Morning Blend

A quick scan each morning of headlines from around the region

Troy sorting difficult budget options, the buzz from rescuing Buzz, sentencing in attack on Schenectady police officer, a more walkable Western Ave

Troy budget crunch
With the city facing a $5.8 million budget gap after all the recent budget/tax cap override drama, Troy mayor Patrick Madden says his administration is trying to figure out what options it has -- and how it might lay off as many as 90 city employees. [TU]

Crossgates gunfire incident
The Albany County DA's Office says the man accused of firing a gun in Crossgates -- 20-year-old Tasheem Maeweather of Albany -- has been indicted on a group of charges that include second-degree attempted murder. An off-duty state trooper testified during a preliminary hearing that he had witnessed the Maeweather get into an altercation outside the Apple store and that's when Maeweather allegedly fired a gun. [Albany County DA] [TU]

Rescuing Buzz
Lt. Colonel David Panzera, of the 109th Airlift Wing in Scotia on his unit's involvement in the medical evacuation of Buzz Aldrin from Antarctica: "We've made in essence a dangerous mission safe." Also: "A hero to both the Air Force and to the United States at the elevated level of Col. Buzz Aldrin, you bet it's exciting." [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

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Neil Golub dismisses report of rumored Price Chopper sale, Albany passes 2017 budget, Troy mayor warns of layoffs, no Ballston Walmart, rescuing Buzz Aldrin

Price Chopper
+"I don't comment on stuff like that, when you see nonsense articles coming from halfway across the country," -- Neil Golub on a Reuters story about rumors that the Golubs are in advanced talks to sell Price Chopper to Albertson's. [TU]

+Chris Churchill laments the potential loss of the only locally owned grocery store in the Capital Region. [TU+]

Mayor warns of layoffs in Troy
Troy Mayor Patrick Madden warned city employees on Wednesday to be prepared for layoffs after the City Council failed to override the state tax cap, leaving the city with a $5.8 million deficit. [WNYT][TU]

Albany budget
Albany's Common Council approved a $180 million 2017 budget by a vote of 11-4[Correction: the vote was 10-4 with one abstention], but only after considerable debate over trash fees and a protest by some city employees who are still without contracts[WNYT]

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Reuters rumors Price Chopper sale, Troy still without budget, teens arrested in Guilderland bomb threat, Mastroianni Bros. on auction block

Rumored Price Chopper deal
Citing confidential sources, Reuters reports that the national grocery store chain Albertson's is in advanced talks to purchase Price Chopper for $1 billion. Price Chopper and Albertson's are declining to comment. [Reuters]

Troy budget
Troy's City Council failed to override the state tax cap on Tuesday and did not adopt a 2017 budget. Mayor Patrick Made says the failure of the council to pass a budget will result in "fiscal Chaos" for the city. [TU][Record]

Elk Street shooting
An Albany man was hospitalized early Wednesday morning after a shooting on the 300 block of Elk Street in the city. [News 10]

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Troy budget fight down to the wire, guilty plea in $3 million theft from company at Port of Albany, Rezone Albany and the Palais, another Clark House project in Troy

Crunch time for Troy budget
It appears Troy mayor Patrick Madden and the four members of the City Council's Republican majority steering committee are still far apart on an agreement about the size of the tax increase in the city budget ahead of Tuesday evening's scheduled vote. Madden says if the city doesn't override the tax cap, it's facing the layoff of 90 positions and elimination of certain services. Council president Carmella Mantello called Madden's current proposal of a 23 percent tax increase "unfair and unjust." And Madden said the council leadership has "demonstrated an unwillingness to accept the reality of costs associated with municipal operations and services." [Troy Record] [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

Rocks shooting
Albany police have identified the man fatally shot during a party at Rocks in the early monring of Thanksgiving 26-year-old Wendell Hill of Troy. APD also says it's identified a person it believes to be the shooter, but will not release name during the investigation. An APD spokesman says police think the victim and shooter knew each other and it was an isolated incident at a private party, though the motive is still unclear. Monday evening there was a Cure Violence rally outside the club. [APD press release] [TWCN] [WNYT] [News10] [WNYT]

$3 million theft
Federal prosecutors say an Athens woman who worked for Cargill at Port of the Albany pled guilty to stealing $3.1 million from the company over 10 years -- and causing the company at least $25 million in losses. She faces up to 20 years in prison and has agreed to pay restituion of at least $3.5 million. [US DOJ] [TU]

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10 news stories from over the Thanksgiving break

Here are 10 stories (or groups of stories) from the over the Thanksgiving break.

Shooting at Rocks
Four people were shot -- one fatally -- at Rocks on Central Ave in Albany early Thanksgiving morning, according to Albany police. The bar's owner says the shooting occurred at a private party next door -- and officials say it doesn't appear the incident targeted the LBGTQ community. As of Sunday, APD had yet to release the names of the victims or a description of the suspect. [APD] [News10] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Crunch time for city budgets

+ Troy mayor Patrick Madden says his administration has gotten the tax increase in the proposed budget down to 23 percent. But the group of four City Council Republicans that's said they won't approve a tax cap override unless the increase is cut to 9.5 percent says it's not enough. [TWCN][News10]

+ Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan released a response to last week's letter from four Common Council members criticizing her proposed budget, providing counterpoints to the letter's argument and pushing back on its overall message: "Since engaging in meaningful dialogue clearly is not your intent or desire, this letter simply corrects, for the record, the falsehoods and misrepresentations in your letter." Frank Commisso Jr. -- one of the four council members, and a potential challenger for the mayor's office -- continued to criticize the mayor, saying her administration isn't taking responsibility for its actions. [Sheehan admin] [TWCN]

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Hoosick Falls residents press the state over water contamination, stirring of the Albany mayoral race, Gaffney's is being sold

Hoosick Falls
A group of Hoosick Falls residents and advocacy orgs were at the Capitol Monday to continue criticism of the state's response to drinking water contamination in the village. Said one resident, Michele Baker: "We stand before you exhausted and angry, because New York state has failed us." From a joint statement by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health: "New York State has taken unprecedented action and spared no expense to secure clean drinking water for Hoosick Falls." [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN]

Albany budget and politics
The Common Council vote on the Albany budget has been pushed back to November 30 after members of the council push for more info. [TU]

Chris Churchill: The letter sent by four Common Council members this weekend criticizing the budget is a sign that the next mayoral race has started. (Judd Krasher, one of those council members, to TWCN about the letter: "We reject this budget in its current form. But moreover, we reject the now-three years into Mayor Sheehan's term of the failed budget practices, the failed economic development practices of this administration.") [TU+] [TWCN]

Schenectady homicide investigation
As Schenectady police say they're "aggressively" working leads in the case of a man found shot to death on outside his home in Bellevue, residents of the neighborhood are thinking about whether this incident and a recent murder-suicide are aberrations or representative of a trend. [TU+]

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Winter's back, budget drama in Troy and Albany, monitoring domestic terror in New York, about giving the gondola a chance

Snow
Area at higher elevations got significant snowfall -- with reports of more than a foot in parts of Rensselaer County. [NWS Albany]

Troy budget
On Friday Troy mayor Patrick Madden pushed for the city council to approve a tax cap override for the city budget -- and criticized many of the budget cuts proposed by the four-coalition that's pledged to stop an override if its demands are not met: "The public should not be misled into thinking there are viable options to bring the tax increase down." Council president Carmella Mantello said Madden was wrong in how he described some of the cuts: "It comes down to different philosophies, different views of priorities." [TWCN] [Troy Record]

Albany budget
A group of Albany Common Council members -- Ron Bailey, Frank Commisso Jr., Judd Krasher, and Mark Robinson -- released a letter criticizing the composition and presentation of mayor Kathy Sheehan's proposed budget and accused her administration of having "gross inexperience with municipal finance." Sheehan called statements in the letter "reckless" and "irresponsible." [Scribd] [TU]

Trump University settlement
Donald Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits involving fraud allegations related to his for-profit Trump University. One of those lawsuits was filed by New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman in 2013, who in a statement Friday called Trump's venture "a phony university" and said Trump will pay a $1 million fine for violation state education laws. [NYT] [TU] [NYS OAG]

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Public comments on Troy budget situation, new oversight of SUNY Poly development arms, big mixed-use project floated for Green Island

Troy budget crunch
A city council budget hearing Thursday included many public comments about the Troy budget situation -- including those warning a big tax increase will prompt more vacant buildings, and others warning of the consequences of making cuts. The four member Republican council group that includes council president Carmella Mantello said this week it will not allow an override of the tax cap if the tax increase is more than 9.5 percent. [TU] [TWCN] [Troy Record]

SUNY Poly
The CEO of Empire State Development, Howard Zemsky, says his agency will have oversight of the two real estate arms of SUNY Poly that had been used to handle many economic development projects for the university. Zemsky also said companies had become "had grown very tired and very weary" of working with SUNY Poly because of delays in payments. [Biz Review] [TU]

Also: SUNY Poly's chief operating officer is stepping down from the role -- he's third high-level SUNY Poly official to leave during the past week. [Politico]

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Student stabbed at LaSalle, State A.G. may investigate Abelove, Troy council members fight tax hike, Schumer new Senate Minority Leader

Student stabbed at LaSale
Albany police are investigating a student stabbing at LaSalle High School on Wednesday. Police say one student stabbed another between classes on Wednesday morning, sending he victims to Albany Medical Center. [TU][News 10]

Ethics
Andrew Cuomo has announced a new set of ethics reforms that would affect the State Legislature, SUNY and CUNYm including the creation of a new position -- Chief Procurement Officer -- to examine contracts for wrongdoing.[NYT] [WNYT][News 10]

Schumer
Senate Democrats have elected Chuck Schumer to be their new minority leader. [News 10]

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Legislative pay hike nixed, police search for motive in fatal south mall beating, Spa City plans neighborhood watch, crow banishment begins

Legislative pay hike
The State Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation, on Tuesday, voted down a proposed pay raise for NYS legislators. Legislators have not had a pay raise in two decades, but members of the commission say ethics issues and limits outside income must be addressed before pay raises will be approved. [News 10][NYT]

Troy budget
A public meeting is slated for tonight on Troy's proposed budget which includes a 28 percent tax hike. Four Republican members of the City Council have suggested a plan to drop the tax hike to less than ten percent. [TWCN][Record]

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Arrest in Crossgates gunfire incident, leaders around area to respond to racist speech, woman dies from injuries in South Mall Towers beating,

Crossgates gunfire arrest
An Albany man has been arrested in connection with the gunfire at Crossgates Saturday. Guilderland police say they focused on the man because of security video and a witness picking him out of a photo lineup -- police then surveilled his apartment and was taken into custody at a car wash. Albany police chief Brendan Cox said Monday police believe the man got out of the mall during the initial rush of people to the exits after the shot was fired. Guilderland police chief Carol Lawlor said again on Monday police believe the incident was an argument between two people and no victim has been located. [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [News10] [TU]

Lockdown drills: A look at some of the lockdown drills stores in the mall had practiced previous to Saturday's incident. [WNYT]

Racist speech
+ Swastikas were discovered on pavement in Ballston Spa and Saratoga Springs in recent days. Politico leaders of both parties in Saratoga County denounced the acts -- though they disagreed on what might be prompting them. [Daily Gazette] [Saratoga]
+ Fliers advertising a website against "AntiWhite propaganda" were posted around UAlbany's uptown campus Monday morning. UAlbany says the fliers were taken down because their posting didn't follow university rules about signs. [@epoppp] [TU]
+ Shen school superintendent Oliver Robinson on his letter to parents about recent incidents involving students saying racist things -- and the pushback the letter got on the district's Facebook page, to TWCN: "My concern is not politics; I don't care who people vote for or don't vote for ... My concern is how do we ensure that we have a school community that every single child can come to every day and not fearful of, will they be deported? Will they be criticized?" [Daily Gazette] [Shen FB] [TWCN]

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Search for suspect in Crossgates gunfire, Cuomo says New York is a refuge, Troy officials work to reduce tax increase, three legs and one new home

Crossgates gunfire
Guilderland police chief Carol Lawlor said Sunday that police are searching for one suspect in the Crossgates gunfire incident on Saturday, and there have been no arrests. Lawlor said there was one shot fired during the incident: "It wasn't somebody who went to shoot up the mall, it was an isolated incident between two individuals." As many as 16 different law enforcement agencies responded to the mall. [TU x2] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

Guilderland police say anyone who might have left something at the mall during the lockdown and evacuation can get in touch with the department or the store they were in about retrieving their items. [News10]

Trump presidency
+ Andrew Cuomo in a Facebook post this weekend: "As New Yorkers, we have fundamentally different philosophies than what Donald Trump laid out in his campaign. So let me be absolutely clear: If anyone feels that they are under attack, I want them to know that the state of New York - the state that has the Statue of Liberty in its harbor - is their refuge." [Andrew Cuomo FB]
+ Prompted by Donald Trump's comments about abortion and his potential Supreme Court picks, state legislators are pushing for an update of New York's abortion law. [Politico NY]
+ The two local affiliates of Planned Parenthood say they've received an outpouring of support after last week's election. [TU]
+ There was an anti-Trump rally outside the state Capitol this weekend. [TWCN]
+ Shenendehowa school district superintendent Oliver Robinson: "[O]ver the past several days, seemingly emboldened by the Trump presidential win, I have been informed of an increasing number of cases of students demonstrating, in words and action, extreme bigotry - both racist and anti-Muslim. We are better than that as a school community and I am soliciting your assistance to ensure that remains the case." Jessica Córdova: Open letter to Shenendehowa schools about incidents at at Acadia Middle School and High School West. [Shen school district] [Jessica Córdova blog]

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State and local reactions to Trump presidency, alleged hazing incident involving UAlbany students, call for lower speed limit on road where trooper was fatally hit

Today is Veterans Day. It's a federal holiday so some thing will be closed. Albany's annual Veterans Day parade starts at 11 am at Central Ave and Ontario Street and heads downtown.

Donald Trump
+ On Thursday Andrew Cuomo was using a gentler tone about Donald Trump's upcoming presidency, but Cuomo also told reporters: "I have grave philosophical differences with the positions that Donald Trump laid out in the campaign, and that is not going to change and that is not going to go away ... We won't allow a federal government that attacks immigrants in our state." [TU]
+ One issue on which New York State leaders and a Trump administration could be very much on the same page: big spending on infrastructure. [TU+]
+ Officials for RISSE, an org that assists refugees in Albany, say Trump's electoral victory has their clients worried about deportation and freedom of religion. [TWCN]
+ A political scientist's message to students at a UAlbany forum about Donald Trump's upcoming administration: "Organize, organize, organize." [Daily Gazette]

Rensselaer County jail harassment case
An order this week by the state Division of Human Rights brings the total that will be paid to a female former Rensselaer County jail sergeant found to have been harassed by co-workers at the jail to $2.15 million. [TU]

Alleged con involving Schenectady police officer
Colonie police lieutenant Robert Wynn on that case involving a con man, his boyfriend the Schenectady police officer, a possible luxury car scam: "The whole thing is a tangled web of deceit." (That article also includes mention of the sex party allegation that got so much initial attention -- Albany police chief says an investigation so far has concluded that claim "looks like a bunch of nonsense.") [TU+]

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Crews battle Colonie house fire, sentencing in Saratoga County ATV death, Albany County charter revisions pass, six tons of turkey

Colonie fire
Crews are battling a major house fire in Colonie this morning. One person was injured, a dog died and a large snake is missing from the home.[WNYT][TU]

Sentencing in ATV crash
A Saratoga County Court judge sentenced Edward Wager to five to 15 years in prison for the alcohol related ATV accident that killed a passenger in June of 2015. [Saratogian]

County judicial race heads to state Supreme Court
New York's State Supreme Court will rule on the outcome of a race for Schenectady County Family Court Judge. [Gazette]

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Clinton concedes, Republicans maintain control of NYS Senate, two sentenced in Porreca murder, alleged would-be vandal falls from roof of The Madison

Presidential election
The next President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. [NYT]

How New York Voted
Hillary Clinton won New York State. [Poughkeepsie Journal]

Faso-Teachout
John Faso won the election to replace Chris Gibson in the NY-19 Congressional District over Zephyr Teachout, 52-43.

Chuck Schumer
Chuck Schumer easily defeated challenger Wendy Long to hold onto his US Senate seat.[NYT]

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It's Election Day, Stewart's called out over lack of accommodation for nursing mother, racism in the Adirondacks, James Franco at Union

Election Day
+ The polls are open until 9 pm Tuesday. Don't know where to vote? You can look it up on the state Board of Elections site.

+ Much of the attention today will be focused on the presidential election, of course. But on the state level here there will also be a lot of attention on how control of the state Senate shakes out (including the outcome of the George Amedore/Sara Nicolli matchup for the 46th state Senate district) and the close competition between John Faso and Zephyr Teachout to replace Chris Gibson in the 19th Congressional district. [Politico NY] [Daily Gazette]

+ Reviewing the New York's rules for taking ballot photos and ballot selfies. [Daily Gazette]

Calling out Stewart's over lack of accommodation for breastfeeding mother
A Stewart's employee says she had to close the Troy location she was working at Sunday for 15 minutes so she could breastfeed because the company didn't adequately staff the location (nor does it provide a place for her to pump). Her fiancee called the company out online. Stewart's blamed the situation on "a breakdown in communication" and said it regretted the situation. [News10] [Instagram] [TU]

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Bust in alleged Albany County jail contraband scheme, years of losses projected at SUNY Poly-controlled Kiernan Plaza, why has the State Seal Spring stopped?

Arrests in alleged Albany County jail contraband scheme
Albany County sheriff Craig Apple said a longtime county jail employee was arrested Saturday as part of an investigation into an alleged scheme in which contraband was smuggled into the jail. Twelve other people -- including six inmates -- also face charges. Apple says the alleged scheme involved the jail employee taking items such as tobacco, marijuana, and mobile phones into the jail for a fee of $200. Said Apple at a press conference: "Everything that gets smuggled in is dangerous ... He jeopardized the life of every single employee in that facility." [TWCN] [News10] [WNYT] [TU]

Schenectady murder suicide
Schenectady police say they believe the gunshot deaths in a Shannon Street residence in the Bellevue neighborhood last week were a murder suicide -- they say 40-year-old Wayne Goodwin shot 39-year-old Desire Pagan multiple times before shooting himself. Members of Pagan's family tell News10 that Pagan and Goodwin had a child together. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10]

Albany truancy program
A look at how Albany's anti-truancy program -- which got national recognition -- has come apart, and in the words of the school district superintendent, needed "a reboot." [TU+]

SUNY Poly / Kiernan Plaza
SUNY Poly projections have its real estate arm losing money on Kiernan Plaza (the old train station in downtown Albany) for the next five years -- and the Biz Review reports there's no apparent effort to market the "Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center" space at the venue. [Biz Review]

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Investigation of Schenectady gunshot deaths, Troy continues to scrape toward a budget, ban on ballot selfies upheld, last day of business after 96 years

Schenectady Shannon St. gunshot deaths investigation
Schenectady police have identified the two people found dead of gunshot wounds Wednesday night in a residence on Shannon Street -- but police still haven't publicly said what they suspect happened. "An official familiar with the investigation" has told the Times Union the case is being investigated as a murder suicide. [News10] [WNYT] [TU]

APD investigating allegation made against officer
Albany police chief Brendan Cox says the department is investigating the allegation -- made by the man at the center of that Times Union story earlier this week involving allegedly fake checks, a luxury car, porn, and a Schenectady police officer -- that one of its officers had a sexual relationship with a minor: "So far there's no corroboration for anything that's been alleged but I have to complete our investigation." [TWCN] [News10]

Troy budget
The state comptroller's office issued a letter praising the proposed Troy city budget for realistically projecting revenues and expenses, but also warned the city risks the return of state oversight if it doesn't override the tax cap and/or significantly cut expenses. Mayor Patrick Madden and council president Carmella Mantello are still odds over the proposed 28 percent tax increase -- Mantello and other Republicans on the council majority say they won't for the override without larger cuts in spending. [News10] [TU] [Troy Record]

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Two dead in Schenectady shooting, Multiple arrests in fatal hit and run, new NYS tourism highway signs may be illegal

Schenectady shooting
Schenectady police are investigating the shooting deaths of a man and woman in a Shannon Street home in the city's Bellevue neighborhood. Police say they believe the man and woman were a couple. [TU][WNYT]

Multiple arrests in fatal Milton Hit and run
Five people have been arrested in connection with a fatal Halloween night hit and run in Milton. [TU]

Schenectady police officer suspended
The Schenectady police officer under investigation for allegedly passing forged checks says he didn't know the checks were fraudulent.Sgt. Jonathan Moore has been suspended from his job while police investigate charges.

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New poll shows Teachout leading Faso, Saratoga County budget to exceed tax cap, Franco movie continues filming in Troy

Teachout/Faso
A new poll shows Zephyr Teachout with a slight lead over John Faso in the race for the 19th Congressional District seat.[WNYT][TU]

Albany trash fee
A look at the proposals on the table for amending or eliminating Albany's trash fee.[WNYT]

Schenectady officer linked to gay porn films
According to a report in the Times Union, a counterfeit check has led authorities to investigate a Schenectady police officer's alleged connection to the gay porn industry and a forgery case. (This is a wild story. But the third and
fourth paragraphs are quite an accusation citing only a vague anonymous source.) [TU]

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Fatal hit and run in Milton, attorney says his client was coerced in Hulett St fire investigation, price tag for 50 Hudson Ave demolition, James Franco movie filming in Troy

Fatal hit-and-run in Milton
The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office says a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle on Saratoga Ave in Milton early Sunday morning and died shortly after the crash. SCSO says the driver left the scene. And sheriff Michael Zurlo tells TWCN that when the vehicle was found, "It was in an area way off the road and you could say they were trying to conceal it." SCSO described the man who hit as homeless. [News10] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [TU]

Stabbing in Colonie
Colonie police say a 17 year old who was out trick-or-treating Monday night was stabbed during a fight (map). CPD says the teen was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. [WNYT] [News10]

Timothy Pratt funeral
Hundreds of people were in the church for the funeral of Timothy Pratt, the State Police trooper who died last week after being hit by a vehicle during a stop to help a tractor trailer in Wilton. His daughter, Sarah Pratt, described him as "the hero of heroes." More than 2,000 law enforcement members gathered outside the church during the service. [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Fiery crash at Colonie tavern, questions about Hulett Street fire investigation, Schumer and Long debate, can/should Albany treasurer salary be cut for other raises?

Colonie car crash, fire
Colonie police say a driver crashed his car into two other vehicles in the parking lot of Blessing's Tavern Friday night, and two of the vehicles went through the wall of the tavern and one of the vehicles burst into flames, and the building then caught fire. CPD says four people were injured -- the driver of the car, a cook, and a tavern patron were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The fourth -- a 16 year old who was a passenger in the first car -- suffered burns on more than 95 percent of his body, according to family, and was taken to a burn unit in Westchester County. He was in critical condition as of Sunday night. A witness tells TWCN he saw the teen running, "completely engulfed in flames." [CPD press release] [News10] [TU] [TWCN x2]

The driver is facing charges that include vehicular assault and driving while ability impaired by drugs. [CPD press release]

Hulett Street fire investigation
Brendan Lyons on the investigation into the Hulett Street fire in Schenectady that killed four people and seriously injured Safyre Terry: "A review of interview transcripts, court records and a copy of [Jennica] Duell's videotaped interrogation, which was recently made public by the U.S. Attorney's office, also raises questions about whether Schenectady detectives and federal agents manipulated the interviews that resulted in Duell and another man, Bryan Fish, who was 18 at the time, signing strikingly similar and detailed statements that implicated [Robert] Butler, who always maintained his innocence." [TU+]

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A new snowfall record, sentencing in Lansingburgh arson, Marquis Dixon could be released soon, Caffe Lena renovations nearing end

It snowed
The NWS Albany recorded 1.7 inches of snow at ALB Thursday, a record for the date (by .1 of an inch). Totals were higher in outer areas -- Porter Corners in Saratoga County recorded 3.5 inches. And the high of 36 degrees was the lowest max temp for the date on record. [NWS Albany x2]

Sentencing in Lansingburgh arson
The three people who pleaded guilty in the May 2015 Lansingburgh arson that led to the death of Grace Halpin were sentenced to 22 years, 20 years, and 2 1/3-7 years in prison. Halpin's daughter read her victim impact statement at each of the sentencings Thursday. [Troy Record] [TU]

Prominent Albany pastor arrested
Edward B. Smart -- pastor of First Israel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and a prominent community leader in Albany -- and his wife, Marion, are facing felony charges related to $12,000 in social services benefits they're accused of taking by understating their income. (The Times Union reported earlier this week that Smart is the subject of "a multi-agency criminal investigation" looking into allegations he improperly took money from a non-profit.) [TU] [TU+] [WNYT]

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Trooper remembered for helping people, not-guilty plea in Lake George boating fatality, man survives fall from Dunn Memorial Bridge, Cuomo supports upstate ride sharing


Trooper Pratt remembered
Funeral arrangements are underway for NYS Trooper Timothy Pratt, who was killed early Wednesday when he was hit by a car while investigating why a tractor trailer was parked in a median in Wilton. Flags were lowered to half mast around the state and Pratt's Body was returned to South Glens Falls from Albany Med on Wednesday evening in a procession up the Northway. No tickets are expected to be issued in the incident. A colleague remembered Pratt on Wednesday, saying "He died the way he lived, helping people." [WNYT][Saratogian][TWCN][Gazette]

Not guilty plea in fatal boating incident
The driver of the boat that crashed into another boat on Lake George over the summer, killing a 7-year-old girl, pled not-guilty to a dozen charges on Wednesday, including manslaughter, assault and criminally negligent homicide and boating while impaired by drugs and alcohol. The judge in the case increased Alexander West's bail from $100 thousand to $300 thousand , but West's attorney expected he would make bail by the end of the week. [TU][Gazette]

Worker rescued from building collapse
A worker was rescued from a Colonie home on Wednesday when the home's foundation gave way trapping him in the building. [TU]

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Calls to close Colonie landfill, state trooper dies from injuries in Wilton crash, 30 years worth of library fines

State Police trooper dies from injuries following crash
Update: State Police say the trooper, Timothy Pratt, has died. | A NYS Trooper has been hospitalized with serious injuries after he was struck by a car on Ballard Road in Wilton while attempting to assist a tractor trailer Wednesday morning. [NYSP] [News 10]

Colonie landfill
At a public meeting on Tuesday, residents of Colonie, Waterford and Halfmoon called for the closing, rather than the expansion, of the Colonie town landfill. [WNYT][TU]

Kaloyeros / Percoco
A federal judge is giving prosecutors two extra weeks to file an indictment against Joe Percoco, Alain Kaloyeros and six others in the bid-rigging scandal bribery scandal uncovered last month. [TWCN]

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Another arrest in Rensselaer County homicides case, man accused of string of Albany bank robberies, CDTA gets bids for bike share program

Another arrest in Rensselaer County homicides case
Troy police say a fourth person has been arrested in the case involving the beating death of Javier Gomez in an apartment on Glen Ave. The men are accused of using a hammer and knife to kill Gomez. Police says Gomez's death is connected to the death of Christian Gonzalez-Hernandez, Gomez's roommate, whose body was found in Brunswick. But no charges have been filed in the death of Gonzalez-Hernandez. [TWCN] [TU] [News10] [Troy Record]

Hulett Street fire
The federal prosecutor in the Hulett Street fire case told a judge Monday that there is "significant evidence" that one of the men recently arrested on perjury charges in the case, Bryan Fish of Saratoga Springs, was involved with the fatal arson. The judge ordered Fish held pending trial. The 2013 Hulett Street fire killed four people and significantly injured Safyre Terry. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Arrest in Albany bank robberies
Albany police say they arrested 56-year-old Albany man Monday after a robbery at the Citizens Bank at 111 Washington Ave (map). And APD alleges the man is also responsible for two other bank robberies on State Street this month, along with a convenience store robbery on Quail Street. [APD]

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More indictments in Hulett Street fire case, city of Albany and Albany County at odds over payments, arrest in alleged UAlbany rape, healing with horses

More indictments related to Hulett Street fire
Two more people have been indicted on federal perjury charges in connection with the 2013 Hulett Street fire in Schenectady that killed four people and seriously injured Safyre Terry. The feds accuse the one of the men of lying to a grand jury about events leading up to the fire, and the other is accused of lying about a car alleged to have been involved. Two other people -- Jennica Duell and Edward Leon -- are already serving time for perjury in the case, but no one has yet been charged with the deaths in the arson case. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN]

Arrest in UAlbany rape case
A Guilderland man has been arrested after he allegedly entered a residence at UAlbany's Stuyvesant Tower early Sunday morning where a student was sleeping and had sex with her without her consent. The man, who is not a UAlbany student, is facing rape and burglary charges -- and was just recently released on parole. A university spokesman says they don't think the student knew the 25-year-old man. The university says it's investigating how he may have gotten into the building, which has a key card entry. [TWCN] [News10] [TU] [WNYT]

Conflict over veterans' school tax break
A state law passed in 2013 allows school districts to give a tax break to veterans -- which has put school boards in the uncomfortable position of choosing whether to extend the break and spread the cost to other tax payers, or face criticism that they're not supporting veterans. [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Murder charges in Rensselaer County homicides case, donations help football team after suspicious fire burns equipment, the Onrust says it needs help

Rensselaer County homicides
Authorities say the three men arrested in Virginia this week in connection with two separate homicides in Rensselaer County are facing second-degree murder charges in the death of Javier Gomez, the man found dead in a Troy apartment Monday. Gomez was roommates with Cristian Gonzalez Hernandez, whose body was found in Brunswich Tuesday. "Law enforcements sources with knowledge of the investigation" tell the Times Union that three suspects arrested had been at a Colonie motel with Hernandez when the situation became violent and they beat Hernandez, then drove him to Brunswick and and slit his throat -- the trio then went to the Troy apartment where Gomez was killed. A former co-worker at a Clifton Park restaurant tells News10 that Gomez and one of the men charged, Luis Monge Guevara, had both worked there and were good friends -- Guevara quit his job there Monday afternoon. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [TU] [News10]

High school field house burned
Schenectady police say a fire at the Notre Dame Bishop Gibbons field house overnight appears to have been arson. The fire destroyed all the equipment for the combined football team based there -- just ahead of its playoff game this weekend. Offers of donated equipment have already been rolling in and the team's coach says they will play the game. [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TU]

(there's more)

Rensselaer Co. homicides may be connected, former MMA fighter convicted in police beating, Albany Med's PILOT payment to city

Rensselaer County homicides
Police say three persons of interest have been arrested in Virginia in connection with a pair of Rensselaer County homicides this week. Investigators believe the two incidents are connected. [WNYT][Record][TU]

Explosion victim dies
One of the victims of an explosion earlier this week at Mohawk Asphalt Emulsions in Glenville has died. [TU]

Albany Med
"What we all must be about is solving the problem in the place in which we reside" -- Albany Med CEO James Barba -- who presented Kathy Sheehan with a $500,000 check on Wednesday as a voluntary Payment-in-lieu-Taxes (PILOT) for the city's 2016 budget --on his efforts to get other not for profit institutions in Albany to step up and make similar payments to the city. [TU]

Kaloyeros
Former SUNY Poly head Alain Kaloyeros has received court approval to travel to Pennsylvania to interview for a consulting job. [TU]

(there's more)

Glenville explosion injuries three people, another large rate increase proposed for Troy, money diverted from funding for 911, ViaPort aquarium sets opening date

Glenville explosion
An explosion at an asphalt company on the Mohawk River in Glenville injured three people Monday and sent a plume of smoke into the air. The three people were taken to a hospital, one by helicopter. The Thomas Corners fire chief said it appeared the explosion happened while workers were doing something involving a valve connecting a holding tank to a tanker truck. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [TU]

Troy death investigation
Troy police were investigating the death of a man in his Glen Ave apartment. TPD said Monday the night the death is suspicious -- and also appears to be an isolated incident. [TWCN] [TU] [News10]

Alain Kaloyeros
The total compensation for Alain Kaloyeros related to SUNY Poly/CNSE -- including salary and income from research grants -- totaled almost $12 million. [TU+]

(there's more)

Local cities struggle with budget crunch, APD says shot fired was "within policy," more lead found in school water, have you seen this monkey?

Budget-crunched cities
+ The process or reviewing Troy's proposed budget -- which includes a 28-percent tax increase -- is already at a standoff as city council president Carmella Mantello has asked mayor Patrick Madden to re-submit the budget as a version that includes the council's 16-point corrective action plan. Madden is continuing to assert his proposed budget is a realistic picture of the city's actual finances and doesn't overstate potential revenue and understate costs as in previous budgets. [Troy Record] [WNYT]
+ As Albany looks at another budget that depends on a special $12.5 million payment from the state, the question has again surfaced about how to get large non-profits such as hospitals and colleges to chip in. [TU+]
+ Chris Churchill on how high property taxes can contribute to a downward spiral for urban areas. [TU+]

Review of shot fired by Albany police officer
Albany police say an internal review of the actions of officers in an incident in which a detective fired a shot during the arrest of an alleged bank robbery suspect on Green Street in September "were within the policy of the Albany Police Department and the law." APD alleges the suspect had "accelerated his vehicle in reverse towards" the detective, and the detective "fired a single shot ceasing" the man's actions -- no one was hit by the shot. Alice Green of the Center for Law and Justice on the APD review, to the Times Union: "It doesn't provide the community with enough information about the incident and why it was necessary to fire the shot." [APD] [TU]

Lawsuit over fatal Troy police shooting
In the federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Edson Thevenin over the incident in which Thevenin was shot and killed by Troy police near the Collar City Bridge in April, an attorney for the city is arguing officers aren't to blame because of Thevenin's alleged actions. Police have said Thevenin pinned an officer between his car and a police cruiser and the officer responded by firing at Thevenin -- Thevenin's widow alleges the incident didn't actually play out that way and Troy police initially lied to her about how her husband died. [Troy Record]

(there's more)

Vehicular manslaughter charge in Route 7 crash, Faso and Teachout debate for NY-19, public comment on Troy budget's tax increase, James Franco in Albany

Charges in fatal Route 7 crash
The woman State Police say caused the fatal four-car crash on Route 7 this week was arrested Thursday and charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter and misdemeanor DWI. Jessica Bellerose of Troy pleaded not guilty and posted bail. Her attorney said she is "devastated" that the crash killed 18-year-old Paige Ahearn of Waterford. [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

Pedestrian dies in crash on 787
State Police say a 47-year-old pedestrian was killed Thursday night in a crash on I-787 just south of Exit 2 in the city of Albany. NYSP say they don't know why the woman, who's from Ghent in Columbia County, was walking on the highway. They're asking anyone who might info to call. [NYSP]

Schenectady police officer testified about attack
Schenectady police officer Mark Weekes testified in court Thursday about the attack on State Street in downtown Schenectady in which James Hilton is accused of assaulting him and knocking him unconscious. [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Long headlines Women for Trump rally, police investigating two fatal crashes,Albany will vote on New Covenant renovation plan, Marchione delivers petition to restore gun show

Women for Trump rally
"If women are so outraged, why were so many copies of '(Fifty) Shades of Grey' sold?" -- Yates County Republican chairwoman Sandra King at Wednesday's Women for Trump rally at The Desmond. Senate candidate Wendy Long headlined the rally that drew about 100 people, and Trumps daughter-in-law, Lara Trump also spoke. Speakers and attendees brushed off Trumps recent comments about women, insisting he still has a solid chance to win in November. Here's Chris Churchill on the event. [TU][News 10][TWCN][TU+]

Fatal crashes
Police are investigating two fatal car crashes this week -- one on Route 7 that claimed the life of an 18-year-old Waterford-Halfmoon High School graduate and another on Route 9 that killed a pedestrian. Police believe alcohol was a factor in the Route 7 accident, in which a car crossed a median after hitting two other cars[TU][TWCN][TU][WNYT]

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Finding a replacement for Kaloyeros, pedestrian killed in Latham, Long stands behind Trump, controversy over Saratoga's Code Blue location

SUNY Poly without Kaloyeros
Finding a replacement for Alain Kaloyeros could prove challenging because of SUNY Poly's dual role as an academic institution and an integral part of New York's economic development efforts, but SUNY Poly officials say Alain Kaloyeros's replacement is expected to be more focused on running SUNY Poly and less focused on development. [Politico][TU]

Fatal accident in Latham
[Corrected from an earlier report] Police are investigating an accident on Route 9 in Latham on Tuesday night that claimed the life of a pedestrian. [News 10]

(there's more)

Kaloyeros resigns as SUNY Poly president, local Republican respond to Trump comments, Albany settles lawsuits over conduct of former officer

Alain Kaloyeros
"A source with knowledge of the situation" tells the New York Daily News that Alain Kaloyeros has resigned his position as president of SUNY Poly. (He had already been on unpaid leave.) His attorney confirmed the resignation, saying in a statement that the state and federal cases against Kaolyeros had become "an unnecessary distraction for the good people working hard at SUNY Poly." He also said in a statement that Kaloyeros is "innocent of the charges filed against him and looks forward to being exonerated." [NYDN] [Democrat & Chronicle] [Biz Review]

Responding to Trump
Many Republican elected officials around the Capital Region are criticizing Donald Trump's most recent comments about women -- but stopping short of saying they no longer support his election. Schenectady County Republican Republican Committee chair Michael Cuevas to TWCN: "I think it's our responsibility to support our nominee ... I just think the voters should not judge the rest of the ticket by the top of the ticket." [Daily Gazette] [TWCN]

Joe Bruno
Excerpts of Joe Bruno's upcoming memoir are surfacing, touching on a variety of topics including Eliot Spitzer ("a spoiled brat with a chip on his shoulder") and how an end-of-budget process negotiation with George Pataki and Sheldon Silver ended with Silver getting money for a Brooklyn library and Bruno money for ALB. [NY Post] [TU+]

Civility in politics
During an on-stage conversation Monday evening at Skidmore, Chris Gibson and Paul Tonko both pointed to non-competitive Congressional districts as being partly to blame for the lack of compromise and bipartisan effort in Congress. They also lamented the tone of the current presidential election. [Daily Gazette] [News10]

(there's more)

Big tax increase in proposed Troy budget, state's high-speed rail plan still delayed, Halfmoon plaza would include Chick-fil-A

It's Columbus Day. Some things are closed, others aren't. It's a good idea to check before you head out.

Big tax increase proposed in Troy budget
+ Patrick Madden's proposed Troy city budget includes a 28 percent increase in the property tax rate. A home assessed at $100,000 would pay an additional $336 per year in city property taxes under the plan. Madden said the budget corrects for previous budgets that overestimated revenues and understated expenses. [Madden admin]
+ It would be the highest city tax increase since a 21 percent increase in 1996. [TU]
+ Said Madden of the budget, to the Record: "It really gives me great angst to propose something like this, and I wouldn't do it unless our collective back was against the wall." [Troy Record]
+ City council president Carmella Mantello: "The taxpayers of Troy cannot afford a tax increase of this amount." [TWCN]

Indictments in Troy 911 call leak
Indictments have been handed up against three people -- Ronald Fountain, Gary Gordon, and Shane Hug -- in the case of the Jim Gordon 911 recording that was leaked to the Times Union during the last mayoral race. [TU]

Two years since Guilderland quadruple homicide
It's now been two years since the murder of a family of four in a house on Western Ave in Guilderland -- and there's yet to be an arrest. [WNYT]

(there's more)

Preet Bharara speaks at Saint Rose, twist in Heimroth sentencing, former school board president indicted

Preet Bharara at Saint Rose
US Attorney Preet Bharara was at Saint Rose Thursday as part of a panel discussion about public corruption, and said he's confident the convictions of Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos will hold up during appeal -- despite a recent Supreme Court ruling that tightens the standard for public corruption cases. Bharara and prominent defense attorney E. Steward Jones also went back and forth on whether being a high-profile politician makes a person more or less likely to be a target of prosecution. [TU] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

Late twist in Heimroth case
The sentencing of Jacob Heimroth -- found guilty of the beating deaths of Allen and Maria Lockrow in their Lansingburgh home -- was delayed Thursday after his attorney alleged the prosecution had held back info about the unrelated prosecution of the son of the key witness in Hemiroth's trial, Laurie Rist, which the defense argues is a Brady violation. Heimroth's attorney said the info would have changed how he cross-examined Rist. The prosecution said it didn't know about the relation between the man and the witness, to which judge Andrew Ceresia said: "It is not a defense to say I didn't know about it." [Troy Record] [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

Church lots lost
A look at how the Victory Church ended up owning 14 parcels of land scattered around the city of Albany -- and then letting those parcel fall into foreclosure. [TU+]

(there's more)

Cuomo denies Bridgegate connection, Shaker High teacher charged with endangering welfare of child, Matthew won't impact Capital Region

Cuomo denies Bridgegate connection
Andrew Cuomo, Wednesday, denied allegations that he and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie discussed using a false report to defuse questions about Bridgegate. [News 10/AP]

Alain Kaloyeros
"Sources familiar with the matter" tell Politico that SUNY leaders are attempting to permanently fire Alain Kaolyeros. [Politico NY]

Shaker High teacher charged with endangering child
A Shaker High School teacher is facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child in connection with alleged online contact with a student. The teacher, who was active with school clubs, is alleged to have requested and sent suggestive photos, and repeatedly requested in-person meetings. [Gazette][WNYT][TU}

Heroin
Police have arrested a Waterford man found passed out in the front seat of a car in a Latham parking lot, with his 7-month-old son in the back seat. [TWCN][Gazette]

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Bridgegate witness says Cuomo was part of cover story, proposed Schenectady budget would keep taxes flat with casino money, Loudonville's 12211 the regions wealthiest zip code

Bridegate
A former top ally of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who admitted to orchestrating the lane closings in what is now known as Bridgegate, says Christie and Andrew Cuomo discussed releasing a false report to avoid questions over the closures -- something a Cuomo spokesman has denied. David Wildstein testified on Tuesday that Port Authority officials informed him that Cuomo told the Port Authority's executive director to "stand down" from trying to publicly blame Mr. Christie and his aides for the closings, at least until Mr. Christie had won re-election in November 2013. [TU][Politico][NYT]

Cuomo seeks zero budget growth again
For the sixth year in a row, Andrew Cuomo is asking state agencies for zero-growth for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. [TU]

Schenectady budget
Schenectady County's proposed budget would be balanced this year with the help of $330 million from Rivers Casino. [TU]


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Details of proposed Albany budget, more clown drama, state official suspended after complaint to the feds, a look inside new distillery

Albany proposed budget
+ Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan released her proposed budget for the city, which her administration says includes a 2 percent reduction in spending. [Sheehan admin]
+ The proposed budget includes an increase in the tax levy, but small reductions in the residential and commercial tax rates because of a larger tax base.
+ The proposed budget also relies on another request from the state for $12.5 million in "Capital City Funding." Sheehan is asking the state for money straight out, not as a "spin up" taken from future planned payments for the ESP. Sheehan said the city has a "systemic gap" in its budget. [Politico]
+ Common Council member Frank Commisso Jr. criticized the lower tax rate/larger levy move as a camouflaged tax increase. And he also criticized a set of salary increases included in the budget (the Sheehan admin says the increases are a response to new overtime rules and an attempt to bring parity to salaries for similar positions). [TWCN] [TU]
+ Something not in the budget: revenue from red light cameras. [News10]

Stolen State Police car
State Police released a few more details about the situation in Schoharie County in which a woman -- who was said to in double-locked handcuffs -- allegedly was able to lock a trooper out of his car and drive off. Also: the Schoharie County Sheriff confirmed that a sheriff's deputy fired two shots when the trooper was allegedly being dragged the car (the sheriff says nothing was hit). [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

(there's more)

Tangled knot of violence in Schenectady, State Police car stolen, proposed Schenectady budget includes tax cut

Rosh Hashanah started Sunday evening and continues until Tuesday evening.

Stemming violence in Schenectady
Sorting through the tangled knot of issues that underlies violence and crime in Schenectady neighborhoods such as Hamilton Hill and Mont Pleasant: poverty, guns, the drug trade, and a lack of programs for kids. [Daily Gazette]

Role of email in corruption cases
Looking at how public officials used private email accounts in the recent round of public corruption cases involving Andrew Cuomo's former top aide and SUNY Poly. [TU+]

Sure in gun permits
County sheriffs around the greater Capital Region say they're seeing a large spike in pistol permit applications, apparently prompted by the November election. [TU]

Stolen State Police car
State Police say a woman being transported by a state trooper in Schoharie County Sunday managed to climb into the driver's seat after the trooper had gotten out of the car -- and then drove off. (Apparently she had been in the front passenger seat.) That prompted a seven-hour hunt for the woman before she was taken back into custody. [NYSP] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

(there's more)

Looking at crime numbers around the Capital Region, continued chatter about creepy clowns, toward a regional taxi system

Crime numbers
+ A look at 2015 crime numbers for Capital Region municipalities out this week from the FBI. [Daily Gazette]
+ Troy had a 22-percent increase in the number of reported violence crimes between 2014 and 2015. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

Creepy clowns
+ From the Daily Gazette: "Strange clown sightings abound in Capital Region" [Daily Gazette]
+ And from The Saratogian: "A local law enforcement press release on suspicious clown sightings in the southern part of Saratoga County has the area's professional clowns asking the public to take a step back." [Saratogian]

SUNY Poly allegations
Bits continues related to the state and federal allegations involving SUNY Poly continued to spill out this week:
+ A look at the situation surrounding the prominent architecture firm EYP and its tenancy at, and dealings with, SUNY Poly. [TU+]
+ Rensselaer mayor Dan Dwyer says Todd Howe tried to hit the city up for a $4k-per-month lobbying fee when discussions started about SUNY Poly developing a piece of land on riverfront. [TU+]

(there's more)

Cuomo to set aside developer contributions, Schumer's bid for NCAA in Albany, creepy clown or Halloween costume?

SUNY Poly/alleged bid rigging
Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that the state and federal complaints in the alleged bid rigging case were primarily about flaws in SUNY's purchasing and procurement systems, and were not due to unchecked corruption in his office. Meanwhile, Tom DiNapoli's office says the alleged bid rigging scandal shows the need for more state oversight of SUNY spending.[TU][TU]

SUNY Poly has removed photos of and links referencing Alain Kaloyeros from the school and its website. [TU]

Cuomo on alleged bid rigging
Chris Churchill on Andrew Cuomo's handling of the SUNY Poly scandal. [TU+]

Contributions
Andrew Cuomo says his re-election campaign will "set aside" the $350,000 in contributions it received from developers who are facing corruption charges in connection with the bid rigging scandal unveiled this week. Republican state Senate candidate George Amedore says he won't return the more than $30,000 in campaign contributions he has received from Albany developer Joe Nicolla , who is facing charges in the alleged bid rigging scandal. [WNYT/AP][TU]

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No tax hike in Albany's proposed budget, National Grid truck pulled from Hudson, SUNY Poly's financial woes, Capital Region leads state metro areas in economic growth

Albany budget
Albany's proposed 2017 budget contains no tax increase, but Mayor Kathy Sheehan says she'll be looking to the state for more payments in lieu of taxes for state properties. [TU]

Truck in Hudson
Authorities are trying to figure out why a National Grid Truck crashed into the Hudson River in Troy overnight. It took three tow trucks to pull the vehicle out of the water. The truck was reportedly involved in a police chase just prior to crashing through the gate and into the river. Rescuers pulled a body out of the river. [TWCN][TU][WNYT][News 10]

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(there's more)

Sorting through effects of SUNY Poly allegations, continued push to end violence in Hamilton Hill, sale of zombies prohibited by town

Alleged SUNY Poly bid rigging: Joe Nicolla
+ Columbia Development president Joe Nicolla pleaded not guilty Monday to the charge against him in the state Attorney General's case alleging bid rigging for a student housing project near SUNY Poly. Nicolla's attorney, E. Stewart Jones, called the allegation against his client "absolute nonsense" and predicted the charge would be withdrawn after more evidence is presented. Said Jones: "Joe Nicolla never ever would have to engage in bid rigging. He has never engaged in bid rigging. He's a remarkable businessman who plays by the rules every day of his life." [TWCN] [Biz Review] [News10] [WNYT]
+ One of the reasons this is such a big story is the scale of Columbia's businesses dealings within the Capital Region, especially within the city of Albany. [TWCN]
+ Chronicling how much money Nicolla (and those connected to him) has contributed to politicians' campaign funds over the years. [TU+]

SUNY Poly and Alain Kaloyeros
+ State Senate Republican leader John Flanagan says there should be "hard questions" about the Buffalo Billion following the federal charges filed against Alain Kaloyeros, Todd Howe, and a group of developers. [Politico NY]
+ Documents filed with the state Department of State indicate it was the large construction company M+W that was the unnamed contractor that supplied the $50 million loan for the NanoFab X building at the SUNY Poly Albany campus that was mentioned in the federal complaint. [TU+]
+ With its economic development duties transferred to Empire State Development, does this mean SUNY Poly will focus on tech alone? [TU+]
+ Chris Churchill on Alain Kaloyeros as the state's economic development star and a Capital Region celebrity: "With Kaloyeros, it became difficult to tell if he was still succeeding or if was all an illusion. Maybe it didn't matter. The boss had his back. That was then. Everything has changed." [TU+]

(there's more)

Cuomo comments on string of corruption charges, rally against violence on Schenectady street, next LarkFest to be alcohol free?

Cuomo on allegations against Percoco, Howe, Kaloyeros, developers
Said Andrew Cuomo of the string of charges filed last week alleging corruption tied to his administration during a public appearance in Buffalo Friday: "I had no idea about anything that was contained in that complaint." He also said the RFP process mentioned in the allegations was "tainted" and called it a "systemic issue." [TU] [Politico NY]

Cuomo also said he's looking to push ahead with a second phase of the Buffalo Billion initiative. [TWCN]

Joe Nicolla
Columbia Development CEO Joe Nicolla pleaded not guilty Monday morning to the charge against him in the allegations made by the state Attorney General's office regarding alleged rigging of the request for proposals process for student housing near SUNY Poly's Albany campus. [TWCN]

Here's a rundown of the many recent tax breaks and incentives Columbia Development has gotten from Capital Region economic development agencies in recent years. [TU]

Alain Kaloyeros
SUNY Poly president Alain Kaloyeros -- who's been suspended without pay -- pleaded not guilty Friday to the state charges against him. [Biz Review]

The Cuomo admin says the state economic development projects Kaloyeros was overseeing have been shifted to Empire State Development. [TU]

(there's more)

Reviewing the state and federal charges against Alain Kaloyeros, no allegations against Andrew Cuomo but there are questions, what do the charges mean for projects in Albany?

The big news is, of course, the announcement of charges against Joe Percoco (a former top aide to Andrew Cuomo), Todd Howe (another longtime Cuomo associate), Alain Kalaoyeros (the president of SUNY Poly), and a string of prominent developers across the state (including Columbia Development's Joe Nicolla).

Alain Kaloyeros
+ The feds allege Kaloyeros tailored the request for proposals process for SUNY Poly administered projects in the Syracuse area and in Buffalo (the much-touted Solar City factory that's part of the Buffalo Billion) to favor specific developers. Here's an overview of the allegations. [US DOJ] [Post-Standard] [Buffalo News] [AOA]

+ Kaloyeros is facing charges from the state Attorney General's office that he was engaged in a similar RFP-tailoring scheme involving a proposed dorm project on the Loughlin Street land in Albany and Columbia Development. The state AG's office also alleges Kaloyeros was involved in two other schemes, one involving the selection of a contractor for the construction of a research building at the Albany campus and the other involving the an arrangement in which SUNY Poly work would allegedly be funneled to a prominent architecture firm renting space on the SUNY Poly campus. [NYS OAG] [TU]

+ State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called Kaloyeros's alleged actions "stupid" and "brazen." [State of Politics]

+ SUNY announced that Kaloyeros has been suspended without pay and SUNY Poly will under the direction of SUNY system executive staff. [SUNY]

+ Said an attorney for Kaloyeros in a statement: "Dr. Kaloyeros is innocent of the charges filed against him, and very much looks forward to being exonerated." [Biz Review]

+ Kaloyeros has been the key figure in many large tech/economic development projects both in Albany and across the state in recent years. And profile of Kaloyeros and his efforts at SUNY Poly from the NYT describes him as "a geek with big goals." [TU+] [NYT]

(there's more)

Percoco/Kaloyeros face criminal charges, State Ed suggests Common Core revisions, tax cuts coming to Schenectady

Percoco/Kaloyeros
Former top Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco and SUNY Poly President Alain Kaloyeros are among 8 people facing charges following a long-running federal investigation into the Buffalo Billion and other projects related to SUNY Poly in Syracuse. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is expected to hold a press conference at noon today to explain the charges. [Capitol Confidential][TWCN][NYT][News 10]

Common Core
New York State Education Department officials released proposed revisions to the state's Common Core on Wednesday. The proposal suggested changing 60 percent of the English standards and 55 percent of those in math.[TU][NYT]

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Fiscal stress down for Albany County but up for city, Farrell next Albany City Court judge, $82 billion in student debt, the Everest of memorization tests

Fiscal stress in Albany
Albany County is now off the state's list of fiscally stressed locations but the city of Albany saw its fiscal situation get worse in 2015. [TU]

Farrell wins Albany city court seat
Forty absentee votes put Josh Farrell over the top Tuesday in the race for Albany city court judge.[TU]

Lawsuit in UAlbany bus incident
One of the three students who claimed to have been a victim of a racially motivated attack on a CDTA bus in January is suing the university over its decision to expel her. Ariel Agudio is arguing that the process used to expel her was unfair and unconstitutional. [TU]


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Call to move residents from housing project near Port of Albany, officers suspended in connection with woodchuck death, the season of campaign sign stealing

Oil trains
Albany County exec Dan McCoy and environmental groups are cheering the recent decision by the state Department of Environmental Conservation to require Global Companies to submit a new application for an air emissions permit for its rail-to-river oil facility at the Port of Albany. McCoy is continuing to push for oil trains to moved off tracks directly behind the Ezra Prentice Homes. And Sierra Club president Aaron Mair is pushing for the residents of the housing project to be moved to a new location away from the Port of Albany. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TU]

The death of Medina Knowles
Records from a 2015 menacing charge against the 19-year-old man accused of fatally shooting Medina Knowles include an allegation that he had threatened his then-girlfriend with a gun. The organizer of a youth program in Schenectady recalled memories of Knowles. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN]

Drinking water
Voorheesville school district officials say the source of the high levels of lead contamination at a kitchen faucet in the Voorheesville Elementary School was likely the solder used when installing new supply lines to the faucet earlier this year. Officials say families should have their primary care doctors do blood level tests of their kids for lead exposure -- the district will be offering reimbursement of the cost. [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT]

(there's more)

Arrest in fatal Schenectady shooting, supporters of Marquis Dixon appeal heartened by judge's words, body found in Colonie fire, fighting asparagus

Arrest in fatal Schenectady shooting
Schenectady police say they arrested a 19-year-old man Saturday in the shooting death of 17-year-old Medina Knowles in a Hamilton Hill apartment Thursday night. ReaQwan U. Stover was arraigned on charges that include second-degree murder Sunday and held without bail. Police say Stover had recently started dating Knowles, but has yet to release info on a possible motive. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10]

Marquis Dixon
During oral arguments Friday, the justice hearing the appeal in the case of Marquis Dixon -- the Albany teen sent to prison for nine years for stealing a pair of sneakers -- brought up, unprompted, the issue of whether Dixon had incorrectly not been considered for youthful offender status. And that might be a sign that's Dixon's appeal has a good chance of being successful in some way. Also from Friday's session: Dixon's case hinged in part on an accusation that he had a gun when stealing the sneakers from another teen, an allegation his defenders have said had little evidence other than the word of the other teen -- and the attorney representing the Albany County DA's office pushed back on that point. [TWCN] [TU+] [WNYT]

Harriman campus land sale
The state's request for bidders to develop a large chunk of the Harriman State Office Campus -- a plan that's intended to help the city of Albany by adding taxable land -- netted no proposals by the deadline last week. [Biz Review]

(there's more)

Fatal shooting in Schenectady, Faso and Teachout debate for NY-19, a day at dealer school

Fatal shooting in Schenectady
Schenectady police say a 17-year-old woman was fatally shot in the head in an apartment in Hamilton Hill Thursday night. SPD says it's investigating -- no one has been arrested. Neighbors say they heard gunshots and then the woman's mother screaming. It's the third shooting on the block in a year. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [News10] [TU]

Albany police Green Street incident
The man arrested Albany police say was arrested as a bank robbery suspect during an episode on Green Street that included an officer firing his gun is the same man whose story got local and national attention last year after he was fired from the East Greenbush Walmart for redeeming cans found in shopping carts. [TU]

Lawsuit filed in case of fatal shooting by Troy police
The family of Edson Thevenin -- the man fatally shot by a Troy police officer during an incident on Hoosick Street earlier this year in which Troy police allege Thevenin used his vehicle as a weapon against the officer -- has filed a lawsuit against the city and the officer arguing police were not in danger when the officer opened fire. [TU]

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Suspect pleads not guilty in alleged Troy abduction attempt, officer fires in Albany arrest, UAlbany student who made attack claim brings dismissal to court

Attempted abduction
Police have arrested a Troy man in connection with two separate incidents in the city on Wednesday morning -- the attempted abduction of one teen and inappropriate touching of another teen. 25-year-old Joseph Badger pleaded not guilty on Thursday morning to multiple charges in connection with the incidents, including attempted robbery, endangering the welfare of a child, and unlawful imprisonment. [TU][WNYT]

Ex-Siena player charged with rape
A former Siena basketball player is facing rape charges in connection with an alleged incident in July. His attorney, Lee Kindlon says 23-year-old Evan Hymes is innocent and that the incident stems from a relationship that ended badly. [TU][TWCN]

Gun fired in arrest
An Albany police officer's gun was fired, but none was hit, during an arrest Wednesday on Green Street in the city. [TU]

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Tesdisco and Walsh win primaries, absentee ballots to decide Albany judgeship, Troy police probe attempted abduction of teen, Schenectady has a new police chief

Primary
Here are a few of Tuesday's local primary results:
+Jim Tedisco is the winner of the 49th district Republican primary to replace longtime Senator Hugh Farley. Farley, who is stepping down, has served in the Senate for 40 years.

+Ballston attorney Mary Beth Walsh, a Ballston won the primary in the race to replace Tedisco in 112th Assembly District, a seat he has held for 33 years.

+Mechanicville's Chris Boyark declared victory in the Republican primary for the 113th Assembly seat.

+Absentee ballots will decide the outcome of Albany's City Court Judge race. Unofficial results show Joshua Farrell leading James Long by 96 votes.

[TU][TWCN][[Post Star][TU]

Attempted abduction
Troy police are investigating an alleged attempted abduction of a a 16-year old girl in Lansingburgh this morning, and a second report of a man inappropriately touching a 16 year old girl. They are trying to determine if the events are connected. [TWCN][TU][WNYT]

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It's primary day, teacher accused of sex with student, downtown Albany bank robbery investigation, movie theater plan for Troy resurfaces

Primary day
It's primary day. Polls are open from noon to 9 pm. Don't know where to vote? Check with the state Board of Elections website.

Jennica Duell sentencing
Judge Gary Sharpe during the Monday morning sentencing of Jennica Duell to 11 years in prison for lying to a grand jury in the Hulett Street fire case: "I am certain that your lies forestalled the discovery of the truth." (There has yet to be anyone arrested and charged for the arson.) [Daily Gazette]

Marquis Dixon
The case of Marquis Dixon -- the Albany teen sent to prison for nine years on armed robbery conviction in which there was no evidence of a weapon other than the word of the robbery victim, another teen whose story changed -- is up for appeal this week. [TU+]

(there's more)

Duell sentenced for lying in Hulett Street fire case, two shootings in Albany, fate of Albany historic church in balance, commemorating 9/11

Jennica Duell sentenced
Jennica Duell, the mother of Safyre Terry, was sentenced to 11 years in prison Monday morning for lying to a grand jury during the investigation of the Hulett Street fire that killed three of her children, her former boyfriend, and severely injured Safyre. [TU]

Mother speaks of mental health issues in alleged Schenectady fire attack
The mother of the Schenectady man accused of setting his stepfather -- her husband -- on fire last month tells the Daily Gazette about her son's mental health problems and efforts to get her son help in the weeks leading up to the incident. [Daily Gazette]

Questions about Potsdam murder case
The trial of a man accused of killing a 12-year-old boy in Potsdam five years ago has become a topic of intense focus around the North Country -- and it's raised questions about whether the prosecution has been racially motivated and whether the State Police crime lab bent its own rules while analyzing samples from the case. [NYT] [TU+] [TU]

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Talking trash in Albany, DWI charge after car crashes into home, checking on new Thacher Park visitors center project

Albany trash fee
Among the details that came out of an Albany Common Council committee meeting at which a proposal to spread the city trash pick-up fee for small apartment buildings to the city's single-family homes was tabled for the moment: The city's trash collection costs are more than $6.5 million a year. [TWCN] [TU]

Vanessa Milligan's family displaced by fire
The Cohoes apartment of Vanessa Milligan's father, Nathan, caught fire Thursday, forcing his family and the residents of another unit to evacuate. Said Milligan: "I just can't believe this is happening." [TWCN] [TU]

Asking for a lawyer
Using the case of Sean Moreland and his recent plea deal on charges related to the Jacquelyn Porreca murder as a example of how a clear request for a lawyer -- or lack of such a request -- during police questioning can play a big role in the outcome of a case. [TU+]

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Second round of PFOA hearings, plea deal for alleged driver in Porreca killing, Halfmoon travel agent allegedly stole from clients

PFOA Hearing
The second round of legislative hearings on the Hoosick Falls PFOA contamination crisis ran for about 12 hours on Wednesday, and most of the Hoosick Falls residents that attended were not able to speak. The hearings were marked by heated exchanges and state officials continued to blame the EPA for confusion on how to handle the contamination crisis. The former DOH head of Environmental Health testified on Wednesday that the department had a tendency to downplay health risks. [TU][WNYT]pTWCN][NYT][TU]

Meanwhile the EPA has nominated Hoosick Falls as a Superfund site
and Andrew Cuomo is calling on the EPA to institute new water quality protection regulations and eliminate a loophole that doesn't require the testing of public water systems for contaminants. [TU][TWCN][

Plea deal in Porecca case
Sean Moreland, the alleged getaway driver in the murder of Jacquelyn Porreca agreed to a plea deal on Thursday morning that comes with a 2 to 6 year sentence. [TU]

(there's more)

Sinkhole repairs/upgrades top $1 Million, driver and pedestrian at fault in fatal Cohoes accident, NYRA reports highest attendance at Saratoga meet

Albany sink hole
Repairs on the South Lake sinkhole in Albany and infrastructure upgrades at the site are behind by about ten days and will cost the city more than $1 million.
[TU]

Driver & pedestrian at fault in Cohoes fatality
Cohoes police ticketed the driver of the car that killed a teen who was crossing I-787, but said the teen was also at fault. 48 year old William Lamb was ticketed for traveling 13 miles per hour over the speed limit, but police say the pedestrian was also crossing against the light. The city is fighting to get funding to redesign the section of roadway which has been the scene of accidents in the past. [Record][TWCN][News 10][TU]


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Guilty plea in Jacquelyn Porreca murder case, investigation into Schenectady police conduct, Albany trying to cover budget gap

Jacquelyn Porreca case
The man accused of fatally stabbing Jacquelyn Porreca during a robbery at a barber shop in Colonie last year has taken a plea deal. By pleading guilty in the deal, Michael Chmielewski avoids a possible life sentence and instead faces a maximum of 22 years to life. The other man facing charges in the case -- Sean Moreland -- could accept a plea deal of his own later this week. [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU]

A year without homicides (so far)
Albany police chief Brendan Cox on the fact that there has yet to be a homicide in the city this year:
"I'm not about to declare victory when I've had 15 people shot this year ... A victory is zero people shot, and that's what we should expect as a society." [TU+]

START-UP NY
The number of new jobs in the Capital Region credited to the Cuomo admin's much-publicized START-UP NY program: 32. [TU]

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Suspect's statements tossed out in Porecca case, more legislative PFOA hearings next week, six overdoses in 48 hours, Gold Star Families to get Albany monument

Statements tossed in Porecca case
Statements made to police by Sean Moreland -- the alleged getaway car driver in the Jaquelyn Porreca murder case-- have been ordered inadmissible by State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Breslin, because they were taken after Moreland requested to have his lawyer present. [TU]

EPA and Hoosick Falls
"We were in very close communication with the state Health Department.There was absolutely not confusion on the EPA numbers; there was disagreement about what to do about it." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck on Capitol Press Room Wednesday, defending the EPA's response to the Hoosick Falls PFOA crisis. The Senate and Assembly will hold joint hearings on the PFOA contamination next week. [TU][TWCN]

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Hearings in Hoosick Falls, third person pleads guilty in Lansingburgh arson case, how 'bout those (smaller) apples

Hoosick Falls
There's a state Senate hearing scheduled for Tuesday in Hoosick Falls about the contamination of the water supply there with PFOA:
+ A look at some of the key questions about the situation. [Politico NY]
+ Chris Churchill on skepticism with which some residents are viewing the hearings. [TU+]
+ State Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin on the apparent delay in officials telling people to stop drinking the water: "It's crucial, I mean this is on a level of Flint, Michigan-type of a problem with government not letting folks know what was going on." [TWCN]
+ The creator of the PFOA Project Twitter account, ahead of the hearings: "Clean drinking water is necessary for survival, and we shouldn't have to fight our state to get it." [TWCN]

In the dumps
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has marked municipal landfills in Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh, and Berlin as "potential state Superfund sites" because of potential PFOA contamination. [TU]

Alleged Schenectady fire attack
The 29-year-old man accused of setting his stepfather on fire last Friday has pleaded not guilty and he's being held without bail. The man's mother tells News10 he suffers from bipolar disorder, and possibly schizophrenia, and had sought treatment in the days leading up to the incident. [Daily Gazette] [News10]

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Marking the damage and recovery from Irene, man accused of setting stepfather on fire, search for bikini bandit, Travers victory in record time

The damage -- and recovery -- from Irene
It was five years ago that rain from Tropical Storm Irene caused major, destructive flooding across Schoharie, Greene, and Schenectady counties. So many local outlets looked back over this past weekend:
+ Visiting Prattsville, said to be the spot hardest hit by the flooding, to see how the recovery has gone. [TU+]
+ Recalling the surge of water the inundated Rotterdam Junction, where the rose to a level 14 feet high on a flagpole outside a house. [Daily Gazette] [News10]
+ Looking at the recovery and planning efforts of Schoharie Area Long Term as it looks to the future. Said the former Schoharie recovery director: "I want my son and the future generations of this county to learn from the stories of the resilience of the men and women who I saw achieve amazing things in the wake of disaster." [Daily Gazette x2] [TWCN]

Man accused of setting stepfather on fire
Schenectady police a 29-year-old man was arrested for allegedly throwing gasoline on his stepfather and lighting him on fire Friday. He's facing charges that include attempted murder. The stepfather airlifted to a medical facility in Westchester County for treatment. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10]

(there's more)

Vega sentenced to maximum, Troy man found not guilty in death of toddler, shift in APD recruit training to focus on community policing

Vega sentenced
Gabriel Vega -- convicted of killing Vanessa Milligan, pregnant with his child, in Lansingburgh in 2014 and then setting fire to her apartment -- was sentenced to the maximum, 50 years in prison. Said Rensselaer County Court judge Andrew Ceresia: "This defendant deserves no mercy from the court, and he will get none." Vega's attorney said his client maintains his innocence in the case. Said Milligan's father of Vega: "This should be his funeral. This should be his demise. This should be the last day that he ever sees Troy." [TWCN] [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

Acquittal in Troy 2 year old's death
Michael Davis -- accused of causing the death of a 2 year old in Troy last year -- was found not guilty of all charges. The prosecution had argued that Davis had squeezed the girl, causing internal injuries -- but Davis's attorney argued his client found the girl unresponsive and tried to resuscitate her. And he credited Davis's testimony on the stand for convincing the jury. [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

Sheldon Silver
A federal judge's ruling Thursday allows Sheldon Silver to stay out of prison on bail while appealing his corruption conviction, which carried a 12-year sentence. [NYT]

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Cuomo signs ethics reform, public weighs in on 1 Monument Square, Paul Ryan headed to Saratoga, the 38 second pint

Ethics reform
Without fanfare on Wednesday, Andrew Cuomo signed an ethics reform package that would impose tight restrictions on outside spending groups in an effort to curb the impact of the Citizens United decision, but critics say it is nowhere near strong enough, since it doesn't put restrictions on lawmakers outside income or affect the "LLC loophole."[WNYT][TU][TWCN]

1 Monument Square
The City of Troy is putting the brakes on the development of 1 Monument square after residents who came out for a public hearing about the space on Wednesday made it clear that any project there is developed slowly and correctly, with the city's future needs in mind. [TU]

(there's more)

Toxicology report shows drugs in Lake George boat crash, Albany sinkhole fix by Labor Day, Lake George beach closed due to coliform

Lake George boat crash
Results of a toxicology report released Tuesday by the Warren County Sheriff's department concludes that the operator of the boat involved in a fatal hit and run crash on Lake George this summer had two prescription drugs -- and one illegal drug -- in his blood. The report show no alcohol was found -- but none was anticipated since Alexander West didn't turn himself in until 14 hours after the crash. The results could influence the charges against West. [TU][Gazette][TWCN]

Sinkhole problems
How Albany's latest water main break is affecting the water supply of Guilderland and Bethlehem. Officials expect the sinkhole to be repaired by Labor Day. [TU][News10]

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State DEC questions Hudson River dredging results, focus on state of the former Albany convention center site, potential expansion of medical marijuana

Hudson River PCBs
Said state Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner Basil Seggos during a press conference Monday at Corning Riverfront Park in Albany: "Unacceptably high levels of PCB-contaminated sediment remain in large portions of the upper Hudson River" -- and he called for the federal Environmental Protection Agency to review of the effectiveness of the Hudson River dredging project that ended last fall. And: "EPA must ensure the remediation conducted by General Electric is effectively protecting public health and the environment from exposure to PCBs." Some context on the possible politics at work between the Cuomo admin and the EPA and GE. From a GE statement Monday: "GE is confident that EPA's review will demonstrate that the project achieved the agency's goals of protecting human health and the environment." [Daily Gazette] [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [TU] [News10]

Questions about film hub
Following up on the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries -- a project near Syracuse connected to SUNY Poly and backed by $15 million in state money that the Cuomo admin initially projected would bring 350 jobs -- and, at least for now, appears to be virtually empty. (See also: The Syracuse Post-Standard's review of the situation from earlier this year.) [NYT] [Syracuse.com]

Downtown Albany
Chris Churchill on the way the former convention center site on the south side of downtown Albany has been allowed to sit and deteriorate by the the Albany Convention Center Authority: "This is not responsible ownership. It's pure neglect, really, and it makes the state and convention authority no better than the out-of-town slumlords who own too much of the city." [TU+]

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Governor signs bill opening way for Capital Region taxi regulation, reviewing Hillary Clinton's time as a Senator from New York, an away home game

Taxi regulation
+ Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation that allows CDTA to act as a taxi regulator across Capital Region municipalities (if the municipalities sign on). [NY Senate] [TU]
+ The Schenectady City Council is considering whether there should be additional regulation of the city's medical taxis. [TU]

Albany sink hole
Repair work on the South Lake Ave sink hole in Albany continues into week four. The water department is making use of the situation to install a new liner in part of the trunk sewer line and replace a section of a water main. [News10] [TU]

Held hostage then, held back from compensation now
A man who grew up in Albany and now lives in Troy was one of the hostages taken at the American embassy in Iran in 1979 -- and is now in line to miss out on settlement money because of when he was released. [TU+]

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Teen's mother says she wanted Albany officer arrested on higher charge, 50 Hudson Ave demolished, Glens Falls wins Capital Region's state downtowns award, assessing Colonie's library

Albany police officer/St. Anne Institute incident
The mother of the teen alleged to have been slammed to the floor at the St. Anne Institute by an Albany police officer says had hoped the officer would have been charged with assault instead of the lesser charge of harassment. The teen also told the Times Union she was choked during the incident. Albany police chief Brendan Cox says the video of the incident doesn't show that, and the evidence didn't add up to an assault charge. [News10] [TU] [WNYT]

Trial in Troy two year old's death
The trail of Michael Davis -- facing manslaughter and child endangerment charges in the February 2015 death of a Troy two year old -- started Thursday with opening statements. The prosecution alleges Davis squeezed the child to death -- the defense argues he found the child unresponsive and tried to revive her. [WNYT] [Troy Record]

50 Hudson Ave
50 Hudson Ave in downtown Albany was demolished Thursday, a process that accelerated because the building started collapsing further on its own. Albany's building and regulatory compliance director says 48 Hudson Ave -- the city's oldest building -- made it through the process OK. [WNYT] [TU]

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50 Hudson demolition begins, EPA/DEC hear Ezra Prentice pollution concerns, Cuomo supports privatizing NYRA with regulations, Schenectady smiles

50 Hudson Ave
The building at 50 Hudson Ave began to collapse on Thursday morning as crews prepared to demolish it. It appears that 48 Hudson was not damaged. Demolition continues today. [TU][News 10]

Ezra Prentice pollution
Representatives from the EPA and DEC met with residents from Albany's Ezra Prentice housing complex -- which is located in a heavy industrial area -- to listen to their concerns about mounting health problems stemming from exposure to train and diesel emissions. Earlier this week the EPA sent a notice of violation to the nearby Global Partnersfor exceeding emissions standards at the Port of Albany crude oil terminal. The DEC says it plans to make $500,000 available for air monitoring and diesel emissions in the area of the Ezra Prentice apartment complex.
[TU][TU][TWCN]

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Heimroth guilty in Lansingburgh murders, Siena poll shows Schumer far ahead, Lake George considers ending Log Bay Day

Conviction in Lansingburgh murders
After more than 9 hours of deliberation, a jury in Troy found Jacob Heimroth guilty of six of ten charges in connection with the deaths of a Lansignburgh couple. Heimroth was convicted on two counts of second-degree murder, burglary and grand larceny in the deaths of Allen and Maria Lockrow, and could end up spending the rest of his life in prison. [Record][TWCN][TU]

Environmental justice concerns at Ezra Prentice Homes
EPA regional administrator Judith Enck will be meeting residents of the Ezra Prentice Homes Wednesday evening to discuss longstanding concerns about effects of diesel emissions and other industrial activity near the public housing complex in Albany's South End. [TU+]

Poll shows Schumer with clear lead
A new Siena poll reports Chuck Schumer has a 58-percent favorability rating and would beat Republican candidate Wendy long 63-24 if the election were held today. The poll also reports that 62 percent of respondents believe Donald Trump will not help GOP Senate candidates, while 64 percent believe Hillary Clinton will help Democratic Senate candidates. [Politico][Daily Gazette][TU]

(there's more)

Albany City Court judge resigns, sentencing in Schenectady basement burial case, question about votes necessary for Palace sale

Albany City Court judge resigning after misconduct investigation
Albany City Court judge Thomas Keefe will resign his judgeship at the end of September as part of stipulation with the state Commission of Judicial Conduct. (His term was to run through 2022.) Keefe had been under investigation since 2013 after a string of complaints against him. In his resignation letter, Keefe acknowledged misconduct in four of the allegations. [SCJC] [TU] [News10]

Sentencing in Schenectady basement burial case
Harold Ortiz -- who pleaded guilty to killing one person, and attacking another with a shovel, and then buried them both beneath rubble in Union Street basement -- was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison. Said Vanessa Washington -- the sister of Valerie Washington, who was killed -- at the sentencing: "The murder of my sister has left a deep hole in our souls..." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Sentencing in Schenectady shooting death
The man convicted of shooting LaSean Gause last summer on Albany Street while firing into a crowd -- prosecutors say Gause was a bystander in a dispute that didn't involve him -- was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. [Daily Gazette]

Heimroth case
The jury is now deliberating in the trial of Jacob Heimroth for his alleged involvement in the beating death of Allen and Maria Lockrow in Lansingburgh in 2014. The jury started deliberating Monday afternoon after closing arguments and had several questions. [TU] [Troy Record] [TWCN]

(there's more)

Siena poll: Clinton has big lead on Trump in New York, cleaning up after stormy weekend, CDTA aims for 2018 of Purple Line, Minnisale's closing its restaurant

Presidential election
The Siena poll out Monday morning reports Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 57-27 in New York State. Clinton also leads Trump 48-37 among upstate respondents. And 24 percent of respondents in the poll who identified as Republicans said they would vote for Clinton. [Siena SRI]

Stormy weekend
Strong thunderstorms caused widespread damage across the region Saturday. Some places got more than an inch of rain -- Saratoga Springs got more than three, and the storm there prompted the cancelation of six races at the Saratoga Race Course and that evening's performance of the Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC. A burst at the campground in Fulton County snapped trees and destroyed vehicles -- eight people were injured there. [NWS Albany] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN]

Albany police officer suspended
One Albany police officer has been suspended and another place on administrative duty as part of an investigation into an incident at the St. Anne Institute in which it's alleged an officer slammed a girl to the ground. APD says the incident was captured on camera. [TU] [WNYT]

(there's more)

It's hot, alleged hit and run driver captured in foot chase, Raucci files for federal appeal, NYRA: hike in handle and attendance point to privatization

Heat wave
Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s for the next three days in the Capital Region, but the humidity will make it feel more like 100. Swimming pools at Mater Christi and will be open and busses will run to them from Lincoln Park, which is closed because of the South Lake Ave sinkhole. [NWS][News10][TU]

Alleged hit and run driver arrested after foot chase
Police arrested a Rotterdam man on Wednesday for allegedly hitting multiple cars and then abandoning his vehicle on Central Ave. The arrest followed a foot chase though the woods near Central Avenue. [TU][WNYT]

Raucci
Steven Raucci, the former facilities director for Schenectady schools who was sentenced to prison for arson and other crimes, has filed to appeal his case in federal court.[Gazette]

(there's more)

Flood warnings and sinkhole concerns, shortfall in Albany's projected red light camera revenue, 500 lb bronze gorilla returned

Red light cameras
Albany has collected $328,000 from its 35 red light cameras this year -- a significant shortfall from the $1.9 million projection for this year-- and all of the money must go to the vendor that rents the system to the city. [TU]

Flooding concerns
More projected storms in he Capital Region have raised some flooding concerns for the Albany area this week and slowed work on the week-old sinkhole on South Lake Ave in Albany. [TU]

Sinkhole
Work on the Albany sinkhole has prompted water restrictions in the town of Guilderland [TWCN]

Schenectady County raises age for cigarette purchase
Schenectady County legislators have passed a law making it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. [WNYT]

(there's more)

The problem of paying for aging infrastructure, Reuter cross-examined in Heimroth trial, posing for Norman Rockwell, a pignapping in Guilderland

South Lake Ave sinkhole / water infrastructure
Work continues on the South Lake Ave sinkhole repair -- the current problem is removing debris deposited in a storm sewer line, reducing the capacity of the line. [TWCN] [TU]

Zooming out a bit: A look a payments the water department has made to the city in recent years, and the larger issue of how to fund repair and replacement of old water infrastructure. [TU]

Meanwhile in Schenectady: The city is planning a multi-million dollar project to upgrade parts of its wastewater treatment plan that are a more than a century old. [Daily Gazette]

Heimroth trial
On Monday during cross-examination, Daniel Reuter -- who's already pleaded guilty for participating n the beating deaths of Allen and Maria Lockrow in Lansingburgh and is testifying against Jacob Heimroth as part of his plea deal -- repeatedly said he didn't remember when asked about details of the case. The defense also pointed out a few parts of his story that didn't match the evidence. [TU] [Troy Record]

(there's more)

Golub Corp dismisses Price Chopper sale rumor, Albany sinkhole repair continues, Schenectady alligator gar captured

Price Chopper sale rumors
"Sources" tell the trade pub Supermarket News that Golub Corp. is considering a sale of the Price Chopper supermarket chain. Golub spokesperson Mona Golub says the story is "rumor and innuendo." But she said the company is looking for "capital partners." [Supermarket News] [Biz Review] [TU]

The Golub Corp is the Capital Region's third-largest private employer, with more than 8,000 employees, according to a recent list from the state.

Common Core
Looking some of the similarities among the local school districts that saw their grade 3-8 math and English language arts scores increase in the latest round of state tests. [TU+]

Preet probes
"A source close to the investigation" tells the NY Post that Todd Howe has signed a "cooperation agreement" with Preet Bharara's office as part of the federal prosecutor's investigation of Howe and fellow longtime Cuomo family associate Joe Percoco. [NY Post]

(there's more)

Testimony from alleged accomplice in Lansingburgh double killing, officers suspended as part of groundhog investigation, classification of pulley latest turn in ropes course saga

Heimroth trial
Daniel Reuter -- who already pleaded guilty to charges including first-degree manslaughter in the deaths of Maria and Allen Lockrow in Lansingburgh two years ago -- testified against Jacob Heimroth Thursday, describing how he says the two of them killed the Lockrows. Reuter said he didn't like that Allen Lockrow was dating his aunt while still married. Reuter's testimony against Heimroth was part of his plea deal. [TU] [TWCN] [Troy Record]

Schenectady hit-and-run trial
In her closing argument Thursday, the attorney for Adimu Goodwin -- accused of hitting a pedestrian with his van, fleeing, and then hitting and killing a second pedestrian -- argued that her client isn't second-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault because he feared for his safety and that's why he fled the scenes. (The prosecution says Goodwin fled because he didn't have a license.) [Daily Gazette]

South Lake sinkhole
+ The city of Albany has lifted the boil water notice for residents and businesses near the water main break on South Lake Ave. [City of Albany press release]
+ The med student whose SUV was swallowed by the sinkhole at the water main break says the city hasn't communicated with him about the vehicle. He says the amount he's likely to get from insurance won't be equal to value of the vehicle to him. [WNYT] [TU]

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Sinkhole repairs/boil water alert, Defending START-UP NY, suspects sought in two Albany bank robberies, push for Albany taxi reform

Sinkhole
With the water turned off and the car out of the latest sinkhole in Albany crews are now working tostabilize a duct bank that holds all the power lines for Albany Medical Center and the VA Hospital to be sure power to those facilities isn't lost.
Meanwhile, the city has issued a boil water notice for the area of Madison Avenue from South Lake Avenue to Quail Street, Hudson Avenue from South Lake Avenue to Quail Street, and South Lake Avenue from Madison Avenue to Hudson.[TWCN][Gazette]

Defending the Startup NY program
The CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation defended the Cuomo administration's START-UP NY project before lawmakers on Wednesday. Howard Zemsky told legislators the program needs more time, saying "Everyone should take a deep breath. A lot of foundation has been laid and a lot of seeds have been planted. Let's give it a few years." The program has only created 408 jobs since 2013, but Zemsky told legislators it has sent a signal to the wold that "New York is open for business."[Business Review][TWCN][NYT]

(there's more)

Glenville teen hit and killed by Amtrak train, sinkhole repair may take over a week, abandoned buildings come down in Troy, longtime Schenectady activist and SCCC founder dies

Teen killed by Amtrak train
A 16 year old Glenville girl died on Tuesday when she was struck by an Amtrak train while
walking along the tracks in Scotia. The stretch of track is commonly used by teens as a shortcut, but trains come through the area at speeds of up to 100 mph.[Gazette][TU][TWCN]

Albany sinkhole
Officials say it may take as much as 10 days to repair the sinkhole that swallowed an SUV near Elberon Place off Albany's Washington Park on Tuesday morning. The hole left a nearby apartment building uninhabitable, and another building, occupied largely by seniors and people with disabilities without water and air conditioning on Tuesday. It took hours to turn off the water valves -- which were installed in 1931. [News 10][TWCN][TU][WNYT]

(there's more)

Heavy rain causes flash flooding, potential Palace sale debate, addressing vacant buildings in Troy, investigation into death of groundhog

Overnight downpour
Heavy rain overnight caused flash flooding in a few spots around the Capital District. The weather station at ALB recorded rainfall of more than a inch between 2 am and 4 am. [NWS Albany]

Potential Palace sale
Supporters of the proposal for the city of Albany to sell the Palace Theatre to the non-profit that runs the venue (for a small amount) showed up at Monday's Common Council meeting to offer arguments for the sale, framing it as a longterm play. Skeptics argued the sale of the theater for a small amount would short-change the city. [TU] [WNYT]

Renewable energy
The state Public Service Commission approved a plan in which the state will be aiming to get 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030 -- one of the highest such goals in the nation. Environmental orgs praised the overall goal, but some took issue with a provision in the plan that includes subsidies for nuclear plants. A prominent state business org also criticized the plan, arguing it will increase costs and cut into jobs. [TU] [AP/Saratogian] [Biz Review]

(there's more)

Arrests in fatal Lake George boat crash, land near SUNY Poly in Albany sold, counting horse deaths at Saratoga, remembering Melville in Lansingburgh

Arrests in fatal Lake George boat crash
Friday afternoon five people were charged in connection with the boat crash on Lake George last week in which an 8-year-old girl was killed and her mother injured. The alleged driver of the boat is facing two felony counts of leaving the scene of an accident without reporting, and police allege the other four hindered the investigation of the crash. An attorney for Alex West, accused of driving the boat, said his client didn't know that anyone had been injured in the crash. Warren County Sheriff Bud York: "What we're getting from witnesses, they would've been deaf not to know they hurt somebody." [Post-Star] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10 x2]

Test scores
The state Education Department released the 2016 spring test scores for English language arts and math for grades 3-8 Friday afternoon -- and overall passing rates were up compared to last year, more so for ELA than math. Also up a bit: the percentage of students who opted out of the tests. [NYSED] [TU] [Politico NY]

Presidential election
+ Donald Trump is scheduled to appear in Plattsburgh this Thursday. [News10]
+ And while polls are pointing to a Hillary Clinton victory in New York State, she has a historically-low favorability rating in the state for a Democrat appearing on a statewide ballot. [Politico]

(there's more)

Clinton accepts nomination for president, Cuomo speaks at convention, "ban the box" bill for Albany County, undersized lobsters seized, alligator gar still swims free

Clinton accepts Democratic nomination
Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for president at the party's convention in Philadephia. Said the former New York US Senator and US Secretary of State: "We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together." [NYT]

Earlier in the day, Andrew Cuomo spoke to the convention, invoking his father's memory and touting New York as a home of progressive ideas. [NYT] [TU]

Also: Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan on her convention experience in Philadelphia. [TU]

20 year to life for fatal Troy stabbing
The Troy man who pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his wife in front of their children last November was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. Said David Campos at the sentencing: "I want to apologize to the court. I want to apologize to the city of Troy. I want to apologize to my wife's family for putting them through this." Said an aunt of Denise Gely: "We don't want to have hate in our hearts. Justice is justice, and we're happy that justice is still working." [TWCN] [TU] [Troy Record]

(there's more)

Cuomo to address convention, first PFOA personal injury lawsuit,Lake George fatality causes concern about festival, DEC searches for invasive fish in Schenectady Central Park

Cuomo to address convention
Andrew Cuomo has big shoes to fill when he addresses the Democratic Convention tonight.[NYT][NYT]

Schneiderman on Trump
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman spoke at the convention, calling Donald Trump "a guy who leaves a trail of broken deals, unpaid contractors, unpaid lawyers, unfulfilled obligations and ruined lives behind him wherever he goes."[TU]

Hit and run prompts look at festival
The hit and run boat crash that claimed the life of a 9-year-old girl on Lake George this week has prompted authorities to consider canceling Log Bay Day -- an annual informal party on the lake. The Warren County Sheriff's Office says 19 people were arrested at this year's festival, which attracted about 600 people. [TU][TWCN]

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Dems nominate Clinton, police seek photos in boat accident, Erie Blvd to close for roundabout, new program puts cats in jail

Dems nominate Hillary Clinton
History was made at the Democratic Convention on Tuesday when former First Lady, NY Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated by a major party for President of the United States. Andrew Cuomo, surrounded by state and local elected officials including Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Common Council member Leah Golby, announced New York's votes. [NYT][TU]

Police search for photos of Boat involved in fatal Crash
Police are searching for photos to help them determine if the boat they believe is responsible for the fatal hit and run that claimed the life of a 9-year-old girl on Sunday spent part of the day at the Log Bay Day boat party on the lake before the incident. [TU]

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Questions about Palace sale, Schenectady casino construction ahead of schedule, Arts Center building deal off, L-Ken's demolished

Questions about potential Palace sale
The proposed sale of the Palace Theatre from the city of Albany to the non-profit that runs the venue needs a three-fourths majority of the Common Council to approve -- and multiple council members say they're skeptical of the initial proposal. [TU+]

Fatal Lake George hit-and-run collision
Police say one person was killed and another injured Monday night on Lake George when a boat went over the top of another boat at high speed near Cramer Point and then left the scene. [Post-Star]

The heat
On Monday the Cuomo admin triggered plans to reduce energy use in the state as the hot weather prompted the state's electricity consumption to approach peak loads. [Cuomo admin] [TU+]

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State Police: abduction story not true, NIMBYism and a proposed apartment complex, hats hats hats hats

State Police: abduction story not true
State Police announced Saturday that Rachael Mattice -- who's disappearance this summer sparked a large search, and who later said she had been abducted and held by a man in Hamilton County for two weeks -- was arrested Friday on one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting an incident. State Police major William Keeler: "We're saying nothing she said happened. It was all made up." State Police say they have a witness who reported seeing Mattice during the period she claimed to have been held, and the Hamilton County sheriff says Mattice knew authorities intended to question her about an alleged theft of prescription drugs at her home health aide job. Said Mattice's mother to News10: "Until the day I die, I believe Rachael's story." [NYSP] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [News10 x2]

Emma Willard sexual assault allegation from 1998
A woman who attended Emma Willard in the late 1990s tells the New York Times she was raped by a history teacher at Emma Willard in 1998 -- and then sent away from the school. Her story appears to be the alleged incident that surfaced earlier this summer and prompted a letter to the school's community about efforts to investigate alleged incidents in the 1970s and 1990s. [NYT] [TU]

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Legislation extends time to sue in situations like Hoosick Falls, questions about Troy property sale, remembering Nathan Lebron

Hoosick Falls
On Thursday Andrew Cuomo signed a bill extends the period in which people can file personal injury lawsuits related to pollution at Superfund sites to three years. The legislation was prompted by the situation involving the contamination of the Hoosick Falls water supply. [TWCN] [TU]

Farther afield: The city of Newburgh is pushing for the state to do blood tests of residents in order to determine levels of exposure to a chemical found in the city's drinking water that's similar the chemical in the Hoosick Falls water supply.

Hudson River PCBs
A year after the end of the Hudson River PCB dredging project, the federal Environmental Protection Agency says tests indicated that PCB levels in fish from river are declining. [TU]

Questions about Troy property sale
Troy City Council members are questioning why the city released the reverter clause on a city-owned property that was sold to a then-city employee in 2015 for $3,500 -- and is now listed for sale at $65k. [TU]

(there's more)

Home demolished after fatal fire, Hoosick Falls PFOA documents headed to Congress, another horse dies at Saratoga, a gift of tartan granite

Schenectady home razed
The remains of a Mont Pleasant home destroyed in a deadly fire this week were demolished on Wednesday. Family and neighbors mourned the loss of a six-year-old girl and a man with disabilities who lived in the house. [Gazette]

Delay on Crude oil heating plant approval
A State Supreme Court Ruling gives the DEC an indefinite extension on whether to approve a crude oil heating plant at the Port of Albany.[TU]

PFOA
New test results show seven of 20 wells in Petersburgh tested positive for PFOA contamination. Meanwhile, New York is set to begin sending documents on PFOA contamination in the area to Congress.[TU][TU]

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Poll: state corruption is voter concern, two killed in Schenectady house fire, Saratoga council censures mayor

Quinnipiac Poll on corruption is an issue in NY
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows 87 percent of those questioned said government corruption is a serious problem in New York. 48 percent said Andrew Cuomo was part of the problem and 36 percent thought he was part of the solution. The poll also showed Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 47 to 35 percent among New York State voters.[Politico]
[TU][TWCN]

Schenectady fire kills two people
A house fire in Schenectady on Tuesday claimed the lives of a 5-year-old girl and a 26-year-old man with disabilities.[Gazette][TU]

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Two die in Schenectady fire, sentencing in crash that killed three, another under-1 percent tax cap, stolen phone story to become a film

Two die in Schenectady fire
Schenectady's fire chief says two people died in a house fire in Mont Pleasant Tuesday morning. Five others got out of the house, and and two of them were sent to the hospital with minor injuries. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Sentencing in crash that killed three people
Joseph Duffy of Amsterdam -- who pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide after prosecutors said he was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he slammed into an oncoming car in Duanesburg last September, killing three people in the other vehicle -- was sentenced to 6-18 years in prison. Because of sentencing rules, Duffy will be serving the sentences for each count concurrently -- a fact that didn't sit well with the family of the three people killed. [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

Fatal wreck of stolen minivan
Police say driver who died in a minivan crash on Central Ave in Colonie over the weekend was a 17 year old from Schenectady, and the two people injured were both 15. Also: The van had been stolen from a Schenectady church pastor. Schenectady County sheriff Dominick Dagostino tells the Daily Gazette that a deputy had attempted to stop the van, then followed at a distance, and it appears the deputy did so "well within our protocol and policies." [News10] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Fatal crash of reported stolen vehicle, carjacking reported at Colonie Center, health care costs complicate state employee contracts, she protested her own concert

One dead after Colonie crash of reported stolen vehicle
Police say a minivan that had been reported stole in Schenectady crashed on Central Ave near Route 155 in Colonie early Sunday morning -- one person inside the car was killed, and two others were injured. Deputies of the Schenectady County Sheriff's Office had reportedly tried to stop the car prior the crash. A witness says the minivan rolled over multiple times during the crash. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [News10]

Carjacking at Colonie Center
Colonie police say a 77-year-old woman reported that a man assaulted her and forced his way into her car in the Colonie Center parking lot Sunday afternoon, then drove down Fuller Road before stopping and forcing the woman out of the car. CPD is asking for the public's help in finding the car. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

Fatal fire in Guilderland
One person died in a fire at Guilderland home with three units Sunday afternoon, according to the Guilderland Fire Department chief. Neighbors said they heard loud bangs, which the fire chief said were exploding oxygen tanks. [TU] [TWCN]

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Alleged Albany drug operations busted, more calls to bridge racial divide, proposed ALB upgrades, last stop for the Peanut Land Express

Bust of alleged drug operations in Albany
The state Attorney General's office, State Police, and Albany police announced the indictments of 27 people alleged to have been involved with two drug distribution rings operating in Albany, one that transported heroin and other drugs, and the other that sold cocaine in the city. Albany police chief Brendan Cox on whether the busts represented a victory: "Closing the jail cell and hearing a click, that's not a win. That's a complete failure. A societal failure. ... We take one supplier off the market and someone else steps in because it's money." [NYS OAG] [WNYT]

Police/community relationships
More vigils and reflection on the recent deaths of African Americans during encounters with police around the country and the shooting of police in Dallas:
+ In Albany, pastor Charles Daniel: "I can't take another person of color becoming a hashtag on social media and then forgotten." [WNYT]
+ In Schenectady, Toshena Haynes, an African-American woman, on why she moved to sit near a white man when a speaker at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church noted the crowd was grouped by race: "No one wants to have conversations that are about real stuff when we don't really know them ... So we have to at least get past that part first." [Daily Gazette]

Search for two people missing at Lawson Lake
The Albany County Sheriff's Operation now considers the search at Lawson Lake for two missing people after a small boat capsized to be a recovery rather than a rescue. [News10]

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Cuomo endorses Teachout, another water main break, HVCC plans tuition hike, Arms show to leave Saratoga

Cuomo endorses Teachout
Andrew Cuomo has endorsed 19th Congressional District Democratic candidate Zephyr Teachout -- who ran against him in the Gubernatorial primary in 2014 -- without actually mentioning her name. [TU]

Schneiderman subpoenaed
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been subpoenaed by the House of Representatives' Science, Space and Technology Committee in an effort to obtain records related to a multi-state probe of Exxon. [TU]

House demolished
Crews have demolished the remains of a Colonie house where police officer Israel Roman killed his wife and son and then set fire to the home, killing himself. [TU]

(there's more)

Teen drowned in Hudson, arrest in death of Troy operations manager, Aide charged with abusing teen, Bier Abby seized for taxes

Arrest in Troy Operations Manager murder
Police have arrested a man in connection with the stabbing death of Troy operations manager Bill Chamberlin. Chamberlin's former neighbor, Joseph M. Vandenburgh, was arraigned Tuesday morning in on a grand jury indictment that included charges of second-degree murder and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. [TWCN][Record]

Teen drowns in Hudson
A teen who jumped from a Stillwater bridge with his friends on Tuesday, drowned in the Hudson. [TU]

Bier Abby seized
Corrected. Schenectady's Bier Abby has been seized by the state Department of Taxation and Finance for non-payment of taxes. [Gazette]

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Vigil in Schenectady calls for building bridges between community and police, pedestrian safety goal of stepped-up 787 traffic enforcement, when a hawk flies into your house

Police/community relationships

+ People gathered at a Schenectady church Monday for a vigil in response to the deaths of Philando Castile near Minneapolis, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, and five police officers in Dallas. Said Angelica Morris, exec director of the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission: "This is not about cops versus blacks or blacks against cops ... This is all about us as a race of people, people of faith. It's not about building walls to block a group of people. It's about destroying barriers and walls, and building bridges." A Schenectady police detective sergeant said recent events had drained him of energy and hope, but the optimism on display reinvigorated him. [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

+ After quotes in a Times Union story by an Albany police officer during a program with teens on Friday about how to deal with police -- "If you get all cocky and give me attitude, I am going to write you up for every possible ticket in the book ... And if you continue to argue and disobey my orders and fight, fight, fight, you could lose your life." -- prompted criticism of the message and tone, Albany police chief Brendan Cox posted released an open letter about the program and the comments. [TU] [WAMC] [APD FB]

(there's more)

Continued calls for better police/community relationships, extensive look at area's toxic sites, 101 apartments planned for downtown Troy

Police/community relationships
+ Hundreds of people turned out for a rally in Albany's Dana Park Friday evening to protest the latest deaths of African Americans during encounters with police around the nation, and express their opposition to violence in light of the Dallas police shootings. [News10] [TU] [WNYT]

+ Earlier Friday at the Capital South Campus Center in Albany a group of teens heard from police and attorneys about police stops during a legal rights workshop -- the police urged compliance, the attorneys pushed for the teens to know their rights. [TU]

+ A snapshot of the complicated situation in Schenectady's Hamilton Hill, where residents express respect for police, wariness of being stopped, and disappointment with how the neighborhood is policed. [Daily Gazette]

+ Alice Green of the Center for Law & Justice in Albany: "We've really got to do something about systemic racism and our fascination with guns." [WNYT]

+ Albany police chief Brendan Cox on Friday: "We can get past this by working together. We have to ... It's imperative for our entire country that we work together and solve our problems." [TWCN]

Toxic sites
The Times Union has put together "We've really got to do something about systemic racism and our fascination with guns." [WNYT]">a big package of articles looking at polluted sites around the Capital Region, and the problems involved in getting them cleaned up. [TU]

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Siena poll shows low confidence in ethics legislation, HVCC president sets retirement date, CDTA plans to oversee taxi service

Siena poll: Voters have low confidence in ethics legislation
A new Siena College Poll shows 56 percent of voters do not believe that ethics reforms passed at the end of session will reduce corruption in state government, but 48 percent said they would re-elect their state senator and 42 percent said they'd re-elect their assembly member. The poll shows 33 percent give Andrew Cuomo a B grade on his effectiveness during the session. [Siena College]

HVCC president sets retirement date
HVCC President Drew Matonak has announced he will retire in 2018 -- allowing the college two years to seek his replacement. [TU]

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Teachout/Faso will vie for 19th, teen drowns in Poestenkill, gun show may be City Center's last

Teachout/Faso will contend for 19th
Zephyr Teachout will run against John Faso in the race to replace Chris Gibson in the 19th Congressional District. Teach out and Faso-- who have both previously run for governor, won their respective primaries on Tuesday. [Gazette][TU]

Teen drowns in Poestenkill
A 16-year old boy drowned on Tuesday, while swimming with friends in the Poestenkill Gorge. Teams had a difficult time pulling the teen's body from the gorge because of a lack of access the site. The spot, which Troy Fire Chief Tom Garrett called "beautiful but dangerous," has been the site of many fatalities over the years. [News 10][TU]

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It's federal primary day, Hoosick Falls residents testify, New York Brexit ripples, legal sales of sparklers spread

NY-19 primary
It's federal primary day in New York, and there are both Democratic and Republican primaries in New York's 19th Congressional District as candidates compete to replace Chris Gibson. (The NY-19 wraps around the southern end of the Capital Region, from Rensselaer County south to Columbia County and Greene County and out into Schoharie County and other counties to the west.) Polls are open from noon to 9 pm. Don't know where to vote? Check with the state Board of Elections website. [TU]

Hoosick Falls
A Hoosick Falls resident at a state Department of Environmental Conservation hearing about PFOA Monday: "You can't get away from thinking about the water. Every time you turn on the water, every day it is a constant reminder of how terrible this situation is." Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Chris Gibson are pushing for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to assist people affected by the situation in Hoosick Falls. [WNYT] [TU x2]

Burned trucks and possible gunshots
Two trucks caught fire overnight in Mariaville, and there were reports of what sounded like gunfire. State Police are investigating. [News10] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]

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Big warehouse fire in Watervliet, Bharara says he believes there's corruption in NY exec branch, hopes for the Upstatexit

Watervliet warehouse fire
A large warehouse fire in Watervliet Saturday night took multiple departments and many hours to extinguish. Watervliet's fire chief says the cause of the fire is under investigation. The building has been demolished. [Troy Record] [News10] [TU] [News10]

Bernie Sanders in Albany
Bernie Sanders to the crowd at his appearance at The Egg on Friday: "Our ideas of economic and environmental and racial justice are the future, if we keep at it." Sanders also said his campaign is talking with Hillary Clinton's campaign about "whether or not they can come up with some very serious proposals which will help us transform America." Of the 162 people the Times Union talked to at the event, about half said they would not vote for Clinton or Donald Trump. [Daily Gazette] [Politico NY] [TU]

Preet probes
Preet Bharara to ABC News: "We have found that corruption is rife in a lot of institutions in New York and throughout New York. That's true in the legislature ... It's also the case that there's corruption, we believe, in the executive branches as well. And we'll ferret it out wherever we find it." [ABC]

(there's more)

Bernie Sanders back in Albany, LGBT flag burning being investigated as a hate crime, a commencement speech declaration

Bernie Sanders in Albany
Bernie Sanders is scheduled to give a speech at The Egg Friday -- his campaign is calling it a ""Where We Go From Here" speech. People were already lined up by 8:30 this morning for the midday event. On MSNBC Friday morning Sanders said he would vote for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. [Sanders campaign] [TU] [NYT]

Rainbow flag burned at Damien Center
The Albany Damien Center reported Thursday that the LGBT rainbow banner in front of the church that currently houses the center was set on fire sometime overnight Wednesday to Thursday morning in an apparent act of vandalism. Albany police say department detectives and the FBI are investigating and they're treating the incident as a possible hate crime. The Damien Center provides services to people living with HIV. Said Perry Junjulas, its executive director, to the Times Union: "When I saw it, it was this automatic almost punch-in-the-gut feeling, like 'Oh my God, there are people out there who really do hate us, and they're right here.'" [Albany Damien Center FB] [APD] [WNYT] [TU]

Troy charter changes might not go through
Troy city officials are looking into whether the city charter changes approved by voters last fall -- including the elimination of two city council seats -- can go into effect as planned because it appears the city might not have followed the proper procedural steps for making the changes. [Troy Record]

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Tonko joins House Dems in sit-in, couple injured in Albany County bobcat attack, Siena team prints Frozen hand for child

House Democrats stage protest
Representative Paul Tonko was among the Democrats who staged a protest on Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives in a push for a vote on gun control. Tonko says the protest stemmed from frustration over the refusal to hold votes on gun control in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando, "And you resort to the most extreme measures to draw attention to the fact that the silence is deafening.''[NYT][TU]

Special session not likely
Andrew Cuomo says isn't likely to call state legislators back for a special session to address ethics because "because the measures they didn't do, they don't want to do." Cuomo said he believes it could take a constitutional convention to get ethics laws changed.[TU]

Kamfer v. Cuomo
The Supreme Court declined to hear a Mayfield man's challenge to the NY Safe Act, but he says he's not done fighting. [TU]

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Former UAlbany student admits to false claims about bus incident, pedestrian hit in Schenectady, new record for swimming Lake George

UAlbany student admits to false claims about bus incident
One of the three students who claimed to be the victims of a racially-motivated attack on a CDTA bus earlier this year, admitted in court on Tuesday that elements of the story were fabricated. In a plea deal, Alexis Briggs pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and will perform 100 hours of community service. The other two women in the case could face up to two years in jail.[TU][WNYT][TWCN]

Casino payouts
Schenectady, Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties along with the city of Schenectady, are among 22 upstate municipalities that are already getting millions in casino payouts. The Capital Region received $10 million from Rush Street Gaming.[TU][Gazette]

Pedestrian hit in Schenectady
A 57-year old Schenectady woman was treated at Albany Medical Center after being hit by a car as she tried to cross State Street late Tuesday night. [Gazette]

(there's more)

Supreme Court doesn't take on SAFE Act challenge, call for lower 787 speed limit in Cohoes, alleged cheese company investment scam

SCOTUS doesn't take up SAFE Act challenge
On Monday the Supreme Court of the United States chose not to hear a challenge to New York's SAFE Act and a similar law expanding an assault weapon ban in Connecticut. The choice won praise from gun control advocates -- and the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, which figured the current lineup of justices wasn't favorable to a challenge. [NYT] [TU]

Meanwhile: A gun shop owner in Glenville says sales spike after every mass shooting, such as the one recently in Orlando. [Daily Gazette]

School funding
School districts such as Albany and Schenectady are "way off track" in terms of getting the level of state aid owed to them under the 2006 Campaign for Fiscal Equity ruling, the Alliance for Quality Education argues in a new report. At a Monday event held by the advocacy org, Schenectady schools superintendent called the current funding allocation "egregiously discriminatory." [TU] [AQE] [Daily Gazette]

Pedestrian safety
Cohoes mayor Shaw Morse said Monday he'd like to see the speed limit on 787 in his city reduced to 30 miles per hour. The stretch of road has been under scrutiny recently after the death of a teen pedestrian at 787 and Bridge Ave last week. [WNYT]

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Late night end-of-session crunch for state legislature, concerns about pedestrian safety along 787 in Cohoes, working in Schenectady but not living there

End of session flurry
The late-night flurry of activity in the state legislature Friday produced a bill that includes a few ethics-related measures and a package deal that includes many issues such as an extension of state control over NYRA and provisions for foreclosed "zombie" properties. [Politico NY] [TU]

Other notable end-of-session action:
+ A measure that would have the state eventually pay the full cost of legal representation for people who can't afford it (as opposed to have the counties pay) is headed to Andrew Cuomo after passing in the Assembly. [TU]
+ Both chambers passed a bill that opens the way for CDTA to oversee a regionalization of taxi service in the Capital Region. [Biz Review]
+ Both chambers passed a bill that would legalize daily fantasy sports games. [Politico NY]
+ Among the things that did not make it through: a bill that addresses the insurance issue currently blocking the expansion of companies such as Uber and Lyft throughout the state. [Biz Review]

Concern about pedestrian safety along 787 in Cohoes
The death of a teen pedestrian trying to cross 787 at Bridge Ave in Cohoes last week has prompted a renewed focus on the design of the road and its danger to pedestrians. Cohoes mayor Shawn Morse says he wants to talk with the state Department of Transportation about the corridor's design, and there have been calls for the construction of a pedestrian bridge. Residents of Cohoes have been expressing concern about the design of the corridor since at least 2000. [TWCN] [TU+] [News10] [WNYT] [TU+]

(there's more)

Overtime for state legislature, pedestrian dies in Cohoes crash, plea deals rejected in UAlbany bus incident, Niskayuna and its new breastaurants

Session overtime for state legislature
Thursday was the last scheduled day of the current state legislature session -- but the two chambers will be back on Friday, perhaps to take up a handful of high-profile issues. Apparently there's some sort of overarching deal the leaderships have worked out that includes some of these issues, including pension forfeiture for elected officials convicted of a felony. [TU] [Politico NY]

Amended, unamended
The state Senate unanimously passed a bill that would give people three years to file personal injury claims against the polluter at a Superfund site -- such as the situation in Hoosick Falls -- passed in the state Senate 62-0. (This was the bill that Kathy Marchione had amended -- then unamended -- this week.) [Politico NY] [TU]

Pedestrian dies in Cohoes crash
Cohoes police say a 16-year-old pedestrian died Thursday evening after being hit in a crash while crossing 787 at Bridge Ave (map). As of Thursday night, police were still investigating. [WNYT] [TWCN]

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Police search for gunman in overnight Schenectady shooting, Marchione amends water legislation then changes it back, police purchase headstone for murdered child

End of session
The state Senate passed 100 bills on Wednesday
as the session winds to a close, but ethics legislation and upstate ride sharing services are among the items that are not likely to make it out of session this time around. [Politico][WNYT][Politico]

Marchione amends water contamination bill, then un-amends it
State Senator Kathy Marchione, who represents the PFOA-contaminated Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, quietly amended water legislatio that would expand a citizen's right to sue for damage, and then quietly changed it back. The change, which effectively killed her own bill, removed reference to superfund sites, only citing "injury caused by contact with or exposure to ground water contaminated by substances, compounds or toxins." [TU][Politico]

Hoosick Falls residents rally
Wearing signs that indicated their place in their community or family, and a number that indicated their PFOA level, residents of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday in an effort to get legislators to hold hearings into the state's response to the water crisis. [NYT]

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Ethics agreement unlikely, push for police body cameras in Albany and Troy, Orlando night club hero is Niskayuna High School graduate

Ethics
In spite of back to back convictions of legislative leaders Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, it appears legislators will close this session without an ethics agreement. [NYT]

Beagles
Legislators did find time to pass he Beagle Bill, requires state-funded research facilities to make the dogs and cats used for testing available for adoption.[TU]

Schenectady considers age hike for tobacco purchases
Schenectady County will hold a public hearing on a proposal to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21. [Gazette]

Body cameras
The APD is ironing out the details for putting body cameras on every one of Albany's police officers. [TU]

Meanwhile Troy police chief John Tedesco is pushing to get his force equipped with body cameras.[TU]

(there's more)

Man shot and killed by Schenectady police, local vigils for Orlando, amended Uber/Lyft bill a sticking point, Puzzles owner thinking about second location

Fatal shooting in Schenectady by police
Schenectady police say an SPD detective shot and killed a man late Monday afternoon in Mont Pleasant (map). SPD says the man -- 33-year-old Joshua Sciscm -- had spoken briefly to two plainclothes detectives as they sat in a car, then lifted his shirt to show a gun in his waistband. Police say that's when the detectives got out of their car, identified themselves, and drew their weapons. They allege Sciscm then drew his gun, pointing it at the detectives -- and that's when the Schenectady police detective fired. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [TU] [News10]

Guilty plea in Schenectady basement burial case
Harold M. Ortiz -- accused of killing a woman, kidnapping and assaulting a man, and burying them both under debris in a Union Street basement -- pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, and other charges Monday. He faces 30 years to life at sentencing. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Local reaction to Orlando shooting
+ About a thousand people gathered in West Capitol Park in Albany Monday evening as part of vigil for the victims of the Orlando shooting, and a call for unity. And in Schenectady, about a hundred gathered at city hall for the same purpose. [TWCN] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

+ Chris Churchill: How Central Ave in Albany -- where gay nightclubs and a mosque coexist -- offers hope. [TU+]

+ A look at how local gay bars have served as community gathering spots -- and safe spaces -- for the local LGBT community over the years. [TU+]

+ A rundown of what local federal representatives have said about the Orlando shooting and their records on gun control. [Daily Gazette]

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Local response to Orlando shooting, last week for legislative session, man allegedly tortured by co-workers, Madison Ave segment closed for week

Local vigils for victims of Orlando shooting
There were multiple vigils in Albany for victims of the mass shooting in Orlando over the weekend. Members of the LGBT community gathered outside Rocks. Members of Black Lives Matter gathered in Townsend Park. And members of the local Muslim community gathered outside the Masjid As-Salam mosque on Central Ave. [News10] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

On Sunday Andrew Cuomo said there was no intelligence linking the Orlando attack to threats in New York, but out of caution he said he'd directed additional security for key points around the state. [Politico NY] [Cuomo admin]

Saratoga Springs sidewalk sitting protest
A group of about 70 people gathered in front of Saratoga Springs City Hall Saturday to sit on the sidewalk in protest of a new ordinance that allows people to be fined, and eventually charged with misdemeanor, for sitting on the sidewalk. Protesters criticized city leaders for apparently targeting the problem of homelessness in this way. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

End of the legislative session
This is the last week of the current state legislative session, and there are many prominent issues that yet to be addressed. And things have been a bit tense in the Assembly. [NYT] [Politico NY]

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Crunch time for state legislature, Schenectady tops local property tax rate rankings, Dairy Circus won't rebuild, the #3 overall selection, weather woof

Time running out for state legislature
There are just three days remaining in the current state legislature session and many issues still up in the air -- including bills that would address opiods, ride sharing companies operating outside NYC, and ethics reform. Assembly member Pat Fahy to WNYT: "Everything goes down to the wire here." [TWCN] [WNYT]

Albany police-community relations
A group of local clergy appeared at Albany City Hall Thursday to commend plans made by Albany police for increased training and use of body cameras, and urge continued effort to change. The event also drew activists who said Albany police haven't done enough to address systemic issues related to policing. [TU] [TWCN]

Taxes
The Empire Center has released its latest ranking of property tax rates around the state, tagging the city of Schenectady with the highest rate in the Capital Region. [Empire Center] [Daily Gazette]

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McCoy signs 21+ law for Albany tobacco sales, Cuomo calls for campaign funding restrictions, Scrimshaw to step down from Sage, a Schenectady tradition returns

Albany Count tobacco law
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy signed legislation on Wednesday that officially raises the age for legal purchase of tobacco products in the county from 18 to 21. Albany County is one of only three New York state Counties that restrict tobacco purchases to people 21 and over. [TWCN]

Ethics
"This is Albany's Watergate moment and instead of the burglars getting arrested, and Albany's equivalent is to give them a parking ticket," NYPIRG Legislative Director Blair Horner on the lack of an agreement on ethics legislation among NYS lawmakers, with only four days remaining in the legislative session. [TWCN]

Campaign funding limits
Andrew Cuomo announced a late session push on Tuesday to tighten restrictions on laws governing money given to candidates through independent expenditure committees. Cuomo called for legislation to address what he says are problems caused by the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision that prohibits restrictions on independent political spending and allowing wealthy donors, organizations or candidates themselves to create independent groups that can skirt many campaign finance rules.[NYT][TU][WNYT]

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Saratoga Springs council passes sidewalk sitting law, Hoosick Falls blood tests reveal PFOA levels, lawn signs combat anti-Muslim rhetoric

Spa City sidewalk sitting law
The Saratoga Springs City Council passed a law on Tuesday banning people from siting or lying on the city's sidewalks. The law passed by a vote of 4 to 1, with only Mayor Joanne Yepsen opposing it. Yepsen said the law, which calls for fees of $50 to $500 and possible imprisonment for repeat offenders was too harsh. Public safety commissioner Chris Matthiessen claims the law is not targeted at the homeless, but is a public safety measure meant to keep people from tripping over obstructions on the sidewalk. [Saratogian][News10][TU][TWCN]

Hoosick Falls
Residents of Hoosick Falls have begun to receive the results of blood tests that show PFOA levels from non detectable to more than 200 micrograms per liter, but as the legislative session is coming to an end, lawmakers are apparently not planning hearings or action on the Hoosick Falls situation. [TU][Politico]

David Sweat
The recently released Inspector General's report on last year's Clinton Correctional Facility prison break shows inmate David Sweat was unrepentant, smug, and eager to talk about the escape, and detailed factors that led to his successful escape plot. [Gazette]

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Report cites complacency and systemic failures in Clinton Correctional Facility escape, Saratoga Springs considers fine for sitting on sidewalks, sprinting to the Olympics

Clinton Correctional Facility escape report
A new report from the state Inspector General's office concludes that "chronic complacency, complicit employees and myriad failures of even the most basic security procedures" contributed to the escape by David Sweat and Richard Matt from the Clinton Correctional Facility. The report touches on falsified records, faulty cell searches and bed checks, how the escapees acquired tools, the relationships cultivated with a guard and prison seamstress, and how Sweat and Matt plotted the escape. [NYS IG x2] [NYT] [News10] [TU] [TWCN] [Politico NY]

Wilton hit-and-run
State Police say they've arrested the alleged driver in the Wilton hit-and-run crash in which a 9-year-old boy suffered serious head injuries. She's facing a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident, police say she was also driving with a suspended license. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

Schenectady mayor incident
A State Supreme Court justice has selected Saratoga County DA Karen Heggen to serve as the special district attorney in the review of the incident involving Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy and two women. McCarthy and at least one of the women have given very different accounts of the incident. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Also: In an op/ed, Schenectady County DA Robert Carney -- who recused himself from the case -- addressed his office's reasons for not releasing possible surveillance camera video of the incident. [Daily Gazette]

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Confession casts doubt on convictions in Albany murder, blood test results arriving in Hoosick Falls, worries about Lansingburgh, new lawn at SPAC

Confession casts doubt on convictions in Albany murder
The confession from a man in prison in Ohio to a 1997 murder of an Albany college student -- a crime for which two other men were convicted -- has, in the words of the Times Union's Brendan Lyons, "stirred the ashes of an era when the Albany police regularly built homicide cases in which their key evidence were the signed confessions obtained from suspects after lengthy interrogations." [TU+]

Hoosick Falls
Residents of Hoosick Falls have started to receive the results of tests for levels of PFOA in their blood -- and the average level there is 11 times higher than typical. And some people have gotten results indicating levels much higher than the village average. The test indicate exposure to the chemical, but not he likelihood of health effects -- and people say they're unsure about what to do next. [TU] [WNYT] [AP/Troy Record] [News10]

Child hurt in hit-and-run
State Police say they're investigating a hit-and-run in Wilton in which a 9-year-old boy on a bike suffered severe head injuries. Neighbors described the gruesome scene after the SUV alleged to have been involved left the area. [NYSP] [WNYT]

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Decision on how to proceed on Schenectady mayor incident in judge's hands, "one of the worst public health epidemics we have ever seen," how the head of SUNY Poly gets paid

Schenectady mayor incident
Schenectady County DA Robert Carney says he passing the decision how about how to investigate the May 19 incident involving mayor Gary McCarthy to a state administrative judge, who will decide whether a special prosecutor should take up the case. McCarthy worked as an investigator in the DA's office for many years before becoming mayor, and Carney said putting the decision in a judge's hands would remove him from the decision making process. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Heroin and painkillers
Michael Botticelli -- director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, AKA, the nation's "drug czar" -- was at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Thursday for a forum about the rising tide of opioid abuse: "I would say this is one of the worst public health epidemics we have ever seen." [TU] [WNYT]

Also: A state bill sponsored by John McDonald that would limit physicians from prescribing more than five days of opioid painkillers for patients with acute pain is moving through the chamber after passing the state Senate. [TU]

PFOA in drinking water
Republican state Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, who represents Hoosick Falls, on his frustration that the Assembly hasn't had hearings on the PFOA contamination of drinking water supplies in Rensselaer County, on Capitol Tonight: "I will state that I believe that if this took place in Brooklyn, or the Bronx, or down in Queens or somewhere else in New York City that (the Rev.) Al Sharpton and company would be marching in the streets ... But this is a bunch of upstate people in a rural, remote area, and apparently they don't count." [TWCN]

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Vega convicted of manslaughter, Schenectady City Council to request independent investigation of McCarthy incident, no more Uncle Sam parade

Vega convicted of manslaughter
A Rensselaer County jury did not convict Gabriel Vega of murder, but did convict him on charges him of first-degree manslaughter, second-degree arson, third-degree arson and first-degree abortion in the death of Vanessa Milligan and their unborn child. Vega is facing a minimum or 25 years in prison and could spend as much as 50 years for the crimes. Milligan's family held a vigil and released balloons to celebrate the verdict but her father told TWCN, " when the party's over and everyone goes home, I still gotta deal with the hurt. I still gotta deal with the pain."[Record][TU][TWCN]

Schenectady Council calls for McCarthy investigation
In a closed door meeting on Wednesday, Schenectady's City Council decided that the city should bring in an unbiased investigator to look into the confrontation between Mayor Gary McCarthy and a woman he followed in his car when he suspected her of trying to break into cars last week. The woman, Sarah Dingley of Rotterdam, told the Daily Gazette the mayor followed her, flashing his high beams, and that she pulled over because she thought he was a police officer. [Gazette][TU][Gazette]

Schenectady standoff
A nearly five hour standoff outside a James Street home in Schenectady ended with tear gas, but no shots were fired. Three people were arrested, including a man who was wanted on a parole violation stemming from a 2009 Schenectady drug bust. [WNYT][Gazette]

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Verdict in Vega trial, SWAT team in Schenectady, council to meet on McCarthy incident, Patroon Island Bridge reconstruction complete

Verdict in trial for the death of Vanessa Milligan
Update: A Rensselaer County Court jury found Gabriel Vega guilty of first-degree manslaughter in the death of Vanessa Milligan in Lansingburgh in 2014. Vega was also convicted on charges of arson and abortion for the incident in which Milligan, who was pregnant with Vega's child, was killed and her home set on fire. The jury passed on convicting Vega on a second-degree murder charge against him. [TWCN] [Troy Record] [TU]

Schenectady SWAT
A SWAT team has responded to a James Street home in Schenectady. A man has apparently barricaded himself in the home. [Gazette]

GlobalFoundries
GlobalFoundries plans to set up a chip fab plant in China, but officials do not expect it to affect operations at its Malta plant, or its plan to open a second Malta plant. [TU][Gazette]

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Fatal hit and run in Rotterdam, jury deliberating in Vega trial, questions about handling school bullying, one class at a time

Fatal hit and run in Rotterdam
Rotterdam police say a man was killed in a crash with an SUV Sunday night (map) -- and the SUV then took off. The family of the man says they're not sure why he was at that spot at the time, and a neighbor (or neighbors -- they're unnamed) tell WNYT and News10 that man said shortly before that someone was trying to kill him. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [News10]

Trial in the death of Vanessa Milligan
The jury in the trial of Gabriel Vega, accused of killed Vanessa Milligan and setting fire to her Lansingburgh residence, is set to return for a third day of deliberation Tuesday. Closing arguments were this past Thursday, an on Friday the jury requested to hear a read back of some testimony from the trial. [TU] [Troy Record] [TWCN]

Maximum in Schenectady arson case
The Schenectady woman convicted of setting fire to her bakery -- with a tenant in an upstairs apartment -- so she could collect insurance money was sentenced 25 years to life in prison. It's the maximum sentence and more than what the prosecution recommended. [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]

Call for external investigation of incident involving Schenectady mayor
Vince Riggi -- who's the only non-Democrat on the Schenectady City Council -- says that the State Police or some other outside agency should investigate the incident which mayor Gary McCarthy apparently followed a woman as she drove her van to Schenectady police headquarters. SPD has said it's found no criminal behavior by anyone involved in the incident. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Madison Avenue sinkhole reroutes traffic, family busted for allegedly running Niskayuna pot factory, closing arguments today in Vanessa Milligan murder case

Sinkhole
Madison Avenue in Albany is closed from South Lake to Willett Street while crews continue to work on a sinkhole over a 140-year-old trunk sewer . The slate and brick sewer dates back to 1870, further complicating repairs.. Officials say the hole is 20 x 20 feet and that repairs could take several days to complete. [TU][WNYT][TWCN]

Albany budget
The city of Albany spent about $4.7 million more than anticipated from it's reserves last year, leaving very little reserve funding for this year. [TU]

Milligan case
Testimony concluded on Wednesday in the trial of Gabriel Vega, charged with the 2014 murder of Vanessa Milligan. The County Medical Examiner testified that no soot was found in Vanessa Milligan's lungs, indicating she died before the fire started in her home. Closing arguments and jury deliberations are expected today. [TU][TWCN]

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Vega's former girlfriend testifies he confessed to Milligan murder, woman survives 60 foot fall from Thacher Park cliff, Salvation Army closes Saratoga Code Blue shelter

Woman falls from Thacher Park cliff
Crews rescued a woman on Tuesday after she fell 60 feet from a cliff on Thacher Park Road after crashing her car into nearby guardrail. [TU]

Vega trial
The former girlfriend of Gabriel Vega testified on Tuesday that Vega told her he murdered Vanessa Milligan. Kim Virola testified that she kept the secret out of fear, and also admitted that she had threatened Milligan. [TU][Record]

Pedestrian identified
Police have identified the woman who was struck and killed on Tuesday while crossing Central Avenue as 62-year-old Borziloke Zakolli, who lived not far from the scene of the accident. [WNYT]

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Pedestrian struck and killed on Central Ave, jail phone calls at issue in Vega trial, NYCLU protesting proposed law about ALB security screenings, she's leading the parade

Pedestrian death on Central Ave
Colonie police say a pedestrian died after being hit by a vehicle on Central Ave -- the force of the crash threw her into another lane where she was hit by a second vehicle. The crash prompted the closure of the westbound side of Central Ave at Tull Drive (map) and the off-ramps at Exit 2 of the Northway were closed. [TU] [News10]

Trial in the death of Vanessa Milligan
The admissibility of phone calls Gabriel Vega is accused of making from jail to his mother and a girlfriend in which it sounds like they're discussing the investigation of the case has become a point of contention between the prosecution and defense -- Vega's attorney says the calls shouldn't be allowed because they didn't get them until after the trial started. The prosecution says it discovered the calls last week and gave them to the defense this past weekend. [TU] [TWCN]

Also Monday, prosecutors played an interview in which investigators told Vega a DNA test had indicated he was the father of Vanessa Milligan's baby. [Troy Record]

April 17 fatal shooting by Troy police
The family of Edson Thevenin has filed a wrongful-death claim (the first step in a lawsuit) against Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove and members of the Troy Police Department. [TU]

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Another turn in the investigation of the April 17 fatal shooting by Troy police, fire investigator testifies in Vega trial, a 350 percent tip

Investigation of April 17 fatal shooting by Troy police
"Two people briefed on the matter" tell the Times Union that Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove didn't get a waiver of immunity from the Troy police sergeant who shot and killed Edson Thevenin when the sergeant testified before a grand jury about the shooting -- as a result, Randall French now has immunity from prosecution for his actions during the incident. (The state attorney general's office is still reviewing the case.) [TU]

Schenectady officer back at work following traffic stop incident
The Schenectady police officer who had been suspended after leaving a traffic stop for which he was the subject is back on the job after pleading guilty to two traffic violations and doing 10 hours of community service. [Daily Gazette]

Trial in the death of Vanessa Milligan
On Friday a state fire investigator testified in the trial of Gabriel Vega that the fire in which Vanessa Milligan's body was found -- and destroyed two Lansingburgh homes -- had started on or near Milligan's body, which the investigator said had been soaked with gasoline. And the prosecution showed a photo of Milligan's burned body, pointing to burn patterns the investigator said indicated the fire was intentionally set. The trial is set to continue this week. [Troy Record] [TWCN]

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Second day of testimony in Vega trial, feds issue lower limit for PFOA exposure, job count said to be off, trail safety upgrades for Plotter Kill

Trial in the death of Vanessa Milligan
During testimony Thursday in the trial of Gabriel Vega, firefighters talked about finding the body of Vanessa Milligan in the fire at her Lansingburgh apartment. A state fire investigator said that a trained dog detected accelerant in the bedroom where Milligan was found. There was also testimony Thursday from a neighbor who reported seeing a man staring at the fire, looking like he was ready to run, and a driver who said she almost ran over a man -- later identified as Vega -- on Fifth Ave. [TU] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TWCN]

PFOA
The federal Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday a lifetime drinking water health advisory of 70 parts per trillion for PFOA -- the early advisory has been 100 parts per trillion -- and the water supplies of both Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh are over that limit. Petersburgh's town supervisor says more people will now qualify for home water filtration systems as a result of the new limit. [TU] [News10]

Also Thursday, the state Department of Environmental Conservation declared the Taconics Plastics facility in Petersburgh a Superfund site. [NYS DEC]

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Testimony begins in Milligan murder case, SCCC president pleads guilty to DWAI, Silver gets two month reprieve, Sunday morning mimosas?

Milligan trial
Opening arguments and the first day of testimony were heard on Wednesday in the trial of Gabriel Vega, who is charged with the murder of Vanessa Milligan. Vegas' lawyers claim he was the victim of a vicious rumor mill. A key witness in the trial testified that she nearly ran Vega down with her car near the site of Milligan's murder shortly after the time it would have occurred, but admitted that she had been an acquaintance of Milligan's father for several years prior to that night. [WNYT][TU][Record]

Victims charged in Schenectady shooting
Four people are facing charges in connection with a Schenectady shooting on Monday -- including all three of the victims in the case. [Gazette][TU]

SCCC president pleads guilty to DWAI
SCCC's new president, Steady Moono, pleaded guilty to DWAI on Wednesday. The charge was reduced from DWI and stems from an incident in early May when Moono, and an aide, who was driving behind him, were both stopped on the way home from a fundraiser. [Gazette][TU]

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Capital Region school budgets approved, injured man is suspect in Schenectady shooting,$23 M for Adirondack Rail Trail, lobbyists campaign to outlaw declawing

School budgets approved
School budgets in all districts around the Capital Region were approved overwhelmingly in elections on Tuesday. Of the more than 30 districts voting on Tuesday, Mechanicville was the only district to propose a tax increase. [TWCN][Gazette][TU]

Porecca case
A Judge int he Jaclyn Porecca murder case may suppress statements taken by one of the two defendants based on whether police knew he had a lawyer when they questioned him. [TU]

Schenectady Shooting
One of the three men shot in Schenectady on Tuesday morning is now a suspect in the shooting. Police say the man, 22 year old Pharoah Nisby, is a person of interest in a February shooting on Crane Street and went to prison in 2012 for a stabbing. [TU][Gazette]

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Triple shooting in Schenectady, Heastie says no hearings on PFOA yet, the precarious state of Troy's finances, escaped zebra found dead

School budgets are up for vote today. Don't know where to vote? Check with your school district.

Triple shooting in Schenectady
Schenectady police say they're investigating the shooting of three men inside an apartment the eastern edge of the city (map) early Tuesday morning. SPD says all three were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. [Daily Gazette] [News10]

Hulett Street fire
The mother of Safyre Terry -- Jennica Duell -- pleaded guilty to perjury charges Monday for lying to a grand jury in the case of the fatal Hulett Street fire that killed Terry's father and three of her siblings. She faces up to 15 years in prison. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Jacquelyn Porreca murder case
During a pre-trial hearing Monday, a Colonie police investigator testified that Sean Moreland told police he didn't know Michael Chmielewski was going to stab Jacquelyn Porreca during the robbery of a hair salon on Sand Creek Road and that he feared what could happen to his children. Attorneys for both men took issue with the testimony -- Moreland's over whether police had been honest when questioning his client, and Chmielewski's on whether there was any evidence that Moreland said what the investigator said he said. [TWCN] [TU]

Vanessa Milligan murder case
Jury selection in the trial of Gabriel Vega started Monday -- he's accused of killing Vanessa Milligan, who was pregnant with their child, and setting fire to her Lansingburgh home. The judge in the case banned three members of Milligan's family from the courtroom during the selection process after one of them was accused of telling a potential juror she'd like to harm Vega. [Troy Record] [TWCN]

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Oil train protest in Albany, jury selection in trial for the death of Vanessa Milligan, dealing with vacant buildings, zebra on the loose

Oil train protests
More than a thousand people marched and sat on railroad tracks in Albany Saturday to protest the oil trains that travel to the city to the Port of Albany. The protest included advocates for people living near the port in Albany's South End. Also Saturday, five people were arrested in Guilderland for charges that included unlawful interference with a railroad train at a site near the Watervliet Reservoir. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10] [WNYT]

A statement from Global Partners, which runs the oil train hub at the port: "It's clear we take our jobs, and our responsibility to the community, to safety, and the environment, very seriously. We will proudly continue to provide critical services and supplies to the entire Northeastern United States, and play a positive role in Albany's future for years to come." [TWCN]

Trial in the death of Vanessa Milligan
Jury selection is scheduled to start Monday in the trial of Gabriel Vega, accused of killing Vanessa Milligan and then setting her Lansingburgh apartment on fire in 2014. Vega is facing murder and arson charges, along with an abortion charge because Milligan was pregnant. [Troy Record] [TU]

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Dean Skelos and son sentenced to prison, Troy city finances described as "not well at all," the island of misfit vegetables

Skelos and son sentenced
+ Former state Senate majority leader Dean Skelos was sentenced to five years in prison (and a $500k fine) for his conviction on federal corruption charges. His son, Adam Skelos -- for whom Dean had helped arrange no-show jobs -- was sentenced to six and a half years. They'll also have to jointly forfeit $334,120. [NY Post] [TU] [NYDN] [NYT]

+ Dean Skelos' wife, Gail, to US Attorney Preet Bharara as she left the courtroom, according to Politico: "You can go to hell." A Skelos nephew is also facing a misdemeanor assault charge for grabbing a New York Daily News reporter during the press crush after the sentencing. [Politico NY] [NYDN]

+ Bharara released a statement Thursday about the Skelos sentencing, and Sheldon Silver's last week: "These cases show - and history teaches - that the most effective corruption investigations are those that are truly independent and not in danger of either interference or premature shutdown. That will continue to be our guiding principle in exposing and punishing corruption throughout New York." That "truly independent" line is almost certainly a reference to Andrew Cuomo's early shutdown of the Moreland Commission. [US DOJ] [Politico NY]

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Afternoon shooting at Troy park, water main break costs Collar City $100K, car lands in Watervliet bedroom

Troy shooting
Police say a 20-year-old man was shot around 2:30 Wednesday afternoon near the 10th Street park in Troy. [TU]

Dredging deal
GE and Saratoga County's Water Authority have reached a tentative $5.3 million settlement in a federal lawsuit that claimed the costs for the county's water system were driven up by GE's pollution of the Hudson. [TU][Gazette]

Man believed to have jumped from car on Northway
State Police say they now believe the man who died after he was found on the side of the
North way on Friday, deliberately jumped from the car during a fight with his girlfriend. [TWCN]

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Abelove may face misconduct review in investigation of alleged police shooting, Cuomo distancing himself from alleged fraud case, Music Mobile closing

Rensselaer County DA may still face charges in investigation of alleged police shooting
Rensselear County DA Joel Abelove may not be entirely off the hook regarding his investigation of an alleged police shooting in Troy. Eric Schneiderman said Tuesday that while his office dropped a lawsuit against Abelove after Abelove agreed to turn over files and records from the investigation of the April 17 Troy police shooting of Edson Thevenin to the AG's office, the agreement "does not exonerate D.A. Abelove for any potential claims of misconduct." [TU][NYT]

Cuomo distancing himself from fraud case
Andrew Cuomo attempted to distance himself on Tuesday from lobbyist and longtime associate Todd Howe, and the investigation of Howe and former Cuomo's former aide, Joe Percoco for fraud and improper lobbying. Cuomo told reporters on Tuesday that Howe was just a casual acquaintance and said he did not ask Percoco about any controversial consulting deals because ,"You're a state employee, you know the ethics rules; you know the legal regulations. The onus is on you to follow them, not for you to be questioned and then follow them."

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Rensselaer County DA turns over Troy police shooting case to state Attorney General, principal says he has info that "will rock Bethlehem," Tedisco ready to run for Farley's seat

Investigation of April 17 fatal shooting by Troy police
Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove has agreed to turn over files and records from the investigation of the April 17 Troy police shooting of Edson Thevenin to the state Attorney General's office. The AG's office says the settlement moots its lawsuit against Abelove over the situation -- "does not exonerate DA Abelove for any potential claims of misconduct." An attorney for Abelove says it's possible the whole conflict over which office had authority to investigate the shooting was the result of miscommunication. [TU] [Troy Record] [TWCN]

Albany County tobacco sale age
The Albany County Legislature passed a bill that would raise the age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21. County exec Dan McCoy hasn't said publicly whether he'll sign it. [WNYT] [TU]

Bethlehem principal placed on leave
The principal of Bethlehem High School alleges he's been placed on leave because he uncovered "things that weren't lining up" about rigorous school-within-a-school program at the high school -- he tells the Times Union: "what I have will rock Bethlehem." [TU]

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Emails detail interaction between Hoosick Falls and Saint-Gobain, suspicious fires inside the Daily Gazette building, the prison experiences of Sheldon Silver and Marquis Dixon

Hoosick Falls water
Via FOIL, the Times Union has gotten a hold of emails that detail close interactions between Hoosick Falls village government and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, one of the company's that could be responsible for contamination of the drinking water supply, and a public relations firm hired to advise the village. [TU+]

Preet probes
"A person with knowledge of the subpoena" tells the Times Union that a subpoena issued by US Attorney Preet Bharara's office in April sought information on actions that Cuomo admin officials might have taken that would have benefited a group of major development companies that do work in New York State. A common connection between the major developers and other companies that have been connected to the investigation that also touches on the Buffalo Billion and SUNY Poly: they're Cuomo campaign contributors. [TU] [Politico NY]

Also: A profile of the "past littered with erratic behavior and litigation" of Todd Howe, the longtime Cuomo associate who has worked as a lobbyist for companies connected to the investigation and SUNY Poly. [NYT]

(there's more)

UAlbany president says two have been dismissed over bus incident, feds investigating wood chipper death, restaurant group sued over tips, caution urged for High Peaks hikes

UAlbany bus incident
In an email to sent the UAlbany community Thursday, university president Robert Jones said a student conduct board had dismissed two of the women charged in the bus incident from school, and suspended the third for two years. Said Jones in the statement: "I am sharing this information to reaffirm our institution's commitment to accountability and to providing a fair, safe, and welcome educational environment for all." The three women did not make an appearance at the student conduct board hearing citing an conflict of interest on the university's part -- and an attorney for one of the women said the testimony against his client there included "Trumpisms" and misrepresented witness interviews. [WNYT] [News10] [TU]

Also: Video is now out of campus police questioning the women about the incident. [WNYT] [TWCN]

Investigation of wood chipper death
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a man who got caught in a wood chipper while working for a tree service Wednesday. Police say it was the man's first day on the job. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Not guilty pleas in UAlbany bus incident, worker killed in wood chipper accident, Rensselaer County hires outside council in fatal police shooting case, Steinmetz honor in Schenectady

Worker killed in wood chipper
A 23-year-old employee of a Guilderland tree care company died in a freak wood chipper accident on his first day at work on Wednesday. [TU]

UAlbany bus incident
The three women charged with assault and falsely reporting an incident in what they say was a racially motivated attack on them on a CDTA bus earlier this year, pleaded not guilty to charges against them on Wednesday. Newly released documents about the incident show that it may have started with one passengers singing of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."[Gazette][TWCN][TU]

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Silver sentenced to 12 years, trailer park manager charged with choking tenant to death in music dispute, Spa City debates panhandling

Silver sentenced
As lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Tuesday,
former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison on corruption charges. He was also ordered to forfeit almost $5.2 million, and pay $1.75 million in fines. Silver apologized to the court but the judge in the case said though he was a gifted politician who went above and beyond, his actions were not those of a basically honest person, but a corrupt scheming politician.Silver is expected to begin his sentence on July 1, but a pending decision on a theft of honest services case currently before the Supreme Court, expected at the end of June, may have a bearing on the sentence.
[TWCN][NYT][WSJ][TWCN]

Troy shooting
According to a TU report citing "a person briefed on the investigation, but not authorized to comment publicly," a witness to the fatal shooting of a DWI suspect by a Troy police officer pinned by the suspect's car told investigators that it didn't appear to him that the officer was in danger. Meanwhile, in the wake of the shooting, the Public Safety Committee of the Troy City Council says it is working to get city police cars equipped with cameras. [TU][TU]

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Schneiderman on Troy shooting case: "I have jurisdiction," indictments in UAlbany bus incident, investigation of former Cuomo aide's consulting, Clifton Park looks to CDTA

Investigation of April 17 fatal shooting by Troy police
State attorney general Eric Schneiderman spoke publicly about the case Monday: "The people in Troy, the family and the police, and everyone have a right to understand that this was done thoroughly and properly, and we're going to make sure that we get to the right results and do it as transparently as possible." Schneiderman also addresses the issue of whether Edson Thevenin's alleged use of his car that night could qualify as a weapon, meaning he was not unarmed, and thus the case wouldn't automatically have been subject to a review by the state AG's office: "Under some circumstances under our criminal law an automobile can be used as a weapon. The point of the executive order, and it's very explicit on this point, is that I have jurisdiction as Special Prosecutor to supersede a district attorney when a law enforcement officer kills someone who is armed or if there is a serious question as to if they were armed." [News10] [TWCN]

Also Monday, Troy police Sgt. Randall French, who police say is the officer who fired the fatal shots during the incident, appeared in Rensselaer County Court to testify in an unrelated case -- and the defense attorney in the case, who says he's seen video from the April 17 incident, attempted to ask French questions about what happened (the judge didn't allow it). [TU+]

The Record's Mark Robarge on the fight between Schneiderman and Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove: "There are times to play politics and there are times not to, and when you're trying to find out the truth about an incident that left a husband and father dead, it is definitely not a time for politics." [Troy Record]

UAlbany bus incident
The Albany County DA's office announced Monday that a grand jury has handed up indictments against the three women facing charges in the January 30 UAlbany bus incident. The charges include assault and falsely reporting an incident, though none of the charges rise above the misdemeanor level and some are violations. It is unusual for charges of that nature to go before a grand jury -- defense attorneys not involved in the case say DA David Soares could have taken the case before the panel in order to determine whether felony-level charges were warranted, and/or it could have even been an attempt to avoid a judge in city court with whom Soares has previously had a history of conflict. An attorney for Ariel Agudio, one of the women charged, said to News10 in a statement that "the actions of the district attorney's office in this case are unprecedented and unwarranted" and they expect their client to be cleared. [Albany County DA] [TU] [News10]

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State AG specifically granted ability to investigate fatal shooting by Troy police, feds investigating the Buffalo Billion, pair credited with stopping to save father and son from burning car

Investigation of April 17 fatal shooting by Troy police
On Saturday Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order specifically granting state attorney general Eric Schneiderman the ability to investigated the fatal shooting of Edson Thevenin by Troy police on April 17. On Friday Schneiderman's office contacted both the Rensselaer County DA's office and Troy police demanding they turn over files related to the investigation. "A person briefed on the investigation" tells the Times Union that two people who say the witnessed the incident in which Thevenin was shot near the Collar City Bridge were not called to testify before the Rensselaer County grand jury convened by DA Joel Abelove five days after the shooting. [Cuomo admin] [TU x2]

Federal investigation of Buffalo Billion
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether there was improper lobbying and and undisclosed conflicts of interests related to the Cuomo admin's Buffalo Billion program. And "several people familiar with the matter" say key figures in the investigation include Joseph Percoco (a now former aide to Andrew Cuomo who's very close to the Cuomo family) and SUNY Poly's Alain Kaloyeros. Another key figure is a lobbyist who has a long relationship with the Cuomo family and has advised SUNY Poly. The Cuomo administration confirmed the investigation in a statement and says Andrew Cuomo has ordered a review of the Buffalo Billion. [NYDN] [NYT] [Politico NY] [Cuomo admin] [TU]

Former legislators in prison
A look at the "prolonged humbling" that convicted New York State legislators meet when serving time in federal prison. [NYT]

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Family questions handling of Troy police fatal shooting investigation, Albany aiming to save $100k with new lights, the kindness of regular people

April 17 fatal shooting by Troy police (updated)
Friday morning the family Edson Thevenin -- the man fatally shot by Troy police during an incident near the Collar City Bridge -- spoke to the media about the case, saying Troy police have changed their story about what happened multiple times. Said Thevenin's wife, Cinthia, about the handling of the case: "They were just trying to wrap things up as quickly as they can and sweep it under the rung. They were hoping it would just go away and we wouldn't ask questions." [TWCN] [TU]

In light of the current dispute between state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove over who should have jurisdiction to investigate the case, a look at an opinion piece Abelove wrote for Times Union this past August about the Andrew Cuomo executive order moving the power to investigate deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of police to the AG's office: "I remain committed to handling all cases, including those involving law enforcement officers, with impartiality, fairness and honesty, without fear or favor -- but in a lawful and transparent fashion." Abelove continued to decline publicly commenting Thursday. A question in the case: Could Thevenin's car -- which police allege he used to pin an officer against another vehicle -- be considered a weapon? [TU+] [Troy Record] [WNYT]

Stabbing in downtown Troy
Troy police say they're investigating the stabbing of a woman near State Street and the Frear Alley (map) Thursday night. TPD says sounds of moaning led people to discover the woman -- she was taken to the hospital for surgery. [News10] [TWCN] [TU]

Albany apartment fire
A fire at multi-unit home in West Hill late Thursday afternoon has displaced 13 people. Residents say it appears a problem with electric wiring caused the fire. [News10] [WNYT]

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Schneiderman sues Rensselaer County DA over handling of fatal police-involved shooting, 2nd Troy bank robbery this week, Jackson reverses plan to hire RPI activities director

AG's office sues Troy DA
Eric Schneiderman's office is suing to take over the recent Troy case of a fatal police-involved shooting of a DWI suspect. The suit claims Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove, rushed the case to a grand jury, in violation of Andrew Cuomo's executive order giving the New York attorney general broad powers to investigate and prosecute in deadly encounters between police officers and unarmed civilians. After hearing Abelove's case, the grand jury cleared Troy police Sgt. Randall French of any wrongdoing in the incident, which occurred five days earlier. In a statement on Wednesday, Schneiderman claimed "Abelove's actions not only violate the law but directly undermine the public's confidence in law enforcement." [Record][NYT][TU][Gazette]

Another Troy bank robbery
The First Niagara bank branch in Troy was robbed on Wednesday afternoon -- the second Troy First Niagara branch to be robbed this week. [TU][TWCN]

Alleged sexual assault at Saint Rose
Police say they have video of two suspects leaving a building around the time of an alleged sexual assault at a College of Saint Rose dorm. [TU]

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Former JCOPE director to join Cuomo administration, Albany County hearing on proposed tobacco law, Earth Day oil spill on the Hudson

Former JCOPE leader joins Cuomo administration
The Former Executive Director of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics has quietly taken a job as a deputy commissioner at the state Department of Taxation and Finance, where she will lead the criminal investigation services division. [TU+]

Hearing on Albany County tobacco law
At a public hearing on Tuesday night, Albany County legislators listened to members of the public comment on the pros and cons of a proposed law that would raise the age for purchasing tobacco products to 21. [News 10][TWCN][WNYT]

Sentencing in Schenectady drug murder
Carlson Nunes was sentenced to 22 years to life in the 2015 murder of Carlos Figueroa. [Gazette]

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Upswing in Capital Region home sales, bank robber with the sniffles?, details of deal for restaurant at TU Center

Upswing for home sales
Closed home sales in the Capital Region during the first quarter of 2016 were up 18 percent compared to the same period the year before (and pending sales were up 30 percent), according to numbers from the Greater Capital Association of Realtors. Among the reasons floated: increasing rental prices, relatively low interest rates, and a mild winter. [GCAR] [TU+]

Affordable housing in Troy
The residential conversion of the former Mooradians furniture warehouse in North Central will include units set aside for people in different income brackets. [TWCN]

April 17 fatal shooting by Troy police
The Record's Mark Robarge: There's no evidence the officer who fatally shot a man during the encounter near the Collar City Bridge did anything wrong, but the apparent effort by the Rensselaer County DA's office to quickly resolve the investigation into the incident "did [the officer] no favors by injecting more controversy into the case than it deserves, and I wouldn't at all be surprised to learn in short order that the grand jury's word is not the last in this case." [Troy Record]

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Man fatally shot by police in Berne, chef pleads guilty in theft from restaurant, considering sparklers in Albany County

State Police fatally shoot man in Berne
State Police say two troopers responding to a call in Berne fatally shot a man Friday night when he "aggressively approached" the troopers while carrying a knife in each hand and did not comply with orders to put the knives down. State Police Major William Keeler says the man, 51-year-old Carl Baranishyn Jr., had called 911 and expressed "suicidal thoughts, homicidal statements, including two any responding law enforcement" -- and a coroner has ruled the death suicide by police. Keeler said it was his understanding the troopers had tasers, but the dark night conditions made would have made them difficult to use. He said the troopers gave Baranishyn "ample opportunity to surrender and drop his knife." [NYSP] [TWCN] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

April 17 fatal shooting by Troy police
A Rensselaer County grand jury returned a "no true bill" clearing Troy police sergeant Randall French of criminal charges in the April 17 incident in which he fatally shot Edson Thevenin after Thevenin allegedly pinned French against a car with a vehicle. It's not clear what sort of investigation -- if any -- the state attorney general's office will be pursing in the case under its recently granted power to investigation the deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of police. [Troy Record] [TU]

February 9 Colonie murder suicide
State Police say they still don't know what prompted Colonie police officer Israel Roman to kill his wife, 10-year-old son, and himself and set their house on fire. [TU+]

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Proposals for election reform, SUNY Poly looking for bids for Rensselaer riverfront project, Union pushes back on Schenectady request for payments

Addressing elections complaints
Among the proposed solutions following complaints about how the New York presidential primary was administered this week: automatic voter registration, same-day registration, and moving the deadline for switching party registration closer to the primary -- but the state legislature hasn't exactly seemed motivated to act on such reforms in recent years. [TU+]

Death in Albany fire
Albany officials say the man pulled from fire on South Pine Street this week has died. AFD says it appears the fire was accidental. [WNYT] [TU]

890 loop reconfiguration
Construction is set to start Monday on the reconfiguration of the I-890 Exit 4 loop in Schenectady. [Cuomo admin] [Daily Gazette]

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2.65 million primary voters, Feds seek max for Silver, Kinder Morgan rethinking pipeline, Sage students stage topless protest

Primary voters
About 2.65 million New Yorkers cast ballots in this week's presidential primary elections. [TU]

Sheldon Silver
"What I have done, has hurt the Assembly, and New York, and my constituents terribly, and I regret that more than I can possibly express" -- Sheldon Silver in a apology letter to the judge who will sentence him next month. Federal prosecutors are arguing for a more than 10-year sentence for Silver. [NYT][WNYT]

Kinder Morgan suspends pipeline plan
Kinder Morgan has announced they are suspending plans to build the proposed $3.3 billion Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, which was expected to go from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts, passing through Schoharie and Albany Counties. [TU]

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Clinton/Trump win New York primaries,former childcare worker charged with sex abuse, Attorney General will review fatal Troy shooting

New York Primaries
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump saw victories in Tuesday's New York primary. Initial results showed Clinton ahead of Sanders by 58 to 42 percent. In the Republican race, early results show that Donald Trump garnered 60 percent of the vote, while John Kasich took 25 percent, and Td Cruz just 15 percent. Bernie sanders won the Capital District and most of upstate New York by a slim margin. Trump was the clear victor in the Capital Region. Here's a quick scan of the New York Primaries. [NYT][TU][TU][AOA]

Attorney General will review Troy police shooting
The state attorney general's office will formally review the death of a man who fled a traffic stop last weekend and was shot and killed by a Troy police officer. [TU]

Childcare worker charged with sex crime
A former Guilderland school cafeteria aid who spent 30 years in the field of child has been charged with felony first-degree criminal sexual act, after allegedly committing a sex act involving a child under the age of 11 on the grounds of the Westmere Elementary School on Saturday. [TU][WNYT]

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More details about fatal shooting of man by Troy police, it's presidential primary day in New York, Kasich in Schenectady, Dairy Circus destroyed by fire

More details about incident in which man was fatally shot by Troy police
Troy police officially released the names of the Watervliet man fatally shot by a police officer early Sunday morning, along with the names of the officers involved in the incident near the Collar City Bridge. TPD says Sgt. Randy French fired eight shots at Edson Thevenin after Thevenin allegedly pinned French against a patrol car with his vehicle. TPD chief John Tedesco: "It would appear that the actions of Sgt. French were in line with the law, our policy and department training, and we are fully supporting the sergeant." [Daily Gazette] [TWCN]

Tedesco said police investigators have yet to interview French about the incident due to his medical condition (TPD says French suffered a leg injury). There have been somewhat conflicting reports on which agency will be investigating the shooting -- the Rensselaer County DA said the state Attorney General's office told them it would not be claiming jurisdiction, but a spokesman for the AG's office tells the Times Union that decision hasn't been made, yet. [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU+]

It's presidential primary day
Polls are open in New York State for the Democratic and Republican party presidential primaries from noon to 9 pm today. Don't know where to vote? Check with the state Board of Elections website. (You must be a registered Democrat or Republican to vote in the primary.)

Delegates
The important results from Tuesday primaries will be how many delegates each candidate is able to pick up from the various vote totals in Congressional districts around the state.
+ There are 247 pledged Democratic delegates at stake in New York -- and Hillary Clinton currently leads Bernie Sanders by 1,307-1,094 in pledged delegates. [Politico NY]
+ On the Republican side, a key question will be whether Donald Trump can get a majority of the primary vote in Congressional districts, which would allow him to claim all three delegates from those districts. If he doesn't get past the 50 percent point, then the second-place finisher in the district gets one of the three delegates. [TU+] [FiveThirtyEight]

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Man fatally shot by Troy police, Bill Clinton campaigns for Hillary Clinton in Colonie, new development planned for Albany's Park South

Man fatally shot by Troy police
Troy police say an officer shot and killed a man early Sunday morning during an incident that began with a traffic stop on 6th Avenue. TPD says the man, who has not been publicly identified by police, fled the traffic stop in his vehicle, eventually crashing it into a barrier at the westbound entrance to the Collar City Bridge. Police say the man was blocked in by two police cars when drove forward, pinning an officer who had been on foot against his own police car. The officer fired on the driver through the windshield, fatally wounding the driver. TPD says the officer, who has not been publicly identified by the department, was treated at a hospital and released, but will need further medical treatment. [TU+] [TWCN] [WNYT] [Troy Record] [News10]

Presidential primaries
+ Bill Clinton spoke to a crowd of about 600 at the Desmond Saturday in support of Hilly Clinton's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Said former president of his wife: "She is not just the best change-maker now just in the race, but the best change-maker I've ever known..." [TU] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]
+ Hundreds of people gathered in West Capitol Park Saturday in Albany to rally for Bernie Sanders. [TWCN]
+ John Kasich to set to appear at a town hall-style event at the Schenectady Armory Monday evening. [Daily Gazette]

The New York presidential primaries are Tuesday. Don't know where to vote? Check with the state Board of Elections website.

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New details in Jacquelyn Porreca murder case, recaps of Clinton-Sanders debate, video of Albany meeting between Sanders and BLM Upstate, Cuomo signs MMA bill

Jacquelyn Porreca murder case
A few new details in the Jacquelyn Porreca murder case surfaced Thursday during a pre-trial hearing: Colonie police say they were approached by an informant who said he'd heard Michael Chmielewski and Sean Moreland talking about the case, and police then bugged the informant's car to record later talk by the two suspects. A Colonie police sergeant also testified that Chmielewski showed police where he's alleged to tossed the knife and gloves used in the fatal stabbing into the lake at Washington Park. Chmielewski's attorney says he was pressured to make admissions in the case, and Moreland's attorney is trying to get his client's case separated from that of Chmielewski. [TWCN] [WNYT] [TU]

Clinton-Sanders debate
Ahead of next week's presidential primary in New York State, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders appeared in a feisty and pointed debate in Brooklyn Thursday night. Topics included banking regulation, gun control, climate change, and Israel. The $15 minimum wage -- and New York's recent move toward it -- also came up. Here's a TWCN live blog of the debate and here's AP fact check of some of the statements. [NYT] [TWCN] [State of Politics] [TWCN] [AP/Troy Record]

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Police: fatal Rotterdam shooting justified, Bill Clinton reportedly headed to Albany, poll shows 55% approval for Cuomo

Rotterdam shooting update
At a news conference on Wednesday, police said the fatal shooting of a man in a Rotterdam home this weekend by a police officer was justified. Investigators say the shots were fired in self defense after an attempt at tasering the emotionally disturbed man failed and he lunged and police with a knife. [Gazette][WNYT][TU]

Bill Clinton
Several news outlets are reporting that Bill Clinton will be in Albany this weekend to stump for Hillary Clinton. [TWCN][Gazette]

Trump
Donald Trump told the Times Unionhe'll be the first Republican presidential candidate since Reagan to win New York.[TU+]


image2.JPG

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Siena poll: Clinton/Trump lead in New York, local employees join Verizon strike, NYRA may return to private control

Siena poll shows Clinton/Trump lead in New York
A new Siena poll reports Hillary Clinton ten points ahead of Bernie Sanders in New York -- a lead that has dropped by 11 points since March. Donald Trump leads John Kasich and Ted Cruz 50-27-17. [TU][Daily Gazette][News 10]

Details emerge in fatal Guilderland crash
Police say the car in the fatal crash near Schoolhouse Road and Western Ave earlier this week was reported stolen shortly before the crash by a man who says he left it parked and running on the 400 block of Madison Avenue in Albany. [TU]

State ethics
With the recent convictions of Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos complete, federal prosecutor Preet Bharara may be turning his attention to the executive branch of state government. [Politico]

JCOPE resignations
Two JCOPE commissioners -- one appointed by Andrew Cuomo and one by Dean Skelos-- quietly resigned recently. [TU+]

image2.JPG

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Trump, Sanders, and Kasich all make stops in Capital Region, investigation into fatal police shooting in Rotterdam, allegations that Cohoes in leaning on building owners

As you know, three presidential candidates -- Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and John Kasich -- were in the Capital Region Monday:

Donald Trump in Albany
A crowd of between 10,000-17,000 people* gathered at the TU Center for the Donald Trump rally. The Republican candidate criticized what he called the "rigged" structure of the primaries in both parties. He said he'd stop jobs being moved out of the country by using tariffs. He criticized Ted Cruz for the the fellow Republican's "New York values" comment. He called everything in Hillary Clinton's life "a big, fat, beautiful lie." And closed by telling the crowd: "We are going to win so much you may even get tired of winning, and you will say please, it's too much winning, we can't take it anymore." [TWCN] [Biz Review] [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

*Estimates in various reports ranged from "more than 10,000" to "just over 15,000" to "more than 15,000" to "almost full" 17,000-seat capacity of the TU Center.

Bernie Sanders in Albany
Bernie Sanders appeared before a capacity crowd (more than 4,000 people) at the Washington Ave Armory , and also made an appearance outside the nearby Albany Public Library for members of the crowd who couldn't get in. The Democratic candidate criticized the financial system, calling it a "rigged economy" and called for a $15-per-hour minimum wage in every state. He described the criminal justice system as "broken." (Before the rally, he met with two members of Dontay Ivy's family and representatives of Black Lives Matter.) He said he would ban hydro-fracking. And he criticized Hillary Clinton for her Iraq war vote. [TWCN] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU x2] [Politico NY] [Daily Gazette]

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Man fatally shot by police in Rotterdam, presidential candidates all over the area today, Troy parking ticket amnesty program

Man fatally shot by police in Rotterdam
Rotterdam police say 30-year-old William Clark was fatally shot by a town police officer Sunday morning. RPD says officers responding to the house on Roberta Road (map) arrived to find the man armed with knife, and it says Clark slashed one of the officers, causing a non-life threatening injury -- the officer then shot Clark. Schenectady County DA Robert Carney says office is currently handling the case as if it will ultimately be his office's case -- not the state attorney general's office -- because the initial investigation indicates Clark was armed. [TU] [News10] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

Sanders, Kasich, Trump in town today
Three presidential candidates will be in the Capital Region Monday for appearances. Bernie Sanders will be at the Washington Ave Armory. John Kasich will be making public appearances in Troy and Saratoga Springs (and a private appearance in Albany). And Donald Trump will be at the TU Center (Pearl Street in front of the area will be closed to traffic all day). Jack McEneny on all the recent attention the area has gotten from presidential contenders: "This is completely unprecedented." [TWCN] [campaign event pages] [TU]

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Ted Cruz campaigns in Scotia, results from Rupeka autopsy in Mexico, apartment complex planned near SUNY Poly, Terry Kindlon retires

Ted Cruz in Scotia
+ Ted Cruz made a campaign stop at a Christian school in Scotia Thursday as he tries to overtake Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president. Said Cruz to the crowd of more than 1,000 people: "I want to ask every one of you if you don't see Donald Trump as the nominee, if you don't want to see Hillary Clinton has the next president, come out and vote for me 10 times ... Now I'm not a Democrat so I'm not asking you to do anything illegal. But if you go home, pick up the phone and call nine people, it will be like 10 votes." Cruz also talked about policy, including his support for a flat tax and the abolition of the IRS, repealing the Affordable Care Act, and pulling back on regulations of business. Earlier in the day, Cruz spoke with News10 and said in reference to his critical comment during a Republican debate about "New York values": "As I've toured the state, I've found people knew exactly what I meant ... People knew exactly what I meant by the liberal attitudes." [Politico NY] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [CNN] [News10]

+ The Cruz event also drew supporters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who gathered outside and engaged in their own discussion. [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]

+ It looks John Kasich will be in the area on Monday making at least one stop in Saratoga Springs. [TU]

The New York presidential primary is April 19.

Hoosick Falls
Michael Hickey, who played a key role in the discovery of the contamination of the drinking water supply in Hoosick Falls, has filed a class-action lawsuit against Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International. [TU]

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Rupeka and girlfriend confirmed dead in Mexico, Cruz is in Scotia, Trump, Kasich and Sanders may be headed to the Capital Region

Rupeka
The State Department has confirmed that Adam Rupeka-- the Capital Region man with a history of baiting police officers-- and his girlfriend, Jennifer Ogburn, died in Mexico. A Tijuana based magazine is reporting that the two were found dead in a motel room,. Rupeka's estranged wife has confirmed the pair died of drug overdoses and Mexican authorities are investigating the case as a possible suicide. [TU][TWCN][Gazette][TU+]

Cruz
The Ted Cruz rally in Scotia today is sold out.[TU]

More presidential candidates headed to the Capital Region
Unnamed sources are telling area news organizations that Donald Trump has scheduled a rally in Albany next week. Both the TU Center and The Egg have been mentioned as possible sites for the rally. John Kasich is also expected to visit the region next week. Bernie Sanders has also reportedly reached out to the TU Center about a rally.
[TU][Gazette][News10]

Clinton/ Sanders
The New York Times asks if Hillary Clinton still depend on the supporters that sent her to the Senate. And Politico looks at how Clinton and Sanders would fare in different areas of New York. [NYT][Politico]

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Cruz to stop in Scotia, 47 laid off at Price Chopper HQ, Rupeka suspected dead, State Street to reopen in front of Nicholaus Building

Cruz headed to Scotia
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz will speak in Scotia on Thursday at Mekeel Christian Academy in Scotia.[TU][Gazette]

Rupeka
Troy police are waiting for photos to determine whether a couple found dead in Mexico earlier this week are Adam Rupeka and his girlfriend, Jennifer Ogburn. A warrant was sworn out for Rupeka's arrest after he failed to show up in court to face a charge that he allegedly sexually abused a 15-year-old girl. [TU][TU]

Chopper
Price Chopper laid off 47 employees at its corporate offices in Schenectady this week.
Company officials say they are focused on a more lean and efficient administration, while focusing on their new stores. [Gazette][TWCN]

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Hillary Clinton campaigns in Cohoes, planning for Northway Exit 4 reconfiguration, opening date for Albany convention center

Hillary Clinton in Cohoes
+ Hillary Clinton made a campaign stop in Cohoes Monday evening before more than a thousand people in a gym at Cohoes High School. She told the crowd she'd work toward "broad-based, inclusive prosperity" and bringing manufacturing back to upstate. Among the other topics she touched on: repairing infrastructure, college affordability, and immigration. [Troy Record] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

+ Earlier in the afternoon Clinton met with Democratic state legislators at the Renaissance Hotel across from the Capitol in a private event. Among the things she reportedly said: some of the guns used in crimes in New York come from Vermont. (Apparently Clinton has been trying to hammer Bernie Sanders on gun control issues.) [State of Politics] [Politico NY]

+ Also Monday: Supporters of Bernie Sanders rallied outside the state Capitol in Albany. Chris Churchill: "Bernie Sanders has a real chance to win the New York primary, an upset that would embarrass Hillary Clinton like no other defeat." [Daily Gazette] [TU+]

The presidential primary in New York State is April 19.

Airport Northway interchange
Bids for the reconfiguration of Northway Exit 4 to provide smoother access to ALB aren't expected to go out until 2019. The recent state budget included $50 million for the project. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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It's snowing, Hillary Clinton to appear in Cohoes, State Ed upholds Albany High School vote, UAlbany women's basketball coach leaving

It's snowing
The Capital Region is in line to get about 4 inches of snow (more in higher elevations) through Monday. April snow wouldn't typically be all that noteworthy, but this has been one of the least-snowy snowfall seasons on record here. [NWS Albany]

Hillary Clinton in Cohoes
Hillary Clinton is set to appear at Cohoes High School Monday evening for a public campaign event. Supporters of Bernie Sanders were out canvassing in the Capital Region over the weekend. Presidential primary day in New York State is April 19. [TU] [WNYT]

Nicholas Building
Work continues to stabilize the 196-year-old Nicholas Building in downtown Schenectady after people inside the building noticed shaking Friday afternoon. Road closures at the State and Erie are also continuing. The building is next the site where the former Olender building was recently demolished for a new mixed-use project -- the chair of the Schenectady Heritage Foundation says they had expressed concerns about the potential impact of the project on the Nicholas Building as far back as 2014. [Daily Gazette] [TU x2]

State budget
Here are some Capital Region-specific bits from the state budget that came together at the end of last week -- they include $50 million for reconfiguring the Northway interchange by ALB and $1.5 million for Albany and Troy in anti-poverty funding. [Cuomo admin] [TU]

Also: The increased school aid in the budget prompted double-digit aid increases for multiple Capital Region school districts, including Albany and Schenectady. [Daily Gazette]

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State budget deal at the deadline, $15 minimum wage part of the deal -- but upstate on separate schedule, another record year for CDTA, first in line at 5:30 am

State budget deal
Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday night that his administration and legislative leaders had a reached a deal on the state budget, just a few hours before the midnight deadline. Both houses of the legislature were working on passing the budget bills into the night and earlier morning hours of Friday (with plans to finish up today), prompting complaints the process has been rushed. [TU] [Politico NY] [NYT]

Among the major provisions of the budget package: a paid family leave system starting in 2018, an eventual increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a tax cut for households making between $40k-$300k, and increased education funding. [Politico NY] [AP/Troy Record]

$15 minimum wage
The part of the deal getting the most attention is the planned increase in the minimum wage, which is set to go as follows (the current minimum wage is $9):
+ New York City's minimum wage will increase each year until reaching $15 on the last day of 2018. (Businesses with 10 or fewer employees will have until the end of 2019.)
+ In Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, the minimum wage will reach $15 by the last day of 2021.
+ For the rest of the state the minimum wage will increase by 70 cents per year until reaching $12.50 an hour on the last day of 2020. After that the minimum wage will continue to increase toward $15 according to a schedule set by state budget director based on economic conditions

The separate schedules for NYC, the Long Island/Westechester, and upstate were part of a compromise between Cuomo and the state Senate Republican majority. Said Cuomo of the upstate schedule for increasing the minimum wage: "If the economy turns, we'll have the ability to suspend the minimum wage so we don't hurt a slowing economy ... We believe the increase in the minimum wage can help the upstate economy, but again, it's all about that calibration and this is the smartest, safest way to go about it in my opinion." [NYDN] [TWCN]

The upstate schedule appeared to irk both supporters and opponents of the minimum wage increase. [Citizen Action] [Unshackle Upstate]

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Rupeka on the run, NYCLU: Ivy stop violated Fourth Amendment, budget creeps closer, Silver disbarred, winning lotto ticket sold in Latham

Rupeka
Adam Rupeka, the police critic charged with sexually abusing a 15-year-old-girl, may have fled the country for Canada with his girlfriend, who is also charged in the alleged incident. Rupeka's girlfriend, Jennifer Ogburn, did not show up for a Tuesday court appearance. Early Wednesday morning Rupeka posted a video on his Facebook page claiming they are in Canada. In previous videos, Rupeka claims he is on the run for his life, and that police are after him because he has exposed them in the past. [TWCN][WNYT][TU][Gazette][Record]

NYCLU: Ivy stop violated Fourth Amendment
Nearly a year after the death of Dontay Ivy, the NYCLU is charging the police stop that led to his death violated his Fourth Amendment rights protecting against an illegal search. [TU]

State budget
With two days left to the start of the new fiscal year, debate continues over the proposed $15 minimum wage hike. Cuomo says he still working toward the $15 minimum wage.
Capital New York reports it has learned the budget could include an income tax cut for those making less than $300,000 a year. [TU][TU][CNY]

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Not-guilty plea in fatal Thruway crash case, negotiations continue on $15 min wage, Troy parking ticket amnesty planned

Charges in 2014 fatal Thruway crash
Tyler Pascuzzi -- accused of speeding on the Thruway between exits 24 and 25 while drunk and causing a crash that killed two people and injured another in 2014 -- pleaded not guilty to a group of charges that includes aggravated vehicular homicide and second-degree manslaughter. The mother of one of the people who died in the crash was in court with a large photo of her daughter and yelled at Pascuzzi to look at the photo. Pascuzzi's attorney said the case would "very, very hotly contested" and they intend for Pascuzzi to be acquitted. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TU] [TWCN]

Adam Rupeka arrest
In a video posted to YouTube Monday, Adama Rupeka said he's "on the run for my life." Troy police say Rupeka and Jennifer Ogburn of Hudson were arrested over the weekend for an alleged incident of sexual abuse involving a 15 year old. A post indicated Rupeka and Ogburn may have gone to Canada. (Rupeka has made headlines in the recent past for the incident in which he flipped off a Saratoga Springs police officer and was then pepper sprayed, resulting in the officer's resignation and a settlement; and also for allegedly crashing a drone onto the Capitol.) [YouTube] [News10] [TU]

$15 minimum wage
As the state budget deadline approaches, negotiations at the Capitol continue over the proposed $15 minimum wage, which has been wrapped into the budget. Current points of friction: how long it would take to phase in the increase, and which regions of the state where the phase would be slower. [TWCN] [TU]

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SPD: Shots fired near State Street in downtown Schenectady, refugees finding home in the Capital Region, Syracuse headed to the Final Four

Shots fired in downtown Schenectady
Schenectady police say three people were arrested in connection with an incident early Sunday morning in which shots were fired just off State Street downtown (map). SPD says officers had responded to a reported fight outside Nico's on the next block west on State Street -- the crowd dispersed, but a second fight started on Barrett Street, and that's when two men allegedly opened fire. [News10] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

Adam Rupeka arrested
Adam Rupeka of Troy -- who's made headlines in the recent past for the incident in which he flipped off a Saratoga Springs police officer and was then pepper sprayed, resulting in the officer's resignation; and for allegedly crashing a drone onto the Capitol -- was arrested over the weekend for an alleged incident of sexual abuse involving a 15 year old. Also arrested was a woman from Hudson. Said Rupeka after being arraigned: "Another case of the police out to get me." [TU] [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

Schenectady police officer arrested
Schenectady police say an off-duty officer, Aaron Zampella, was arrested Friday morning after he allegedly fled a traffic stop early Friday morning. SPD says alcohol or drugs were not involved. He's been suspended without pay. [TU] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

Sentencing in fatal slashing at B'nai B'rith apartments
From Friday: Sixty-one-year-old Robert Lake -- convicted of fatally slashing the throat of Latisha Alzaid in his apartment at the B'nai B'rith Parkview Apartments in Albany in 2014 -- was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison. State Supreme Court Justice Richard Mott described Lake as "a dangerous man, a man who should not have the opportunity to ever live in civilized society again." [TU] [WNYT]

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Crunch time for $15 minimum wage, SPD: man tried to use a car to break up a fight, buildings on State Street in Albany being sold

$15 minimum wage
As the state budget deadline approaches, it's also crunch time for negotiations on the proposed $15 minimum wage:
+ Sorting through the various political angles for Andrew Cuomo, the state Senate, and the Assembly. [Politico NY]
+ Business groups are pushing for the Republican majority in the state Senate to pull the issue from the budget process. [TWCN]
+ One of the ideas that's bubbled up is setting different minimums for upstate and downstate. Local state Assemblywoman Carrier Woerner, a Democrat, is floating the idea of setting the minimum wage by region. Local state Senator George Amedore, a Republican, sounds skeptical of different rates. And labor groups are outright against it. [TWCN] [Biz Review] [TWCN]
+ A Columbia County dairy farmer on why he's skeptical of a possible exemption for the agricultural sector. [Biz Review]
+ Looking at who's backing the competing research on the minimum wage issue. [TU+]

Fight crash
Schenectady police allege a man stole a car and intentionally drove it a person in an attempt to stop a fight in the Vale neighborhood Thursday afternoon. SPD says the man hit the two men in the fight, along with woman who was a bystander -- the the men suffered minor injuries, and the woman a serious head injury. SPD says the man is facing charges including assault and grand larceny. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

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Controversial sign scrapped from casino plan, Skelos and son request community service, how to outwit a brazen turkey

Controversial sign pulled from casino plan
Rush Street Gaming scrapped its plan to build a controversial 80-foot pylon sign at the Front Street entrance to the $330 million casino on Erie Boulevard.[TU][Gazette]

Skelos and son ask for community service
Lawyers for former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and his son Adam, who were convicted of all eight bribery, extortion and conspiracy counts against them late last year, have asked a judge to forgo prison sentences and sentence them, instead, to community service.
[NYT]

Plea/sentencing for slashing brother
The 20-year-old Saratoga man charged with stabbing his 10-year-old brother's throat last spring pled guilty to felony assault charges on Wednesday and was sentenced to time served. [TU]

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Assembly approves Mixed Martial Arts fighting, Hoosick Falls water safe to drink, Palace Theater will manage Cohoes Music Hall

MMA Fighting
After years of debate the NYS Assembly has passed a bill allowing Mixed Martial Arts fighting. The measure, which has passed the Senate but failed in the Assembly many times, passed 113 -25. New York was the last state to prohibit the sport due to its bloody and dangerous nature. [TWCN][WNYT][NYT]

Hoosick Falls water
The governor's office has pronounced that Hoosick Falls tap water is safe to drink, following the installation of filters and several weeks of testing. [TU]

JCOPE director has ties to Cuomo
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics has again chosen someone with close ties to Andrew Cuomo as its leader. Seth Agata, a former l to Mr. Cuomo and the governor's pick last year to serve as chairman of the Public Employment Relations Board will be the new Executive Director of JCOPE. [NYT][TU]

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Sentencing in crash that killed Skidmore student, Albany trash fee repeal rejected, Schenectady looking to Union to chip in

Sentencing in crash that killed Skidmore student
Thomas Gorman -- who pleaded guilty to driving drunk in the crash that killed a Skidmore student and injured two others last Halloween -- was sentenced to 5-15 years in prison. Some of the victim impact statements at the sentencing included grisly details of the immediate aftermath of the crash. Gorman asked for forgiveness: "If I could take it all back, I would ... If I could trade places I would." Said Saratoga County Court judge James Murphy: "This is no accident Mr. Gorman ... I don't think you can fully grasp the devastation you have caused by the choice of your criminal conduct." Saratoga County DA Karen Heggen said the students had been out the roadway at the time of the crash and Gorman didn't hadn't attempted to stop. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10] [Saratogian] [WNYT]

Albany trash fee
The attempt to repeal the new trash fee for multi-unit residential buildings (up to four units) failed to get enough votes at Monday's Common Council meeting. Critics of the fee continued to describe it as discriminatory and unfair to low-income residents. City budget director Rachel McEneny in a statement about the trash fee: "The Governor in his Executive Budget indicated that we must engage in developing a comprehensive long-term financial plan. This is a step forward in identifying sustainable revenue streams that are essential to getting Albany onto sound fiscal footing." [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU] [News10]

Woman and her service dog refused table
Hana -- the Guilderland restaurant where a woman who's blind say she and her service dog were refused a table -- has publicly apologized and said it's parted ways with the manager involved in the incident. [TU]

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UAlbany run in NCAA tournament ends, woman says she and her service dog refused a table at restaurant, debate over Albany trash fee, remembering Mars Hill

UAlbany women in the NCAA tournament
The UAlbany women's basketball team fell to Syracuse 76-59 in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday. The Great Danes made it to the second round for the first time ever after a pulling an upset of Florida on Friday. Said UAlbany coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson after Sunday's game: "I don't want them to have their heads down. I don't want them to be sad. I want them to feel blessed that the things that we've done here are pretty amazing." (After five straight trips to the NCAA tournament, will Coach Abe be back for another shot next season -- or will she be hired away by a larger program? ) [ESPN] [News10] [TU]

New Board of Regents chancellor
The state Board of Regents has selected Betty Rosa as its next chancellor. Rosa is a former school superintendent in the Bronx, and has supported recent efforts by parents to opt-out of standardized testing. [TU] [WSJ]

Sentencing for ring of scammers
Five people who pleaded guilty to being part of a ring that scammed elderly people in Albany County were sentenced to prison Friday -- a 59-year-old man at the center of the ring got 8-16 years. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Woman and her service dog refused service
A Latham woman who's blind says she and her service dog were refused a table at Hana in Guilderland, in an apparent violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. [TU]

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Second fatal shooting on Schenectady street this year, funding to address flooding problem in Albany, Great Danes in the NCAA tournament

Fatal shooting in Schenectady
Schenectady police say they're investigating the fatal shooting of a 30-year-old man on Germania Avenue in Hamilton Hill Thursday morning. Neighbors say they heard five gunshots. It's the second fatal shooting on the street this year -- SPD says it's looking into a potential connection between the two incidents. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TWCN] [TU]

Albany schools budget gap
The Albany school district is pushing for more state funding as it faces a $2.1 million budget gap. [TU]

NCAA tournament
The #12 seed UAlbany women's basketball team takes on #5 seed Florida in the first round of the NCAA tournament at noon today in Syracuse. The game is on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.

Syracuse: The #10 seed Syracuse men's basketball team faces #7 seed Dayton in the NCAA tournament first round today at 12:15 in St. Louis. The game is on CBS.

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Maximum sentence for perjury in fatal Schenectady arson, police probe midday Albany shooting,$15 min wage opponents protest

Leon sentenced for perjury in Schenectady arson
Edward Leon -- who prosecutors say is now a suspect in the Schenectady arson that killed David Terry and three of his children, and badly burned Safyre Terry -- was sentenced to ten years in prison for perjury for twice lying to a grand jury about where he was on the night of the fire. Because of the nature of the crime he lied about, prosecutors asked for the maximum ten year sentence for Leon, while they investigate his connection to the crime. [TU][Gazette][TWCN]

Life without parole
After two trials and 12 years , a Troy man will spend life without parole in prison will spend life in prison without parole for the 2003 murder of a witness in a drug trial. [WNYT][Record]

Orange Street shooting
Albany police are investigating an Orange Street shooting that took place at about 2:30pm Wednesday and left a man wounded in the leg and hand.[TU][TWCN]

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Ethics bill passes Assembly, Lobby Day at the Capitol, casino ahead of schedule, MMA legislation headed back to Assembly

Ethics
The NYS Assembly passed an ethics reform bill on Tuesday by a vote of 137-4. The bill would allow legislators to make no more than $69,600 in outside income -- 40 percent of the annual salary of State Supreme Court justices.[TU][NYT}

Lobby Day
The proposed $15 minimum wage was one of the main causes at this years lobby day at the NYS Capitol.[WNYT][TU]

Student teacher arrested on child endangerment charges
A 22-year-old student teacher from the College of Saint Rose was arrested on Tuesday, for allegedly pretending to be a talent scout and asking underaged girls as young as 10 to send him photos of themselves in bikinis and underwear. [TU][WNYT]

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Large fire in Troy, TU Center naming deal extended, questions about Cohoes mayor's self appointment, spotting bobcats

Large fire on Congress Street in Troy
Two people were injured in a large fire in a multi-unit building on Congress Street in Troy (map) Monday night, the Troy Fire Department says. The fire also displaced 20 people. [WNYT] [News10]

PFOA
Of drinking water samples from 50 homes in Petersburgh recently tested for PFOA, 20 had levels above the EPA standard. The homes are within a half mile of the Taconic Plastics site. [TWCN] [News10]

TU Center naming deal
The Albany County Legislature approved a new deal that keeps the "Times Union Center" name on the downtown Albany arena -- and cuts back the amount the arena is required to spend on advertising each year with the paper. [TU]

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Hoosick Falls filtration system now working, prosecutors point toward suspect in Hulett Street fire, remembering an extraordinary life

Hoosick Falls
Andrew Cuomo was in Hoosick Falls Sunday for the announcement that the system installed on the village water supply to filter out PFOA is now working. Officials say water from the tap should still not be consumed, though, because the filtered water needs time to flush the contaminated water. [NYT] [TU]

Hulett Street fire
In a document recently filed in federal court, federal prosecutors allege there's "significant evidence" of Edward Leon being involved with the Hulett Street arson in Schenectady that killed four people in 2013. Leon is soon facing sentencing for perjury for related to the investigation of case -- he hasn't been charged with involvement with the fire. [TU]

Schenectady casino
The city of Schenectady is in line to get $3.5 million this year related to the Rivers Casino project, even though the casino isn't set to open until next year. [Daily Gazette]

Also: A look inside the classes of SCCC's Casino and Gaming Management program. [Daily Gazette]

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Trying to understand suspicious Schenectady fire, missing Wilton woman found dead, hit and run on Central Ave, UAlbany women playing for another trip to NCAA tournament

Parkwood Boulevard fire
Karen Kirsch, whom firefighters rescued from the fire that destroyed her Schenectady home on Parkwood Boulevard last wee, on the possibility that someone set it in connection with her son's shooting death in December 2014: "This really could be a wrong address, it could be some stupid maniac who just wanted to set a house on fire ... We've tried to play this over and over again and none of it makes any sense." [TU]

Missing Wilton woman found dead
Police say the body of a 20-year-old Wilton woman had been missing since last Friday was found in a wooded area off Route 9 Thursday. They say they're continuing to investigate, but the death does not appear suspicious. Police say the woman had left her mother's home in the early morning wearing nothing but pajama bottoms and there were indications she was under the influence of drugs. [Saratogian] [TU] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]

ID of body found in the Hudson
Troy police say an autopsy has concluded that the body found in the Hudson River near the Corning Preserve this week was that of a Poestenkill man who had been missing since Christmas, and they do not suspect foul play. TPD says the man was last seen on video on 4th Street in Troy toward the Menands Bridge in the early morning of December 25. [Troy Record] [TU]

Hoosick Falls
It appears that one of the components included in the filtration systems involved by the state and contractors in homes in Hoosick Falls was not to be used in systems processing water for human consumption -- DEC says it's working to replace the valves. [WNYT]

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Paying for contaminated water, government groups say Cuomo is failing on ethics reform, January unemployment lowest since before recession


Petersburgh/Hoosick Falls water
Taconic Plastics will pay for a new water filtration system for Petersburgh. Hoosick Falls homeowners packed a village board meeting on Tuesday night, to argue they should not have to pay for contaminated water.Also, noted: Andrew Cuomo has yet to make an appearance in Hoosick Falls. [TU] [WNYT][Capital NY]

Cuomo and ethics
Three leading good government groups including NYS Public Interest Research Group, say Andrew Cuomo is not doing enough to deal with the state's ethics problem. [TU]

Unemployment down
January boasted the lowest January unemployment rates in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area since 2004.[Business Review]

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Criticism of UAlbany's handling of bus incident, Troy council pushing for input on 1 Monument Square, a confusing winter for skunks

UAlbany bus incident
An attorney for one of the women charged in the UAlbany bus incident is pushing back on the way the university is handling the situation, arguing the timing of the school's student conduct hearing scheduled for this week potentially compromises the women's ability to defend themselves in criminal court -- and criticizes the university for arranging a list of witnesses for the hearing that doesn't include anyone said to have been on the bus. (Here's the full statement.) [TWCN]

Leaked Troy 911 call
Reaction to the news that a Troy police detective sergeant has been suspended, allegedly in connection with the leaking of the Gordon 911 call during last year's mayoral election:
+ Jim Gordon in a statement: "The attempt to over focus on a previously closed issue for the sole purpose of political gain has no role in our society, just as we have no use for those who committed these crimes" [News10]
+ Troy Republican committee chair Thomas Casey: "Unfortunately, it's par for the course for the Troy City and Rensselaer County Democratic committees ... None of this is for the betterment of Troy; it's basically for power and to line their own pockets." [TWCN]
+ Rensselaer County Democratic chair Tom Wade said he wasn't involved in the call's release. [WNYT]

Watervliet police
The city of Watervliet and its police union are fighting over whether former officer Joshua Spratt -- who pleaded guilty to a criminal sex act with a Watervliet High School student while he was the school's resource officer -- retired or resigned before pleading guilty; $20k in benefits are at stake in the distinction. [TU]

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The Jay Street fire one year later, changes recommended for 1 Monument Square plan, a night of confessions, UAlbany women one game from NCAA tournament

Jay Street fire one year later
Marking a year since the fatal Jay Street, family and friends gathered at Schenectady City Hall Sunday for a memorial service. They also expressed frustration with the still in-progress Schenectady County DA's office investigation into possible code issues at the site. [Daily Gazette] [TU+]

Parkwood Boulevard fire
Fire investigators searched through the debris from the fire that destroyed a two-family home on Parkwood Boulevard in Schenectady Friday -- a fire that officials say they're treating as suspicious. The house had been the home of Wayne Best Jr., who was fatally shot near there in December of 2014. On Friday one of the suspects in that case was indicted on charges that included second-degree murder. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

1 Monument Square
The Troy planning commission is recommending multiple changes for the proposed project at 1 Monument Square downtown, including additional public parking and a pathway through the site that aligns with Broadway. [TU]

Leaked Troy 911 call
"Several police and city government sources" tell the Times Union that a Troy police detective sergeant was suspended for allegedly being involved in the leaking of the Gordon 911 call during the last mayoral race. [TU]

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More water test results in Rensselaer County, presidents point to college affordability problem, taxi app legislation for upstate on hold

PFOA
Rensselaer County exec Kathy Jimino says the county's tests for PFOA on a handful of wells in Petersburgh and Berlin have returned results similar to tests conducted by the state (one was found over the guideline limit, another close to the limit) -- and it's waiting on tests for another 60 wells. Meanwhile over in Hoosick Falls, as residents are being instructed to flush the pipes and water heaters in their homes to clear them of contaminated water, distrust and skepticism of officials continues. [TU] [WNYT]

Also: The city of Albany reported Thursday that tests of its water supply revealed "no detectable levels" of PFOA. In a statement Kathy Sheehan said that was as expected, but the city water department did the tests because of what has happened recently in other communities. [Sheehan admin]

Rescue from fire in Schenectady
The Schenectady Fire Department says firefighters rescued a woman from a fire at a two-family home on Parkwood Boulevard. The fire destroyed the house. Public safety commissioner Wayne Bennett tells the Daily Gazette the fire "does have suspicious indications"; one of its former residents was fatally near the home in December of 2014 -- the arraignment for one of the men charged in the killing is set for today. [TWCN] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

Cost of college
A recurring theme at a public discussion with Capital Region college presidents Thursday: too many students are having trouble paying for college. Another prominent topic: the challenge of declining enrollments, prompted in part by demographic trends. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

On Friday an org called New York Students Rising is planning a walkout by SUNY students to protest increases in tuition. [TU]

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Sheehan says she'll veto plans to scrap trash fee, committee to study purchasing a Troy City Hall home, 3 historic places on state preservation list

Narcan/opioids
Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that independent pharmacies as well as chain pharmacies can distribute the heroin antidote Narcan over the counter. Meanwhile, Kirsten Gillibrand is urging the Senate to pass legislation requiring the CDC to issue strict guidelines for prescribing opiates for pain. [WNYT] [News 10]

Trash fee
Kathy Sheehan has promised she'll veto a plan to scrap Albany's new trash fee on small apartment buildings if the plan gets to her desk. [TU]

New Red Light Camera
Another red light camera -- this one at the intersection of Washington and Quail -- went live at midnight. [TU]

PFOA
Less than a third of 145 wells tested in the town of Hoosick and village of Hoosick Falls, indicated a presence of PFOAs that exceeded the EPA safety threshold. Flushing of the water system in Hoosick Falls continues today, meanwhile, state legislators are considering a proposal to extend the statute of limitations so people who may have been harmed by PFOAs in the water can pursue lawsuits. [TU][WNYT]

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Troy water main break repair estimated at $73,000, liquor store owners release robbery video,from the Ferua Bush to the canibus beat

Petersburgh water
Toxic PFOA levels in Petersburgh wells were as high as 152,000 parts per trillion back in 2004, according to a recent and by January of 2013 had dropped to the, still high, level of 7,500 parts per trillion. Water samples taken in January and February show 983 parts per trillion -- still well above the EPA advisory level. Water pick-ups -- where residents can get tickets and pick up one gallon of water per day -- have begun in the town. [TU][News10][TWCN]

McCoy calls for easier access to heroin antidote
In his State of the County address on Tuesday, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy called on the State Department of Health, to grant easier access to the heroin antidote Narcan by removing the need for a prescription. [TU][TWCN]

Wandering Dago
A federal judge turned aside every argument made by the owners of the Wandering Dago, who sued the state for being denied a permit to operated on the Empire State Plaza because the name on their truck is considered a racial slur. [TU]

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Judge calls for quick resolution of UAlbany bus incident case, not guilty plea in Watervliet murder case, prayer and meatballs

UAlbany bus incident
+ Albany City Court judge Rachel Kretser at the arraignment of the three women Monday morning: "This case should proceed as quickly as possible. This case really has already done enough damage in our community. It's an open wound and I want it resolved." [WNYT]

+ Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration spokesperson Angelica Clarke: "I don't think there's any question that there's more video than was released to the public." [TWCN]

+ Unwinding the story of "Will," who according to rumors -- rumors repeated by local media outlets -- had dropped out of UAlbany because of blowback from the bus incident. It turns out the school says there's no record of him being enrolled this semester. [TU+]

Watervliet murder case
The Watervliet man accused of killing a neighbor -- and firing a shotgun at another friend -- this past January pleaded not guilty to charges including second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder. [TU] [WNYT] [Troy Record]

Pedestrian hit on Central Ave
Albany police say a driver hit a pedestrian on Central Ave at North Allen (map) Monday night and then drove off. [WNYT]

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Not guilty pleas in UAlbany bus incident charges, Safyre donation volunteer accused of theft, new Albany city property assessment, former Jillian's building sold

UAlbany bus incident
The three women charged in the UAlbany bus incident pleaded not guilty in Albany City Court Monday morning. [TU] [@RedickTWCNews]

Continued reaction:
+ Friday afternoon UAlbany president Robert Jones said he had no apology to make for his initial statements about the incident: "We took them as they were stated in the police report, and responded accordingly." [TWCN]
+ The org Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration released an open letter affirming its "unabashed and unwavering support" for the three women, and criticizing the release of the video as "incomplete." [CAAMI]
+ #BlackLivesMatter co-creator Alicia Garza was at Skidmore over the weekend and said in part of the UAlbany situation: "I think there are bigger things to address. And it sounds like to me, that the reason that the case got so much traction here, is because that's what black folks experience here." [WNYT]

PFOA
State officials say flushing of the water system in Hoosick Falls has started. And the Cuomo admin pointed a finger at the feds for inaction on PFOA contamination in Petersburgh. And just over the border in Vermont, PFOA contamination has been detected in wells in North Bennington. [TU] [Politico NY] [WNYT]

Pedestrian struck in Albany
State Police say a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on South Pearl Street and pinned against a building -- the driver and a passenger in the car both ran after the crash. [TU] [NYSP]

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Reaction to charges in UAlbany bus incident, Albany High School project on hold, carjackers said to have posed as cops, Schenectady considers parking minimums

UAlbany bus incident
Reaction to the University Police Department's announcement of charges against the three women who had alleged they were the victims of an attack on a CDTA bus that included racial slurs:
+ Mark Mishler, an attorney for one of the women, in a statement: "It is also unfortunate that some in the media and public appear to have reached a conclusion as to what occurred in this incident without actually having the information needed in order to reach such a conclusion." [TU]
+ UAlbany president Robert Jones to WNYT, on his initial statements in response to the incident: "As I've said several times and I'll repeat it once more, we responded as quickly as we can, based on the information we had at the moment. And my instinct is always, anytime any of our students come forward with any kind of indication they've been hurt or harmed, we're always going to lead with compassion." [WNYT]
+ Alice Green to TWCN: "Justice demands that they be seen as innocent until proven guilty ... If someone makes a charge that's not true, we have to understand what would cause someone to do that. What can we learn from the relationships that might have existed on that bus?" [TWCN]
+ UAlbany student Sean Stone to WNYT: "It just makes it harder for if this thing actually happens. People will think that they're lying and look at this story with incredulity instead of taking this story as fact." [WNYT]

Time Warner Cable News has posted full-length versions of the CDTA camera video. And here are the 911 calls posted by News10. [TWCN] [News10]

Albany High School vote
The Albany school board has put the plan to renovate/expand Albany High School on hold pending a decision from the state Education Department about problems with the recent public vote on the project. At Thursday night's board meeting an attorney for the school district said that despite the problems at polling sites "there is no evidence that any voter was denied the right to vote or informed that they could not vote." He also said there's no evidence any of the polling site problems were intentional. [TU] [News10] [WNYT]

Superintendent(s) pay: Also Thursday in a vote near midnight, the school board approved a plan to pay former superintendent Raymond Colucciello $725 per day to serve as an advisor to current acting superintendent Kimberly Wilkins. [TU]

$15 minimum wage
Andrew Cuomo was in Albany Thursday to rally for a $15 minimum wage -- but he said he wouldn't threaten to hold up the state budget over the proposed increase. A top member of the state Senate Republican majority said there's "no support" for the $15 figure in his conference. [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN]

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Class action suit over Hoosick Falls water, appeal to toss Albany High referendum, random acts of kindness expected in Saratoga on Monday


UAlbany bus accusers said to face charges
News10 and the Times Union, citing anonymous sources, report the three UAlbany students who said they were victims of an alleged racially charged attack on a CDTA bus will appear in Albany City Court to face minor charges in connection with the case. [News10] [TU]

Chris Churchill's call for patience in the search for truth in the case. [TU+]

Albany High School referendum
More than two dozen Albany residents have filed an appeal with the state Education Department in an effort to get the results of the Albany High School referendum thrown out. The vote is expected to be at the center of tonight's Albany School Board meeting. [TU][WNYT]

Hoosick Falls Water
Weitz & Luxenberg, the firm that employees Erin Brockovich, has filed a class action lawsuit against Saint-Gobain and Honeywell International over the Hoosick Falls water contamination. The suit was filed on behalf of four residents of the town and contends they were exposed to PFOAs and that their property values were diminished. Meanwhile, tests of private wells in Hoosick falls have been showing extremely high levels of PFOAs [Record][TU][WNYT]

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UAlbany plans engineering school in former Philip Schuyler school, no timeline for Troy sinkhole repair, Cuomo giving no thought a 2020 presidential run

UAlbany plans engineering school at former Philip Schuyler
UAlbany has announced plans to open a school of engineering and applied sciences in the former Philip Schuyler school next to its downtown campus. UAlbany president Robert Jones is asking the state legislature for $20 million for the first phase of the overhaul on the building, which he believes will help drive economic development and neighborhood revitalization in downtown Albany.[TU][Gazette][WNYT]

Alleged bus incident prompts another UAlbany conversation
UAlbany president Robert Jones held another in a series of "critical conversations" with students, surrounding race and gender issues in the wake of the alleged racially charged incident that occurred on a CDTA bus several weeks ago. Jones told reporters that his initial statement about the alleged incident was one of compassion for students, saying "Any time something is reported that puts our students in harms way, you're always going to see me lead with compassion."He says the situation is providing a transformational moment for the campus.
[TU][TWCN][News10]

(there's more)

Looking into the Troy sinkhole, naming deal for TU Center extended, 147-year-old school closing, which Rush Street is that?

Troy sinkhole watch
Crews in Troy are trying to figure out what caused the large sinkhole on Campbell Ave. City firefighters first detected the start of the hole Saturday night when a firetruck hit what felt like a large bump in the road. [Troy Record] [TU]

Also: Chris Churchill on the challenge of being mayor of Troy right now. [TU+]

Schenectady shooting investigation
Schenectady police say they've identified a person of interest in the weekend shooting of a man in Mont Pleasant. [Daily Gazette]

Jay Street fire
Says the brother of one of the people who died in the Jay Street fire almost a year ago: "There is a lot of confusion and a lot of things that haven't been answered about the fire ... There's a lot that's unsaid. There is still tension." [Daily Gazette]

TU Center naming deal
Albany County and the Times Union have reached a deal to extend the paper's naming rights to the TU Center through 2020. [TU]

(there's more)

PFOA detected in another Rensselaer County drinking water supply, Route 5 continues to be dangerous for pedestrians, Trump says he's "most popular person that's ever lived" upstate

Another case of PFOA in drinking water
The town of Petersburgh in Rensselaer County announced over the weekend that state tests detected PFOA in water from one of the wells in the Petersburgh Water District at levels just below the cutoff considered safe for consumption. The town has started distributing bottled water as a precaution. State officials say the tests were prompted by a report from Taconic Plastics that it had found groundwater at its site was contaminated. Basil Seggos, the acting state Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner, said his agency believes the company site is the source of the PFOA contamination in Petersburgh. [Town of Petersburgh] [TU] [TWCN] [WNYT]

Hoosick Falls: A mechanical breakdown is slowing the implementation of a filtering system on the village water supply. [TWCN]

Shooting in Schenectady
Schenectady police are investigating the shooting of a man in Mont Pleasant Saturday morning -- and then another reports of shots fired at the same address Saturday night. SPD says the man shot in the morning was shot at close range in the head and was in critical condition Sunday. [Daily Gazette x2] [TU]

Route 5 pedestrian crashes
The Times Union's Tim O'Brien on pedestrian safety along the Route 5 corridor, where five people were killed last year: "Someone gets struck on average more than once a week while crossing the stretch of Route 5 between Albany and Schenectady, where it is known as State Street." [TU+]

(there's more)

Woman accused of setting fire to Castleton house, Schenectady appealing police discipline decision, dog stories both sad and happy

Alleged arson in Castleton
State Police say a Castleton woman has been arrested on charges including arson for allegedly setting fire to a home there. Two firefighters were injured fighting the fire. And State Police say three cats and a dog died in the fire -- the woman is also facing aggravated cruelty to animals charges as a result. [NYSP] [News10] [TU]

Hoosick Falls water
Citing the situation in Hoosick Falls and other spots around the state, Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of a "Statewide Water Quality Rapid Response Team" to address drinking water contamination. [TWCN] [Cuomo admin]

In Hoosick Falls, officials say a filter has been installed on the village water system, but it could still be several weeks for flushing the system and doing tests. [WNYT]

Schenectady police oversight
Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy says the city will take its fight to have the public safety commissioner be in charge of police discipline (rather than an arbitrator) to the state's highest court. [Daily Gazette]

Fisherman fishes skater out of the water
An ice fisherman on Collins Lake in Scotia rescued a skater who had fallen through the ice Thursday evening, using a rope, an ice auger, and a sled. [Daily Gazette]

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$3 million plan to replace Troy water main, DMV outage caused problems statewide, Skelos/Silver pensions revealed

$3 million for water main replacement
On the heels of an announcement about a state audit that called it's financial situation precarious, officials in Troy are seeking grant money to help with a nearly $3 million plan to replace the damaged water main that caused widespread flooding in January, with a larger pipeline.[TU] [TU]

DMV outage
A problem with an electric transformer caused power outages at the DMV office on Swan Street on Wednesday that resulted in computer problems in department offices throughout the state. [TU][WNYT]

(there's more)

Conners planning appeal on Albany High referendum, DiNapoli audit reveals Troy finances "precarious", help for Saratoga Code Blue shelter, bill to make St. Patrick's Day school holiday

Effort to overturn Albany High School vote
"Gross incompetence is speaking very highly of the effort that was put out. This was an absolute sham of an election." -- Albany County Comptroller Michael Conners on the recent referendum on the proposed Albany High School renovation. Conners is investigating the vote and plans to file an appeal on behalf of a group of Albany residents who want to see the city throw out the vote and hold a new referendum in April. [TWCN][TU][WNYT]

Troy finances
Tom DiNapoli's office has confirmed the findings in a draft audit of Troy obtained last month by the Times Union, that show the city's finances are in a "precarious position" due to poor budgeting, overuse of emergency funds and insufficient funding for capital costs.[TU]

Hoosick Falls water
The EPA is testing baseball fields in Hoosick Falls today for the presence of PFOA.
The State Department of Financial Services and the EPA have set up a mobile command center to help answer the questions of homeowners in the village. [TWCN][WNYT]

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State to pay for home filtration systems in Hoosick Falls, Troy officials show video of a fatal shooting, board supports Saint Rose president

Hoosick Falls water
The Cuomo admin announced that the state will be directing $10 million to install filtration systems in 1,500 homes in Hoosick Falls. It said the state is planning for a possible alternate water supply. More than 900 people in the village have signed up with the state for blood tests to screen for exposure to PFOA. The heads of the state Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation were in the village Saturday at a blood testing event. [TU x2] [TWCN]

$12.5 million for Albany from state
Among the details about the $12.5 million in state funding for the city of Albany included in the Cuomo admin's budget amendments: It's a "spin-up" on the PILOT schedule for the Empire State Plaza (so the money is being peeled off the back end of the state's payments for the ESP), and it requires the city to develop a "comprehensive, long-term financial plan that is structurally balanced without reliance on continuing special state assistance..." [TWCN] [TU]

Video of fatal Troy shooting involving police
From Friday: The Troy Police Department released video of the incident in Lansingburgh last August in which Thaddeus Faison exchanged gunfire with two TPD officers, Joshua Comitale and Chad Klein -- Faison died from his injuries and the two officers were wounded. TPD chief John Tedesco said the video depicts the officers acting according to their training: "These are two officers who obviously paid attention to their training. There's no question it's that training that saved their lives. I have nothing to critique here." Cornelius Clark, pastor of Holy Serenity Church of God in Christ, appeared at the released with city officials: "Based on what we observed, everything went according to the way it should have gone, so we don't see any things that we could contradict here." [TU] [Troy Record] [WNYT]

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Police looking for motive in Colonie murder/suicide, $12.5 million for Albany budget gap, to re-vote or not to re-vote, UAlbany president updates bus investigation

Colonie murder/suicide investigation
State Police said Thursday that an investigation has concluded that Colonie Police Officer Israel Roman shot his wife, his 10-year-old son, then started the fire at their Latham home, and then shot himself. Police say a motive in the case is still unclear -- and there was "no indication of anything strange going on" as of this past Monday. An unnamed friend of Deborah Roman tells the Times Union Deborah had told her as far back as 2009 that she felt oppressed and trapped in her marriage to Israel Roman. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [TU+]

Hoosick Falls water
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is pushing for Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International to pay for a Superfund cleanup of the groundwater contamination in Hoosick Falls. The DEC says the two companies -- along with possibly others -- are responsible for the PFOA in the drinking water supply. (A predecessor of Honeywell operated in Hoosick Falls during the 1980s and 90s.) Both companies said in statements they were looking to cooperate with DEC. [AP/Troy Record] [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

$12.5 million for Albany
The Cuomo administration's budget amendments include the $12.5 million Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan had been seeking from the state to cover a gap in the city budget. [TU]

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Albany school board: referendum results will stand, police investigate possible Colonie murder/suicide, Assembly plans hearings on Hoosick Falls water, reasons to brush off snow

Albany High vote
The margin of votes by which the $180 million Albany High School referendum passed dropped from 228 to 189 on Wednesday, following the realization that some votes cast at the Arbor Hill polling place were counted twice. Calls for a third vote on the proposal and threats of a federal lawsuit have been mentioned, but they are not swaying the Albany School Board. School Board officials conceded that the vote was mishandled but said they won't put the project back on the ballot.Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan says she is concerned about the problems with the polls but believes that the people have spoken and hopes the referendum results hold up.[TU][TWCN][Gazette][TU][TU]

Colonie murder/suicide investigation
Investigators are still trying to piece together the details about the fire that may have been a murder/suicide in Colonie. The Times Union reports Colonie patrol officer Israel Roman loaded the family car with some of his 15-year-old son's clothing , money and valuables and moved the vehicle from the garage to the street before the fire broke out. Investigators believe Roman may have shot his wife and younger son before setting fire to the home.Family and friends have set up a fundraiser for Noah Roman, the family's older son, who was not at home when the incident occurred. [TU+][WNYT][News10]

(there's more)

Deadly Colonie fire possible murder-suicide, problems at polls in Albany High vote, two arrested in Best murder, Bharara on corruption

Fire kills three at home of Colonie officer
Police are investigating the cause of a house fire that claimed the life of Colonie police officer Israel Roman, his wife and one of his sons. Authorities say the incident may have been a murder-suicide. [TU][WNYT]

Albany High School vote
The referendum on the new $180 million Albany High School proposal passed by 228 votes on Tuesday. About 8,000 people turned out to for the re-vote, but problems--including polling places opening late and running out of ballots--were reported at some polling sites. Affidavit votes are being tallied today. [Business Review][TU][TWCN]

Hoosick Falls clean-up agreement pending
Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge says an agreement is expected to be reached Wednesday with Saint-Gobain over the costs for cleaning up PFOA from the village water supply. [TWCN]

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Preet Bharara in Albany, new $500 million deal for SUNY Poly, 20 years behind the store counter

There are school district votes today in Albany, Scotia-Glenville, and Troy. Don't know where to vote? Check with your district. Here's the where-to-vote info for Albany.

Preet Bharara in Albany
Preet Bharara appeared at WAMC's performance venue for an interview about his work prosecuting public corruption in the state as a US Attorney. Said Bharara: "People always know. You think no one knew Sheldon Silver was corrupt before he was put in handcuffs? Not a chance." Earlier in the day Bharara spoke before New York Conference of Mayors in downtown Albany: "The point is not just to punish politicians who have broken the law, but to help improve a political system that is broken down." [WAMC] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Meanwhile, it was seemingly business as usual around the Capitol. [Politico NY]

New deal for SUNY Poly
GlobalFoundries will reportedly set up a $500 million chip research center at the SUNY Poly campus in Albany. Officials say the center will add 100 jobs there. [TU+] [Daily Gazette]

UAlbany bus incident
Alice Green tells the Times Union that the group of local leaders shown video from the UAlbany bus incident by the district attorney also were shown statements from witnesses on the bus -- and those statements in part contradicted the allegations about what happened. On Monday at joint legislative hearing on the budget, UAlbany president Robert Jones declined comment, later citing the ongoing investigation. [TU+] [TWCN]

Chris Churchill on the situation: "What a mess. What a horrible, horrible mess." [TU+]

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DA shows UAlbany bus incident video to group of leaders, charting the timeline on the Hoosick Falls situation, homeless shelters facing space crunch

UAlbany bus incident
Albany County DA David Soares showed video of the UAlbany bus incident to a group of community and university leaders Friday afternoon. Alice Green, executive director of the Center for Law and Justice, was part of the group: "It was very confusing, very difficult to tell what was going on, but we haven't heard, at least I haven't heard, any racial slurs." Albany Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin was also part of the group and said the crowded bus made it hard to see what exactly happened. Soares on why he showed the video to the group: "There is a social media component here that is moving at a much faster clip than the actual truth-seeking, fact-finding investigation, and ... people are arriving at conclusions that are based upon the words and hearsay of individuals. We can't engage in that." [News10] [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU]

Hoosick Falls water
The Times Union reports that documents and emails indicate the state Department of Health had some of knowledge of PFOA contamination of the Hoosick Falls water supply as far back as August 2014 -- but unclear information and regulations contributed to a delay in the public being notified. [TU]

State and local officials -- including Congressman Chris Gibson -- were in Hoosick Falls Saturday to learn about the new water filtration system. Also: a survey of the various law firms currently vying for business in Hoosick Falls. [News10] [TU+]

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Push for new Hoosick Falls water supply, "no secret spells" for Troy budget problems, railroad overpass as can opener

Hoosick Falls water
As fear and uncertainty wear on people in the Hoosick Falls, state Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin is pushing for a new water source for the village: "I don't think a permanent filtration system is going to satisfy the people of Hoosick Falls." [Politico NY] [WNYT]

Also: Charting the long history of manufacturing using PFOA in the village. [News10]

The state of Troy
Troy mayor Patrick Madden on fixing the city's financial problems in his state of the city speech Thursday: "There are no secret spells, incantations or silver bullets. We did not get here overnight, nor can it be fixed overnight. It will take some time to reclaim our fiscal health, but we cannot put this off any longer. The time to start this work is now." (Madden says the current year budget is balanced, but city council president Carmella Mantello says it's not.) He also floated the idea of a tax on hotel stays. [Troy Record] [News10] [TU]

Schenectady police discipline
A state appeals court has ruled against the city of Schenectady in its bid to have the city public safety commissioner oversee police disciplinary cases. Public safety commissioner Wayne Bennett says the city now has to decide whether it will appeal the case to the state's highest court. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Sweat sentenced for escape attempt, Albany County joins suit to stop oil trains, Rivers Casino breaks ground, no really-- it's still February

Sweat sentenced
David Sweat, the convicted murderer who, with his partner Richard Matt, escaped from Dannemora prison last summer, was sentenced on Wednesday to pay $79,841 in restitution and serve 31/2 to seven years in prison for the escape and a similar consecutive sentence for prison contraband. At the sentencing Sweat apologized for frightening people, but the New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said she was convinced Sweat "would try it again if given the opportunity." [TU][TWCN] [TU]

UAlbany bus incident
UAlbany president Robert Jones released a video statement Wednesday asking people for patience on the investigation in the bus incident last weekend: "I ask all of us to not rush to judgment. We need to know all of the facts. We must get this right." Jones said university police had interviewed 29 people, and were reviewing video and audio. The incident is continuing to get attention beyond the Capital Region -- Hillary Clinton's Twitter account mentioned it Thursday. [UAlbany] [@HillaryClinton]

Saint-Gobain
"When all of the cameras are off and all the TV lights are down and all the microphones go away, we will be here." The President and CEO of Saint-Gobain, the company alleged to have released PFOA into the Hoosick Falls water system, on their commitment to the community where they have operated for years. [WNYT]

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Video surfaces in CDTA bus incident, physician says public health study should include former Hoosick Falls residents, groundbreaking for Rivers Casino scheduled today, Senate approves MMA for the 7th time

Hoosick Falls water
A doctor who has been pivotal in uncovering the Hoosick Falls water contamination crisis says a state public health study of the long-term impact on village residents needs to include those who have moved away over the years. According to a new document, Hoosick Falls asked for the village water to be tested back in April of last year, but people were not instructed to stop drinking the water until November. [TU][News 10]

CDTA bus attack
Video has surfaced of the CDTA bus altercation in which a group of Ualbany students say they were the victims of a racially motivated attack. [TU]

Casino groundbreaking
The Rivers Casino groundbreaking is expected to take place today.[TU]

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Rally at UAlbany in response to bus incident, guilty plea in death of Skidmore student, she was born when Taft was president

UAlbany bus incident rally 2016-02-01

The rally Monday evening at UAlbany.

Incident on bus at UAlbany
A rally at UAlbany Monday evening to support the three African-American women who say they were attacked on a CDTA bus by a group using racial slurs drew hundreds of people to the uptown campus center. One of the women, Asha Burwell, told the crowd: "We are shocked, upset, but we will remain unbroken. We stand here with strength because we value our worth as black women and as human beings in general. I would like everyone to understand that more violence will not solve anything. It will not make us feel any better nor will it result in any justice for us." [TU] [News10]

Monday afternoon University Police Department chief J. Frank Wiley said in a statement that UPD has used video from CDTA and other sources to identify 34 persons of interest -- 16 of whom have been interviewed, with more interviews planned. TWCN has posted interview clips with an anonymous person who says she was on the bus early Saturday morning -- and she says her recollection of events differs from the details that have been made public so far. The bus was one of CDTA's new "accordion" busses -- and the transit org says the driver didn't know what was happening in the back of the bus. [UPD] [TWCN] [WNYT]

Hoosick Falls water
In Latham Monday, Chuck Schumer said of the situation in Hoosick Falls the public efforts say far by the company Saint-Gobain: "They've got to do more. Expressing sympathy and giving out filters is not enough. There's a cloud of fear and uncertainty hanging over Hoosick Falls." Residents of the village have been signing up for testing of their wells and blood, and some have already installed filtering systems in their houses. Said Brian Bushner, a village resident who's decided to run for the village board of trustees because of the situation, to the Troy Record: "What infuriated me the most -- and I think I speak for a lot of people here when I say this -- is the mayor saying it was a personal choice to drink the water until after the EPA said to stop drinking it. Think about that phrase for just a second. You can't live without water. Water, beside air, is the most basic thing you need to live. You're saying it's a personal choice to do the most basic thing for survival." [TU] [WNYT] [Biz Review] [Troy Record]

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UAlbany students say they were assaulted on bus by group using racial slurs, possible new model for Albany trash collection, about those anti-corruption billboards

Investigation of incident on bus at UAlbany
Three African-American UAlbany students say they were assaulted by a group of 10-12 white people using racial slurs while on the #11 CDTA bus early Saturday morning. University Police Department chief Frank Wiley said in a statement to the campus community that UPD and Albany police are investigating the incident and reviewing video from both bus security cameras and bystanders. [statement by UAlbany president Robert Jones] [@AshaBurwell] [TU] [UPD statement] [WNYT]

There is a rally to support the three students planned for UAlbany's uptown campus Monday evening.

Hoosick Falls water
Erin Brockovich was in Hoosick Falls over the weekend as part of information session organized by a personal injury law firm. She told the crowd: "When you get together and you start being actively involved and getting involved, whether it be with your mayor or going to your city council, and asking questions and demanding answers and taking charge of your back yard, your town, you will make a difference." And residents say the contamination of the water supply casts doubt on the future of the village. [TWCN] [WNYT] [TU] [TU+]

On Friday DEC police were investigating an allegation of illegal solid waste dumping in the town of Hoosick. [TU]

The future of trash collection in Albany
With Albany's landfill set to close in the next few years, a detailed look at the possibility of the city switching to a "pay as you throw" model for trash collection. [TU+] Earlier: Talking trash in Albany

(there's more)

EPA issues new guidance for Hoosick Falls water, state attorney general investigates event ticket industry, the doctor will virtually see you now

Hoosick Falls water
The EPA is now advising residents of Hoosick Falls with private wells that they shouldn't drink their well water (or cook with it) if tests reveal levels of PFOA to be above 100 parts per trillion. The village is installing a filtration system on its water supply -- it's a few weeks away from being operational -- but some residents say they'll still be wary to drink the water because they don't trust officials now. [TU] [TWCN] [Biz Review] [News10]

Also: The law firm Weitz & Luxemberg (yep, the same one that Sheldon Silver had been directing asbestos cases to) is sending Erin Brockovich to the area to "discuss the legal options and remedies available to Hoosick Falls clients and other residents who seek assistance." [TU CapCon]

School district fiscal problems
State comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office released a list of school districts around the state that are in "fiscal stress." The Corinth School District in Saratoga County is in the category of "significant fiscal stress" -- and the Watervliet and Rensselaer school districts are in the "moderate stress" category. [NYS OSC] [TU+]

Schenectady demolitions
The Capital Region Land Bank wants to demolish 19 buildings in the city of Schenectady. [Daily Gazette]

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APD investigating 2 shootings, Superfund site declared in Hoosick Falls, apartment building planned for DeLaet's Landing

Two Albany shootings
Albany police are investigating two shootings in the city on Wednesday. The first took place near 9am on Wednesday in West Hill, not far from Albany High School.
The victim was sitting in a car in front of a day care center - just a few doors away from the building where pastor Charlie Muller's gun buyback program is run.
Later in the day, in what is believed to be a related incident, a SWAT team closed down roads and entered a house on Judson Street and took two people into custody. Police found evidence consistent with gunshots. [TU][WNYT][TWCN][News 10][WNYT]

Hoosick Falls Water
Andrew Cuomo met with Hoosick Falls officials at the Capitol on Wednesday to discuss the contamination of the village's water.Shortly after the meeting The Cuomo administration announced it would declare the Saint-Gobain plastics plant that contaminated the Hoosick Falls water supply a Superfund site. The move will give the state the power to seek reimbursements for the cleanup costs from the source of the pollution. The state will list PFOA, the chemical that has been found in the village water supply, as a hazardous substance. Superfund money will be used to retest wells, conduct blood tests, install filtration systems at schools and establish a state hotline among other things. [TU][Record][NYT][TU][News10]

(there's more)

Plea deal rejected in Porreca case, Sheehan and Madden ask state legislators to assist cities, Bharara to visit Albany

Mayors seek assistance
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Troy Mayor Patrick Madden were among a group of Ne York State Mayors who addressed legislators on Friday for financial assistance. Sheehan is seeking $12.5 million from the state to close a hole in the city budget. Madden urged legislators to fully fund a proposal to use $250 million for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects around the state.
[TU][TWCN]

Plea deal rejected in murder case
Sean Moreland, who allegedly drove the getaway car
in the Jacquelyn Porreca murder case, has rejected a deal from prosecutors that would have required a 15 year prison term. [TU]

Hoosick Falls Water
A temporary water filter is being installed in Hoosick Falls to help filter out PFOA contaminants that may be responsible for elevated levels of cancers, thyroid disease and pregnancy problems in the town. A larger permanent filter is expected to be installed by October. Hoosick officials say state the Health Department asked them to keep quiet about toxic chemicals found in multiple private wells in the town . The investigation into the contamination of the water in Hoosick falls began after the son of a a 68 year old man who died from kidney cancer began asking questions two years ago. [TWCN][Record][TU][Record]

(there's more)

Protesters interrupt Sheehan's State of the City address, Hulett Street fire info reward increased, Albany teens win national song contest

Sheehan's State of the City address interrupted
Protesters calling for the firing of the police officers involved with the death of Dontay Ivy, as well as police chief Brendan Cox, interrupted Kathy Sheehan's State of the City address for about 20 minutes Monday evening at Albany City Hall. They also repeated the call for the city's police force to be disarmed. In her speech, Sheehan pointed to a city goal to implement better policing, including body cameras and implicit bias train -- an effort she said was working to "shake the legacy of racism that we have, that was earned and that was reprehensible." [News10] [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU]

The protest also marked a public announcement of the formation of an upstate chapter of Black Lives Matter. [Daily Gazette]

Albany schools
Acting Albany schools superintendent Kimberly Young Wilkins, a longtime principal in the district, on the situation she's facing: "I've been here for 25 years. We have weathered storms, and we're going to weather this." School board president Kenneth Bruce also addressed the ouster of former superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard last week: "This decision was based on merit. Job security is based on performance. When there's performance, there's security and when there isn't, there isn't." He also fell back on the "personnel decision" reason for not explaining the decision in more detail. [TU] [News10] [WNYT] [TWCN]

Bigger reward for Hulett Street fire info
The reward for info in the fatal 2013 Hulett Street in Schenectady is now $40,000. It's the fire in which a father and three children were killed -- and Sa'Fyre Terry was seriously injured. The now eight-year-old girl appeared at the warehouse where volunteers are opening the millions of cards and packages sent to her Monday to thank everyone for their efforts. Said Terry's aunt: "The outpouring of love for Sa'fyre has been absolutely amazing, but there's no gift that can beat the gift of justice that she so rightfully deserves." [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

(there's more)

The events that led up to the Albany schools superintendent's ouster, three rescued from burning house, CDTA ready to move ahead with Troy transit center, man fights off rabid fox

Albany schools superintendent
Chronicling the events that led up to the ouster of Albany school district superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard last week -- though the school board has not detailed why exactly it decided to part ways with Vanden Wyngaard. As part of her separation agreement, she's set to receive a $90k lump sum, salary through this June, and medical benefits through June 2017. By the way: The vote on the reformulated plan to rebuilding/expand Albany High School is just about two weeks away. [TU+] [TU] [TU+]

Troy water main repair
The city of Troy says repairs on the large water main break are now finished and regular service levels have been restored to Halfmoon and Waterford. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Allegations against former Albany County Sheriff's sergeant
Brendan Lyons details the allegations against a former Albany County Sheriff's sergeant in a situation involving a former girlfriend -- including a voicemail to the woman's new boyfriend, attributed to the former sergeant, that states, "I will murder you where you stand." [TU+]

(there's more)

School board critics turn out after ouster of Albany schools superintendent, repair of Troy water main break nearing end, Hoosick Falls hired PR firm to help handle tainted water supply situation

Albany schools superintendent pushed out
The Albany school district announced Thursday that superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard would be resigning in an arrangement that includes her taking paid leave now through the end of her contract in June. Said school board president Kenneth Bruce in a statement: "the board and the superintendent have come to a point where we no longer can overcome our philosophical differences about how best to implement the change our district urgently needs." [Albany school district]

Supporters of Vanden Wyngaard have recently been pushing for the board to extend her contract and many people turned out at a tense board meeting Thursday night to criticize the panel for pushing the superintendent out. City Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin: "You set her up for failure ... There was no support. You supported her for about 18 months and then you decided that all bets were off. I don't know who's coming in next, but what you did to Dr. V, you'll do it to them." Common Council member Vivian Kornegay: "The Albany public school district board is dysfunctional. It's dysfunctional, segregated and discriminatory." Bruce said race was not a factor in the board's decision. [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Albany High School rebuild proposal: A PAC called Support Albany High School has formed to push for approval of the reformulated plan to rebuild/expand Albany High School at the February vote. [TU+]

Troy water main break
Crews worked Thursday to repair a second, small leak in the large water main that failed earlier this week. The city says the overall repair project should be finished by this weekend. [Troy Record] [TWCN]

Troy is seeking help from the state -- in the form of grants and a low-interest loan -- to cover the $2.7 million cost of installing 3,700 linear feet of larger pipe as an upgrade to the main. [Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN]

Supervisors in Waterford and Halfmoon -- where water service was disrupted by the Troy main break -- say they're not sure yet how much it's cost the towns to provide alternate water supplies during the episode. [TU+]

(there's more)

Troy water main repair continues, 19 citations but no charges for garbage truck driver in fatal accident, Silver keeps pension, New York considers new consequences for skipping tolls

Troy water main update
Work continues today on the water main break that has spilled millions of gallons of water into the streets of Troy and left thousands of people in the city and surrounding communities with limited water service for days. Paul Tonko toured the site of the break on Wednesday pointing out that it is a symbol of a national problem with aging infrastructure. Troy is seeking state and federal aid to repair the aging infrastructure problems that caused the break. The city council will hold a special meeting tonight in an effort to speed along a grant proposal to replace the aging water line. 25 Waterford homes had their water restored on Wednesday. Schools are open again in Waterford Halfmoon and Mechanicville school districts but water restrictions are still in effect in many communities, affecting residents and businesses. Meanwhile, Waterford and Halfmoon are considering new water sources to avoid similar problems in the future. [TWCN][Saratogian][Gazette][WNYT][News 10][TU+][TU]

Judiciary committee approves DiFiore
Cuomo appointee Janet DiFiore won the approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday,. A vote was delayed but DiFiore is expected to be confirmed as New York State's next Chief Judge. [TU][NYT]

Garbage truck driver cited in 2015 fatal accident
The driver of a garbage truck that struck and killed a 4-year-old boy at Central and Quail in Albany last year will not face criminal charges. James P. Kelly was issued 19 citations in connection with the incident, including failure to yield the right of way. [TU][Gazette]

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Repairs continue on Troy water main,Women's Equality laws take affect, Stefanik kicks off reelection bid,overdue honors for WWII vet


Troy water main
Crews have been working round the clock to repair the water main break in Troy. The break is affecting the city of Troy and Nine municipalities outside Troy. The freezing temperatures and the fact that the main is steel and not cast iron are contributing to the difficulty. [TWCN][TU][Record]pTU]

Schenectady city phones
The city of Schenectady phone lines - including police and fire department, are not working and can't take incoming calls today. [Gazette]

NY Women's Equality Laws
Seven new laws that are part of Andrew Cuomo's Women's Equality Agenda take effect today, including equal pay and domestic violence legislation. [WNYT]

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Troy works to repair large water main break, Teachout for Congressional run?, affordable housing crunch in Saratoga, the crow as painter

Troy water main break, and the problem of aging infrastructure
One of Troy's largest water mains burst Sunday, flooding an area near the break in Lansingburgh and prompting the city to ask residents to restrict water use. There have also beens service disruptions in some municipalities that draw water from Troy, including Mechanicville and Halfmoon. [TU] [News10] [TU]

The break highlights both a short term and long term challenge for Troy: A costly repair of the century-old main would be a strain on city finances because the city's water fund was used in recent years to balance the general city budget. And in the longterm, mayor Patrick Manning says the city has hundreds of miles of century-old water infrastructure. [TU+] [Troy Record]

Schenectady County jail death
The Schenectady County Sheriff's Office says a 53-year-old county jail inmate who had been treated at a hospital just before the entering the jail earlier this month died Sunday. The sheriff says jail medical personnel had been monitoring the inmate's treatment. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Teachout for 19th Congressional District?
Democratic county leaders in the NY 19th Congressional District (currently rep'ed by Chris Gibson) voted over the weekend to endorse Zephyr Teachout -- even though she's yet to officially toss her hat in the ring. [TU]

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VanAlstyne sentenced for death of Kenneth White, packed meeting about Hoosick Falls water contamination, pedestrian killed in Route 9 crash, together to the end

Tiffany VanAlstyne sentenced
Tiffany VanAlstyne -- who pleaded guilty to killing her five-year-old cousin, Kenneth White, in Knox in December 2014 -- was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison. Judge Stephen Herrick noted that Van Alstyne had been diagnosed with mental illness, but had stopped taking her medication: "There were tell-tale signs that you were at risk. From what I've read, this was a time bomb waiting to go off." Said VanAlstyne at the sentencing: "I am so, so sorry for what I did and what happened to Kenneth. I wish I could take it back but I can't." Said Christine White, Kenneth's mother and VanAlstyne's aunt, outside court: "I love my son more than anything in this world ... But I also love my niece, and I know what kind of girl she was." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT] [TWCN]

Hudson Hoosick Falls water
Hoosick Falls residents packed a meeting Thursday night with EPA regional administrator Judith Enck about contamination of the village's water supply with a chemical called PFOA. Enck said agencies to need study the source of contamination (a nearby factory is suspected) and the extent of its spread in the ground water. [TWCN] [TU]

State school aid
Though Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget includes an almost-$1 billion increase in school aid for the next year, school funding advocates say the increased still lags behind the level the state should be at -- and a handful of Capital Region districts are even scheduled to receive less aid. [Troy Record] [TU+]

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Albany $12.5 million missing from Cuomo budget, GE announces 100 jobs for Niskayuna - moves HQ from CT to Boston, opening 1.7 million cards and packages

State of the State
Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address: a look at ethics, local governments, big infrastructure, minimum wage, paid family leave, housing , homelessness and more. Here's some legislative reaction to the governor's plans.

Protestors lined the concourse, many advocating for the proposed $15 minimum wage. Some business groups are speaking out against the wage hike. [AOA][NYT][TU][TWCN][TU][News10]

Albany $ missing from budget
The $12.5 million that the city of Albany was looking for from the state to help balance its budget was not included in the governor's spending plan.[TU]

GE
General Electric announced 100 new jobs will be added to its Global Research Center in Niskayuna. Meanwhile, GE Affiliate Granite Services will close its operations in Schenectady and cut 41 jobs due to a loss of contract. GE also announced that it is moving its headquarters from Connecticut to Boston (New York officials had been trying to lure the company HQ to the state). [TU][Business Review][TU]

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Cuomo to deliver state of the state today, Assembly votes down ethics proposals, vigil for Sherwin, four Canadian women charged with local "grandparent scam," if walls could talk

State of the State
Andrew Cuomo will deliver the State of the State address today. Here's a look at what he'll be talking about. [TU]

$15 minimum wage
More than 1,000 people are expected to show up at the State of the State to advocate for a $15 minimum wage. [News 10]

Ethics
The NYS Assembly voted down 13 Republican proposed ethics reforms, including term limits for legislators and televised hearings. [Daily Freeman][WNYT]

Clean Conscience pledges
The five members of the Senate IDC announced they have signed "clean conscience" pledges. [TU]

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Feds: "insufficient evidence" of a federal crime related to state anti-corruption panel, former Watervliet police officer sentenced to prison, teacher accused of taking toys

Feds' investigation of Moreland Commission
A statement Monday from Preet Bharara's office about the federal investigation into Andrew Cuomo shutting down the Moreland Commission anti-corruption panel: "After a thorough investigation of interference with the operation of the Moreland Commission and its premature closing, this Office has concluded that, absent any additional proof that may develop, there is insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime." Andrew Cuomo's attorney: "We were always confident there was no illegality here, and we appreciate the U.S. attorney clarifying this for the public record." Not mentioned in the Bharara office statement: anything about the Buffalo Billion. [US DOJ] [NYT] [TU]

High school graduation rates
The state Education Department released high school graduation rates for the class that graduated in 2015, and statewide the rate was up almost two percentage points to 78.1 percent. Here's an easy-scan breakdown of rates for Capital Region districts. One bit from the Schenectady school district -- which, along with Albany, again had one of the lowest rates in the region: superintendent Larry Spring said that of the roughly 100 students in the graduating cohort who had been in the district since kindergarten, 97 percent graduated on time. [NYSED] [AOA] [Daily Gazette]

Robberies, assaults along New Scotland Ave
More details in the two separate robberies/assault along New Scotland Ave in Albany Saturday: Police allege the man arrested in the case -- Jose L. Marlett -- abducted the second woman near New Scotland Elementary, tied her up with a telephone cord in his apartment, and sexually assaulted her. After Marlett left the apartment, the woman was able to break free and News10 reports she ran naked down New Scotland Ave where she was able to get help at a restaurant on the corner of New Scotland and Ontario. Neighbors tell TWCN they had noticed Marlett acting strangely. [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

Former Watervliet police offer heading to prison
Former Watervliet police officer Nicholas Pontore -- accused of being involved with the Young Gunnerz gang, and buying drugs while on duty in his police car -- pleaded guilty in Rensselaer County Court to a drug charge and was sentenced to two years in prison. [TWCN] [Troy Record] [TU]

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Man charged with murder in Watervliet death, allegations of abuse in state prisons, the Bob & Ron's sign has been sold

Homicide in Watervliet
A Watervilet man -- 49-year-old Michael J. Fox -- is facing a murder charge in connection with the death of a man in a residence on 4th Ave Friday night. Watervliet police say they responded to a call of shots fired, there was a evidence a shotgun had been used, and a standoff ensued. A woman tells News10 Fox had called her to the residence and tried to hold her there with the man who had been shot -- she said she escaped as Fox fired at her with a shotgun. Watervliet police say a tactical team eventually entered the residence and took Fox into custody. [TU] [WNYT] [News10] [TWCN]

Suspicious fire in Troy
The Troy Fire Department says an apartment building fire that displaced 10 people is a suspicious and neighbors are pointing the finger at a neighbor who recently moved in and they say had been acting strangely and had made threatening statements. [TU]

Allegations of abuse in state prisons
From a Brendan Lyons article about allegations of prisoner abuse in New York State prisons: "several inmates and prison employees interviewed" said the practice of guards putting plastic bags over the heads of inmates is "is routine in some prisons." [TU+]

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Former Watervliet police officer sentenced, medical marijuana dispensaries open, Troy Bombers set to become a Wolff's

The tangled web involving police in Watervliet
Joshua Spratt -- the former Watervliet police officer who pleaded guilty to a criminal sex act with a teen he met as a city school resource officer -- was sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years probation. Said state Supreme Court Justice Thomas Breslin at the sentencing to Spratt in reference to Spratt's duty as a police officer to protect and serve: "you protected no one and you served yourself," and said he was reluctantly sentencing Spratt according to the plea bargain in the case. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

Also Thursday: Former Albany County Sheriff's sergeant Martin F. Zaloga Jr. was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to texting a photo of his penis to a Watervliet teen -- an act that was discovered during the investigation surrounding Spratt. [TU] [TWCN]

And over in Rensselaer County, Daquan Murray of Troy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his guilty plea to selling cocaine. Murray was alleged to be a leader of the Young Gunnerz gang, was the target of the state Attorney General's Operation Trojan Horse sweep -- the arrests for which included former Watervliet police officer Nicholas Pontore. And a recording Pontore handed over to Watervliet police prompted the investigation in Spratt. [TWCN] [Troy Record] [TU]

Medical marijuana
Thursday marked the first day medical marijuana dispensaries could be open in New York State, and the Etain dispensary in Albany's Warehouse District opened to the media for a tour. As of Thursday, the state Department of Health said there were just 51 patients statewide who had been registered to buy medical marijuana. [TWCN] [News10] [TU+]

Judith Kaye
Judith Kaye -- the first woman named to New York State's highest court, and the first to serve as the court's chief judge -- has died at age 77. [NYT]

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Ethics dominate day one for legislators, Cuomo to propose Thruway toll freeze and $22 billion for roads & bridges, Vital Vio founders make Forbes list

New session opens with focus on ethics
Ethics discussion dominated the first day of session for New York legislators.
On day one of the first legislative session after the convictions of Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle pitched plans for ethics reform, while advocates for good government asked legislators to sign a three point "Clean Conscience Pledge". In addition to ethics reform, lawmakers say minimum wage and the heroin epidemic are issues they plan to address in the new session. [TU][TU][News 10]

School threat may be connected to bank robbery
Police believe a fake threat that put Mohonasen High School into a temporary lockdown on Wednesday may have been an attempt to divert them from a TrustCo bank robbery that took place ten minutes after the 911 call reporting the threat. Half an hour later an Albany NBT bank at 54 State Street was robbed. [TWCN][Gazette]

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Legislators head back to work with ethics on their minds, frigid temperatures bring Code Blue alert, Albany marijuana dispensary to open this week

Lawmakers and ethics

Lawmakers are back at work at the Capitol and focused on ethics reform, but there is still a disagreement about what that reform will look like. [TU][TWCN][WNYT]

Legislative swipe cards
As the session opens, lawmakers will use swipe card devices to help prove they are in Albany. [TU]

Funeral directors, dry cleaners and vets
How some NYS legislators make their living when they're not legislating. [NYT]

$7 billion proposed for upstate
In what he is calling "the largest construction program in modern political history in the state of New York," Andrew Cuomo plans to introduce $7 billion in proposals for upstate, including transportation, energy and agriculture projects.[TU]

Code blue
Frigid temperatures on Tuesday meant Code Blue was in effect at homeless shelters in the Capital Region and around New York. In spite of Andrew Cuomo's recent executive order requiring all homeless people to go to shelters when the temperature is below freezing, some shelters are not forcing people to remain indoors. [WNYT][TWCN]

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Questions about new state policy regarding shelter for homeless in the cold, Albany trash fee approved, alleged scheme to steal laptops from the state

The cold
Low temps dipped near zero overnight -- the coldest temps here since last March. And the high temp for Tuesday is forecasted to be in the low 20s. [NWS x2]

Homeless in the cold
Leaders of Capital Region governments and orgs helping the the homeless were trying to figure out the implications of the new Cuomo admin policy that calls for shelters to be open when the temperature drops below freezing -- and allows for people to be forcibly removed from the street in such weather. Among the questions: Is there currently enough capacity at local shelters, especially during the day. And whether it's prudent to force someone into a shelter who doesn't want to be there. [Daily Gazette] [NYT] [TWCN] [Troy Record] [News10]

The Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany had provided space for almost 200 people over night Monday to Tuesday. [News10]

Albany trash free
The Albany Common Council passed a measure allowing the city to assess a trash fee on residential buildings with 2-4 units (the fee is $180/unit -- buildings with more than 4 units are already required to hire a private trash hauler). Before the vote the fee continued to face opposition from council members argued the fee unfairly would burden low-income residents. [TWCN] [TU]

Pedestrian death
East Greenbush police say a pedestrian was killed Monday afternoon on Columbia turnpike when, witnesses told police, a vehicle "left the roadway, running over road signs and striking a pedestrian who was walking along the shoulder of the road." EGPD says the driver was taken to a hospital. And it's asking anyone who might have seen the crash to call the department. [EGPD press release] [News10]

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Alkaramla's body found in the Hudson, Cuomo continuing push for minimum wage increase, who gets REDC money, first baby of 2016

Today's Morning Blend includes a handful of stories from the last week or so over the new year holiday.

Noel Alkaramla case
Troy police announced New Year's Eve that the body of Noel Alkaramla was found in a suitcase in the Hudson River near Albany last week. Alkaramla's stepfather is a suspect and is being held on a parole violation, but hasn't been charged in the case. Law enforcement originally had searched the Hudson near Troy for the suitcase, but an official tells the Times Union that tests involving suitcases dropped into the river and the aid of FBI experts led investigators to a spot near USS Slater. [Troy Record] [TU x2]

Minimum wage
Andrew Cuomo is set to announce today that he'll be adding state university employees to the $15-an-hour minimum wage schedule. Cuomo says an eventual $15-an-hour minimum wage for all workers will be one of his priorities in 2016. [NYT] [NYDN]

The state's minimum wage for all workers rose to $9/hour on January 1 under a previously scheduled increase, and $9.75 per hour ($10.50 per hour in NYC) for fast food employees. The minimum wage for tipped employees also rose to $7.50 per hour from $5. [NYS DOL x3]

Homeless in the cold
Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order requiring homeless shelters around the state to extend hours -- and it authorizes law enforcement agencies to forcibly move homeless people inside who refuse, a measure some advocates are saying might not be legal. [Cuomo admin] [TU] [NYDN]

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Guilty verdict in Schenectady murder, UAlbany purchasing nine acres in Guilderland, Lippmann relaxes courtroom camera laws, dreaming of a warm Christmas

UAlbany purchases bordering property
UAlbany has purchased about nine acres of property bordering its campus in Guilderland for approximately $600 thousand. [TU]

Saratoga woman charged in fatal hit and run
A Saratoga Springs woman is facing felony counts of reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident, in connection with a fatal accident that killed a pedestrian in the Spa City earlier this month. [TU]

Guilty verdict in Schenectady murder
After two days of deliberations, a Schenectady County jury found Jamel Johnson guilty of second -degree murder in the death of a Schenectady man who allegedly beat Johnson several weeks earlier.Johnson, a member of the Bloods gang from Brooklyn, faces 25 years to life in prison[Gazette][TU]

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Schenectady casino gets formal OK, Cuomo to pardon 10,000 people, about naming things after people

Casinos moving forward
The state Gaming Commission issued licenses for the first batch of three upstate casinos, including the planned Rivers Casino in Schenectady, formally opening the way for construction to begin. The general manage for the Rivers Casino is projecting a possible summer 2017 opening for the facility. And Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy says the city is in line for a "host benefit fee" of roughly $4 million. [NYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Stabbing death of Troy city official
Hundreds of people lined up Monday to pay their respects to Troy city operations director Bill Chamberlain, who was fatally stabbed last week near his home in North Greenbush. And city officials are talking about honoring Chamberlain in some way. City council president Rodney Wiltshire on the 30-year city employee: "The reality is he always had the answers ... He just knew how things were done." [TWCN] [Troy Record] [News10]

The little town of Bethlehem
The town of Bethlehem's decision to not include a "Merry Christmas" sign at its Four Corners holiday display has prompted a response from an Arizona-based religious rights group. [TU+]

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Suspect identified in fatal stabbing of Troy official, continued criticism for nursing home, she doesn't give a "rat's noodle" what neighbors say

Investigation of Troy official's death
North Greenbush police identified a suspect in the Thursday night stabbing death of Troy director of operations Bill Chamberlain: 28-year-old Joseph Vandenburgh of Wynantskill was being held on a parole violation. Over the weekend police searched the home of Vandenburgh's mother. Police say Chamberlain had been stabbed as many as 25 times and a knife was found near his body. [TWCN] [Troy Record] [TU x2]

Both city officials and Troy business owners remembered Chamberlain as a dedicated public servant who played a key role for the city. [WNYT] [TWCN]

Park Ave fire
Official determination of the cause in the Albany Park Ave fire that displaced 25 people: "undetermined but with accidental characteristics." [TU]

Troy police
Troy's police chief says the department is down 15 officers and it's having trouble attracting and retaining officers. [TU+]

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Investigation of Troy official's death, new vote for Albany High rebuild plan, cards and packages for Sa'Fyre piling up

Investigation into death of Troy official
The Times Union and TWCN are both reporting that Bill Chamberlain, director of operations for the city of Troy, died Thursday night near his North Greenbush home -- the TU reports Chamberlin's wife found him after their dog returned alone from a walk, and TWCN reports "sources" tell them it was a stabbing. [TU] [TWCN]

Hoosick Falls water
The federal Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that residents of Hoosick Falls should not drink the village's water because of levels of a toxic industrial chemical in the water -- both the state and village mayor had previously downplayed the risk of the drinking the water. [TU]

Troy City Council rejects health care deal for police
The Troy City Council unanimously voted against an agreement with the city's police union to offer lifetime health coverage after just 10 years of service. Council members also expressed frustration and anger that mayor Lou Rosamilia signed the deal 18 months ago and it was only now coming before the council. [TU] [Troy Record]

Albany High School rebuild
The reformulated plan for a rebuild of Albany High School -- now with a $180 million total project cost -- is set to go before voters in February. [Albany school district] [TU]

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Accomplice sentenced in "death ray" case, New York to reform solitary confinement rules, longtime Capital Region broadcaster Ralph Vartigan dies

Eight years for death-ray accomplice
Eric Feight, the man convicted of assisting KKK member Glendon Scott Crawford in a failed plot to kill muslims with an "x-ray death machine" was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison. [TU][Gazette][TWCN]

New York to reform solitary confinement
As the result of an NYCLU lawsuit over the treatments of inmates, New York has agreed to overhaul the way it administers solitary confinement in state prisons.
[NYT][TU]

Sentencing in SCCC student stabbing
The former Schenectady County Community College Student
charged with stabbing two fellow students in a fight over a stolen banana earlier this year will was sentenced to ten years in state prison. [TU]

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Police investigate Schenectady stabbing, Albany High and Schneiderman release anti-discrimination plan, fire safety lessons pay off for Schenectady girl, call for tax free Christmas trees

Schenectady Stabbing
Police in Schenectady are looking for a suspect after a man was stabbed in a State Street Apartment.[TU][WNYT]

Patrice Zimmerman
Colonie police have positively identified a body pulled from the Hudson on Tuesday as that of 59-year-old Patrice Zimmerman, who went missing earlier this week.. The Cause of death has been determined to be asphyxia due to drowning. Police say no new evidence suggests foul play. [Record][WNYT][TWCN]

Albany High agreement to avoid discrimination
Eric Schneiderman's office and the Albany City School District will announce a plan to make sure that minority and disabled students are no longer discriminated against, following a report that showed they were far more likely to be suspended than their peers in the years leading up to 2014. [TU+]

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Search for missing Colonie woman, Troy council bristling over police retiree deal, stepped up security at TU Center

Missing Colonie woman
A search for a missing Colonie woman -- 59-year-old Patrice Zimmerman -- included a State Police helicopter Monday. CPD says there are some indications she might be injured. Her vehicle was found in Waterford late Monday afternoon. Security video shows the car being there early Monday morning. Tuesday morning divers were preparing to search for Zimmerman. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [WNYT]

Update: Colonie police say a Zimmerman's body was found in the Hudson River near Peebles Island Tuesday. [TWCN]

Troy police
The Troy City Council is bristling at being asked to approve an agreement with the city's police union that sets the amount of service necessary to qualify for retirement health coverage at just 10 years -- an agreement that mayor Lou Rosamilia apparently signed 18 months ago and didn't tell the council. The city is facing an arbitration case with the PBA over a claim to the health benefits by a former officer who left the force and pleaded guilty to tipping off drug dealers about a raid. [Troy Record] [TU+]

Wormuth second sentencing
Former Halfmoon supervisor Mindy Wormuth was sentenced to 10 months in prison in Saratoga County Court for stealing from her campaign account -- the sentence will run concurrently with her year-long federal prison sentence for taking a bribe as part of a sting. (Said her attorney Monday: "She was a small fish in a larger investigation.") Also: The remaining $20k in her campaign account will go to various charities. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [WNYT]

They're going to Disney World
Sa'Fyre Terry and her family are getting an all-expenses-paid trip to Disney World and other Florida amusement parks from a charity org. And the Postal Service estimates there have been more than 175,000 Christmas cards sent to Terry. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Program and faculty cuts at Saint Rose, Christmas cards pour in for Sa'fyre, plans detailed for Hedley District, back to the sea

Saint Rose cuts
On Friday the College of Saint Rose announced it's cutting multiple academic programs and 23 faculty positions as part of its effort to put the college on firmer financial footing. The college says the eliminated programs have "low or no enrollment" and the cuts will affect about 4 percent of students. The Faculty Association of Saint Rose criticized the cuts, as well as the process leading up to them, and is talking about unionizing. [Saint Rose] [TU]

Hoosick Falls water
The story behind the discovery of the contaminant PFOA in the wells that serve Hoosick Falls -- the fight over the village's response to the situation. [TU+]

Bharara on Silver and Skelos guilty verdicts
US Attorney Preet Bharara after the guilty verdict in the Dean Skelos trial Friday: "The corruption in the State Legislature in Albany has not been episodic ... It's been systemic, and if nothing else, the trials revealed that there's a deep culture problem, and a matter-of-factness about how at least these two defendants, who've now been found guilty, went about their daily corrupt business with barely a thought about it." [NYT x2]

Christmas cards for Sa'fyre
Tens of thousands of Christmas cards have been sent to Sa'Fyre Terry following the call for cards for survivor of the Hulett Street fire. Also: A look at the network of friends, families -- and bikers -- that's grown to help support Terry and her family. [Daily Gazette x2]

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The bright side of $98 million, jail sentence for Wormuth, task force suggests Common Core retreat, Uber meeting draws 150

$98 million
The Capital Region did not win a $500 million URI grant but it did get $98 million, and, as a top performer, is eligible for another $50 million for regional development projects. Mike Hickey, CEO of the Center for Economic Growth says the was disappointed the Capital Region didn't win $500 million in the REDC awards, but that $98 million "was a hell of a consolation prize." Co-chair of the Capital Region REDC, Ualbany President Robert Jones pointed out other upsides, including the fact that the Capital Region is now thinking like a region and that the plans will serve as the blueprint for development over the next decade [AOA][TU x 2][Business Review]

Evidence collected in Alkaramla case
Police collected evidence, including paint chips, clothing and muddy boots, from the home of Johnny Oquendo, the stepfather of Noel Alkaramla, who has been missing since November 22.[TU]

Task force suggests retreat from Common Core
A NYS Common Core task force formed by Andrew Cuomo in September is recommending that the implement its own set of standards as opposed to the the national standards in an effort to reduce testing and anxiety. The task force is also recommending that test scores not be used to evaluate teachers through 2019, to allow time for new standards and tests to be developed. [TU][NYT]

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Regional Economic Development Council announcement today, Skelos trial goes to jury, NYRA expects $4 million profit

Regional Economic Development awards
The winners of the Regional Economic Development Competition will be announced this morning. Winners will divide $1.5 billion in economic aid. What should you expect? Here's a look.[Gazette] [TU][Business Review]

Skelos
Jury deliberations begin today in he corruption trial of Dean Skelos. In Closing arguments on Wednesday the defense claimed the prosecutions case was full of holes and based on mischaracteriztions snippets of conversations. In their rebuttal, prosecutors invoked Shel Silverstein.[Gazette][NYT][Capital New York]

$15 fast food wage upheld
A NYS Industrial Board of Appeals has upheld the coming $15 an hour minimum wage for fast food workers. The Restaurant associate, which appealed the wage hike to the board, issued a statement saying it is "extremely disappointed" in the ruling. [TU][WNYT]

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Search for Alkaramla continues down river, Rosamilia vetoes council's budget cut, closing arguments in Skelos trial, AG's warning for Springsteen fans


Noel Alkaramla search
The Search for Noel Alkaramla will move further down the Hudson River today. On Tuesday police dropped a rolling suitcase in the river to see how a suitcase containing the eight of a body would travel. Earlier this week the Alkaramla's stepfather told police to look for a suitcase. [TU[WNYT][Record]

Missing Mechanicville man
Mechanicville police are searching for a 39 year old man who was last seen on Saturday.[TU]

Rosamilia vetoes budget cut
Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia has vetoed the City Council's decision to eliminate the parks and recreation director position from the city budget - the only cut the council made to the 2016 spending plan. [Record]

Does a voice vote violate Freedom of Information law?
The Albany County Legislature voted to approve a $610 million budget with a voice vote on Tuesday -- where legislators as a group shout yay or nay -- rather than an individual roll call vote -- which means you can't find out how your particular legislator voted - which some say is a violation of the freedom of information act.
[TU]

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Search of Hudson River continues in case of missing Troy woman, plan for apartments above Arts Center, gifts of meals and hats

Noel Alkaramla case
Police divers continued to search the Hudson River near Troy for evidence in the case of Noel Alkaramla, who's been missing since November 22. Alkaramla's girlfriend says a text message from Alkaramla indicated her stepfather had wanted to meet up to talk the night Alkaramla disappeared. The stepfather was picked up on a parole violation last week -- and "several sources with knowledge of the investigation who are not authorized to speak" tell the Times Union he allegedly told police he had info Alkaramla, specifically that they should look for a suitcase. Troy police say they can't comment on any potential connections between Alkaramla's disappearance and the stepfather being picked up -- and haven't said whether they've found anything in the river related to the case. [Troy Record] [News10] [TU] [WNYT] [TWCN]

Fred Drumm case
The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office says it's investigation into the disappearance of Saratoga town councilman Fred Drumm is continuing -- he's been missing since November 25. [Daily Gazette]

Dogs shot
The Albany County Sheriff's Office and the state Department of Environmental Conservation are investigating the deaths of two dogs found shot near the Albany/Schoharie county line. The dogs disappeared from their family on Friday and were found over the weekend. Albany County sheriff Craig Apple: "Somebody shot them for no apparent reason. Never called police. Never contacted DEC. And never contacted anybody in the area. Just left them there." [Daily Gazette] [News10] [WNYT]

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Search continues for missing Troy woman, adjusted plan for Albany High rebuild, large underage drinking bust in Troy, how they got that seal out of the lock

Noel Alkaramla case
Police divers searched the Hudson River near Troy over the week for evidence in the case of Noel Alkaramla, who's been missing since November 23. Troy police say Alkaramla's stepfather was picked up on a parole violation Friday -- last week Alkaramla's mother told the Times Union she was worried the stepfather might be involved, and Alkaramla's fiancee told WNYT Alkaramla had planned to talk with the stepfather before disappeared. [TWCN] [Troy Record] [News10] [TU] [WNYT]

Pedestrian killed in crash
The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office says a Clifton Park man was killed in a crash with a car on Route 9 early Sunday morning. The sheriff's office says there's no evidence the driver was intoxicated or impaired and an investigation is in progress -- it's looking for a second driver who might have witnessed the crash. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN]

Central Ave: Colonie police say a pedestrian was struck on Central Ave near Osborne Road Sunday night. [TWCN]

2-6 years: An Albany man was sentenced to 2-6 years in prison after pleading guilty to leaving the scene of a fatal crash with a pedestrian on Central Ave this past April and not reporting it. [TU]

Albany High School rebuild
The Albany School Board is considering a $180 million version of the plan to rebuild/expand the district's high school (the plan that narrowly was voted down in December was $196 million) -- and trying to figure out when the public vote on it should be. [TU+]

Also: It looks like the school district will need to add space for a fourth middle school in the future. [TU+]

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Investigation into Park Ave fire, seal's visit to canal lock ending, two new residential conversions opening

Park Avenue fire
Albany fire officials said Thursday they're still investigating the cause of the Park Avenue fire, but it appears to have started on an enclosed rear porch and then burned for some amount of time before someone noticed. The buildings affected by the fire -- three of which were demolished -- housed 25 people. [WNYT] [TU] [TWCN]

Sheldon Silver
Sheldon Silver formally filed for his state pension this week -- which could worth something like $90k a year according to various estimates. [NYT] [TU]

Skelos trial
Among the issues surfaced during the Skelos & Son trial Thursday: You've given a job to the son of the the state Senate majority leader at the request of the legislator, the son doesn't show for the job, you don't fire him in order "to avoid the chance in Albany that, you know, that we would run into a problem with any legislation" -- then what do you put in his annual performance review? [NYT]

Seal relocation
The state Canal Corp is draining Lock 1 on the Champlain Canal in order to capture a seal who's been hanging out there since this past summer -- the plan is to relocate the seal to Long Island. [TU] Earlier: Odd and notable creatures of the Hudson River

(there's more)

Albany fire leaves 23 homeless, Silver planning appeals, NYS Labor Dept investigates Walmart firing, local film heads to Sundance

Cuomo calls for gun control
Following news of Wednesday's mass shooting in California, Andrew Cuomo called for strong federal gun control laws[TU]

Fire destroys Albany apartments
The Red Cross and New Hope Church are assisting 23 people left homeless by a fire that spread to four buildings on Park Street in Albany. The buildings were torn down by this morning. Fire officials have yet to announce a cause, but there is a press conference scheduled for later this morning. [WNYT][News10][TU]

Silver appeal
Sheldon Silver's attorneys are planning their first appeal, claiming prosecutors in the case failed to prove the existence of a quid pro quo relationship.[NYT]

Silver replacement
Silver's replacement in the NYS Assembly will likely be chosen by the Manhattan Democratic County Committee. [TWCN]

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State ethics in the wake of Silver conviction, Former Watervliet officer pleads guilty in embezzlement case, Cuomo appoints former JCOPE head as chief judge, Nassau wants off the grid

Sheldon Silver

Some of the complications of separating ethics from business as usual in the NYS legislature in the wake of Sheldon Silver's conviction. [NYT]

Silver's conviction was yet another political earthquake, but is it enough to bring down the old ways of doing business and clean up state ethics?[TU+]

Will the former speaker be sentenced to 20 years in jail? [D&C]

For now, at least, it seems Silver is still eligible to collect his New York State pension. [WNYT]

A special election to fill Sheldon Silver's assembly seat will be held on April 19.[Newsday]

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Sheldon Silver convicted on all charges, Troy council votes for tax cap override, Washington Ave Armory looking for new uses, Avery Moses Day

Sheldon Silver convicted
A jury found Sheldon Silver guilty on all seven counts against him in his corruption trial in federal court. With the conviction Silver was automatically removed from the state Assembly, where he was still a member after being replaced as speaker. After the verdict Silver's attorney said there would be a "vigorous" appeal of the conviction. [NYT] [TU] [NYDN]

Silver's defense had argued he had been operating according to the rules and culture of state government -- so now that he's been convicted, does anything change? Maybe not. [NYT] [Politico NY]

Albany budget
The Albany Common Council voted to pass the proposed 2016 budget -- without a decision on how to implement a proposed new trash fee for residential buildings with 1-4 units. [TU]

Troy budget
After mayor Lou Rosamilia revised his proposed budget to include a tax increase of just under 5 percent, the Troy City Council voted to override the tax cap for the budget Monday (an override vote for 9.3 percent increase failed last week). Incoming mayor Patrick Madden on the budget: "It looks like his budget works, if everything falls into place ... It works on paper, but we're going to have to deal with reality." [TU] [TWCN] [Troy Record]

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Reviewing Capital Region crime numbers, protest over firing of Walmart employee, struggle over direction of Honest Weight

Crime
A look at 2014 crime numbers from around the Capital Region. [TU+]

Canned at Walmart
Protestors rallied outside the East Greenbush Walmart Friday calling for the company to restore the job of the man fired after he redemeed $2 in cans he found while collecting carts. Walmart has changed its story again about why Thomas Smith was fired -- it's now saying "he did not disclose certain serious criminal convictions during the application process." But Smith tells the Times Union he disclosed his conviction for a 2002 bank robbery on his application. [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU]

Casinos
The current snag in the roll out of new casinos around the state, including in Schenectady: the State Gaming Commission has yet to license the new casino operators. [NYDN]

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Cousin admits to Kenneth White murder, police search for missing Troy woman, Silver deliberation gets weird, Collar City boom

Van Alstyne admits to Kenneth White murder
Tiffany Van Alstyne plead guilty on Tuesday to the murder of her 5-year-old cousin Kenneth White. The 20-year old will face 18 years to life when she is sentenced - if she had been convicted by a jury that sentence would have been 25 years to life. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says he believes the boys death could have been prevented if Child Protective diagnosed problems in the family sooner. An advocacy group formed in Kenneth White's memory wants to see charges filed against Kenneth White's aunt, Brenda Van Alstyne. [News 10][TU][TWCN][Gazette]

Missing Troy Woman
Police are searching for a Troy woman who went missing after a co-worker drove her home from her shift as a hostes on Sunday. Documents with Noel Alkaramla's personal information on them were found in the street near her home on Washington Street in Troy.[Record][WNYT][TU]

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Protestors call for police firings because of Dontay Ivy case, Liberty Ridge Farm challenging fine for refusing same-sex wedding, Lillian's Restaurant is closing

Dontay Ivy
Members of Dontay Ivy's family and Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration rallied at the Albany City Hall Monday, calling for the mayor Kathy Sheehan to fire police chief Brendan Cox and the three police officers involved with the incident in which Ivy died. Celinda Okwuosa, Ivy's aunt: "All this about police doing their job, following their policies -- well, those policies need to be changed because they're discriminatory." [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU]

Troy fatal stabbing
Police in New Jersey arrested the man wanted in the fatal stabbing of a woman in North Central Monday morning. Troy police say the woman had an order of protection against the man. And the man's brother tells News10 that the couple were married and had been scheduled to finalize their divorce that day in court. [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Lillian's closing
Lillian's Restaurant, which has been on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs for more than four decades, is set to close at the end of this year. Owner Raymond Morris says he was recently approached with an offer to the buy building, and decided to sell. Morris said the next owner has retail and office space plans for the building. [Saratogian] [TU] [Biz Review]

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Search following fatal stabbing in Troy, Walmart responds to can-redemption firing, South End Children's Café already a drawing a crowd

Fatal stabbing in Troy
Troy police say a woman was fatally stabbed early Monday inside a residence in North Central (map). Police are searching for a man they want to question in the case and they say could be armed and dangerous. Update: Police say the man was found in New Jersey. [Troy Record] [TU] [TU]

Canned at Walmart
A Walmart spokesman tells the Times Union Thomas Smith was fired from the company's East Greenbush store because he redeemed $2 worth of cans that had been left in a shopping cart inside the store, which the company determined to be "gross misconduct." Said the spokesman to the Washington Post about the situation: "Taking items that have been returned to the customer service desk is no different from stealing off our shelves or from customers." The GoFundMe campaign for Smith is up to almost $20,000 as of Monday morning. [TU] [Washington Post] [GoFundMe]

Albany High School
The Albany school board is split over how to proceed on another pitch to voters about renovating/expanding Albany High School. [TU+]

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Protest over possible Saint Rose program cuts, vote on 1MSq tax breaks postponed, Bob & Ron's closes Albany location

Saint Rose
A look at the split between Saint Rose president Carolyn Stefanco and faculty over impending program cuts aimed at closing the college's $9 million budget gap. The expected cuts prompted protests Friday morning. [TU] [Biz Review] [@AylaFerrone/News10]

1 Monument Square
A key vote on tax breaks for the 1 Monument Square project in Troy originally scheduled for Friday morning has been postponed. And there's a push from within the city council for a new appraisal of the value of the land. Earlier this week the Troy Waterfront Farmers' Market announced it would not be occupying the street level retail space that had been designated for it since the project was first floated almost two years ago. [Biz Review] [Troy Record] [AOA]

Schenectady police officer returns
Mark Weekes -- the Schenectady police officer who suffered a fractured skull and other serious injuries during an attempt to make an arrest this past summer -- returned to work this week. [Daily Gazette]

Canned from Walmart
The story of the man allegedly fired from the East Greenbush Walmart for redeeming $5.10 in cans he collected from the parking lot has prompted a GoFundMe campaign and other donations. [TU]

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Cuomo: "no specific terrorist threat" to New York, not guilty pleas in Porreca murder case, Troy City Council votes down tax cap override, six year old rescues residents from apartment fire

ISIS
Andrew Cuomo says that in spite of recent videotaped warnings about attacks on New York, "there is no specific threat to New York State at this time" . The mayor and police commissioner in NYC are telling people to ignore the video. A video released by the group Anonymous lists the Watervliet Arsenal as a potential target. [TU][NYT][News 10]

UAlbany terrorism program
UAlbany is creating a new a new College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity.[TWCN]

Six year old rescues residents from fire
A 6 year old Albany boy rescued residents of his Broad Street apartment building when he awoke smelling smoke early Wednesday, alerted his mother, and didn't give up when she tried to send him back to bed. [WNYT][TU]

Troy Council votes against tax cap override
Troy's city council fell one vote short in its effort to override the tax cap which could lead to layoffs and reductions in services like snowplowing and garbage pick up.[TU][News 10]

(there's more)

Cuomo:NY won't turn away Syrian refugees, 230 animals rescued in Westerlo hoarding case, Albany to annoy crow overlords

Cuomo won't turn away Syrian refugees
Andrew Cuomo questioned the authority of Republican governors who are vowing to keep Syrian refugees out of their states. Cuomo said said Tuesday that he has no plans to oppose allowing Syrian refugees into New York, saying that closing boarders to Syrian refuges would "defeat the American Dream" [TWCN][TU+][WNYT]

230 animals rescued in Westerlo
More than 230 animals were rescued from a hoarding situation in Westerlo. The homeowner has been charged with animal cruelty. Humane Society workers and sheriff's deputies went to the home for a welfare check and found cats, dogs, birds and goats without food or water in unhealthy conditions. The Hudson Mohawk Humane Society plans to nurse the animals back to health and prepare them for adoption. [TU][TWCN][WNYT][News10]

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Local Congressional reps on Syrian refugee program, Troy police get riot gear, downtown residential development in Schenectady

Paris attacks reaction
In a statement Monday Chris Gibson said the US should suspend its refugee placement program for Syrians "until we know more about what happened in Paris and until we can assure the safety and security of our people." Paul Tonko said refugees should go through a screening process, "But I denounce the politics of fear currently being employed by those running for president, as well as those already in office at the federal, state and local level." [TWCN] [TU]

School funding
Among the topics that came up Monday during a state Board of Regents meeting about requesting an additional $2.4 billion in state aid for schools during the next budget cycle: What will school districts do if the next state tax cap is 0 percent, which is possible given the slow rate of inflation. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Troy police riot gear
The Troy Police Department got a $5k grant to buy riot gear for a dozen officers, and the city's proposed budget includes $75k to buy more riot gear. Troy police leaders framed the acquisition of the gear as a protective measure for officers. Alice Green of the Center for Law and Justice, to News10: "It's dangerous to militarize the police department. Especially in this time when they're having such difficulty getting the community to trust them." [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Stockade house raising
Monday evening Schenectady's Historic District Commission voted to allow a Stockade homeowner to move and raise her nearly 200-year-old home out of the flood plain. Said homeowner Meredith Anker of the commission and the long approval process: "They didn't want it from the beginning and kept bringing up negative things. To have to fight so hard to save my house is very frustrating." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Reaction to Paris attacks, alleged problems at VA hospital, Skelos trial starting, Albany parking ticket amnesty extended

Reaction to Paris attacks
Among the stories of the mutiple people with connections to the Capital Region who were in Paris during the attacks Friday night: Skidmore students studying abroad and the Schoharie native who was in the city visiting friends. [TU+] [Daily Gazette]

On Saturday there happened to be a conference about Islamaphobia at the Muslim Community Center of the Capital District -- said a man from Virginia attending the conference in Colonie: "Anytime there's an attack, I pray for two things. One, I say, 'God, please take care of the families of the victims,' and I pray for the victims. But the second thing, I'll be honest with you, is 'I hope to God it's not a Muslim.'" [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]

Stratton VA Medical Center
The Times Union reports the director of the Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany was suddenly placed on administrative leave last week, and current and former employees (some of the anonymous) allege there have been problems that range from patient care to staff management. [TU]

Albany school buses
School bus drivers who work for the company that contracts with the Albany school district are forming a union, which the say is a response to the company's lack of movement on concerns about safety and staffing. [Daily Gazette] [TU+]

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Albany HS renovation falls after absentee count, public defender's office raided in unusual search, Washington County triple homicide conviction overturned, marijuana harvested -- legally


Albany High School vote
The proposed renovation/reconstruction of Albany High School fell by an unofficial margin of 103 votes after the counting of absentee ballots. Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard said she thinks the district struggled to communicate some of the info related to the cost of the project and the resulting tax increase: "I wasn't able to get that message, for me personally it's a reflection of my leadership on this work." Vanden Wyngaard said the district is considering its options, which include sending the proposal up again for another vote, modifying the proposal before another vote, and taking up renovations one chunk at a time. [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Guilty verdict in case related to Hulett Street fire
A federal jury found Edward Leon guilty of lying to a grand jury while he testified in connection the Schenectady arson case in which four people died in 2013 -- about his whereabouts at the time of the fire, and about threatening text messages sent to one of the victims. Neither Leon, nor anyone else, is currently charged with setting the fire. The family of the victim expressed frustration that Leon hasn't been charged for the fire. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN]

Raid of Saratoga County public defender's office
The Saratoga County Sheriff's deputies raided the county public defender's office in September and seized a client's case file as part an investigation into an alleged case of child pornography, the Times Union reports. The judge who signed off on the unusual search was county judge Jim Murphy -- the former county district attorney. [TU+]

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Suspect in Porreca murder former high school honor student/athlete, Gibson eyes gubernatorial run, Silver trial focused on definition of friendship, breaking down the Albany High vote

Porreca murder update
Police have ended their search of the Washington Park lake for the knife used to murder Jacquelyn Porreca. Just five years ago, one of the suspects in the murder was an honor student and star athlete at Colonie Central High School. Police say the suspects were looking for money to fuel their heroin habit. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says out of the 650 inmates in the county jail, more than two-thirds, are there because of heroin.[News 10][TU][WNYT][WNYT]

Friends with Shelly?
The outcome of Sheldon Silver's corruption trial may rest, in part, on how jurors perceive his friendship with a Columbia University doctor. [NYT]

Governor Gibson?
Chris Gibson is continuing to consider a run for governor. [TU]

Medical Marijuana
Andrew Cuomo has approved an Emergency Access Program to give some patients with serious illness faster access to medical marijuana.[TU][Gazette]

Marijuana harvest
The first legal marijuana harvest since the early 1900s will happen today in Perth. [TU]

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Two charged in Porreca murder, guilty plea in fatal DWI, Albany high school still nine votes down, Vito Lopez dead at 74

Two charged in Porreca murder

Two men have been charged with the August murder of Jackie Porreca, the Colonie Salon employee stabbed at Recycled Salon on Sand Creek Road. Police say the men did not know Porreca and were looking for money for heroin. They left with between $500 and $800. This morning divers will continue a search of the lake in Albany's Washington Park for the knife used in the incident. [WNYT][TU][Gazette][TWCN][News 10]

Driver pleads guilty in fatal DWI
The 22 year old man charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide in the death of a local environmentalist has pleaded guilty. Prosecutors say Kadeem Fowler had a blood alcohol level of more than three times the legal limit and was going 75 miles per hour on Henry Johnson Blvd when he hit Amy Stock's car last July. [WNYT][Gazette]

Nine votes down
Absentee ballots will continue to be counted in the Albany School vote, on Thursday. Currently the referendum is losing by nine votes, with 412 ballots left to count. [TU][TWCN]

(there's more)

Large fire in Albany, search for driver in Cohoes hit and run, catalytic converters swiped, Henry Johnson's Medal of Honor on display

Large fire in Albany
A large fire on South Pearl Street Monday evening displaced 13 people, and the intersection of South Pearl and Fourth Avenue was closed. Albany's fire chief said it wasn't clear yet what caused the fire. [News10] [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT]

Search for driver in Cohoes hit and run
Cohoes police say they're looking for the driver who left the scene following a crash with a pedestrian downtown Friday night (map). The pedestrian's family says she suffered a broken pelvis, ribs, and vertebrae and is in critical condition. [TWCN] [WNYT] [News10]

Hulett Street fire case
The prosecution in the case against Edward Leon told the jury Monday that it intended to show that Leon not only originally lied to a grand jury about his whereabouts with respect to the Schenectady fire in which four people died, but that he also sent threatening text messages in the days leading up to the fire. [Daily Gazette]

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No indictment for police officer in fatal Troy shooting, Albany trash fee debated, Troy Bombers closed as ownership changes

No indictment for police officer in Thaddeus Faison case
A Rensselaer County grand jury declined to hand up an indictment against Troy police officer Joshua Comitale for fatally shooting Thaddeus Faison during an exchange of gunfire that left both Comitale and officer Chad Klein with serious injuries. Authorities say Faison fired first, hitting Klein in the shoulder while he was sitting in his police vehicle. Said Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove: "My heart does go out to the family of Mr. Faison because they lost somebody as well. It's not their fault that they lost a loved one, but the culpability in this case lays at the feet of Mr. Faison. He fired first. He could have ended this when instructed to do so and he did not." Troy police say an internal affairs investigation of the incident is continuing. From a Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration statement: "We don't know exactly what occurred that night. We do know that the District Attorney and Police Chief collaborated to prematurely present a narrative of what they believed happened to the public well before any investigation had begun." [News10] [TWCN] [TU] [Troy Record]

Trial connected to 2013 fatal Hulett Street fire
The trial of Edward Leon is set to start in federal court Monday -- he's accused of lying to a grand jury about his whereabouts the night the 2013 Schenectady arson that killed a father and three children. Neither Leon or anyone else is currently charged with setting the fire. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Heroin
Chronicling the toll heroin has taken on young adults in and around Averill Park. [TU]

(there's more)

Former assistant police chief accused of theft, projections for impact of $15 min wage, mapping Albany High School votes

Former Watervliet PD assistant chief accused of theft
A former Watervliet assistant police chief has been charged with grand larceny and falsifying business records in connection with an alleged embezzlement scheme from Parker Brothers Memorial Funeral Home. Mark Fiet, who retired from the police department in 2003, is the second person to be charged in the case. The DA's office says the alleged theft was "in excess of $3000" -- a "a source close to the investigation" tells WNYT the figure is in the hundreds of thousands. [Albany County DA] [TU] [News10] [WNYT]

APD officer under investigation
The Times Union reports an Albany police officer has been placed on administrative duties while Colonie police investigate an incident in which it's alleged the officer "choked and punched a 12-year-old boy" while he was off duty Halloween night. [TU]

Body cameras
A look at how Saratoga Springs police are using new body cameras. [News10]

More details in Schenectady buried-in-basement case
Prosecutors say the man found barely alive under a pile of debris in a Union Street basement near the decomposing body of neighborhood had been there multiple days after being attacked. [Daily Gazette]

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Columbia doctor testifies against Silver, Troy city council proposes budget cuts, Dannemora guard pleads not guilty, Revolutionary quarter

Silver Trial
A Columbia University doctor testified against Sheldon Silver on Wednesday, telling the court that he referred asbestos cancer patients to Silver's law firm so it could seek multimilion-dollar settlements from lawsuits. The prosecution pointed out that the doctor first lied about his involvement with the case and later signed a non-prosecution agreement in exchange for his testimony.[Gazette][NYT][TWCN]

Albany High
Albany school district and board officials discusswhy the Albany High School proposal is still in limbo. [TU]

Troy council suggests budget cuts
Troy's city council suggested $610,000 in spending cuts to the proposed $68.6 million 2016 city budget. The cuts would reduce a planned tax hike from about 9.3 percent to 6.3 percent. [TU][TWCN]

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Madden elected Troy mayor, new Albany High School comes down to absentee ballots, Metroland seized for back taxes


Election results
+The decision on a new Albany High School is still too close to call. Unofficial results last night showed votes in favor of the project leading by 10 votes, but over 1,000 absentee votes are yet to be counted.[TU]

+A proposal to change the Albany city County charter failed on Tuesday as 59 percent voted against it. [TU]

+Patrick Madden will be the next mayor of Troy. Late results show the Democrat will be working with a republican city council. [TU][Record]

+Gary McCarthy won a second term as Schenectady's mayor. All incumbents running for the Schenectady council will also be returning to their posts, and they will be joined by newly elected Democrat John Polimeni. [TU][Gazette]

+The Saratoga Political Action Committee's candidates suffered defeat in most of the races they backed.Joanne Yepsen secured a narrow lead against Republican challenger John Safford. [Business Review][Saratogian][TU]

+Paula Mahan easily won another term as Colonie supervisor, but the Democratic supervisor may be have a town board that is half Republican.[TU]

+Unofficial late returns show the balance of power in the Albany County Legislature appears to be unchanged after Tuesday's voting, although in two cases, Republicans and Democrats exchanged seats. [TU]

A quick scan of other Capital Region election results from Tuesday night. [AOA]

Silver trial
In opening arguments in Sheldon Silver's corruption case, prosecutors pointed to Silver as a man who "used his law license to make nearly $4 million by disguising bribes and kickbacks as legal fees. Silver's team depicted him as a champion of affordable housing and cures for cancer who acted within the law. [Gazette][NYT]

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It's Election Day, protest at Albany Common Council meeting over Dontay Ivy's death, Chris Gibson on Andrew Cuomo, that enormous plane

Election Day
It's Election Day. Many local races on our ballots around the Capital Region, among them: Albany County exec and legislature, Troy mayor and council, Schenectady mayor and council, Saratoga Springs mayor and council, Colonie supervisor, Guilderland supervisor. Also on the ballot: The proposed $196 million plan for a major renovation of, and addition to, Albany High School.

Polls are open until 9 pm. Don't know where to vote? Check with the state Board of Election website.

Dontay Ivy
Protesters calling for the firing of three Albany police officers and the resignation of Albany County DA David Soares over the death of Dontay Ivy made their presence felt at the Albany Common Council meeting Monday night. They also called for Albany police to stop using tasers. Said Ivy's sister, Aneisha Johnson: "He died because three men made a decision to stop him, to question him, to a point of escalation, ran and chased him down, (shocked him with a Taser) and took his life." [@JCEvangelist_TU] [News10] [TWCN]

Earlier Monday, David Soares told the Times Union editorial board law enforcement officials should consider the creation of a voluntary registry of people with mental illness so that police could know when they were dealing with a person with mental health issues. (Ivy suffered from schizophrenia and his family says he didn't like to be touched.) [TU]

Skidmore mourns student's death
Skidmore mourned the loss of the student killed by an alleged drunk driver while walking along a road in Greenfield near the college's campus early Sunday morning with two other students. In a statement made to the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department, the driver said he had noticed people along the road before the crash. [TU] [TWCN]

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Protest and calls for change in police procedure over Dontay Ivy case, pedestrian killed in alleged drunk driver crash, Sheldon Silver trial starts, miles of knitting

Dontay Ivy
There was a rally outside Albany police headquarters Friday evening to protest the grand jury's decision to hand up indictments in the case of Dontay Ivy's death. Protesters called for three officers involved in the incident to be fired, and the resignation of Albany County DA David Soares. [AOA] [TU]

Police release video
Earlier Friday Albany police released a few video clips depicting scenes from the incident in which officers stopped Ivy. Said APD chief Brendan Cox of that night: "We'll continue to give them our condolences to [Ivy's family]. Unfortunately, our officers were doing their jobs. Again, nobody wanted this to happen. Am I sorry this happened? Yeah, I'm sorry this happened. I don't want anybody to die. That's the last thing I want to have happen is anybody to die." [TU] [WNYT] [TWCN]

Calls for changes in police procedure
Also on Friday: African-American clergy members from Albany called for changes in police procedures, and pushed for community policing. (Chris Churchill on why he believes Albany police broke the law by stopping Ivy.) [News10] [WNYT] [TU+]

Cameras
The Albany police department's recording equipment -- and its policies for when and how that equipment should be used -- is under scrutiny because of the Ivy case. [TU]

Pedestrian killed by alleged drunk driver
One Skidmore student was killed, and two others injured, when an alleged drunk driver hit them early Sunday morning by the Greenfield/Saratoga Springs line near the college's campus, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department. The driver is facing vehicular assault and DWI charges, and Saratoga County DA Karen Heggen said "it's clearly evident there will be additional charges." [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [News10] [WNYT]

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Dontay Ivy's family responds to grand jury decision, lead up to local elections next week, buyer of Washington Tavern/Gingerman says sale is off

Dontay Ivy
The family of Dontay Ivy responded publicly to the decision of an Albany County grand jury to not hand up indictments against the police officers involved in the incident in which Ivy died this past April. Said Ivy's sister, Aneisha Johnson: "I always tried to protect my baby brother and that one night I didn't. I keep replaying it in my mind. Why did he have to die? He was robbed of so much by his mental illness and then his life was taken by the police." Said Ivy's cousin, Tre Staton: "An innocent man walking down the street, who's mentally ill, who answers all your questions - why are you tackling him? Why are you Tasing him?" Said Ivy's aunt, Celinda Okwuosa: "At the end of the day, we gave (District Attorney) David Soares' office the opportunity to let justice have its course and we did ... but what did we get in return? Disappointment." [WNYT] [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

Lawsuits filed after prison suicide
The parents of a Selkirk man have filed wrongful death lawsuits related to the man's suicide in solitary confinement at at the Fishkill Correctional Facility -- the suits allege the man's mental illness was not properly treated in prison and that guards physically and verbally abused him. [TU]

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Protest planned in Ivy case, leaders join forces for Hackett Middle School, jury selection begins in Silver trial, small quake in Fulton County

Dontay Ivy
Chris Churchill on the grand jury's decision not to prosecute the officers in the Dontay Ivy case. [TU]

The decision not to hand up indictments in the case was announced yesterday by DA David Soares. Some members of the community and the Common Council are calling for change including taking a look at how body cameras and recording equipment are used(police had them but were not required to use them when they stopped Ivy). The officers involved in the case are expected to return to work on the force. Ivy's family was in disbelief over the verdict. A protest rally at the APD headquarters on Henry Johnson Blvd is planned for Friday Night. [AOA][TWCN][News 10][TU]

Hackett Middle School
"OK, they're failing. But why? Some of these kids are lucky if they come to school with shoes on or jackets during the winter. Some of them come to school hungry. Or they don't show up at all. We can come together and help change that." Albany County Executive Dan McCoy on a new plan for parents, teachers and community members to come together to improve the situation at Hackett Middle School before an outside takeover of the school is forced.[TU][TWCN]

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State Police: man arrested after making school shooting threat, Iron Gate Cafe owners say they're worried about new bus stop, Hatsgiving

Arrest after alleged school shooting threat
State Police in Queensbury say they arrested a South Glens Falls man after he allegedly "made credible threats to commit a mass shooting at an unknown elementary school." Authorities tell the Post-Star the man, who had been a student at SUNY-Adirondack, had given a note to an instructor there that he wanted to kill kids and the instructor notified campus security. He faces a felony charge of making a terroristic threat. [NYSP] [Post-Star] [TU]

Troy mayoral race
Among the topics discussed at the last Troy mayoral candidates debate/forum ahead of next week's election: development -- where it's happening, and how to encourage it. [TU]

State Board of Regents chancellor to leave board
State Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch says she'll be exiting the job when her term ends next spring. Said Tisch Monday of the rollout of the controversial Common Core standards during her tenure: "Some people say it was implemented poorly. I say we disrupted stagnation. We disrupted complacency, and we tried to imbue the system with urgency." [TU] [NYT]

Cat hoarding
The Albany County Sheriff's Office says more than 40 cats were removed from a Westerlo home Monday. Sheriff Craig Apple said the home had become uninhabitable because of cat feces and garbage. Apple said the homeowner had said she had been partly living in a car: "So we got to get her out of here; we got to get her to a safe place and get her some help." [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

(there's more)

All that economic development money, Schenectady mayoral debate focuses on crime and neighborhoods, pedestrian killed in crash, new generation of activists

All that Regional Economic Development Council money
The Times Union takes a detailed look at where the $164 million in state grants awarded to the Capital Region via the Regional Economic Development Council process has gone, and what sorts of outcomes there have been so far. [TU+]

Buffalo Billion solar
A look at the Cuomo's admin's plan to revitalize Buffalo's industrial economy with the $750 million that's been pledged toward a Solar City solar panel factory. [NYT]

Campaign cash and contracts
Picking apart the the complex web of campaign contributions, tax breaks, and state contracts involving a Hudson Valley development firm and the Cuomo admin. [TU]

Schenectady mayoral debate
Among the topics discussed in the Sunday evening televised Schenectady mayoral candidates debate: crime and policing, as well as economic and neighborhood development. [TWCN] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Cuomo orders extension of discrimination protections to transgender people, fatal crash involving pedestrian on Route 7, frequent Sheehan critic to leave Albany council

Protections for transgender people
Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that he's directing the State Division of Human Rights to extend protections against discrimination and harassment based on gender identity, transgender status or gender dysphoria. Cuomo's action bypasses the state legislature, where the Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act (GENDA) has been stalled in the state Senate for years. The bill's sponsor in the state Senate, Daniel Squadron, says he'll continue to push for its passage. [Cuomo admin] [NYT] [TU]

Pedestrian killed on Route 7
Colonie police say a pedestrian died Thursday evening after being hit while crossing Route 7 near the intersection with Wade Road. The road was closed for about four hours during the response. CPD says speed and alcohol were not a factor and it's investigating. [News10] [TU] [WNYT]

New trial
A state appeals court has ordered a new trial for an African-American defendant in a Schenectady shooting case after ruling that the trial judge erred during the process in which the prosecution moved to have an African-American woman removed as a potential juror -- the jury in the trial ended up being all white. [TU]

(there's more)

Cuomo economic chief says Capital Region economy looks good, governor signs women's equality bills, Troy mayoral candidates debate, NYRA touts record Saratoga season

Region's economy good, chance of economic development prize, maybe not so much
Andrew Cuomo's economic development chief says the Capital Region's economy is already much better off than the rest of upstate NY, which is making some folks wonder about the region's chances in the race for one of three $500 million Upstate Revitalization prizes. [TU]

Women's equality bills
Andrew Cuomo signed eight bills on Tuesday that were part of his 2012 Women's Equality Agenda. Bills address issues like pay equity, employment discrimination based on pregnancy - missing was a provision on reproductive rights which is still being opposed in the state Senate.[TU][WNYT]

Silver/Skelos
Both Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos have had a list of pre trial motions denied in their respective corruption cases. [TU]

Troy mayoral debate
Troy mayoral candidates Patrick Madden, Jim Gordon and Rodney Wiltshirediscussed crime, budget and infrastructure issues in a debate on TWCN on Wednesday night.[Record] [TWCN]

(there's more)

Uber making its upstate pitch, Troy jazz club loses license, Capital Region jobless rate down, happy Back to the Future day

Uber
Uber launched an online petition drive on Tuesday as part of an effort to expand its service into upstate New York, including the Capital Region. In an announcement at the Capitol, Uber officials were joined by Capital Region business and political leaders and released The company projects its drivers projections on the number of jobs it says the service will create. [TWCN][TU][Gazette]

Woman killed in Troy fire
Fire officials in Troy are working to determine the cause of blaze that claimed the life of a woman with disabilities on Monday. They have identified the victim as 52-year-old Lisa O'Dell. A fund has been set up to help O'Dell's 19-year-old daughter, who was her caregiver.[Record][TWCN][TU]

$500 million pitch
The Capital Region Economic Development Council made its pitch for $500 million to state officials on Tuesday.[TU]

(there's more)

Club owner says her establishment wasn't involved with 4th Street confrontation with police, push poll in Troy mayoral race, hotel across from Capitol now open

Confrontation with Troy police on Fourth Street
The owner of the RBC Jazz Club says not only that her establishment wasn't involved in the confrontation between a group of people and Troy police early Sunday morning, but that the altercation also didn't happen in front of the club. Troy police chief John Tedesco said following the incident, in which the TPD said four officers were injured, that there had been repeated problems at the club and it's "a place that should have closed long time ago." [Troy Record] [TU]

Fatal fire in Troy
Troy fire officials say a woman was found dead after an apartment fire in South Troy (map) Monday afternoon. Officials say the woman had a disability that could have made it difficult to get out of the apartment. Four households were displaced by the fire. [News10] [WNYT] [TWCN]

Guilty plea in scam targeting Price Chopper
A third person has pleaded guilty to being involved with a counterfeit credit card plot in which the cards were used to purchase more than $400k in gift cards from Price Chopper locations around the Northeast. [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Troy police say officers injured during confrontation outside club, reward offered in Schenectady nailed cat case, Honest Weight considering changes

TPD: Officers injured during confrontation
Troy police officers were involved in a confrontation outside a Fourth Street club (map) early Sunday that the TPD says ended with four arrests and injuries to four officers. Part of the incident was captured on video and posted on Facebook -- the blurry video shows officers wrestling people to the ground while using batons. TPD chief John Tedesco tells WNYT he sees the video "as great evidence for the officers and prosecution against the people we arrested." [Troy Record] [TU] [FB] [WNYT]

Watervliet police
The Watervliet Police Department continues to be under scrutiny -- law enforcement searched a WPD sergeant's Latham home this past week as part of an investigation into the department's handling of sexual abuse case that involved a former officer. [TU]

NXIVM
The latest Brendan Lyons article about NXIVM is like something from a twisty TV drama -- it includes a dynastic family, an alleged email hack via virus, and an alleged plot to lure people to Mexico. [TU]

(there's more)

Local candidates stake out positions, cat found nailed to a tree, the best-dressed panhandler in Albany

Local elections

Schenectady mayoral election
A back-and-forth between incumbent Gary McCarthy and challenger Roger Hull before the Times Union editorial board included how each plans to lift the city's neighborhoods. [TU]

Schenectady City Council elections
Main topics of a Schenectady City Council candidates' forum: downtown development and how to create jobs. [Daily Gazette]

Troy mayoral election
Quick takes from three of the four Troy mayoral candidates on their ideas for economic development. [Troy Record]

Albany's bid for more state aid
"Several people familiar with the meeting" tell Politico that Alain Kaloyeros told Albany's state legislators that the city's request for an extra $12.5 million in state aid to balance its next budget might have a better chance if the city's large educational and medical institutions offered payments of their own. [Politico NY]

(there's more)

Blu-Bell motel demolished, Hometown Healthcare expands, church revives gun buyback, longtime local broadcaster Ed O'Brien dies

Blu-Bell demolition
The Blu-Bell motel in Colonie has finally been torn down.[TU]

Hometown Health Center Expands
Hometown Health Center in Schenectady , which provides care regardless of a patient's ability to pay, is planning a two-phase multimillion dollar expansion in an effort to better serve its community. Three multi family buildings have been purchased for the project and are expected to be razed for the expansion. [TU][Gazette]

Proposed penalties for delays in reporting Albany County oil spills
A proposed Albany County law could mean jail time and civil penalties for the operators of crude oil storage and transfer facilities that fail to swiftly report oil spills to county emergency management officials. [TU]

Crude oil fire/spill protection
Foam fire trailers will be placed in cities next to rail lines in the Capital Region. [TWCN]

(there's more)

Albany police chief addresses weekend of shootings, growing number of local tech jobs, tax breaks for residential conversions, a planned house made of hemp

Weekend of Albany shootings
Albany police chief Brendan Cox said Monday the four shootings in the city over the weekend "were not random acts." Also: "I have a very hard time believing that these are not connected ..." Common Council member Ron Bailey expressed frustration with what he says has been a lack of action on responding to gun violence. [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

Schenectady mayoral race
Challenger Roger Hull said Monday that he would move to eliminate the public safety commissioner position in the city, and forgo taking his mayoral salary, if an effort to add more police officers. Incumbent Gary McCarthy credited current public safety commissioner Wayne Bennett with helping prompt improvements in the Schenectady PD and called Hull's offer to forgo the mayoral salary "more of a political stunt than anything for good public policy." [TU] [TWCN]

Schenectady police discipline
The issue of the Schenectady public safety commissioner position goes beyond the cost of salary because the city has also been pushing for the commissioner to have the final say on police discipline, not an arbitrator. The city's police union has pushed back on that arrangement, and the case is scheduled to go before a state appellate court next month. [Daily Gazette x2]

GlobalFoundaries layoffs
GlobalFoundaries is moving to layoff some number of its employees in the United States (the company hasn't revealed numbers) -- including a "relatively small" number at the Malta fab. The move follows a buyout the company had offered to employees in an attempt to thin its workforce following the acquisition of IBM chip facilities in the Hudson Valley and Vermont. [Biz Review] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

(there's more)

Weekend of shootings in Albany, Ivy case headed for grand jury, questions about One Monument Square project, large warehouse party broken up

We had some technical problems this morning, thus the delay.

Four shootings in Albany
Albany police say they're investigating four shootings over from this past weekend. APD says a man was shot Friday night on Clinton Ave (block map). There was another shooting near Sheridan Ave and Lark Street Saturday afternoon (map). Then another shooting Saturday night on Livingston Ave (block map), and then another overnight Saturday to Sunday near Jeanette Street and Second Avenue (map). APD says it doesn't know if the shootings are connected. [APD x2] [TU]

Troy shooting
Troy police say a person was shot Sunday night near Prospect Park (map). TPD says the man was taken to the hospital with what appeared to be a shotgun wound. [WNYT] [TWCN]

Stabbing in Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs police say a Schenectady man was stabbed multiple times early Saturday morning in the area of Lake Ave and Circular Street (map. SSPD says it believes the attack is related to an earlier incident in Schenectady. [TWCN] [TU]

Dontay Ivy case
The review of the April 2015 death of Dontay Ivy while in Albany police custody will apparently soon be heading to a grand jury. [TU+]

(there's more)

Plea deal for former Watervliet police officer, facebooking with Alain Kaloyeros, local FiOS rollout nearing finish

Plea deal for Watervliet police officer
Former Watervliet police officer Joshua Spratt pleaded guilty a third-degree criminal sex act, a felony, as part of a plead deal over charges that he engaged in sex acts with a 16 year old. He faces six months in jail, 10 years of probabation, and must register as a sex offender. Spratt met the teen -- and a 17 year old with whom he was also accused of having sexual relations -- through his job as a school resource officer. He could have faced as many as 16 years in prison if he had been convicted on all the charges against him. Albany County DA David Soares called the penalties in the plea deal "very appropriate sanctions." [Albany County DA] [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

$15 an hour
The impending minimum wage increase for fast food workers in New York State prompted talk at a state legislative hearing of people potentially leaving health care jobs, such as nursing home aide, for fast food jobs. And various players are gearing up for the fight in the state legislature over Andrew Cuomo's proposed $15-an-hour minimum wage across all industries. [TU] [AP/Troy Record]

SUNY Poly
Gotham Gazette's David Howard King reports that Alain Kaloyeros said via Facebook messenger that he faced the "threat of jail" if he were to talk about US Attorney Preet Bharara's investigation of the Buffalo Billion. [Gotham Gazette]

(there's more)

Pipeline opponents seek water protection law, SUNY Poly extends Tokyo deal, Schenectady County opens solar farm, the view from Corinth

Pipeline opponents seek water protection
Dozens of pipeline opponents attended a Rensselaer County Legislature public hearing on the subject on Wednesday, and asked legislators to pass a Drinking Water Protection Law that would require water testing before blasting for the pipeline.[TU]

Beer, Wine, Cider and Spirits
More incentives for NYS distillers were announced at Wednesday's Beer, Wine, Cider and Spirits summit [TWCN]

Buffalo Billion
At the Beer, Wine, Cider and Spirits event, Cuomo faced a number of questions about the Buffalo Billion investigation.
Cuomo said federal investigators have not questioned or subpoenaed him in connection with the "Buffalo Billion" investigation. [TWCN][TU]

(there's more)

Albany teen stabbed, investigation continues a year after Guilderland homicides, heating costs expected to drop this winter

Booze summit
Another Beer, Wine, Spirits and Cider Summit is being held at the Empire State Plaza. [TWCN]

Albany teen stabbed Tuesday afternoon
A 16-year old Albany boy is recovering from a stab wound to the chest after being attacked at around 3pm Tuesday near North Manning Blvd. Police escorted school children to their homes for several hours after the incident.[WNYT][TWCN]

Anniversary of Guilderland homicides
"One of the most complicated set of circumstances that we've ever experienced in an investigation." -- David Soares on the brutal killings of the Chen family in Guilderland a year ago. The family of four - a mother, father and two boys ages 7 and ten, were murdered in their Guilderland, and police are still working to solve the homicides. [Gazette][TWCN]

Sentencing in Troy Halloween attack
Cody Santalucia was sentenced to nine months in prison for the Halloween 2014 attack on Raymond Felix outside of Bootlegger's on Broadway.[Record]

(there's more)

The bid for $500 million, GE says Hudson River dredging is finished, tour of medical marijuana production facility

Plan for $500 million
The Capital Region's bid for $500 million in the Cuomo admin's Upstate Revitalization Initiative competition has been posted -- its many proposed plans include talk of a major mixed-used development on the former convention center land in downtown Albany, expanding CDTA service, workforce training and development in technical fields, and creating a cluster focused on healthcare data analytics. [CREDC] [TU]

Hudson River dredging
GE announced Monday it's finished the long-running Hudson River PCB dredging project -- and environmental groups said they'd keep pushing for the project to be extended. [TU]

Indictment in death of Troy child
A Troy man has been charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter in the death of a 2.5 year old this past February. [Troy Record] [TU]

(there's more)

Questions about state police lab scandal, proposal to raise age for buying tobacco to 21, bear caught on video in backyard

New York State police crime lab scandal
From the latest Brendan Lyons article about the State Police forensic scientists accused of cheating on tests for a new DNA analysis technique: "...a year after the internal probe began, a review of documents from the investigation, including transcripts of the scientists' interrogations, raises questions about whether they were wrongly accused of cheating at the end of an aggressive probe led by a uniformed State Police captain..." [TU+]

Albany budget
JCE on the Albany budget and the $12.5 million in currently unallocated state aid the Sheehan administration is banking on: "The question now is what leads Sheehan to believe the state would make such a large financial pledge to Albany this year when it has repeatedly refused to do so in the recent past." [TU+]

Combined Thruway/DOT office building in Albany off
The Thruway Authority has canceled a plan to build a new office building in Albany that would have combined the headquarters of the authority and the state Department of Transportation. [Biz Review]

(there's more)

Hurricane projected to turn away from East Coast, proposed Albany budget leans on large chunk of new state aid, home at last

Hurricane Joaquin
The latest forecast now projects that Hurricane Joaquin will follow a path farther out in the Atlantic, missing the US East Coast. (Forecasts earlier in the week had projected a possible landfall along the upper East Coast sometime late this coming weekend.) [National Hurricane Center]

Albany budget
Kathy Sheehan released her proposed 2016 budget for the city of Albany, and it counts on an additional $12.5 million in state aid -- a plan already catching criticism from some Common Council members. The proposed budget would also add a per-unit trash collection fee for small apartment buildings. [Sheehan admin] [TU] [TWCN]

Troy budget
Lou Rosamilia's proposed 2016 budget for the city of Troy includes a 9.3 percent tax rate increase. [TU]

Schenectady budget
Gary McCarthy's proposed 2016 budget for the city of Schenectady includes a slightly lower tax levy. And McCarthy is projecting an across-the-board 10-percent tax cut in 2017 because of anticipated casino payments. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Rain causes more flooding, Cuomo advises preparation for Joaquin, forced prostitution arrest in Colonie, it's city budget time, the search for Peppermint the Parrot

Flooding
Heavy rains caused flooding and power outages in the region on Wednesday and sent sewage flowing into some area water ways.Homes in Colonie were flooded when a bridge shattered, causing some families to be evacuated from their homes for a short time. Meanwhile forecasters and the folks at National Grid are keeping an eye on Joaquin
and Andrew Cuomo is advising New Yorker's to stock up on supplies and be prepared. [TWCN][WNYT][TU][TU][TU]

Forced prostitution arrest
Colonie police arrested an 18-year-old Albany man for allegedly forcing a woman into prostitution . Police say the man had a handgun and a stun gun. [TU][TWCN]

Northeast Parent and Child lawsuit
The Northeast Parent & Child Society is being sued for the alleged abuse of a developmentally disabled child who lived in one of its facilities. [TU]

(there's more)

Heavy rain and some flooding around region, deadline for struggling schools, the ghost sign that disappeared

Rain, rain
Heavy rains and flash flooding are slowing commutes and causing problems around the Capital Region. [TU]

UAlbany/Albany Law agreement
A new agreement between Ualbany and Albany Law will allow students to take classes at either campus and allow the schools to share registration processes, research and grant-seeking opportunities and other services. [TU]

Deadline for struggling schools
Today is the deadline for struggling schools around the state, including three in the Capital Region, to submit plans for improvement. [TWCN]

(there's more)

Mitchell sentenced for role in prison escape, push continues for Uber/Lyft, more red light cameras online, the lingerie was literally hot

Joyce Mitchell sentenced
Joyce Mitchell, the Clinton Correctional Facility employee who admitted she helped Richard Matt and David Sweat escape, was sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison. Said Mitchell at the sentencing: "I live with regret every day and will for the rest of my life." [TWCN] [NYT]

SUNY Poly
More bits in the latest drama involving SUNY Poly and NYSERDA over the transfer of the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park: There's apparently some question whether the NYSERDA board knew that STEP was to be transferred to SUNY Poly as part of a larger deal. And the acting director of the state Authorities Budget Office says NYSERDA board members were right to question the deal if they felt they didn't have enough information about it. [TU] [Politico NY]

Common Core reboot
The Cuomo admin announced Monday a task force aimed at a "total reboot" the Common Core system and testing in the state. The task force includes multiple people who worked on a previous Cuomo admin educational reform panel. [Cuomo admin] [Politico NY]

(there's more)

Bits surfacing about feds' investigation into the Buffalo Billion, Troy taking crime reports online, arboretum proposed for casino site

Buffalo Billion/SUNY Poly
"People with knowledge of the subpoena to SUNY Polytechnic" tell the New York Times that the recently surfaced investigation of the Buffalo Billion initiative by US Attorney Preet Bharara's office is focused in part on whether requests for proposals were written in such a way as to narrow the field in favor of a construction company whose CEO has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the Cuomo campaign. [NYT] [Buffalo News]

Part of the ripple from this story: The investigation apparently prompted a member of the NYSERDA board to call for a review of the agency's transfer of the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park to SUNY Poly for $1. A SUNY Poly statement described the board member's call "misguided." [Politico NY] [TU]

Analysis: Jimmy Vielkind observes that Bharara is "making war on campaign fund-raising as we know it" in New York State. [Politico NY]

Drinking water
The cost of maintaining/replacing the drinking water infrastructure in New York State over the next two decades is estimated to be between $22 billion and $39 billion (depending on who's estimating). Some cities in the Capital Region, such as Troy, have water infrastructure that dates back to the 19th century -- and much of it will be need to fixed in the near future. [AP/TU] [TU] Earlier: Cast iron and hollowed-out tree trunks

Fatal stabbing in Schenectady
Schenectady police say they've made an arrest in the fatal stabbing of a man at the Yates Village apartment complex Friday afternoon. SPD says the incident was a verbal argument that escalated. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

(there's more)

Everett facing charges related to Troy Democratic mayoral primary, former APD chief cashed out a lot of vacation time, latest attempt to fix SPAC lawn

Troy mayoral race
Former mayoral candidate Ernest Everett pleaded not guilty to counts of felony forgery and offering a false instrument Friday morning. The charges are the result of allegations that Everett falsified his nominating petitions for the Democratic mayoral primary, in which he finished third. The top two vote getters -- winner Patrick Madden and Rodney Wiltshire -- were ultimately separated by 50 votes, and on Thursday they traded claims over whether Everett's presence in the race did, or did not, sway the results. There were also dueling statements between the Wiltshire, who's still running on the Working Families line, and county Democratic Party chair Tom Wade about alleged elections shenanigans. [TU x2] [TWCN] [Troy Record]

Next Schenectady police chief
Mayor Gary McCarthy says his priorities for the next police chief are that the person will live in the city, and that the chief will make use of data-driven policing. (Current chief Brian Kilcullen is leaving for a job in Vermont.) [TU+]

Former APD chief vacation buyout
Former Albany police chief Steve Krokoff cashed out $134,663 in unused vacation time when he left the APD this year -- Krokoff tells the Times Union "it was an occupational hazard to take time off" while he was a member of the department's command staff. [TU+]

Albany County retirement home head
County exec Dan McCoy is asking the county legislature to formally hire Larry Slatky as the head of the county nursing home (he's currently serving in the role as a consultant) -- at $325k a year. [TU]

(there's more)

Siena poll:voters support minimum wage hike, more details from "x-ray weapon" tapes, Troy moose euthanized, Schenectady's theme song

Poll shows support for $15 minimum wage
A new Siena poll shows New York voters are onboard with raising the minimum wage to $15 but do not support common core. [TU]

7-year-old rescues mom from attacker
"I just had him beat me up instead of you, Mom" - a seven year old A 7-year-old Rotterdam boy who authorities say rescued his mother from an attack. The alleged attacker, was arrested in North Carolina on Wednesday and charged with rape, assault and strangulation. [Gazette][TWCN]

Troy moose euthanized
DEC officials say the moose captured in Troy on Monday had to be euthanized because it had torn muscle in its rear legs and was unable to walk when it woke up. Officials believe the animal crossed the river from Watervliet to troy and may have torn the muscles slipping on wet rocks on the river bank. [WNYT][Record][Gazette]

(there's more)

"Death ray" tapes released, Albany is fiscally stressed, Capital Region unemployment drops again

"Death ray" tapes released
Tapes of conversations between Glendon Scott Crawford and FBI agents have been released in the "Death Ray" case. Crawford is heard saying things like "Look at us, we're killing people". Crawford was convicted by a jury last month after a deliberation of only three hours. [TWCN][WNYT][TU]

Albany fiscally stressed
The state comptroller's office is ready to declare that Albany in under "significant fiscal stress," a determination based largely on how much money a municipality has in its fund balance. [TU]

Albany Scofflaw
Lawmakers have unpaid parking tickets, too. [TU]

(there's more)

Albany gets money for police body cameras, moose roams Troy and Green Island, street performers rally in Albany

Lansingburgh moose NYS DEC

The moose captured in Troy Monday. / photo: NYS DEC

Police body cameras
The city of Albany is line to get $133k from the feds for body cameras for officers. The grant requires a 50/50 match from the local municipality either in kind or in cash. APD chief Brendan Cox to the Times Union: "Purchasing the body cams are the easy part; the implementation and training is the difficult part." [US DOJ x2] [TU]

SUNY Poly
In light of the news that the feds have subpoenaed SUNY Poly as part of a look into the Buffalo Billion initiative, Chris Churchill reviews a timeline of announcements for developments on the Albany campus and donations by Columbia Development (and its affiliates) to the Cuomo campaign. On Monday SUNY Poly released a statement calling its model "open, transparent, and successful." [TU+] [SUNY Poly]

Parking ticket amnesty
The Albany Common Council approved a plan to offer amnesty on late charges for outstanding parking tickets, of which there are some 60,000 dating back to 2010 -- and if people don't pay up, the tickets will be farmed out to debt collection agencies. [TU]

Also at Monday's meeting: The Common Council passed a resolution supporting the "Raise the Age" campaign, which aiming to get the state to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18. [News10]

Moose in Troy
The state Department of Conversation Conservation captured a moose in Troy Monday, after it apparently had wandered through the city, across the Hudson River to Green Island, crossed I-787 during rush hour, and then made its way back across the river to Lansingburgh (map). DEC says the moose was tranquilized and unharmed, and will be taken to a wildlife management area to be set free. It's mating season, so many young moose are, as a wildlife biologist told TWCN, "looking for love in all the wrong places." [NYS DEC] [Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN]

(there's more)

Fatal stabbing in Albany, question about policing of panhandling, award for Hudson the Railroad Puppy

We had web server problems this morning, thus the delay. Happy Monday.

Fatal stabbing in Albany
Albany police say two men were found with stabbing injuries overnight Saturday-Sunday on Elberon Place, near the western end of Washington Park (block map). One man was pronounced dead at the hospital, the other was treated for non life-threatening injuries. APD spokesman Steve Smith: "This appears to be an isolated incident between two groups who are known to each other." [APD] [TWCN]

Shooting in Albany
Albany police say a man was shot Saturday afternoon in West Hill (map). [TU]

SUNY Poly
"Sources" tell the NY Daily News that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office has subpoenaed SUNY Polytechnic Institute as part of an investigation of the Cuomo admin's "Buffalo Billion" economic development plan. [NYDN]

$15 minimum wage
In comments made Friday, Andrew Cuomo indicated he'd be seeking a business tax cut as part of a trade-off to get the proposed increase in the state minimum wage. [TU]

(there's more)

Troy police sorting through latest shooting case, plan for widening Normans Kill, GE looking at connecting factory to the Mohawk River

Troy shootings
In response to the two new shootings this week, Troy police say the recent rash of gun violence could be a result of a struggle to claim the space left vacant by the recent bust of a gang accused of drug activity in the state. There was also some question Thursday about the actual identity of one the most recent victims of gunfire -- and by Friday morning TPD said it had originally misidentified the person. The city of Troy has had 70 shootings -- and 30 victims of shootings -- over the past 21 months, according to a Times Union tally. [WNYT] [Troy Record] [TU x2]

Normans Kill landslide
The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Thursday it's reached an agreement with the Normanside Country Club to widen the stream at the site of the landslide that blocked it this past April. The club will pay for the work and could still face penalties. [NYS DEC] [TU]

NXIVM
A federal judge has tossed the lawsuit filed by NXIVM -- the executive training program that's been accused of being a cult -- against a group of people accused of hacking its computers, among them a former Times Union reporter. [TU]

(there's more)

Gabay dies from shooting injury, two shootings in Troy, Madden takes Troy mayoral primary, Albany D.A. won't prosecute busker

Carey Gabay
Carey Gabay, the former aide to Governor Cuomo who was shot early on Labor Day, has died. Gaby was declared brain dead on Wednesday and died after being taken off life support. Andrew Cuomo remembered Gaby as "the epitome of an outstanding public servant," and said New York is undoubtedly better today because of his efforts. [TU][TWCN][NYT]

Troy Shootings
Troy police are investigating two shootings. A 19-year-old man was in critical condition at Albany Medical Center after he was shot on River Street in North Troy at about 4:40 Wednesday afternoon. A 22-year-old man was the victim of the second shooting, outside the Corliss Apartments, at about midnight. [TU][Record][WNYT]

Troy mayoral primary
Patrick Madden is the winner of the Democratic Mayoral primary in Troy. After absentee ballots and affidavit votes were opened, Madden beat City Council President Rodney Wiltshire by 45 votes. Wiltshire will actively campaign for mayor on the Working Families line. [TWCN][TU][Record]

(there's more)

APD officer moved to admin duty after video of interaction with busker, investigation into Niskayuna death, ring turns up almost 40 years later

Albany police busker incident
Albany police say an officer has been placed on administrative duty after a video surfaced on Youtube of the officer confronting a busker on Pearl Street downtown -- the officer appears to imply the busker needs a permit, appears to grab a phone being used to video the encounter, and the busker was cited for disorderly conduct. APD chief Brendan Cox to News10: "To my knowledge, there is no ordinance against busking." [YouTube] [TU] [News10]

Niskayuna death investigated
Niskayuna police are investigating what they're calling the "unattended death" of a man at a home on Union Street. NPD says officers had gone to to the home for a health and welfare check. On Monday State Police investigators were at the scene collecting evidence. [TU] [News10] [WNYT]

The Cuomo admin and women
Politico looked into gender breakdown among members of the Cuomo admin and concludes that "women still occupy a relatively small percentage of [the Cuomo] administration's top jobs." [Politico NY]

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Large warehouse fire in Albany, Soares says he'd to turn resources away from low-level pot arrests, call for Cuomo to raise pay of state employees to $15 per hour

Warehouse fire in Albany
A large fire at vacant warehouse near the Albany Pump Station Saturday drew multiple fire departments in response. The building -- and two adjacent structures -- were demolished Sunday. A mixed-use development has been in the works for the site -- a demolition request for the site was pulled from the Albany Planning Board schedule last November after questions arose about the historic nature of some of the buildings. [News10] [TU] [Biz Review 2014 November]

Decriminalizing pot
Albany County DA David Soares told the Times Union editorial board he'd like to see police agencies in the county move away from putting resources into low-level marijuana arrests. [TU]

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Local primary results, reaction to Cuomo's proposed $15-and-hour min wage, Soares talks about Ivy case, more red light cameras online

Local primaries
Thursday was primary day for the November elections. Among the highlights from the unofficial results:

+ Albany County exec Democratic primary: incumbent Dan McCoy beat Dan Egan 60-37. McCoy is now all but certain to be re-elected in November. [TU]

+ The Troy Democratic mayoral primary finished too close to call -- Patrick Madden (754 votes), Rodney Wiltshire (749 votes), Ernest Everett (246 votes). There are more than a hundred absentee ballots to be counted. [Troy Record]

+ Cohoes mayor Democratic primary: Shawn Morse beat Dianne Nolin 56-41. Morse is now in line to become the next mayor of Cohoes (he's the nephew of the current mayor). [Troy Record]

+ Rensselaer County sheriff Republican primary: Patrick Russo Jr. beat Scott Ryan 64-35. There's no Democrat on the ballot for November. [TU]

+ Saratoga Springs commissioner of public safety Democratic primary: incumbent Christian Mathiesen beat Sarah Burger 65-35. Mathiesen next faces Republican Richard Wirth, who had been the incumbent when Mathiesen won in 2011. [Saratogian]

Unofficial elections results for each county: Albany | Rensselaer | Saratoga | Schenectady.

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It's primary day, DiNapoli warns NYS overtime over $700 million, power outage continues in Albany, legislature working on state pie

Primary day
Polls are open from noon to 9pm today for primary races throughout the region. [TU]

Minimum wage
Andrew Cuomo is expected to be joined by Vice President Joe Biden in New York City later today to announce his support of a $15 an hour minimum wage for all workers in New York State. Meanwhile, final approval for a plan to gradually raise minim wage for fast-food workers in New York to $15 is expected to get final approval from the state labor commissioner this week. [NYT][TU]

State overtime woes
Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is again warning the state about overtime costs, which his office estimates will surpass $700 million in 2015.[TU]

Power outage
More than 100 Albany residents are still without power today. That's down from the more than 2,000 left without power late Tuesday and early Wednesday.
CDTA busses were brought in to chauffeur residents of a senior apartment building to a cooling station, and hundreds of students at The College of Saint Rose had to find alternate housing or sleep in the school gym. [News 10][TU][TWCN]

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Former Cuomo aide remains critical, suspect in buried alive case was unsupervised after prison, National Grid deals with Albany outages


Carey Gabay shooting
Carey Gabay, the former assistant counsel to Andrew Cuomo who was shot in Brooklyn over the weekend, remained in critical condition Tuesday evening. Earlier Tuesday the governor publicly challenged federal lawmakers to pass stricter gun control laws. [TU x 2]

Schenectady buried alive case
The former inmate charged with attempted murder for allegedly burying a neighbor alive, spent 17 years in prison for murder, was only released two months ago, had been in his new apartment for two weeks and because of a legal loophole, was not under any type of supervision. [News 10]

Albany outage
Crews worked on Tuesday night to make repairs to an electrical problem that knocked out power to the 600-block of Madison Avenue on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning National Grid was working on another Albany outage.

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Final stretch for local primaries, Cuomo calls for further gun control, Schenectady casino pylon sign could be back up for review

Local primaries
Party primaries for local elections are on a Thursday this year -- this Thursday. So there are a lot of surveys of local primaries:
+ The Democratic primary for Albany County exec between incumbent Dan McCoy and former Albany school board member Dan Egan.
+ The Democratic primary for Troy mayor between Ernest Everett, Patrick Madden, and city council president Rodney Wiltshire.
+ The Democratic primary for Cohoes mayor between city council member Diane Nolin and Albany County Legislature chair Shawn Morse.
+ The Republican primary for Rensselaer County Sheriff between current undersheriff Patrick Russo and Scott Ryan.
[Daily Gazette] [TU x4]

Guns
A Cuomo administration attorney, Carey Gabay, was critically injured early Monday in Brooklyn when was hit in the head by a stray bullet. Andrew Cuomo in response to the shooting, on gun control: "How many mentally ill people have to get a gun and kill children? How many criminals have to get a gun and kill innocent people before this nation is going to say we have to do something?" [NYT] [TU]

Union Street basement homicide
News10 reports the Schenectady man found buried in debris in a Union Street basement is out of the hospital and recovering at a rehab center. Last week Schenectady police identified the remains of the woman found near the man -- they say she was 55-year-old Valarie Washington -- and said they're treating her death as a homicide. [News10] [TU]

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Arrest after man found buried alive with corpse in Schenectady basement, sketch released in connection with fatal Colonie stabbing, no tax increase in proposed Albany County budget

Disoriented man found with body in Schenectady basement
Police have arrested a Schenectady man for allegedly hitting a man over the head with a shovel then burying him in the basement of a Union Street apartment building under several feet of debris. The victim was found by police after people expressed concerned for the welfare of a resident. He was discovered in the basement along with the badly decomposed remains of a woman. Forty-four-year-old Harold Michael Ortiz of Schenectady is now charged with attempted murder and unlawful imprisonment for allegedly hitting the man and trying to bury him in the basement. An autopsy is being conducted to determine how the woman died. [TU][Gazette][WNYT][TWCN]

Cars crashing into buildings
The 87-year-old- driver of a car that crashed into the Blue Ribbon Diner in Schenectady has been sited for unsafe backing and imprudent speed. The 72 year old woman who was pinned between the car and the building was last reported to be in stable condition. The owners of the Tint King, down the road at 2167 Central Avenue say they will have to relocate after an out of control truck smashed through their building some 14 hours after the diner incident. [Gazette][TWCN][WNYT]

Sketch released in salon stabbing
Colonie police have released a sketch based on a description from someone who saw a man walking south on Russell Road shortly before the fatal stabbing of
a woman at a Sand Creek Road salon. [News 10]

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Two separate cases of cars going through buildings, civil suit in Ivy death, Troy charter commission suggests smaller council, truck driver sentenced in trooper's death


Car goes through diner
Seven people were injured on Tuesday when a car went through the wall at Schenectady's Blue Ribbon Diner during the lunch hour. Police say an elderly man put his car in reverse, hitting a woman behind the car and backing through the wall of the diner - pinning the woman between the car and crash debris. [TU][Gazette][WNYT]

Car goes through window tinting building
A pickup truck on Central Avenue hit a utility poll and traveled about 100 yards before slamming through the wall of a window tinting business. Police fear removing the truck may cause the building to collapse. [TU][TWCN][WNYT]

Civil lawsuit in Ivy's death
The family of Donald "Dontay" Ivy has filed a federal civl rights lawsuit against the city of Albany and the three police officers who use a taser to subdue Ivy at a store near his home in April. Earlier this week Ivy's death was ruled a homicide in a coroner's report. [WNYT][TWCN]

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Troy police officer released from hospital, muggings in Albany student neighborhood, possible parking ticket amnesty in a can, Rice Building sold

Lansingburgh police shooting
Troy police officer Joshua Comitale was released from Albany Med Monday -- a week and a half after the shooting in Lansingburgh in which he was hit four times in the legs. (The other officer shot in the incident, Chad Klein, was released last week.) TPD chief John Tedesco said the department expects Comitale will return to duty after rehab. In remarks to the media Monday Tedesco again mentioned that the TPD has surveillance video of the incident in which Thaddeus Faison was shot and killed -- and he said the video would be made public eventually. [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT]

Colonie salon stabbing
A group of 50 State Police recruits were deployed Monday to help search the area near the Colonie salon where police say Jacquelyn Porecca was fatally stabbed a week and a half ago. Colonie police say they didn't find anything new. [WNYT] [TWCN]

Muggings in Albany student neighborhood
Albany police say there was a string of street robberies over the weekend in the section of Pine Hills in which many college students live (map). (Students from both UAlbany and Saint Rose recently returned.) A UAlbany student tells News10 that he was assaulted by a group of 8-10 people who took his phone and tablet. APD says it's made one arrest in a another incident in which four people were allegedly attacked by a group that punched them in the head and robbed them. [TU] [News10] [APD FB]

Saratoga Springs hit and run
Saratoga Springs police say a Ballston Spa man is accused of hitting pedestrian on Broadway at Caroline Street Saturday morning then driving away. SSPD says the pedestrian suffered multiple broken bones and taken to Albany Med via helicopter. Police say a tip from a city employee led them the alleged driver. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

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New details in Dontay Ivy case, no strike for Ellis nurses, American Pharoah finishes second, Ed Lewi remembered

Dontay Ivy case
There has yet to be an official, publicly-released report on the death of Dontay Ivy while in Albany police custody this past spring, but Brendan Lyons reports in the Times Union that a coroner's report designated the death as a homicide -- and a possible grand jury review of the case "has stalled." "A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation" tells Lyons of the incident in which Albany police stopped Ivy: "Everything that could possibly go wrong, goes wrong here." An attorney representing the police officers confirms to WNYT the homicide designation in the coroner's report, noting it's a medical rather criminal determination. [TU] [WNYT]

Ellis nurses
Nurses at Ellis Medicine cancelled their plan to strike later this week after the org representing them reached an agreement on a contract with the hospital group early Saturday morning. The agreement must still be voted on by the nurses. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

American Pharoah
American Pharoah did not win the much-anticipated Travers Stakes at the Saratoga Race Course this past weekend. The Triple Crown winner lost to a horse named Keen Ice in a close race. American Pharoah joins a string of star, undefeated horses to lose at Saratoga. [TU] [NYT] [Saratogian]

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Huge crowd expected in Saratoga Springs this weekend, Saint Rose facing faculty and program cuts, the pigeon whisperer of Schenectady

American Pharoah/Travers
Saratoga Springs police say they're expecting more than 100,000 people in Saratoga Springs Saturday for the Travers, and multiple agencies have been drawn in to help handle traffic and crowds. There will also be increased security at the Saratoga Race Course, with hand-held metal detectors screenings at the entrances. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

American Pharoah's workout this morning at The Track drew an estimated 15,000 people. [@CBS6Torie]

Lansingburgh police shooting
Officials say Troy police Officer Joshua Comitale is now out of intensive care. Troy have said he was shot in both legs during the shooting in Lansingburgh last weekend. [TU]

Colonie Center shooting
Colonie police say they have a suspect in the shooting outside the mall, but have not made an arrest. [TU]

Faculty cuts at Saint Rose
Facing a structural budget deficit and operating shortfalls, the College of Saint Rose told faculty and staff members this week that the school is going into "retrenchment," which will include faculty layoffs and program cuts. [TU]

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Controversy over Troy memorial, Pharoah arrives in Saratoga, Craigslist post gone awry

Controversial Troy memorial
There's been some controversy over a memorial to Thaddeus Faison, the man who died in the Troy shootout that injured two police officers.The memorial on 7th Avenue was constructed after the original one, near the site of the shooting was taken down at the request of the property owner. Faison's wife told News10 that the memorial is not a sign of disrespect abut a way for those who knew him to say goodbye, and assured people that no death threats were being sent to police. Graffiti commemorating Faison, who is being remembered by his friends as a man who was good to children and made a bad decision, was being cleaned up on Wednesday.[Chris Churchill][Record][News 10][WNYT][Record]

Police arrested a Troy man who had an AK-47 style assault rifle as he was headed toward the 7th Avenue memorial for Faison on Tuesday night.[WNYT]

Former Peter Young COO pleads guilty
The former CEO of the Peter Young Housing Industries and Treatment has pleaded guilty to filing false reports for claiming $600,000 in state funds would be used on a Brooklyn treatment center, but using the money instead to pay upstate employees and fund upstate projects. [TU][News 10]

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

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Details slowly unfold in Lansingburgh police shooting, Pharaoh to land at Albany International, fishing for cars in the Hudson

Troy shooting update
Chad Klein, one of the patrolmen injured in the Saturday car-jacking in Troy, was released from the hospital on Tuesday. [TU]

Chris Churchill's column in support of the two officers injured in a shootout in Troy this week that killed Thaddeus Faison. [TU]

After police removed a memorial to Faison,, a second memorial has gone up near Faison's former home on Seventh Avenue, where neighbors remember him as a father who encouraged children to listen in school and do better. [Record]

Fatal salon stabbing
Police say they have no new leads but they continue to search for the person who stabbed Jacuelyn Porreca to death in her salon on Friday.[WNYT]

Dontay Ivy case
David Soares may have more options for stepping away from the Donald "Dontay" Ivy case if the case is not given to New York's attorney general as he requested. [TU]

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A few more details about Troy police shooting, letter: Soares tried to get state AG to take on Ivy case, Saratoga Springs filling up for Travers

Lansingburgh police shooting
The two Troy police officers injured in the exchange of gunfire this weekend in Lansingburgh are continuing to recover -- Chad Klein, who was shot once, is expected to be released today, according to the Times Union and WNYT. Officials "familiar with details of the incident" tell the TU that Joshua Comitale was hit four times in the legs and will continue to stay in the hospital. On Monday TPD continued to survey the scene of the shooting and has so far declined to release the video it says it has of the incident. Two witnesses tell the Times Union they saw Thaddeus Faison fire first, watched the struggle by officers to subdue him, and then observed officers perform CPR on him. TPD removed items commemorating both the officers and Faison from the intersection near the scene on Monday, which upset people who had constructed the memorial for Faison. [WNYT] [TU x3] [TWCN] [WNYT]

Fatal Colonie salon stabbing
Colonie police said Monday that they're no closer to finding a suspect in the stabbing of death of Jacquelyn Porreca than they were on Friday. CPD says cash was apparently taken from multiple hidden spots in the salon. And it's looking at video from CDTA buses that may have passed through the area around the time of the attack. [News10] [TU] [TWCN]

Dontay Ivy case
Albany County DA David Soares asked the Cuomo admin to assign the investigation into the death of Dontay Ivy while in Albany police custody to the state attorney's general's office, according to a letter obtained by the Times Union. [TU]

Officers credit with saving shooting victim
Two Albany police officers are being credited with saving the life of a shooting victim in West Hill Saturday by applying a tourniquet to his leg. [TU]

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

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Sorting through Troy incident that left one man dead and two officers shot, investigation in fatal Colonie stabbing, American Pharoah to run in Travers

Man fatally shot by Troy police, two officers shot
Troy police say one man is dead and two officers shot after an exchange of gun fire Saturday night in Lansingburgh (map). TPD says the officers -- Joshua Comitale and Chad Klein -- were responding to an alleged attempted car jacking when 39-year-old Thaddeus Faison, who TPD says had been identified as matching the description of the suspect, opened fire. TPD says about 20 rounds were exchanged between the two officers and Faison, and Faison was struck multiple times. TPD says Klein was hit in the shoulder while in his squad car, Comitale was shot in both legs. TPD says Faison was then tasered as officers restrained him -- he was later pronounced dead at a hospital. TPD says its response to the incident started when a report of the alleged attempted car jacking was called in by a friend of the driver. A friend of Faison tells the Times Union he had been at his girlfriend's home in Troy eating dinner shortly before the incident and had received a call from a friend who needed him. [News10] [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Fatal stabbing in Colonie
Colonie police are investigating the fatal stabbing of a woman working at a salon on Sand Creek Road Friday afternoon. CPD says it appears to have been a robbery because all cash was missing from the salon. But as of Saturday they reported they had no suspects or leads and were asking for the public to come forward with info. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT]

Shootings, stabbings in Albany
Albany police say there were two shootings and two stabbings in West Hill overnight Sunday into Monday -- though they're not sure if they're related. [TU]

(there's more)

Troy anti-violence rally, x-ray weapon case headed for closing arguments, big chip fab project in Utica, another distillery plan

Troy anti-violence rally
Troy residents rallied against gun violence near the site of this week's fatal shooting, and there was talk of becoming proactive rather than reactive. The topic also came up at a forum for mayoral candidates earlier in the day, with candidates mentioning the need for jobs programs and diversity in the police force. [TU] [News10] [Troy Record] [TWCN]

Watervliet police
At a city council meeting Thursday night Watervliet residents pressed city officials for answers about the recent allegations involving city police officers, and officials talked about finding ways to restore trust. Also Thursday, the city was served with a notice of claim (the first step in a lawsuit) related to the situation involving a former school resource officer and allegations he had sex with two teens. [News10] [WNYT] [TU]

Glendon Scott Crawford trial
Update: The jury found Crawford guilty on all counts Friday. [TU]

On Thursday the prosecution played FBI video in which Glendon Scott Crawford talked about plans to use the would-be radiation weapon against a set of targets that included local mosques and the Governor's Mansion. The jury could go into deliberations today following closing arguments. [TU x2]

Possible nurses strike
The New York State Nurses Association announced nurses at Ellis Medicine are preparing to strike September 3 if there's not a contract agreement, and Ellis said it was preparing to lock out the nurses for five days if that happens. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Anti-violence rally planned for Troy, Ellis nurses could strike, Heastie visits Schenectady, bear wrestling Troy man reunites with dog

Search for alleged attacker
Police are looking for a man who was witnessed shoving the face of a teenaged girl into a car in the parking lot at Colonie Center, cracking the windshield of the vehicle. The girl then left with the man and a young boy, in a white Kia Sorrento SUV.[TU][Gazette]

Troy shooting update
Police continue their investigation into the shooting death of a Troy teenager earlier this week, meanwhile mourners set up a makeshift memorial for the teen. A Stop the Violence meeting is planned for 5:30 pm today at the site of the shooting at 6th Avenue and Hutton Street. [Record][WNYT]

UAlbany incident
An equipment malfunction in the Ualbany physics building caused a temporary evacuation of the building on Wednesday night. [TWCN][TU]

Potential nurses strike at Ellis
About 600 registered nurses at Ellis Hospital are planning a one day strike if a contract negotiation isn't reached within ten days. [Gazette][TU]


Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

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Three arrests in Troy shooting, guilty plea in Schenectady murder, Crawford recordings played in death ray trial


Arrests in Troy shooting death
Police have made three arrests in connection with a Monday night shooting in Troy that left one teen dead and another wounded. A fourth person who is under 16 was also allegedly involved in the incident. A Stop the Violence Rally is scheduled for Thursday near the site of the shootings at 6th Avenue and Hutton. [Record][WNYT][TU][News10]

Quail Street mugging
Police in Albany are looking for two people who robbed a man at gunpoint on Quail Street in Albanyearly Wednesday morning and beat him with a pistol. [TU]

Guilty plea in Schenectady murder
Jamell Modest of Schenectady pleaded guilty on Tuesday to second-degree murder in the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend and their 8-month old son. [TU][WNYT]

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Fatal shooting in Troy, arrest in fatal Schenectady hit and run, Crossgates bowling alley project is off, how Aziz Ansari ended up in Albany

Fatal shooting in Troy
Troy police say two teens were shot overnight in the area just south of the Collar City Bridge (map) -- a 19 year old was pronounced dead at a hospital, and a 14 year old is expected to survive. TPD says there was a chase following the reports of shots fired and a vehicle -- allegedly containing firearms -- was stopped in Colonie. TPD chief John Tedesco told the Record that four people had been taken into custody for questioning as of Tuesday morning. News10 reports that a crowd had gathered overnight outside Samaritan Hospital "yelling and shouting at police officers" and units from multiple agencies responded to control the crowd. [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU] [Troy Record] [News10]

Shootings in Albany
Albany police say they're investigating two shootings overnight Saturday to Sunday, one in West Hill, the other in Arbor Hill. APD says it does not believe the shootings are related. [APD]

Arrest in fatal Schenectady hit and run
Schenectady police say they've made an arrest in the two hit and runs involving pedestrians -- one fatal -- on State Street Friday night. Adimu Goodwin, 41, of Schenectady is facing a group of charges that include second-degree manslaughter. SPD says it doesn't know what prompted the crashes. About an hour before the successive incidents, the coach of a Pop Warner football team says Goodwin had been at team practice helping coach. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TWCN] [TU]

Glendon Scott Crawford trial
The trial of Glendon Scott Crawford -- the Saratoga County man accused of building an x-ray device intended to be used against Muslims -- began Monday with opening statements in which federal prosecutors tried to depict him as a man with detailed plans to kill to people, and Crawford's attorney arguing his client had been pushed along by the feds. Day one also included testimony from two reps of local Jewish organizations that had reported Crawford to authorities after they say he'd approached them with the offer a plan he said would aid Israel. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

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Pedestrian dies after Schenectady hit and run, x-ray device plot trial set to start, police say 10-year-old was at the wheel, Travers Day sold out

Fatal Schenectady hit and run
Schenectady police say one person has died and another is injured after a van hit two pedestrians in two separate incidents around 9 pm Friday night on State Street (map). SPD says it found the van and located the registered owner, who's not suspected of being the driver. SPD is asking anyone with info to call police. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Colonie Center shooting
Colonie police say it appears that dispute that led to the shooting of a man outside Colonie Center Thursday night had started in a line for the movies inside the mall. [TU]

Watervliet police
The Watervliet Police Department has suspended its school resource officer program and other youth programs amid the multiple investigations into alleged drug connection and sexual misconduct within the department. Two of the officers that are under investigations were among the city's highest-paid employees last year. [TU] [Troy Record]

Troy police excessive force case
The city of Troy has a tentative agreement to settle a 2013 case of alleged excessive force -- that began with a jaywalking arrest and later involved a taser -- for $60k. [TU]

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Shooting outside Colonie Center, man describes how he fought off bear, Cannon Building headed for foreclosure sale

Shooting outside Colonie Center
Colonie police say a man was shot outside Colonie Center around 10 pm Thursday in the area of the mall entrance near the Cheesecake Factory. CPD says the man and two other people had been "involved in an altercation earlier with another group" that included the suspected shooter. A search involving multiple agencies, including a State Police helicopter, didn't turn up the suspect. CPD says the man who was shot is from Schenectady -- he's being treated at Albany Med for a gun shot to abdomen and is expected to survive. The suspect is from the Albany area, according to CPD. A woman was in the parking lot at the time of the shooting tells the Daily Gazette that when she heard the multiple shots fired it sounded like it might be firecrackers -- she then saw three vehicles speed out of the parking lot and one man fleeing on foot. [CPD press release] [TU x2] [Daily Gazette]

Pedestrian hit on Central Ave
Albany police say a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle on Central Ave near the Westgate shopping plaza Thursday evening and suffered serious injuries. The street was closed for almost four hours as part of the crash investigation. [TWCN] [TU]

More than $3 million in harassment case
A state appeals court issued a ruling Thursday that opens the way for a payout of more than $3 million to a former Rensselaer County jail sergeant who was sexually harassed by a group of other jail employees. The state Division of Human Rights found that the female sergeant had been subjected to daily harassment and a supervisor had told her "let it slide." [TU] [Troy Record]

Bear attack
The Troy man who fought off a bear that attacked his dog while they were walking in Adirondacks earlier this week, to the Times Union: "There's a lot of people going around calling me a hero. I'm not a hero. I did it because I love my dog." [TU+]

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Reid resigns as Rensselaer County chairman, 27 percent opt out of state tests in Capital Region, Travers expected to sell out

Reid resigns as Rensselaer County Legislature Chairman
Martin Reid stepped down on Wednesday as Chairman of the Rensselaer County Legislature after he was arraigned on more than 41 counts for allegedly stealing more than $15,000 by filing for unemployment while earning $30,000 as legislature chairman between February and November of 2013. [WNYT][TWCN]

Common Core scores
About 20 percent of New York State students opted out of common core testing last term . That number is up 15% over last year and in the Capital Region the number was just under 27.5 percent. [NYT][TU]

Elementary math scores were up in the Capital Region. [Business Review]

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Dannemora inmates claim abuse following escape, second Albany shooting in two weeks, Rensselaer County legislature chair charged with larceny, yearling sales top $46 million

Dannemora abuse allegations
A legal services group says inmates at Clinton Correctional Facility's honor block were beaten, stripped of privileges and confined to solitary following the escape of Richard Matt and David Sweat from the facility in June in an attempt to obtain information about the escape. In one case an inmate claims he was beaten by three guards without name badges who allegedly punched him, slammed his head against the wall , put a plastic bag over his head and threatened to water board him. [WNYT/AP][NYT]

Another Albany shooting
Albany police say a 24-year-old man who was shot on Orange street on Tuesday night is expected to survive . This is the second Albany shooting in as many weeks.[WNYT][TU]

Legislative chair arraigned on larceny charge
The Chairman of the Rensselaer County Legislature was arraigned Wednesday morning for allegedly stealing more than $15,000 in state unemployment benefits while also collecting a government salary. [TU]

Pipeline opponents rally
Constitution Pipeline opponents marched on the state DEC office in Albany on Tuesday to urge the agency to deny final water permits for the gas pipeline which would carry gas from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania through four NY Counties and finally to Schoharie County to connect up with existing pipelines. [Gazette]

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Rally outside DA's office for Ivy and Dixon cases, Wormuth pleads guilty to federal charges, more tax breaks for GloFo, Peanut is saved

Dontay Ivy and Marquis Dixon
Activists rallied outside the office of Albany County district attorney David Soares to call for the DA to complete the investigation into the death of Dontay Ivy -- who died in Albany police custody four months ago -- and to protest the nine-year sentence given to Albany teen Marquis Dixon, who was convicted of stealing a pair sneakers, allegedly at gunpoint. Said Dixon's mother, Aisha Dixon: "I believe that the crime should fit the time and his crime is not fitting his time." [WNYT] [TWCN]

The rally also points to what one activist described to the Times Union as "disappointment" in Soares, whom many progressive groups have supported in past elections. [TU]

Mindy Wormuth
Former Halfmoon supervisor Mindy Wormuth pleaded guilty to two felony charges of extortion and lying to the feds. She faces up to a year in prison. Wormuth admitted to taking more than $5k in bribes that had been disguised as consulting fees. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Charges in fatal Albany crash
Albany police say the man accused of driving drunk in the crash that killed Amy Stock in July has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated DWI. [APD]

Sentencing in fatal Saratoga County crash
The driver who pleaded guilty to second-degree vehicular manslaughter for driving drunk in the crash that killed pedestrian Jonathon L. Rogers in northern Saratoga County last September was sentenced to 2-6 years in prison. [Post-Star]

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Justice Center accused of incomplete investigation and media seeking, allegation of "PILOT shopping" in Troy, high-end chains find their way here

Justice Center
Attorneys two women acquitted by a jury of charges brought in Niskayuna by the state's Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs in say the recently-created state agency investigated the case poorly, and they allege the agency was out for the media attention. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Development tax breaks
Troy's planning director described the recent decision by the developer planning a residential conversion of the former Record building to seek a better tax break deal from the county IDA after a smaller offer from the city IDA as "PILOT shopping." [TU+]

Watervliet police
Another Watervliet police officer has been placed on administrative leave as part of an internal affairs investigation. [TWCN] [TU]

Dontay Ivy case
At a rally planned for Monday morning, activists are set to call for charges to be brought against police in the Dontay Ivy case. It's been four months since Ivy died while in Albany police custody, and officials say the investigation of what happened is still in progress. [TU] [News10]

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Schumer and Gillibrand split on Iran deal, Travers attendance will be capped, residential conversion planned for Monument Square, the rescuer of bear cubs

Iran deal
Chuck Schumer announced he'll be opposing the Obama administration's proposed international deal on Iran's nuclear program, which could open the way for other Democrats in Congress to oppose the deal. Kirsten Gillibrand said Thursday before Schumer's announcement that she will be supporting the deal. [Medium] [NYT] [TU]

Travers attendance cap
NYRA says it will cap attendance for this year's Travers Stakes at 50,000. As of the Thursday, there were about 20,000 general-admission spots remaining. (The Travers is the biggest race of the season at Saratoga, but this year it's expected to be an especially big event because it's looking like Triple Crown winner American Pharoah could be running.) [TU] [TWCN]

Monument Square building sold
Developer Sonny Bonnacio is buying the the former Hendrick Hudson Hotel building on Monument Square in downtown Troy from Pioneer Bank (Pioneer is moving its headquarters to Colonie), with plans to convert much of the space to residential units. [Biz Review] [TU]

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Police investigate Albany shooting, toxicology reports show Matt was intoxicated when apprehended,attendance and handle up at track

Albany shooting
Albany police are investigating a shooting that took place on Wednesday night on 1st street near Henry Johnson Boulevard. A 38-year-old man was taken to Albany Medical Center.[TU][WNYT]

Toxicology on Matt
Toxicology reports show Richard Matt, one of the inmates who escaped from Dannemora prison earlier this summer, had a blood alcohol level of at least 0.08 at the time of his death.[TU]

Gang arrests
Arrests in a Troy drug bust this week included eight members of the Young Gunnerz gang and 12 of their associates, who police say were responsible for a great deal of recent violence in the city. [TU]

Watervliet P.D.
The Watervliet police officer arrested as part of this week's Troy drug bust for allegedly buying cocaine on duty is the second Watervliet officer brought up on charges in a matter of months.[WNYT]

Also, a former assistant chief for the Watervliet Police Department and current employee of the Parker Brothers Memorial Funeral Home is under investigation in connection with the theft of thousands of dollars from the Funeral Home. [TWCN][Record]

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

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Former Watervliet cop allegedly bought cocaine on duty, two more red light cameras activated, Warren County medical marijuana facility breaks ground

Former cop arrested in drug investigation
A Troy drug investigation has netted 20 arrests, including a former Watervliet police officer who allegedly bought cocaine while on duty. [TU][Record][News 10]

Red light cameras
Two more red light cameras in Albany turned on at midnight.
The cameras cover the north and southbound lanes at the intersection of Everett Road and Watervliet Avenue Extension.[TWCN][WNYT]

JCOPE
JCOPE met on Tuesday in an effort to select a new leader
and spent time arguing over the governor's influence in the hiring process.
A legislative aide on Tuesday's JCOPE meeting: "It's state government's version of 'The Office,'" said one legislative aide who watched the proceedings. "I'm uncomfortable, but I can't turn away."[TU][News 10][Capital NY]

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Schenectady police officer