliminate that." [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU] [YNN]

School lunches will be provided free to every student in the Schenectady school district during the upcoming school year -- about 80 percent of the district's student qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, but the district said many students weren't participating because of the stigma. [Daily Gazette]

A Schenectady man survived after a 40-car train passed directly over as he was lying in between the rails Thursday morning, according to Schenectady public safety commissioner Wayne Bennett. Police say the man had only minor injuries. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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State halts King St. demolition work, SPD officer accused of improperly sharing license plate info, renovation of vacant Harriman campus building, "total engine failure" brought down Uccellini plane

Following a complaint filed by Troy city councilman Mark McGrath, New York State has posted a stop work order at 4-10 King Street in Troy, the site of an emergency demolition last week that's drawn criticism. An asbestos assessment of the property must be completed, but the matter of who's the responsible party is still being debated. [WNYT][Record][TU]

Problems with a contractor resulted in $1,359,250 in overtime at the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance in the month of July, as staffers rushed to process a back-up of paper tax returns.[TU]

The man convicted of stabbing a state trooper at the Empire State Plaza back in March was sentenced to 30 years in prison. [TU]

"People familiar with the case" tell the Times Union it was a Schenectady detective with 20 years on the force who was suspended from his job last year after he allegedly looked up license plate info for a friend who's accused of using the information as part of a plot to firebomb the home and car of his girlfriend's new boyfriend. Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett says it doesn't appear the the officer knew how the information would be used. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The body of a 31-year old Woodstock man was pulled from Lake George on Wednesday afternoon. The man was reported missing and was found a short time later in 15-feet of water north of Clay Island in Lake George. [TU][YNN]

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Further appeals and sequester delay Bruno trial, "Railroad Puppy"abuser gets time served, 10-year-old set fire to family home in Schenectady

The earliest it appears Joe Bruno's re-trial on corruption chargescould take place: November. Bruno's attorneys are making a last ditch effort to appeal last week's decision by federal appelate court that re-trying Bruno on honest services theft charges would not amount to double jeopardy. Bruno's defense intends to submit a request to halt the case to the U.S. Second Circuit Court and is requesting all of the district judges on the court preside over the trial. A U.S. District Court Judge in the case also says the federal sequester will slow jury selection in the case, further delaying the trial. [TU][WNYT][News10][Record]

Scott Walker -- the man convicted of abusing and abandoning the "railroad puppies" and leaving four dogs in the back of a U-Haul -- was sentenced to six months he'd already served in jail, along with five years probation during which he cannot own a pet. Walker maintained his innocence in statements made after the sentencing and says the case is not over. [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

A pair of brothers on parole for felony drug convictions are now facing more charges after the Albany County Sheriff's Office says more than 80 bags of heroine and $12,000 were found during searches of their homes. [TU]

A ten-year-old boy has admitted to starting a fire at his Schenectady home earlier this week that displaced his entire family. So far the boy has not been charged and is meeting with a juvenile specialist.[TU][YNN]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Wide range in SUNY graduation rates, audio from fatal Schenectady standoff, in labor and stopped for speeding

Across the SUNY system, 64 percent of undergraduates graduate within six years -- though there's a wide range from campus to campus. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo said Monday there's not an update about when the state Department of Health will finish its review of the potential health effects of fracking. Monday night the Albany County legislature voted to ban fracking waste from county water treatment plants and the use on salty fracking waste to de-ice county roads. [TU] [TU] [News10]

Audio from the May 2 situation on Balltown Road in which Schenectady police fatally shot a man holding a hostage at knife point includes officers repeatedly asking the man to drop the knife and the the man telling police he wanted them to kill him. [TU]

A foreclosure auction of the Local Ocean indoor aquaculture facility near Hudson is scheduled for next week -- and as of Monday, a state DEC officer said the fish appeared to be OK. [WNYT]

Lord & Taylor is returning to Crossgates. [TU]

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Father accused in son's death, Albany mayoral candidates talk about city budget gap, chase through Saratoga Springs, apple crop looking good

A Fort Edward man has been arrested and charged with the murder in the death of his three-month-old son Sunday. [Post-Star]

Albany Democratic mayoral candidates Kathy Sheehan and Corey Ellis on one of the most important issues facing the next mayor: plugging the city's persistent budget gap. [TU]

A UAlbany grad student from Cameroon here on a Fulbright scholarship says he was searched, briefly detained, and treated harshly by Albany police -- without any reason given -- while walking to Washington Park for a cookout; all the APD would tells the Times Union is that it the alleged incident is ""the subject of an internal investigation." [TU]

The environmental org Riverkeeper alleges formerly-routine contact between it and state DEC employees has been cut off, perhaps because the Cuomo admin was irked by the org's criticism of the Tappan Zee Bridge project. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Criticism of process that resulted in Troy emergency demolition, what to do about apparently abandoned fish, concern about teacher evaluation system

Troy city officials faced criticism Thursday night of the process that resulted in the emergency demolition of four buildings along King Street this week. City councilman Mark McGrath has alleged "the administration's desire to develop that block resulted in their political greed and ambition surpassing their concern for public safety -- and for the law." And councilman Ken Zalewski requested to see a report from the fire chief about why the buildings had to come down. [YNN] [TU] [Troy Record]

Anthony Repp, accused of killing his mother and stepfather in Schaghticoke on July 4, was extradited from Massachusetts and has pleaded not guilty in Rensselaer County Court. [WNYT] [News10]

The state DEC says it will recommend that any market-sized fish from the apparently closed Local Ocean indoor aquaculture facility near Hudson be donated to a local food pantry. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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New standardized tests had 31% pass rate, Poulin convicted of manslaughter, wife of man shot by State Police critical of response

State Education commissioner John King says the fact that there was only a 31 percent pass rate on the new standardized tests in math and English language arts in New York's schools for grades 3-8 -- compared to a 55 percent pass rate last year -- is more of a reflection that the bar was raised than of a decrease in student performance. In Schenectady, where only 5.7 percent of eighth graders were proficient in math and 10.8 in English, district superintendent Laurence Spring said the scores are a "clarion call" for the district. [TU] [Business Review]

Calling him "arrogant," a US district court judge sentence former stockbroker Tim McGinn to 15 years in prison for defrauding investors. McGinn's partner, David Smith, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. E. Stewart Jones, McGinn's attorney, says if the two had been "allowed to do what they did most of their professional lives, everybody would have been made whole by now." [TU] [YNN]

A Rensselaer County jury convicted Rory Poulin of second-degree manslaughter -- but acquitted him on murder charges -- in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Margaret Jordan. [TU] [Record]

The wife of a Clifton Park man shot by State Police on Tuesday when he refused to put down a loaded .30 caliber rifle after troopers responded to a 911 call to check on his welfare, says the officers acted too quickly. She says the officers did not attempt to talk to her husband, but ran toward him screaming. Tonya Stewart says her husband "wasn't wielding the gun, running around the house, or even sitting on the front porch." She said he was distraught, and she called 911 because she "was afraid he might think there were no more options."[TU][WNYT][Saratogian]

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Appeals court says Bruno can be retried, state police shoot man in Clifton Park, Glenmont buffet employees charged with identity theft, attendance down at Saratoga

A federal appeals court rejected Joe Bruno's argument that facing a new trial would amount to double jeopardy. That opens the way for the scheduling of a second Bruno trial on charges of honest services mail fraud (this time around with a "a bribery and
kickback theory"). Bruno says he is disappointed in the ruling and is planning further appeals. [US Court of Appeals Second Circuit] [YNN] [TU] [TU CapCon]

State Police say a trooper shot a Clifton Park man Tuesday night while responding to a 911 call from the man's wife, asking them to check on his welfare. State Police say they found Douglas Stewart holding a rifle and shot him when he refused to lower the weapon. Stewart underwent surgery at Albany Med and is expected to make a full recovery. [NYSP] [TU] [WNYT] [YNN] [Saratogian]

Bethlehem police say they're investigating "numerous incidents of identity theft" allegedly related to the Golden Town Buffet in Glenmont. BPD says an investigation has determined that credit/debit card info was compromised. Police say four people have been arrested. BPD says there appear to be at least three dozen victims and $50k in fraud. The restaurant had been open as a buffet for about two months. Police are asking anyone who has used a credit or debit card there since June 15 to check their statements for fraudulent activity. [BPD] [YNN] [News10] [TU]

The jury in the trial of Rory Poulin -- charged with the murder of his girlfriend -- will continue deliberating today.

Former investment brokers Timothy McGinn and David Smith are expected to be sentenced later today for securities fraud. [WNYT]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Son pleads guilty to killing his mother, what food stamp cash bought, uncertainty about full casino gambling in Saratoga, celebrating Melville

Joshua McWain, the Greenfield man accused of killing his mother with a floor buffer and then burying her body in a shed under a "world's greatest mother" statue last October, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Friday. He faces 19 years to life in prison. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratoga County DA] [Saratogian]

Allan McBee, a 19-year-old from Watervliet , pleaded guilty to fatally shooting Ska-Kim Miller in South Troy in March 2012. He faces 15 years in prison. [TU] [Troy Record]

A Schenectady County grand jury has cleared Schenectady police in the fatal shooting of a man who was alleged to have been holding his roommate hostage at knife point in May. A report by the DA's office backs up the decision. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The Daily Gazette tracked people who allegedly flipped their food stamps for cash as part of what authorities say was a large-scale scheme at a Schenectady grocery store and found that many people spent the money on items such as rent, utilities, and toilet paper. [Daily Gazette]

In Saratoga there's uncertainty and uneasiness about the possibility of full casino gambling -- and its effect on horse racing. Tangentially related: the new head of NYRA says expanding the season at Saratoga is a possibility. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Gruesome testimony in Poulin trial, Troy trying to claim properties from adjacent towns, chase ends in crash into bank building

From the testimony of Cheryl Pang-Born* at the trial of Rory Poulin, accused of murdering his longtime partner Margaret Jordan in North Greenbush: "She (Meg) had her head down and she had a beer in her hand ... Then I jumped up and saw her head was gone and I just started freaking out." On cross examination by the defense, Pang-Born testified that Poulin appeared to be in a "state of shock" about what had just happened (the defense has argued the shooting was an accident). *Her name has been spelled Pang-Born, Pangborn, and Pangburn in various reports. [Troy Record] [TU]

Attorneys for Timothy McGinn and David Smith, the Albany brokers convicted of defrauding investors, have asked the federal judge in the case for sentences of of less than 10 years Federal prosecutors have asked for life in prison. Smith's attorney noted in a sentencing memorandum that such a sentence would be much more than what Kenneth Lay and Jeffery Skilling got for the Enron case. [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Massachusetts AG's office says Andrew Gause -- the Troy woman accused of defrauding the victims' fund for the Boston Marathon bombings -- has been transported to Boston and is scheduled to be arraigned today. [Troy Record] [TU]

Albany fire chief Robert Forezzi on the possibility of an oil tanker train crash in the area, like the one recently in Quebec: "I feel confident if we have an incident, we can handle and combat it." A handful of track-side residents expressed their safety concerns at a forum Thursday night. [TU] [WNYT]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Bruno's daughter and former boss face charges in alleged no show job, Sheehan leads Ellis in Albany mayoral poll, railroad puppy training as therapy dog

State AG Eric Schneiderman has filed charges against Susan Bruno and her former boss, the one time head of the SUNY Research Foundation, for allegedly filing time sheets showing Bruno was working when she wasn't. The charges allege this happened 47 times, and defrauded the public of $165,000. [TU][WNYT][Capitol Confidential]

An Albany County corrections officer was charged with harassment, coercion, and official misconduct for allegedly trying to blackmail the jail's former superintendent into changing his contract so he could save thousands of dollars in health care costs. Said Sheriff Craig Apple about the arrest: "We're not proud of the fact that we've had to arrest four or five of our own employees this year. It's disgusting. But I want to public to know that we're not tolerating it either."[TU][WNYT][YNN]

An overheated chemical tank was responsible for the foul odor that wafted through Cohoes late Wednesday night. The chemical, mercaptan, is used to add an odor to natural gas so people can smell a leak. The odor had subsided as of this morning and the mayor was advised that the smell did not create a health hazard. [TU][YNN]

A YNN/Siena poll of the Albany Democratic mayoral primary reports Kathy Sheehan leading Corey Ellis 54% to 23%. [YNN]

A 36-year-old Albany man who was born in prison will likely die there as well after being sentenced to 87 years in jail for dealing heroin. [TU]

The Troy woman accused of defrauding a fund for Boston Marathon bombing victims has waived extradition and will face charges in Boston.[TU]

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Six arrested in Spa City prostitution investigation, body found in Queensbury reservoir, emergency landing at Albany International, DiNapoli questions $1 million in UAlbany leave

Police in Saratoga springs have arrested six women in a prostitution investigation. The arrests were part of a nationwide child sex trafficking crackdown, but no children were involved with the local arrests.[YNN][WNYT][Saratogian]

State Police say the body of a man was discovered in a Queensbury reservoir on Tuesday evening. Police do not suspect foul play.[YNN][Saratogian]

An autopsy has shown that local singer and actress Anna Kroup, whose body was found in the Hudson River on Monday, died from asphyxiation due to drowning. [TU]

Smoke spotted by a crew member caused a 39 passenger American Eagle jet to make an emergency landing at Albany International Airport on Tuesday afternoon. No fire was found and mechanics are still looking for the cause of the smoke. [TU]

On Tuesday Andrew Cuomo signed the Upstate NY Gaming Economic Development Act -- the blueprint that will guide the siting of four upstate casinos should voters pass a referendum in the fall. The act sets guidelines for regulation and selection of the proposed casinos and, among other things, lays out how to address cheating, problem gambling and distribution of education aid increases. [Capitol Confidential][State of Politics]

The Albany Landlord accused of forcing a fellow immigrant to work was cleared of labor trafficking charges on Tuesday, but convicted of grand larceny filing false statements and tax fraud for stealing security deposits that were supposed to go to the county Department of Social Serivces. Mala Kahn could serve up to 16 years in prison. Her daughter, Shereen Khan was cleared of all charges in the case. [TU]

An investigation by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found UAlbany had more than $1 million in questionable paid leave expenses -- in one case paying $94,494 to an employee on a leave expected to lead to retirement.[TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Investigation into cause of big Saratoga Springs fire, body of missing woman found in the Hudson, Whole Foods planning for spring 2014 opening in Colonie

Investigators are looking into the cause of the big fire in Saratoga Springs over the weekend, though it may be slow going. An SSPD lieutenant explained the collapse the buildings' floors onto each other is making investigation difficult -- "It's like peeling an onion, one layer at a time." At this point officials don't believe the fire is suspicious. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

Earlier this year the state Department of Environmental Conservation approved an oil company's application to double the amount of the oil and ethanol it handles at the Port of Albany. (The port has become a major node in the network that ships crude oil from North Dakota to refineries on the East Coast.) [TU]

Antonio Lopez-Bautista, convicted of dragging a woman from her vehicle and then sexually assaulting her in Saratoga Springs in May 2012, was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Lopez-Bautista said in court Monday that he had been intoxicated and thought he was beating up a corrupt politician in his hometown in Mexico. Authorities say Lopez-Bautista is in the country illegally. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

Attendance at the Saratoga Race Course has been down this season compared to last year, maybe because of the hot weather. [TU]

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Big fire in Saratoga Springs, officer testifies that Nelligan was trying revive grandson, Cherry Hill saved by donations

Five Victorian-style row houses in downtown Saratoga Springs (map) were destroyed Sunday morning in a massive fire that drew 15 fire trucks and almost 100 firefighters. It took five hours from the first call to get the fire declared under control. Thirty-two people lived in the homes -- police say 15 were home at the time and everyone there got out safely. Some of the row houses dated back to the 1800s.[Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [News10] [Saratoga Wire] [WNYT] [YNN] [TU]

The death of Gary Carpenter III, caused by injuries committed by his mother's boyfriend, has prompted the Warren County DA to call for an investigation of the state's child abuse reporting hotline. [TU]

The state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities says it's planning to close the O.D. Heck residential facility in Niskayuna in 2015. (Related: Who the heck was O.D. Heck?) [TU] [Daily Gazette]

In separate closure round announcement, the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision announced Friday that Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility in Wilton is slated to be closed. DOCCS reports that the number of inmates in state prisons is down 24 percent since a record high in 1999. [Daily Gazette] [NYSNYS/Saratogian]

The Hudson River near Albany continues to have high levels of microbial counts related to sewage discharges, according to Riverkeeper. [AP/Troy Record]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Reaction to downscaled Albany convention center, Troy installing surveillance cameras, Colonie approves tougher rules for Central Ave motels, the oldest man in the world

The proposal to build a smaller Albany convention center between the ESP and TU Center seems to be getting a cautiously warm reception from local officials. Said Jerry Jennings: "It's time for it. We've been talking about it for years and years." [Troy Record] [TU] [YNN]

From a 911 call played Thursday during the trial of Rory Poulin, charged with murdering his longtime partner in North Greenbush: "There was a gunshot, and she's just sitting there with half a skull." [Troy Record]

The feds are seeking "very substantial" prison terms for Timothy McGinn and David Smith, the Albany-based brokers convicted of defrauding investors -- the max sentence is life in prison. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The city of Troy says it will be installing surveillance cameras at a handful of spots downtown. The city council president says there will be six cameras in the pilot program. [Troy Record] [YNN]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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New direction for Albany convention center floated, community meeting about Park South redevelopment, "Ape's Law" signed, baseball hit king at Crossgates

New direction for the Albany convention center project: a smaller, two story building on a site between the ESP and the TU Center -- the idea is the facilitiy could be part of events that use all three venues. [TU] [Biz Review]

At a community meeting Wednesday night some residents of Park South expressed concerns about being displaced by the redevelopment plan. Said one resident: "They held the meeting and said 'we want you to feel a part of this process,' but it's gonna move along whether you agree with it or not." And another: "They're frustrated because they feel like they're not a part of it after contributing so much for so long." Said the head of Columbia Development at the meeting: "what we're trying to do is transform the community. You can't tell me what we're putting in there is not an upgrade." [WNYT] [News10] [YNN] [TU]

The attorney for Rory Poulin -- accused of shooting his partner of 30 years, Margaret Jordan, in North Greenbush last December after they had been drinking -- told jurors during opening arguments that Poulin accidentally fired the shotgun as he sat down. Prosecutors argued Poulin shot Jordan intentionally because he was mad at her. [TU] [Troy Record]

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Park South redevelopment plan introduced, another state Assembly sexual harassment allegation, what's that floating in the pool... oh, no

Albany Med introduced its plan for the $110 million residential and retail phase of the Park South redevelopment. Said AMC's president James Barba: "We want to further enhance not just the neighborhood, but the city. And not just now, but for many, many years to come." The redevelopment plan includes relocation services for tenants in the affected area, but some said Tuesday they had hoped for more prior notice. There's a community meeting tonight (Wednesday) at AMC to talk about the plan. (And if you'd like the Quintessence diner building, it could be yours.) [AOA] [YNN] [TU] [Richard Conti FB] [AOA]

The mother of Gary Carpenter III, the Warren County boy who was killed by her boyfriend last November, was sentenced to 1-3 years in prison for her guilty pleas to charges of hindering prosecution and lying to police. Said Jennie Mattson in court: "I am ashamed of not protecting my son ... I think every day about Gary. I cry every night. I regret not protecting him like I should have." [YNN] [Post-Star]

The Troy woman accused of defrauding the victims assistance fund for Boston Marathon bombing has chosen to not waive extradition to Massachusetts. One of her supporters at a hearing Tuesday said the situation is "all a big mistake." [Troy Record] [TU]

The Scotia shop owner who was cleared after surveillance video appeared to show a police informant setting set him up has hired an attorney in an effort to clear his name and possibly file suit against two law enforcement agencies. [Daily Gazette]

How upstate cities are -- and aren't -- like the now-bankrupt Detroit. [TU] [YNN]

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Boy accidentally shoots himself after finding gun, Schumer pushes for rail tanker upgrades, summer camp at night

Albany police say a 9-year-old accidentally shot himself in the hand Saturday in the Sheridan Hollow neighborhood (block map). The boy tells YNN he thought the gun was a toy, and told News10 he found it in a flower pot. In ensuing commotion, the boy's family says the gun wasn't picked up. And this morning an APD spokesman says police do not have the gun in possession, and an investigation is ongoing. Another question in the situation: whether the gun is a "community gun." [APD] [YNN] [News10] [WNYT] [TU]

Chuck Schumer was in Albany Monday to push for the feds to require freight railroads to phase out the use an older tanker car model that's said to be flawed for shipments of oil and ethanol. Schumer said his concern for the issue was prompted by the recent crash and explosion in Quebec, and the increased use of rail transportation for oil. The Port of Albany has become an active node in the network that transports crude oil from fields in North Dakota, and much of the oil transported through the port arrives in one of the older model tanker cars. (The TU's Chris Churchill has been focused on this issue recently -- see his report from this past weekend.) [YNN] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT]

The city of Albany and Albany Med are set to announce "an important project" late this morning in Park South -- expected to be plans for the residential and retail portion of the redevelopment of that neighborhood. [TU]

There was a large upswing in the number of building permits issued in the Capital District in 2012 compared to 2011. [Troy Record]

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Massachusetts AG: Troy woman defrauded Boston bombing victims fund, concern about security of oil tanker trains, rally for Trayvon Martin in Albany, Cherry Hill mansion scraping for funding

A Troy woman was arrested Friday after she was accused of collecting a fraudulent $480k claim from the fund for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing -- the Massachusetts state attorney general alleges the woman had claimed a traumatic brain injury from the bombing. Troy police say Audrea Gause had the money deposited in a local bank account and withdrew $377k, which she carried in a paper bag, and talked about the money on Facebook. [Mass AG] [Troy Record]

Eric Green, accused of stabbing a state trooper in the neck at the Empire State Plaza in March, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder on Friday. Green is facing 30 years in prison. [TU] [Albany County DA]

The Times Union got a copy of a report on a 2008 investigation of the State Police by the office of then-attorney general Andrew Cuomo -- among the details: Eliot Spit