Morning Blend

A quick scan each morning of headlines from around the region

More details on Dannemora escapees' flight and the search for them, "officer-invovled" fatal shooting in Saratoga County, long lines for Sonic

Dannemora escape
A few bits are surfacing about Richard Matt and David Sweat's time on the run. Andrew Cuomo said on the Capitol Pressroom that Matt and Sweat had split up days before they were captured, apparently because Sweat thought Matt was slowing him down. Cuomo also said the escapees' original plan was to allegedly meet Joyce Mitchell outside the prison and head for Mexico -- when Mitchell didn't show up, the plan changed to run toward Canada. [Capitol Pressroom] [TU]

+ Details are also emerging about the mechanics of the search for the two escapees, which the New York Times reports started off slowly, with a lack of communication and organization. [NYT]

+ "Law enforcement officials briefed on the probe" tell CNN, and "one official with knowledge of the matter" tells NYT, that the FBI has opened a corruption investigation into employees and inmates at the Clinton Correctional Facility. [CNN] [NYT]

+ "People briefed on the matter but not authorized to comment" tell the Times Union that the superintendent of the Clinton Correctional Facility and some other leaders of the prison have been placed on administrative leave. [TU]

+ Larry Levine -- who served 10 years in prison and is the founder and director of Wall Street Prison Consultants -- told TWCN he thinks "the staff at Clinton Correctional are sweating David Sweat" because the now-captured escapee knows about the inner workings and problems of the facility. [TWCN]

+ On Monday Albany Med announced that Sweat has been upgraded to serious condition, and doctors have determined he doesn't require surgery at this time. A Syracuse-area trauma surgeon tells the Times Union it's not uncommon for people who are shot to not require surgery. [Albany Med press release] [TU]

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Second Dannemora escapee captured, indictments in Lansingburgh arson case, skepticism about "Breathing Lights"

Dannemora manhunt
State Police say David Sweat was shot and captured Sunday in Constable, a town just south of the Canadian border. NYSP superintendent Joseph D'Amico said sergeant Jay Cook had spotted Sweat jogging down a road Sunday afternoon, stopped to question him, Sweat ran, and Cook fired when it looked like Sweat would be entering the woods. Sweat is now at Albany Med, where Sunday night officials say he's in critical condition. [NYSP] [NYT] [TU]

+ The capture of Sweat on Sunday follows the capture and death of Richard Matt on Friday in the nearby town of Malone. Officials say Matt, who was allegedly armed with a shotgun, was fatally shot by border patrol agents after he refused to raise his hands. State Police say an autopsy concluded Matt had died from three gunshots to the head. [NYT] [TU]

+ Constable resident Trevor Buchanan to the Times Union, in article about the relief felt by people in the area now that the hunt is over: "CNN called me yesterday. That's the only time I'm getting a call from CNN unless I make a series of bad decisions." [TU]

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State legislature closes sessions with Whatever, prison contraband allegedly traded for art, Albany's middle schools struggling, longtime top editors at Record/Saratogian leaving

The Big Whatever
The state legislature finished its session Thursday night, a little more than a week past the originally scheduled end date, with a bill that included property tax rebates and a bunch of items of interest to New York City. In New York State government's typical commitment to openness, the text of the large bill was released Thursday evening and the three-day aging period was waived. The big was alternately tagged The Big Ugly, The Big Lovely, and The Big Whatever. [Capital] [NYT] [TU]

Dannemora manhunt
Update: Late Friday afternoon sources were telling media outlets that Richard Matt had been shot and killed by federal agents. [NYT]
____
Day 21: Still not captured.

The focus Thursday was on the prison guard who was arrested this week for allegedly helping Richard Matt and David Sweat obtain tools such as a screwdriver and pliers. Sources and court records indicate Gene Palmer told investigators he had traded the favors in exchange for paintings done by Matt and an intelligence on other inmates. [NYT] [TU]

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Still no vote on legislative "framework" agreement, second prison employee charged in Dannemora escape, on racism and the Albany flag

Dannemora Manhunt
Day 20 and Richard Matt and David Sweat are still at large. State Police say one of the cabins linked to the two men is missing a shotgun and that many cabins in the area of the search keep guns and ammunition. [TWCN]

The second Clinton Correctional Facility prison employee arrested in connection with the escape is out on bail and is expected to return to court later today. He is facing charges of promotion of prison contraband and evidence tampering for allegedly delivering tools to the inmates inside frozen meat. His lawyers say he didn't know the tools were in the meat. [WNYT][NYT][TU]

Still no vote on framework agreement
Legislators are hoping to vote today on a framework agreement of end of the year legislation, but Assembly Democrats are hoping more can be done on issues like rent control. [TU][TWCN]

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State Police: evidence prison escapees were at cabin, push for increasing fast food minimum wage, no free open house at Saratoga Race Course this year

Dannemora manhunt

Day 18: Still not captured.

+ The search is currently focused again in the area around Dannemora -- State Police say they recovered evidence indicating David Sweat and Richard Matt may have spent time at a camp to the west of prison. "A source with knowledge of the investigation" tells NBC News that DNA from both Sweat and Matt was found at the cabin. [TU] [NYSP] [NBC News]

+ WNYT talked with an Albany-area man whose family has a camp in the same area as the cabin apparently visited by the escapees: "It really, truly is the middle of nowhere." [WNYT]

+ Authorities have been sifting through hundreds of potential leads called in by the public, which have placed the men in widespread spots such as near the Pennsylvania border and Prince Edward Island in Canada. [NYT]

+ Lyle Mitchell -- the husband of Joyce Mitchell, the prison employee who's been charged with helping the escapees -- in an interview on the Today Show: "When it came down to her hurtin' me, that's when she said something was wrong. She said she was in too deep, she didn't know how to get out of it." [NBC News]

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Dannemora manhunt shifts around state, lawsuit filed over Mount case in Saratoga Springs, digging into the Normanskill landslide timeline

Dannemora manhunt

Day 17: Still not captured.

+ The search temporarily focused on the town of Friendship in Allegany County, in the southwest of the state, on Saturday after a resident reported two seeing two men who said she saw resembled Richard Matt and David Sweat. By Sunday the hunt had shifted back to an area near Dannemora -- leaks to the media point to authorities having found some sort of indication the escapees might have been at a camp west of Dannemora. [TU] [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT]

+ On Friday state officials announced a corrections officer at the Clinton Correctional Facility has been placed on leave -- without mentioning details about how officer might be connected to the situation. An attorney for the officer said his client had worked on the block that housed Matt and Sweat, but he didn't know about the escape plan. [TU] [TWC]

+ New York Times: "No single lapse or mistake in security enabled the two men to break out of the Clinton Correctional Facility, long considered one of the most secure prisons in the nation. But it now appears an array of oversights, years in the making, set the stage for the prison break..." [NYT]

+ Also: NYT got a boilermaker to test how long (and how loud) it would take using various tools to cut through the sort of steam pipe that Matt and Sweat used to escape. [NYT]

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State legislature slog continues, Dannemora manhunt continues, alleged Lansingburgh arson trio back in region, thought mining for mind grapes

State legislative session
Now past the scheduled end of the legislative sessions, the state Assembly and Senate are planning to continue the session next week after passing a five-day extension of NYC rent control. (The end of session has entered its Sartre period.) [Capital] [NYT]

Dannemora manhunt
Day 14: Still not captured. Richard Matt and David Sweat has been added to the US Marshals' 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list. And State Police say they have 160 troopers on patrol in communities near the Clinton Correctional Facility.

Also Thursday: An attorney for Lyle Mitchell, the husband of Joyce Mitchell (the prison employee who's been arrested for allegedly providing assistance to Matt and Sweat), on his client's stance toward his wife: "Lyle still cares but realizes he can't stand by her. She's kind of made her own bed. He has to distance himself." He also said his client is being "completely cooperative" with law enforcement. [US Marshals] [NYSP] [TU] [TWCN]

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Legislative session in overtime, Cox named APD chief, casino designers will tweak the plan, manhunt for convicts expands

Legislative overtime
The legislative session was slated to end on Wednesday but lawmakers went into overtime today and the end does not appear to be in sight.
Among the items still to be decided: rent control legislation, pension forfeiture for corrupt officials, the property tax cap and education tax credits.But the bill to name the wood frog the official state amphibian squeaked past by one vote after a heated debate. [NYT][TU][WNYT][TU]

A vote on Mixed Martial Arts fighting may also get pushed to the floorin the Assembly today. Another bill winding its way to the close of the legislative session would require New york drivers to updated the photos on their licenses every eight years. [TWCN][TU]

New Albany police chief
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan has tapped former deputy chief and acting Police Chief Brendan Cox to be the city's new Chief. Cox will replace Steven Krokoff, who retired in April. [TU]

Designers to tweak casino plan
A designer for Rush Street Gamings's planned Schenectady casino told a group at a public comment session on the design that his team will go back to the drawing board. "We've heard you loud and clear," Mike Levin told critics of the new casino design, saying the team will work to strike a balance between a more traditional design and what he called the "cutting edge, contemporary,slick building" currently proposed.

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Lots to wrap up as legislative session closes, manhunt for Dannemora escapees expands, Shop Rite is feeling the squeeze of competition, dining with dogs legislation passes Assembly

Extension likely for legislative session

The legislative session should be wrapping up today but lawmakers are preparing for an extended stay as they try to wrap up a number of issues like the just expired rent legislation.
Two bills that have made headway are Cuomo's "Enough is Enough" legislation to combat sexual assault on college campuses, and a plan to grant access to medical marijuana to seriously ill patients before the states official plan goes into effect in 2016. [Capital NY][Gazette][WNYT][TU][TWCN]

Dannemora manhunt expands

Eleven days into the manhunt for a pair of escaped prisoners from Dannemora, State Police have announced the search will expand beyond the 16 square miles of woods swamps and fields near the prison. State police are planning to expand the search for two escaped murderers. Police say the recent rain has cause problems with the search has been washing away any scent that dogs might pick up and has been interfering with devices used to detect body heat. [NYT
[WNYT]

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Dannemora escapees still not captured, Dontay Ivy's family files notice of claim alleging excessive force, worries about Normanskill flooding

Dannemora manhunt

+ Search day 11: Still not captured. [Press Republican]

+ The search has included more than 800 officers and covered 13 square miles. [TU]

+ Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie said Sunday that it appears Joyce Mitchell, the prison employee who's been arrested for allegedly aiding Richard Matt and David Sweat, got cold feet on aiding the prisoners as a getaway driver. On Monday he wouldn't address the allegation leaked by unnamed sources that there was some sort of plot to harm Mitchell's husband. (Unnamed sources are continuing to leak allegations.) [AP/Troy REcord] [TWCN] [News10]

+ State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott on the investigation into the prison break: "I will follow the evidence, wherever it leads." [TWCN]

Dontay Ivy
The family of Dontay Ivy has filed a notice of claim (the precursor to a lawsuit) alleging Albany police officers used excessive force, and it seeks up to $20 million in damages. Ivy died after being tasered by police April 2 in Arbor and the city has released few specific details about the situation. [TU]

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Dannemora manhunt in 10th day, state Inspector General to investigation prison escape, teens in prison, concern over dollar stores

Dannemora manhunt

+ Search day 10: Still not captured. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday: "We don't know if they are still in the immediate area or if they are in Mexico by now." [CNN]

+ On Friday Joyce Mitchell, the Clinton Correctional Facility tailor shop employee who had been questioned by investigators multiple times last week, was arrested for allegedly providing the Richard Matt and David Sweat with hacksaw blades, chisels, and screwdriver bit. The Clinton County DA said Mitchell had also been set to drive the escapees, but backed out of that part of the alleged plan. Mitchell was housed at the Rensselaer County jail over the weekend in order to ease tensions, according to the Clinton County Sheriff. [News10] [TWCN] [News10] [Press Republican]

+ Unnamed sources continue to leak alleged details about the case. A "law enforcement source" tells the New York Daily News that allegedly Mitchell said during interrogation that Matt and Sweat had planned on killing her husband, and she would drive to an unknown location far away. A "law enforcement source" (The same person?) tells the Times Union that he/she heard secondhand that the plan included "possibly" killing Mitchell's husband. [NYDN] [TU]

+ The Times Union looks into the multiple alleged system failures that allowed the escape plan to go undetected. [TU]

+ Andrew Cuomo announced there will be a state inspector general's investigation into the situation surrounding the escape. [NYT]

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Dannemora escapees still not captured, state legislation goes to the dogs, she's not dead

Dannemora manhunt
Authorities have yet to capture Richard Matt and David Sweat, who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility last weekend. On Friday Clinton County DA Andrew Wylie told the media that the prison employee who's been implicated in the escape gave the two men contraband, but not power tools. The Times Union reports that "a State Police document" it obtained indicates the woman "admitted to providing power tools." And "sources" tell CNN the woman provided "hacksaw blades, drill bits and lighted eyeglasses" to the men. [TU] [TWCN] [TU] [CNN]

+ "Those close to the situation" tell the Times Union that a recent request to lock down the whole prison to search for weapons was turned down the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision "amid" concerns of overtime costs. [TU]

+ The manhunt, which includes more than 500 officers, has most recently focused on an area just to the east of Dannemora. [News10] [TWCN]

+ Residents of the area are starting to tire of the commotion and stress related to the hunt. [TWCN]

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Search for escaped convicts heads into day six, Guilderland broker charged in alleged Ponzi scheme, zip line and aquarium coming to the region

Dannemora update
Police are in the sixth day of a search for two escapees from Dannemora. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin joined Andrew Cuomo at a news conference on Wednesday where police announced they believe the two escaped convicts may be headed for Vermont . Overnight a large police response was underway east of Dannemora where Route 374 was closed and detours are set up. Police are questioning Joyce Mitchell, a civilian who worked in a tailor shop at Clinton Correctional facility in Dannemora, who is alleged to have helped facilitate the escape.[Gazette'[TU][TWCN][WNYT][NYT]

Alleged Ponzi scheme
A money manager and Senior Vice President of Capital Financial Planning in Guilderland is facing nine felony charges including first degree money laundering in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme. [WNYT][TWCN]

Fund for suspended officer
An online fund raising campaign has been established to help the Saratoga Springs police officer suspended after he was seen on video pepper spraying a man who gave him the middle finger. [Gazette]

Schenectady Taser incident
The Schenectady police department says they are investigating an allegation by a city man that police used excessive force when they pepper-sprayed and Tasered him in Mont Pleasant last week while arresting him for jaywalking. A teen who made one of the videos showing the arrest was also arrested on disorderly conduct charges for allegedly crossing against a light and causing a traffic hazard. [Gazette x 2]

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Manhunt continues for Dannemora escapees, tornado hits Scotia, jail sentence in ongoing Greenfield horse farm case, Mr. Fredericks goes to the Capitol

Dannemora manhunt
The manhunt continues today for two convicted killers who escaped from Dannemora over the weekend. On Tuesday the hunt centered on the Essex County town of Willsboro after it was reported that two men were seen bolting into the woods.[TU][WNYT][NYT]

Questions about Andrew Cuomo's visit to Dannemora. [Capital NY]

Tornado hits Scotia
A tornado with winds of up to 80 miles per hour touched down in a Scotia neighborhood on Tuesday. The tornado was classified as an EFo, the lowest level on the scale, but it did its share of damage, downing wires and tree branches.[TU][Gazette][WNYT]

Legislative ethics
With six days left in the legislative session, there is still no agreement on ethics reform. The Assembly an Senate are arguing over language in a bill that would allow a judge to take away the pension of a politician convicted of a felony.[News 10][TU]

A state Supreme Court justice has ruled that former New York State Assemblyman Vito Lopez must pay a fine of $330,000 that was levied against him by the Legislative Ethics Commission. [TU][WNYT]

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Hunt continues for escaped prisoners, first responders described devastation of oil train crashes, 1st round pick

Escape from Dannemora
The hunt for the two escaped prisoners from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora continued Monday as investigators focused on whether the convicted killers had help. A "person briefed on the matter" tells the Times Union that Richard Matt and David Sweat had been staying in an "honor block" that allowed more liberties -- and the investigation has focused on the possible role of an employee who worked the two men in a prison tailor shop. Said Andrew Cuomo Monday of the escape plan: "I don't think they could have acquired the equipment they needed to do this without help." The escape is said to be the first in the facility's more-than-150-year history. [AP/Saratogian] [TU] [NYT] [TWCN] [Wikipedia]

Histories of Capital Region/New York prison escapes: Times Union | Daily Gazette | News10.

Meta: From the New York Times: "For Mr. Cuomo, the escaped men represent both a genuine law-enforcement challenge -- how to chase down a pair of killers in a remote corner of the state -- and an unexpected break from the deepest political doldrums of his time in office."

News story quote or outtake from a comic book movie: "You can imagine the powers in that person to convince others of things when what really lurks within is quite evil." [WNYT]

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Two prisoners escape from Dannemora, arrests in Troy arson case, thinking about the Stockade in a flood-prone future

Escape from Dannemora
State Police say two inmates escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora (map) sometime between Friday and Saturday. NYSP say the inmates -- Richard Matt and Donald Sweat -- were serving sentences for murder and are "very dangerous individuals." Authorities say the men used power tools to cut through a steel wall in their cells, got access to a catwalk leading tunnels and pipes below the prison, cut through the pipes, went through pipes, and emerged outside the prison through a manhole a block away. Officials say the men might have had help. On Sunday, Andrew Cuomo said the two men "could be anywhere in the state by this time" as well as in Vermont or Canada. The governor announced a $100k reward for information leading to an arrest. [NYSP] [TU] [NYSP] [Press Republican] [NYT] [TWCN] [TU] [Cuomo admin]

Arrests in Troy fire case
Troy police three people were arrested last week in North Carolina for the Lansingburgh fire in May that eventually resulted in the death of an elderly woman. The trio will face arson charges when they're returned to Rensselaer County. TPD has not publicly discussed a motive in the fire. [Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN]

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Charges dropped in Saratoga Springs PD middle finger case, GlobalFoundaries adding jobs, apartment plan in the works for Rensselaer waterfront

SSPD middle finger case
Charges have been dropped against Adam Rupeka, the man who had been stopped by Saratoga Springs police, and sprayed with pepper spray, after flipping an officer the finger -- an incident Rupeka recorded on video. The officer -- Nathan Baker -- has been on administrative leave and SSPD chief Greg Veitch says the department is moving to fire him. Rupeka's attorney says he'll be pursuing a civil case against the city. [Saratogian] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Rally in Troy
There was a community rally Thursday near the spot where Tyreek Prince was fatally shot early Sunday morning in Troy. Said Prince's grandfather, James June: "There's a lesson in this and the lesson is not revenge or retaliation ... It's education. I don't want to see [other kid's] mothers going through what my wife, my children, Tyreek's mother and his family are going through." [News10] [TWCN]

GlobalFoundries
GlobalFoundries says it's planning to add 600 jobs at its Malta facility by the end of the year. [TU+]

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Cuomo asks agencies what they think of Schneiderman, Albany/Troy police investigating Troy shooting death, NYRA has a new chairman, Henry Johnson honored at Pentagon

QPoll: Voters disapprove of Cuomo's education plan
A recent Quinnapiac poll shows 59 percent of voters disapprove of the way Andrew Cuomo is handling education, with 54 percent saying they trust teachers unions to improve schools more than the governor. [Capital NY]

Cuomo surveys state agencies about Schneiderman
Andrew Cuomo is surveying state agencies asking them to evaluate the performance of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman -- something believed to be a first for a New York governor.[NYT][TU]

Sheehan meets with Harlem state Assemblyman
Harlem state Assemblyman Keith Wright met with Kathy Sheehan and acting police chief Brendan Cox to clear the air after Wright suggested in a recent speech that minority protestors should be concerned about getting arrested in Albany because there are "not a lot of people that look like us up there." [TU]

Arrests in rent protest at Capitol
Fifty-five people were arrested at a protest by tenants rights groups at the Capitol on Wednesday. Protesters were calling for strengthening New York City rent control laws. [TU]

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Qpoll: Cuomo rating at new low, Jay Street building owner claims hydrants not functioning, Pioneer bank leaves Troy

Cuomo's rating drops again
The latest Quinnipiac poll reports Andrew Cuomo's approval rating have dropped to its lowest point, 44 percent, largely over low grades on his handling of ethics issues. [TU]

NYRA Chairman takes leave over Skelos scandal
NYRA's board chairman is taking a leave of absence following allegations his company provided a "no show job" to the son of former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. [WNYT][Saratogian]

Jay Street building owner says alleges broken hydrants
The owner of the Jay Street apartment building destroyed in a deadly fire in March alleges the hydrants near the building weren't working properly, which, he says, hampered the fire departments response. The Schenectady City Attorney says the hydrants were, in fact, working correctly.[Gazette][TU]

Schenectady officials are blaming the debris from the March Jay Street fire for flooding in city hall this week.[Gazette]

$14 million Hamilton Hill housing project
A $14 million project announced on Tuesday would create 50 new low-income apartments apartments in Schenectady's Hamilton Hill neighborhood, in an effort to revitalize the neighborhood. [TU]

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White House ceremony for Henry Johnson, settlement in Troy police civil rights lawsuit, NYRA chair's company said to be connected with Skelos, who owns Washington Park?

Henry Johnson
Barack Obama is scheduled to posthumously award the Medal of Honor to WWI hero, and Albany native, Henry Johnson this morning. The top enlisted member of the New York Army National Guard will be accepting the award on Johnson's behalf. [TU]

The ceremony is scheduled for 11:15 am and will be streamed online. It will also be shown at Albany City Hall. [White House]

Troy fatal shooting investigation
Troy police have identified the young man killed in a shooting early Sunday morning near the Hoosick Street overpass as Tyreek Prince. TPD says there are currently no suspects and the investigation is ongoing. In April Albany police said Prince had been shot in the leg in the Mansion Neighborhood. TPD chief John Tedesco says the department will be talking with Albany police about the situation. Said a mother in the Troy neighborhood where Prince was shot to News10 on Monday: "I'm just tired of burying our kids ... I'm tired of our kids killing each other." [TU] [APD press release] [Troy Record] [TWCN] [News10]

Troy police civil rights case
The city of Troy reached a $39k settlement in the lawsuit in which a jury recently found that two police officers violated a man's civil rights by using excessive force during an incident at a hospital. Troy Corporation Counsel Ian Silverman continued to express city government support for the officers, to the Troy Record: "We think they behaved appropriately and reasonably that night." [TU] [Troy Record]

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Fatal shooting in Troy, Troy officials treating May fire as a homicide, Brown's Beach opens to the public, Chebet wins third Freihofer's run title

Fatal Troy shooting
One person was killed and another injured during a shooting in Troy early Sunday morning near the Hoosick Street bridge underpass (map), Troy police say. [News10]

+ Schenectady police say one person was injured in a shooting in Hamilton Hill Friday afternoon (map). [Daily Gazette]

+ Albany police say two vehicles were struck by gunfire, but no injuries reported, Saturday night in West Hill (map. [TU]

Lansingburgh fire investigation
Troy police say they're treating the recent death of an 82-year-old woman from injuries suffered during the May 1 Lansingburgh fire as a homicide. Law enforcement officials say they're seeking three suspects in the case, and are asking for the public's help with information about the case. TPD chief John Tedesco said officials are "very confident" that the May 1 fire is not connected with the long string of suspected arsons in Lansingburgh. [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

Oil trains
Among the proposals in a pair of oil train reports issued last week by the offices of Albany County exec Dan McCoy and Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan: a wall along tracks in the South End to separate neighborhoods from the oil trains. [Capital] [TU]

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Kenneth White's cousin said to have described his death on video, Dean Skelos and son indicted, yearbook giraffe photo criticized

Kenneth White case
Tiffany VanAlstyne -- accused of killing her 5-year-old cousin Kenneth White in December -- is described to police on video how she choked the boy and then dumped his body over a guardrail near their home in Knox, according to court documents obtained by the Times Union. [TU+]

Medical marijuana dispensary in Albany?
One of the companies trying to land a state license to sell medical marijuana wants to open a dispensary in Albany's Warehouse District, a plan that would require a zoning adjustment. [TU+]

Skelos and son
Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, have been indicted on six counts in the federal corruption case against them. The indictment includes a new accusation involving an alleged no-show job for Adam Skelos with a medical malpractice insurance company that was lobbying the former state Senate majority leader. [State of Politics] [NYT]

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Pataki announces presidential run, Robinson gets maximum, land owner makes another bid for Bisco permit

Pataki 2016
Former NY Governor George Pataki has released a campaign video announcing his 2016 presidential campaign. [NYT]

Robinson gets maximum
Herman Robinson was sentenced on Wednesday to 100 years to life in prison for repeatedly raping a young woman and murdering the infant child she gave birth to. At the sentencing Herman maintained his innocence, while his victim, now a college student training to be a social worker, told the court,"I am strong." [TWCN][Gazette][TU]

Assembly passes single payer health bill
The State Assembly approved a bill on Wednesday to create a single-payer health system in NY. This was the first vote to occur on the issue since 1992, though it had been introduced every year since by Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried. It is not likely to clear the Senate. [TU]

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Regents name new State Ed Commissioner, Schneiderman's plan to battle corruption, governors neighbor for 87 years

On corruption
A new Siena poll reports that while 90 percent of respondents think corruption is a serious problem, and 62 percent say it's serious among legislators, only 37 percent say they are less likely to re-elect their representatives. [TU]

Meanwhile, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has laid out his plan to combat legislative corruption, which includes a ban on all outside income, but makes the legislature full time and gives them a pay raise.[TU]

As the session ends
As the legislative session comes to a close, some of Andrew Cuomo's plans may not come to fruition. The NYT offered a suggested list of items to resolve before legislators go home. [NYT][NYT]

New State Ed Commissioner
MaryEllen Elia, a former Buffalo-area social studies teacher and was most recently a schools superintendent in the Tampa, Florida area, is the Board of Regents' unanimous choice for the next New York State Education Commissioner. Elia says she plans to do a lot of listening. Assemblyman Jim Tesdisco, a vocal opponent of Common Core, says the board "clearly jumped the shark" in its decision. [TU][CNY][WNYT]

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Death following Troy arson fire, Normanskill fix could cost millions, Albany aquarium idea apparently still floating, words as colors

Death in Troy arson case
The 82-year-old woman who was pulled, unconscious, from the Lansingburgh arson fire earlier this month has died, Troy police say. The fire was the 14th suspicious fire in Lansingburgh since last July. [WNYT] [TU]

Troy police civil rights suit
John Larkins, whose lawsuit over an encounter with Troy police at a hospital in 2011 resulted in a jury finding last week that two officers had violated his civil rights by using excessive force, to the Times Union: "I don't want a buyout ... That's not justice. I want their badges to be taken away. The police are supposed to protect our civil rights, not trample over them. Chief Tedesco should also be prosecuted. Systematic injustice has been perpetuated by his officers." [TU]

Also: The Troy City Council's public safety committee recently reviewed the TPD's discipline policies, and the chair's report concluded the department's discipline processes are "routinely managed in an effective manner." [Troy Record]

Normanskill landslide
A state Department of Transportation memo provides a range of options for restoration work on the section of the Normanskill that was blocked by a landslide in April, with a rough estimate of price ranging from $1.4 million to $7.8 million. [TU]

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Full environmental review for proposed Port of Albany oil heating facility, jury finds against two Troy police officers in civil rights lawsuit, passing on former convention center land

Oil trains
The state Department of Environmental Conversation announced Thursday that it's rescinding its earlier to decision to no require a full environmental review of Global Companies' plan to build a facility for heating crude oil at the Port of Albany. (Speculation is that the facility would allow the transfer of tar sands oil from Canada at the port.) DEC cited the nearby Ezra Prentice Homes, and the potential adverse impacts on the people living there, as a reason for the switch. Albany Common Council member Dorcey Applyrs to the Times Union, about the change and the addition of an air pollution sensor near the port: "This is what the community has been asking for. We want to know what is in the air that we are breathing." [NYS DEC] [Capital] [TU]

Troy police civil rights case
The jury in a civil rights lawsuit in US District Court Utica found that two Troy police officers violated a man's civil rights by using excessive force during an incident at a hospital in 2011. Troy's corporation counsel said the city disagrees with the verdict on use of excessive force and "we stand by our officers." [TU] [Troy Record]

Guilty plea in Malta death
Charles Wilkerson -- the 69-year-old Malta man accused of strangling his wife of more than 40 years to death a year ago in their home -- pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter Thursday. The plea deal includes an expected sentence of 15 years in prison. [WNYT] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Shooting death in Albany, planners give approval to Mohawk Harbor project, law enforcement agencies winners in international gambling ring

Albany shooting death
Albany police are investigating the fatal shooting of a 60-year-old man late Wednesday night inside an apartment on Judson near First Street. It's the third homicide in Albany in recent weeks. A frustrated Common Councilman, Mark Robinson, told the Times Union: "When you have bad housing stock on top of bad housing stock and absentee landlords who only care about getting their monthly rent check, it is easy for drug houses to get established in our communities." [WNYT][TWCN][TU]

Another step toward Mohawk Harbor
Schenectady's Planning Commission has approved the Galesi Groups 60-acre riverfront condos and retail project for the old Alco site. [Gazette]

Brendon Glenn
Chris Churchill looks at the questions surrounding the death of Brendon K. Glenn, the unarmed Troy man killed by Los Angels police recently. Funeral services for Glenn were held in Troy on Wednesday. [TU][Record]

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Body of missing Schenectady woman discovered in Coeymans, alleged illegal boarding house raided in Colonie, new video surfaces in Saratoga police stop, no birds at the fair

Body of missing Schenectady woman discovered in Coeymans
The body discovered in a shallow grave in Coeymans has been identified as that of Shelby Countermine, a Schenectady woman who disappeared last December . The case is being treated as a murder. [TU][WNYT]

Illegal boarding house
The Colonie codes department is serving the owners of a Central Avenue home for allegedly running an illegal boarding house with 15 bedrooms, 40 beds, and only a half bathroom. [TU][TWCN]

School budgets approved
Capital Region school district budgets were all passed on Tuesday. In Albany, the school district budget was supported by 72 percent of the votes cast - the highest figure in district's history according to the district director of communications. [Gazette][TU]

More video in controversial Saratoga Springs police stop
A second video has surfaced in a controversial Saratoga Springs police stop. This video shows the officer pepper spraying the man who is sitting in his car after refusing to get out of the vehicle while asking what crime he had committed. [TU][Saratogian][Gazette]

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Allegation of excessive force in Saratoga Springs traffic stop, Coeymans body being treated as homicide, Sawyer Fredericks finds out if he's won The Voice tonight

Today is school budget vote day. Don't know where to vote? Check with your board of education (it could be different from you vote for other elections).

Police/community relations
+ Troy: The trial for a lawsuit in which three Troy police officers are accused of using excessive force while arresting a man at a hospital in 2011 started in US District Court in Utica. [TU]
+ Saratoga Springs: The Saratoga Springs Police Department says it's placed an officer on administrative leave after an activist says excessive force, including pepper spray, was used on him during a traffic stop Saturday afternoon after giving the officer the finger. The incident was partially captured on video. (A "law enforcement source" tells WNYT there's also another video "that clearly shows the confrontation.") Adam Rupeka says he had gone to Saratoga Springs for the purpose of testing the police there. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [YouTube] [WNYT] [TWCN]

Kenneth White case
Kenneth White's father pleaded guilty to a finding of neglect in Albany County Family Court Monday. Jason White said he's getting substance abuse treatment and ultimately wants to get custody of Kenneth's sisters. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Coeymans body
A "source close to the case" tells WNYT and News10 that there's evidence indicating the body found in Coeymans last week is a Capital Region woman who disappeared in December. Police say they're treating the case as a homicide. [WNYT] [News10]

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Arrest in Schenectady arson cases, APD updated policy on taser use, superintendent alleges she was harassed after pregnancy, 400 points

Schenectady arson arrest
Schenectady officials announced Friday that they've arrested a man suspected of being responsible for five arsons in the Mont Pleasant neighborhood. Police credited an anonymous call and surveillance camera video for helping lead to the arrest. Officials did not address a possible motive for the fires. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

Albany police tasers and body cameras
Acting Albany police chief Brendan Cox briefed a Common Council committee on the APD's new guidelines for taser use, including multiple categories of people for which officers would be restricted from using the stun guns. (It has now been a month and a half since Dontay Ivy died in police custody after being tasered.) [TU]

Oil trains
"Three meeting attendees" tell Capital that "state environmental officials have said in private meetings that it may be legally difficult for them to oppose construction of a heating facility at the Port of Albany that would allow tar sands crude to be transported through New York." [Capital]

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Questions about train safety system, reaction to Medal of Honor for Henry Johnson, Start-Up NY's very slow start, buyer for Hoffman's Playland property

Train safety
The safety system that experts say could have possibly prevented the Amtrak crash near Philadelphia this week -- Positive Train Control -- is not yet in use on lines in New York State traveled by Amtrak. There's currently a fight in Congress over whether the deadline for implementing PTC nationwide should be pushed back to 2020. Amtrak officials said this week the railroad is close to testing its implementation of the system. [NPR] [TU x2] [NYT]

Henry Johnson
Albany WWI hero , the White House announced Thursday. Here's reaction from local historians, advocates, and officials. [AOA] [TU]

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Derailed Amtrak train was speeding, teen dies following Plotter Kill fall, Wormuth in federal court, Fido on the patio

Derailed Amtrak train was speeding
The Amtrak train that derailed on a sharp curve between Philadelphia and NY on Tuesday night, killing seven people was speeding at more than 106 mph before it went off the tracks. The engineer says he has no recollection of what happened. Chuck Schumer is calling for Positive Train Control systems that would slow down trains when they are going to fast or when there is a car or another train on the track. [NYT][WNYT][News 10]

Teen dies following Plotter Kill fall
The Clifton Park teenager who fell 50 feet while hiking at Plotter Kill Preserve on Tuesday has died.[TU]

Wormuth in U.S. District Court
Former Halfmoon Supervisor Melinda Wormuth appeared in U.S. District Court on Wednesday. Wormuth's attorney E. Stewart Jones argued that Wormuth was not read her Miranda rights before making videotaped statements, claiming a longtime town attorney told her it would be alright to use her political connections to lobby on behalf of the MMA. [TU][Record][Gazette]

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Flanagan now state Senate majority leader, Kenneth White's aunt denied custody of his sisters, past the freeze point

New state Senate majority leader
Dean Skelos is officially out as state Senate majority leader, and John Flanagan is in. Flanagan is from Long Island and had the backing of Skelos. He edged out John DeFrancisco, who's from the Syracuse area, for the Republican majority leadership. [NYT] [Capital] [TWCN] [TU]

More on Flanagan: He represents a district in Suffolk County on Long Island. He's 54 and an attorney. And he got his start in the state legilsature in 1986 when he jumped in an Assembly seat race shortly before an election after his father -- John Flanagan Sr., the incumbent -- died of a heart attack. [NYS Senate] [TU] [NYT]

Kenneth White's aunt denied custody of his sisters
An Albany County Family Court judge formally removed the sisters of Kenneth White from the custody of their aunt, Brenda VanAlstyne. The judge cited a string or reasons for denying VanAlstyne custody, including evidence of "their abuse and neglect" while they were in her care. VanAlstyne was removed from the courtroom during the hearing and yelled at the judge. The sisters will stay in foster care because the judge ruled their parents are also not currently suitable guardians. After the hearing, the mother of the sisters and Kenneth White told two reporters she was responsible for the boy's death -- a comment that Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says will prompt a conversation with her. [WNYT] [TU] [TWCN] [News10] [Daily Gazette]

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Dean Skelos said to be on the way out of state Senate leadership, the former KGB agent in Schaghticoke, the snow that won't quit

Dean Skelos
"GOP sources" tell the Buffalo News that Dean Skelos will be out as state Senate majority leader today -- either by a vote of his conference, and or by his own decision. The behind-the-scenes scramble to succeed him has been in progress for days. [Buffalo News] [Capital]

More tangents of the Skelos story:
+ A look at the widespread influence exerted by Glenwood Management, the real estate developer that popped up in both the Skelos and Sheldon Silver cases, and how it's used the LLC loophole to become a top campaign contributor in the state. [TU]
+ Do the state's legislative leaders have too much power. [TU]
+ A survey of the many state Senate Republicans -- as well as lobbyists -- with second homes along a section of of the Florida coast. [NYDN]

Making bail (or not)
The Daily Gazette's Kathleen Moore looked into how even small amounts of bail can end up keeping people in jail -- a situation that even law enforcement officials says isn't necessarily helpful -- and how that can end up having longterm consequences. [Daily Gazette]

KGB
The odd story of the IT specialist who worked for multiple utility entities in New York who was also a KGB agent, and then became a consultant for the FBI and National Security Administration. The man now works for NYISO in North Greenbush and lives in Schaghticoke. [Capital] [TU]

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Rensselaer waterfront potential SUNY Poly site, DA's office looking for person in Dontay Ivy case, state Assemblyman pleads guilty, a good way to go through life

Nano Rensselaer?
Alain Kaloyeros says SUNY Poly is looking at creating "an innovation and commercialization hub" at the De Laet's Landing site on the Rensselaer waterfront. Kaloyeros says the decision to focus on Rensselaer was at the urging of Andrew Cuomo. [Biz Review] [TU]

Dontay Ivy case
The Albany County DA's office is looking for a person who appears in a surveillance video from around the scene of the incident involving Albany police and Dontay Ivy. From the DA's office press release: "To be clear, this person is not a suspect, but may have information in relation to the investigation of the death of Donald 'Dontay' Ivy." [Albany County DA]

Schenectady fatal fire
A second person has died from injuries in the house fire in Schenectady Wednesday. [Daily Gazette]

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Three arraigned in Lark Street fatal shooting, deadly fire in Schenectady, Skelos survives ouster effort by dems, the Patriots of corruption

Lark Street fatal shooting update
A pair of teenagers have been charged in the shooting death of a 27-year-old father of six on an Albany street corner earlier this week. A third suspect -- a 24-year-old Albany man -- was arraigned in connection with the case this morning. [TU][TU]

Skelos
State Senate Democrats made a failed attempt on Wednesday to remove Dean Skelos as majority leader. Skelos still has the support of the Republican majority -- but barely. Andrew Cuomo says if the charges against Skelos are true they are "deeply disturbing," but he stopped short of saying Skelos should step down. [TU][TWCN][TU]

One dead in Schenectady fire
One person has died and another was badly burned in an overnight house fire in Schenectady.[TU][WNYT]

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Two charged in fatal Albany shooting, Skelos won't step down, "United Nations of workers" bringing FIOS to Guilderland

Two suspects in Albany shooting
Two men have been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the deadly shooting at Lark Street and Sheridan Avenue in Albany. [TU]

Skelos update
Dismissing a federal corruption complaint against himself and his son as "nothing more than a press release," Dean Skelos has decided not to step down as Senate Majority Leader. While Senate Republicans have stood behind Skelos, Assembly Republicans are calling on Skelos to step down from his leadership post. The cases against Skelos and Sheldon Silver involve some pretty powerful New York real estate names, including a major Albany political donor who has given at least $1 million to Andrew Cuomo. [TU][NYT][TWCN][NYT][CapNY][CapNY]

Schneiderman on Corruption
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took the opportunity to point out that the state has two path's forward, "one path is further investigations and prosecutions and the erosion of public confidence. The other path is to enact comprehensive reforms far more serious than anything that has been or is on the table in Albany. "[Capitol Confidential]

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Skelos holds onto state Senate leadership post, APD policy change on taser use, medical marijuana dispensary pitched for Clifton Park

Skelos and Son
+ Following the arrest of Dean Skelos and his son Adam Monday morning, state Senate Republicans decided Monday night to stick with Skelos as majority leader. (Ahead of the Monday night conference, George Amedore said Skelos should not keep the top spot, while Hugh Farley said Skelos should not resign the position if he doesn't want to.) [NYT] [Capital] [Daily Gazette]
+ A look at Glenwood Management, the development firm that's not been connected to both Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, and its executive Charles Dorego. Said an unnamed lobbyist to Capital: "If Dorego is involved,then you can bet more trees are going to fall." [TU] [Capital]

Fatal shooting in Albany
Albany police say three people were shot -- one fatally -- early Tuesday morning in Sheridan Hollow (map). APD says it's taken two suspects into custody. The Times Union described the scene as "grisly with pools of dried blood on stoops, sidewalks and the street." [APD FB] [TU]

Albany police tasers
Albany police have a new policy that limits officers to using three bursts from a taser on a suspect. [TU]

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Dean Skelos arrested, investigation into Lansingburgh fire, rally for answers in Ivy case, jarred in Rotterdam

Dean Skelos arrested
Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, surrendered on federal corruption charges this morning. "Multiple sources" tell NYDN that Skelos will try to make the case that he should hold onto his leadership of the state Senate. [NYT] [TWCN] [NYDN]

Lansingburgh fire
"Authorities familiar with the investigation" tell the Times Union that gasoline was used to start the apartment fire in Lansingburgh early Friday. Lou Rosamilia: "Just total disrespect for human life. We are going to work vigilantly to get that person or those individuals involved in this, and put an end to it. Once and for all." [TU] [WNYT]

Rally for answers in Dontay Ivy case
About 100 people rallied outside Albany police headquarters Saturday to push for answers in the death of Dontay Ivy. It's been one month since Ivy died in police custody after being tasered, and there has yet to be official word about why the Albany man was stopped by police. Masai Andrews of Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration: "People are anxious, they want to have answers." [TU] [TWCN]

Also: A look at how police use tasers, and the relative lethality of the weapons. [TU+]

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Memorial for man fatally shot in West Hill, red light camera revenue projection cut, is there a way to avoid ticket scalpers?

West Hill shooting
Family and community members gathered at Livingston Park in Albany's West Hill neighborhood Thursday to remember the man fatally shot there this week, identified by Albany police as Latwan Hankins of Albany. (APD says the incident, in which two other men were also shot, is under investigation.) Common Council member Mark Robinson said the community needs to get a grip on what's caused recent violence, or the summer could be hard. Said Robinson: "We're in a struggling community ... We're in a community that lacks opportunities." [TU] [APD press release] [TWCN] [News10]

Suspicious fire in Lansingburgh
Troy fire and police officials are treating an overnight fire at a 6-unit apartment building in Lansingburgh as suspicious. A resident tells WNYT she saw two men throw something that exploded before the fire. [TWCN] [News10] [WNYT]

Shane Harding sentenced
Shane Harding, the Schodack man who pleaded guilty to kidnapping two women last September as part of a multi-day incident that snaked through multiple Capital Region counties and western Massachusetts before he was captured near Skidmore, was sentenced to 30 years in prison. One of the women who was kidnapped said the incident "changed me in ways I'm yet to figure out how to accept." Said Renssealer County judge Deborah Young: "I only wish I could give you more time." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [News10]

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One dead in West Hill shooting, Cuomo unveils AIDS plan, education lobbies were biggest spenders, advice for living to 104

One dead in West Hill Shooting
Albany police are investigating a shooting in Livingston Park in West Hill overnight that left a 21-year-old man dead and two other men injured. [WNYT][TWCN]

Another suspicious fire in Mont Pleasant
Schenectady officials are investigating the third suspicious fire in the Mont Pleasant neighborhood this month. [TU]

Shooting prompts school lockdown in Schenectady
Elmer Avenue Elementary School in Schenectady was locked down for a while following a shooting on Wednesday morning. [TWCN]

Cuomo unveils AIDS plan
Andrew Cuomo has announced a plan aimed at ending the AIDS epidemic in New York State over the next five years. The plan is expected to cost billions of dollars, which still need to be found. [TU][CapNY]

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Trial date set for Silver, Scarborough to plead guilty in travel voucher scam, fracking ban won't be permanent, something stinky in Watervliet

Silver trial date
Sheldon Silver pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, at his arraignment on charges he transferred more than $287,000 of what prosecutors say were the proceeds of his crimes into investments that were not available to the general public.Silver's trial has been set for November 1[NYT][Business Review]

One Western New York Democrat wants the Assembly to vote on expelling Silver. [TU]


Scarborough to plead guilty
Assemblyman William Scarborough says he will plead guilty to federal charges that he misused $40,000 in travel vouchers and accepted payment for the days he was not in Albany. The Queens Democrat will plead guilty to federal charges he submitted false travel vouchers, accepting payments for days hat he was not in Albany. Scarborough sent out a statement apologizing for his actions and blaming poor judgement and a difficult financial situation. [TU][TU]

Cuomo plan for police oversight
Meeting with lobbyists and family members of people killed by police, Andrew Cuomo said if lawmakers don't approve his plans for independent monitor to oversee such cases he will create a special prosecutor who would have the power to pursue charges against officers.[TU]

Plea deal in Lansingburgh beating deaths
One of the defendants charged in the beating death of a Lansingburgh couple inside their home last year has taken a plea deal and agreed to testify against his codefendant.[Record][TWCN]

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APD acting chief addresses taser use, lower speed limit for oil trains -- but not here, questions about job creation numbers, red beards

Albany police taser
Acting Albany police chief Brendan Cox on the incident this past weekend in which a man said to be fleeing from police was tasered, and then apparently lost consciousness afterward: "Based on the totality of circumstances with Mr. Townsend he was certainly perceived as potentially carrying a deadly weapon. He was told give up, if you don't give up you're going to be tased and he chose to be tased." Cox said APD officers used a taser 62 times in the 283 "use of force" arrests in 2014 (there were 5,700 arrests total for the year). [WNYT] [TWCN] [News10]

Oil trains
The feds have issued a new order that limits oil trains to no more than 40 miles per hour in "high threat urban areas" -- a designation that doesn't include the Capital Region. [US DOT FRA] [TU]

West Wind Acres
West Wind Acres Joshua Rockwood was back in Glenville Town Court Monday for a hearing about how much might be owed for the care of horses taken from the farm in March -- the total floated was $7,600. Rockwood's attorney said afterward the animals had proper living conditions at West Wind Acres and never should have been seized. [TU] [News10] [Daily Gazette]

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APD: Man "became unresponsive" after being tasered, Herman Robinson found guilty, reviewing the escaped bison situation, Lincoln's funeral train

Albany police taser
Albany police say a man "appeared to have a seizure and became unresponsive" after being tasered after an alleged attempt to flee and resist arrest. APD says officers began CPR, and the man regained consciousness before EMS arrived. Police say the man -- Jamarl Townsend of Albany, age 21 -- had been identified as a parole absconder and was wanted for questioning in a 2014 shooting. APD acting chief Brendan Cox to the Times Union: "(The suspect) decided to run. And based on all information, having been involved in a shooting and believed to have a gun, it was an appropriate use of the Taser." Townsend's sister, Ashante Boyd, to WNYT: "The reason he tried to run yesterday is because he was scared ... He don't want to go back to jail. Any person they don't want to be back in jail after they did time." [APD press release] [TU] [WNYT]

This most recent incident follows the death of Dontay Ivey on April 2 after he was tasered by Albany police -- officials have yet to publicly release specific information about why Ivey was stopped. And in September 2014 Daniel Satre died in Ballston Spa after being tasered by police. [Daily Gazette]

Herman Robinson trial
Herman Robinson -- the Schenectady man accused of repeatedly raping a young woman, impregnating her, and then killing the baby shortly after it was born -- was found by guilty Friday on the full range of counts against him, including second-degree murder, rape, and sexual assault. He faces 100 years to life at sentencing. Said Schenectady County DA Robert Carney of the young woman, who testified at the trial: "She's strong, she's bright, and she's very brave ... And despite what he did to her, she has a very promising future." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT]

Shots fired in mall parking lot
Guilderland police say they're looking for two men in connection with shots fired in the Crossgates Mall parking lot Friday early evening during what was apparently an attempted robbery. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Keeping an eye on level of Normanskill, Comcast-TWC deal off, the old and new pot economies, bison on the run

Normanskill
Some residents along the Normanskill say they're still worried about potential flooding from the landslide this week. The city of Albany announced Friday morning that all 18 holes of the Capital Hills golf course, which borders the landslide area and has been used to access the blockage, will be open this weekend. [TU] [city of Albany press release]

See also: Some number of facts about the Normanskill

Ferguson looked to Albany
The city of Ferguson, Missouri has been in contact with officials in Albany to learn about Albany's experience with community policing, the chair of Albany's Citizens Police Review Board tells WNYT. [WNYT]

Plug pulled on Comcast-TWC merger
Comcast has called off its plan to buy Time Warner Cable after the federal government said it had "significant concerns" that the combined entity would control internet access for too large a portion of the country -- as much as 40 percent. (Consumer advocates had been against the deal from the start -- one had called a merger of the two companies with notoriously bad customer service "badness squared.") TWC has about 300,000 subscribers in the Capital Region. [NYT] [US DOJ] [NYT] [Washington Post 2014] [TU]

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Sheehan wants "full reimbursement" for Normanskill repair work, more Common Core exams & more opt-outs, stolen phone leads to pop-star status in China

Reimbursement for Normans Kill
Mayor Kathy Sheehan's office says Albany plans to seek "full reimbursement " for its handling of the landslide at the privately owned Normanside Country Club that blocked the Normanskill earlier this week. So far the damage is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Normanside Country Club managing partner David Hostig says the landslide that blocked the Normanskill this week was an "act of god," but Bethlehem supervisor John Clarkson says the club began grading work on the slope before receiving a permit.[TU][CBS6][TU]

More Common Core, more opt-outs
Wednesday saw another round of common core exams and another round of boycotts. The overwhelming number of students who have opted out of Common Core testing has some legislators considering changes to the education section of the state budget. [TU][Gazette][TWCN]

Dontay Ivy's family still seeking answers
Albany Police Department has still not revealed why officers originally stopped Dontay Ivy, the mentally ill man who died after being tasered by police more than three weeks ago. [TU]

Autopsy shows narcotics in one-year-old
An autopsy shows a Washington County one-year-old who died in February had narcotics in her system [Post Star]

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Albany County has state's second lowest unemployment rate, body found in Hudson River, federal judge approves Albany County political map, 45 years of Earth Day

Earth Day
Today is Earth Day. The first Earth Day was celebrated 45 years ago. That's also the day the first Earth Day legislation was signed in New York State, creating the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation -- one of the first government agencies specifically formed for the purpose of overseeing all environmental concerns through one organization.

Headlines

Federal judge approves Albany County political map
A federal judge gave his approval on Tuesday to the new district map for the Albany County Legislature, effectively ending a four year voting rights lawsuit stemming from the 2011 map, which was alleged to have violated the Voting Rights Act by diluting the power of African-American voters.[TU]

Forensic scientists face termination
Fifteen forensic scientists with the State Police have been suspended without pay and issued termination notices following a six-month internal investigation that revealed unauthorized information sharing on training exams for a new computer-based form of DNA analysis.[TU]

Unemployment drops in Albany
Albany County had the second lowest unemployment rate in the state during March. (NYS Department of Labor press release.) [WNYT]

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Water flowing again on Normanskill, more adjunct instructors unionizing, criticism of Albany codes office situation

Normanskill landslide
Water is flowing again past the Normanskill blockage caused by a landslide Sunday/Monday. Crews used pumps to keep the water level down above the blockage while a new trench was dug to divert the water. [TU] [Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple Twitter x2]

Herman Robinson trial
Herman Robinson's alleged suicide note -- which mentions the repeated rape of a young woman, her pregnancy, and the death of the baby -- was allowed into evidence at his trial. Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday. [Daily Gazette] [News10]

Adjuncts continue to unionize
The SCCC board of trustees voted to recognize a union representing the college's adjunct instructors. And now adjuncts at Siena are working to form a union. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Cuomo in Cuba, uncertainty about testing opt-outs, another into the pool for Troy mayor, duct tape as doctoring

Cuomo in Cuba
Andrew Cuomo and a trade delegation that includes New York State officials and business leaders is set to arrive in Cuba today. The goal is start laying the groundwork for businesses connections between the country and New York. [NYT] [TU]

Rotterdam police settlement
An attorney for the family who alleged their teen's arm was broken by Rotterdam police during incident on a school bus that was captured on video says their suit has been settled for $360k. [Daily Gazette]

Maestro's
Police say former Maestro's partners John LaPosta and Tina Kruger were arrested Friday morning on allegations they stole more than $50k from the Saratoga Spring restaurant. Their attorney says the situation is a business dispute that the pair thought had been resolved. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Two shootings in Troy, a loophole that can fit armored trucks of money, Air Force Something

Troy shootings
Troy police say they believe two shootings Thursday evening in North Central (map) are connected. Witnesses say a teen playing on a nearby basketball court was hit -- a witness tells WNYT there were 60-70 kids in the park at the time. [News10] [Troy Record] [WNYT]

Guilty plea in Albany domestic shooting death
Damien Zervos of Albany pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Charee Akins-Maddox in their Lark Street home, while four children were there, in October 2013. [Albany County DA] [TU 2013 October]

Reviewing the police
A man says he had his hands "stomped on" by a Colonie police officer near the scene of the fatal train collision with a pedestrian this week. The CPD chief says the department is investigating. [News10] [TU]

In Troy: The city's Police Objective Review Committee doesn't have its required number of members, nor has it filed its annual report that was due in February. [TU]

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Brush fire stops traffic on the Northway, Skelos & son under investigation, opt outs jeopardize Schenectady Common Core participation, Union bells toll for Lincoln

Forecast
97% chance someone will tell you how beautiful it is today.
40% chance of drinks on a patio.

News

Brush fire
A tractor trailer that caught fire on Wednesday iignited a brushfire along the Northway during rush hour last night, resulting in huge backups for commuters. The Northway was shut down between exits 10 and 11. [WNYT][TU][Gazette]

Skelos & son
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is now investigating State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam.[NYT]

Colonie hit and run update
Police are examining a vehicle found near the site of Monday nights's deadly hit-and-run in Colonie that they say "has damage with is consistent with being in an auto/pedestrian crash." [TU][TWCN]

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It's tax day, Common Core testing underway, environmentalists ask GE to expand dredging, Fight for $15 protests in Albany

The forecast

It's April 15. Expect long lines at area post offices today and exhausted accountants later this week.[TWCN]

Be careful filling out your forms, New York has already rejected $331 million in fraudulent refund claims this year. [WNYT]

Headlines

Common Core
Common Core testing is underway across the state for students in grades 3-8. Opt out rates in Capital Region schools range from 2 percent to 53 percent. [TU]

Herman Robinson rape/murder case
A disturbing day of victim and Public Defender sparing in the rape and murder case of Herman Robinson. [TU][TWCN]

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Pedestrian struck and killed on Central Ave, funeral for Dontay Ivy, police/community forum in Schenectady, free ice cream cone day

Pedestrian death on Central Ave
Colonie police say a pedestrian was hit and killed while trying to cross Central Ave Monday night (map). CPD says the vehicle did not stop and they're looking for the driver. [TU] [TWCN]

Accuser testifies in Herman Robinson trial
The woman who prosecutors say was repeatedly raped by Herman Robinson in Schenectady testified Monday about the alleged abuse that started when she was 11 years old and continued over many years. Her testimony included many gruesome details and she described the episode in which it's alleged she gave birth and Robinson killed the newborn. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [TU] [News10]

Funeral for Dontay Ivy
Funeral services for Dontay Ivy were Monday in Albany. The services drew about 400 people, including Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan and acting police chief Brendan Cox. One of Ivy's cousins, Chamberlain Guthrie, to TWCN about the investigation into Ivy's death while in police custody: "We're not disillusioned to the process, we're not disillusioned to reality, we just want the truth to come out in the end." [News10] [TU] [TWCN]

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Large fire in Troy, Sheehan talks about situation surrounding death of Dontay Ivy, points record for UAlbany's Thompson

Troy fire
A multi-building fire at Fourth Street and Washington Street in Troy (map) Friday evening displaced 25 residents. (Donation page for people affected.) There were no reported injuries. Fire officials are investigating the cause, but the TFD there's been no indication it was intentionally set. [Troy Record] [News10] [TU]

Kenneth White's aunt
An Albany County Family Court judge ruled that Kenneth White's sisters -- 4 and 5 years old -- had been neglected while in the custody of their aunt, Brenda VanAlstyne. The judge also ruled that one of the sisters had likely been abused while in the Berne home. A hearing set for May will determine VanAlstyne's potential custody and visitation of the children. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN]

The death of Dontay Ivy
Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan talked with the Times Union the situation surrounding the death of Dontay Ivy -- "That is not what the officers wanted to happen at the end of that stop ... We need to be careful and not jump to judgment." -- but did not share specific details about why Ivy was stopped by Albany police. Ivy's funeral is today. [TU] [News10]

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Accuser testifies in Herman Robinson trial, push for federal transit funding, down on Start-Up NY, a kidney to spare

Herman Robinson trial
The woman prosecutors say was repeatedly raped by Herman Robinson took the stand Thursday for the first time in his murder and rape trial. Earlier in the day Dr. Jennifer Canter, a pediatrician who examined the woman, testified that she's performed exams in hundreds of sexual assault cases: "I haven't quite seen something that looked this disturbing." Canter also testified that there indications the young woman had given birth. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TU]

Investigation into death of Dontay Ivy
The Albany Police Department issued a statement Thursday that it welcomes the independent investigation of the Dontay Ivy case by the Albany County DA's office. And continued: "In order to ensure a fair and impartial investigation by the District Attorney's Office the police department is unable to comment any further until the investigation has been completed." [APD press release]

Also on Thursday, a group of UAlbany students rallied for a better police/community relationship. [TWCN]

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UAlbany students planning rally to protest Donald Ivy's death, lawsuit filed in Jay Street fire, $662 million in state overtime, Schenectady celebrates Steinmetz

Weather
If you're feeling kind of drab today, it's probably not you. It's probably this.

News

UAlbany students will rally for Donald Ivy
UAlbany students are planning a rally this afternoon to protest the death of Donald Ivy, the 39 year old paranoid schizophrenic man who was tasered by police last week. [TU]

Arrest in Schenectady shooting
Schenectady police have charged one man with attempted murder and assault in connection with a shooting outside Schenectady High School. A combination of video and witness accounts led police to 27 year old David J. Fyall who they allege "aided a third party" who fired the shot. The shooter is still at large. [WNYT][Gazette]

Judges disallow $600,000 in Bruno refund requests
State auditors say they are disallowing more than $600,000 of the $2.2 million in legal bills Joe Bruno submitted for reimbursement in connection with his public corruption trial. Among the bills disallowed -a public opinion poll and time spent on the phone with journalists[Cap NY]

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Soares to investigate death of Donald Ivy, NYS budget includes corruption referendum, Schenectady High teacher nominated for a Tony Award, Happening today: baseball trivia and fish tossing

Weather

The first moment we almost considered just going back to bed? The one where we learned there was snow in the forecast today.

News

Soares to investigate Donald Ivy death
DA David Soares has announced his office will conduct an independent investigation into the death of Donald "Dontay" Ivy, the mentally ill man who died after being tasered in a confrontation with police last week. [TU]

Shooting outside elementary school
Schenectady police say a man was shot in the road outside Hamilton Elementary School on Tuesday. Said a neighbor of the school about the search for a shooter "We live by the no-snitch rule in the neighborhood, and one day, it'll be my little ones that get shot."[WNYT][Gazette]

Referendum on corruption
An item in New York's new budget would require voters to decide on whether to revoke the pensions of public officials convicted of corruption.[TU][WNYT]

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Continued focus on police/community interactions, Chris Gibson for governor?, licensing of street musicians proposed in Saratoga Springs

Focus on police after Dontay Ivy's death
Monday's Albany Common Council meeting included many public comments from people concerned about the recent death of Dontay Ivy and police/community interactions. [TU] [CBS6]

Herman Robinson trial
The trial of Herman Robinson -- accused of serially raping a young woman in Schenectady, and killing a newborn he fathered with her -- started Monday. The prosecutor called the alleged murder "a display of unspeakable violence." [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Attempt to prevent further domestic violence
The Schenectady Police Department is using a new "lethality assessment" in an attempt to identify high-priority domestic violence suspects. [Daily Gazette]

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Rally for answers in death of Dontay Ivy, I-787 construction in downtown Albany, a life-changing month

Continued focus on the death of Dontay Ivy:

+ A group of approximately 200 people marched from the APD's South Station to City Hall Friday evening to call for answers in the case. Among the issues highlighted: Questions about Ivy stopped by police, and the use of tasers by police. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TWCN]

+ Derek Johnson, one of Ivy's cousins, to News10 about the investigation into Ivy's death: "We just want to do it the right way and you know we want to do it without breaking up our city." [News10]

+ Lois Christie -- the mother of Daniel Satre, the Ballston Spa man who died last year after being tasered by police -- to the Times Union: "I just hope that this family can get more answers than we could." [TU]

+ A look at how police departments train -- or don't -- their officers on how to deal with situation involving people with mental illness. [TU]

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More details about death of man in APD custody, mixed-use project said to be planned for First Prize site, Passover starts this evening

A few more details about the situation surrounding the death of a man in Albany police custody this week:

+ The family of Donald "Dontay" Ivy sai he had schizophrenia and a heart condition. Said Ivy's cousin, Celeste Hightower, to the Times Union: "There's a lot of missing information right now ... We just want to wait until everything is presented to us and then maybe there will be satisfaction, maybe not. We don't know until it is all presented. So that's what we're waiting for." [TU x2]

+ Acting Albany police chief Brendan Cox said Ivy was stopped by officers "based on suspicious activity" -- the nature of which has not yet been disclosed -- and officers used a Taser, number of times not yet disclosed, after the situation became combative. Cox says APD is continuing to investigate. [Daily Gazette]

+ Albany police released a brief timeline of the incident, indicating officers performed CPR on Ivy and that an ambulance transporting him arrived at Albany Med roughly 35 minutes after the start of the situation. [News10]

+ The APD also identified the three officers involved: Joshua Sears, Michael Mahany, and Charles Skinkle -- they've been placed on administrative leave. [WNYT]

+ A friend who attended Albany High School with Dontay Ivy remembered him as a good student and good teammate. [TU]

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Man dies in APD custody, Cuomo touts education reform, enrollment decline concern for UAlbany, Capital Region seeks infrastructure help from federal govt

Hi. We're continuing to try out a new format for Morning Blend. Thanks for the feedback so far, and we welcome continued suggestions.

What not to wear
Your winter coat. It's going to be 61. Also, we suggest a walk at lunchtime. This reprieve from the winter that wouldn't end isn't going to last for long.

Man dies in APD custody
Updated Albany police are investigating the death of a 39-year-old man who police say died after being tasered during a physical confrontation with officers near Lark Street early Thursday morning. Statement from Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan: "The Albany Police Department is investigating the death of a person in custody. The incident occurred on Lark Street near Second Street early this morning. I ask that everyone respect the process and await the results of the investigation. Our condolences go out to the family during this difficult time." [TU] [City of Albany press release]

News
Cuomo on education reform
Andrew Cuomo on his controversial education reforms in the 2015 budget - including the overhaul of the teacher evaluation system opposed by NYSUT: "Despite the trauma of change, that's going to be one of the greatest legacies for me in this state when all is said and done." [TU]

How old and broken down are Albany's water and sewer systems?
Paul Tonko referred to Capital Region water and sewer systems as "hidden spaghetti" and Kathy Sheehan pointed out that one of the many water pipe breaks repaired this year was installed when Ulysses S. Grant was president. [TU]

Travel ban affects UAlbany coaches
It looks like New York's ban on non-essential travel to Indiana will keep UAlbany's basketball coaches from going to the Final Four in Indianapolis this weekend. [TU]

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142 billion budget agreement, McGinn and Smith order to pay $99 M, helping out Jay Street merchants, how not to celebrate April Fool's Day

Hi. We're continuing to try out a new format for Morning Blend. Thanks for the feedback so far, and we welcome continued suggestions.

Spring? Is that you?
45 today. 61 on Thursday. Not quite flip-flop weather, but promising.

Under the wire
Legislators raced the clock to get the $142 billion NYS budget passed by the deadline. . Ethics and education reforms that were deal-breakers for Andrew Cuomo ended up in the Education Labor & Family Assistance bill. A not so comforting thought from Assemblyman Dan Stec on the bills which were submitted with less than 12 hours until the budget deadline "I'm sure there isn't a soul in Albany that's read all of these." [WNYT][Gazette][TU]

$11.5 million
What Albany County gets to deal with debt that dates back to the construction of the Knickerbocker Arena, Pepsi, Times Union Center. Other local budget items include:
+ $152 million for projects at the Harriman state office campus.
+ $2 million appropriation for the Schenectady Metroplex redevelopment.
+ $42 million appropriation for the University at Albany Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Complex and other projects part of the SUNY 2020 challenge grant program.
[TU]

Silver's View
Sheldon Silver on budgets, from his new seat in the back row of the Assembly.
"Some are smoother, some are less smooth," he said. "We all hit bumps in the road at some point."[NYT]

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State budget crunch time, SCCC adjuncts moving toward unionization, the naked female form, Albany from above back then

Hi. We're continuing to try out a new format for Morning Blend. Thanks for the feedback so far, and we welcome continued suggestions.

Many details are surfacing -- or not -- about all the various elements in the state budget that legislators are trying to cram together before the deadline Tuesday night:

+ Education funding and testing are a major issue: The Cuomo admin has tied an increase in education funding to a reform plan that would link tests intended to measure "student growth performance" to teacher tenure decisions. NYSUT has been pushing back on the reform package. [TU] [State of Politics x2]

+ Lead (lede) of the day, from Casey Seiler, about the ethics reform component of the budget: "Legislation designed to expand transparency in government remained under wraps a day before it was scheduled to be passed as part of an on-time state budget." [TU]

+ The budget doesn't include proposed cuts to VLT aid for Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County. It also codifies an expansion of the types of VLT games to include games such blackjack [Daily Gazette]. [TU]

+ Quietly tucked into the budget: a sales tax break for yachts. [Capital]

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There's a state budget deal, Dinosaur accused of wage violations, job opening: Quidditch coach, new format for Morning Blend

Hello. We're trying something new with Morning Blend because the old format was starting to feel really stale. This new take still includes links to news stories (though there will be fewer of them) while mixing in other sorts of bits: quotes, facts, events. The new format is a work in progress and is likely to change.

Feedback? Please leave it in the comments, or email editors |at| alloveralbany |dot| com.

Just in time for the deadline, there's a state budget deal, or at least, the outline of one. What's in: a $1.6 billion increase (6 percent) in education aid, a plan for a new teacher evaluation system, increased disclosure requirements for state legislators, and the $1.5 billion in competitive upstate development grants. Among what's not included: an increase in the minimum wage. [TU] [Cuomo admin] [Capital] [State of Politics] [NYDN]

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More testimony in hearing over custody of Kenneth White's sisters, state budget crunch time, an exit through fire, stolen wheel chair prompts many donations

On the second day of testimony in the Albany County Family Court case over whether Brenda VanAlstyne should be allowed to have custody of Kenneth White's two sisters the foster mother of the girls said one of them told her she had been hit by Tiffany VanAlstyne multiple times. The defense has argued that there's no evidence there was abuse by Brenda VanAlstyne. A judge is scheduled to rule on the case in April. [TU] [News10] [Daily Gazette]

There have been high levels of hunkering, behind closed dooring, and hashing out at the state Capitol as leaders negotiate the details of the state budget. If the budget is to be on time, and follow the typical rules of procedure, the budget bills will have to be ready by the end of Saturday to make the Tuesday deadline for a vote. [TWCN] [TU]

Education continued to be a big topic at the Capitol as the budget process headed into crunch time -- on Thursday there was another rally inside the Capitol to oppose education initiatives floated by the Cuomo admin. Also: "growing number of New York parents," according to the Times Union, are pushing for the state to stop student testing on the Common Core curriculum. [News10] [TU]

Albany County leaders have indicated the county won't appeal the federal court decision regarding redistricting and minority voting rights. [TU]

Skidmore has extended the suspension of a student accused of raping another student by two years, the accuser and her attorney reported Thursday. The accused hasn't been charged with a crime, but an administrative board found him guilty of violating the college's code of conduct. Reina Kiefer said the college should have expelled the student. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

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Wiltshire enters Troy mayoral race, Kenneth White's aunt in family court over abuse allegations, homeless services approved for New Scotland Ave church

Troy City Council President Rodney Wiltshire officially announced his bid for Mayor on Wednesday. At his announcement, Wilshire promised to create jobs, capitalize on he waterfront and make the streets safer. A Lansingburgh native and pharmaceutical sales rep says he also plans to throw his hat into the Troy mayoral race. [Record][WNYT][TWCN]

Carl Heastie says raising the minimum wage "absolutely has to be on the table" in budget negotiations as far as the assembly is concerned. [TU]

State Senate Republicans say they are close to an ethics agreement with Democrats. [CNY]

The aunt of Kenneth White, the five-year-old boy police say was killed in December by his cousin, Tiffany, was in court on Wednesday, attempting to clear herself of abuse charges. Lawyers for Albany County are arguing that Brenda VanAlstyne knew her daughter Tiffany was not in a proper state of mental health when she let her care for 5-year-old Kenneth White. Brenda VanAlstyne is trying to gain custody of Kenneth White's two sisters. [Gazette][TWCN][WNYT]

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Troy city council president to announce mayoral bid, state of emergency lifted on Jay Street, pedestrian hit by train in Mechanicville, support for Schenectady County farmer

A federal judge ruled this week that Albany County's 2011 redistricting plan diluted minority voting power, and ordered legislators to rework the plan before this year's legislative elections. [TU]

Unlikely to be part of the state budget: raising the age of criminal responsibility and The DREAM Act.Still being discussed: ethics and an overhaul on plans to evaluate public schools.
[TU][NYT][CNY]

Troy City Council President Rodney Wiltshire is expected to announce his candidacy for mayor today. [TU]

A pedestrian was hit by a train in Mechanicville early Wednesday morning.[WNYT]

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Rosamilia not running for second term, more VLTs where?, top judges wonder why they're even hearing Albany case

Lou Rosamilia announced Monday that he will not be running for re-election as mayor of Troy. Rosamilia's term has been marked by a series of challenges and controversies, including the city's shaky financial position, a federal investigation into demolitions, and the frozen water pipes situation in Lansingburgh. Said the mayor at the press conference: "Each night, before I go to bed, I look in the mirror and I ask myself: 'Did you do the best thing you could do for the City of Troy?' And I've gone to bed with peace of mind, and comfort that I did my best." [Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN]

Schenectady officials have identified the fourth victim of the Jay Street fire. The brother of Robert Thomas tells the Times Union his sibling was "loved by everyone who came in contact with him." [Daily Gazette] [TU]

"Several state lawmakers" tell the Times Union that they were pitched a plan to add 200 VLTs to the Capital District OTB location on Central Ave in Albany. Also: Some of the elected officials cited last week as supporting the proposed 1,000 VLT facility at DeLaet's Landing in Rensselaer tell the Times Union they don't actually support the plan. [TU x2]

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Jay Street fire ruled accidental, VLT casino proposed for Rensselaer, questions about death of man tasered by police, together for 75 years

The investigation into the Jay Street fire has concluced that it was accidental, Schenectady officials announced Friday. SFD chief Ray Senecal said the investigation had determined the fire started in an upholstered chair -- maybe because of candles, incense, or cigarettes -- in the apartment of Harry Simpson, who then tried to drag the chair out of the apartment into the hallway, but it got stuck in a doorway. Simpson died in the fire, but officials say he managed to alert two other residents who escaped -- one of whom says he'd have died if Simpson hadn't woken him up. Schenectady County DA Robert Carney said the investigation is continuing into the specific circumstances related to the deaths of the four people who didn't make it out alive. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [WNYT] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TU]

Schenectady police say two people were wounded in an exchange of gunfire between two vehicles Friday around noon in Mont Pleasant. The incident prompted a lockdown at several nearby schools. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN]

Capital District OTB wants to open a video lottery terminal casino at de Laet's Landing in Rensselaer, a plan that has the support of Rensselaer's mayor of other local elected officials. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A spotlight on child poverty in some of the Capital Region's urban areas, specifically Schenectady and Troy. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The UAlbany men's and women's basketball team lost their NCAA tournament games. [TU x2]

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Demolition at Jay Street fire site, 22 indicted in alleged drug ring, Troy avoids state financial oversight, NCAA tournament day for UAlbany

Demolition started Thursday at the Jay Street fire site. The demolition company says the process will take several days, with the hope it will allow investigators to examine the buildings floor by floor. Schenectady's fire chief says they think, but can't be absolutely certain, that they've now accounted for everyone thought to be missing after the fire. He also says they're hoping to get the site stabilized so nearby businesses can reopen. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TWCN] [News10]

The state attorney general's office announced Thursday the unsealing of indictments charging 22 people allegedly connected to a distribution ring for cocaine and heroin in the Capital Region. Albany police say the investigation into the alleged ring was set off by the stabbing death of the Takim Smith in Troy in 2013 and the violent back and forth in Troy and Albany that followed. [NYS OAG] [TWCN]

An attorney for the family of Daniel Satre says the autopsy in the case concluded the Ballston Spa man died of a heart problem connected to "excited delirium syndrome." Said Terrance Kindlon to the Times Union: "The question one must ask is would Daniel have had it if he didn't have a bunch of people shooting Tasers at him." [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Both of UAlbany's basketball teams play in the NCAA tournament today. The #13 seed women's team takes on #4 seed Duke at noon on ESPN2. And the #14 seed men's team faces #3 seed Oklahoma at 7:27 pm on truTV. [ESPN x2]

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Details on ethics agreement, Skelos says no deal yet, another body identified in Jay Street fire, grand jury clears officers in taser death, who owns the word moose?

The agreement between Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Democrats is nearly a carbon copy of the plan Cuomo laid out in February. Among other things it includes a requirement provision that would require a lawmaker to disclose the nature and source of his or her income if it is more than $1,000 and disclose client or customer names if the income tops $5,000 - with an exemption for lawyers working on things like wills or divorce cases .
The agreement also includes a verification system that would use attendance swipe cards to prevent lawmakers from claiming per-diem payments when they weren't really at the Capitol and constraints on the use of campaign funds.Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos says he wants better disclosure requirements for the Executive branch, including disclosure for domestic partners such as Governor Cuomo's girlfriend Sandra Lee, and the naming of campaign donors that are awarded state contracts. Skelos reinforced on the agreement between governor Cuomo and Assembly speaker Carl Heastie "All it is is a two-way announcement" - something that is a departure from Cuomo's usual approach .[TU][WNYT][TU][Gazette][Capital NY][TU][NYT]

Meanwhile State Senator Liz Kruegar and Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell are pushing Cuomo to drop the 90-day email purge policy. [TU]

There will be no charges in the death of Daniel Satre, who died in Ballston Spa in September after being tasered in a confrontation with six police officers. A grand jury has cleared the police officers involved in the case. [TU][WNYT][TWCN]

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Cuomo and Dems reach deal on ethics reform, Qpoll shows Cuomo approval down to 50%, demolition company will take down Jay Street building, Shaker High student researching Alzheimer's cure

Andrew Cuomo and Democratic Majority Leader Carl Heastie have struck a deal on ethics reform, placing pressure on the Republican majority to sign on to the deal. Details are still forthcoming. Cuomo said the goal was for New York to have the strongest ethics laws in the nation. [News 10][TU][TWCN][NYT]

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows Andrew Cuomo's job-approval rating has dropped to 50% -- the lowest since he took office. The poll shows that Cuomo's education reform plans are part of the reason for the drop.[Politics on Hudson][Observer]

Legislators are considering a bill that would require schools to let parents know that their kids can opt out of the controversial Common Core tests. [Gazette]

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Criminal activity not ruled out in Jay Street fire, Armory liquor license suspended, locking down legislator's tablets, remembering longtime owner of Famous Lunch

Schenectady officials say they have not ruled out criminal activity related to the Jay Street fire, and mayor Gary McCarthy says the Schenectady County DA's office has subpoenaed code inspection reports for the buildings. (The city has denied media org's FOIL requests for the docs citing "ongoing criminal investigation.") Schenectady police say demolition of the buildings will start Wednesday. The city has declared a state of emergency in the area near the buildings until noon Saturday. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN]

The State Liquor Authority has suspended the liquor license for the Washington Avenue Armory, citing the situation there this past weekend and previous incidents. SLA chair Dennis Rosen told TWCN the video from the fight Saturday night was "absolutely shocking." From an Armory statement about the suspension: "Through cooperation with state and city authorities, the Armory has been working to resolve management and security concerns to ensure patrons' safety is held at the utmost importance." A few of the music events scheduled for the venue have been working to get rescheduled at other venues in the city. [NY SLA] [TWCN] [Armory press release] [TU]

A bill inspired by the Kenneth White case passed in the state legislature Monday -- it would allow Child Protective Services to expedite the release records to law enforcement agencies during the investigation in a missing child case. The Cuomo admin says it's reviewing the bill. [TWCN] [WNYT] [TU]

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Two more sets of remains found at Jay Street fire site, a decade after Aref-Hossain FBI sting, proposal deadline for convention center land extended

Officials say the remains of two more bodies have been recovered from the Jay Street fire site. The official number of deaths is now at 4 -- on Friday officials identified the first two sets of remains recovered. The investigation is entering its second week and officials say it's possible more remains could be found. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

One bit of good news from the Jay Street fire: A dog was rescued from a charred fourth floor apartment Saturday -- eight days after the fire. After noticing the dog poking his head out of a window, firefighters were able to lure him out with pizza. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

More than a hundred Skidmore students gathered Friday to protest the possible readmission of a student accused of drugging and raping another student last spring -- the student was suspended for one year after the school found him to be in violation of its campus sexual and gender based misconduct policy. Reina Keifer says she reported the incident to Saratoga Springs police this past fall -- she tells WNYT that she recently learned the SSPD won't be pursuing criminal charges. SSPD told media outlets it's investigating a reported sexual assault on campus from 2014 April. [News10] [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

NYT's Jesse McKinley on the Cuomo admin's approach to this year's budget negotiations: "Call it quid pro quo or tit for tat, but the prevailing mode of governance this year for Mr. Cuomo is tying appropriations to new policy -- or else." [NYT]

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Remains of second person removed from Jay Street fire site, three arrests in Armory stabbings case, renewed push for GENDA, you've been trolled by Santa

Schenectady police say the remains of a second person have been removed from the Jay Street fire site. Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy said the "complicated" investigation into the fire's cause is ongoing. Many organizations have been working to help 60 people displaced by the fire. Business owners near the site say they've been looking for information from the city about when they might be able to reopen. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

Albany police say they've made three arrests in connection with the stabbings at the Washington Avenue Armory this past weekend. Also on Thursday, the venue announced that it has suspended all music events as it "conducts a full review of arena operations, ticketing, and security procedures." Albany deputy police chief Brendan Cox tells the Times Union that officers working outside the Armory that night were not notified when the fight inside started. [APD FB] [AOA] [TU]

The simmering situation surrounding the Cuomo administration and the 90-day email deletion policy has prompted Andrew Cuomo's office to propose a joint effort among the legislature, state attorney general's office, and state comptroller's office to develop a common email retention policy. [NYT] [TU]

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19-year-old charged with stabbing 10-year-old brother, high winds temporarily halt Jay street recovery effort,police probe UAlbany muggings, longtime radio host Don Weeks dies

A 19-year-old in the town of Saratoga has been arrested for allegedly stabbing his 10-year-old brother overnight. Deputies say the boy had been slashed in the throat but that the injuries were non life threatening. [News 10][TWCN][TU]

Authorities in Schenectady say one body has been recovered from the Jay Street apartment building destroyed by fire last week, but the investigation was put on hold Wednesday due to wind gusts for 48 miles per hour and a shaky chimney, but is expected to continue today. [WNYT][TWCN]

The 26 year old Schodack man who faced abduction, weapons and rape charges stemming from a crime spree that spanned two states, and caused a lockdown at Skidmore College in september has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and will be sentenced to 25 to 30 years in prison. [Gazette][Saratogian][TU]

Police are investigating the robberies of two UAlbany students who were mugged late Wednesday on the uptown campus.[TU]

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Remains recovered in destroyed Jay Street building, former Saratoga County sergeant recorded on cell phone pleads guilty to harassment, Rensselaer County Legislature to Troy: take action to thaw pipes

Investigators found several bodies in the burnt out apartment building on Jay Street on Tuesday. It's believed the bodies of three people who have been missing were discovered but the recovery teams are not saying for sure. The remains uncovered Tuesday were sent to a medical examiner . Investigators have returned to the scene today to continue their search. [TU][News10][Gazette][TWCN]

Former Saratoga County Sheriff's sergeant Shawn Glans plead guilty to midemeanor charges of official misconduct and harassment on Tuesday stemming from the November incident outside the Halfmoon Walmart where a confrontation between Glans and a Saratoga Springs man was reordered on a cell phone. Glans was discharged with no jail time or probation but has been ordered to pay $1,500 in fines and court fees.
Glans attorney maintains that what the video did not show was that the suspects were baiting Glans. [WNYT] [Saratogian][TWCN][Gazette]

Assembly has proposed $150.7 billion state budget it says will put families first and includes proposing larger increases in minimum wage and public school aid than the governors proposed budget. [Capital NY][WNYT]

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Investigation continues into Jay Street fire, Sheehan addresses Armory incident, another candidate for Troy mayor?

Investigators are planning Tuesday to start searching the interior of the buildings destroyed in the Jay Street fire. Officials say it's unclear how many people might have been in the building -- reports from families indicate there might be 2 or 3 people unaccounted for. The fire displaced 60 people, and various agencies have been working to find them housing and services. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TWCN] [News10] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Kathy Sheehan on the incident at the Washington Ave Armory this past weekend: "The melee, and I think it is fair to call it a melee, demonstrates a complete lack of control inside that building, and it's something that we are focusing on and looking at our options." The Armory released a statement reporting that it had 35 private security guards, as well as five APD officers at the facility that night. Also from the statement: "The Armory aims on providing a safe environment for all its patrons. These types of artists, however, encourage the wrong behavior. As a result, Migos is now banned from the Armory and the Armory will not be hosting these types of artists in the future." [TU] [News10] [Armory statement]

An increase in the minimum wage to $10.50 would raise the hourly wages of more than 80,000 people in the Capital District, according to the Cuomo admin. Both Cuomo and the Assembly majority have been pushing for an increase (though for different amounts), but the idea appears stalled in the state Senate. [Cuomo admin] [TU]

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Six stabbings at Washington Ave Armory concert, search continues in Jay Street fire wreckage, concerns about number of medical marijuana dispensaries

Albany police say six people were stabbed at a concert at the Washington Avenue Armory early Saturday morning. APD says another person reported being assaulted and robbed in a bathroom at the armory. An APD spokesman said over the weekend that suspects in the stabbings are unknown and the department is investigating. Video from the scene shows a metal barricade being lifted and thrown. A witness who didn't want to be identified described the scene to WNYT: "Just multiple large fights, people getting hit with like barricades, and people getting jumped, basically, multiple people beating up one person." The Armory released a statement about the incident, a clip: "The Armory is deeply disturbed and regrets the unfortunate incidents that took place at the concert on Friday night. While the majority of patrons come to the arena to enjoy a show, there are the few who come to the show with malicious intentions and clearly to ruin the experience for those who attend." Albany city officials say they'll be discussing safety measures at the venue. [APD FB] [News10] [TMZ] [WNYT] [Armory press release] [TU]

Officials are continuing the search for bodies in the wreckage of the Jay Street fire in Schenectady. The building is being demolished piece by piece in order to aid the search and investigation into the cause. Residents of the apartment buildings tell the Daily Gazette they didn't hear the fire alarms until they were outside the building, and recalled multiple unaddressed issues with the building. [TU] [Daily Gazette x2]

The SUNY Charter Schools Committee voted to close the Brighter Choice middle schools for boys and girls. The committee cited problems with both educational performance and finances, the executive director of the SUNY Charter Schools Institute accused schools officials of attempting to use misdirection to divert attention away from problems at the schools. A school official says the schools are considering their options. [SUNY Charter School Institute] [TU] [WNYT] [TWCN]

Colonie police say an 88-year-old pedestrian has died after being hit while crossing Central Ave near the Colonie/Niskayuna border Friday evening. [Daily Gazette]

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Big fire in downtown Schenectady, Rosamilia leans on legal opinion to justify not unfreezing pipes, woman accused of keeping mother's dead body in house -- for 14 months

There was a large fire overnight in downtown Schenectady on Jay Street near City Hall (map). The fire was visible above rooftops. Officials say several people were taken to hospitals with injuries -- one person is said to have jumped -- and another person is currently unaccounted for. More than 25 people were getting help from the Red Cross. [Daily Gazette] [Instagram pinupjordan] [@PhotogChris10] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN]

Also overnight: A large fire at the Bethlehem Industrial Park in warehouse that, depending on the report, was either for a construction company and/or one that makes wooden crates. Officials say there were no injuries. [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

Troy mayor Lou Rosamilia responded to calls for the city to unfreeze city-owned water pipes in Lansingburgh by citing an opinion by a city attorney that it's "not the city's legal obligation to pay for water lines to be thawed out." Rosamilia: "I'm a very compassionate person. When it comes to situations where people are in need of something, my tendency is to reach out and help them ... But as I said before, if I did that based on the legal response I've gotten, I would actually be stepping outside my authority." Members of the city council continued to criticize the mayor's stance -- councilman Ken Zalewski: "I feel like I'm in the twilight zone here. I can't even believe this is a debate we're having whether to thaw some pipes or not. It's obscene." And city council president Rodney Wiltshire: "It's horrible." The water is running again for one of the families after a plumber came to help -- at his mother's request. [Troy Record] [News10] [WNYT x2] [TU] [WNYT]

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Thousands rally for charter schools on Lobby Day, 10 days without water for Lansingburgh neighborhood, marijuana arrests up 132 percent at UAlbany, Albany businesses hoping for MAAC bump, you could be the next Yolanda Vega

Chanting "Don't Steal possible", Thousands of people rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday in favor of charter schools. Speakers at the rally called for the governor and state legislators to raise or remove New York's self-imposed cap on charter schools. [TWCN][TU]

It's now ten days without water for the residents of a Lansingburgh neighborhood. Troy city councilman Jim Gordon is putting pressure on the city to help the residents. [TU][WNYT]

Cohoes City Hall is set to reopen today after a water main break flooded the building last moth raising air quality and asbestos concerns. Asbestos tests on the building have come back negative. [WNYT][TWCN]

The state Canal Corp issued a work permit for the Galesi Group, clearing the last hurdle for the developer to begin work on its Mohawk Harbor project. [Gazette]

Marijuana arrests were up 132 percent at Ualbany in 2014[TU]

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Thousands converge on Capitol for Lobby Day, Troy tells neighborhood without water to fix the problem themselves, White's aunt denied custody of sisters, 70 years of love in the first degree

Today is Lobby Day at the State Capitol, when thousands of people from around the state will converge on the Capitol to lobby for funding in the state budget. An education rally will be held in West Capitol Park and nine thousand teachers, parents and students are expected to turn out to show their support for charter schools. Their rally will include a performance by Janelle Monae [TU][WNYT][NY1][Rolling Stone]

Brighter Choices Charter School makes its final bid to remain open at a public hearing this Friday. [TU]

Residents of one Troy neighborhood have been without water for eight days, and the city says those residents will have to hire plumbers and fix the problems themselves. [Record][TU]

A judge has ruled that the sisters of Kenneth White, the little boy who who is believed to have been murdered by his cousin late last year, will remain in foster care. The children's aunt, and the mother of alleged murderer Tiffany Van Alstyne, petitioned the court to get custody of the girls. [WNYT][TWCN]

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Upgrades for state parks planned, Albany parking permit system going sticker-less, former county legislator accused of dumping kitty litter in yards

The Cuomo admin has unveiled a $900 million plan for upgrading state parks. In the Capital Region, it includes facilities improvements for Spa State Park, possibly adding the former Mt. McGregor prison forestland to Moreau Lake State Park, and the construction of the already-proposed Thacher State Park visitor center. [Cuomo admin] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Troy Record]

The backstory on a temporary state surcharge on health insurance that grew to collect billions and billions of dollars -- which was has been spent with little or no formal oversight, and ended up filling the slush fund from which Sheldon Silver is accused of granting money for his alleged asbestos case referral scheme. [Capital]

About that walkway connecting the TU Center, not-yet-built Albany Convention Center, and ESP: it's not currently clear from where the money for the walkway conversion/renovation/construction will come. [TU]

The Albany residential parking permit system is switching over to a sticker-less system that will include online registration of visitor passes. [TU]

Some context for the $200 million price tag on the proposed renovation of Albany High School. [TU]

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Reasons for the Schenectady casino site selection, more ZIP code complaints, Albany cidery aiming to double production

Factors that played into the Schenectady casino site's selection, according to the Gaming Facility Location Board report released Friday: design and waterfront location, poverty rates for nearby areas, and perceived problems with other applications. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN]

Court papers filed by the Albany County Sheriff's Office in the Kenneth White case indicate investigators have tried to link boots worn by Tiffany VanAlstyne with tracks in the snow found near White's body. [TU]

A persistent issue for homeless single mothers with young children: the cost of child care makes getting and keeping a job very difficult. [Daily Gazette]

The Albany Convention Center Authority is aiming to start construction on the new facility the week of March 16. The convention center also recently hired a sales director who will start recruiting potential events/shows for the center. [TU] [Biz Review]

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Local schools on Cuomo admin's "failing" schools list, the Albany St. Patrick's Day parade drama, the thing about wild animals

The Cuomo administration released a list of 178 schools around the state it says are "failing." The list includes three schools in the Albany school district (including Albany High School), two in the Schenectady district, and one in Troy. Said Cuomo in a statement: "This is the real scandal in Albany, the alarming fact that state government has stood by and done nothing as generation after generation of students have passed through failing schools." Local school officials pushed back on the Cuomo admin's contention that they've been getting enough funding, and the threat of a state takeover. Schenectady schools superintendent Larry Spring: "It baffles me that the governor would systematically withhold money from poor schools that serve poor students, that he would wait for them to fail, and then say the state government is going to ride in to rescue them." Albany schools superintendent Margeurite Vanden Wyngaard: "The premise of receivership is that other folks can do that better ... And I understand that notion -- but we are not a business model. We are not creating a factory or parts; we are trying to develop human beings." [Cuomo admin] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

More banging on the drum for the Cuomo admin to release numbers on how much state aid schools will be getting so districts can plan budgets, this time from Assembly Republicans. [NYSNYS/Troy Record]

The proposed $200 million renovation of Albany High School will be up for a public vote on Election Day this November. [TU]

Colonie's town board approved new rules for motels that limit guest stays to 28 days if a motel doesn't have a restaurant or kitchenettes in the rooms. Also Thursday: The owner of 470 Troy-Schenectady Road reached a plea deal that includes the demolition of the building, which the town said had many code violations and was housing people upstairs. And the Alex Patel motel saga continued. [TU x2] [News10]

The Albany metro area has the highest per capita union membership in the nation, according to an analysis based on Census data. [TU]

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Sheehan asks state for $17 million, Schenectady middle school students still failing in large numbers, Albany County Land Bank seeks owners with vision for 123 properties

Andrew Cuomo held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss pre-K andhis plan to fight sexual assault on college campuses, but instead he found himself dealing with ethics questions. Cuomo told reporters he has not been subpoenaed by federal investigators to this point. The press conference was called for the exact same time NYC mayor Bill De Blasio was set to make his budget pitch to legislators, which raised some eyebrows. [Daily News][TU][TU][NYT]

One day after Albany learned there would be few strings on its $5 million state Financial Restructuring Board grant, Kathy Sheehan appeared before state legislators on "tin cup day" to lay out a case for the city to get another $5 million to reduce its tax levy, along with a recurring $12 million grant. [TU]

After seeing that Albany got that $5 million from the Financial Restructuring Board, Troy mayor Lou Rosamilia is also looking for help from the board.[TU]

The Albany County Land Bank is soliciting proposals for 121 properties scattered throughout the city and two properties in Cohoes. [TU]

For a second year in a row, reports indicate Schenectady students are failing middle school in droves. [Gazette]

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Silver pleads not guilty, Siena Poll: 92% of New Yorkers think legislative corruption is serious,Thelma Dooley-secretary to three Albany Mayors- has died

Lawyers for Sheldon Silver entered a not guilty plea on Tuesday and argued that the case against the former Assembly speaker should be thrown out because US Attorney Preet Bharara broke rules by offering uncensored views about Mr. Silver's guilt in public "always in inflammatory, over the top language that targets not just Mr. Silver but the entire New York State government."[WNYT][TWCN][NYT]

A new Siena poll reports 92% of New York voters think corruption is a serious problem in state government. [WNYT]

Tipped workers in New York State are getting an increase in their minimum wage to $7.50 an hour beginning December 31.[TU]

The state Financial Restructuring Board attached few requests to the $5 million it awarded the city of Albany. [TU]

An Albany Common Council committee debated proposed reforms for the coming red light cameras, but decided to postpone a vote on the reforms until more questions are answered. [WNYT][TWCN][

The Cuomo administration has begun to implement a 90-day deletion policy for email of rank and file state employees. [CNY]

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Reaction to Krokoff's exit from APD, report highlights suspension rate disparities in Albany schools, more memories of Draven Rodriguez

Many of the reactions to the announcement that Albany police chief Steven Krokoff is leaving for a job in Georgia focused on the shift toward a more community-oriented approach and tone he had brought to the APD. (Krokoff apparently won out over 160 candidates for the chief's job in Milton, Georgia in part of because of his record making that shift.) Deputy chief Brendan Cox, who will be acting chief when Krokoff leaves: "We're going in such a good direction, I don't know that I see any need for changes." [TU x2] [News10]

A review by a research group at UCLA of school districts across the country concludes that suspension rates in the Albany school district are "troubling," and the gap is widening in the rate at which white and minority students are suspended. Albany's schools superintendent tells the Times Union the district is working to reduce suspension rates. [Civil Rights Project at UCLA] [TU]

The temperature in Albany dipped to -8 overnight. As the frigid weather goes on and on, many people are dealing with ice dams on the roof and frozen pipes. [NWS] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

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Krokoff leaving Albany Police Department, Cuomo attaches ethics reform to budget, remembering MLK Jr's speech in Albany

Albany police chief Steven Krokoff is leaving the department to take a police chief position job in Georgia, the Sheehan administration announced Monday morning. Krokoff says in the press release the move is about being able to spend more time with extended family. He's been chief since 2010, and during his term has pushed the APD to be more oriented toward community policing. Krokoff's last day -- he's technically retiring -- is set for April 1. Current deputy chief Brendan Cox has been named interim chief. [City of Albany press release]

Andrew Cuomo included his ethics reform plan with his budget amendments. The insertion of the plan into the amendments sets up a possible showdown with the legislature ahead of the April 1 budget deadline. [Cuomo admin] [Capital] [TU]

With a focus on the situation leading up to the death of Kenneth White, the Times Union reviewed child fatality reports filed with the state in the Capital Region core and found "often troubling circumstances in households where child-protective workers were monitoring living conditions." [TU x2]

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Silver indicted on three counts, redevelopment plan for Kenwood property, Amedore proposes term limits, the springs in winter

A federal grand jury handed up a three-count indictment against Sheldon Silver. The counts in the indictment allege extortion, honest services mail fraud, and honest services wire fraud. The indictmentdoesn't include two of the five charges in the original complaint against the former state Assembly speaker. Silver's attorneys say they will fight for his "total vindication." [US DOJ] [Capital] [NYT] [NYDN]

Chuck Schumer says the oil tanker cars that derailed and caught fire in West Virginia this week wouldn't meet the proposed new federal safety standards, even though they were of a more recent generation of tanker car. Protesters held another rally against the oil train shipments outside Albany City Hall Thursday. [TU] [WNYT]

State Police say two Halfmoon have been arrested after one of them allegedly threw a flammable liquid on a dog and then set it on fire, and the dog was burned on its face and ear. [NYSP]

Developer Sonny Bonacio has floated a $30 million plan to convert the former Kenwood Convent property on Albany's southern edge into a mixed-use apartment complex. [Biz Review]

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JCOPE wants Silver's financial statements, another Schenectady stabbing, Halfmoon seeks zip code, don't call it "Barbara's Law"

Andrew Cuomo claims the only thing standing in the way of disclosure laws are legislators that do not want to disclose their outside income.[TWCN]

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics has sent a notice of delinquency to Sheldon Silver for financial statements from 2011-2013 seeking information about non-state employee income. [TU]

Albany Common Council members could vote to include a grace period in red light camera plans tonight.[TWCN]

A stabbing near Van Voast Street in Schenectady sent an 18-year-old man to Ellis Hospital with multiple wounds.[TU]

A Glenville house fire left a family homeless claimed the life of a family dog .[News 10]

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Activists call for ban on oil trains in Albany, cab driver robbed at gunpoint outside Crossgates, 90 water main breaks in Latham this year

In his State of the Judiciary address, New York's top judge, Jonathan Lippman, called the grand jury system "a relic of another time," and, in light of the case of Eric Garner and other deadly police encounters, called for judges to oversee the grand jury process in cases involving deadly and near-deadly incidents involving police and civilians.[NYT][TU]

Activists are asking the Albany Common Council to pass a resolution calling on the state Department of Environmental conservation to ban oil trains in the city following crashes and explosions in other locations around the country and Canada. [TU]

The Cuomo administration is proposing an increase in New York's oil spill fund. [WNYT]

In his State of the County address on Tuesday, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy called for more reforms in the transport of oil through Albany and said the county has been operating with a balanced budget for the last three years. McCoy also announced plans to provide primary medical care for the public out of a vacant space in the county nursing home and announced a new opioid addiction program coming to the county. [TWCN][TU][Record]

Police say a cab driver was held up at gunpoint outside Crossgates Mall by two men he drove to the mall on Tuesday night. Guilderland police arrested a 16 year old in connection with the attempted robbery. Another suspect is still on the loose. [TU][WNYT][News 10]

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Double stabbing in Schenectady private student dorm, truck falls from Collar City Bridge, proposal for surveillance camera registry in Troy, ear muffs for calves

A Bronx man is accused of stabbing two people inside the privately-owned student dorm across from SCCC Sunday afternoon. Henzlee Miranda has been charged with attempted murder. The Times Union reports all three people attend the school. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [TU]

Schenectady police say a man was fatally shot Monday evening in Hamilton Hill (map). SPD says there have been no arrests. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A man arrested last year on drug charges has accused Albany police detectives of stealing more than $3k from his apartment during a warrantless search -- APD chief Steven Krokoff tells the Times Union he's confident an internal investigation will conclude the allegations of theft are false, but the detectives have all received "refresher training" on proper procedure. [TU]

The city of Albany is fighting $132,000 in legal fees it's been ordered to pay as part of a case dating back to 2006 in which city police confiscated an SUV during a drug investigation -- a case that was settled with the woman who owned the SUV for $10k. [TU]

A review of the state's Commission on Judicial Conduct by the New York World/Columbia Journalism School concluded that "the commission often does not remove judges even when they've violated the constitutionally guaranteed right to due process or manipulated the outcome of cases." [New York World/TU]

Troy police say two people escaped with minor injuries after the truck they were in fell off the Collar City Bridge and landed on 5th Avenue Monday. TPD says the pick-up truck hit a snow bank that acted like a ramp. [WNYT] [Troy Record]

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Child dies after being hit by truck at Albany intersection, allegations of care problems at former Saratoga County nursing home, power shut off at mall, eight lives left

Albany police say a four-year-old boy died after being hit by a truck while crossing Central Ave at Quail Street (map). APD says the boy had been crossing with his mother, holding hands, and walking with the light -- an APD spokesman says that information is from surveillance video -- and the truck had been turning left on the green light. The garbage truck belongs to a private company, ICS Waste & Recycling -- a company spokesperson said in a statement that "The child had jumped over a snowbank and out into the road without warning." A crossing guard at the intersection told WNYT of traffic at the intersection: "They don't stop. They don't care. They never stop. They never stop. You gotta jump out of the way." An employee at the Subway on the corner tells the Times Union she saw someone hit at the intersection last summer. [APD press releases] [News10] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

City of Albany crossing guards say their push to unionize isn't just about better pay, but also better training and equipment. [TU]

A Vorheesville father is pushing for state legislation that would allow school bus operators to install traffic cameras on buses that could take photos of the license plates of vehicles that illegally pass school buses and law enforcement agencies could issue tickets based on the photos. [WNYT]

Anonymous family members and an employee tell the Saratogian the quality of care has declined at Maplewood Manor, the Saratoga County nursing home recently transferred to a private operator, and they allege residents' needs are being neglected. [Saratogian]

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Cold snap prompts Code Blue alerts, VanAlstyne pleads not guilty in death of cousin, Albany council members seek red light camera changes

A drop in temperatures means a Code Blue will alerts be in effect in the Capital Region from Thursday through Monday. [Weather Underground][TU]

Four Albany Common Council members say they want changes in the upcoming red light camera enforcement , including an education grace period when the cameras are first activated and a four second yellow light duration so nobody accidentally runs a red light.[TWCN][WNYT]

Two hundred cars were towed in Albany as part of the most recent snow emergency.[News 10]

Tiffany VanAlstyne was arraigned on murder and manslaughter Wednesday in the death of her 5-year-old cousin Kenneth White. VanAlstyne pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The Albany County Sheriff says VanAlstyne is a security risk and is in danger of being harmed by other inmates. [WNYT][TU][Record]

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Term limits & ban on outside income being proposed for legislature, water main breaks becoming a problem, Liquor Authority sides with Saratoga bar

A new bill suggesting term limits of eight years for New York legislators is headed for the senate floor. Meanwhile the IDC is set to introduce a plan that would ban outside income for legislators. Senate Republicans are not in favor of the ban. Lawmakers are also openly discussing whether to make legislating a full time job in New York.[TU][TU][WNYT][CNY]

The State University of New York and its students are spending a combined $170 million a year to fill gaps left by secondary education.[TU]

Rensselaer Mayor Dan Dwyer is hoping the state will help foot the bill for infrastructure repairs in the city after two water main breaks in three days. [News 10]

Albany has suffered nearly 20 water main breaks so far this year.[WNYT]

A stretch of Broadway in Schenectady has reopened after National Grid repaired a gas leak at Broadway Lunch.

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Snow emergencies, feds reportedly investigating systemic state corruption, supplies of road salt are tight, Troy Atrium courtyard for sale

Both Albany (starting 8 pm Tuesday) and Troy (8 am Tuesday) have declared so emergencies, along with a handful of other local municipalities. [City of Albany] [City of Troy] [TU]

A federal Department of Justice official tells WSJ that federal prosecutors are working a wide-ranging investigation of corruption involving state politicians and could end up issuing a report on systemic corruption. [WSJ]

Prominent Halfmoon developer Bruce Tanski was sentenced to three years probation and 200 hours of community service as part of the deal for his guilty plea to charges that he funneled campaign contributions through other donors in order to exceed contribution limits. The community service is connected with a charity to which Tanski is already associated, and for which his daughter is listed as the president. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Schenectady City Council approved zoning changes for the Mohawk Harbor casino site that allow increased building heights and larger signage. Councilman Vince Riggi abstained from the vote, repeating his objection that the council didn't have enough info about the building designs involved. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

Troy officials are looking into another suspicious fire in Lansingburgh. Officials say the fire fits the pattern of suspected arsons in the neighborhood. The city's arson task force is now investigating 13 fires. [Troy Record] [TU] [News10]

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Troy club owner arrested for shooting, cousin indicted in death of Kenneth White, Post Silver Stress Disorder?, 600 pounds and counting

There's a winter storm warning in effect through Tuesday morning -- total accumulation could be as much as 14 inches. [NWS]

Troy police say the owner of the now-closed Kokopellis has been arrested in connection with a shooting at the club during a private event January 11. Joseph Glick has been charged with first-degree assault for allegedly shooting a man in the leg. Troy police say they believe the shooting was intentional, but Glick's attorney says witnesses report it was accidental. [Troy Record] [News10] [TWCN] [TU]

Tiffany Van Alstyne has been indicted on charges that include second-degree murder in the December death of her cousin, five-year-old Kenneth White. [Albany County DA] [TU]

Schenectady police say a man was arrested Friday after he allegedly barricaded himself in a Central State neighborhood apartment with his girlfriend and her child -- while the apartment was burning (map). Rogers Jackson is facing charges that include attempted murder and arson. SPD says seven officers were injured during the incident, six of them with smoke inhalation. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN]

An Ohio man's claim of culpability in the 1997 murder of a UAlbany student in Arbor Hill has cast doubt on the convictions of the two Albany men currently in prison for the crime -- at the time police say the men confessed after several hours of interrogation without attorneys present (they both later recanted). [TU]

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Malcom Smith convicted, state settlement in Vito Lopez sexual harassment lawsuit, school district "flying blind" without state aid info, former CDTA mechanic alleges co-workers hazed him

Malcolm Smith, the former majority leader of the state Senate, was convicted on federal corruption charges Thursday. The feds say Smith, a Democrat, tried to bribe his way onto the Republican line in the NYC mayoral election. Said US Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement, of the case: "And sadly, this was just one of many pockets of corruption this Office has uncovered in New York, which has become the 'show me the money' state. It should not be asking too much to expect public officials at least to obey the law." [NYT] [Buffalo News] [US Attorney Southern District of NY]

Two former state Assembly staffers who accused former Assemblyman Vito Lopez of sexually harassing them have reached a $580k settlement -- $545k from the state, and $35k from Lopez. Said the women in a statement: "We hope our ordeal will serve as a strong reminder to New York's legislators that they are accountable for their behavior. All women should be treated with respect and dignity, not as sex objects or as problems to be handled and silenced." It's the second such settlement the state has made regarding Lopez and sexual harassment allegations -- it settled for more than $100k with two Assembly staffers in 2012. [NYT] [TU] [NY Post]

Andrew Cuomo, talking with the Syracuse Post-Standard editorial board this week, on Sheldon Silver: "This was a 20-year senior state official. If you can't trust him, who can you trust?" [Syracuse Post-Standard]

The massive Anthem data breach might also include information for members of the Empire Plan. [TU]

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Metro North investigators asking why SUV was stopped on tracks, Troy police investigate Wednesday afternoon shooting, plans revealed to improve I-890

The investigation into the fatal Metro North crash on Wednesday is now focused on why the driver of an SUV stopped on the train tracks between the lowered crossing gates. [TU]

The truck driver involved in the fatal accident that killed Trooper David Cuniff had allegedly been on the road for more than 14 hours at the time of the accident according to an indictment released this week. [TU]

Representatives from one of the five companies vying for the contract for red light cameras in Albany, were in the city last night to answer questions at a public hearing. [WNYT]

Police in Troy are investigating a shooting that occurred on Tuesday afternoon at around 2:50pm on 7th Avenue in Troy. [TWCN]

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Metro North train collides with car- six killed, Heastie elected Assembly Speaker, renewed effort to move up last call in Saratoga,from prison to state park

Six people were killed in Westchester County on Tuesday night when a Metro North train hit a car in Valhalla. [TWCN][NYT]

Carl Heastie has officially been elected Speaker of the NYS Assembly. Heastie is the first new speaker in 21-years. At a press conference on Tuesday he told the chamber,"The resignation of the previous speaker has brought about change in the leadership of this house. And this change in leadership will bring about much needed reform." But for a speaker, he appears to be a man of few words. Meanwhile former speaker Sheldon Silver took a desk in the back of the chamber. Most Republicans voted for Brian Kolb, and one cast his vote for Preet Bharara, the federal prosecutor who had Silver arrested.
[TWCN][TU][NYT][CNY][Record]

State Police arrested the Canadian truck driver involved in the fatal accident that killed Trooper David Cunniff a year ago. Officials allege 66-year-old Gary Blakely was negligent behind the wheel, citing unsafe lane changes, reckless driving and operating over allotted hours. He's in the Montgomery County Jail on several charges including aggravated manslaughter and aggravated criminally negligent homicide.

Five companies -- two of the largest-- are vying to get the contract for Albany's red light cameras.[TU]

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Heastie set to be next Assembly speaker, Cuomo says no budget without ethics reform, Hello Kitty's alleged secret message, Ecovative opening factory in Troy

Sheldon Silver was set to resign the state Assembly speakership just before midnight Monday night. And Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie is set to be elected to the new speaker Tuesday morning. (Comments from a handful of Capital Region Assembly members.) The speaker vote had been scheduled for February 10, but was moved up. Assembly Democratic majority leader Joe Morelle defending the compressed schedule: "There has been a public airing. There's been a lot of news articles about the various candidates. We've gone through and talked to our colleagues. We've done this in a way that has always been done." [TU] [NYT] [Daily Gazette] [State of Politics] [TWCN]

In a speech Monday Andrew Cuomo said he would not sign the state budget this year without the passage of a five-point ethics reform plan. Among the provisions of the plan: increased disclosure about outside income for public officials. [Cuomo admin] [TU] [NYT]

Troy has declared its first snow emergency in many years. [City of Troy] [WNYT]

The Albany snow emergency starts at 8 pm Tuesday with even-side parking, and flips to odd-side parking at 8 pm Wednesday. [City of Albany]

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Next speaker kind of like the old speaker, suburban school districts seeing increase in poverty, evidence that stuck, the TU Center 25 years later

As you know, it's snowing. The Capital Region is expected to get 10-14 inches. Many things are delayed or canceled. Call ahead, take your time. You know how this works.

With Bronx state Assemblyman Carl Heastie poised to become speaker, the are reports the new boss is like the old boss. [NYDN] [Capital]

Sheldon Silver's exit as speaker transfers power over many aspects of the operation of the Assembly, including parking spaces and who gets new computers. [TU]

Preet Bharara's "stay tuned" comment at the press release announcing the arrest of Sheldon Silver has people at the Capitol waiting for the other shoe -- or many shoes -- to drop. [Capitol]

The number of children qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch has been rising in suburban school districts in the Capital Region. [Daily Gazette]

The SUNY Charter Schools Institute announced it will not be supporting renewal of the charter for the Brighter Choice middle schools in Albany. The schools currently include about 450 students. [TU] [WNYT]

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Bronx Assemblyman seen as frontrunner for Assembly speaker, Repp sentenced to 40 years to life, disruptive pile driving, family birthday x3

The scramble to become the next speaker of the state Assembly is now down to three, and it looks like Carl Heastie of the Bronx is the frontrunner. [TU] [State of Politics]

"People familiar with the investigation" tell WNBC that the feds are looking into state Senate majority leader Dean Skelos and his sources of outside income. Skelos's office released a statement calling the report "irresponsible, and does not meet the standards of serious journalism." [WNBC] [NYDN]

Anthony Repp, who pleaded guilty to killing his mother and stepfather with a rock at their Schaghticoke home in 2013, was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison. Rensselaer County ADA said audio of the attack could be heard on a 911 call, with Repp saying at the end, "Bye-bye mom, gone forever." Repp's attorney, Terrance Kindlon, said his client suffers from mental illness, but the specifics of the case didn't fit a defense on those grounds. [Troy Record] [TU] [News10] [WNYT]

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Potential successors line up for Speaker, two die in separate Capital Region fires, man jailed for hitting mother, 72 year old lays down fitness challenge for Jimmy Fallon

Several Democratic lawmakers are already vying to replace the speaker. Here's a look at who they are, and a breakdown of the six days that resulted in Silver's demise. Meanwhile lawmakers are working on the budget without Silver. [TWCN][NYT]

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has reportedly lined up cooperating witnesses in the corruption case against Sheldon Silver. [TU]

Sheldon Silver is taking a leave of absence from the Manhattan personal injury law firm where he works outside of the legislature. [NYT]

Reconsidering how things get done in the legislature in the wake of the Silver controversy. [TU]

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Dems will replace Silver as speaker, Capital Region unemployment reaches seven year low, virtual snow days just aren't the same

After ten hours of deliberations Assembly Democrats announced on Tuesday that Sheldon Silver will be out as speaker as of Monday. It's still not clear if Silver will resign or be forced out of the speaker's post, but he told reporters, "I will not hinder the succession process." Silver did say he had no plans to resign his seat in the Assembly. [TU][WNYT][TWCN]

Silver's temporary replacement will be Rochester Assemblyman Joseph Morelle. Morelle, who will be speaker until at least February 10, when a special election will be held, is a business friendly Democrat.[NYT][News10][City&State][CapNY]

Unemployment dropped to a seven year low in December with a local jobless rate of 4.5 percent. [TU]

The Capital Region only got a few inches of snow on Tuesday, but it was enough to make commutes slippery.[WNYT]

Rensselaer is going ahead with plans for a waterfront esplanade, even though the city lost its bid for a casino at DeLaet's Landing. [TU]

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Local cancelation for snowy apocalypse, Assembly Democrats pushing on Silver to resign speaker post, Glenville restaurant fire called suspicious

The icy, snowy apocalypse for the Capital Region was canceled, as the Nor'easter took a track farther to the east. The new snowfall projection for the Capital Region core: something like 3-6 inches. [AOA] [NWS]

Momentum in the state Assembly appears to have shifted against Sheldon Silver and his continued reign as speaker after a Monday night meeting of the Assembly majority Democrats asked Silver to resign his leadership post. Earlier Tuesday Democratic Assemblyman Keith Wright of Manhattan, a possible successor to Silver as speaker, criticized the placeholder group of five proposed to handle Silver's budget negotiation duties, and called for Silver to step down. Said Silver as he left the Capitol Monday night: "I am the speaker ... I'm standing. And I'm going to be standing for a long time." [TWCN] [NYDN] [TU] [Capital] [NYT]

The Troy City Council report on the King Street and King Fuels demolitions, as well as the 51 3rd Street code crackdown, concludes that there were "a systemic and integral set of failures and patterns" that led to the situations. Council president Rodney Wiltshire says the council has pushed the city administration for changes, but nothing has happened. Mayor Lou Rosamilia said Monday he couldn't comment on the report because he hadn't read it yet. But he continued to back up the actions of the city administration regarding the two demolitions, to TWCN: "Based on the information I received and heard, people exercised what they believed was in the best interest of the city and the building in both locations." [Troy City Council report] [TU] [Troy Record] [TWCN]

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Silver said to be handing off some power in the Assembly, Bharara questions "three men in a room" setup, Albany parking enforcement reportedly fighting tech glitches

Yep, it's going to snow a lot -- probably about a foot here in the Capital Region. [NWS]

Sheldon Silver will be handing the state budget negotiations over to a five-member group of Assembly members as he faces federal corruption charges. Silver is not resigning his post as speaker, and will continue to get the $41k leadership stipend. [NYDN] [TU]

Joe Bruno, commenting on the Sheldon Silver situation Friday on TALK 1300: "My experience with the feds. You are guilty from day one. When they start looking at you and then you better be able to prove that you're innocent." [WNYT]

US Attorney Preet Bharara speaking Friday about state's government's longstanding "three men in a room" power structure: "There are by my count 213 men and women in the state legislature, and yet it is common knowledge that only three men essentially wield all the power. ... I must confess a little bit of confusion about this: When did this come to pass? Why has everyone just come to accept it?" [Capital]

Police and community org officials say the effort to get more minority police officers needs to include persistent recruitment and more minority community members taking civil service tests. [Daily Gazette]

Chris Churchill: The case of an Albany teen sent to prison for 9 years on a conviction connected to the theft of a pair of sneakers highlights the role of poverty in the criminal justice system's inequities. [TU]

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All Sheldon Silver all the time, push for state to help pay for legal defense for the poor, JetBlue scheduled for November arrival, learning to walk again with an exoskeleton

Sheldon Silver was released after posting a $200k bond in federal court Thursday afternoon, and afterward said: "I am confident that when all the answers are aired I will be vindicated." [State of Politics] [NYT]

A quick scan of what the feds allege Sheldon Silver did. [AOA]

Andrew Cuomo, to the New York Daily News editorial board, about the Silver situation: "Obviously it's bad for the speaker, but it's also a bad reflection on government and it adds to the negativity. And it adds to the cynicism and it adds to the 'they're all the same,'" (The governor did not say whether he thinks Silver should resign his leadership spot.) [NYDN]

The state Assembly session scheduled for Thursday was cancelled, and Assembly Democrats huddled up before announcing their continued support for Silver as speaker. Said Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle: "We believe he can carry out his duties as speaker and we are standing side by side to do our responsibilities and do our job so we can advance forward." Capital Region Democratic Assembly members all had pretty much the same take: they're waiting to see how things play out. The Republican Assembly Minority Leader, Brian Kolb, said Silver should step down as speaker. [State of Politics] [TWCN] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Despite the Democrats' efforts to insist that the Silver situation wouldn't be a "distraction" from business of the legsislature, Silver's arrest could signal a massive shift in the fundamental political calculus of the Capitol. [State of Politics] [NYT]

Education policy -- including funding, teacher evaluations, and other hot topics -- are set to be a key part of the legislative session, and the Silver arrest could tilt things toward Andrew Cuomo and state Senate Republicans. [Capital]

The feds allege Silver racked up millions in income from his legal work -- yet by public appearances, Silver is said to have lived a relatively modest life (including stays at the Red Carpet Inn in Albany). [NY Post]

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Sheldon Silver arrested on corruption charge, Cuomo lays out $141 billion "opportunity agenda", Albany lawmakers consider residency requirement, new redistricting plan for Schenectady schools

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested today on corruption charges. The charges stem from allegations that Silver took payments from a small law firm that he failed to list on his annual financial disclosure filings. [AOA][NYT]

Andrew Cuomo laid out a 141.6 billion budget plan on Tuesday for the upcoming fiscal year. What Cuomo called his "Opportunity Agenda" included plans to tie $800 million in school aid to an 11 point list of school reform that includes incentive pay for teachers, tenure reform and an increase in charter schools. The plan also calls for cutting more than 2 million in aid to communities with VLTs, which could mean a hit of half-a-million dollars to Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County. Cuomo also announced a proposal to better protect students from sexual assault on college campuses and $500 million for broadband access in rural upstate areas. Reactions to the plan were mixed. Here are a few take away items from the speech [TU][TU][TWCN][TU][Saratogian][Gazette][WNYT][Record][AOA]

Twenty-two protestors were arrested outside the entrance to the convention center during the speech.
Protests outside the address were smaller than in recent years, with some anti fracking advocates holding up thank you signs. Others work "I Can't Breathe" sweatshirts and carried signs that read Black Lives Matter. [TU][WNYT][CNY]

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State of the State/budget address today, Cuomo approval rating highest since summer, minimum wage and poverty themes in People's State of the State, significant cutbacks at GE battery plant, when Santa beat Mario Cuomo at checkers

President Obama laid out an ambitious agenda in Tuesday's State of the Union address. [NYT]

Andrew Cuomo gives his combined budget and State of the State address today. In a preview on Tuesday, said "This is probably the most robust State of the State I've done." Expect to hear about tax cuts for small business, property tax relief, funding for bridges and subways and improvements for public schools.[WNYT][TU][TWCN]

On the eve of the state of the state address a Siena poll showed Andrew Cuomo's favorability rating is up to 60 percent-- the highest since the summer. [TU]

Parents and teachers gathered in Valatie last night to send a message to Andrew Cuomo to drop common core.[TWCN]

Anti-poverty groups, labor leaders and others had their say on Tuesday at the 25th annual People's State of the State at the Capitol. [TWCN][WNYT]

More than 80 legislators have signed a letter to Andrew Cuomo requesting $2.2 billion in additional state aid for schools, including $250 million in pre-kindergarten.{TU]

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Previews from State of the State include juvenile justice reform and potential Harriman campus private development, task force for Lansingburgh fires, push to delete license plate scanner data

With the State of the State/state budget presentation scheduled for Wednesday, the Cuomo admin has been previewing a bunch of different plans/initiatives/programs:
+ A report from a juvenile justice panel recommends raising the cut-off age for juvenile jurisdiction from 16 to 18. [TU]
+ A proposal to raise the state's minimum wage to $10.50 per hour ($11.50 per hour in New York City). [TU]
+ Andrew Cuomo announced plans for a commission to study, and possibly raise, the pay of state legislators -- and restrict their outside income. [NYT]
+ "Cuomo administration officials" tell the Times Union the state budget proposal will include a plan to dedicate a chunk of the Harriman State Office Campus in Albany to private development that would have provide PILOTs to the city of Albany. [TU]

The city of Troy has put together a task force to investigate the alleged arsons in Lansingburgh. There was another suspicious fire this past Sunday. [TU] [Troy Record]

NYRA and the Wandering Dago food truck have reached a settlement over the truck being bounced from the Saratoga Race Course because of its name. The Times Union reports the settlement is for $68,500. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Upstate regions to compete for $500 million, clarification of SUNY Poly payment to Albany, shadow could dim prospects of parking garage, too tall

The Cuomo admin's new upstate economic development funding initiative: Having seven regions compete for three $500 million awards. It's a follow-up of sorts to the "Buffalo Billion." [TU] [State of Politics]

Some clarification on the $1.9 million that SUNY Poly will be contributing to the city of Albany. [TU]

The family of Trevor Duffy, the UAlbany student who died from an alcohol overdose last fall at what's alleged to have been underground frat off campus, has filed the initial paperwork for a lawsuit against UAlbany, SUNY, and the city of Albany seeking $55 million. [TWCN] [TU]

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Cold snap continues, Schenectady man shot and robbed while taking out trash, SUNY Poly to pay city of Albany--but how much?

Yep, still cold.[Weather Underground]

In her 2015 State of the City address on Wednesday, Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan focused on bringing new revenue into the city. Sheehan announced that SUNY Polytechnic will pay the city of Albany $500 thousand a year for three years in lieu of taxes, but it's not clear if that is new assistance or part of a previously announced grant. [TWCN][WNYT][TU]

A Schenectady man was taking out his trash and warming up his car near the intersection of Broadway and Ceder on Wednesday morning, when thieves allegedly shot him in the leg and stole the vehicle.
Police have recovered the car, but the suspects are still at large.[TWCN][WNYT][TU]

A few early details on Andrew Cuomo's 1.6 Billion proposal to cut property taxes for low and middle income New Yorkers. [TU]

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Albany rezoning process starts, Kaloyeros named SUNY Poly president, still cold, NYS snacks at the Exit 9 rest stop

The city of Albany has has hired a consulting firm to help work on the city's zoning code to promote "a more walkable, sustainable, vibrant urban development."[TWCN]

Alain Kaloyeros, former CEO and officer-in-charge at SUNY Polytechnic has been named the school's first president.. [Business Review][TU]

The state Gaming Facility Location Board voted Tuesday to open another round of bids for a fourth casino license in the Southern Tier. The board will not be reevaluating any casino bids in the Capital Region, including Rensselaer County. [TU][WNYT]

A Department of Corrections employee outlined the alleged sexual harassment and bizarre behavior of his supervisor, James Ferro, which he claims were not taken seriously by the department.[TU]

Saratoga County Sheriff's deputies may soon be wearing body cameras. County officials formed a subcommittee on Tuesday to study the possibility of using the cameras in the wake of an incident where a sheriff's deputy was filmed trying to search a vehicle without a warrant. [News 10][Saratogian]

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Former DOCCS official accused of harassment, push for increases in school funding, upgrades for TU Center, thirst for malt barley

The state Attorney General's office announced a former top official with the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has been arrested and charged in connection with allegations of sexual harassment of a subordinate at the DOCCS office at the Harriman campus. The Times Union reported last year that the former official, James Ferro, was also facing accusations of harassing another DOCCS employee, apparently different from the one in the situation cited by the current charges. [NYS OAG] [TU]

A "Moral Monday" rally in the Capitol that includes representatives from the state teachers unions pushed for increased state aid for struggling school districts, such as Schenectady. [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [TU] [News10]

The state Senate has passed eight parts of the Women's Equality Act -- but not the abortion rights provision. Sheldon Silver says the package of bills is a no-go in the Assembly without abortion rights bill. [TU] [State of Politics]

Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy's state of the city address focused on progress made in downtown development, demolishing problem buildings, and the upcoming casino. Also, no surprise: McCarthy's said to be thinking about a second term. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Authorities say Guilderland quadruple homicide investigation is ongoing, TPD: shooting at Kokopellis, study of downtown Troy parking

"Sources involved in the investigation" of the Guilderland quadruple homicide tell the Times Union investigators are looking into alleged "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." [TU]

Troy police are investigating a shooting reported to have happened early Sunday morning inside the night club Kokopellis. TPD says the man who was shot was treated and released. TPD says the club owner was there at the time of the shooting, but has been "uncooperative." Police says witnesses have been cooperating. Kokopellis recently announced it had closed -- the owner cited the case of alleged police brutality at the club a year ago, and continued problems with police as reasons -- but apparently it was hosting a private party Saturday/Sunday. [Troy Record] [News10] [TU] [TWCN]

Albany has released the request for proposals for the red light camera system -- it includes a request that the system would allow remote access to live video streams from the cameras. [TU]

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It's still cold, sheriff pushes easier information sharing in missing child cases, Glenville gearing up for casino changes

It is still cold. The temperature dipped to -1 overnight. Today's forecasted high: 27 degrees. [NWS]

The director of the Homeless and Travelers Aid Society said Wednesday night was the busiest night in 4-year history of the Code Blue shelter program -- more than 350 people. [TU] [News10]

Prompted the death of Kenneth White, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple is pushing for a law change that would make it easier for law enforcement agencies to get information from child protective services about histories of abuse in missing child cases. Apples says hold up on info in the White case hindered his department's investigation. [News10] [WNYT]

A state appellate court has reversed the conviction of Tina Karuzas -- the Schenectady woman convicted of manslaughter for allegedly fatally stabbing her neighbor in 2011 -- citing problems with the prosecution being allowed to cross examine her about a prior harassment conviction. [TU]

A state appellate court has ordered a new trial for Lydia Ann Salce -- the Halfmoon woman convicted of attempted murder for allegedly attacking her husband in their home in 2011 -- citing a denial of a defense witness and problems with an explanation given to the jury. [TU]

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Legislative session gets underway, Albany County bans toxic toys, arson ruled out in latest Troy fire, It. Is. Cold.

Today's high will be about 17 but the wind chill will make it feel much colder. The cold is causing school closings and delays throughout the Capital Region. [TWCN][TU]

The state legislative session began on Wednesday, in spite of the delay in the State of the State address. The Senate session of 2015 convened pretty calmly under new leadership.Things got off to a rough start in the Assembly where desk mics were cut off after several members criticized Sheldon's Silver's reelection as speaker. [WNYT][TU][Record]

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy signed a first-in-the-state ban on children's products containing a range of toxic substances. The new law bans children's products and clothing containing benzene, lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic cadmium and cobalt from being sold in the county. [News 10][TU]

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Mario Cuomo laid to rest, legislators return to Albany, Code Blue alerts in force around the region, remembering the day Troy got its name

Mario Cuomo was laid to rest on Tuesday , following a service at St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan. Andrew Cuomo eulogized his father, friend and political advisor as a humanist whose politics were "more of a personal belief system."Cuomo called his father the "keynote speaker for our better angels." [TU][NYT][WNYT]

Legislators are arriving in Albany to begin the first session of 2015, despite the delay in the State of the State address. [WNYT][TWCN]

In a pre-session vote, assembly democrats voted for Sheldon Silver to continue on as speaker. [TU]

Code Blue alerts are in effect throughout the Capital Region due to the cold temperatures. [TWCN]

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Gibson says he won't run for re-election to House, state high court case about notification over kept brain, $34 million Adelphi renovation planned

Chris Gibson announced Tuesday morning that he will not run for re-election to the House of Representatives after the term that starts today. From a press release:

As I stated shortly after retiring from the US Army and first pursuing a seat in Congress in 2010, I planned to self-impose term limits. Accordingly, after much reflection and consultation with my family, this will be my third and final time taking the oath of office as a Representative in the US House. I thank the voters of Upstate NY for this privilege to serve and pledge to continue to work tirelessly on their behalf in this final term.

A Republican Party "source" told Roll Call ahead of the announcement that Gibson is interested in running for a statewide office in 2018. And from Gibson's announcement press release: "Moving forward, I will be committed to building a stronger team so that the GOP can compete and win statewide in 2018, including the possibility of being a candidate in that cycle." (Among the offices up fro election that year: governor.) [Chris Gibson's office] [Roll Call]

The funeral for Mario Cuomo is today in New York City. Monday afternoon more than a thousand people attended people attended calling hours for the former governor, including Vice President Joe Biden. [TU] [TWCN]

Joe Bruno's memories of Mario Cuomo. [NYSNYS/Troy Record]

Troy police have a released a photo of a person they say they're attempting to find as part of the investigation into the alleged arson in Lansingburgh last week. [Troy Record]

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A dozen news stories from the winter break

A lot of people -- us included -- try to unplug a bit during the time between Christmas and the start of the new year. So, we're doing something a little different for Morning Blend today. Here are a dozen notable news stories from that period. Some of these are big stories that got a lot of attention, others less so but are still noteworthy/interesting. (This isn't a comprehensive list.)

Mario Cuomo
As you no doubt heard, Mario Cuomo died this past Thursday. He was 82. Here's the NYT obit and the Times Union obit. Of course there have been many pieces about memories of the former governor: The famous 1984 Democratic National Convention speech, stories about his competitive nature and work habits, about some of his frequently visited spots in downtown Albany. [NYT] [TU] [Washington Post] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN]

The funeral for Mario Cuomo is scheduled for Tuesday. As a result, Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address has been rescheduled from Wednesday to January 21. [NYT] [TU]

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Vigil for Kenneth White, developer says de Laet's Landing plans moving ahead, real estate agents report increased interest in Schenectady

There was a vigil honoring Kenneth White at at Berne-Knox-Westerlo Elementary School Monday evening. The school's principal described the boy as "a dear and bubbly little guy." Said the boy's mother, Christine White: "It's hard to grasp the fact that one of my loved ones did this to my precious little boy." Kenneth White had been living in the home of his aunt, Brenda VanAlstyne. She tells WNYT that her daughter -- 19-year-old Tiffany, who's been accused of killing Kenneth White -- had been suffering from mental illness. A fund set up by the Albany County Sheriff's Office is collecting donations for Kenneth White's siblings. [News10] [TU] [WNYT] [WNYT] [TWCN]

The SUNY Charter School Institute has issued a preliminary recommendation that two Albany charter middle schools be closed. [TU]

The president of U.W. Marx Construction says plans for a $20 million, 96-unit luxury apartment development at the de Laet's Landing site on the Hudson River in Rensselaer will move head this spring, even though the site wasn't picked for a casino. [Daily Gazette]

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Cousin charged with murder in death of Kenneth White, Schenectady mayor projects property tax reduction because of casino, plans for new amenities at Thacher State Park

On Friday Tiffany VanAlstyne -- the 19-year-old cousin of Kenneth White -- was charged with second-degree murder for the death of the 5-year-old boy. Authorities allege she strangled the boy, carried him down the road, and in the words of Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, threw his body over a guardrail "like a piece of trash." The situation surrounding White's death was originally reported as a kidnapping, but Apple says investigators responding to the case started getting indications the pieces didn't fit that story -- and a police dog found White's body about 40 yards from the home where he was staying. That home has been shut for code violations and two other small children have been placed in foster care, according to authorities. Brenda VanAlstyne -- mother of Tiffany, aunt of Kenneth -- tells News10 that they're fixing the code violations and referred to the boy's death as an "accident." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

Rotterdam police say they're investigating the death of a 20-month-old boy in September as a homicide after autopsy results indicate the child died of asphyxiation. RPD say the boy's mother and her partner are not cooperating with police. [TWCN] [TU]

Schenectady police say a pedestrian died after being struck by a vehicle on Albany Street near Fairview Ave Saturday evening (map). It's the fourth incident in the Capital Region in the last month in which a pedestrian has died after a crash with a vehicle. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Sheriff: Body of Berne 5 year old found, kidnapping story was false; state committee recommends opening police records, CDTA adding accordion busses

The body of 5-year-old Kenneth White was found by a K-9 unit near the home where he had been staying in East Berne, according to Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple. The sheriff says White was initially reported missing by a caretaker who said the boy had been taken by two masked men -- a report that Apple says was false. Apple says he expects a suspect to be charged in the case today. Update: Authorities say 19-yr-old Tiffany VanAlstyne -- White's cousin, and the person who had reported the kidnapping -- has been arrested and will face a murder charge. [WGY] [WNYT] [TWCN] [News10] [TU]

In a letter to the chancellor of the state Board of Regents and the state education commissioner, the Cuomo admin indicated (through a series of questions) it will be pushing for a slate of reforms, notably to the teacher evaluation system. NYSUT called the letter "clueless." [Cuomo admin] [TU] [NYSUT]

The Cuomo admin has released draft rules for the medical marijuana program. Medical marijuana advocates say the rules are too restrictive. [Cuomo admin] [Capital]

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Reactions to casino & fracking decisions, Feds seeking money from Saratoga drug bust, tickets to visit Cuomo

Andrew Cuomois headed to Schenectady today to congratulate the city on winning the bid for the Rivers Casino. [TU][AOA]

Some reaction to the casino decision:

Schenectady is celebrating its win in the casino competition.[TWCN]

Rensselaer Mayor Dan Dwyer on losing the proposal for a Hard Rock Casino: "I don't have $40 or $50 million. We're in trouble. Our system is collapsing like a lot of cities are. I was hoping to really use that money for development,"[TWCN]

The developers for the planned Rivers Casino in Schenectady say the prep work that went into making the site shovel ready was a main reason they project won its casino bid. [Gazette]

Opponents of the proposed East Greenbush casino are celebrating the casino decision. [TU]

Glenville officials say they will need infrastructure improvements to prepare for the effects of a Schenectady casino. [Gazette]

Union College is concerned about having a casino so nearby. [Gazette]

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Casino decision expected today, man who reported Hudson Avenue murder now a suspect, pot wrapped as Christmas presents mailed to Desmond, Pataki 2016?

The decision on where a new casino will be built in the Capital Region is expected to come down later today. [WNYT][TWCN]

A man who walked into the Albany VA Medical Center and informed them that there was a body in his Hudson Avenue apartment on Sunday is now a suspect in the murder. Robert Lake is in police custody and charged with the murder of Latisha Alzaid. [WNYT][TU]

The uncle of a Schenectady woman who was murdered on State Street over the weekend called police to his home and threw a bottle at an officer's head in an attempt to get arrested so he could got to jail and seek retribution against the man charged with her death. The victim's father was pepper sprayed by police when he charged at the alleged killer during a court appearance on Monday. [TU][Gazette]

A Colorado man was arrested at the Desmond Hotel after postal inspectors in Colonie found more than 16 pounds of marijuana, wrapped up as Christmas presents, addressed to himself at the Desmond.[TWCN][WNYT][Saratogian]

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APD investigating death of woman at senior apartment building, father charges at suspect accused of killing his daughter, Cuomo admin trying re-classify a thousand PEF employees

Albany police say a 56-year-old woman was found dead, with stab wounds, in an apartment at the Parkview Apts senior housing (map) Sunday evening. APD says a suspect is in custody, and as of yesterday the suspect was admitted at Albany Med for non-life-threatening injuries -- investigators are trying to figure out if the injuries were sustained during the same incident in which the woman died. APD says the woman and suspect knew each other, but the nature of the relationship is unclear. Tenants tell TWCN that the two had been in a relationship. Another neighbor told WNYT that the suspect had talked about the "rocky" relationship: "He kept coming to my apartment and talking about it. Harping on two subjects, sex and betrayal and I just told him let it go and he didn't listen to me." [APD FB] [News10] [TU] [TWCN] [WNYT]

In court Monday the father of the Markia Booth/Harris, found shot to death in Schenectady Saturday afternoon, charged at Jamell Modest, the man accused of killing his daughter -- he was tackled by court officers and hit with pepper spray. After order was restored, Modest pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, including second-degree murder. (Also: The Times Union is now referring to Booth/Harris as "Markida" -- other outlets are continuing to identify her as "Markia.") [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TU]

Among the groups pushing for a piece of the state's $5 billion surplus: a coalition called Rebuild New York Now, which includes leaders from the Capital Region, wants the money put toward fixing infrastructure such as roads and bridges. And the state Board of Regents is looking for more than $300 million of the surplus for a range of programs. [TWCN] [TU x2]

Andrew Cuomo said in a statement released Monday that the state's targeted inspection program of oil trains and rail continues to find "critical safety defects that put New Yorkers at risk." Among the most recent batch of identified problems: a faulty switch on a line at the Northeast Industrial Park near Vorheesville. [Cuomo admin] [TU]

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Schenectady woman fatally shot with infant nearby, questions about enforcement of toxic toys law, bill would ban pet tattoos

Schenectady police say a 30-year-old woman, Markia Booth (also known as Markia Harris), was fatally shot on State Street in the Central State neighborhood Saturday afternoon with her infant child nearby. SPD says 46-year-old Jamell Modest has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. SPD says Booth and Modest had at one point been in a relationship, but it was unclear if that was still the case. Booth had been working as a counselor at a homeless shelter for teens, and the executive director there described her as "a lovely woman and will be greatly missed." The shooting, along with other recent fatal shootings in the city, prompted neighborhood residents to call for a greater police presence. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]

Albany police say they're investigating two separate shootings -- one Friday night, the other early Sunday morning -- in the Mansion/South End area. [APD FB]

There's evidence pointing to the conclusion that the GlobalFoundries chip fab in Malta will be making chips for the iPhone and iPad. [TU]

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Reaction to Capital Region's $60 million in REDC awards, 20 years to life for death of Lansingburgh woman, NAACP pushing for data from Albany schools, 1,399 light bulbs

Capital Region projects got $60 million from the state Regional Economic Development Awards (link includes the full list), the second-lowest amount among the state's 10 regions. Counting all four years of the program, the Capital Region has received the second-lowest total of awards of any region, behind only New York City. [AOA] [TU]

Among the high-profile projects: The Troy Waterfront Farmers' Market project in downtown Troy got the largest award of any single project in the Capital Region -- $1.5 million. The market's manager says they're hoping to be in the space by 2016. (Plans for the overall mixed-used project on the site of the former city hall have still not been released or approved.) And the planned "Robinson Block" mixed-use development on lower State Street in Schenectady got $1.2 million -- officials say the project could start next year. [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette]

Alexis Torres -- who pleaded guilty to killing Amber Lynne Fernald in Lansingburgh in June -- was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. Said Fernald's teen son at the sentencing: "I hope that for the rest of your life that you are haunted by the images of what you did to the woman you said you loved ... We hope you burn in hell." Said Shane Hug, the ADA who prosecuted the case, about the Fernald's death and other incidents of domestic violence: "All too often things are happening behind closed doors where people are being abused -- women, children -- and we need to stand up together say 'enough.' Not just the police, not just the DA's office, not just the courts." [WNYT] [TU] [Troy Record]

The snow storm this week resulted in a wide range of snowfall totals around the region, including 2 feet of snow in Duanesburg. [TU]

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King leaving State Ed. for Obama administration, toddler dies after drinking liquid nicotine, snow forces cancelations and messy commutes, reasons not to mess with Nipper

It snowed, and that made for some long and messy commutes on Wednesday night. The snow knocked out power to thousands of people in the Capital Region and has caused another day of closings and delays for area schools. [TU][WNYT]

State Education Commissioner John King is stepping down to become a senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Education. King will be succeeded by Elizabeth Berlin, the executive deputy commissioner of State Ed.[TU][TWCN][WNYT]

A 1-year-old died in Fort Plain on Tuesday after swallowing liquid nicotine.The incident occurs as state lawmakers are making a push to tighten safety regulations on liquid nicotine products, including child protective packaging.[TWCN][TU][News 10]

A report by Tom DiNapoli's office suggests there is a budget crises at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation that may threaten the department's ability to carry out its functions due to decreased staffing and increased responsibility.[TU]

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More snow on the way, pedestrian struck and killed on 787, Saratoga County considering body cams for sheriff's deputies, stolen goats returned

Another round of snow is expected in the Capital Region today, resulting in more closings and delays. [TWCN][WNYT]

Saratoga County is considering equipping its sheriff's deputies with body cameras.[Gazette]

Police say a woman died on Tuesday night when she was struck by a car as she walked to work along 787. [TU]

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Schneiderman asks for authority to investigate cases involving unarmed civilians killed by police, state investigation into Saratoga Springs water fee breaks, remembering Brother Yusuf

State attorney general Eric Schneiderman is asking Andrew Cuomo for the power to investigate and prosecute cases involving unarmed civilians who are killed by police officers. Said a Schneiderman statement: "Nothing could be more critical for both the public and the police officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe than acting immediately to restore trust and confidence in the independence of reviews in any case involving an unarmed civilian killed by a law enforcement officer." The Cuomo administration didn't commit one way or the other to the request. (Schneiderman and Cuomo apparently have a strained relationship.) And similar efforts in the legislature have stalled in the state Senate. [NYS OAG] [TU] [NYT]

Schenectady police say a man was fatally shot in Schenectady on Parkwood Boulevard (block map) early Tuesday morning. SPD says it's looking for two suspects. A resident of the area tells TWCN that neighbors had been trying to get an increased police presence in the neighborhood. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TWCN]

The state's hospitality industry is pushing back against the possibility of abolishing the "tip credit" for tipped employees, in which a portion of tips can be used as credit against the minimum wage. [TWCN] [TU]

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Clifton Park man shot by state trooper sentenced, allegation of excessive force in death of Ballston Spa man, state ethics loopholes persist, an impromptu chorus of 300

Douglas Stewart III was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison Friday for the incident in which he pointed a loaded rifle in the direction of a state trooper, and then was shot by the trooper, in Clifton Park in August 2013. Said the trooper, Miguel Orabona, at the sentencing: "Never in my 38 years on this planet have I ever been so scared in my life." Stewart's attorney says his client was depressed and drunk and had been planning to take his own life at the time of the incident. The attorney also alleged that Stewart was struck in the back by the trooper's shot, and that trooper could have diffused the situation without firing. [News10] [WNYT] [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

The family of Daniel Satre -- the Ballston Spa man who died after being tased during a encounter with police in September -- say they believe Satre was the victim of excessive force used by police. [TU]

Citing wiretap transcripts, the Times Union reports that the gambling operation run by two former Albany County corrections officers involved the former superintendent of the jail. [TU]

A group of protesters presented a list of demands to the US Attorney's office in Albany Friday related to inequality and injustice in the treatment of people of color. [News10] [TU]

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Continued protests over Brown/Garner deaths, Cuomo calls for review of justice system, state appellate court rules chimp doesn't have rights of a person

There were more local protests in response to the grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner deaths -- rallies temporarily shut down Henry Johnson Blvd and Madison Ave in Albany. Said Albany Common Councilman Ron Bailey, to TWCN: "The justice system is failing us. It's supposed to be justice for all, not justice for some." Said protestor Amani Oluglbala, to News10: "It's getting to a point where people are finger pointing at individuals and not really realizing that it's a systematic problem, that takes us all to dismantle." Albany police deputy chief Brendan Cox, to WNYT: "We are part of the community here so it's important for us to work together and again, let's sit down, let's talk about the issues and build those bridges." [TU] [News10] [TWCN] [News10] [WNYT]

Andrew Cuomo said Thursday the state needs a "comprehensive review" of its criminal justice system, including possible reforms to the grand jury process. Said Cuomo: "When you have a situation where a significant portion of the population that feels the justice system is not working you have a problem. And we have a problem and let's acknowledge it." [TU] [TWCN]

Troy city budget saga: The City Council passed the tax levy for next year (not doing so would have left a 30 percent hole in revenue). And mayor Lou Rosamilia is talking about making $1 million in cuts next year. [Troy Record] [TU]

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Brown/Garner decisions spark local protests and talks, Capital Region leaders turn out to support Rensselaer casino plan, NYRA to finish in the black after 13 year decline

Albany police and minority community members met on Wednesday for a discussion of relations between the police and people of color in the city. Several people at the meeting shared personal stories of racial profiling . [WNYT][TWCN]

A group of around 75 Ualbany students shut down a section of Washington Avenue on Wednesday afternoon with a protest against the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.[WNYT][TWCN]

A group calling themselves "We Can't Breathe- Justice for Eric Garner," has organized a rally tonight to protest the New York City grand jury decision not to file charges against the police officer charged with choking the unarmed black man to death. [TU]

Troy's City Council will hold a special meeting tonight to resolve the budget dilemma that has left the city with a $66.1 million budget but no way to fund it. [TU]

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Albany signs $11 million casino agreement with Rensselaer, Shen approves transgender bathroom/locker room plan, Feds to probe Schenectady schools funding discrimination claims, SUNY system adopts new sexual consent policy

The city of Albany, which already has an $11 million dollar deal in exchange for support of the proposed East Greenbush casino, has signed an $11 million agreement with Rensselaer in return for support of the proposed Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.[TU]

Faced with action by the NYCLU the Shenedahowa School Board voted to change its bathroom and locker room policies to allow transgender students to use the facilities where they feel most comfortable.[Gazette][TWCN][WNYT]

Troy's City Charter doesn't include a plan to adopt a tax levy when a city budget is adopted but not approved by the City Council, as was the case this year , leaving the city with a $66.1 million dollar 2015 budget and no way to fund it. [TU]

Where will Albany's red light cameras go? [AOA]

Red light camera violations will not come with license points.[TU]

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Review of situation leading up to homeless woman's death, budget drama plays out in Albany and Troy, on bans of foam cups and plastic bags

Bits of info from various agencies are forming a picture of the situation that led up to the death of Htee Paw, the 23-year-old homeless woman found dead near the State Museum. Paw, an immigrant from Myanmar, was apparently struggling with medical problems and alcohol addiction as well as a language barrier. Said Liz Hitt from HATAS, to TWCN: "We need to not judge people because of their disease ... We wouldn't do this with cancer, we wouldn't do this with diabetes; we shouldn't do it with alcoholism." [TU] [WNYT] [TWCN]

The contentious Albany city budget process ended with the $176 million budget passing 11-4 -- and continued criticism of the plan from some members of the council. It includes a 5 percent tax increase for residential property owners, which will be rebated as part of the state "tax freeze." [TWCN] [TU] [News10]

The Troy city budget process ended with the mayor's budget being adopted -- because the city council voted not to vote on it. The $66.1 million budget includes a $30k deficit. And there was much finger pointing.

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Woman found dead near State Museum, club owner alleges police conducted improper search without a warrant, problem with foam cup ban, punk rock library director

State Police say a 23-year-old woman was found dead near the State Museum early Sunday morning. NYSP say the woman was known to be homeless and her death has been attributed to a chronic liver disease -- no foul play is suspected. Said Liz Hitt, from the Homeless and Travelers Aid Society, to WNYT of the situation: "Absolutely tragic ... I'm stunned. This was a young woman, 23 years-old, struggling with alcoholism." The woman is the second homeless person found dead in that area in the last three months. [NYSP] [WNYT] [TU]

The owner of the Buddha Tea House night club in downtown Albany alleges that Albany police searched the club without a warrant and provided the State Liquor Authority with an incident report that doesn't match what actually happened the night of two stabbings in the area of the club. [TU]

The daughter of Daniel Satre, the Ballston Spa man who died after being hit by a police Taser four times in September, says she'd like to know why it took a group of six officers to subdue her father and whether their actions contributed to his death. [Daily Gazette]

The Albany city budget -- the subject of much drama this year -- is headed for a vote by the Common Council Monday night. [TU]

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March in Albany protests Ferguson decision, Schenectady neighborhood residents clamor for crime solutions, ownership fight over cupcake bakery

Hundreds of people marched from Albany City Hall to the O'Brien Federal Building to protest the recent grand jury result in the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Speakers also called for changes and greater awareness in the Albany area. Said Angela Clarke of Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration: "We see constantly these cases where people are killed in very public ways and nothing comes from it. From our perspective, that's why the entire system doesn't work for us and that's why we're protesting today." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Troy Record]

Albany County DA David Soares on how officials handled the situation in Ferguson, to the Times Union: "Throughout this entire process it has just been one big example of mismanagement to another and I don't know why I expected anything differently on the day that the grand jury decision was publicized." [TU]

From Capital: "Respected Albany reporter James Odato has taken a leave of absence from the city's Times Union newspaper -- a move that appears to be related to a lawsuit involving his in-depth coverage of a secretive personal development organization [NXIVM]." [Capital]

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Fatal shooting in Schenectady, budget drama in Albany and Troy, proposed Shen policy for transgender students draws criticism, public transit facing funding gap

Schenectady police say one man was fatally shot -- and his brother stabbed -- in Mont Pleasant Monday evening. Witnesses reported hearing 10-15 shots. SPD was investigating and as of Monday night no arrests had been made. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TWCN]

The man convicted of stalking a woman from Albany to Colonie where he attacked her and stabbed her this past August was sentenced 18 years to life in prison. The attack left the woman, a Gulf War veteran, blind in one eye. Said the woman at the sentencing: "My concern both during the attack and now is that this individual never again has the opportunity to victimize anyone else." [TU] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]

It looks like December 17 could be the day the Gaming Facility Location Board releases the recommended casino sites. [TU]

A "a rally, march and speak out for justice" is scheduled for 5 pm outside Albany City Hall Tuesday in response to the grand jury decision to not indict in the Ferguson, Missouri case involving the death of Michael Brown. Alice Green, from the Albany-based Center for Law & Justice, on Ferguson situation: "The case has helped a lot of people understand the historical problems African Americans, especially African American males have had." [press release] [TU] [News10]

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Cuomo tries to blame NWS for snow forecasts, pedestrian killed in Colonie, water main break affects busy restaurants

On Saturday Andrew Cuomo blamed the National Weather Service for not forecasting the massive lake effect snow that hit the Buffalo area last week. Except the NWS did forecast multiple feet of snow and the possibility of a "historic" lake effect snow event. Cuomo walked some of his comments back Sunday, but still used the events to tout a planned state-run system of weather sensors. [TWCN] [Gawker] [Buffalo News]

The new weather concern in the Buffalo area: flooding, as warm weather melts the multiple feet of snow. [Buffalo News]

Colonie police say a 66-year-old pedestrian was killed Friday night in Colonie in a hit and run. CPD says the driver was an 88-year-old woman and she was unaware she had hit the man. [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

The city of Troy is looking at eliminating 27 full-time positions in an attempt to address its budget situation. Of those positions, 18 are in the police and fire departments. [TU x2]

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Body identified as missing Saint Rose student, Ballston boils over proposed Walmart, judge contest decided by .5 percent of the vote

Officials say the body recovered near the Hudson River in Coeymans this week was that of missing Saint Rose student Connor Trapatsos. Coeymans police say injuries indicate the 17 year old had fallen from a railroad bridge. Police say they're not sure why Trapatsos was on the bridge, but they don't suspect foul play. He had been missing since October 15. Hundreds of people gathered at Saint Rose Thursday night for a prayer service honoring the student. [Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN] [News10] [TWCN]

About 600 people packed a Ballston planning board meeting about the proposed Walmart store on Route 50 just south of Ballston Spa. The crowd included both opponents and supporters of the proposed store. It's the company's second attempt to build a store in the town in a decade. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10]

Albany High School officials say four white students have been suspended for online harassment aimed at the school's senior class president, who is African-American -- the parents of one of the suspended students says their son didn't do anything wrong. [TU]

Thirteen deaths have now been attributed to massive lake effect snow that hit parts of the Buffalo area. Roofs are caving in under the weight of as much as 7-feet of snow. A section of the Thruway is still closed. And Chuck Schumer is calling for federal aid. Resources from other parts of the state -- including trucks from Albany County and the city of Albany -- have been dispatched to the Buffalo area to aid snow removal. [Buffalo News x2] [AP/News10] [TWCN] [WNYT]

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Body discovered in Coeymans, special prosecutor appointed in Glans case, $61k in tax breaks for Playland project

CSX railroad employees discovered a body near a bridge in Coeymans.
An autopsy is scheduled for today and police are still trying to identify the body. [News 10][TU][WNYT]

The Albany County IDA and the Capital Resource Corporation have approved $61,000 in tax breaks to move the Hoffman's Playland rides to the Huck Finns Warehouse property. [TU]

The locations of up to 20 red light camera intersections in Albany will be released by the end of the year.[TU]

Plans to vote on Troy's proposed budget have been canceled yet again while the City Council continues to work on changes to the spending plan. [TU]

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Man suing Saratoga County over alleged deputy's slap facing charges over Wilton Mall incident, more blighted buildings to be demolished in Schenectady, code blue shelters open as temperatures drop

Five people have died in the snowstorm that dumped four feet of snow on Buffalo yesterday. Amtrak service west of Albany is on hold because of the snow. [TWCN] [TU]

One of the men who is suing Saratoga County after he was allegedly slapped by a Sheriff's deputy earlier this month is now facing charges for allegedly nearly running over a security guard in the Wilton Mall parking lot as the guard was investigating reports of someone trespassing at the mall. [TU][News 10]

A decision on the placement of casinos in New York is expected sometime next month. The NYS casino siting board is expected to meet on Friday. [TWCN][TU]

Sheldon Silver is trying to add an infrastructure investment package to the pre-holiday legislative session that would dip into a $5 billion state surplus to pay for mostly one-time infrastructure expenses. [TU]

Nine more blighted buildings will be torn down in Schenectady, and $7 million has been amassed to help knock down about 150 abandoned buildings in the next year. [TU][WNYT]

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Investigation into death of UAlbany student, another building for the NanoCollege, the ongoing soap opera of Troy politics

Albany police say they're investigating the situation surrounding the death of Trevor Duffy, the 19-year-old UAlbany student who died from what appears to have been excessive alcohol consumption during a gathering at a house on Hamilton Street. "A source who knew [Duffy]" tells the Daily Gazette that Duffy had been pledging an underground frat. Students tell TWCN that the house is the "known headquarters" of the unsanctioned frat. APD chief Steven Krokoff said it appears there was some sort of organization, but said it hasn't been determined if there was hazing. [TU] [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [News10]

State Senate Republican majority leader Dean Skelos said he supports a vote on a pay raise for state legislators before the end of the year -- but he won't trade it for legislative items sought by Democrats. [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [TU]

Among the topics at the public Q&A with Alain Kaolyeros at the Nano College: the new building planned for the Fuller Road campus, plans for more space in downtown Albany, and architecture. [TU] [Biz Review] [Troy Record]

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Food pantries say high demand continues despite economic recovery, the "living hell" of heroin addiction, three casinos instead of four?

Officials at local food pantries says demand continues to increase as the economic recovery hasn't spread to all parts of the income spectrum and many people with low-wage jobs continue to struggle to afford basic necessities. [Daily Gazette]

Two Guilderland parents on the "living hell" of watching their son descend into heroin addiction. Also: A Colonie woman has gotten the attention of state legislators in her push for a state law that would allow family members to petition for involuntary addiction treatment for addicts. [TU x2]

Halfmoon developer Bruce Tanski pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor election law violation Friday for funneling contributions to the campaign of former town supervisor Mindy Wormuth through other people. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

After the uproar about the "Ghetto Chopper" t-shirts, the shirt's creators say Price Chopper has issued a cease and desist letter. The artists also apologized and said the shirts were meant as satire. [Ken Screven/TU] [News10] [Smallbany FB]
____

Update: Albany police say one of the college students to taken to the hospital this weekend for "treatment related to excessive alcohol consumption" has died. APD had responded to call on Hamilton Street early Sunday morning -- it says officers found an unconscious individual along with four other 19 year olds who were also treated for excessive alcohol consumption. [APD press release] [TU] [News10]

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Skepticism over Port of Albany oil facility plans, Colonie fight over motel demolition headed to judge, principal defends his side job as a sports agent

Representatives of Global Partners fielded questions about the company's plan for an oil heating facility at the Port of Albany from a skeptical crowd of South End residents Thursday night. Global has yet to comment on whether it will be transporting tar sands oil through the facility. Also: How a vote in North Dakota could end up making oil trains that pass through the Capital Region a bit safer. [TU] [News10] [TU]

A new topic that surfaced during a Troy City Council discussion about the city's budget problems: layoffs and furloughs. [TU]

State Police were investigating a report of shots fired on the ramp from Route 7 to I-787 northbound Thursday: "The incident occurred just prior to 1 pm and involved two dark colored vehicles of unknown make and model, wherein a passenger of one of the vehicles was observed by witnesses to fire multiple shots from a handgun in the direction of the other vehicle." A NYSP spokesman says witnesses reported the cars were on the side of the road at the time. [NYSP] [Troy Record]

SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher has declined the pay raise for her that had been floated by the system's board of trustees. [TU]

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Full house at Troy budget hearing, mother charged with lying to grand jury in fatal fire denied bail, Capital Region mayors announce plans to battle veteran homelessness

Rumors that the Troy's Engine 4 Fire Station was being considered for closure brought a large turnout to a public meeting on the city's budget on Wednesday, but city officials say there are no plans to close the station. The City Council was expected to vote on the $66.1 million city budget today but has rescheduled he vote for next Thursday .The budget, which is under scrutiny after state evaluations resulted in a warning that the state may take over financial control if it runs a one percent budget deficit, will be fine tuned this week before the vote. The city is dealing with an $800,00 deficit in 2014. Troy business owners say they are concerned that proposed cuts to the Troy BID will hurt downtown businesses. [TWCN][News 10][TU][WNYT][WNYT][TWCN]

The woman charged with lying to a grand jury about the Schenectady fire that killed her former boyfriend and three of their children was denied bail. A judge deemed that Jennica Duell is a danger to the community, including potential witnesses in the case. Prosecutors have suggested that Duell may be connected to the crime. [TU][Gazette][TWCN]

The alleged rapist captured in Fort Edward after what police describe as a cross country crime spree will remain incarcerated until his trial. [TWCN][TU]

At Wednesday's meeting about relocating Hoffman's Playland rides to land near Huck Finns's Warehouse, one environmental activist questioned whether it is wise to relocate the rides near liquefied propane storage facility. [TU]

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Men suing Saratoga County over deputy's alleged misconduct, Liberty Ridge fined $13 thousand in discrimination case, signing off after 52 years

The two men who videotaped their encounter with a Saratoga County Sheriff's deputy that resulted in the deputy resigning and being brought up on charges, are gearing up to sue the county over the incident. [TU]

Liberty Ridge Farm has paid a $13 thousand fine for refusing to host a lesbian wedding on the farm. The farm's owners are appealing the ruling by the Division of Human Rights that they violated the state's anti-discrimination law. [WNYT]

The 85 year old man who was rescued after plunging his car into the Hudson River at the Corning Preserve on Monday night, has died. [TU]

The 63-year-old former Schenectady man whose body was discovered under Freeman's Bridge Road last weekend and is believed to have been there for more than two years, had never been reported missing.[TU]

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Sheriff's sergeant in video resigns and is charged with misconduct, tax breaks for Playland move to Huck Finn's, memories from local veterans

Today is Veterans Day.

The Saratoga County Sheriff's sergeant shown in a video swearing at two men and apparently slapping one of them during an encounter Friday in a Halfmoon parking lot resigned Monday morning. And in the afternoon he was arraigned on an official misconduct charge and a harassment violation. Said county sheriff Michael Zurlo at a press conference: "His actions both as a police officer and a sergeant were completely inappropriate." The sheriff's office also released more details about the situation that prompted the encounter. Zurlo said an internal investigation will look at the actions of two other deputies on the scene who allegedly didn't report anything about the encounter. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [TU] [Post-Star] [Saratogian]

Two people have been charged with perjury for allegedly lying before a grand jury about the 2013 Schenectady arson that killed a father, three children, and badly burned another. One of them has been a subject of the investigation in the case, which is still not solved. The other is the mother of the children. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN]

Albany officials say an elderly man was pulled from the Hudson River at the Corning Preserve Monday evening after he drove his car into the river. Authorities say the man was still alive after being pulled from the car after 15 minutes. Albany's fire chief says they got a report that someone saw the man rev the engine before driving into the river. [TWCN] [TU] [News10]

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Sheriff's sergeant suspended after incident caught on video, man shot five times in Colonie, internal PEF drama, the binary of jumping from a plane

The Saratoga County Sheriff's Department says a sergeant has been suspended after video (embedded above) surfaced of an incident Friday in a Halfmoon parking lot in which it appears the sergeant slapped a man (off camera) and swore at him while trying to get the man to open his car for a search. The man's friend tells News10 the sergeant gave his friend "a good whack to the back of the head." Saratoga County sheriff Michael Zurlo tells the Times Union: "I don't condone activity as it's portrayed and we're going to look into it and we'll handle this quickly and swiftly." The man who says he was slapped tells WNYT that he had a rifle in the back seat of his car that he uses for target shooting. [Post-Star] [News10] [TU] [WNYT]

Colonie police say a man was shot five times Saturday night near the border with the Albany landfill. The man who was shot said he recognized the shooter and Colonie police made an arrest nearby. CPD hasn't shared any info on potential motive. Police say the man is expected to survive.[TU] [Troy Record] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]

Albany police say a man was shot early Saturday morning in West Hill in what was reported to be a drive-by shooting. [TU]

Authorities say an autopsy on the body found near Freemans Bridge Road is that of a 63-year-old Schenectady man who had not been reported missing. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Authorities hoping to identify body found in Glenville today, Colonie pushing for demolition of Central Ave motels, details on new SUNY chancellor's residence in Albany

Update: Pablo Cruz, convicted of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for striking and killing cyclist Paul Merges in Albany in November 12, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. [Albany County DA]

Authorities are hoping an autopsy of the body found near Freemans Bridge Road in Glenville scheduled for Friday morning will lead to an identity. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Colonie police say a woman was fatally struck by a car on Broadway in Menands late Thursday afternoon. Police say it appears the woman had been attempting to cross the street with a shopping cart. Police say it appears the driver had slowed down for another pedestrian but didn't see the woman. [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

The town of Colonie is pushing the owner of the Skylane and Blu-Bell motels, currently closed for code violations, to demolish the properties by offering to drop $750k in fines the owner faces. The owner would also have to agree to not build another motel or boarding house at the sites on Central Ave. [TU] [TWCN]

State Police say five people have been charged with 106 counts each of failure to provide food and water in the case involving the Schaghticoke house alleged to contain more than 150 cats. The Humane Society says it's still in the process of gathering the cats from the site. [NYSP] [TWCN]

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Man charged with killing mother allegedly heard voices, body found under Glenville bridge, Troy gets $300k for anti-gun violence program

The brother of the man charged with killing his mother in their Quail Street home this week says the man had been hearing voices and was released from the Capital District Psychiatric Center the day before the alleged murder. [TU]

Authorities are working to identify a dead body found partially submerged under a bridge in Glenville earlier this week. [News 10]

State Police are distributing fliers written in Chinese and English in an effort to find the people who murdered a Guilderland family of four in their Western Avenue home last month. [TU][WNYT]

Troy will get $300,000 in state funding to implement a SNUG program to combat gun violence in the city. [WNYT]]

Police have arrested a UAlbany student who allegedly threatened to "blow up the school" Tuesday on the anonymous social media app Yik Yak.[TU]

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Cuomo to New Yorkers "You ain't seen nothin' yet," GOP wins sole control of NYS Senate, Albany man charged with murdering his mother, blogger pleads guilty to hacking NXIVM computers

Andrew Cuomo easily won another term as governor of New York. In his acceptance speech, the governor told a crowd of state Democrats in Midtown Manhattan, "You ain't seen nothin' yet."[NYT][TU]

Republicans gained sole control of the NYS Senate in last night's elections.[TU]

Here's the quick scan of the general election results. [AOA]

An Albany man has been charged in the murder of his mother at a home on Quail street in the city of Albany on Monday. [News10]

A 21-year-old inmate and former Eagle Scout from Selkirk took his own life while in solitary confinement at Fishkill state prison. [TU]

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It's Election Day, APD investigating homicide, record ridership for Amtrak Empire Service, made in Cohoes and sold at Trader Joe's

Today is Election Day. Polls are open until 9 pm. Don't know where to vote? Look it up via the state Board of Elections site.

Ballots statewide include three ballot question on the back the ballot (so be sure to turn the ballot over). [State of Politics]

The Democratic and Republican parties are bracing for potential recount fights in a handful of close state Senate elections around the state (including the 46th here in the Capital Region) that could decide control of the chamber. [TU]

Among the preparation by the Albany County Board of Election for the polling place on UAlbany's campus today: an attempt to figure out which students live in Albany and which in Guilderland -- the line in some cases runs through individual dorm suites. (The BOE is trying to avoid the problems it experienced at the during the 2012 election.) [TU]

Update: The TU reports a man, the woman's son, has been charged with stabbing her to death. | Albany police say they're investigating the death of a middle-aged woman in a Quail Street residence (map) Monday afternoon, and it's being considered a homicide. APD isn't releasing other details, though a spokesman Steve Smith said detectives were talking several people and "we are confident that there is not reason for the public to be alarmed at this point." Family and friends of the woman gathered for a vigil near the residence Monday evening. [TU] [APD FB] [TWCN] [TU]

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Developers pushing campaign cash through loophole, state eyeing Troy's finances, Vega denied bail in Milligan murder case, so many campaign profiles

A look at how a handful of prominent developers in the Capital Region use the "LLC loophole" to get around, and far exceed, political campaign contribution limits. [TU]

More than $5 million has collectively been spent on the state Senate 46th race, a rematch between incumbent Cecelia Tkaczyk (D) and George Amedore (R ). A Siena poll out this past weekend has Amedore ahead. [Daily Gazette] [Siena SRI]

The state comptroller's office has told Troy leaders that a state control board could take back oversight of the Troy's finances if the city doesn't close a budget deficit projected to be $800k. [TU]

"Multiple sources" tell the Times Union that NYRA's executive committee had been considering extending the season at the Saratoga Race Course to two full months, but push back from some groups has prompted them to not follow through on the idea. [TU]

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Numbers point to local rise in poverty, food truck owners file second suit against state, SUNY chancellor in line for big raise, goal for year 101

The Albany metro area "registered a significant uptick in the number of residents living below the poverty line" between 2012 and 2013, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Brookings Institution. Local charity organizations say they've been feeling the trend. [Brookings] [TU]

The state Gaming Commission released some previously redacted info regarding the casino applications, including some details about Hard's Rock's arrangement with the proposed Rensselaer casino. [Daily Gazette]

The Democratic Party in New York has sent out letters to about a million registered Democratic voters telling them: "We will be reviewing the ... official voting records after the upcoming election to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014." [AP/Daily Gazette]

The owners of the Wandering Dago food truck have filed a second lawsuit against the state arguing that co-owner Andrea Loguidice was inappropriately fired from a position with the state DEC because of her association with the business. They allege DEC officials were wary of her connection to the truck because Andrew Cuomo had expressed criticism of the name. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Schaghticoke cat house condemned, AG candidates debate tonight, Bethlehem police warn against grandparent phone scam, you can't put campaign signs outside the Governor's Mansion

The fugitive arrested in Hudson Falls on Tuesday had jumped bail and escaped from house arrest where he was awaiting trial on rape charges. Police believe he was headed east to try to kill his first victim. [TWCN][WNYT]

The Schaghticoke building where 150 cats were found earlier this week has been condemned and the four people who lived there have been offered housing and medical assistance by the county. Charges against the residents are still pending. Crews are still attempting to rescue cats living inside the walls of the home and trying to determine whether some of the cats actually belonged to other people. [TWCN][TU][Record][WNYT][News 10]

On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Andrew Cuomo visited Staten Island where he announced an Upstate Strategic Fuel Reserve system in response to fuel supply disruptions that occurred during the event. One of the locations where fuel will be stored for the initiative will be in Rensselaer.[TU][Record]

Andrew Cuomo says allegations that he spent Superstorm Sandy recovery money on television ads are "political baloney." [TU]

The NYT suggests that the handling of Superstorm Sandy and the handling of Moreland Commission have something in common. [NYT]

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Alleged serial rapist captured following Fort Edward chase, 80 cats removed from "giant litterbox" in Schaghticoke, meeting on gun violence in Albany, Morette's reopens in Schenectady

An alleged serial rapist was captured overnight in Fort Edward, ending a multi state manhunt. Police say 26 year old Gregory Lewis was wanted in eight states for raping women he has arranged to meet through escort services. Police attempted to pull him over for driving without a license plate when he led them on a high speed chase that ended when he crashed into the Hudson River. [TWCN][WNYT][TU][News 10]

Troopers removed 80 of 150 cats from a Schaghticoke home one trooper described as "a giant litter box." The homeowner and her family were identified as having been involved in three previous cat hoarding incidents.[TU][WNYT][News 10]

A detailed account of the New York State quarantine order for travelers from West Africa - which goes beyond federal recommendations but would seek to allow people to choose where to spend their time under quarantine-- has been released by the Cuomo administration. [NYT]

A West African family in Schenectady County has ended their voluntary 21 day in home stay and has been shown free of Ebola symptoms. [TU][Gazette]

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Cuomo/Christie and CDC differ on Ebola policies, police say Albany shootings not connected, former police officer accused of stalking attorney, the ring wanted to be found

The Ebola quarantine policies announced by Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie on Friday -- and then adjusted over the weekend -- caught criticism for being more motivated by politics than science. On Monday the CDC announced new guidance to states on how to handle people who might have been exposed to Ebola, and it's not as restrictive as the policies announced in New York and New Jersey. Said Cuomo Monday: "I disagree with the CDC, and at the end of the day, I'm the governor of the state of New York, and my No. 1 job is to protect the people of the state of New York." [NYT] [NPR] [AP/TU]

Albany police chief Steven Krokoff says the five shootings in the city this month are not related, nor are they gang related. Said Krokoff: "These are people that have some level of connection and in some way, shape or form got into an argument, and it resulted in gun violence." There's a community meeting at the Capital South Campus Center Tuesday evening about gun violence. [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

NYPIRG's Blair Horner on the public campaign financing pilot in the state comptroller's race: "It was designed to fail, and it has." [TU]

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APD investigating two shooting incidents, video in Mount case released, push for lower speed limits, Castleton Stewart's closes

Albany police say they're investigating two separate shooting incidents from over the weekend in which three people were apparently shot. APD says two people were shot during an incident in the South End Saturday night. And Sunday afternoon officers found a man who had been shot while responding to a call in West Hill. It's the second time in recent weeks there's been at shooting near South Pearl Street and Alexander Street in the South End, and Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin says residents would like to see a stronger police presence in the neighborhood. Five people have been shot in Albany during October. [APD FB] [TWCN] [TU]

Saratoga Springs police have released surveillance camera footage from the start of the chase involving Daryl Mount Jr. The video was released at 5 pm on Friday. The city's police chief said the video was finally released 14 months after the incident on "advice from legal counsel." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

A Colonie woman whose 18-year-old daughter died of heroin overdose is pushing for a state law that would increase penalties for drug dealers when a sale leads to a fatal overdose. [TU]

On Friday Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced a mandatory 21-day quarantine for anyone returning to JFK and Newwark airports from West Africa after having direct contact with anyone infected with Ebola. That resulted in a nurse returning from Sierra Leone being put in an isolation tent at a Newark hospital, despite not showing any symptoms, and testing negative for Ebola -- and she hired a civil rights attorney. After urging from the Obama administration, Cuomo said the policy would be adjusted and health care workers who didn't exhibit symptoms would be allowed to stay at home. [Cuomo admin] [NPR] [NYT]

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Man arraigned in death of Vanessa Milligan, Ebola case in NYC, llamas on the lam

Gabriel Vega -- accused of killing Vanessa Milligan in Lansingburgh this past April -- was arraigned on charges that included murder, abortion, and arson. The unusual abortion charge is for the baby Milligan was carrying -- she was due to give birth the next week. Police and prosecutors have not said how Milligan was killed. At press conference Troy deputy police chief Richard McAvoy called Vega "a classic sociopath." Vega's attorneys said in a statement that their client maintains his innocence. Said Milligan's father: "I wanted to jump over the banister and just go to jail, but I knew I wouldn't be able to get to him and my cousin was holding me tight. And I just, just wanted to die. Just wanted to cry." [Troy Record] [TWCN] [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU] [News10]

The state Department of Transportation has concluded that the derailment of 18 train cars in Selkirk rail yard this week was due to a piece of safety equipment that had been left on a track. Albany County exec Dan McCoy is pointing to the incident as an example of a need for direct communication between rail companies and the county when an accident happens. [TU] [TWCN]

A New York City doctor who recently returned from Guinea where he had been working with Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients has tested positive for the disease. Public health officials have been working to trace his potential contacts in the city. The doctor is being treated at Bellevue Hospital in NYC, one of the hospitals designated in the state's Ebola response plan. [NYT x2] [Cuomo admin]

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Suspect arrested in Vanessa Milligan's death, tentative agreement to save Ladder No. 1, Malta businessman honored by White House

Police arrested the former boyfriend of 19-year-old Vanessa Milligan in connection with the death of Milligan and her unborn daughter in Lansingburgh. Gabriel Vega is expected to be arraigned this morning in Rensselaer County Court.[Record][WNYT][News 10]

Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan and the Albany firefighters union have struck a tentative deal that would keep Ladder No. 1 open in exchange for help cutting $1.2 million from other parts of the fire department. [TU]

Somewhere between 18 and 25 freight cars derailed Wednesday night in Selkirk. One car was a propane tank, but that does not appear to be a danger. [TU][WNYT][TWCN]

Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino met Wednesday, along with third party candidates Howie Hawkins and Michael McDermott, in what is expected to be their only debate of the gubernatorial campaign. Cuomo and Astorino traded barbs about support for fracking and women's issues. [TU] [NYT]

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Siena Poll reports Cuomo still ahead but with highest unfavorables to date, Capital Region's first START-UP NY designee, Schenectady knocks down the first of 80 buildings

The newest Siena College poll reports Andrew Cuomo and Eric Schneiderman both more than 20 points ahead of their challengers. Still, Cuomo had his highest unfavorable rating since becoming governor.[NYT][TU]

WMHT will televise what it appears will be the only debate between Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino, tonight at 8pm.[TU]

Andrew Cuomo's reelection campaign rented its email list to Harper Collins to promote the governor's new memoir.[TU]

An "eTextbook delivery" company that currently employs 11 people is the Capital Region's first tax free START-UP NY designee. ClassBook.com expects to move into downtown Albany and create about 70 new jobs. [TU][WNYT]

A Green Island man is dead after his car crashed into a school bus on Route 7 in Rensselaer County on Tuesday morning. No serious injuries were reported among the 26 children onboard the bus. [TWCN][Record]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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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