Morning Blend

A quick scan each morning of headlines from around the region

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Quirky ended up in Schenectady. [TU]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Troy police release new Kokopellis video, prospective casino site in Amsterdam gets attention, one of the secrets to being married for 72 years

It's really cold. Still. [NWS]

Troy police released new video of the January 25 incident at Kokopellis night club in Troy. In a press conference on Tuesday, TPD officials played the video and explained their take on officers' actions the night of the incident. [TU][Record]

After a stinging response from Andrew Cuomo earlier this week, the state Board of Regents has approved changes to the implementation of the Common Core, but has backed off a plan to delay controversial teacher evaluations.[WNYT][TU]

The latest spot drawing attention for a potential Capital Region casino: a 51-acre field along the Thruway near Amsterdam in the town of Florida.[TU]

In response to NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio's request that New York City be allowed to set its own minimum wage, Andrew Cuomo said on The Capitol Pressroom on Tuesday that local control of minimum wage could lead to a cannibalistic competition between communities that would not be productive.[NYT][TU]

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How exactly does the Cuomo tax break plan work?, the $300k clerical error, speculation about IBM stake at NanoCollege, push for JetBlue at ALB

Among the people apparently not entirely clear on the mechanics of the Cuomo administration's property tax "freeze" and "circuit breaker": the commissioner of the state Department of Taxation and Finance. [TU]

The state Board of Regents plan to "adjust" the implementation of the controversial Common Core standards. Among those not happy about the proposed adjustments: Andrew Cuomo. [TU] [State of Politics]

The city of Troy overpaid the Troy Public Library by more than $300k in tax revenue in what the city calls a clerical error -- and what the library is apparently considering to be at least partially rightful compensation. [WNYT] [TU]

The Roman Catholic Church has picked a priest from Brooklyn -- who's also an attorney -- to head up the Albany diocese. [TU]

A new proposal for an Albany County land bank prompted some heated comments and criticism. [Troy Record] [TU]

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Federal charges dropped in fatal Schenectady arson case, push for earlier last call in Saratoga, Spector's closing after almost a century

Federal prosecutors have dropped all charges against Robert A. Butler, the man who had been accused of starting the fire that killed David Terry and three of his children in Schenectady last year. The US Attorney's office says it will continue the investigation of the case. "Those with knowledge of the case" tell the Times Union investigators are now focused on different man who's alleged to have sent a text message threatening to kill Terry. [Daily Gazette] [US DOJ] [TU]

A few more details of the death of Richard Englander, the elderly man Albany police say was killed last: Sara Moore, a home health aide, has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge. Albany police say Moore had tried to cash one of Englander's checks at a local bank, the bank called Englander, and there was an altercation -- the bank called police after hearing the struggle. APD says Englander suffered blunt force trauma to his head and cuts on his head and neck. [TU] [News10] [WNYT]

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has reversed an earlier decision and will now require the company hoping to build a heating facility for transferring shipments of crude oil at the Port of Albany must follow guidelines for informing the nearby neighborhood of its plans. [TU] Earlier: Why Albany is playing a major role in the transportation of oil, and why that concerns some people.

An unreleased report evaluating the state's response to Superstorm Sandy obtained by the Times Union criticizes the Cuomo admin for setting up a state command center in Manhattan, instead of working from the long-established bunker at the Harriman State Office Campus, stretching the state's the emergency management staff. [TU]

One of the owners of the Saratoga Casino and Raceway has taken a look at other potential Capital Region casino sites as part of possible consideration of a Plan B. [Capital New York] Earlier: Capital Region casino site odds

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Police investigating death of elderly man, Troy City Council calls for outside investigation of Kokopellis incident, Albany County bans use of e-cigarettes on its property

Albany snow emergency continues with even side parking. It flips to ODD side parking at 8 pm Friday, and ends at 8 pm Saturday.

Albany police say they're investigating the death of a 79-year-old man as a homicide. APD says officers responded to a report of a disturbance Thursday afternoon at a town home on the city's southwestern edge (map) and found the man unresponsive. One suspect is in custody. "Sources" tell WNYT that police had gotten a tip from a bank related to checks belonging to the man. Many details of the situation are still unclear. [APD] [WNYT] [WNYT] [TU]

The Troy City Council is asking the mayor Lou Rosamilia for an outside investigation of the Kokopellis incident. Meanwhile, the State Liquor Authority has been reviewing Kokopellis for potential violations. In his state of the city address Thursday, Rosamilia said in reference to the recent incident at the club: "I believe all people should be treated fairly, equally and with respect. Whenever those liberties are seemingly disregarded, it demands action." [TU] [Troy Record] [Troy Record] [TU]

On Thursday, in a separate case that also includes alleged use of excessive force by a Troy police officer, the opening arguments at trial depicted two very different version of events on a South Troy sidewalk. And in another separate case, a former HVCC student has filed a notice of claim against the city alleging he was assaulted by police officers after being confronted for jaywalking. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany Common Council approved mayor Kathy Sheehan's request to go before the state Financial Restructuring Board in an attempt to get a chunk of state aid -- though there were a few reservations. [TU]

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Two more arrests in Kokopellis incident, Troy First Niagara robbed again, Knox man allegedly burns down own home, State Police to start social media "Warrant Wednesday"

Albany snow emergency starts at 8 pm Thursday (February 6) with EVEN side parking. Flips to ODD at 8 pm Friday.

Troy police have made two more arrests in connection with the incident at Kokopellis last week. Two city men were arrested, one for allegedly throwing a garbage can lid through the window of a city police car and another is accused of disorderly conduct. [WNYT][TU]

A breakdown of the cases stemming from the Kokopellis nightclub incident. [TU]

And a look at Willie Bacote, the Troy pastor back in the spotlight as he leads protests related to the Kokopellis situation. [TU]

Police are investigating a robbery at the First Niagara Bank on Third Street in Troy that occurred Wednesday morning. The same First Niagara branch was robbed in December. [TWCN][Record]

A Knox man is in police custody today after allegedly burning down his own home overnight -- and blocking access to fire crews. According to Albany County sheriff Craig Apple, the man told a sheriff's department captain, "I know I'm in a lot of trouble in the morning. I want this house to burn down." [WNYT][TWCN][TU]

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Troy protest and meeting on alleged police brutality, Niskayuna school gets one year reprieve, Tkaczyk proposes bill to give municipalities a say on casinos, it's snowing

It's snowing. Most area schools have a snow day today, and so does the state legislature. ALB is open but there are some cancellations and delays. Andrew Cuomo has closed I-84 from the Pennsylvania to the Connecticut state lines because of the snowstorm.[Weather Channel][TU][News 10][TU]

Several dozen people protested against police brutality Tuesday night ahead a Troy City Council public safety committee hearing about the incident last week at Kokopellis. At the packed gathering there were renewed calls for an external investigation of the night club incident and calls by some to drop the charges against those arrested and suspend officers who used batons, pending further investigation. [TWCN][TU][Record]

The state Senatepassed a bill Tuesday that would ban the use of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards for the purchase of cigarettes, alcohol, lottery tickets and ban recipients from using the cards to get cash at ATMs in bars and strip clubs. (The bill has previously stalled in the state Assembly.) [Capitol Confidential][News 10]

Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver are both calling on the state Education Department to delay the rollout of Common Core standards for at least two years. Andrew Cuomo says it would be premature to consider the change before a panel he recommended to examine Common Core completed its work. [WNYT][NYT]

Cecilia Tkaczyk and state Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) have proposed a bill that would give municipalities the final say over whether a casino can be located in their community. [Saratogian]

The Niskayuna school board tabled a vote on closing Birchwood Elementary School Tuesday, allowing the school to remain open at least one more year.[TWCN]

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Hearing in Troy on allegations of police brutality, student reports waking to unknown man in her room, new owners for Peter Pause Restaurant

The Troy City Council's public safety committee is scheduled to hold a hearing this evening on allegations of police brutality in the city, including the Kokopellis incident. The Troy African American Pastoral Alliance is planning a march ahead of the hearing. [TU] [TWCN] [TU]

The two vacant buildings on 5th Ave in downtown Troy (map) damaged in a fire Sunday were demolished Monday. Troy's fire chief says the fire appears to be arson. [News10] [Troy Record]

Michael Anderson -- who was facing charges, including second-degree murder, for the stabbing death of Tonette Thomas in Albany in November 2012 -- has pleaded guilty, and faces up to 45 years in prison, according to the Albany County DA's office. [TU] [Albany County DA]

At a legislative hearing Monday the state health commissioner wouldn't answer questions about when the review of potential health impacts from fracking would be finished. (The Cuomo admin has said its decision on fracking is awaiting the review.) [TU]

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Another redevelopment plan for Monument Square site, family suing for $1 million alleging excessive force in Rotterdam, coffee for bitcoins

The city of Troy is scheduled to announce details this morning on the latest redevelopment plan for the former city hall site on Monument Square. [Troy Record] [TU]

Local school officials, already crunched for funding, say they worry the Cuomo admin's push to fund pre-K will end up pitting pre-K against K-12 for money. [TU]

An environmental advocacy org is arguing the state's Department of Environmental Conservation didn't follow its own policies properly in dealing with requests from a company using the Port of Albany to transfer crude oil shipments. [TU]

Two facts set up side by side by the Times Union: 1) Albany County legislature chair Shawn Morse "spearheaded" legislation that pardoned county employees who had violated the county's residence requirement 2) The day before the legislation's passage, Morse received $11k in political donations from a union that represents county corrections officers -- Morse and the union say the two actions aren't connected. [TU]

UAlbany president Robert Jones said in an email that "it is very premature at this time to be considering" expansion of UAlbany's new football stadium. Jones was responding to a Times Union story reporting that athletic department officials were already looking at expansion. [TU] [TU]

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Forum calls for more school aid, Kokopellis owners criticizing TPD, some Thruway toll plazas could be totally automated

School district officials, teachers, and students criticized the current level of state education funding at a forum at Colonie Central High School Thursday evening that drew hundreds of people. Officials detailed many of the cuts they've had to make because of the elimination of a chunk of their district's funding. The Albany schools superintendent said her district is getting 64 percent of the aid it should be getting under the state's formula for school funding. [TU] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

The owners of Kokopellis are disputing the Troy Police Department's characterization of the situation when officers arrived at the club early Saturday morning: "There was a scuffle in our stairway and our security had already restored order and had the situation under control ... before the police arrived." (TPD has released 911 call transcripts this week indicating there was a large fight at the club when officers were called.) The club owners also accused the TPD of trying to "spin" the story to deflect allegations that officers acted inappropriately. The chair of the Troy city council's public safety committee says a meeting next week will examine a range of topics related to the Kokopellis incident -- from whether the club is hosting events it can't handle to whether the police department needs to change how it responds to complaints. [TU] [News10] [Troy Record]

Colonie officials searched a second Central Ave motel -- the Blu-Bell Motel (streetview) -- for code violations and concluded 80 percent of its rooms are uninhabitable. It's owned by the same person as the recently shutdown Skylane Motel. Colonie has been trying to crack down on what the town considers problem motels along Central Ave in recent years, which has contributed to putting one motel property -- with an owner who wants to renovate -- in a sort of limbo. [TU] [Troy Record] [TU]

State Police say two men were injured at the Harriman State Office Campus Thursday night when a tank of a fire suppression substance exploded. The men suffered chemical burns, and one of them had a broken leg. The Albany Fire Department says the tank being removed was part of an outdated fire control system. [NYSP] [TWCN] [News10]

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Troy PD releases audio & 911 transcript from Kokopellis incident, National Grid to defer hike in electric bills, new supermarket proposed for Clifton Park, Watervliet company helps the USA luge team go faster

The Troy police department has released 911 transcripts and radio transmissionsfrom the incident at Kokopellis on Saturday. The recordings indicate a bartender called and reported people were fighting before police arrived. (The 911 transcripts are posted below.) Also: Troy city council president Rodney Wiltshire posted security video from the club on YouTube -- said Wiltshire to the Times Union of the video: "It raises questions and provides some answers." [WNYT][TWCN][Troy PD]

Andrew Cuomo has directed multiple state agencies to look at ways to strengthen state oversight of oil trains. [TU][TWCN]

Union leaders, workers, and lawmakers rallied on Wednesday against Andrew Cuomo's plans to close disability centers, psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the state. There was a fair amount of name calling at the rally, with the CSEA president Danny Donohue referring to Andrew Cuomo as a moron and a monkey. Assemblyman Jim Tedisco said that Cuomo presides over "a government in darkness, government by fiat, government by coercion - a government where you would see in a state where they have a dictator, a totalitarian state." [TU][News 10][NYSNYS/Saratogian]

National Grid says customers can expect a 20-30 percent increase in electric bills this winter,
but the company has gotten permission from the New York Public Service Commission to defer the increase until later in the year when bills will be lower, to spread payments out for customers. [WNYT]

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Troy police chief says he won't resign, Yepsen calls for more local input on potential casino, King says universal pre-k could cost $1.6 billion, Troy's first mayor gets a statue

Troy police chief John Tedesco says he has no intention of resigning amid calls for him to
step down over the weekend incident at Kokopellis on 4th Street. Troy police commissioner Anthony Magnetto says the current investigation of the situation is not looking into the allegations of police brutality, only the alleged assault on officers, damage done to any city property, and reckless endangerment to people in the area -- but an investigation into possible excessive force is not off the table. Incident reports and 911 calls shared by the TPD with the Times Union indicate there was fighting going at the club before officers arrived. [WNYT][Record] [TU]

The unemployment rate in the Capital Region hit a six-year low in December: 5.4 percent.[TU]

About two hundred people showed up for a Niskayuna school board meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the possibility of shutting down Birchwood Elementary School in an effort to close the district's $2.6 million budget gap. In the end, the board decided to postpone a vote on the closure until next week. [Gazette][News 10][TWCN]

In her state of the city speech on Tuesday, Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen renewed a call for a more moderate-sized casino in the city, that would not take business from existing establishments, and touted the need for transparency in government. [TU][Saratogian]

According to state comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office, state overtime rose 16 percent in 2013 to $611 million. [TU]

Tom DiNapoli acknowledged a "special obligation" on the part of New York State to the city of Albany, one day after Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan announced she would be going to the state's Financial Restructuring Board for $5 million to upgrade the city's IT, part of a plan to close city's $16 million budget gap. [Capitol Confidential]

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Reaction to incident at Kokopellis in Troy, Sheehan wants to take Albany before state's restructuring board, informant headed to prison for trying to frame shop owner

Said Troy mayor Lou Rosamilia in response to the incident at Kokopellis this past weekend, in which the TPD says six officers were injured and mobile phone video shows officers hitting a man while he's on the floor: "preliminary evidence indicates that our police department, in an effort to gain control of an out-of-control situation, used necessary force in order to make arrests and protect themselves and others." Said police commissioner Anthony Magnetto of the video of the situation in the club: "I don't see anything where the officers acted inappropriately or used excessive force." Police chief John Tedesco urged calm: "Let us look at all the relevant evidence and we'll go from there." City council president Rodney Wiltshire also called for caution as the facts are investigated, but about the video: "I'm not happy with what I saw ... It's hard for me to watch." At a community meeting in North Central, Willie Bacote, a pastor, called for immediate changes in the TPD, including the resignation of Tedesco. And Alice Green, from the Center for Law and Justice in Albany, talked to the crowd about racial discrimination in policing. [TU] [WNYT] [Troy Record] [TWCN] [Troy Record]

As skepticism/opposition continues to organize toward a plan to build a facility for heating crude oil at the Port of Albany, more than a hundred people attended a community meeting about the project Monday evening in the South End. [TU]

Said Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan to a state legislature committee on her plan for the city go before the state's Financial Restructuring Board in an attempt to get $5 million to update the city's IT systems:
"We have no choice. We have a $16 million deficit ... If we can't make that investment ... we're just going to continue in the spiral that we're in." [TU]

Anthony Collins, the accused of trying to abduct a UAlbany student at knifepoint from bus stop near the university's downtown residence halls last fall, has pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping and faces up to 12 years in prison. Collins had been the subject of a documentary project about his struggles with mental illness. [TU] [Albany County DA] [AOA]

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Focus on TPD actions while breaking up nightclub incident, concerns about oil shipments, brawl after Union-RPI hockey game

Troy police say six people were arrested in connection with an incident in which "numerous persons were engaged in arguments and physical confrontations" early Saturday morning at Kokopellis on Fourth Street downtown. TPD says six officers were treated at a hospital for injuries, and the rear window of a police car was broken. TPD also says "officers were subject to kicking, punching, pepper spray and a fire extinguisher being completely emptied via the spraying of the powder content on the officers." Here's a walkthrough of club surveillance video from WNYT. A mobile phone video from inside the club shows officers subduing a man with what appears to be a baton, including after the man is on the floor. A TPD spokesperson described the officer's actions as "pain compliance techniques." The Troy City Council's Public Safety Committee is scheduled to meet with police officials Monday evening to discuss the incident and the events depicted in the video. Said council president Rodney Wiltshire: "We will accept nothing less than a full and complete investigation into this and are prepared to conduct our own investigation into this." TPD says officers were initially called to the scene after the nightclub decided to shut things down because of people smoking pot. [TPD] [WNYT] [YouTube] [WNYT] [TU] [News10] [TU]

SPAC, the Saratoga City Center, and downtown Saratoga Springs business owners say they're concerned a full casino in Saratoga Springs would draw events and traffic away from the city's downtown. [TU]

Here's a closer look at what the Cuomo admin's proposed two-year "property tax freeze" could actually involve, using Schenectady and Colonie as examples. [TU]

Many Capital Region school districts aren't happy with their state funding in the Cuomo admin's proposed budget. [TU]

Local officials -- and residents of Albany's South End -- are expressing concerns about the plan to build a facility for heating crude oil for loading at the Port of the Albany. (The port has become a major node in the distribution network for crude oil from North Dakota.) [Troy Record] [TU]

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Cold pushing heating bills higher, Sheehan says Albany budget gap could larger than expected, century-old gravestones damaged

The cold continues, though the high temp forecasted for Saturday is a tropical 27 degrees. Wholesale prices for natural gas and electricity are both up significantly because of demand. And the long string of "Code Blue" nights is straining resources at the Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany. [NWS] [Troy Record] [TU]

Transportation safety agencies in both the US and Canada are recommending new safety rules for the rail shipment of crude oil, following fiery crashes in both countries during the past year. The Port of Albany has become a major node in the distribution of crude oil from North Dakota to refineries on the East Coast. [AP/TU]

Cecilia Tkaczyk is co-sponsoring a bill in the state Senate that would add an element of local influence to the casino siting process -- it would require the passage of a local law or resolution in support of casino by both the host municipality and county. Tkaczyk said the bill would "ensure that the casinos are good neighbors and sited only in those municipalities that want them" -- "I think it's really important to have that local community buy in." A spokesperson for Andrew Cuomo said the governor's administration opposes the bill, and said it isn't necessary because the siting process will take into account local support. (Question: What is the mechanism for gauging local support or opposition?) [NY Open Senate] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Gannett Albany] Earlier: Focusing on support for a possible Capital Region casino, town by town

Topics from Kathy Sheehan's first state of the city address: the budget gap, which could be bigger than expected; and bringing a customer service approach to city hall. [TU] [TWCN]

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Pleas entered in "death ray" case, push back on Cuomo budget begins, foreclosure proceedings had begun before Villa Valenti fire

Still cold. [NWS]

The two men allegedly involved in a plan to construct a "death ray" X-ray weapon to be used against Muslims were in court on Wednesday. Eric J. Feight of Columbia County pleaded guilty to domestic terrorism-related charges and faces anywhere from time served to 15 years in prison. His co-defendant, Glendon Scott Crawford of Saratoga County, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempting to produce and use a radiological device, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, and distribution of information relating to weapons. [WNYT][TU][Saratogian]

One day after Andrew Cuomo announced that his proposed budget would set aside $608 million for an increase in education aid, the Alliance for Quality Education and a group of Capitol Region state legislators held a press conference asking for $1.9 billion.[TU]

A coalition of progressive groups has announced it will launch a grassroots fight against Cuomo's proposed budget.[WNYT][TU]

Just weeks before the fire that destroyed Villa Valenti Restaurant a Pennsylvania-based mortgage company started foreclosure proceedings against the restaurant over more than $16,000 in back payments. [Record]

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Tax cuts and universal pre-k part of Cuomo's proposed 2014 budget, Rotterdam Square Mall sold, 11-year-old arrested for allegedly assaulting bus driver, it's cold

Yep, it's cold out there. [NWS]

Andrew Cuomo outlined his proposed $142.1 billion 2014-15 state budget on Tuesday. The plan would hold the growth in spending below 2 percent. It also calls for funding for universal pre-k, a $2.2 billion tax cut plan, and an $807 million increase in education spending -- much lower than the $1.3 billion increase recommended by the state board of regents. Also included in the budget: a plan to establish a panel of legislators and education experts to review the Common Core and make some adjustments. [TWCN] [TU] [TU] [News 10] [TWCN]

Rotterdam Square Mall has been sold to an owner who has a history of controversy and legal battles with other malls he owns . Also, because the mall sold for< a href="www.dailygazette.com/news/2014/jan/21/rotterdam-square-sold-85-million/">less than a third of its assessed value, the property could generate less tax revenue than in the past. [TU] [Gazette]

The Saratoga Springs City Council heard more casino arguments at a meeting Tuesday, but the usually vocal SAVE Saratoga anti-casino group announced via press release that it would sit the meeting out this time. [TWCN][Saratogian]

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Cuomo budget presentation today, multiple shootings but locations unclear, Albany Med interested in medical marijuana program

Andrew Cuomo will present his proposed 2014-2015 budget this afternoon. Among the main questions: The next budget was projected to have a gap, so how is the Cuomo admin finding money for the tax cuts it's been touting? [TU]

Friday on the Capitol Pressroom, an Andrew Cuomo riff on what he called a "schism" in the Republican Party included this statement: "Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that's who they are and they're the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are." Republicans -- and Fred Dicker -- jumped on the statement, expressing outrage. The Cuomo admin released a letter Monday in response to the uproar: "The Governor was making the point that he makes often: New York is a politically moderate state and an extremist agenda is not politically viable statewide." [TU CapCon] [NY Post] [TU CapCon]

The $10 billion slated for investment at the GlobalFoundries site in Malta is currently aimed at upgrades to its existing facilities, not a second fab, according to the company. [TU]

The fields that will include the most job growth in the Capital Region, according to state Department of Labor short-term projections: food service, retail, medical. [TU]

The superintendents of the Albany and Schenectady school districts both make more than $180k a year. [TU]

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Two local school districts tagged as facing "significant fiscal stress," plan to reduce sewer overflows into the Hudson, communication mishap resulted in unintended release from jail

In a "fiscal stress" analysis of school districts in the state by the state comptroller's office the the Watervliet school district topped the list of districts facing "significant stress." Said Watervliet's superintendent to the TU: "We're strapped ... The comptroller knows it, the state knows it and now the whole world knows it, but no one will help us do anything about it." Also among the top tier of districts facing "significant financial stress:" Schenectady. Said superintendent Larry Spring to the Daily Gazette: "They only give us 54 percent of the aid we're supposed to get, and then they issue a report saying, 'You're in fiscal stress?' Yes, because you made that happen. I don't see the purpose of the report except to say, 'You're successfully strangling us.'" [NYS OSC] [NYS OSC] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced a $136 million plan involving six Capital Region municipalities in "The Albany Pool" aimed at reducing the amount of sewage that pours in the Hudson River during heaving rains. A key part of the plan: a disinfection system for a pipe called "Big C" near the Port of Albany, which accounts for about half of the "combined sewer overflows." [NYS DEC] [TU] Earlier: Something stinks about the Hudson near Albany

Colonie supervisor Paula Mahan on the possibility of a casino at the First Prize Center: "Personally, I don't think that's the right location for it ... It's right smack in the middle of a neighborhood." [TU]

A federal judge has ruled that the Wandering Dago's lawsuit against the state -- over the food truck being rejected from vending at the Empire State Plaza and Saratoga Race Course because of its name -- can proceed. [TU]

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Shooting on Central Ave in Albany, investigation continues in Villa Valenti fire, Cuomo sitting on $33 million, ice jams continue to cause flooding concern, kittens in prison

Albany police say a man was shot around 5 pm Wednesday outside of the CVS on the 100 block of Central Avenue (map). Later that day activists gathered a few blocks away to try to find solutions for Albany's gun violence problem. [TU] [TWCN]

The Niskayuna man charged with killing his estranged wife at her Lake Luzerne apartment on Christmas Eve pleaded not guilty to a charge of second degree murder on Wednesday. Clifford R. Burns told police he "snapped" over the fear he was going to go to jail over missing two child support payments.[WNYT][TWCN][Post Star]

Andrew Cuomo reported having $33 million in his re-election coffers. According to the New York Public Interest Research Group, that exceeds the total he spent on his 2010 gubernatorial campaign ($28 million). [TU][NYT]

Stewart's Shops is facing a class action lawsuit that argues the company violated wage and hour laws, failed to compensate employees for all hours worked, routinely deprived employees of mandatory meal breaks and failed to effectively record time worked by employees.[Saratogian][TU]

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Fire destroys Villa Valenti, police search for Delmar bank robber, Owens won't seek re-election, more animal abuse charges on Greenfield horse farm, budget woes may cause Alive at Five cutback

Investigators are looking for the cause of a quick-moving fire that destroyed the Villa Valenti restaurant in Wynantskill Tuesday night.[TU]

Police are investigating an armed robbery Tuesday morning at the Citizens Bank in Delmar. [WNYT]

Bill Owens has announced that he will not seek re-election for the 21st Congressional district seat (which includes parts of Saratoga and Washington counties), leaving Democrats concerned that the party's chances of gaining in the House in November may be hurt. [TWCN] [NYT]

The Rensselaer County legislature overwhelmingly passed a referendum to support a casino being built in the city of Rensselaer. [TWCN]

Employees of the Saratoga Casino & Raceway held a press conference on Tuesday to show their support for a full casino in the city. [WNYT]

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Snags (and progress) for the state's implementation of Obamacare, shooting in downtown Troy, Victory Mill residential conversation tax breaks approved

A state Senate hearing with the head of the NY State of Health -- the state's health exchange for the federal Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) -- detailed some of the snags and problems with the program so far, included slow-arriving ID cards and confusion over which doctors are in network. One of the things more or less on track: New York has enrolled a relatively high percentage of young people (getting young people into the pool is forecasted to be a key part of keeping premiums down). [TU] [Capital] [NYT]

A consequence of the recent upswing in natural gas prices: a sharp jump in electricity prices in the state. [TU]

Cecilia Tkaczyk is among the 83 state legislators pushing Andrew Cuomo to for a $1.9 billion increase in state school aid. [TU]

Kathy Marchione is part of a group of state Senators pushing for an overhaul of business regulations in the state. [TU]

State Senator Diane Savino -- who's been an advocate for medical marijuana in the chamber, where previous bills on the subject have been roadblocked -- said new medical marijuana legislation isn't ready yet. Medical marijuana advocates say Andrew Cuomo's plan for a limited trial program at a handful of hospitals doesn't go far enough. [TU] [TWCN]

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Ice jams continue to prompt flooding concerns, free breakfast touted as reason for surge in school attendance, variance sought for pet funeral facility

Ice jams on local waterways continue to prompt concerns about potential flooding as snow melts and more rain is in the forecast. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Mohawk River at Schenectady, with "minor flooding" in the forecast, for today. Communities along the Mohawk have been watching the ice jams and water levels, which -- so far -- haven't caused much trouble. On the other side of the region, an ice jam in Rensselaer County caused some minor flooding. [TU] [NWS] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

In Waterford there's concern that drastically higher flood insurance premiums will price people out of the village. [TU]

Question: Should the number of seats in the Albany County legislature -- one of the biggest and most costly in the state -- be reduced? [TU]

Local school officials and sexual assault prevention educators say networks such as Facebook and Instagram are being frequently used as a tools of harassment, or as Schenectady schools superintendent Larry Spring says of Facebook: it's "a gift from the devil." [Daily Gazette]

What apparently prompted a surge in attendance at Schenectady public schools this year: free breakfast and lunch for everyone. [Daily Gazette]

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Cold weather prompts higher natural gas prices and ice jams, Schdy schools superintendent continues push for large state aid increase, SUNY Upstate doc warns of "stupid stoners"

The recent very cold weather has prompted an upswing in the price of natural gas. And the state power grid set a record for peak winter demand on Tuesday. (Much of New York's electricity comes from natural gas-fired power plants.) [TU] [NYISO] [US EIA]

Large chunks of ice on local waterways from the long, deep freeze + warmer temperatures and rain this weekend = concerns about possible flooding caused by ice jams. Said a Ballston Spa man of the ice jam that caused flooding in his basement this week: "It looked like a big glacier." The Coast Guard has been running an ice breaker up in the Hudson out of the Port of Albany to keep the shipping channel open. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [WNYT]

Many of the proposals in Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address might sound familiar -- because they've been proposed before, by other governors. [TU]

As the Schenectady school district looks another budget gap, superintendent Larry Spring continues to bang the drum for a large shift in state aid for the district: "[Andrew Cuomo] really should be thinking of increasing aid to Schenectady by 20 percent a year for the next three years." [Daily Gazette]

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State of the State topics include education and tax cuts, fracking protests outside SOTS but no mention inside, Clifton Park woman won't be the biggest loser

Among the topics in Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address: universal pre-k, "smart" classrooms, the state of education, ethics reform, government consolidation, and medical marijuana. Here's a quick scan of the speech. [NYT][WNYT][News 10][AOA]

While some were encouraged by the speech, others are skeptical about how the state will pay for some of the governor's initiatives.[Capitol Confidential][Record]

Hydrofracking wasn't mentioned in the State of the State address, but anti-fracking advocates protested outside the Capitol on Wednesday. Among the anti-fracking activists: a Buddhist nun who was the force behind the Grafton Peace Pagoda and led a 50-mile anti-fracking walk from Sharon Springs to the Empire State Plaza in the frigid temperatures.[WNYT][TWCN] [TU]

Saratoga Springs police are investigating the death of a local man found at the Hilton Garden Inn who may have overdosed on heroin.[TU]

A Niskayuna man pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to the Christmas Eve murder of his estranged wife in Lake Luzerne. [TU]

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State of the State today, fracking and gun protests expected at SOS address, shouting and obscenities at Paul sentencing, Saratoga simmers over casinos

It's expected to warm up -- to around 19 degrees -- today. [NWS]

Andrew Cuomo will deliver his fourth State of the State address today. Among the items he's expected to mention: medical marijuana, and a $2.2 billion plan to cut taxes. [TWCN][News10]

Hundreds of anti-fracking activists and opponents of the NY SAFE Act are expected to protest at the State of the State address.[TU]

About 75 protestors gathered in the frigid temperatures outside the Capitol on Tuesday for the annual People's State of the State, an anti-poverty protest, on the day before the governor's State of the State. Income disparity was a big focus of the protest on Tuesday.[TU] [Record]

Vice President Joe Biden joined Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday as the governor outlined a plan to spend $16 billion in federal disaster aid on 1,000 separate projects that will help make New York better prepared for future storms. Here's a quick scan of details and quotes. [NYT][TWCN][AOA]

An obscenity-laden shouting match broke out as sentencing was about to being in the case of Joey Paul, the Stillwater woman who shot her boyfriend to death with his own AK-47 in his Schuylerville apartment in 2012. The shouting began when Paul screamed "Who are you to judge me?" as the victim's mother read an impact statement. Paul was escorted from the courtroom after the shouting match broke out. When she returned, Paul was sentenced to 18 1/2 years on manslaughter charges.[TU][Saratogain][News 10][TWCN]

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It's cold, Cuomo details tax cut plans, questions about oil facility proposal at Port of Albany, sheriff's office joins the 1990s

You might have heard: It's cold. After hitting 50 degrees early Monday, the temperature dropped to 6 degrees overnight. Today's high is projected to be 10 degrees, with wind chill values as a low as -10. Albany city schools were closed because of the cold, and other districts delayed the start of the their school day. [NWS] [NWS] [ACSD FB] [TU]

Andrew Cuomo shared some details on the $2 billion in tax cuts he's proposed, including the elimination of the corporate income tax rate for manufacturing companies upstate. The governor said the state could afford the tax cuts because his administration had controlled spending and there were projected surpluses, though he did not share specific details about how they would be financed. Cuomo also set up the package of cuts -- which include a potential two-year upstate property tax freeze -- as a way to pressure to local governments to "take concrete steps vis-a-vis shared services and consolidation." [Cuomo admin] [NYT] [TU]

Joe Biden is scheduled to be in Albany today for an event with Andrew Cuomo. They'll be in the Red Room at the Capitol to "discuss infrastructure and other investments in the wake of Hurricane Sandy." It's not open to the public, but it will be livestreamed online. [Daily Gazette] [Cuomo admin]

Becky Goodermote -- who pled guilty to multiple charges after she struck Matthew Ratelle, a bicyclist, on Route 22 in Rensselaer County in September 2012, the injuries from which led to the death of the Ratelle -- was sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison. Said Ratelle's father at the sentencing: "You hit Matt so hard he landed 30 yards off the road ... And you left him there like roadkill." Said Goodermote: "I will have to live with this for the rest of my life ... I pray that one day they will find it in their hearts to forgive me." [Troy Record] [TWCN] [TU]

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Cuomo to push forward on limited medical marijuana legalization, Joe Biden to visit Albany, fatal fire on Dove Street in Albany, all that and the wrong person

"State officials" tell the New York Times that Andrew Cuomo will announce during his State of the State address Wednesday that he will open the way for limited use of medical marijuana in the state via an executive action. (Bills to allow medical marijuana haven't been able to make it through the state Senate.) The move will rely at least in part on provisions in a 1980 state law, though the legislature may still have to get involved in some way. Supporters of pot legalization were chuffed by the news, but the floated 20-hospital limit for the program muted some of the excitement. [NYT] [State of Politics] [TU]

Joe Biden will be in Albany Tuesday for an event with Andrew Cuomo, according to a White House press release, though there weren't many details about the visit. "Sources familiar with the event" tell the Times Union the Vice President's visit will touch on the use of federal disaster aid for rebuilding infrastructure. [WH press release] [TU]

A look at how Massachusetts has gone about the casino siting/selection process -- and how New York's process is (or isn't) shaping up. [TU]

Despite efforts to diversify the Albany Fire Department, the ranks of city fire fighters are still overwhelmingly white and male -- among the reasons cited by people inside and outside of the department: criteria used during the screening process and the composition of the civil service exam. [TU]

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This just in: it's snowy and very cold, federal safety warning about crude oil shipments, McLaughlin leaning away from gubernatorial run, dog rescued from the Hudson

It snowed a lot. And it's cold. The storm dropped 10-12 inches of snow around the Capital Region, and overnight temps dipped below zero. The Thruway was closed between Exit 24 and New York City over night because of the snow (it re-opened this morning). [NWS] [NWS] [TU] [Cuomo admin]

Today's forecast: high temperature of 7 degress, low tonight of -11. [NWS]

Many municipalities around the Capital Region have declared snow emergencies, including Albany (starts 8 pm Friday night with even side parking). The city of Troy, which often faces criticism for not having a snow emergency plan, is still working on formulating such a plan, according to a city spokesperson -- and a snow "push back" was planned for the central business district early Friday morning. [City of Albany] [Troy Record] [News10]

Federal regulators have issued a warning that Bakken crude oil -- for which the Port of Albany has become a major node in its shipping network -- "may be more flammable than traditional heavy crude oil." A train carrying the oil crashed in North Dakota this week, sending a fiery plume into the air. [TU] [US PHMSA] [ABC News]

Moreau's town board is supporting a push to site a casino at the Mount McGregor Correctional Facility, slated for closure later this year. The Saratoga racino (er, Saratoga Casino and Raceway) is thought to be the frontrunner if a Capital Region casino is sited in Saratoga County -- but Moreau's supervisor points out that a majority of his town's resident voted to approve full casinos in the state, and a majority of Saratoga Springs voted against it. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Kathy Sheehan is mayor of Albany, Troy police investigate NYE drive-by shooting, teen accused of stealing police car

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Kathy Sheehan became Albany's first new mayor in 20 years on Tuesday.

Cold and snow. [TWCN][AOA]

For the first time in 20 years, Albany has a new mayor. Jerry Jennings walked out of City Hall as mayor for the last time on Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning about 600 people were on hand to witness the inauguration of Kathy Sheehan. The new mayor was sworn in at Kiernan Plaza in downtown Albany, where she told the crowd that she wants to make sure each neighborhood in the city is represented.[TWCN][Record][TU][News 10]

Saratoga's new mayor, Joanne Yepsen, took the oath of office on Wednesday. Yepsen says her first order of business is to open government and transparency in the mayor's office. While Yepsen said she isn't opposed to a casino in Saratoga, she said on Wednesday that a casino with a Vegas-type atmosphere "does not have a place in Saratoga Springs," and said she would oppose a casino event space that would cut into bookings for the City Center in downtown Saratoga Springs. [TWCN][Saratogian]

In Schenectady, Democrats John Mootooveren, Carl Erikson and Marion Porterfield took the oath of office for city council. [TU]

Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan will be sworn in for her new term later today.[TU]

A Queensbury couple is facing animal cruelty charges for allegedly illegally neutering a dog and cat for friends who didn't want to pay for surgery.[Post Star]

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Many local bridges in less than good condition, fatal shooting on Grand Street in Albany, new plan for Troy snow removal

A Times Union analysis of state bridge data concludes that more than a third of the bridges in the Capital Region are rated as being in less than good condition -- but many of them are owned by local governments and money to fix the spans is hard to find. A small union rally in Clifton Park Sunday was intended to draw attention to "the state's crumbling infrastructure." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A Times Union analysis of campaign contributions made by engineering firms to local politicians concludes that many firms donate to the party in the power, apparently in an attempt to maintain consulting contracts with towns -- a situation that has created close ties between some firms and local governments. [TU]

Prompted by the recent death of a homeless woman, apparently from exposure on a cold night, there's now a plan in Saratoga Springs for a "Code Blue" program -- an emergency shelter for homeless people will be opened on very cold nights, with free transportation available. The plan was headed up by mayor-elect Joanne Yepsen and local aid orgs. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

A local emergency department physician on the apparent recent surge in heroin use: "It's dropped in cost, the cost of [prescription] pills have gone up in cost and the access to pills has gone down." [Daily Gazette]

Colonie police say a standoff Friday night on Consaul Road (map) was prompted by a domestic violence call, a report that a man had stabbed a woman, was armed with a gun, and was threatening to kill people. CPD says the man exited the home and pointed a gun at officers and an officer fired at the man, missing. CPD says there was a shot inside the home after that. The woman, who suffered stab wounds to the leg, was able to escape with her father. Police eventually forced the man out of the house with tear gas. Timothy Anatriello Jr., 24, now faces a string of charges. [CPD] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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More than a thousand attend memorial for State Police trooper, another state Assemblyman accused of making sexual comments to staffers, Troy towing snowbound cars

More than a thousand people attended the wake for State Police trooper David Cunniff at his Watervliet church on Thursday. Cunniff died from injuries after he was hit by a tractor trailer on the Thruway during a traffic stop near Amsterdam -- State Police say charges are pending and have told the truck driver, a Canadian, to stay in the country. [Troy Record] [TU]

Said one attendee at the memorial service for Nancy Pitts, the homeless woman who apparently died from exposure last week in Saratoga Springs: "It makes me really sad the way Nancy died ... More than that, it makes me angry." Pitts' death has focused attention on the lack of an emergency homeless shelter in the Saratoga Springs area. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The attorney for Damien Zervos, accused of shooting a mother of four in the back of the head in an Albany apartment in October, said his client will use the insanity defense because of "a preliminary indication" that his client has schizophrenia. [TU]

Said Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy of the 17-year-old Shen student accused of injecting a 15-year-old with heroin: "He's a deeply troubled kid ... There are issues here both criminal and social." The judge in the case said his hope is to get the teen into a rehab program. The 15-year-old has said the alleged injection was not forced. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Flags at half staff for Trooper Cunniff, alleged Toys for Tots theft a misunderstanding, CDTA on track for highest ridership since 1980s

Flags around New York State will be flown at half staff today in honor or State Police trooper David Cunniff, who died earlier this week when was hit by a tractor trailer on the Thruway near Amsterdam during a traffic stop. Services for Cunniff will be held on Thursday and Friday at his church in Watervliet. The investigation into the crash continues and no charges have been filed yet. [TU][TWCN][WNYT]

A feasibility study emphasizing the commercial benefit of moving and scaling back the proposed Albany Convention Center is apparently what changed Andrew Cuomo's mind about the project. [TU]

Rensselaer County clerk Frank Merola is among the first to publicly object to a proposal to provide drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, saying he will not issue the licenses in the county. [Capitol Confidential]

Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen will hold an emergency meeting this week to work on a "Code Blue" plan to shelter homeless people during the winter. [News 10]

It turns out the Toys for Tots collection box outside the Glenville Walmart was not stolen on Tuesday night, as originally reported. The box belonged to another charity and the woman who picked it up had permission to remove it. [TU][WNYT]

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Death puts focus on resources for the homeless in Saratoga County, big turnout for casino meeting, Colonie trying to shut down "disgusting" motel

Police say it appears Nancy Pitts, the homeless woman found dead behind the Saratoga Senior Center last week, died of exposure, though that has not yet been confirmed by autopsy (map). Her death has focused attention the extent of facilities for the homeless in the Saratoga area. Saratoga Springs has a shelter, but it's for temporary drop-ins, there are no emergency shelters in all of Saratoga County. Said an official from Shelters of Saratoga about the situation: "I don't think any of us should settle for the fact that folks are going to die out there." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [TWCN]

Temperatures dipped below zero overnight and forecasted lows for tonight are in the teens. [NWS] [NWS]

In the "top tier" of Andrew Cuomo's agenda for next year: the proposed two-year property tax freeze, jobs, ethics reform. [State of Politics] [TU]

Also from the Cuomo cabinet meeting: the state health commissioner said the review of hydrofracking is still ongoing and, "The process needs to be transparent at the end, not during." Cuomo on the long-delayed review: "I want the right decision ... Not necessarily the fastest decision." [State of Politics] [NYT]

More than a thousand people showed up for a panel about a potential full casino in Saratoga Springs -- a plan with few specific details, apparently. Among the skeptics: Saratoga Springs mayor elect Joanne Yepsen. Among the arguments from those opposing a casino: a majority of voters in Saratoga County voted against the amendment to allow full casinos in the state. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [News10] [News10]

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It snowed, Schenectady officials deliver school funding complaint to the feds, another Uncle Sam beheaded, Albany chess queen headed to international competition

The Albany area got about a foot of snow over the weekend. It was the fourth-highest storm total in the period since 2010. [NWS] [TU]

Schenectady school officials delivered the district's discrimination complaint -- which alleges the state's funding formula shorts districts with many minority students -- to a federal Department of Education office in New York City Friday. Said superintendent Larry Spring: "They told us, 'we're interested in the case, we like that this has not been brought before,' and that they think they had a role to play." [Daily Gazette] [TU]

One member of the state's Board of Regents explains her opposition to the way the Common Core standards are being implemented -- she alleges state education officials are using "false information to create a crisis." [TU]

A homeless person was found dead outside near the Saratoga Senior Center last week. [Saratogian]

Occupancy rates are high in new residential units either being built or converted in Capital Region downtowns. [TU]

There are now at least 35 roundabouts in the Capital Region -- to the joy of traffic engineers, and apparently to the dismay of others. [Daily Gazette]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Waite sentenced to 25 years-to-life, State Police: Shen student injected another student with heroin, man dies while trying to save horses, package thefts in Colonie

Gary Waite, the Glens Falls man convicted for the murder of his 15-month-old son, was sentenced to 25 years-to-life in prison. [Post-Star] [WNYT]

A Brooklyn man, Rodney Davis, was sentenced to 50 years-to-life in prison for the shooting death of Rashad Robinson outside a bar in Schenectady's Mont Pleasant neighborhood in 2011 (map). Two other people were also injured in the shooting. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Quintril Clark, accused of planning the murder of Sha-kim Miller in Troy in 2012, was found not guilty of second-degree murder. [Troy Record]

The state's highest court has ordered a new trial for Ariel Myers, who was convicted of first-degree assault for the shooting of Robert Gunyup in Troy's Griswold Heights housing complex in 2009. The court ruled that testimony about Myers allegedly having a gun at a different time should not have been allowed in the trial. [NYS Court of Appeals] [TU]

State Police say a 17-year-old Shen student has been arrested for allegedly injecting a 15-year-old student with heroin at Shenedehowa High School on Tuesday. The 17 year old has been charged with felony criminal injection of a narcotic drug and a handful of misdemeanors. [NYSP]

Albany County exec Dan McCoy signed the bill banning the use of polystyrene containers by chain restaurants. The ban takes effect July 1 after a six month transition period. The chain maybe most affected by the ban: Dunkin' Donuts. McCoy says he will "call for all Albany County biz to follow Styrofoam ban within 3 yrs." [@McCoyCountyExec] [Albany County] [WNYT] [TU] [@McCoyCountExec]

Documents from the Federal Railroad Administration obtained by the Daily Gazette detail the events involved with a train derailment in Glenville this past February -- in one letter a railway company official comments that it was "miraculous" that the accident wasn't more serious. [Daily Gazette]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Bomb threat at GloFo site, midday bank robbery in downtown Troy, huge former Beech-Nut plant sold, a Cracker Jack buffet

Construction at the GlobalFoundries site in Luther Forest was temporarily stopped Monday -- and 3,000 construction employees sent home -- after a note was left at the scene claiming there were bombs at the site. (WNYT reports the note was left "on toilet paper in a portable bathroom stall.") Police say no explosives were found. State Police say a Glenville man -- working at the site as an electrician's apprentice -- was arrested for allegedly writing the note. An investigator said police aren't sure what prompted the threat. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [YNN] [NYSP] [Saratogian]

Said the sister of man who was fatally shot early Monday on First Street in Albany (map), to the Times Union, as she watched a firefighter hose her brother's blood off the pavement: "I don't want to live without my brother. I didn't even get to say goodbye. ... I may never leave this scene." An APD spokesman called the case "a very active and ongoing investigation" and urged the public to call with any information it might have. [APD] [TU] [News10]

Albany fire chief Robert Forezzi is retiring after 39 years with the department, almost eight of those as chief. [TU] [WNYT]

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Continued focus on train safety measures, NYSP: customers restrained alleged robber, Grammy nom for ASO, to school on a unicycle

After the Bronx crash, the feds have ordered Metro North to overhaul its signaling system and to temporarily have two people in the driver's cab during stretches that include speed changes. MTA says its signal network will now warn operators of the sharp bend in the tracks and trains will automatically break brake if they're traveling faster than the speed limit through that stretch. Chuck Schumer and Connecticut US Senator are pushing for the installation of audio and video recorders in trains that would focus on engineers and the tracks. [AP/TU] [NYT] [AP/TU]

State comptroller Tom DiNapoli said his office will be auditing the state Division of Criminal Justice Services' oversight and management of hate crime reporting across the state. The announcement follows concern raised by a Manhattan state Senator that some hate crimes in the state are being missed. [NYS OSC] [TU]

Many newborn blood samples aren't making it from hospitals to the state lab in Albany within the two-day window mandated. [TU]

Schenectady schools superintendent Larry Spring says he will personally travel to New York City this week to deliver the school district's civil rights complaint against the state to federal Department of Education investigators. (The district argues that it's not getting the state funding it deserves, and alleges the state's formula has ended up being discriminatory against districts with large minority populations.) [Daily Gazette]

Updated: Albany police responded to a reports of gunfire in West Hill (block map) overnight and found a man with a gunshot wound. APD says the man later died of his injuries. APD says an investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call the Albany Police Detective Division at 462-8039. [WNYT] [APD press release]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Dennis Drue sentenced, investigation in apparent Albany homicide, resident permits for downtown Troy off-street parking, Siro's for sale

Dennis Drue was sentenced to 5-15 years in prison for his guilty plea to more than 50 counts related to the fatal Northway crash last year that killed Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers. At the sentencing Bailey Wind -- one of the two teens who survived the crash, but were seriously injured -- told Drue repeatedly to look at her while she spoke and called him a "murderer" and said, "You're drenched in their blood forever." Stewart's mother spoke of how many of her son's things still sit where he left them, including his toothbrush: "I hope every time you pick up your toothbrush in your jail cell, you think of my son and my grief ... I hope it inspires you to do bigger and better things with your life, and I hope it gives you perspective to see things from someone else's eyes." In the five years leading up to the crash, Drue had been ticketed 22 times, had his license suspended, and was involved in four accidents, all reported to be his fault -- and prosecutors said he was drunk and had marijuana in his system at the time of the fatal Northway crash. Just before the sentence was announced, Drue apologized for the first time publicly: "I never meant to hurt anybody ... I take full responsibility. I'm so sorry, I really am." Rivers' father expressed disappointment in the length of the sentence: "We feel that someone who takes two lives by committing this type of reckless crime should receive more than five to 15 years in prison." [TU] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [News10] [YNN]

Shanikqua Thomas -- who pleaded guilty to assault for running over six people on Elk Street in Albany in August -- was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Said a woman whose pelvis was broken during the incident: "I try not to think about that day but am constantly reminded because of the physical injury and emotional scars I carry." [News10] [Albany County DA] [TU]

Albany police say they're investigating what appears to be a homicide in an apartment on Western Ave near to the Saint Rose campus (map). APD says officers responding to a call about a broken window Wednesday found a deceased man, apparently from a physical altercation. APD says it's arrested a man in connection with an alleged burglary, but any possible involvement in the death is still under investigation. [APD]

Part of the recent haul in what's reported to be the Capital Region's largest-ever drug seizure: more than 500 pounds of pot and more than 130 pounds of cocaine. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Former Albany Common Council candidate arrested in drug bust, Global Foundries announces layoffs, NYRA hikes track admission, Trump for governor. Or not.

According to a Moreland Commission co-chair, the ethics panel did extend its probe to the offices of Andrew Cuomo and Eric Schneiderman, but they didn't find any wrongdoing. [Capital]

The Metro North engineer who was driving the commuter train that derailed last weekend has been suspended without pay. [WNYT]

Dennis Drue is expected to be sentenced today for his role in the Northway crash that killed high school students Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers last year.[TU]

About 30 jobs, mostly support roles, are being eliminated at the Global Foundries Luther Forest computer chip plant.[Gazette][Record]

A former candidate who narrowly lost a primary for Albany Common Council was arrested in a drug bust on Tuesday. Police arrested Sam Coleman in a raid on a Washington Avenue apartment where police say crack was cooking on a stove. [WNYT][TU]

The home of the man who was recently freed from rape charges due to an error in the Rensselaer County District Attorney's Office was raided by police on Thanksgiving Day in connection with a recent burglary. [WNYT][TU]

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Attorneys for Albany imam pin hopes to new policy, Moreland report highlights "payback culture" in Albany, SCCC President leaving for Pennsylvania

Attorneys representing the engineer who was driving the Metro North commuter train that ran off the rails in the Bronx say the man nodded off at the controls just before the wreck and caught himself too late. [AP/TU]

Attorneys for Yassin Aref, the Albany imam convicted in 2006 of laundering money from a terror plot that turned out to be an FBI sting operation, are hoping a recent policy change in US attorney general Eric Holder's office may lead to their client's release. At a rally for Aref on Tuesday, attorneys said the policy would require that previously withheld evidence in the case be released. Supporters of Aref at the rally included Albany Common Council member Dominick Calsolaro, who said: "We have people who were prosecuted based on evidence that the defense never got to see." [TU][YNN][Record][WNYT]

The Moreland Commission report released this week highlights what's described as a "payback culture" in Albany between elected officials and campaign donors, but did not name names about which elected officials or political donors might face prosecution based on evidence uncovered in the panel's investigation.[NYT]

There appears to be a lot of overlap between Andrew Cuomo's recent legislative platform recommendations and the findings of the Moreland Commission. [Capital]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Moreland Commission delivers report on corruption, APD changing strip search policy, hate crime charge withdrawn, the Infamous Frozen Turkey Chase of 1987

The Andrew Cuomo-created Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption delivered its preliminary report on corruption Monday evening, urging changes: "The commission's preliminary observation is that both the general state of our political system, and the way business is transacted within it, cry out urgently for reform." Among the recommendations: a public system for matching small political campaign contributions, though that idea was opposed by some of the commission's members. [State of Politics] [NYT] [TU]

Federal investigators said the Metro North train that crashed in the Bronx Sunday was traveling 82 mph into a curve rated for 30 mph. "Law enforcement sources" tells the New York Daily News that the train's conductor didn't remember how the train had picked up such speed, and described the conductor as "consciously asleep." Experts say proposed safety technology for trains could have slowed the train before the curve. [NYT] [NYDN] [TU/AP]

Schenectady County DA Robert Carney says the man held on previous charges following the fatal car-to-car shooting near Mont Pleasant Middle School in Schenectady last month has been charged with second-degree murder in the case. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Traci Briskin -- convicted of manslaughter and driving while ability impaired for running a stop sign in Charlton last year, causing a crash that fatally injured a man -- has been sentenced to 2.5-7.5 years in prison. [Saratogian] [TU]

The Saratoga Springs school board voted to accept to a recommendation from a hearing officer that a middle school math teacher be fired over an accusation he made sexual advances toward a student. The teacher was a acquitted on a charge related to the alleged incident earlier this year, and he said Monday that the student's story was "riddled with inconsistencies." [TU] [Saratogian]

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Investigation into fatal Metro North derailment, state tax credits for businesses up sharply, NanoCollege planning chip foundry for Utica, they were first in line

Investigators are looking into why a Metro North train derailed Sunday near the Harlem River in the Bronx, killing four people and injuring many others. Andrew Cuomo said on the Today Show this morning that early indications are that the train's speed appeared to be a factor. Amtrak service from Albany-Rensselaer to NYC was halted for a few hours Sunday, but has since been restored, though at slower speeds near the crash site. Said an Albany woman whose train had passed by the crash site Sunday, to WNYT: "There were a couple of cars really turned on their side ... There was one (that was) feet from the water. It was really bad. It was scary." [NYT] [NYT] [AP/ABC News] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office says a pedestrian who hit and killed by a vehicle on Route 29 in Milton Saturday morning. The sheriff's office said the driver reported briefly losing sight of the road before hitting the pedestrian. The driver has been charged with failure to use designated lane. [News10] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The cost of state tax credits for businesses have been on a sharp upswing over the last handful of few years, rising from $673 million in 2005 to an estimated $1.7 billion in 2003, according to a report prepared for the New York State Tax Reform and Fairness Commission. [TU] [Capital New York]

The county jails for Albany and Rensselaer counties generate millions in revenue each year from boarding prisoners from other counties. [TU]

Bailey Wind on her ongoing recovery -- both physical and emotional -- from the fatal Northway wreck a year ago: "Every day is definitely different. Some days are better than others. I'd say more are better than worse. But when the days are bad, they're really bad. I have a few bad days every week." And Regina Stewart, Chris Stewart's mother: "There are moments that take me off my feet... Then it's literally time to rest -- to let the sadness and anguish happen. And eventually it subsides." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Schumer supports Schenectady demolition and rehab plan, Halfmoon supervisor-elect to replace Wormuth, Ellis nurse charged with recording women in bathroom, weather delays ESP rink opening

Chuck Schumer was in Schenectady on Tuesday to lend his support to a plan to get a $3 million loan to tear down about 80 blighted buildings and rehab others. [YNN][TU][Gazette]

Halfmoon's Town Board unanimously appointed supervisor-elect Kevin Tollisen to fill the remainder of supervisor complete Melinda Wormuth's term. Wormuth resigned earlier last week and is under is under indictment by federal and state authorities.[WNYT][Saratogaian]

On Tuesday's Capitol Pressroom Andrew Cuomo said he's anticipating some form of property or business tax cut in the coming fiscal year that will be paid for by an expected surplus.But the division of budget contends that there will be a 1.7 billion deficit, [TU][Daily News]

An Ellis Hospital nurse has been fired and is facing felony charges for allegedly using a surveillance camera to secretly record women in a hospital bathroom.[YNN][TU]

Residents of the 1600 block of Van Vranken Avenue say a decision to cut mail delivery to the area after a BB gun was shot at a mail carrier on the block last week, is causing a hardship for some in the neighborhood.[Gazette]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Potential casino sites that are not Saratoga, allegation of excessive force against Troy police, new community owners for Open Door Bookstore

Increasing talk about the potential Capital Region casino not ending up in Saratoga -- maybe instead sites in Rensselaer, Albany, or Schenectady. [TU]

State Police say the Schoharie County home in which an 8 year old's adult teeth were allegedly pulled with a pair of pliers was "in an advanced state of disarray" and "in terrible condition." The girl's legal guardian is facing assault and child endangerment charges. [TU] [WNYT]

A Saratoga Springs man has filed a lawsuit alleging Troy police used excessive force against him -- including tasing him in the head -- during an arrest in 2011. Also: A separate allegation of excessive force against TPD officers has become the latest focus of the ongoing fight between Troy police chief John Tedesco and the city administration. [TU] [Troy Record]

Democrat Cynthia Young has filed paperwork that's the first step in appealing a decision by a state Supreme Court justice to toss two absentee ballots in the Malta supervisor election, giving the win to incumbent Republican Paul Sausville. The judge, a Republican, disqualified the ballots because the voters had written on the back of the ballot in the section for the state constitutional amendments. From a message posted on Young's campaign FB page: "It is a long shot, but the outrage over the disenfranchisement of voters needs to be addressed." [TU] [Saratogian] [Cynthia Young campaign FB]

The US Postal Service has suspended mail service to a section of Van Vranken Ave in Schenectady (block map) after postal officials say a mail carrier was targeted by someone with a BB gun last week (the carrier wasn't hurt). [Daily Gazette]

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Prosecutor resigns after paperwork error in Rensselaer County alleged rape case, new plan eyed for Albany convention center site, that's old news

Rensselaer County DA Richard McNally says the ADA responsible for the paperwork mishap that allowed a man accused of raping two teens to walk without a trial has resigned. McNally told the Record last week that the paperwork error was caused by the ADA's heavy workload and noted his previous requests for funding for two more ADAs had been denied. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany County DA's office says Leonard Spence pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Darzee Reid at Central and King avenues in Albany last April (map). He faces up to 21 years in prison. Reid's death was the first homicide of 2013 in the city. [Albany County DA]

The Troy-Waterford Bridge has re-opened after emergency repairs. The bridge, which carries Route 4 over the Hudson, was closed ahead of rush hour Friday after an inspection found a crack in a beam. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany Convention Center Authority is planning to an issue a request for proposals for a mixed-use development on the land on the south side of downtown Albany originally gathered for the convention center project, which now appears to be headed for a scaled-down version closer to the ESP. [TU]

NYSUT and PEF aren't happy about about a team of analysts in the state education department that are funded by private donations and are, depending on who's doing the describing, either advising or directing the department's education reform efforts. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Wormuth resigns, winner in Malta supervisor race after two ballots tossed, Guilderland teens charged under cyberbullying law, lighted tractor parade

Mindy Wormuth has resigned as Halfmoon supervisor, though "a person with knowledge of the matter" tells the Times Union the early exit is not part of a plea agreement for the multiple charges she's facing. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Republican Paul Sausville has won the race for Malta supervisor by one vote after State Supreme Court Justice Robert J. Chauvin, also a Republican, disqualified two absentee ballots cast for Democratic challenger Cynthia Young. Even though the ballots included clear votes for Young, they were tossed because the voters had written on the back of the ballot in the area for state constitution amendments. Said Young: "I feel pretty strongly that those two voters were disenfranchised, I think anybody that has seen the ballots can see quite clearly that that voter intended to vote for me." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian] [WNYT]

GE made it official Thursday: It's shutting down its plant in Fort Edward and moving the operations to Florida. The closure of the plant will result in the loss of about 200 jobs. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

New York's highest court has rejected the "too intoxicated to be charged with murder" defense, upholding the convictions against three people for "depraved indifference murder" in their drunken driving cases. [AP/TU] [NYS Court of Appeals]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Waite found guilty of murdering son, rape charges dropped on technicality, local trooper dies in training accident, judge to rule on two votes in Malta Supervisor race today

A jury in Queensbury found Gary Waite guiltyof murder for killing his 15-month old son in February.[TU][YNN]

John Halacy, the man charged with the alleged rape of two teenage girls, had felony rape charges against him dropped in Rensselaer County Court on Wednesday, due to a paperwork error by the Rensselaer County District Attorney's office. Halacy was arraigned on charges of attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and pleaded not guilty . The mother of one of the girls involved in the case was at the arraignment and promised "street justice".[Record][WNYT][TU]

A veteran state trooper died on Wednesday after falling 30 feet into a creek during a high angle rescue training in Letchworth State Park in western New York. [TU]

A State Supreme Court Justice is expected to decide this afternoon whether to count two votes on contested ballots that will decide the Malta town supervisor's race. [Saratogian][TU]

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State on track to spend $600 Million in overtime, charges expected to be dropped against alleged rapist today, secretary to three Albany mayors to retire at 89

Andrew Cuomo's office is not pleased with a recent report that shows state workers have logged about $462 million in overtime this year and that the state is on track to spend $600 million in overtime by the end of the year. The State Division of Budget says the report by the State Comptroller's Office has a "shocking lack of content" and points out that the report fails to mention Superstorm Sandy, a Long Island blizzard and flooding in the Mohawk Valley, which would have been responsible for a great deal of the overtime. [YNN][TU][WNYT]

The Rensselaer man who, due to a paperwork error by the DA's office, escaped charges alleging he raped two teenage girls, will appear in court today to officially have charges dropped. Family members of the alleged victims plan to be in court today when John Halacy appears. [TU][Record][News10]

Jury deliberation resumes this afternoon in Glens Falls, in the trial of 30-year-old Gary Waite, charged with murder and manslaughter in the February death of his 15-month-old son. On Tuesday, Waite's attorney called only one witness - Waite's sister, and Waite himself did not take the stand.[TU][WNYT]

The Albany Police officer charged with DWI testified on Tuesday that he suspected he was the victim of a set-up by a police union leader who advised him not to take an alcohol test.[TU]

A State Supreme Court Judge says there will be no recount in the race for an at-large seat on the Troy City Council. [TU]

A State Supreme Court judge will hear arguments over whether 23 disputed paper ballots in Malta should be counted in the race for Malta town supervisor.[TU][WNYT]

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State Police on fatal shooting: troopers believed man had weapon but no gun found, opposition organizing against Saratoga casino, I-87 project declared complete

State Police say the man shot and killed by troopers in Rensselaer County Sunday evening in Berlin State Forest -- 38-year-old Steven J. Bell -- had disregarded commands to stop and show and his hands, and then "made threatening statements and motioned as if he was bringing a weapon up." And that's when troopers fired on Bell. But police say no weapon was found at the scene. Some members of the law enforcement group looking for Bell had been wearing night vision goggles, but a NYSP captain says the troopers who fired were not, and whether they had flashlights trained on Bell at the time is under investigation. NYSP says troopers and other law enforcement agencies were looking for Bell after a 911 call reporting a domestic incident in which the man was said to have discharged his rifle. Police say there had been multiple calls in the past about domestic disputes. "Sources" tell YNN that earlier on Sunday there had been an argument between Bell, his wife, and his girlfriend. [NYSP] [TU] [WNYT] [Troy Record] [YNN]

A group that included parents and students gathered outside the State Education Building Monday to protest the Common Core standards and the frequency of testing. The protest highlighted the unusual ideological mix of opposition against the standards that includes both conservatives and progressives. [News10] [YNN] [TU]

One example of some of the frustrations with the current situation in education: The state teacher of the year for 2012 -- who's a second grade teacher in the Schenectady school district -- says she fell short of the highest ranking on her state teacher evaluation, and she says getting that highest ranking would have, in part, required "an incredible feat of magic" on a student's test. [Syracuse Post-Standard]

The federal government is phasing out subsidies for flood insurance, which could affect thousands of properties in the greater Capital Region (example from that linked article: the insurance for a home in Waterford will jump from $2,100 a year to $9,700). [TU]

A Rensselaer man who had been facing charges that he allegedly raped two teens was released from jail and will not face trial for the charges because of a paperwork mistake by the Rensselaer County DA's office. [TU]

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State Police: man shot and killed by police in Rensselaer County, outlook not good for GE plant in Fort Edward, remembering JFK's visit to the Capital Region

State Police say a suspect was shot and killed in Berlin, in Rensselaer County, by troopers Sunday evening. NYSP says the person was wanted for questioning in a criminal investigation and the shooting happened when the person was confronted by troopers. NYSP says there will be more details today. [NYSP]

Friday night into Saturday in Troy: reports of shots fired and an alleged hit-and-run with 60 mph chase through downtown. [Troy Record] [News10]

"People with knowledge of the situation" tell the Times Union that the apparent deal for the GlobalFoundries chip fab in Malta to serve has a secondary site for making chips for the iPhone and iPad involved, at various points, Al Gore, Andrew Cuomo, and Chuck Schumer. (Also: Schumer still uses a flip phone.) [TU]

It appears the GE plant in Fort Edward is heading for closure after the 60-day negotiating period with the union ended Sunday night. GE announced in September a plan to close the plant and move operations to Florida, eliminating 200 jobs in Fort Edward. The company said the union's concessions plan "falls short of achieving the savings and efficiencies that would be generated by the proposed move." And the union says a request to continue negotiating for another 30 days has been rejected. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10] [WNYT] [Post-Star]

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Police: arrest in connection with fatal Schenectady shooting, veto casts doubt on Schenectady film studio, proposed state ban on youth tackle football

Schenectady police say they've made an arrest in connection with fatal shooting near Mont Pleasant Middle School late Tuesday night. Police say the suspect is being held on unrelated charges while the investigation continues. [TU] [YNN]

Albany police officer Brian Lutz testified in his DWI trial Thursday that when he first awoke in his vehicle on I-787 he thought he was at home in bed and the Menands village police officer talking to him was in his bedroom. (Lutz's attorney has asserted that his client was not drunk not that night, but rather had suffered a seizure from taking pain medicine.) [TU]

The teen convicted of the stabbing that eventually caused the death of then-15-year-old Adeujuan Adams during a bike robbery in Albany has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. [TU]

After an investigation of the circumstances of a Schalmont High School student's suicide -- there were allegations that he had been bullied at school -- Rotterdam police have concluded no behavior rose to a criminal level. [Daily Gazette]

The underground fire in downtown Troy Thursday that blew the cover off a manhole and prompted evacuations was apparently caused by a water main break that resulted in an electrical short. [Troy Record] [TU]

Andrew Cuomo's veto of a bill that would have extended a state film production tax credit to the Capital Region has cast doubt on plans for the proposed TV and film studio facility in Schenectady. [Daily Gazette]

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Man shot near Schenectady middle school dies, mother charged with hiring stripper takes plea deal, stories of bullying at Schenectady school forum

The Albany man found shot near Mont Pleasant Middle School in Schenectady died Wednesday morning at Albany Med. [TU]

Stories of fighting and bullying were recounted at a forum held by the Schenectady City School district on Wednesday. The meeting was set up in an effort to help deal with problem behavior, including bullying and fighting and attacks on students, parents and teachers at Mont Pleasant Middle School. Among the revelations at the meeting - a fight club at Mont Pleasant Middle School is recording fights and posting them on YouTube in an effort to get ad revenue from the site. [News 10][Gazette]

The mother charged with hiring strippers to perform at her teenage son's birthday party at a South Glens Falls bowling alley has accepted a plea deal that will drop charges in exchange for fifty hours of community service and staying out of trouble for six months. [YNN]

On day two of the DWI trial of an Albany police officer, three longtime fellow officers testified that he appeared to be intoxicated on the morning he was discovered behind the wheel of an SUV, parked in a driving lane on 787 and drove away during a police stop. [TU]

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Police investigate overnight shooting near Mont Pleasant Middle School, Albany County bans styrofoam take-out containers from chain restaurants, it's pretty cold

Update: Police say the man has died. | Schenectady police are searching for the person who shot a 24-year-old man near Mont Pleasant Middle School overnight. The victim is in critical condition. Police say the incident began with a two-car accident near the school on Norwood Avenue, and is not connected with the school. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT][News 10]

"I never meant for this to happen. I'm sorry for what I did. I hurt some decent people." Eric Aaron "Boogz" Mallard to Takim Smith's grandmother as he was sentenced in Rensselaer County Court for Smith's murder. Mallard received a 20 year prison sentence for stabbing Smith to death. [TU][Record][WNYT]

The trial of the Albany police officer charged with DWI after he was allegedly found passed out behind the wheel of an SUV parked in a driving lane on 787 got underway yesterday. His attorney says the officer had a seizure induced by pain medication. [News10] [TU]

The Albany County legislature approved a ban on polystyrene (styrofoam) take-out containers for businesses with at least 15 locations. [YNN]

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Anonymous sources: GloFo will make chips for Apple in Malta, APD: arrest made in string of burglaries, Schenectady couple donates tree for the ESP -- again

A "person with knowledge of the deal" tells the Times Union that chips for the iPhone and iPad will be made at GlobalFoundries fab in Malta. A "source with knowledge of the deal" tells News10 the same thing, that GloFo will be manufacturing the chips from designs by Samsung. [TU] [News10]

Officials with Luther Forest Technology Campus and Saratoga County are pushing the town of Malta to change zoning laws for the Luther Forest tech park and open the way for a wider range of development incentives. (Though GlobalFoundries is located at Luther Forest, officials have struggled to draw any other companies there.) [Daily Gazette]

Colonie police say a Troy man has been arrested in connection with the shooting at a club -- Shenanigan's -- on Central Ave early Sunday morning, though CPD says there's no indication he was present for the shooting. CPD alleges the man lied when reporting his SUV stolen after it was allegedly involved in the shooting. CPD says it appears there was an altercation and then shots were fired from the SUV, hitting a club bouncer in the leg (though he probably was not the intended target). [CPD] [News10] [TU] [Troy Record]

The domestic worker at the center of the Llenroc case has filed suit against Annie George, her former employer, alleging she was "subjected to involuntary servitude, forced labor and was grossly underpaid." [Daily Gazette]

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Nelligan sentenced in death of grandson, orgs say demand for assistance for the homeless rising, shooting in Colonie, UAlbany takes Albany Cup again

Today is Veterans Day.

From Friday: Gloria Nelligan -- convicted of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter in the death of her grandson, Sha'hiim -- was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Nelligan's attorney read a letter from his client, which included multiple Bible verses -- "My way of maintaining my household was with God's laws" -- but not remorse. Said judge Karen Drago: "I can't get over what you did to Sha'hiim. It was torture. It was brutal." [Daily Gazette] [News10] [WNYT] [TU]

A NanoCollege VP says the Cuomo admin's Start-Up NY program is "really expanding the CNSE model throughout the state." (Does that mean that Albany loses?) [TU] [TU]

Saratoga has gotten all the regional attention as a possible casino site -- but what about other sites, such as the DeLaet's Landing project in Rensselaer? (And some local business owners in Saratoga are uneasy about the prospect of a full casino.) [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

Federal authorities say the illicit cigarette trade costs New York State hundreds of millions of dollars in uncollected taxes each year. [TU]

Local organizations that provide assistance to the homeless say the number of people needing help has been rising over the last year years -- while funding has been declining. [TU]

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Guilty plea in fatal Schuylerville shooting, ESP food service employees face uncertain job status, focus on "Slap a Butt Friday" and other problems at Schenectady middle school

Joey Paul -- accused of fatally shooting her boyfriend with an assault rifle during an argument in Schuylerville in July 2012 -- pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter Thursday. She faces 18 1/2 years in prison. Said Paul's attorney: "This is not murder. This is a tragedy that was occasioned by drug abuse, domestic abuse and the presence of a fully-loaded AK-47 assault rifle in that house." [Post-Star] [Saratoga County DA] [TU] [WNYT]

Attorneys for Joe Bruno have asked a federal judge to further delay his re-trial to April as the former state Senator recovers from cancer surgery. [TU]

The Troy city council voted to approve funding for the installation of surveillance cameras at nine intersections. [TU]

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Liberty Ridge Farm gay marriage case goes before state judge, teen pleads guilty to negligent fatal shooting of his friend, low voter turnout in Albany

The dispute between a lesbian couple who wanted to be married at Liberty Ridge Farm and the farm's owners -- who turned the couple down, citing a religious belief against same-sex unions -- went before a state Division of Human Rights judge on Wednesday in what turned out to be a tearful day of testimony.[YNN][TU]

Andrew Cuomo praised the passage of the casino proposition on Wednesday at an appearance in Sullivan County, calling it a "game changer" for the Catskills. [YNN]

Now that casino amendment has passed,the process for siting casinos will begin. [Saratogian]

A 14-year-old Fort Edward boy pleaded guilty on Wednesday to criminally negligent homicide in the 2012 shooting of his 13-year-old friend Gary Cota as part of a plea deal that will give him 18 months of probation.[TU][YNN]

A Saratoga Springs man was indicted on Wednesday on four counts of vehicular manslaughter for allegedly hitting and killing a woman with his car while driving drunk back in June. [TU]

The odd case of a court officer in Rensselaer County allegedly falsely imprisoned and illegally forced to turn over handguns she legally owned. [TU]

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Sheehan wins Albany mayoral race, Yepsen wins in Saratoga Springs, SUNY investigating president of SUNY Upstate Medical

Albany has elected its first new mayor in 20 years. Kathy Sheehan handily defeated the rest of the field with 83 percent of the vote. Sheehan is will become one of three female mayors leading some of upstate New York's most populous cities. [TU][YNN][TU]

Paula Mahan (D) easily defeated opponent Todd Drake (R) to win her fourth term as Colonie town supervisor. [WNYT]

Democrat Joanne Yepsen won the Saratoga Spring's mayoral election and promised to "take back City Hall for the people."[Saratogian]

Republican Michael Zurlo won the race to replace longtime Saratoga County Sheriff Jim Bowen. Zurlo will become the county's first new sheriff in forty years. [Saratogian][News 10]

Here's an overview of results from other local elections. [AOA]

New York voters approved the state constitutional amendment ("proposal one") that would allow up to seven full casinos in the state. The amendment passed about 57% to 43%. [NY Times][TU]

Voters around the state defeated a proposal to raise the mandatory retirement age for some state judges to 80, but passed all the other proposals on the ballot on Tuesday. [NYT]

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It's election day, asbestos removal at emergency demo site in Troy, local Medal of Honor recipient to be depicted as part of new USPS stamp sheet

It's election day. While there aren't Congressional or major state-level elections -- for say, the state legislature -- there are a bunch of local elections for positions such as mayor or council member in municipalities all around the area. Also: There are six state ballot questions -- one of which is about whether full casinos should be allowed in the state. (These ballot questions are apparently on the back of ballots, so don't forget to check for them.) Don't know where to vote? Here's how to look that up. You can also check with your county board of election.

An Andrew Cuomo robocall has been urging people to vote in favor of allowing full casinos in the state. [TU]

The man accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend in an Albany apartment last week was arrested earlier this year for allegedly beating the woman's former boyfriend -- including hitting the man with a hammer -- during a confrontation. [TU]

Asbestos removal has started at the demolition site on King Street in Troy (map) near the Green Island Bridge -- the building there were taken down in an emergency demolition ordered by the city fire chief, a decision that's been the subject of much finger pointing and controversy. [Troy Record]

In what appears to be a grassroots effort, a group is pushing for the re-election of the town of Ballston's supervisor -- who's not running. (There's one candidate on the ballot, running unopposed). [Saratogian]

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Schenectady school district preparing federal complaint over state aid, Albany doctor at center of Lyme controversy, rash of car vandalism Halloween night in Albany

Schenectady schools superintendent Larry Spring is seeking parent support before he files a civil rights complaint with the feds arguing the state's school funding formula discriminates against districts with large minority populations. [TU] [SCSD] [Daily Gazette]

Tracey Zetzsche -- who pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in case in which she apparently beat her adult son, who had a disability, to death in a Westerlo apartment in 2012 -- was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday. Zetzsche has said she doesn't remember the incident, a claim supported by psychologists who've examined her. She said at the sentencing: "I do know that my son is gone. And whatever sentence you believe is necessary I'll abide by it ... the worst punishment is that I may have caused my son's death. I have to live my life without my child." [WNYT] [YNN] [TU]

A federal judge has ordered the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany to turn over almost four decades of clergy abuse files to a man who's suing the diocese alleging he was raped by a priest as a child. [TU]

A Times Union analysis of records from related to a discretionary fund at the SUNY Research Foundation concludes SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher has made "extensive" use of outside consultants during her tenure. [TU]

An Albany pediatrician is at the center of what the Times Union calls a "polarizing controversy" -- "whether doctors who treat chronic Lyme are saviors or quacks." [TU]

There's a plan to install disinfection technology on one sewer pipe in Albany -- called "Big C" -- that's responsible for almost half of the raw sewage discharges into the Hudson River during combined sewer overflows (when storm water overwhelms the sewer system). [TU]

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Man charged in Albany shooting death, parents trying to raise awareness against bullying, Red Sox items make stop in Colonie before heading to Baseball Hall of Fame

A Guilderland man -- 32-year-old Damien Zervos -- has been charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Charee Akins-Maddox in an apartment on 100 block of Lark Street (map) overnight Thursday. Zervos has pleaded not guilty. Police say Akins-Maddox was shot in the back of the head with a rifle. Neighbors said they heard yelling before the shooting. APD says Zervos and Akins-Maddox were in a relationship, and four children were in the residence at the time of the shooting. Akins-Maddox's aunt told the media Thursday she had received a call from the woman's daughter overnight: "I think my mommy's dead." [APD FB] [YNN] [WNYT] [News10] [TU]

The Saratoga County DA's office says a Milton man is accused of assaulting and kidnapping his former girlfriend this past July. Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy: "This was his effort to try and re-connect the relationship." Prosecutors say the woman escaped by convincing the man she would resume the relationship. [TU] [Saratogian] [News10]

Fire officials say a 71-year-old man died of injuries sustained in a Rotterdam house fire (photo) Thursday afternoon (map). [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT]

Says one of the parents of the 14-year-old Schalmont student who killed himself recently about the persistent stories -- unconfirmed by the school -- that he had been bullied: "Right now we're in a battle not only advocating for our son but bringing awareness to the school." [Daily Gazette]

The Cuomo admin is pushing for the creation of the "Upstate New York Flood Warning System" for better forecasting, mapping, and modeling of flooding. The proposed system would cover 13,000 square miles and three river watersheds: the Mohawk River, the upper Hudson River, and the Oswego River. The state is trying to get $8.5 million from FEMA to build the system. One of the envisioned benefits of the system: more warning time for people to evacuate. [Cuomo admin] [Daily Gazette]

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Feds: Schenectady school district disciplined some students differently by race, Troy adding private Washington Park to tax roll, TU Center says it's ready for foam party

Updated

Albany police say a 33-year-old woman was killed overnight in her residence on the 100 block of Lark Street (map) overnight after officers responded to a call for a shooting. APD says it has a person in custody and is investigating. [APD] [TU]

Investigators with the federal Department of Education have concluded that African-American and Latino children who misbehave in some Schenectady school district classrooms are treated more harshly than their white counterparts -- the district says it's making a series of changes to address the issue. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A newly released audit from the state comptroller's office concludes the Albany Community Charter School could have saved between $200k and $2.3 million by purchasing its building on Krank Street rather than renting it from the Brighter Choice Foundation, and questioned fees the school has paid to the foundation. [WNYT][TU]

"Two people familiar with the matter" tell the Times Union the FBI has expanded its probe of Halfmoon supervisor Mindy Wormuth. Candidates for Halfmoon supervisor debated on Wednesday night, and though they never mentioned her by name, Wormuth was alluded to in comments about stopping corruption and writing a new chapter.[TU][TU]

Fourteen residents of the Martin Luther King apartment complex in Troy were displaced when fire broke out in a kitchen after a resident forgot to turn off an appliance.[Record]

Officials say the new $8.6 million co-generation plant at the Albany County sewer treatment facility in Menands -- the one that burns sewage to produce heat for power generation -- could save the county $480,000 a year. [TU] [Capital] [Record]

After a tax reassessment, the gated Washington Park in Troy has been placed on the tax rolls, and the city is moving to charge Washington Park Association members.[Record] [TU]

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Capital Region denied state land bank cash, Saratoga row house fire declared arson, Holloway hopes to buy back Stephentown home, Capitol bathroom set free -- again

The Capital Region was one of two regions in the state that did not get any of the more than $12 million in state land bank funding. The region did get $150,000 to help reapply next year for the grants, meant to come up with creative ways to steer foreclosed properties toward redevelopment.[TU][Daily Gazette]

Police say the fire that destroyed several Woodlawn Avenue apartment buildings in Saratoga Springs in August was a case of arson. After a three-month investigation, officials concluded that flammable liquid was used at two points -- 106 and 108 Woodlawn -- and say they have people of interest in the case. [WNYT][Saratogian][News 10]

Fire that damaged the newly-expanded Wilton YMCA has been called "very, very suspicious" by the Greenfield fire chief. [Saratogian]

Schenectady's City Council has come to agreement on a $79 million 2014 budget, which includes a 0.96 percent tax increase. [Daily Gazette]

Marking a year since Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast. [AP/TU]

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Troy police chief at odds with city administration, smoking highlighted as health problem in Schenectady, Holloway house sold

Troy police chief John Tedesco -- who recently notified to the city that he plans to sue over the appointment of a police commissioner, positioned in the city hierarchy above him -- says that all of his duties have been taken over by the commissioner, and alleges the department's police officers' union was behind the creation of the commissioner's job and that it is now running the department. Tedesco: "If you don't like the fire chief or the police chief, then fire them. But they don't have grounds to do that so they effectively dismissed me by failing to allow me to do my job." [TU] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [YNN]

Members of Halfmoon's town board have gone to court in an effort to remove supervisor Mindy Wormuth from office. Wormuth is facing state and federal charges. [WNYT] [TU]

During a public hearing Monday the state Moreland Commission grilled reps from the state Board of Elections about its lack of enforcement. [TU]

Good-government groups are continuing to push against the description of -- and the campaigning for -- the state ballot question that would open the way for full casinos in the state. [TU] [State of Politics]

Now that a citywide health survey has identified top health priorities in Schenectady, work groups will focus on cutting down on health disparities and addressing preventable health conditions. One target issue: the survey concluded that 37 percent of the adults in the city smoke. [News10] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Some frustrations with state's new health exchange, state ed commissioner says some standardized tests will be eliminated, the parrot that barks like a dog

Among the complaints from Capital Region users of the state's new health exchange: the process takes too long, and some functions of the website don't work. New York's exchange was having trouble processing applications Sunday because of a problem with a federal data network. [TU] [TU]

As the "Albany Pool" municipalities face a $130something million project to upgrade sewer systems so raw sewage stops getting dumped into the Hudson, one of the state ballot questions up for a vote next week could affect the accounting of money borrowed for sewer projects. [TU]

Stating that "a variety of pressures at the state and local level may have resulted in more testing than is needed," the state's education commissioner says there some standardized tests will be eliminated. [AP/Daily Gazette]

Troy police chief John Tedesco has informed city officials he plans to sue the city over the creation of the part-time police commissioner position, which oversees the chief. [TU]

Schenectady orgs that provide food assistance are preparing for the upcoming cut to federal SNAP (food stamp) benefits that could mean two or three fewer meals a week for a family. [Daily Gazette]

State and local fire officials are focusing on what they say is an increasing trend of kids playing with fire. [TU]

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Much criticism of Common Core at Albany forum, state food lab looking to problems with dog treats, Bow Tie Cinemas apparently interested in local expansion

Hundreds of people turned out for a forum in Albany about the new Common Core standards with state education commissioner John King. More than 60 people spoke, many of them parents and teachers expressing frustration with the program and standardized testing -- though there were also supporters of the program. King the state is willing to make adjustments, but it will continue to move forward with the program. [YNN] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [News10]

State Police say the driver of a tractor trailer is dead after the trailer jack-knifed on I-87 near Exit 23 in Bethlehem early Friday morning. The Thruway was closed from Exit 22 to Exit 24 before being reopened at 8 am. State Police say an initial investigation indicates the driver had pulled over to the side and the truck started to move while he was outside it. [News10] [NYSP] [TU] [YNN]

Saratoga Springs police say a man was arrested after he allegedly fired a rifle at another man early Thursday morning on Phila Street (map). No one was injured. Police arrested the man after surrounding his residence. [Saratogian] [News10] [TU]

Question: Did lieutenant governor Bob Duffy violate any ethics rules by interviewing for a job heading the Rochester Business Alliance, an economic development org? [TU]

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Four arrested in Troy drive-by shooting, officials say hoarding contributed to fire, communities share flood protection plans one year after Sandy, prize for Ecovative

Troy police say a drive-by shooting on Tuesday has led to four arrests. TPD says one of the suspects reported living at the Lavin Court home that was shot. Police say they found the suspects in a gold sedan that matched the description of a car involved in the shooting and discovered drugs and a fully-loaded semi-automatic handgun in the vehicle. [YNN][TU][Record]

Albany fire officials say hoarding contributed to the fire that destroyed a home on First Street on Tuesday night. AFD says the homeowner was out at the time of the fire but two dogs are still missing. [WNYT][TU]

A year after Hurricane Sandy, Andrew Cuomo took part in a symposium on Wednesday on how communities are recovering from flooding due to storms Sandy, Irene and Lee. Local planners offered progress reports and ideas for protecting their communities from future flood damage as part of Cuomo's New York Rising initiative -- a plan to have communities compete for funding to rebuild from flooding due to Sandy, Irene. and Lee. Four new laws have been designed to help victims recover from Sandy by offering tax breaks to homeowners and assistance to communities. [WNYT][TU][WNYT]

State education commissioner John King will be at Myers Middle School in Albany tonight for a forum on the Common Core Standards.[YNN]

According to the state Department of Health, 37,000 New Yorkers have successfully enrolled in health plans through the state-run online market and another 137,000 have gotten through the application and registration process but have yet to enroll in a plan. [TU]

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Rivenburgh sentenced for Rotterdam murders, Siena poll: New Yorkers blame congressional Republicans for shutdown, federal government spied on Steinmetz during WWI

Brice Rivenburgh was sentenced to 45 years to life on Tuesday, for the murder of his ex-girlfirend and her mother in their Rotterdam home in April, but still offered no answers as to why he committed the crime.[WNYT][YNN][TU]

Albany firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire that destroyed a two story wood frame home on First street Tuesday night. Firefighters say the home, which had to be demolished, could have been saved were it not for an enormous amount of clutter that kept them from gaining entry to the rear of the building, where the fire began. [TU][YNN]

A new Siena poll reports 74 percent of New Yorkers surveyed think the country is headed in the wrong direction, but 55 percent give Barack Obama a favorable rating. 59 percent blame congressional Republicans for causing the recent government shutdown. [TU][Capitol Confidential]

On Tuesday's Capitol Pressroom, a member of the Moreland Commission said Andrew Cuomo is not trying to interfere with the commission's operations, and made claims of systemic corruption in the New York State legislature. [WCNY][Daily News]

A former top counsel to Sheldon Silver, who was later convicted of the rape of a legislative staffer and remains on the sex offender registry, served on a jury in U.S. District Court is served on a federal grand jury that convicted a man from the anti-government sovereign citizen movement of tax crimes.[TU]

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State says its health exchange website is running smoothly, Oprah makes quick visit to Saratoga, a 40-year incumbent, more surveillance cameras for Schenectady, driving the stars

Despite problems at the federal level, New York State's website for its health exchange is now apparently running smoothly after an initial rush and its executive director says 150,000 people have already registered. [NYT] [TU]

"Sources close to the negotiations" tell the Times Union that the state Department of Environmental Conservation and local municipalities along the Hudson River are close to an agreement on plan to address the long running problem of combined sewer overflows -- when storm water causes raw sewage to be dumped into the Hudson. Presumably this is the same plan mentioned in the Business Review last month -- which, at the time, was reported to include a $131 million bond to be taken out by six municipalities, including Albany and Troy (and paid for by higher sewer rates). [TU] [AOA 2011] [Biz Review]

A former orthodontist from Columbia who tried to claim he was a "sovereign citizen" and thus not subject to the laws of the United States was convicted on a host of charges, including tax evasions -- as he watched from a jail cell. [TU]

Oprah was in Saratoga Springs Monday for dinner with two graduates of her academy in South Africa who are now attending Skidmore. The owners of the Crown Grill say Oprah's visit was focused on the young women. [Saratogian] [YNN]

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Unexpected crowd floods downtown Troy, fatal shooting in Albany, NanoCollege finalist for new research center, what it costs to I (heart) NY

An estimated crowd of about 500 people -- said to be UAlbany students -- flooded Fourth Street in downtown Troy Saturday night after an event planned for the Atrium was cancelled and the crowd merged with the crowd for a party a nearby club. A Troy police captain described the scene as "organized chaos" and three blocks were closed for "unmanageable pedestrian activity" -- and a total of 11/10/8 police departments assisted (media outlets are reporting different numbers). TPD says were no injuries, no arrests, and no property damage. [Troy Record] [TU] [YNN] [News10] [WNYT]

Albany police say they're investigating a fatal shooting early Saturday morning -- after reports of shots fired near an intersection on Washington Ave near the downtown UAlbany campus (map), APD says Albany Med notified them a man with life-threatening injuries had been brought in and was pronounced dead. A neighbor tells YNN he heard five shots. APD says the man who died was 26-year-old Edward Maxim of Albany -- the man's aunt is vowing the person responsible will be brought to justice. [APD FB] [YNN] [TU]

Albany will be the first stop (this Thursday) in a series of reformulated forums for state education commissioner John King to talk with the public about the Common Core. The new series will be moderated by state legislators from the districts in which they're located. The < ahref="http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Another-try-on-education-forums-4908580.php">original series was cancelled after King encountered a vocal and critical crowd in Poughkeepsie. [NYSED] [Saratogian] [TU]

Some Albany County legislators tell the Times Union they're concerned about the expansion in scope of the duties for two county investigators originally hired to look into fraud and employee misconduct. [TU]

A coalition of arts/entertainment orgs around the state -- including Proctors, the Palace, and SPAC -- are says it's concerned about the potential effects of full casinos on its venues, and is pushing for restrictions that would include a 1,000 seat limit for entertainment venues at casinos. [Daily Gazette] [Poughkeepsie Journal]

Over the last decade colleges in the Capital Region have collectively spent/plan to spend more than $140 million on athletic facilities. [TU]

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Halfmoon supervisors facing federal and state charges, Schenectady targets "problem bars," the Black Bridge once again open, grow room allegedly found in Albany house, invasion of the 8-inch worms

Halfmoon supervisor Mindy Wormuth turned herself in on federal and state charges Thursday, appearing in both federal and county court. Wormuth faces two federal charges -- prosecutors allege she took $7,500 in cash in "consultant fees" to lobby state legislators in her official capacity in favor of the legalization of professional mixed-martial arts bouts in New York State. She pleaded not guilty. The state charges are related to her alleged admission that she personally cashed checks worth thousands of dollars in campaign contributions without accounting for the money. The charges against Wormuth have prompted a call for her to resign, and accusations of "a bigger systemic issue" in the town. (Wormuth is already on 30-day leave from the supervisor's office, and her term ends this year.) [TU] [YNN] [US DOJ] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10]

Of the seven bars that prompted more than 1,000 police calls over the past two years, Schenectady police have gotten six of them shut down -- and the seventh could be closed soon. [Daily Gazette]

Among the issues discussed at a forum that included three of the candidates for Albany mayor: taxes, the landfill, and keeping graduates from local colleges. [TU]

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Agreement ends federal shutdown, man sentenced for abuse of child in NYS Museum, lawsuit on casino ballot question dismissed

The federal government shutdown ended overnight with a bi-partisan agreement in Congress. Chris Gibson was one of 87 Republicans in the House to vote in favor of the deal. [NYT] [NYT] [Record]

The lawsuit attempting stop a ballot question on casino gambling from going before voters on election day -- it argued that the wording of the ballot question was too positive -- has been dismissed by an acting State Supreme Court justice on the grounds that it was filed too late. [NYT][News 10/AP]

The mentally-challenged man who sexually abused a six year old boy in the New York State Museum rest room will spend four years in prison for the crime. Edward Tubbs Jr. is also facinging a misdemeanor charge of forcible touching of a child in Rensselaer County. [TU][WNYT]

"Two sources familiar with the investigations" tell the Daily Gazette that Halfmoon supervisor Mindy Wormuth is planning to turn herself into law enforcement today as part of the federal investigation involving her. [Daily Gazette]

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Moreland Commission to issue subpoenas, Collins pleads not guilty to attempted abduction, arson suspect is former firefighter

The Moreland Anti-Corruption Commission has decided to issue subpoenas to the employers of state lawmakers in an effort to get them to release the names of clients in their private law firms. The committee will also be investigating Democrats.[WNYT][TU][NYT]

The Guilderland man arrested on arson charges for allegedly burning down a home on Carman Road on September 30 is a former firefighter and served as assistant fire chief in Rensselaer County. [TU[[WNYT]

Anthony Collins pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to kidnapping and weapons charges in connected with the alleged attempted abduction of two women at a bus stop near UAlbany's downtown campus last week.[WNYT]

The three men who led police on a foot chase in the Lark Street area on Monday after their car crashed into a building are facing drug charges and one faces weapons charges for possessing a gravity knife. [TU]

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Upset and accusations of manipulation over state forums about Common Core, crash and dash on Lark Street, local woman wants to be the Biggest Loser

State education commissioner John King said in a statement that the planned public forums about the new Common Core standards, including one in Clifton Park, were cancelled because the first such forum -- last week in Poughkeepsie -- had been "co-opted by special interests" attempting to "manipulate the forum." The Poughkeepsie meeting included, in the Poughkeepsie Journal's description, an "often critical and loud crowd." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Politics on the Hudson] [Poughkeepsie Journal]

A public forum in Saratoga Springs about the possibility of a full casino in the city included many people skeptical of expanding gambling. Statewide opposition to the ballot question that would approve full casino gambling in the state is, in Capital New York's description, "poorly financed [and] loosely organized." [Saratoga Wire] [Daily Gazette] [Capital New York]

Paul Tonko and Chris Gibson on the partial federal shutdown: it never should have happened. Gibson: ""When you take a look at where we're at, this is just wrong. I mean we can do so much better than this." A few more instances of how the shutdown is said to be affecting people in the Capital Region. [YNN] [WNYT] [TU]

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Pushed toward crime by poverty, Giffords attends gun show in Saratoga, Schenectady tries to stem violence and disrespect at school, pull over -- deliver baby

Today is Columbus Day.

The director of the anti-gun program SNUG on what pushes many people toward selling drugs, carrying a gun, and crime: "It's a string of things that occur, whether it's throughout the span of a month, weeks, where you feel like you're in a desperate state and you do something that's illogical or reckless ... It's not drug-related. It's poverty-related." [TU]

Personnel files for Gary Mercure -- the Catholic priest from the Albany area currently serving 25 years in prison in Massachusetts for raping two boys he took across state lines -- outlines a history of abuse of boys stretching back to the 1970s. [TU]

Albany city court judge Tom Keefe -- who has a reputation for acting in ways for a typical judge -- is under investigation by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Times Union reports. [TU]

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords -- who was seriously injured in a shooting in 2011 -- visited the the Saratoga Springs Arms Fair Sunday. Giffords was there with state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, and her appearance was to highlight an agreement gun show operators made with the AG's office mandating background checks on everyone who buys a gun at a show. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

Sematech -- the chip fab research consortium that moved its headquarters from Austin to the NanoCollege Albany complex five years ago -- has agreed to a new 5-year, $350 million contract with the NanoCollege. And more nano news: the Times Union reports the Cuomo admin is looking to build a nanotech research and manufacturing center -- headed by the NanoCollege, like the one just announced in Utica -- in the Syracuse area. [TU] [TU]

A part of the tech business scene still largely missing in this area: venture capital and "angel" investors. [TU]

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"Nano Utica" spreads chip focus beyond Capital Region, wild scene at court hearing, planning commission approves Troy adult boutique

The Cuomo admin announced the creation of "Nano Utica," a public-private computer chip partnership headed up by the SUNY NanoCollege that will include $1.5 billion in private investment and 1,000 jobs. The Utica plan is based on replicating the model at the NanoCollege facility in Albany, with the hope of eventually siting new chip fabs near Utica. The project is reportedly an effort by the Cuomo admin to spread out the concentration of chip research and production from the Capital Region. [Cuomo admin] [TU] [Biz Review]

Said the grandmother of Takim Smith at the first sentencing of the group involved with his murder: "I want them to know that I forgive them. It still hurts and I feel this raw pain, but I forgive them." [TU]

Lawrence Ahrens -- convicted of planning the firebombing of his former girlfriend's new boyfriend's home and vehicle in Rotterdam -- was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He arrived in court wearing a "Snitches Get Stitches" t-shirt. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Schenectady public safety official say the house fire in Vale neighborhood Wednesday was set by a man who was arrested later that day. Officials credited a multi-agency task force for the quick arrest. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Cuomo: Federal default could cost New York $2 billion, Albany not-for-profits considering plan to help pay for services, more weirdness in Holloway house party case

Andrew Cuomo says a federal government default could cause a revenue loss of up to $2 billion for New York State. [Capitol Confidential]

Should Andrew Cuomo have taken a lesson from Mario Cuomo on how to handle the Moreland Commission? [TU]

More than half of the city of Albany's $11.7 billion tax base is exempt from property taxes, but a group of nonprofit organizations are working on a plan to voluntarily pay for some of the vital city services they use. [TU]

The man picked up by police on Tuesday for allegedly attempting to abduct two women in the area of UAlbany's downtown campus pled not guilty to charges of kidnapping, menacing and criminal possession. Meanwhile police have stepped up patrols in the neighborhood. [YNN][WNYT][Fox23]

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Final guilty plea in Takim Smith murder, survey: Capital Region has some of state's wealthiest & poorest school districts, Moreland Commission may disband

Ninteen-year-old Eric Aaron "Boogz" Mallard -- the final defendant in the Takim Smith murder trial -- admitted in Rensselaer County Court on Tuesday that he fatally stabbed Smith while attempting to rob him. [Record][TU]

A new survey reports the Capital Region has some of the wealthiest (Niskayuna, Guilderlsnd, Voorheesville, Bethlehem and Shen) and poorest (Schenectady, Watervliet , Albany, Hudson and Troy) school districts in New York State. [TU]

Can you be too drunk to commit murder? In an effort to reduce their clients' driving-under-the-influence convictions from murder to manslaughter, attorneys for three drivers argued before New York's highest court on Tuesday that their clients were too drunk or drugged to be guilty of murder. [WNYT][TU]

Andrew Cuomo's Moreland Act commission may disband and suggest a constitutional amendment to allow public financing of New York political campaigns.[TU][CNY]

Police have arrested the man who allegedly attempted to abduct two women -- one of them at knifepoint -- near UAlbany's downtown campus on Friday. [WNYT][YNN]

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Alleged meth lab found in Saratoga County, public comments about Park South redevelopment, town concerned about drinking water quality, a life that included exploring Antarctica

State Police say two women were arrested after a search allegedly found a meth lab in a mobile home park in Greenfield. Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy says the alleged operation was a "highly sophisticated" "active cook center" and neighbors were tipped off by fumes. The DA also alleges the women had set up the lab there to move production closer to a network of people or places in the area. A third person was also arrested, and all three are facing child endangerment charges because authorities say a baby and a teen were also at the mobile home. [NYSP] [WNYT] [@JimMurphyIII] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

A packed Albany Common Council meeting including public comments about the proposed changes to the Park South redevelopment plan -- among the criticisms voiced: concerns about an increased number of apartments, a larger parking garage, and increased building height. Officials say the plan's increased density will help support a walkable neighborhood. [daleyplanit Instagram] [YNN] [TU] [News10]

It pays (in campaign contributions) to be in a position to influence state casino legislation, according to a review of campaign finance reports by Common Cause. Among those benefiting: The review concludes Andrew Cuomo has received more more than $350k in contributions from gambling interests. [TU] [AP/Saratogian]

Chris Gibson says he thinks multiple provisions of the NY SAFE Act will be found to be unconstitutional. The Congressman had been scheduled to appear at a standing-room-only NY SAFE Act forum in Brunswick Monday (he had to stay in DC to vote). Among the officials who were there: Rensselaer County sheriff Jack Mahar, "Never in my 38 years of law enforcement, until recently, have we been asked to go after honest, law-abiding, good citizens." [Troy Record] [News10] [WNYT]

Niskayuna police say a 75-year-old pedestrian was killed as she crossed Nott Street Monday afternoon. No tickets were immediately issued to the driver and NPD says it's investigating the incident. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [News10]

UAlbany police say a man with a knife -- and wearing a Christmas sweater -- tried to abduct women at the bus stop on Western Ave near the downtown campus Alumni Quad on Friday (map). [TU]

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Details in apparent Saratoga murder-suicide, Sheehan not a fan of proposed Albany city budget, what was that smell?, season of the skunk

Saratoga Springs police say a man killed his mother and then 12 hours later killed himself in their home (map). SSPD says 47-year-old John Ambrozak fatally stabbed his 75-year-old Patricia Ambrozak and then shot himself with a rifle. Police say it appears the deaths occurred on Monday -- they were found on Friday by an acquaintance. The Ambrozaks ran the Bayshores Tropic Hut on Saratoga Lake. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

As the state approaches the November election and a ballot question about approving full casinos in the state, a few profiles of people in the area who are addicted to gambling -- including a man who banned himself from the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, only later to sneak back in. A think tank -- the Institute for American Values -- has released a report critical of slot machines' effect on problem gambling and skeptical of the revenue gains casino supporters are touting in the state. [TU] [TU]

Many Capital Region municipalities haven't reviewed or updated their ethics rules for public officials since the 1970s, according to an analysis by the Times Union. [TU]

About 65,000 people used the state's new health exchange website to shop for health plan options in the four days since the website launched last Tuesday, according to the state Department of Health. [TU]

All around the Capital Region on Saturday: a mystery odor, which no one seems to have been able to identify. [TU]

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Murder mystery... never mind, Tonko and Gibson on the shutdown, new supercomputer for RPI, mobile home reported stolen, yellow submarine to investigate Lake George

The bones found in East Greebush that sparked speculation of a 75-year-old murder mystery turned out to be... deer bones. [TU]

An "official familiar with the case" tells the AP that the state Moreland Commission -- instituted by Andrew Cuomo with the stated goal of investigating corruption -- has issued subpoenas from Republicans, but no Democrats, so far. [AP/Saratogian]

More Paul Tonko and Chris Gibson on the federal government shutdown:
+ Tonko called the negotiating tactic being employed by House Republicans as "unheard of" and called for a straight up or down vote on a resolution to keep funding the government.
+ Gibson is pushing for a vote on the resolution -- with a repeal of a medical devices tax. [YNN] [TU Cap Con]

SPAC reports it expects to break even in 2013, for the ninth consecutive year. Also announced: the famous Bolshoi Ballet is scheduled to perform at SPAC next summer. (And the New York City Ballet will return for one week.) [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Remains found in East Greenbush may be linked to 75-year-old cold case, Pataki &McCall named to Cuomo commssion, Wormuth won't step down

Human remains discovered in East Greenbush could help police solve a 75-year-old mystery connected to the disappearance of a woman whose husband returned to Nazi Germany shortly after she vanished. The remains were discovered in a basement crawl space during a home remodeling project. A medical examiner is expected to take a look at them today. One of the few leads in the case is an old book report from a ninth grader. [TU][WNYT][YNN][News 10][Record]

George Pataki and former state comptroller Carl McCall -- two of Andrew Cuomo's former political opponents -- have been named by Cuomo to his Tax Relief Commission, tasked with finding ways to reduce property and business taxes in the state. [TU]

Embattled Halfmoon supervisor Melinda Wormuth says she will not step down before the end of her term on December 31, in spite of the ongoing FBI investigation into her business dealings. [TU]

The state Division of the Budget has announced it anticipates $430 million a year in revenues should four new casinos be established in upstate New York. [Capitol Confidential]

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GE plans layoffs in Schenectady, Nelligan found guilty in beating death of grandson, proposed Albany budget holds residential taxes steady

GE says it will lay off as many as 200 salaried workers at its Schenectady operation between now and the end of the year as part of a restructuring effort. The company says it is not cutting hourly manufacturing employees.[TU][Gazette]

A judge found 43-year0old Gloria Nelligan of Schenectady guilty in the beating death of her 8-year-old grandson. Nelligan now faces 25-years to life when she is sentenced next month. [TU][YNN]

Former RPI business coordinator Christine Dickson pleaded guilty to grand larceny on Tuesday, admitting to charging $350,000 in travel and cash advances on a college credit card over six years. [WNYT][Record]

The New York State customer center for New York State of Health -- the state "health exchange" set up as part of the federal Affordable Care Act -- saw heavy activity on first day Tuesday -- with more than 2,500 calls in the first two hours. The rush caused some glitches in the website for the exchange. And this morning the website is encouraging "users who are unable to log in to come back to the site later when these issues will be resolved." [WNYT] [Saratogian]

Employees at military sites throughout the Capital Region have been sent home without pay due to the federal government shutdown. [Saratogian]

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Federal government shutdown, details of alleged beating at Schenectady movie theater, father attempts to shame son on Hoosick Street, moose shot in Colonie

Many parts of the federal government are shutting down as a bill continuing funding of the government is used as a ploy in a fight between the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate over delaying the start of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare . The local and state effects of the shutdown could depend on how long it lasts. One immediate sign: Saratoga National Historical Park will be closed during the shutdown. Recent statements from: Chris Gibson | Paul Tonko. [NYT] [NYT] [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [TU] [Saratogian] [Chris Gibson FB] [Paul Tonko office]

Closing arguments in the trial of Gloria Nelligan were Monday, with the defense framing Nelligan's actions leading up to the death of her grandson as "discipline" and the prosecution calling it "torture". The judge could return a verdict Tuesday. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TU]

The Schenectady County prosecutors allege a man was seriously beaten -- and his daughter also assaulted -- at the Bow Tie Cinemas in Schenectady in June after he told a group to quiet down during a movie. Three teens have been indicted on felony charges and police allege as many as 15 were involved. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Students in Capital Region private schools didn't really do any better on the new state standardized tests than students in public schools. (Database of private school scores.) [TU] [Syracuse Post-Standard]

The father of a 17-year-old made his son stand on Hoosick Street in Troy Monday wearing a sign explaining that the teen had been involved in a theft, smoked pot, and disrespected adults. The father called it "tough love." [News10] [WNYT]

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Gibson one of two Republicans to vote against House bill in federal shutdown showdown, Cuomo vetoes commission for M/C raises, two Harriman campus buildings tagged for demolition

The federal government is heading toward a shutdown as the Senate is likely to reject a House bill that would avoid a shutdown -- but also delay the start of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare/Whatever You Call It. Chris Gibson was one of just two Republicans in the House to vote against the Republican-backed bill on the Saturday. Gibson explained his vote in a statement on Facebook. [NYT] [NYT] [NYT] [Chris Gibson FB]

As with other states around the country, New York's new "health exchange" for health insurance starts Tuesday as part of the health care law. Q&A about it with a state Department of Health spokesman. [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

Joshua McWain -- who pleaded guilty to killing his mother last October in Greenfield and then burying her body in a shed -- was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison. The sentencing include a victim impact statement from McWain's sister, who wrote that McWain had shown her daughter the pit where their mother would later be buried. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [TU]

Two people -- a community activist and the organizer of a community program -- testified in defense of Gloria Nelligan on Friday. Nelligan may testify in her own defense today. Update: She did not. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [@ByStevenCook]

Aside from GlobalFoundries, there's little activity at the Luther Forest Technology campus -- prompting questions from officials about how they can spur development there. [Daily Gazette]

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Guilty verdict and guilty plea in pair of fatal accidents, arrests begin in Stephentown house party case, woman says her dog found rat poison near Washington Park

A Saratoga County jury found a Clifton Park woman guilty of second-degree manslaughter and driving while ability impaired for driving through stop sign in Charlton last year and crashing into another vehicle -- the driver of that vehicle later died from his injuries. Traci L. Briskin faces up to 15 years in prison. Her attorney said she had been looking for her GPS at the time of the crash. Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy in a statement: "You can't drive recklessly while you're impaired, take your eyes off the road, cross the center line and the fog line, run a stop sign, crash into a man and kill him and then say it's just a mistake, as the defendant claims." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian] [Saratoga County DA]

Becky Goodermote, accused of hitting a fatally driving into a bicyclist on Route 22 in Rensselaer County last year, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide. She said she was on a number of prescription drugs at the time. She faces up to seven years in prison. [CBS6] [TU] [YNN]

The Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office says six people have been arrested in connection with the unauthorized party at former NFL player Brian Holloway's house in Stephentown. The sheriff's office says it's identified more than 200 other people who were at the party -- and they're expecting to file charges against 100-200 people. [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Passenger rail service in New York could be disrupted mid-October if Amtrak and the state Department of Transportation can't nail down an agreement on sharing costs by the beginning of the month. [TU]

Said Angela Weller, whose plan to open "an adult boutique" in Troy has raised some eyebrows, to the Record: "The whole point of the business was to open an adult store for women ... Others are directed towards men and can be kind of creepy. Here, there are no creepy guys in trench coats or peep shows." [Troy Record]

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State budget director indicates 2014/15 spending plan will hold steady, Albany man arrested 10 times in two years, planned "adult boutique" upsetting Troy residents, last call gets earlier in Warren County

Omni Development will discuss a feasibility study today on a proposed aquarium in downtown Albany. [YNN]

A letter from the NYS budget director to state commissioners indicates that next year's state budget will be a tight one -- holding to a 2 percent tax increase. The letter asks agency heads to submit flat budget requests for the next spending year. [TU]

The Albany man arrested for allegedly exposing himself to a pair of middle school girls on their way to school on Tuesday is a repeat offender who has been arrested ten times in the last two years. [YNN][WNYT]

Former Albany City Clerk John Marsolais has ended his conservative bid for Common Council President to accept a post as Albany County's next civil service chief.[TU]

State representatives and jail guards rallied at Mount McGregor Correctional Facility to announce a plan to fight the proposed closing of the prison. [TU][WNYT]

New York State apparently never submitted a bid on the multibillion-dollar computer chip fab "Project Azalea" because the Cuomo administration did not believe that the project was real.[TU]

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Movie studio considered for Schenectady, Latham Circle developers get variance for supermarket, Saratoga movie theater to open in October

A $68 million film and television studio with five sounds stages could be built on the grounds of the former ALCO site in downtown Schenectady. [TU]

The Latham Circle Mall (re)developers have gotten a variance that would allow them to bring a grocery store to the site. [TU]

The Capital Region's unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in August, according to the latest report from the state Department of Labor. That's down from 7.5 percent in August 2012, and one of the lowest rates in the state. And total number of people tagged as unemployed in August -- people actively seeking work, but who didn't have a job -- was the lowest August number for the Capital Region in five years. [NYS DOL] [TU]

Troy Police captain John Cooney on recent shootings in the city, to YNN: "Quite often, it's the victim of the shooting or the assault that tells the detective, I have no need to talk to you. I don't want to tell you what happened. I'll take care of it myself. We can't have that form of justice." (Albany's police chief said something similar recently.) The organizer of a community meeting in North Central Tuesday about the recent upswing in crime were disappointed that it drew only 14 people. [YNN] [TU] [Record]

An insurance company is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who stole five antique trophies from the National Museum of Racing earlier this month. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame reopened this week, after being closed for two weeks following the burglary. [TU] [YNN]

A fourth defendant got off without jail time in a gambling case in which Albany County jail officers took wagers at work.[TU]

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Interview with grandmother accused causing grandson's death played in court, Cuomo on Wandering Dago situation, fried appliances in Scotia, forensic odontology

In recorded interview with police played in court Monday, Gloria Nelligan tells a Schenectady police detective that she had hit Sha'hiim Nelligan -- but that her 8-year-old grandson had also been hurting himself and wouldn't stop. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

State budget issue raised by a good-government group: up to $3 billion that's set aside in the budget and distributed in an "effectively opaque" process. [TU]

The Cuomo admin announced new minimum admission requirements for teaching programs at SUNY schools, including a minimum 3.0 GPA and GRE scores. About 25 percent of the state's teachers graduate from SUNY schools. [Cuomo admin] [TU]

Andrew Cuomo on the Wandering Dago situation: "I think if you had a state official that didn't see the name 'Wandering Dago' and a buzzer went off or a flag was raised, then you would say that person was asleep at the switch, right? ... The name is obviously offensive." [TU Cap Con]

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Concern about debt collection company's foreclosures, court denies request to move Drue trial, cleanup/apology event at unauthorized party house draws few teens

The Daily Gazette reports "gloves have come off" in a private debt collector's pursuit of delinquent property tax bills in Schenectady -- in one case it's alleged a man paid the $900 he was told he was owed, and the company foreclosed on his house anyway. [Daily Gazette]

A state appellate court has denied a request from attorneys for Dennis Drue to to move his trial from Saratoga County. Drue is accused of causing the Northway crash that killed two high school students, and seriously injured two others, last December. Said Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy: "Our obligation is to seek justice, and that includes making sure we have an impartial jury." [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

Capital Region law enforcement officials say there's been an upswing in recent years in heroin use, connected in part to the abuse of prescription painkillers. Also getting attention: officials say heroin and painkiller use is up among suburban teens. [TU] [Metroland]

The city of Troy has put out a new request for development proposals for the former city hall site in Monument Square. [TU]

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APD looking for "community mobilization" on guns, arguments in Wandering Dago free speech case, fatal fire -- and then fatal crash -- for family, resistance to soccer complex next to cemetery

Albany police chief Steven Krokoff says the APD knows what's prompted a recent of cluster of shootings in the city, but: "The victim even tells us, 'I know who shot me, but it's an ongoing thing and I'll take care of it myself.' ... And I'm not just looking for more cooperation with police, I'm looking for community mobilization." [TU]

Martin Kimber -- the retired pharmacist who spread mercury around Albany Med on multiple occassions because he was upset about a bill -- was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He's also been ordered to pay $200k in restition (in addition to his still outstanding medical bill). Authorities say they found white supremacist materials at Kimber's home in Ulster County, but at the sentencing he disputed prosecutors' asserations that he was a Nazis sympathizer: "The exotic behavior I displayed ... I was intoxicated and it was done out of frustration." [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

During oral arguments in federal court Thursday for the Wandering Dago's lawsuit against the state alleging its free speech rights were violated after it was prohibited from vending at the Saratoga Race Course and Empire State Plaza, attorneys for NYRA and OGS argued that the race course and plaza are "nonpublic forums" that allow the agencies control some aspects of speech. The food truck's attorney argued the agencies actions were unconstitutional because they hadn't established clear codes of conduct for the spaces. A new detail from Thursday: the Wandering Dago's attorney shared an email that indicates Bennett Liebman -- the Cuomo admin's deputy secretary for gaming and racing -- was the state official who raised the issue of the food truck's name with NYRA officials. [TU] [WNYT] [TU CapCon] [Daily Gazette]

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G.E. to close Hudson Falls plant, Kimber to be sentenced for Albany Med mercury incident,McCoy names new deputy executive

Painting him as a frustrated Nazi sympathizer and potential terrorist, prosecutors are seeking at least 19 years in prison for the man who spread mercury around Albany Medical Center when he became angry over a medical bill. Martin Kimber could face up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced today.[TU][YNN]

Halfmoon Supervisor Melinda Wormuth, the subject of an FBI investigation , did not attend a scheduled town board meeting last night. Deputy Supervisor Walter Polak said the town will "run business as usual every day," should Wormuth resign, as some town board members have requested.[WNYT][TU]

GE has notified employees at its Fort Edward plant that it plans to close its energy management facility and merge with a facility in Clearwater Florida by next September , a move that will affect 196 employees .[TU][Saratogian][YNN]

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Daughters testify against woman charged in death of grandson, recent Troy shootings believed connected, Halfmoon supervisor won't resign over FBI investigation, Auggie's to reopen

The three young daughters of the Schenectady woman who is charged with beating her eight year old grandson, resulting in his death, testified against their mother in court on Tuesday. [YNN]

Troy police believe three recent shootings in the city are related and were committed by two groups of people targeting each other. Detectives were out in full force last night in an effort to find the people responsible for the shootings. [TU][YNN][WNYT]

Members of the Halfmoon Town Board want Supervisor Melinda Wormuth to resign over the ongoing FBI investigation into her business dealings. Wormuth says she won't step down and claims and says the chargesare false and she has not been charged or convicted of any offense.[Saratogian] [TU][YNN]

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Trial of Schenectady grandmother accused of causing her grandsons death, investigation into weekend shootings in Albany, librarian departs after reading contest controversy

On Monday there were opening statements and the first witnesses in the trial of Gloria Nelligan, accused of beating her 8-year-old grandson to death in Schenectady in February. The prosecutor alleged that Nelligan had put Sha'hiim Nelligan through a series of escalating punishments for stealing a pack of gum, the final stage of which involved being tied to a chair and beaten over the course of hours. Nelligan's attorney said her client had hit the boy "four or five times" and never intended to injure or kill him -- and his death was instead caused by a fall in the bathtub. Nelligan's attorney also said the boy had a history of hurting himself. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [YNN] [News10]

A NanoCollege plan to build three chip fabs in the Utica area has prompted concerns from officials in the Hudson Valley that IBM could start to turn its back on its fab in East Fishkill. [TU]

The Albany County Board of Elections is looking into an affidavit ballot cast in last week's Albany 5th Ward Common Council primary by a person who claimed an address that appears to be a vacant building -- a building owned by one of the candidates' brother. [TU]

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Flood recovery flagging, recent rash of shootings, "smash and grab" at museum, low primary turnout in Albany, it's the not-great pumpkin crop

Two years after flooding from Tropical Storm Irene, the Schoharie County recovery is, as the Times Union describes it, "running out of steam." [TU]

Albany police two men walked into Albany Med with injuries following what was apparently a shooting in the South End early Saturday morning (block map). And APD says one person was arrested after officers responded to a report of shots fired in the Ten Broeck Triangle neighborhood Saturday morning (map). Seven people have been shot in Albany since late August, according to police reports. [TU] [TU] [News10]

Ongoing problem for local police departments: pellet guns that look like real guns. [TU]

An upcoming Schenectady murder trial will hinge in part on DNA evidence technology that has never before been used in a New York court -- and which the defense the attorney in the case calls "voodoo." [TU]

"People with knowledge of the matter" tell the Times Union that Halfmoon supervisor Mindy Wormuth and her husband are the subject of an FBI investigation into their business dealings -- their attorney says they've done nothing wrong. [TU]

Saratoga Springs police say five gold and silver trophies were stolen from the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame late Thursday. The museum's director calls the trophies "irreplaceable." SSPD says the trophies were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

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Storms flood roadways, amnesia cited in manslaughter case, climber found dead in Thacher Park, puppy arrives in N. Greenbush from Afghanistan

Thursday's storms dropped more than an inch of rain, and caused flooding that closed several main roads around the Capital Region. [NWS] [WNYT] [TU]

Tracey Zetzsche pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for the death of her adult son in their Westerlo apartment in July 2012. Prosecutors say she repeatedly stabbed her son with a knife and hit him with a hammer. In an unusual turn, he plea was an "Alford plea," in which she only admitted there was enough evidence to convict her -- mental health experts concluded that Zetzsche can't remember the attack because of amnesia. [TU] [Albany County DA] [YNN] [Daily Gazette]

Rory Poulin was sentenced to 5-15 years in prison for killing his partner Margaret Jordan with a shotgun two years ago. Poulin's attorney had argued in the case that the shotgun had gone off accidentally -- and in court Poulin apologized for what he called "the terrible accident." [Troy Record] [TU]

The language of the referendum on this November's ballot for a state constitutional amendment allowing full casino gambling frames the amendment favorably. Blair Horner, now back with NYPIRG and regaining his form: "It has more spin than a roulette wheel." [TU] [NYSNYS/Troy Record]

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Former RPI employee to face embezzlement charges, Woman charged in grandson's death slated for bench trial, absentee ballots will decide Saratoga County Sheriff primary, storms leave thousands without power

The former RPI employee arrested in 2010 for allegedly embezzling more than $350,00 with her college credit card will stand trial after a judge denied her attorney's request to throw out charges because prosecutors took too long to put the case before a grand jury. [TU]

Gloria Nelligan, the Schenectady grandmother charged with beating her 8-year-old grandson to death, will go to trial on Monday, before a judge, but no jury. [Gazette]

The state DOT and law enforcement officials are working to reduce the number of accidents on Central Ave with a combination of safety improvements and an education and enforcement campaign.[TU]

Lightning struck the bell tower of a Ballston church on Wednesday night, causing a fire. [TU]

Thousands of National Grid Customers in Saratoga and Washington county were still without power this morning after storms caused outages last night. [TU]

The Saratoga County sheriff's primary has come down to 547 absentee ballots.[TU]

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Sheehan wins Albany primary, Rivenburgh admits to Rotterdam double murder, St. Patrick's site cleared for construction, summer for a day

Kathy Sheehan easily won Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary in Albany and is now poised to become the city's first female mayor. (Some historical perspective from Paul Grondahl.) [AOA] [TU]

Sheehan ally Darius Shahinfar won the Democratic primary for city treasurer and six Common Council candidates who won or were leading in their races are allied with Sheehan. [TU] [TU]

As of Wednesday morning, the Republican primary for Saratoga County Sheriff was still too close to call, though Michael Zurlo has a tight lead and declared victory on Tuesday. (The winner will be in prime position to succeed current sheriff James Bowen, who's had the job for more than 40 years.) [YNN][TU]

More primary results highlights. [AOA]

Brice Rivenburgh took a plea deal on Tuesday morning, admitting that he killed his girlfriend and her mother in April at their home in Rotterdam. Under the terms of the agreement, he faces a sentence of up to 45 years to life in prison.[TU][YNN][WNYT]

A handful of 9/11 memorial events are taking place today around the Capital Region, but the event may be passing "from the sacred to the historic."[News10] [TU]

The last structure on the former site of St. Patrick's church has been removed to clear the way for a Price Chopper. [TU]

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It's primary day, new tenants for Kiernan Plaza, local protests against Syria military intervention, another apartment conversion proposed for Troy

Today is primary day. Polls are open noon-9 pm. Don't know where to vote? Check with your county board of elections: Albany | Rensselaer | Saratoga | Schenectady.

Because of the overwhelming Democratic enrollment in Albany, the party's mayoral primary winner will almost certainly be elected the next mayor. Easy-scan-and-focus candidate interviews: Corey Ellis | Kathy Sheehan.

A quick overview of highlighted primaries around the region. [TU]

The Cuomo admin announced new tenants for the now-NanoCollege-owned Kiernan Plaza in downtown Albany: the headquarters of the credit union SEFCU and engineering firm CHA, as well as a regional operations center for telecom provider Windstream. The former train station/bank building is now being called the "CNSE Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI)" and described as a "technology hub." All three companies say they'll be creating initiatives to work with the "smart cities" focus. The tenants will move 130 jobs to the location, with the potential for more. [Cuomo admin] [TU] [Troy Record]

Joe Bruno's re-trial is scheduled for December 2.

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Focus on rape in New York prisons, GloFo tax credits expanding, pastor pushes back on Soares criticism, 10,000 dogs to go

From a Times Union report on rape in New York prisons: "It's a situation well-known to state officials for decades, yet New York state has continuously failed to implement policies used in other states to protect female prisoners from being sexually victimized by prison employees, usually correction officers." (Part 2 | Part 3) [TU] [TU] [TU]

The potential total of tax credits for GlobalFoundries, thanks to continued hiring and construction at the Malta fab site, is now $1.76 billion. [Biz Review]

A chip fab company consortium dedicated to increasing the size of the wafers used to manufacturer chips is based at the NanoCollege and has made Albany, the words of the Times Union, "the center of their collective universe." [TU]

Schenectady's fire chief says a man known to show up frequently at fire scenes has been charged with arson for a string of fires in the city dating back to 2010. [TU]

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Gibson: don't strike Syria, Drue attorneys file motion to get case moved from Saratoga County, that's what almost $400k in cash looks like

Chris Gibson: "I would tell you, I am doing the very best I can to convince my colleagues and the administration that striking Syria will not resolve the matter." [NYSNYS/Troy Record]

Attorneys for Dennis Drue -- the driver accused of causing the Northway crash that killed two Shen high school students and seriously injured two other teens -- have filed a motion in state court requesting his trial be moved from Saratoga County, arguing the attention the case has gotten prevents him from getting a fair trial. Says Drue attorney Steve Coffey: "This tragedy absolutely consumed the entire county" and "The underlying passion in this case is sub-volcanic anger." Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy called the motion "without basis." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [Saratogian]

The head of the Albany NAACP -- Bernard Bryan -- criticized Albany County DA David Soares Thursday arguing that the DA "in trying to allay the fears of white suburbanites, has basically turned his back on his own community." Bryan also asserted that the recent handling of a drug case involving a county deputy exec indicates not everyone is treated the same under Soares' watch. Bryan's comments were made at a press conference to discuss a report from The Center for Law and Justice that concludes "much progress has been made" in developing mutual respect between the Albany police under chief Steven Krokoff and the community -- and argues there's more work to do. [TU] [WNYT] [CLJ] [YNN]

A look at the ongoing tension over the Central Ave motels in Colonie, which are used by social service agencies as housing. [TU]

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Troy teen arraigned again in father's death, Albany plans crackdown on visitor parking abuse, photo of the guy who stole Uncle Sam's head

Tonight: a reminder that fall is on the way.[TU]

Albany is looking for ways to crack down on visitor parking permit abuse.[TU]

Albany International Airport is rolling out a pre-check program for frequent fliers that is expected to speed up security check lines. [TU]

The Troy teenager accused of killing her father in a dispute over a credit card was arraigned for a second time on Wednesday. Trinity Copeland pleaded not guilty to murder charges. Original charges against her were dropped due to a procedural error. [WNYT][YNN][Record]

A Fort Edward man is expected to be indicted later today in the death of his three-month-old son. [YNN]

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Family of injured suspect wants investigation, Deputy Albany County Exec arrested on drug charges, Ellis/Sheehan spar at St. Rose, arrest connected to Uncle Rainbow decapitation

The family of a Malta man in a coma after being injured in a police chase in Saratoga, is calling for an outside attorney to investigate what happened. Dozens of people gathered on Tuesday at City Hall to protest what they claim was police brutality in the case. Police allege the man slammed his girlfriend's head into a brick wall before running off, but the girlfriend is is apparently not cooperating with police and is claiming the incident didn't happen the way police say it did. Police Chief Greg Veitch continues to deny officers caused the man's injuries. [WNYT][Saratogian][Gazette][TU]

Albany's Deputy County Executive was suspended on Tuesday without pay following her arrested on drug charges. Christine Quinn allegedly attempted to illegally obtain the prescription medication Ritalin. [YNN][TU]

A proposed aquarium for the city of Albany and the development of Albany's downtown were among the divisive issues in Tuesday's debate between democratic mayoral candidates Corey Ellis and Kathy Sheehan.[YNN]

An Albany Police and Fire dispatcher has been arrested
for allegedly assaulting his estranged wife and his 10-month-old child at the woman's home in Colonie. [WNYT][TU]

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Tonko/Gibson expected to vote no on Syria strike, Trustco robbery suspect extradited from South Carolina, suspect critically injured in Spa City foot chase, attendance/handle down for Saratoga

Paul Tonko is suggesting that he will vote against military strikes against Syria, and Congressman Chris Gibson is a leading opponent of the plan. [Capitol Confidential]

A man who led police on a foot chase after allegedly shoving a woman's head into a brick wall on Caroline Street in Saratoga early Saturday morning, was later discovered unconscious, with serious injuries, outside a Caroline Street Bar. The suspect may have fallen from up to 20 feet of scaffolding after climbing up to elude police. Police unsuccessfully attempted to taze the suspect twice during the chase. Police chief Greg Vietch says an investigation is underway but he does not believe police did anything wrong. [TU][News 10][YNN][Saratogian]

The Canajoharie man picked up in South Carolina last week for allegedly robbing the Slingerlands Trustco last month has been returned to the area and is slated to be arraigned in Bethlehem Town Court today.[TU]

Admissions at Saratoga Racecourse were down 5 percent this season and handle was down less than 1 percent from last year. [Gazette]

Dozens of firefighters worked this morning to combat a house fire that broke out in Guilderland overnight. The mansion, which is vacant and for sale, was once considered for purchase by Evander Holyfield and the Olsen Twins. [YNN][TU]

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Gibson and Tonko oppose military intervention in Syria, Great Escape not interested in Hoffman's Playland, mayoral candidate drops out and endorses his mom

Local Congressmen Chris Gibson and Paul Tonko both say they oppose US military intervention in Syria. Said Gibson, who served in Iraq: "I don't believe military action will help. In fact, based on my experience and my judgment, I believe it will make it worse." And Tonko, on responding to the use of chemical weapons by Syria: "There are ways to punish without going to an air attack and boots on the ground ... I still hope diplomacy can be the call of action." [News10] [WNYT] [WNYT]

NYRA's chairman says the racing org is aiming to get its budget to break even on racing revenue alone -- so it doesn't have to rely on VLT money, which the state could choose to take away. (NYRA would have posted a $10.3 million loss in the last fiscal year if not for money from the video lottery terminals.) [Saratogian]

After a significant fire at its house on South Lake Ave, the executive director of the Albany Damien Center -- which helps people living with HIV/AIDS -- says the center will get its services back and up running soon. [TU]

The president of the Great Escape says the amusement park's parent company is not interested in buying Hoffman's Playland. (Albany County exec Dan McCoy had been working to set up the two parties with each other.) [Biz Review] [Biz Review]

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DiNapoli: Colonie's fiscal health improving, former corrections officer sentenced for role in gambling ring, plane makes emergency landing on Saratoga County field, RPI alum to join International Space Station crew

Tropical storms Irene and Lee hit the region two years ago today, and the rebuilding continues. [YNN]

One of the Albany County Jail officers involved in a high-profile gambling ring that was run, in part, in the jail, will not do any jail time himself. James Cerniglia will have to forfeit $5,000 and will never work for the jail again. Two other defendants in the case -- a well-known bookie and a Clifton Park carpenter -- also avoided jail time. [YNN] [TU]

Only months after he called Colonie one of the most fiscally-distressed municipalities in New York, state comptroller Tom DiNapoli visited the town on Tuesday to praise the steps supervisor Paula Mahan has takento improve its financial status. [TU] [News10]

DiNapoli's office announced on Tuesday that local governments' required payments toward public employee pensions will go down slightly next year -- payments had spiked after the stock market crash in 2008.[TU]

An experienced pilot safely made an emergency landing in Saratoga County field along Middle Grove Road in the town of Greenfield Monday afternoon after his plane suffered what he says was catastrophic engine failure. [YNN] [Saratogian]

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Guynup sentenced for murder of Nikki Hart, philanthropist Carl Touhey has passed away, SSPD: bicyclist drifted into fatal collision, food truck rodeo canceled over insurance concerns

Jason Guynup -- who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for stabbing Nikki Hart, the mother of his two children, in Schodack last December -- was sentenced to 20 years to life. Said Hart's father at the sentencing: "I cry every day. It is a struggle to get through every day. I wake up with the pain, carry it through the day and take it to bed with me each night." Said Hart's sister of her recounting the events of Hart's death at the sentencing: "I wanted him to never have a doubt in his mind or try to say he didn't know what he did. I wanted him to relive it, as I do every day." [Troy Record] [TU] [YNN]

Larry Ahrens, the man accused of organizing a crew to throw explosive devices at the home of his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend in Rotterdam, pleaded guilty to charges that included second-degree arson. He faces 15 years in prison. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Prominent local philanthropist Carl Touhey died Sunday at age 95. Tuohey was the owner of the almost-century-old Orange Motor Co. in Albany, and
he once he even came close to defeating Erastus Corning for Albany mayor. Recipients of Touhey's philanthropy include the College of St. Rose, Albany Med, and WMHT. [Daily Gazette] [Biz Review] [TU] [YNN]

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IG report: problems at state steam plant in Albany, earthquake near Glens Falls, no Sam the Bugler at the Travers, Albany Pro Music founder has passed away

A state Inspector General's report (not yet released?) paints a picture of a lax work environment at the state's Sheridan Avenue Steam Plant in Albany (which provides steam to the ESP) -- including an employee who was allegedly picked up by police after drinking on the job, and a "living room away from home" set up so an employee could watch Dancing With the Stars. [TU]

There was a small earthquake near Glens Falls Sunday morning -- magnitude 2.7. Shaking was felt in parts of Warren, Washington, and Saratoga counties. People in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls reported hearing a noise associated with the quake. [USGS] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Saratoga Springs police say a bicyclist has died after being hit by a tractor trailer on Lake Ave Friday night (map). SSPD says neither speed nor alcohol appear to have been factors in the collision, and as of Saturday no tickets had been issued. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [News10] [WNYT]

Saratoga Springs police say one person died and three others were injured as part of a collision between two motorcycles and an SUV near one of the Broadway entrances to Saratoga Spa State Park Sunday night (map. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

A group of Schenectady landlords have banded together to write a strict, detailed lease that they could all use (example rule: no barbecues) -- a tenants group says it has multiple objections to the lease. [Daily Gazette]

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Barack Obama makes stops in western and central New York, head of Troy Uncle Sam found in Mechanicville, where the bison roam

Barack Obama made stops in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse Thursday. At the stops he focused on the cost of college education and pitched his administration's plan to create a federal rating system for colleges. (Transcript from the president's speech at a Syracuse public high school.) Today the tour is scheduled to move on to Binghamton and Pennsylvania. [Buffalo News] [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle] [Syracuse Post-Standard] [TU] [NYT] [Post-Standard] [Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin]

Five firefighters were injured by falling bricks in a large house fire in Schenectady overnight -- they were treated and released. Fire officials say the apartment home, which housed two families, will be demolished later today. [YNN] [CBS6] [News10]

One firefighter was injured in a scrap metal yard fire in Rensselaer last night. [TU]

City of Schenectady employees have the highest average pay of any local public employees in the Capital Region, according to a report by the Empire Center. The highest-paid local public official in Capital Region: psychiatrist with the Rensselaer County Mental Health Department. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Schenectady school district superintendent Laurence Spring says poverty in his district "is the primary barrier that our kids have." [TU]

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Nano college buys Kiernan Plaza, Obama to talk college access in Western NY, David Cassidy picked up for DWI in Schodack, good year for apples

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering has closed on a $3 million dollar purchase of the Kiernan Plaza -- the former Union Station-- in Albany, avoiding the need for the Albany IDA to take the building through eminent domain. They plan to create a Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center and an incubator for tech companies at the site.[TU][Business Review]

President Obama plans to talk about access to college education on his visits to the University at Buffalo and Binghamton University.[TU]

If you're headed for the State Fair, the presidential motorcade may slow you down.[TU]

This happened: Tom Jones arrested David Cassidy for DWI in Schodack. Said the 70s teen idol to the police officer (not the 70s Scottish crooner) "What's new Pussycat?"Cassidy had a BAC of .10 and was charged with felony DWI [WNYT][TU][Record][YNN]

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July unemployment rate lowest in five years, woman arrested for allegedly driving SUV into crowd, Cohoes home all abuzz

The Capital Region's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in July -- down from 7.9 percent in the same period last year -- according to the state Department of Labor. It's the lowest July level in five years. [NYS DOL] [TU]

An Albany woman was arrested for allegedly running down six people with a truck during the incident on Elk Street Monday evening. Shanikqua Thomas has a history of arrests and outbursts, and told a judge she's been high on crack for two weeks.[YNN] [TU]

Anthony Walker -- convicted of animal abuse, including abusing the "Railroad Puppies" last September -- is being allowed to live in the same house as his mother's dog, in spite of the fact that the terms of his probation ban him from owning a pet for five years.[TU]

A 42 year old Albany man was found dead under the deck of a Provincetown hotel on Tuesday.[TU]

The Local Ocean indoor fish farm was sold back to the property's previous owner for $3.4 million. [TU]

Lawson Lake in Coeymans has been closed to swimmers because of a slime produced by algae. [TU]

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Malta zoning changes open way for potential second chip fab, Green Island tables proposed pet limit, Albany mayoral candidate can't vote for himself, the ongoing trials of the Uncles Sam

The Malta town board approved zoning changes that clear the way for a potential second GlobalFoundries chip fab at Luther Forest. As part of the deal for the zoning changes, GloFo is helping to fund road projects, a study of a possible Exit 11A off the Northway, and donated $3 million for Stillwater to restore a beach area on Saratoga Lake. GloFo has not yet committed to building the new $14.7 billion fab, and it says it doesn't have a timeline for making the decision. [Daily Gazette] [YNN] [News10] [TU] [WNYT]

Douglas Stewart -- the Clifton Park man shot by State Police after they said he refused to put down a loaded gun outside his home earlier this month -- has been charged with menacing a police officer. He was arraigned in the back of an ambulance. Stewart's attorney to the Daily Gazette: ""We believe the evidence is inconsistent with the theory that is being alleged by the state police right now." [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

New state rule for healthcare workers: get a flu shot or wear a mask during times the flu is deemed "prevalent" in the state. [TU]

Green Island's village board has decided to table the measure that would limit residents to three pets per household. The measure met opposition from the public at a meeting Monday night. Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan argued the rule would be similar to already-existing laws in nearby municipalities. [Troy Record] [News10] [YNN]

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Drue testifies at pre-trial hearing, Green Island considering limit on pets, towns say they'll fight Troy's land claim, developer argues Harriman campus was missed opportunity

In a bit of a surprise, Dennis Drue -- accused of causing the Northway crash that killed two high school students and injured two others -- testified at a pre-trial hearing Friday. Drue said statements attributed to him by police were fabricated. Testified Drue in response to a question from his attorney: "The only thing I stated was that it was an accident." [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [TU]

A lower rate of inflation is prompting a tightening of the state's property tax cap for municipalities. [Daily Gazette]

Green Island is considering limiting residents to three animals per household. Says mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan: "I can't possibly see why anyone would need more than three animals in their home." McNulty-Ryan says the potential law change was prompted by a case in which 10 dogs were found in an apartment. [Troy Record] [YNN] [News10]

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Questions about further development at Harriman campus, free lunches for all in Schenectady school district, more Uncle Sam abuse

Current question: What exactly is the state's plan now for (re)development of the Harriman State Office Campus -- and what does it mean for Albany? On Thursday the state officially announced it will be renovating one of the building on the Harriman campus and moving employees to it. Lieutenant governor Bob Duffy on private development at Harriman: "I mean, look at this campus. It's immense and there's a lot of potential that's wide open, but it's probably best to make announcements when deals are finalized and not when they're being discussed or contemplated." [TU] [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [YNN]

Troy fire chief Thomas Garrett faced questions from the city council's public safety committee Thursday night about the emergency demolition of four buildings on King Street last week. One of the topics: asbestos in the buildings and how it was handled. Mayor Lou Rosamilia said the city needs to look at is process for emergency demolition: "That's the outcome of this. This should never happen again. This confusion that was created, we're trying to eliminate that." [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU] [YNN]

School lunches will be provided free to every student in the Schenectady school district during the upcoming school year -- about 80 percent of the district's student qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, but the district said many students weren't participating because of the stigma. [Daily Gazette]

A Schenectady man survived after a 40-car train passed directly over as he was lying in between the rails Thursday morning, according to Schenectady public safety commissioner Wayne Bennett. Police say the man had only minor injuries. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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State halts King St. demolition work, SPD officer accused of improperly sharing license plate info, renovation of vacant Harriman campus building, "total engine failure" brought down Uccellini plane

Following a complaint filed by Troy city councilman Mark McGrath, New York State has posted a stop work order at 4-10 King Street in Troy, the site of an emergency demolition last week that's drawn criticism. An asbestos assessment of the property must be completed, but the matter of who's the responsible party is still being debated. [WNYT][Record][TU]

Problems with a contractor resulted in $1,359,250 in overtime at the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance in the month of July, as staffers rushed to process a back-up of paper tax returns.[TU]

The man convicted of stabbing a state trooper at the Empire State Plaza back in March was sentenced to 30 years in prison. [TU]

"People familiar with the case" tell the Times Union it was a Schenectady detective with 20 years on the force who was suspended from his job last year after he allegedly looked up license plate info for a friend who's accused of using the information as part of a plot to firebomb the home and car of his girlfriend's new boyfriend. Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett says it doesn't appear the the officer knew how the information would be used. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The body of a 31-year old Woodstock man was pulled from Lake George on Wednesday afternoon. The man was reported missing and was found a short time later in 15-feet of water north of Clay Island in Lake George. [TU][YNN]

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Further appeals and sequester delay Bruno trial, "Railroad Puppy"abuser gets time served, 10-year-old set fire to family home in Schenectady

The earliest it appears Joe Bruno's re-trial on corruption chargescould take place: November. Bruno's attorneys are making a last ditch effort to appeal last week's decision by federal appelate court that re-trying Bruno on honest services theft charges would not amount to double jeopardy. Bruno's defense intends to submit a request to halt the case to the U.S. Second Circuit Court and is requesting all of the district judges on the court preside over the trial. A U.S. District Court Judge in the case also says the federal sequester will slow jury selection in the case, further delaying the trial. [TU][WNYT][News10][Record]

Scott Walker -- the man convicted of abusing and abandoning the "railroad puppies" and leaving four dogs in the back of a U-Haul -- was sentenced to six months he'd already served in jail, along with five years probation during which he cannot own a pet. Walker maintained his innocence in statements made after the sentencing and says the case is not over. [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

A pair of brothers on parole for felony drug convictions are now facing more charges after the Albany County Sheriff's Office says more than 80 bags of heroine and $12,000 were found during searches of their homes. [TU]

A ten-year-old boy has admitted to starting a fire at his Schenectady home earlier this week that displaced his entire family. So far the boy has not been charged and is meeting with a juvenile specialist.[TU][YNN]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Wide range in SUNY graduation rates, audio from fatal Schenectady standoff, in labor and stopped for speeding

Across the SUNY system, 64 percent of undergraduates graduate within six years -- though there's a wide range from campus to campus. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo said Monday there's not an update about when the state Department of Health will finish its review of the potential health effects of fracking. Monday night the Albany County legislature voted to ban fracking waste from county water treatment plants and the use on salty fracking waste to de-ice county roads. [TU] [TU] [News10]

Audio from the May 2 situation on Balltown Road in which Schenectady police fatally shot a man holding a hostage at knife point includes officers repeatedly asking the man to drop the knife and the the man telling police he wanted them to kill him. [TU]

A foreclosure auction of the Local Ocean indoor aquaculture facility near Hudson is scheduled for next week -- and as of Monday, a state DEC officer said the fish appeared to be OK. [WNYT]

Lord & Taylor is returning to Crossgates. [TU]

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Father accused in son's death, Albany mayoral candidates talk about city budget gap, chase through Saratoga Springs, apple crop looking good

A Fort Edward man has been arrested and charged with the murder in the death of his three-month-old son Sunday. [Post-Star]

Albany Democratic mayoral candidates Kathy Sheehan and Corey Ellis on one of the most important issues facing the next mayor: plugging the city's persistent budget gap. [TU]

A UAlbany grad student from Cameroon here on a Fulbright scholarship says he was searched, briefly detained, and treated harshly by Albany police -- without any reason given -- while walking to Washington Park for a cookout; all the APD would tells the Times Union is that it the alleged incident is ""the subject of an internal investigation." [TU]

The environmental org Riverkeeper alleges formerly-routine contact between it and state DEC employees has been cut off, perhaps because the Cuomo admin was irked by the org's criticism of the Tappan Zee Bridge project. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Criticism of process that resulted in Troy emergency demolition, what to do about apparently abandoned fish, concern about teacher evaluation system

Troy city officials faced criticism Thursday night of the process that resulted in the emergency demolition of four buildings along King Street this week. City councilman Mark McGrath has alleged "the administration's desire to develop that block resulted in their political greed and ambition surpassing their concern for public safety -- and for the law." And councilman Ken Zalewski requested to see a report from the fire chief about why the buildings had to come down. [YNN] [TU] [Troy Record]

Anthony Repp, accused of killing his mother and stepfather in Schaghticoke on July 4, was extradited from Massachusetts and has pleaded not guilty in Rensselaer County Court. [WNYT] [News10]

The state DEC says it will recommend that any market-sized fish from the apparently closed Local Ocean indoor aquaculture facility near Hudson be donated to a local food pantry. [TU]

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New standardized tests had 31% pass rate, Poulin convicted of manslaughter, wife of man shot by State Police critical of response

State Education commissioner John King says the fact that there was only a 31 percent pass rate on the new standardized tests in math and English language arts in New York's schools for grades 3-8 -- compared to a 55 percent pass rate last year -- is more of a reflection that the bar was raised than of a decrease in student performance. In Schenectady, where only 5.7 percent of eighth graders were proficient in math and 10.8 in English, district superintendent Laurence Spring said the scores are a "clarion call" for the district. [TU] [Business Review]

Calling him "arrogant," a US district court judge sentence former stockbroker Tim McGinn to 15 years in prison for defrauding investors. McGinn's partner, David Smith, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. E. Stewart Jones, McGinn's attorney, says if the two had been "allowed to do what they did most of their professional lives, everybody would have been made whole by now." [TU] [YNN]

A Rensselaer County jury convicted Rory Poulin of second-degree manslaughter -- but acquitted him on murder charges -- in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Margaret Jordan. [TU] [Record]

The wife of a Clifton Park man shot by State Police on Tuesday when he refused to put down a loaded .30 caliber rifle after troopers responded to a 911 call to check on his welfare, says the officers acted too quickly. She says the officers did not attempt to talk to her husband, but ran toward him screaming. Tonya Stewart says her husband "wasn't wielding the gun, running around the house, or even sitting on the front porch." She said he was distraught, and she called 911 because she "was afraid he might think there were no more options."[TU][WNYT][Saratogian]

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Appeals court says Bruno can be retried, state police shoot man in Clifton Park, Glenmont buffet employees charged with identity theft, attendance down at Saratoga

A federal appeals court rejected Joe Bruno's argument that facing a new trial would amount to double jeopardy. That opens the way for the scheduling of a second Bruno trial on charges of honest services mail fraud (this time around with a "a bribery and
kickback theory"). Bruno says he is disappointed in the ruling and is planning further appeals. [US Court of Appeals Second Circuit] [YNN] [TU] [TU CapCon]

State Police say a trooper shot a Clifton Park man Tuesday night while responding to a 911 call from the man's wife, asking them to check on his welfare. State Police say they found Douglas Stewart holding a rifle and shot him when he refused to lower the weapon. Stewart underwent surgery at Albany Med and is expected to make a full recovery. [NYSP] [TU] [WNYT] [YNN] [Saratogian]

Bethlehem police say they're investigating "numerous incidents of identity theft" allegedly related to the Golden Town Buffet in Glenmont. BPD says an investigation has determined that credit/debit card info was compromised. Police say four people have been arrested. BPD says there appear to be at least three dozen victims and $50k in fraud. The restaurant had been open as a buffet for about two months. Police are asking anyone who has used a credit or debit card there since June 15 to check their statements for fraudulent activity. [BPD] [YNN] [News10] [TU]

The jury in the trial of Rory Poulin -- charged with the murder of his girlfriend -- will continue deliberating today.

Former investment brokers Timothy McGinn and David Smith are expected to be sentenced later today for securities fraud. [WNYT]

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Son pleads guilty to killing his mother, what food stamp cash bought, uncertainty about full casino gambling in Saratoga, celebrating Melville

Joshua McWain, the Greenfield man accused of killing his mother with a floor buffer and then burying her body in a shed under a "world's greatest mother" statue last October, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Friday. He faces 19 years to life in prison. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratoga County DA] [Saratogian]

Allan McBee, a 19-year-old from Watervliet , pleaded guilty to fatally shooting Ska-Kim Miller in South Troy in March 2012. He faces 15 years in prison. [TU] [Troy Record]

A Schenectady County grand jury has cleared Schenectady police in the fatal shooting of a man who was alleged to have been holding his roommate hostage at knife point in May. A report by the DA's office backs up the decision. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The Daily Gazette tracked people who allegedly flipped their food stamps for cash as part of what authorities say was a large-scale scheme at a Schenectady grocery store and found that many people spent the money on items such as rent, utilities, and toilet paper. [Daily Gazette]

In Saratoga there's uncertainty and uneasiness about the possibility of full casino gambling -- and its effect on horse racing. Tangentially related: the new head of NYRA says expanding the season at Saratoga is a possibility. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Gruesome testimony in Poulin trial, Troy trying to claim properties from adjacent towns, chase ends in crash into bank building

From the testimony of Cheryl Pang-Born* at the trial of Rory Poulin, accused of murdering his longtime partner Margaret Jordan in North Greenbush: "She (Meg) had her head down and she had a beer in her hand ... Then I jumped up and saw her head was gone and I just started freaking out." On cross examination by the defense, Pang-Born testified that Poulin appeared to be in a "state of shock" about what had just happened (the defense has argued the shooting was an accident). *Her name has been spelled Pang-Born, Pangborn, and Pangburn in various reports. [Troy Record] [TU]

Attorneys for Timothy McGinn and David Smith, the Albany brokers convicted of defrauding investors, have asked the federal judge in the case for sentences of of less than 10 years Federal prosecutors have asked for life in prison. Smith's attorney noted in a sentencing memorandum that such a sentence would be much more than what Kenneth Lay and Jeffery Skilling got for the Enron case. [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Massachusetts AG's office says Andrew Gause -- the Troy woman accused of defrauding the victims' fund for the Boston Marathon bombings -- has been transported to Boston and is scheduled to be arraigned today. [Troy Record] [TU]

Albany fire chief Robert Forezzi on the possibility of an oil tanker train crash in the area, like the one recently in Quebec: "I feel confident if we have an incident, we can handle and combat it." A handful of track-side residents expressed their safety concerns at a forum Thursday night. [TU] [WNYT]

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Bruno's daughter and former boss face charges in alleged no show job, Sheehan leads Ellis in Albany mayoral poll, railroad puppy training as therapy dog

State AG Eric Schneiderman has filed charges against Susan Bruno and her former boss, the one time head of the SUNY Research Foundation, for allegedly filing time sheets showing Bruno was working when she wasn't. The charges allege this happened 47 times, and defrauded the public of $165,000. [TU][WNYT][Capitol Confidential]

An Albany County corrections officer was charged with harassment, coercion, and official misconduct for allegedly trying to blackmail the jail's former superintendent into changing his contract so he could save thousands of dollars in health care costs. Said Sheriff Craig Apple about the arrest: "We're not proud of the fact that we've had to arrest four or five of our own employees this year. It's disgusting. But I want to public to know that we're not tolerating it either."[TU][WNYT][YNN]

An overheated chemical tank was responsible for the foul odor that wafted through Cohoes late Wednesday night. The chemical, mercaptan, is used to add an odor to natural gas so people can smell a leak. The odor had subsided as of this morning and the mayor was advised that the smell did not create a health hazard. [TU][YNN]

A YNN/Siena poll of the Albany Democratic mayoral primary reports Kathy Sheehan leading Corey Ellis 54% to 23%. [YNN]

A 36-year-old Albany man who was born in prison will likely die there as well after being sentenced to 87 years in jail for dealing heroin. [TU]

The Troy woman accused of defrauding a fund for Boston Marathon bombing victims has waived extradition and will face charges in Boston.[TU]

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Six arrested in Spa City prostitution investigation, body found in Queensbury reservoir, emergency landing at Albany International, DiNapoli questions $1 million in UAlbany leave

Police in Saratoga springs have arrested six women in a prostitution investigation. The arrests were part of a nationwide child sex trafficking crackdown, but no children were involved with the local arrests.[YNN][WNYT][Saratogian]

State Police say the body of a man was discovered in a Queensbury reservoir on Tuesday evening. Police do not suspect foul play.[YNN][Saratogian]

An autopsy has shown that local singer and actress Anna Kroup, whose body was found in the Hudson River on Monday, died from asphyxiation due to drowning. [TU]

Smoke spotted by a crew member caused a 39 passenger American Eagle jet to make an emergency landing at Albany International Airport on Tuesday afternoon. No fire was found and mechanics are still looking for the cause of the smoke. [TU]

On Tuesday Andrew Cuomo signed the Upstate NY Gaming Economic Development Act -- the blueprint that will guide the siting of four upstate casinos should voters pass a referendum in the fall. The act sets guidelines for regulation and selection of the proposed casinos and, among other things, lays out how to address cheating, problem gambling and distribution of education aid increases. [Capitol Confidential][State of Politics]

The Albany Landlord accused of forcing a fellow immigrant to work was cleared of labor trafficking charges on Tuesday, but convicted of grand larceny filing false statements and tax fraud for stealing security deposits that were supposed to go to the county Department of Social Serivces. Mala Kahn could serve up to 16 years in prison. Her daughter, Shereen Khan was cleared of all charges in the case. [TU]

An investigation by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found UAlbany had more than $1 million in questionable paid leave expenses -- in one case paying $94,494 to an employee on a leave expected to lead to retirement.[TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Investigation into cause of big Saratoga Springs fire, body of missing woman found in the Hudson, Whole Foods planning for spring 2014 opening in Colonie

Investigators are looking into the cause of the big fire in Saratoga Springs over the weekend, though it may be slow going. An SSPD lieutenant explained the collapse the buildings' floors onto each other is making investigation difficult -- "It's like peeling an onion, one layer at a time." At this point officials don't believe the fire is suspicious. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

Earlier this year the state Department of Environmental Conservation approved an oil company's application to double the amount of the oil and ethanol it handles at the Port of Albany. (The port has become a major node in the network that ships crude oil from North Dakota to refineries on the East Coast.) [TU]

Antonio Lopez-Bautista, convicted of dragging a woman from her vehicle and then sexually assaulting her in Saratoga Springs in May 2012, was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Lopez-Bautista said in court Monday that he had been intoxicated and thought he was beating up a corrupt politician in his hometown in Mexico. Authorities say Lopez-Bautista is in the country illegally. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

Attendance at the Saratoga Race Course has been down this season compared to last year, maybe because of the hot weather. [TU]

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Big fire in Saratoga Springs, officer testifies that Nelligan was trying revive grandson, Cherry Hill saved by donations

Five Victorian-style row houses in downtown Saratoga Springs (map) were destroyed Sunday morning in a massive fire that drew 15 fire trucks and almost 100 firefighters. It took five hours from the first call to get the fire declared under control. Thirty-two people lived in the homes -- police say 15 were home at the time and everyone there got out safely. Some of the row houses dated back to the 1800s.[Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [News10] [Saratoga Wire] [WNYT] [YNN] [TU]

The death of Gary Carpenter III, caused by injuries committed by his mother's boyfriend, has prompted the Warren County DA to call for an investigation of the state's child abuse reporting hotline. [TU]

The state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities says it's planning to close the O.D. Heck residential facility in Niskayuna in 2015. (Related: Who the heck was O.D. Heck?) [TU] [Daily Gazette]

In separate closure round announcement, the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision announced Friday that Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility in Wilton is slated to be closed. DOCCS reports that the number of inmates in state prisons is down 24 percent since a record high in 1999. [Daily Gazette] [NYSNYS/Saratogian]

The Hudson River near Albany continues to have high levels of microbial counts related to sewage discharges, according to Riverkeeper. [AP/Troy Record]

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Reaction to downscaled Albany convention center, Troy installing surveillance cameras, Colonie approves tougher rules for Central Ave motels, the oldest man in the world

The proposal to build a smaller Albany convention center between the ESP and TU Center seems to be getting a cautiously warm reception from local officials. Said Jerry Jennings: "It's time for it. We've been talking about it for years and years." [Troy Record] [TU] [YNN]

From a 911 call played Thursday during the trial of Rory Poulin, charged with murdering his longtime partner in North Greenbush: "There was a gunshot, and she's just sitting there with half a skull." [Troy Record]

The feds are seeking "very substantial" prison terms for Timothy McGinn and David Smith, the Albany-based brokers convicted of defrauding investors -- the max sentence is life in prison. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The city of Troy says it will be installing surveillance cameras at a handful of spots downtown. The city council president says there will be six cameras in the pilot program. [Troy Record] [YNN]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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New direction for Albany convention center floated, community meeting about Park South redevelopment, "Ape's Law" signed, baseball hit king at Crossgates

New direction for the Albany convention center project: a smaller, two story building on a site between the ESP and the TU Center -- the idea is the facilitiy could be part of events that use all three venues. [TU] [Biz Review]

At a community meeting Wednesday night some residents of Park South expressed concerns about being displaced by the redevelopment plan. Said one resident: "They held the meeting and said 'we want you to feel a part of this process,' but it's gonna move along whether you agree with it or not." And another: "They're frustrated because they feel like they're not a part of it after contributing so much for so long." Said the head of Columbia Development at the meeting: "what we're trying to do is transform the community. You can't tell me what we're putting in there is not an upgrade." [WNYT] [News10] [YNN] [TU]

The attorney for Rory Poulin -- accused of shooting his partner of 30 years, Margaret Jordan, in North Greenbush last December after they had been drinking -- told jurors during opening arguments that Poulin accidentally fired the shotgun as he sat down. Prosecutors argued Poulin shot Jordan intentionally because he was mad at her. [TU] [Troy Record]

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Park South redevelopment plan introduced, another state Assembly sexual harassment allegation, what's that floating in the pool... oh, no

Albany Med introduced its plan for the $110 million residential and retail phase of the Park South redevelopment. Said AMC's president James Barba: "We want to further enhance not just the neighborhood, but the city. And not just now, but for many, many years to come." The redevelopment plan includes relocation services for tenants in the affected area, but some said Tuesday they had hoped for more prior notice. There's a community meeting tonight (Wednesday) at AMC to talk about the plan. (And if you'd like the Quintessence diner building, it could be yours.) [AOA] [YNN] [TU] [Richard Conti FB] [AOA]

The mother of Gary Carpenter III, the Warren County boy who was killed by her boyfriend last November, was sentenced to 1-3 years in prison for her guilty pleas to charges of hindering prosecution and lying to police. Said Jennie Mattson in court: "I am ashamed of not protecting my son ... I think every day about Gary. I cry every night. I regret not protecting him like I should have." [YNN] [Post-Star]

The Troy woman accused of defrauding the victims assistance fund for Boston Marathon bombing has chosen to not waive extradition to Massachusetts. One of her supporters at a hearing Tuesday said the situation is "all a big mistake." [Troy Record] [TU]

The Scotia shop owner who was cleared after surveillance video appeared to show a police informant setting set him up has hired an attorney in an effort to clear his name and possibly file suit against two law enforcement agencies. [Daily Gazette]

How upstate cities are -- and aren't -- like the now-bankrupt Detroit. [TU] [YNN]

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Boy accidentally shoots himself after finding gun, Schumer pushes for rail tanker upgrades, summer camp at night

Albany police say a 9-year-old accidentally shot himself in the hand Saturday in the Sheridan Hollow neighborhood (block map). The boy tells YNN he thought the gun was a toy, and told News10 he found it in a flower pot. In ensuing commotion, the boy's family says the gun wasn't picked up. And this morning an APD spokesman says police do not have the gun in possession, and an investigation is ongoing. Another question in the situation: whether the gun is a "community gun." [APD] [YNN] [News10] [WNYT] [TU]

Chuck Schumer was in Albany Monday to push for the feds to require freight railroads to phase out the use an older tanker car model that's said to be flawed for shipments of oil and ethanol. Schumer said his concern for the issue was prompted by the recent crash and explosion in Quebec, and the increased use of rail transportation for oil. The Port of Albany has become an active node in the network that transports crude oil from fields in North Dakota, and much of the oil transported through the port arrives in one of the older model tanker cars. (The TU's Chris Churchill has been focused on this issue recently -- see his report from this past weekend.) [YNN] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT]

The city of Albany and Albany Med are set to announce "an important project" late this morning in Park South -- expected to be plans for the residential and retail portion of the redevelopment of that neighborhood. [TU]

There was a large upswing in the number of building permits issued in the Capital District in 2012 compared to 2011. [Troy Record]

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Massachusetts AG: Troy woman defrauded Boston bombing victims fund, concern about security of oil tanker trains, rally for Trayvon Martin in Albany, Cherry Hill mansion scraping for funding

A Troy woman was arrested Friday after she was accused of collecting a fraudulent $480k claim from the fund for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing -- the Massachusetts state attorney general alleges the woman had claimed a traumatic brain injury from the bombing. Troy police say Audrea Gause had the money deposited in a local bank account and withdrew $377k, which she carried in a paper bag, and talked about the money on Facebook. [Mass AG] [Troy Record]

Eric Green, accused of stabbing a state trooper in the neck at the Empire State Plaza in March, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder on Friday. Green is facing 30 years in prison. [TU] [Albany County DA]

The Times Union got a copy of a report on a 2008 investigation of the State Police by the office of then-attorney general Andrew Cuomo -- among the details: Eliot Spitzer liked space from his State Police protection. [TU] [TU]

Watervliet's fire chief on discussions with railroad companies about security for oil tanker cars at a railyard that borders Watervliet and Colonie: "The feeling I got was that they didn't think anything's going to happen, and they have the insurance to cover it if it does." [TU]

The almost-century-old bulkheads along Troy's riverfront probably need to be replaced -- but the city doesn't have the millions of dollars necessary for the job. [TU]

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It's still hot, opening day at the Track, unflattering picture of SUNY Cobleskill, cooking oil spill closes street, celebration of Jerry Jennings

The forecasted high for today: 99 (87 on Saturday). And Thursday set a record for the highest low temperature for the date: 77. Air conditioning is pushing the state's electricity usage toward near a record level, and on Thursday Andrew Cuomo asked New Yorkers to conserve electricity to avoid power outages. And National Grid has asked large users of electricity -- such as GlobalFoundries -- to pull back on their usage. The city of Schenectady is asking residents to conserve water. [NWS] [NWS] [Cuomo admin] [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette]

Today is opening day at the Saratoga Race Course. And NYRA says the races will go on, despite the heat. How the Track is dealing with the heat for the horses: more water, more veterinarians. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

The state's unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in June, the lowest mark since February 2009, the state Department of Labor reported. The Albany metro area had more public sector jobs in June compared to the same month the year before -- the first time that's happened since 2009. [NYS DOL] [TU]

Andrew Cuomo is pushing a plan in which regions around the state would get to decide how to spend their portions of $500 million in federal disaster recovery funding. The local plans will have to take into account the threat of future flooding. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The graduation rate for Schenectady High School -- perennially one of the lowest in the Capital Region -- was up 7 percentage points for the 2012-2013 school year, and summer school Regents exams could push the rate over 60 percent. [Daily Gazette] Earlier: Capital Region high school graduation rates 2012

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Cuomo signs order for $16 million for flood victims, Kerry will decide on extradition of marine,NYRA says heat won't stop opening day

The Capital Region is officially in the midst of a heat wave. [WNYT]

Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on Wednesday freeing up $16 Million in state aid for flood victims around New York, after FEMA refused to offer individual assistance to homeowners earlier this week. The funding was released without a special session of the legislature because it will come from a "contingent appropriation" included in this year's budget for disaster spending. Cuomo plans to take part in a Storm Recovery Conference today.[TU][Capitol Confidential][WNYT][YNN][YNN]

A federal judge has cleared the way for the former U.S. marine, arrested in Clifton Park last month, to be extradited to the Philippines to stand trial in a double murder. Timothy Kaufman's case will now go before Secretary of State John Kerry for a final decision on the extradition.[TU][News 10][Saratogian]

A police detective testified in a pre-trial hearing in Troy Wednesday, that one of the three men charged with murdering rapper Sha-kim Miller in South Troy last year told police who the shooters were. But the suspect has requested his statement to police back in March be suppressed since his lawyer was not present when he gave it. [TU][Record]

NYRA says the races will go on at Saratoga on Friday, heat wave or no heat wave.[TU]

The new head of NYRA said Wednesday that the org and New York State may have had a difference of opinion in the past "but now their interests are aligned" and he is optimistic about NYRA's future. [YNN]

The water quality at the Saratoga Race Course, which was too low in chlorine for the last couple of days, is now back to normal.[News 10]

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UAlbany and NanoCollege split, Cuomo seeks alternatives to special session to help flood victims,it's hot-- but you can't fry an egg on the tarmac

Yep, it's still hot, with temperatures expected to reach 93 today.[NWS]

SUNY Trustees voted to split the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering from UAlbany on Tuesday, but not all of the trustees were in agreement. Alain Kaloyeros, V.P. and CEO of the NanoCollege cited Andrew Cuomo's START-UP NY initiative to create tax free zones around universities as a major reason why the NanoCollege can't be tied to a local campus. Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said the two colleges will be "better off leveraging each others' strengths, calling the situation "a disruptive innovation." UAlbany will continue to offer support to the CNSE in the form of student housing, general education courses, and access to clubs, activities and dining facilities .

On Tuesday's Capitol Pressroom radio show, Andrew Cuomo said that while he'd prefer not to call the legislature back in a special session if he doesn't have to, he is looking into other ways to quickly get $10 Million in sate aid to assist nearly 400 property owners impacted by recent flooding across the state. Cuomo did say that if a special session is the only way, he will call one. [Capitol Pressroom] [Capitol Confidential] [YNN]

Also on Capitol Pressroom, Cuomo dismissed the idea that he is benefiting from Campaign Fiance loopholes that he's currently fighting to change, saying, they aren't loopholes, but the way the current law is written: " I want to change the campaign fiancé system," he said, "but in the meantime I have to live within the campaign finance system."[State of Politics]

An Office of Medicaid employee who sent records to a home computer may have compromised the security of some 18,000 Medicaid recipients. [TU]

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Details in Scotia murder case, Schumer says GloFo asked for help developing relationship with Apple, live grenade removed from basement, Jennings Landing

It's hot. Today's forecast includes a high of 92. Municipalities around the area are opening cooling stations. (Locations in Albany.) [NWS] [TU]

Details in the case surrounding the death of Theresa Bernard in Scotia this past weekend: Scotia police say they apprehended Jeffrey Steele shortly after he allegedly stabbed his mother fatally in her bed, but didn't immediately realize who they had. Schenectady County DA Robert Carney says Steele was seen by police walking, covered in blood, carrying a military knife. Bernard appears to have endured "a brutal set of hardships throughout her life." [TU] [YNN] [News10] [Daily Gazette]

Though the state qualified for federal disaster aid to municipalities, FEMA has decided it will not be offering aid to individual homeowners in the upstate counties recently hit by flash flooding. Said Chris Gibson in a statement: "FEMA's decision is flat-out wrong." Said the mayor of Fort Plain to the Gazette: "This is just going to wipe their thoughts and future dreams of Fort Plain right off the map." [TU] [Cuomo admin] [Chris Gibson Facebook] [Daily Gazette]

About 60 people rallied on the steps of the state Capitol Monday morning to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Said one mother at the rally of her 12-year-old son: "I don't feel safe. I feel like someone could take my son away just like (Trayvon Martin). I don't want my son to live in a cage, but I live in fear for my son." [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The trial date for Dennis Drue -- accused of causing the Northway crash that killed two Shen students and injured two other teens -- is set for September 30. [Saratoga County DA]

The woman rallying support for the Albany Aquarium idea distanced her effort from that of Omni Development at an information session Monday night. [TU]

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Scotia man accused in mother's death, another underground cable fire in Albany, SPD says bank robber got away on bike, new tune at ALB

A Scotia man has been charged with killing his mother at their home in the village. Scotia police haven't shared many details, but say 20-year-old Jeffrey Steele was arrested early Sunday morning. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Jennica Duell -- the mother of the three children who died in the Hulett Street fire in May that also killed a father and badly burned another child -- now tells the Times Union she wasn't at the scene of the fire, as she previously told a grand jury. Duell's now-former boyfriend, Robert Butler, is accused of arson and possibly facing a death penalty case in federal court. [TU]

After the recent train wreck and explosion in Quebec, concern about the railroad cars used to transport oil through the Capital Region. [TU]

The SUNY board of trustees will be considering a recent report that recommends spinning off the NanoCollege and the "Albany NanoTech Megaplex" into its own school, separate from UAlbany. [TU]

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Warrington sentenced, state's new anti-corruption panel meets -- behind closed doors, collapse of beaver dam blamed for flooding

Brandon Warrington, convicted in Warren County of killing his girlfriend's 5-year-old son, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. At the sentencing, Warrington continued to profess his innonence. Afterward, the father of the child told the Post Star that he's been notifying friends in prison to look for Warrington, and "He's going to get justice the way I feel justice should be served." [TU] [Post-Star]

Trying to fill in the story behind the recent killings of a Schaghticoke couple. [TU]

The state's new Commission to Investigate Public Corruption -- the Moreland Commission instituted by Andrew Cuomo to investigate corruption in the state legislature -- met for the first time Wednesday. In closed session. Without public notice. [TU]

The attorney who heads up the public defenders for federal court in this district says budget cuts from the federal budget sequester are affecting their ability to defend clients. [TU]

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More rain and flooding, Bisco begins, landfill issue rises in Albany mayoral race, TPD investigating whether man arranged hit on himself, Cannon Building for sale

A line of strong thunderstorms dropped a lot of rain in a short amount time Wednesday afternoon -- almost an inch in one hour -- prompting flash flooding in parts of the Capital Region. A few scenes from Albany: car-bumper-deep water at Sheridan and Chapel downtown, a geyser on Pearl Street, a flooded intersection at what looks like Ontario and Benson (map), flooding at the downtown campus UAlbany dorms, and water streaming into the lecture center at the UAlbany uptown campus. Rain also flooded streets in Troy. [NWS] [Dominick Purnomo] [Instagram tj_egan] [Instagram jmaine_ph] [Upstate Weather Examiner FB] [Albany Student Press YouTube] [Troy Record]

Camp Bisco begins: Fans were lined up outside Wednesday waiting for the gates to the music festival to open. Pushing back on recent media attention on drug use at the festival, organizers highlighted upgraded safety measures and medical facilities. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TU]

The father of the Vermont man who died at one of the Phish shows last weekend says the man did not overdose, contrary to earlier reports. His family says he died of a heart condition. [TU] [YNN]

GlobalFoundries and the town of Malta are close to finalizing agreements that would open the way for the zoning changes necessary for the construction of a second chip fab at Luther Forest. (GloFo has not yet said it will definitely be building the fab.) [Daily Gazette]

"People with knowledge of the situation" tell the Times Union that the recently-resigned chief attorney for the state Committee on Professional Standards, which fields complaints about attorney misconduct in this region, and two of his former employees are being investigated on allegations filing inaccurate time sheets. [TU]

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Llenroc mansion owner gets house arrest, one death and more than 80 arrests over Phish weekend, traffic snarled by sneezing fit, Guilderland has Albany County's best water

Saying Annie George displayed "no respect for the truth whatsoever", a federal judge sentenced the owner of the Llenrock Mansion in Rexford to eight months house arrest and five years probation for lying on the witness stand during her trial for harboring an illegal alien. George has also been ordered to forfeit the mansion. [TU][YNN][WNYT]

Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy says one person died of a drug overdose and at least 80 arrests were made over three days at last week's Phish shows at SPAC. The arrests were mostly drug related. [TU][WNYT][Saratogian]

A lot of attention will be focussed on this weekend's Camp Bisco music festival in Mariaville in light of the death of a 20-year old volunteer at the festival last year. [YNN]

The Business Review reports that the Times Union Center is considering an expansion that could cost between $6 million and $11 million.[Business Review]

The mayor of Fort Plain says 87 businesses affected by last month's flooding do not plan to reopen, but some might reconsider if FEMA or other grant money becomes available. [WNYT]

Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that he's not optimistic about federal funding to help people in the flooded areas of the Mohawk Valley. [YNN]

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Repp fighting extradition in Schaghticoke murder case, Skidmore student's harasser sentenced, Cuomo may call special session for flooding, Scotia diner/wedding chapel

More rain and flash flooding are expected today in the Capital Region. [TU]

Prosecutors will have to seek a governor's warrant to bring the suspect in the July 4th murder of a Schaghticoke couple back to New York. 22-year-old Anthony Repp is fighting efforts to extradite him from Massachusetts to New York to face charges in the beating deaths of his mother and stepfather. [TU][YNN]

The 49-year-old Massachusetts man who sent Skidmore College into lockdown last spring, when he threatened a student in a text message, was sentenced to five years probation, time served in jail and psychiatric counseling. Lance Leonard must also stay away from the victim for eight years. [TU][YNN]

The latest in the battle between the Albany County Legislators and Dan McCoy over the plan to privatize the County Nursing Home: McCoy is blasting legislators for planning to vote on pieces of their
own plan for the nursing home, without submitting the plan for public review.
[TU]

Andrew Cuomo may call lawmakers back to Albany for a special session to help deal with the recent flooding in parts of the state. Fort Plain residents are hoping for federal aid to help with the flooding and Chuck Shumer is pressing to have parts of the state declared a disaster area to qualify for FEMA aid . [YNN] [WNYT][Capitol Confidential]

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State Police: Schaghticoke couple died from blunt force trauma, Spitzer running for public office, 25,000 historical docs found in ceiling, remnants of industry are leather bikinis

State Police report the husband and wife killed in Schaghticoke on July 4 "suffered severe skull fractures and brain injuries due to blunt force trauma." The wife's son, Anthony Repp, was arrested Friday in Massachusetts in connection with the case after he allegedly fled the Capital Region by hopping a freight train. Authorities are working to have extradited back to New York. [NYSP] [TU] [News10] [WNYT]

Schenectady police have identified the body found Sunday afternoon in the eastern end of the city (map) -- they it was a 68-year-old woman who had been reported missing two weeks ago. SPD says foul play is not suspected -- she suffered from Alzheimer's and other medical conditions. [News10] [YNN] [WNYT]

Said the man accused of setting off fireworks in the crowd at the ESP Thursday, to WNYT: "I apologize if anybody got startled or anything. I didn't do nothing wrong. I just let off some fireworks." [WNYT]

The stretch of South Pearl Street in Albany where 7-year-old Qazir Sutherland was hit by a car -- and later died -- is getting new safety upgrades (map). [TU]

Eliot Spitzer says he'll attempt a run for New York City comptroller. He told NYT: "I'm hopeful there will be forgiveness, I am asking for it." [YNN] [NYT]

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Suspect charged in murder of retired Schenectady nun, sentencing in railroad puppies case, Nikon to partner with Nanoscale College, Moreland Panel to include Soares

A 37 year old parolee has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of an 82 year-old retired nun who was found in her Schenectady home on New Year's Day. Michael Briggs, was jailed in January for a parole violation but was a suspect early on in the investigation. Briggs pleaded not guilty to charges.[WNYT][TU][YNN]

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the newly formed Moreland panel will be empowered as deputy attorneys general and may have the authority to look into "every aspect of the state government," not just corruption in the legislative branch. The 25 member panel will include district attorneys from around the state, including David Soares, who has not prosecuted a politician on corruption charges in at least four years, and will have broad power to subpoena records and compel testimony from officials at various state agencies, as well as sitting legislators.[NYT][YNN][TU][WNYT]

The Albany man who abandoned three puppies on the railroad tracks and left dogs freezing in a u-haul will spend six months in jail on Animal Cruelty Charges and is forbidden from ever owning or living with another animal. Anthony walker pleaded guilty to felony Aggravated Cruelty to animals.[WNYT][News 10]

Nikon will partner with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering on a $350 million project to develop next generation lithography technology in a project expected to create 100 high tech jobs. [TU][News10]

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Cleanup -- and flooding -- continue, Cuomo appointing commission to investigate corruption, youth baseball dispute allegedly resulted in tackled umpire, spray park a lotto win

Areas on the western side of the greater Capital Region are continuing to clean up from recent flooding -- while watching for even more rain. Monday night there was flooding in Herkimer County. Earlier in the day, Andrew Cuomo has asked the feds for a major disaster declaration in New York in order to get federal aid. And the body of the Fort Plain woman missing after flooding hit her mobile home was found. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10] [Cuomo admin] [News10]

The searches for two people missing after separate river incidents -- one in Warren County, the other in Washington County -- have been suspended because of high water levels. In the Warren County case, State Police say there's video of the man going over the Rockwell Falls on the Hudson in Lake Luzerne. [TU] [Post-Star]

Andrew Cuomo is ready to appoint a 25-member bipartisan panel to investigate corruption connected to the state legislature. Said Dean Skelos on the Capitol Pressroom Monday of a potential panel: "If this is just aimed at the Legislature, I think that would be inappropriate." [NYDN] [TU]

The processing of state income tax returns filed on paper apparently has a lot of problems this year. [TU]

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Concerns about more flooding, call for investigation of manhole explosions, OK soon for OK Slip, the South End Tavern closes

Authorities say it looks like an elderly woman was killed when a flash flood carried away her mobile Friday in Fort Plain. Said resident of the flooding in the Montgomery County village, to the Daily Gazette: "I was upstairs sleeping and my husband came in and said we had a river on both sides of the house ... I mean, on both sides there was just water flowing and boats going up here trying to see if people needed help. It's kind of weird to see a boat floating on by your house." With more thunderstorms in the forecast today, the threat of flooding continues around the region. [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

As part of a review of local elected officials' participation in the state pension system, the Times Union concludes that "records filed by elected officials in four local counties -- Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady -- shows that many county legislators have filed questionable, vague and, in some cases, illegible time sheets." [TU]

The state's new Justice Center -- created to investigate claims of abuse or neglect in the care of people with disabilities -- was scheduled to come online Sunday. [TU]

There was yet another report of manhole cover explosion in downtown Albany Friday. Albany County exec Dan McCoy is calling for an investigation by the state Public Service Commission. [News10] [Troy Record]

The city of Troy and Judge Development have ended talks on the redevelopment of the former city hall site. The city says it's now looking for other developers. [TU] [Troy Record]

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Investigation into train derailment, suspect nabbed at ALB while waiting for flight, together for 60 years and two weeks

Officials say they're not sure yet what caused two trains to side-swipe each other, and then derail, in Montgomery County Thursday. The wreck closed a section of Route 5 and caused Amtrak to suspend train service west of Albany. Amtrak said a in statement late Thursday afternoon that "there is no estimate for track restoration at this time." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Amtrak]

A state appellate court has upheld the conviction of Steven Raucci. An attorney for Raucci says he will try to take the case before the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Saratoga Springs police say the man accused of robbing a CVS of 4,000 narcotic pills at gunpoint this week was apprehended at ALB Wednesday while he was waiting to board a flight to Florida. Police say he had gone to Boston after the robbery and then flew to ALB for a connecting flight, which was delayed by weather -- and apparently didn't suspect that police were looking for him. Said Saratoga County DA Jim Murphy about a rising number of robberies involving prescription drugs: ""It's something we're having to wrap our heads around and is, in fact, the new normal for this area." [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [Saratoga Wire] [YNN]

A former Marine -- who had been living in Clifton Park when he was arrested for extradition to the Philippines on murder charges -- testified at an extradition hearing that he didn't commit the murders of which he's accused, and his attorney criticized the evidence in the case. [TU] [AP/Troy Record]

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Cuomo wants Assembly to return for Women's Equality vote, attorneys for former Albany imam request retrial,Lake George to become "smart lake," Cuomo's Harley at the ESP

Reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on DOMA from Andrew Cuomo, Kirsten Gillibrand, Paul Tonko, the Albany Pride Center. [YNN][Huffington Post][YNN][YNN]

Andrew Cuomo says he doesn't see the need for a special summer legislative session, but he want to see the Assembly return to the Capitol to vote on the split-up version of Women's Equality Act. [Capitol Confidential]

Amtrak has suspended service between Albany and Syracuse today, due to a 20 car train derailment in Montgomery County.[TU]

An acting State Supreme Court Justice is set to hear arguments on Friday in the case of four Occupy Albany protestors that DA David Soares has refused to prosecute. The outcome could not only affect the four protestors, but also, whether Soares can be held in contempt of court for not exercising his duties in the case. [TU]

Attorneys for the former imam of an Albany mosque, convicted in 2006 of laundering money as part of a fake scheme involving the sale of a shoulder fired missile,are seeing a new trial on the grounds that the FBI misidentified their client as a member of al-Qaida.[TU]

A National Transportation Safety Board report reveals some of what occurred before the single engine plane crash that killed developers Walter Uccellini and Jim Quinn.[TU][Record]

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Three guilty pleas in Albany County Jail gambling case, armed robber gets 4,000 pills from Saratoga CVS, Google Glass in Schenectady

Albany County jail guard James Cerniglia pleaded guilty to gambling charges on Tuesday for his part in a multi-state sports gambling ring. Cerniglia told the judge that his gambling activities, conducted at Albany County Jail, provided "gas money... once in a while." He received a conditional discharge in exchange for forfeiting $5,000, agreeing never to work at the jail again and cooperating fully with an ongoing investigation into the case. Two others also pleaded guilty to gambling charges in the case.[WNYT][News10][TU][Record][YNN]

A man armed with a pair of revolvers held up a Saratoga CVS early Tuesday morning, making off with more than 4,000 hydrocodone pills.[Saratogian][TU]

A federal judge has postponed the extradition of a former marine who was arrested in the Capital Region in connection with a double murder in The Philippines.[WNYT][YNN]

Daquan Jones, who was acquitted of murder charges in February, plead guilty on Tuesday to second degree assault for shooting Isaiah Cooper in May over a dispute over a dice game. [Record]

A Schenectady woman, missing for over 24-hours, was located on Tuesday, not far from her home.[YNN]

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Storm rips through Rensselaer, push to save Women's Equality Act, maybe a little to eager to move to Schenectady, three decades of bagels

A possible microburst during Monday's thunderstorms did some serious damage in Rensselaer and North Greenbush. Its sounds like there were a few intense moments. [TU] [YNN] [News10]

Andrew Cuomo and Dean Skelos are both suggesting/pushing the state Assembly to return to pass the nine non-abortion measures in the Women's Equality Act. (The Assembly passed all 10 measures as one bill -- the state Senate passed the nine as separate bills, thus the conflict.) The pass-the-nine option is also getting support from both anti-abortion and abortion rights groups. [State of Politics] [State of Politics] [TU]

This fall there will be six state constitutional items on the ballot -- ranging from whether to approve casino gambling to whether state Supreme Court justices should be allowed to serve until their 80. [TU]

Quietly removed from the state legislation that advanced the approval process for full casino gambling in the state: a provision banning orgs with a casino license -- or seeking a casino license -- from making state and local political campaign contributions. Theories as to why: 1) it might have been unconstitutional 2) its removal "basically created a whole new class of special interest money." [Daily Gazette] [State of Politics]

Federal prosecutors are not seeking prison time for Annie George, convicted of harboring an immigrant to work as a servant at the Llenroc mansion in Rexford. Instead, they're asking for home detention, probation, community service, and a fine. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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End of session flurry in state legislature, feds assert radiation weapon was viable, Troy farmers' market looking for permanent location

As the state legislative session closed, legislators passed bills for the Start Up NY/Tax-Free NY program and the upstate casino plan. But the 10-point Women's Equality Act stalled after an end-of-session flurry of meetings and legislative maneuvering couldn't get the bill through the state Senate, where Republican members continued to oppose an abortion rights provision in the act. (The Assembly had passed the 10-point plan as a whole -- the state Senate was taking it up as separate bills.) [State of Politics] [Saratogian/NYSNYS] [NYT] [TU CapCon] [TU CapCon]

"People familiar with the investigation" tell the Times Union that there was a "unanimous decision" on the part of the feds that the radiation device allegedly planned by Glendon Scott Crawford was a weapon of mass destruction and they dispute speculation that the device wasn't viable. And "sources with knowledge of the situation" tell the New York Daily News that Andrew Cuomo was a possible target of the alleged plot. In a Capitol Pressroom conversation, Cuomo responded by calling the alleged plot the work of "extereme right-wing nutsies." [TU] [NYDN] [State of Politics]

At local synagogues and mosques, the alleged plot prompted vows of interfaith unity -- and at the church Crawford attended, shock. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The real estate agent trying to sell the Schaghticoke garage where Crawford and Eric J. Feight were allegedly building the radiation weapon said something seemed amiss -- but figured it might be drugs. [TU]

Albany police say an Ulster County man has been arrested in connection with the death of a one month old last week. [TU]

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Feds: mosque and Islamic center were "viable targets" in alleged radiation weapon plot, tension over Women's Equality Act on last day of legislative session, $1 million / 20

Federal prosecutors said Glendon Scott Crawford took undercover FBI agents to an Albany mosque and Schenectady Islamic center Tuesday as part of a scouting trip of "viable targets" in the alleged radiation weapon plot -- and then took the agents to the alleged device at former auto body shop in Schaghticoke before he was arrested. Attorneys for Crawford and Eric J. Feight argued there clients are not a threat, and weren't capable of building the weapon the feds allege was in the works. A federal district court judge ordered Crawford and Feight held without bail. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Troy Record]

Among the allegations against Crawford is that he had contact with the KKK -- law enforcement officials say they haven't seen indications that the KKK or other organized hate groups are operating in the area. [TU]

As the last scheduled day of the legislative session starts, the abortion provision of the 10-point Women's Equality Act continues to be a sticking point between the state Assembly -- which passed all 10 provisions as one -- and the state Senate, whose leaders are aiming to pass the other nine provision separately. [TU] [AP/Troy Record]

With the fact that much of the city's property is already tax exempt in mind, the two presumptive frontrunners for Albany mayor -- Democrats Kathy Sheehan and Corey Ellis -- are watching closely what happens with the Cuomo admin's Start-Up NY/Tax-Free NY plan. [TU]

Sheila Abdus-Salaam was sworn in as the newest member of the Court of Appeals, New York's highest court. She's the first African-American woman to be appointed to the court. In attendance at the ceremony: US attorney general Eric Holder, a law school classmate of Abdus-Salaam. [TU] [WNYT] [NYDN]

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Death of infant called homicide, Cuomo forming Moreland panel on corruption, women's equality bill could bring cliff-hanger, local Jewish orgs credited with helping nab terror suspects

Albany police are treating the death of a one-month-old boy from Kingston as a homicide. Albany Medical Center staff told police the baby died from a severe head injury on Monday. The child's mother says she sent him from her home in Kingston to Albany last week to be with his father.[TU][WNYT][YNN]

The state Assembly is poised to vote on the 10-point women's equality legislation as one bill, while the Senate is planning to work on the new version -- ten separate bills -- which could set up a legislative cliff-hanger. Andrew Cuomo warned yesterday that a non-vote on the abortion codifying section of the bill is equal to a no vote. Cuomo says everyone can be blamed if the 10-point women's agenda isn't passed before the end of this session. [TU][State of Politics][State of Politics]

New York's district attorneys are pressing lawmakers to pass dozens of yet-to-be-voted-on anti-corruption proposals. Andrew Cuomo says he is abandoning a legislative solution to the corruption in the state legislature. Cuomo says he is convening a commission under the Moreland Act to examine campaign finance law violations through the Board of Elections. [Capitol Confidential][Saratogian][Capitol Confidential][State of Politics]

An assistant US Attorney hinted that more arrests could be forthcoming in the case of the two men charged with attempting to build an x-ray weapon and sell it to Jewish organizations with the intent of killing Muslims. Prosecutors say local Jewish organizations, including the Congregation Gates of Heaven in Schenectady were instrumental to catching the two suspects. The men are due back in court today.[Saratogian/AP] [AOA] [WNYT]

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Women's Equality bill split ten ways, Cuomo and legislators reach casino agreement, Niskayuna school budget passes, Colonie among New York's most fiscally stressed communities

The legislative session is getting down to the wire. Last night Andrew Cuomo's proposed Women's Equality Act was split into 10 parts to separate the portion that clarifies state abortion law from the rest of the bill. Senate GOP leaders were refusing to vote on the original bill based on the abortion condition.[News10][TU][YNN]

Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have reached an agreement on proposed casinos. The arrangement would limit the number of Casinos to two per region -- and would call for four casinos in upstate NY -- two in the Catskills, one in the Capital Region and one in the Southern tier.[YNN][YNN][TU]

Revised budgets in Niskayuna and Middleburgh passed on Tuesday night.[TU]

Based on a 23 point examination, State comptroller Tom DiNapoli Colonie is one of the most fiscally stressed municipalities in the state. Paula Mahan doesn't disagree but says getting out of debt was the first priority for the town, and she'll now be focused on building a cash reserve. Albany and Saratoga Counties were listed as under "moderate stress" and Rensselaer County is "susceptible"to stress.[TU][YNN][Saratogian]

Funeral services were held in Guilderland on Tuesday for Lt. Col. Todd Clark, killed earlier this month in Afghanistan. Chidren from Pine Bush Elementary School lined the route to the church holding signs and American Flags for what
their principal called a "teachable moment." Clark's remains will be flown to his final resting place in Texas on an honor flight provided by Southwest Airlines. [YNN][TU][YNN]

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Residents call for safer street after boy's death, thousands rally against fracking, McLaughlin "considering" run for governor, man says he was "just being an idiot"

Residents of the housing complex along South Pearl Street in Albany where 7-year-old Qazir Sutherland was hit by a car Saturday evening -- and later died from his injuries -- pushed for better safety measures along the street at Monday's Common Council meeting. Remarked a woman who said she saw Sutherland hit: "People are always just driving by here like crazy ... We got kids running around playing and there ain't a crosswalk or a stoplight in sight." Common Councilman Lester Freeman, who represents the South End, urged quick action: "There are children's lives in danger, right down there on South Pearl Street as I talk to you right now." Albany police are investigating the accident -- they say the driver stopped when it happened and was interviewed by officers. [WNYT] [TU] [YNN] [News10]

Mourners gathered along the route of the motorcade carrying the body of Army Lt. Col. Todd Clark, recently killed in Afghanistan, from ALB to Christian Brothers Academy Monday morning (photos). [Troy Record] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Timothy Kaufman -- who had been living in Clifton Park, and now sits in the Rensselaer County jail awaiting extradition to the Philippines on charges he killed two people -- writes in a letter to the Times Union that he's being set up and would not get a fair trial if extradited. [TU]

The issues apparently on the plate during this last week of the session for the state legislature: the university tax-free zones, casinos, binding arbitration for distressed cities, and privatizing the Long Island Power Authority. Apparently off the plate: campaign finance reform and Andrew Cuomo's 10-point women's agenda, of which state Senate IDC leader Jeff Klein says won't pass because of an abortion rights provision. That prompted blame of the IDC -- a small group of Democrats who controls the state Senate in coalition with Republicans -- from Cuomo and advocates. [TU] [NYT] [State of Politics] [State of Politics] [State of Politics]

A Siena poll out Monday reports that Andrew Cuomo's favorability rating is at the lowest point of his term as governor, 58 percent. And 52 percent of respondents said Sheldon Silver should step down as speaker. [Siena SRI]

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Family says boy struck by car has died, Cuomo adjusts casino plan, questions about housing as Park South redevelops

The family of the 7-year-old boy Albany police say was hit by a vehicle while crossing South Pearl Street (block map) Saturday night says the boy has died. [News10] [WNYT]

A motorcade will be transporting the body of Lt. Col. Todd Clark, recently killed in Afghanistan, from ALB to Christian Brothers Academy for calling hours today. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo is now proposing four -- instead of three -- upstate casinos as part of his upstate casino plan. The legislation necessary to move the process along is expected to a be a focus during this last week of the legislative session. Also: The Cuomo admin is apparently getting ready to flip the switch from "get along" to "kill" after a group of current VLT operators continued to oppose the administration's casino plans. [TU] [TU] [TU]

Residents of Schoharie County were cleaning up over the weekend from flash flooding on Friday, specifically in Middleburgh. Three inches of rain fell during just a few hours in some parts of the county. It was all too familiar. [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TU]

Kirsten Gillibrand on the recent allegations by retired Lt. Col. Sharon Dwyer Stepp that officers in the 109th Airlift Wing in Glenville have covered up incidents of sexual assault: "Lt. Col. Stepp's remarks are consistent with what we have heard over and over again from the victims, the chain of command is failing victims of sexual abuse." (This issue has been a focus for Gillibrand.) [AP/Troy Record] [Capital New York]

Albany, Troy, Saratoga Springs, and Glens Falls are among the 60+ municipalities in the state that have courts specifically tasked with handling domestic violence cases, an arrangement said to do a better of job of holding abusers accountable. Also: An issue around New York State, if not necessarily the Capital Region: orders of protection being used to arrest not just the person they're directed at -- but also the person they're supposed to be protecting. [TU] [TU]

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Eye on flooding, retired lieutenant colonel alleges sexual abusers in National Guard air wing not punished, report: increase in New York tornadoes

All the recent rain has prompted concerns about flooding along waterways. NWS has issued a flood warning for the Hudson River at Troy until Friday night. The Mohawk River was expected to crest at Schenectady just above flood stage early this morning -- SPD was going door to door in the Stockade Thursday night to give people the heads up. [NWS] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

A retired lieutenant colonel alleges in a letter to a US Senator that alleged sexual abusers in the Glenville-based New York National Guard 109th Airlift Wing were not punished, "but instead are promoted." [AP/TU]

The father of Army Lt. Col. Todd Clark, the Albany area native killed this past weekend in Afghanistan -- shared details of the attack by an Afghan soldier that killed Clark and two other men from the Hudson Valley. [TU]

An abortion rights amendment to the Cuomo admin's women equality bill aimed at getting state Senate Republican on board fizzled. A key supporter in the state Senate of the bill -- Diane Savino -- said Thursday the abortion measure should be set aside so it doesn't endanger the bill's other nine measures. [TU] [AP/Saratogian]

The head of The Prevention Council -- an org in Saratoga County aimed at preventing alcohol and drug abuse -- was arrested for DWI in Warren County in March. The org says Heather Kisselback has been placed on 6-month probation with counseling. Said Kisselback in an email to the Saratogian: "I understand why people are upset with me. I'm upset with me! I truly am sorry. All I can do now is try to make it right." [WNYT] [TU] [Saratogian]

The Fulton County sheriff says the body of the man missing since the volunteer medical flight carrying him and two others crashed in May had fallen on a freezer, crushing it around him, leaving the body hidden from searchers who passed within feet of it for weeks. [Daily Gazette]

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Former RPI employee arraigned for embezzlement, suspicious packages at Albany FBI HQ, Round Lake librarian reinstated, Alec Baldwin wants to clean up Albany

All the rain we've had and the rain we're expecting, has prompted flood warnings for much of the Capital Region . [TU]

The State Police bomb squad was called to an FBI field office on McCarty Avenue in Albany on Wednesday afternoon when two suspicious duffle bags were discovered at the property. The building and a nearby apartment complex were evacuated. No word on what was in the bags but x-rays showed they posed no threat to the community [YNN][TU][News10] [Record]

A former business coordinator for RPI's School of Architecture, who was arressted in 2010 for allegedly embezzling more than $350,000 from the college, was arraigned in Troy on Wednesday. Rensselaer County D.A. Rich McNally says it took three years to arraign Christine Dickson because prosecutors were working to resolve the case out of court and determine how much of RPI's loss was covered by insuranceso they could determine a restitution figure.[TU][Record]

The lastest in the saga of the Round Lake library: The Women's Round Lake Improvement Committee selected a new Round Lake Library Board in an emergency meeting on Wednesday evening. The board reinstated long time librarian Theresa Marchione - who ws fired several weeks ago when she shut down the library 40 minutes early because of tornado warnings. Library Director Carol Sheffer, who fired Marchione, resigned from her post on Wednesday afternoon. [TU][WNYT][YNN]

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Warrington found guilty of murder, Cuomo proposes Public Trust Act to curb legislative corruption, entire Round Lake Library Board resigns over fired librarian case

A Warren County jury found Brandon Warrington guilty of the murder of his girlfriend's 5-year-old son. Jurors deliberated for three-and-a-half hours on Tuesday before convicting Warrington of second degree murder in the death of Gary Carpenter in November. Warren County DA Kate Hogan said Warrington's own testimony "was a gift to the prosecution."[WNYT][YNN][TU]

The entire Round Lake Library Board resigned last night after deferring a decision on reinstating the village librarian who was fired for closing the building early due to tornado warnings. Board members resigned during an executive session on the matter, citing threats to their families over the issue. [YNN][Saratogian][TU][WNYT]

With just six days remaining in the legislative session, Andrew Cuomo is proposing the Public Trust Act to address corruption in the state legislature. The bill would create a new class of government corruption charges, including a misdemeanor for public officials who fail to report knowledge of bribery. [NYT] [TU]

Opponents of the NY SAFE Act rallied on the steps of the state Capitol on Tuesday afternoon. Following the rally protestors delivered petitions to legislators. [WNYT][TU]

A group called "New Yorkers for Life" are planning a rally at the Capitol today to protest the abortion provisions in Andrew Cuomo's proposed women's equality legislation.[YNN]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Remembrances of men killed in Afghanistan, auditor: Albany water department had lots of unpaid bills, push for Troy marina

Remembrances of the two men from the region killed in Afghanistan this past weekend: the wife of Joseph Morabito, from Greene County, recalled how her husband "couldn't just stay home and sit on the couch and watch TV and just be a regular citizen ... It just wasn't in him anymore. He had to do something. He had to make a difference, even if it was just a slight difference." And the former head of the New York National Guard remembered Todd Clark, an Army lieutenant colonel from the Albany area, as "a leader who took care of his men." [TU] [YNN] [Daily Gazette]

Saratoga Springs police have identified the woman hit and killed by a man accused of driving drunk Friday: 55-year-old Jamie Jo McBride, from Washington State. It's not clear why she was in Saratoga. [Saratogian] [TU]

A report from the Albany city auditor concludes the city's water department has "an excessive number of unpaid bills from 2010, 2011 and 2012" -- more than $1 million -- even though it has the money to pay them. The water department's CFO has resigned. Said an assistant commissioner to the Times Union: "The bottom line is, the bills weren't being paid. ... The mail was coming in and it was being put in a pile and not processed." [Albany city auditor] [TU]

Not surprisingly, tech is a growing part of the Capital Region economy, according to a Brookings Institution report. Also not surprising: the best jobs are going to people with more education. [Daily Gazette] [BI] [TU]

The group that oversees the the Round Lake Library Board of Trustees passed a resolution calling on the board to re-instate a librarian recently let go after she closed the library early because of a tornado warning -- and resignation of the library director who did the sacking. The issue apparently has the tiny village of Round Lake fired up, drawing more than 100 people to the meeting. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Soldier originally from Albany area killed in Afghanistan, rally against standardized testing, high school student arrested for alleged threat on Facebook, turtle crossing season

Todd Clark -- an Army lieutenant colonel, Albany-area native, and CBA graduate -- was killed over the weekend while serving in Afghanistan. Clark and two other Americans -- including a Greene County man -- were reportedly shot by an Afghan soldier following an argument. This was Clark's fifth tour overseas, and he had already been awarded a Purple Heart. "The worst day of my life," Clark's father, himself a veteran, told the Times Union of hearing of his son's death. [YNN] [WNYT] [NYT] [News10] [TU]

Saratoga Springs police say a woman died Friday night after being hit by a pickup truck while crossing Ballston Ave near the southern edge of downtown (map). The driver has been charged with first-degree vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated. SSPD says the woman was in a cross walk. It's having trouble finding family to notify. [TU] [Saratogian] [News10] [Saratogian]

An estimated 10,000+ people were at the ESP Saturday for a rally against standardized testing in New York schools -- or, as one person described it, "drill, kill, bubble fill." [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The state's tax code has so many tax exemptions that no one is sure exactly how many there are or how much they cost in tax revenue that would otherwise be collected. [TU]

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More allegations against Lopez and Silver, driver in fatal hit and run sentenced, bed bugs in Schenectady, RPI part of suit against Apple

From the ongoing fallout of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment situation: two state Assembly legislative aides have filed lawsuits against Lopez, Sheldon Silver, and the Assembly. One of the suits alleges "Silver and his staff tried to cover up Lopez's actions and protect Lopez and the Assembly from public scrutiny" -- and "Silver was more concerned about avoiding adverse media attention than he was about protecting employees of the Assembly from sexual harassment." Another allegation: Lopez suggested one of the staffers have sex with a Cuomo admin official in order to get a bill passed -- and talked of a "naked" Executive Mansion overnight tour. A Cuomo admin spokeswoman said the idea of Lopez getting access to mansion for that "couldn't be more absurd." [TU] [State of Politics] [NYDN] [AP/Troy Record]

Anthony Gallo -- convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs and the fatally hit and run on Cassandra Boone, a pedestrian crossing State Street, in November 2011 -- has been sentenced to 15-32 years in state prison. He got the maximum sentence allowed by the law. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Robert L. Williams, charged with second-degree murder for the stabbing death of Sharene Wallace in an apartment in Albany's West Hill neighborhood, pleaded not guilty. Family members say Williams and Wallace were married under Muslim law, though it wasn't official with the state. [News10] [TU]

Albany police say a man was shot three times while sleeping on a couch in an West Hill apartment early Thursday morning. APD says evidence indicates the shots were "intentionally fired through a window from outside the residence." The man is in stable condition. [APD]

It looks like "moderate to locally heavy" rain over the next day or so as Tropical Storm Andrea travels up the East Coast. [NWS] [NOAA]

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Cuomo releases casino plan, Williams charged with wife's murder, dogs accidentally dragged by patrol car, aspirations of re-striping a bridge

Andrew Cuomo officially released his Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act on Wednesday. Details include the establishment of a gaming commission, a $50 million minimum licensing fee for destination resorts, and approval from local governments. The plan still needs approval from state legislators and voters. [YNN][TU][WNYT]

A Quinnipiac poll released today reports two thirds of New Yorkers support Andrew Cuomo's plan to update New York's abortion laws. [TU]

Forty-one-year-old Robert Williams, the husband of Sharene Wallace -- who Albany police say was found stabbed to death in a closet in an apartment in West Hill last week -- was arrested Wednesday in New York City, and has been charged with second-degree murder. [TU] [WNYT] [YNN]

Katherine Seeber, the former Wilton woman who served 12 years in prison for her role in the murder of her 91-year-old step great grandmother and was released in July, has been stabbed to death by her boyfriend in Queens, police there say. [Saratogian] [TU][NYDN]

Max Etienne, a 10-year-veteran of the Albany Police Department, pleaded guilty to DWI on Wednesday. Police say Etienne left the scene after crashing into three parked cars near South Main and Hansen avenues, but later returned. Etienne will not serve any jail time, but accepted a plea deal that requires him to pay $1,000 fine and perform 60 hours of community service . [WNYT][YNN][TU]

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Cuomo proposes "Bill of Rights" for women, poll: majority of New Yorkers think Silver should resign, arson suspect to face federal prosecution

Andrew Cuomo unveiled his proposed "Bill of rights" for women on Tuesday. The ten-point plan would toughen laws against human trafficking, domestic violence, gender-based discrimination and pay inequity as well as updating the state's abortion laws. The abortion language constitutes about five sentences at the end of the 56 page bill and would secure a right to late-term abortions when the health of the pregnant woman is at risk or when the fetus is not viable. State Senate Republicans argue wrapping abortion legislation in with the women's rights billis a political maneuver, and may keep the bill from reaching the floor. [TU][YNN][NYT][Capitol Confidential]

A new poll Quinnipiac poll reports New York voters believe Sheldon Silver should step down for his handling of the Vito Lopez scandal by a margin of 51 to 22. [NYT]

Lopez, the former Assembly member, is expected to be fined $330,000 by a legislative ethics panel for allegedly sexually harassing former employees.[NYT]

The prosecution of Saratoga man charged with starting the Schenectady fire that killed 32-year-old David Terry and four of his children will be handled by federal prosecutors in US district court, opening the possibility that he could face the death penalty if found guilty. [Saratogian] [TU] [YNN]

The former CFO of the Brighter Choice Foundation, convicted for stealing $54,000 from Key Bank in his previous job, will spend 5 to 10 years in prison for stealing nearly $203,000 from Brighter Choice -- money he says he believed was "owed" to him. [Record] [YNN] [TU]

An Albany man is facing charges for allegedly sexually abusing a kindergartner in the bathroom of the State Museum. The child was on a field trip with his class from Cambridge Elementary School and his mother was waiting for him outside the bathroom door. [TU][YNN][WNYT]

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Cuomo to propose women's rights agenda legislation, no further charges for driver accused of hitting pedestrian after falling asleep, "complete streets" for Albany

The Cuomo admin is planning to formally propose a "Women's Equality Act" today, which includes a bunch of measures from the governor's women's rights agenda. A provision that would allow abortions after 24 weeks to protect a woman's health is shaping up to be a point of conflict in the state Senate. In an op/ed at the Huffington Post, Andrew Cuomo argues that New York's current abortion law is "outdated and inconsistent with federal law." [WSJ] [YNN] [Huffington Post]

The state Conservative Party is criticizing the Cuomo admin's plan for tax-free zones at SUNY campuses: "As we have noted many times government should not be deciding what business receives government handouts that give them advantages over other businesses." The idea has also been criticized by CSEA. On Monday Cuomo said the plan "levels the playing field overnight" for retaining startups upstate. SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher said Monday the she'd heard from university presidents that the proposed plan was already generating interest from companies. [State of Politics] [News10] [TU] [Troy Record]

A large group of state legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, are pushing for the restoration of $90 million that was cut from funding for non-profits that serve people with disabilities in the state. [TU]

The Saratoga County Sheriff's Department says the driver who's accused of falling asleep and fatally hitting a pedestrian in Halfmoon this past weekend will not face charges beyond a traffic violation because of a precedent set by the state Court of Appeals in a Saratoga County case that dates back 1985. [Saratogian]

The Albany Police Department released a few more details about the death of a woman in an West Hill apartment last week, which it's now calling a homicide. APD says the woman was found in a closet and had been stabbed. It also reiterated that it wants to talk with the woman's husband. APD hasn't called him a suspect, but chief Steve Krokoff called him "a person of interest." [APD] [YNN]

A Schenectady landlord was ordered to pay $85,400 in fines after a city court judge found him guilty of 254 code violations at an apartment building in the Vale neighborhood. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Sheriff's office: pedestrian killed after driver fell asleep and veered, NWS says there was third tornado, Uncle Sam loses his head

The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office says a Halfmoon man was killed early Sunday morning when he was struck by a vehicle as he walked along Route 4. SCSO says the driver of the vehicle had fallen asleep and veered off the road -- he's been ticketed for failure to keep right. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

A jury found Antonio Lopez-Bautista guilty of the attempted kidnapping and attempted rape of a woman on Saratoga Springs' west side in May 2012. He faces up to 15 years in prison. Lopez-Bautista is in the country illegally and could be deported after serving his prison sentence. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

Having the case against Robert Butler, accused of arson in the Schenectady fire that killed three children and their father, prosecuted by the feds as a death penalty case is a possibility the Schenectady County DA tells the Times Union. [TU]

The National Weather Service has concluded that a third tornado touched down in the Capital Region last Wednesday, in Clifton Park (map) -- NWS estimates the tornado was 200 yards wide and traveled a mile, with max wind speeds of 100 mph. [NWS]

The State Liquor Authority has significantly reduced the wait time for processing new liquor license applications. [TU]

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NWS: two tornadoes touched down, state Senator: level of oversight of daycares "simply unacceptable," running to make a statement, a-p-o-r-i-a

The National Weather Service has concluded that two tornados touched down in the region Wednesday: one that traveled from the town of Florida in Montgomery to Rotterdam in Schenectady County (17 miles, top wind speed 125 mph), and another in Schoharie County (2 miles, top wind speed 100 mph). One man was injured when the first tornado ripped through his family's property in Mariaville -- the wind picked him up, six feet off the ground according to a witness, and blew him out of a barn. Said another Mariaville resident of the tornado: "it sounded exactly like a locomotive." Straight-line winds caused significant damage in Schenectady's Bellevue, Central State and Woodlawn neighborhoods. And in Troy, two large housing complexes were still without power Thursday afternoon after it was knocked out during the storm. [NWS] [NWS] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

Albany police say the death of a woman in a West Hill apartment Thursday is suspicious, though they have released few details. [YNN] [TU]

State Senate Independent Democratic Conference leader Jeff Kelin in a statement about an IDC report about daycare in the state: "The current state of oversight and enforcement at New York State day care centers is simply unacceptable." The Cuomo admin says the IDC report took information out of context and called it "alarmingly misleading." [State of Politics] [AP/TU]

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Storm causes downed trees, outages and flooding, Assembly members call for Sliver's resignation, rape defendant blames alcohol and cold medicine, local spellers head to nationals

Crews are cleaning up debris, downed trees, and wires after last night's storms. Wind speeds reached almost 60 mph and rain caused flooding in parts of the Capital Region. Thousands of National Grid customers lost power and a number of schools around the Capital Region are closed today. [YNN] [TU] [Troy Record] [WNYT]

A witness in the trial of Brandon Warrington, the man charged with the beating death of his girlfriend's five-year-old son, testified on Wednesday that he saw a dark bruise on the boy's forehead a day or two before he was hospitalized and said he told Warrington and the boy's mother that the child should go to the hospital. The jury also heard testimony from a witness who said he saw Warrington throw the child on a bed in a rough manner and say "Boys can handle it, boys can take it."[YNN][Post Star]

Another pedestrian was hit by a car on Hoosick Street in Troy on Wednesday, near the site of several recent serious vehicle/pedestrian accidents. Earlier this month the DOT and the city of Troy announced $100,000 of projects to make the roadway safer for pedestrians. [TU][Record][YNN]

Troy detectives are investigating the stabbing of a 12-year-old boy at a 4th Street residence. The boy's injury is described as serious, but not fatal. [Troy PD Press Release]

Albany police are searching for the person who stabbed a 24-year-old man in the abdomen on Monday night. [TU]

The case of the state worker who was fired after the State Police put a GPS device on his car to confirm that he was skipping work will be heard by New York's highest court next week. [WNYT]

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Trial begins in death of Glens Falls 5-year-old, racino announces $30 million expansion,Bruno farm house for sale, Elvii return to Lake George

The trial of Brandon Warrington, the Glens Falls man charged with the death of his girlfriend's five-year-old son last fall, began on Tuesday in Queensbury. Prosecutors say Warrington repeatedly beat the boy, but the defense claims the child died due to his mother's negligence.[TU][YNN][News 10]

The Saratoga Casino and Raceway has announced a $30 million expansion that includes a hotel, spa, pool, upscale restaurant and events center. Raceway president Dan Gerrity said Tuesday that the expansion plans will move ahead, whether or not Saratoga is tapped to get one of three full casinos the Cuomo admin has proposed for upstate, but believes the expansion will put the city in a better position to be selected for a casino. The expansion work will start early next year and will take about a year to complete. [TU][YNN][Saratogian][WNYT][News10]

The Fulton County sheriff has confirmed that the two bodies found Tuesday in Sacandaga Lake are the father and son who were missing after a fishing trip nearly two weeks ago. It is believed that the equipment they were carrying was too heavy for the boat and the cold water made it too difficult for them to swim. [YNN][News 10]

The plane that crashed in a Fulton County pond last week as it carried a cancer patient and his wife home from a treatment in Boston, was raised from the pond on Tuesday. The patient is still missing, but the remains of his wife and the volunteer pilot have been recovered. [WNYT][TU][YNN]

The US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights has concluded that Hackett Middle School was in the wrong when it address a race-related bullying case by removing the victim from the school rather than the bullies. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Search continues after plane crash, Cuomo admin vs. Canada, assault rifle being adapted to comply with SAFE Act, bow ties at the Capitol

The search continues for the body of the third person aboard a volunteer medical flight that crashed in Fulton County Friday evening. The "Angel Flight" was transporting a married couple from the husband's appointment with cancer doctors in Boston back to Utica. The bodies of the pilot and wife have already been found. Witnesses say there the plane broke apart in air before the crash. Albany attorney Terry Kindlon, also a pilot, had flown the first leg of the trip, and says the couple was "happy and optimistic." [AP/TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10]

A man from the Capital Region has been accused in a 2011 double murder in the Philippines and is currently being held in the Rensselaer County jail, facing possible extradition. [TU

The Cuomo administration has managed to pick a fight with Canada -- over the Peace Bridge. [NYT]

There isn't a process in place for formal, regular reviews of state legislators' travel expenses and they're very rarely audited. [TU]

The Schenectady school district has changed its sex ed classes as part a broader program to prevent teen pregnancies -- Schenectady County has one of the highest rates in the state. [TU] [NYS DOH]

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Planning and criticism for no-tax zones, man says he lost his job because of mistaken arrest, attorney: charge should be dropped because of "hit like a girl" comment

Businesses and politicians are thinking up ways to use the no-tax zones attached to college campuses proposed by Andrew Cuomo -- even if it how it all would work isn't clear yet. The proposal would have to be passed by the legislature before taking effect -- and criticism from legislators is bubbling up. [TU] [State of Politics] [State of Politics]

State Senate Republicans have a floated a plan for picking casino sites around the state. It would put the first casino in the Catskills, the second in the Southern Tier, and the third in the Capital Region. [AP/Troy Record] [State of Politics]

A man wanted in connection with the shooting death of Darzee Reid in Albany in April -- the city's first homicide of the year -- was apprehended in Kentucky this week. [YNN]

A Schenectady man says he was arrested in a case of mistaken identity as part of a drug sweep coordinated by the state Attorney General's office in February -- News 10 reports the AG's office is moving to drop the charge, but the man has already lost his job. [NYS AG] [News10]

The principal of Cohoes High School is back at work after accepting an undisclosed penalty for buying ammunition in the parking lot of the school. The school board concluded he made a mistake in violating the code of conduct, but police say he didn't violate any laws. Joseph Rajczak said in a statement that he "used poor judgment and fully accept the district's consequences for my actions." [Troy Record] [TU] [CSSD]

Search crews are looking for a man who apparently fell into the Hudson Thursday evening near Rensselaer. [YNN]

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Cuomo proposes tax free zones around SUNY campuses, RPI to partner with Mount Sinai, more heavy rain expected

Andrew Cuomo is proposing the establishment of tax free zones for businesses that set up near SUNY campuses. Under the plan, 120 million square feet of tax free space would be made available for companies to locate within the zones, in an effort to create economic hubs. [YNN][TU]

It rained. A lot. And it's going to rain more. [TU][WNYT][NWS]

Recent agreements between the Cuomo administration and the Mohawk and Oneida tribes to keep new casinos away from reservation gaming establishments have ruled out a Lake George casino, but made Saratoga a much more likely site for one.[TU][Saratogian]

Niskayuna's school board will propose another round of budget cuts that could include school closures, before putting a spending plan up for a vote again in June.[TU]

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Niskayuna school budget rejected, state judge backs ban on Armory dance parties, historic house accidentally saved

School budgets in most Capital Region districts were approved by voters on Tuesday, but the Niskayuna budget -- which included a 5.76 percent tax increase that required overriding the tax cap -- was voted down. The district's superintendent said in a statement that official expected to adjust the budget and put it back up for re-vote June 18. [Record] [YNN] [TU] [NCSC]

John Davis beat self-proclaimed fascist, and reptile owner, Jose Lopez for a seat on the Albany Public Library Board of Trustees. [APL Press release]

Andrew Cuomo has reached a casino agreement with the Mohawk Tribal Council that will give the Mohawk's casino exclusivity in an 8-county region of northern New York in exchange for $30 million in back payments to New York State plus future revenue shares from the casino. The move eliminates the prospect of locating a casino in Lake George. [TU][Post Star][Gazette]

Two of Vito Lopez's alleged harassment victims are "actively considering" suing Sheldon Silver for negligence in light of recent reports that Silver covered up earlier harassment claims through confidential settlements. [NY Post]

A 26-year-old Albany man was shot in the leg early Tuesday near the intersection of 1st and Judson Streets in the city. [TU]

A New York State judge has backed a decision by Albany's Zoning Board of Appeals to block dance parties at the Washington Avenue Armory. The original decision was made, in part, by consulting the dictionary for a definition of auditorium. [TU]

The unemployment rate in the Capital Region was 6.5 percent in April -- down from 7.2 percent during the same period last year, according to the state Department of Labor. [NYS DOL]

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Silver apologizes for handling of sexual harassment case, woman accused of soliciting donations for cancer she didn't have, 20 for $1 million

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

An "uncharacteristically contrite" Sheldon Silver apologized for the handling of complaints of sexual harassment against now-former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. He also proposed a group of changes to Assembly sexual harassment polices, among them making all Assembly members and supervisory staff mandatory reporters of harassment. [TU] [NYDN] [NY Assembly]

Andrew Cuomo again criticized Silver's handling of the situation Monday. A Democratic Assemblyman from the Buffalo area took the rare step of announcing he was leaving the chamber's Democratic conference in protest. But Silver, "a master of wielding the levers of power at the Capitol," always seems to find a way to sail through the crisis. [State of Politics] [Buffalo News] [NYT]

The Chemung County sheriff says reps for county sheriffs around the state weren't summoned to the Capitol recently to discuss changes to the NY SAFE Act, as they thought -- but rather for Andrew Cuomo to tell to stop speaking against the gun law. [TU]

What's left of St. Patrick's in Watervliet: a pile of bricks. [TU]

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Rensselaer County clerk sealing all pistol permits, Vito Lopez resigns, UAlbany students fighting suspensions over house parties

st patricks watervliet 2013-05-17

What remained of St. Patrick's in Watervliet Friday evening.

Citing cost and lack of staff, Rensselaer County clerk Frank Merola says he's sealing all pistol permit records in the county so that his office doesn't have to deal with keeping track of which people opted out of having a public record under the NY SAFE Act. Merola describes the opt-out provision as an unfunded mandate from the state. He says his office has received about 2,000 opt-out forms. [TU] [News10]

Niskayuna and South Colonie are among the few school districts statewide looking to get voters to approve a tax cap override Tuesday. Local school districts are continuing to cut positions in an attempt to balance budgets and fit under the tax cap. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Assemblyman Vito Lopez resigned effective this morning following multiple calls for his expulsion from the Assembly because of sexual harassment allegations. Lopez says his resignation is not an admission of wrongdoing and he did it for "for the sake of my family, for the sake of my close friends and for the sake of my own health." The situation has also cast a critical light on Sheldon Silver. [State of Politics] [TU] [NY Post] [NYT]

Said one of the attendees at the memorial service for the father and three children killed recently in a Schenectady house fire, which authorities say was arson, trying to make sense of the situation: "It's senseless." Said one of the service's speakers to the crowd: "It's a sad day for us when a child doesn't meet his first birthday. It shouldn't happen like that. But it does happen like that." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Cuomo: "zero tolerance" for Lopez, development planned for Wellington Row, Handy Andy severely damaged in fire

Andrew Cuomo on Assemblyman Vito Lopez, following the ethics report about allegations of sexual harassment against Lopez: "The reaction should be zero tolerance. If he doesn't resign, they should expel him." Cuomo also said the Assembly has handled the situation surrounding Lopez "poorly and terribly," though he didn't specifically single out Sheldon Silver. Thursday night Silver's office announced the speaker will introduce a resolution that could lead to Lopez's expulsion from the Assembly. [State of Politics] [TU] [NYT]

The state attorney general's office and NYPD say 16 people have indicted for an alleged "criminal ring that flooded New York City, Albany County and Schenectady County with more than a million cartons of untaxed cigarettes illegally imported from Virginia." State AG Eric Schneiderman says authorities aren't sure where all the money ended up, ""We know that some members of this group have ties to some very dangerous people." [NYS AG] [TU]

The Cuomo admin and the Oneida Indian Nation announced a deal that grants the nation exclusive casino rights (and settle some longstanding land rights disuptes) in Central New York in exchange for a 25 percent of the casino revenue. The deal takes a potential Syracuse-area casino off the table if/when the state approves full casino gambling. (Andrew Cuomo has proposed siting three casinos upstate, with a preference for one in the Capital Region.) [Cuomo admin] [Post-Standard] [TU] [Cuomo admin]

Columbia Development is planning to build office and condo space in portions of Wellington Row, the stretch of facades along State Street in Albany near the Capitol. [TU] [News10]

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JCOPE report shows Silver's office shielded Lopez, Albany Dems endorse Sheehan, demolition of St. Patrick's tower underway

The long awaited JCOPE report on the Vito Lopez scandal was released on Wednesday. Among the details: Lopez told female employees to dress more provoctively, and asked them to do things like rub his hand or share an apartment with him, and threatened their jobs when they rebuffed his advances. The report also says the office of Sheldon Silver sheilded Lopez from public scrutiny and failing to investigate and refer initial harassment allegations . A special prosecutor in Staten Island who was conducting his own investigtion into the case found "no basis" for criminal charges against Lopez and also found Silver's office did not break the law, but "fell short of what the public has a right to expect." [NYT][WNYT][Capitol Confidential]

Albany's Democratic committee has endorsed Kathy Sheehan for mayor but not before Corey Ellis, who is also running for the seat, fought to table the motion to endorse Sheehan. [WNYT][YNN]

The 20-year-old son of the Schenectady woman charged with beating her 8-year-old grandson to death - who has been taking care of his three younger sisters while their mother is in jail - has been arrested for allegedly beating a pit bull with a shovel. [TU]

Demolition of the bell tower at the site of the former St. Patrick's Church in Watervliet was delayed again this week when someone vandalized the gas tank of a crane brought in to tear down the tower. Demolition has resumed this morning. [YNN][TU]

As crews tear down the last of St. Patrick's in Watervliet, a new Catholic church, formerly based in Troy, is opening in Watervliet. [News 10]

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Reactions to Jennings decision not to run again, Cuomo to form "restructuring panel" to advise local governments, crews bringing in a big crane for St. Patrick's bell tower

Reaction to Jerry Jennings decision not to run again.[YNN]

Andrew Cuomo has announced a new panel that will hear from and advise cities that are seeking financial assistance from New york State. The "restructuring panel" will help "fiscally distressed" municipalities develop fiscal restructuring plans that could inlclude state money if the cities follow the recommended restructuring plans.[TU][WNYT]

The Cohoes High School principal who ordered ammiunition for a .22 caliber gun on campus will not face any criminal charges. [Record]

Contractors have given up on a cable and are bringing in a 200 ton crane to demolish the bell tower at the former St. Patrick's church site in Watervliet.[Record]

Rensselaer County legislators have approved the final payment for the special prosecutor in the Troy ballot fraud trial and are now considering a proposed law to control how the D.A. Seeks and pays for special prosecutors[TU]

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Funding for buyout of homes in flood-prone areas, investigation of alleged ammo sale to principal in school parking lot, 60 years on the job

The buyout of more than 1,100 homes in flood-prone areas of the New York State following damage from Irene and Lee will cost $194 million -- 25 percent of that total was to be a non-federal match, but the Cuomo admin announced Monday the state will be using a portion of the block grant it got from the feds for disaster recovery to cover the portion. The money will enable homeowners to get the full pre-flood assessed values. [Cuomo admin] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

State comptroller Tom DiNapoli reports the state pension fund hit an all-time high at the end of the fiscal year (March): $160.4 billion, with a rate of return of more than 10 percent. That will help local municipalities crunched by increased pension contributions -- eventually; contributions are calculated on a five-year average. The fund took a big hit in 2008 and 2009. [NYS OSC] [TU] [NYS OSC]

The state Assembly passed the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act Monday, though the bill hasn't been successful in many attempts over the years in the state Senate. The bill includes provisions for overtime and collective bargaining rights. The bill is opposed by the NY Farm Bureau. There was a rally for the bill outside the Capitol Monday. [TU] [open.senate.gov] [State of Politics] [News10/AP]

A third teen -- 17-year-old Ravenal Gregory Dunbar -- has pleaded guilty in connection with the robbery and fatal stabbing of Takim Smith in a Troy apartment in February. Dunbar faces a 10-year sentence for the robbery that got him $10. [Troy Record] [TU]

The mother-in-law of the man the Albany County Sheriff's Office says was found dead in his cell at the Albany County jail after he hanged himself says she'd like to hire an independent medical examiner because she doesn't believe he would have committed suicide. [TU]

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Conflicting policies about search warrants, second teen pleads guilty in fatal Troy stabbing, police say death in UAlbany parking lot was accidental

There are conflicting, and often informal, policies about how judges around the area handle search warrants, making it difficult to review how warrants are approved and perhaps prompting "judge shopping." [TU]

Saratoga County DA James Murphy says there's a 4-6 month turnaround for some types of forensic evidence because of a backlog of work at the state crime lab. [Saratogian]

A second teen has pleaded guilty in connection with the murder of Takim Smith in Troy. Seventeen-year-old Keith Ferguson told a judge he acted as a lookout for the alleged scheme in which a group of teens lured Smith to an apartment and fatally stabbed him during a robbery. [TU] [Troy Record]

The adult son of Gloria Nelligan -- the Schenectady woman accused of beating her grandson to death -- alleges he was misled and manipulated by police and prosecutors as they worked to build a case against his mother. [TU]

The St. Patrick's bell tower, still standing as of Sunday night. Pieces of the tower were taken down on Friday. But complications have pushed the continuation of the demolition to Wednesday. [TU] [Troy Record] [YNN]

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Cuomo presents casino plan for upstate, TFD: firefighter stabbed with used needle, developments in downtown Troy

The Cuomo admin unveiled its "comprehensive resort gaming destination plan" (or, as some people call them, casinos) for upstate. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday his preference would be to site casinos in three areas: the Capital Region, Catskills/Hudson Valley, and Southern Tier/Finger Lakes. Cuomo is also using the plan -- and the threat of possible competition -- to pressure Native American casinos to resolve unsettled "matters" with the state. [Cuomo admin] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [State of Politics]

Shirley Huntley, the former state Senator who wore a wire to record other legislators for prosecutors, was sentenced to a year in prison for stealing from a non-profit. [NYT]

Question at the state Capitol: Has there been a racial bias in recent investigations of state legislators for corruption? [TU]

Troy's fire chief says a firefighter was stabbed with a used needle or lancet by a man being treated for a heroin overdose Thursday afternoon. Troy police say both the firefighter and man were taken to a hospital, from which the man allegedly fled and was later picked up in Schaghticoke. [News10] [TU]

The St. Patrick's bell tower was still standing early Friday morning. A snapped cable held up the planned demolition on Thursday. [TU] [Troy Record]

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Former legislator secretly taped Senate colleagues, Cuomo promises $60 million for tourism, officers who died in the line of duty honored, St. Patrick's tower slated for demolition

In an effort to cooperate with federal law enforcement to ease a corruption case against her, a former member of the NYS Senate taped conversations with six Democratic colleagues and a New York City Councilman for the FBI. [NYT][TU][YNN]

Joe Bruno was in court on Wednesday to argue that he shouldn't be re-tried on federal corruption charges.[WNYT] [YNN]

At Wednesday's Tourism Summit in Albany, Andrew Cuomo announced $60 million to help grow the tourism industry throughout the state. He also announced the creation of a commission to attract major sporting events to the state. [TU][WNYT]

Police officers who died in the line of duty, including the Webster trooper who died in an attack on Christmas Eve, were honored in Albany on Wednesday.[YNN][TU]

The bell tower at St. Patrick's in Watervliet is expected to come down later today.[YNN]

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Troy man to be charged under NY SAFE Act, driver accused of stopping to attack high school student, Sondheim on theater

A Troy man accused of running from police Tuesday night will be charged under the NY SAFE Act after the TPD says officers found the man was carrying a "fully loaded" hand gun with a 13-round magazine (above the limit under the new law). [TPD]

A Clifton Park man is accused of attacking a Schenectady High School student Tuesday morning. Schenectady police he stopped his car after students yelled at him for driving erratically -- it's alleged he then choked the 17-year-old girl and pushed her into bus. [WNYT] [YNN] [Daily Gazette]

Not allowed in at a state Senate public hearing Tuesday about public financing of campaigns : the public. So advocacy groups for public financing passed dollar bills through the hearing room window. A spokesman for Senate Republicans said the room was at capacity, the advocacy groups were attempting to disrupt the hearing. [NYT] [TU] [State of Politics]

A NYPIRG analysis of a state Board of Elections database concludes there have been more than 100,000 violations of the state's campaign finance laws over the last two years (many of the violations are small). [TU CapCon]

Airfares out of ALB were the highest in state during the 4th quarter of 2012 -- though the cost per mile flown on the busiest routes is relatively low compared to other airports -- according to federal data. [TU]

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Feds detail charges against former leader of state Senate, National Grid trying to pin down cause of underground fires, conflicting views of building demolitions in Albany

Federal prosecutors say Democratic state Senator John Sampson -- once the leader of the majority caucus in the chamber -- has been indicted on charges that include embezzlement, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to the FBI. The feds allege Sampson embezzled $440k from foreclosure sales in Brooklyn in his role as a court-appointed foreclosure referee. The indictment also alleges that Sampson, talking about a list of potential witnesses in a case involving a developer connected to Sampson, said that he would "take them out." (Allegations flow chart.) On Monday Sampson's attorney argued that none of the allegations "indicate any misuse of his office as a New York state senator." [USDOJ] [State of Politics] [TU] [YNN] [Capitol Tonight]

Andrew Cuomo on the Sampson allegations, on the Capitol Pressroom: "It made a bad situation worse ... In some ways provided more clarity and more certainty that this is the moment. This does give us a moment of reform, an opportunity." [State of Politics]

Virginia J. DeCapria -- the former treasurer for Charlton Fire District No. 1 who pleaded guilty to stealing almost $500k from the volunteer fire company over six years -- was sentenced to 3-9 years in prison and paying back the money. Among the items prosecutors say DeCapria bought with the money: iPods, laptops, plastic surgery, cigarettes, and delivered frozen food. [Saratogian] [TU] [Saratoga County DA]

Jerry Jennings after yet another fire in downtown Albany's underground electrical infrastructure: "I'm sick and tired of hearing that it's so old. If we know it's so old, fix it." A National Grid spokesman says the recent string of underground fires -- and explosions that have dislodged manhole covers -- "is certainly concern for us," and the utility is working to figure out what exactly is causing the fires. [YNN] [News10] [TU]

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Police: man stabbed himself to cover up stabbing of roommate, yet another state politician arrested, parents: teacher made son lick his desk

Watervliet police say Brandon Burritt has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder for the fatal stabbing of his roommate during a fight April 21. When police arrived at the scene Burritt was also injured -- but WPD now says they believe Burritt stabbed himself in an attempt to cover up what allegedly happened. [Troy Record] [TU]

One of the teen girls charged in the death of Takim Smith at Troy's Corliss Park Apartments has taken a plea deal that includes testifying against the other six teens. Originally charged with second-degree murder, 17-year-old Mariyah Zeigler pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and faces six years in prison. [TU] [Troy Record]

State Senator John Sampson -- former head of the Democratic conference in the chamber -- was taken into custody by the FBI Monday morning as part of a public corruption investigation. The news follows word late last week that yet another state legislator -- convicted former state Sen. Shirley Huntley -- had worn a wire as part of an corruption investigation by the feds.

A part of State Street in Albany was closed Monday morning because of yet another underground electrical fire. [YNN]

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Man charged with arson for fatal Schenectady fire, man shot and killed by police in Schenectady, an 11-year-old's birthday wish

A Saratoga Springs man has been charged with arson for the Hulett Street fire that killed four people in Schenectady Thursday. SPD says additional charges are possible pending autopsies. The fire killed a father and three children -- a fourth child who was pulled from the fire was in critical condition at a Westchester County burn unit Thursday afternoon. Investigators from the SFD, SPD, and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms were working the case Thursday. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Schenectady police say a sergeant shot and killed a man Thursday while responding to a call involving an alleged fight between two men at an apartment complex on Balltown Road (map). SPD says the man had already stabbed the other man when officers arrived, and was fired upon when he again lunged at the other man with a knife and then lunged toward the sergeant. [TU] [News10] [Daily Gazette]

The Court of Appeals -- the state's highest court -- has ordered a new trial for Christopher Oathout, convicted of murdering an elderly man in Albany in 2006, ruling that his trial attorney "showed an unfamiliarity with or disregard for basic criminal procedural and evidentiary law." That attorney -- John Aretakis -- has since been suspended from practicing for an unrelated situation. In a fax to the Gazette on Thursday, Aretakis accused police and prosecutors of framing Oathout. [NYS Court of Appeals] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A state appellate court has ruled that local governments can ban hydrofracking within its borders. Specifically, the court ruled that a state oil and gas mining law doesn't "pre-empt, either expressly or impliedly, a municipality's power to enact a local zoning ordinance banning all activities related to the exploration for, and the production or storage of, natural gas and petroleum within its borders." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A state appellate court has ruled that victims of Steven Raucci can't garnish Raucci's public employee pension, which is currently being paid to his wife. [TU]

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Cuomo suggests postponing casino referendum, gun rally at Moreau arraignment, Confectionery owners to open Troy grocery store

At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Andrew Cuomo suggested postponing a public referendum on casinos until election day 2014, in part because a lack of statwide races this November could reduce voter turnout..[TU][WNYT]

Andrew Cuomo is planning a tourism summit next Wednesday - like the recent beer and yogurt summits.
[Saratogian]

The owners of The Confectionery wine bar in Troy are opening up a small grocery store near Monument Square.[TU]

A Cohoes man is facing weapons charges after a police chased him on foot and two bystanders helped catch him.The police officer involved is being praised for using excellent communcation to avoid what could have been a violent situation.[TU][YNN][News 10]

A grassroots coalition of NY SAFE Act opponents held a gun rally this morning outside the Moreau courtroom where a Saratoga County man was being arraigned for allegedly trying to sell an assault weapon on Facebook.[TU]

Three college friends of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been arrested for allegedly trying to protect him.[News 10/AP]

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State employee overtime at 5 year high, JCOPE wants Lopez report released, Spa City producer backs Tony nominated "Kinky Boots"

A report from Tom DiNapoli's office shows overtime among state employees reached a five year high in 2012, at $529 million. That's a $52 million increase in overtime spending from 2011. [TU][YNN]

Members of JCOPE want their report on the Vito Lopez harassment case released to the public, but a Staten Island DA conducting his own investigation into the case has a block on the report. If it isn't released soon, JCOPE says it will release the info on its own once a 90 day waiting period has expired. [NYT][Capitol Confidential]

Warren County officials trying to decide whether to get in the running for one of three casinos expected to locate in Upstate New York. A standing room only crowd gathered at Fort William Henry to learn what a casino might mean for them.Public opion seemed split on the issue, though the speakers were all pro casino.[WNYT][YNN][Saratogian]

Governor Cuomo has released an anti-corruption bill that would ban those convicted of bribery, as well as their firms or companies from doing business with the state. [News 10/AP]

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Multi-million dollar judgment for harassment at jail, driver accused of hitting pregnant woman charged with DWI, book contract for Andrew Cuomo, the Colossal Colon

The state Division of Human Rights has awarded a former sergeant at the Rensselaer County jail a judgement that could be worth more than $1.8 million after a judge concluded jail leaders didn't take action to stop years of mental and physical harassment of the woman. [TU]

The fourth season of the Hudson River PCB dredging project started Monday -- about the halfway mark for the project. Also: GE has filed a lawsuit looking to get National Grid to help cover costs because Niagara Mohawk (now part of National Grid) removed a dam in the 1970s that allowed PCB-tainted sediment to go downstream. [NYSNYS/Saratogian] [TU]

The Cuomo admin has floated language for the "Public Trust Act," aimed at bribery and fraud by people in public office. [State of Politics]

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Report: Cuomo admin used economic development org to provide jobs for the connected, investigation into death of man in Albany, Coccadotts on Cupcake Wars

A NYT investigation concludes that the Cuomo admin has used the Empire State Development Corporation to provide jobs for the politically connected (or their children) -- the admin says the investigation was an attempt to "create a scandal." [NYT]

With all the talk about ethics and reform in state government, many reforms that could cut deeply into the problem aren't on the table. [AP/Troy Record]

Despite frequent talk about municipal consolidation in New York State, the idea usually faces strong opposition when it comes to specific consolidations. [TU]

Bethlehem police say a car plowed into a Delmar apartment building early Sunday, just missing a couple as they slept in their bedroom. BPD says the 18-year-old driver had been drinking. [News10] [WNYT] [TU]

A small plane crashed in a backyard in Hoosick Falls on Sunday afternoon. A witness says the plane landed nose down. The pilot -- the only person on board -- suffered head and neck injuries, and eventually was transferred to Albany Med in critical condition. [TU] [YNN] [Troy Record] [News10]

A Scotia smoke shop owner has been cleared of charges he sold cocaine after the Schenectady County Sheriff's Office says video indicated the man had been set up by the confidential information working with the sheriff's office. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Cuomo talks about "restructuring" local municipalities, schoolwork cheating alleged at UAlbany, is he the sexiest vegan next door?

Andrew Cuomo hinted at some of the "restructuring" options his administration could propose for financially struggling local municipalities -- including changing the system of binding arbitration between municipalities and and police and fire unions. [State of Politics] [TU]

Environmental groups say two more consulting companies working on the state's environmental review of hydrofracking were listed as members in a gas lobbying group's letter -- and now fingers are pointing in various directions: environmental groups at the Cuomo admin, the consultancies at the lobbying group, the lobbying group at the environmental groups. [TU]

The attorney for state Assemblyman Steve Katz -- pulled over on the Thruway in Coeymans recently, allegedly in possession of pot -- has got an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal for Katz that involves community service and a parking fine (the ever popular ACOD -- if Katz stays out of criminal trouble, the case will be dismissed). Katz's attorney wouldn't address whether the Assemblyman actually had pot during the stop. [TU] [State of Politics]

After an Albany Student Press story reporting that "as many as 500 students" have been paying other students to do their school work, UAlbany says it's conducting an investigation. [ASP] [TU]

National Grid says it devoting six out-of-town crews to replace three miles of underground electrical cable in downtown Albany, part of an effort to head more manhole cover explosions. [WNYT]

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Rivenburgh pleads not guilty, Assembly Republicans seek amendment allowing recall elections, Spa City police chief resigns

Relatives of Tammy and Jessica McCormack looked on in Schenectady County Court while Brice Rivenburgh was arraigned on Wednesday. Rivenburgh pleaded not guilty to 26 counts in connection with the murder of the mother and daughter in their Rotterdam home this month .[TU][YNN]

State Assembly Republicans are calling for a constitutional ammendment allowing recall elections for officials charged with corruption.[WNYT]

Saratoga police chief Chris Cole is retiring
after 23 years on the force--only 3 and a half as chief. Cole was suspended for a short time in 2011 for sending "racy" text messages to a woman he was dating. [WNYT][Saratogian]

Police in Albany and Colonie are warning residents to beware of scam artists claiming to be bank investigators after attempted scams were reported by elderly people in Loudonville and Albany. [TU][YNN]

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Rivenburgh charged in Rotterdam double murder, Amtrak to step up security in Capital Region in wake of alleged terrorist plot, Uncle Sams to be unveiled Friday

Brice Rivenburgh, the former boyfriend of Jessica McCormack, has been charged with the murder of Jessica and her mother, Tammy McCormack, at their Rotterdam home earlier this month. A grand jury indicted Rivenburg on 26 counts including burglary and rape. A police officer found a shirt and papers with Rivenburgh's name on them burning nearby.[TU][YNN][WNYT][News10]

Amtrak is stepping up security in the Capital Regionafter police arrested two men in Canada in an alleged plot to blow up a passenger train. A CDTA spokesman says the heightened security measures will be more in line with airport security.[YNN][WNYT]

Hazmat teams were sent to the scene of a suicide at RPI, where a student used a combination of household chemicals to kill himself in a dorm room. [TU][WNYT][Record]

Malcolm Smith and six other politicians pleaded not guilty Tuesday in an alleged scheme to sell the Republican nomination for the New York City mayoral race.[NYT][YNN]

MMA promoters ran a clinic for young people at the TU Center on Tuesday, while opponents of the sport lobbied for legislators to extend the ban on professional MMA bouts in New York State. [YNN][TU][WNYT]

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Police: fatal fight may have been over a phone, state Senator's torture comment gets him a lot attention, snack shack plan turns into "adult" business plan, Giant Voice

Possible cause of the knife fight that left one man dead and another seriously injured Sunday in Watervliet, according to the city's police chief: "the initial dispute was over the use of a phone." [Troy Record]

US Attorney Preet Bharara on his office's efforts against political corruption in New York: "We are redoubling our efforts and will seek to be even more aggressive than in the past." While not officially endorsing any anti-corruption measures, Bharara said "no single fix will get us far down the road to reform." [TU] [State of Politics]

The state Board of Regents is considering whether a 1,250-word research paper should become a graduation requirement for high school students. [TU]

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One dead after knife fight in Watervliet, Troy planning commissioner suspended, suit against GloFo over overtime and vacation, world's largest cardboard fort

Watervliet police say one man is dead and another seriously injured following what appears to have been a knife fight involving two roommates inside an apartment Sunday afternoon (map). WPD says it's still sorting out the situation. A trail of what appeared to be blood dripped down the siding of the building from a window. [YNN] [TU] [News10] [WNYT] [Troy Record]

When members of local police departments are stopped in drunk driving situations, things often don't go smoothly. [TU]

Albany's city clerk says misuse of visitor passes for the residential parking permit system has been "worse than what we had anticipated." [TU] Earlier: Observations on the Albany parking permit system so far?

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Massive manhunt in Boston area for bombing suspect, Albany's first homicide of the year, dog found shot near UAlbany, temporary wall collapses at Crossgates

Authorities say one of two brothers from Chechnya suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings is dead following a gun battle with police in Watertown, Massachusetts that reportedly included the use of a bomb. Earlier in the night, authorities the brothers robbed a convenience store, fatally shot an MIT police officer, and carjacked an SUV at gunpoint. Much of the Boston area and its immediate suburbs are now in lockdown as part of a massive manhunt for the other brother. [NYT] [Boston Globe] [WBUR]

Albany police say one man was killed and another injured in a shooting on Central Ave early Thursday morning (map). The man killed -- Darzee Reid of Troy -- was a barbering student at the Austin School of Spa Technology just up Central and an aspiring rapper. Reid's sister says he and the other man had been at a nearby bar for an open mic night. His death is the city's first homicide of the year. It was the second shooting on Central Ave in the city this week -- two people were shot on the 300 block Monday afternoon. And the Central/King intersection was the scene of a fatal vehicle/pedestrian collision in February. Says a woman who lives near the intersection -- the aunt of the woman killed in February -- after Thursday's shooting: "I don't feel safe here anymore." But the general manager of the bar says the neighborhood has been on an upswing. [APD] [Troy Record] [YNN] [News10] [TU] [News10]

Troy police say a three-year-old died Thursday evening after a large TV fell on her. TPD says it was an old, heavy cathode-tube TV, not one of the lighter flat panel models. [TU] [Troy Record]

One of the men in the car that was allegedly stopped by an off-duty Schenectady detective in a fit of road rage says, as the detective allegedly pointed a gun at him, he told the detective "if you're going to shoot me, shoot me." Glenville police say John Hotaling admitted to confronting the other car, but has not admitted to pointing a gun at anyone. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Cuomo blasts US Senate on gun control legislation, NanoCollege to buy Kiernan Plaza, Glenville detective accused of road rage, $2 million to help Schenectady

Andrew Cuomo is calling the US Senate's failure to pass legislation expanding background checks for gun purchases,"a sad statement on the power of extremists to stand in the way of reason and common sense. " [Capitol Confidential]

A group of 50 students and gun safety advocates banded together to protest the Saratoga City Center's hosting of gun shows Wednesday, arguing the center doesn't have the proper insurance for the shows. [TU]

The Albany Police Officers Union has come out against the NY SAFE Act, arguing it "violates fundamental Constitutional rights." [Capitol Confidential.]

A recent Quinnipiac Poll shows Andrew Cuomo's approval rating is 57 percent, but he's less popular upstate than in New York city. The poll reported 9 out of 10 NY voters think corruption is a serious problem in New York, and three quarters of respondents say legislative leaders' efforts to clean it up are not so good or poor. [TU][NYT]

David Soares says he's encouraged that Andrew Cuomo has rolled out an anti-corruption package, but says local DAs will need resources to enforce the rules. [TU]

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is planning to buy Kiernan Plaza in downtown Albany in a deal that will make use of eminent domain. [TU]

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Colonie native among Boston Marathon rescuers, Cuomo seeks to toughen election law, another manhole cover dislodged by fire in Albany, Pulitzer winners from Niskayuna and Scotia

Federal agents determined that the explosives used in the Boston Marathon incident were in kitchen pressure cookers along with nails and other objects intended to act as shrapnel. [News 10]

A Colonie High School/Siena College grad who is a Boston firefighter ran into the smoke at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday and is pictured rescuing a young girl from the scene in a photo that has been widely circulated.[YNN][WNYT][TU]

RPI's hockey coach and assistant coach were on the scene in Boston on Monday and describe what they saw. [YNN]

Andrew Cuomo says he'll seek to create an independent office to enforce state election law, including a plan to curtail the power of political party bosses.
[NYT] [YNN]

Another manhole cover in downtown Albany was dislodged on Tuesday by an underground utility fire, prompting National Grid and the city of Albany to step up inspection of underground cables. [WNYT] [TU][YNN]

Crews began tearing down St. Patrick's Church in Watervliet on Tuesday morning.[TU][YNN]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Investigation into Boston Marathon bombings, Capital Region runners at marathon OK, armed robberies reported in E. Greenbush, appliance repair shop unplugged

Three people are now dead -- and more than 130 wounded -- after the Boston Marathon bombings Monday afternoon. There have been no announced arrests so far. The FBI is taking the lead on the case and an agency official called it "a criminal investigation that is a potential terrorist investigation." [Boston Globe] [Boston Globe] [NYT]

From a statement by Barack Obama: "We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake -- we will get to the bottom of this. And we will find out who did this; we'll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice." [White House]

More than a hundred people from the Capital Region ran the marathon Monday and it appears all of them are OK. [WNYT] [TU]

Albany police say two people were shot on the 300 block of Central Ave Monday afternoon (block map). APD says the incident appeared to be a confrontation between people who know each other -- and a "person of interest" was in custody Monday. The injuries injuries don't appear life-threatening. [APD]

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District says teacher has been put on leave for Nazi writing assignment, Troy slow to pay for accident caused by city truck, Siena basketball player arrested

The Albany school district says the teacher who assigned the Nazi writing prompt for a persuasive writing exercise has been put on leave while the district considers disciplinary action. Said superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard at a press conference: "You asked a child to support the notion that the Holocaust was justified, that's my struggle ... It's an illogical leap for a student to make." One of the three classes assigned the exercise refused to do it. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT]

Troy police say they're investigating a shooting early Saturday morning downtown (map) -- an SUV with people in it was hit multiple times. [Troy Record]

Local law enforcement agencies say a large recent upswing in demand for ammunition -- and the resulting surge in prices and shortage of supplies -- is straining budgets for training, and delaying shipments. [TU]

Proposal before the Saratoga Springs city council: installing surveillance cameras in the area of Caroline Street downtown. [Saratogian]

Demolition of St. Patrick's church in Watervliet started Saturday morning. [TU]

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District apologizes for Nazi writing prompt, Investigation continues of deaths in Rotterdam, injunction against St. Patrick's demolition lifted

The Albany school district is apologizing for a high school English class persuasive writing assignment that included this prompt: "You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!" [TU]

Rotterdam police say Brice C. Rivenburgh -- the man arrested on a burglary charge connected with two women found dead Wednesday -- have not officially said he's a suspect in the deaths, but other charges are pending. Investigators were searching for evidence Thursday -- they collected a car from Rivenburgh's home and were seen searching a nearby garbage bin. [Daily Gazette] [YNN] [TU]

The seizure of assets connected to the multi-state gambling ring that authorities say included two Albany County corrections officers could end up netting the county $5 million. [TU]

A former server for the Mallozzi group alleges in a class action suit that the Rotterdam-based restaurant group kept more than $1 million in "service personnel charges" that should have been distributed to servers as tips. A Mallozzi co-owner tells the Gazette "this lawsuit has absolutely no merit, and we will vigorously fight it." [Courthouse News] [Daily Gazette]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Mother and daughter found dead in Rotterdam, Albany County corrections officers arrested in connection with gambling ring, large dogs maul small dogs to death in Albany

A 52-year-old-woman and her 23-year-old daughter were found dead in their Rotterdam home -- police are calling their deaths suspicious. A "a person with knowledge" of the investigation tells the TU the women were strangled. Rotterdam police say they've arrested a former boyfriend of the daughter and charged him with first-degree burglary for a break-in Wednesday morning. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Two Albany County corrections officers were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly taking part in anillegal bookmaking ring in which bets and payoffs took place at the county jail. The investigation into the national gambling ring has been going on for several years, and three local civilians were arrested for their part in the ring.[WNYT] [Record] [Saratogian] [TU]

On yesterday's Capitol Pressroom, Andrew Cuomo said New York's gun legislation goes far beyond the proposed federal legislation being discussed. Cuomo said the federal bill, which expands background checks but does not extend an expired ban on assault weapons, "is better than nothing, but it's still nothing." [Capitol Pressroom][WNYT] [TU]

Cuomo vetoed over 200 lines in the state budget on Wednesday -- the money not re-bury the bodies of 15 former slaves found during a sewer construction project in Albany was not vetoed. [Capitol Confidential] [TU]

Albany police say two large dogs -- each weighing more than 100 pounds --- crashed a fence in Arbor Hill and mauled a pair of small dogs to death in an alley where the owner of the small dogs was walking them. The owner of the large dogs, an English bull mastiff and a Presa Canario, was cited with six violations for each dog.[TU][YNN][APD Press Release]

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Cuomo proposes corruption crackdown legislation, Rensselaer County ordered to pay special prosecutor, Saratoga man loses part of ear in attack

After last week's bribery allegations against two New York State legislators, Andrew Cuomo has proposed the Public Trust Act, which would require officials to report corruption and help district attorneys prosecute public corruption cases. Cuomo also said he'll seek to make it a misdemeanor for an elected official who witnesses bribery to fail to report it. [TU][NYT]

Hollywood may already be working on this: "A legislator working for law enforcement as a mole." [NYT]

About 50 state data facilities will merge and operate out of the SUNY NanoCollege -- a move that is expected to save the state $100 million in rental space over 20 years. [TU]

A visiting Supreme Court judge has ordered Rensselaer County to pay special prosecturer Trey Smith more than $508,000 for part of his work in the Troy ballot fraud case, and is considering how much of the rest of Smith's bill should be paid. [Record]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Capital Region has gained back jobs lost during crash, Cuomo talking about anti-corruption efforts, a whole of lot of Teddy Roosevelt

The Capital Region has regained just about half of the jobs it's lost since the financial crash in 2008. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo on ethics reform following last week's charges against two state legislators, on the Capitol Pressroom: "Never waste a crisis." A Cuomo spokesman says the governor will be "proposing a comprehensive anti-corruption package." [TU] [AP/Troy Record]

Cuomo also deflected a report in the NY Post (citing anonymous sources) that his administration was looking at how to oust Sheldon Silver. The report prompted pushback from Democratic members of the Assembly. [WCNY] [NY Post] [Buffalo News]

NYT's Danny Hakim on a recent rising level of criticism of Cuomo: "there have been indications that Mr. Cuomo is less invincible than he once was." [NYT]

Saratoga supervisor Joanne Yepsen, a Democrat, is formally into the pool for mayor of Saratoga Springs. Yepsen said she would aim to make city government more accessible, balance the needs of development and preservation, and make government more efficient. Current mayor Scott Johnson, a Republican, recently said he would not be running. The chair of the city's Republican committee says his party is still working on its slate of candidates. [Saratogian] [Saratoga Wire] [Daily Gazette]

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Central Ave is dangerous corridor for pedestrians, Ellis officially into race for mayor, shooting an AR-15, the castle that's not complete

From 2009-2013, a pedestrian has been hit on Central Ave an average of more than once a week -- and eight people have been killed, according to a Times Union analysis of state data. Map of the accidents. [TU] [TU]

The state DMV is operating as if proposed tougher rules for people with multiple DWI convictions are already in effect, the Daily Gazette reports. [Daily Gazette]

Andrew Cuomo has nominated Sheila Abdus-Salaam for the state Court of Appeals. If confirmed, she would be the first would be the first African-American woman to serve on the state's highest court. [Cuomo admin]

Gloria Nelligan has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her in the beating death of her grandson Sha'hiim Nelligan in February. Schenectady County DA Robert Carney said Nelligan beat the eight-year-old with a wooden back scratcher and hair brush and other items over a 24-hour period. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Corey Ellis is officially into the pool for mayor of Albany. Among his ideas: a community college in downtown Albany. Ellis joins city treasurer Kathy Sheehan in the pool. Jerry Jennings hasn't said publicly what he plans to do. [Troy Record] [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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State Assemblyman had been working as informant for prosecutors, how many acres of porn is too much?, guilty verdict in fatal hit-and-run, a popular Death Wish

There's already been one announced Assembly resignation as part of the alleged bribery scheme involving Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson -- though it's not Stevenson: Nelson Castro says he'll be resigning his seat Monday. Castro had been indicted for perjury in 2009 and worked out a deal with prosecutors to serve as an informant -- including his wearing of a wire -- which only came to light with the case against Stevenson. (Yep, federal prosecutors basically had a mole in the state legislature.) [TU] [State of Politics] [TU] [NYT]

Andrew Cuomo called the alleged corruption allegations against Stevenson -- and earlier in the week, state Senator Malcolm Smith -- "appalling." Sheldon Silver says he's encouraging Stevenson to resign. [Cuomo admin] [TU]

The name of Stevenson's campaign committee for his first run for the Assembly: "The Eric Stevenson Good Government Committee." [State of Politics]

Good government groups are using the allegations to push for campaign finance reform. A coalition of environmental groups are also pushing this issue, arguing the current system allows indusry lobbyists to block efforts to strengthen environmental protections. [TU] [TU]

The Troy city council rejected a proposal to create an adult entertainment district in South Troy by a 5-4 vote. Said councilman Rodney Wiltshire: "Seventy acres of pornography is too much." [TU]

Watervliet Arsenal machinists rallied outside the facilities gates Thursday against furloughs prompted by the federal "sequestration." The furloughs could cut their pay by 20 percent. [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Deadline to save Thruway jobs passes, Chopper corporate layoffs, Troy lawmakers consider adult business district for waterfront, St. Patrick's demolition starts...and then stops

The deadline to save 200 jobs at the NYS Thruway Authority came and went on Wednesday with no action. [YNN]

A few hours after demolition began on the rear boiler house at St. Patrick's Church in Watervliet, a state judge ordered the work halted until an appellate court can hear arguments from preservationists. [Record]

The theft of honest services law, narrowed by the Supreme Court in 2010, is at the center of a number of charges against Malcom Smith and his alleged co-conspirators. If it sounds familiar it's because theft of honest services charges against Joe Bruno were overturned over a year ago-- after the Supreme Courts ruling. [NYT]

More calls for campaign finance reform on Wednesday in the wake of the arrest of Senator Malcolm Smith for allegedly trying to bribe his way into a Republican run for Mayor of NYC.[WNYT]

The city of Troy is considering turning a 70 acre stretch along the waterfront, just west of First street, between the Postenkill and the Menands bridge, into an "adult business zone," clearing the way for strip clubs and adult book stores to open there.[TU]

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Smith vows he'll be vindicated, GOP leaders say Amedore will run again,Thruway employees expect layoffs, reports: Loyola coach headed for Siena

Senator Malcolm Smith says he'll be "vindicated on all charges" connected with the alleged plot to bribe Republicans to support him as a Republican candidate for mayor of New York City. After he was arrested Tuesday, Smith was stripped of his legislative committee posts and IDC chairman Jeff Klein has suggested Smith consider resigning. Many of Smith's colleagues in the legislature seemed less surprised that he was arrested then by why he was arrested.[TU][NYT][Daily News]

Recent charges against Malcolm Smith have brought about more support for campaign finance reform in the state. Local legislators gathered with members of the public on Tuesday night for a previously scheduled meeting to discuss campaign finance reform.[WNYT][TU]

A "remember when" of other state legilsture corruption cases. [TU]

Ranking state Senate Republicans are saying that George Amedore is planning to make another bid for the Senate seat he narrowly lost to Cecilia Tkacyk a few months ago. [TU]

More than 200 NYS Thruway employees in the Capital Region are expected to be laid off when the new budget is adopted today in an effort expected to save $20 million.[TU][YNN]

The unemployment rate for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro was 7.9 percent in February -- down from 8.2 percent in February 2012 -- according to the state Department of Labor. [NYS DOL]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Malcolm Smith arrested for alleged bribery plot, passengers say allegedly drunk cab driver wouldn't stop, $60k to repair West Capitol Park lawn

State Senator Malcolm Smith was arrested by the feds Tuesday morning as part of an alleged plot to bribe Republican officials to let him run as a Republican for mayor of New York City. A handful of other officials have been accused, including Republican NYC councilman Daniel Halloran. From the press release from federal prosecutor Preet Baharara:

The complaint describes an unappetizing smorgasbord of graft and greed involving six officials who together built a corridor of corruption stretching from Queens and the Bronx to Rockland County and all the way up to Albany itself. As alleged, Senator Malcolm Smith tried to bribe his way to a shot at Gracie Mansion - Smith drew up the game plan and Councilman Halloran essentially quarterbacked that drive by finding party chairmen who were wide open to receiving bribes.

The Democratic state Senator from Queens is part of the Independent Democratic Conference that formed a majority coalition with Republicans. He also formerly headed up the state Senate from 2006-2009 while Democrats controlled the chamber. [NYT] [NYDN] [State of Politics] [US Attorney] [TU CapCon]

Among the names floated as a potential Republican challenger to Andrew Cuomo for governor in 2014: Chris Gibson. [Post-Star]

Saratoga Springs police say they don't know if three attacks on women on the street -- two recently, the third in September -- are related. SSPD says it's investigating and asking the crime lab if there's similarity in evidence from the three attacks. The woman assaulted and robbed over the weekend has been released from the hospital. [TU] [News10] [News10]

The caretaker of the hall that hosted party that prompted the parade of unruliness through north Troy Saturday night says the event was "a nightmare." [Troy Record]

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Grandmother indicted on murder charge for death of grandson, concerns about medical care in county prisons, reported assault on street on Saratoga's east side, Cuse to the Final Four

Gloria Nelligan -- the Schenectady woman accused of beating her eight-year-old grandson to death in February -- has been indicted on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter. Schenectady County DA Robert Carney alleges Nelligan's corporal punishment of her grandson amounted to "torture" and "she beat him to a pulp, literally." [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A Times Union review of reports by a state board with oversight of prison medical care "revealed repeated instances of inadequate care" from a private medical services contractor currently with contracts for the Albany, Rensselaer, and Schenectady county jails. [TU]

A pedestrian was killed after being hit while crossing Union Street in Schenectady Friday after services at St. Kateri Takakwitha Church. Witnesses told police the man was in a crosswalk when he was hit by an 88-year-old driver. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A group of 100-150 teens reportedly caused "mayhem" through Lansingburgh and North Central Saturday night following a sweet sixteen party. There were four arrests. [Troy Record] [News10]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Assembly finishes up state budget, Troy residents push for more pedestrian-friendly Hoosick Street, temporary reprieve for Wash Ave Amory, Cuse beat Indiana

The state Assembly passed a group of budget bills Thursday, finishing off the legislatures part of the process (the Senate passed its bills earlier this week). It's the third on-time budget in a row. Among the points of contention during debate over the bills: a change to the NY SAFE Act involving the number of rounds in a gun magazine. Also: legislators from both parties criticized cuts to the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities. Legislators contrasted those cuts with tax credits in the budget for movie and TV productions and funding for the Buffalo Bills stadium. [TU] [State of Politics] [TU CapCon] [State of Politics] [NY Now] [AP/Troy Record]

Jim Tedisco on the state's school aid formula and the "bullet aid" to school districts that each chamber of the legislature gets to distribute at its discretion: "You don't use a flawed tool to fix an initially flawed tool." [Daily Gazette]

The Albany school district says its funding in the state budget was unexpectedly reduced by $4.2 million from the figure originally quoted to it by the state. The district says the state made an error in how it counted the city's charter school students. (The charter school situation in the city was already contentious.) [Albany school district] [TU] [TU]

Pablo Cruz -- the driver accused of hitting and killing cyclist Paul Merges in uptown Albany this past November -- has been indicted on a bunch charges, including second-degree murder. Cruz is also accused of DWI. [Albany County DA] [TU]

Ian Eckardt-Rigberg -- convicted for hit-and-run in Arbor Hill in 2011 that killed pedestrian Rozell Whitehead -- was sentenced to 3.5-10 years in prison. [TU]

Public comments at a Troy planning committee meeting Thursday pushed for ways to make Hoosick Street safer for pedestrians. Said one resident of the street: "It's a runway. If you look at the bridge it looks like an airport and people are like planes trying to take off." Another person said crossing the street is "like playing Russian roulette." The family of the mother and child hit while crossing Hoosick Street this week said Thursday the girl is still in intensive care. [Troy Record] [News10] [WNYT] [News10]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Assembly hopes to pass budget today, state aid boosted for most Capital Region school districts, mother and child hit by car on Hoosick St.

The Assembly returns to the Capitol this morning to tackle the 2013-2014 budget. Legislators are hoping to get the budget passed by the end of the day today, in time for the holiday weekend. [YNN] [WNYT]

With the exception of Voorheesville, all Capital Region schools would see significant funding restored under the state budget passed by the Senate this week. Albany's operating aid will rise 6.69 percnt.[TU]

A mother and her four year old daughter were hosptialized on Wedensday after they were hit by a car while crossing Hoosick Street in Troy. A rookie city firefighter is credited with reviving the little girl, who was not breathing when rescuers arrived. The accident has raised concerns about the busy intersection where it occurred -- the Mayor and state DOT reps about the issue and a meeting with residents about safety issues was already scheduled for tonight. [YNN][TU][News 10]

Police are looking for the man who robbed a First Niagra Bank in Lansignburgh just after it opened on Wednesday morning. The theif
got away with an undetermined amount of cash. [TU]

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Budget passed in Senate -- Assembly up next, woman and child struck by car on Hoosick St., Twin Bridges construction to resume

The Senate passed budget bills in the early hours of the morning. The
budget includes
a three-stage minimum wage hike, a renewal of higher tax rates for millionaires, cuts in funding for people with developmental disabilities, and a $350 rebate check for many families with kids. Up next: voting in the Assembly, where members are hoping to pass it on time, for a third year in a row. [YNN] [TU][NYT]

Sheldon Silver says the budget also includes $27.74 million for the first statewide electronic handgun permit database. [WNYT]

The former CFO of Brighter Choice Foundation pleaded guilty this week to grand larceny for stealing more than $200,000 from the foundation. [Albany County DA press release]

The man who shot and killed Richard Bailey has lost his final appeal on his 2010 conviction for first-degree murder, attempted robbery, and gun possession. [TU]

Weekend construction on the Twin Bridges is scheduled to resume on April 5 in the southbound lanes and is expected to end before Memorial Day. [TU]

A mother and child were struck by a car as they crossed Hoosick Street in Troy Wednesday morning. [Record]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Details on state rebate for families with kids, residents express complaints about police training operation, odd burglary case in Troy, her 100th birthday

There are now details on the $350 state rebates many families with children will be getting in 2014 (lots of details). The rebate checks are scheduled to arrive in October 2014 -- yep, right before election day. [TU] [YNN]

The observances of Passover and Easter this week complicated the budget process -- and gave legislators another thing to fight about. [TU]

That state budget includes increases in the amount of video lottery terminal money for both Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County -- though it's still short of levels from 2008. [Saratogian]

At a community meeting Monday night residents of the Ida Yarbrough Homes expressed their complaints about an Albany Police Department training exercise last week that used simulated ammunition and injuries. Some residents said they were confined to their apartment during the training, or blocked from getting to their apartment. And another resident said she worried about the effect the training had on kids in the complex. APD assistant chief Brendan Cox said there was "a lack of communication" about the training. [YNN] [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

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State budget vote drawn out, more exploding manhole covers, APD training exercise criticized, UAlbany women's basketball team almost pull upset in NCAA tournament

Though the state Senate started passing budget bills Sunday, it looks like the budget won't be finished until the end of the week. The state Senate was in session Sunday, and is scheduled to do so again today -- and members were also irked that the Assembly has pushed its votes to a session scheduled for Thursday. (The deadline to get the budget done is April 1.) [AP/Troy Record] [State of Politics] [TU]

The budget will include a minimum fine for texting while driving -- $50. [TU]

Dean Skelos says the budget will include an "indefinite" suspension of the enforcement of the NY SAFE Act provision banning gun magazines with more than seven rounds. Also: In which a "Cuomo administration source" starts trying to deflect blame for problems with the NY SAFE Act onto someone else. [State of Politics] [NY Post]

Many "temporary" taxes and fees in New York State are apparently temporary in name only. [TU]

Friday afternoon a jury convicted James Wells of fatally shooting Eddie Stanley at a Schenectady party in 2011. He faces 25-years to life. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Another underground fire in downtown Albany caused a manhole covers to fly Saturday morning, one of them damaging the Olde English Pub. Said Jerry Jennings: "We have to find out what's going on underneath these streets and what's causing this, what's happening here." [TU] [YNN]

Alain Kaloyeros says the recently announced deal between Israel and the NanoCollege will result in 1,000 new jobs for the area. [TU]

The rebuilding effort in Prattsville -- maybe the hardest hit place in the state during Irene -- has prompted accusations of cronyism. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Budget headed for weekend vote, the "Jimmy Fallon tax credit," court considers local fracking bans

The UAlbany men's basketball team faces Duke in the NCAA tournament today. Tip time is 12:15. The game is on CBS.

Details to fill out the "conceptual framework" for the deal on the state budget started to surface Thursday. It appears the budget is on track for the legislature start voting on it on Sunday -- there's a push to get the budget vote finished before Passover starts Monday evening. [AP/Troy Record] [TU]

Among the provisions tucked into the budget bills: "the Jimmy Fallon tax credit," which would give NBC a tax credit for bringing the Tonight Show to NYC when/if Jimmy Fallon takes over for Jay Leno. [NYDN] [NYDN]

A New York affiliate of the NRA has filed in federal court for an injunction to stop parts of the NY SAFE Act. The suit alleges the law violates multiple Constitutional amendments, restricts interstate commerce, and violates due process. Also currently irking gun rights supporters: a state tip line for reporting illegal guns. Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin -- who represents much of Rensselaer County -- says the program is a "gun-grab plan" and "seeks to turn neighbor against neighbor." [AP/Troy Record] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Steve McLaughlin]

A state appellate court lifted the injunction preventing Lifetime from showing its Christopher Porco movie this weekend. Porco, representing himself, made his arguments before the court via telephone from prison. [AOA] [TU]

The Times Union has obtained dash cam video from the 2011 fatal shooting of Luis Rivera by Schenectady police officers -- a grand jury cleared the officers of wrongdoing. [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Framework of budget hammered out, CNSE makes $3 billion nanotech deal with Israel, plans for Monument Square development in Troy

The framework of a conceptual state budget has been hammered out, though a number of details have yet to be worked on ,including reduce arrests for small amounts of marijuana and the proposed cuts to the State Office for People with Developmental Disabilites. Among the items that have been agreed upon in the estimated $135 billion spending plan: a minimum wage hike to $9 an hour in increments over 3 years, $350 tax rebate checks for middle class homeowners with kids and a school aid hike of $500 million over what was originally proposed by Governor Cuomo. This is the earliest an agreement has been reached in 30 years. Voting on the budget could occur as soon as this weekend.[YNN][TU][NYT][City&State][WNYT]

While defending a proposal to elminate a ban on the sale of 10-round magazines that was part of the New York SAFE law, Andrew Cuomo said the gun law was worked on "probably ten times longer than the budget will be" and that it was not hastily passed.[Capitol Confidential]

Israel has made a $3 billion dollar five year research and development deal with Albany NanoTech.[TU]

A Rensselaer County farmer has been sentenced to probation for buying poultry and repackaging it, and passing the uninspected meat off as organic. [TU][News 10]

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Budget negotiations continue, another poll shows Cuomo approval drop, yep, it really is spring

Spring starts today, but you couldn't tell by looking out the window. The last day of winter brought as much as 12-inches of snow to parts of the Capital Region. [TU]

State legislators have approved Albany's $7.8 million spin-up payment in lieu of taxes for the Empire State Plaza.[TU]

Andrew Cuomo says the four men in the room may have "the general contours of a framework for an agreement," on a budget, but there's still no official deal. Under discussion --an amendment to the NY SAFE act that would allow people to buy 10-round magazines with seven bullets, and have fully loaded magazines in their home and at designated shooting ranges. Sheldon Silver says the change is one of several "mostly technical" changes to the law that are under consideration.[TU] [YNN][TU][WNYT]

Cuomo and legislative leaders are also hammering out an agreement to extend a high-tax bracket for the state's top incomes, which was slated to end in 2014, to help boost the state's finances and to avoid discussion of a tax increase in the midst of the 2014 election cycle. [NYT]

The budget plan being worked on will also include a $350 tax rebate to middle class homeowners with children.[Democrat and Chronicle]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Deal on raising minimum wage, tax breaks approved for GloFo, sad irony in DWI charge, prosecutors: pork buns had uninspected meat

It snowed. But not as much as forecasted yesterday. A dry zone of air in the system "greatly diminished the precip in the area," according to the NSW forecast discussion.

The Four Men in a Room have agreed on a deal that would phase in a minimum wage increase over the next three years, eventually up to $9 an hour. The deal does not include indexing the minimum wage to inflation. There's still not a deal on the state budget. [TU] [NYDN] [NYT] [State of Politics]

The Saratoga County IDA has approved $387 million in potential sales tax breaks for GlobalFoundries projects. GloFo says the two projects -- a research center and a possible second fab -- represent a potential $16.8 billion investment. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Paul Grondahl: the growth of the tech industry in the Capital Region "represents a sixth age in the ongoing reinvention of the region's economy." [TU]

Thirteen service members from the Capital Region have died in Iraq over the last 10 years, many of them members of the National Guard. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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State leaders cramming to finish budget, man accused of fleeing crash on foot -- while carrying toddlers, video of fight in West Capitol Park, Coeymans re-named for sandwiches

Negotiations continued through the weekend as The Four Men in a Room tried to settled on state budget, which could include a minimum wage increase. [TU] [State of Politics]

The eight counties of the greater Capital Region saw a 39 percent increase in pistol permit applications in 2012 compared to the year before. [Daily Gazette]

Alain Kaloyeros tells the Times Union there have been "very positive conversations" among SUNY leaders about the floated plan to spin off the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, but: "There has not been any model advanced to separate (the NanoCollege) from the University at Albany campus and all that has been reported is premature." [TU]

A seventh person -- a 16 year old -- has been arrested for the murder of Takim Smith. Chawn A. Sheares is charged with murder, robbery, conspiracy, and criminal possession of a weapon. [Troy Record] [TU]

Saratoga Springs mayor Scott Johnson says he won't run for re-election this fall. He says he and wife are heading for "another chapter" of their lives. [Saratogian] [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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Police say firebombing of chief's house was retaliation, charges dismissed for last two Troy ballot fraud defendants, BZA backs decision to stop dance music shows at Armory

Scotia police say they've arrested four men for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails into the then-police chief's home in 2010. Scotia's current police chief says the men -- then 17 and 18 years old -- were retaliating for what they regarded as harassment by police. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Said one Herkimer area resident in the aftermath of the shootings that left four people dead and two others injured: "It's going to take a while to recover." The motive for Kurt R. Myers' rampage is still unclear. [TU] [NYT]

Another casualty of the situation: Ape, an FBI tactical dog, who agents say was fatally shot while playing a key role during the operation to take down Myers -- an FBI agent says the dog's actions "prevented his teammates from being seriously wounded or killed." [TU] [Utica Observer-Dispatch] [NYT]

State attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced an agreement with a large majority of the state's gun show operators that includes new procedures for making sure there are background checks for gun buyers. The state AG's office says the agreement comes after undercover agents were able to buy guns at multiple shows without a background check. [NYS AG] [NYT]

A western New York is apparently the first person in the state to be arrested for violating the NY SAFE Act. [Buffalo News] [NYS AG]

The New York City woman who jumped to her death from an 8th floor window with her baby strapped to her body -- amazingly the child survived -- was the 1986 valedictorian at Colonie Central High School. [NYDN] [NYT] [TU]

UAlbany School of Business Weekend MBA ad 2012 summer

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NY SAFE injunction denied, officer and son of Rensselaer Police Chief charged with DWI in fatal accident, Northway crash victim identified, protests planned for Saratoga gun show

Farther afield: In a shootout this morning, police killed the gunman who allegedly killed four people in a rampage in Herkimer yesterday. In a statement this morning Andrew Cuomo commended the efforts of law enforcers who responded to the tragedy. [YNN]

An Albany County acting State Supreme Court Justice denied a request for a preliminary injunction against the NY SAFE act that was requested by activist Bob Schulz and a group of second amendment advocates. [Capitol Confidential]

22-year-old Mark Fusco, a Rensselaer police officer -- the son of Rensselaer Police Chief Rick Fusco, is charged with DWI in connection with a one car crash in East Greenbush yesterday morning that claimed the life of his passenger, 22-year-old Sean Murphy of Slingerlands. [YNN][TU]

The woman who died in the car/bus crash on the Northway in Clifton Park on Tuesday has been identified as 64 year old Barbara Weinstein of Saratoga. Her husband, Steve Weinstein, was driving the red porsche when it spun out of control hitting a busload of college students. Investigators are still looking for the cause of the crash. [Saratogian][TU]

The man who allegedly threatened a Skidmore College student last week, causing the campus to go into lockdown, has waived his right to extradition in New Jersey, where he was arrested, and will be sent to Saratoga Springs to face charges. [TU][Saratogian]

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Fatal car/bus crash on Northway, video footage of Albany County jail beating, four sentenced in Troy ballot fraud case, police anticipate arrest in Rainwalker case

A 64-year old Saratoga woman is dead after the Porsche she was riding in spun out of control and ended up in front of a bus. The bus, carrying student athletes from St. Michaels College from Vermont to a meet on Long Island collided with the car and slid into a ditch off the southbound lane of the Northway in Clifton Park. The Northway was closed between exits 9 and 10 until after 5p.m. on Tuesday for clean-up and investigation. [TU][Saratogian][YNN]

Video footage of the beating of an inmate that was allegedly orchestrated by a guard at the Albany County jail has been made public by Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple. [TU]

Four men who took plea deals in the Troy ballot fraud case were sentenced on Tuesday in Rensselaer County Court. Former Troy councilman John Brown was sentence to six months in Jail in spite of the prosecution's request for a lighter sentence, Anthony Defiglio and Anthony Renna got 100 and 200 hours of communtiy service respectively, and former City Clerk Bill McInerny was sentenced to 90 days in a sheriff's work program.[TU][WNYT][Record]

Eric Green, the 18-year-old man facing a string of charges, including attempted murder, for allegedly stabbing a state trooper at the Empire State Plaza earlier this month, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Albany County. [TU]

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VA says it won't comply with NY SAFE Act provision, two women shot, push to open casino siting process, recent college grad picked to head up animal shelter

The Veterans Administration says it will not comply with the provision of the NY SAFE Act that requires mental health providers to report people who are likely to act in way that would harm themselves or others. [New York World/TU]

As the state Senate and Assembly stake out their positions ahead of the push to finish the state budget, it looks like there could be some movement on raising the minimum wage. [TU] [NYT]

Albany police say two women were shot in West Hill just before midnight Monday (map). APD says it appears the shooting was "the result of an ongoing dispute" and it's investigating. The women's injuries are not life threatening, according to APD. [YNN] [APD]

The alleged collaboration between an Albany County jail corrections officer and two inmates to beat up a third inmate sounds like something from a TV drama. [TU]

What might be the $600 million projected to which the mayor Rensselaer alluded: a proposal to build at waste-to-energy plant at the Port of Rensselaer. (The same company proposed a similar project for the Port of Albany a few years back.) [TU]

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Split verdict in Llenroc case, the formula almost no one understands, Wash Ave Armory and city at odds over dance parties again, 12 year old saves classmate

There was a split verdict in the trial of Annie George. The federal jury found her guilty of harboring an illegal immigrant at the Llenroc mansion. But it found her not guilty of doing so for financial gain, a more serious charge. She faces as much as five years in prison and a $250k fine. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [YNN] [Saratogian]

The Albany County Sheriff's Office says a correction officer at the the Albany County jail was arrested Friday after he allegedly conspired with two inmates to assault a third inmate. Said sheriff Craig Apple: An incident like this casts a shadow over all our men and women at that facility ... It really is disappointing." [ACSO] [TU]

A Times Union-obtained federal review of the 2011 death of a French immigrant being held for deportation at the Albany County jail concludes that missed and incorrect dosages of the drugs used to treat the woman's cardiomyopathy contributed to her congestive heart failure and her death "could have been prevented." [TU]

An elderly Troy woman died in a house fire Saturday night in South Troy (map). Heavy smoke and fire forced firefighters out of the house on their initial entry, and Troy's fire chief says barricaded steel back doors also blocked firefighters efforts to get into the house. [Troy Record] [TU] [TU]

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It snowed, PEF pushing for overtime pay, assessor says STAR exemption for state Senator was a mistake, proposed road diet for Madison Ave

It snowed, at least three inches. The snow is expected to continue through the early afternoon, with another 1-2 inches possible. [NWS]

One of the provision at issue in discussions of amending the NY SAFE Act: the 7-round limit on magazines. [TU]

PEF has filed suit against the state arguing that employees who worked more than 40 hours a week during the Sandy response should get overtime (the state is arguing the threshold is 47.5 hours for employee not usually eligible for overtime). The suit is seeking overtime pay for 14,469 state employees. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The jury in the trial of Annie George is now deliberating. Its decision in the case may rest of George's possible use of the term "the maid" in reference to Valsamma Mathai, who prosecutors say was held at the Llenroc mansion to work for little or no pay. The prosecution has introduced used recorded phone calls (translated) to argue that George knew of Mathai's immigration status -- but George said it wasn't her on the call. [News10] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

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Poll: Cuomo's high approval rating takes a small hit after NY SAFE, Assembly passes hydrofracking ban, Senate votes to legalizes MMA, Llenroc widow takes stand

A New Wall Street Journal/NBC NY/Marist poll still puts Andrew Cuomo's approval rating at 56%, but it's dropped a bit, especially upstate, in large part because of his support for the NY SAFE law. [WSJ]

The suspect who allegedly threatened a Skidmore College student earlier this week, resulting in a lockdown on the campus on Tuesday night, was arrested in Atlantic City. Forty-nine-year-old Lance Leonard is charged with coercion, accused of texting a female student and her father threatening to harm the student and himself. The Saratoga County DA's office says Leonard was in a relationship with the student, who was trying to break up with him. Leonard has a history of sex offenses in Nevada and Massachusetts.[TU][YNN][Saratogian] [WNYT]

According to testimony from an assistant director for the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, Valsamma Mathai -- the Indian woman allegedly forced to work seven days a week by Annie George at the Llenroc Mansion --was cheated by George out of nearly $300,000 over five-and-a-half-years. But George estified in U.S. District Court on Wednesday that her late husband was abusive and made all of the decisions in the home and said she treated Mathai like family and that she was free to leave at any time. [TU][Saratogian]

The state Assembly has passed a two-year ban on hydrofracking. [YNN]

The Senate has approved a bill that would legalize professional MMA bouts, but the bill still has to get through the Assembly, where it has stalled before. If approved, tickets to the event would come with an 8.5% tax and broadcast rights would come with a 3% tax. [WNYT][YNN][TU]

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Suspect in ESP trooper stabbing in custody, Skidmore lockdown lifted after suspect arrested, Assembly passes $9 minimum wage hike

Police apprehended Eric Green, the man who allegedly stabbed a state trooper at the Empire State Plaza on Sunday. Green was picked up at the intersection of Western and Washington Avenues in Albany on Tuesday afternoon. Green, a homeless man with ties to both Albany and Brooklyn, was jailed on charges of assaulting a police officer, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon. [TU] [NYSPnews] [WNYT]

Police have aprehended a Massachusetts man who allegedly threatened a Skidmore College student last night, causing the campus to go into lockdown mode. [Saratogian] [TU] [YNN]

The Indian woman allegedly forced to work to work in the Rexford home of Annie George testified in U.S. District court yesterday that a man who spoke her native tongue, Malayalam, coerced her to come and work for George's family. Valsamma Mathai testified through an interpreter that she was forced to sleep on the floor of a closet in George's home, and work from 5:30 am to 11pm without holidays, vacations or sick days, and told the court "I had to escape from there. I told her many times it was too much work." [TU] [Record]

The Assembly easily passed a $9 minimum wage hike on a mostly party-line vote Tuesday. The fate of the bill now rests with the Senate, where support is shaky . [YNN] [State of Politics] [TU]

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Search continues in stabbing of trooper, school locked down after parent brings gun to school, trial starts in Llenroc servant case

State Police released a name and photo of a man they say they'd like to question about the stabbing of a state trooper at the Empire State Plaza Sunday. NYSP say they've found the knife used in the stabbing. And the trooper -- Rodney Smith -- continues to improve. There's a $10,000 reward for info leading to the arrest and conviction of the attacker. [AOA] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

Andrew Cuomo says it's "just not accurate" that a recent conversation with RFK Jr. prompted him to pull back from an imminent decision to approve test wells for hydrofracking. [AP/TU]

Dean Skelos says Senate Republicans are considering multiple changes to the NY SAFE Act. Andrew Cuomo says he's open to technical changes, but not substantial adjustments. [State of Politics] [YNN]

Colonie police say the truck driver who fatally hit a man on Central Ave over the weekend -- and then was assaulted when he stopped -- will not be charged. [Daily Gazette]

Pedestrian safety was a topic of discussion